Small Victories

• Nassau County Democrat Craig Johnson was elected to the State Senate, in what everyone sees as Spitzer’s proxy victory over the state’s head Republican Joe Bruno. Us, we’re just mildly annoyed at having to cover an election in February. [NYP]
• Do you own property in New Jersey? Here, have a 20 percent tax credit and remember who loves ya: The Garden State’s senators apparently almost died passing the bill in a marathon, midnight-oil, multi-day session. [NYT]
• A new study chalks up much of New York’s economic growth to the efforts of recent immigrants. New arrivals, it states, open their own businesses at the rate of almost five to one compared to the natives. [amNY]
• Buying phony police badges and dressing up as a cop is very, very lame, not to mention illegal. But doing the above and having the nerve to commandeer a man’s SUV — well, one kind of has to applaud. [Newsday]
• And, we won’t report on the mad-astronaut story, since it doesn’t concern NYC in the least, but we will tally up the headline puns: “Lunar Toon!” and “Astro-Nut” (News) versus “Space Case” and “Astro-Nut” again (Post). Post wins on the alliterative strength of “whacked-out Nowak.” [NYP, NYDN]