Friday, October 31, 2008
At a time when most Long Island towns are anticipating major budget challenges for 2009, Oyster Bay continues to throw good money after bad in its death struggle to stop the construction of a mall in Syosset.
As revenue from mortgage recording taxes falls and the cost of borrowing increases, towns are cutting capital budgets and considering cutting back on services. Yet, the Oyster Bay town board voted Tuesday to pay $70,000 in legal fees to appeal a consistently losing case.
Adding in the latest legal bill, the total fees paid to outside attorneys to stop Taubman Centers from building a mall on the old Cerro Wire property will top $375,000.
Spending tax dollars on legal fees is not the only cost to the town. We pointed out in a June 12 editorial what the revenue could have been had the mall gone on the tax rolls in 2003, instead of at least 2011, the earliest possible date considering this latest round of appeals. In those eight, lost tax years, it's estimated the town could have collected $4 million in revenue and the Syosset school district could have gotten a windfall of $16 million, without having to add one more student to its classrooms.
Perhaps, some of those legal fees -- as well as town planning talents -- might have been better spent developing a plan to deal with the parking problem at the Hicksville train station.
Wouldn't it be smarter and cheaper right now to sit down and negotiate with the developer?
Maybe Taubman would be interested in building a parking garage in Hicksville? That would give Supervisor John Venditto more acid relief than a whole warehouse of Pepcid-AC.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Well today comes his ad in the Massapequa Post which doesn't outright claim he was endorsed by Newsday but provides a quote from two years ago.
TWO YEARS AGO.
The ad does not provide a date but it says after the quote "Newsday Endorsement."
The omission of a specific date is a clear indication that Saladino wants readers to think he was endorsed by Newsday this year.
Tomorrow more local papers hit the stands so we'll see what he says there.
Johnson leads 50-35 over Barbara Donno.
From Siena "7th SD – Nassau County – Craig Johnson (D, incumbent) vs. Barbara Donno (R)
Johnson has a 50-35 percent lead over Donno, down from a 49-25 percent lead in the previous Siena New York Poll. Johnson has the support of more than three-quarters of Democrats, while Donno has the support of more than two-thirds of Republicans. Johnson has a nearly two-to-one lead among independent voters, 50-28 percent, up from 36-24 percent in the last poll. Donno’s overall gain in the poll comes largely from Republican voters, where she went from leading 47-28 percent, to now leading 68-19 percent.
Johnson is viewed favorably by 40 percent and unfavorably by 28 percent of voters (36-17 percent last poll). Donno currently has a 29-23 percent favorable rating (16-9 percent last poll).
Johnson’s lead is larger than the 51-42 percent lead Barack Obama has over John McCain in the district.
“Senator Johnson has picked up a point to hit 50 percent, while Donno has picked up 10 points, closing the gap to 15 points. Donno’s challenge in a district with a Democratic enrollment edge is made more difficult because nearly half of voters have no opinion of Donno, and among those who do know her, nearly as many have an unfavorable view as have a favorable view,” Greenberg said."
Cue Dean Skelos spinning like a top.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
That is why I'm guessing Saladino felt comfortable enough to run ads in local papers this week claiming to have the endorsement of Newsday. He is arrogant and assumed he would get the endorsement. Newsday saw through his empty-suit rhetoric and that Saladino "... says all the right things about reducing the property tax burden, and he seems to support every proposal that claims to do that, realistic or not." and "Saladino has already become a creature of its moribund thinking and ways."
One other troubling thing, Saladino is claiming that "Youth sports leagues" endorse him because he gives them "NY State Grant Support."
So there is a quid pro quo with Saladino handing out taxpayer money to non-profit leagues and they endorse him?
More on that other parts of the ad later.
The ad starts off with the question "Ever hear of Kristen McElroy?"
The answer would be no for most people since she is new to politics.
It continues "No one seems to know her."
Really? Then why put an ad on the air attacking her????
Because enough people have heard of her to elect her to the State Senate that's why.
The next question asks "so how does she raise nearly $200,000 in a few months?"
Well, the answer is simple.... she went fundraising with the support of the Democratic Party and donors seem to have lined up to elect her and get rid of Hannon.
Then the commercial cuts to an out of context video of her saying "Luckily for me I knew the right people."
WHOOPS! McElory wasn't talking about fundraising, she was talking to The Albany Project about how and why she got into the race. You can see the whole video HERE.
You see, she got into the race because Hannon has not been doing enough for the residents of New York, especially the 6th Senate District.
The Hannon ad goes on that she "took huge contributions from all over the US... even $18,500 from Washington DC based PACS."
The ad concludes "What do all these interests want from McElroy?"
Okay.. seriously.. again...
Is the Hannon campaign on something??
Let's go over the $72,300 in cash Hannon reported back in July from PACS. And another $14,400 from other PACS?
In September he reported another $34,600 in PAC money.
Most all of that money came from medical and pharmacutical companies.
Hannon is Chairman of the Standing Committee on Health in the State Senate. Why is he talking almost ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS from health care companies?
What do they get from Kemp Hannon?
More later with video goodness.
Skelos wasn't prepared to have to defend Hannon but with 6 days to go, it's scramble time.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
There aren't any windmills in Massapequa, and there are many Republicans, but that isn't stopping Democrat Keith Scalia from titling at both with his campaign for good government.
Scalia, 37, a high school English teacher who also tutors and works for extra cash as an usher at Shea Stadium, wants to go to Albany to change it. Campaign financing is where he would start. Taking the money out of politics, said Scalia -- who accepts no donation over $20 -- would reduce patronage and the need for earmarks, the money legislators spread around in their districts.
Scalia, who lost in a race for a council seat in the Town of Oyster Bay, says preserving and repairing the state's infrastructure is important. He said better planning could have avoided the Hicksville parking garage debacle.
Incumbent Assemb. Joseph Saladino, 45, of Massapequa, says all the right things about reducing the property tax burden, and he seems to support every proposal that claims to do that, realistic or not. However, asked how he would cut the budget, Saladino says health care, school aid and tax-relief programs are off the table. Instead, he names eliminating Medicaid fraud and cutting frivolous spending, such as the $2 million needed to rename the Triboro Bridge for Robert F. Kennedy, as a solution.
Saladino has spent just over four years in Albany but has done little other than become overbearing and dismissive. Compared to Scalia's optimism about changing Albany, Saladino has already become a creature of its moribund thinking and ways. The editorial board endorses Scalia.
"The lies coming out of Republican Barbara Donno's relentlessly negative campaign have once again shown no connection to reality. Senator Craig Johnson, the Ranking Member of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee, has been a tireless advocate for the residents of Elmont, Floral Park, and Bellerose Terrace, and both Newsday and The Franklin Square/ Elmont Herald endorsed Senator Johnson as the candidate best equipped to guide Belmont's development. If Republican Barbara Donno cares about the Elmont community, she certainly didn't show it by missing a LWV debate and two candidate forums sponsored by Elmont civic leaders during the last seven days."
Senator Craig Johnson sits next to a chair Donno should have been in
"Unfortunately, Speaker Silver is more concerned with New York city, and if the Democrats and Malcolm Smith were to ever take over the Senate; Elmont, and Floral Park would be left to suffer."
Yes Barbara, Malcolm Smith would want to put his majority in jeopardy by screwing over the voters who gave him the a Long Island Democratic Senator and one seat closer to control. Smith would surely want to make sure Johnson gets defeated in two years, right?
What kind of logic does Donno have?
Then she attacks Johnson for fighting to give residents around Belmont a strong voice in the re-development "In contrast, Barbara Donno’s opponent, Senator Craig Johnson is sponsoring a plan that creates a local Advisory Board and includes no plans for economic development, job creation, or host community aid."
Johnson introduced S.6977 to "...establish a Community Advisory Board for Belmont, and correct an egregious error in the state Thoroughbred Racing Franchise Agreement. The agreement, which Senator Johnson voted against, provided community boards for the Saratoga and Aqueduct race tracks, but completely disenfranchised the Elmont and Floral Park residents that host Belmont."
Why would Donno belittle important constituent work?
Would Donno let the New York Racing Authority run rough-shod over the communities surrounding Belmont?
Donno praised republican Assemblyman Alfano for his work on Belmont but kinda ignored that Alfano has been working with Johnson since last year.
And of course, this was all in response to Governor Paterson announced he was working on an economic development plan for Belmont and the surrounding communities. From Newsday "Paterson yesterday expressed frustration that Belmont's "development potential has never been realized" despite its physical beauty and proximity to major highways and the Long Island Rail Road. "Belmont could create new jobs, generate additional tax revenue and bolster economic development in Elmont and other surrounding communities," he said.
"Sen. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington), whose district also includes Belmont, said residents "deserve an economic development plan that brings all parties to the table without partisan political gamesmanship and ulterior motives." He also said the planning process "should have begun years ago."
Charles O'Byrne is gone. He's out, he's done. He's finished as perhaps the closest and most influential adviser to Governor Paterson. He's no longer on the state payroll, at what had been a $178,000 a year job.
Mr. O'Byrne is through, and the Senate Republicans really need to move on as well. Instead, they're using Mr. O'Byrne's departure, under the disgraceful circumstances of having gone five years without paying state or federal income taxes, as an occasion for an encore of Troopergate.
No sooner had Mr. O'Byrne's resignation become public knowledge last Friday than Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was trying to exploit a scandal that's better put to rest.
"Questions remain about exactly when the governor knew about O'Byrne's failure to pay his taxes, and why he chose to do nothing about the matter until it became public this week.'' Mr. Skelos said in a statement.
Questions remain as well about why the Republicans can't focus more on what does matter in the Paterson administration, namely just how the governor is going to deal with a budget deficit that he now estimates will hit $10 billion next year.
The state's fiscal crisis continues, even as Mr. O'Byrne departs.
"There is no question that taxes in New York are too high and Senate Republicans are working to reduce taxes, but it is still every New Yorker's responsibility to pay them," Mr. Skelos' statement also says.
We'll leave aside for the moment the dicey matter of cutting taxes, especially the $63 billion in various state taxes that New York relies upon so heavily for a $120 billion state budget. The most pressing question of all is whether the Senate Republicans are more interested in the state's finances, or in a belabored investigation of the transgressions of a former gubernatorial adviser.
Mr. O'Byrne is no more relevant to the immediate and future challenges of state government than former Governor Spitzer or, to be bipartisan about it, former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.
If only the Senate Republicans could see the irony that might well make their campaign to maintain their narrow majority all the more daunting. Mr. O'Byrne has left the Paterson administration because his utter disregard for the tax laws had become both a distraction and an embarrassment to a governor confronting such an economic mess. Mr. O'Byrne said as much on his way out.
Yet as long as the Senate Republicans can't seem to put the O'Byrne matter in the past, voters may well wonder who's distracted now.
Senate Republicans aren't satisfied with the resignation of a top gubernatorial aide.
More pressing state business gets ignored.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Skelos says that Johnson never stood up to proposed cuts in school aid.
That is just a huge lie.
Here is Newsday in 2007 "In an unusual turn yesterday, new state Sen. Craig Johnson of Port Washington was one of two out of 29 Senate Democrats to side with the
majority Republicans in voting for the part of Bruno's proposal that adds $358 million in school aid.
"I acted in the best interests of the residents of my district and acted in the best interests of Long Island," he said afterward."
And here is Johnson in 2008 "The governor's proposed education budget, if enacted, would have a detrimental and long-lasting impact on Long Island's schools and would put further financial strain on taxpayers that are already at the breaking point.
While New York State is facing some large and very real financial difficulties, it is unconscionable to demand our children bear this burden.
As this budget simply cannot be supported in this current form, I am eager to begin the negotiation process to raise education funding to levels that Long Island families need and our children deserve."
Here is a picture of Johnson at a rally in Farmingdale earlier this year:
And here is Dean Skelos lying:
Skelos should know how Johnson voted and he probably does. But Skelos chooses to lie.
Barbara Donno is a liar.
Dean Skelos is a liar.
To quote Joseph Welch "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
But wait! There's more!
In October she got even more money in direct contributions to her campaign!
10/2/08 - $89,900
10/9/08 - $29,370
10/15/08 - $85,000
The GRAND TOTAL is $1,087,091
For a candidate who says she isn't a "typical politician" and promises to "... work to be your voice in Albany", taking over a MILLION DOLLARS from Albany isn't the way to do that.
We're looking at over 90% of Donno's campaign money coming from Dean Skelos and the Albany republicans.
Donno is bought and paid for by Dean Skelos so don't expect her to do anything except be what Skelos wants her to be.
Friday, October 24, 2008
That's how Skelos began his summation at his News12 Debate.
From start to finish, Skelos played the fear card and made New York City the big boogey-man.
He says "We know how they like to suck the money out of our pockets on Long Island..." even though NYC gives Albany $11Billion more than it gets back every year.
For the slow-witted Skelos, I'll explain that that means NYC is not "sucking" any money from Long Island or anywhere else. In fact, money is being sucked out of NYC.
Did Skelos try to play the homophobe card too? When Skelos ticks off the names of who from NYC would be in charge in the State, Skelos made sure to be specific that the openly gay Senator Tom Duane was from Greenwich Village. He gave no specific location for anyone else, just saying "the Bronx", Manhattan" or "New York City."
Skelos is on the ropes and he knows it. Skelos may be telegraphing his final weeks attacks in his debate. I don't doubt that Babs Donno will throw the "New York City" junk at Craig Johnson or Hannon at McElroy and Trunzo at Foley. The funny part is that upstate republicans have slammed Long Island for taking their money. When the republicans do lose the Senate, expect the long knives to come out for Dean. He won't be Minority Leader in January.
Skelos has nothing to use but fear and lies to try to remain in the senate.
Below is a video of Skelos trying to scare Long Island voters into voting for him.
They do it all the time.
It's just a cover because the republican State Senators can't do their jobs. Skelos has been in Albany most his adult life and as Deputy Majority Leader with a republican governor, he was still unable to hold the line on taxes.
Here is a simple fact Skelos, NYC gives $11Billion MORE to New York State in taxes than they get back.
Nassau County gives $4Billion more than it gets back.
You don't have to be a math genius to see that New York City isn't taking anyone's money.
Maybe it's time Skelos and his cronies take responsibility for failing the taxpayers of Nassau County.
Today we have Sen. Kemp Hannon, another Skelos BFF, saying essentially the same thing Macellino did. When asked by News12 debate moderator Scott Feldman about the budget, Hannon said "Nothing could be off the table. What you're going to have to do is take an across the board approach. You're going to have to say 'What's absolutely essential. What do you need for public protection, what do you need for education, what do you need for health.' Nothing though can be sacred. You're going to have to have a general belt-tightening."
When pressed by Feldman on school aid, Hannon backtracked a little "That's not been on the table yet. That would be the last thing we want to do."
But his initial answer was that education aid was an area to find savings in.
Skelos really needs to get his people on the same page as him.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
These cuts are more political than ever because of the election.
Last week, Minority Leader Malcolm Smith who is poised to majority Leader when the Democrats take over the Senate was attacked by Skelos because when asked about cuts, Smith made a general comment "I think everything is on the table.”
Skelos went nuts claiming that Smith wanted to cut education funding “Senator Smith’s comments about mid-year school aid cuts should concern every property taxpayer in Nassau County and across the state,” Senator Hannon said. “I am not going to go back on my commitment to education or my commitment to property tax relief. Mid-year school aid cuts would hurt our classrooms, reduce the quality of education and result in higher property taxes that we simply cannot afford. At a time when the economy is in trouble and people are losing their jobs, increasing taxes would only inflict more pain on New York families.”
Smith aid nothing at all about cutting school aid but that didn't stop Skelos from accusing him of doing it. Smith in a release said "Senate Democrats are not cutting education funding. The only special interest Senate Democrats care about is New York's children and we're going to protect them. The Senate Republicans have been as good for education in New York as Bush has been for the economy."
Cut to Senator Carl Marcellino, republican from Nassau County. Skelos' buddy and ally.
In the News12 debate that usually wouldn't create news, Marcelino said in response to Moderator Scott Feldman's question about the budget "Everything is on the table. Everything HAS to be on the table."
When pressed about school aid cuts, Marcellino was adamant "I am prepared to take a hard look at every aspect of the budget. What we can cut we have to cut. There is no doubt about it.
See the Video below for Carl in his own words:
Let's see Skelos and Marcellino explain that one.
In the recent run-up to the County budget debates, Minority Leader Peter Schmitt brought up patronage jobs as a way to cut spending. I've been against patronage jobsfor a long time. Schmitt is very selective about what patronage he opposes. John Riley at Newsday Spin Cycle reports "Political wives took center stage at a meeting of the Nassau County Legislature this week.They were drafted into a rambling, rancorous, protracted debate on political patronage Monday evening after Republicans said County Executive Thomas Suozzi should cut patronage hires from his budget before raising property taxes.
Legis. David Mejias (D-Farmingdale) argued that Republicans who control two of the three towns in Nassau also play the patronage game. He pointed out that the wife of a former U.S. Senator (Katuria, left, married to Republican Alfonse D’Amato) was on the zoning board of the Town of Hempstead.
“...And from what I know she knows nothing about real estate or development,” Mejias said.
Republican Legislators Peter Schmitt of Massapequa and John Ciotti of North Franklin of North Valley Stream said Mejias and Democrats should focus on Nassau County, not the towns. And they pointed out that the wife of a certain New York City Congressman [that would be U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica), right] was on the county payroll."
Mejias was being kind that he didn't bring up Peter Schmitt's wife Lois who got a patronage job with the Town of Oyster Bay Zoning Board. Heck, Schmitt spent his entire adult life working patronage jobs until he got elected.
But if Ciotti and Schmitt want to stick to the County jobs, let's talk about PART-TIME republican spokesman Ed Ward who makes $80,000. Ward was a Nassau legislator defeated back in 1999. Not only does Ward get $80,000 for part-time work, he works full-time as VP-Legal Affairs at Nassau Community College. Then lets talk abut GOP Boss Mondello's son-in-law hired by Schmitt for more money than the person that held that job previously.
Schmitt is not being honest on the patronage issue and he has a history with that. Back in 1999 when fortunes of nassau republicans were slipping, Schmitt was at odds with CE Gulotta. To make it look like the republican legislators cared, Schmitt went after patronage jobs - low level jobs that were controlled by Gulotta. The New York Times explained "After a week's worth of politically innocuous cuts in expenses for calendars, cellular telephones and beepers, Presiding Officer Bruce A. Blakeman and his deputy, Peter Schmitt, took aim today for the first time directly at patronage, the currency with which the party has sustained itself for decades.
Only $2.4 million would be saved by eliminating a total of 33 patronage jobs, the two legislators said. And only 26 people will actually be affected, because the other seven have already signed up for early retirement or been transferred, they said.
Those 26 include a former Republican mayor of Glen Cove, Alan Parente, who earns $84,000 a year as a special assistant in the Civil Service Department. But for the most part, they are secretaries and other low-level appointees. Nineteen are women.
In keeping with the deepening animosity between Republican lawmakers and their party's titular leader, County Executive Thomas S. Gulotta, Mr. Blakeman and Mr. Schmitt saved much of the scant pain in today's round of cuts for people who were appointed by Mr. Gulotta and are seen as more loyal to him than to the party.
For example, they eliminated the job of Caroline Smith, who works as Mr. Gulotta's spokeswoman but is listed as a $55,000-a-year research aide for the Commissioner of Accounts, even as the job of press secretary is listed as vacant.
Mr. Blakeman and Mr. Schmitt also cut the $97,854-a-year position now held by Howard Taylor, who functions as Mr. Gulotta's legal counsel. They noted that he is actually paid by the County Attorney's office, which defends the county against lawsuits and which has been so understaffed that it has turned over much of its caseload to expensive outside law firms."After the Democrats took control of the Legislature, Schmitt tried to block the replacement of republican patronage job holders "After their election upset, the Democrats became the legislature's majority on Jan. 1. But most agencies remain under the firm control of County Executive Thomas S. Gulotta, a Republican. The betting agency is an exception because its three-member board is chosen by the county legislature.
The Republicans are not relinquishing power without a struggle, trying to block the Democrats from appointing new directors. The Republicans contend that one Democratic legislator has a conflict of interests because he works for the New York City O.T.B. and should be barred from voting. Without him, the legislature would be deadlocked, 9 to 9. Thus the Republican directors would remain in office.
"This is going to end up in court," promised the Republican minority leader, Peter J. Schmitt, who wants a ruling by the county's ethics board.
The Democrats contend that there is no conflict because the Nassau agency is separate from the city's, and they intend to forge ahead with their appointments, which are on the legislature's calendar for tomorrow.
In another Republican move to thwart a Democratic takeover, the agency's president and chairman, Gregory P. Peterson, notes that he has nearly two years left in his contract. His job is highly coveted because the salary is far higher than for any other county official: $165,000. If he retired, he could qualify for a pension of $90,000 to $100,000."And yes, sadly for his few short years on the OTB Board, Peterson has a $100,000 county pension.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
"The age of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Bruno and Marcellino good-old-boy self-serving insider politics is over!"
Incumbent Senator Carl Marcellino (Syosset, R) spends his days counting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash so he can puff illusive accomplishments into what is lackluster service and mediocre performance. The paper-thin Republican Majority is still more interested in protecting their pork than delivering meat and potatoes in critical public and environmental services. Today we need a sharp pencil and firm grasp to efficiently deliver services the public deserves. Like a car's engine, the Senate will run better clean.
As Senate Environmental Chair, Marcellino does not have support from any pro-environment groups or organizations but he will take and cash checks from the bottlers he protects. Senator Marcellino has staunchly opposed passage of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill and since 2002 has kept the bill stuck in his Environmental Committee--away from a floor vote.
The focus of the speech will also include the local and regional effects the passage of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill would have; specifically, its effect on local economies and the New York state budget. New Yorkers are currently giving an estimated $180 million away each year to the big bottle industry. Passage of this bill would shift those millions back to the citizens of Long Island and all of New York State.
Beyond bringing millions of dollars per year to the local economies, expanding the original 1982 Bottling Bill to include non-carbonated beverages, such as bottled water, iced teas and sports drinks, would dramatically improve recycling on Long Island. Today, nearly 3 Billion non-carbonated beverage bottles and cans end up in the trash or polluting our state's rivers, beaches, and neighborhoods each year because they don't have a deposit. Less litter and broken glass in our streets, parks, playgrounds and beaches would make them safer, cleaner, and more attractive.
Passage of the bill would shift the recycling burden to large beverage companies and free up local government resources to attack other pressing concerns. Beverage companies are keeping an estimated $180 million a year in unclaimed deposits from bottles and cans that are not returned. The new bill would eradicate the current loophole that allows large beverage companies to retain the unclaimed funds and would instead require these large companies to transfer unclaimed bottle deposits to the State's Environmental Protection Fund to support clean air, water, parks and open space.
By changing the existing law so these large companies can no longer keep unclaimed deposits, millions of dollars per year will be generated. We have the opportunity to pass a bill which will add millions of dollars to the New York economy without increasing taxes and as an added benefit improving recycling dramatically throughout the state.
The Bill is supported by more than 600 groups, businesses, and local governments and on June 11th of this year, the Democrat controlled Assembly overwhelmingly passed the Bill.
(Location: Old Country Road, Mineola)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sign placement rules are like the real estate rules: Location, Location, Location.
(Location: Hempstead Turnpike and Gardiners Avenue, Levittown)
"$6 billion in debt, Senate Republicans are costing the state $1 million a day due to their unwillingness to accept an agreement reached between the state and Buffalo-based Delaware North to operate the Video Lottery Terminal franchise at Aqueduct. Even after instructions by Governor Paterson to cut the state's budget to address the fiscal crisis, Senate Republicans are throwing away money that could be used to repair the crumbling economy and bolster Upstate New York.
State Senate Democrats have launched a daily calculator to track how much the Senate Republicans are costing the state due to their failure of leadership."
Monday, October 20, 2008
But Babs likes to throw mud at Craig Johnson trying to link him to the school attorney pension scandal even though he had nothing to do with it. When presented with the facts, Donno still goes on the attack.
Babs Donno's son Matthew Donno was busted for a DUI, speeding and possession of marijuana.
Playing by her campaigns sleazy rules, we'll just say that BARARA DONNO SMOKES POT. She may even BUY MARIJUANA HERSELF AND FOR HER SON.
How about that for guilt by association?
Republicans like to run fact-free dirty campaigns when they have no issues to run on.
Johnson has been running a respectable campaign.
Barbara Donno has not.
Barbara Donno and her svengali Dean Skelos are despicable characters.
Legisaltor Dave Mejias takes the bold step of putting his cards on the table "There has to be more cuts, and everything is on the table, youth board programs to parks. And I'm not for raising property taxes above the 3.9 percent already called for."
Minority Leader Peter Schmitt?
Well, he takes the easy way "I would look for ways to work with the county executive to eliminate his onerous tax increase."
Could be a little more specific, Peter?
You are the Minority Leader who wants to be the Presiding Officer. Surely you can offer up an idea or at least draw a line in the sand. Can't you?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
"A reader just passed along some information that is very interesting. The reader received a robocall today that said Sen. Malcolm Smith is a threat to education funding. The call also said to the recipient that they should call Sen. Smith and demand that he support funding for education.
The reader pointed out two key facts:
(1) The reader lives in Oswego County, which obviously isn't in Sen. Smith's district.
(2) There was nothing at the beginning or end of the call that identified where the call originated from.
I won't disclose who the reader is, but they did say that they have a family member who lives in the house that works in education. One might conclude that these calls are targeting educators or those who are tied to education, whether they are school counselors, superintendents, principals, etc.
The number that the call came from was 1-603-214-3698. I "Googled" the number and it came back that it matched some numbers associated with telemarketing calls. So it more than likely is just a random number being used to make these calls.
I would think that this is the Republicans or one of their groups that are conducting these robocalls. The reason for targeting Sen. Smith could be to try and say that you don't want the Democrats to have the majority in the New York State Senate because they will cut education funding. This has been a Republican talking point and source of dueling between the GOP conference and Democratic conference recently.
If you have received one of these phone calls, feel free to pass along your story: firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE: Another reader from Oswego County passed along a message saying that they received an identical robo-call targeting Sen. Smith and mentioning education. He, too, works in education. And like the call that started this discussion, no identification was given."
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
From a Messi press release last week “Just last week, Dean Skelos said let’s wait before we fix the state budget. Now, it looks like he’s trying to kill a plan that would bring jobs to Western New York and hundreds of millions of dollars into the state. Delaware North is the biggest and most successful company in its industry. But the Senate Republican Majority is trying to stop this critical initiative -- only making our economic problems worse. They won't do anything to fix the budget, cut reckless spending or lower property taxes, but they'll do anything they can to hurt the decent working people of Western New York.”
and just today (via The Albany Project) "State Senate Joe Mesi's campaign said today that his Republican opponent Mike Ranzenhofer's call for a "constitutional cap on spending" was not believable - and that Ranzenhofer's love-fest with Long Island State Senator Dean Skelos proves it.
"When a career politician like Mike Ranzenhofer says he's going to cut spending, it's time to watch your wallet. Ranzenhofer was for big spending before he was against it. Mike Ranzenhofer was a County Legislator during the worst fiscal crisis in the history of Erie County. During that time, he voted for nearly $3 million in pork-barrel spending. Watch what politicians like Ranzenhofer do, not what they say," said Emma Wolfe, Mesi's campaign manager.
"And here's more reason to worry: Mike Ranzenhofer has formed a close bond with his downstate patron Dean Skelos. The problem is that Skelos's Republican majority has signed off on budget after budget with reckless spending increases. Skelos and Ranzenhofer together equals more of the same."
"Among the State Senate candidates, only Joe Mesi has put forward a realistic plan to cut wasteful state spending and lower property taxes for working families," Wolfe said.
A win by Joe Messi who is up in the recent polls is one more seat closer to a Democratic Majority.
Peter King Wants McCain to Bring up William Ayers. Can We Talk About King and His Terrorist Friends?
In a Newsday story about tonight's debate at Hofstra, we get his gem "Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said he believes McCain shouldn't shy away from raising the Ayers connection, to raise questions about Obama's judgment."
Obama barely knew William Ayers and was 8 years old when Ayers was involved with the Weather Underground.
Let's talk about "judgement" and REAL paling around with terrorists shall we?
Peter King is an unrepentant supporter of IRA terrorism. He tried topublically step back from his terrorist past after 9/11 but he always comes back to who he really is.
Let's go over some of Peter King's greatest hits.
Most recently he wants an ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT and IRA gunman who escaped from a British prison 25 years ago to be allowed to stay. Is that AMNESTY? For a criminal? The Department of Homeland Security wants to deport him.
Then there are his past statements in FULL SUPPORT of the IRA "King was not so much an appeaser of terrorism, but an active aider and abetter. In 1982 he told a pro-IRA rally, "We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry." Two years later what he called this "legitimate guerilla army" came close to successfully assassinating Margaret Thatcher."
And he makes excuses for the MURDER of civilians by his terrorist friends "And while there were murders, atrocities and human-rights violations on all sides, the security forces and the loyalist paramilitaries caused more civilian casualties than did the IRA."
Here is King from a BBC interview:
"King: To me terrorism is always wrong, but I think the IRA was a legitimate force that had to be dealt with.
BBC: A legitimate force? It wasn't a terrorist group trying to bomb and blow-up the democratically elected government of a sovereign state? That wasn't terrorism?
King: No, I would say it was a legitimate fight going on in Northern Ireland. Any time a civilian was targeted that was wrong. If you look back over the record, there was probably a greater number of, percentage wise, of civilians killed by the security forces in the world by the IRA. …To me terrorism is if you target civilians.
BBC: That's not the definition of terrorism. Terrorism is using violence to gain political ends."
According to the NY Sun "In 1984, the Secret Service listed him as a threat when President Reagan made a trip to Nassau County to watch a Special Olympics event."
"He forged links with leaders of the IRA and Sinn Fein in Ireland, and in America he hooked up with Irish Northern Aid, known as Noraid, a New York based group that the American, British, and Irish governments often accused of funneling guns and money to the IRA. At a time when the IRA's murder of Lord Mountbatten and its fierce bombing campaign in Britain and Ireland persuaded most American politicians to shun IRA-support groups, Mr. King displayed no such inhibitions. He spoke regularly at Noraid protests and became close to the group's publicity director, the Bronx lawyer Martin Galvin, a figure reviled by the British.
Mr. King's support for the IRA was unequivocal. In 1982, for instance, he told a pro-IRA rally in Nassau County: "We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry."
By the mid-1980s, the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic were openly hostile to Mr. King. On one occasion, a judge threw him out of a Belfast courtroom during the murder trial of IRA men because, in the judge's view, "he was an obvious collaborator with the IRA." When he attended other trials, the police singled him out for thorough body searches."
And just to make a real connection with terrorists who targeted Americans, King's terrorist buddies were supplied with weapons from Libya. Yes, Libya.
It is well-known and documented that the IRA got weapons from the terrorist-lead nation of Libya.
Libya was behind the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 which killed 259 people of which 180 were US Citizens. Gaddafi also paid for multiple bombings around the world that killed US servicemembers.
So let's talk about connections to terrorists, Peter.
Let's make sure every voter in your district knows you are a supporter of terrorism.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Previously he was warning republicans about the impending change and suggested republicans "encourage" friends and family to register as republicans. I wrote on this site that "...there is more to it than just "encouraging" people to enroll as republicans. Republicans need to convince voters that they are a viable party with the ideas to make things better. They have not done that."
In this new release, Canzoneri shows that he understands that there are major problems within the Nassau GOP "The Nassau GOP needs a new direction and implement new strategies. We can no longer stand idle as we have done for over the past ten years. The YRs have been actively seeking new members since we were reformed in 2001, but we can’t do this alone.”
“We need to use more than just WD-40 on this once powerful Republican machine. We need to get some replacement parts.”
This is an open attack on the leadership of Joe Mondello and the old guard who use the young possible up and comers in the party as glorified interns. I have only seen open dissension by a nassau young republican once before. Usually, complaints about the party are done anonymously which means there is no hope in sight for change.
The next few elections locally will be a make or break for the republicans. I don't see them winning control of the legislature or any of the county-wide seats now held by Democrats. Why? Because they don't have what Stephen calls "replacement parts."
Being the majority party for so long, the republicans have made their lines of succession rather strict. There is an order to who gets to run for what. The NYS Assembly is used as a place to gain name recognition and "experience" and then that person returns to Nassau to run for local office like Mondello, Gulotta, O'Shea, O'Connell, Labriola, Murray, etc, etc. Then you have the "legacy" candidates who are sons or daughters of former or current prominent republicans who offer nothing but a recognizable name in the district. Then you have the scrappy fighters who worked their way through the party system for many years who are then allowed to run for office.
The problem for the republicans is that right now there are to many people on line and have been for years. That blocks the younger and possibly more talented from moving up.
The republicans in office right now are the product of the old system where talent wasn't needed because voters reflexivly pulled the lever for republicans and in republican-dominated areas they continue to win simply because they have been around.
And of course you have the politicians who just won't let go. They have been in office for years and just won't move on. Some could retire and the republican party can still keep the seat but those electeds just won't leave. If you look at the relatively young Nassau County Legislature, the Democrats have not been idle. Brian Muellers and Lisanne Altman served and moved on to the private sector, Craig Johnson went to the State Senate, and Dave Mejias sought a congressional seat. The only republican that left the legislature of his own volition was Sal Pontillo.
Then you have message. Or lack of message.
Democrats have been winning republican districts which means that the republicans don't have the message voters trust.
Every election cycle brings out the same talking-points which have been losing for years. You'll hear a slogan or two but no substance. The simple fact is that republicans have not convinced voters to vote for them or now to register as a party member. Of course national events have an effect and voters are running from the Party of Bush as fast as they can.
The nassau republicans won't be able to do anything until they tip over the dais with the old guard on it and replace them. Start a cycle of retirements to replace or try to replace local elected officials with younger people with new ideas and take over the committee and make the changes that need to be made. The problem is that the old guard, especially those with plum positions, will hold onto those positions with a death-grip.
Canzoneri wants to revive a party that is already in rigor-mortis. What he said should have been said years ago.
Amazingly unavailbale to speak on-camera with News12's Scott Feldman, Mondello issued a statement from his bunker "The Democrats should wake up to the fact that party labels really don't matter any more and they haven't for a very long time. Victory at the polls is determined by the quality and qualifications of the candidates each party produces. The Nassau County Republican Committee has always produced outstanding candidates who have earned the trust of the people."
Right. Because all the signs I see for republican candidates in Nassau say "Vote Republican." If labels didn't matter, that line wouldn't be needed.
And if the Nassau GOP has "always produced outstanding candidates who have earned the trust of the people" then why exactly is the county in the hands of the Democrats? Since 1999, Nassau republicans have been on a huge losing streak. Except for County Clerk, Democrats hold every county-wide office and control the legislature. On top of that, the Democrats took a State Senate seat formerly held by a republican and it looks like he will be re-elected.
Mondello also released a statement to Newsday that said "Politics is a cyclical business, so claiming victory based on anything other than election results is always a mistake."
Okay, Joe. We'll base victory on... well... the Democrats being in control of Nassau County even before the registration numbers caught up. How about that?
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
It was a question asked of Barbara Donno last night at a Meet the Candidates meeting in Elmont.
After months of TV ads and mailings every week, the $900,000 investment for Dean Skelos just ain't working out.
The former republican strong-hold of Nassau County is no more.
I'll have numbers in following posts and more news on the Town of Hempstead registration numbers.
In attendance today were County Chairman Jay Jacobs, State Chairwoman June O'Neil, Senator Craig Johnson, Legislators Dave Denenberg, Wayne Wink, and Judi Bosworth Assemblyman Chuck Lavine, Assemblywoman Michele Schimel, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor John Kaimen, Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Senate candidates Kristen McElroy and Matt Meng.
The Press Release follows.
Click on the photos below for full-size versions...
Chairman Jacobs makes announcement.
State Chairwoman June O'Neil speaks.
State Senate candidate Matthew Meng holding voter registration chart.
State Senator Craig Johnson speaking to News12.
"Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs announced today that a historic shift in voter registration has taken place; Nassau is now a Democratic county.
“Today marks a watershed event in the national political landscape. Nassau County, once the home of the most formidable Republican Machines in the country is now and forever more a Democratic County,” said Chairman Jay Jacobs. “Now that's a change you can believe in!”
The Republican Machine has dominated Nassau County for more than the last 100 years.
The Nassau Republican Machine was long recognized as the most successful, powerful Republican organization in the country. President Ronald Reagan once said that “when a Republican dies and goes to Heaven it looks a lot like Nassau County.” Not any more.
Since Tom Suozzi was elected County Executive in 2001, the Republican enrollment advantage of 79,000 voters has steadily declined with the historic shift in enrollment favoring Democrats occurring at just after 11 AM yesterday, October 7th.
“The difference between the Republican Machine and the Democrats is very clear to the voters who have been favoring the Democrats in record numbers. Nassau Republicans have always been about doling out jobs and favors to keep themselves in power, while Nassau Democrats have been about running an efficient, effective government and keeping taxes as low as possible,” said Jacobs.
“Under the strong leadership of Nassau County Democratic Chair Jay Jacobs and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, we can today proudly say that Nassau County – one of the most Republican counties in our state – is ‘Blue’,” said June O’Neill, New York State Democratic Committee Chair. “The shift from ‘Red’ to ‘Blue’ in Nassau County is reflective of trends we are seeing across our great state. New Yorkers have realized that the Democratic Party can offer something the Republicans cannot – strong leadership, real change and results we need.”
It's not a huge lead but for the first time in history, Democrats outnumber republicans.
Democratic Party Chairman "Jacobs said that Democrats lagged Republicans by 79,000 voters as recently as 2001 when Democrat Thomas Suozzi was first elected as county executive. He said the Democrats narrowed the margin to about 7,000 voters as of last spring and had expected to close the gap by year's end."
The 2008 election has brought out more registered Democrats across the country and the surge has outstripped anything expected in Nassau. "We expected this to happen in December or January, but it’s happening sooner as a function of all the excitement currently with Obama, and all the rest. I think this will impact the state Senate race,” Jacobs said, with GOP Sen. Kemp Hannon’s district having lost close to 8,000 Republicans and gained about 8,000 Democrats since 2004."
The former-republican stronghold of Nassau County (it's nice to say) has been steadily electing more Democrats since 1999. Every election cycle, Nassau GOP Party Boss Joe Mondello keeps losing ground. I wonder who would want to take over the reins at this point. When the republicans lose the New York State Senate majority next month, Mondello who is also state party boss won't be in the position for long. Mondello can't keep control over his own county and didn't do much party-building in the state leading up to this years elections.
Just last month, Nassau Young Republican President Stephen Canzoneri sain in the groups newsletter "Elections are becoming tougher and tougher in Nassau County as Democratic enrollment soars. In a few months we will be living in a Democratic county for the first time in history if this trend continues. So be sure to encourage your friends and family to enroll as a Republican."
I think Stephen's statement goes to the heart as to why the republicans are losing so many voters. There is more to it than just "encouraging" people to enroll as republicans. Republicans need to convince voters that they are a viable party with the ideas to make things better. They have not done that.
It is old thinking in Nassau that people can be "encouraged" to enroll as republicans. In the past, if you wanted a job with the Towns, Villages and the County, you were "encouraged" to register as a republican.
No one was "convinced," they were pushed to register as republicans. That era is long over but it seems even the Young Republicans (or at least some of them) don't realize it yet.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
While Skelos and his diminishing fellow republicans do a victory lap, other counties are angry at him and his fellow republican Feld is essentially running against him.
New York City is the historical bad guy but now Long Island is taking hits.
The question for Feld is will she fight Skelos if she gets elected?
How much more will Skelos pump into the campaign?
Well, that would be another $80,000 contribution on September 23rd.
And a HUGE $151,182 spent by the Senate Republican Campaign Committee on September 29th.
That's a total spending by the Senate Republican Campaign Committee $889,709.
Almost 95% of all the money spent by and on the Donno campaign has been from Albany.
Here is the 32 Day Pre-Election numbers...
Opening Balance -$135,335.71
Miscellaneous Receipts $282,000.00
Total Receipts $386,596.02
Total Expenses $199,746.98
Closing Balance $51,513.33
Report Date 10/07/08 06:10:12
Johnson has $433,769.18 on hand and he hasn't done any TV ads yet.
He has only gotten $4,289.14 from the Senate Democrats compared to almost a million dollars the republicans gave to Donno.
And Donno is still 24 points down.
Great investment, Dean.
Monday, October 06, 2008
The official ceremony took place early Monday morning at Cipriani on 42nd street. Mayor Bloomberg anointed himself with vegetable oil, and lowered a maple wreath onto his head, declaring himself Emperor. Fifty virgins from the American Ballet Theater danced in celebration.
Emperor Bloomberg said “I am convinced this is what’s best for New York.” The city’s sovereign ruler will now be able to efficiently work around county regulations, zoning commissions, and upon death, he will be sanctified as a deity.
Insiders suggest he may already be planning an invasion to gain lands in nearby Nassau County. Emperor Bloomberg dismissed these claims, saying his first priority was the financial crisis, including transitioning to coins with his face on them.
For the time being, Emperor Bloomberg is busy renovating Governor’s Island into a neo-classical palace and deciding which month to rename after himself."
It's not News, It's the Weekly World News.
"And the world needs you now because accomplishments take time," said Kopp, chief executive of the teaching corps. The challenges of creating equitable educational opportunities -- Teach for America's mission -- or eliminating poverty, she said, "are massive and inconceivably complex, and finding and implementing the path to success takes time.
The message was not lost on Georgetown graduate Vincent Jeffrey, 22, of Manhasset, N.Y., who was among the school's 85 graduates who applied this spring to join Teach for America. University officials said the organization will, for the second consecutive year, be the top private employer for the school's graduating class, with 59 graduates accepted for the two-year teaching program.
Jeffrey recently learned he did not make the final cut and will instead take an interim job working on the campaign of a state senator in New York this summer while he also studies for his law school entrance exam. But the government major said: "I'm definitely interested to see if the teaching can happen. . . . [Kopp's] speech was the exact reasons I wanted to do it in the first place."
"At this moment, New York State government is hemorrhaging money. Because of plummeting tax revenue, this year's budget is suddenly $1.2 billion in the red, with far worse to come. And in this election year, neither Silver nor Skelos expresses any urgency to do anything."
""I don't think we all get how serious this problem is," Paterson gravely informed Silver and Skelos, who took ludicrous offense.
"I don't need to be lectured," Skelos responded.
He's wrong, because the Legislature - Democratic and Republican members of both chambers - must come to grips with the magnitude of its duty as it has not since the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.
As Paterson said after Skelos tried to rule out cutting local aid or laying off state workers and Silver suggested new spending on the pretext of "stimulating" the economy:
"This is an emergency. This is one of these times when you can't wait for all the statistics to be in, you can't wait for all the numbers to be there ... If you listen to some of your own statements, it's not clear how ready you are to make the kind of cuts that are appropriate for this time."
With the books way out of balance right now, and with a $6 billion deficit next year, those cuts will have to be deep and smart.
The standard procedure employed by Silver and Skelos - nipping and tucking and searching for dimes - will not suffice. Instead, they will have to engage in wise and overdue budget triage."
Dean has been in Albany most of his adult life.
Skelos. Is. Albany.
Skelos is voting for those budgets.
He's not a challenger, he's the establishment.
So much for just another "overzealous supporter."
This guy was on the payroll.
If he didn't know that stealing signs was illegal then it seems that Donno pays stupid people alot of money to work for her.
You would think that Donno would have a talk with all her campaign people to keep it clean and avoid doing things that can reflect badly on the campaign.
Oh what am I saying, Donno never taught her kid that driving while drunk and holding pot is illegal.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
"'Confident Electorate Will Ascertain The Truth'
As a mother, a grandmother, former presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, and an elected official, I was disturbed to see Republican Barbara Donno has stooped to using children as political tools in a recent negative ad against Senator Craig Johnson.
Though, shame on me for being surprised. This is yet another chapter in a failing Republican campaign, where disingenuous attacks have replaced discussion of the issues that face our Nassau families.
I have always believed that an honest debate on each candidate's record is warranted. However, it appears that even this is too much to ask from the Republican machine. I had the distinct pleasure of working side by side with Senator Craig Johnson when he served on the Nassau County Legislature. This Republican machine is the same group that ran Nassau into the ground, and it took a team of Craig, myself and eight others to build the county back up.
We had to make some tough choices but they were the right decisions to put Nassau back on the path toward fiscal health. Senator Johnson has continued to make these hard decisions in Albany, breaking with his party in 2007 to support an education plan that was better for Long Island's children, and recently voting to cut $1 billion in spending over the next two years in order to shore up New York's finances.
Ms. Donno, who has served as president of the Manhasset School Board, was a former educator, has not only been caught distorting Senator Johnson's record on veterans' issues and outright lying about his position on the commuter tax (he is against it), but now she is resorting to using children to continue her negative attacks. Barbara Donno is running on her background as a former educator. I, too, was a former educator. I ask you what exactly are our children learning from being used in a Republican smear?
In the interest of fairness, Donno is correct in noting that out of every dollar Long Island sends to Albany, we only receive 10 cents back. What she fails to mention is that this inequity was allowed to take hold during the decades that the Republicans have been in control of the Senate.
I find it of interest that she did not start airing this commercial until after a public poll was released that showed her 24 points behind.
I have utmost confidence in the intelligence of the electorate and their ability to ascertain the truth.
Judith A. Jacobs
Former Presiding Officer"
Friday, October 03, 2008
This super genius was stealing the signs during the day. On a busy road.
Dan Janison over at Newsday reports "The Johnson campaign gives this account, calling it a "new low" for Donno: "A Johnson campaign volunteer caught a person matching Jeffrey's description attempting to take a sign from Port Washington Blvd., just north of Wakefield Avenue, during Thursday's morning rush hour. The campaign later discovered that 70 to 100 Senator Johnson signs, many along Port Washington Blvd. and Searingtown Road, turned up missing within that same time period. Nearly all of them were replaced by Donno signs."
"The campaign volunteer was able to get the license plate number from the silver convertible the person was driving and a complaint was filed with police... Jeffrey was found with some of the missing signs in his possession and placed under arrest, according to Port Washington Police. Records on file with the New York State Board of Elections show that Jeffery has been on the Donno campaign's payroll since at least June 19."
I think worse than the sign theft is the incredible twisting by Donno campaign spokesman Bryan Hurst who says "Previous to this incident, the Town of North Hempstead Republican Party filed a complaint with the Port Washington Police Dept. stating that our signs had been stolen."
So? What does this have to do with your guy stealing?
Hurst (bless his simple-minded soul) continues "We feel this was just a political retaliation move on their part to cause a distraction... from Craig Johnson's record of increasing property taxes and not getting the 7th Senate District its fair share of education funding."
So the Machiavillian Johnson campaign convinced a PAID Donno worker to steal Johnson signs and then contacted the police to have him arrested in some sort of elaborate scheme to create a "distraction" from Johnson's record.
Next Hurst will tell us that Johnson has sharks with freak'n lasers.
Or better yet, to create a total distraction, Craig Johnson is secretly controlling the Donno campaign and running it into the ground.
Johnson Campaign Strategist Evan Stavisky said “Republican Barbara Donno is clearly desperate. As her campaign is failing, she and her Republican cronies seem unwilling to let the truth, or the law, stand in their way."