This is a critical election year, and one of the most important primaries in America will take place this Tuesday, June 26, to determine the Republican and Conservative Party nominees for the Fourth Congressional District in Nassau County — a portion of which I used to represent.
That seat has been held by Carolyn McCarthy for 16 long years in which the people of Nassau County have been without real representation. Her constituents rarely see her, and she has been a rubber stamp for leaders like Nancy Pelosi, who have done so much to make Washington, D.C., an out-of-control mess of excessive spending, inside-the-Beltway cronyism, and an arrogant disregard for the middle class.
Sadly, the leadership of the Nassau Republican Party is often riddled with this same you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours arrogance. Preoccupied with making the county into his own personal fiefdom, Nassau GOP Chairman Joe Mondello has not taken much of an interest in this congressional seat, which is a big reason a substandard member like McCarthy keeps getting re-elected to this once-solid Republican seat.
The only way to change this is by nominating an honest, conservative Republican who is not the GOP machine’s back-room selection. Frank Scaturro, 39, a resident of Nassau County for nearly all his life, is a fresh face who has spent most of this two-year election cycle putting together a campaign to win this seat.
He is one of the best candidates in the nation. During the 1990s, he blew the whistle on the National Park Service for its neglect of President Grant’s Tomb in New York City and spearheaded the monument’s restoration. (If only most elected officials were this effective in dealing with government bureaucracy!)
He also served as counsel for the Constitution on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he helped Republican members confirm Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.
On top of this, he has written several books in the area of constitutional law, U.S. history, and corporate responsibility, and he has taught courses on Congress and the Constitution at Hofstra Law School.
Infuriatingly, the party bosses of Nassau GOP looked high and low for someone else they could throw into the race, because they were more interested in blocking a Republican they do not control than in defeating McCarthy.
At the last minute, they picked Fran Becker, a Nassau County legislator for nearly 17 years. During his tenure, Becker repeatedly voted for the wasteful spending and high taxes that have made Nassau County a fiscal mess.
He voted for millions in tax and fee increases, including a 3.6 percent property tax hike, a 9.4 percent property tax hike, and a real estate transfer tax. He voted in favor of a debt-swapping plan that cost taxpayers $240 million.
It was measures like these that drove Nassau Republicans from power for eight years as the county became a national embarrassment. The Democrats were ousted by the voters in 2009 as punishment for raising taxes, which of course is how members of that party typically respond to fiscal problems. But one of the worst aspects of their mismanagement, union contracts that even the notoriously liberal New York Times editorial page called “overly generous,” were passed with Becker’s vote.
Becker ran a weak campaign against Carolyn McCarthy in 2010, and she in turn was able to use his record of raising taxes against him. Since that time, things have only gotten worse, and Becker has even less of a chance of being elected to Congress.
Last year, Nassau County’s government was placed under a state control board — a humiliating commentary on the failure of leaders like Becker to do their job. Instead of learning a lesson from all of this, Becker supported last year’s Nassau Coliseum referendum — an initiative that, if successful, would have raised taxes in Nassau County even more.
Thankfully, the voters said no, though $2 million was wasted scheduling the referendum on a Monday in August in a cynical attempt to diminish voter turnout.
Of course, the leadership of the Nassau GOP would undermine their own candidate if they were honest with voters about why they are endorsing Becker, their last-minute pick, over Scaturro.
So they have reverted to lying to the voters, circulating a flyer calling Scaturro a Democrat and depicting a wolf in sheep’s clothing — the most dishonest piece of political propaganda I have ever seen.
Frank is a lifelong conservative Republican with widespread backing from movement conservatives. For over 20 years, which goes back to his high school days, he has volunteered exclusively for Republican campaigns and served exclusively on Republican congressional staffs during his career.
He was even president of the New Hyde Park Republican Club. His “mistake” is the selflessness of his service to the GOP, which doesn’t satisfy the agenda of a party boss whose cynical philosophy is that every man has a price and that anyone he can’t control should be destroyed.
This extends to county and town employees, who are being told that they will lose their jobs if they openly help Scaturro’s campaign. Even Conservative Party leaders who hold municipal jobs have been intimidated into blocking Scaturro’s name from being printed on that party’s ballot, but fortunately, enough registered conservatives signed petitions to authorize Scaturro to run a write-in primary on that line.
The party bosses who propped up Becker have acted with the grossest display of political thuggery I have seen in recent American history.
I have never seen a candidate so badly treated by his own party as Scaturro. Becker should be ashamed of himself for running a dishonorable campaign in an attempt to distract the voters from his own failure to provide true conservative leadership.
On Tuesday, June 26, the Republican and Conservative voters of the Fourth Congressional District should send a message to the thugs who have betrayed Nassau County by voting for Frank Scaturro.
John LeBoutillier is a former U.S. congressman and a political commentator who has contributed to many major newspapers and magazines. Read more reports from John LeBoutillier — Click Here Now.
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