If a picture is worth a thousand words, a photo of a tent, a table, and a few signs that popped up on social media and quickly spread through political circles Sunday morning certainly generated plenty of them.
The photo shows a tent at a Syosset street fair on Sunday. The tent sports a banner stating “Bruce A. Blakeman Nassau County Executive,” complete with the county seal.
And leaning against the sides of the tent are stacks of signs labeled “MARTINS,” clearly advertising Republican Jack Martins’ State Senate campaign.
Democrats latched on to the photos quickly, pointing to the juxtaposition of a government-sponsored booth and campaign signs as another example of mixing government service with politics.
“Why is @NassauExec using his government booth to give away Jack Martins lawn signs?” asked the Nassau County Young Democrats on Twitter.
Another source who sent a photo of the booth to The Point noted the “pattern,” highlighting the recent Gin Blossoms concert — a county-sponsored event at which Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin spoke.
But upon further digging, The Point found that there may be a different explanation behind the photo.
In an interview with The Point, Martins noted the time stamp of the Young Democrats’ post, which was tweeted at 9:25 a.m. — before the street fair, slated to start at 10 a.m., began.
“I was there. It was a great street fair and I was happy to have participated,” Martins said of the Syosset event. “I will recognize the picture was before the fair started. If somebody did something inadvertently, obviously it was corrected.”
Martins noted that he spent much of the event at his own booth, which he shared with Assembly candidate Jake Blumencranz, and even sent along a photo showing his campaign signs at that booth. Of course, there’s no way to confirm whether the stacks of signs were the same, whether they were moved and when, or whether the Twitter activity about the signs had anything to do with them being moved.
“There were signs at my booth and there were no signs at any government booth” during the fair, Martins told The Point.
Meanwhile, a county official confirmed that Blakeman’s tent was a government-sponsored booth and noted that Blakeman himself wasn’t at the event.
And the official had an explanation for the photograph, too.
“Two teenage political volunteers inadvertently went to the wrong booth prior to the start of the fair,” the county official said. “When county officials arrived minutes later, they immediately pointed the volunteers to the correct booth.”
— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall
On LI, famed former top cops are campaign assets
With Republicans pushing crime as a top issue in New York races across all districts, Robert Zimmerman, the CD3 congressional nominee, on Monday touted his endorsement by former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
In an emailed statement, Bratton said he is “confident that Robert is the right candidate to keep our Long Island and Queens communities safe,” and that Zimmerman has a “level-headed approach to issues and an ability to bring people together to solve problems — especially when it comes to balancing criminal justice reform with public safety.”
Bratton’s backing of Zimmerman appears designed to answer, for example, this statement on the website of Zimmerman’s GOP opponent George Santos: “Our community is becoming more and more dangerous at the hands of Democrat [sic] leadership. The safety of your family will be George’s number one priority when elected to US Congress. We must back the blue to reduce the amount of crime in our communities.”
Bratton, a Hampton Bays resident, has been nationally known as a leading law-enforcement figure for decades, having run police systems in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York.
Like Ray Kelly, Bratton had two stints as the NYPD commissioner. Both men served under one Republican and one Democratic mayor, among their other public and private roles.
For his part, Kelly — who once polled well as a potential NYC mayoral candidate after Mike Bloomberg but did not run — has moved in a different governmental constellation than Bratton.
Kelly was prominently billed as a guest speaker at an Aug. 24 afternoon fundraiser in Nissequogue for Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, the GOP candidate against Gov. Kathy Hochul.
For the past eight years Kelly, a decorated Marine Corps veteran, has also been on the board of the Museum of American Armor in Old Bethpage.
At a moment when rising crime rates clash with policies meant to reform systemic abuses and overincarceration, most office seekers want to signal that they see the full picture — and view credentialed support as helpful.
Consider it the regional equivalent of endorsements from retired generals in a national election.
— Dan Janison @Danjanison
For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/nationalcartoons
Power and patience
- Luma, the private consortium that manages Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, asked customers for “patience” in restoring power knocked out across the island by Hurricane Fiona. Puerto Ricans have plenty of patience — they’ve been waiting five years for that grid to be modernized after it was destroyed by Maria in 2017.
- As awareness of long COVID grows, and we understand there’s a lot about it we don’t know, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: We don’t know how long is “long” in long COVID.
- After co-sponsoring Sen. Lindsey Graham’s 2020 bill calling for a national abortion ban at 20 weeks, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said of Graham’s 2022 proposed ban that most members of his conference would rather the issue be left to the states. No, changing the limit to 15 weeks had nothing to do with McConnell’s newfound opposition.
- New British Prime Minister Liz Truss, who once rankled American feathers by calling her nation’s relationship with the U.S. “special but not exclusive,” decided not to take a scheduled meeting with President Joe Biden Sunday in London, instead saying she’d meet him Wednesday at the UN General Assembly. Now that’s special.
- Asked about new reports of Russian atrocities and war crimes in her country, Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova said that “there is no war logic in all of this. It’s simply terrorizing and committing genocide against Ukrainians.” With all due respect, ambassador, terror and genocide is the logic.
- Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he is “worried” that a bill to codify same-sex marriage won’t pass after the midterms if Republicans flip the Senate. “Worried” makes it sound like he actually thinks that’s not a done deal.
- Republican governors engage in stunts, sending border migrants to New York City, Martha’s Vineyard and other so-called liberal enclaves. Democrats and migrant advocates respond with angry denunciations and protests. Imagine if all that energy on both sides went into solving the border crisis.
— Michael Dobie @mwdobie