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Novice Democratic candidate takes on Nassau Republicans (Updated)

Sponsor signs on display at the Hicksville Republican

Sponsor signs on display at the Hicksville Republican Committee golf outing at Bethpage State Park in Bethpage on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. Credit: Dean Hart

A novice Democratic candidate for the Nassau County legislature has come out swinging against his Republican opponent and the Republican administration of County Executive Edward Mangano.

Dean Hart, a Hicksville-based optometrist and a Glen Head resident, has issued two news releases in two days and protested Thursday against the annual golf outing sponsored by the Hicksville Republican Committee, headed by Mangano chief deputy Rob Walker.

Hart, a Democrat also running on the Working Families and Green party lines, is challenging freshman Legis. Donald Mackenzie, a Republican also running on the Conservative and Independence party lines, for the 18th District seat.

On Tuesday, Hart called on Mackenzie and Mangano "to stop practicing favoritism" on a proposal to change the county administrative code to allow PSEG to make a partial payment on its property tax bills. The code forbids partial payments.

LIPA, which still owns many of the properties operated by PSEG, contends state law limits its tax increases to 2 percent a year. Consequently, PSEG paid about $1.4 million less than the total $30.4 million billed for its general property tax payments in August.

"It's outrageous and there is clearly a double standard between the mega-rich utility companies that see record profits each year and the hard-working average taxpayers of Nassau County who constantly get the shaft and are forced to foot the bill," Hart said in his first release.

The PSEG proposal was tabled by the legislature on Monday after school district representatives and Mackenzie questioned the plan.

Frank Moroney, a spokesman for Mackenzie said,"There is nothing to comment on" regarding the PSEG proposal until it came back to the legislature for a vote.

On Wednesday, Hart announced that he would protest the outing sponsored by the Hicksville Committee, which receives donations from businesses that receive contracts from Oyster Bay Town and the Mangano administration.

Newsday reported last year that almost two-thirds of the 48 companies or their principals that had given the Hicksville club at least $3,000 since mid-2010 had done business with the county in that period when the committee raised a total $778,795.

Hart called for a ban on political donations from people and companies that do business with the county.

On Thursday, Hart appeared at the public Bethpage Golf Course to object to pay-to-play practices. "Nassau County is a cesspool of corrution, and the only way we're going to make it better is by ending the corporate donations that have been the bedrock of pay to play for too long."

Moroney said Hicksville is not in Mackenzie's district and that the lawmaker had never been to a club meeting.

A representive of the Mangano administration did not immediately return a request for  comment.

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