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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

How Levy kicked ethnic tripwire -- again

From Newsday's Joye Brown, published Sunday:

  "Suffolk Executive Steve Levy's mouth got him into trouble again last week. This time over a single word he used toward the end of remarks to a crowd at a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday memorial breakfast."

"Levy took to the podium to talk about how the number of black police officers had increased on his watch."

"He talked about how Long Island is the third most segregated region in the United States, and told an audience of 800, which included whites, blacks and Latinos, that there was a long way to go to get to King's dream of equality.

"Levy talked about a measure against housing discrimination that he had signed into law. And then he went on to add: "Even Shaniqua could file a complaint" or buy a house.

"Ten people who were there told me they heard the remark and the nervous laughter from the crowd that followed."

"On Friday, Levy said he had no idea that - although there are African-American women who proudly bear the name Shaniqua - the moniker could be used as a stereotype of a young, black female from the ghetto.

"But there were people in the room who did know that."

Click here for the full column.

Meanwhile, one of the Republican insiders concerned about Levy's attempt to carry off the GOP line to the governorship despite a lifetime as a Democrat was interested in the prospect that Levy would switch parties regardless of a statewide race.

Not that he's indicated any interest in doing so, but the GOP stalwart noted that if Levy switched and stayed in office -- he'd be up for re-election next year -- it would mean that Erie, Nassau, Westchester and Suffolk would have have had Democratic execuitve three years ago and Republicans now.

LIz Benjamin today emphasizes Levy's purported "clear the field" condition for running for governor on the GOP line, which seems to be another way of saying it's not likely to happen. On Sunday, in case you missed it on this Web site, Rick Brand stated there are multiple problems with his attaining the GOP nomination:

"A (registration) switch would not take effect until after Election Day. As a nonparty member, Levy would need authorization from 50 percent of the party convention to run on the GOP primary ballot. A Republican only needs 25 percent. 'It's easy to join the church, but a lot harder to say you want be a cardinal,' said a Lazio backer who asked not to be identified."

Plus, the minute Levy becomes governor, he'd presumably attain control of the state party. Is that where the state Republicans want to go?

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