The lawyers are in the counting house…

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The lawyers are in the counting house…

Veteran's Day

...tabulating the Southampton Town version of hanging chads.

Or they will be tomorrow. Right now they're boning up on New York State Election Law, so while they're at it, let the punditry continue.

Last week's General Election has to have been the most interesting in the Town in years decades... I'd go back to '71 when Westhamp­ton Beach Mayor and East End firematic icon "Dode" Hulse was dumped by the Democratic Party for ignoring their edict against accepting any "minor party" cross-endorsements. Mr. Hulse ran on the Conservative line... which wouldn't have made it much higher than the Row F of their 'umble origins nine years earlier had it not gotten a candidate elected to the Senate the previous year... and beat popular Republican candidate Roy Wines and Dem re­placement William Power Maloney to gain the top slot in the Town.

While the legal teams wrassle in the Yaphank ring over the make-up of the Town Board for the next two years... upstart Republican Linda Kabot or Democrat Jim Henry in the Supervis­or's seat reluctantly relinquished by twice-rejected-in-seven-weeks Patrick "Skip" Heaney, and as Council members (pick two) vindicated Republican Nancy Graboski, her running mate Dan Russo, or Democratic Anna Throne-Holst... several things have become apparent:

  • Without Independence Party's Alex Gregor's 800+ vote showing on Row C, which line Mr. Heaney sought in the Septem­ber 18th primary, the incum­bent would likely be leading the three-way Super­visor's contest as the man­dated recanvas and Absentee Ballots are tallied this week.

    Ironically, the key figure in Mr. Gregor's even being in the General Election is Westhampton Beach attorney and former four-term Democratic County Legislator George Guldi, the head of the legal team which will be representing Democratic Party interests... pretty much limited to those of Mr. Henry and Ms. Throne-Holst... in the counting rooms.

    Mr. Guldi had represented Mr. Gregor when Mr. Heaney's legal team chal­lenged the Independence Party's pri­mary out­come, which results wound up being verified as a slim two vote mar­gin for the man savagely attacked by Mr. Heaney in radio spots two years ago when Mr. Gregor had the temerity to challenge... and almost beat... GOP "cash bull" Superintendent of Highways William Masterson.

    (Not for nuthin' as the lads in NYPD blue like to say, but Newsday has this very day taken note of Mr. Gregor's role as "spoiler" in the Supervisor contest.)

    So Mr. Gregor can take solace in know­ing that he aided significantly in ending the Town's lengthy Heaney nightmare without resorting to dis-ingenuity and distortion on the radio as Mr. Heaney had done to him.
  • The advice offered to Mrs. Kabot after her successful primary challenge, was "Don't do anything stupid!"

    She apparently couldn't resist, how­ever, and is now studying the hastily-drafted (by, who else, Mr. Guldi!?) $25 million defamation of character lawsuit served on her on behalf of Mr. Henry within hours the appearance of her im­properly vetted half-page ad­ver­tise­ment in the November 1st Southamp­ton Press.

    If those legal papers didn't cause enough panic in Camp Kabot, then the GOP organization's anger at her other half-page listing Republican contrib­utors by name and amount under a headline suggesting campaign law violations, must have amped up her anxiety levels well past the red line.

    Silly girl! Did you forget that you were the GOP candidate, and not Mr. Heaney?!?

    The good news though, is that given the relatively minor inaccurate allega­tions in the anti-Henry adv., the Democratic candidate will likely and magnanimously drop the lawsuit, especially if he prevails in the verified finale.
  • Sole Democratic challenger to the Hairy-Chested, He-Men's Clam-Raking Club, Janet Beck who probably wouldn't know Phragmites australis from Spar­tina alter­niflora, made a credible show­ing in the Town Trustees race. With 4,228 (current) votes on just the Dem­ocratic line, she out-polled GOP tail-ender Brian Tymann's Republican totals but was swamped when his Row D numbers were included.

    More tellingly, although her getting the benefit of any straight Row A lever pull was discussed a week ago, Mrs. Beck and her popped collar polled consider­ably better than did the head of the Town Democratic ticket, 4,228 to 3,782! Imagine for a moment just the physical motions required for that to have occurred, and a clearer picture of the amount of Democratic antipathy for Mr. Henry's candidacy comes into sharper focus.
  • Another mildly surprising non-showing was that of defiant incumbent Repub­lican Councilwoman Graboski. Having been ignominiously dumped from the Town ticket last Spring due to some backroom muscle-flexing by Mr. Hean­ey and his friend Jim Zizzi, the lady from Bridge­hampton waltzed through the Primary without breaking a sweat, and should have had led all Town Board candidates by a much wider margin than she appears to have done. She was far and away the class of the GOP line, 4,431 to running mate Russo's 3,454, but her cumulative 5,427 votes were only 182 ahead of top Democratic ticket leader Throne-Holst who also benefited from Working Families/In­tegrity support on Row F.

    The "sense of fair play" seems to have remained within the ranks of the Re­pub­lican voters, however, and seven weeks down the line it was all's fair in love, war and the General Election.

We'll be following the machinations in Yaphank until the final results have been tabulated and then, almost certainly, validated on some upper floor in the Cohalan Court Complex in Islip.

Meanwhile, it'll be fun listening to the rhythm of the knees knocking in Town Hall of those worried about keeping their jobs under either a Kabot or Henry Administration.

If the latter, Mr. Guldi as new Town Attorney? Nah!

Thank a Vet!


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