Dan Janison has been a reporter at Newsday since 1997.
Campaigning on the Nassau arena ballot proposal appears subject to registration and filing requirements, state election officials say. But despite signs of a coordinated operation geared toward the Aug. 1 vote, such filings have yet to surface.
Thomas Connolly, state Board of Elections spokesman, said Friday that "whoever is promoting or doing express advocacy on a referendum question would have to register and file with the county. If more than $1,000 has been spent, they'd have to do so with the state Board of Elections." And if that threshold is hit by today, a campaign committee would have to file a July disclosure report, for which the deadline is this week, Connolly said.
Labor unions, along with the Islanders hockey franchise, have been ramping up their "Vote Yes" messages. Union officials referred questions about existence of a campaign committee to Charles Wang's Islanders organization, whose senior vice president, Michael Picker, was unavailable for comment on the matter.
The Association for a Better Long Island -- which opposes the $400-million plan for a new Coliseum and ballpark -- was still deciding if it will advertise for a no vote. "If we go down that road, we will of course follow the rules and regulations," an association spokesman said.
Already, the effort includes "Vote Yes" fliers that make an economic pitch for the "new sports and entertainment venue." These printed pieces display the county seal and the Islanders' emblem side by side, and refer readers to the county and team websites -- adding: "We can't let politicians decide for us!" The fliers are unsigned.
SENATOR('S) POTHOLE: Returning to Lido Beach from dinner with ex-Mayor Ed Koch in Manhattan on Tuesday, ex-Sen. Alfonse D'Amato was traveling along South Conduit Boulevard at the Brooklyn-Queens border when his car, with driver Shane Dunham at the wheel, plunged into "a real crater of a pothole" that he said "almost ate me alive." The right-side tires and rims were crushed. He hailed a flatbed truck whose operator "saw me on the grassy area jumping up and down . . . like a chicken without a head," D'Amato said.
They found temporary repairs nearby at a shop where a man in charge recognized him. Later in the week, "Senator Pothole" said, he reached Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson to share his encounter. If the city had been notified of the deep crevice, D'Amato said, he'd seek to recover damage costs (an option available to any motorist) -- if not, maybe an insurance claim.