Suozzi Hires Ex-“Press” Man

So Tom Suozzi is starting to look like that rare species, an actual conservative Democrat. Not sure how this gets him many votes in a Democratic Primary, but it could make the substance interesting.

His early policy stuff — abstinence, no new taxes — has slanted that way, as have his hires. First there was former Lieberman staffer Dan Gerstein.

And now Suozzi has hired Harry Siegel, a former editorial-page editor at the New York Sun and the former editor of the conservative alt-weekly New York Press, as his policy director. Harry is the one who quit, with his deputies, after his publisher refused to run the famous Danish Mohammed cartoons.

Suozzi aide Kim Devlin calls him “a real find.”

As for Siegel’s politics, he’s an idiosyncratic urban conservative, though I’m not sure he’d describe himself that way. Here’s from the manifesto he ran on taking over the Press:

Everyone agrees not only that the city has changed immensely since 1988, when New York Press was founded, but also that something has been lost. Only fools and charlatans, though, wish it were 1988 again, when the city was crime-ridden and madman-strewn, on the cusp of bankruptcy and the verge of race riots. A different group of fools and charlatans are ecstatic about Gotham’s brave new existence as a place for college grads to drink, screw, and so forth for a few years before growing up and settling down elsewhere and for tourists to shop and gawk; a mixture of circus, campus and strip mall.

These need not be the only alternatives, but it’s where we now are. Gotham is fast becoming Mayor Bloomberg’s vision of a luxury city, where the wealthy subsidize the poor and everyone in between scrambles to make it. Or leaves. And that’s not to mention the vision—we use the word generously—of the Democratic candidates.

Not sure how that translates into policy. Also in that piece, an account of some stumbling drunkenness, which everyone’s in favor of.

But now that we’re getting some real ideological distinctions in the Democratic Primary, this seems like a reasonable question: What do Spitzer and Suozzi think about the Iraq War?