Cuomo: Ignoring L.I.’s infrastructure? – By George J. Marlin

Posted January 4, 2020 by streetcornerconservative
Categories: Articles/Essays/Op-Ed, Blank Slate Media

The following appeared on December 30, 2019 on The Island Now’s website:

Right before Christmas, Governor Andrew Cuomo handed out $760 million in so-called capital grants and state tax credits throughout New York. One goodie he doled out to the tune of $3.5 million was for the construction of a hip-hop museum in the Bronx.

When grappling with his first budget in 2011, Cuomo condemned “Members Items”— pork awarded by legislative leaders to members who behaved themselves and towed the party line during the legislative session — as a waste of taxpayer dollars.

After being praised by editorials and the good government crowd for eliminating this abuse, Cuomo turned around and established his own pork machine via Regional Economic Development Councils.

Since 2011, Cuomo has handed out over $6.2 billion of goodies to local businesses and communities. And anyone who thinks the grants are not politically connected should get their heads examined.

A report released in December by the Citizens Budget Commission, an independent fiscal watchdog, questioned the selection process: “…the implementation of REDC has shortcomings. Many of the projects are unrelated to regional or state economic development strategies. Projects tied to strategies are dispersed among industries and areas within each region such that no single strategy garners the sustained, intensive investment necessary to spur lasting economic growth. Finally, REDC activity is opaque, with inadequate follow-up reporting on each project and inconsistent of regional performance.”

While tossing around money for dubious projects throughout Long Island, the governor appears to be ignoring the Island’s crumbling infrastructure.

An analysis recently made public by the Long Island Contractor’s Association revealed that of the 379 miles of roads analyzed, “82 percent were rated to be in ‘poor’ or ‘fair’ condition.”

One hundred and forty-seven miles of pavement tested were rated in “poor” condition; and 164.4 miles were rated in “fair” condition. A mere 1 percent were rated “excellent.”

What is most interesting about the finding of the independent study, performed by Advance Testing Company, is that the worst sections of highways examined were segments of roads controlled by the state: Meadowbrook State Parkway, New York State Route 109, Northern State Parkway, and Southern State Parkway.

One does not need to be an engineer to know that for Long Islanders, safe roads are essential. That’s because Nassau and Suffolk residents own over 2.3 million automobiles. That number of vehicles exceeds the total in New York City’s five boroughs.

Lawrence Levy, Dean of Hofstra’s National Center for Suburban Studies, put it this way: “Suburbia is reliant on the automobile to move people and trucks to move goods. It is unthinkable to allow our roads to deteriorate to the point where they not only impede economic progress but possibly pose a safety hazard. America’s oldest suburb cannot let its infrastructure age prematurely and expect to remain viable.”

At a Dec. 6 hearing of the state Assembly Committee on Transportation, Marc Herbst, executive director of LICA, pointed out that “Simply put, there are not enough funds allocated to address [road infrastructure] needs.”

He went on to say “The interstate highway system and most state highways were built over 50 years ago and we should prepare for most to reach the completion of their life cycles simultaneously. It is imperative for our government leaders to identify funding sources to responsibly address the tremendous needs in the next spending plan.”

Herbst, a former assemblyman and ordained minister, called on the Legislature to fund our crumbling infrastructure “with an amendment in each legalized sports betting, legalized marijuana and prostitution decriminalization bills” which are projected to generate $375 million annually.

Instead of pandering to special interests with pork subsidies, it’s time for the governor and the Legislature to abandon such follies and to focus on the needs of every citizen — safe roads and highways.

The Best Christmas Books for Political Junkies – By George J. Marlin

Posted December 20, 2019 by streetcornerconservative
Categories: Articles/Essays/Op-Ed, Newsmax

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Friday, December 20, 2019.

Nassau’s 2019 Political Winners and Losers – By George J. Marlin

Posted December 9, 2019 by streetcornerconservative
Categories: Articles/Essays/Op-Ed, Blank Slate Media

The following appeared on December 2, 2019 on The Island Now’s website:

Here’s my take on the political winners and losers in this year’s game of Nassau politics.


Madeline Singas: Having kept her promise to be a professional prosecutor above the political fray, she was easily re-elected receiving 65 percent of votes cast. After I broke ranks with the Nassau Conservative Party four years ago and endorsed Singas over the unqualified Republican Kate Murray, I was castigated by many party members.

However, in 2019, Conservative leaders realized I was right and endorsed Singas for a second full term in office.

Peter King: The retiring congressman has served the nation and Long Island with distinction for 27 years in the House of Representatives. He played a major role in the 1998 peace negotiations between the Irish government and the I.R.A.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, he fought tirelessly to enhance the nation’s security and to bring aid to New York to help recovery efforts. Sen. Chuck Schumer got it right when he said that King “stood head and shoulders above everyone else” as a “principled” legislator who “fiercely loved America, Long Island, and his Irish heritage and served them all.”

Sadly, Schumer was condemned by his party’s lunatic fringe for daring to be civil and saying he would miss King and “value[d] his friendship.”

Judi Bosworth: The North Hempstead Supervisor was easily re-elected to a fourth term. During her tenure, she has maintained the township’s triple-A financial ratings and has proved that hard work and a civil demeanor pays off.

Laura Gillen: She is a winner even though she lost her bid for a second term as Hempstead’s supervisor. Gillen fearlessly exposed the institutional incompetence and cronyism of 100 years of Republican rule. Republican hacks on the town board, however, blocked her efforts to implement much needed municipal reforms. Taxpayers will be sorry they restored GOP rule.


Ed Mangano: Indicted in October 2016, the former Republican County Executive was convicted on March 8, 2019 of conspiracy to commit bribery, honest service, wire fraud, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. In October, he was barred from practicing law. Mangano is expected to be sentenced to jail in December.

Rob Walker: The former Republican First Deputy County Executive pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice on May 29, 2019. He admitted to a federal judge: “I knowingly and unfortunately … met with an informant working with the government and I asked him not to disclose the $5,000 he gave me.” Taxpayers are fortunate to be rid of this pretentious, dishonest light-weight.

Jon Venditto: The former Republican Supervisor of Oyster Bay, pleaded guilty on July 26, 2019 to state corruption charges.

Edward Ambrosino: The former Republican Hempstead Town legislator and former special counsel to Ed Mangano, pleaded guilty of tax evasion in April 2019. He was ordered to pay $275,000 in back taxes, $370,000 in legal penalties, and $700,000 to his former law firm. In November, Ambrosino was sentenced to six months in a federal prison.

Nassau’s Democratic state senators: They naively supported the MTA’s congestion pricing plan, a financial ruse to pick the pockets of many struggling taxpayers.

They were bought off with the pledge that their suburban rail system would receive billions from the projected “congestion pricing” borrowing to fund capital projects. They were chumps. The LIRR will be getting that much and more from the existing MTA capital projects plan.

Jack Schnirman: The Democratic Nassau County Comptroller, who has boasted he understands public finance and accounting, did not grasp that he was overpaid $52,980 in a separation payment when he left his Long Beach City Manager post in December 2017. While Schnirman paid back the money, it is hard to take him seriously as our fiscal watchdog.

Jay Jacobs: As the only political party leader appointed to the State’s Public Campaign Financing Commission, he looks like the governor’s patsy. Most Albany wags believe he was instructed to settle a Cuomo score by devising regulations that ensure the Working Families Party will go out of business after the next gubernatorial election.

Gov. Cuomo Proves Govt Is a Lousy Venture Capitalist – By George J. Marlin

Posted November 30, 2019 by streetcornerconservative
Categories: Articles/Essays/Op-Ed, Newsmax

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Wednesday, November 27, 2019.

Aid to the Church in Need ‘Night of Witness’ Service at National Shrine Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

Posted November 27, 2019 by streetcornerconservative
Categories: Articles/Essays/Op-Ed, Christian Persecutions in the Middle East

This article appeared in The Arlington Catholic Herald on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.

New York’s Gov. George Pataki a Forgotten Man – By George J. Marlin

Posted November 12, 2019 by streetcornerconservative
Categories: Articles/Essays/Op-Ed, Newsmax

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Tuesday, November 12, 2019.

Congress Finally Recognizes Armenian Genocide – By George J. Marlin

Posted November 4, 2019 by streetcornerconservative
Categories: Articles/Essays/Op-Ed, Newsmax

This article I wrote appeared on the web site on Monday, November 4, 2019.