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Daily Point

To the videotape

Jay Jacobs’ blistering attack Monday morning on Republican-turned-Democrat George Maragos, who wants the Democratic Party’s nomination for Nassau County executive, is only the opening salvo, the county party chairman told The Point.

Jacobs said there is “evidence of who he is on videotape,” a harsh tone from someone who stood behind Maragos at a news conference last fall when the Nassau County comptroller announced his change of party.

The evidence is Maragos answering a question during a candidate forum Wednesday night about which presidential candidate he voted for in November. Maragos’ answer: He skipped over the top line of the ballot in November’s election.

In an email blast to county Democrats, Jacobs essentially called Maragos a fraud. Dismissing Maragos’ claims that he has evolved from his anti-abortion, climate-change-denying, Obamacare-denouncing positions, Jacobs wrote, “He has morphed opportunistically into what he needed to become to seek our nomination.” The party has officially endorsed Legis. Laura Curran. State Assemb. Charles Lavine is also seeking the party’s nod.

Jacobs is concerned that Maragos’ aggressive pitch to black and Latino voters — the comptroller says Democrats have ignored their issues — might gain traction with core primary voters. “We’ll hit him on his record,” Jacobs said.

Maragos, who has bashed Jacobs and Curran on Twitter, doesn’t seem too intimidated.

“. . . He wanted a hand-picked unqualified PUPPET,” Maragos tweeted at 10:20 a.m.

Rita Ciolli

Talking Point

NYPD commissioner gets political

The Friday tweet from President Donald Trump’s @POTUS account wasn’t surprising: The account said, “Thank you & congratulations” to a freshly minted NYPD officer whose father was a police sergeant killed on 9/11. But NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill’s viral Twitter response a day later drew more attention for its subtle jab about the NYPD’s mission of diversity: “her 473 fellow recruits hail from 43 countries, speak 27 languages.”

O’Neill has been judged less of a political operator than predecessor William Bratton, the guru of broken-windows policing who tended to make national headlines. O’Neill, by contrast, is a New York native who rose through the ranks.

But in his first months as commissioner, he has often lent political cover to his boss, Mayor Bill de Blasio — first by quickly saying the department “failed” in the October death of a Bronx woman at the hands of police.

Since Trump’s election, O’Neill has argued along with de Blasio against federal budget cuts. He has held de Blasio’s line about the NYPD’s limited cooperation with federal immigration authorities. And he has recently spoken out against a bill in Congress that would allow people permitted to carry concealed weapons in other states to do so in places like New York.

O’Neill wrote on Twitter earlier this month that opposing the bill is “common sense.” But it’s also an example of political savvy and maneuvering.

Mark Chiusano

Points to us

We have winners

Congratulations to Matt Davies and Michael Dobie, winners of National Headliner Awards!

Davies took first place in editorial cartooning for a portfolio of cartoons centering on the 2016 election.

Dobie won second place in the editorial writing category for editorials on how public officials betray our trust, with a focus on corruption in Albany.

Rita Ciolli

Syllable Points

Haikus for you

In honor of National Haiku Day on Monday, here are some quick takes on the news of our times in the form of the day:

lobbyist ban dies
White House logs become secret
the swamp grows deeper

trouble on our screens
and we are riveted by
April the giraffe

war on gang, he fumes
and four more die in Suffolk
Sini-ster response

brow furrows, words fly
history trampled, truth slayed
Spicer on the job

Michael Dobie


This is The Point, the editorial board’s daily newsletter about New York politics. Click here to subscribe.