Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Schmitt Hits The Fan In Nassau County

Perfect Storm Of Bad Economy, High Taxes, And Democratic Malaise Give GOP Big Night

The Democratic majority -- whose tenure at the helm was so much less than remarkable -- in the Nassau County Legislature. Gone.

Howard Weitzman -- who, through poignant audits, served as watchdog over the wasteful and corrupt special taxing districts -- as Nassau County Comptroller. Gone. [One wonders whether George Maragos, with Ronald Reagan peering over his shoulder, will be watching as carefully, if at all.]

Jeff Toback -- one of the few stalwarts of the community -- a true advocate for the constituents he served as a Nassau County Legislator. Gone.

The enthusiasm of Democratic voters -- who last year came out to the polls in droves -- now outnumbering, in registration only, Republicans. Gone.

Any chance of saving the Town of Hempstead -- America's most blighted township -- where, quite literally, from the ever-present wink and a smile comes little true benefit to anyone other than friends, family, and the party faithful. Gone.

Tom Suozzi -- the architect of the New Suburbia -- the last best hope for the future of Nassau County and Long Island. Teetering.

Jay Jacobs -- the wunderkind of the Nassau Democrats -- as the end-all of a vibrant, victorious Democratic party. Never was. [Suozzi and the Nassau Dems trumped into office on the back of the myriad shortcomings of Tom Gulotta and the rubber-stamping Republicans, who failed homeowners, taxpayers, and anyone else who saw the county as anything more than 1950 surrounded by a white picket fence. Guess what? They're back!]

Yes, gone are the days when progress meant more than a return to an era of wasteful spending, reckless borrowing, endless patronage, and looking into that rear view mirror and seeing the likes of Mondello, Murray, and Schmitt gaining on us -- ear-to-ear grins on their faces; five sticky fingers on each hand in our pockets.

The facts: The economy is still tanking on Long Island. Jobs continue to be lost. Those property taxes seem unstoppable. And fees added to taxes on top of no plausible means of -- or will to -- stop the madness, frustrated, agitated, and, simply put, pissed off the voters.

The Republicans, as they always do in these parts, came out and voted as told. [Voting is an admirable attribute. Voting, with absence of forethought, forsaking the consequences (they'd vote for Osama if his name was on the party line), is not.]

The Democrats, whose leaders ran ineffective campaigns, when they campaigned at all, made even less of an effort to get out the vote, and it showed. [In terms the Democratic Committee might actually understand, if you want 'em to come to evening activity, or to line up for milk and cookies, you have to, at the very least, blow the bugle.]

Democrats, who, on paper, have the edge in voter registration, stayed home. Shame on every registered voter who couldn't take ten minutes to get to the polls!

Democracy has never been a spectator sport, its course never easily traveled, its virtues seldom successfully triumphed to their potential.

This year, too many of us chose to watch from the sidelines, witnesses not so much to a reversal of fortune, for the economy, taxes, and a planning board cum zoning board that accomplishes neither, have pretty much stifled our county's resurgence.

What we are seeing, in our discontent, is a misguided return to an era which proved itself to be fraught with error, and nearly fatal for our county.

Frozen in time. Myopic in vision. Bereft of new ideas or lofty ideals.

While we wish the new Nassau County Legislature well -- may they live up to the promise of tax relief and fiscal conservatism -- we still hold in vivid memory (unlike most residents, apparently), the utter disgrace by which these very elected officials (yes, Peter "full of" Schmitt was there) "governed" the last time around.

Tax revolt? Maybe. We wouldn't count on it from this bunch.

The hope of a reimagined Nassau that is so much more than an asphalt wasteland? Gone, but not forgotten!
- - -
The Community Alliance -- never out of office, or out of vogue -- continues its campaign to take back our town -- One neighborhood, one block, one house, one vote at a time!

Keep on reading The Community Alliance blog -- -- where the status quo is never good enough!

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  1. Can't help myself - have to admit this. Democrats didn't come out and vote but the Democratic Party didn't come out to campaign and it infuriates me. Last night I drove to my local 7-11 to buy myself some beer, knowing full well I was going to need to drown my sorrows. On the way I must have seen a dozen Kate Murray signs, with absolutely no sign that she even had anyone opposing her. It's a small matter, but no signs, no mailings, weak publicity, no compelling message equals no success. Where were these guys? How does Jacobs explain this?

    The Suozzi situation is a shocker as well as the Nassau County legislature and Weitzman. People are mad about taxes and who can blame them? But the anger is misdirected. Mangano and other Republicans hammered at the whole assessment system, as well as the heating oil tax, which became proxies for how frustrated people are with taxes. Truth is these are both secondary factors to things like special districts, schools, waste and patronage. But the Republicans had a clear message, and the Democrats didn't do enough to counter the claims made. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory....

  2. Since were so disenfranchised with both parties, it's time to start a new political party, completely independent of Democrats and Republicans (perhaps we can call it the Alliance Party). If we were to start now, I think we would really have a chance of dethroning Kate in 2 years. We can no longer accept the "lightweights" the Democrats habitually put forth to challenge her. The taxpayers deserve a real choice.

  3. question authority-

    its high time someone started questioning jay jacobs-big time. once again we see that he thinks that ge can get something for nothing. his dems have lost the legislature,his comptroller lost to maragos,and it doesnt look good for suozzi.

    its time he stopped anointing these "lightweight","disposable","sheep led to slaughter candidates". he did NOTHING for mcelroy.if a party hack like grasso couldnt defeat a do-nothing incumbent in LD 6 ( becker) then something is really wrong.

    he needs to dust off his checkbook and spend whatever it takes to get a dem elected. mcelroy needed at least $150k;grasso needed at least $100. but until valley stream becomes totally democrat and then redistricted,ol jay wont spend a time.

    i hope im wrong but unless theres some huge scandal,i just dont see anyone being able to topple murray,not unless jacobs realizes that his way aint working.

  4. again jay and the dems misread their tea leaves. i thought that it was amusing that schmitt,whos one of the biggest obstacles to reform in nassau,was actualy painting himself as a victim and a fiscal conservative. yeah right.

    seems that jay incorrectly and naively assumed that the repubs would get too cozy and stay home. boy was he wrong-big time.

    maybe he's the one who needs to be sent packing.

  5. McElroy's 1 month campaign agaist Kate just isn't going to cut it and she was very soft in the debate. God knows there was enough ammunition. The Democrats needed to send a simple and clear message because most voteres just do not spend th etime, even the 30% that did in fact vote.

    Weitzman will be sorely missed for his effort towards patronage. I think having a Republican legislature with a democratic supervisor would be the best situation, while a republican supervisor with a republican legislature seems to be a return to the old days (their baaaaaak). Will Gulotta take off the Mangano mask?

  6. mike,

    i doubt that even 15% showed up. ill bet that 5 to 7.5%,if that showed up.

    it seems to me that jacobs wanted mcelroy and all his other "lightweights" to lose? why? perhaps there's more going on than what we are seeing.

  7. more going on is right
    - jay's gotta go
    - he routinely throws the game deliberately
    in return for the GOP's leaving HIS favorites alone
    - if you know anything about the candidate selection
    "process" you know it's rigged, and rigged to keep OUT
    strong candidates with local appeal .. look at the
    chicken dance with Solages vs Ciotti, oops i mean ..
    - how can Suozzi have $2M still in the kitty while
    Bastardi, Solages, et al got zip ( er can you spell
    "i was gonna use it later .. " ?? )
    - oh yeah, and he's the STATE "leader" ..

  8. Ive concluded that as long as jacobs heads the nassau dems,nothing will change. they'll continue to get their clocks cleaned each election because he's too cheap to do the right thing.

    DUMP JACOBS NOW.before its too late.

    stupid gavone pos

  9. Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    The GOP lost the legislature after arrogant (mis)management of the county and approving an unpopular tax (the mortgage tax).

    Now the dems have lost after arrogant management of the county and approving an unpopular tax (the heating tax). [Everyone should have seen this coming.]

    With the current state of the parties (Dem and GOP) in Nassau, when will the voters ever break the cycle of one bad choice after another?

    Can the parties and their myopic greed ever change?