<i>Now</i> they come around!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Now they come around!

It's not like the Southampton Town GOP waited 'til the last minute, but with two weeks to go 'til Election Day, they've cut it a little close for comfort in throwing any support behind "new look Linda" Kabot.

The big question, of course, is why did the Republican "machine" (as creaky and in dire need of an oil change as it is!) wait this long to support their former standard-bearer?

It's not as if they had a token candidate to take the top o'the ticket to offer an alternative to Anna Throne-Holst and help the rest of the GOP slate... hell, even after Councilman Chris Nuzzi told them he wouldn't accept the nom­ination for Supervisor, the moment he left the room his name was offered and accepted by acclaim by the conventioneers.

(And for whatever reason... courtesy, politics or second thoughts... he had'em hoping and guessing for the better part of a fortnight before giving the faithful his final answer: "Nope!")

That was the first week in June, and the GOP couldn't come up with anyone out of a Town with still a sizable Republican registration since then?

What they did was essentially cede the Supervisor's race to Independent (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) Throne-Holst, something unpre­cedented in the annals of Southampton Town!

Sure, the Democrats used to do it all the time... but that was in the not-so-distant past when the Dems would scour cemetery plots, not for voters but for candidates.

Not surprisingly, that was one of the darker clouds which formed over Republican Town leader Ernie Wruck's head, and last month he left beneath them, to be replaced by young, inexperienced-but-hand-picked-by-Marietta M. Seaman1, William Wright.

That, not so coincidentally, occurred on the heels of Mrs. Kabot's surprise announcement that she was dropping her Hermes scarf into the race as a write-in candidate for the job she last held before her DWI arrest two years ago.

Why hadn't the Southampton Town Republican Committee approached her before?

According to one former GOP Committeeperson speaking on background, Kabot is toxic with many of the rank 'n' file faithful, particularly those still solidly in the Junior Heaney camp who haven't forgiven Linda for making public the names and amounts given by Heaney campaign supporters four years ago.

Now a write-in campaign is a tough row to hoe, and the only successful one I recall locally, was Dode Hulse when he ran for Westhampton Beach Village Trustee back in '68, but two years ago in upstate Putnam County, four (4!) Independence Party write-in candidates ran winning primaries for sundry offices against opponents on the ballot.

Stranger things have happened.

The pundits are saying Linda Kabot doesn't stand a chance, opining that she'd be lucky to pull 15% of the total votes for Supervisor, while others sigh and think that 30% would be a good showing!

No one can dismiss the fact that responsive Comments on 27East to the news of the Kabot initiative, were over­whelmingly positive, so there is that!

Another boost to the Kabot candidacy came with an E-mailing from Marietta Seaman this very morning calling for the GOP to become aggressive over the next two weeks, actively supporting Linda and Republican Town Board candidates Bill Hughes and Christine Scalera.

Is all suddenly forgiven?

Nope... Mrs. Seaman is being pragmatic:

"Linda is offering a choice for Supervisor and quite frankly, has put Anna on edge and can actually win if we get Republicans out to vote and they write her name in. She knows her stuff!"

(Read: the enemy of our enemy can be of use on Election Day.)

Included in her E-mail are some specific suggestions for a letter-writing campaign to the two... not one, but two... editions of The Southampton Press.

Not bad campaign strategy... it's just a little late for Linda's purposes.

About that "new look..."

...call it "Then and Now" with a tip o'the OtBB tam to the late Lee Davis for the title, not the content.

Spring 2005Summer 2011

While apparently no less feisty than when she held Town office (2002-2009), what we are seeing today is, literally, a "new look" Linda.

For the post-DWI trial 2011 candidate, there can be no more "blonde moments" nor even the latent "wild child" she may or may not have been at an earlier time in her life.

This new image2... suggests a more mature Linda3, a more serious professional woman displaying a loss of weight almost as if she's been sub­jected to a diet of institutional meals during a confinement of four or more months.

The political Kabot has always projected a "no-nonsense" posture... but now she looks like she really means it!

But will Southampton Town's electorate re-embrace the new Linda?

Marietta Marzullo Seaman
  1. The former Town Clerk and Suffolk County OTB Vice President, Mrs. Seaman (née Marzullo) is the undisputed force in the local GOP.
  2. With the same string of pearls.
  3. Though still on the sunnier side of 45.


1. David Willmott, Jr. said...

Hey Dean -

Knowing you are a stickler for getting the facts right, a few points. As I recall Chris Nuzzi was in the room when he was nominated.

Second, the GOP not running a candidate for Supervisor is not unprecedented. In 1993 there was no candidate for Supervisor on the GOP line. Strategic decision to not run someone for that position and instead focus on Town Board races and be in better position to win those races with less interest in Supervisor race against a well-postioned incumbent now Assemblyman Thiele. While Vinny Cannuscio did later join race on Conservative line, the results in that Town Board race, when most pundits were writing the GOP off as a soon to be footnote in Southampton history, would indicate the strategy worked.

Thank you, Dave, for calling this to my attention.

You really put me through my paces this time, as it's taken me several hours of calls and research to sort this out.

One the first point, I think it's safe to say that your and Councilman Nuzzi's recollections may differ.

Your recitation of the '93 Town Election, however, is much more accurate than what I related, which was based on information volunteered by two members of the GOP Committee at that time.

That said, while while former County Legislator Thiele was running for re-election as a member of the Southampton Party he, Doug Penny and Joanna Ferraro-Levy had formed two years earlier, he was a Republican and everyone was aware of that.

And, as you pointed out, Vince Cannuscio ran on the Conservative line and, as I recollect, the late Ron Moss was the Democratic choice... so there were other Supervisor choices on that ballot.

No so next month, when most everyone is expecting a lay-down for Anna Throne-Holst.

Thanks for keeping me on my toes.

O, and no one would ever risk "writing the GOP off as a soon to be footnote in Southampton history" as long as you and Ann LaWall are still drawing breath.

2. Crabby said...

Yes, I am still an Obama Independent!

In local politics, I've always respected and voted for Marietta Seaman, and glad to hear she's now the kingmaker (queenmaker?) instead of that nasty back room Republican hack.

Kabot's got my write-in vote, and I will go with Bill Pell for Town Trustee, too. No one knows more about the sea and environment than he does. (Just wanted to add a plug for a plain-speaking but smart, common sense and spectacularly knowledgable candidate.)

Thanks for the info, Speir!

Um, okay....

3. Scarlett said...

She looks good!

Aye, that she does... and a whole lot more Supervisorial than before.

Speaking for "looking good" under the sub-heading of not!, when Bridget Fleming first came on the Town political scene, she was a terrific looker... lithe, long of hair and fair of face. Based on her current campaign photos, these past several years in office have been stressful ones for her. (And I'd wager that Anna Throne-Holst was the one with final approval of the team photos!)

4. Hampton West said...

Write-ins are always difficult if not impossible. Last time she ran under "tough" circumstances she still managed something like 42% of the vote so LK has a core of support. But to get people to actually write in?

I'm amazed by the Town Republican party - they can't find a candidate so they essentially cede the election, only to have their bęte noire rebel "I don't tow the party line" bad girl make an independent run on her own. If Linda somehow pulls this off the Town Republican party will be in total collapse. It will be interesting!

It will indeed! And while Lisa Murkowski pulled it off in Alaska last November, that was a three-way race, kind of a "perfect storm" of an election, and she was an incumbent.

What's bothering me is that so much of this year's election is coming out of what used to be termed "smoke-filled back rooms," under the direction of ego-centric power-brokers like Frank MacKay and Ed Walsh, neither of whom give a rusty rodent's rump about anything other than building a power base?

5. David Willmott, Jr. said...

Hampton West's comment "the Town Republican party will be in total collapse" is reflective of the exact same thinking that was expressed in what passed for the blogosphere in 1993 - Southampton Press Editorial Page and Letters to Editors. In fact if memory serves me correct, the Press even wrote a "news piece" on the presumed passing of the Southampton GOP in the face of "inner turmoil" and irresistable movement of supposed "non-partisan" third party movements like the Southampton Party. Again if memory serves me correct it was either that story or one of their editorials that I recollected the "footnote in history" line from. But then again it was a long time ago.

I'll refrain from any invidious commentary about the ideological bent of the local Fourth Estate, and simply note that at that time what came to be know as the Press News Group was run by someone at the other end of the political spectrum than say, your, Dad, so it may have been wishful thinking of an institutional sort.

But in all candor, Dave, that's what pundits and their digital off-spring, bloggers, do, isn't it?

Equally in candor, I think you'll have to acknowledge that... the various reasons and personalities aside... the Southampton Town GOP is hardly the unified organization it once was... yes, there have been "speed bumps" along the way, from Marty Lange who had to run for re-election as a Democrat, to Pat Heaney Sr. and Marietta Seaman who had to run primaries against party designees to gain office in, respectively, '83 and '93.

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