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Thursday was a day full of good news for New York Islanders’ fans — and one key player off the ice wasn’t about to be left out.
In between the team’s announcements of a new head coach and next season’s schedule came a third news release — but not from the team.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo revealed that the Islanders would play eight more games at Nassau Coliseum than originally anticipated, bringing them to a total of 20 games at the Coliseum in the 2018-19 season, nearly half the team’s home schedule.
Cuomo’s announcement, which came in the late afternoon and reminded fans that he was “bringing the Islanders home to Long Island,” emerged just hours after the Islanders confirmed that Barry Trotz, who just won the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals, would be the team’s next head coach.
Then within the hour, the Islanders made it official, releasing their full schedule, which showed the team’s first Coliseum game on Dec. 1, but also all March and April home games in Uniondale.
It was a well-orchestrated power play to give both Cuomo and the Islanders wins months before the seasons — election and hockey — really begin.
Now, if Cuomo can get Islanders captain John Tavares to stay with the team, he might win over the Isles’ voting base for good.
Randi F. Marshall
Swipe right for a vote
Here’s a new one.
Suraj Patel, a challenger to 13-term incumbent Carolyn Maloney for the Democratic nomination in New York City’s 12th Congressional District, is trying to seduce voters through dating apps.
In his aggressive attempt to win the party’s nod on Tuesday, Patel, 34, is trying “Tinder banking,” The New York Times reported this week. It’s like phone banking, but with swiping. Instead of using a landline to reach potential voters, a more or less fake profile is created on a dating app, typically used to connect romantic partners. Then you start conversations with others on the app, but soon explain that you’re not actually there for sex or love, but to get votes on June 26.
Similar practices have been used by U.K. campaigners. Perhaps Patel’s venture will show whether New Yorkers are game or want their politics separate from hook-ups.
Either way, this is clearly just the tip of a vast high-tech universe of opportunities for politicians to harry voters.
Imagine: You’re looking to book an Airbnb rental and that sweet host for that cozy cabin in the woods says there’s actually no cabin, just a town clerk election coming up.
You hop on TaskRabbit to hire someone to build shelving, and you end up getting lobbied on voting yes for a constitutional convention.
You scroll down Instagram and see that “Suggestions for You” include your long-lost buddy Bill, but he’s not actually your buddy and he wants you to vote Green Party in 2020.
Clearly a brave new world is upon us, but let’s please draw the line at least on the kinds of cellphone pictures that a few years ago sank a New York congressman.
The grass-roots organization Show Up Long Island will hold a Keep Families Together Rally on Saturday outside the Melville offices of New York’s two U.S. senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
The purpose of the group’s visit to an office park on Pinelawn Road isn’t to complain. These marchers agree with the senators' support of a Democratic measure to stop the separation of families at the Southern border.
Instead, it’s positive reinforcement, to encourage Schumer and Gillibrand to stay strong. Show Up Long Island has shown up at the office park weekly since the inauguration of President Donald Trump to “strengthen the progressive backbone” of New York’s senators, and to keep encouraging them to resist Trump.
This Saturday, the group will deliver a petition asking that the senators do even more to stop Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration. Earlier petitions presented addressed the “sabotage” of the Affordable Care Act, the need to protect the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, and demands for the firing of Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
In an era of fierce political confrontations with officials whose actions voters oppose, there are Long Islanders rallying every week to tell their officials they’re doing good work and to encourage them to keep it up.