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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

1st C.D.: Five post-concession nuggets

At left, Randy Altschuler attends a Veterans Day

At left, Randy Altschuler attends a Veterans Day ceremony in Smithtown. At right, Rep. Tim Bishop attends a rally at Stony Brook University. (Nov. 11, 2010, and Oct. 27, 2010) Credit: James Carbone

1) What next for Randy Altschuler?

After spending $2.8 million of his own money on the race, the St. James Republican said he intends to stay involve in Republican politics on Long Island and in New York State, but didn’t telegraph what future race would pique his interest or when he would re-enter politics.

Altschuler said he plans to be involved with New Yorkers for Growth to help “bolster business in New York State and bring back some good reform.”

“I don’t really have any time plans,” he said. “We’ll just take it as it goes. I’m just grateful for the fact that approximately 97,000 people voted for me.”

Altschuler didn’t answer whether he’s considering a 2012 rematch against Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) or if he’s thinking larger – like perhaps a statewide race against U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Suffolk Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer said he hopes his next opponent isn’t Bishop.

“Maybe he’ll be a candidate for county executive,” Schaffer said. “He obviously acquitted himself well and showed he’s a good campaigner, so obviously he’s got a future and that doesn’t necessarily have to be the First Congressional District.”

2) Bishop said Suffolk’s Board of Elections will change the way it reports Election Night results. “It’s my understanding that Suffolk County Board of Elections will do what Nassau did,” he said.

While Nassau transmits the memory cards from its voting machines to BOE headquarters to be counted on Election Night, doing so is tougher in Suffolk because the county is so much larger geographically.

Bishop said Suffolk officials are planning “a series of satellite location so we don’t have transcription problems on Election Night.”

Suffolk elections officials could immediately be reached for comment.

3) Both Altschuler and Bishop said they don’t have any regrets about their campaigns and said there is nothing they would do different if given the chance.

“Not to sound arrogant, but I really believed that we had run a very, very good campaign,” Bishop said. “I don’t believe that we had made any mistakes tactical or otherwise. I was trying to reconcile myself to the fact that if we lost, then it was an unwinnable race.”

And Altschuler said the campaigns – remember, he first had to win a tough slog through a three-way GOP primary – were a learning experience he’ll use in the future.

“I certainly learned a huge amount about the political process and running for office,” he said. “I don’t regret anything we did but I certainly learned a lot, which is great.”

4) Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to pitch President Obama’s Bush tax cut compromise to House Democrats Wednesday afternoon, but when we spoke with Bishop in the morning he said he is “still working my way through” the deal brokered with congressional Republicans.

“There are pieces of it that I support,” Bishop said. “I certainly support extending unemployment compensation. … I have consistently voted to support middle class tax cuts. … But we are now crafting tax policy that pertains only to the top three tents of one percent of people in this country. I’m not sure that that’s good public policy considering that we have an enormous deficit hole to fill.”

5) About the short-lived rumor that actor and East Hampton resident Alec Baldwin was prepping for a 2012 run against Altschuler, Bishop said he was working on his acting chops.

“My thought,” he said, “was that maybe there would be an opening on ‘30 Rock’ and there could be an audition for that and we could trade.”


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