Friday, February 25, 2011

Schmitt and Police Union Get Into a Tussle

Schmitt has always gone to the Unions for endorsements and approved their contracts so it was probably disconcerting for them to hear Schmitt attack them publically. Schmitt dismissed the Unions by saying "Name one of my legislators who needed police union support to win election. Who runs this county, the elected officials or the unions?"
According to Newsday, it seems the PBA has something to say to Schmitt who sent them a solicitation to buy tickets to a fundraiser.
...when Schmitt this month sent Carver a solicitation to purchase $500 tickets through him for the Nassau Republican committee’s annual “Inaugural Ball” , Carver returned the letter, attaching a copy of the news article reporting Schmitt’s comments. “Dear Mr. Schmitt,” Carver wrote. “Your strong message in Newsday ...about not needing police union support was loudly received by the PBA and its membership. Enclosed I have returned your request for support.”

Carver cc’d Legis. John Ciotti of North Valley Stream, a Republican who has counted on PBA support in the past to win in his Democratic district.

Schmitt then replied: “Dear Jimmy, Do as you will — I do believe you supported Mejias over Belesi, Toback over Kopel, as well as Weitzman over Maragos. Hence my comment that they did not need your support to win.”

...Carver told Newsday, “He blindsides us in the paper with inappropriate comments about not needing union support. Then he has the nerve to send us a request to purchase tickets through him....He could have called me afterward and said, ‘What’s bothering you, Jim?’ Peter has the habit of going to the press without out ever speaking to anyone. He’s now being treated the same way he treats everyone else.”

Carver added, “There is no police officer in Nassau County that needs Peter Schmitt.”

I wonder if the Union will remember this in a few months when Schmitt once again asks for their endorsement.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mangano Takes to the Airwaves to Look Ridiculous

At 4am this commerical popped up on tv. It was a cheesy looking ad with lots of erroneous information. It was Ed Mangano (paying out if his campaign funds) taking an unnamed swipe at NIFA and touting some of his "accomplishments."
It's funny to hear him say he is protecting Nassau from "Propety Tax" increases. Of course he has to preface "Tax Increase" with the word "Property" because Mangano raised $60million in fees, shifted millions in tax burdens to school districts and tried to INCREASE the county SALES tax.
When he's pushing that broom at the end, you might wish that was the extent of his job responsibilities after what he has done to Nassau in a single year.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Got a Mid-Priced Home? Managno Raised Your Taxes.

So much for the Tax Revolt and any promise Mangano made to "fix the system" and "protect taxpayers from property tax increases."
Maybe it's time to a Recall law in New York.

From Newsday:

"Nassau used a new and untested method for assessing residential properties this year that will shift the overall tax burden to middle-class homeowners while reducing taxes on high-end and bottom-priced homes, County Comptroller George Maragos says in a draft audit.

According to the draft, obtained by Newsday, the new method will increase the overall property tax bills of owners of middle-range homes by an average of $227 each; owners of top-end houses will see an average tax decrease of $173, while owners of the least costly houses will see a drop of $55 on average."

"According to the draft audit, the assessment department dropped the use of comparable properties for determining the tentative residential assessment roll issued this January. Instead the county used the lowest of an array of values - including last year's assessed value, any reductions resulting from property tax protests and a recent sale of the property.

Auditors said the new method is not used by other municipalities, was not reviewed by mass appraisal experts and has not been tested to see if it complies with state law."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ed Mangano's Sick Tax

Welcome to the New Nassau County where County Executive Ed Mangano wants to save you from a property tax increase but sure as heck hopes you break a leg so he can close his budget gap. That's right Nassau County Taxpayers, if you are in a car accident, have a heart attack, fall down a flight of stairs, slip on some ice or just feel too terrible to take yourself to a hospital, Ed Mangano is making sure you do your part to help him balance the county budget. Up until January 31st of this year, your ride to the hospital in a Nassau County Ambulance was $400.
On February 1st, the Mangano Sick Tax kicked in and now it costs $1000 to get you to a hospital.

But wait, THERE'S MORE!
You need Advanced Life Support?
That'll run you $1200 (versus $550 previously)

Need even more Advanced Life Support??
Well, you get a sort-of discount at only $1250 (versus $650 previously)

And just when you thought you were being bled dry enough, Mangano and Schmitt increased the mileage surcharge over 100% from $6 per mile to $15 per mile.

So Nassau County, do your part and go out there and break a leg!

Mangano expects to make an additional $8million from this tax increase to balance his budget.
Mangano and Schmitt won't call it a tax but it is. And even if we just accept it as a "fee increase" then what happend to the campaign rhetoric of Schmitt and Mangano not to increase fees either? Oh wait, those were Tax Revolt Party lies.
Mangano, Schmitt and the Nassau County Republicans are trying to make more money off of sick and injured people. How Revolting.

In the meantime to get folks motivated to pitch in, we have a new Slogan for the County..


Sen.Dean Skelos: Not A Well-Liked Guy

Some people poll low but jeebus, this is low..
Sienna Poll for New York State:
Favorable Ratings:
President Obama: 62%
Governor Cuomo: 77%
Sen. Gillibrand: 57%
NYS Assembly Speaker Silver: 19%
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos: 11%

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mangano and NIFA: A Modern Day Scorpion and the Frog

The main crux of Mangano's lawsuit against NIFA is that NIFA is unconstitutional. He is arguing that a NIFA takeover violates the NYS Constitution.
Now keep in mind that NIFA was created to pull Nassau County from the brink of financial disaster caused by then Legislator Ed Mangano and Peter Schmitt.
Mangano and Schmitt voted for the creation of NIFA.
Mangano and Schmitt greedily accepted the money that NIFA could offer to fix Nassau's mess.
Mangano and Schmitt charged around Nassau during the 2009 elections practically calling NIFA reports that criticized Tom Suozzi the gospel.
Now that NIFA isn't a useful election tool, Mangano and Schmitt no longer have use for them.
Experts aren't siding with Mangano on this and the attorney for NIFA counters "A municipality can hardly claim that its domain has been invaded by legislation it asked the state to enact."

This situation brings to mind the fable of the Scorpion and the Frog.

"One day a scorpion arrived at the bank of a river he wanted to cross, but there was no bridge. He asked a frog that was sitting nearby if he would take him across the river on his back. The frog refused and said, 'I will not, because you will sting me.'

"The scorpion replied, 'It would be foolish for me to sting you because then we would both drown.'

"The frog saw the logic in the scorpion's words, and agreed to carry the scorpion across. But when they were halfway across the river the scorpion stung the frog. The stunned frog asked, 'Why did you sting me? Now we will both die!'

"The scorpion replied, 'Because I'm a scorpion … and that's what scorpions do.'"

Friday, February 11, 2011

And if Other Republicans Say This About You.....

Long-running NYC Republican website Urban Elephants had this to say about the NIFA takeover:

"A state financial control board set up to oversee Nassau County's finances has seized control of the county for failing to balance its budget, a humiliating rebuff to the newly elected GOP County Executive and GOP-controlled County Legislature.

If you can't cut a budget enough to balance it, you're not competent to govern."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NIFA Breaks News to Mangano and Schmitt: 'You're Our Parents!"

After spending a few weeks calling NIFA "unelected", "unaccountable", etc, etc, NIFA responds to the Mangano/Schmitt lawsuit against them and says "A municipality can hardly claim that its domain has been invaded by legislation it asked the state to enact."
Yup, that's right.
Eleven years ago, Schmitt and Mangano in the Legislature voted to create NIFA to pull them out of the fiscal mess they created back then.
So, CONGRATULATIONS to Momma Mangano and Papa Schmitt. You can't disown your own kid.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

New GOP Senator Jack Martins Needs a History Lesson

Jack Martins who barely defeated Sen. Craig Johnson has teamed up with Lee Zeldin the newest Senator from Suffolk (and possibly the NYS Senate's very own Ted Baxter) to complain that money that was set aside before the election for community projects have been cut.
Martins and Zeldin write
"...the former Democrat Majority in the Senate was directing state authorities to de-fund these very same programs worth over $12 million for the two districts."

Perhaps they should talk to their boss Dean Skelos who defunded projects for the 7th SD when Craig Johnson won the special election.
Not only that, after all Skelos' talk about "fair share" for school funding for Long Island, schools in the 7th SD got short-changed while republican districts made out very well.
Then take the case of Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins, a Democrat that defeated a sitting republican. School aid for her district was cut after that election. Skelos said about that "This would never have happened if Senator Nick Spano was still there.” Classy.
Skelos didn't even try to hide that he was playing politics with education money.
I hope Martins and Zeldin feel that Skelos is also "
... grossly irresponsible, devoid of integrity," and is "causing significant harm to the recipients including towns, villages, school districts, fire districts and not-for-profits who have been deceived by their actions."
'Cause otherwise, they would be huge hypocrites.

The next bit
is one that really irks me because it is such a lie perpetuated by republicans to scare voters. "Once again, the New York City based Senate Democratic leadership have looked to Long Island as their ATM machine."
The FACT is that NYC gets $11billion LESS in money than they send to Albany.
NYC does not and never has taken money from Long Island. Martins and Zeldin need to look to upstate for that.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Republican Operative Arrested in Tax Revolt Party Fraud

From Newsday...

"A part-time clerk at the Nassau County Board of Elections was arrested Tuesday and charged with writing false addresses on petitions in an attempt to get a candidate on the ballot back in 2009.

Imtiaz Insanally, 27, of Valley Stream, was arrested and charged with first-degree offering a false instrument of filing and one count of misconduct in relation to petitions, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a news release.....

"Rice said the alleged offenses occurred on Aug. 18 and Aug. 19, 2009, when Insanally "knowingly wrote false residential addresses for eight petition signers" on six pages in an independent nominating petition for Tax Revolt Party candidate Christian Browne...

"Whether you're talking about a highly sophisticated case of systemic corruption or something as simple as this case, they are both violations of the public's trust and of our democratic process, and my office will continue to have no tolerance for that," Rice said in the statement."

We brought this up two years ago..

Monday, February 07, 2011

Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt Unhinged and Dangerous

Peter Schmitt has real issues he needs to deal with. He gets far too angry and turns beet red too often at Legislature meetings.
Now he has turned his anger on the members of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) and it's just very violent.
The Long Island Press reports that when Schmitt was talking about his conspiracy theories about NIFA to the Press he said "I’m just going to enjoy hitting them on the side of the head with a baseball bat.”
What kind of man is Schmitt (or lack of man) that he needs to say that?
It's not like he used a simple metaphor like "I'm going to beat them over the head with their conflicts of interest."
He stepped over the line by ratcheting up the violent imagery.
But then again, we should expect that from someone who a Federal Prosecutor once called "
very unspohisticated" and "naive."

And of course Schmitt is unapologetic for his comments. "I will not reply to Yaturo’s rambling statement because she’s already had her chance and she struck out.”

Mangano Changes His Story on the NIFA Conspiracy


It's amazing that Mangano can just plain lie about things he said that are documented quite well. In a new statement about NIFA released on his Facebook page, Mangano tries to back off from his and Peter Schmitts conspiracy theory about NIFA.
Mangano says "My supporters and the media should know that I am not concerned whether NIFA is politically motivated or bipartisan."

But just a little sampling of his comments immediately following the control period announcement show Mangano was all in on NIFA being a grand conspiracy against him.

"(Residents) should question (NIFA’s) motivations,” Mangano said. “It’s to discredit the administration,” - Levittown Patch

"At today’s Long Island Association Executive Breakfast....
Mangano suggested some members of the NIFA control board should be changed because their motivations are purely political." Long Island Business News

"This is just a game to have us boxed in to raising real property taxes, a political game so they can say ‘Ed Mangano and the Tea Party came to office with reform and were unable to accomplish it’,” WCBS 880

And it's even ON VIDEO!!!!

Perhaps Mangano realizes that he sounds less dignified when he spins conspiracy tales like Schmitt.
Mangano does go on to say "What concerns me is that the architects of Nassau's budget mess are now acting as its watchdog."

Really? Is that why Mangano wanted to "PARTNER with NIFA"??
"If the unions don't work with us to achieve real savings, the county executive will partner with NIFA to protect taxpayers, a Mangano aide said in a statement."

Sorry Ed, you can't re-write your own words.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Mangano Fundraising on NIFA Woes

Just when you thought you couldn't get any more cynical about politics.
Accidental County Executive Ed Mangano vows to fight for Nassau County Taxpayers against the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) take-over of Nassau County finances.
While he is doing that, he wouldn't mind if you donated to his campaign.
That's right, while Nassau's finances are being taken over by a Control Board, Mangano has taken this opportunity to raise some cash for himself. (maybe he wants to go out to eat some more)
So what if the Bond Rating for the county is downgraded?
Who cares if the reputation of the county is made worse by Mangano's ineptitude!
It's all okay 'cause Mangano has money in his campaign account.

I was at a local forum and on the table was a piece of paper signed by Mangano. Mangano was there along with Peter Schmitt to lie to the folks about NIFA.
The handout has a color heading that reads "URGENT: ED MANGANO IS FIGHTING NIFA'S TAX HIKES and he needs your help!"
Now just as an FYI, NIFA can't raise your taxes but that is for another post.
The rest of the handout is the standard line Mangano has been spewing for the past week.
Then all the way at the bottom after his signature is a "P.S." asking for a donation.
Now this this says "Help Ed Mangano stop NIFA's tax hike."
Exactly how in the world would a campaign contribution help his fight?
Isn't it the County as an entity suing NIFA? It's not Mangano personally suing them.
Here is Ed Mangano using a terrible situation for Nassau to make some money for himself.
The bigger problem here is that Mangano was at this forum as his offical capacity as County Executive and he is handing out flyers asking for campaign contributions. Unfortnately someone will be suckered into donating thinking the money is going to help "fight NIFA."
Something seems very unethical about this.

Click to enlarge...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mangano Living Well on Campaign Contributions

According to Newsday, in a non-campaign year, Mangano is eating well on his campaigns dime...
"The political committee for Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano shelled out more than $10,000 for food in the last six months of last year — and it wasn’t even an election year.

There were four chits totaling slightly more than $3,000 at H.R. Singleton’s in Bethpage, in the same small shopping center where Mangano had his election headquarters in 2009. There were smaller bills at several establishments near the main county office building in Mineola, including Plum Tomatoes Pizza, Murphy’s Bar and Chris’s Deli.

And there were a handful of out-of-town establishments, including $255.57 at the NY Yankee Steak House in the Bronx, $256.60 at The Palm in Manhattan and $99.94 at Wolfgang Puck in Disney World, where Mangano had a fundraiser in early December."