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The crime fighters in the Nassau DA race

Anne Donnelly, seen in 2010, is a 32-year

Anne Donnelly, seen in 2010, is a 32-year career prosecutor in the Nassau District Attorney's Office and deputy chief of the Rackets & Enterprise Crime Bureau. She is the Republican candidate for DA. Credit: Kevin P Coughlin

Daily Point

Prosecutor, woman, fits GOP angle

The Nassau County Republican Party has chosen its nominee in the special election to replace former District Attorney Madeline Singas, and the candidate seems a nod to the results of recent races, good and bad. The county GOP had no shortage of applicants asking for the nomination, but throughout the process party leaders indicated that women, and in particular those with serious prosecutorial chops, had the inside track. The winner in November will succeed Singas who was recently confirmed to sit on the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.

Singas’ 2015 victory against former Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, a well-known and reliable vote-getter, was a lesson for the GOP. Murray was targeted early on by the Democrats as lacking courtroom and prosecutorial experience and was also rabidly opposed by Islander fans for blocking a new Coliseum for the team. Murray lost by a shattering 16-point margin.

Anne Donnelly, a Garden City resident officially announced this afternoon as the GOP standard-bearer, is a 32-year career prosecutor in the office she is seeking to lead and is deputy chief of the Rackets & Enterprise Crime Bureau. In its news release, the party repeatedly stressed Donnelly’s courtroom time, including 12 years prosecuting violent felons. And it just as repeatedly referred to Donnelly’s Democratic opponent, State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, as an author of Albany’s "Get out of jail free" laws.

Kaminsky is a former federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York, and it's certain the "hard on crime/soft on crime" argument will anchor the race.

GOP insiders believe they have a strong case to make against Kaminsky and plan to begin selling an affirmative vision of Donnelly. But there is a sense in both parties that County Executive Laura Curran is in a very strong position in her reelection bid against the GOP’s Bruce Blakeman, and that the GOP cannot win the DA’s race if it loses the county executive race by too large a margin.

The situation is much the same in the county comptroller’s race: The GOP thinks highly of its candidate, former State Sen. Elaine Phillips, who faces off against Democrat Ryan Cronin, but knows the fortunes of its three countywide candidates are likely to rise and fall together. Some GOPers are now hoping excitement for Donnelly and Phillips can boost Blakeman’s fortunes, if he cannot elevate theirs.

— Lane Filler @lanefiller

Talking Point

Looking for an edge in CD1

We’re off to the races yet again with a tight CD1 Democratic Party primary, for those reading the tea leaves of campaign finance filings released last week.

Suffolk County Legis. Bridget Fleming brought in $300,295 for the quarter, and fellow county legislator and deputy presiding officer Kara Hahn raised $251,006.

Both candidates celebrated the numbers for the big-money district that could get even more competitive if incumbent Republican Lee Zeldin opts to continue campaigning for governor. Fleming officially got into the CD1 race a few weeks earlier than Hahn and had a little more time to raise money, though neither candidate matched the first quarterly-fundraising hauls of CD1 nominees Perry Gershon or Nancy Goroff in 2018 or 2020, respectively. Both of those newcomers logged around a half-million dollars even without tapping into their own personal fortunes.

But it’s a different and perhaps more conventional race so far this time in Suffolk, with two officeholders from the same legislative body fighting each other and so far outshining outsider contenders. Their filings suggest that they are splitting the regional political and fundraising base. Among those landing on Hahn’s side are Goroff, former State Senate candidate Laura Ahearn, conservationist Dick Amper, developer Scott Rechler and a committee for 2016 CD2 Democratic nominee and Suffolk political mainstay DuWayne Gregory. Fleming’s filings include contributions from developer Douglas Durst, investor Alan Patricof and county OTB chief James LaCarrubba.

Then there are some donors that the two Suffolk politicians share. They include E. Christopher Murray, a lawyer who considered a CD1 run himself; philanthropist Jane Rivkin; and county Democratic leader Rich Schaffer, who, as The Point previously explained, has said he personally supports Fleming.

Welcome to primary season.

— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Pencil Point

Bezos in the sky

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Quick Points

Causes and effects

  • After receiving repeated warnings about Haitian President Jovenel Moïse’s autocratic actions and antidemocratic abuses, the Trump and Biden administrations continued to back Moïse — right up until he was assassinated. Why do we never learn from history?
  • Many Europeans were shocked at last week’s climate change-related flooding and that at least 180 people died. Denial takes many forms — not of climate change in this case, but of the fact that it could kill you now.
  • An AP probe of Arizona’s 2020 election results found 182 cases of potential voter fraud, far short of Joe Biden’s 10,400-vote margin over former President Donald Trump. The impact that had on Republicans making claims of massive voter fraud was … nonexistent. You didn’t expect a little thing like an independent investigation to change anyone’s mind, did you?
  • Both the 22 U.S. senators working on a bipartisan infrastructure plan and Senate Democrats preparing a larger proposal are looking at changing Medicare prescription drug rebate formulas to offset $60 billion of their respective packages. Who plays traffic cop on that one?
  • California has 41 candidates on the ballot for the September vote to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom. That’s all well and good, but increasingly the only name on the ballot that appears to matter is Newsom’s.
  • U.S. COVID-19 cases have now topped 30,000 a day, nearly triple the number of cases three weeks ago. In how many more ways can we say this isn’t over?
  • 2020 presidential election polls were historically bad, overstating President Joe Biden’s margin over former President Donald Trump by 3.9 percentage points nationally and 4.3 points in state polls, according to the American Association for Public Opinion Research. That’s bad. What’s worse: The AAPOR has no definitive conclusion on what caused the problems and how to correct them for 2022.
  • Since umpires started cracking down on pitchers using sticky substances to make balls rotate faster, spin rates for some pitchers have fallen. But corresponding spin rates — pitchers making excuses or explanations — have increased.

— Michael Dobie @mwdobie

Puzzle Point

Meet the newsmakers — anagrammed

On Friday, we presented a list of recent newsmakers, with their names disguised in anagrams, and asked you to solve them. Here are the identities of those newsmakers:

  • BRAND RICH SONAR = Richard Branson
  • CAM RAISED = Eric Adams
  • I NEED JOB = Joe Biden
  • SCARF ON PIPE = Pope Francis
  • ANY CHINA TOFU = Anthony Fauci

Bonus anagram:

  • GIRL BEE WALLS SEEN = Allen Weisselberg

Thanks for playing.

— Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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