Good afternoon. Today’s points:
- Ballot lines drawn
- East End lists top problem -- and nope, it’s not taxes
- 5 points to know Monday
— Hillary Clinton’s comment on a “basket of deplorables” required quick clarification. Some people thought she was talking about the presidential field.
— Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who now maintains that the law known as 50-a that keeps police disciplinary records confidential should be changed, said, “If we can make the state law better, we’ll make the state law better.” Thanks, guv, but it’s not a matter of “if.”
— In defending Donald Trump’s remarks that the United States should have taken the oil from Iraq, Rudy Giuliani said “anything’s legal” in war ... No.
— After news of a U.S.-Russia agreement on a new ceasefire in Syria that’s supposed to start Monday, government and rebel forces responded in character — they continued bombing and shelling neighborhoods each controlled, places where civilians live.
— Some experts say there is a 1-in-10 chance that a presidential debate can change the outcome of a race. That sounds like what they said a year ago about Donald Trump’s chances.
Water wins ... or loses?
For the first time in two decades of surveying important problems in Suffolk County, water quality topped high taxes as the lead concern for East Enders polled by a local environmental group. That was part of the backdrop for the water-quality hearings being held Monday by the State Assembly and State Senate in Hauppauge.
The most interesting exchange in the early going involved Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s proposal to institute a fee on water usage to essentially help homeowners install wastewater-treatment systems to replace failing cesspools and septic systems, the major source of nitrogen pollution. The proposal needs approval from state lawmakers.
Assemb. Fred Thiele said he supports Suffolk’s proposal, but he added, “The devil is in the details. Because of the history of Suffolk County government, people have to be assured that the money is in a proverbial lockbox” that cannot be used for other purposes.
Sen. Jack Martins expressed some concerns and Sen. Kenneth LaValle repeated some of Thiele’s points, saying more details are needed. Thiele raised the idea of a new environmental bond act, which Bellone said would have support in Suffolk but would not replace the recurring revenue of a water-usage fee. Bellone also implored state lawmakers to move the referendum forward.
Consider the exchange, and the very existence of state hearings in Suffolk, part of the necessary groundwork that must take place for the referendum to appear on the ballot.
A New York ballot state of mind
Hillary Clinton tops Donald Trump in polls of New York State voters. While the Republican nominee claims that he will catch up with Clinton, he won’t draw even with her on the number of ballot lines.
With his endorsement by the Conservative Party last week, Trump will have two lines in the state. As will Gary Johnson, who is on the Libertarian and Independence lines.
Right now, Clinton is on two lines, Democrat and Working Families. But by the end of the week, she is expected to claim the Women’s Equality line as well.
Lynn Kahn, a Washington, D.C., organizational psychologist for the federal government, has challenged Clinton for the Women’s Equality line, which was established in 2014 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Kahn’s signatures were challenged, and it doesn’t appear that she has enough to force Clinton into a primary for the line.
Still, Clinton won’t be the only woman on the ballot here. Jill Stein is the Green Party’s candidate.