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Sunday, April 20, 2014

In the political season, anything goes

Despite the rush to enjoy the waning days of summer, there’s no way to avoid the hints of a political season yet to come. Whether you live in Montauk or Manhattan, the airwaves are crowded with commercials for those running for public office.

Because the New York City media reaches every community on Long Island, the Nassau-Suffolk area is being bombarded with commercials highlighting the city races for mayor and comptroller. It seems like candidates are buying up every available second of television and radio time to tell us why they’re the best choice.

Nassau County has its own upcoming political tussle, the race for county executive. Former County Executive Tom Suozzi is attempting to make a political comeback, and must first dispose of his primary opponent, Adam Haber. Then Suozzi would face the incumbent, Ed Mangano, in what promises to be a bitter rerun for both.

Whether we like it or not, every year we must put up with campaign commercials, lousy speeches, television sound bites and all those inconveniences that people who live in a democracy must endure. Outside this region, there’s a different political world, which can best be described as an ugly one.

Congress is out on vacation, but it’s hard to determine whether members do more damage when they’re in Washington or when they go home. The ultra-conservative members are on the road, meeting their constituents and plotting to shut down the government when they return. Shut down the government. What does that mean?

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Still embittered by the passage of the Obama health care law, a few nut jobs are busy planning to find every way possible to get their agenda adopted. Shutting down the government means closing post offices, shuttering national parks, closing clinics and curtailing anything that’s a government function. In New York state, if you’re a public employee and go on strike to stop government operations, they put you in jail.

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