TODAY'S PAPER
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Opinion

Three men and a diner

Good afternoon. Today’s points:

  • An alliance in CD3 race forms at the diner
  • Sanders’ lingering influence on a local election
  • Seven quick points for you

Daily Point

Unusual view from the diner booth

Sunday brought the most unusual event yet in the race to replace the retiring Steve Israel in the 3rd Congressional District, as all three men fighting State Sen. Jack Martins for the seat united at a local diner to cry foul at the Mineola Republican.

The news conference at the Greenvale Townhouse Diner was the brainchild of Libertarian Michael McDermott, but Democrat Thomas Suozzi and Republican Philip Pidot were happy to join in. The three were brought together by Martins’ attempts to knock them off the ballot, saying they don’t have enough legitimate signatures to run, and his effort to move the date of the election.

Martins’ fight over whether Pidot had the right to primary him has been resolved in court: Pidot had the signatures, but there was no time to create the ballot as Pidot was certified just four days before the June 28 primary. Last week, a federal judge ordered a new GOP primary for the two for Oct. 6. Now Martins has sued to have the election for the seat moved to Dec. 6, claiming the primary is too close to the Nov. 8 general election. Martins has also challenged McDermott’s signatures on the Libertarian ballot line and Suozzi’s signatures on the Fix Washington line, though Suozzi will still be on the ballot as a Democrat.

The diner was in early Sunday bustle mode but the three men had gathered with a few family members and staffers (and hardly anyone else) in an enclosed room a few steps from the main dining area. Pushing to get started, Suozzi pointed out a crowd waiting for tables starting to build up in the lobby and suggested they get the event done so the restaurant could use the space.

Standing together, the three took turns at the microphone to state their grievances against Martins.

There is much Pidot, Suozzi and McDermott don’t agree on politically, but on Sunday they concurred that they want the election on the normal date of Nov. 8. And they think Martins is afraid to appear on the same GOP line as Donald Trump on the same day that Suozzi gets a potential bump from Hillary Clinton supporters who vote Democrat straight down the ballot.

Lane Filler

Talking Point

The 25-year-old who could

John DeVito appears to be taking a page from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, as DeVito runs for the 3rd State Senate District. The 25-year-old candidate, who’s taking a leave from law school to run, has cast himself as a populist in favor of taking the money out of politics by creating a system of public matching funds.

The Shirley resident is one of three Democrats vying to oust freshman Republican Sen. Tom Croci of Sayville. And despite his complaints about the cost of running, DeVito listed $44,680 on hand in his most recent filing for the Sept. 13 primary.

Among other Democrats, former Suffolk Legis. Rick Montano of Brentwood reported $605 in the bank, while longtime activist Joe Fritz, also from Brentwood, didn’t file a report, according to the state Board of Elections website.

DeVito’s local mentor is Suffolk County Legis. Kate Browning (WF-Shirley), and he has worked for former Rep. Anthony Weiner, both in Washington and in Weiner’s 2013 run for NYC mayor.

Montano has the edge in name recognition, but DeVito is working hard; his campaign claims 45 active volunteers.

Anne Michaud

Quick Points

Just another manic Monday

- The Obama administration says it intends to investigate how authorities responded to false reports of gunfire at JFK Airport last week. We can save investigators a lot of time with the conclusion: not well.

- The NAACP has called for a moratorium on new charter schools, saying they exacerbate segregation. Just checking: Isn’t the NAACP’s mission to expand opportunity, not shrink it?

- As Florida begins spraying and other efforts to combat Zika in Miami Beach, the city’s mayor said the last thing he’d want to be in Miami Beach is a mosquito. Forgetting, for a moment, a pregnant woman bitten by a mosquito.

- As floodwaters recede in Louisiana, victims are registering for federal assistance. Based on Long Island’s experience with Sandy, they’ll get all their money by 2020.

- The LIRR has improved its on-time performance so far in 2016. But its explanations for late trains are still late.

- Donald Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, says Trump “doesn’t hurl personal insults.” In February, she criticized him for “hurling personal insults.” Yep, she’s fitting right in.

- Hillary Clinton’s campaign is warning donors and fellow Dems not to be complacent despite her polling leads over Donald Trump. With the Clinton Foundation, the private server, another congressional investigation, and Julian Assange sitting on more emails, here’s guessing that complacency isn’t going to be a problem.

Michael Dobie

Columns