2016 marks year to remember in LI politics
From the election of Donald Trump to the arrests of local officials, 2016 marked a wild year for politics across the country and on Long Island alike.
The tumultuous presidential campaign made its way to Long Island several times, through Trump rallies and appearances on the Island and during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University. And while the Trump-Clinton contest featured plenty of fireworks, the local political scene had its share of shock and awe as well.
Less than a month before Election Day, a seismic event rocked Nassau when County Executive Ed Mangano and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto were each arrested on federal corruption charges.
Their arrests came in the same calendar year that former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted on corruption charges of his own.
In Suffolk County, perhaps the most dramatic political moment of 2016 came when County Executive Steve Bellone stood on the steps outside of District Attorney Tom Spota's office and delivered a direct message by calling on him to resign.
Bellone accused Spota of allowing a culture of corruption to fester in his office. But Spota did not take the claims lying down, and denounced the resignation call as a "personal vendetta" -- allegedly for investigating and prosecuting people close to Bellone.
It might be helpful for some to take stock as Long Island heads into 2017: Mangano and Venditto remain in office as they await trial. Spota has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and remains the Suffolk County DA. Rep. Steve Israel is wrapping up his tenure in Congress, as Tom Suozzi is preparing to begin his own. And the Nassau Legislature turns the page on a new year without Judy Jacobs for the first time, who suddenly passed away in September.
Politically speaking, 2016 will go down as a year to remember -- even if some say they wish they could forget it.