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Daily Point

Zeldin ‘priority’ mailer stands out

Democrats are putting a bull’s-eye on Rep. Lee Zeldin’s 1st Congressional District seat, and the conservative Republican, who has closely aligned himself with President Donald Trump, is wasting no time aggressively seeking “the support of patriotic conservatives from every corner of America.”

No local polling of the district is available, but two national surveys this week indicate that 2018 could be a “wave” election, sweeping out GOP incumbents in swing districts and returning control to Democrats.

At the top of his recent four-page plea for cash, there is a photo of Zeldin standing with Trump, who is giving him a thumbs-up. It reminds recipients, eight times and in boldface, that Zeldin sent the mailer by Priority Mail or that he paid for the postage on the Priority Mail return envelope.

Besides the tone, the mailer markedly stands out in other ways. Zeldin describes himself as “conservative behind enemy lines in New York,” and repeatedly villainizes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and their “liberal orthodoxy.”

Zeldin says the only way Democrats can “grab power again is by stealing back my seat.” Then, he interjects religion. “They think Jewish people should never be Conservative.”

Asked how Zeldin came to that conclusion about the two Democratic leaders, Jennifer DiSiena, his spokeswoman, said that Pelosi “has attacked Jewish conservatives, including a twisted, convoluted 2012 argument of ‘exploitation,’ involving somehow Israel and tax cuts for the wealthy . . . [and] Senator Schumer certainly hasn’t been as bad on this front as Pelosi, but has expressed his share of sentiments showing a lack of regard for conservatives.”

When asked whether Zeldin was specifically trying to raise funds from Jewish groups, DiSiena said only that the mailing went to “targeted GOP donors.”

Rita Ciolli

Talking Point

Saga in Hempstead

Hempstead school board elections are rarely free of controversy. Nor will Tuesday’s vote break that strange-and-strained mold.

School board member Melissa Figueroa, who is running to retain her seat, was arrested on a marijuana possession charge by Lynbrook police while driving in the village after a school board meeting Thursday night. Figueroa, part of the 3-2 reform majority that controls the board, told Newsday in a text message Friday that she was “set up.”

Whatever the truth of her contention, the extent to which voters believe it could go a long way toward determining whether she can beat back two candidates allied with opposing factions.

And whether you believe her might be depend on your views of Hempstead Village politics, which are just as divisive. Figueroa’s father, Luis, was former Mayor Wayne Hall’s deputy before both were swept out of office in March’s very bitter village election. Now the same forces that deposed Luis Figueroa are working to oust his daughter, too.

Michael Dobie

Boiling Point

Let your LIRR feelings out

Clearly our cartoonist, Matt Davies, has a position on the LIRR. Signal problems, equipment failure, track repairs, even lightning strikes — commuting gets tougher every day. We’re giving readers of The Point a first chance to tell us, face to face, your worst commuting experience. Be sure to say which line you travel on most frequently. To easily record your video message, click here.

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