November 8th is not only next Tuesday, it is also election day. In this off-iest of off years, when elections are limited to county and local positions, even the most religious of voters may elect instead to pass on exercising their right to vote. But, as Islanders fans, we have a very specific motive to vote on Tuesday.
Why? Because even though the August 1 coliseum referendum was soundly defeated, the vote, we hope, is not the end of the story. Supporters of the team need to make their voices heard and so that our representatives understand that we are a constituency that that matters. Making a statement this election is particularly important. Here's why.
This election day the Nassau County legislature is up for grabs. Republicans hold a majority of 11-8, a majority that was achieved in the prior election and which is perceived by many observers as a precarious one. However, with redrawn districts in place -- the result of a bitterly contested battle in the the legislature and the courts -- Republicans hope to add to their majority. Democrats, for their part, hope to take back their majority and a centerpiece of the case they are making to voters is their opposition to the Mangano's coliseum proposal. If anyone has been reading the direct mail post cards being sent out by the Nassau County Democrats, you will see the the "$400 Million Coliseun Bailout for a Billionaire" is featured prominently.
So the Democrats are betting on you staying home. They are calculating that there is no political cost in screwing the Islanders and their fans. If the Democrats succeed, this notion will be reinforced and political figures of both parties at the state, county and local level will duly note this when future arena plans -- in whatever shape they take -- are considered by our representatives. If we can make the opposite statement on a Election Day, we can chip away at this notion.
Some of you may ask: if we failed miserably in August, how can we expect to have an impact in November when the arena issue is not on the ballot and turnout is likely to be higher?
First, turnout is unlikely to be that much higher. Approximately 150,000 voted on August 1. Turnout next Tuesday will likely be closer to 200,000. Second, given the fact that the arena referendum will not be the defining issue next Tuesday, it will be easier for a block of voters to make a statement. I would bet that many of the "No" voters are died in the wool Republicans who will not vote for the Democrats, notwithstanding August 1. The bottom line is, 60,000-plus voters pulling the lever for Republicans will have a strong impact on the results however you look at it.
For reference, were is a list of Nassau County legislature contests. The D stands for "DON'T VOTE FOR ME!":
District 1: Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D); Rodney McRae (R)
District 2: Legis. Robert Troiano (D); Karin Campbell (R)
District 3: Carrie Solages (D); Legis. John Ciotti (R)
District 4: Darlene Tangney (D); Legis. Denise Ford (R)
District 5: Legis. Joseph Scannell (D); Christian Browne (R)
District 6: Anthony Gonzalez (D); Legis. Francis Becker (R)
District 7: Adam Moser (D); Legis. Howard Kopel (R)
District 8: Scott Milano (D); Legis. Vincent Muscarella (R)
District 9: Jason Watson (D); Legis. Richard Nicolello (R)
District 10: Legis. Judi Bosworth (D); Elizabeth Berney (R)
District 11: Legis. Wayne Wink (D); Eric Zausner (R)
District 12: John Rennhack (D); Legis. Peter Schmitt (R)
District 13: Patricia Maher (D); Legis. Norma Gonsalves (R)
District 14: Eva Pearson (D); Legis. Joseph Belesi (R)
District 15: Ethan Irwin (D); Legis. Dennis Dunne (R)
District 16: Legis. Judy Jacobs (D); James Milano (R)
District 17: Frederick Hagemann (D); Legis. Rose Marie Walker (R)
District 18: Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D); Robert Germino (R)
District 19: Legis. David Denenberg (D); Fred Jones (R)