Spin Cycle

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

Infighting erupts among Islip Democrats

The primary battles among Islip Democrats have turned ugly. Activist Victoria Serpa said new town chairman Gerry Pallotta last month told her he was ousting her from the party executive committee and that he gave her no reason. Serpa claims he doesn’t have the power to remove her, saying that can only be done by a two-thirds vote of the executive committee. Pallotta, reached later, said that Serpa...

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NY top court to hear Islip's attempt to limit 'take home' cars

New York’s top court will hear arguments in a case pitting the Town of Islip against local union members over the availability of “take-home” cars for employees. The Court of Appeals on Thursday granted permission for Islip to present its case. Court spokesman Gary Spencer said the case likely won't be heard till mid 2014. At issue is Islip’s long-running effort to cut costs by limiting the number...

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Weitzman: Maragos Senate run left Nassau 'without a full-time comptroller'

Howard Weitzman as Nassau comptroller in 2008.

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

Nassau County comptroller candidate Howard Weitzman wants GOP Comptroller George Maragos to release his public schedule for the period when he was campaigning for the Republican nod to run for the U.S. Senate in 2011 and 2012. “Less than two years into his first term in office, George Maragos chose to launch a second campaign for U.S. Senate that left Nassau County without a full-time...

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NY court: Warrant not needed for GPS tracker on worker's car

In a mixed decision, New York’s top court said the state didn’t need a warrant to slap a tracking device on an employee’s private car to determine whether he was skipping work, but said the investigation failed to comply with constitutional standards of a “reasonable search.” In sum, the Court of Appeals said disciplinary proceedings could continue against Michael Cunningham, a former Labor Department...

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NYC: Quinn releases ad with anti-DOMA champion

One day after the Supreme Court struck down a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, leading to celebration by same-sex couples and their advocates, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who'd be the first woman and openly-gay mayor, released this video from anti-DOMA champion Edie Windsor -- who emphasizes Quinn's solidarity with the "middle class and working class." Video posted below....

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NY court: Starbucks baristas must share tips

The Court of Appeals ruled that shift supervisors

(Credit: AP, 2012)

ALBANY -- New York's top court ruled Wednesday that Starbucks' baristas must share the tip jar with shift supervisors, but not assistant managers. The state Court of Appeals ruled that shift supervisors at Starbucks qualify for tips because their "personal service to patrons is a principal or regular part of his or her duties." New York law allows workers whose roles are considered similar...

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Haber pulls ad that stirred criticism but sticks to anti-Suozzi themes

Adam Haber, Democratic primary candidate for county executive, announced that he's withdrawing an ad attacked by some in and out of the rival Tom Suozzi camp as ethnically offensive. But the announcement came embedded in the same anti-Suozzi message that the ad carried: That Republican incumbent Ed Mangano's predecessor was a political hack. The declaration:

Great Neck, NY -- The...

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Beware top officials: Nassau, Suffolk police scandals far from over

Suffolk Chief of Police James C. Burke. (June

(Credit: Steve Pfost)

County executives and legislators and DA's across Long Island might not wish to kid themselves into thinking that police issues aren't political issues with which they will need to wrestle. In Suffolk, the chief of police is under investigation for what were, apparently, highly irregular actions in a theft case that affected him personally. What turns out to have happened — not if but when the...

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Nassau: Solages weighs in on Haber's 'Suozzi hack' attack

Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages, (D-Elmont), is the first elected official to call on Democratic county executive primary candidate Adam Haber to take down his latest TV political ad,

criticized by

some Italian-Americans as a slur.

Solages, during his 2011 campaign,...

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Controversial ad prompts civic leader to withdraw support for Haber

Democratic Nassau County executive candidate Adam Haber is coming under fire from Italian-American groups for a television ad portraying “political hacks” eating pasta and drinking red wine as they discuss his opponent Thomas Suozzi’s record. The ad also prompted a prominent Elmont civic leader to withdraw his support for Haber, a Roslyn school board member who is making his first run for countywide...

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