Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

 This may get a little text-y below, but this once we'll try to do this attack-and-response between 7th S.D. Republican challenger Jack Martins, the mayor of Mineola, and Sen. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington), in one item -- rather than our occasional multi-post volley between candidates. Martins has looked to whack Johnson on the MTA, the payroll tax, and service. 

Here's Martin first, in italics:

Senator Craig Johnson must loathe Long Island commuters. How else do you explain his raising fares and eliminating your trains and buses — at your expense!

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The Craig Johnson MTA Payroll Tax was just the start

On Long Island, we've become accustomed to the MTA picking our pockets, increasing our fares and cutting our service.

But this year, Craig Johnson added insult to injury as he cast the deciding vote to impose an onerous MTA payroll tax on all Nassau County businesses, schools and charities. Together, we cough up another $100 million to keep the dysfunctional and gluttonous MTA afloat — whether we ride or not. The plan was so outrageous that people from around the state have joined Nassau in suing the MTA!

Now, Johnson has the nerve to stand idly by as the MTA announces plans to:

-- hike your fares even more
-- make deeper service cuts and
-- eliminate ALL funding for Long Island Bus and Able Ride

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Where is his outrage? Why doesn't he defend us?

Craig Johnson complies with an unspoken understanding that stabilizes service and fares in New York City at the expense of the suburban commuter. With Mayor Bloomberg throwing $1000 per plate fundraisers for him, do you really think Craig Johnson would bite the hand that feeds him? And let's not forget that Johnson's largest individual contributor to his last campaign is now a member of the very MTA Board cutting our services. As the proverb goes, "the fish stinks from the head down."

Tell him what you think

Either Craig Johnson hopes you don't notice what he's up to or he simply doesn't care what you think. Either way, he must be sent a message.

Say NO to the Craig Johnson MTA Payroll Tax.

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Say NO to increased fares.

Say NO to train, bus and Able Ride service cuts.

All it takes is a call to his office at (516) 746-5923 to remind him who he works for.

There is a better way

My friends and supporters aren't hanging around Gracie Mansion. They're honest, hard-working people who ride buses and trains to get to work, pick up their kids, and get to their doctor's appointments. They're people who rely on mass transit and who have a right to expect better of it. I won't forget that. When you send me to Albany, I will put YOU before NYC.


Here's Richard Azzopardi's response on behalf of Sen. Johnson:

 Conservative Republican Jack Martins' latest half baked, substance free, and solution-deprived cyber rant is a feeble attempt to move the conversation away from Senator Johnson's successful push for a property tax cap vote in the Senate and his efforts to move the Assembly into taking up this vitallyimportant legislation. Had the former Senate Republican Majority been able to put a cap into place previously, Jack Martins would have violated it five of the seven years he had been Mayor of Mineola.

A petition to urge an Assembly tax cap vote can be found here.

Senator Johnson voted for the MTA rescue plan out of deep concerns about the state of our mass transit system, which long before he was sent to the State Senate was allowed by Senate Republicans to nearly collapse under its own debt. Reliable mass transit is the lifeline of not only Nassau's economy, but also to communities like Mineola. This vote only came after Senator Johnson secured reimbursements for our schools. We've been alerted
by school officials and the Division of the Budget that these reimbursements started to be issued last month.

Senator Johnson has championed the creation of a strong regional bus system and has been anything but silent over the MTA's threat to disregard its service commitments. He has made sure the state's commitment to Long Island Bus has remained steady and has urged the MTA and Nassau County to come to the table and find a solution that is beneficial to all riders. Jack Martins has apparently been too busy on his computer trafficking in conspiracy theories – complete with mystery donors – to notice.

Or perhaps he just forgot – just like Jack Martins forgot his fake outrage when Senator Johnson's last two opponents, Minority Leader Skelos, and others whom he has actively supported and campaigned for had Mayor Bloomberg's support.