Thursday, August 7, 2008
Giulio Cavallo Speaks Out
Declares “I Am First And Foremost A Civic Leader”
The name Giulio Cavallo, Chairman of the Westchester Independence Party, has been seen on numerous occasions in The Westchester Guardian, not always in the most favorable light. However, given that fact, and the fact that The Guardian has stood up for Freedom
Of Speech, successfully taking on the administration of Yonkers Mayor Phillip Amicone in their effort to stifle the People’s Right-To-
Know, we were certainly receptive to Dr. Cavallo’s request for an interview to clear the air; to discuss what he termed “mistaken impressions.”
We opened the dialogue, asking Cavallo, “Do you see the Westchester Independence Party continuing to play a relevant role in this year’s,
and next year’s, elections?”
Cavallo responded, “We always play a major role, turning out at least eight to nine thousand votes on our line.” He went on, “The Independence Line is very attractive to young voters. Four years ago, in Harrison, we recruited 680 new voters from the Purchase College
Asked how he sees himself “in the political power structure in Westchester” Cavallo said, “I started out to be a civic leader and I still see
myself in that light. Many of those I had dinner with were the same people who tried to do me in.”
When we asked him to be more specific, he said, “Nick Spano and Joe Spiezio tried to take over the Independence Party over the last
nine years. First, Nick got control of the Conservative Party, then, he thought he could take over the Independence Party.”
We asked Cavallo, next, about fundraising and about “where all the money goes.” He quickly answered with, “Money that comes into the Independence Club is used to pay and employ petition-gatherers, mostly minority people. And, then there are normal operating expenses,
transportation, purchases of phones, and paying phone bills.”
Becoming emphatic, he declared, “Not one judge that I helped elect ever had contact with me later. Furthermore, no County official has
ever given a job to any member of the Independence Party.”Then, as an afterthought, Cavallo declared, “Nick is against me for not giving
Michael (Spano) the line as a Democrat this time.” He explained, “Because he switched parties, everything he stood for, as a Republican, for 25 years, went right into the gutter.”
Cavallo observed, “Unfortunately, in my role as a civic leader, I make friends of those I endorse and enemies of those I don’t.” Becoming
more animated, Cavallo insisted, “It was the Independence Party endorsement that elected Janet Di-Fiore District Attorney; and, it was
also that endorsement that elected Nick time after time.” Pausing for a moment, he then returned to his position, restating his claim, “I am
first, and foremost, a civic leader.
We are here to pick the most qualified candidates. But, I’ve made mistakes.” New York State is one of only five states in the Union that permits the practice of cross-endorsement. But for cross-endorsement, minor political parties would have no effective power, no significance
in any contest except for, perhaps, very limited municipal elections.
When asked about it, Cavallo agreed that, if not for cross-endorsement, his party would be of little consequence. There are some
17,000 registered members of the Independence Party in Westchester. In County-wide elections, the line produces about 16,000 votes,
and a total of 27,000 over the five county Ninth Judicial District.
Without question, votes cast on the Independence Party line, over the last several years, have determined the outcome of numerous
county, municipal, and judicial elections in Westchester, and the Ninth Judicial District.