. . . Here Comes Joe Mondello
When this blogger first got word that Nassau County Republican Committee Chair, Joseph Mondello (not only his picture is fuzzy), had his eye on the State's top GOP post (which, come January, will no longer be Governor), I both laughed and gasped at the same time. [Try doing that while standing on your head and drinking a Yoohoo...]
Joe Mondello, lynchpin of the Nassau County GOP machine; king over the fiefdoms at the County (and town) special districts; orchestrator of the near fatal dissent of America's wealthiest county into the financial abyss; the man who brought you Tom Gulotta, Kate Murray, and the two Peters (King and Schmitt).
Yes, that Joe Mondello. Losing it all but for his Svengali-like stranglehold over Town of Hempstead voters (who must all have brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and fifth cousins three times removed somewhere on the Town payroll), and those entrenched State Senate seats that never seem to shift, come high tide or high taxes, Mondello would now do for the State of New York what he has done for Nassau County.
Hold on to your hats, New Yorkers. Better still, hold on to your lawn signs. Once Mondello takes the top GOP spot, as it appears he will (desperate times call for even more desperate measures), no Democrat is safe from having her lawn sign stolen or defaced, and no taxpayer's wallet secure from the smoke and mirrors politics that good old Joe is famous for here on Long Island -- the kind that willingly borrows, carelessly spends, and never raises taxes to cover the bet.
Say it isn't so, Joe! With all you'll have to do as State Chair, surely you'll have to give up the post as Chair of the Nassau County Republican Committee. Even your fellow GOPers say that holding both jobs would be imprudent (as enticing as drawing upon the patronage of both tills may seem to be).
So, as you slough off to give the rest of the State a taste of Nassau GOPolitics, who will take the helm in Westbury?
Maybe you can call on Hempstead Town Attorney, Joe Ra. After all, what's another hat on the head? Town Attorney; Counsel to Sanitary District 6; GOP Committeeman. Surely, one more job would look grand on the resume.
Perhaps Al D'Amato will make a comeback. A second wind for that seat on the isle. The mansion in Lido Beach is all but complete, save a variance or two from the Town Zoning Board ( and surely, Katuria has taken care of that).
Of course, if and when Joe reluctantly yields his Nassau County GOP post, it will likely go to his second in command, Party spokesman and Town of Hempstead Councilman, Anthony Santino.
Reached at Ruth Chris' Steakhouse, where he was dining with Commissioners from the Town's Sanitary District 1, Santino told The Community Alliance, "Nassau County Republicans would gladly pay twice their annual tithe to the Party just to have me as Chair. As for homeowners, why, they enjoy paying more, getting less, and being taken up, down and sideways by a system of government that should have died out with the Neanderthals... Hey, pass the steak sauce, will ya?"
Santino as heir apparent? But of course.
Who, then (dare we ask) will become Town of Hempstead Supervisor, this when Kate Murray steps down (shortly before election so that the Republican-controlled Town Board can appoint her successor) for a judgeship or a run for Attorney General? [Given her proclivity to use the mails, Postmaster General might be a better fit for Kate!]
Pass another hat to Joe Ra. Our hunch is that the nod would go to Mark Bonilla, the Hempstead Town Clerk. Never discount the Hispanic vote, and the GOP will need it, desperately, if the Party hopes to continue its winning ways on Long Island.
Kidding aside (can anybody take any of these goings-on seriously?), when it comes to organization and control -- make that absolute, Totalitarian control -- no one does it better than Joe Mondello. Give the man credit for that much. All of the ducks lined up in a row, ready to march into Hell (or up to Albany, whichever is doling out more money at the moment) upon a second's notice.
The State GOP is a mess. A party in utter disarray. Someone called it chaos (where is Maxwell Smart when you need him?) For all of his flaws and shortcomings, as exposed to the electorate, on this blog and elsewhere, Joe Mondello is the best person -- perhaps the only person -- who could turn New York's Republican Party around.
And who knows? Come 2010, long after Nassau County residents had either forgotten the fiscal foibles of the Republican monolith or moved to the Carolinas, and Uncle Joe has sloganized us with "the new New York," we could well be looking at lawn signs that read, Tom Gulotta For Governor.
Guard "Row A" with your lives, New York Democrats, and cue the balloons.