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Opinion

The world turned upside down

Marilyn Sims, of Mineola, cast her ballot at

Marilyn Sims, of Mineola, cast her ballot at 240 Old Country Rd. in Mineola, Tuesday morning, Nov. 7, 2017. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!

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Daily Point

How Con-Con reshaped the election

The push to stop a state constitutional convention upended voter turnout in November.

Typically, more voters cast ballots in the top-of-ballot race than any other contest on the ballot. In November, that would have been the county executive race in Nassau and the district attorney race in Suffolk. Propositions usually come in dead last for attention.

Analysis of Long Island’s election results, however, shows that 6,111 more votes were cast on proposition 1 than in the county executive and district attorney races combined. That suggests that unions, environmentalists, the Conservative Party and other interest groups fighting the constitutional convention weren’t just successful in reminding voters to flip the ballot — they were able to draw Long Islanders to the polls exclusively to vote against the convention.

This map shows where the back-of-ballot vote was strongest compared with the top-of-ballot race.

More people cast votes on the con-con question than the top-of-ballot race in nearly every Suffolk County election district. In Nassau, the county executive race was a stronger draw, especially on the North Shore. But in Bellmore, Merrick and the southern part of Oyster Bay, more votes were cast on con-con than in the county executive race.

The nearly 5-to-1 defeat of con-con sent a powerful message. In our editorial today, we put forward some suggestions to channel that energy into concrete steps to end the corruption endemic in New York.

Sam Guzik

Talking Point

Will State Education ruling end the war on Hempstead’s school board?

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has resolved the two outstanding appeals involving the fractious Hempstead school board.

Elia annulled the board’s actions on June 30 to remove Lamont Johnson and appoint Mary Crosson. She also denied a petition from board member and Johnson’s ally on the board, David Gates, to remove its president, Maribel Toure, and member Gwendolyn Jackson, both of whom voted for the removal of Johnson.

So, the score card is: Johnson back in, Toure and Jackson still in, Crosson out. And dysfunction still reigns in Hempstead.

The most interesting part of Elia’s ruling came at the very end when she noted that she was “compelled to comment on the controversy . . . which continues to plague this district.”

Elia concluded:

“I again admonish the district and the board, as I have in previous appeals, to take all steps necessary to ensure that such controversy does not continue and that the district’s leadership and resources are focused on the paramount goal of providing successful outcomes for students.”

The question is what Elia will do next if there is no peace in Hempstead.

Michael Dobie

Pencil Point

Inappropriate touching

Click here to see more cartoons from around the nation.

Quick Points

Words have meaning

  • After drawing blowback for saying President Bill Clinton should have resigned over his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tried to explain her remarks by saying that the country had more tolerance when Clinton took in office 25 years ago. Not sure “tolerance” describes the reaction to Clinton back then.
  • Now that women are competing on a wrestling team at Nassau Community College, what’s next? How about women’s wrestling teams at other Long Island colleges?
  • President Donald Trump’s effort to name a successor to Richard Cordray instead of accepting Cordray’s choice of his top deputy to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau simply comes down to this: Trump wants to get rid of consumer financial protections.
  • Democrats in the Suffolk County Legislature, contending that Republicans have blocked spending in Democratic districts, have delayed a vote on a dredging project in a GOP district. Republicans call the Democrats’ proposals “unnecessary spending” and decry the Dems for blocking their requests. And so Washington has come to Hauppauge.
  • After a disastrous interview in which she defended Rep. John Conyers in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement that said she takes the allegations seriously as the “mother of four daughters.” Whew, good thing she wasn’t the mother of four sons.
  • GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina says Roy Moore should drop his candidacy for senator from Alabama, adding, “I want to be on the side of right when history writes the story.” It sure took him a while to figure out which side was the right side.
  • President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that negotiations among Senate Republicans are making the tax-cut bill “better and better.” Given where the bar is, that wouldn’t be too difficult.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan says when Republicans “make good on our word” and “make people’s lives better” with a tax-cut bill that benefits the middle class, the party will be “just fine politically.” So all the GOP has to do is craft a tax-cut bill that actually benefits the middle class.

Michael Dobie

Columns