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EDITORIAL: Schmitt's raise rollback

So how much did you enjoy that blistering, bitter cup of tea, Mr. Schmitt?

After spending five days getting politically pummeled both publicly and privately for demanding a 47 percent salary increase to serve as the presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, Peter Schmitt finally will ask for the raise to be rescinded. Considering the onslaught, as intense as a Tea Party protest, he had little choice but to give up the extra $32,000 that would have boosted his salary to $99,500. The Republican leader still gets $67,500 for a part-time job with gold-plated benefits.

Schmitt, whose party won control of the county on a campaign of fiscal restraint, apparently decided the pledge didn't apply to him. And his fellow Republican legislators didn't have the guts to tell him no, voting as they were told.

Yet Schmitt refused to admit he overreached. Finding his own credibility deep in the tank, Schmitt cleverly concluded the nation's economy was there, too. To believe Schmitt's explanation for his reversal, you'd have to accept the ridiculous notion that the economy was booming on Monday but suddenly fell apart on Friday. The only real damage during those few days was to his reputation.

Schmitt and his party should now realize that Nassau voters will hold them to their promise to guard the public purse. Schmitt was out of touch with the people he served. But he didn't care until he realized he couldn't get away with it. hN