Here’s my take on the political winners and losers in this year’s game of Nassau politics.
Madeline Singas: Having kept her promise to be a professional prosecutor above the political fray, she was easily re-elected receiving 65 percent of votes cast. After I broke ranks with the Nassau Conservative Party four years ago and endorsed Singas over the unqualified Republican Kate Murray, I was castigated by many party members.
However, in 2019, Conservative leaders realized I was right and endorsed Singas for a second full term in office.
Peter King: The retiring congressman has served the nation and Long Island with distinction for 27 years in the House of Representatives. He played a major role in the 1998 peace negotiations between the Irish government and the I.R.A.
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, he fought tirelessly to enhance the nation’s security and to bring aid to New York to help recovery efforts. Sen. Chuck Schumer got it right when he said that King “stood head and shoulders above everyone else” as a “principled” legislator who “fiercely loved America, Long Island, and his Irish heritage and served them all.”
Sadly, Schumer was condemned by his party’s lunatic fringe for daring to be civil and saying he would miss King and “value[d] his friendship.”
Judi Bosworth: The North Hempstead Supervisor was easily re-elected to a fourth term. During her tenure, she has maintained the township’s triple-A financial ratings and has proved that hard work and a civil demeanor pays off.
Laura Gillen: She is a winner even though she lost her bid for a second term as Hempstead’s supervisor. Gillen fearlessly exposed the institutional incompetence and cronyism of 100 years of Republican rule. Republican hacks on the town board, however, blocked her efforts to implement much needed municipal reforms. Taxpayers will be sorry they restored GOP rule.
Ed Mangano: Indicted in October 2016, the former Republican County Executive was convicted on March 8, 2019 of conspiracy to commit bribery, honest service, wire fraud, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. In October, he was barred from practicing law. Mangano is expected to be sentenced to jail in December.
Rob Walker: The former Republican First Deputy County Executive pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice on May 29, 2019. He admitted to a federal judge: “I knowingly and unfortunately … met with an informant working with the government and I asked him not to disclose the $5,000 he gave me.” Taxpayers are fortunate to be rid of this pretentious, dishonest light-weight.
Jon Venditto: The former Republican Supervisor of Oyster Bay, pleaded guilty on July 26, 2019 to state corruption charges.
Edward Ambrosino: The former Republican Hempstead Town legislator and former special counsel to Ed Mangano, pleaded guilty of tax evasion in April 2019. He was ordered to pay $275,000 in back taxes, $370,000 in legal penalties, and $700,000 to his former law firm. In November, Ambrosino was sentenced to six months in a federal prison.
Nassau’s Democratic state senators: They naively supported the MTA’s congestion pricing plan, a financial ruse to pick the pockets of many struggling taxpayers.
They were bought off with the pledge that their suburban rail system would receive billions from the projected “congestion pricing” borrowing to fund capital projects. They were chumps. The LIRR will be getting that much and more from the existing MTA capital projects plan.
Jack Schnirman: The Democratic Nassau County Comptroller, who has boasted he understands public finance and accounting, did not grasp that he was overpaid $52,980 in a separation payment when he left his Long Beach City Manager post in December 2017. While Schnirman paid back the money, it is hard to take him seriously as our fiscal watchdog.
Jay Jacobs: As the only political party leader appointed to the State’s Public Campaign Financing Commission, he looks like the governor’s patsy. Most Albany wags believe he was instructed to settle a Cuomo score by devising regulations that ensure the Working Families Party will go out of business after the next gubernatorial election.