Playing the hits
First the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association attacked County Executive Laura Curran on her ultra-controversial reassessment plan with a digital-display van. With loudspeakers playing the Hall and Oates song “Rich Girl,” the truck’s message implied her plan was driving up taxes.
Then last week, the union, which is trying to soften up Curran in preparation for negotiations over labor contracts that expired a year ago, changed the message.
The message on the van cruising county roads now reads “Laura Curran Freezes ICE From Protecting Nassau County,” which is very old-school PBA. The taunt refers to Curran’s decision to remove an Immigration and Customs Enforcement trailer from the grounds of the Nassau County jail after a recent court ruling that local law enforcement cannot hold people for ICE if the only cause is a civil warrant for being in the country illegally.
With this message, the PBA is returning to the billboard-truck roots pioneered by former union head Gary DelaRaba, who used fear of crime to attempt to soften up then-County Executive Tom Suozzi.
There’s no word yet on whether the truck’s soundtrack has switched over to the Foreigner hit “Cold as Ice,” but the PBA’s hope for Curran is straight from one of the song’s lines: “Someday you'll pay the price, I know.”
Selling their wares
“Delivering everything under the sun and 25,000 new jobs.”
That’s the proclamation on the latest mailer from Amazon regarding its plan to build one of its second headquarters in Long Island City.
So far Amazon has sent two mailers to Queens residents, touting the benefits of its plans for the borough. The first, which arrived in mailboxes in early January, wished recipients a “Happy New Year From Your Future Neighbors at Amazon.”
In both mailers, Amazon emphasizes the number of jobs the company says it will create, along with plans for job training and the notion that Amazon helps small businesses by providing a platform for them to sell their products.
An Amazon spokesperson told The Point that the mailers were part of an effort to “make sure New Yorkers know the details of our investment and how it benefits them.” Amazon is using SKDKnickerbocker to handle its media relations and public outreach in New York City.
The first mailer had asked Queens residents to contact the City Council to express their support, while the latest flier asks most Queens residents to call their state representatives to ask for their support of the HQ2 project. The second one, however, got more specific for residents of western Queens, asking them to reach out to City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, a vocal critic of the project.
And Van Bramer was quick to respond. In a video on social media, Van Bramer said he wasn’t letting up in “fighting this bad deal.”
“Amazon, if you want to save the money, so that it goes to people who actually need it, spare me the mailers and let’s start talking about what really matters, not just what you want people to know,” Van Bramer said.
Randi F. Marshall
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Do what I say, not what I mean
- Now that she’s running for president, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is expressing regret for her past stances — except the one from last fall’s campaign that she would serve out her full 6-year Senate term if re-elected.
- Google was fined $57 million by France’s data privacy watchdog, citing a “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent” regarding the way ads were tailored for users, as per new privacy rules. Hey, can we get some of that in this country?
- More than 100 migrants from Africa died in the Mediterranean Sea last week when their inflatable dinghy capsized on a crossing from Libya to Italy; more than 2,200 drowned in 2018 and more than 3,000 in each of the four years before that. That’s a humanitarian crisis.
- Vice President Mike Pence quoted Martin Luther King Jr. in urging Democrats to accept President Donald Trump’s latest proposal to end the shutdown, invoking King’s belief in using the legislative process to become a more perfect union. Which is rich given that Pence, Trump and King don’t exactly share the same vision of a more perfect union.
- As President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un prepare to hold another summit next month, researchers have discovered a secret ballistic missile base in North Korea. So what exactly did the first summit accomplish?
- Rudy Giuliani is walking back comments about President Donald Trump, his former attorney Michael Cohen and the Moscow Trump Tower project, saying that his words “the president can remember” were hypothetical, not based on conversations with Trump and “not intended to convey facts.” Nor, apparently, were they a description of what Giuliani can remember.
- Queen Elizabeth II has reigned in Britain for 67 years but it’s become apparent there is a real-world limit to her authority: She can’t take away the car keys from husband Prince Philip.