Coliseum referendum becomes political cover

New York Islanders owner Charles Wang during a New York Islanders owner Charles Wang during a press conference about Nassau Coliseum. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp, 2011

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Dan Janison Melville. N.Y. Tuesday January 26, 2010. Daniel Janison,

Dan Janison has been a reporter at Newsday since 1997, initially as a staff writer for the New ...

The moment the news broke that Charles Wang will move his New York Islanders to Brooklyn, last year's failed referendum to rebuild the county's Coliseum instantly acquired a postmortem political purpose: cover.

After all, both County Executive Edward Mangano, who faces re-election next year, and Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, who was re-elected last November, can accurately say that voters spoke, and rejected the Islander-centric project as proposed. When talks after the August 2011 vote failed to produce an alternative plan, Wang moved on.

Nassau Democrats who opposed the borrowing deal cite what they saw as flaws in Mangano's whole approach -- and suggest ways it might have been negotiated differently, ways they say could have gained the support needed to make a deal and keep the Islanders. Those arguments are, of course, speculative and moot.

 

CHANGE OF FOCUS: After losing a Democratic primary to Bridget Fleming, who faces Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) next week, Jennifer Maertz told backers she's focused on helping Democrat Joe Dujmic in the race to succeed the late Republican Assemb. James Conte. Chad Lupinacci is the GOP candidate.

 

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SUFFOLK SLUGFEST: In the race to succeed retiring Sen. Owen Johnson (R-West Babylon), Legis. Rick Montano (D-Brentwood) points to an Albany-area house owned by opponent Assemb. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) to suggest Boyle makes his main home there, not Suffolk. But Boyle has publicly called the charge "shameful" and responds he and his wife are living in East Islip. Boyle's campaign has a TV ad that criticizes Montano for having backed legislation that would place homeless sex offenders in locations kept secret during site selection. More of the harsher stuff is expected in the campaign's final days.

 

EARLY MURMURS: With Jon Kaiman identified as the leading candidate for the top job at the Long Island Power Authority, his departure as North Hempstead supervisor -- if and when the time comes -- has generated buzz of a behind-the-scenes rivalry in Democratic circles over who would succeed him. Those reputed to be interested include county legislators Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn) and Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck). The pick to fill the vacancy pending a supervisor's election would belong to the town council members, a majority Democratic. Gerard Terry, Democratic town leader, is widely believed to favor Bosworth.

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