6.14.2007

Suffolk's Leader Wins a Following

In Suffolk’s Leader Wins a Following (NYTimes - 6.13.07), Paul Vitello writes that Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has won a national following by targeting undocumented immigrant workers.

However, Latinos and immigrant leaders on Long Island and beyond are less impressed. Instead, immigrants advocates accuse him of bigotry; one spokesman for local day laborers, the Rev. Allan Ramirez, has accused him of “ethnic cleansing.”

Fellow Democrat Vivian Viloria-Fisher, a Suffolk County legislator who was born in the Dominican Republic complains that Levy conveniently ignores "the global economic rules that force people to come here to earn a living.”

Nonetheless, the largest daily on Long Island calls him arguably the most formidable elected official in Long Island history. Levy's views so strongly resonate with the absurdly overtaxed residents that none of the major (or minor) political parties is willing to field a challenger in this year's county executive race.

Photo: NYTimes