Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!
The politics of sign stealing
Nassau County GOP chairman Joseph Mondello was heading south on Route 106 to party headquarters in Westbury on Monday morning when he claims he saw a crime taking place.
“A man in his late 20s, early 30s had an armful of Saladino signs and he put them in his car,” said Mondello, who was taking about the red-hot race for Oyster Bay town supervisor.
Joseph Saladino, who was appointed supervisor by the town board after the resignation of John Venditto, is running against three candidates for a full term. Saladino himself had been embroiled in controversy for the removal of Democratic Party signs in Sea Cliff.
By the time Mondello and the person he was riding with stopped to take pictures, all they could get was the alleged offenders’ car and license plate number. But it turned out not be an act of larceny they witnessed, but a GOP operative taking down the signs because a town political leader didn’t like the optics of them being on public property.
How to handle opponents' signs is one of the topics Mondello said he will bring up at his executive committee meeting Monday night. “Leave the signs and literature alone,” Mondello said he will tell the party faithful. His bigger message will be that the county executive and comptroller races are very close. The chairman told The Point that this year could be a repeat of 1999, when the GOP lost control of the county legislature, unless Republicans get their machine in high gear and go out and knock on doors to get GOP voters to the polls.
With 22 days until Election Day, he said, Republicans have to fight against the Democrats’ corruption narrative “by going to our strength and remind voters who we are and that we have kept down taxes.”
And so it goes
- The founder of Chobani yogurt says the milkman will return as an occupation within 10 years because customers crave convenience and freshness. The milkman already is here. His name is Amazon. But he doesn’t take away the empties.
- What do you call President Donald Trump nominating someone who says carbon dioxide is a harmless gas to be head of the Council on Environmental Quality? More evidence that he doesn’t particularly care about environmental quality.
- What do you call President Donald Trump nominating Rep. Tom Marino, prime pusher of a bill that made it harder for the Drug Enforcement Administration to stop large drug companies from selling narcotics to corrupt doctors and pharmacists who peddled them to the black market, to be the nation’s drug czar? Unreal.
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answered CNN host Jake Tapper’s question about whether President Donald Trump’s criticism has “gelded” him by saying he was “fully intact.” Tillerson said nothing about whether his mental state was intact.
- One of the most striking things about the horrific images of houses consumed by the wildfires in California is the utter absence of rubble. What kind of fire eats large appliances?
- Sen. Lindsey Graham says that if the GOP-controlled Congress doesn’t cut taxes and repeal and replace Obamacare, the party will lose the House and Senate, President Donald Trump will not be re-elected, and “it will mean the end of Mitch McConnell as we know it.” So after all these years, McConnell really has turned into some kind of inanimate object?
- Film director Woody Allen responded to allegations of sexual abuse against producer Harvey Weinstein by cautioning against a “witch hunt atmosphere” that could implicate a man who winked at a woman. Which directors could be worried about such a hunt?
- Northern Michigan University is offering a degree in marijuana. Word is everyone gets high grades.
What GOP mayoral candidate told us
Nicole Malliotakis, New York City’s Republican mayoral candidate, has spent most of her campaign on a single target: Mayor Bill de Blasio.
But during an endorsement interview Monday with the editorial board, her target briefly shifted to Long Island. She argued that the East Side Access project to connect the Long Island Rail Road with Grand Central Terminal should have been dumped in favor of new subway signals.
Malliotakis said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s time and money would be better spent on a new subway signal system. The subways, she said, have a much larger economic impact and carry far more commuters than the LIRR.
Malliotakis, of course, knows commuters from Nassau and Suffolk counties can’t vote in NYC’s mayoral race — so there’s no harm in her latest salvo.
But Long Islanders know it’s also virtually meaningless, because New York’s mayor doesn’t control the subways — or the MTA’s capital budget — and has little influence over where the MTA’s money goes.
Nonetheless, perhaps it’s good for the Island that the latest polls show Malliotakis losing to de Blasio by more than 40 percentage points.
Randi F. Marshall