October 3, 2016

Suozzi Campaign Launches New Ad and Announces 21st Town Hall

Glen Cove, NY- The Suozzi for Congress campaign is calling out his opponent, Republican Jack Martins, for his hypocritical attacks and phony politics. Last week, Martins' allies in Washington, DC started running a cable television ad that attacks Suozzi for raising taxes 14 years ago when he served as Nassau County Executive. However, what the commercial leaves out is that Martins also raised taxes, six times in eight years, when he served as the Mayor of Mineola.

"It is the height of hypocrisy that Martins' DC-based friends attack Tom because he raised taxes fourteen years ago, yet their own candidate, Martins, raised taxes six times," said Mike Florio, Suozzi 2016 campaign manager. "It doesn't make sense and it is the kind of desperate politics that people are sick of."

After Nassau was rated the "worst run county in America" by the Maxwell School of Public Policy at Syracuse University, in 2001 Suozzi was elected County Executive with a clear mandate to fix the finances. By cutting the workforce, consolidating county departments, balancing the budgets, utilizing smart government initiatives, and raising taxes his first year in office, Suozzi succeeded in bringing Nassau County back from the brink of bankruptcy, was named "Public Official of the Year" by Governing Magazine, and was re-elected by an overwhelming margin in 2005.

As Mayor of Mineola, Martins raised property taxes 31%, six times over eight years, however, none of this is mentioned in the television ad that attacks Suozzi.

The Suozzi campaign this week will release a new commercial, "Phony" in response to the Martins' attacks. The ad follows the campaigns three previous ads: “Mom,” “Caroline” and “Higher Purpose.” The first three ads were positive and focused on Suozzi's values and his commitment to continue his long record of being a champion of the environment, especially the Long Island Sound.

“Phony" is a :30 second ad featuring Jack Martins admitting to his own record of raising taxes, as well as his own salary, as mayor of Mineola, and calling on Martins to quit the hypocritical attacks and to join Suozzi for an issues based campaign.

"Our criticism of Martins in our ad is not because he raised property taxes or his own salary," said Florio, "our criticism is that he is a phony and a hypocrite and exhibiting the typical politics that people are sick of.

"Tom Suozzi has been clear that he is running for Congress to go to Washington and actually try to solve the serious problems that the families in our communities and neighborhoods face," continued Florio. "Tom believs that to do that we should start by discussing the issues that actually matter in this campaign.”

To that end, Suozzi will hold his 21st issues-based town hall this Wednesday, October 5th, focused on foreign policy and national security. Suozzi has held 20 town halls across the third congressional district and will continue to hold town halls meetings over the final weeks of the campaign to discuss such pressing topics as Social Security and Medicaid, healthcare, and the environment. During his successful five-way primary, Suozzi held 16 town halls across the district.

The 3rd Congressional District covers northern portions of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties. The seat is being vacated by Rep. Steve Israel, who announced his retirement from Congress earlier this year. The election is on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.


CLAIM: Jack Martins raised taxes 31%, six times, as Mayor of Mineola
Passed The 2003-2004 Mineola Budget, Which Had A 13.8 Percent Tax Increase
“The Village of Mineola has a budget for the 2003-2004 fiscal year as Mayor Jack M. Martins and trustees Larry Werther and Steve Franzini passed it with a 3-2 majority. The two negative votes came from trustees Lou Santosus and Linda Fairgrieve. The budget represents a 13.8 percent tax increase over last year’s budget. Mayor Martins said he is proud of the document and stands behind it.” [Mineola American, 5/09/03]

Passed The 2004-2005 Mineola Budget, Which Had A 6.8 Percent Tax Increase
“When Mayor Martins presented the tentative 2004-2005 budget to the public on April 14, it called for a 7.9 percent tax increase, 3.8 of which was due to the estimated mandated increase in the state pension fund, with the village preparing for the worst case scenario. However, on Friday, Mayor Martins proposed cutting the tax increase down to 6.8 percent. … The village board then approved a budget for the 2004-2005 fiscal year that calls for a 6.8 percent tax increase.” [Mineola American, 5/07/04]

Passed The 2005-2006 Mineola Budget, Which Had An 8.9 Percent Tax Increase
“Last Thursday, the Village of Mineola board of trustees passed a budget for the 2005-2006 fiscal year. The budget, which will be in effect from June 1, 2005 to May 31, 2006, represents an 8.9 percent tax increase over the 2004-2005 budget.” [Mineola American, 5/06/05]

Passed The 2006-2007 Mineola Budget, Which Had A 3.85 Percent Tax Increase
“The Village of Mineola has a budget for the fiscal year 2006-2007, which will go into effect from June 1, 2006 to May 31, 2007. The budget was passed by Mayor Jack M. Martins, Deputy Mayor Larry Werther and Trustee John DaVanzo. Trustees Linda Fairgrieve and Paul Cusato chose to abstain on the vote. The 2006-2007 budget calls for $17,175,129 expenses of which $11,695,342 will be raised by real estate taxes. Village taxpayers will see a 3.85 percent tax increase.” [Mineola American, 5/05/06]

Passed The 2008-2009 Mineola Budget, Which Had A 1.6 Percent Tax Increase
“The Mineola Board of Trustees passed an $18,326,099 spending plan for the 2008-2009 fiscal year, which begins on June 1 and ends May 3, 2009. Residents will see a 1.6 percent tax increase over the 2007-2008 budget, which amounts to approximately $18 per average household in Mineola for the year. Mayor Jack M. Martins, Deputy Mayor Larry Werther and Trustees Tom Kennedy and Paul Pereira feel the budget is fiscally responsible. Mayor Martins said that nobody wants to see a tax increase, but the budget maintains all the village’s current services while ensuring the village stays on solid financial footing.” [Mineola American, 4/25/08]

Passed The 2009-2010 Mineola Budget, Which Had A 2.15 Percent Tax Increase For Residential Properties And A 3.06 Percent Increase For Commercial Properties
“The Mineola Village Board of Trustees passed an operating budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which begins June 1 and ends May 31, 2010. The $23,385,918 spending plan calls for a 2.15 percent tax increase for residential properties and a 3.06 percent tax increase for commercial properties on the village portion of tax bills. Mayor Jack M. Martins, Deputy Mayor Larry Werther and Trustees Tom Kennedy and Paul Pereira passed the budget with a 4-1 majority while Trustee Paul Cusato voted against the budget.” [Mineola American, 4/17/09]

Did Not Deny That He Raised Taxes 31 Percent As Mayor Of Mineola
During a press conference in 2010, Martins did not deny an accusation he raised taxes 31% as Mayor of Mineola. Martins said, “If you look at my record in Mineola, and you go back over the eight years I have been mayor. Craig Johnson has accused me of raising taxes 31% here in Mineola. And, if you know what, if you take that 31% and divide it by 8, it is less than the 4% cap he just voted for each and every year.” [Jack Martins “Truth” Conference, YouTube, 7:20, 10/08/10]

CLAIM: Jack Martins raised his own salary 61% in 2009
“Mayor Jack M. Martins, Deputy Mayor Larry Werther and Trustees Tom Kennedy and Paul Pereira passed the budget with a 4-1 majority while Trustee Paul Cusato voted against the budget. Cusato complimented the mayor on the budget, but a subject of contention was salary increases for the mayor and the trustees. The budget called for raising the mayor’s salary from $18,000 to $29,000, a 61 percent increase, and the trustees’ salaries from $9,000 to $14,500, a 61 percent increase.” [Mineola American, 4/17/09]