Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- ‘Tis the season of political ads
- Back to the future at NIFA
- Out of order in Riverhead
Get the mute button ready
It’s that time of year: Kids are back in school, days are getting shorter and political ads are hitting the airwaves.
Jack Martins, who wants to represent the 3rd Congressional District, launched his first TV commercial on Wednesday — a refresher on his legislative achievements as a state senator and an introduction of his family. Martins adviser E. O’Brien Murray declined to say how much the campaign is spending on the cable-only ad, but described the buy as “substantial.”
Look for the tone to shift later this month when the National Republican Congressional Committee launches a $1.1-million ad campaign backing Martins. Set to debut Sept. 27, the ads are expected to attack Tom Suozzi, the Democratic candidate.
For those keeping score in the very busy race, the last TV ads were run by Steve Stern and Anna Kaplan, who both lost in the June Democratic primary.
Neither Suozzi nor Philip Pidot, Martins’ opponent in the upcoming Republican primary, has any commercials on the air — but don’t expect that quiet time to last too long.
Point of Order
Enviros' feathers ruffled
In four of the five East End towns, a referendum to extend the Community Preservation Fund’s 2 percent real estate tax for 20 years and allow up to 20 percent of the money to be used to reduce nitrogen in local waters will be listed as Proposition No. 1. But in Riverhead, it will be No. 2 on the ballot.
That’s rankling environmentalists like Pine Barrens Society executive director Dick Amper, who wants the measure to be No. 1 in all five towns to make it easier to campaign for it: Vote YES on Prop 1 for clean water!
Instead, the first proposition on the ballot for Riverhead is a measure to increase the supervisor’s term from two years to four and establish term limits of 12 years for the five town board members, including supervisor.
Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter told The Point that both propositions are equally important to the town, and that “the one that passed first goes on first,” a reference to the April town board vote on terms and term limits.
Suffolk County Board of Elections officials say the town clerk can determine the order in which propositions appear on the ballot. If no preference is stated, board of elections officials place them in the order they were passed or sent to the board. So that ball is in Riverhead’s court.
Amper said Walter supports extending the supervisor’s term for four years so he can maximize his pension, but Walter said even if he is re-elected in 2017 and serves four more years, he still won’t max out because he’ll have less than 20 years of service.
“If I was in this for a pension, would I have term-limited myself?” Walter said, not sounding like someone who will make the switch for conformity’s sake.
Apple the almighty
Welcome to NIFA orientation
Nearly seven years after he left office as Nassau County comptroller, Howard Weitzman is getting back to work on Nassau County’s finances. As the newest board member of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, Weitzman will get an orientation briefing from the staff on Wednesday, but he doubts it will be hard to catch up. “It’s like a long-running soap opera you return to after missing a few years and find nothing has changed,” he said Tuesday.
Weitzman, a Democrat, won comptroller elections in 2001 and 2005 and lost them in 2009 and 2013, in tandem with then-County Executive Thomas Suozzi.
A former KPMG partner (as is fellow board member Chris Wright), Weitzman will likely be a stickler for “generally accepted accounting principles,” which means not counting borrowed money as revenue or committing to “partnerships” that mask debt. County Executive Edward Mangano opposed Weitzman’s placement on the board. His presence might now be Mangano’s worst nightmare.
But Mangano will get a little more breathing room. Weitzman will miss his first scheduled meeting as a board member on Sept. 15, when Nassau County will deliver its budget, because of a long-planned family trip out of the country.