Spin Cycle

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

Gary Berntsen, a Republican presence in Suffolk, showed off a hearty core of supporters as the GOP convention seated its participants. They wore "Tea Party" t-shirts, "Silent no more" shirts, "don't tread on me" and the like....He's a big guy with a strong voice and his pitch flows easily: Boasting expertise in national security -- with enough knowledge to cut the defense budget -- and looking to curb the swelling federal deficit.

Meanwhile, Martin Chicon of Washington Heights, who announced for the post back in February, has a potshot at Berntsen as part of his own pitch, saying if the Suffolk Republican is underscoring his CIA and military background he should "catch bin Laden first" and then he can run for anything. Among other things, Chicon calls for a foreign policy that stands up to Chavez in Venezuela and Castro in Cuba.