Monday, November 02, 2009

Hamptons Election Views

If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.
-- Unknown

In the Hamptons, D.A. Spota, who holds the most powerful elected position in Suffolk County, will be re-elected along with a host of other candidates who were cross endorsed. This leaves only the Southampton Town Supervisor race as one of the few obvious, contested elections. While a few of the Town Board slots are in question, only the Supervisor race -- and that of Highway Superintendent are important. Alex Gregor, a strong local candidate wants to take over that sensitive, contract-laden post of Highway Superintendant in Southampton. All should support his run for good government.
Prior to this, that job was a huge source of largesse via political contributions.

Anna Throne-Holst is vying for the incumbent’s job as Supervisor, currently held by Linda Kabot.
The election melodrama has a long history with players from several political directions.
But, essentially, the Republican Party has had a lock on Suffolk County (where the Hamptons are located) for the last several decades. Although interrupted briefly, Republican conservatism has been the area’s moral (in theory) and political structure.

While “Skip” Heaney, the former Southampton Supervisor who now works for the County Executive, was a Republican – he was defeated by Linda Kabot (also a Republican) in a vicious Primary fight two years ago. Heaney did not take this lightly and there have been reports that he has not so surreptitiously thrown his support to Throne-Holst: the theory being, better to support the enemy of your real enemy, than your political adversary.
To complicate matters, the current Supervisor Linda Kabot was charged with a D.W.I. and arrested in September. She is not only fighting the legal battle but the “moral” battle in front of the voters.

How this will play out is anyone’s guess.
Political gamblers have their bets on Throne-Holst who seems to have had the good sense to not attack Kabot and is riding the coat-tails of the Democratic resurgence. While the support of Heaney and his grip on some Republican stalwarts may be a double-edge sword that will help Throne-Holst now (since the voters had rejected him for Kabot), it remains to be seen how this will play out later. It could backfire on Throne-Holst in the next election if she wins this time. Both Malone and Nuzzi are supported by Heaney and the traditional Republicans and the objective is clear. One is reminded how DePirro had relied on Fred Thiele in her Democratic administration.

Kabot’s D.W.I. issue is not at all uncommon in the Hamptons during the winter. Bus service, car services and designated drivers are about as common and available as are jobs these days. Now that – cash and jobs – is the real issue. No matter who wins. There seems to be some serious denial about where all of this Great Recession is going. We are only in the eye of this financial storm right now.
The only issue that seems to be relevant in Southampton is the budget and the missing Town money (anywhere from $8 million to $20 million depending on which report you read) – and that seems to have predated both Throne-Holst and Kabot.