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Eyes on Nassau Dems
The new head of the Democratic National Committee is keynoting Monday night’s spring fundraiser for the Nassau County party, and he will talk about harnessing the grass-roots energy that emerged in response to Donald Trump’s election. Tom Perez has been taking that message around the country, and he will tell the 1,240 or so at the dinner that all politics is local — find good candidates, determine which issues resonate and ring those doorbells.
But Perez will add a special twist about America’s first suburb, one that pretty much split its vote between Trump and Hillary Clinton. According to a preview of his speech from Nassau chair Jay Jacobs, Perez hopes to energize the faithful with a message that a big win this fall in Nassau — taking back the county executive seat and legislative majority — will resonate nationally.
“You want to affect what is happening in Congress, then beat the strongest and oldest GOP machine in the country,” Jacobs said. “Tell the GOP conference in Washington that this is a precursor to the wave in 2018.”
And we already thought Nassau County was special. Now the national media will, too.
Zeldin vs. region’s cops
Rep. Lee Zeldin’s raucous Riverhead forum, the first of three such meetings the Republican congressman held Sunday, had an audience of more than 200 mostly hostile attendees hissing and catcalling several times. But perhaps the worst response came after Zeldin explained his support for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which he co-sponsored.
The bill — a huge priority of the National Rifle Association — would allow anyone who can legally carry a concealed weapon in his or her home state to legally carry a concealed weapon in any state where citizens who obtain the proper licenses can carry concealed, which is all 50. That means that states such as New York — with tough restrictions that include extensive background checks and case-by-case permitting by a clerk or a judge — would have to allow gun owners from the 12 states that let practically any legal owner carry a concealed gun do so when they arrive in New York.
The bill also would override state prohibitions against carrying guns into bars and schools. Zeldin’s politics normally put him squarely on the side of local law enforcement, but the top cops and district attorneys responsible for public safety in Zeldin’s region vehemently oppose this bill, which they believe would endanger law enforcement officers and residents.
Acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter told The Point Monday he strongly opposes the proposal, as did Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota and Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.
And New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill and all five of the city’s district attorneys have been waging a public war against the idea since they united to hold a news conference on the issue three weeks ago.
Most of the support for the bill nationally comes from Southern and Western states, where gun laws are loosest, the Republican Party dominates and a concealed-carry reciprocity agreement would enhance the rights of their gun owners the most.
Eastern Long Island is certainly home to some committed gun-rights activists, too, and Zeldin’s opposition to gun restrictions like the state’s SAFE Act have done him little electoral harm in the past.
Could standing firmly against local cops and prosecutors and for this NRA position, however, be one that carries a concealed risk for him in 2018?
Moaning and groaning
— President Donald Trump has promised a tax cut that will be “massive” and “bigger . . . than any tax cut ever.” What those words really describe is the congressional fight that would take place regarding that cut.
— North Korea watchers are concerned that dictator Kim Jong Un, seeking a big day to commemorate with another nuclear missile test, might pick Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of his country’s army. Or, as it’s known stateside, National Hug a Plumber Day.
— Linguists bemoaning the potential demise of the Icelandic language note it has a word that means “when staff members get an unexpected afternoon off to enjoy good weather.” Americans bemoan that we have no use for such a word in any language.
— Michael Bloomberg says he still has no plans to run for president. Some of us are still smarting from the last time he said that.
— President Donald Trump told The Associated Press that he had “unbelievable” chemistry with German Chancellor Angela Merkel when they met last month. Well, as anyone who saw them together would attest, it was pretty unbelievable.
— Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the border wall will be funded “one way or the other.” My money’s on the other.
— President Donald Trump also told the AP that his administration is “clearing out the MS-13 scum” on Long Island. That will come as news to people in Central Islip and Brentwood.
— Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he is 50 times more brutal than Islamic extremists and that in a bad mood he would “eat” extremists if they’re captured alive, saying, “Give me salt and vinegar and I’ll eat his liver.” And we think we have a leader with linguistic excesses.