Incumbent Republican Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo won a landslide victory in Thursday’s primary against challenger Mike Yacubich. READ
Incumbent Republican Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo won a landslide victory in Thursday’s primary against challenger Mike Yacubich. READ
To the editor:
Imagine, if instead of pouring an astounding amount of money into TV and radio ads, politicians spent campaign donations on projects that represented their values, and our needs. (more…)
Eighty thousand. That’s around the number of 1st Congressional District voters who went to the polls in 2012 but are not likely to cast a vote in next month’s mid-term election.
Although the number of registered voters in the district has grown by about 9 percent since Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) was first elected in 2002, turnout changes very little with each passing election. In fact, turnout hasn’t fluctuated at all in presidential election years, with about 278,000 voters casting ballots each time. (more…)
Incumbent Republican Councilwoman Jodi Giglio has both raised and spent more money for her campaign than any other Riverhead Town Board candidate so far this year.
Campaign disclosure reports filed with the New York State Board of Elections through Friday, the last filing period before the Nov. 5 election, show Ms. Giglio – who, along with Councilman John Dunleavy faced a Republican primary earlier this election season – leading the pack in both categories when all campaign receipts and expenditures since the January 2013 filing period are tallied up.
All active fundraising committees are required to filed disclosure reports in January and July, regardless if that candidate is involved in a race. Those who are involved in a primary or general election also must filed additional campaign disclosure reports, both before and after the election, over the course of the year.
Incumbent Republican Supervisor Sean Walter was second in both categories, although he has run two races this year, having unsuccessfully run for county legislature in January against former Southold Councilman Al Krupski.
Below are the total amounts raised and spent over the course of the year for the following committees, along with the balance they had left through Friday’s filing period.
*Notes: No fundraising committees were listed for Millie Thomas, candidate for town council, or Albie DeKerillis, candidate for county legislature. Also, because some campaign accounts existed prior to this January’s disclosure report, some balances may not reflect this year’s difference between finds raised and spent.
|Riverhead Republican Committee|
|Riverhead Democratic Committee|
Riverhead Councilman George Gabrielsen says he’s interested in running to fill the North Fork’s State Assembly seat vacant since former Assemblyman Dan Losquadro was elected Brookhaven highway superintendent earlier this month.
“At this time, I’m still up in the air, but I’m definitely interested in it,” Mr. Gabrielsen said in an interview Friday. “I haven’t officially put my name in to be screened, but I put it out there to party officials that I definitely have an interest in it. I’m moving in that direction.”
Mr. Gabrielsen, a Republican who owns a farm in Jamesport, was first elected to the Town Board in 2009 to fill the remainder of the term of former Councilman Tim Buckley, who resigned.
While the commute to Albany has discouraged some people from running for state office, Mr. Gabrielsen said he’ll familiar with that trip, since he owns a farm in upstate Summit, west of Albany.
“And my wife is actually from Albany,” he said. “What gives me a good advantage is that, in having a farm up there, I think I have a lot in common with some of the legislators from that area. I know some of them already and I would have kind of a heads up in negotiating with them.”
Mr. Gabrielsen believes the East End’s biggest issue is preserving open space and farmers are the key to that goal.
“We’ve really got to look for legislation to protect farmland,” he said. “Farmers been good guardians of the land. I think I have the background to truly represent the East End.”
The decision on whether to hold a special election to fill the seat or leave to the November general election rests with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has yet to indicate his preference.
The Assembly district covers Southold, Riverhead, Shelter Island and northeastern Brookhaven.
Election officials across Riverhead are reporting a high turnout this Election Day, matching and in some cases exceeding the turnout from the 2008 presidential election.
“At 5:30 this morning we had lines out the door,” said assistant election coordinator John McIntyre, at the polling place in John Wesley Village as residents shuffled forward in line to vote. “There has not been a minute where I could sit down.”
Part of the reason for the large voter turnout is the affidavit vote measure — approved by Governor Andrew Cuomo — that allows New York voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote at other polling places in the state.
Pat Womack, an election official at the polling place at Pulaski Street School, said “a lot of people from Nassau” had turned out to vote in Riverhead.
Turnout was up at the Riley Avenue School polling place as well, said election inspector and Calverton resident Hal Lindstrom. More than a dozen voters lined up in the hallway of the school to wait for their chance to vote.
Mr. Lindstrom said there have been more than a dozen displaced voters who have come to the polls in Calverton, adding that he thinks the turnout was helped by the storm’s power outages.
“People are getting cabin fever and if you don’t have enough gas to go somewhere else, you’ll come to vote,” he said.
Many voters across Riverhead said they had voted for President Barack Obama, arguing he was more qualified for the job, while others said they supported former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney because they believed he could jumpstart the slow economy.
“I feel that it takes a businessman to straighten out the economy,” said Rich Landers, who voted for Mr. Romney. His wife, Chris, joked that she “cancelled” his vote by choosing Mr. Obama.
“He stands true to what he says,” Ms. Landers said, adding that she valued Mr. Obama’s stance on women’s rights and health.
Anthony Quagliata said he supported Mr. Romney because the candidate was more in line with his religious views.
“As a Christian I believe voters should vote for whomever’s closer to Biblical principles,” Mr. Quagliata said.
The Congressional race for Democrat Tim Bishop’s seat in the House of Representatives marked a tougher decision for voters, according to several who said they struggled to choose between the two candidates.
Vincent Grassi said he voted for Republican businessman Randy Altschuler after “Bishop got a lot of bad publicity.” Others, like Riverhead resident Jean Hudson, said Mr. Bishop showed he deserved another term.
“I think he’s going a great job,” Ms. Hudson said.
Polling places across Riverhead will be open until 9 p.m. For more information on where your polling place is, click here.
LIVE ELECTION RESULTS
Check back at 9 p.m. for our live election results log. We’ll have reporters at both the Suffolk County Republican and Democratic galas. We’ll keep up with the results as the precincts report them and we’ll add photos, video and color from the galas.
Tonight’s blog will be sponsored by Blackwells at Great Rock in Wading River and Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.
Elections for fire district commissioners are being held throughout Long Island today, with contested races planned locally in the Riverhead and Wading River districts. Commissioners are elected by the public to run fire districts, which are taxing entities and are different from fire departments. Fire departments are run by the district, and their leaders are chiefs and assistant chiefs who are elected internally and approved by the commissioners.
Riverhead Fire District
Bill Bilski, a 20-year incumbent, is not seeking re-election. The vote to fill his seat will be between James Carey and John Tradeski Jr. They are seeking a five-year term.
Mr. Carey, 45, has been a volunteer firefighter for 20 years and says he also attends fire commissioner meetings on a regular basis. He retired as a construction foreman in 2008.
“I’m an independent thinker; anybody who knows me will tell you that,” Mr. Carey said. “I’ve been considering running for quite a while. I think the spending is out of control. We had one of the highest budget increases on Long Island. It’s about 10 percent. I feel I could be an asset as a voice of the people. We have to control and stabilize future spending and budgets.”
Mr. Carey’s brother, Ed, is a member of the commissioners, but James Carey said he will not lessen his criticism because of that.
“I’m not afraid to voice an opinion,” he said. “I’m an independent thinker and have the time to dedicate toward this.”
John Tradeski Jr., 59, is a 33-year member of the fire department who is a former chief, captain and “Firefighter of the Year” recipient. He is a member of a number of organizations such as the New York State Chiefs Association and the National Fire Protection Association, which set regulations for fire departments, and he’s making his third run for a commissioner seat.
Mr. Tradeski says that in addition to his fire-fighting experience, he also has 15 years of experience in making budgets at his job as a tech supervisor at Brookhaven National Lab. He said he was a member of a committee that looked into purchasing fire pumpers recently, and got two trucks for $820,000, despite the fact that the original price was $700,000 apiece for the pumpers.
“We need to keep taxes as low as possible,” he said, but added that sometimes costs are hard to avoid.
He said much of the district’s costs now relate to a $15 million bond approved by voters a few years ago to build the new firehouse on Roanoke Avenue.
Mr. Tradeski also said he’d like to establish a junior firefighters group in Riverhead.
“It’s been helpful in keeping volunteers for an extended period of time in other districts,“ he said. Studies show that 80 percent to 92 percent of youngsters who join fire departments though junior programs stay in the department, Mr. Tradeski said.
“It’s a valuable tool to keep volunteering alive and well,” he said.
Voting in Riverhead will run from 3 to 9 p.m. today at the Roanoke Avenue firehouse.
Incumbent Matt Wallace is being challenged by Mike Harrigan.
Mr. Harrigan, 38, is a four-year member of the department and has been a Suffolk County Police officer for 17 years. He won a “Firefighter of the Year” award from the county two years ago when he saved the life of a heart attack victim. Mr. Harrigan also has been the president of the Wading River Civic Association for the past year, and a member of that organization for about 15 years.
“People in the district want change,” Mr. Harrigan said. He feels the fact that the district has used surplus funds to keep taxes lower is an indication that it has been overtaxing people in the past.
“Fire districts have always been one of the more overlooked items on the tax bill,” Mr. Harrigan said. “I think it’s a civic responsibility to be involved and make people aware.”
Mr. Harrigan said this will be his third run for a commissioner seat, but he said he has only run when he feels the incumbent shouldn’t be in office.
Mr. Wallace, 40, has been on the board of commissioners for six years and has been a firefighter for 24 years, 12 in Wading River. He’s also been an EMT for 23 years, a hazardous materials technician and a member of the rescue dive team and the rapid intervention team, which stands by to rescue members of neighboring departments should they get trapped in a burning building.
Mr. Wallace has also worked as a licensed practical nurse in a doctor’s office for the past 15 years.
During his term on the board, the district has upgraded its water rescue and communications equipment, it has advanced life support trained personnel on all ambulance calls and has decreased its tax rate for the past two years and froze it three years ago, Mr. Wallace said. His nursing background also helped him to lower what the district was paying for physicals by about 70 percent, he said.
“I think I’ve done my job over the past six years,” he said.
Mr. Wallace said the district has not overtaxed residents in the past, as Mr. Harrigan suggested. He said a surplus is needed for emergencies, and that the district has not depleted its surplus.
Two uncontested elections will be held in Flanders, Joe Cavaluzzi will be running for a five year-term and David Schasfauer will run for a two-year term. Mr. Cavaluzzi was appointed to a vacancy two years ago when commissioner Arnold Vollmoeller stepped down.
Incumbent Bill Thum is not seeking re-election this year, so Mr. Cavaluzzi will instead run for that five-year term, while Mr.
Schasfauer will run unopposed for the remaining two years of the term Mr. Cavaluzzi will vacate.
Voting will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the firehouse on Firehouse Lane, off Flanders Road, in Flanders.
Incumbent Commissioner Ed Collins is running unopposed for re-election. Voting in Jamesport will be from 3 to 9 p.m. at the firehouse on Manor Lane in Jamesport.
With a new paper ballot system in place for its first general election, the Suffolk County Board of Elections knew it was in for a trying Election Day this year.
The troubles started early, with some residents having difficulty figuring out the new way to cast their votes. And the problems ended late, with many election districts not reporting final results until after midnight.
But nobody expected things to be this out of whack.
More than a week later, a winner has yet to be determined in a pair of local races that have seen major vote swings during the vote-counting process.
On election night, Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) went to sleep with a lead of nearly 3,500 votes. By Friday, after the memory cards in each of the voting machines had been double-checked, he learned that he trailed Republican challenger Randy Altschuler of St. James by about 400 votes.
Assembly candidate Dan Losquadro (R-Shoreham) left headquarters with only a 40 vote lead last Tuesday over incumbent Democrat Marc Alessi. When contacted Saturday, he said he now led by nearly 900 votes.
How could that be?
“If you know the process, you know how it can happen,” said Wayne Rogers, Republican commissioner for the Suffolk County Board of Elections.
That’s because human error can enter into the equation on election night. Results are phoned in by poll workers who read them off a tally sheet before entering them onto a worksheet. The person on the other end of the phone then keys the numbers into a computer and publishes them online.
With a new system in place, it is widely believed that workers had a more difficult time reading the tally sheet this year. And if that was the case, it wasn’t just a handful of workers having difficulty.
“The information we’ve received shows different numbers now than on election night in 38 percent of election districts,” said Bishop spokesperson Jon Schneider. “It’s not like there are only 10 election districts that wildly shifted.”
In the Assembly race, Mr. Losquadro said he picked up votes in several districts that had Mr. Alessi ahead by a wide margin.
“I knew my numbers were going to move,” he said. “When you see some election districts that had 92 percent or 86 percent for Alessi, you figure you’ll gain some votes there. I didn’t see any anomalies like that where I was leading big.”
The dramatic shift now has local Democrats, who have lost nearly 5,000 votes since election day in the two races, calling for a hand recount. Republicans have not expressed support for that, insisting any errors were not the fault of the new machines. Lawsuits were expected to be filed by Democrats early this week demanding the hand recount.
“At this point the only way to be sure of the accuracy of the count is to do a full hand recount of all the ballots,” said Mr. Schneider, who also serves as chairman of the Brookhaven Town Democratic Committee. “There is a reason that Suffolk County residents insisted on having a paper backup and these circumstances demand we use it.”
It was a far cry from the tone of the Bishop camp last week, when they all but declared victory.
“The only people who think this race is ‘too close to call’ are on Randy Altschuler’s payroll,” Mr. Schneider said the Wednesday after Election Day. “Tim Bishop is leading by a solid margin, which will only grow as we count absentee ballots.”
Altschuler spokesperson Rob Ryan said the results now show the Altschuler camp had been right all along in its decision to not concede.
“We knew the Bishop team had jumped the gun on claiming victory,” he said.
On Monday, the Board of Elections began its state-mandated audit of 3 percent of all machines, according to Mr. Rogers. Absentee and military ballots won’t even be counted for another week. There are bout 9,500 absentee ballots in play in the congressional race.
Mr. Ryan said he believes a winner will not be declared in the congressional race until the end of the month.
Mr. Rogers, speaking in a Board of Elections building “filled with lawyers,” declined to estimate when the 2010 election finally would be over.
“We have a lot still to do,” he said.