Friday, July 15, 2016

Long Island


Geographically, Long Island consists of of four counties, Kings (Brooklyn) and Queens, part of "the city," and Nassau and Suffolk. Colloquially, every New Yorker who says "Long Island" or "the Island," means Nassau and Suffolk, which have a combined population of 2,846,241. When I lived there in the mid to late '60s, Suffolk County was still the second or third biggest potato farming county in the U.S. with lots of wide-open spaces. Today it is the 4th most populous county in New York, after Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. It has one entire congressional district (NY-01) and part of 2 others (NY-02 and NY-03). Nassau County has one all-Nassau district (NY-04) and shares two districts with Suffolk (NY-02 and NY-03, some of which also spills over into northwestern Queens).

These New York suburbs were once reliably Republican but are now reliably Democratic. All 4 voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012:
NY-01 (eastern Suffolk)- 51-48% and 50 to 49%
NY-02 (the South Shore)- 51-48% and 52-47%
NY-03 (the North Shore)- 54-46% and 51-48%
NY-04 (the heart of Nassau)- 55-44% and 56-43%
All 4 districts should have Democratic congressmen but in recent years the DCCC ceded total responsibility for Long Island to Steve Israel, congressman for NY-03 and his unique blend of incompetence and mind-boggling corruption has resulted in an even split, 2 right-wing Democrats (himself and New Dem Kathleen Rice) and two garden variety Republicans, Peter King and Lee Zeldin). It's inconceivable that anyone could have done worse than Steve Israel in messing up the Long Island congressional map. And even though he's been driven out of office to avoid being indicted for campaign finance shenanigans and will finally be retiring in January, he is still fucking up the congressional races on the Island. First of all, he has interfered in finding his own replacement by backing an incompetent junior clone of himself, and sowed all kinds of party discord in his attempt to stiff-arm the popular eventual primary winner, Tom Suozzi, easily the Democrat with the best chance to retain the seat for the Democrats.

But it wasn't just Israel's failed attempt to name his own successor this year that has hurt Long Island Democrats. He inserted himself into the NY-01 race, backing a non-Democrat, Anna Throne-Holst, who he is reliably rumored to be having an affair with and she beat the more electable candidate 5,446 to 5,417, probably guaranteeing ambitious Republican Lee Zeldin another term.

But his worst interference, as it is every cycle, was on behalf of his Republican ally and crony Peter King (NY-02) on the South Shore. Israel is a repulsive, small town racist who has used his position at the DCCC to ruin the political careers of African-American politicians who have had the temerity to dare run in non-black districts. Israel personally caused the defeats of Steven Horsford in a blue district in Nevada and John Ewing in Omaha, in each case, starving their campaigns of cash. The candidate running against Israel amigo King this year is DuWayne Gregory, the much respected and admired African-American presiding officer of the Suffolk County legislature. Israel has bad-mouthed his chances and persuaded the DCCC to sit on its hands even though this is the district ripest to go from red to blue on all of Long Island.

Israel has appealed to big donors to not "waste" their money on Gregory's campaign, never admitting, of course, his own ugly, virulent racism. Immediately after he got his girlfriend in NY-01 the Democratic nomination, the DCCC named her a Red to Blue candidate. He even acquiesced to Suozzi being put into the Red to Blue program. But in the bluer 2nd district-- absolutely not. Gregory is the only Long Island candidate not embraced by the DCCC-- conspicuously so-- a little goodbye present to Peter King from fellow crooked operator Steve Israel. On the other hand, both Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn from House leadership and Marcia Fudge from the CBC are now advocating for Gregory and helping him financially, Fudge being one of the few members aware of how Israel's virulent racism has screwed black candidates in the past. I guess it's too late to tell Pelosi, who has kept her eyes firmly shut to Israel's mishandling of the DCCC. If you'd like to help out, Duwayne is the only Long Island candidate Blue America has endorsed:
Goal Thermometer

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