An XX with all those XYs?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

An XX with all those XYs?

Janet Beck postal mailer

My considered opinion from the very start was that the Demo­cratic ticket should have had either five Trustee candidates, or none, and that it was un­con­scionable for Hank Beck, who as a Town Board candidate, along with every other Dem in Southampton Town, finished up the track in the 2005 elections, to prop up his wife of 40+ years as "cannon fodder" for the fistful of GOP "good ol' boys" on that Board.

And that campaign photo, although quite flattering, looks like the uncropped version would reveal Mrs. Beck to be posed in the passenger seat of a 1956 Chevy Belaire con­vertable wearing black chino capri pants and flats... I think it's the popped collar that does it, Janet.

But then as the Town-wide campaign pro­gressed, I got thinking in less whimsical terms about the reality of her candidacy in the broader picture.

  • This year the Democrats, courtesy of Eliot Spitzer, are on Row A where they haven't been since Mario Cuomo sat in the Governor's seat, and the top line has always been considered a strategic advantage in any election where voting machines are used.
  • For the first time in ten years, the local Dems will, unless Jim Henry really im­plodes, still have a viable candidate at the head of their line on Row A come Election Day.
  • This, more than any other race in the history of Southampton Town, is very much the Year of the Female Candidate
  • The sometimes foggy-thinking among poli-pundits on both sides of the ball is that Democratic candidates are assured 38%-to-40% just for showing up. That might be optimistic in Southampton Town, so let's go to the Board of Elections.

    In 2005 with dead wood Gary Schwartz doing his off-again/on-again Ross Perot impersonation at the head of the Row B ticket, he pulled just over 30% of the vote on only one line against a strong incumbent with four other lines. The highest vote-getter on the Repub­lican line was Town Clerk Marietta Seaman with slightly less than 60%.

    In 2003, Henry DeCillia (Henry who???) got just under 31% against incumbent Patrick "Skip" Heaney who had four-line endorsements.

    But in 2006, an "off-year" for Towns, two Democratic ladies, Marla Schwenk and Kristina Lewis, pulled, respectively, 48% and 41% of the vote on their single lines... and if Ms. Sundy Scher­meyer hadn't've had both the Inde­pendence and Conservative endorse­ments, she wouldn't be Town Clerk today.

Wiser heads have doubtless done more in depth analysis of the numbers, but on the basis of just what has been looked at here, Mrs. Beck's candidacy is not to be so easily dismissed even though her single cam­paign focus has been that she's a woman and there's never been a female on the Southampton Town Board of Trustees! That's it... no other qualifications mentioned.

To the extent that it means anything... which it probably doesn't... she received the lead Trus­tees endorsement of The East End Independ­ent. On the other hand, The Southampton Press cut'n'pasted its supercilious 2005 blanket endorsement of the GOP status quo.

It will be most instructive to see if Mrs. Beck's gender and ballot position will be enough to afford her entrance into that old boys Trustees clubhouse.


At their May 2007 political convention, the Southampton Town Democratic Committee nominated no candidates for the Trustees race, but "a motion passed at the convention (which) allowed (party chairman Mike Anthony) to nominate other Trustee candidates after the fact." Mrs. Beck's candidacy subse­quently resulted.


1. Matlynn Carville said...

All those stats make me feel like I'm surrounded by XY chromosomes at a World Wearies game. Observing virtually ALL XXs are adept at assuming work loads that would kill a bull, (in lieu of some old boys' bonding,) I'm clearly in Janet's corner. I think she'll perform very admirably. A comment (apologies in advance, Janet) regarding that picture: your first act in office should be to lower your eyebrows! Good Grief! A constant look of surprise is NOT a visage of leadership. It's a lady's equivalent of a comb-over or shaving one's head to hide a receding hairline. That said, you're beautiful just the way you are. Now go out there and milk the cows, plow those fields, grind the corn, cook for the work hands, haul in the provisions, scrub the wash and floor, and hug hubby Hank while you show the comfortably entrenched Trustees how work is REALLY done.

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