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Clock’s ticking at Hub
As the road show for the latest redevelopment plans for the Nassau Hub continues, everyone knows that, politically, time is of the essence.
Sources told The Point that a commitment on state funds for the Hub could be reached before the end of 2018. The total funds could reach $145 million, the sources said. That’s a combination of $85 million for parking, $20 million to lure a life sciences company, and an additional $40 million for bus rapid-transit and for as many as three pedestrian bridges, one over Hempstead Turnpike toward RXR Plaza, one connecting the Hub to Hofstra University and one leading to Nassau Community College.
This comes as developer Scott Rechler and Nassau Coliseum manager Brett Yormark are partnering to develop the Hub with a mix of housing, retail, restaurants and space for life sciences companies. Since last week, they’ve been meeting with county legislators, Hempstead Town officials, local mayors and Hofstra representatives. On Tuesday morning, they held a session with the Long Island Association.
LIA chief executive Kevin Law told The Point on Tuesday that communications with the governor’s office have ramped up since Rechler and Yormark unveiled their plans.
Next up: a series of community gatherings, which will allow residents to have their say on what the final site plan will look like.
If all goes well, Rechler told The Point Monday, he hopes to start construction “in the next 12 months.” That would be right in time for next year’s election season, when Hempstead Town officials, including Supervisor Laura Gillen, and Nassau County legislators, will be up for re-election.
Randi F. Marshall
NY’s Beto posse
Knowledgeable political types have surely heard by now that Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke raised a jaw-dropping $38 million in a quarter in his U.S. Senate race against incumbent Ted Cruz, but are blue state Democrats still eager to give him money?
At an O’Rourke pop-up fundraiser attended by dozens of people Monday night in Manhattan, they were.
The Point dropped by to see whether donors were taking sides in the heated Twitter fight among Democrats about whether funds should be directed to tighter, less well-funded races. Most felt that O’Rourke deserved their money, while other older-school candidates weren’t.
Over cocktails like the “We Deserve Better” (apple brandy, lime, grenadine), attendees said they were following and sometimes giving to other races, but they pushed back on the idea that they should be shamed into dropping Beto (first name only).
O’Rourke is inspiring young people, and is similar in some ways to President Barack Obama, some attendees said. He is talking about real problems and takes stands on issues like student loans and the drug war, others said.
It was a left-leaning crowd — lots of annoyance at the party establishment — and attendees hoped their support for O’Rourke might encourage party leaders to look for more candidates like him.
“The Democratic Party is detached from young voters,” said Dan “Grassroots” Goldman, 39, who hosts the podcast “Marijuana Today” and is a founder of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Organizations like the Democratic National Committee “do not understand what people who don’t vote traditionally want in an elected official.”
Win or lose for O’Rourke, it’s a glimpse at what young voters might be pushing for nationally in the coming years.
Signs of the political times
Campaigns cash in
Newly filed fundraising reports show that Democratic congressional candidates Liuba Grechen Shirley and Perry Gershon outraised their Republican opponents for the most recent quarter.
Grechen Shirley logged $745,000 in receipts from July to the end of September. Incumbent Republican Rep. Peter King raised $203,000. It was the second quarter in a row when Grechen Shirley had more total receipts.
In the expensive 1st Congressional District, Gershon raked in $1.55 million and incumbent Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin got a little over $1 million.
As a result, Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com changed his rating for the 2nd Congressional District. He’s now calling it “lean R,” more competitive than before, with Grechen Shirley having a 2 in 7 chance of winning. As of Tuesday morning, the rating for Zeldin’s district remained “likely R.”
Silver spent the morning quibbling on Twitter with other political observers about how much stock to put in fundraising. He noted that high fundraising totals can naturally help a campaign buy ads, and it also can be a proxy for good organization and voter enthusiasm.
One other notable caveat in both districts: The incumbents still have more cash on hand than their opponents.