Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino at a town board meeting...

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino at a town board meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

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Reference Point

#TBT — Tax mistakes trickle down 30 years later

A Newsday editorial that ran 30 years ago today rings familiar.

The topic was a Congressional Budget Office report on the effects of tax changes enacted by President Ronald Reagan and a Republican Congress. The conclusion: The new laws enriched the well-off some, enriched the very well-off tremendously, and increased the tax burden for the poor and middle class.

The CBO concluded, when comparing tax burdens in 1977, before all the changes, to what they’d be in 1988, that four out of five families actually suffered a loss in real income. The bottom 10 percent of earners saw what they paid in taxes increase 20 percent. The richest 10 percent paid 6.4 percent less in taxes. And, the very wealthiest, the top 1 percent, paid nearly 20 percent less.

According to Republicans then, the selling point for the huge deductions in corporate taxes and levies on the wealthy was that the rising tide would lift all boats: Rich people would spend more, companies would hire more and pay better wages, and everyone would prosper. In fact, Between 1988 and today, real median family income in the United States was largely unchanged, rising about 10 percent over 30 years. The income for the top 1 percent of earners has nearly tripled.

The trickle-down effect is the same dishonest argument we have today as the House passes another tax bill, one that will be a killer for many New Yorkers.

History does repeat.

Lane Filler

Pointing Out

Judging Moore

Folks in Alabama may say, “We don’t care how you do it up north!” when faced with a know-it-all Yankee. But when it comes to getting a candidate off the ballot, Alabama Republicans could do with a little New York razzmatazz.

Senate candidate Roy Moore’s campaign is cratering as allegations pile up that he pursued and molested young girls. A recent poll showed him down 12 points to Democrat Doug Jones.

“Get Moore off the ballot,” Republicans across the nation are bellowing, but it cannot be done in Alabama within 76 days of an election. The party can only disqualify Moore as a candidate, meaning any votes cast for him would not be certified. There’s a lot of talk about a write-in campaign for Moore’s last opponent and the sitting senator, Luther Strange, or for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but most say that would just split GOP votes and help Jones.

In New York, there is a solution to this dilemma. Under state law, death and the nomination for a judgeship are the two ways to remove a name from the ballot once a person’s nomination has been certified. Death hasn’t been used much, although Judge Crater, who vanished in 1930 amid a political scandal, still hasn’t been found. However, judgeship ballot lines can be a dime a dozen, especially when the candidate is dumped on some minor party line.

Of course, with Moore that might just cause more trouble. He’s twice been elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court . . . and he’s twice been removed from that post for refusing to obey the law.

Lane Filler

Daily Point

No more Santino

Nassau County Republican leader Joseph Mondello pleaded for unity Monday night at a meeting of party leaders and elected officials.

He got a standing ovation.

If any goodwill was generated, a nasty email sent Wednesday morning by someone in the Town of Hempstead GOP that attacks defeated Supervisor Anthony Santino risks undercutting that message.

The email is unsigned, the sender line is “nomoresantino,” and the subject line is “Enough is Enough.” It blames Santino for the unimaginable: Democrats taking control of the town for the first time in a century. It calls out Santino’s damaging personal style and claims he mistreated the GOP faithful working for the town in favor of his own East Rockaway inner circle.

The email was likely provoked after 18 political appointees got some rewards — either pay raises, promotions to full time from part time, or Civil Service protections. There are two Hempstead board meetings before Democrat Laura Gillen is sworn in as supervisor. It’s at those Nov. 28 and Dec. 14 meetings where most of the job maneuvering is expected to take place.

For those not deep into this palace intrigue, one of the most stunning aspects of the letter was in its final sentence, which called for Hempstead GOP leaders “to work together to protect 2,000 jobs.”

Are there 2,000 town jobs that can be filled outside of Civil Service requirements? The public payroll for the town lists about 4,000 positions total.

The Point hasn’t been able to confirm the 2,000 number, but the figure didn’t surprise anyone we contacted. Always a source of patronage, once source tells us there was a big expansion in the early 80s when coffers were flush. One clue is to look for titles that contain the word “research.”

The anti-Santino screed says that “There can be no safe landing for Santino and his minions” unless others, such as commissioners, are taken care of first. It then goes on to name Santino’s “minions.” As evidence that Santino will abandon other GOP leaders, the email says that in his first two years as supervisor, he didn’t share patronage plums with GOP leaders.

“Do not let Tony Santino in the room,” the email states. "He should give up his leadership and go away. He showed no loyalty to us over two years. We should show him nothing for destroying 100 years of success in one term.”

The email represents a stunning intraparty revolt because Santino, for years, was Mondello’s top deputy.

It also says Republican town board members Bruce Blakeman, who actually endorsed Gillen, and Erin King Sweeney, who supported her and publicly sparred with the supervisor, “did not take down Santino.” Instead, it argues, Santino did it to himself. “This loss was the result of arrogance and of Republican votes suppressed by angry workers, angry committeemen, angry leaders and angry contributors.”

And it’s only been 10 days since the election.

Rita Ciolli

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