“[L]et’s agree that Ed Mangano isn’t on the ballot.”
These were the words of Jack Martins, the Republican candidate for Nassau County executive, taken from a magazine interview his campaign shared on Facebook on Sunday.
Unfortunately for Martins, his own words and actions over the last several months have made it very hard for most people to agree with him on that point.
Take Martins’ pledge to reform the property tax assessment system in Nassau County, for instance.
Martins has suggested that he would shift responsibility from the county level to the town level. This is identical to a proposal made by Mangano during his tenure as county executive.
Of course, it is highly unlikely that local and state legislatures would ever sign off on this this Mangano/Martins proposal, but that is entirely the point.
In an article posted to Newsday’s website on Aug. 15, 2015, writers Daniel Wheaton and Matt Clark detailed how for-profit firms challenging county tax assessments, which had “wither[ed]” under Democratic County Executive Tom Suozzi, were booming under Mangano.
According to the article, the number of residential property tax challenges settled by the county rose from 42 to 84 percent between 2009 and 2013, a boon to the firms handling most of those challenges.
Mangano had great incentive to make changes favorable to the industry and block genuine reform, of course.
Before he took office, Wheaton and Clark found that the top seven tax-grieving firms directly or indirectly donated over $120,000 to Republican candidates and committees. After he took office (through 2014), they donated over $980,000 to Republican candidates and committees.
During Mangano’s 2009 campaign, those tax-grieving firms even established their own political action committee, the Committee for Fair Property Taxes, to funnel donations through.
Although he bills himself as a reformer and “honest” leader, Martins has already been feeding at the same trough as Mangano.
The Committee for Fair Property Taxes has donated $7,600 to Martins’ county executive campaign. Several big players in the industry, including Sean Acosta, Shalom Maidenbaum and Fred N. Perry, have each personally donated $5,000.
Anyone who expects Martins to look these deep-pocketed donors in the eye and tell them that the gravy train is going out of service is untethered from reality.
I strongly suggest that your readers not only take the time to go through the Wheaton/Clark article from 2015, but also take a look at Clark’s follow-up article posted by Newsday on Feb. 11, 2017.
Combined, they paint a chilling portrait of the corruption of the Mangano administration and the Nassau County GOP at large.
As for Martins, he should change his campaign slogan from “Honest Leadership” to “Open for Business.”
New Hyde Park