GOP takes a beating in NY 'burbs
Unlike those bastards in Washington, we
help each other
Democrats Gain on Long Island, a Onetime G.O.P. Bastion
By MICHAEL COOPER
Published: November 10, 2005
For decades, Republican candidates in New York have turned to Long Island as a reliable source of votes. Thousands of Long Islanders came to rallies for presidential candidates. Just 11 years ago, the Long Island vote, and the help of the Island's kingmaker, Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato, were instrumental in electing a little-known state senator, George E. Pataki, the governor of New York.
Now the era of Republican hegemony on Long Island is over, and the implications for statewide politics as the 2006 elections for governor and United States Senate get under way are profound. Republicans can no longer count on Long Island for huge vote margins to push their candidates into office, officials in both parties said yesterday.
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The shifting center of Long Island politics was underscored this week by a string of Democratic victories across the Island. In January, Democrats will simultaneously take control of Nassau and Suffolk Counties for what officials say is the first time. Both counties will still be run by Democratic county executives, and, thanks to the legislative seats that Democrats picked up in Suffolk County on Tuesday, Democrats will have a majority in both legislatures. The vaunted Republican machine of old is just a memory.
"I think the days of monolithic, one-party control by the Republicans, interrupted by short spurts of losses, are over," said John V. N. Klein, a Republican and a former Suffolk County executive. "They are going to have to fight for every election going forward. From a statewide standpoint, these two counties have been stalwarts, delivering huge pluralities for Republicans. Those pluralities can no longer be taken for granted."
The Long Island vote is very much on the minds of party leaders as they debate which candidate for governor to support in 2006. One faction, which includes State Senator Joseph L. Bruno, the Senate majority leader, has expressed support for Tom Golisano, an upstate billionaire who finances his own campaigns and has run for governor three times as a third party candidate. Another, led by Stephen J. Minarik III, the chairman of the state Republican Party, is endorsing the candidacy of William F. Weld, the former Massachusetts governor, who now wants to run for governor of his native New York.
Mr. Minarik said in an interview yesterday that be believed Mr. Weld would be more successful at bringing Long Island's Republican voters back into the fold. "When you look at the Island, I think Bill Weld, if he's our candidate, would help us far better over all," he said. "He'd bring some star quality."
Others are not so sure. Representative Peter T. King said that while he liked both men, he wished the party could field a more working-class Republican candidate to appeal to suburban voters. "We need someone like the Al D'Amato of 1980," he said
Weld or Golisano, no mention of Daniels.
So is King, if he's wishing for the corrupt D'Amato machine to return. Didn't they fleece Long Island long enough?
Also, the demographics of Long Island are changing as well, more minorities are moving to formerly white bastions of power on the island. Which gives Dems a chance to win. But this all started with Carolyn McCarthy, outraged that her Congressman would accept NRA support after he husband and son were shot on the LIRR, and who, when blocked from a primary, re-registered as a Democrat, has won every election since the mid-90's.
The Long Island GOP is corrupt and aging and people want change.
posted by Steve @ 3:16:00 AM