Neither snow nor rain nor …
Exhibit A that political mailings are sure to be an eternal issue in Nassau County:
A new law now bans county elected officials from sending government mailings within 45 days of a general election, with narrow carve-outs like mailings about emergencies or ones that exclusively contain an announcement of a public meeting or event relating to a county service.
Around the time the law was finalized, mail from County Executive Laura Curran’s office was reaching mailboxes with information about early voting sites and times.
The message puts Curran’s name and title adjacent to a "VOTE" symbol, above the line "Vote early at any Nassau County location."
Curran spokeswoman Christine Geed told the Point that the mailing went out Sept. 29, before Curran signed the legislation. And she said the legislation would not have affected it anyway, given the paperwork’s informational content.
Republicans have been painting the material as a political move anyway, particularly given Curran’s past statements about how mailings can be nuisances. Chris Boyle, communications director for the Nassau Legislature’s GOP conference, described the voting message in a text as "a blatantly political mailing with her name plastered all over it in an effort to boost her upcoming election."
Curran’s camp argues that the mail isn’t unusual, citing other informational mail, plus a postcard with the same design and early voting information ahead of the 2020 election.
She wasn’t, of course, on the ballot last year.
The current mailings, said county deputy communications director Mike Fricchione, "are/were sent to every household, regardless of political affiliation." The cost was "approximately $85,000."
— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano
Suozzi’s Buffalo billing
Normally you wouldn’t expect to see a congressman from Long Island try to call attention to himself by taking sides in Buffalo’s municipal elections more than 420 miles from his district.
But Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, looking to boost his statewide profile, has been campaigning on behalf of the city’s incumbent Mayor Byron Brown, who’s trying to get enough write-in votes on the November ballot to redeem his loss in the Democratic primary.
And normally you wouldn’t expect to see the state Democratic chairman hesitate to endorse the winner of that primary, India Walton, in the general election.
But state and Nassau chairman Jay Jacobs (a longtime Suozzi ally) offers a unique rationale for striking a neutral pose. Jacobs told The Point that since the Republicans have no candidate on the ballot next month, "what you have here is a second primary" between the mainstream Democrat and a "socialist who’s running on the Democratic line."
"There’s no chance a Republican benefits from what you’re doing," he says, noting notwithstanding his "philosophical difference" with Walton, who won the June primary with 52% of the party vote and by 3-to-1 in her home district known as Niagara.
Jacobs backs Gov. Kathy Hochul for election. Shortly after she took office due to Andrew M. Cuomo’s resignation, Hochul, who is from Buffalo, demurred on the local contest by saying she wasn’t making "local endorsements."
Suozzi, who hasn’t made known whether he’ll seek another term in Congress or risk a statewide run next year, says he’s been acquainted with Brown for a long time. In the New York City mayoral primary, he drew regional attention by backing Eric Adams, a perceived "moderate," and making robocalls for him.
One seasoned Democratic operative says the middle-of-the-road, suburb-friendly lane Suozzi would want in a governor’s race is already occupied by Hochul, who offers the added advantage of being the first woman governor. The operative speculated that Suozzi is "trying to develop a currency he can cash in on even once he doesn’t run."
"The eyes of the state and the eyes of the country are focused on Buffalo," the congressman told a Brown rally on Saturday. "And we don't want to wake up on Nov. 3 and find that Buffalo has elected the country's first socialist mayor in 50 years. I'm here to say very, very clearly that we need to elect Byron Brown and defeat socialism."
At a pro-Walton rally over the weekend, the Working Families Party’s national director, Maurice Mitchell, called the primary winner "exactly the kind of candidate the Republicans and corporate Democrats fear the most."
In Buffalo, like elsewhere, ideological shade gets thrown both ways.
— Dan Janison @Danjanison
The other contagion
For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/nationalcartoons
- Donald Trump is now favored to recapture the presidency in 2024, per online sportsbook SportsBetting.ag, which gives Trump 3-1 odds, ahead of President Joe Biden (13-4), VP Kamala Harris (5-1) and Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis (10-1). With the election three years away, that gives Democrats plenty of time to quell their rising agita. Or not.
- Any entity in Texas, public or private, is now barred from mandating COVID-19 vaccines after an executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott, who said the Biden administration’s plan to require employers with at least 100 workers to adopt mandates or testing is "bullying" private businesses. Abbott apparently is blissfully unaware that his own edict was bullying private businesses by not allowing them to adopt safety standards.
- Scandal-marred Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resigned over the weekend, saying, "My country is more important than my person." The fact that he is being investigated for using federal money to pay off pollsters and journalists for favorable coverage suggests otherwise.
- After a federal appeals court reinstated Texas’ ultra-restrictive abortion law, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted that he would continue to fight to keep Texas "free from federal overreach." He’s apparently OK with exposing Texans to state overreach.
- A man tried to stab an Apple Store security guard in Manhattan over a requirement that customers wear a mask. There’s no vaccine — or app — for that.
- Allen West, a Republican candidate for governor in Texas, said from a hospital where he is recovering from a tough bout with COVID-19 that his hospitalization has made him even more "dedicated" to fighting against vaccine mandates. No, logic is not a prerequisite for running for these positions.
- Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said she expects former President Donald Trump to run again in 2024 and that since he won’t have to worry about reelection he will have no "guardrails." She thinks he had guardrails before?
— Michael Dobie @mwdobie