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Suozzi the socialist?
Rep. Tom Suozzi, vice chairman of the Problem Solvers Caucus, burnished his bipartisan reputation a week ago by palling around with Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
In a small meeting with Donald Trump on Wednesday, the Democrat even sat directly across from the president in the White House’s Cabinet Room.
That’s shaping up as a disturbing thought for the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has shot out two “alerts” about Suozzi in the past two days attempting to counter his middle-of-the-road moments.
Thursday’s was about Suozzi’s unsurprising party-line vote against a bill to speed up deportation of immigrants here illegally who are suspected of gang ties, but not convicted of crimes. Wednesday’s alert cited Suozzi’s past comments about support for single-payer health care on an “academic” basis, as well as a pledge he signed for the progressive group Long Island Activists, which said he would “personally sponsor a single-payer bill in Congress” when Democrats retake Congress.
But Suozzi has mostly stayed away from the edges on the health care debate. He has not signed on to a single-payer bill in the House.
“I won’t support an income tax increase,” Suozzi told The Point Thursday. (If a single-payer bill had no tax increase, “I’d be open,” he says.)
That leaves a slimmer argument for Republicans in New York’s 3rd Congressional District, where the only challenger so far is Dan DeBono, a Huntington committeeman with a thin electoral history.
Kate Murray’s new job
Town of Hempstead Republicans may be imploding, but former supervisor Kate Murray, safe in her ivory tower, is moving ahead.
She has a new title at Nassau Community College, VP of the Office of Institutional Advancement. In addition to her media and government relations duties, she is now tasked with oversight of philanthropic fundraising and grant programs, alumni affairs and the college foundation.
NCC president Hubert Keen, who made the announcement Wednesday, will find a faculty not too happy about Murray’s new post when he meets with members Friday.
The professors, who are complaining about increased class sizes, have a lot of questions, including whether her political connections get her favored treatment. Keen is likely to be asked Friday whether Murray got a pay raise and if it’s in line with the 1 percent and step increases the faculty just got. And they’ll want to know whether Murray is getting any extra dough from the foundation or other entities that are off the college’s balance sheet.
Hurricane Donald watch
Q. What weighs 28 pounds but could have a big impact on Long Island’s future?
A. The environmental impact statement (EIS) submitted by the Brookhaven Rail Terminal to the Brookhaven Town Board on the terminal’s proposal to build a spur line at its facility in Yaphank.
Explanation: The board is scheduled to vote Thursday evening on the EIS. Voting in favor of the EIS (technically, a negative declaration) would allow the terminal to begin grading the land for its second spur, which would significantly expand its capacity to accept freight.
Already, the terminal is a big success. Here are a couple more numbers:
A total of 392 freight cars came into the terminal in August, its busiest month ever. They carried stone, crushed aggregate, most of Long Island’s lumber and a lot more. That took nearly 1,600 long-haul tractor trailers off Long Island roads, replacing them with short-haul trucks with Long Island drivers.
Now, the terminal is focused on a different number — 4, the number of votes it needs from the seven-member town board to move forward.