Fiscal conservative Tea Party activists met with Nassau’s Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) and then with Minority Leader Diane Yatauro (D-Glen Cove) Thursday to talk about how to save taxpayer money and cut costs.
Nothing was off the table it seemed, at least at the Yatauro meeting where they allowed Newsday to sit in. Topics included selling excess county buildings, Medicaid costs, public pensions: undocumented immigrants, school taxes, consolidation of services, police pay, social services fraud, church property tax exemptions and more.
“Both Republicans and Democrats are not trusted by the people,” said Mickey Clark, a member of Nassau Tea Party Patriots. “If Republicans and Democrats would have a joint press conference, do some mea culpas: ‘We screwed up. We’ve seen the light. We’re going to work together now.’ This for people will say maybe there’s some hope down the line.”
The nine activists at the Yatauro meeting included registered Republicans, a Democrat, an unaffiliated voter and Conservative party members representing the Nassau Tea Party, the Nassau County Civic Association, the Conservative Society for Action, the Rockville Center Tea Party and the Elmont East Civic Association.
Together, they said they have 10,000 members.
“We can reach out to thousands of people with one click," said Nassau Tea Party member John Dorsey, adding, “Republican or Democrat doesn’t matter. We’ll rally behind anyone willing to fix this mess. We need leaders.”
Members of the group said both Yatauro and Schmitt seemed receptive. They also had planned to meet with County Executive Edward Mangano, but he cancelled because of a news conference with State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo about pension fraud. They expect to reschedule in April.