Published by LI Herald. Written by Steve Smirti.
December 10, 2015
Local unions and some community activists are calling for the resignation of State Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) amid reports that Hannon, who heads the Senate Health Committee, has been profiting from investments in various health care companies that fall under his committee’s purview.
In total, Hannon invested nearly $130,000 in 14 health care companies last year, according to the New York Daily News.
“He is making decisions for the people of New York state, and at the same time he’s trying to make decisions on what’s going to happen in his pocket,” said Lisa Tyson, director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition. “One of the major ways to stop this is through publicly financed elections.”
Six labor groups marched outside the law offices of Farrell Fritz in RXR Plaza in Uniondale on Dec. 2, and demanded that Hannon, who is special counsel at the firm, either sever his ties to it or resign from the Senate. Farrell Fritz, one of the largest law firms on Long Island, represents health care companies.
As Health Committee chairman, Hannon had secured a $65,000 grant for Winthrop University Hospital. Farrell Fritz has represented the hospital periodically since 1993, and managing partner Charles M. Strain is the chairman of the hospital’s board of directors.
“Everything I have in terms of finances is public record,” Hannon said. “It has been since I got into public office. People know who I am, and there’s nothing else other than what’s there.”
Hannon, 69, of Garden City, was first elected to the Senate in 1989, and was previously a member of the State Assembly. His district includes East Meadow, Franklin Square, Lakeview, Salisbury and parts of Seaford and Wantagh. He has been an attorney at Farrell Fritz since the 1980s.
“There’s an ingrained culture of pay-to-play in Albany that’s too pervasive and needs to come to an end immediately,” said Michael Gendron, executive vice president of Communications Workers of America Local 1108. “We need leaders whose motives are good policy, good government, not a good payday.”
Hannon described the protest as politically motivated. He noted that the labor groups calling for his resignation are supporters of the Democratic Party.
“It’s immediately a political event obviously aimed at advancing an agenda to change control of the Senate majority this year,” he said. “All of the information that they’re talking about is something that’s been voluntarily put on my disclosure statements.”
In recent weeks there has been increased scrutiny of the political dealings of elected officials in Albany, with former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, convicted of corruption on Nov. 30, and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican from Rockville Center, currently on trial on charges of bribery and conspiracy charges.
Yesterday we gathered outside Sen. Hannon’s office and spoke our minds. Legislators shouldn’t benefit personally from the decisions they’re making in the State Capitol. That’s pretty simple.
But as the chair of the State Senate’s Health Committee, Kemp Hannon has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the same industries he’s responsible for overseeing and regulating. That isn’t right.
The Daily News reported this week that, Sen. Hannon bought shares in 14 pharmaceutical and health care companies and received more than $420,000 in contributions from those industries. Sen. Hannon also steered $65,000 in state grants to a hospital that his private law firm represented.
Tell Sen. Hannon that he needs to either resign from the State Senate or give up his financial interests in the pharmaceutical and health industries.
What Sen. Hannon is doing may be perfectly legal – but that’s the problem. It’s exactly this kind of legal corruption, where huge corporations and their lobbyists have special ties to legislators that ordinary New Yorkers don’t, that breeds wrongdoing in Albany.
New Yorkers have had enough of elected officials who use their public role for private profit. We saw that in Nassau County last month as voters overwhelmingly rejected the corrupt status quo to elect a district attorney committed to prosecuting public corruption. State legislators should take note.
In order to truly end Albany’s culture of corruption, we need comprehensive campaign finance reform centered on small donors and public matching funds. But it’s senators like Kemp Hannon who are blocking that very reform.
Please donate here:
Thank you for all you do.
Daily, I drive across Long Island to the office of The Long Island Progressive Coalition, I pass a few farms, the oldest general store on the Island, and the corridor of Middle Country Road near Caleb Smith Park during fall is brilliantly filled with a massive array of beautiful colors and is proof to myself of why Long Island is a special place to call home. Alas, there is another side of living here n the Island, as on this same commute I pass empty storefronts, zombie homes, and main streets that have seen better days. There is racial and economic divide, schools miles apart that are so radically different financially, it is truly mind boggling. My commute takes me through the two Long Islands, when in reality there should be One Island and One community.
Myself, I help work for change, I came to the Long Progressive Coalition knowing of the great work being done here, this past year alone we have worked on such exciting projects as The Fight For $15, we work to bring equal education to all our students, and we work to bring affordable housing to all that live here. Simply put we work to make a better Long Island for all. A good definition of progress: going forward or onward; passing successively from
Today, is Giving Tuesday and beginning today we are starting a campaign to raise funds to allow us to continue our fine work. Our goal is to raise additional funds over the course of the next week to prepare us for the challenges we face in 2016. Your membership and donations allow us to reach such goals, it allows us to help you, the community, your community, your neighbors, and your children. We ask you help us improve Long Island. Help us prepare to make 2016 a year for all of us on Long Island, let’s make the image of two Long Island into One.
I thank you for your time and your efforts,
John Delaney, LIPC Office Administrator
If you like to become or renew your Membership to the Long Island Progressive Coalition please see the attach sheet or call the LIPC office at 516-541-1006×10 or
Please donate here:
Long Island Progressive Coalition’s Statement on LNG
November 12th 2015
“The Long Island Progressive Coalitions applauds Governor Cuomo his announcement today to veto the
STONYBROOK (November 7, 2015)
Long Island organizations gathered at the first Progressive Vision for Long Island: Organizing for Success conference. This conference was organized by a new groundbreaking initiative called Long Island Progressive Network that brings together immigration, social justice, LGBTQ rights, environmental issues, labor rights, education, sustainable development and community organizations to work together to build power and to move progressive issues throughout Long Island, the state and the nation.
The Conference is a historic event because it is the first time Long Island organizations explored what can happen if we bring together people from many different issue areas that all have an interest in creating positive change on Long Island. Bob Master, Assistant to the Vice President for Legislative, Political and Mobilization Activities for District One of the Communications Workers of America, kicked off the event by giving a national overview of labor struggles. Attendees then gathered for issue workshops and skill building trainings, to hone the skills needed to effect change.
“The time has come for our organizations to work and fight together to improve the lives of the residents of Long Island. Long Island is one of the most segregated communities, there is a major housing crisis, severe income inequality and major corruption. In order to win significant improvements on these issues we must do things differently by banning together and supporting allied organizations’ campaigns” stated Lisa Tyson, Director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition.
“This conference is a sign that progressives are fired up around key issues and are willing to work together to get the job done. It is not just about individual organizations but the issues that affect all working families. It is great to see Long Islanders strategize and leave excited to continue the fight.” said Bob Master, Assistant to the Vice President for Legislative, Political and Mobilization Activities for District One of the Communications Workers of America who was the Keynote Speaker for the event.
“This conference allows different organizations to learn about others struggles and fights and how we, as a Labor, can better understand our members and their needs,” said Brendan Sexton, the Political Coordinator for UFCW 1500.
“In our current political and social climate the inaugural Progressive Network Conference could not be more timely. Having had the privilege to be a part of the planning process, I am confident this convening will be the beginning of a unified progressive movement that has the potential to do truly transformative work. Only by working together in solidarity and by recognizing that we cannot continue to work in silos can we achieve more inclusive, integrated, sustainable communities that provide opportunity for all,” said Nuzhat Quaderi, Community Organizer at ERASE Racism.
For more information about the Progressive Network please contact Dan at email@example.com.
Excerpt from Newsday’s The Point:
|The family name|
|Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto may still pull a win out of Tuesday’s election, but the family brand has taken a hit.
Democrats looking to take back the State Senate from the GOP in 2016 suddenly see Sen. Michael Venditto, the supervisor’s son, as vulnerable.
The younger Venditto, serving his first term in Albany, coasted to victory last year in the race to succeed Charles Fuschillo. Michael, 33, was plucked from the Nassau legislature, where he had only served 16 months on the strength of the family name.
His selection over more senior and experienced Republicans was defended by Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Mondello, who said Venditto was from a political family and had worked on his father’s campaigns. Mondello was right, the name carried the day and Michael won easily.
A year later, that name isn’t looking so stellar.
After casting ballots for John Venditto for nine terms, voters in the heavily Republican areas of Oyster Bay rebelled, angry over badly managed town finances and a federal investigation into how town concession contracts were awarded. The year-over-year comparison in the election districts that overlap the Senate district are stark. In 2014, Michael won them with 79 percent of the vote. On Tuesday, John’s margins in his home area and stronghold were only 59 percent.
Remember when the Bush name meant victory in politics?
— Rita Ciolli
New York State Senator Kemp Hannon
Below is an excerpt from Capital Tonight’s “Morning Memo”:
Do you know a bright, young progressive person on Long Island? Do you know of a college student who wants an internship where they can gain real experience and make a difference?
LIPC needs interns for Fall 2015. Please read below for more information.
Have a passion to help the community and want to get real world experience?
Want to learn how to organize and communicate with Long Island Communities?
Don’t Miss Your Chance to Make a Difference
The Long Island Progressive Coalition is looking for enthusiastic interns, who want to improve the quality of life for all citizens on Long Island.
Become part of a fun, cooperative work environment while earning college credit.
LIPC is a 35-year old, Island-wide, multi-issue, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development, revitalizing local communities, enhancing human dignity, creating effective democracy, and achieving economic and social justice.
Join us in fighting for:
• A quality public education system
• Affordable housing- Yes in My Backyard
• Clean Money Clean Elections
• Economic Justice
Learn community-organizing skills including:
• Strategy development
• How to use social media in organizing
• How to make community change through electoral campaigns
No prior experience required. Training is provided.
Please forward this email along to any interested students you know or contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org with any names of progressive students who you think would be a match.
In the letter “A $15 solution to stagnant wages” [Aug. 20], some pertinent points were omitted.
I agree with the writer that an increase in the statewide minimum wage for all workers would be preferable. Unfortunately, Republican lawmakers have blocked legislation that would include wage increases statewide.
Read the full article here.