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A contract for Long Island

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on August 27, 2018.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on August 27, 2018. Credit: Charles Eckert

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Daily Point

Seeking a Long Island agenda

Seeking to blunt the argument that a Republican-controlled State Senate is better for Long Island, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Democratic Senate candidates will sign, actually sign, a Long Island agenda late Monday afternoon at a campaign event at Long Island University, The Point has learned.

The blueprint, like Newt Gingrich’s successful “Contract With America” that in 1994 led the GOP to take control of Congress, will make specific promises about their goals for Long Island. These include a permanent cap on property taxes, a 2 percent state spending cap, middle class tax relief and continuation of the fair-share funding formula for school districts.

The agenda marketing is not only to counter Republicans’ universal justification for keeping control in their TV, mail and social media ads. If Long Island Democrats give the party the edge in the State Senate, the pledge they sign Monday also will help Cuomo keep them aligned with a suburban coalition from Westchester and upstate to counterbalance the demands of New York City senators in the Democratic caucus.

The agenda is not the only thing the Democratic candidates have in common. On Monday, former President Barack Obama endorsed Louis D’Amaro, John Brooks and Jim Gaughran. Obama, who is focusing on state legislatures during the mid-term elections, had already endorsed Anna Kaplan.

Rita Ciolli

Talking Point

Big night at the Iguana

Sen. John Brooks and Democratic State Senate candidate Anna Kaplan are expected to be in Manhattan on Monday evening for a progressive group’s “meet the candidates” forum.

The event at Iguana New York on West 54th Street is organized by United Thru Action/Flip Long Island, a city-based post-2016 activist group including people living in NYC who have connections to Long Island.

It’s just the first political event of the evening at the venue, a Mexican restaurant and dance lounge that on Monday also will host a victory party for the Democratic State Senate challengers who stunned Independent Democratic Conference members during the September primary.

That event is scheduled to feature City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and city Comptroller Scott Stringer, and is sponsored by activist group No IDC NY, which whipped up volunteers to help defeat IDC members, including powerful State Sen. Jeff Klein of the Bronx.

No word from Brooks and Kaplan whether they’ll stay for late-night dancing.

Mark Chiusano

Pencil Point

On tonight’s episode...

Quick Points

Whole lotta spin

  • After months of saying she’s running for the Senate in 2018 and not the White House in 2020, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren now says she’s going to take a “hard look” at the presidential race after the midterms. You don’t suppose her change of rhetoric had anything to do with the impression Sen. Amy Klobuchar made in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings?
  • North Korea’s foreign minister told the UN the country hasn’t budged from its position that it will not denuclearize unless the United States makes trust-building concessions and that it has “reasons to distrust the United States.” Not sure that was in the love letter President Donald Trump got from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
  • Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that the facility Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu identified as a secret atomic warehouse is actually a laundry for Persian rugs. Well, centrifuges and washing machines both spin. As do politicians.
  • Organizers are planning another Women’s March for Jan. 19. After the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and a record number of women winning primaries for the Senate, House, governorships and state legislatures, the march might be another record-breaker.
  • Sen. Jeff Flake said if he were running for re-election, there’s “not a chance” he would have called for an FBI investigation into charges of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. So much for him agonizing about the process, the state of the Senate and those two women in the elevator.
  • White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the recent lack of press briefings by saying that questioning President Donald Trump directly in smaller settings and during meetings with foreign leaders is “infinitely better than talking to me.” That’s one she got right.
  • Regarding news that Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone will host a fundraiser for county comptroller candidate Jay Schneiderman, Republican incumbent John Kennedy said in a statement, “It’s a sad day in Suffolk County when the Chief Budget Officer tries to buy his own Chief Fiscal Officer.” Actually, when a Democrat raises funds for another Democrat, it’s pretty much every day.

Michael Dobie

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