John Kennedy Appears on News 12’s “Power & Politics”

John Kennedy spoke about his campaign for Suffolk County Executive on News 12’s “Power & Politics.” He spoke about the fiscal crisis under Steve Bellone, including 7 bond downgrades, nearly $900 million in new debt, even though taxes have risen 22.4%.  Kennedy also discussed his opposition to Steve Bellone’s red-light camera program and the elimination of cash bail, as well as his pledge to root out corruption in county government and fix the county’s finances.

Click here to watch the segment.

Kennedy: Recent Court Decision is a Victory for Government Transparency

Judge Orders Bellone to Hand over Documents Related to Ronkonkoma Development Project 

RONKONKOMA, NEW YORK — John M. Kennedy, Jr., Suffolk County Comptroller and Candidate for Suffolk County Executive, applauded a recent decision from the New York State Supreme Court, Suffolk County, which dismissed a motion from County Executive Steve Bellone to quash a subpoena from Mr. Kennedy in an effort to hide the details behind a development project in Ronkonkoma. 

On August 17, 2017, a Request For Qualification (RFQ) was put out for a proposed $1.1 billion development project in Ronkonkoma that would include a convention center and sports complex near the Long Island Rail Road station. The project was awarded to Jones Lang LaSalle America, Inc. and Ronkonkoma Vision Properties, LLC. Mr. Bellone said the project would be a success, despite the fact it was modeled after a defunct sports arena in Seattle. “It’s amazing what people will call a ‘success’ just to justify spending money that isn’t theirs,” Mr. Kennedy said.

Mr. Kennedy requested documents related to the RFQ, but was only given half of the materials. He then issued a subpoena seeking to obtain the rest of the documents. Rather than comply the Comptroller’s request, Mr. Bellone’s office took legal action to prevent Mr. Kennedy from performing his duties to protect Suffolk taxpayers by falsely claiming the Comptroller overstepped his authority. Mr. Kennedy filed a counterclaim, stating the documents are necessary to perform a proper audit.

On October 15, 2019, the court dismissed Mr. Bellone’s claim and ordered his office to comply with Mr. Kennedy’s request. “The Judge’s ruling in our favor tells me all I need to know: it was never about a genuine belief that records didn’t need to be shared and always about covering up an egregious waste of taxpayer money,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Moreover, it is a victory for the residents of Ronkonkoma, who will be severely impacted by this project. It is clear that the county executive sought to hide the details of the project from us. It’s part of a pattern under the Bellone administration: spend taxpayer dollars and then cover up that spending by any means necessary to keep the reality from the citizens of Suffolk County.”

For more information, visit www.johnkennedyforsuffolk.com or follow #SaveSuffolk.

 

Kennedy Picks up Major Endorsement from Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York & Long Island

Latest Labor Union to Support Republican Candidate 

The Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York & Long Island has announced they have chosen to back John M. Kennedy as the next Suffolk County Executive. After submitting his responses for the candidate questionnaire, which were carefully reviewed, Mr. Kennedy picked up the union’s support. The leadership cited his stance in support of union workers and the importance of keeping high-paying jobs in Suffolk in announcing their endorsement.

The council is comprised of approximately 15,000 members, including construction workers, asbestos and hazardous materials handlers, Catholic high school teachers, recycling and waste handlers. The following unions are part of the council: General Building Laborers Local 66; Construction & General Building Laborers Local 79; Greater NY Lecet (Greater New York Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust); Asbestos, Lead & Hazardous Waste Laborers Local 78; Waste Material, Recycling & General Industrial Laborers Local 108; Lay Faculty Association Local 1261; and Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA).

The announcement comes after Mr. Kennedy received endorsements from the Utility Workers Union of America Local 393, Nassau Suffolk Building Trades Council, United Association of Plumbers Local 200, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local One.

“After a review of your positions related to working men and women on Long Island, and your history of standing up for Long Island’s working families, we are proud to make this endorsement on behalf of the 5,000-plus members of LiUNA living here on the island,” said Josh Slaughter, Long Island Political Coordinator, Mason Tenders District Council Political Action Committee. “We appreciate your efforts to support local union labor while working to prevent out-of-state workers from degrading our wages and jeopardizing workplace safety.”

“I am very honored and humbled to receive this endorsement,” Mr. Kennedy said. “We need to put our middle class back to work. That means keeping jobs in Suffolk and filling those positions with Suffolk residents. There is no reason to bring in a contractor from out of state when we have people right here who are willing to work and need high-paying wages to support themselves and their families.”

For more information, visit www.johnkennedyforsuffolk.com or follow #SaveSuffolk.

Smithtown Messenger Endorses Kennedy for Suffolk County Executive

John Kennedy received an endorsement for Suffolk County Executive from the Smithtown Messenger. The paper said Mr. Kennedy “knows Suffolk inside and out, from bottom to top … John M. Kennedy Jr. has demonstrated his leadership. He has a proven record of fighting to protect taxpayers and our Long Island way of life.”

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Newsday: “Keeping Young People in Suffolk Focus of County Exec Debate in Kings Park”

Monday night’s debate in Kings Park highlighted the dire fiscal situation of Suffolk County under Steve Bellone and the urgent need for change at the top. There was no doubt as to who won the debate as John Kennedy was interrupted multiple times with applause from the audience. This was reported in Newsday.

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The North Shore Leader Endorses John Kennedy for Suffolk County Executive

John Kennedy recently picked up an endorsement as Suffolk County Executive from The North Shore Leader. The paper described Mr. Kennedy as “a decent, honorable public official” who will “bring ‘fiscal reality’ to Suffolk, and has a record of ethical service — first as a county legislator and for the past four years as County Comptroller.”

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County and State GOP Officials Assail Radical, Left-Wing Agenda Passed into Law during State Legislative Session

Kennedy Cites No Cash Bail as Dangerous to Public Safety and Will Cost County an Estimated $12 Million

John Kennedy (standing behind podium) is joined by GOP elected officials during a press conference in Hauppauge on October 15.

John Kennedy joined in with state and county GOP legislators at a press conference on October 15 to assail the radical, left-wing agenda that was ratified by the Democrat-led state Senate during the state’s legislative session. He also decried how the unfunded mandate for no cash bail is not only dangerous to Suffolk County residents, but the county is expected to lose $12 million in revenues, putting yet more strain on the county’s precarious finances.

According to the Towson University Regional Economic Studies Institute, under the new law, those charged with the following crimes are released after being booked: misdemeanors and “non-violent” felonies; promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child; rape in the third degree; vehicular manslaughter; robbery and burglary in the third degree; illegal abortion; identity theft in the first degree; escape in the first and third degrees; sexual abuse and misconduct; criminal obstruction of breathing; stalking; bail jumping; criminal contempt (violating an order of protection); and desecration of a cemetery.

The Institute further found that the unfunded mandate will blow out the county’s 2019 Probation Budget. With a budget of more than $39.5 million, the county will have to pay for pre-trial services, which will increase costs by 34%.

“No more support for cash bail, where felony burglars are going to be put back on the street!” Mr. Kennedy said. “We’re not going to take it anymore.”

He added that if a Republican county executive and a GOP majority are elected in the state Senate, “we’re going to bring back what the citizens of this county deserve,” adding, “On November 5, we will prevail.”

 

Kennedy Continues His “Fiscal Reality Tour” in Riverhead

Says Suffolk’s Fiscal Crisis is Causing Residents to Flee

Fiscal Reality Tour
John Kennedy (center) speaks to attendees of the Riverhead Country Fair as part of his “Fiscal Reality Tour.” He is joined by (left to right) Suffolk County Legislative candidate Linda Kabot, Riverhead Town Supervisor Candidate Yvette Aguiar, Riverhead Town Councilman Tim Hubbard, Suffolk County Legislator Leslie Kennedy, Riverhead Town Assessor Candidate Meredith Lapinski, and Riverhead Town Assessor Mason Haas.

Suffolk County Executive John Kennedy was joined by local elected officials and GOP candidates in front of the Riverhead Republican Committee headquarters during the annual Country Fair on October 13 in the fourth stop of his “Fiscal Reality Tour” as part of his campaign to #SaveSuffolk. Mr. Kennedy explained that, since Steve Bellone took office seven years ago, people have been fleeing Suffolk by the thousands because of the high fees and taxes.

Mr. Kennedy explained that, contrary to claims made by the County Executive, taxpayers have been burdened by enormous tax and fee increases under Steve Bellone, while, at the same time, the County has experienced seven bond downgrades and a fiscal crisis whereby it barely meets its obligation week by week.

Mr. Bellone’s out-of-control spending has resulted in bloated payrolls and budgets. Despite the fact that the County’s workforce has been reduced by nearly 1,000 workers, payroll has increased by over $100 million. At the same time, the budget has risen from $2.7 billion to $3.1 billion — an increase of almost 15%.

Poor fiscal mismanagement has driven enormous tax and fee increases. The property tax levy has increased from $532,765,964 in 2012 to $652,108,097 in 2019. That is an increase of $119,342,129, meaning that homeowners have seen a property tax increase of 22.4% over that time.

In addition, Suffolk taxpayers have been hit with across-the-board fee increases. These include the tax map verification fee, mortgage recording fee, residential/commercial burglar alarm fee, red-light camera fee, shopping bag fee, pet grooming fee and Department of Motor Vehicles registration fee. In addition, Mr. Bellone has hiked county park use fees every year since 2015 for camping, fishing, hunting, parking, group events and recreational permits. This disproportionately affects working-class Suffolk residents, including first-time homebuyers and those who rely on parks for recreational opportunities. In total, the Bellone administration has raised taxes and fees to the tune of $200 million.

Also exacerbating Suffolk’s fiscal crisis is the reduction in population. The county’s overall population has shrunk by 16,396 in the past seven years, leaving fewer taxpayers to bear a higher tax burden. “We have people fleeing Suffolk in droves because of this fiscal disaster caused by Steve Bellone and his reckless tax-and-spend policies,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Mom and Dad are still here, but their children can’t afford to live here and their grandparents can’t afford to stay here. This exodus means current residents have to pay a greater share of taxes.”

Kennedy Gets Another Major Endorsement in His Bid for Suffolk County Executive

Latest Labor Union to Support Republican Candidate

The Utility Workers Union of America Local 393 has announced they have chosen to back John M. Kennedy as the next Suffolk County Executive. After undergoing a thorough screening process, Mr. Kennedy picked up the union’s support. The leadership cited his stance in support of union workers and the importance of keeping jobs in Suffolk in announcing their endorsement.

This announcement comes after Mr. Kennedy received endorsements from the Nassau Suffolk Building Trades Council, United Association of Plumbers Local 200, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local One. The union’s objective is to protect, maintain, and advance the interests of its members, as granted by the UWUA. 

The Utility Workers Union of America, Local 393, represents over 350 production, maintenance, distribution, laboratory and clerical employees of the Suffolk County Water Authority.  

“The committee has made this selection based on its belief that, if you are to be elected, you would be the best choice to serve and protect the families of Suffolk County as well as standing up for organized labor and protecting the rights of all hard-working middle-class families that unions represent,” said Nicholas J. Caracappa, President, Utility Workers Union of America Local 393.

“I am very honored and humbled to receive this endorsement,” Mr. Kennedy said. “When our residents work, our economy works and vice versa. We do that by getting our financial house in order, restoring fiscal integrity and putting people back to work in good-paying jobs. I have supported — and will continue to support — the hardworking middle class who are the heart and soul of Suffolk’s workforce.”

 For more information, visit www.johnkennedyforsuffolk.com or follow #SaveSuffolk.