Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Our forthcoming news story and Janison's column will focus on the political implications and fallout from Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's alliance with Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano today in North Merrick.

Cuomo's 10-minute speech to about 150 people at the Jewel Quinn Senior Center focused on garnering support for his 2-percent property tax cap plan for local governments, but he touched on a few other topics during the post-event media scrum (which Mangano skipped out on - leaving us unable to pose the question to him about what he was doing there, given his prior and apparently still active endorsement of GOP contender Rick Lazio).

So here's what else Cuomo had to say:

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On the practical implementation of his proposed property tax cap: "What we're trying to say is we're going to have to impose a fiscal discipline on government. We've learned the hard way that if you just leave it to government, they're not going to find the efficiencies. They're not going to find the economies of scale. They're going to continue to raise taxes. Because that’s what's been going on."

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"You have to change the trajectory. You have to change the direction of the arrow. You're taxing people out of their homes. In Nassau and other counties in New York, these are astronomical property tax rates."

On the proposed Cordoba Mosque at Ground Zero that has Republicans like Lazio, U.S. Senate candidate Gary Berntsen and Newt Gingrich so up in arms: "There's also a principle at play that government should not tell a religion in this country, in this state, where it should be located. It shouldn’t tell people what religion it favors, what religion it doesn’t favor. If there's one principle that founded this nation and this state, it was freedom of religion. I don't want the government telling me what church I can go to -- I happen to be Catholic -- what church I can go and where that church can be. I don't want the government saying where to locate synagogues. And I don't want the government saying where to locate mosques. That legal principle to me is pre-eminent and I understand the sensitivity and I understand people saying they don't want a mosque there but I also understand the principle that says keep government out of deciding where churches, mosques, synagogues should be located."

On embattled Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Manhattan): "I've read about the charges in the newspaper. I would like to actually get some facts and read the report and understand both sides of the issue before I come to a conclusion. ... You don’t have all the facts. So lets get all the facts, let's get the report, let's get both sides. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I need the facts."

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On his and Mangano's sartorial choices for the day: "Look at (Mangano's red) tie. That's a Republican tie. You've never seen a Democrat wear that tie. Look at my tie. Seahorses on the tie. No Republican would wear that tie."

Asked what the label was on his seahorse tie, Cuomo demurred. "It's a big New York manufacturer," he said.