Burke in the book
Sometimes, books and their life lessons collide. That’s what happened recently with Nelson DeMille’s new book “The Maze” and former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke.
The novel, which prefigures the unsolved Gilgo Beach murder, also reveals the corruption of Suffolk law enforcement, including a police chief like Burke with bad taste who may be interfering with the investigation.
The plan does not seem to please this officer. “Burke read the book, by the way,” DeMille said in a Newsday Live Author Series interview last week, referring to the former police chief who served prison time after admitting to assaulting a suspect and working to cover up assault, assault after assault. the suspect entered Burke’s vehicle and stole items including pornography and sex toys.
DeMille said Burke “had dinner with an acquaintance and the acquaintance said he was not happy with the book because it suggested he might have something to do with the murder.”
“But you know,” DeMille continued, “you’ve got to call it like you’ve seen it.”
Burke was not involved in the events at Gilgo. Newsday previously reported that Burke, under investigation by the FBI for the hit and run, “removed the FBI from the Suffolk police investigation, including Gilgo.”
Former Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart, who once headed the FBI’s Long Island office, “acknowledged that federal law enforcement assistance would have helped the county’s police.”
In a Newsday Live/Long Island LitFest interview, which will air November 29 on newsdaylive.com, DeMille said, “I was representing a corruption that I thought existed that everyone seemed to agree with.”
The suit also includes a Suffolk district attorney who was willing to play outside the law, a nod to the district’s former DA, Thomas Spota, who was indicted in 2017 on federal charges in the cover-up of Burke’s beating. in the imagination.
DeMille, a Long Islander who has written about the region in previous books, said he was fascinated by the way government injustice can happen in such an affluent urban area:
“It was like I was saying, how does this happen here, this kind of deep corruption.”
— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano
Rolling the dice
As New York inches closer to allowing full casinos on the ground, some on Long Island are moving and shivering to get a piece of the action. And casino companies are ready to play.
On December 1, the Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers and the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce are sponsoring a forum entitled “Small Business Opportunities as Downstate Gaming Expands on Long Island.”
That’s a mouthful – but the presence of the forum, along with the list of participants, is even more.
Besides the representatives of the two district courts, two representatives of Las Vegas Sands Corp. – former Governor David Paterson, now vice president of Sands, and Norbert Riezler, Sands chief procurement officer – will attend.
Then there is a name on the list that at first glance seems like a strange addition: Hon. John Callahan, former mayor of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The obvious question: Why was the former mayor of Pennsylvania participating in a forum about sports on Long Island?
Answer: Because more than 10 years ago, Las Vegas Sands opened a sports complex, which later included a casino, hotel, restaurants, a concert hall and more, in Bethlehem – and Callahan was the mayor at the time.
Sands vice president Ron Reese told The Point that he hoped the forum would provide an opportunity to talk with Long Island business owners and others about how they could help and prepare for a serious casino, possibly on the Island.
“It’s important for both sides to have a conversation,” Reese said. “We’ve spent time on Long Island, enjoyed getting to know people on Long Island, and now we’re talking about the opportunities this could bring.”
Reese noted that a resort casino could provide such opportunities to local small businesses in a variety of industries, from restaurants and retail to security, flowers, lighting and information technology.
The forum, which will include Discover Long Island’s Kristen Reynolds and the Long Island Federation of Labor’s Ryan Stanton, will take place at the South Farmingdale Fire District station on Locust Ave. It comes as state officials with the Gaming Facility Location Board are preparing to release a request for applications that jump-starts the process for developers, casino operators and others to apply for one of three state licenses. According to the plan established by the government, the RFA should be released by the first week of January.
But the competition is already in full gear. Although the Sands is reviewing its options, other companies are looking at sites across the state, most recently, Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation, Legends and Thor Equities releasing their plans to bid for a casino and hotel resort in Coney Island.
– Randy F. Marshall @RandiMarshall
Printing of the whole court
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Surveying the field
One of the biggest controversies emerging from the midterm elections in New York has been the nature of Governor Kathy Hochul’s field campaign.
The operation was carried out by the New York Dems organized campaign, and there was a lot of criticism – including from members of the legislature – that the work of the state party was not enough to drag the Democrats to the finish line.
In order to better understand the local situation, The Point asked the chairman of the Democratic Republic, Jay Jacobs, what exactly the party has done in terms of field work.
Jacobs sent us a memo outlining a $6 million investment in the field. This included the party hiring 37 job coordinators, seven district leaders, 12 student organizers, and a few people in leadership positions.
The memo lists 1.4 million phone calls, close to 900,000 door knocks, and more than 5.4 million text messages across the country from Hochul’s party and campaign. Field efforts included a campaign to collect and track absentee voters, as well as a phone call from former President Barack Obama to 566,000 Democratic voters near the end of the race. Local state party workers served in other contested congressional districts, according to the memo, including all four Long Island races. They were more active in some districts, such as CD4, where “NY Dems staff were the majority of the program and held all the field elections,” Jacobs wrote in an email. Democratic candidate Laura Gillen went on to lose the Democratic-leaning district to Republican Anthony D’Esposito.
How should all this be interpreted? It’s hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison of how much money the national party has spent on field efforts over the years, because the organizing committee doesn’t make public disclosures, and this was Hochul’s start on the ticket. Also, not all circles are equally competitive. Jacobs was not the chairman of the government during Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo running in 2014 or 2018, but it was in 2010.
“There was a field program,” Jacobs wrote to The Point. “I remember being involved in it, but it was nowhere near the size of it.”
As for the broader criticism of where the party is lacking, Jacobs wrote that there is a “misunderstanding” of the roles of the state party against the parties: “Obviously, the National Party will never have the ability to do a full job in the field. all corners of the government – in all corners of every district.”
— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano
The Point will be back on Monday, November 28. Happy Thanksgiving!