Spin Cycle

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

How times have changed. By 1999, Nassau Republicans were running from then-GOP County Executive Thomas Gulotta after the county’s credit rating dropped near junk, an insurance scandal cost taxpayers millions of dollars and Democrats ousted Republican incumbents at all levels, from the county legislature through the towns and the courts.

Now, county Republicans are honoring Gulotta with the “President Ronald Reagan Political Leadership Award” at their annual $500-a-ticket  Inaugural Ball at the Crest Hollow Country Club on Friday.

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Republican chairman Joseph Mondello, who once threatened to throw Gulotta out a second-floor window during their salad days, explained that Gulotta “has always been supportive of the party ever since he left public office. There’s never a time that I’ve asked him for anything that he hasn’t said yes.”

“Frankly, talking to some of the guys, it was felt that it was his time,” Mondello said.

State records show Gulotta, who served as county executive from 1987 through 2001, still has $782,000 in his campaign account.