Feb 13th - 7:06 am
Newsday broke the news last night (right in the middle of the State of the Union address) that former Democratic Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi has decided to seek a re-match against the Republican who ousted him in an upset election back in 2009, Ed Mangano.
Suozzi has since posted a campaign announcement on his re-launched website, in which he pledges to restore Nassau County to the “ideal suburb” he believes it used to be.
“We need to make Nassau County an attractive and affordable place to live once again,” Suozzi wrote in a statement on his website.
“For over three years Ed Mangano has presided over the decline of our County. I’ve seen the county taken over by a state agency. I’ve seen the county mismanaged from one man-made crisis after another and I’ve seen no one even talking about a vision for our future.”
“That’s why I am running for Nassau County Executive. We have to do better. We have to do better for our children, our grandchildren, and ourselves. And I know we can.”
Suozzi will be joining his long-time ally, Nassau County Democratic Chairman (and former state chair) Jay Jacobs, to discuss his candidacy at a noon press conference in Mineola today.
Jacobs had trouble recruiting a candidate to challenge Mangano, and even said at one point that he would run himself if no one else was willing to do so.
So far, retired Wall Street trader Adam Haber is the only Democrat to formally announce his candidacy against Mangano.
North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman announced recently he would be establishing a campaign committee to explore a run, too.
Nassau County Democrats have been trying to draft Suozzi into the race for some time, but until now, he has insisted he would not run.
Suozzi was once considered a rising star in the New York Democratic Party, even after his quixotic – and eventually failed – primary challenge to then-AG Eliot Spitzer in 2006.
He was often mentioned as a potential statewide contender, much to the reported consternation of Spitzer’s replacement (and governor-in-waiting) in the state AG’s office, Andrew Cuomo.
Suozzi got a lot of traction out of his “Fix Albany” campaign, which he launched shortly before his 2006 run and used to target incumbent state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
He talked about the need for property tax and Medicaid reform long before these were run-of-the-mill hot topics for New York elected officials.
Suozzi’s loss in 2009 to the little-known Mangano was a big surprise, but not to those who closely followed the race, who said he was disengaged and failed to heed internal polls that showed him in trouble as Election Day neared.
According to his Jan. 15 financial filing with the state Board of Elections, Suozzi is sitting on just over $1 million worth of campaign cash.
As of mid-January, Mangano had $2.3 million on hand.
Jan 26th - 5:33 pm
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a Nassau County resident and former assemblyman, weighed in today on the news that a state oversight board has seized control of the county’s finances.
DiNapoli, who ran an unsuccessful camapign for Nassau County executive (he was the party favorite when he lost the 2001 Democratic primary to Tom Suozzi, who subsequently lost to the current executive, Republican Ed Mangano), urged the interested parties “not to focus on the takeover itself, but on the steps necessary to restore fiscal stability to Nassau County.”
“Protracted litigation will only delay the inevitable hard choices that must be made to put Nassau back on solid fiscal ground,” DiNapoli said.
Mangano has threatened to sue NIFA if he made good on its long-standing threat to do what it did today in a 6-0 vote.
DiNapoli went on to lament Nassau County’s “stagnant sales tax revenue” (Mangano tried unsuccessfully to convince the state Legislature to let him increase the sales tax and also proposed a budget that contained some $20 million worth of state aid that never materialized and $61 million worth of what have been deemed “phantom” labor concessions).
“Also, it has been disappointing to see that after more than 10 years, it has been reported the County has not been able to reduce their borrowing for tax certioraris, which is one of the main issues NIFA was designed to assist with,” the comptroller continued.
“It’s just not acceptable to continue down the path of burdening future generations with this growing debt. Nassau taxpayers already pay some of the highest local taxes in the nation. They need and deserve responsible, strong action to restore fiscal responsibility to their county.”
Dec 17th - 3:37 pm
The pushback has begun in earnst against the week-long campaign in opposition to Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo’s property tax cap by local mayors, county executives and school districts.
Former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, who made property tax relief a hallmark of his failed 2006 gubernatorial bid and then chaired the Spitzer-appointed commission that first formally proposed a cap, released the following statement this afternoon:
“The property tax burden in New York State has grown to a crisis. To continue to allow property taxes to climb unabated is unfair to every single homeowner in this state.”
“As the former Chair of the NYS Commission on Property Tax Relief, I understand that state mandates place a significant burden on municipal budgets, but the solution cannot be more property tax hikes on homeowners.”
“Governor-Elect Cuomo’s plan to cap property taxes, eliminate unnecessary and costly state mandates for localities and schools, and impose pension reforms to control costs, will break the cycle of skyrocketing property tax bills and gives New Yorkers long overdue relief.”
Oct 6th - 2:35 pm
Here’s state Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs giving me some details during a CapTon interview last night about the new coordinated campaign approach being rolled out this week, starting with a trio of upstate rallies today.
The party’s standard-bearer, Andrew Cuomo, hosted a meeting last weekend with representatives from all the statewide candidates – including state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, whom the AG still has not endorsed – as well as DACC and DSCC.
Jacobs told me Cuomo will soon hit the hustings with some of the Senate Democrats’ candidates in key districts and “doesn’t look at this as a race for him alone.”
The chairman also told me Cuomo has he’s been very free with the dollars”, which translates into just over $1 million pumped into the state party’s coffers by the Cuomo campaign since late August.
While purusing the state party’s 32-day pre-general election filing, I was struck by the fact that it owes $125,000 to former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, who made the loan back in December 2009, shortly after his surprise loss to Republican Ed Mangano.
Jacobs is also Nassau County Democratic chairman and he and Suozzi are allies.
The party’s biggest expense – actually its only expense since the last filing – was $295,237 for TV ads attacking Carl Paladino.
Jul 27th - 8:23 am
AG Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic gubernatorial designee, is scheduled to appear today with Republican Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano to call for passage in Albany of the statewide property tax cap Cuomo proposed in his “New New York Agenda.”
(For the uninitiated, Cuomo’s cap would limit increases in property taxes, both for local government and schools, to two percent annually or the rate of inflation – whichever is lower. This is more stringent that the cap proposed by Gov. David Paterson, which would be 4 percent and exempt the so-called “Big Five” cities and NYC).
Where to start?
First: Mangano, as you’ll recall, was one of the surprise winners of the 2009 election cycle. He ousted Democratic incumbent Tom Suozzi, who was viewed as a rising star in the party – possibly even a gubernatorial contender (ahem) or a running mate for Gov. David Paterson.
Apr 20th - 9:59 am
Former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi has landed another post-government gig as a senior advisor to Lazard Ltd., the financial advisory and asset management firm announced this morning.
Officially speaking, Suozzi will “work in conjunction with Lazard as it advises infrastructure companies and governments in matters relating to financial transactions and public-private partnerships in the US.”
The former Democratic lawmaker will not lobby, he told me during a brief telephone interview this morning. He’s also keeping his gig as a consultant to Cablevision’s high school sports venture, MSG Varsity.
George Bilicic, Lazard’s Global Head of Power, Energy Infrastructure, touted Suozzi’s “years as a government reformer” and his experience in the office he lost in a upset last fall to Republican Edward Mangano, saying it provided him with a unique understand of public-private partnerships and “real-life insight into the workings of government.”
There’s also a quote from Felix Rohatyn, who recently returned to Lazard as a special advisor, who said: “Infrastructure must become a top priority both for the long-term health of our transportation and power systems but also for job creation.”
Suozzi has been trying to keep his name in the news, particularly given the increased interest of late in Albany reform – an issue on which the former county executive was somewhat ahead of the curve with his 2006 “Fix Albany” campaign and longshot gubernatorial primary challenge to then-AG Eliot Spitzer.
Suozzi was once considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, and he hasn’t completely ruled out a return to the public arena, albeit probably not in the near future.
Apr 14th - 1:45 pm
Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy’s campaign has deployed his hometown county GOP chairman, John Jay LaValle, to push back against shots fired over the past 24 hours by state Democratic Party Executive Director Charlie King and “boss” (as per Team Levy) Jay Jacobs.
LaValle accused Jacobs, who is also the Nassau County Democratic chairman, of presiding over “one of the worst abusers in the history pay-to-play during the Suozzi administration; a simple review of his filings would prove this.” (No supporting documentation was provided).