The Alliance 1.0 Revealed

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Alliance 1.0 Revealed

Updated 08/17/2008 - 12:18 pm

After several formal requests by the Village's Chief Election Officer, Kathleen McGinnis, the original anti-eruv collective briefly known as "Westhampton Beach Alliance for the Separa­tion of Church and State," filed the paperwork required of a Political Action Com­mittee with the municipality on July 28th.

Writing on behalf of that Alliance, Els Phillips noted in a letter accompanying the filing:

"The Westhampton Beach Alliance for the Separation of Church and State was not formed as a Political Committee. Rather it was an ad hoc group formed over an issue of major concern for the the village: The construction of an eruv running through the heart of Westhampton Beach. It's sole purpose was to inform residents about the issue."

Okay. So far so good. But here's where the wheels came off.

"The issue itself became a political issue when two candidates made it so in public statements."

Such an assertion is the very height of disin­genuity as a review of the videotape of the June 5th Village Board meeting clearly shows.

Quiogue nutburger Irene Barrett, again being permitted to institute herself into the business of a Village in which she does not reside, with the aid¹ of attorney James Going, insisted on getting challenging candidates Tim Laube and John Roland on the record for their support of the Hampton Synagogue's request for an eruv.

That at no time did she ask any of the three incumbents² standing for re-election their positions, suggests major dirty work was afoot, but no one recognized it at the time.

One week later the Alliance launched its dis­honest advertisement in the Southampton Press Western Edition.

It was far less "informational" about the eruv than it was in opposition to the candidacies of Mr. Laube and Mr. Roland.

Ms. Phillips continued:

"The reference to the candidates made in one advertisement was intended only as a part of our education program."

On the contrary, it was raw political activism... dishonest political activism... as Ms. Barrett excitedly confirmed on election night:

"The advertisement did it! We got them all in!"

Ms. Phillips' demurer withstanding, the Alli­ance's financial disclosure filing with the Village Clerk, a copy of which was obtained under a FOIL request, was appropriate... and revealed the following.

Ms. Phillips and Quiogue's Craig Middleton are listed as Co-chairs.

Tom Hadlock of Westhampton is identified as the Treasurer.

Enumerated contributors³ include "Phillips," "Barrett," "Middleton," "Rentmeester," "Mans­field," "Hadlock" and "Dillmeier." No first names are provided, and mostly incomplete addresses, only four of which are within the Village.

The "Various" line lists $1100 in contributions from miscellaneous supporters and those wish­ing to keep their participation in the shadowy group anonymous.

Expenditures of $3841.18 are listed for print­ing, postage and advertising.

While the original iteration of the "Alliance," its identity craftily usurped by the opposition, is gone, its 2.0 successor, The Alliance for the Separation of Church and State for the Greater Westhampton Area, Inc., not only endures, but grows.

Notes

¹.- Whether by happenstance or as part of a general strategy is not known. Given that Mr. Going mis-stated what Mayor Teller had "ruled" in order to make his "Point of Order," suggests that he was in on the scheme to target the challengers.

².- At the 37:55 mark of meeting in an ex­change with Mr. Laube, Ms. Barrett directly stat­ed: "I'm not asking Mayor Teller" (his position).

³.- Sums of $100 or greater.

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