Thursday, April 2, 2009

Janet Difiore and Tony Castro.

The Advocate
Richard Blassberg

Janet’s ‘Got No Juice’
Readers Cautioned To Expect ‘Consultant’ Edelman’s Dirty Tricks

Last week, in our March 26th issue, we heaped praise on News12 for running a Question of the Day viewer poll that asked the question, “At this point, who would you vote for as Westchester DA?” Viewers were offered three candidates: Janet DiFiore, the incumbent who hadn’t yet officially announced, but was presumed to be running; Tony Castro, who had just announced that he was running, that very morning, and Dan Schorr, who had officially kicked off his campaign several weeks earlier, but had been running unofficially for about a year.

In our Editorial column, we declared, “News12 must be recognized for performing a true public service.” And, in the Advocate column, we cheered, “Hats off for running a Question Of the Day poll that clearly revealed the preferences of Westchester’s voters with respect to who should be the next district attorney of their county.” Those columns were written on the same day the poll was being taken, and as the day turned to evening, and then to night, it certainly became increasingly clear, tracking the results on, that the poll was a disaster for Janet DiFiore, the incumbent DA, and a powerful endorsement of Tony Castro.

Given News 12’s very special relationships with Andy Spano and Janet DiFiore, the thought occurred that, once again, Janine Rose had misread the will and the sentiment of the People of Westchester, as she had obviously done a few weeks earlier when another Question
Of the Day poll had revealed that the overwhelming majority of Westchester Residents and taxpayers wanted to abolish County government, much to the chagrine of the County Executive, causing Rose to then do a Newsmakers program segment with Mike Edelman and Lawrence Otis-Graham that was vicious and defamatory against Sam Zherka, a very active advocate for eliminating or substantially reducing County government and County taxes.

Nevertheless, the day after that poll was run, Brian Conybeare was on the air with the results, and so we surely thought News 12 would do the right Thing and inform their viewers that their poll of 999 responding viewers, showed 55 percent would elect Tony Castro, 27 percent would vote for Dan Schorr, and only 18 percent would vote for Janet DiFiore, this time.

Sadly, we were wrong. They simply did not possess the integrity nor the courage to openly and honestly inform their viewers that the incumbent, the sitting district attorney, a woman who had abandoned the Republic Party after they had supported her through four election bids, now pretending to be a Democrat, had been so badly rejected in their poll, receiving only 18 percent, 183 votes out of 999 cast.

When it became apparent Friday morning that News12 was not making any announcement of the outcome of the prior day’s DA preference poll, we called the station sometime after 8:30am, reaching Dave Wolfe at the newsroom. We asked how it was that no mention of such a significant poll, and it's outcome, had been made; why viewers weren’t being informed. We cited the poll several days earlier, which had revealed public sentiment to abolish County government. Wolfe said he would pass my concerns along to Janine Rose.

We called again, a half hour or so later, when they still hadn’t released the results to viewers, and was told there would be a meeting to discuss it. If such a meeting ever occurred, it soon became obvious that News 12 had no intention of informing their viewers that Tony Castro, who had just officially announced his intention to run for DA the same day, had gotten more than three times the number of votes Janet DiFiore could muster. Apparently News 12 would rather protect a bad district attorney by concealing the stunning results of their own poll than level with their viewers. They would rather relegate themselves to irrelevance with managed and manipulated news, then risk upsetting Andy Spano, who gave them a $22.5 million sweetheart deal nine years ago; a no-bid contract for a failed communications system from their wholly-owned subsidiary, Lightpath.

Similarly, they would rather cover up the failings of a bad district attorney as well as the public’s rejection of her, for fear of her ruthlessness and her political connections to Andy Spano, their huge benefactor, and Nick Spano, their lobbyist. As a cable provider, Cablevision News 12 is not subject to the “Fairness Doctrine” under the rules of the Federal Communications Commission.

The simple truth is News 12, and the politicians and hacks they consistently do business with and protect, insultingly, underestimate the intelligence and the common sense of Westchester residents. It goes far beyond merely taking people for granted. It’s arrogant, as when millions of dollars are spent buying a worthless “white elephant” old building of one of Andy’s big political contributors against the protest of all quarters of public opinion. It’s criminal, as when election machines are tampered with, signs of opponents are destroyed with box cutters, and bribes are offered to remove Right To Life candidates, and people are paid to vote in the names of deceased individuals or inactive voters.

The trouble is the insiders have been getting away with such antics for so long they totally discount the will of the People, even going so far as pulling duly nominated candidates off the ballot. That’s what they did to Billy Giacomo, running for County Clerk in 2001, because they feared a ticket consisting of Andy Spano, Billy Giacomo, and Tony Castro, might have been so strong that there would have been a Democratic “sweep” and Jeanine Pirro, Republican co-conspirator, would have been defeated.

However, that was then, 2001 and 2005; a fixed race and a fraudulent race, respectively, for Westchester DA. Yet, despite the best efforts of those involved, Andy Spano, Larry Schwartz, Nick Spano, Reggie LaFayette, and, of course, Janet DiFiore herself, the truth eventually rears it's head. Some people eventually suffer from pangs of conscience. Still others decide they don’t like the conduct of the beneficiary of the conspiracy, and come forward as well. Nothing as ugly and un-American as rigging elections can be kept secret forever.

If Andy and Janet and their henchmen believe they can keep the citizens and taxpayers of Westchester in the dark by controlling the media, The Guardian is here to say, “Think again.” The Janine Roses, Mike Edelmans and Larry Grahams can conceal and spin the news all they might, but the People of Westchester will not be fooled.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Officers distortion of duties, violation of all that is sacred to that position, what else. Shame of a thousand magnitudes on them. Detectives Bonura and Mazzei will now have to face the music that they had created.

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