Thursday, September 13, 2007

In Our Opinion...

“It’s not the votes that count, it’s the person who counts….”

Within a few days party faithful, so-called prime voters, will be going to the polls in Yonkers, Mount Vernon, and the Town of Greenburgh to cast their ballots in primary election contests. Two of those elections involve Democratic candidates, Greenburgh and Mount Vernon, whereas the Yonkers contest involves two Republicans, each with more than a decade in public office, each determined to wrest the Mayor’s Office and leadership of the Republican Party of Yonkers, from the other.

Phil Amicone, a man who has demonstrated a breathtaking contempt for the First Amendment, a former Deputy Mayor for eight years under John Spencer, and the incumbent, first-term mayor, has effectively been at the seat of power for nearly twelve years. His Republican opponent, Vinnie Restiano, served as City Council member, and President for ten years through 2003. Each stands in an arena reeking with the odor of the Nick Spano army, and battles past. Each must be mindful of the activities of Nicky’s boys, particularly at election time, at the polling places, and particularly at the voting machine storage facility on Saw Mill River Road.

Given that Phil Amicone, who had no compunction about stealing and destroying newspaper distribution boxes, has purchased Nick’s endorsement, to the tune of $1.3 million at taxpayers’ expense, and presumably the “special services” of his boys in the package, We say to Vinnie Restiano, “Forewarned is forearmed.” And, given some of the antics we have witnessed on Democratic Election Commissioner Reggie LaFayette’s watch,
both at the Board of Elections in White Plains, and throughout the County, We would extend a similar word of caution to Clinton Young, Democratic County Legislator challenging Mount Vernon’s stagnant, dysfunctional
Mayor, Ernie Davis: Remember, “It’s not the votes that count, it the person who counts the votes that counts.”

In Greenburgh, where eight-term Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, and his team, are facing off with attorney Susanne Berger, and her team, the concerns have run more toward the destruction of campaign signs, push-polling, and downright personal attacks leveled against the incumbent, on behalf of someone hardly as approachable, or accommodating. Unlike Yonkers and Mount Vernon, there’s little concern about polling place stunts.

However, in the event of a tight result, Feiner’s team must not lose sight of the Andy Spano-Larry Schwartz endorsement of Berger, and the absolute power they have wielded over Reggie LaFayette in the election of Republicans over Democrats; Nicky over Andrea, much less a Democrat over a Democrat they don’t like, and can’t control. Good advice would be to bring lots of savvy poll watchers and attorneys, and get out the vote!

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