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Wilkinson Sidestepped, GOP Picks Schneiderman for Supervisor

East Hampton Republican Party ready to support county legislator's return to Town Hall.

The East Hampton Republican Committee is throwing their support for town supervisor behind Suffolk County Legis. Jay Schneiderman for the 2013 race, a move that has two-term incumbent supervisor Bill Wilkinson disappointed in his own party.

On Feb. 13, the committee took a formal vote to nominate Schneiderman, a member of the Independence party and a former town supervisor from Montauk, according to Kurt Kappel, the committee chairman. The announcement is not official though, he said, as the committee is waiting to form a full slate first.

A quorum of the 38-member committee was present, Kappel said of the vote. Carole Campolo, the committee secretary, said that she and another member were the only ones to vote against Schneiderman.

Bill Wilkinson, who was first elected to the position in 2008 following financial mishandlings at Town Hall and then again in a close race in 2010, did not screen this time around. Schneiderman was the only person to screen with the Republicans for the position.

Reached on Wednesday morning, Wilkinson said he hasn't been close to the Republican Committee for the last year.

"I’ve known to the last four or five months that I wasn’t intending to run again although my mind wasn’t absolutely made up," Wilkinson said, adding that he told the committee he wasn't going to make a decision until the end of February at the earliest.

"The fact that head of the Republican party, Kurt Kappel, reaches outside the party to ask if Jay Schneiderman were interested in running before getting my answer is unbelieveable," Wilkinson said. "The fact that a two-term town supervisor with the record that we have in place was given nothing but an email notice that screenings were taking place is also extraordinary behavior on the part of the Republican chair. I’m disappointed in Kurt Kappel, I’m disappointed in in the Republican party, but I’m mostly disappointed for the people of East Hampton who believe that this behavior is unacceptable."

Kappel disputed those charges. "I personally reached out to Bill and other people on the committee reached out to him to try and discuss his plans," he said, adding the committee offered to screen him on whatever date worked for him. "I offered to meet in person to discuss the party and he just didn't respond," he said. "He refused to communicate with the committee."

Kappel also said that Schneiderman mentioned earlier in the year if that Wilkinson had no interest in running that he was considering a run. "We didn't seek out Jay — it wasn't like that. I heard he was interested, we had lunch."

Kappel insisted the committee's vote for Schneiderman did not mean Republicans have grown unhappy with Wilkinson in the last year and a half.

"The Republican party is extremely happy with the way Bill Wilkinson, Theresa Quigley, and Dominick Stanzione handled the finances and brought the Town of East Hampton back from a financial mess," Kappel said. Wilkinson, he said, "did a great job with the financial downfalls of East Hampton."

But, Kappel said the committee was simply under the impression Wilkinson was not interested in running for a fourth time (He also ran and lost to incumbent Bill McGintee in 2006).

Kappel, who took over the leadership of the party in 2012, said that the committee contacted Wilkinson in early January, and Wilkinson said he wanted to wait until March or April. "The last election was so close that we didn't feel we can wait," Kappel said referring to the 15-vote margin Wilkinson had over Democratic candidate Zachary Cohen. "I just want it to be known that, personally, I wanted to speak with him and he never made a point to talk."

Kappel's wife is Town Justice Lisa R. Rana, a Republican who won re-election to the bench two years ago.

In 2011, Wilkinson screened with the Republicans for a third time before getting the nod to run for re-election. The East Hampton Independence Party nominated Wilkinson's opponent, but it was not upheld by the New York State Independence Party after State and Suffolk County Party Chairman Frank MacKay signed a document known as the Wilson Pakula for Wilkinson.

Reached on Wednesday, Quigley said she was also disappointed in the committee. She said Wilkinson, who ran with Quigley and Stanzione, were elected on the platforms of bringing a business discipline to Town Hall, while also working toward a smaller government and reduced taxes.

"I think the Republican party is in disarray," she said. "What is the Republican platform? I don't believe they have one. From my experience is, and I'm being completely honest, it's to be nice and you'll get elected."

Quigley said it was one of the reasons why she decided not to run. While she said her daughter's accident last summer was the major reason, she said, "In addition, it's frustrating because the lack of support. This," she said of the committee's decision, "typifies the lack of support."

The committee will meet again in one week to screen more candidates for trustees, town justice, and assessor. Kappel plans to make a formal announcement by March 6, if not sooner.

Other Nominations

Last weekend, formal votes to nominate incumbents for other positions were also taken, including for Highway Superintendent Stephen Lynch — the only person to screen — and the five incumbent trustee positions; Diane McNally, Nathaniel Miller, Timothy Bock, Stephanie Talmage-Forsberg, and Joe McCaffrey, Kappel said. Lynn Mendelman is not seeking re-election to the town trustees, he said.

Joseph Bloecker, a current town trustee, screened for town assessor nomination instead.

There are two seats up for grabs on the town board. Current Deputy Supervisor Theresa Quigley announced last month that she would not seek re-election, but Dominick Stanzione is exploring a second run, and he screened with the Republicans for town board.

Fred Overton, the current town clerk who said he was retiring from the position at the end of the year, also screened to run for the board. Carole Brennan, the current deputy town clerk, screened with the Republicans for Overton's position.

There are a total of nine trustee seats. The Republicans have four left to fill with nominations. Deborah Klughers, an incumbent Democrat, screened for the Republican nomination, Kappel said. Mike Bottini, Tom Cooper, and Dennis Curls, also screened for seats on the town trustees, he said.

Former East Hampton town attorney Carl Irace and Robert Kouffman, who practices in East Hampton and Bridgehampton, both screened for the nomination for East Hampton Town Justice (Democratic incumbent Catherine A. Cahill is up for re-election).

Schneiderman was out of the country on Wednesday and unavailable to comment. 

Correction: Although the chairman reported two people had abstained, the secretary said she and another person had actually voted against Schneiderman. 

Ehtownlocal February 20, 2013 at 06:32 PM
I don't understand how he was sidestepped...it says he was asked by the members of the committee to screen, but he refused..No one pulled anything over his head. From what he has said through out the past 5 months he was not running again bc he would like to spend time in both ny and fl...he has done a wonderful job in many areas of this community, but has also not been honest with those members of the committee in regards to running for another term.if jay was not running then the committee would of asked other person right?
laszlo Lowenstein February 20, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Wilkinson: "I’m mostly disappointed for the people of East Hampton who believe that this behavior is unacceptable." Oh, snap! You got dissed -- not the people of East Hampton -- so speak for yourself. Why do pols always have this need to speak in the first person plural? In this instance you are literally on your own Bill. Don't drag us into it. If you read that quote again in a different context, defining "this behavior" as Wilkinson's inability to communicate effectively with his own party, then yeah, I'd say it was unacceptable.
S.B. Bonacker February 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM
You've been punked, Wilkinson!
ViralGrain February 20, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Where's Tony Bullock when you need him?
SadderBudweiser February 21, 2013 at 02:39 AM
Guys named Bill just aren't suited to run East Hampton. This makes two in a row who wii leave office in disgrace. Wilkinsons choice of sweetheart deals with carpetbaggers over quality of life make him unelectable this fall. Another summer of drunks in the streets and helicopters in the skies would have done him in anyway. Not to mention how he treats town employees and board members. I'll bet the Dems are bummed he's not running again.
SHEILA CARTER February 21, 2013 at 12:24 PM
i was raised if you don't have anything nice to say, not to say anything at all.. so i'm gonna keep it to myself...
TRUTH NOT FICTION February 21, 2013 at 12:52 PM
He should run away as fast as possible. The law suits are coming from his abuse of employees and the republicans know he's unelectable. Good riddance to your arrogant behavior the people have spoken
Bonac Refugee February 21, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Viral I hope you're kidding!!! If you look closlely at where this town really started to go off the tracks(other than all the illegals moving in) it was Tony and his puppet Cathy "The Hutt" Lester.The boondagle know as the "Recycleing Center" including the Waste treatment plant saddled this Town with debt that it probably still has'nt been payed off.Most of the millions dollars wasted on this white elephant went to people connected to Tony a good portion of it as "consulting fees".All this for a plant and equipment that never worked and in some cases that was never used.Tony was smart enough to know the "truth" of all these wasted millions would stall his political furture here and escaped to Washington.
Jim Hatgistavrou February 21, 2013 at 03:01 PM
The Republican Party is imploding because people are waking up about its corruption and the " Establishment Republicans" who will stoop to new lows to stay in power. Eventually, the GOP will split, and a new party of "Ron Paul Libertarians", "Tea Party" and "Conservative Christians" will make up the (Grassroots) 3rd Party.
MARTIN DREW February 21, 2013 at 03:30 PM
The best news here is that Fred Overton will run for town board. Mr. Overton's longevity as town clerk may indeed make him the most qualified in many ways . His local roots ; his pleasant demeanor and his stellar moral fortitude in my opinion make him a shoe in no matter which party you hang with . He knows the town processs inside and out ; has good relations with all dept heads ; and conducts the business of the town with all due respect of the issues now. Fred Overton for Town Board ; ABSOLUTELY has my vote ! I'm sure people who usually don't care enought to vote will come out of the shadows to show their overwhelming support for this quality person . Fred Overton for town board / 110% qualified ... Cheers to his decision to run . I look forward to shaking his hand upon his election !
DrSique February 21, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Once again, a political party had to choose between Dumb & Dumber. Only time will tell which one we got.
ViralGrain February 21, 2013 at 07:21 PM
The problem here is a reflection of the problem in Washington but on a smaller scale. It is the 2 party system that has to change. They are no longer working the agenda of the people but the agenda of corporations and certain individuals that don't control businesses and corporations but industries. These people have the money to buy and pay the way for to get people in position to make policies and law that promote their agenda. Their claws are dug in far beyond the grasp of Washington and State policy makers. There have been plenty of incidents across towns in america where money people have bought influence to push not only their business agendas, but also their ideologies and principles. People were beginning to lose faith in the 2 parties and the parties realized that a large percentage of Americans felt no connection to either party or government. So in a tactical move they invented Obama. Here is just one example of one incident where a local school board was infiltrated. There are other examples of where pollution control laws are voted down cause it would effect profits. Where logical immigration policy is rejected because the belief is it keeps minimum wage down for legals by having illegals, thus adding to profit. I worry that one of these power players will infiltrate our Town Board or Trustees office, if they haven't already and we will lose our beach driving rites. We already lost to corporate chains moving in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQrhQU0mlVM
East Ender February 22, 2013 at 12:36 AM
"The Republican platform... [is] to be nice." And Theresa Quigley said that was a reason she wouldn't run. At least she's honest that it's easier for her to quit than to be nice.
TRUTH NOT FICTION February 22, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Don't forget that Dominick Stanzione is the last link to this trio!
Lona Rubenstein February 23, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Lona Rubenstein Love you Sheila. Always will
Kevin Gray February 24, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Unlike the ungrateful, "party line," dems in this community, I would like to thank Bill and Theresa for the fantastic job they've done for our community. I'm saddened by their departure and can only hope Len Bernard will stay on in a Jay administration. I'm just praying we don't end up with the liberal mismanagement and crony politics of the local "dumbocrats." The local "Obamanauts" should hide in shame for their role in helping elect their parties leader, "The Worst President in History." I think the democratic party should maybe take a good hard look at the fiscal conservativism that helped get our town back on track and thank the facilitators, The Republican Party.
Mo Neill February 24, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Too bad for you the American people strongly disagree with you Kevin. Obama was reelected by a decisive majority, because people were sick of the obstructionism of a Repub party now overtaken by an ignorant cadre of Teabaggers who despise government so much they would wreak economic calamity on the USA to protect the wealthy & powerful 2%. The teaparty was the anti-immigrant Minutemen, who folded because of the violence, murder &. embezzlement of their fractional groups out to take dominance & control of the money that poured in. If you have any memory, the discredited bullies of the Minutemen completely folded to sidestep the criminal & violent legacy that surrounded them to be transformed into the "Tea Party." This transformation was engineered by right wing monies funneled through Dick Armey, who cleaned up their act, steered them away from maniacal immigrant-bashing, gave them a new name, recruited many on the Limbaugh schlock jock right to join them & got Palin, Bachman, Perry, Cain among other goofball Repub clowns to lend a Repub imprimatur--a slight-of-hand Republicanism upon them. We saw in East Hampton known Repubs WERE the Minutemen/Tea Partiers, organizing, attending all their dismally attended tea party demos here, because they found Teapartiers "refreshing." Obama won by a clear & large majority of proud East Hampton voters. They well remembered the Bush catastrophe that Obama is still turning around.
Mo Neill February 24, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Bonac Refugee sounds like those anti-science Repubs who claim with a straight face there is no global warming caused by green house gases. They claim there is no problem; that environmental degradation is a liberal hoax to take you money & run. The short-sighted ignoramuses see cleaning up the waste stream as poppycock they shouldn't have to pay for. They want us to also stick our heads in the sand & play like there have been no superstorms caused by the melting polar ice caps. They claim they are not to blame so don't make them pay or in any way inconvenience them. The Recycling Center is very needed, but it is too bad there has not been concerted policy by subsequent town boards to recycle & reduce garbage. Go to Holland or Germany to see serious recycling done by every home & place of business. The town Recycling Center should be a much greater priority on the town board agenda. It has been resisted by both Dem & Repub town boards. To turn the Recycling Center over to private carters & sewer reclamation over to private business will cost residents much, much more in fees & you'll have to pay; You'll have as much say on it as you now have on the price of oil. Thank god Bullock had the foresight to build the plant, too bad the town boards have dropped the ball so badly on it.
Mo Neill February 24, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Don't be daft Ehtownlocal. Wilkerson is honest. Of course he was rejected by this Kappel-led Repub Committee that thought Jay would have a better chance. Theresa Quigley is right, this is just one indication how much this local Repub (& national) Party is in disarray. This is hardly loyalty, It's too bad the Repub boss would so blatantly scheme to overthrow an elected member, its highest elected official, in a manipulated, baseless belief that Jay might do better & then blame it on Wilkerson. If Lisa Rana's husband could take Jay out to lunch, as he says here, many months ago to entice him to run on Repub line, he surely could have done the same with the Supervisor. I hope Wilkerson will not be intimidated by this scoundrel running the EH Repub Committee. Lisa Rana's husband will be forced out as Committee boss when Jay loses & they might get back their traditional constituency. I think the supervisor would beat Jay in a primary. At any rate, I hope Wilkerson will run as a true independent (small i) in the election.
Dianne Benson February 24, 2013 at 08:58 PM
Jay Schneiderman has been very kind to the arts. I hope he can bring that sensitivity to the Republicans...
Lady L February 24, 2013 at 11:28 PM
and I hope we get a fiscal conservative to run the town. We've been able to get some of the McGuintee debt cleared up, let's not dig the hole deeper.
Kevin Gray February 25, 2013 at 02:49 PM
There was no decisive majority. There was massive voter fraud. They are not "teabaggers" That's a term used to depict a scrotum on the face, you filthy crude lib (but what else is new.) And by the way the Tea Party has no issue with legal immigration. And if there is a "clear & large majority of proud East Hampton voters" that are responsible for this incompetent liar in the white house thats all the more reason to vote Republican.
Mo Neill February 26, 2013 at 08:45 AM
kevin, you're sputtering invective is a poor substitute for reason. You forgot to tell the 332 votes in the Electoral College of yr proclaimation making Repub Romney the Prez with the other 206 votes. 332 eledtoral college votes for Obama over Romney's 206 most would call a decisive majority, your phantasy world not withstanding. The previous Repub Prez upon defeating his rival said his reelection was "a clear mandate" from the voters, who gave him the wopping plurality in the popular vote of 50.7 to Kerry's 48.3. Obama won by a larger percent of the voters than did W. I understand why you make pronouncements rather than face facts. This "filthy crude lib" never screeched at Hazel to "go f=ck yourself" as we saw in yr earlier sputtering post. BTW, you're also wrong teapartiers have no issue with legal immigration. Chapter after chapter has called for an end to immigration. As for voter fraud, we all know who made elderly voters, one 96 yrs old, wait on line for over 10 hrs to vote. We know who's been trying to limit people of color from voting, to putting one obstacle after another to attempt discouraging or blocking people from voting. As for scrotums on a face, can we infer you have seen them in yr phantasy world? Were they above the feet or below them? Were the feet above or below the face? Youth is curious.
Bonac Refugee February 26, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Sorry Mo as usual you could'nt be more wrong. I'm not a repub. I'm pro science I'm pro recycling I'm against paying politically connected law firms hundreds of thousands of dollars for frivoloius lawsuits against the state. I'm against paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to politically connected "consuting "and "design" companies to design a recycling center that for all intents never worked. I'm against wasting millions of tax dollars on building a recycling center that never worked from day one.The taxpayers were sold a bill of goods by Tony on something that from day one was a complete waste of money and only served to line the pockets of those politically connected to Tony.Ask anyone who worked for the town at the time almost all of the equipment in the so called recycling center never worked in fact after the initial start up most sat unused for years ,while the tax payers still had to foot the bill. Tony knew all of this which is why he dissapeared from local politics. Look at what Southampton did.They still recycle but there was no millions wasted on a "recyling center" that never worked but cost miilions.
Bonac Refugee February 26, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Oh and Mo just in case you want to argue that East Hampton recycles more than Southampton according to a Stony Brook University study as of 2011 East Hamptons recycling rate is 23% while Southamptons stands at 85%.

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