Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things.
-- Russell Baker (1925 - )
Many of those who emigrated to the East End in the 60’s and 70’s now are the political cognoscenti who play out the moral and ethical tapes running the Hamptons government. In other words, while some headed for the Berkshires, as some might run to Burning Man now, artists, activists and reactionaries moved to the Hamptons for solace and escape.
Blacks, Asians, Gays, Latinos, need not apply. It was strictly lily-white, non-Jewish, and mostly Protestant.
Little has changed with regard to those sensibilities. Although, the police force and local governments have gotten a shot in the arm from eight years of “W” since he’s been off the bottle. The Republican Party, the party of Senator Craig, has managed nicely to co-opt the Democrats with the help of Rich Schaeffer, the County Democratic Chairman – and both Republican and Democratic politicians are “with the program.” Tim Bishop, a Democrat, regularly works with Assembly member Fred Thiele, who is Schaeffer’s relative.
As an aside, Schaeffer’s sabotaging of Democrats when they face Republicans he favors has become notorious. In the current Town Justice election (DeMayo vs. Schiavoni), for example, the balloting has been arranged so that a blank space appears in such a way that the voters eyes will drop – veering the voter away from Andrea Schiavoni towards Tom DeMayo. It’s an old Tammany Hall trick, which may cost Schiavoni the race.
The control of politics and the Hamptons culture inures to the Police and those politicians who trample upon the rights of anyone who gets in their way. The escapee mentality is less obvious in the summer when the money is to be made, but, in winter, all bets are off. Even local residents become targets when there are no New Yorkers to prey upon. Having worked in the South Bronx during the 70’s when death reigned in an area that resembled Berlin after WWII, the police at Fort Apache in the Bronx earned their money. Local law enforcement in the Hamptons, carrying Glock automatics, face about as much danger at their jobs as a bumblebee facing a hostile rose bush.
Consider the case of a young local woman, for example, who was pulled over for a missing license plate. Bear in mind, now, that only one plate was missing. This was not a renegade hijacking. But, police have little to do in Southampton. Being a cop in Southampton is slightly more intellectually challenging than being on the Town Board. Decisions are made carefully.
It takes a great deal of thought to decide how to deal with an attractive young woman who can’t open her car window and has some weed debris in the vehicle.
As Lewis Black, the comedian, recently opined, “The failure of our generation was that we never got pot legalized.”
That fact, and the fact that having a few seeds, a few butts or a twig of weed, was never considered more than an “appearance ticket” violation.
So, Stacy Hartline, was confronted with a situation Nancy Botwin (Weeds) would have played by embarrassing the cop into taking a walk.
Even Officer Gallo, who had just returned to the job after beating a record of 18 job-related complaints, decided to call in the situation to his superior, Darren Gagnon. But, what Gallo may or may not have realized until then was that Gagnon had put the make on Hartline the week before at the Public House and had been rejected. Cops with big guns don’t like to be turned down, or else. So Gagnon arrives at the scene and Hartline is cuffed and dragged to the precinct.
Gagnon, Gallo and their female compatriot, Maria Donovan – described as having been the Village Police force’s personal paramour in a prior life – prepared the homecoming. For having some weed debris, Hartline is strip-searched in full view of a video camera that beamed the unwilling sex party for the boys throughout the station house.
Apparently, Donovan, having had her day, was willing to violate not only the rights of Ms. Hartline – but also the rights of women – to regain her usefulness to the boys.
Keep in mind that it’s taken five years to get to the point where a jury will hear this case – or, it will be settled? For big money.
Makes you wonder when the local residents will get sick enough of the increase in taxes resulting from an avalanche of lawsuits hitting the Hamptons over civil rights violations and unconstitutional behavior that will make a change in behavior among police and government officials more appealing.
Watch for Nuzzi to use the current “Green” issue to help “Skip” Heaney rear his ugly head in local Hamptons politics. Nuzzi was always a Heaney plant --- from Crookhaven where the mob gained a footing in local politics – and who was taken on Board for the purposes of running for Supervisor after Heaney. There is little doubt that Nuzzi, who has been described as someone who has never had an original thought in his life – is being propped up by Heaney. This is Heaney’s ploy in an attempt to parlay the pork-barrel job thrown to him by County Executive Steve Levy – into a surreptitious control of the Town of Southampton where he was thrown out by Linda Kabot.
Levy, of course, like Rich Schaeffer, is a Republican in all but party designation. All of the typical bias, anti-Latino, anti-Civil Rights and anti-New Yorker rhetoric as well as sentiment are well controlled by Levy as well.
But, the legislative facts are the proof in the pudding.
Currently, in an attempt to appear forward-looking, Anna Throne-Holst, the current Board member who is doing Dan Russo (puppy eyes), came up with the idea of making all new construction energy-efficient.
While the thought is nice, the Town Board has not had an original practical idea for the last half-century and is currently coping with the fact that 2009 will be the year that police and civil servants get pink slips. And, that the party held with wheelbarrows of cash from New Yorkers -- is over -- and that the newer wheelbarrows of cash will more likely hold currency from the Weimar Republic: both Devalued and scarce.