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Daily Point

Boyle boils up GOP

Is a signed-and-sworn affidavit by an elected official worth the paper it is written on?

Wednesday’s hot-button issue in Long Island politics is whether Phil Boyle, who was humiliated in Tuesday’s Republican primary for Suffolk County sheriff, will turn around and accept the Democratic nomination from Suffolk party leader Rich Schaffer. Boyle, a state senator from the 4th District, promised he wouldn’t in front of a room of Republican leaders on June 5, when he accepted their designation as the party’s nominee and later when he signed a pledge not to do so.

Here it is:

It’s no secret that Suffolk GOP chairman John Jay LaValle was furious that Boyle first made a deal with the Conservative Party for its nomination as sheriff. Conservative Party leaders threatened to withhold all of their ballot lines from Republican candidates for judgeships and legislature and town council seats if the GOP didn’t also give Boyle its nomination.

That backfired on Tuesday.

Reportedly, another part of the deal was that Conservatives would endorse Democratic judgeship candidates and perhaps provide some other favors in local races if Schaffer wouldn’t aggressively fight for the sheriff’s seat with a top-drawer candidate. However, when Larry Zacarese, who won Tuesday’s GOP primary, challenged Boyle and started to shape up as a formidable candidate, the talk of the county was that Schaffer also would give Boyle the Democratic line if he lost.

That made LaValle extract both a verbal and then a written affidavit from Boyle and all other GOP candidates at the nominating convention in June. Last year, LaValle passed bylaws that bar the county Republican party from taking a cross-endorsement from another major party.

“I signed a pledge I could not accept it while I was the Republican designee,” Boyle told The Point on Wednesday regarding the Democratic nomination. “I am not on the Republican line anymore.”

Boyle said the agreement is no longer binding. LaValle disagrees.

“There is no weasel room here,” LaValle said Wednesday. Boyle promised that if the GOP county committee gave him the designation, he would not accept the Democrat line, LaValle said.

He added that after all of the GOP candidates made their acceptance speeches that night in June pledging not to accept another line, they were directed to a table where they signed the pledges and had them notarized.

Schaffer, meanwhile, was asked by The Point’s Michael Dobie on Wednesday whether it’s still possible he’ll give the Democratic ballot line to Boyle.

“Correct,” Schaffer said. “I never foreclose any possibility.”

Rita Ciolli

Credit: The Godfather - Part II (1974)

Talking Point

Suozzi catches Trump’s eye

President Donald Trump continues to reach across the aisle, hosting at the White House on Wednesday a dozen House Republicans and moderate Democrats from the Blue Dog Coalition and the Problem Solvers Caucus, including Rep. Tom Suozzi.

Suozzi, a Democrat from Glen Cove, told The Point that he understands the meeting agenda will include infrastructure, health care and a replacement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that President Barack Obama put in place by executive order and which Trump wants to revoke.

However, with Trump tweeting about tax reform Wednesday morning, and specifically calling out Congress to act, Suozzi said he would try to make the pitch that changing corporate and personal income tax regulations are key to job creation.

But as much as he wants to cut a deal with the deal-maker in the Oval Office, Suozzi said, he can’t buy Trump’s plan to eliminate local and state tax deductions.

“I will make it very clear that I will not support any tax reform that takes away state or local tax deductions or mortgage deductions,” he said. “That’s like a red line.”

Many of his Long Island Gold Coast constituents no doubt agree.

Anne Michaud

Pointing Out

Register your party now . . . to vote next year

If you wanted to vote in Tuesday’s primaries but did not indicate a party enrollment on your registration, or wanted to change party affiliation, you were fresh out of luck. You missed the deadline — by 333 days.

That’s right. The deadline for declaring a party enrollment or changing one for Tuesday’s primaries was Oct. 14 of last year. In New York, only those registered in a party can vote in a party primary.

If you’re a new voter, or new to the county in which you’re voting, you had until 25 days before the primary to register.

It’s all part of the inanity of New York State election law, which came into sharp focus during the 2016 presidential primary when many unaffiliated voters discovered they could not participate in the Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders Democratic showdown or the Donald Trump-Ted Cruz-John Kasich GOP ménage à trois.

If you want to vote in 2018’s primaries, when all state offices are on the ballot, as well as that of Suffolk County executive, you’d better hurry. You have until Oct. 13 to declare or switch a party enrollment to be eligible for the primaries.

Michael Dobie