Candidates' Catch Phrase: Supervisor and Legislator Debates

See what the candidates for East Hampton supervisor and second district legislator had to say Tuesday night.

Candidates for town board, supervisor, and county legislature faced off Tuesday night at LTV in a candidates' debate, hosted by the League of Women Voters.

As the candidates continued their pace on the campaign trail, each one came back at one point or another to a phrase or two that they considered telling to East Hampton voters. Here's what we caught for the supervisor and legislator candidates.

Stay tuned for further coverage of Tuesday night's debate with a Town Council Catch Phrase wrap-up and also video footage from the debate, courtesy of LTV.

Supervisors debate:

Supervisor Bill Wilkinson (R)

  • Catch phrase: Resume
  • Quote: "Sooner or later, this campaign is going to come down to resumes. Whose body of knowledge is better than the other's."
  • Context: From his opening remarks, Wilkinson referred to his track record - that "actions speak louder than words." Namely, the supervisor pointed back to his position at The Walt Disney Company as vice president of human resources - a role he said was one of the top 25 jobs in the world for human resources - also dropping in his time in the 1st Infantry Division.

Zach Cohen (D)

  • Catch phrase: Modern management
  • Quote: "Behind the scenes I’d like to see town hall become the absolute most modern form of management possible."
  • Context: Cohen also pointed to his own track record as a manager, being the owner of a restaurant which employed 285 people and earning his master's degree in strategic finance and economics from the University of Chicago. Nodding to the "modern" part, Cohen called for posting all the town's CPF finances online.

County Legislator debate:

Legis. Jay Schneiderman (I)

  • Catch phrase: 11 years
  • Quote: "Eleven consecutive years without raising property taxes. That's a record I'm proud of."
  • Context: Schneiderman is running for his third term as legislator following two terms as East Hampton supervisor. The Montauk resident pointed to his tenure as an elected official of Tuesday night's crowd for over a decade, asking for their vote while reminding them that they had voted for him in the past - on more than one occasion.

Cornelius Kelly (R)

  • Catch phrase: Coalition
  • Quote: "We need a legislator who is going to form a strong coalition. Who's going to join with fellow legislators in forming a strong coalition to get things passed. Ed Romaine has a strong coalition and he's getting things passed for the North Fork."
  • Context: Kelly referred back to Romaine on more than one occasion as well as County Executive Steve Levy - who he said he had spoken with earlier in the day - and equated Schneiderman's status as an Independence candidate with an inability to build a coailition necessary to help second district constituents.
Carole Campolo October 19, 2011 at 01:38 AM
Sloppy, I took notes on last night's debate. One of the things that Mr. Cohen said l was ...trust is the most important relationship elected officials can have with the people... ".....It must be earned." How very disappointing then, that the State Comptroller, a very partisan Democrat by the way, was forced to send this letter to Mr. Cohen as a result of his misrepresentation of his relationship with the Comptroller. One of the things that turns off people from the political process is politicians pandering and lying to the voters. Mr. Cohen is an inexperienced and weak candidate and if he has lied to the voters about his role with the Town's budget and the NYS Comptroller, that is very disappointing. I think Mr. Cohen is a good man and has gotten caught up in some of the more unfortunate actions that his colleagues in the Democrat party routinely do during elections. Democrats are responsible for the fiscal mess that East Hampton that with Bill's extraordinary leadership, is just now recovering from. Lies and duplicity got us in this mess. The last thing we need is for the Democrat nominee to be lying about his role with the Comptroller and with the Town's financial situation, or for that matter lying about anything. I know, that Mr. Cohen is a better man than that. He is just being manipulated by the Democrat establishment so desperate to get back into power at Town Hall that they will ask Mr. Cohen to sacrifice his integrity. Zach, please don't do it.
Springs Resident October 19, 2011 at 02:19 AM
Polls show neck in neck and "Mr. Cohen is an inexperienced and weak candidate" what does that say for Mr. Wilkinson.?
Francis J. Bock October 19, 2011 at 02:19 AM
Those who are interested should visit the LTVEH.org website and review the tape under on demand. I think you will see something very different than what the comments above are stating.
Carole Campolo October 19, 2011 at 02:37 AM
Any objective observer of those debates last night, will see a very inexperienced, weak candidate in Mr. Cohen. If as Sloppy reports, there is a letter from the Democrat NYS Comptroller that asks Mr. Cohen to "cease and desist" from making claims that aren't true about his relationship with that office, then I believe Cohen has lied to the voters. Not good. And whose polls are being quoted? I know a little bit about polling and many polls are not done properly. I have worked with the Harris Polling company in NYC. Good polls are very specific and very expensive. So, I question the polls. Bill's record is an extraordinary one and if voters can't see it, that is what elections are all about. After seeing Mr. Cohen last night, it is clear he is an academic, not a manager. Saying that he would hire a Town Manager (Town managers generally get mid six figure salaries) so it will free him up to read and study more, is so incredibly off the mark of what an elected official is hired to do, that I felt sorry for him. So, East Hampton should hire a Town manager at about, I will use a very diminished number of $250k, provide them with housing and schooling for their kids (standard Town Manager packages) pay Mr. Cohen $100,000+, and then pay all of the Town Board salaries of about $62,000 + benefits for all, so these five people can read more about issues pertaining to the Town? That is the voice of inexperience talking. Tragic.
Francis J. Bock October 19, 2011 at 11:17 AM
Carol, you're working too hard trying to sway the people. All they have to do is view the tape and decide for them selves. And Sloppy Factual High Way Worker needs to get some sleep. Now he's monitoring Bluff Road.
Carole Campolo October 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM
I agree with you. Watch the tape. But let me just say, I will work as hard as I can to bring information to people because this election is critical to the future of East Hampton. Wilkinson has done a masterful job over these few months. His running mates' work experiences are amazing. In particular, Rich Haeg. That man is qualified on his own to be Supervisor. I don't think the same can be said for the Cohen Team. But, we have not had a chance to vet their resumes. Information keeps changing every time they speak. Unfortunately, the press doesn't ask the hard questions. I don't know why, but they don't. The newspapers should do a Voter Guide so that everyone can see exactly what candidates' resumes, experiences, and platforms are. More information, more informed voting.
pat October 19, 2011 at 01:16 PM
If "resume" is Wilkinson's catch phrase, why is he supporting Steven Gaines, someone who has no resume when it comes to politics or finance in a meaningful way, just fantasy. Also, Let's not forget Gaines' quote on Curbed Hamptons' website: Steven Gaines to AP via Yahoo news: "I think that flushing of people who really couldn't affort to be here is actually a good thing." Interesting attitude to use the term "flushing."
Nanci e. LaGarenne October 19, 2011 at 03:04 PM
I will say one or maybe two things regarding the debate. One, I agree with Carole, it should have been monitored more professionally. One candudate does not get to talk, interrupting the one speaking. Not allowed. Bill did this several times. This is a bully tactic. Resume or not, that is ugly behavior. Two, Zach's truck didn't fit into the studio and his rod and dog were under the desk. :)
Lady L October 19, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Lost in all this was the grand display of intellect, documentation and experience that Cornelius Kelly presented last night. He was awesome. Time for fresh blood in the county, someone who is motivated to change the sex offender housing shoved into our county, bring down our taxes and make the East End a safer place for us.
Springs Resident October 19, 2011 at 03:24 PM
Someone said the debate will be on channel 20 at 3:00 today. Anyone who cares to form their own judgement should watch it.
Jed H. October 19, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Whew! Good thing you set us straight on how it's done in NYC. I guess us Bonackers need reminding how backwards we are.
devolutionary October 19, 2011 at 04:57 PM
There was not much time for in-depth debate but who the candidates are came through, Wilkinson is autocratic, intemperate and corporate; Cohen is compassionate, thoughtful, informed. It comes down to how we want to be governed. Wilkinson will make the trains run on time no matter who is on the tracks. Cohen keeps the community approach so we're all in this together.
Carole Campolo October 19, 2011 at 07:05 PM
Jed H. Stop whining. I'm going out on a limb here, but I suspect Bonakcers were not involved in that debate. If they had been, it would have been a much better debate. Taxpayers and voters are entitled to the very best information they can get. If the League doesn't know how to run a good debate, they should step aside and let the professionals run the debates. As much as I think the press in East Hampton is incredibly biased against Republicans, I think if Rattray and Kotz (and let's not leave out Rick Murphy) had been able to run that debate, it would have been better run and more informative. Throw a couple of farmers and fisherman in as questioners also, and bang! much better debate.
todd October 19, 2011 at 08:39 PM
Carole.. we all understand you are a Republican shill. Hey, we all need hobbies. But I'm concerned for your health when you say that Gaines has stellar credentials to run our town. Also, is it possible for you to comment w/o reciting your resume? Just asking.
Carole Campolo October 19, 2011 at 10:14 PM
Yeah, it's really tough to comment without giving background, because it lends a certain credibility to comments. No? And since most people who write on this site, probably have no experience or creds to recite, then I guess I stand out. So, thanks. As to being a Republican shill, tough word, but hey whatever floats your boat. Actually I am a recovering liberal Democrat. I decided to use my mind, read everything I could, listen to C-SPAN without NY Times spin, and realized, how deleterious to our country, liberal Democrat ideas are. But, if you want to call names, by all means feel free to do so. It is so much easier to call names when you don't identify yourself. I agree totally with Rona Klopman on that. And BTW, Todd? How many best selling novels have you written in your life? Being a successful writer is one of the most challenging and difficult jobs on the planet. To make a good living at it, well, that says an enormous amount about the man and his capabilities.
sloppy October 19, 2011 at 10:15 PM
Calm down. The problem is you are devoid of facts and arguments -- and beside the sign swiping was witnessed by the property owner in case you have not figured that out. The swipe happened at 12:31 PM -- the retired property owners was at home -- not many people at the corner of Mako and Bluff are there at 12:31. You know the neighborhood.
sloppy October 19, 2011 at 11:08 PM
You forgot Bonacrefugee, Montaukman, Yearounder,Smiley, and Lady L -- maybe everyone is the same person -- maybe we are all Carol Campolo and I have you totally faked out! Please don't be such a putz. Aren't you the guy who was a Democrat, got elected Trustee as a Republican, was made the first full time paid Trustee Clerk with benefits by the Republicans, then bolted the Republicans and became a Democrat again because you did not like Tom Knobel, then got a another full time job with the town when McGintee was supervisor? Real commitment! Which way is the wind blowing today Frannie? You have been summarily dismissed as a credible poster by Bonacrefugee, Montaukman, Yearounder, Smiley, Factual, Lady L, Highway Worker and me SLOPPY -- whoever I am and whoever you think I am -- I hope you are right because I don't think I'm who you think I am based on what a friend of mine told me -- I do not know you.
todd October 19, 2011 at 11:26 PM
Success as a writer qualifies one to run local government but Cohen, who has an MBA and expertise in finance and has run a thriving family business, is unqualified? Nice try. Incidentally, I just read your letter to the editor in The Independent where you argue that Cohen violates public bribery statutes by promising to reinstate leaf pickup. Perhaps one of the most idiotic and politically desperate statements I've ever read. Should Wilkinson be in the slammer because he bribes citizens with tax cuts? Do you even read what you write? For your own mental health I suggest you step away from the computer.
Francis J. Bock October 19, 2011 at 11:37 PM
The point is you are all the same, a single person or a group of people without the backbone to use your real names. You must have a lot to hide.
sloppy October 20, 2011 at 12:44 AM
Hide? What does that mean? Hide? Don't even know what it is you are talking about? Nobody on these threads are hiding anything. Arguments that make sense and are based on facts is all that matters. Some of the most intelligent and well thought out comments on these threads are made by individuals who not use their own names. Those who think they are special because they use their names are narcissistic. Some people don't need to see their names plastered all over the place. Using your own name is an option and there is nothing different between those who do and those who do not. Dismissed. Oh, by the way, there are no people who post using a fun name who criticize Wilkinson or Quigley or the Republicans? Of course not. The difference is the people who are obviously Republican inclined, like Ms. Campolo, do not whine about it or use it as a point in an argument. She gets it. Now, dismissed forever.
sloppy October 20, 2011 at 03:03 AM
That "thriving family business" I believe was sold in the 1990's and from what I can find I'm not sure what Zach had to do with the operation of the business his father founded. The Jerry's Famous Deli website states, " Yet a third strategy employed by the company for growth, acquiring existing restaurants and improving its operations, was put into effect when the company bought the venerable landmark restaurant Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House in September 1996. Jerry's Famous Deli purchased the 42-year-old restaurant following the death of Arthur Goodman, one of the principals of the facility." Was Mr. Cohen running the business then -- because I believe he said he has been in East Hampton full time since 1991 or 1992. In another reference to Zach Cohen's father's business (and make no mistake his father Wolfie was a fabulous restaurateur) from a 1996 article states, "Wolfie was committed to giving customers what they wanted. He understood that even millionaires appreciated value for their money," said Steven Stamler, Wolfie's nephew and until recently a co-owner." So where was Zach Cohen in all this. Todd says Zach Cohen "has run a thriving family business" but there is no mention of Zach Cohen in any article you find about Wofies Rascal House during the period when Zach should have been in charge. And where is Mr. Cohen's practical experience in finance? Like Wilkinson said during the debate if you have a law degree and you have never practiced law are you a lawyer?
sloppy October 20, 2011 at 03:10 AM
One other thing with respect to Todd. The Democrats equate tax cuts with bribes and all sorts of nefarious things. Like the saying goes, most Democrats have never seen a tax cut they did not like. One thing I have to give the Democrat governor credit for - with his 2% tax cap he has shown tax increases are not something to be proud of and desired and that control of taxes and reduction in taxes are what we should be pursuing. I guess Todd believes Mr. Cuomo is also guilty of bribery.
sloppy October 20, 2011 at 03:11 AM
Correction -- Most Democrats have never seen a tax increase that they did not LOVE!
Springs Resident October 20, 2011 at 10:30 AM
With all your silly research you never came across the fact that Mr. Cohen is not a democrat? Also, if he said he ran the restaurant then he ran the restaurant.
todd October 20, 2011 at 11:35 AM
Sloppy indeed. i guess it's hard to read when foaming at the mouth. My point was that neither promising the return of the leaf program or promising a tax cut is bribery as foolishly stated by Carole Campolo.
Carole Campolo October 20, 2011 at 01:40 PM
Todd? Did you read the legal cite? Quid pro quo, buddy. It's as easy as that. And what's with the childish language? Foaming at the mouth. Yeah, that gets our juices going. Come on, you are better than that. Man up, or woman up, whichever it is.
todd October 20, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Carole.. you are making no sense. Seriously. Does Wilky agree with you that a campaign pledge to reinstate leaf pickup is criminal under the statute you cite? If he does, we are in a heap of trouble. Nothing wrong with vigorously supporting a candidate.. but just don't embarrass yourself by talking nonsense.
Jed H. October 20, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Sorry Carole, no whining from me, just thanking you for enlightening us. I do see from most of your posts that you seem to be the one whining about the Dem.s. This is small town politics with the players jumping between parties quite often. Please open your eyes and your mind to judge the individuals. Both sides have legitimate points to make. Both sides have some decent candidates and some questionable. Voting based only on a party line isn't only ignorant, it's irresponsible. Vote for best "person" for the job,
Lady L October 21, 2011 at 12:03 AM
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8
sloppy October 21, 2011 at 02:30 AM
A town supervisor candidate (wannabe) who deliberately "misleads" (according to the State Comptroller) to get votes should hang it up. Politics 101


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