Daily Point

NIFA board up to full strength, ready for action

When word leaked last week that Nassau County’s municipal unions were close to a deal with the county over their longevity battle, some NIFA board members including Chairman Adam Barsky were stunned.

And irritated. And shorthanded.

The shorthanded part, at least, has mostly been fixed.

On Wednesday The Point detailed the scrap.

NIFA is a seven-person board, and any approval needs four votes. But until this week NIFA had two open seats … and hardly anyone still serving on the board that wasn’t serving under an expired appointment.

Banker John Buran, an Independence Party member, resigned in late 2019 after seven years of service, five of them as a holdover. And Howard Weitzman, a Democrat who served two terms as Nassau’s comptroller, died last September.

Both seats were empty until this week, and a third was filled, as Paul Annunziato, a holdover for eight years, was replaced.

The new members are:

  • Governor’s appointee Sylvia Cabana, 54, of Garden City, the Democratic former Hempstead town clerk. Cabana is a 54-year-old attorney, specializing in immigration law.
  • Assembly speaker-appointee Charo Ezdrin, 56, of Westbury. Ezdrin, a Democrat, served under former County Executive Tom Suozzi as director of governmental relations, and now practices family, matrimonial and criminal law.
  • Governor’s appointee Dr. John Zaso, 55, of East Meadow. Zaso, a Republican who takes the place of the Republican Annunziato, is a pediatrician who is also the medical director for multiple fire departments and the Nassau University Medical Center EMS liaison.
  • Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s appointee, Chris Wright, was re-upped for another two-year term.

That leaves three holdovers, Barsky, Lester Petracca and relative newcomer Moshin Y. Meghji, the pick in 2021 of Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, whose partial term expired on Dec. 31. Meghji was appointed to replace John Buran.

Former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was known to prefer holdovers to current appointees in some cases, because they could be replaced at any time. It’s not yet clear whether Hochul does too.

But she has yet to reappoint a holdover, and chairman Barsky has lacked a current appointment since 2016.

— Lane Filler @lanefiller

Talking Point

Congressional musical chairs

Cait Corrigan, the Democrat-turned-Republican best known for her opposition to vaccine mandates, is heading east — at least in terms of her hopes for public office, sources tell The Point.

Corrigan is expected to switch her candidacy and run for Congress in the open seat in CD1, rather than in her hometown district of CD2, the sources said. And a Republican Party source confirmed that Corrigan recently requested documents, maps and other information related to the CD1 election through the state’s Freedom of Information Law.

The change comes after fellow Republican Robert Cornicelli switched his race from CD1 to CD2 and will challenge freshman incumbent Rep. Andrew Garbarino in a primary.

Corrigan and Cornicelli share similar bases of support and might be going after the same right-wing Trump backers for the Republican nomination. Both got endorsements from former national security adviser Michael Flynn before Cornicelli shifted his focus to CD2. It’s unclear who Flynn — and perhaps former President Donald Trump — would support if both ran against Garbarino.

Another indicator of Cornicelli’s strength on the right, and perhaps another sign of a Corrigan switch: On Friday, the Long Island Loud Majority, a right-wing advocacy group, announced on Facebook that it was seeking supporters to help petition for Cornicelli this weekend. "This is [the] first step to shocking the country, and changing history!" the post said.

Cait Corrigan with former President Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago in...

Cait Corrigan with former President Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago in February. (Credit: Twitter @iamcaitcorrigan)

Corrigan campaign staffers didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment. But if she does turn her attention to CD1, she’d be running against former Suffolk elections commissioner Nick LaLota, who has support from the county party organization. But Corrigan likely could count on support from the Trump flank. Just last month, she visited Mar-a-Lago, later posting a photo of herself with Trump, who disdains Garbarino because of several of his votes, including his support for a bipartisan federal infrastructure bill.

But if she does eye the eastern district, she’ll have a different issue to address. Neither Corrigan nor LaLota live within the new boundaries of CD1.

Outsiders aren’t unusual in the election politics of CD1. Past candidates Perry Gershon, a Democrat, and Randy Altschuler, a Republican, each were rooted in Manhattan when they decided to run, but were able to boast part-time residencies in the district.

And even current Rep. Lee Zeldin could be seen as an outsider now, since he doesn’t live within the newly drawn district, either.

Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall and Rita Ciolli @ritaciolli

Pencil Point

Putin's target

Credit: Creators.com/Tom Stiglich

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 topic of a letter sent to New York City Mayor Eric Adams from nine members of the state congressional delegation, including Republicans Lee Zeldin and Elise Stefanik and Democrats Antonio Delgado and Sean Patrick Maloney, who asked Adams not to remove this item from city schools.

A link to the answers appears below.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Nuclear power plant where Russian forces now in control cut off electricity, threatening efforts to safely store radioactive material.

_ _ _ _ _ _ State that announced its mask mandate will be lifted by March 26, the last state to lift such a mandate.

_ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _ Fire Island community now without ferry service after a breakdown in negotiations with its longtime ferry company.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Tina Peters, an election official in this purple state, was indicted by a grand jury on seven counts as part of an investigation into tampering with results of the 2020 election.

_ _ _ Imported Russian product banned by the Biden administration.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ State in which former President Donald Trump’s plane was forced to make an emergency landing after suffering engine failure.

_ _ _ _ _ _ The House Judiciary Committee asked the Justice Department to investigate whether this tech company and its senior executives obstructed Congress when they testified about the company’s competition practices.

_ _ _ Number in millions of dollars that Nassau County agreed to pay a Huntington Station cabdriver shot without cause by an off-duty Nassau police officer.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Sir Ernest Shackleton’s legendary ship that sank on a 1915 voyage to the South Pole and whose wreckage was discovered 10,000 feet underwater off the Antarctic Coast.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _’ _ Worldwide restaurant chain that temporarily closed more than 850 franchises in Russia to protest the invasion of Ukraine.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ The U.S. Senate revived legislation to reduce the cost of this lifesaving medication, a goal long sought by Democrats and Republicans.

_ _ _ _ _ _ One of three Baltic nations assured by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a personal visit of NATO protection and American support in the event of a Russian attack.

_ _ _ _’ _ Department store chain that plans to open 100 small-format stores in the next four years and expand its partnership with Sephora.

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

— Michael Dobie @mwdobie

Did you miss an issue of The Point? Browse past newsletters here.

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months