POLITICS IN ROCKLAND
What is that awful smell in New City? Is it Clarkstown’s 2007 ballot?
Is this an Election or a Coronation?
Signs will pop-up:
VOTE -GROMACK—LASKER- BORRELLI
With mechanical precision Marsha Coopersmith, Independence (ostensibly independent) Party chair endorses Alex’s team: Gromack, Lasker and Borelli. Marsha lives in Ramapo, is a part-time Clarkstown deputy attorney paid $116,000 plus benefits and pension.
If you are an aspiring candidate seeking the Independence Party endorsement, Marsha will grant an interview. A committee of three, Marsha Coopersmith, Marsha Coopersmith’s mother and Marsha Coopersmith’s daughter will interview you.
The Conservative Party endorsements are equally predictable. Mary Loeffler, Conservative Party Chair, is a Clarkstown Personnel Assistant paid $122,520 plus benefits and pension. Edward Lettre, another Conservative Party bigwig is Clarkstown’s Clerk of the Works paid $138,356 plus benefits and pension.
Whatever endorsements Alex wants, Alex gets.
Where is Vinnie Reda? 14,000 Clarkstown Republicans want an opponent to Gromack’s 70 percent tax increase since 2000.
Where is Shirley Lasker? Heroine of the Palisades Mall fight, darling of Clarkstown liberals, has lost her voice. She is silent on exploding local taxes, on political reform, on choice, on Iraq, on health care. Shirley metamorphosed rapidly into a gang member. A part-time $37,000 gig plus benefits and pension is a super-duper incentive.
The Working Families Party endorsements are more complicated. (Full disclosure: I am an enrollee, a monthly contributor, and helped organize the party in 1998.)
Tom Stoner, chair of the county chapter is not on any political payroll nor is he seeking a political gig. Regrettably, Tom ignores the party’s Creed: " … … The only justification for the immense struggle involved in founding a new party is to create a political space that won’t exist otherwise. If a third party (Working Families Party) can’t bring new ideas and proposals into the realm of practical politics, it isn’t worth building". Painfully missing from this ballot, or any other local ballot, are any " new ideas and proposals". Voters are again victims of the same old, same old. Tom is a go- along- to- get- along guy.
There has never been a more propitious time for new ideas. People are fed up with the same old and are anxious for new and creative thinking.
That awful smell has found it’s way into Ramapo. Here is that ballot.
Ramapo folks just won’t take it any more. They are sick and tired of having a town government controlled by a few Theocrats who order obedient followers to voting booths. While they dominate only three election districts out of Ramapo’s 90, those three account for twenty percent of St. Lawrence’s total vote.
Ms.Coopersmith, Ms.Loeffler, Mr.Lettre and Stoner resent a coalition of all sorts of folks with different political persuasions united around the single purpose of taking back their town.
If they are successful it means the beginning of the end of the power of the controllers of Row C or Row D or Row E. It will also, hopefully, end the rapacious politics of Ramapo politicians like Ilan Schoenberger.
Ilan Schoenberger, represents the 3 districts in which the Theocrats dominate. Ilan has a secure livelihood, $33,000 as a county legislator plus $90,000 as Ramapo finance director plus a $55,000 town justice for Mrs. Schoenberger. On the side they do a little private lawyering. Ms. Schoenberger, a daughter, is a $70,000 legal clerk for Judge Apotheker. A job given because daddy got the Theocrats to provide 2500 primary votes for candidate Apotheker to opponents zero .
Shady politics works hidden behind layers of local government that busy working folks can’t possibly keep track of. And most important: we don’t need five towns that cause us to pay $135 million in additional taxes to satisfy the life styles of the Gromack’s, St. lawrence’s , Schoenberger’s, Coopersmith’s, Loeffler’s and Lettre’s.
It’sTime for a change.
Irv Feiner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org