Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!
Flying in from Florida
The New York State Republican Party announced the main speaker for its annual gala on June 20 in New York City: Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
In a news release Monday touting Scott and the event, NYGOP didn’t just brag on the Florida governor, it also bashed New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, saying, “Florida’s economic turnaround under Governor Scott is living proof that with the right leadership and pro-growth policies, states can excel. I can’t think of a better contrast to Governor Cuomo, whose policies are strangling New York’s economy and driving New Yorkers in record numbers to other states.”
In fact, when it comes to economic development, Scott and Cuomo might find they have plenty to commiserate about. Both of their signature business development initiatives are under attack, with opponents deriding them as wasteful giveaways that don’t generate many jobs.
Earlier this month, the Florida legislature passed a budget that strips Enterprise Florida of about one-third of its $24 million in funding. The organization describes itself as a public-private partnership that is Florida’s principal economic development organization.
Scott claims Enterprise Florida boosts the export opportunities of Florida companies, among other advantages. He even toured the state for months, touting the program he has relied on to promote his job-creation efforts, and ran a heavy rotation of TV ads to sway voters. But Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, also a Republican, calls the state funding corporate welfare, and he seems to be winning this fight.
Cuomo, of course, has his embattled Start-Up NY program. It has given $6 million in tax breaks and spent $53 million on advertising since 2014 to create 722 jobs statewide so far.
Last year, New York Republican Party chairman Ed Cox said, “Start-Up NY has been nothing more than the governor’s propaganda machine, which unleashed a torrent of ‘feel good’ taxpayer-funded ads during his re-election campaign. These sham programs are collapsing like a house of cards, while New Yorkers are still suffering under a worst-in-the-nation business climate and $250 million tax dollars down the drain.”
No word yet on how he feels about Enterprise Florida.
Bottom of the 9th in Suffolk district
A man with a clipboard made his way up a street in a West Babylon neighborhood Saturday afternoon, working for Conservative Tom Gargiulo.
A few minutes later, a party of three came through on a cross street, led by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and fellow Democrat Christine Pellegrino.
Such is life for residents of the 9th Assembly District, where Tuesday’s special election is all about getting out the vote.
The weird U-shaped district — a poster child for rank gerrymandering — is solidly Republican; the party holds a 13-point registration advantage. But the GOP isn’t going to hold on to the seat left vacant by current Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino. The party gave its line to Gargiulo, who would be the only Conservative in the Assembly if he wins.
On the other hand, progressives and labor unions are spending and working hard for Pellegrino because they see a chance to ride a wave created by dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump and to capture a seat that’s never been in play for them, either.
So the home visits and glossy fliers continue to pile up in what’s now the bottom of the ninth in the 9th.
- In their most recent elections, one nation made it easier for its citizens to vote, extending hours because of high turnout, while another nation made it harder for some by toughening requirements. Who would’ve guessed that the first would be Iran and the second the United States?
- President Barack Obama defended Islam and was reviled by Saudi Arabia. President Donald Trump has attacked Islam and was treated like a hero by Saudi Arabia. Amazing the difference a four-letter word can make when the word is Iran.
- Sen. Ben Sasse says Washington is like a children’s soccer game — “tons of frenzy but no strategy.” He could have added, “lots of back-and-forth but no goals scored.”
- Another 20 years of Long Island weather data have been found. Oh, goody. Now those all-time Long Island records for highest temperature and most snow extend all the way back to 1963, in a region that’s been inhabited for thousands of years.
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Donald Trump discussed the firing of FBI Director James Comey with two Russian officials to show he’s not distracted by events in Washington. Even the events he’s created all by himself.
- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wrote to President Donald Trump saying conditions at Penn Station are so bad the State Legislature held emergency hearings and the federal government needs to provide funding for short-term construction and long-term alterations. Wait, the legislature held hearings?
- President Donald Trump told an audience in Riyadh that “we are not here to lecture” and that “we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values.” Which, apparently, do not include human rights.
- The circus is gone, having performed its last show in Nassau County. But don’t worry — there are still plenty of clowns around.