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King on King - The next move

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) during a Capitol Hill

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) during a Capitol Hill hearing on June 11, 2019. Credit: Getty Images / Zach Gibson

Daily Point

What does daughter’s decision mean for Rep. King?

Will his daughter’s big move lead Rep. Peter King to make a change of his own? 

As of now… no. 

But Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney’s announcement that she’s not running for reelection and is moving to North Carolina for family reasons is “really a dramatic change” for King and his wife, Rosemary, the congressman said. 

Will his daughter’s move shift King’s thinking in terms of his plans to run for Congress again in 2020?

“Right now, I fully intend to run for reelection,” King told The Point, noting that he is holding a campaign fundraiser Saturday afternoon. 

“This is all just part of a new world for me,” King added, injecting just a bit of doubt about another run. “I’ll have to think everything over.”

Observers have long speculated that King Sweeney might run for her dad’s seat once he was ready to retire. King, however, told The Point that was never part of their plans. 

For her part, King Sweeney said she wasn’t going to suggest whether her father should run again.

“I really want him to be happy, and to do whatever he wants on his own terms,” King Sweeney told The Point. “Whatever he chooses to do, all of us will support him. I don’t know how my decision impacts him.”

King Sweeney noted that the discussion about her move has focused on family, and has been “exceedingly nonpolitical.”

King, who has served in Congress since 1993, noted that he only learned of his daughter’s definitive decision on Labor Day weekend. Over the years, King and his wife have been very close to King Sweeney’s family. Rosemary King often took care of her grandchildren when they were small, and both enjoyed watching their grandson’s baseball games and their granddaughter’s horse competitions, among other family gatherings. 

“This is very tough,” King said. “But we will try to see them as much as we possibly can.”

King Sweeney noted that she has a bedroom in the house she’s buying in North Carolina ready for her parents whenever they want to visit. But both father and daughter said that no matter what the political future brings, it wouldn’t include a move for the congressman.

“I’m never moving to North Carolina,” King said.

- Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Talking Point

Thin Blue Line snapped

Police officers, regardless of their rank, are usually a band of brothers when it comes to labor negotiations, but in Nassau County that relationship has sunk to Cain and Abel levels. 

This month the Police Benevolent Association is facing off against the Detectives Association and the Superior Officers Association. The break is centered on dues paid to their shared Committee on Political Education, but the rift between the shops’ leadership goes even deeper: the PBA is furious that the Detectives Association, known as the DAI, and SOA are actively negotiating new contracts with the county while the PBA has sworn not to go near the table as long as a lawyer hired by the Nassau Interim Finance Authority is leading the county’s side of negotiations. 

Members of each union  pay about $730 a year into COPE, but the fund is solely controlled by PBA leaders. With approximately 1,800 PBA members, 375 SOA members and 340 DAI members kicking in, the nearly $2 million a year COPE generates can buy a lot of education. That can include lobbying, political action, legal fees and community initiatives, often intended to benefit the membership of all three unions but sometimes its firepower is directed at the interests of just one shop. Some very public examples include sound trucks and electronic billboards hired to slam County Executive Laura Curran.

Now, though, the DAI and the SOA have stopped contributing to the shared COPE, arguing that the PBA has refused to pay their legitimate and previously agreed-upon expenses. The PBA is furious, and harsh words are flying.

First PBA President James McDermott published an open letter to members of all three unions on Sept. 4 announcing that the DAI and SOA had stopped contributing to the pooled COPE fund. Citing Abraham Lincoln to argue that “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” McDermott wrote that “we live in a world where police are under siege” and “It has been your current PBA leadership, and ONLY the current PBA leadership-that has waged the relentless battles to fight what NIFA and the county have tried to do to us.”

But that gives awfully short shrift to current SOA and DAI leaders, and past PBA heads.  

The DAI and SOA have since responded with letters explaining why they stopped paying into COPE. The DAI assailed the PBA for using COPE funds to create nice paydays for former PBA president Gary DelaRaba, public relations professional Todd Shapiro and advisor David Greene while refusing to fund its needs. The SOA decried broken agreements to pay its bills, and argued that it had repeatedly tried to suggest a power-sharing arrangement in which all three unions would have a say in how COPE funds are spent, but had those suggestions “summarily dismissed and rejected” by the PBA.

All the county’s unions have been working without a contract since Jan. 1, 2018. The SOA and DAI are reportedly making some progress in negotiations, while the PBA isn’t talking to County Executive Laura Curran at all. 

The house is divided. Now the question is whether it will stay divided, and how well it can stand.

- Lane Filler @lanefiller

Pencil Point

Hand in the cookie jar

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

Design Point

Getting crafty

Driving straight into the brouhaha over Gov. Andrew M.Cuomo’s initiative to redesign New York’s license plate design, Newsday editorial cartoonist Matt Davies drew 4 parody options and asked our audience to take their own hand to it.

Many did. Thank you.

Some of the submissions bit back hard at Cuomo, as in the photo above, and the proposed $25 fee for the new plate. Others joined Davies in just having some fun. Some Long Islanders, including a design class at Western Suffolk BOCES, decided to directly take on the challenge of designing a new license plate. Click here to see some of the entries.

- Rita Ciolli @RitaCiolli

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