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Peter Schmitt Watch

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

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Schmitt is getting desperate with his lies

In his letter to Newsday, Peter Schmitt’s verbal acrobatics attacking Democrats is just one more example of his willingness to say anything to get reelected. Schmitt has now gone from claiming that Democrats raised taxes to Democrats just voting to raise taxes but the taxes never being enacted. The first attack has been proven a lie and now he tries a desperate new attack. Let’s be honest here Mr. Schmitt although that would put you at a great disadvantage. You sir are the cause of Nassau County’s fiscal mess. You sir are the reason why the county was nearly bankrupt. After approving the BPA scam that cost the county $70million in ONE YEAR, Mr. Schmitt dares wash his hands of responsibility by blaming his indicted fellow republicans. Mr. Schmitt stood by as the county fell deeper and deeper in debt
while getting paid $60,000 a year to appear in local newspapers handing out citations. Mr. Schmitt approved the Gulotta budgets and fiscal trickery that caused New York State to create NIFA which at any time can step in and take over the county finances. The list of Mr. Schmitt’s fiscal malfeasance is long and detailed. His history of decieving voters is just as long and detailed.
The Democratic Majority under Judy Jacobs and County Executive Suozzi have spent that past few year cleaning up the mess left by Schmitt and the Gulotta Republicans. Schmitt’s pathetic attempts to shift blame merely hi-lights his contempt for Nassau voters. Mr. Schmitt’s deceptive mailings and outright lies in articles, letters and at local meetings brings me to quote Joseph Welch “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

Here's his letter:
Nassau Democrats voted to raise county property taxes 58 percent. That's an incontrovertible fact that Newsday ["Don't Believe GOP Distortions About Nassau Taxes," Viewpoints, Oct. 26] simply cannot credibly deny, notwithstanding the paper's unabashed bias.

The facts speak for themselves. As reported in the Oct. 28, 2000, edition of Newsday, the Democrat majority in the county legislature enacted a budget that increased county property taxes 15.4 percent. On Nov. 28, 2001, Newsday again reported that all 10 members of the Democrat legislative majority passed a budget increasing county property taxes 15 percent. Once again, on Oct. 29, 2002, Newsday reported that Democrats voted to increase county property taxes 19.4 percent.

Let's do some easy math. If you were paying $1,000 in taxes prior to the first Democrat vote to raise taxes 15.4 percent, you would have been paying $1,154 after their vote. Now, after the second Democrat vote to raise taxes (a 15-percent increase), you would have been paying $1,327.10. And after the third year of Democrat votes to increase taxes (the 19.4-percent tax increase), your taxes would have gone to $1,584.55.

If you start with a base of $1,000 and after successive increases you arrive at a new total of $1,584, you have undergone a 58-percent increase.

Yes, Newsday will contend that the full force of the Democrat votes to raise taxes were not felt by taxpayers because the Republican minority on the county legislature voted to sustain the very necessary vetoes that were issued against the Democrats' crippling tax-increase votes. But that doesn't change the fact that the Democrat majority on the county
legislature, in three successive years, voted to increase county property taxes a crippling 58 percent.

Higher taxes are the only real answer to the county's fiscal woes that Nassau Democrats have pursued during the years that they have been in the majority. Their first and last response has always been to raise taxes.

Newsday and columnist Lawrence C. Levy can try to twist and distort the truth all that they want. However, every homeowner in Nassau knows that their county property taxes have never been higher. And all anyone has to do is turn to the editions of Newsday that I've noted above to read in black and white that Nassau Democrats did vote to increase county property taxes 58 percent.

Peter Schmitt

a break-down of this letter soon

Saturday, October 25, 2003

John Rennhack for Nassau County Legislator

Massapequan Observer 10/24/03

Nassau Legislative District 12 Candidates
John Rennhack

John Rennhack
By Jessica Anderson
Democratic challenger John Rennhack of North Massapequa is seeking election to Nassau Legislative District 12, which encompasses Massapequa, Massapequa Park, and portions of North Massapequa and Seaford.

If elected, Rennhack said his main focus would be to put Nassau's fiscal house in order. "There are many things I would like to see accomplished in the 12th, but without the money from the county, it will be difficult to accomplish them," Rennhack said. He claims that his opponent, together with his party, have been deceiving the voters of Nassau County.

"Mr. Schmitt has gone on and on about a $500 million increase in spending which he blames on Tom Suozzi and the Democratic Majority," Rennhack said. "The truth is that what Mr. Schmitt is attacking is mandated cost increases which he knows about. These increases are in Medicaid, pensions and healthcare."

When Nassau County has succeeded in moving from deficit to surplus, Rennhack said he would like to see county property tax decrease by 3 percent every year for five years if the next year's budget spending and receipts are in the black.

If elected, he said he would also like to see passage of his Military Reservist Tax Relief proposal in the Nassau County Legislature and in Congress. The proposal would freeze property taxes for reservists serving more than six months overseas, and provide federal grants to pay the taxes to the municipalities.

Another goal of Rennhack's would be to have the Legislature pass a Minimum Fuel Efficiency Standard for all county vehicles in various classes. "When new vehicles are purchased they must meet or exceed the standard," Rennhack explained. "This will save the county money at a time when gas prices are high and look to get higher in the near future."

Finally, Rennhack has plans for a light rail system on Rt. 135, connecting the north and south shores with connections to Long Island Bus routes and Long Island Rail Road stations. "This would make travel in Nassau easier for residents and workers without cars."

Rennhack, who is originally from Queens, credits his dedication to civic responsibility to his mother, who was involved with local organizations in Middle Village. "She stood up and fought for the neighborhood and did not shy away from getting the job done," Rennhack explained.

"I have always been outspoken socially and politically." He said he was prepared to run for the School Board in Queens but backed out when he decided to live in Nassau. "I felt it would be wrong to run, win and then leave one year later."

Rennhack believes that the fact that he comes from the private sector and hasn't been involved with the political system will make him an asset to the 12th District. "I am a leader, not a follower," he said. "I will not only have my own plans for the financial recovery of Nassau and keeping the county strong, but I will work with anyone who has a feasible and fiscally responsible plan. Politics cannot enter the equation when we are charged with the responsibility of keeping Nassau the best county in the country."

Rennhack works for CBS Television where he is responsible for millions of dollars of programming and advertising. He graduated from St. John's University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. He is a member of the Stueben Society and the Sons of Italy. He is married to Jean since 1997, with twins due any day.

Rennhack, who is also running on the Working Families Party line, has received endorsements from the Liberal Party of Nassau County, NOW of Long Island and the Empire State Pride Agenda.

Rennhack believes his honesty and commitment to public service make him the most desirable candidate for the job. "When I go to the legislature," he said, "I will go as an equal and be what the founding fathers envisioned: a citizen legislator. I am not making this a career. I will do what I have to in order to get Nassau County back on the right track and then move on."