Spin Cycle

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

Steve Levy’s dance with Tea Party activists comes with some risks.

His tough talk on immigration and curbing government spending sits well with the Tea Party, but a handful of those Tea Party people are so outspoken that the association could come back to burn Levy.

At a Town Hall with some of those activists earlier this month, all went well until the session was drawing to a close.

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Then, close to the end [at about 8:28 of this highlights reel] , one man suggested that the 1798 Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions gave the governor of a state — and Levy wants to be governor of NYS — the power to resist any federal law he or she considered unconstitutional, “and you can actively oppose it with force.”

“I’m going to give you a bit of advice back,” Levy replied. “This is a good movement ... born out of frustration. Don’t go over that line.” He cautioned against the use of such “sound-bite” language, which could end up on the evening television news.

“I heard violence,” Levy said of the comment, but several people shouted their disagreement, yelling “Wrong!” and “Totally wrong!” and “No!”