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Working Families Party backs Kathy Hochul for NY governor

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The far-left Working Families Party is backing Gov. Kathy Hochul in the Nov. 8 election against Republican nominee Rep. Lee Zeldin despite past criticism of the relatively moderate governor.

The endorsement ensures that Hochul and her running mate – Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado – will be the only candidates on the ballot against Zeldin and Republican lieutenant governor nominee Alison Esposito, who are both running on the Conservative Party line as well, in a gubernatorial race that could be historically close.

“Our party has never played the role of spoiler and has no intentions of doing so this year. We’re committed to ensuring the Republican nominee Lee Zeldin – and all right-wing extremists dead set on stripping us of our freedoms – are soundly defeated on Election Day,” Sharon Cromwell, deputy director of the WFP, said in a statement.

Progressive Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and lefty activist Ana María Archila were previously the WFP nominees for governor and LG, but withdrew their candidacies following their landslide losses to Hochul and Delgado last week, according to the WFP.

The WFP gave its ballot line in past election cycles to ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a longtime bête noire of the progressive group, in order to get enough votes to ensure its statewide candidates would automatically qualify for the ballot in the next statewide election cycle.

Zeldin dubbed the latest arrangement between the Democrats and the WFP the “unholiest of unholy marriage” in a fiery statement released Wednesday night. 

Alison Esposito and Lee Zeldin.
Zeldin (right) dubbed the latest arrangement between the Democrats and the WFP the “unholiest of unholy” marriages.
Paul Martinka for NY Post
Gov. Kathy Hochul's endorsement from Working Families parties will help Hochul solidify her left flank while she battles a Republican party hoping to win its first statewide election.
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s endorsement from Working Families parties will help Hochul solidify her left flank while she battles a Republican party hoping to win its first statewide election.
Hans Pennink/AP

“[Hochul] became besties with a party that demands defunding the police, massively jacking up taxes even higher, single payer healthcare, and so much more awfulness. As the new standard bearer for this far left movement, it’s clear that walking identity crisis Kathy Hochul isn’t just pandering to the radical left – she is the radical left,” he said in the statement.

A ticket backed by both the Democratic and Working Families parties will help Hochul solidify her left flank while she battles a Republican party hoping to win its first statewide election in two decades despite the two-to-one advantage registered Democrats have over the GOP in the Empire state.

“Governor Hochul is building a broad coalition that reflects the diverse perspectives of New York State and the Democratic Party,” Hochul campaign spokeswoman Jen Goodman said in a statement that labeled Zeldin and Esposito as representing “far-right extremism.”

Jumaane Williams and lefty activist Ana María Archila  greet voters
Jumaane Williams and lefty activist Ana María Archila were previously the WFP nominees for governor and LG, but withdrew their candidacies.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
NY Governor Kathy Hochul with NY Lieutenant Governor candidate Antonio Delgado
Hochul, who secured the Democratic nominee in this years’ governors race, would be the first female elected as NY Governor.
Stephen Yang for NY Post

A union between Hochul and the Working Families Party is happening despite a series of attacks by Williams and Archila against Hochul and Delgado over their campaign funding, policy positions and more.

“I don’t have a corruption scandal,” Williams touted in a debate against Hochul weeks ago. 


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The Five Great Novels of Dashiell Hammett ‹ CrimeReads

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There are two godfathers of modern crime writing, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. For my money Hammett was the better writer. Even if Chandler had the gaudier patter. Chandler was a superb analyst of the genre. I’ve taken what he said about Hammett—in ordinary paragraph form—and turned it into a list.

  1. Hammett gave murder back to the kind of people that commit it for reasons …  
  2. with the means at hand, not with hand-wrought dueling pistols, curare, and tropical fish.
  3. He put these people down on paper as they are, and he made them talk and think in the language they customarily used for these purposes.
  4. He had style, but his audience didn’t know it, because it was in a language not supposed to be capable of such refinements. … 
  5. he did over and over again what only the best writers can ever do at all. He wrote scenes that seemed never to have been written before.”

That’s a set of standards to aspire to. To be guided and inspired by. That’s what makes Hammett’s five crime novels the five best works to measure ourselves against.

Red Harvest

“I first heard Personville called Poisonville by a red-haired mucker named Hickey Dewey in the Big Ship in Butte.  He also called his shirt a shoit.  I didn’t think anything of what he had done to the city’s name. … A few years later I went to Personville and learned better.”

That’s how Red Harvest opens. It’s a mining town.

A detective arrives.

He acts a lot like the lone heroes our fictional detectives have routinely become. But he’s not. He’s part of a major corporation, the Continental Detective Agency. In a sense, he’s not there as a person, he’s there as an operative, so Hammett doesn’t give him a name, he calls him the Continental Op.

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The man who hired him is murdered the day the Op arrives.

They never get to speak. The Op doesn’t really know what he’s been hired for.

It’s a company town. The murdered man is the son of Elihu Wilson, who owns the place. When the mineworkers had gone on strike, he’d brought in thugs to beat them down. To kill them if necessary. It was the thing to do back then. Rockefeller, for example, did it.

The strike was broken. But the thugs stayed on. Pete the Finn had bootlegging, Lew Yard had loan sharking, Max “Whisper” Thaler had the gambling. The fourth gangster is Noonan, he’s Chief of Police.

Wilson hires the Op to find out who killed his son. Later, to clean up the town. Then changes his mind. The Op proceeds by pushing and prodding, using information and rumor to turns the various factions against each other. A two-sided, three-sided, four-sided war breaks out. Buildings burned down, blown up, machine guns in the streets. The whole town gets “blood simple.”

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Red Harvest has never been officially made into a film. Unofficially, it is the blueprint for Yojimbo by Kurosawa. Yojimbo was remade as Fistful of Dollars, the first of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western trilogy with Clint Eastwood, another man with no name.

The violence in those films seem totally excessive. Beyond reality. Movie stuff. As it does in the novel.

Except that Hammett was the real deal. He worked for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1917 they sent him to Butte, Montana to help break up a strike by the IWW, the International Workers of the World. The Wobblies. While he was there he was offered five thousand dollars to kill union agitator Frank Little.

Hammett turned it down.

Shortly thereafter, six men broke into Little’s boarding house. They beat and abducted him. They tied him to the rear of a car, dragged him along the streets, then hung him from a railroad trestle.

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The Dain Curse

The detective is still the Continental Op. The agency is still a business that must make money. The Op still has to report to his superiors.

It’s set in the 1920s. Part of what’s so striking about the book is its modernity. Much of it could have been “torn from the headlines” in the 80’s or 90’s or even today. The young woman at the center of the story is addicted to opioids. She gets involved with a cult. It sounds very spiritual. It offers much, it sucks away all its members’ money. It’s mystical. It has its own special temple in the California hills. It has its own security and enforcers. It will make you think of Children of God, Jim Jones and The People’s Temple, Rajneesh, Scientology, Nxivm.

The Dain Curse is the weakest of Hammett’s books, but it’s over 90 years old, and the story it tells and the world it describes still feel alive.

Hammett Maltese Falcon 1st Knopf 1930 Credit Royal Books

The Maltese Falcon

The center piece. The one.

I read somewhere, but I can’t, for the life of me, find the quote to credit it, that “Hammett did what Hemingway was said to have done.” The Maltese Falcon is where you can see it. The scenes feel like they were shot with a 50mm lens. It’s there. Straight on. See. This is what happened.

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Hammett doesn’t tell you how characters feel or think or what their motivations are. He shows you what the characters do. He lets you hear what they say. They may speak about emotions and thoughts, but their speech is to provoke, entice, manipulate, threaten, to accomplish things. Their words are actions. And none of them are particularly honest.

The dialogue is excellent. Even snappy and quotable. Even though the prose is pared to its basics. Sentences to their essence. It’s cut in stone.

The Glass Key

The Glass Key is a novel of character.

Yes, there’s a murder. Whodunnit is a mystery. It even gets solved.

It takes place in a small city. A corrupt city. Near New York. Across the river.

The main character is Ned Beaumont. He’s a gambler. He’s also the best friend and right-hand man of Paul Madvig, the political boss of this unnamed municipality. Paul wants to rise up in the world and marry the senator’s daughter. The senator is more corrupt than Paul or Ned, but all Paul can see is the senator’s thick coating of upper crust.

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Janet, the upmarket daughter, hates Paul. She falls in love with Ned.

There’s a gangster, Shad O’Rory, who thinks Paul is getting weak and it’s time to take over the town.

Everyone acts out of who they are. The specific circumstances could be changed – who was murdered, who did it, which woman was the object of attention, who was coming after Paul, a different gangster, an attorney general, a reformer – and all these people would end up in some similar dance. Paul would still think he’s immune from attacks and it’s his time to rise. Ned would still do everything he could – even take beatings, end up in the hospital – to save Paul – from others and from Paul own mistakes. It’s a love affair. Not a closeted one, an asexual one. Ned is a gambler. The kind, it would seem, who likes to lose. He’s very attractive to women. When the one who’s important, the senator’s daughter, comes along, Ned does try to keep his distance. But she’s manipulative too. Dangerous. Like everyone playing in this sandbox, in their own ways. But if it wasn’t Janet, it would’ve have been some other woman, sooner or later. If Paul and Ned got over that, it would have been something else, maybe a murder, or a betrayal, that their friendship – their love, their loyalties – couldn’t stand. It was going to go that way, though both of them wished it wouldn’t.

It’s Walter Stroby’s favorite Hammett. Even more than The Maltese Falcon.

“This wasn’t about colorful criminals chasing each other around the globe in pursuit of a mythical treasure. This was about men and women, friendship and loyalty, power and corruption. It felt real. It felt like life.”

It was made into a film three times. 1935, starring George Raft, Edward Arnold, and Claire Todd. 1942, with Alan Ladd, Brian Donlevy, and Veronica Lake. 1990by the Coen brothers. They called it Miller’s Crossing. The IMDB list of the writing credits has “Dashiell Hammett (novels) (uncredited)”. The onscreen credits don’t mention him at all. But it’s so alike that even the apartment of the Ned Beaumont character (called Tom Reagan) is as described in the book.

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The Thin Man

The Thin Man launched another set of archetypes. Nick and Nora Charles, sophisticated, high society, wise-cracking, constantly drinking, crime solvers.

Nick is an ex-police detective. He still has many connections among the denizens of the lower depths. Both criminals and cops remember him fondly. He’s married up. Way up. Nora is an heiress to millions. The rest of the story – who killed whom, how it gets solved – matters far less than keeping company with these two charmers.

The film was quite faithful to the book. Roger Ebert called it “a screwball comedy with dead bodies.” It’s a very accurate depiction both.

The film had five sequels. After the Thin Man, Another Thing Man, Shadow of the Thin Man, The Thin Man Goes Home, and Song of the Thin Man. It set the scene for countless imitations: Hart to Hart, McMillan & Wife, Mr. & Mrs. North, Remington Steele, Moonlighting, Burn Notice, to name a few.

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I was about 20 the first time I read it. I experienced it just the way it was played by William Powell and Myrna Loy, witty, charming, and fun

Sometime in my forties, maybe fifties, I read it again. It was as if I was reading a completely different book. Two alcoholics. For all their witticisms and their night clubbing lifestyle, drinking their lives away. So much success, they didn’t need success. With money they no longer needed to earn, it just kept coming. It was about two people who no longer had any meaning in their lives. It was as sad as sad can be.

I felt that I knew why Hammett was never able to write another book.

*

All of my novels touch back to Hammett. Sometimes in large ways, sometimes small.

The protagonist in my most recent, The Deal Goes Down, quotes a line, by way of explaining his own actions. It’s from a short story, The Gutting of Couffignal. Early on, there’s a chase. The Op twists his ankle. There’s a one-legged newsboy. The Op borrows his crutch to go after the bad guys. By the end of the tale he’s found out that the real villain is the beautiful woman. She starts to walk away, certain the Op won’t shoot because she’s a woman. He’s never shot a woman.

He shoots her. Then he says, “You ought to have known I’d do it. … Didn’t I steal a crutch from a cripple?”

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***


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LI Pawn Shop Owner Accused Of Running Organized Retail Theft Ring

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BRENTWOOD, NY — A Brentwood pawn shop owner and three associates were arrested after prosecutors said they ran an organized retail theft ring.

Carlos Ulloa, Henry Delgado, Sandra Cruz and Sandra Palomino each face a top count of felony enterprise corruption and used Ulloa’s Brentwood pawn shop as a front, Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said Wednesday.

The conspirators used “boosters,” or thieves who stole items from major retailers such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Petco and PetSmart, prosecutors said.

Find out what’s happening in Brentwood-Central Islipwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Ulloa, 50, of Patchogue, the owner and operator of EZ Cash Pawn and Jewelry in Brentwood and renter of a warehouse in East Patchogue where numerous stolen items were recovered, was arrested and charged with enterprise corruption; second-degree money laundering; fourth-degree conspiracy; and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, prosecutors said.

Delgado, 40, of Medford, was arrested and charged with enterprise corruption; second-degree money laundering; and fourth-degree conspiracy.

Find out what’s happening in Brentwood-Central Islipwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Delgado sold the stolen goods online through internet websites, Tierney said.

Cruz, 23, of Patchogue, an associate of Ulloa who managed the warehouse and its employees and utilized the warehouse to sell stolen goods for Ulloa through online websites, was arrested and charged with enterprise corruption and fourth-degree conspiracy, Tierney said.

Palomino, 45, of Brentwood, the manager of EZ Pawn and its employees, was arrested and charged with a count of enterprise corruption; and fourth-degree conspiracy.

Between October 1, 2021, and August 6, 2022, after Palomino bought stolen merchandise from boosters at the pawn shop, Ulloa and his associates then transported them to the warehouse in East Patchogue, according to court documents and statements made at the arraignments.

The stolen items were then photographed, listed on internet websites to be resold, and packaged for delivery, Tierney said. The repeated act of reselling stolen items on different platforms generated a large sum of criminal proceeds, Tierney said.

During the 10-month period, the investigation revealed that more than $1 million was transferred just from eBay accounts to bank accounts owned by Ulloa, Tierney said. Delgado would then issue checks to Ulloa and his two corporations when requested by Ulloa to do so, Tierney said.

Search warrants executed on August 6, 2022 at the pawn shop, the warehouse and Ulloa’s
residence resulted in the seizure of thousands of new products stolen from retailers
throughout Suffolk County, Tierney said. Police also seized a stolen handgun and
illegal high capacity magazines, Tierney said.

“These defendants and their associates allegedly engaged in a massive stolen property fencing operation run out of a pawn shop that has been fueling the retail theft epidemic in Suffolk County and elsewhere,” said Tierney.

Ulloa, Cruz, Palomino and Delgado were arraigned by the Honorable Jennifer A.
Henry on August 6; each was ordered to be held on bail, Tierney said.

Ulloa is being held on $1 million cash/$3 million bond or $10 million partially secured bond; he is being represented by David Besso, Esq., Tierney said. Besso was not immediately available for comment.

Delgado is being held on $750,000 cash or $1.5 million bond or $7.5 million in partially secured bond; he is being represented by William Keahon, Esq, Tierney said. Keahon was not immediately available for comment.

Subsequently, on August 8 and 9, the Honorable James A. Saladino ordered the release of
Cruz and Palomino and placed them on supervised release and GPS monitoring, Tierney said.

Cruz is represented by Daniel Sullivan, Esq. “I believe she was overcharged by the DA’d office, with an enterprise corruption charge,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think they will be able to prove it. I look forward to defending this case in the future. She was an employee; someone was using her. She was paid an hourly wage and I don’t think they will have the elements it will take to prove the enterprise corruption charge, a very serious charge. I’m gathering evidence and look forward to vigorously defending the case.”

Palomino is being represented by George Duncan, Esq, Tierney said. Duncan was not immediately available for comment.


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Jack Martins backed by three Nassau County police unions – Featured

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Jack Martins backed by three Nassau County police unions
Former state Sen. Jack Martins was endorsed by three Nassau County police unions on Tuesday. (Photo by Robert Pelaez)

Former state Sen. and Mineola Mayor Jack Martins was endorsed by three prominent Nassau County police unions on Tuesday in the midst of his campaign to return to the Senate.

The Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, Detectives Association and the Superior Officers Association all expressed their support for Martins, and several other Republicans, at the PBA headquarters.

Martins, an Old Westbury resident who previously represented the 7th District from 2011-2016, lauded the work of the Nassau County Police Department and thanked the officials for pledging their support for his campaign.

“I am honored and humbled by the endorsement we received today from law enforcement and I want to make it clear that I have always been with law enforcement and I will continue to stand with law enforcement as we move forward,” Martins said during a press conference.

Martins criticized bail reform, blaming “the Democrats in Albany who have decided to take the side of criminals.” Martins said a vote for him would be a vote for someone who will “restore law and order” throughout New York.

PBA President Thomas Shevlin said his association and the two others are endorsing candidates that are not afraid to support police officers amidst calls for defunding the police and will fight to repeal the state’s bail reform laws. 

“The time is now for change on bail reform,” Shevlin said. “The safety of our country, our county, our state and the future for our children is at stake. We are asking all of you to join us and support these officials come this November.”

Detectives Association President Jeff Gross echoed Shevlin’s comments about bail reform needing to be repealed and that the endorsements that were made were not just because the candidates were Republican.

“These candidates are the ones that have sat down with law enforcement,” Gross said. “They understand our needs, they understand our concerns and that’s why they were chosen. They are the best choice for the safety of our residents and the best choice to support law enforcement.”

Martins is running for the state’s 7th Senate District against incumbent state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills). According to the most recent Senate campaign filings, Kaplan announced she had more than $504,000 on hand, compared to Martins’ $41,000.

The 7th Senate district includes Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Williston Park, Mineola, Garden City Park, North Hills, Albertson, Old Westbury, East Hills, Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor, Roslyn Estates, Albertson, Searingtown, Lake Success, Manhasset, Munsey Park, Plandome, Plandome Heights, Plandome Manor, and the Great Neck and Port Washington peninsulas.

Martins served as Mineola’s mayor from 2003-2010. In 2008, he ran an unsuccessful congressional campaign against former U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy before defeating incumbent 7th District Senator and Democrat Craig Johnson in 2010.

The race against Johnson was one that did not get resolved until early December due to Johnson demanding a recount of the votes, ultimately having his appeal denied by the state’s Court of Appeals.

After another failed attempt to get into Congress in 2016, losing to U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), Martins shifted his focus to becoming Nassau County’s new county executive, following former County Executive Edward Mangano being indicted on federal corruption charges.

​​Martins ultimately lost that race to Democrat Laura Curran, who served as county executive before being defeated by Republican Bruce Blakeman this past fall.




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