The GOP-Kabot Rift...

Monday, November 05, 2007

The GOP-Kabot Rift...

...was it spontaneous combustion or an am­bush, a well-planned coup de candidate?

When upstart Town Board member Linda Kabot saw her fellow GOP Councilwoman thrown off the 2007 Republican ticket as the result of a decision made in a "smoke-filled backroom," she saw an opportunity to move her run for the top slot up two years instead of "waiting her turn" 'til the term-limited incumbent Super­visor, Patrick "Skip" Heaney, would end his tenure in 2009.

Mrs. Kabot joined Mrs. Graboski in a Republi­can primary challenge to, respectively, Mr. Heaney and Town Board candidates Jim Drew and newcomer Dan Russo, and buoyed by the ready-made gift issue presented them by the power players in the Town organization, the two ladies won handily.

Aside from the stunned shock waves their victory sent through the Town, there was con­siderable resentment among the Heaney faith­ful, which group did a lousy job of letting themselves be counted at the polls on Sep­tember 18th.

Immediately grumblings were heard in the GOP club­house to the effect of "We're not gonna work for her," while Mr. Heaney assessed his options and the prospect of running solely on Row D.

(On the one hand he had enormous name recognition and an even bigger war chest; on the down-side, a majority of those Mr. Heaney considered "his people" had rejected his candidacy, and to run as a Conservative in an election where the Democratic candidate for the first time in ten years looked like he had the where­withal to make a serious race for the Supervisor's post, was likely to risk so fractioning the Republican vote that the Dem could slip through to win it all.)

In short order Mr. Heaney decided against picking up the revolver the rank'n'file had placed on his Supervisor's desk along with a single cartridge and a note urging "For the good of the regiment, old boy," and the Town Republican organization apparently decided that, the GOP's vox populi having been heard, they would coalesce behind Mrs. Kabot's can­didacy. (This seems to have never been an issue with Mrs. Graboski's reinstatement. Just about everyone knew she'd gotten a raw deal... everyone except those who were responsible for it: Mr. Heaney, Jim Zizzi and GOP Chairman Marcus Christopher Stinchi.)

Matters seem to have progressed in a reason­ably orderly fashion until the past week or so and the Town organization appears to have pulled the rug out from under Mrs. Kabot's candidacy, most notably by quietly boycotting Friday night's Kabot-Graboski fund-raising rally in Southampton.

One long-time Town Republican reported:

"I was at that fund raiser in support of both Linda and Nancy. I was also looking for­ward to meeting Dan Russo and very sur­prised that he did not show, especially when I heard that the Southampton Town Republican chairman told everyone to stay away. Great leadership, Mr. Chairman, but there was no need to put another hole in the Titanic, your ship is sinking fast enough.

It is true that there were not that many people, about 50, but four of the five Trustees did show and Brian Tymann who was not feeling well but still showed up made a point to say that he was proud to be running with these candidates... he seems like a class act. I also saw George Mathys, the former Republican chairman who publicly stated how important it was to get behind the candidates. He later said that the Republican party rank and file spoke on Primary Day and the Republican leadership should get behind the rank and file... he's another class act... but that type of democratic (small "d") thinking seems to be beyond the current Republican leader­ship.

Still, both Linda and Nancy are very up­beat. It should be very interesting Tuesday night, and in Town Government for the next month or so no matter who wins...."

Add to that some waffling on the part of Mrs. Kabot's former boss and long-time political mentor, Vince Cannuscio, who was angry with her for unspecified reasons, and the young woman may just be posed for a crash on Election Day.

What remains to be learned is, if the Repub­licans are in fact defecting from her camp, what caused the defections, and when?

Or was this the organization's strategy all along... appear to follow the dictates of the Primary outcome, and then leave her high and dry at the last moment over whatever "excuse" they were confident she would provide?


1. Bob said...

Revelation!!! Mr. Stinchi missed the fundraiser for Linda Kabot and Nancy Graboski. As leader (and it hurts to say that) of the Republican Party in Southampton Town. He has shown contempt for the wishes of those party members who spoke during the primary election. Apparently this democratic process, which is the foundation of our form of government, is not reason enough for Mr. Stinchi to do his job. The excuse that voter turnout during the primary was insufficient to get a real feel for the wishes of the registered republican voters, is another confirmation of his failed leadership. If Im not mistaken, one of his primary job functions to ensure that party members get involved. It is his responsibility to get the republican voters to the polls. By not doing so and then ignoring the primary results he has sent a message to all republicans in the town, if you are not in lock-step with the wishes of the high exalted grand poobah Heaney, your votes dont count. Regardless of the outcome of the election, in order to survive, the Republican Party will need a cleansing of it's totally inept leadership. That is, if its not already too late.

2. LMVT said...

I thought your readers and you might find this to be an interesting blog post. Check it out...

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