Message from The Publisher.
Mighty Independence Party Chair Knocks Out Andy Spano In Fourth Round
On Tuesday, Election Night, The Guardian was present at the Astorino victory celebration at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains. At about 10:30pm a man in the room yelled out, “Giulio Cavallo knocked out Andy Spano.”There was a round of applause and cheers for Dr. Cavallo,
the maverick Chairman of the Westchester Independence Party.
As numbers continued to come in, it became clear that what the man had said was, in fact, true. The powerful political fat cat, Andy Spano, a Democrat, in a Democrat-dominated County, where Republicans are outnumbered two to one was, in fact, knocked out by the leader of the Independence Party, a small but mighty third party with fewer than 23,000 registered voters countywide.
That knock-out punch had come from the hand of none other than civic leader and party chair, Dr. Giulio Cavallo.
Dr. Cavallo has led the Westchester Independence Party for more than 12 years. In that time he has supported Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Conservatives alike in elections throughout Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties.
This year was special for Doc. After four years of arrogant, excessive taxation, and economic enslavement perpetrated by Democratic Party County Executive Andy Spano, and County Legislator Bill Ryan, Dr. Cavallo vowed to step up to the plate and fight the administrations he had helped elect in the last election cycle.
Cavallo had declared, “It’s about doing what is right. Our elected officials have forgotten that they were elected to serve and not to be served. The duty of the Independence Party is to represent the interests of the People, all the People.”
In January 2009, at a meeting in New Rochelle, Dr. Cavallo, the Westchester Independence Party Committee and Guardian Publisher Sam Zherka decided to join forces to organize the Westchester Tea Party, an anti-tax movement determined to reduce Westchester’s bloated County Government.
On April 25th, the Tea Party Rally was held at the Westchester County Office Building; and an estimated three thousand angry and frustrated citizen taxpayers assembled to petition and protest against Andy Spano and his Administration for their “tax and spend policies” which had turned Westchester citizens into “the highest taxed citizens in America”.
Spano and his Administration attempted to downplay the Tea Party event. However, that event clearly elevated stock in the Westchester Independence Party which helped deliver the knockout blow.
On Election Day The Guardian visited many polling places throughout the County, questioning voters before and after they cast their votes. One voter, a man in his 50’s, from Tuckahoe named Charles, stated that he was fed up with the status quo, and wished “for a revolution; a
revolution is what we need to teach our politicians a lesson, maybe a ‘tax strike.’” When asked if he had attended the Tea Party in White Plains back in April he indicated that he hadn’t, but that his family members had.
Another man, George Nivkor, accompanied by several family members at a polling place in Yonkers, when asked if he was happy with Yonkers and Westchester County politicians and taxes, said, “We feel like we are being extorted. I’m watching rampant waste and theft all at our expense; and we are tired of it.”
When asked if he was a Democrat or a Republican, Nivkor replied, “Some of my family are each, but this year we are Independent and voting Row C, the Independence Party.”
It’s clear that the Independence Party has struck a nerve, and the numbers show it. Over the last three countywide elections, the Independence Party received between five and seven thousand votes. This election, they more than doubled that number, with well over 12,000 votes, which Dr. Cavallo attributes to the Independence Party’s role at the Westchester Tea Party Rally and all the mailings and telephone calls the Party faithful did to get out the vote.
“We mailed literature to thousands of taxpayers, asking them to join us,” Cavallo said. He went on, “Unlike the Conservative and Working Families Parties, the People of Westchester County know where we stand on the issue of high taxes. The Conservative and Working Families
Parties have done nothing to combat the tax problem. In fact, both minor parties endorsed Andy Spano, but didn’t make a difference.”
Cavallo reiterated that as a civic leader and party chair, it is his duty to stand up against politically-entrenched, power-hungry politicians when it comes to issues that negatively effect so many lives as high taxes do.
When asked where the Independence Party will be going from here, Cavallo said, “Nowhere but up; we are the third largest party in the state, and maybe one day we’ll be the second, or even the first, but in the meantime, on Election Day, we were the most important party and the deciding factor for some of the most important races in Westchester.”
Political insiders have confirmed that Andy Spano made numerous attempts to obtain the Independence Party endorsement; but was rejected every time by Dr. Cavallo. It is clear that had Spano gotten that endorsement, he might have remained King Andy for a fourth term.
For now, we must hail Dr. Giulio Cavallo, a true leader with the moral fortitude and courage to do the right thing. He is the most powerful political figure in Westchester.