Movement Week will officially start tomorrow - Memorial Day. In the meantime, I want to discuss a few odds-and-ends, as well as some more detailed analysis from the Kate Murray rally this past Friday.
Kate Murray's Father Retires
Well, that didn't take long. On Friday, less than two weeks after his strange employment situation came to light, the Town of Hempstead announced that Kate Murray's father, Norman Murray, is retiring from his $40-an-hour clerical job to "spend more time with his family."
Seemingly all Mr. Murray's children work for either the Town of Hempstead or a firm doing business with the Town of Hempstead. What a sadly ironic reason to give; if he wants to spend more time with his family he should keep working.
Media Coverage of Rally Misses the Point...Again
The phenomenon of "rote reporting" was yet again on display in the pages of Newsday. Newsday's piece from the Kate Murray rally this past Friday conveniently left out Joe Mondello's verbal altercation with voter Joe Conte of Franklin Square. As you remember, Mondello told Mr. Conte to "blow it out his dufflebag" when he loudly advocated for the Lighthouse, and he then accused Mr. Conte of being a paid plant for Charles Wang.
(Blogger's Note: Joe Mondello's partisan screed on Friday partially accused the press of giving Tom Suozzi and the Democrats a free ride. Funny that the press responds to this by ignoring what should be an important story)
Loyal reader Section 320 Rocks sent an email to the Newsday reporter questioning the decision to omit this altercation. The reporter blamed editors for the removal of "blow it out your dufflebag," and she then said one of the most stunning things I've heard in a very long time. The reporter apparently did not feel comfortable mentioning Mondello's accusation because she had not asked the Lighthouse supporters at the meeting if they actually were paid plants.
By the way - this is another picture I snapped at the rally. Note the Newsday photographer on the left who is taking a picture of Joe - even though it didn't make the paper.
(Blogger's Note: This was right after the near-physical confrontation...Sorry, it happened spur of the moment and I had to both grab my camera and run about 50 feet to get a shot)
Also, kudos to the Long Island Business News for reporting the incident. I'm glad to see the phony ideal of balance hasn't completely infected all media outlets.
By The Way, Mr. Mondello...
Speaking of which - it's now 2 days since we demanded an apology from Joe Mondello for his disgusting statements to a voter exercising his right to free speech. I have been reviewing news from the last week, and I just have one question:
Isn't this the same Joe Mondello who, at a Democratic rally held on Tuesday, sent his paid staffers outside to throw teabags at Tom Suozzi? And who then asserted his constitutional right to do so?
Also - astute reader BR noticed that Joe Mondello told the crowd in attendance that "[The Democrats] want your jobs," and other voters at the event report hearing people saying they "clocked out [from work]" to attend the Kate Murray rally.
Also - and expect more on this issue - this is part of a disturbing trend lately. The Town of Hempstead has previously accused voters in favor of the Lighthouse of being bought off by Charles Wang - and a certain member of the media who shall remain nameless also insinuated that bribery is involved.
Why are they pushing this grand illusion? And. Mr. Mondello, who's paying whom?
The Newsday piece also highlights something very interesting - Joe Mondello, who runs the New York State Republican Party, in addition to the Hempstead and Nassau County GOP, is planning to directly involve himself in Kate Murray's re-election campaign.
It's funny - many people have long suspected that Kate Murray was a made politician who needed Joe Mondello. At this point, given the recent blue tint on Long Island, Mondello may be the needy one. Republicans are losing at every level in New York, and prominent Republicans are both breaking ranks on key issues and openly questioning Joe Mondello's stewardship of their party. Therefore, Mr. Mondello needs a victory - and he needs it in the Town of Hempstead. It doesn't matter if he forces himself into a corner backing a failed ideology, because in many ways the Town of Hempstead might be his Alamo. They would accept decades of a failed ideology that is driving people off Long Island if it stems the recent tide of republican losses.
In other words - Mr. Mondello wants to sell our future for a political victory in 2009.
Think about it for one second. When you take out the veterans (who were sadly used as props), the elected officials, the bloggers/reporters, and the $450 an hour banjo band, there might have been 40 Kate Murray "supporters" at Friday's rally - a very small number for a supposedly popular incumbent. The State Republican chairman is directly involving himself in a Town election. Joe Conte - who is skinny as a rail, maybe 5'8, and carrying an oak tag sign - made Mondello lose his temper. The Republican Party is scared, and they may actually believe Kate Murray is vulnerable due to this issue.
One other thing - Joe Mondello has a long history of mentoring politicians off a cliff (see Gulotta, Tom). I could almost hear champagne corks popping at Democratic Party headquarters when he promised to get directly involved in this race.
Town of Hempstead's New Tune
I briefly, again, want to thank both Joe Ra and Don Clavin from the Town of Hempstead for being so accessible and offering the most honest answers we have received from the Town in months. Mr. Ra apologized for the Islanders Fans First fiasco and went as far as calling it a "mistake." Mr. Clavin also expressed remorse, and he also expressed confidence that there would be a deal made for the Lighthouse site. In his words, the issue now is where the middle will lie.
I am glad the Town of Hempstead is starting to say the right things. However, until their actions match the rhetoric, forgive me for being skeptical.
Bottom Line - And a Message From Joe Conte
If nothing else, the events on Friday prove exactly how powerful our movement can become. If Lighthouse supporters continue to pound their message home at every Kate Murray event, and the other party fields a viable candidate, it is very likely that we will get our point across. We must continue to organize, and we must continue to educate others, because our future is far too important to leave to chance, and it is lunacy to leave it in the hands of people like Joe Mondello.
Joe Conte - the "rabble-rouser" from Friday's rally - posted this amazing comment on Chris Botta's Islanders Point Blank yesterday. With his permission, here it is, and I can't think of a better way to close this post:
Also, don't forget to thank a veteran tomorrow.
This is an extremely serious issue to myself as a Long Islander. The fact that I am an Islander fan just have made me (and all of us) privy to the day to day workings of the plight of the Lighthouse. It is about the future-of the Islanders and more importantly Long Island. The two go hand in hand-a vibrant economically diverse region will have a professional sports team b/c the economy of the area can support it. If the Islanders leave due do a lack of development-there will be no team coming back.
As a recent college grad, I will be leaving the Island soon as Long Island does not offer the 21st Century lifestyle the Lighthouse would eventually provide(and in turn keep our Islanders here for decades). As soon as the plan was unveiled, a buddy (who moved to Hoboken) and myself said “We’d live here.”
Now on to my actions yesterday- though our turnout was small it was a great start for a Friday afternoon, spur of the moment, call to assemble. All movements have to start somewhere and I believe yesterday was the start.
I honestly do believe if we channel the passion of Islander fans seen here and other places on the internet we can defeat Kate Murray. It is totally doable- from a political standpoint. She is vulnerable provided we take the necessary political actions to make her so.(which i hope to lay out at a later date)
Islander fans-the fate of our beloved team has literally fallen on OUR shoulders. The only question is now-will we accept that responsibility. As all of you have seen-I’m willing to play my part-and I hope to have all of you by my side in the coming months.
Do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The time to act is now.
- Joe Conte