“Nick LaLota has shown nothing but disrespect to New York’s working families, our law enforcement, and our elections. He’s built an embarrassing record as a failed and corrupt politician. Unlike her opponent, Bridget Fleming has built a strong record of delivering meaningful results to her constituents, and has actually shown up to work each day to strengthen her community. In Congress, she’ll expand on that record even further and give Long Island the leadership it deserves,” said DCCC Chairman Sean Patrick Maloney.
To: Interested Parties
From: Nebeyatt Betre
Date: August 23, 2022
Subject: The Case Against Nick LaLota
New York’s First Congressional District is setting up one of the most competitive races across the entire state. While election forecasters predict a tight race, the contrast couldn’t be any clearer between Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming and failed GOP extremist Nick LaLota, who enters the race bruised after a contentious and ugly Republican primary.
Bridget has been a tireless advocate for Long Island, and knows how to bring home real, bipartisan wins. She championed tax relief for middle class families, environmental protection for the region, and was a steady presence for residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Newsday called her “one of the most active and effective lawmakers in the county.” Before she held elected office, Bridget trained volunteer lawyers to assist families of victims of the 9/11 attacks. While political division has taken over Washington, in Suffolk, Bridget has a record of holding the line against tax increases as Southampton Town Councilwoman and Suffolk County Legislator. In Congress, Bridget will continue her fight to strengthen middle-class families, and will put American workers and small businesses first.
Compare that to Nick LaLota. LaLota is yet another failed and corrupt politician who has proven he can’t be trusted with power. A carpetbagging career politician, LaLota has repeatedly abandoned his duties in office to uplift his own political ambitions. In 2020, he was disqualified from running for public office for an “obvious conflict of interest” as he illegally tried to oversee his own election. He has a long history of attacking law enforcement, even making the case for “abolishing the Amityville Police Department” and cutting police wages to save money.
Nick LaLota is trying to use us to get himself to Congress. He once said “voters of the district have a fair expectation that a member of Congress actually live in the district,” but he himself doesn’t even live in the district he wants to represent.
With Bridget’s experience, and LaLota’s shameful record, Democrats have a prime opportunity to flip this ultra-competitive seat from red to blue.
AGAINST WORKING FAMILIES AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
Long Islanders are looking for leaders who can tackle the real challenges they’re facing today, such as rising costs and concerns over public safety. Nick LaLota has failed tremendously at both.
As an Amityville budget officer, Nick LaLota tried to defund the police and even proposed abolishing the police department. According to the local police union, LaLota was “attacking” law enforcement, and “exploiting” the issue of police wages for his political gain. LaLota was apparently the “most dominant voice on police pay” and said police salaries were “an existential threat to the village” of Amityville. LaLota even championed a plan that violated the police union’s contract and stole $123,000 in overtime wages from police officers. The union also called LaLota out for understaffing the department to “its lowest levels since 1975.”
It’s not just the police that LaLota’s attacks impacted. His proposals would have forced Amityville residents to pay up to 11% more in taxes.
Unlike LaLota, Bridget recognizes the importance of law enforcement in Long Island’s communities, and has recognized local police departments and their officers for the work they do.
As a county legislator, Bridget worked with Democrats and Republicans to cap gas taxes in Suffolk County to help Long Islanders hurt by the rise in prices. In Congress, Bridget will continue to push for economic relief for families dealing with price increases, fight to end tax loopholes for big corporations that ship American jobs overseas, push for fair trade that treats American workers and consumers fairly, and stop the price gouging by big oil and drug companies.
Now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, Long Islanders can’t risk electing an extreme anti-choice politician like Nick LaLota who wants to take away women’s freedom to decide how and when they start a family. LaLota applauded the catastrophic Dobbs decision, and has advocated for New York to limit its own abortion protections. The fact is that the majority of voters support upholding abortion rights. Yet, LaLota said he was, quote, “proud” to be endorsed by a group whose platform criminalizes abortion without any exceptions, and believes allowing states “to dictate abortion policy is a step in the right direction,” even as states are passing life-threatening laws that terrorize and criminalize women for seeking abortion care.
Like the majority of voters, Bridget believes that women – not politicians – should be the ones making these critical decisions. Dangerous men like LaLota who support and push efforts that strip women of their freedoms and threaten their livelihoods are going to have a hard time trying to appeal to general election voters this November.
THREAT TO ELECTION INTEGRITY
Voters already have enough reason to distrust LaLota when they head to the ballot box. As elections commissioner, LaLaota was accused of disenfranchising voters when he ended a walk-in absentee voting program, and his efforts prompted a voter to sue the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Under LaLota, GOP election workers were ordered to process absentee requests on a first-come, first-serve basis, even if that means those who show up in person have to wait hours or return the next day while workers sort through hundreds of mailed-in requests.
It was only after the League of Women Voters of Suffolk County and other county officials got involved that the order was reversed.
LaLota also tried to defend what was an “obvious conflict of interest” when he tried to run for New York State Senate while keeping his taxpayer-funded job with a $152,906 salary as a county elections commissioner. A state court had to remove LaLota from the ballot because his actions were unacceptable. From abusing a taxpayer-funded position for his own political ambitions, to pushing baseless claims of voter fraud, it’s clear LaLota can’t be trusted to defend our democracy or budgets at home, and especially not in Congress.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
City and State: In Lee Zeldin’s congressional district, GOP candidates attack each other as ‘insiders’ | [City and State, 8/11/22]
Riverhead Local: With Democratic party united behind her, Fleming leads congressional candidates in fundraising, as Republicans battle in primary election | [Riverhead Local, 6/21/22]