Spin Cycle

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

Politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows.

The New York State Liberal Party, chaired by longtime Nassau politico Jack Olchin, last week endorsed Democrat Adam Haber for county executive.

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But, Olchin -- who ran for county executive three times in 1980s -- was appointed in 2010 by Republican County Executive Edward Mangano as a member of his Assessment Review Commission, which reviews applications for assessment corrections.

Olchin, 90, has held positions under both GOP and Democrat administrations, including as a deputy county attorney reviewing assessment cases. He said there was “no conflict” in endorsing Haber while working for Mangano. “One thing has nothing to do with another,” he said.

Olchin is paid $15,000 per year for this role on the six-person assessment commission.
Haber campaign manager Justin Myers defended Olchin, saying he spent his “career fighting to protect a women’s right to choose and expanding civil rights for all.”

In 2010, Mangano fired all of the ARC commissioners and replaced them with his own appointees, including Olchin. The New York State Court of Appeals later determined that Mangano did not have the authority to dismiss the commissioners without a finding of misconduct.