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Throwing support behind Rose, Belmont Hub

Democrat Max Rose at the College of Staten

Democrat Max Rose at the College of Staten Island's Williamson Theatre on Oct. 16, 2018. Credit: Staten Island Advance via AP/Bill Lyons

Daily Point

DCCC inoculating Rose

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is bringing early air support to freshman Rep. Max Rose on the hot topic of vaccinations, The Point has learned.

On Thursday, the DCCC will launch a Facebook ad campaign targeted to New York’s 11th Congressional District and directed at Staten Island Assemb. Nicole Malliotakis, who is likely Rose’s strongest opponent.

Malliotakis still has a tough GOP primary to get the nomination, but the DCCC is moving early to protect the energetic but vulnerable Rose.

Rose beat GOP incumbent Dan Donovan by more than 6 percent in 2016 but the Trump-friendly district that includes Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn could easily swing back in a presidential year. Rose is on the GOP’s target list, and in February the DCCC included Rose in its own “Frontline” program, of which DCCC chair Cheri Bustos said in a statement at the time, “Our Majority hinges on these Members from tough seats winning reelection in 2020.”

The video ads focus on the vaccination issue that has roiled New York, a center of the national measles outbreak, and a rash of vaccine misinformation.

“Nicole Malliotakis is trying to hide her anti-vaxx record,” text on the ad reads, citing Albany votes against a vaccine study in 2014, and against requiring immunization for meningococcal disease in 2015. (She says she tends to vote against studies.)

The ad also nods to more recent comments Malliotakis made to a Buzzfeed reporter about mandatory vaccinations: "I haven’t really thought about, I mean, I’m more for vaccinations than not." (Rose said, "They should be vaccinated.”)

Malliotakis spokesman Rob Ryan said she thought the reporter was referring to federal legislation.

And last week, Malliotakis made a pro-vaccination vote on abolishing a religious exemption to vaccine requirements.

“In light of the fact that Nicole Malliotakis has been vaccinated her whole life and supports the science behind vaccination,” said Ryan, “it seems like the DCCC is grasping for straws here because they realize that she is more in tune with her district than Max Rose.”

Election season already.

- Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

Circling back to Belmont

Amid Albany craziness Wednesday evening, State Sens. Todd Kaminsky, Anna Kaplan and Leroy Comrie emerged with a rare joint statement that had nothing to do with pending legislation.

The headline: “Senators Issue Statement Supporting Belmont Park Redevelopment.”

Kaminsky, Kaplan and Comrie, all of whom represent neighborhoods near Belmont, have had concerns about the effort to build a new New York Islanders’ arena, plus a retail village and hotel, at the area on the Queens-Nassau border. The three mostly have wanted more information about how the project would deal with potential added traffic, and whether there’d be full-time Long Island Rail Road service to and from Belmont.

But their statement Wednesday noted that “discussions of a full-service LIRR station to serve the community are progressing,” and pointed to traffic mitigation plans. “With these concerns now being addressed by the developer and Empire State Development, we are eager to see the project proceed so that we can deliver the community improvements and responsible economic development attendant to this project,” the trio said.

The elected officials’ support is important, as the project has met with some pushback from members of the community, particularly in Floral Park. Comrie’s support is particularly notable, as he is the State Senate’s representative on the Public Authorities Control Board, which will have to approve the project.

But the statement’s timing is no coincidence. The next couple of weeks are likely to be important for the project, as the final environmental impact statement is due to come out, and an announcement regarding plans for a new train station or other transit improvements could come around the same time. ESD previously had widened its study of the project to include the possibility of a new station along the LIRR Main Line on the north side of Belmont Park.

Perhaps the three senators’ support guarantees them a spot on the podium if Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo headlines a Belmont news conference in the coming weeks.
- Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Trump's new hat

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

Final Point

A familiar gripe

Assessments in Nassau County were unfair. Residents were unhappy. And they were fleeing to Connecticut.

In 1941.

Newsday’s editorial board quoted an expert on assessments back then, William H. Allen of Manhattan, as saying that people were “flocking” to Fairfield County based on “the belief that they would get a fair break from the assessors. To date, the results have backed this belief on the part of the newcomers.”

But the board also put blame for the phenomenon on what it called “one of our favorite subjects” — the Long Island Rail Road.

Specifically, it cited the comparative freight costs of moving home-building materials like cement, iron, steel and lumber to Long Island and Fairfield County. Of course, Long Island’s costs were higher — whether the goods were moved by rail or truck.

The board said the building materials shipped to Long Island each working day would fill a 4.5-mile string of 3-ton trucks. And Long Island’s builders and contractors paid $2,256 more daily to the LIRR, then a privately owned system,  than they would have to the New Haven Railroad.

“Nothing could be more discouraging to prospective new residents and builders than these higher costs necessary to build homes for people to live in,” the board concluded on June 18, 1941. “Every public-spirited Nassau resident should unite in a fight to see that discriminatory freight rates are eliminated.”

Over the years the factors changed, but the higher costs are still very much with us.

 - Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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