About two dozen Tea Party activists held a rush-hour demonstration Friday evening outside the county office building in Mineola to demand that Nassau County Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello step down because his preferred candidates this year do not meet Tea Party standards.
Two mounted Nassau County police chatted briefly with the demonstrators, who were holding their signature yellow banners with a coiled serpent and “Don’t’ Tread on Me” slogan. A disembodied voice from an unmarked police car across the street occasionally warned the demonstrators over a loudspeaker to stay out of the street.
Several of the demonstrators were critical of Mondello’s support last year, when he was state GOP chairman, of Dede Scozzafava over Doug Hoffman in the 23rd CD upstate. And some said he should have gone with Dr. James Milano this year instead of Elizabeth Berney of Great Neck to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman in the North Shore 5th CD.
Mondello spokesman Tony Santino, referring to the demo as “their little protest,” noted that Berney met one key requirement: she is a registered Republican. Milano is a registered Democrat, he said.
“I guess they must have slept through 2009 when the Republican Party under Joe Mondello’s leadership elected virtually its entire countywide slate and a new majority on the county legislature,” Santino said.