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Monday, December 22, 2014

Voters across the state send an unmistakable message
(Page 2 of 2)
Suburban voters are tired of being taxed out of house and home, and Mangano’s message was simple and relatable. He wants to continue his fiscally conservative policies and hold the line on taxes, but he will face challenges. The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, the Democratically controlled financial watchdog, will continue to hold him back.

But the Republican Party has gained another seat in the County Legislature, and now hold an 11-8 advantage over the Democrats. I hope this will make things more manageable, and that the legislators will learn to come together for the good of county residents. Remember, the Legislature did vote unanimously to bring a new Coliseum to the Hub. Its partnership with Mangano on this project was a good beginning.

I was proud to stand with Mangano and county Republicans, because they believe in the same principles I share with many of you. I have spoken openly about the debacle in Washington, however, and grieved about the failure of my fellow Republicans to work together and avoid a government shutdown.

I’ve noticed, in the Heralds’ letters to the editor and in comments on social media, that many of you disagree with my breaking from and criticizing members of my own party. Many of you are members of the Tea Party, and while you’re entitled to your own political beliefs, I urge you to be more open-minded. You can’t believe that your party is right 100 percent of the time. My good friend the late Mayor Ed Koch would tell you that if you agreed with him on eight of 12 issues, that was good, but if you agreed with him all the time, you needed to run to see a psychologist.

The government shutdown took the focus away from the real problems of Obamacare. Shutting down the government accomplished nothing! And it has had tremendous backlash. It’s safe to say that the Republicans otherwise would have won the open governor’s seat in Virginia.

We need to stop acting in our own self interests and insisting that our political philosophy be followed 100 percent. It’s time for compromise.

Al D’Amato, a former U.S. senator from New York, is the founder of Park Strategies LLC, a public policy and business development firm. Comments about this column? ADAmato@liherald.com.

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