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Peter Schmitt Watch

Keeping tabs on Nassau County Legislator Peter J. Schmitt. The truth is here.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

A response to an outragous column from July 25th, 2003

Mr. Schmitt has repeatedly written that the Democrats have been in "solid control for four years" and has said that tax increases are the "last resort" for republicans yet fails to mention the 1% real estate transfer tax and 10.55% property tax increase when he was in the majority. "Last resort" indeed. We cannot abide the tenor or content of Mr. Schmitt's column from July 25th, which needs to be addressed

Peter Schmitt is upset because the Massapequan Observer has cut his column down to once a month. Mr. Schmitt is understandably upset that his opportunity to attack the County Executive and Democratic Majority has been diminished. Far from being a "Minority Report," Mr. Schmitt's column merely served as a platform for partisan rhetoric doing little to inform readers of republican legislators plans for the recovery of Nassau's fiscal health.

Mr. Schmitt writes, "we expect attacks coming from the 'Democrat' majority." The so-called "attacks" are factual representations of the republican delegations record. Mr. Schmitt believes as Ronald Reagan said "Facts are stupid things" or rather "Facts are inconvenient to my re-election campaign." Mr. Schmitt's columns including the current one have added to the coarsening of political discourse. Instead of dealing with facts we have word games that seek to demean or just blatant attacks like calling the Democratic Majority "ten dogs" in a previous column.

Mr. Schmitt described Harold Ickes as a "former staff member who served President Clinton during the Whitewater scandal." This is deceptive wordplay intended to besmirch the character of Mr. Ickes. Mr. Ickes served as Deputy Chief of Staff from 1993-1996 at which time the United States entered an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity and is well-respected through-out Washington D.C. To mention "Whitewater" as Mr. Ickes' resume is an attempt to link Mr. Ickes with the "scandal." Mr. Schmitt says Mr. Ickes failed "to secure a penny for Nassau County" yet Mr. Ickes secured a $675,000 grant to help clean up the county's freshwater ponds. Is $675,000 a failure "to secure a penny?"  Mr. Schmitt assails Mr. Ickes lobbying of a "republican white house and congress." Should we not expect elected representatives to assist all citizens and not just ones that belong or contribute to their party?

Mr. Schmitt may take issue with the hiring of Denis Monette but to place quotes around the word "disabled" when referring to a 22 year retired Nassau County Police Detective is a new low achieved by Mr. Schmitt. If Mr. Schmitt has questions about Mr. Monette's disability status he should bring it up with the proper department. Mr. Monette is a highly decorated veteran of the force and I doubt Mr. Schmitt can match the 22 years of public service by Mr. Monette placing his life on the line for county residents. Mr. Schmitt owes Mr. Monette and all disabled Nassau Police veterans an apology.

There are many outrages in Mr. Schmitt’s columns and much to discuss but a real discussion of issues that face Nassau County cannot be done when a candidate standing for re-election would resort to deceptive wordplay and veiled personal attacks.