Democrats and Black Tussle Over Mailer

Cupcakes reference triggers charge of 'sexist literature.'

A war of words over pictures has broken out in Huntington, as the race to fill a Suffolk County legislative seat gets hotter.

At the center of the argument is a quote from Elizabeth Black, a Republican who is running for the 18th Legislative District job. The seat will become empty as incumbent Majority Leader Jon Cooper is term-limited. She is running against Dr. William Spencer, a Democrat.

When i in February, Black was asked what serving as a Huntington school board trustee had been like. She replied, “Many things have come before us. Obviously we don’t always agree; you’ve got to do what you think is best. The health and safety and fine education of the children are our goals. We’re all doing that.  And we’re upholding the laws of the Constitution.

"When you run for a position like that, you know it isn’t going to be easy. It’s not going to be all cupcakes and lollipops.”

In criticizing her votes on the school board to raise taxes, Suffolk County Democrats seized on the cupcake and lollipops quote, sending out a mailer that shows a photo of Black appearing to pop out of a cupcake and noting her quote to Patch.  “If Elizabeth Black’s tax increases weren’t enough, her out-of-control spending the school board takes the cake," the mailer reads. And in a letter sent to Black this week, Suffolk County Democratic chairman Rich Schaffer accused Black of trying to distract voters.

But the imagery of Black and the cupcake was too much for several Huntington residents.

The group, including Black’s sister-in-law, Bronwyn Kelly, wrote an open letter, signed by 40 women, to Spencer, saying, “This is demeaning, disgusting and disrespectful not only to Elizabeth, but to all women.  This offensive imagery and language has no place in our society and we expect better, especially from one who seeks to represent us in our government, let alone a doctor who vowed to “Do No Harm”.  Further, it is distressing that the New York State Democratic Committee approved and published this sexist literature."

lauren October 06, 2011 at 11:53 AM
@Kim- I've tried communicating. Some people are just not willing so I choose not to waste my energy on them and focus on people who actually are willing to meet half way and communicate like respectful adults!
J. Christopher October 06, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Crime is coming to Greenlawn because the illegal housing is now spreading to that neighborhood brought to you by Frank Petrone, Glenda Jackson and Susan Berland, all Democrats who are endorsing Spencer for office. Think your not happy about it now Eileen? Go ahead and vote Dr Density in and watch those illegal houses grow some more. Crime closed that school. Not one single person is responsible for that. Richard Dormer the police commissioner even sent letter to Frank Petrone stating that to be the case. I would love to post it later by I need to go to work now. Anyone else have it?
Eileen October 06, 2011 at 12:47 PM
I saw that letter from Dormer but he has been an inefficient Commissioner. They shut down the police annexes because he didn't support them. I also agree that slumlords are a big problem. I don't agree with you that crime closed that school at all. I listened to all the debates that were online. Crime is a problem but 4 people closed the school, not crime. If we shut down schools because of crime, NYC would have no schools. I think Dormer is trying to pass the buck because at the end of the day the County is responsible for supplying the right amount of police and under Levy, they never have done that. That's not only an issue in Huntington, I know of many places in Suffolk that have needed more police and never got them. I guess you can link people by party and just vote out the Democrats if that's what you think the problem is. There are a lot of Republicans in my area who are voting mostly Republican but not completely. I think it's important to evaluate every candidate separately. I'm not going to vote for someone because my party tells me I should. I'm going to be informed and then make a decision. Liz Black has a record that I don't trust. I have voted for Republicans and Democrats in my life and I could not support her. I do support Spencer and will do so. I don't think anyone should be trying to fight with each other about this. Aren't we adults? Get educated and then just vote for who you think will do the best job.
Cindy Burke October 06, 2011 at 01:24 PM
Another pink elephant in the room is people getting away with paying a fraction of what they should be in property taxes because they never got permits and COs for the work/additions on their homes. That totally shortchanges the children in our school district and is wholly unfair to the rest of us SD#3 residents paying our fair share! Wouldn't you agree?!
2 Turn Tables October 06, 2011 at 03:14 PM
Kim, what do you mean by "various.". Generally in suburbia, most prefer single family,not Section 8, not 2-3 family,not illegal housing for illegal immigrants not paying into the system and compromising the quality if eduction for our kids. If you like various types of housing, there are areas that cater to your desire. Just keep it away from Huntington
JSC October 06, 2011 at 04:26 PM
There are more people living in this district who don't have kids in school anymore. While some of you who do may know what all this "cupcake" reference is to, the majority of us do not! Therefore, it seems to me that Dr. Spencer's reference to "cupcakes" and the later one to "lollipops", simply goes to Liz Black's own quote from a board meeting. It has nothing to do with "cupcake moms". I was not offended one iota by his mailings, as I had no connection to or idea of what some of you are alleging he meant - since from postings on Patch, there are some who call themselves "cupcake moms". Whatever that is supposed to mean to you, the rest of the world doesn't know about or care! Why should Dr. Spencer or the rest of the 18th Legislative District know or care? Get over yourselves ladies - this obviously isn't about you! Now, to the candidates... I wish we had another choice, as I have problems with both Black and Spencer, for different reasons!
Patched Out 2 October 06, 2011 at 07:44 PM
Yep I guess that problem was uncovered too.
Patched Out 2 October 06, 2011 at 07:46 PM
Good point!
2 Turn Tables October 06, 2011 at 08:53 PM
Kim, this is still a single family place. Those who think otherwise, I would tend to believe, are real estate developers. Traffic is out of control all over Long Island. Multi-dwelling family units are the exact opposite for what is right (yes, I am making the call of whats right) for Long Island and Huntington. We have classrooms exploding with kids (some of whom should be back in Juarez, traffic up the ying yang, and public services stretched to the seams. And you justify more multi-dwelling housing? Huh? The only need Huntington needs is few cars on the road, and legal citizens using services. Too much! No mas!
2 Turn Tables October 06, 2011 at 08:56 PM
We have seen left wing ideology failing in Europe right before our eyes. Spencer represents that very ideology. He has a liberal record. This is not what Huntington needs. Crime closed JA. This isn't Bushwick. If the school board thinks it is not safe to send children to a school, then that is there call. Your anger should be at the Democrat controlled town for not shutting the illegal apartments down. The "give away other peoples resources" is failing here on a national level and again, has failed in Europe.
William Murray October 06, 2011 at 09:50 PM
Here is another point of view. Take it for what it is worth. http://thehuntingtonian.com/2011/10/05/the-1st-silly-season-award-goes-to/
Cindy Burke October 06, 2011 at 11:46 PM
It's not worth much, coming from that site.
Sue October 07, 2011 at 03:29 AM
On the contrary Cindy. Just because you don't like the facts written in the huntingtonian that bring to light the dreadful track record of candidate Spencer doesn't mean they should not be seen & read. You try to dismiss the information given there. A town with dr. Spencer in charge of the hha has fallen intto further disrepair. His positions on further building in an already overcrowded school district puts those he is sworn to help at an even larger disadvantage since the school district ready isn't meeting state standards. Give those children & families a fighting chance in school districts not already overcrowded & operating sub par. Kim pointed out earlier that every other school district EXCEPT SD3 had a decrease in enrollment. Those that are able to see that a vote for dr Spencer is a vote against suberbia will hopefully save the quality of life in all of huntington An educated voter is a powerful voter.
Joseph October 07, 2011 at 04:06 AM
What? That makes little sense. I am glad that everyone is talking here, it's a good thing. But lets look at the facts. The HHA didn't fall further into disrepair under Spencer's leadership! It has one of the highest eviction rates in the country and it's score went up significnatly. Building in an overcrowded school district? Ms. Black voted to overcrowd it for no reason. District 3 is 'subpar' because kids can't learn in crammed buildings. Ok, maybe they can learn, but not easily. Under Ms. Black's leadership, SD3 went under.
Michael October 07, 2011 at 11:59 AM
Ms. Classroom Density ruined the educational system my granddaughter and her friends attend. A knee-jerk response to crime in the middle of a summer night resulted in every young kid in this district being stuffed into buildings like sardines. There was overcrowding in district 3 before closing that school and now it's a mess. Ms. Classroom Density should know that these kids can't get these years back. They need and deserve the best. I paid ridiculous taxes in order to send my kids here. Now my daughter and her husband do the same for our granddaughter. Ms. Classroom Density took away their pride in the district they send her too. Knee jerk decisions don't work in elected office so Ms. Classroom Density has lost the (often more conservative) votes of my wife, myself, my daughter and her husband. If my granddaughter could vote, she'd vote against Ms. Classroom Density and she would vote to reopen the school that was closed to create space so she and her friends could learn.
Bobby Jaxx October 07, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Man, after reading all of these comments, all I can say is; I'm glad we live in SD#13
lauren October 07, 2011 at 12:53 PM
This is getting ridiculous. Vote for whomever you want but facts are facts. Crime and neglect from the town and county closed that school. Nobody did it to overcrowd the other schools. Class sizes at flower hill are actually very reasonable with 20-25 kids/class. Things at Woodhull are running very smoothly and now that the teachers have gotten over tier anger, they are actually back to teaching. I attricpbute that to out take no prisoners nre Superintendent. Sd 3 is moving in the right direction. Dr"Density"as you call him is called that for a reason. I fear under his leadership we in sd3 will become more overburdened with housing and more children . That is why I will be voting for Liz!
lauren October 07, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Sorry for typos-darn iPad !!
Betty October 07, 2011 at 01:11 PM
I agree, Lauren, that people should vote for who they want. Spirited political debates are the norm in every country. But I also agree with the other grandmother who posted that the Board of Ed members voted to close a school after an unfortunate event that happened over the summer. I agree that the town is responsible for cleaning up this mess, but never believed that school should close because of it. And closing the school did overcrowd the other schools. I'm glad to hear things are better at Flower Hill, but that's not the case in the other elementary schools. I'd really like to vote for Mrs. Black, because I'd like to see more women leaders. But I do not like the decisions she has made for our schools.
Kara October 07, 2011 at 03:29 PM
Betty: I really understand where you are coming from. I want to support female leadership whenever I can but I cannot consider voting for Ms. Black.
Thom October 07, 2011 at 06:06 PM
We should all be asking Mrs. Black if she will still be collecting her public pension if she is elected and begins collecting her salary as a County Legislator. If she is truly concerned about your taxes, she will realize that Double Dipping is a gross misappropriation of public dollars and will suspend her public pension as long as she is receiving a public salary. I, for one, await her answer.
Elisabeth October 09, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Hello Kim D'Ambrosio of HS. Your reply to Frank is true to form. All Frank did is supply the facts, and the first thing from you is a personal attack! Do you know this man? By the way, do you need a bedroom for a laptop and an I-phone?
Elisabeth October 09, 2011 at 11:25 PM
Kim, let me help you out. The project as it is approved now has 26 Buildings containing 379 appartments - 80% are rentals, 20% "owner" occupied. 104 are 3 BR, 181 are 2 BR and 94 are 1 BR. Parking places: 1,133 that allowes (2.989) 3 parking places per unit. 1,133 cars will have to go onto Park Avenue or Lenox Road. Those are the facts and nothing but the facts and has nothing to do with whether or not I love my children.
Jen LaVertu October 10, 2011 at 01:58 AM
1133 / 379 = 2.98 cars per unit. 1133 parking spaces is the # of parking spaces submitted by Avalon. 379 units is the # of units submitted by Avalon. If you divide the # of parking spaces by # of units the result is 2.98 2.98 round up to the nearest whole number is 3. Therefore 3 would be a correct answer.
Patched Out 2 October 10, 2011 at 02:05 AM
I think my post was misunderstood. I wasnt questioning the math. My point was that I dont think the development should be allowing 3 parking places per unit. The number should be lower....
2 Turn Tables October 10, 2011 at 02:22 AM
Avalon Bay is not in HS. The transparency is as clear as pea soup. From what I can ascertain, those for it had some sort of personal gain for themselves. It is NOT improving a neighborhood in need. In had no idea it is off of Park Ave.
JSC October 11, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Thom, she doesn't need to suspend her pension... this is from the NYSTRS website... see (d) Earnings After Retirement Service retirees can have unlimited earnings in the following cases: a) in private employment; b) in federal employment; c) in public employment outside New York State; d) as an elected official, inspector of elections, poll or ballot clerk, commissioner of deeds, juror or notary public; or, e) in all employment (including NYS public employment) beginning in the calendar year they turn age 65. Sections 211 and 212 of the Retirement and Social Security Law govern NYS public employment by service retirees under age 65. The Section 212 earnings limit, determined by the State Legislature, is currently $30,000.
2 Turn Tables October 11, 2011 at 10:33 PM
Lauren, do a head count at Flower Hill. 35 is a more accurate number.
lauren October 11, 2011 at 10:44 PM
David you are wrong. I have the class list. The only class with 31 is 1st gr duel language. All the others are between 20-25.
Tom B. October 11, 2011 at 11:27 PM
Oh, give me a break. To call this mailer "sexist" is the height of political correctness. Liz Black must be pretty desperate to have her supporters try to turn this into a campaign issue. How about talking about what should be the REAL issues in this campaign, like taxes, jobs, crime, etc. This whole debate is a big distraction, which may have been Ms. Black's intent all along.


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