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Views and comments expressed in Letters To Editor are the opinions of the writer not Smithtown Matters.


Letter To Editor: President Mocks Beto's Name What About Drumpf? 



Robert Francis O’Rourke was born into a family that has made the US home for many generations.     In his infancy, in order to distinguish him from a grandfather with the same name, the family gave him the nickname “Beto.”  Beto was a member of the El Paso TX City Council, served as a member of the US House of Representatives, and is currently a Democratic Presidential candidate.      

Our current President mocks Beto’s name, claiming that it was adopted to make Beto appear Hispanic for political reasons. No doubt, Beto’s family cleverly decided his future political destiny when he was born. Now, what shall we make of the President’s name? How does “Drumpf” sound?   Drumpf is his original family name, and, oh yeah, they come from Germany, not Sweden, a pretense that, for business reasons, the family perpetrated during and after World War II.  It seems they were concerned that Jews might be reluctant to engage in business with a German family.

Tomorrow, August 9th, the President will attend an exclusive fund-raiser in the Hamptons with our Representative Lee Zeldin.  Now, I am wondering, which Donald will appear with Zeldin to collect the money: the Donald Trump from Sweden or the Donald Drumpf from Germany?  More importantly, which country will accept Donald if he leaves the US?* Will Donald Trump go home to Sweden or will Donald Drumpf go home to Germany?  Whichever he decides, he should definitely avoid relocating to El Paso.  

*We should be so lucky.

Ruth Cohen, Lake Grove NY


Letter To Editor: In Zeldinland, Donors Before Voters

To The Editor

                              IN ZELDINLAND, DONORS BEFORE VOTERS

Lee Zeldin, Republican Representative of District 1, never fails to email constituents with reports of  his public events after they occur, but rarely beforehand. His failure to fully engage with the public is consistent with his preferred one-on-one conversations and so-called town halls, where participants are not permitted to ask follow-up questions and, as occurred before the last election in one egregious meeting at the Portuguese American Center in Farmingville, were required to submit written questions which were edited and soft-balled before being read aloud.  

It is clear than in Zeldinland, things do not change.  On August 1st, I received this email from Zeldin: “Year after year, Bellport Day never disappoints, and this year was no exception! I had a great time talking with local residents about the issues most important to them and local merchants about their incredible businesses and how we can continue to help them stay and grow locally.”   

The email makes no mention as to which important issues he was referring, and how he plans on addressing them, so I sent an email asking for specifics.  Zeldin’s response was an email regarding Robocalls. On August 5th I spoke with an aide stating that I was interested in Rep. Zeldin’s remarks in Bellport, and that I had emailed a request for specifics, but received an irrelevant reply.    I was advised that a response would be forthcoming; I am still waiting.

Meanwhile, Zeldin continues to value donors over voters.  He displays disgusting fealty to Trump, who consistently denigrates non-whites, refugees, and immigrants (except for his wives and in-laws.)   In August 2017 White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis demonstrated in Charlottesville, Va, shouting Nazi slogans and chanting “Jews will not replace us.”  Trump, who evidently equates neo-Nazis with human rights advocates, commented that there were “very fine people on both sides.” Both sides of what? Fascism vs. Democracy?  Cruelty v. Kindness? Yet, Zeldin, who claims to be a proud Jew, continues to defend Trump.   

Now we learn that Trump will be joining Zeldin at a Hamptons fundraiser on Friday where “very fine” donors can buy tickets starting at $2,800.  Donors over voters. Very fine”, Zeldin, “very fine.”


Ruth A Cohen, Lake Grove 


Letter To Editor - Senator Flanagan: Licenses For Illegal Immigrants Is Wrong

Senator Flanagan: Licenses For Illegal Immigrants Is Wrong

Dear Editor:

     Last night, the Democrat-led Senate passed and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the so-called “Green Light Bill” to allow illegal immigrants to obtain New York State driver’s licenses.  This legislation is an outrage to law-abiding New Yorkers, as well as to new Americans that have taken the appropriate steps to become citizens legally.

     The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers oppose issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.  And yet, that is exactly what Senate Democrats did. 

     I adamantly opposed this legislation and voted against it.

    Just like their new law giving free taxpayer-funded college tuition assistance to illegal immigrants, providing driver’s licenses to those here illegally creates a strong disincentive for anyone to respect our nation’s immigration laws.  The college tuition provision also left hardworking New Yorkers like you paying the bill.

    Democrats have chosen to reward those who break the law by giving “undocumented” immigrants a key document: Now illegal immigrants can apply for standard driver’s licenses using foreign identification, making it nearly impossible for county clerks and employees at local Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) to verify authenticity.

     Another major concern is that many states, including New York, use their DMVs to enroll voters.  Since New York does NOT have voter identification laws like the majority of other states do, this bill increases the potential for voter fraud.

    The vast majority of other states throughout the nation do NOT issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and those that do demand substantially tighter proof of identification.  Some also impose requirements designed to encourage immigrants to pursue full, legal citizenship.

     In contrast, the “Green Light” proposal includes no such restrictions or requirements. This means that New York will soon have the most radical, open-ended law in the entire nation.

    Going forward, I will continue the important battle to restore common sense to our state government, and fight against flawed measures like this one that actually give people an incentive to break the law.



                                                                                                            John Flanagan


Congratulations And Advice To Graduates From Legislator Gregory


From the Desk of Presiding Officer Gregory: Congratulations, Graduates!


 In thinking about the important milestones you will be celebrating these next few months, I considered what I would want to hear were I to be graduating – what words might inspire me to think about things in a different way, to try something new, to take a step in a direction that might not be the easiest option, to be the one to identify and then create a path that speaks to my interests and the needs of the world.

What came to me was a simple lesson that takes most of us years to fully understand: Be yourself, first and foremost. If you are true to yourself, the rest will follow.

I believe each one of us begins our journey with some pre-conceived ideas about what our lives should look like, undoubtedly the product of various influences in our lives. I think about my own journey through college to where I am today. It was one filled with twists and turns and not necessarily what I, at a young age, envisioned for myself. I was a scrawny kid from Central Islip growing up in a struggling middle-class family. At many times, it felt like we were poor. Going to college was certainly an aspiration for my parents, and although my mother became a registered nurse, my father became an auto mechanic through on-the-job training. He had no more than a high school education, but he knew he wanted me and my twin brother, Dwight, to obtain a college education. And so, to college I went.

After college, life took an unexpected turn, and I decided to enter the military. It was something I had thought about before, but because of the recession, it became a way for me to gain my independence and serve my country as had so many others in my family. I enlisted and then applied to become an officer through the officer candidate school program. It was great! I loved the sense of purpose that came with being an active member of the military. However, that soon came to an end when it became too much of a strain to be away from my wife and young children for up to six months a year. I left the military and returned to Suffolk County to start a new chapter in my life. I soon got involved in politics and ran for public office in 2008, which led me to where I am today, presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature.

When we start out, free-thinking is a combination of the input and intake we have received and absorbed from outside sources – whether it be friends or family members, teachers, counselors, and even work experiences, as well as what we consume in terms of our reading, television watching, and social media interactions.

However, what is missing in the beginning as we craft our early plans for ourselves is the knowledge gained from actual time spent living in the lives you now own – no longer the student, but the graduate. 

And so, I offer you these words of advice:

You have crossed over the threshold and are ready to make your mark. Be brave, because you will never walk this path again. Your contributions to society from this day forward could define the rest of your lives, so dare to dream, and dream big.

Discover who you are. Be patient and kind with yourself, as you will make mistakes, but it will be how you rebound and how much you learn from those mistakes that will show you the stuff of which you are made.

Give your best and care about what you do – always – but remember that perfection is the enemy of innovation. Maintain a balance so that you remain open to change. 

Be a creative thinker. Use your resourcefulness and your unique self to find ways to overcome challenges.

Be adaptable. Listen and be open to a variety of ideas and opinions, as they can be the lights that guide you to the places you have not been before and may not have found without them. 

Most importantly, never stop learning.

As graduates, your responsibility is to alter the landscape, to find ways in which to shift the universe to make the world a better place. If we look around at our world today we see confirmation of the need for compassion, tolerance and acceptance. You will have an opportunity to rediscover the essence of our country; the spirit of goodness that is an innate part of helping others. The need is great. 

You are the future; you are our future. As students who grew up on Long Island or who were educated on Long Island, I am hopeful that you have been drawn to the natural beauty that surrounds us on both shores and that you will consider making this your home. Our economy is dependent on a skilled workforce that can address the critical issues that impact the quality of life and the health and well-being of residents.

You have a blank slate. Write your story wisely, color it with human stories that portray the beauty that is life, and sprinkle in pictures that capture the most significant moments so you never lose sight of where you began and where you are headed.

Go bravely into the future. It is your time to shine. Congratulations!

DuWayne Gregory

Presiding Officer

Suffolk County Legislature


Rest in Peace Supervisor Vecchio

The Smithtown Democratic Committee joins all of the residents of Smithtown in expressing our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Supervisor Patrick Vecchio during this sad time.

Patrick Vecchio left an indelible mark on our town, and all of our current and future leaders stand on his shoulders. His commitment to the people of Smithtown and to the character of our communities is a legacy that will not be forgotten.

The Smithtown Democrats should be counted as part of the many who are expressing accolades and appreciation for the life and work of Supervisor Patrick Vecchio. 

Smithtown Democratic Committee Executive Board
Edward Maher
Richard Macellaro
Janet Singer
Howard Knispel
Fredrica Berger
Anita Schnirman
Patricia Stoddard