Former Rep. Tom Suozzi.

Former Rep. Tom Suozzi. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Daily Point

Rivals fall in line behind former congressman

While Tom Suozzi was coy publicly about whether he was running to regain his old seat, there were obvious signs he was in the race even before Thursday afternoon’s official announcement from the Nassau and Queens Democratic parties making Suozzi their nominee.

On Tuesday, two days before he was named to run in the Feb. 13 special election for the 3rd Congressional District seat formerly held by expelled Republican George Santos, Suozzi’s name disappeared from the website of Actum LLC, a global consulting firm with a bipartisan roster of former elected officials and registered lobbyists. Suozzi joined the Manhattan-based firm in February as co-chair, providing advice to clients and the firm’s executive team.

“We took his name off of it yesterday,” a spokesman for Actum told The Point on Wednesday.

Though his name is gone from the website, Suozzi remains with the firm for now while he campaigns, the spokesman said.

The removal of Suozzi’s name from the website came only a day after he ventured to Albany Monday to get the blessing of Gov. Kathy Hochul for his run. Hochul’s approval wasn’t a sure thing. Hard feelings linger after Suozzi’s criticism of her during his failed bid for governor a year ago. But upsetting Long Island Democrats certainly wouldn’t help Hochul. Recent polls show the governor remains unpopular with LI voters.

Republicans are still mulling over who will face Suozzi to fill out Santos’ term. Suozzi, the former Nassau County executive, represented CD3 for three terms albeit in a differently configured district.

In a statement after the announcement, Suozzi promised, if elected, to “work day and night with both parties to deliver for the people …”

“Let’s reject the nonsense and get back to work,” Suozzi said.

Several other Democrats vying for the CD3 spot had fallen in behind Suozzi in recent weeks. Robert Zimmerman, never a Suozzi fan, lost to Santos last year and did not screen for the Democratic nomination in the special, but told The Point Thursday evening that he, too, was endorsing Suozzi.

Former State Sen. Anna Kaplan had been a more active holdout, participating in last week’s screening meetings and pushing hard against a Suozzi candidacy via social media, even releasing a video urging voters to call Nassau County Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs to tell him to choose her.

But on Wednesday, Suozzi and Kaplan spoke during what one source called “a good call.”

And shortly after the Suozzi nomination became official, Kaplan said she was suspending her campaign and endorsing Suozzi.

“I am endorsing Tom because we need Democrats in office who will protect a woman’s right to choose, defend Social Security and Medicare and support Israel,” Kaplan said.

Her endorsement, though, did not seem to preclude her from again vying for the seat, perhaps in a June primary for the Democratic nomination in 2024, when CD3 again will be on the ballot. Her statement highlighted that she raised $1 million from 40,000 donors, including nearly $200,000 last Friday when Santos was expelled, that she expects the February vote to be “an extremely competitive election,” and that she was suspending her campaign “in the interim.”

“This is certainly not the end for me,” Kaplan said on X.

— Thomas Maier and Randi F. Marshall

Pencil Point

Positively negative

Credit: Granlund

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Reference Point

An infamous reminder

The Newsday editorials on Pearl Harbor titled "Infamy's Birthday" (Dec....

The Newsday editorials on Pearl Harbor titled "Infamy's Birthday" (Dec. 7, 1943); "Black Sunday" (Dec. 7, 1951), and "Pearl Harbor" (Dec. 7, 1961).

President Franklin Roosevelt called it a “date which will live in infamy.” And Dec. 7, 1941, has lived on in the pages of Newsday’s opinion section as no other date with the possible exception of Sept. 11, 2001.

Time and again, Newsday’s editorial board has returned to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which shook and shaped Long Island for decades. On the day after the assault, the board echoed the shock felt across the region: “To most of us, war came over the radio yesterday, a peaceful Sunday afternoon.”

Two years later, the board conveyed how much life had changed on Long Island, in a piece that ran on Dec. 7, 1943, called “Infamy’s Birthday.”

The board wrote of a “horrible nightmare” that “snapped us from our dreams of security behind wide expanses of protecting oceans. Life began to change for us from that moment.”

Nassau County police “rounded up five Japanese” after the attack, the board wrote, and civilian aircraft spotters went to work at night. Military police collected Army personnel “from movies, restaurants and homes” and all leaves were canceled. Stores began advertising blackout curtains so that enemy planes wouldn’t be guided by lights from homes.

“We were ready for anything in those hectic days. We were jittery, too. And with reason,” the board wrote.

Among the massive changes on Long Island: More than 40,000 Long Islanders had entered the armed services and 80,000 men and women were “working in war plants to manufacture death and destruction for the enemies who would have destroyed us,” the board wrote. Long Islanders were coping with rationing of goods and supplies — “we ran short of gasoline and tires wore out with none to replace them” — but discovered they could survive with less.

“We found we could live together under more difficult conditions than those to which we had formerly been accustomed,” the board wrote. “Our boys were taking it plenty out there, and we tried to take just a little of the hardships as our small contribution.”

By 1951, the 10th anniversary of what the board called “Black Sunday,” it urged that we do more than remember Pearl Harbor.

“We must renew our determination that it will not happen again,” Newsday’s board wrote. “Any part of this country could be the Pearl Harbor of a third world war. If any of us are again in a state of lethargy and drifting in a fool’s paradise, a reminder of what happened on Dec. 7, 1941, should serve to jolt us out of that fatal attitude.”

Two years later, the board echoed that call for vigilance. But now the target of our wariness was Russia. America was far stronger than in 1941, the board noted, but so was Russia and the world was much more capable of blowing itself up.

“Two bombs, if strategically placed, could wipe out most of New York City,” the board wrote. “Whether the Russians ever get the chance depends on civilians as well as the military. In such a time, when the danger is greater than ever before, we cannot afford to relax. We cannot say that Russia will not dare attack us. We do not know.”

By Dec. 7, 1961, the call for preparedness was condensed in a single paragraph, so firmly had 20 years taught the lesson.

“Pearl Harbor is a reminder and a warning — a reminder that a careless nation is a nation in peril; a warning that in these far more complex and menacing times we must always keep our armaments and our armed forces at the ready,” the board wrote. “As we pay tribute to those who died so needlessly, let us make sure that never again are we caught unaware.”

Despite that warning, on another sun-kissed day 40 years later, America again was caught unaware when planes crashed into the Twin Towers, another day that will live in infamy.

— Michael Dobie, Amanda Fiscina-Wells

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