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Paul D. Annunziato speaks during a Nassau County

Paul D. Annunziato speaks during a Nassau County Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) meeting at the Marriott Long Island Hotel and Conference Center, in Uniondale on Dec. 7, 2017. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

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Daily Point

Curran’s NIFA is not current

When Chris Wright was reappointed to the Nassau Interim Finance Authority board last week as State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s pick, he became very special indeed: He’s now the only one of the seven members of the board serving whose appointment is current.

Now that Republican Edward Mangano has been replaced by Democrat Laura Curran as county executive, it remains to be seen how the state control board will treat the new regime — and how many members will stick around, other than Wright.

Chairman Adam Barsky, who was recently named chief of staff at the Port Authority and who is a NIFA appointee of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, says he hopes to keep his seat. His term ran out at the end of 2016. He almost certainly will stay, as Cuomo has shown he likes to hold his NIFA heads close, and the dual role establishes that.

Paul Annunziato, a Cuomo pick whose term ran out more than three years ago, told The Point, “I am happy to stay as long as the governor is happy to have me.”

Howard Weitzman, the former Democratic county comptroller who is Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s pick and whose term expired Dec. 31, also says he’d like to stay on.

Paul Leventhal occupies the seat chosen by the Senate majority leader. He was initially appointed by Dean Skelos; now the choice is that of John Flanagan. Leventhal, whose term expired Dec. 31, says he’s been honored to serve and will continue to if called upon.

Lester Petracca, whose term expired on the last day of 2016, and John Buran, whose term expired on the last day of 2014, both hold seats controlled by the governor. They did not return emails seeking comment.

Just as important as who wants to serve, though, might be who Curran wants on the board. Cuomo was known to listen to Mangano when it came to his four picks. And the likelihood is he’ll be just as sensitive to Curran’s needs.

Lane Filler

Talking Point

Senate signs

Westchester County Republicans seem to have gotten the memo that female candidates have an edge in current elections. After some polling and persuasion late last week, Rye City Councilwoman Julie Killian agreed to run again for the State Senate, this time in the special election on April 24 for the seat vacated by Democrat George Latimer.

The 37th District seat is critical to majority control of the State Senate. With Killian’s entry over the weekend, the Westchester GOP promptly scheduled candidate screenings for Tuesday evening. One source told The Point that the GOP recruited Killian because of unhappiness with the potential of Dan Schorr, the former Yonkers inspector general who also is vying for the party’s nod.

Schorr announced on Jan. 11, and one of his platform planks is to “stop the $55 billion Long Island to Rye tunnel.” He emphasizes that he’s not a career politician, but it’s not for lack of trying. Before he began a job as inspector general for the City of Yonkers, he was the Republican Party’s 2009 candidate for Westchester district attorney. He lost to incumbent Janet DiFiore, now New York’s chief judge.

A third GOP candidate for Latimer's seat, Bedford attorney Sarmad Khojasteh, stepped aside Monday morning and threw his support to Killian.

Westchester GOP party leaders will vote Wednesday to determine which candidate to put up against Democrat Shelley Mayer of Yonkers, a member of the Assembly.

The 37th District, which covers eastern Westchester County, has a distinct Democratic advantage. Hillary Clinton won more than 65 percent of the vote there in the 2016 presidential election, but Latimer got only 55 percent against Killian. And this time, she wouldn’t be competing with Latimer for their base in Rye, where both are well-known.

Anne Michaud and Randi F. Marshall

Pencil Point

The long awaited Trump infrastructure plan

More cartoons of the day

Quick Points

The Costco club

  • As the FBI moved at a snail’s pace in investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against Dr. Larry Nassar, at least 40 girls and women say Nassar molested them until he was exposed by the Indanapolis Star in September 2016. Now that’s an FBI investigation worth probing by the Republican-controlled Congress.
  • Egypt and Israel have been collaborating in a covert war against Islamic militants in Egypt. To which one can only say: All things are indeed possible.
  • To tout the tax bill’s benefits to the middle class, Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted the story of a Pennsylvania school secretary who said her paycheck has grown enough to cover the cost of her annual Costco membership. Hey, Paul, it’s a Costco membership, not a golf club membership.
  • What’s the difference between House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, who spearheaded the writing and release of the infamous memo to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and GOP colleague Trey Gowdy, who said the memo does not in any way discredit Mueller’s probe? Gowdy is the one who actually saw the intelligence underlying the memo.
  • On Thursday, President Donald Trump will address the National Prayer Breakfast. It’s not clear who will be praying for whom or what.
  • The government runs out of money Thursday with no long-term funding deal in sight. Yes, Groundhog Day came a week too early.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Mick Mulvaney has pulled back from the bureau’s all-out probe of Equifax’s failure to protect the personal data of 143 million Americans, proving that the first word of the bureau’s title is now superfluous.
  • Scientists using high-tech mapping tools have discovered thousands of previously undetected Mayan structures hidden by the dense jungle in Guatemala. Perhaps they could use those tools to discover the previously undetected secret societies and deep state hidden by the swamp in Washington.

Michael Dobie

Columns