Monday, October 28, 2013


All this time, I’ve been looking at National politics, and I have become absolutely disgusted with what we pass off as politicians. It wasn’t always so. I started out as a Republican in the early 1970’s and was a member of
the Huntington Town Republican Party. The Nixon fiasco drove me away from politics completely until the late 1980’s. I remained a registered Republican until 1990 when I made the switch to the Independent Party, after experiencing Reagan and Bush, Sr.  As an Independent, I voted for Clinton, and that was the start of my migration over to the Democratic Party, where I am today. Because of recent governmental developments I find myself, once again, in search of a relevant political affiliation that will platform policy that is financially sound and socially responsible, and, above all, ethical.

The last three and a half years of the idiocy we call Washington, DC, has gone so far as to make me question whether this is really the Country I gave up three years of my life to fight for. When I see what is happening to our politics and our economy, there are many emotions rattling around in my brain; sadness, embarrassment, frustration, and disgust. I have become so disgusted, in fact, that I have turned my attention solely to local politics. For years I have simply voted the “party line” when it came to local election cycles. I occasionally voted across Party lines in an attempt to make my vote count, but, for the most part, I ignored what was going on right under my nose.

We have an off-year election coming up in Huntington, New York, and it turns out that it’s going to be a very important election that will set our Town’s course for quite a while. Of note, the Town Supervisor (Mayor), two Town Council seats, and the Highway Superintendent positions are up for grabs. Now, as disgusted with National politics as I am, I know there is little I can do on that front as compared to what I might be able to accomplish on the local front. Some very interesting things happened on the way to this election. As a Democratic Committee member, I can’t speak on the Republican’s trials and tribulations, but I can certainly speak on the mess my side produced. It all started with a good friend of mine deciding at the beginning of this year that he would be an excellent candidate for the Highway Superintendent position. He went about polling his possibilities and concluded that he would run. As a friend, and fellow Democrat, I was asked to pitch in, and did so willingly. Our little team was able to gather enough petition signatures to place his name in consideration. It all seemed to be going fairly smoothly. There were actually three gentlemen running for this one spot in the Democratic Party; my friend, the current Parks Department director, and the incumbent. A nominating meeting was set and that’s when all the fun began. Normal procedure dictates that you take a committee vote to determine who the candidate will be, and vote we did. My friend won the first and second round, but failed to get the required 50% + 1 more vote (for a simple majority). Party by-laws state clearly that we are to vote, and re-vote, until one of the candidates does reach the 50% (+1) level. Concurrently, we were voting for three of our candidates to fill Town Council seats up for grabs this year. There were also originally four candidates involved in the Town Council race, and the initial two votes in that category did not produce a clear winner, either. After only two rounds of voting for each category, all discussion and the meeting were brought to an abrupt halt. We were informed that it was past some people’s bed time and it would be best to set a later date and continue the voting at that time. Just before we adjourned for the evening, one of the candidates for Town Council withdrew his name from list; leaving three candidates for the spot.
"The three contenders seeking the Democratic nomination for Huntington highway superintendent will compete in a primary in September, after the party could not decide on a nominee at its convention Thursday night. Two separate votes failed to produce a majority for any of the candidates -- longtime incumbent William Naughton and challengers Kevin Orelli, a business owner, and town parks Chief Don McKay."
"In the first round of balloting, Orelli received 13,813 votes in a weighted system, McKay had 10,858 and Naughton 4,585.5. The second time around, Orelli received 13,330 to McKay's 9,434. Naughton got 5,020. At that point, the party declared a deadlock -- something Democratic chairwoman Mary Collins said she could not recall happening in her 30... read more »"         [ ]
The alarm bells started going off, triggering my more than healthy cynicism of all things politic. When you fail to pick a candidate in committee, you are required to have a “runoff” election to include all duly petitioned persons vying for the position in question. But first, you are supposed to give voting in committee a chance to work, and the fact that we were cut short after only two rounds can only be characterized as a breach of democratic process. For an entire week the Party Leaders were silent; then they dropped the bomb. The Town Committee members were notified
by e-mail that the County Chairman was brought into the fray to manipulate the situation under the guise of “cost control” (run-offs cost money). The savings was to be achieved by telling two candidates for the Town Council spot that they were no longer welcome, thus relieving the necessity of a costly run-off in that category. They were forced to resign their candidacy leaving a convenient single person on the ballot.
There was, indeed, a run-off for the three contestants vying for Highway Superintendent which itself produced many shades of gray when you looked behind the scenes. The full weight of the Town’s and County’s resources were thrown behind the incumbent, Naughton, to ensure his reelection, and my friend was torn to shreds in the voting due to the third candidate, Mckay, who was tossed in the ring to foil any competition for his cohort, the incumbent.
Eugene Cook
Frank P. Petrone

..............wants his job....................
Mark Cuthbertson

.............wants his job............

Susan A. Berland

.........She's safe, for now!

Tracey Edwards

             ........wants his job.........

Highway Superintendent
Bob Gunther

                .............wants his job.........

  •    "  Enact Term Limits. 20+ years in the same public office is too long. That is why we support term limits for our Town Supervisor and Council in order to promote a continuous flow of fresh and innovative ideas that will lead Huntington to a more promising future."
  •        " Hold the Line on Taxes. Life on Long Island is expensive and you deserve to keep more of your own money. We are committed to lowering the tax burden so that you and your family can afford to live in the Town of Huntington."
  •       " Increase Transparency in Local Government. A government that is more transparent is more accountable. We will use the town’s website to prominently display a record of every dollar the Town spends because you should know where your money goes.
  • Reduce Government Borrowing. Reducing debt starts with reducing spending. Our Town’s out of control spending, especially in the Town Attorney’s office, has led to the doubling of the town’s debt."            [ ]

It is upon these occurrences that I have been keeping an eye on this local Town election. What I see is the incumbents, Democrats, forcing the process in their favor by trying to scare the crap out of the Town residents (a tactic normally attributed to Republicans) by running ads and holding forums where they no longer talk about their accomplishments in office, but rather spend their time, and our tax dollars, smearing the competition. The demographics of this Town are such that political tactics of fear have an effect on our large, older population. We are also blessed with a sizeable population who would be considered “rich” by any standard. They tend not to vote in local elections, as if it were beneath them. That leaves the young voters and the dwindling blue collar class, who tend to be mostly Democrats. This is going to be a big problem if these folks go to the polls and vote the Party line without first exploring the political landscape of their Town.
"Local Huntington Dems are About to Hit an All Time Low"

                                       "At 1:00 today, there will be a press conference asking Candidate Eugene Cook to step
                                       down from his candidacy as Huntington Town Supervisor. 
Based on polls, it is likely that  
                                       Councilman Cook will take over as Supervisor after the November elections.  This has 
                                       caused panic among those that are profiting greatly by the Petrone and Cuthbertson."
                                                  [ ]


"Former Legislator Jane Devine at a press conference today calling for Gene Cook to withdraw."

Since I don’t have the stamina, or the voice, to stand on the old soap box and give oratory to my thoughts and feelings on this election process and the individuals   involved, I have decided the most effective way of countering the overt and covert skullduggery of the Town Democrats and the Town Republicans is to write and post about it, and to come up with a few lawn signs depicting my utter disgust in what I have witnessed. There seems to be a gross lack of democratic process in the Town of Huntington, so I will continue my quest for another Party affiliation that more closely shares my views on the democratic process.

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