Daily Point

Conventional tests ahead for Suozzi, Williams

A budding source of insider suspense ahead of next Thursday’s state Democratic nominating convention in Manhattan is whether Rep. Tom Suozzi — one of the party’s two insurgents for governor — will show up.

While Suozzi’s camp is still weighing its strategies, the other challenger, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, "does plan on attending," his spokesman said Friday.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is assured of being designated and thus exempt from a petition process. To get the 25% of a weighted vote needed to avoid petitioning, Williams and Suozzi would first need a specific number of signatures from committee members, which could be tough to do given the party leadership’s preference and clout.

State and Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs says he isn’t considering a "gift" — which happens when convention leaders give candidates a pass on the weighted vote. Sources on all sides said that in a video conference of the Democratic State Committee’s progressive caucus this week, Suozzi and Jacobs clashed over whether the convention’s rules were designed to unfairly bar challengers from competing or even addressing the hall.

One obvious sign that this is undoubtedly Hochul’s convention is the as-yet-unconfirmed report that ex-New York Sen. Hillary Clinton will address the party at the Sheraton New York, possibly on Wednesday. When Hochul succeeded Andrew M. Cuomo as governor last August, Clinton stated: "She’s a remarkable public servant, tough as nails, and cares deeply about the people of New York State."

Suozzi, of course, offers a very different message about Hochul, saying she’s too focused on campaigning and fundraising and not enough on formulating the policies and coalitions needed to govern effectively.

For his part, Jacobs continued to express the wish that Suozzi would have opted to seek reelection in the drastically redrawn CD3 as the best way to keep the seat Democratic.

In his failed bid for the gubernatorial nomination in 2006, Suozzi didn't get enough support against Eliot Spitzer to earn a speaker’s spot at the convention, held that year in Buffalo.

Instead Suozzi held a rally outside the hall — pounding his campaign theme that Spitzer wasn’t the person to change Albany’s failed ways.

— Dan Janison @Danjanison

Talking Point

Nicolello's moving email

When New Hyde Park resident Elisa Adams received an email from her county legislator, Richard Nicolello, that talked about a state proposal to expand accessory dwelling units that he said would "essentially end single-family zoning in Nassau County and across the state," she found the presiding officer’s language troublesome.

"Mandating that an apartment may be placed in every single family home will increase the number of students in our schools," Nicolello warned in his email.

But Adams said she knew that there would be no requirement for homeowners to install apartments in their homes, so she replied to Nicolello’s email, saying she "expected clearer thinking and more measured reactions from you." Her response didn’t indicate whether she favored ADUs or the state plan but did ask him for a counterproposal on how to add more affordable housing.

But then came Nicolello’s response. After reasserting his view, he turned to Adams herself.

"Since you live in a community that abuts New York City, my suggestion is that if you prefer to live with limited zoning and crowded neighborhoods, move a mile or two to the west," Nicolello wrote.

Adams, who has lived in New Hyde Park on the Nassau County side of the community for 40 years and has raised two now-grown daughters there, said she was "shocked."

"It seemed like he was saying, ‘You disagree with me. You don’t belong here," Adams said.

Perhaps, she first thought, the email had been written by a staffer and not the busy presiding officer. But in an interview with The Point, Nicolello confirmed that he wrote the email and that he stood by it. He noted that New Hyde Park is split by the Nassau/Queens border.

"The point I was making is that if you’re going to effectively end single family zoning, if you prefer to live under those circumstances, the community that’s immediately to the west of us has that type of zoning," Nicolello said. "But I was making a rhetorical point. I didn’t really expect the woman to move."

And Adams, who noted that she doubted whether the proposal would have a significant impact since most Nassau residents might not want to add accessory apartments in their homes, said she has no plans to move.

"The day before yesterday I put more siding on my house," Adams told The Point with a laugh. "I’m not going anywhere."

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

The winner

Gary Varvel

Gary Varvel Credit: Creators.com/Gary Varvel

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/nationalcartoons

Puzzle Point

In the news

Welcome to this week’s news quiz, based on events that took place this week. As usual, provide the answer for each clue, one letter per blank. The first letter of each answer, taken in order, spells the name of the Washington politician who said about Republicans, "Take your party back from this cult. It has been hijacked."

A link to the answers appears below.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ A Hilton Garden Inn will be built in this popular Nassau County waterfront strip.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ State which the Supreme Court said does not have to create a second mostly Black congressional district for the 2022 election.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ Utility company seeking more than $4.5 million in restitution from five former employees convicted of carrying out a multiyear bribery scheme.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ New interim president of the Long Island Rail Road after the resignation of Phillip Eng.

_ _ _ _ University at which Nathan Chen, who won the gold medal in men’s figure skating in Beijing, is a student.

_ _ _ _ _   _ _    _ _ _    _ _ _ Movie that led in Academy Award nominations with 12 (with "The").

_ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Long Island town in which a ceremonial groundbreaking was held for the state’s first offshore wind farm.

_ _ _ _ _    _ _ _    _ _ _ _ COVID-19 cases in many Asian countries are spiking after celebrations of this holiday.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ Canadian province that is the epicenter of the Freedom Convoy trucker blockade protesting that country’s COVID-19 restrictions.

_ _ _ _ _ _ One of the two budget carriers seeking to merge to create the nation’s fifth-largest U.S. airline.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ State in which a turkey farm will euthanize 29,000 turkeys after a deadly avian flu was confirmed to have killed about 100 of the farm’s birds.

Click here for the answers to the clued words and to the identity of the mystery politician.

— Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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