Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!
Fighting back on health care bill
For many congressional Republicans, the recent recess was a chance to get an ear load — or avoid an ear load — about the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, particularly those in relatively mixed districts.
One of those Republicans was Dan Donovan. He represents Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, and is the target of a new video released by the liberal group Fight Back Bay Ridge ahead of a showdown on health care Thursday.
The five-minute video is meant to bring constituent stories of Obamacare support to Donovan because he has not held a full town hall meeting this year. He did, however, hold a roundtable on health care in Brooklyn, and he or staffers met with some members of Fight Back Bay Ridge.
According to analysis from acasignups.net, a blog that tracks Obamacare information, some 23 percent of the district could be at risk of losing coverage.
In an email, a Donovan spokeswoman said the congressman has “deep and serious concerns about the current bill” and is undecided on how he will vote. He tweeted Monday afternoon that he will be meeting with the president to discuss the bill and his concerns Tuesday.
Either way, Fight Back Bay Ridge is planning its own town hall with or without Donovan for late April — the next congressional recess.
Out the comptroller door
Attorney Michael Scotto became the fourth major player to leave the Nassau County comptroller’s office in the past month when Comptroller George Maragos told him on Monday that his time in the office was over.
The firing of the deputy comptroller was surprising to many, not least because last month Maragos gave Scotto a $10,000 raise to $130,000 a year and a big new office. He was hired in July. In 2015, Scotto ran for Nassau County DA, but lost the Democratic nomination to Madeline Singas.
Maragos, elected twice to his job as a Republican, joined the Democratic Party to run for county executive. However, the party power structure is supporting Legis. Laura Curran for the nomination.
In his exit, Scotto joins attorney Michael Olney, Deputy Comptroller Ray Averna and spokeswoman Carla Hall D’Ambra, all of whom recently left jobs at the increasingly deserted office either by resignation, firing or some genteel combination of the two.
Asked for comment Tuesday, Scotto, sounding quite cheerful, said he’s now busily at work on his private law practice.
Don’t worry, be happy
So the latest World Happiness Report compiled annually by the UN is out, and the United States has dropped one spot to 14th (Norway is tops, followed by the other Scandinavian countries and usual suspects like Canada, Australia and New Zealand).
Long Island, no doubt, contributed to the comparatively poor showing by the United States. After all, we are known as the Land of No.
If the nation wants to improve its standing, Long Islanders must be happier. Here is how we can start:
- Property tax bills like those in, well, almost anywhere else (other than New Jersey).
- No cash lanes to back up traffic on the Throgs Neck and Whitestone bridges
- No March, two Octobers
- Tom Brady’s retirement
- A real Subway Series, in October
- An expressway that stays true to its name
- Just one week without an LIRR derailment or signal failure