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News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics

Bellone fights perception of bloated patronage staff

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone talks about his

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

While Suffolk’s workforce endured historic cuts over the past two years, County Executive Steve Bellone faced a lingering criticism: that he had bloated his patronage payroll at the expense of the rank-and-file. 

A Newsday analysis of county records, however, shows that Bellone actually hasn’t expanded the number of non-union appointees under his control, compared to his predecessor.

Still,...

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Sparring over corruption panel continues

With a reporting deadline less than a week away, bickering over the tactics and likely proposals of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s corruption commission continued Monday.

Cuomo sought to fight back against legislators’ criticisms that subpoenas issued by his Commission to Investigate Public Corruption violated the state’s separation-of-powers guarantees. But, in a brief conference call with reporters,...

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Cuomo talks to Christie ... about Astorino?

Apparently, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo thought reports about a possible Republican challenger next year were significant enough that he had a conversation with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie about them.

To recap, after handily winning re-election earlier this month, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has become a rising star in Republican circles. He visited Somos el Futuro, the annual conference...

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LIA seeks NYC alliance on issues of interest

Mayor-Elect Bill DeBlasio speaks at the National Action

(Credit: CS Muncy)

Long Island Association president Kevin Law is calling on New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio to work with Nassau and Suffolk business and political leaders on pushing for local mandate relief in Albany and immigration reform in Washington.

In a letter congratulating de Blasio, Law wrote, "The economies of Long Island and New York City are inextricably linked," suggesting "maximizing...

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Albany query: Can political parties be considered lobbyists?

The New York Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit watchdog, has filed a complaint with the state ethics commission charging that the state Democratic Party has engaged in lobbying on behalf of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's legislative agenda.

The party bankrolled TV ads this year urging viewers to tell legislators to support Cuomo's budget and "women's agenda." NYPIRG's Blair Horner...

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Nassau's Mangano: Now NIFA 'communicates'

Talk about someone with cause to give thanks this week. Nassau Executive Edward Mangano prepares for his second term -- after winning re-election with his county's distressed finances still under the legal supervision of an appointed state board.

Challenger Thomas Suozzi's taunt, "Ed is over his head and we're in the red," fades from the air as Suozzi fades from the political scene.

At...

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Don't expect Nassau's Mangano to seek state office

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said in an

(Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)

Don’t expect Republican County Executive Edward Mangano, who handily won a second term earlier this month against Democrat Thomas Suozzi, to wage a challenge next year against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

In an interview last week, Mangano said he has no interest in running for statewide office although he declined to say if he's been asked by party officials.

“This is where I am focused,”...

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Ex-school board member slams 'dual role' for Brentwood lawmaker

Newly-elected Suffolk County Legislator Monica Martinez, of the

(Credit: Andy Jacobsohn)

Former board member Joe Fritz spoke out Thursday night at the Brentwood school board meeting opposing the idea of Legis.-elect Monica Martinez working both as a county lawmaker and keeping her job an assistant principal.

Fritz, an attorney, also spoke out at the legislature’s ways and means committee Thursday saying that dual role was “inappropriate” because her work for the district would...

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Suffolk exec looks to exempt NYC hires from residency law

County Executive Steve Bellone, who already expanded the county residency law to allow hiring from Nassau County, is looking to expand it further, to New York City.

Jon Schneider, deputy county executive, said the administration’s aim is to hire from Suffolk first, but in those “rare instances” where the “best and brightest” cannot be found from within Suffolk, it wants he flexibility to look...

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Bill would name new SCCC trustee

A bill naming Arthur Cliff, former president of the Suffolk Superior Officers Association, as a trustee of Suffolk County Community College has gone to the county legislature for a vote.

Cliff, 71, of Sayville, if approved, would replace lawyer Saul Fenchel who stepped down without explanation in August with a year left on his term.

In addition to his police career and union work, Cliff...

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