Tag Archive | "Bishop"

Bishop Nabs Behan Endorsement

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Bishop-Behan 060412

On Monday morning, decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran and former East Hampton Town Republican Chairman John Behan announced his endorsement of incumbent Congressman Tim Bishop. Bishop, a Democrat, is facing Republican, Conservative and Independence Party candidate Randy Altschuler in the race for U.S. Congress this fall.

Altschuler is seeking to unseat Bishop for the second time. Two years ago he lost his first run for political office by fewer than 600-votes — one of the narrowest margins of victory in a Congressional race in 2010.

Behan was the East End’s representative in the New York State Assembly from 1978 to 1995 and has earned iconic status for his work, politically and in veterans’ affairs. Behan was a driving force behind the establishment of the New York State Assembly’s Veterans Affairs Committee and also served as Director of the state’s Division of Veterans’ Affairs from 1995 to 1998.

Behan was the chairman of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee in 2009, stepping down in 2010 and leaving the committee for good in 2011. Last year, Behan’s wife, Marilyn, ran unsuccessfully as an Independence Party candidate for a seat on the East Hampton Town Board.

During his announcement, at the new Montauk eatery La Bodega on Monday morning, Behan attempted to dispel rumors that the endorsement was a result of his ire with the East Hampton Republican Committee for not supporting his wife as a candidate for East Hampton Town Board. While Behan said he remained critical of that decision, and cited the failure of the committee to elect two new town board members, the endorsement of Bishop was about people, not politics.

“I like a guy who is homegrown and knows the district like the back of his hand,” said Behan. “That is Tim Bishop. He works hard for veterans too.”

“Tim Bishop is a native East Ender who understands our local issues and works across the aisle to deliver results for our community — especially our fishermen and farmers,” added Behan in a press release issued after Monday’s announcement. “In addition, hundreds of local veterans are better off today as a direct result of his dedicated efforts, and I am also proud to endorse him based on respect for veterans and hard work on their behalf.”

“John Behan’s service to our nation and our East End Community is unparalleled, and I am honored and humbled to accept his endorsement of my re-election,” said Congressman Bishop. “John always put public service above politics, and this is also an endorsement of my bipartisan approach to working with local officials and my success in bringing federal resources to the table to solve local problems.”

“Today’s endorsement was really about local politics, and has no impact on the tremendous momentum Randy has right now,” said Altschuler campaign manager Diana Weir, another East Hampton political heavyweight. “We released a specific 10-point jobs plan focused on fixing Long Island’s economy; we have won endorsements from the New York State Independence Party, the Suffolk County Conservative Party and the Suffolk County Republican Party; and our primary opponent just dropped out of the race allowing us to focus 100 percent on the general election where voters will be faced with a clear choice between a self-made businessman and job creator like Randy Altschuler and a career bureaucrat turned politician who has destroyed jobs on Long Island like Tim Bishop.”

“Of course Randy Altschuler doesn’t understand the importance of local endorsements,” said Bishop campaign spokesman Robert Pierce. “He isn’t local. He moved to Long Island to run for office a few years ago. John Behan is a man of honor and integrity. He has dedicated his entire life to serving his country and the people of Eastern Long Island. Congressman Bishop is proud of this endorsement by an East End icon. Both John Behan and Congressman Bishop agree that bipartisanship is good for middle class Suffolk County families.”

Stage Set for Congressional Race

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by Karl Grossman

It was a primary of significance last week—firmly dashing the well-financed bid by Richard Nixon’s grandson to be a member of Congress, showing Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy was right in seeing Rick Lazio as a weak candidate for governor, and demonstrating that the new voting machines being introduced here and elsewhere in New York State have serious problems. Indeed, with many more times the number of voters turning out on Election Day, a big mess can be anticipated.

The attempt by Christopher Cox, the former president’s grandson, to be the Republican candidate for Congress in the lst CD was among the more brazen moves in Suffolk political history. He only last year claimed residence in the district and that was by listing an uncle’s Westhampton Beach estate as an address.

Mr. Cox, 31, a business consultant from Manhattan, had the political skids greased for him due to his father, Edward Cox, being the new state Republican chairman, and his having access to loads of personal money. I can’t recall more political road signs erected by any primary candidate in Suffolk. But the signs, mailings, TV commercials and his father’s clout meant nothing as Mr. Cox came in a distant third in a three-way race.

The stage is now set for a hot contest between incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop and  GOP victor Randy Atschuler. The Bishop campaign is zeroing in on the source of Mr. Atschuler’s fortune: his pioneering the outsourcing of jobs to India. The Bishop campaign manager declared primary night: “Long Islanders are too smart to hire someone who got rich trying to put them out of work.” And, at the same time, Mr. Atschuler was launching a hard attack on Mr. Bishop. He charged in his victory speech that Mr. Bishop has voted with the Democratic leadership 97 percent of the time and voters “have had enough of the big-spending, high-taxing, deficit-growing, professional politicians who are destroying our nation’s fiscal well-being.”

The trouncing of GOP designee Lazio, a former county legislator and congressman from Suffolk, by Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino highlights Mr. Levy’s early and correct political instinct that Mr. Lazio would be a poor nominee. This led to Mr. Levy’s great political leap, jettisoning being a lifelong Democrat and enrolling Republican to challenge Mr. Lazio for the GOP nomination for governor. He came very close at the GOP convention in June to getting the required votes to run in the Republican primary against Mr. Lazio—and if he had he would have likely won as Mr. Paladino did.  If only…

And then there were those voting machines.

I went to my polling place, the Old Noyac Schoolhouse, to observe the scene. One man was trying to get his paper ballot accepted. “You have to have patience, the machine is very slow,” one inspector told him. The man waited. Four minutes later the machine suddenly swallowed the ballot, but then gave the notice that “Warning. You have overvoted…To return and correct the ballot, press ‘return.’ To proceed with the ballot as is, press ‘cast.’”

“We had a good system working. Why did we have to change?” asked Jim Thompson of Noyac, a firm believer in the law—he’s a retired Suffolk Police detective.

Anthony De Pinto of Sag Harbor declared “I am upset. I’m angry. Elections are too important to have garbage like we’ve seen today happening. And they are going to use this damn system again on Election Day?”

There were mixed opinions among poll watchers. “Bring back the old machines,” said one. Said another: “Eventually people will figure it out.” As to what will happen Election Day with far more people voting, one inspector joked: “We’re closing.”

Dr. Martin Shepard of Sag Harbor said: “These machines are awful. This took four or five times as long as any previous voting experience. How are they going to use these machines on Election Day?  The old machines were far superior. How could taxpayer money be wasted on these contraptions? I think there is a potential scandal here.”