76° Good Evening
76° Good Evening
Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

NY pols look to bask in Mets' glow

A worker gets Kauffman Stadium ready before media

A worker gets Kauffman Stadium ready before media day for the Major League Baseball World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals on Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. Credit: AP / David Goldman

There are worse things in life than seeing elected officials bask in the glow of big sports events.

There are also less tiresome things.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo headed to Kansas City Tuesday to attend the first game of the Mets-Royals World Series. He also planned to raise campaign funds by selling $5,500 tickets to Games 3 and 4 at Citi Field where buyers can join Cuomo at a 90-minute reception, then watch the action.

In June, when he appeared in Hempstead, Democrat Cuomo kidded his audience by saying Republican Nassau Executive Edward Mangano was "not of the same persuasion as me . . . He is a Mets fan and I'm a Yankees fan."

And last year, Cuomo had the Corning Tower in Albany lit up to display a big number 2 to mark Derek Jeter's last home game with the Bronx Bombers.

This week the governor, who's originally from Queens, emerged as a baseball bipartisan. "I love all the New York teams," he said before departing for Kansas City. "They are like children, I love them all, but the Mets have been special."

"Special" indeed. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) -- a media darling who habitually complains about the media -- put out dozens of emails, tweets and interviews this postseason that add up to a lot of rah-rah-rah.

To read them, you might think the congressman had personally negotiated the Yoenis Cespedes trade and taught Daniel Murphy how to hit.

Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), a longtime fan of the team, won a bet against colleague Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) when the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped the National League division series to the Mets. As payment, Schiff last week sang "Meet the Mets" on the House floor. Once through the song's first 11 lines, Schiff said, "Mr. Speaker, please tell me my time has expired."

Crowding into the picture with surging teams is an old political habit. In 1969, much was made of the fact that Mayor John Lindsay won his second term in the immediate wake of the Mets' unlikely five-game World Series victory. Observers said he gained some grace by getting doused with Champagne in the after-game celebration.

That legend had limits. Lindsay won the three-way election contest with only 42 percent of the vote.

Behind the scenes, the Mets' owners last week contributed $20,000 to the Nassau Democrats, state filings show. The party's operating account received $10,000 each on Friday and Saturday from Sterling Equities LLC in Great Neck, where Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz are partners.

Citing next week's elections, County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said Tuesday, "I hope the Democrats perform as well as the Mets have up to now."

On Monday, Mangano helped convene a rally in Mineola where the dome of the Nassau government building was lit up in the blue-and-orange Mets colors. Those happen to be the same team colors as the Islanders hockey team, which left Nassau last year.

But no point bringing up losses when winning is the theme. In Queens, Borough President Melinda Katz appeared at a separate rally where former Mets pitcher John Franco appeared.

Having politicos scramble to the front of a popular parade like this one may not affect what happens on the field. Can't hurt, though -- it's just a passing annoyance.

Latest Long Island News