Kate Murray. Kristen McElroy.
We were only half kidding a few years back when we suggested that the Dems in Nassau's Hempstead Town recruit someone named Kate Murray to run against the Town of Hempstead Supervisor, name recognition apparently more important than merit, particularly now, when town Democrats hold a narrow, yet critical, edge in voter enrollment over Republicans.
Well, McElroy is not quite Murray (and thank goodness for that), and few would confuse Kristen for Kate (must be that effervescent smile), but frankly, its close enough to make a horse race. [Guess Kate won't be able to call her opponent a misogynist this time around!]
Kristen McElroy (who came darn close to taking the Senate seat from GOP stalwart Kemp Hannon in her first run for public office) tells Newsday that this contest, in the last stronghold of GOP dominance left on the island -- that crumbling house that Joe Mondello built -- is all about patronage.
Well, don't you believe it, not for a second.
After all, not everyone on the Town payroll is related to Kate. And who cares if testing across the spectrum of water districts and sanitary disticts demonstartes identical DNA?
Of course its friends and families at Hempstead Town Hall. Did you expect Kate Murray to appoint and anoint her enemies? No, not even to keep 'em closer.
No, patronage is not the issue in this election. Its the pocketbook.
Paying too much for the town's spawn -- those patronage punks of the putrid proletariat who themselves promote the status quo through the Big Lie: What you pay locally, stays local.
Oh, your property tax dollars stay local all right. Going to pay for orthodontics for the Commissioner's wife, a junket to the Bahamas (yes, THAT Nassau), a 64 inch plasma TV at HQ, or a keg party for all the local cronies who take their orders from Town Hall and their payola from your pockets.
No, its not about patronage. Its about money. Your money. Our money. Being squandered through inefficiency and ineptitude, and squirreled away to pay the pensions for the Norm Murrays of Hempstead Town.
A Tripple A bond rating? You bet. And what have you got to show for it? A huge property tax bill; roadways that rival those of rural backwaters; blight that consumes Main Street; nonexistent planning and haphazard zoning; and all the Victorian-style street lamps your little hearts desire.
"Murray has done an outstanding job running the Town of Hempstead," said Town Councilman Anthony "homeowners enjoy paying more" Santino, who also serves as spokesman for County GOP Chair, Joe "I gave you Tom Gulotta" Mondello.
Right. If you consider running the town into the ground to be an accomplishment!
Patronage? Why, that's the least of our worries.
Let's make this election in the Town of Hempstead about change. No, not change you can believe in. Not even change from 100+ years of one-party rule.
Let's simply make it, CHANGE YOU CAN PUT BACK IN YOUR POCKET!
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The very first endorsement from The Community Alliance for the 2009 election season:
KRISTEN McELROY FOR TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD SUPERVISOR- - -
McElroy gets nod to challenge Murray in Hempstead
BY EDEN LAIKIN
Nassau Democrats have chosen Garden City attorney Kristen McElroy to challenge Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, who is seeking her fourth two-year term in November.
County Democratic Committee chairman Jay Jacobs said he believes the party has a chance to break Hempstead's century-long Republican hold, because registered Democrats there outnumber Republicans by 8,894 and voters who haven't declared a party affiliation generally vote Democratic in contested races, two to one. The town has 98,066 such voters, said Bill Biamonte, the Nassau elections board's Democratic commissioner.
McElroy narrowly lost a State Senate race to longtime incumbent Kemp Hannon last year. Endorsed by the state Working Families Party, McElroy received 48 percent of the vote. She works at McElroy & McElroy, the Garden City law firm she and her father, Eugene, established in 2005 after she left the Nassau district attorney's office. She holds a bachelor's degree from Loyola College and got her law degree from St. John's.
Asked about her campaign positions, McElroy said, "Ending the patronage. That's where our money is going.
"As a regular taxpayer, a working mom, growing up here, it's frustrating to see that it still exists and it's still common, especially in the Town of Hempstead."
Anthony Santino, spokesman for GOP chairman Joseph Mondello, said he's confident that Murray's track record with the town's finances will carry her through this race. "Murray has done an outstanding job running the Town of Hempstead," he said. "The town is in outstanding financial shape. People are not going to want to change leadership when they have someone doing such a magnificent job managing their money."
Democratic nominees for Hempstead Town Board seats are community activist Jean Brett-Leach of Rockville Centre for Gary Hudes' seat, and Matthew Hynes, a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory communications associate, for Santino's seat.
In Oyster Bay, Keith Scalia, 37, a high school English teacher who lives in Massapequa, was named to run against Supervisor John Venditto. In North Hempstead, Mathew George Palakunnathu will challenge the lone Republican on the town board, Angelo Ferrara.
Copyright © 2009, Newsday Inc.