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Peter Schmitt Watch

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Schmitt Talks Out of Both Sides of His Mouth

Can Schmitt ever make up his mind and stick to one talking point? Back in December, Schmitt told the Anton Newspapers that "The Democratic majority on the legislature is fractured. There will be an election on Jan. 3 for presiding officer. Someone needs to get 10 votes. I have nine. Roger Corbin has three or four. Judy Jacobs has five or six. Nobody has 10. I don't want to be presiding officer of a legislature that is a Democratic majority. To break the logjam, several members of my delegation have agreed to support Roger Corbin as presiding officer."

What was that again? "Someone needs to get 10 votes."

I'm sorry, can you repeat that Peter? "Someone needs to get 10 votes."

That's what I thought I heard him say.
Why is this important?
Because the lawsuit brought by the Democrats says that since no one got 10 votes, Schmitt is not the Presiding Officer.
Schmitts lawyer is saying that he doesn't need 10 votes. Yet Schmitt himself said the exact opposite a month ago.
Schmitt's lawyer is actually fighting what Schmitt himself stated as fact.

Monday, January 30, 2006

In The Beginning - 3 Years of Schmitt Watch

This is first in a series for our 3rd anniversary......

Where did this all start and why?
As we told the Long Island Press 3 years ago when they did an article on the original website, "I disagree with Pete Schmitt on his approach and his record. I picked Pete Schmitt because he is my legislator and lucky for me, and maybe unlucky for him, he is the minority leader which means he is the one out front for his caucus."

The true beginnings of the site started with an exchange of letters to the editor in the Massapequa Post and the Massapequan Observer. Peter Schmitt was spouting off as usual about how bad Suozzi and the Democrats are and as usual Schmitt was making things up. Here is the exchange as it appeared in the Massapequa Observer. The Massapequa Post no longer has the early months of 2003 available on thier website.

Complaints Are No Solution - February 7, 2003

It's amazing that after only one year in office for Tom Suozzi, Pete Schmitt expects years and years of Republican fiscal mismanagement to be cured. The Nassau County budget mess is the result of Tom Gulotta and the rubber stamp of Pete Schmitt and his cohorts.
If you believe the Nassau Republicans, the Nassau Democrats are the cause of all the ills of the county. Election after election saw the Republicans portraying Democrats of being fiscally irresponsible and a danger to the county if elected. Voters finally saw through the charade and gave the majority and the county executive seat to the Democrats.
Taxes in Nassau have always been high and this begs the question, What did Tom Gulotta, Pete Schmitt and the Republican legislature do with all that money? Nassau County is the richest county in the country, yet during an unprecedented time of economic growth in the country, while all other municipalities prospered, Nassau went deeper and deeper into the red. The no-show patronage jobs, the high-negotiated contract wages to secure endorsements and no-bid contracts have defined Republican fiscal policy.
We find out that because of the BPA scam, Nassau County lost $70 million in one year while Pete Schmitt was the deputy presiding officer in the Republican majority. His excuse for not examining the proposal is that they just trusted what they were told by the executive and his cronies (the same ones indicted for fraud). This is a clear-cut case of malfeasance on the part of Schmitt and the Gulotta Republicans. They are elected and paid to at least read the proposals they are going to vote on.
County Executive Suozzi and the Democratic-controlled legislature are trying to clean up the mess left by the Republicans. The cleanup won't be easy or pretty but it falls on capable shoulders. Pete Schmitt complains about the "rushed" reassessments, yet if the Republicans had been responsible legislators years ago, the reassessments would have taken place over a longer period of time, legal costs would have been saved, and a court-mandated settlement could have been avoided.
If Pete Schmitt has a plan to save the county, I wonder where it was for all these years? Instead of taking pictures with civic groups, veterans, Boy Scouts, and anyone he can present an award to, maybe Schmitt should get to work and let us know about his glorious plan. We have not forgotten that it was Pete Schmitt and the Gulotta Republicans who got us into this situation and we won't forget that they aren't helping now. Complaints aren't solutions and TV ads and newsletters won't change that.
John Rennhack
North Massapequa

Schmitt responded the following week with the usual talking points....

Suozzi Headed in Wrong Direction - February 14, 2003

I write to clarify the distortion of history contained in the John Rennhack letter of last week. The fact is that the Democrats took power in Nassau County following the 1999 elections. We are in the fourth year of Democrat control of the legislature and the second year of Democrat control of the executive branch. During this time, what have they done? Three budgets prepared by, presented by and approved by Democrats. Three years of massive tax increases and three years of spending increases. That is the verifiable record, in other words, John - you could look it up. Sixty percent increase in property taxes over the last three budgets, all Democrat. An astounding $500 million - that is one-half of a billion dollar increase in county spending.
Let us be clear: The Democrats are - and have been - in solid control of Nassau County for the past years. The Republican Minority criticizes the failings of the party in power - that is what a Minority does.
I hope you have noticed, John, that the Democrats are not embracing the Bush budget in Washington, nor are they unveiling their great plans. Tom Suozzi is doing a better job than his predecessor. I have acknowledged that from day one. That being said and it isn't saying much, I also believe that he is taking the county in the wrong direction on property tax policy. He campaigned on a platform of cutting government spending (over $100 million). He has increased it . He campaigned on consolidating and restructuring County government. He has restructured it all right. Creating seven new departments with seven new commissioners, deputy commissioners, staffs, etc. And now the Democrats want to saddle Nassau County taxpayers with a Storm Water and Sewer Authority. Another layer of government spending, an independent agency with the power to tax and spend, as if the Democrats need any help with that.
We, as Republicans, will continue to press for less government, not more. Caps and cuts on government spending, not more, and we will continue to support those initiatives put forth by the administration that accomplishes those goals - and continue to oppose those who do not. We, as Republicans, believe that property tax increases are the last, the absolute last step in solving the County fiscal problems.
The Democrats, given the record, believe that is the first, and so far, the only step. That is one of the differences between the two political parties. I know that given the record of tax and spending by the party in power, the Democrats desperately want to point fingers and look backwards.
And, by the way, John, you may think that our veterans, our children, and our civic groups are not worthy of a political and governmental leader's time, but you are wrong. It is called a community. That is what it is all about.
Peter J. Schmitt Republican
Minority Leader Nassau County Legislature

This letter by Schmitt needed a reply and thankfully the local papers both printed the response.....

Schmitt Can't Deny Improvements - March 14, 2003
I would first like to thank The Massapequan Observer for allowing me the space to respond to Legislator Peter Schmitt. Schmitt calls his response to my previous letter a "clarification." In order for it to be a "clarification," the facts in my letter needed to have been addressed. Schmitt merely presented empty rhetoric. Schmitt also presumes to lecture me on what a community is. I know what a community is and I know that Schmitt has cost the community plenty over the years.

Schmitt is wrong when he says the Democrats have been in "solid control" for the past four years. The Democrats took control of the legislature in 2000 and Tom Suozzi has only been in office since 2002, which means there has only been one year of "solid control." To say that increases are a "last step" for Republicans defies the facts. Schmitt forgets that Republican budgets have included tax increases.
The verifiable record is that the fiscal irresponsibility was so deep when the Democrats took control, the county needed to clean up its act to stave off an oversight board taking over the county finances. After the Democrats took control, the bond rating of the county increased after being rated almost JUNK during Schmitt's tenure as deputy presiding officer. Schmitt does not want to look back, because there lies his malfeasance.
Schmitt digresses to the Democrats in Washington, but they have presented their plans for fiscal stability, while Bush has squandered a historic surplus and has thrown us into huge deficits for the next five to 10 years.
Schmitt demands cuts and caps, yet it was he who bloated the county. And again I ask, where were his plans when he was in the majority? Why did it get so bad? Schmitt has yet to present a viable plan for recovery. Suozzi is being honest about fiscal matters and the county needs to solve the problems now so that our children are not saddled with a huge debt. A thousand jobs have already been cut and more consolidation is on the way.
If Schmitt has noticed, the independent NIFA board sees the Suozzi budget and actions as a positive not a negative. Schmitt was given a copy of the NIFA letter approving Suozzi's plan and according to the NIFA review the Storm Water and Sewer Authority will save money. Schmitt can deny the improvements all he wants, but they are real and they will continue to come despite his nay-saying.
John Rennhack

Schmitt replies once again but makes sure we know that he is taking his ball and going home....

Facts are 'Stubborn Things' - March, 28, 2003
I write in final response to the latest John Rennhack letter. Facts, as Ronald Reagan once said, are stubborn things. The fact is that the Democrats took power in Nassau County following the 1999 elections. We are in the fourth year of Democrat control of the legislature, and the second year of Democrat control of the executive branch.

The facts are that over the past three years, county property taxes have risen over 60 percent and the county spending has increased by $500 million - that is one-half a billion dollars. I know that given the record of tax and spending by the party in power, that the Democrats desperately want to point fingers and look backwards. I also know that discussions of public policy and elections are about the future.
I will not be responding to the partisan ramblings of Mr. Rennhack any further.
I am sure your readers want to move on.
Peter J. Schmitt
Minority Leader Nassau County Legislature

The following is a response to Mr. Schmitt’s letter in the March 28th Massapequan Observer. This was not submitted to the Massapequan Observer because they have graciously printed two of the letters on this topic and I did not want to abuse their kindness. I did feel that Mr. Schmitt’s letter demands a response somewhere and the website was the place to do it. I will be responding to Mr. Schmitts statements in red. His letter is in no way edited and is presented in full.

To the editor, I write in final response to the latest John Rennhack letter.

I had expected this but had hoped for the response to be a thoughtful debate regarding the issues and questions I presented. This is Mr. Schmitt’s second letter to me via the Massapequan Observer and like the first it does not address the facts I presented or the questions I asked.

Facts, as Ronald Reagan once said, are stubborn things.

Sadly right out of the gates Mr. Schmitt is wrong. John Adams** is quoted as saying "Facts are stubborn things." Ronald Reagan is widely quoted as saying "Facts are STUPID things." Quite a difference and I believe Mr. Schmitt adheres to the Ronald Reagan sentiment and not John Adams’.

The fact is that Democrats took power in Nassau County following the 1999 elections.

The Democrats were elected in 1999 and took office in the year 2000 a fact which I reminded Mr. Schmitt of. His use of 1999 instead of 2000 is clearly meant to deceive readers into adding 1999 to the amount of years Democrats have held the legislative majority.

We are in the fourth year of Democrat control of the legislature and the second year of Democrat control of the executive branch.

Again Mr. Schmitt attempts to not only subtly deceive but wiggle out of his previous comments. The Democrats have been in control of the legislature for three years and three months and the executive branch one year and three months. Mr. Schmitt wants people to believe Democrats have been in control far longer than they have. Mr. Schmitt has said and written on numerous occasions that "For the past four years, the Democratic party has been firmly in charge in Nassau County." (Long Island Press Volume1, Issue 9), "Let us be clear. The Democrats are and have been in solid control of Nassau County for the past four years." (Massapequa Post 3/05/03) and "During that time they alone have controlled three county budgets" (LI Press V1,I9). He even said the Democrats have had "solid" control for four years in his televised response to Mr. Souzzi’s State of the County address. For the record Mr. Schmitt, the Democrats have had the Legislature since 2000 with republican Tom Gullotta as Executive and now Democrat Tom Souzzi since 2002. I am not a mathematician but that would be ONE year of being "firmly in charge" or in "solid control." I have attempted to correct Mr. Schmitt but he continues his deception.

The facts are that over the past three years, county property taxes have risen over 60 percent and the county spending increased by $500 million - that is one-half a billion dollars.

The fact is the spending increase Schmitt goes on about are in fact non-discretionary budget items such as healthcare, medicare, medicaid, contracted salary increases and the like. As a former Deputy Presiding Officer and a Legisaltor from the start he should know that. Yes there was a tax increase but that 60% is just a lie (See archive for a list of his tax number lies.) Under Schmitts leadership in the legislature as Deputy Presiding Officer, the fiscal situation in Nassau County got so bad that the state was going to take over the county finances. Under the direction of NIFA the county needed to raise money and the tax increases approved by Mr. Gullotta were instituted. Had Nassau NOT done something immediately the NIFA board would have been in charge. Under Mr. Souzzi, there have been cost-cutting policies and he continues to push consolidation and fiscal responsibility. I ask now for the third time, why did it get so bad on your watch Mr. Schmitt? What is YOUR plan to save the county? I know that given the record of tax and spending by the party in power, Let’s be honest Mr. Schmitt, you beat that dead horse at every turn yet if you look at the towns run by republicans, they have increased taxes and spending almost every year. Your record and that of the Gullotta Republicans has been borrow and spend. That is what got us into the mess we face now. The thing is, taxes in Nassau have always been high and I must once again ask (and don’t expect you to never answer) what happend to all the money? Why was it that during the longest period of peace and prosperity in the country under President Clinton, Nassau County was able to come to the brink of bankruptcy?

that the Democrats desperately want to point fingers and look backwards.

There is no "desperation." I am merely pointing out YOUR record. Why do you feel the need to run from your own record Mr. Schmitt? When it comes to the problems Nassau is facing right now, they are rooted in your malfeasence. Run all you want Mr. Schmitt, the past will still catch up to you.

I also know the discussions of public policy and elections are about the future.

I have attempted to discuss public policy but Mr. Schmitt refuses to engage the issues. I have asked him numerous times to give us a viable plan for the fiscal stability of Nassau but he continues to digress to attacks on Democrats. Let’s discuss the future, Mr. Schmitt. Answer the questions I have posed. I would be happy to engage Mr. Schmitt in a discussion of public policy and look forward to Mr. Schmitt dropping his partisan act. I didn’t know where "elections" came up but then I realized this is an election year and Mr. Schmitt will try his best to avoid the issues and his record.

I will not be responding to the partisan ramblings of Mr. Rennhack any further.

Of course not. I hold a mirror up to Mr. Schmitt and ask him to gaze upon his statements and challenge him to deny that they are partisan. Mr. Schmitt’s letters have been nothing but partisan ramblings crafted to deceive. Mr. Schmitt has had the opportunity to answer my questions - the questions of a constituent - but he would rather attack Democrats.

I am sure your readers want to move on.

No, you hope the readers don’t pay attention. If they do pay attention they will join in questioning your positions and your record.

** Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. - John Adams

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Did Schmitt Just Call Suozzi a Nazi?

In the New York Observer ‘The Politicker’ column Schmitt is quoted as saying about CE Suozzi “He’s run this county like a stromtrooper for the last few years.”

“Stormtrooper,” eh?

For some reason we’re not seeing him making an allusion to the white-armored Star Wars charatcters.
What comes to mind is exactly how the word Stormtrooper is defined:
“storm trooper (n. )
A member of the Nazi militia noted for brutality and violence.
One who resembles or behaves like a member of the Nazi militia.

So Suozzi has been running the county like a nazi?
If Schmitt feels that way, why doesn’t he just come out and say it?

And this is on the heels of an exchange yesterday after the vote between Leg. Dave Mejias and the usually invisible republican Fran Becker as reported by Newsday:
Legis. David Mejias (D-North Massapequa) stayed to object. "This is an illegal coup by the Republicans," he said.
Legis. Fran Becker (R-Lynbrook) called out, "This is not South America."
Mejias then asked Becker, "Is that a slur on my mother, who comes from Ecuador? You're a punk."

More from the Man of His Word

"The Democratic majority on the legislature is fractured. There will be an election on Jan. 3 for presiding officer. Someone needs to get 10 votes. I have nine. Roger Corbin has three or four. Judy Jacobs has five or six. Nobody has 10. I don't want to be presiding officer of a legislature that is a Democratic majority. To break the logjam, several members of my delegation have agreed to support Roger Corbin as presiding officer."
Anton Newspapers 12/30/05

So where was that support?

Schmitt also said in the Long Island Press that "If he were to become presiding officer, Schmitt describes his position as a would-be “prescription for disaster.”

So Schmitt wants a disaster now?

We think Schmitt's new best friend Roger Corbin said it best Jan 15th last year in Newsday “The partisan politics on behalf of the Republican minority is jeopardizing Nassau County’s fiscal future. This is a throw back to the Gulotta administration where political expediency was at the expense of the taxpayers and residents,”

A Lie About a Lie: "I am a man of my word"

Schmitt tells Newsday today "I am a man of my word." right after not living up to his agreement to support Corbin for Presiding Officer. We can’t believe he said that with a straight face. But this is Peter Schmitt we are talking about. He has a history of avoiding the truth. (see www.schmittwatch.blogspot.com)
Schmitt says of yesterdays vote "I would much prefer that a Democrat be presiding officer….But now that this has happened, we have a government to run."
Then why didn’t he vote for Roger Corbin? Schmitt pledged his caucus’ support for Corbin but in the end voted the other way.
We can see Schmitt in self-preservation mode when it looked like Judy Jacobs as an un-affiliated registration could have pushed out Schmitt as Minority Leader but that wasn’t the scenario Wednesday.
The Democrats put up Leg. Kevan Abrahams for Presiding Officer which would have meant if Schmitt was a "man of his word," he and his caucus would have given Roger Corbin 10 votes, 1 vote for Schmitt and Abrahams would have gotten the 8 Democratic votes. Even with one vote to his name, Schmitt would still be Minority Leader because Abrahams is the same party as Corbin.
Schmitt is an untrustworthy liar. Plain and simple.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Schmitt Does an Obscene Thing

The vote for the leadership in the legislature was held today and Republican Peter Schmitt was elected Presiding Officer by a single vote. The Democrats put Kevan Abrahams up for PO.
The vote is as follows:
Schmitt - 9
Abrahams - 8
Corbin - 2

Schmitt got his 8 loyal lackeys to vote for him and Corbin and Altmann pulled the Samson Option and voted against the Democratic Majority.
Corbin is now Deputy Presiding Officer... wait, that's what he was before. Moving on up.
Lisanne Altmann was the BIG WINNER cause now she's the ALTERNATE DEPUTY PRESIDING OFFICER.
Altmann is done in Nassau politics.

So Schmitt thinks he might come out in top with the public because he is the "reluctant hero" who stepped into the breach when the Democrats were fighting.
Hold the phone though, for the past couple of weeks Schmitt has been saying that him being PO would be "obscene" which we whole-heartedly agree with and he said "I don't want to be Presiding officer" and "There should be a Democratic Presiding Officer"
Like we asked yesterday, why didn't Schmitt just stay out of the vote? Or direct one of his Stepford Legislators to vote for someone other than him?

So what happens now with Schmitt as PO?
Well, you just have to look at who he is.
Check out Schmitt Watch and go through the archives.
He is a proven liar up to and including today.
When we was Deputy Presiding Officer with a republican majority he proved himself adept in screwing the county finances up.
And you can always count on him to say something stupid in the press. There's still the matter of a couple pending multi-million dollar lawsuits against him and his past problems with the law.

More to come....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

“If nominated I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.”

On January 3rd, we went through the poor-man's Machiavellian moves of Schmitt and the republicans that could mean Schmitt gets elected Presiding Officer.
Democrats Altmann and Corbin pooh-poohed the idea that Schmitt would leave them high and dry and Schmitt himself said numerous times that he is not interested in being Presiding Officer with a Democratic Majority. We of course didn't believe him.
Our contention from the beginning was that Schmitt wanted to edge Judy Jacobs out by playing a rope-a-dope on Roger Corbin.
Schmitt told the
Anton Newspapers on December 30th “I don't want to be presiding officer of a legislature that is a Democratic majority,"
On January 4th, Schmitt said in Newsday “That would be obscene.... That is not what the people of this county intended when they elected 10 Democrats. ... The Democrats should be in charge."
Also on
January 4th in the Long Island Press “But that is not what the people of the County wanted….. There should be a Democratic presiding officer, democratic committee chairs. The democrats should be in charge.”
More recently in the
Jan 23rd NYTimes "Mr. Schmitt has said it would be "obscene" for him to be presiding officer, since voters elected more Democratic legislators than Republicans."
But there is a slight variation in the story. "But if his coalition loses its court appeal, and if the Democrats fail to reunite, some politicians say he might take over after all."

Since Judy Jacobs won her court battle and if the votes played out like Corbin wanted, Corbin would be Presiding Officer with Jacobs as Minority Leader. Schmitt doesn't want to be frozen out so of course pending any new court ruling, Schmitt will drop his part of the deal with Corbin and have his people vote for him.
Corbin and Altmann don't want to "lose face" by returning to the Judy Jacobs bloc so thier votes so far stay locked in for Corbin leaving Schmitt as Presiding Officer and Jacobs as Minority Leader.
Today's Newsday has picked up on this with the article
"Nassau Dems may forfeit their control." They say "The running battle over leadership of the Nassau County Legislature became even more confusing Monday with both sides maneuvering to force a vote -- perhaps as early as tomorrow -- that could result in a Republican being elected presiding officer."
This was the outcome the republicans wanted from the beginning and what we have been saying.
Corbin tries to turn the vote on the 8 Democrats by saying "We are voting for a Democrat presiding officer, not Peter Schmitt.... If the Democrats don't vote with Lisanne and myself, that means they are willing to give up control of everything just to get at us."
We thought Corbin had the republican votes sewn-up. Corbin is now admitting Schmitt will turn on him and have his people vote for him leaving Corbin out in the cold.

Civil War General William Sherman said in regards to people wanting him to run for President in 1884 “If nominated I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.”

Will Schmitt stand up today and say the same thing?
He has said repeatedly that he does not want to be Presiding Officer with a Democratic majority as we've pointed out but his spokesperson Ed Ward told Newsday that Schmitt's name will be "... put into nomination along with Corbin's."
So Schmitt was lying.
Schmitt should pledge to Newsday that he will do as he has been saying and not be Presiding Officer.
He won't do that because he does not want to lose any power or take a pay cut.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Schmitt Responds to Today's Judy Jacobs Court Ruling

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Heller Works While Schmitt Dawdles

During last years election season, Schmitt's opponent Craig Heller brought up the issue of high taxes in Nassau related to high school taxes. During the debate on News12, Heller raised the issue or inequities in the state school aid funding and Schmitt dismissed Heller by saying that school taxes is not a legislature issue and wondered is Heller was running for State Assembly.
This is what you get from weak, ineffective career (read: never worked an honest day) politician.
As an elected official, a legislator certainly has a soapbox to speak from and people will listen.
In the meantime, CE Suozzi has been making school taxes a major issue and school districts from around Nassau are meeting to work out plans to solve funding issues. Craig Heller is taking the iniciative as a PRIVATE CITIZEN to get involved.
Who would be a more effective legislator? A pro-active legislator or one who throws his hands up and refuses to get involved?

From the School Aid Meeting
I am writing this letter to advise the community about the important steps being taken by County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi regarding the school taxes.
As some of you are aware, I was the Democratic candidate for Nassau County Legislature in the 12th LD. During my campaign I explained to the community that our major tax problem was primarily the school taxes.

In order to alleviate this problem I indicated that it was imperative that the State Aid formula for Education from Albany had to be modified due to the fact that too much of that formula was based on real property values. Due to this fact, Nassau County receives less state aid for education than any other county, even Suffolk and Westchester counties. I had met with the local school superintendents from Massapequa, Plainedge and Farmingdale to jumpstart a lobbying campaign to change the state aid formula.
The day after the election, the county executive held a press conference with members of local school boards, legislative leaders and County Comptroller Howard Weitzman to call on all of the school districts to join in an effort to commence a lobbying campaign to change the state aid formula. A meeting has been scheduled for December 7 at 7:30 p.m. for all of the school districts to send representatives to attend to commence this effort.
This is an important first step to succeeding in finding a way to lower our school tax burden. As I indicated in my campaign I would pursue this effort whether I won or lost the election. I have every intention of honoring that promise.
Craig S. Heller

From the Dec 18, 2005 New York Times
To the Editor:
In "As Island Home Prices Climb, School Aid Migrates Upstate" (Dec. 11), you hit the nail on the head about the No. 1 issue affecting Long Island today, the inequities of the New York State school aid system that has caused the school taxes to spiral out of control. But I was surprised that there was no mention of the efforts of the Nassau County executive, Thomas R. Suozzi, to correct this wrong.
The day after last month's election, Mr. Suozzi held a press conference with members of local school boards, legislative leaders and the county comptroller, Howard S. Weitzman, to call on all of the county's school districts to join in an effort to commence a lobbying campaign to change the state aid formula. This meeting was held on Dec. 7 and was the important first step to succeeding in finding a way to lower our school tax burden.
Your analysis makes it very clear that this system is extremely inequitable because of the use of real property values in its formula. Therefore, I call on all of the state legislators, particularly those on Long Island, to help in the effort being led by Mr. Suozzi to change the state aid formula for education.
Craig Heller

North Massapequa
The writer was this year's Democratic candidate for the Nassau County Legislature, 12th District.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Schmitt Lies..... So What's New

In the press conference where Schmitt came out to support Democrat Roger Corbiin for Presiding Officer of the Legislature, Schmitt said he was doing it because the republicans have been "completely shut out of the legislative process for the past six years under Judy Jacobs."
Oh, Really?
In the past six years, Schmitt and the Dishonest Eight have been a part of the legislative process. They introduce bills and vote on bills.
Don't believe me?
Schmitt should check his own press releases available on his own webpage. There's much more but this is what is publically available
Feb 17, 2005 : "Nassau County Legislator Peter J. Schmitt (R-Massapequa) sponsored legislation which revised the 2002 property tax exemption law for volunteer fire fighters and emergency medical technicians."

Apr 8, 2003: "Minority Leader Peter J. Schmitt (R-Massapequa) is very pleased to support legislation that will create an open space fund for Nassau County. The bill, first proposed by Legislator Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) in 2002 will allow Nassau County to preserve the few remaining acres of natural land for residents to enjoy long into the future."

Aug 2, 2002: "Minority Leader Peter J. Schmitt (R-Massapequa) has co-sponsored a bill with the Republican delegation to create an open space fund for Nassau County. The fund is going to be used to purchase plots of land in Nassau County that can be used for recreational, cultural, archeological, or historical purposes. The pool will be created through the sale of properties currently owned by Nassau County. "This legislation is the brainchild of Legislator Gonsalves and through her hard work we hope to preserve that the communities of Nassau can enjoy and be proud of," said Legislator Schmitt about the fund."

May 28, 2002: "Nassau County Legislator and Minority Leader Peter J. Schmitt (R-Massapequa) today announced his appointment of two individuals to serve on the County Open Space and Parks Advisory Committee (OSPAC). Morton L. Certilman of Hewlett and Donald V. Pupke, Jr. of Malverne will serve three and two year terms, respectively."

June 5, 2001: "Legislation sponsored by Legislator Vincent Muscarella (R-West Hempstead) that licenses tattoo parlors and requires parental consent if a child under the age of 18 wants to have their body pierced or branding was unanimously approved by the Nassau County Legislature. Legislators Becker, Ciotti, Dunne, Gonsalves, Mangano, Nicolello, Pontillo and Schmitt all co-sponsored the legislation."

May 21, 2001: "Reform legislation sponsored by County Legislator and Minority Leader Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) was passed unanimously by the Nassau County Legislature. The legislation requires the County Executive to appear each year prior to March 15 before the Legislature to give his/her "State of the County" Address. For the last two years no such address has taken place."

Feb 5, 2001: "LEGISLATOR SCHMITT MEASURE PROVIDING TAX EXEMPTION FOR DISABLED IS APPROVED. County Legislator and Minority Leader Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) voted in support of local legislation expanding the real property tax exemption for disabled residents. Legislator Schmitt was a co-sponsor of the legislation. "I was pleased to be able to co-sponsor and support this important legislation," said Legislator Schmitt. "This local legislation expands the real property tax exemption for disabled persons to the maximum amount permissible under State law."

Jan 8, 2001: "Legislator Schmitt: Legislative Session A Success
The Nassau County Legislature had a very busy year in 2000 passing a number of local laws and initiatives that cut government spending, protect the environment, protect our children, assist our older Americans and protect consumers," said County Legislator and Minority Leader Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa). "I am pleased to have supported these measures during the past year."
Cutting Spending
• Voted for the Vehicle Control Act of 2000 to reduce the number of county vehicles to save taxpayer dollars.
• Voted for the elimination of meal money to management employees.
• Voted for the measure that cut the County's deficit by more than $100 million.
• Voted for legislation merging several County departments to reduce the size of government.
• Voted for legislation requiring Legislative approval over personal service contracts issued by the County Executive for more than $25,000. This measure passed via referendum with 75% of the vote on November 7.
Protecting the Environment and our Children
• Voted for the legislation requiring the County Health Department to provide community notification prior to aerial spraying for mosquitoes.
• Voted for the legislation requiring at a minimum 48-hour notice to adjacent property owners prior the application of pesticides by commercial applicators.
• Voted for legislation protecting children against the sale of herbal cigarettes.
Senior Citizens and Disabled
• Voted to expand the senior citizen real property tax exemption to the maximum level allowed under state law.
• Voted to expand the real property tax exemption for disabled residents to the maximum level allowed under state law.
Consumer Protection
• Voted for legislation increasing penalties on business owners that use deceptive practices against consumers.
• Voted for legislation providing a veteran tax exemption to parents whose children were killed defending our country.

Sep 5, 2000
: "County Legislator and Minority Leader Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) has introduced and passed local legislation, authorized by State law, which expands the senior citizen real property tax exemption. The legislation, which was adopted unanimously, awaits the County Executive's signature."

Jul 20, 2000:
"Nassau County Legislator and Minority Leader Peter Schmitt's (R-Massapequa) legislation requiring the Nassau County Department of Health to give 24-hour notice prior to the aerial and/or ground spraying of pesticide was passed unanimously."

And not to nit-pick, but Schmitt can't count. He says "for the past six years." Six years ago, he was Deputy Presiding Officer. He was IN THE MAJORITY. It may be 2006 now, but a full sixth year has not passed with Dems in control of the legislature. The Democrats won the 1999 elections and took office in 2000. This year would be the sixth year.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


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Judyjitsu n : a method of political self-defense without
weapons that was developed in Nassau County; clever
use of the attacker's own weight and strength to deny
them power (see: Peter Schmitt)

Here's the long and short of it; Schmitt and Mondello try power move with dupes Altmann and Corbin (looking for some power of their own) to wrest control of the Legisalture from Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs. We went over the basics and what Schmitt is really up to two weeks ago.
There is NO WAY Schmitt will vote for Corbin for Presiding Officer and that came out in Newsday "Schmitt had been expected to vote for himself, thereby keeping his minority leader spot as the only person to get a vote who is not of the same party as the presiding officer. He said he, too, was protecting the will of the voters. He said Democrats are so divided that he could end up with the most votes, making him the presiding officer."
And that's what he really wanted but he says now "That would be obscene... That is not what the people of this county intended when they elected 10 Democrats. ... The Democrats should be in charge."
Judy Jacobs pulled a Judy-Jitsu move and ended her life-long affiliation with the Democratic Party and switched to "unaffiliated" so that when Schmitt tries to get Corbin in, the second highest vote getter not in the same party as the Presiding Officer becomes Minority Leader as per the Nassau County Charter (opens as .pdf). Corbin gets in, Judy Jacobs has second most votes not as a Democrat and she's Minority Leader thus making Schmitt officially NOTHING. (Sidebar: That would make E.M. very happy)
So a court decided that the vote for Presiding Officer is on hold until the validity of Jacobs' registration switch can be confirmed. The Corbin-Altmann Cabal along with the GOP went to an Appealate Court to have that over-turned and a vote held.
Here's the funny thing - the County Charter doesn't specify when the vote has to be held if at all since there is already a Presing Officer. The charter says on Page 12 "§ 106. Presiding officer, deputy presiding officer; alternate deputy presiding officer; minority leader.
1. The County Legislature shall choose from its own number a presiding
officer, who shall preside at all meetings of the County Legislature, be chairman of the Rules Committee, prepare that portion of the proposed county budget relating to the County Legislature, and perform such other functions as are assigned to the presiding officer by the rules of the County Legislature. The presiding officer shall cast the vote to which such person is entitled as a member of the County Legislature."
Some are saying that to be P.O., a member must get 10 votes. That's not in the Charter. The scenario we laid out with Schmitt splitting the difference and screwing Corbin making Schmitt P.O. is valid.
But is it politically smart?
It's actually causing problems. The electorate won't stand for such a scheme and can punish the republican legislators in 2007.
As to the Minority Leader election, the County Charter is actually much clearer and we see the math Judy Jacobs did.
"3. The county legislator who receives the second greatest number of votes cast in the election of the presiding officer referred to in subdivision one of this section shall be elected the minority leader and shall have such duties and perform such functions as are assigned to the minority leader by the rules of the County Legislature; provided however that the presiding officer and the minority leader shall not be enrolled members of the same political party."

If Schmitt pulls a rope-a-dope and screws Corbin, Schmitt gets the Presiding Officer title w/o a caucus to back him and an electorate angry at such moral and ethical corruption.
(Sidebar: It would be nice if voters in his district cared about his drunk driving)
If Schmitt backs Corbin and Judy Jacobs party registration change is upheld, Schmitt loses his Minority Leader position along with the power and extra $24,000/yr. in salary.
If the Judy-Jitsu move doesn't pan out, Corbin and Altmann may gain power but they will have done it by making a deal with the devil (Schmitt) and destroying their own electoral base.

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