01/18/13 5:00pm
01/18/2013 5:00 PM

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Assemblyman Dan Losquadro in 2011.

Members of a pro-gun Long Island web forum have been bombarding state Assemblyman Dan Losquadro’s Facebook page with comments critical of his vote in favor of stricter gun control measures in New York State.

They’re also complaining that their comments are getting deleted.

And at least one member has started a Facebook page called “Dan Losquadro is Dishonest,” calling on people to protest the second-term assemblyman’s campaign events as he runs for Brookhaven Town highway superintendent.

“Dan has told everyone he is an avid shooter, supporter of the Second Amendment, and is against the rifle ban that was recently passed in New York and then only hours later he voted for it,” the “Dan Losquadro is Dishonest” page states.

The 6,000-member Long Island Firearms website reports comments members posted on the Brookhaven Town Republican Committee Facebook page have also been removed.

“What would we expect?,” one poster wrote. “They don’t support the 2nd Amendement, why would they support the 1st?”

“Nothing worse than a politician who isn’t man enough to face the music for a vote he cast,” another stated.

Mr. Losquadro, a Republican from Shoreham and self-described pro-Second Amendment advocate, says he voted for the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act because there were sections the Republicans were able to negotiate into it which he feels will have more of an effect on gun crime that gun restrictions.

These include requirements that mental health care providers report threats made by patients, increased penalties for gun offenses, a section making gun ownership records no longer public, and measures streamlining the steps needed to get mental health care for people who need it.

He says he’s been taking phone calls about his vote and is happy to explain his position to anyone who calls.

As for the Facebook comments, he said “it’s a political page and I actually don’t manage that page.”

“I think, ultimately, there were comments that were inappropriate, there were comments that had nothing to do with the post they were attached to, and I think, ultimately, it was decided that instead of getting into a back and forth with individuals, the page was taken down for a period of time,” he said.

He said the people he’s spoken to about his vote have come to understand the process that went into it.

“The way this process was forced on the legislature by the governor, there were a lot of things negotiated into the bill by the Republicans that the Democrats did not want to give up,” he said. “Voting against those things we tried so hard to get in this bill that would have had a real effect on public safety, wasn’t something I wanted to do.”

“I have tried to call everybody back and speak about it,” Mr. Losquadro said.

Mr. Losquadro says there are things in the bill he disagrees with, such as the seven-round limit on magazine size,  but he believes the good parts of the bill were more important.

He’s also heard from a lot of people concerned about gun violence in the wake of the recents shootings at a Connecticut elementary school, he said, adding that he’s spoke at a lot of local school forums on the subject.

“There are a lot of people who are very nervous about [gun violence],” he said.

In a press release on his vote on the SAFE bill, issued earlier this week, Mr. Losquadro said:

“This is not a perfect world and at the end of the day I voted for the act because I do believe it will make a positive difference in making our communities and schools safer. As the husband of a teacher and the father of a 3 year old son, that is my top priority.”

And what about state Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), who also voted for the SAFE act?

He seems to have gotten off easier than Mr. Losquadro. There’s just a few mentions of him on the Long Island Firearms site, and some comments about the SAFE act posted on his Facebook page.

The senator, however, also had previously set up a strict policy for posting to his Facebook page, which says the page’s managers have the right to remove comments that are, among other things, derogatory, inappropriate, personal attacks, or not related to the original post or discussion.

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11/08/12 6:00am
11/08/2012 6:00 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Senator Ken LaValle delivers his acceptance speech Tuesday. Mr. LaValle has served in the New York State Senate since 1976.

The past couple years haven’t left us feeling warm and fuzzy about our government.

The historically partisan 112th Congress accomplished very little before returning home Sept. 21, the earliest it’s broken up to begin an election season in more than 50 years.

Our state government’s most effective moments over the past 15 months were spent undoing past missteps, like battling the MTA tax and finally approving marriage equality.

At the county level, we’re constantly reminded that we’re broke, then we have to stand by and listen as legislators and the county executive argue over just how broke we are. Meanwhile, the only fixes they seem interested in making are short-term and we remain no better off financially then we were the year before.

Our one saving grace here on the North Fork has been strong local representation. Now, it appears, we’ll need our elected leaders to flex their muscles more than ever before.

According to early election reports and projections, each of our local elected officials at the state and federal level will likely serve in the minority caucus next year. That will certainly be the case for Congressman Tim Bishop and state Assemblyman Dan Losquadro — and it appears Ken LaValle could be back in the minority in the state Senate.

If a Republican is elected this February to replace Ed Romaine in the County Legislature, we’ll also be represented by a freshman legislator in the minority party.

Now that the election is over, we need our representatives to turn their attention to delivering for the North Fork. And we need them to fight harder than ever before.

We will need firm leadership in battling issues like water pollution as we move forward in the months following superstorm Sandy. We will also need our representatives to continue to fight development and preserve the remaining parcels of open space in our communities, even as funding becomes tougher to come by. Additionally, we keep hearing reports that the helicopter noise issue is being resolved, but that’s usually followed by the sound of choppers overhead.

And, of course, these elected officials will have to do their part to mitigate tax increases as they work to level record deficits.

Each of the local representatives re-elected this week received the support of this editorial board. They received our support because we believe they have what it takes to tackle the many issues facing our communities.

Now, even as they serve in the minority caucus, they have to prove it.

10/27/10 6:55pm
10/27/2010 6:55 PM

The slugfest between congressional candidates Tim Bishop and Randy Altschuler is making the most noise on the East End, but that race is just one part of the crowded ballot voters will face when they head to the polls in next week’s elections.
The names of the men running in the often emotional campaign to be New York’s next governor are found on the ballot’s left-hand side. To the right are the uncontested races for county clerk and county comptroller and the choice of who will represent local interests in the state Senate and Assembly when the Legislature reconvenes in Albany next year.
In between are the choices for both of New York’s federal Senate seats, state comptroller and attorney general and state Supreme Court, County Court and Family Court judgeships.
This is also the inaugural election for Suffolk County’s new electronic ballot, which replaces the time-honored mechanical voting booth. (Visit our website for a link to an informational video on how the new system works.)
But by far, the 1st Congressional District race has generated the most local interest.
Republican Randy Altschuler of Smithtown, who won the nomination in a bruising three-way primary, stands between Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop and a fifth term in the House of Representatives.
The race has centered largely on jobs. Mr. Altschuler claims that the incumbent, who previously worked as provost of Southampton College, has no experience in creating employment. Mr. Bishop argues that his GOP rival built his fortune as a pioneer in outsourcing jobs overseas, to India and other countries.
The challenger also blasts Mr. Bishop for supporting the Obama administration’s sweeping health care reform and stimulus packages, both of which he claims will only add to the nation’s crushing debt.
The incumbent has called the health care bill a workable compromise and still a work in progress. He claims to be an effective and open-minded representative of the people of eastern Suffolk County.
The 1st Congressional District covers northeastern Smithtown, most of Brookhaven and the five East End towns.
Earlier this year the region’s state Senate race also promised to be quite spirited when Democrats nominated New Suffolk resident Regina Calcaterra, an energetic corporate lawyer, to take on veteran GOP incumbent Kenneth LaValle, who ran unopposed two years ago.
But Ms. Calcaterra’s candidacy came to an end in August when a state court ruled that she had not lived in New York for the requisite five consecutive years before running. Jennifer Maertz, a Rocky Point attorney who worked on Ms. Calcaterra’s campaign staff, stepped in to fill the void.
In the 1st Assembly District contest, GOP county Legislator Dan Losquadro, also of Rocky Point, seeks to unseat Democrat Marc Alessi of Shoreham. Mr. Alessi has served in the Assembly since winning a special election in September 2005.
The gubernatorial race between Democratic state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino, a Tea Party favorite, tops the ticket.
They’re fighting for the seat now held by Governor David Paterson, who decided not to seek his own term. The former lieutenant governor stepped up to the state’s top elected post when former Governor Elliot Spitzer resigned after being named in a sex scandal.
It’s a crowded ballot, with Mr. Cuomo and running mate Robert Duffy appearing on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines. Mr. Paladino and lieutenant governor hopeful Gregory Edwards are on the Republican, Conservative and the combined Anti-Prohibition, Tax Revolt and Taxpayers lines.
The Libertarian and Green parties, plus a group known as Rent is 2 Damn High, have also fielded gubernatorial candidates.
Incumbent Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a former assemblyman who was appointed in 2007, is running against Republican Harry Wilson. In the race to replace Mr. Cuomo as attorney general, Democrat Eric Schneiderman faces Republican Dan Donovan.
In the judicial races, eight candidates are seeking four state Supreme Court judgeships, each a 14-year term.
The County Court elections offer four candidates for three available seats. Republican incumbent James Hudson of Southold is running on the Democratic, GOP, Independence and Conservative Party lines. Three candidates are on the ballot for two Family Court judgeships.
Rounding out the ballot, county Treasurer Judith Pascale and county Comptroller Joseph Sawicki of Southold are both running unopposed.
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