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Opinion

Happy 4th anniversary of The Point!

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Survey Point

Tell us what you think

Four years ago today, the first Point newsletter landed in your inboxes. Since then, it has delivered insider coverage of regional and national politics five days a week. We’re curious about which topics interest you the most? On what digital device do you read The Point? Tell us the answers to these questions and more in this short survey about the newsletter. 

Talking Point

Survey says...

The call came in on Melanie D’Arrigo’s cell phone around 3 or 4 p.m. one day last week: a pollster asking questions about Rep. Tom Suozzi, and also one Melanie D’Arrigo. 

D’Arrigo is a Port Washington Democrat and mom of three who has worked with companies on health care and mental health issues, and she’s challenging Suozzi from the left in New York’s 3rd Congressional District. 

D’Arrigo says she told the interviewer from the start of the call that she is running against Suozzi but the survey taker went ahead, anyway. D’Arrigo recalls the survey depicting Suozzi as an experienced leader and a gun safety and environmental champion.

She also remembers being asked to rate the following: “corporate Democrat,” “problem solver,” “activist.” 

D’Arrigo says this wasn’t her poll. Attorney Michael Weinstock, the other declared Democrat in the race, also says it wasn’t his. While her bio was read on the call, D’Arrigo says she doesn’t remember Weinstock’s bio being read, though she says he was mentioned in a question about who the survey-taker would vote for if the primary were held today. 

When asked whether the poll was Suozzi’s, campaign spokeswoman Kim Devlin said that Suozzi will do his diligence to run a campaign and communicate with voters about his record. “Tom will never again take a reelection lightly,” she said. In 2009, Suozzi lost a re-election bid as county executive to Republican Ed Mangano. 

D’Arrigo is ramping up her own bid and seemed happy for the coincidental inside info.

“‘Huh,’” she remembers the pollster saying at the end of the call, “ ‘you have the same name as the candidate.’ ”

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Puzzle Point

Pointed questions

To commemorate the fourth anniversary of The Point, we invite you to have fun with this quiz. You need to think of a phrase, appropriate to today’s celebration, that fits each description in a series.

1. A kind of Long Island oyster or craft brewery, a community on Suffolk County’s South Shore, or what our newsletter would be with some racy items in it.

2. An expression of futility often accompanied by a shrug, or the question we most often receive about our newsletter.

3. The Bronx location of one of the world’s largest food distribution facilities, or what our newsletter might be called if it was written by the star of Mad About You, Twister and As Good As It Gets.

4. What you try to score with your boss or someone you’re trying to impress, or what our newsletter would be if it was written by a young uniformed cookie-seller.

5. The name of a Bruce Springsteen song, a 1967 noir cult classic starring Lee Marvin, the distance from which one might fire a weapon, or what our newsletter has never been.

6. A moment of decisive change, a 1977 movie about the New York City ballet world starring Shirley MacLaine and Anne Bancroft, or what our newsletter becomes when a really good tip comes in just before deadline.

7. The spot in the distance where parallel lines seem to converge, a terrific 1971 B-film starring Barry Newman as a pill-addicted driver for hire, or what our newsletter will never be in your inbox.

8. What New York’s DMV uses to suspend your driver’s license, a way of scoring or evaluating someone or something in general, or a phrase to describe how we produce our newsletter.

9. Something used to understand something else, a definitive source that puts something into context, or what we hope our newsletter has become for our readers.

10. A particular often noteworthy moment, or what our newsletter is if it arrives in your inbox by day’s end.

11. The informal name of the United States Military Academy, or a name for this newsletter if its topic was TV’s Batman, basketball’s Jerry, or the man who interrupted a Taylor Swift acceptance speech.

12. The final stage of a process, the spot where a ray begins in geometry, or what the last edition of this newsletter might be called.

—Michael Dobie @mwdobie

Answers: 1. Blue Point; 2. What’s the point; 3. Hunt’s Point; 4. Brownie point; 5. Point Blank; 6. Turning point; 7. Vanishing Point; 8. Point system; 9. Point of reference; 10. Point in time; 11. West Point; 12. End point.

Pencil Point

Livin' it up

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

Quick Points

  • A former federal prosecutor hired by Long Beach says the city gave $3.1 million to employees on top of the $500,000 already known in questionable separation pay or payments for unused sick and vacation time because a lack of clarity in the Personnel Code prevented the city from being more fiscally responsible. With all due respect, there’s more lacking here than a vague personnel code.
  • For years, powerful California farmers wanted the height of the Shasta Dam raised to give them more water for irrigation, and for years the Interior Department said no because diverting the water would endanger rare plants and animals including bald eagles. Now the project is going forward. New science? Nah. The farmers’ longtime chief lobbyist, David Bernhardt, is now Interior secretary. Drain the swamp, indeed.
  • Forever 21 has filed for bankruptcy, proving that nothing lasts forever.
  • A Suffolk County grand jury has reported that the state needs new laws, tougher punishments and increased regulation to deal with illegal dumping. From their pens to lawmakers’ ears.
  • Referring to the July conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Vlodymyr Zelensky, South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsay Graham said, “I have zero problem with this phone call.” He also has zero independence, zero courage and zero integrity.

—Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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