The moment the news broke that Charles Wang will move his New York Islanders hockey team 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.
All such argument is, of course, speculative and moot.