Tom Suozzi Seeks 3rd Term: Promises a Property Tax Revolution

Tom Suozzi kicked off his bid for a third term as Nassau County Executive with a spirited call for a property tax revolution.

Billing himself as a problem-solver, Suozzi credits his administration with stabilizing the county's finances and cleaning up brownfields. But, he says, property taxes are still a major problem.

Suozzi's gameplan:
    • make the governments in Nassau more efficient including consolidating governments
    • expand the tax base by getting projects the like the Lighthouse Project and the Coliseum built
    • fight for Nassau's 'fair share' of state aid
    • Stop costly state mandates
What's interesting is that Suozzi is both a seasoned executive as well as one of New York's most promising politicians. He's also one of the most Latino-friendly political leaders in the state.

Friends of Suozzi - Youtube

Jon Cooper's Excellent Adventure

Suffolk County Legislator Jon Cooper tied the knot recently with long-time partner Rob in a ceremony in Connecticut.

What's Cooper's next adventure?

To decide whether he has enough political juice to prevail in a Democratic Party primary for the U.S. Senate. He's now formed an exploratory committee. To win Cooper would have to not only defeat possible contenders Carolyn McCarthy, Jerold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, but take down incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand as well.

Pundits discount Cooper's chances of winning the Democratic Party's nomination. After all, Gillibrand has the support of Chuck Schumer, David Paterson and Hillary Clinton and other establishment types. And all of the other contenders have higher profiles by virtue of their jobs as members of Congress.

On the contrary, Cooper is a nearly perfect antagonist to Gillibrand. Here's why:

1) He's a genuine Progressive in a deep blue state. Gillbrand is not. And while the other possible contenders can claim long records of moderate to liberal voting records, none can match Cooper's appeal to the Democrat's progressive base.

2) In a head-to-head contest, Gillibrand probably wins with the support of the party machine. However, if it's a three or four way split, Cooper can win with a plurality.

3) Only Cooper's entry neutralizes the Clinton-Schumer factor. These two pols were big supporters of Gillibrand, but Cooper--as Obama's man in NY--would have the benefit of the Obama campaign operation. It's a largely grassroots operation that is still in place, truly progressive, energetic, and ready to go. He's likely to also receive support -- although not an endorsement -- from President Obama.

4) While McCarthy, Maloney and Nadler are formidable fund raisers, and Gillibrand's big ace was raising big bucks, Cooper has his own money. More importantly, he has the appeal and capacity to tap into a national progressives network to fuel his campaign. There's a thirst for electing true progressives. People also want new, fresh faces. That's why Cooper's Washington inexperience and new face at the statewide level are net pluses.

Think Paul Wellstone.

5) Cooper could quickly garner support from the African American, Latino, Gay/Lesbian, student and progressive activist communities. He could match Gillibrand with suburban democrats. And he could out point anyone on business related issues and the stresses on local governments.

6) Finally, as a legislator at the county level, Cooper is best situated to appeal to his fellow colleagues in urban and suburban legislatures and councils -- neutralizing Gillibrand's Albany-centered advantages.

At the end of the day, it's possible Cooper decides he's not interested in the seat. And Gillibrand could still emerge as the darling of both moderates and progressives, erasing Cooper's path. Cooper could also bow out for an ambassadorship. Who knows?

However, if Cooper runs my sense is that -- if done right -- he could be the dark horse in the race and win the nomination. If he could do that, he'd have so much momentum that defeating any GOP retread (Pataki, Faso, Lazio) would happen. Defeating Rudy Giuliani may be another matter, but I think Cooper would be in a great position to be David against Rudy's Goliath and take him down as well.

My advice? Run, Jon, Run!

Jon Cooper for U.S. Senate: Exploratory Committee - website
Who Is Jon Cooper, and Why Does He Think He Can Run for Senate? - CAPITOL
Another Dem forms committee to challenge Gillibrand - The Hill
Jon Cooper - Polit Bureau


Rising LI Foreclosures: Latinos & African Americans Hit Hardest

In the 44 months of foreclosure studied by The Times, nine Long Island communities had more than 10 percent of homes in foreclosure. All but two of them — Islandia and Mastic Beach — had a mostly minority population at the time of the 2000 census.

The communities cut a swath from Freeport, Roosevelt, Uniondale and Hempstead in Nassau County to Wyandanch in Suffolk County, then east to Brentwood, Central Islip, Islandia and Mastic Beach.

As has occurred elsewhere in the region, foreclosure has hit African American and Latino areas hardest. In Long Island’s mostly African American and Latino census tracts, more than 13 percent of homes were in foreclosure at some point since 2005 — more than four times the rate for white tracts, raising questions among housing advocates about “reverse redlining” and concerns about the long-term impact of the foreclosure crisis on neighborhoods and the loss of wealth.



Felipe Vergara & Felipe Garcia Victors in LI Marathon

Felipe Vergara (right) , 44, was the victor in year's LI Marathon with a men's time of 2:34:12.

Felipe Garcia (left), 26, won the half-marathon with a time of 1:09:09.

The men -- Mexican immigrants -- are repeat winners of their respective races, and sponsored my Mi Territa, a Colombian Latino restaurant in the Village of Hempstead.

Other high finishers in the marathon include: 2nd placer finisher Carlos Sauce, 30, 2:43:33; 5th place finisher Mario Dimas, 26, 2:46:09; and seventh place finisher Jaime Palacios, 54, 2:49:36.

Carlos Techera, 21, had the 8th best time in the half marathon.

Alexis Fernandez, 13, was third best time among the women -- and 1st in her age division -- in the 5K at 20:20.

Nassau County Legislator Dave Mejias, 38, finished 7th in the 1 mile race with a time of 8:09.

Full Results


Tom Suozzi's Born to be Wild

Watch Tom Suozzi's 'Born to be Wild' performance at Dave Mejias' fundraiser in Farmingdale. Check out Mejias' nifty guitar playing. Nice to see the lighter side of these guys.

via Polit Bureau