Nassau County Democrats took a chance on Monopoly.
County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs said the party funded colorful Monopoly board posters and had volunteers distribute them to many of the 700 people who attended a Dec. 12 Mineola forum on the Nassau reassessment overhaul.
Creators of the faux board swapped out Park Place, Broadway and other classic Monopoly properties for Republican lawmakers' headshots and elephants representing local GOP committees. Also listed were tallies of campaign contributions each "property" got from tax grievance firms.
Jacobs said the forum, which was scheduled by majority Republican legislators, was intended as a "hit job on the administration" of Democratic County Executive Laura Curran, who is overseeing the reassessment overhaul.
"The bottom line is you have the Republicans banging away at the new assessment system, and doing everything they can to seemingly stop it . . . and [to] bloody up the Democrats over it,” Jacobs said.
The hearing “was not just to get information, it was a P.R. stunt to have a public venting against the administration,” Jacobs said.
Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) branded the mailer during the hearing as a “hatchet job.”
“People were disgusted by it because they came there with concerns about taxes, wanting to get answers, wanting to get some help, and people used it as an opportunity to hand out political garbage,” Nicolello said in an interview last week.
Nicolello also noted that Curran had gotten contributions from tax grievance firms. He said Curran apologized for the mailer “and told me it wasn’t her.”
A spokeswoman said Curran did not issue the placard.
Curran and Democrats have blamed the administration of former County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, special interests and Republican lawmakers in the legislative majority for allowing the property assessment crisis to worsen.
Curran has said she's the only one who is addressing the problem. Her reassessment is projected to cause tax increases for about 52 percent of property owners and reductions for the rest.