5 political stories to follow in 2014
Many important cases of political intrigue and ferment are brewing as the election seasons change. Here are five, drawn from the local, state and federal spheres:
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano ousted two prominent officials -- county attorney John Ciampoli and health facilities executive Arthur Gianelli -- signaling a shake-up for his second term. The air is rife with talk of the Oyster Bay Republicans eclipsing Hempstead's GOP in Mangano's domain -- along with the question of whether he and chief deputy Rob Walker are moving away from the county party led by Joseph Mondello, following the executive's 59-41 percent rout of Democrat Thomas Suozzi. How do the victors mete out the spoils this time?
Test revolts could be the new tax revolts. State school officials face protests from public-school parents and educators alike over new Common Core Curriculum standards, with exam fatigue feeding backlash against local lawmakers and others. Watch for the uproar to make its way into the electoral fray as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and other state officials run next year for re-election.
In New York City, an unusual investigation into the Working Families Party by a special prosecutor, attorney Roger Bennet Adler, is reportedly moving forward, with the party still questioning its assignment and purpose. Now it carries added potential impact -- at least more than before Election Day -- since Democratic Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has longtime ties to the minor party.
Next year's Republican congressional candidates faced agita when the GOP recently shut down the federal government. Now, Democratic contenders get to worry about the inept rollout of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
In Suffolk, a federal investigation of police Chiefof Department James Burke carries clear concerns for County Executive Steve Bellone, who appointed him. Burke's been accused of assaulting a Smithtown man who was in custody for allegedly stealing items from Burke's vehicle. District Attorney Thomas Spota -- re-elected to a virtually uncontested third term -- has for many years hailed Burke, his former chief investigator. Where will it all lead?
LESS OF A LOSS: Notably, Democrat Howard Weitzman ran more strongly in his unsuccessful comeback bid for Nassau comptroller, against winner George Maragos, than did Suozzi in his rematch against Mangano. Weitzman's election-night tally was 124,172 votes (47 percent) versus Suozzi's 111,884 votes (41 percent).