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Nassau Dems slam Mangano borrowing plan

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano. (May 17,

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano. (May 17, 2012) Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

The Nassau County Democratic Committee passed a strongly worded resolution Tuesday night condemning a plan by County Executive Edward Mangano to secure state legislation that would authorize borrowing millions for tax refunds.

The resolution, approved at the committee's nominating convention in Carle Place, also served as a warning shot to any member of the Nassau Democratic Assembly caucus who would consider voting for Mangano's plan.

The resolution says any delegation member who fails to support the committee's position should "not expect the support" of the party. The resolution authorizes party Chairman Jay Jacobs to "take any and all appropriate action."

Deputy Assembly Speaker Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) has said that she would consider voting for Mangano's plan, in part, to ensure that youth programs in her district are funded.

Tuesday, Hooper said she is "still thinking" about how she will vote but declined to comment on the resolution.

Despite the debate, Hooper and the other three members of Nassau's Assembly caucus received the party's endorsement. Also nominated for the new 22nd Assembly District was Michaelle Solages, younger sister of Legis. Carrié Solages (D-Elmont).

Legis. Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn) said Mangano's plan for state intervention is "not good policy, not good politics and not something we should allow."

Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin countered that Democrats were to blame for the fiscal problems and want to "force yet another tax hike on our overburdened residents."

Mangano wants the GOP-controlled Senate and Democrat-led Assembly to approve legislation that would authorize borrowing millions for tax refunds.

On Friday, the nine members of the Democratic legislative caucus wrote to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) to denounce Mangano's plan, which would circumvent the GOP-controlled county legislature and the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state watchdog that controls the county's purse strings.

"In effect, the county executive is apparently seeking the license to plunge the county deeper into debt without addressing any of the chronic underlying structural problems identified by NIFA," the letter reads.

"We'll review the letter with the Assembly majority's Nassau County delegation," Silver spokesman Michael Whyland said.

Scott Reif, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), declined to comment.

Borrowing needs 13 votes in the county legislature, including at least three Democrats and all 10 Republicans.

Democrats have pledged to block Mangano's efforts to borrow for tax refunds until the GOP details why the bonding is necessary and commits to legislative redistricting that is "fairer" than a plan Republicans proposed.

NIFA has said it will not authorize borrowing for tax refunds until Mangano finds $150 million in labor savings.

Mangano also introduced local legislation that would allow him to tap $192 million in borrowing authorized by the legislature in 2004 and 2005 to pay the property-tax refunds.With Yancey Roy

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