I wrote about the New York Democrats whose fecklessness cost Democrats control of the House of Representatives in 2022. Arguably, the worst offenders were longtime state party chair Jay Jacobs, friend of the wealthy and the mediocre (and especially the mediocre wealthy), and former representative Tom Suozzi, who left his safe House seat on purple Long Island to chase Governor Kathy Hochul’s safe governor’s seat with sexism and GOP-inspired crime paranoia, and turned his seat over to fabulist wing nut George Santos, last seen stealing a baby.
OK, that didn’t happen; it was a staffer’s baby. But there’s a reason social media rose up watching him walk down a House corridor with a baby in his arms: Santos seems capable of anything. And so does Suozzi.
Had I done what Suozzi did last year, I’d be cowering in the corner, trying to make things right with my family and political friends. But Suozzi is now running for his seat again—likely with the support of Jacobs, of course. Today, Politico’s Playbook reports that the pair have been in business together, running four summer camps, a cooperative enterprise valued between $150,000 and $300,000, according to House disclosure documents. Also, Politico says, Suozzi’s income from his investments in those businesses last year was between $105,000 and just over $1 million. (Why won’t the IRS let us guesstimate like that?)
I lived in California for 35 years. There is certainly cronyism—I wrote about it—and probably corruption I didn’t find there. But it’s so much cleaner than New York.
Jacobs hasn’t said he’ll support Suozzi. But he almost certainly will. His support isn’t necessarily going to win Suozzi an election. But if Santos has to resign because of his mounting legal troubles, New York political insiders almost unanimously believe Suozzi is the front-runner for the appointment. Jacobs is not only the state party chair; he chairs the Nassau County Democrats, where the seat is.
“Unfortunately, [Suozzi] has the support of Jay Jacobs,” said Eleanor Lange, a district Democratic who supports the candidacy of Anna Kaplan, told Politico. (Zak Melamed is another Democrat with progressive support running for the seat.)
Suozzi can also draw on his relationships with New York–based House leaders like Hakeem Jeffries and Greg Meeks, Politico reports.
Here’s an idea for Jeffries: Don’t reward the asshole who helped keep you from being speaker. There’s a lively primary on Long Island, even among Republicans. Stay out of it.
Politico did good reporting here, which I appreciate. But it also added a note of Beltway caution: “For Democrats shaken by Santos, Suozzi may be the safest bet.” My dude, Democrats aren’t “shaken” by Santos, except when we’re shaking with laughter.
Republicans are shaken by him, even in a party led by a liar, fraud, and grifter who is also from Queens. Democrats have fielded good candidates; Republicans are sticking by Santos, at least for now. Don’t let Suozzi and Jacobs lose this seat again.