Jeffrey Bass, a trustee in the Village of Great Neck, says he was prompted by two things to switch his enrollment from Democrat to Republican.
1) What he called the “arrogance and sense of entitlement” of the Democratic establishment in the Town of North Hempstead.
2) What he sees as the failure of the national Democratic Party to be a strong ally of Israel, and failing to control spending.
Not only did Bass, 60, switch parties, he will now run as a Republican this fall against the town’s receiver of taxes, Democrat Charles Berman of Roslyn Heights.
The switch runs counter to where Nassau County has been going politically — that is, more Democratic. The Obama enrollment surge in 2008 pushed Democrats past Republicans for the first time in decades.
As of this April 1st, the county had 341,941 enrolled Democrats, 325,087 Republicans and 191,022 people who left their party identification blank.
(Ten years ago, it was 372,470 Republicans, 274,481 Democrats and 179,432 blanks. All this according to the state Board of Elections stats.)
Nonetheless, the Obama Democrats who signed up and turned out in 2008 apparently stayed home last year, and Democrats were swept out of most major county offices last fall and Nassau is looking like the old GOP bastion it was 10 years ago.
One town Democrat was asked if there was any surprise at the Bass switch.
“’Surprise’ is a good word,” the pol said, “but it was really more like, “What?’”