Don't forget Schmitt's antics I am writing so that all Nassau County residents remember this when it comes time to vote for new or incumbent candidates in the Nassau County Legislature ["In Nassau, action delayed," News, Feb. 13].With all the infighting that minority leader Peter Schmitt of Massapequa and his fellow Republicans in the legislature have caused in an attempt to save the last remnants of the old Republican machine that put the county in dire straits years ago - causing nothing but more headaches for County Executive Tom Suozzi and the Democrats - residents of Nassau should clean house and vote out Schmitt. He has demonstrated time and again how much tyranny he and the other eight Republicans who hold seats have caused since the Democrats took the majority. A prime example came when, as supposed presiding officer, he turned off the microphones on the Democrats and ended a meeting. That is the act of a bully. We also should vote out the others who backed him, including puppets Lisanne Altmann (D-Great Neck) and Roger Corbin (D-Westbury). It is clear they have overstayed their welcome, not to mention become closet Republicans.Mark EscorciaHempstead
Jilted on Valentines Day!
Like a jilted prom-date left to stand and wait, corsage in hand, date never to arrive, Schmitt through Ed Ward wears his heart on his sleeve in today's Newsday "Neither one of them had the decency to come into his office, after they had been running into the office all week... Neither of them had the decency to call." Yes, Peter misses Roger and Lisanne. They were such a fixture in his office as they conspired to unseat Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs. Now they are back in the fold and Peter feels betrayed. Gee, a betrayer feeling betrayed by other known betrayers. Try wrapping your head around that one.Schmitt expected Corbin to be the 10th vote last week to put him in the Presiding Officer seat. Ward says "It was always understood that Corbin would swing the vote,"Yeah, Corbin would really want to be the #2 to Peter Schmitt. The whole gambit was for Corbin to be PO. That didn't work out as he was abandoned on the first vote by Schmitt and his rubber-stamp caucus.Did Schmitt really believe that Corbin would risk losing all party support and have a long line of people ready to primary him? The Love Affair has ended and it's back to work for the legislators.For Schmitt, he leaves a little part of his heart behind.......Cue music and photo montage...
Mem’ries, Like the corners of my mindMisty water-colored memoriesOf the way we wereScattered pictures, Of the smiles we left behindSmiles we gave to one anotherFor the way we wereCan it be that it was all so simple then? Or has time re-written every line? If we had the chance to do it all againTell me, would we? could we? Mem’ries, may be beautiful and yetWhat’s too painful to rememberWe simply choose to forgetSo it’s the laughterWe will rememberWhenever we remember...The way we were...The way we were...
End of an Error: Schmitt Not Presiding Officer
The Appealate Court panel ruled that it does indeed take 10 votes to be Presiding Officer. The Legislature held another vote and Corbin and Altmann joined with thier fellow Democrats to vote for Judy Jacobs to continue her excellent work as Presiding Officer. Schmitt tells Newsday "I've never been so happy to lose an election as this one."
All we have to say to Schmitt is 'Start getting used to it.'
There He Goes Again - Schmitt Contradicts Himself
As we pointed out a little over a week ago, Schmitt told the December 30th Anton Newspapers"There will be an election on Jan. 3 for presiding officer. Someone needs to get 10 votes."Now in the Feb 10th Massapequan Observer (published by Anton Newspapers), "The wording in the charter is clear [where] it says 'he who has the highest number of votes wins presiding officer and the person from another party with the second highest number of votes is minority leader.' It never mentions 10,"So the "charter is clear." Why was it unclear to him a month ago? As someone who wants to be presiding officer and a member of the legislature for 10 years, you'd expect a person to be well-versed in the rules that govern the legislature. Or even just be aware of it before you spout off.Back in December when Schmitt made his first pronouncement (and he made the same one many times after) that you need 10 votes it looked as though his plans could be foiled if Judy got a majority of votes and not 10 or more. Now that a judge says a PO needs 10 votes and Schmitt is one shy of ten, he changes his story.Kinda like his college graduation date.Or many other issues.
Word from his office is that he wasn't sure what the charter said when he was saying that 10 votes are needed. But if the charter is "clear" then he should have known what it said.
Schmitt really has to go.
Why Schmitt Can't Lead
The most important factor in leadership is being able to bring people together. If you can bring people with different ideas together to accomplish a goal, then you are a true leader.CE Suozzi has annouced a plan to fund a program to reduce abortions. The proposed $3million would go to such diverse groups as Planned Parenthood and Life Center of Long Island.The idea is to bring to help each group to reduce the need for abortions which all sides agree on. It's not a matter of making it legal or illegal but lessening the need for them.Schmitt in his usual manner just doesn't get what is going on. Suozzi is working to bring groups together for a common goal. Schmitt tells the NYTimes "Leadership is not pandering to both sides of a contentious issue by using taxpayer dollars. I have pro-abortion people calling concerned that pro-life people are being funded, and pro-life people calling concerned that pro-abortion people are being funded. You can't be on both sides of this issue."This is exactly why Schmitt is not leadership material. Finding common ground is what a real leader does. Schmitt is too used to being a polarizing, partisan figure to know better.
Letters In Newsday Today
Republicans are at it once again I cannot contain my outrage after reading your article on the childish, immature, unprofessional behavior of Peter Schmitt ["An assertive political player," News, Feb. 2]. I mean his turning off the microphone of a Democrat attempting to speak, as he was entitled to do.I was outraged reading about the national Republicans' similar treatment of Democrats in Washington. Obviously, Schmitt is emulating their outlandish behavior. After decades of Republican mismanagement in Nassau, the voters finally said enough. Tom Suozzi's administration began to set the county on the correct path. Now, because of greedy, self-serving Legis. Lisanne Altmann (D-Great Neck) and Legis. Roger Corbin (D-Westbury), we see Republicans attempting once again to put aside the good of the residents of the county for their own agendas. Terrence W. McPhersonMineolaIt is sad that the will of the people to remove the corrupt influences of the Republican Party is being thwarted in the Nassau County Legislature. A majority of the electorate wanted a Democratic majority in the legislature. If the Democrats ever nominate Lisanne Altmann or Roger Corbin for any office other than dog catcher, they deserve what they get.Howard FenenbockWest Hempstead
Dock His Pay
The following legislators where supposed to be present to vote for a Presiding Officer today and did not show up for work. They have not perfromed any work for the past month and refuse to do so. Call or e-mail them and tell them they are being paid to work.Roger Corbin - 516-571-6202; RCorbin@nassaucountyny.govPeter J. Schmitt - 516- 571- 6212; PSchmitt@attglobal.netJohn Ciotti - 516- 571- 6203; JCiotti@attglobal.netNorma L. Gonsalves - 516- 571- 6213; NGonsalves@attglobal.netDenise Ford - 516- 571- 6204; DFord@NassauCountyNY.govDennis Dunne, Sr. - 516- 571- 6215; DDunne@attglobal.netFrancis X. Becker, Jr. - 516- 571- 6206; FBecker@attglobal.netVincent Muscarella - 516- 571- 6208; VMuscarella@attglobal.netRichard Nicolello - 516- 571- 6209; Richard.Nicolello@mail.co.nassau.ny.usLisanne Altmann - 516- 571- 6210; email@example.comLast week Judge Spinloa ordered a new vote for Presiding Officer and it was scheduled for today. Needless to say that did not happen.Why are these legislators collecting pay checks? maybe it's time they get docked for the time they have missed. Why is Schmitt getting his $63,000/year and not doing ay work?Maybe a missing paycheck or two will get the missing legislators back to work.
Newsday ran an not too flattering profile of Schmitt today. Here are a few excerpts....
“Tom Gulotta, the Republican county executive from 1987-2001, said Schmitt has grown and matured in the past few years in the legislature and, if he ultimately keeps the post, would succeed at it.’That maturity is going to enable him to handle his responsibility with great skill. He has become, I believe, a very pragmatic public official, much more contemplative of weighing both sides of an issue’”
So while he was Deputy Presiding Officer of the legislature, Schmitt was not mature? He’s 55 and a public official for the past 30 years and he just reached maturity? This isn’t exactly the best of compliments.
“Continuing with his education, Schmitt finished his bachelor's degree in political science at Hofstra, which awarded the degree eight years after he started, in October 1976, university records show. That date is at odds with his public statements in recent years. In 2004, he gave the graduation date as 1972 to Newsday. It is listed as 1973 on his Legislature Web site. And in 2003 he gave the date as 1974 to Massapequa weekly newspapers. Schmitt said giving the wrong graduation dates was an "oversight.”
An “oversight?” Official biographies that have appeared on campaign literature and his own legislative website have been wrong for so long and he never noticed? This is a small matter but it seems Schmitt can’t even get the small things right.
"In 1983, while a deputy commissioner overseeing Oyster Bay's drunken-driving prevention program, Schmitt was arrested twice for driving while impaired, state criminal records show. He was convicted on one charge and pleaded guilty to a lesser crime on another, and had his license revoked, the records show. He declined to say how long his license was revoked."That is a chapter of my life that is a quarter of a century old," he said in an interview last week after his election as presiding officer. Schmitt, who became a Nassau GOP executive leader, did not lose his Oyster Bay town job due to the convictions and was promoted a year later to commissioner of community and youth services."
Notice the lack of contrition. Not once but twice. Once is a mistake, twice is a willful disregard for the law and the safety of others.
We wonder if Schmitt thought of his own arrests back in 2002 when he was attacking convicted former Democratic legislator Patrick Williams who was given a job at OTB. Schmitt told lipolitics.com, “PATRICK WILLIAMS AND OTB: An absolute disgrace. He's a convicted felon who filed false instruments. He's now at OTB filing other forms. Suozzi, Newsday and the Democratic leadership are all at fault here.”
So who is at fault for keeping a convicted drunk driver as a Deputy Commisioner and then give him a promotion??
Legislator Dave Mejias gets it right when he says "When Mr. Schmitt was in control, Nassau County was facing a state takeover, nearly bankrupt, $3 billion in debt, and had a bond rating one step above junk. In 1998 alone, Mr. Schmitt passed a budget with a $300-million deficit," Mejias said. "We were rated the worst-run county in America ... just four short years ago. Clearly, Mr. Schmitt lacks credibility when discussing issues of governance."
One of the funniest things in the article was “Schmitt said that he accepts part of the responsibility for the county's fiscal woes but said he later became an adversary of the Gulotta administration. "No one was harsher in their criticism of Tom Gulotta's failure to act than myself," he said.”
Let’s get some fact straight here, Schmitt didn’t get religion until the republican majority in the legislature was wiped out. Up until November 1999, Schmitt was a rubberstamp for Gulotta. After passing horrendous budgets for the man, suddenly losing the majority causes Schmitt to start attacking Gulotta. The fact is, the republican legislators were running fast and hard away from Gulotta for self-preservation not good government.
And Schmitt keeps going right to the end "Watching it happen was actually a feeling of disbelief," Schmitt said, recalling the moment he took power in the legislature."
Is that why he had a prepared statement? Schmitt was prepared to be Presiding Officer the whole time.
"I still find it hard to believe that the Democratic majority was so foolish, so hate-driven. ... They did what they did knowing that they were going to tip the legislature into my hands."
The funny part is that Schmitt pledged his support for Corbin but backed out. What happened to Schmitt insisting that there should be a Democratic Presiding Officer?
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
As we've always said, Schmitt just can't tell the truth. Back in 2003 we pointed out the different numbers he was throwing out there about how much the Democrats raised taxes. It was always "a fact" that they raised taxes and the numbers kept changing for 57% to 60% to "more than" 60% to 58%. Of course all those numbers were just lies. Then comes the 2005 elections and the republicans run an ad saying the Democrats raised taxes 42%. I guess that 42% is a "fact" too.
Here is the original post from 2003... The thursday before election day (2003) saw a letter from Schmitt published in Newsday. A week before the election, Cablevision pulled GOP ads because they were blatantly false. Schmitt wrote his letter in an attempt at damage control but merely proved that he and his party have been lying. Let's start with his lie about raising taxes. For months and months the mantra for Schmitt and the Gulotta republicans was "Sixty percent increase in property taxes over the last three budgets, all Democrat." (Massapequan Observer 2/14/03), "...and raised our county property taxes by more than 60 percent." (LI Press v.1 I.9), "After they raised your taxes 57%" (Massapequan Observer 7/3/03), "The facts are that over the past three years, county property taxes have risen over 60 percent" (Massapequan Observer 3/28/03), "The Democrats have raised taxes 57%." (News12 Debate 10/22/03). Notice how the number shifts from 60% to 57%. Now here is the kicker from the October 2003 Newsday letter "Nassau Democrats voted to raise county property taxes 58 percent. That's an incontrovertible fact that Newsday simply cannot credibly deny, notwithstanding the paper's unabashed bias." WHAT? Now it's 58%!!!! AND instead of "raising taxes" Schmitt has changed his rhetoric to "voted to raise taxes." Here's more from the letter "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." We thought the "FACTS" were "60%"err... "more than 60%" err... "57%".. err "58% increase" err... the democrats "voted for 58%." Schmitt has gone from claiming taxes were raised by democrats to merely "voted to." Can he be any more dishonest???? Yes he can.
The only P.O. that Schmitt is now is Pissed Off.The judge has ruled in the favor of the Democrats that the vote for Presiding Officer requires 10 votes as a majority vote and not the 9 that Schmitt got. So really, the judge agreed with what Schmitt said a month ago which we posted about yesterday.The judge has ordered a new vote which is scheduled for Monday the 6th and any actions Schmitt has taken as Presiding Officer have been made null and void.The question now is how that vote on monday will go. We know that Schmitt's gang of 8 will vote lock-step for him as they always do.Where does that leave Corbin and Altmann? They have to vote for either Schmitt or the Democratic candidiate whether it be Kevan Abrahams or Judy Jacobs.In the last vote, they had an out by saying "we voted for Roger and the Democrats ruined Democratic control by voting for Abrahams." Now they can't get away with that. They can side with the Democratic majority or they can vote for Schmitt and end thier careers in Nassau politics with a single vote. Corbin and Altmanns constituents might accept them being mavericks and voting for Corbin over Jacobs or Abrahams but they will be less forgiving if the votes are cast for Peter Schmitt.Schmitt could stick with his original deal and instrcut his people to vote for Corbin but that opens him up to losing Minority Leader to Jacobs of she runs.An appeal is most likely being filed so we'll have to see what happens next.