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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Trump limelight illuminates politicians from NY, LI

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio testifies

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio testifies during a joint legislative budget hearing on local government on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Albany, N.Y. Credit: AP

Local politicians, perpetually seeking exposure, are feasting on the President Donald Trump-driven news cycle.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat seeking re-election in November, went on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to predict darker implications to the controversial temporary ban on immigration from seven mostly Muslim nations.

“I think it’s the first step toward a ban. I think it’s the first step toward a registry,” the mayor said. “I don’t say that out of paranoia. . . . I think it’s really smart in political life to assume if someone says something out loud to the roar of the crowd, they just might mean it.”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, De Blasio’s nemesis, wasn’t about to skip a chance to react in a way that might resound in an immigrant-rich blue state.

Cuomo declared in the case of a 4-month-old Iranian girl reportedly blocked from getting heart surgery in Oregon because of the travel ban: “Here’s the consequence of this un-American policy. An exception should be made.”

If that state “has an issue,” he said, “New York will provide care.”

State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman gets a lot of notice on the anti-Trump scene. He was the subject of a Politico Magazine cover story proclaiming the Democrat is “emerging as the leader of the Trump resistance.”

Aside from his now-settled Trump University lawsuit, Schneiderman has agitated on White House policies regarding electric power, coverage of contraception, EPA funding of clean air and water programs, and the immigration order.

Of course, Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand will have each of their confirmation votes noticed on Capitol Hill and back home — not to mention every encounter they have with the new regime and the Senate’s GOP majority.

An extra helping of exposure — either sought-out or incidental — also falls to Long Island’s congressional delegation.

For Black History Month, Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) tweaked Trump’s bizarre statement that Frederick Douglass, the famed 19th century abolitionist who was born into slavery, “has done an amazing job.”

On Twitter she also quoted Douglass saying: “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said he believed statements commemorating the Holocaust “should include a reference to Jews specifically as part of the message,” unlike Trump’s statement on the topic.

And so on. Many locals are newly newsworthy -- if only for being reflected in the white-hot Trump spotlight. 

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