Monday Briefing: Politics and trouble at the OTB

05/11/2011 2:11 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead resident B.B. Morris holds up a protest sign Friday in front of the Route 58 OTB parlor.

The bankrupt Suffolk OTB is a lesson in what happens when a money-making enterprise is run by political appointees, not qualified experts and businesspeople with experience in a particular field.

Check out the three members of Suffolk OTB’s  board of directors and other top employees. You’ll recognize many as having run failed bids for public office or for their involvement in state and local party committees.

Editor’s note: An employee list that appeared previously in this spot was outdated. Because of this, some names were mistakenly included that should not have been.

• Dominick P. Feeney  (Democrat) Chairman

• Herbert Hemendinger  (Republican) Vice Chairman

• Eddie S. Wynn  (Democrat) Secretary

And these others employees:

• James McManmon (Democrat) Corporate Counsel

• Jeffrey A. Casale   (Democrat) President/CEO

• Anthony Pancella (Republican) Vice President

• David Needham  (Democrat) Chief of Staff, Director of Executive Administration

• Kim Edelstein  (Democrat)  Director of Wagering Operations and Services (Kim Edelstein was married to the nephew of Paul Edelstein, who had previously held the Director of Wagering Operations and Services job, an OTB spokeswoman said.)

For fun, enter each last name into a Suffolk County campaign finance disclosure search box

I would suggest the frequent visitors to the county’s now-shuttered betting parlors, including the one in Riverhead, write these people and demand their resumés. Let them show and tell you why they’re qualified to run a gambling operation. Then write your state representative urging him or her to introduce legislation banning party hacks from OTB front offices. These jobs should be open to all who are qualified for them.

Only when the right people are in place at all levels can the real problems of the racing industry be handled effectively.

• And the political game marches on this Wednesday night, May 11, at the Elk’s Lodge in Riverhead, where the Riverhead Republican Committee is holding its nominating convention for those wishing to hold public office in town. UPDATE: GOP POSTPONE NOMINATIONS We’ll have a team of reporters there, so check our Twitter account @rvhdnewsreview and RiverheadNewsReview.com for updates.

It should be a dramatic night in that a sitting Republican councilman, James Wooten, is hoping to win the nomination over incumbent Supervisor Sean Walter to hold the town’s highest office. Much will have to do with the nominating order, which has not yet been announced.

If the committee chooses the supervisor spot last, and Mr. Wooten had not been nominated for a council seat, he could find himself off the slate entirely.

• And this has to be the most heartwarming slide show we ever posted at RiverheadNewsReview.com. Longtime staff photographer and Polish Town resident Barbarellen Koch caught some really expressive shots at the second annual black tie gala luncheon to benefit Aid to the Developmentally Disabled Inc. We also plan to run photos in the newspaper Thursday.

Hats off to the event organizers at Aid to the Developmentally Disabled, Inc. These people are truly heroes to the human race.

I really don’t think that’s an overstatement.

• Happy belated Mothers Day to all the mothers out there, many of whom include our most loyal readers! My wife and I hosted a barbecue Sunday in our backyard that included our parents, my mom’s two sisters and their husbands and my grandparents.

As far as holidays go, Mothers Day is pretty high profile so we were proud to host our elders. Now onto Thanksgiving! (Well, maybe in a few years.)

Comments

comments

106 Comment

  • Thank you for a lovely article. You really transmitted the feel of our week together. If there is a chance of adding an addendum to this; Wally and Bernadette Mahoney of Laurel hosted the Gupta’s for a longer part of the week. I know they fell in love with this family also.

  • All of you were great. We have been overwhelmed by your hospitality. My family will remember this for life. We are eagerly waiting for your visit to INDIA.

  • I am absolutely delighted to find the wonderful experiences my friend Dear Deepak enjoyed with his family and children with the loving and truly wonderful hospitality of the host and his family. This is the opportunity Rotary provides to exchange cultures, join in doing community services and widen fellowship skills. Deepak now should motivate other fellow rotarions and arrange such exchange programme every year. Dear please convey my regards and love to your hosts and thanks for sharing
    your experiences. Reena should become independent Rotarion now and lead this part of our club. My love and regards to all your family members. With love N.C.Gupta

  • Anyone who wishes to see a true Independant candidate on the Town Board, not tied to either political machine should get to know me at http://www.friendsofraynegron.com The reason NO party wants me on the ballot is because they all have the same primary goal: maintain the no-show/useless job network. Good government is a secondary thought. Please help me take our Board back!!!

  • Good luck fighting Tammany Hall, sir.

  • Good luck fighting Tammany Hall, sir.

  • So after failing to get support from the Republican party, the Democratic party, the Conservative party, the Independence party, and the Working Families party, he finally gets 1000 names on a petition to force a GOP primary. I guess you could spin that as being “independent” – to me it sounds like he doesn’t care which side of the fence he sits on as long as he can try to get elected.

    “Since then, Mr. Negron claims Brookhaven GOP chairman Jesse Garcia has attempted to sabotage his campaign by sending an automated voice recording to about 19,000 registered Republicans in June…”
    He’s also on record right here on the North Shore Sun as stating Ms. Bonner was involved in those calls, and yet has never offered a shred of proof for that accusation. Makes one wonder what other baseless claims he’s making.

  • First, why did Ms. Manzella, who is a GOP Board of Elections employee, walk off the job rather than say “Good Morning and how may I help you?” How many of us would still have our jobs after refusing to do the job that you are being paid to do? I am so tired of a handful of people telling us what is best for all of us. Should not the process include ALL of the 19,000 Republicans to determine who will represent us? Isn’t this what the Board of Elections is all about! Remember to vote on September 13th so that your voice will be heard.
    P.S. I never met Mr. Garcia, so how would he know what is best for me?

  • FYI: Beam me Up_Scotty works for the Town of Brookhaven in an appointed position with nearly zero responsibility and fears scrutiny. The position will likely disappear within a few months of my election once I bring it (and many others) up for discussion at work-session.

    http://www.friendsofraynegron.com

  • Term Limits & Mandatory Primaries for every public office, simply common sense.

    Message to all office holders: Get elected, serve, and get out; no one is so important that he or she should hold an office for an extended period of time. The Founding Generation did not intend to established a nobility nor an aristocracy in the USA. How quickly history is forgotten…

  • LOL. Ray, Ray, Ray – as Ronald Reagan once said, “Well… there you go again.”

    Sorry guy, but as I told you in a previous post, I have a private industry job that has absolutely NO connection to the Town of Brookhaven. Once again you’re seeing bogeys in the trees and making baseless (and false) accusations instead of addressing the issue. Is that the leadership style you’d look to bring to the TOB?

    Did you, or did you not desperately seek the support of ANY of the parties just to get your name on the ticket… only to be rebuffed by all of them, forcing you to go door-to-door?

    Did you or did you not accuse Ms Bonner on this very website of also making those GOP campaign calls last month?
    http://northshoresun.timesreview.com/2011/06/13628/transparency-on-mt-sinai-village-centre-public-hearing-questioned/

    Not that I expect an actual answer to either of those questions.

  • Personally, I look forward to the primary, it will allow each candidate to be properly vetted. There is nothing with the idea of candidates, either incumbent or not, to be compelled to state his or her case as to why we whom he or she will represent should entrust our vote to him or her. This person will act as my voice and yours, making their case to us in the whole idea of elections.

    No matter the track record of anyone, no Party committee should single handedly appoint a nominee. The candidate should be chosen by the members of the whole Party within the represented principality. Have so many really forgotten what representative government really means??? As Republicans, by virtue of our name alone, we must adhere to these tenets.

  • While I fundamentally agree with you on the purpose of primary races, one has to wonder when not one, but five political parties all take a pass on a candidate and a primary only comes about when it’s brute-forced through what essentially amounts to a “mob rules” process. Where there’s smoke… you know?

    And I’m afraid I have to disagree with your interpretation of the tenets of a republic. Skipping the full civics lesson, a straightforward democracy is where each person has one vote for every decision… a republic (like ours) is a form of democracy wherein the majority of decisions are made by a governing body selected by the people – we elect our representatives and trust them to make those day-to-day decisions for us.

  • I have a name, you have an appointed position.

    All 5 parties passed because EACH one asked me if I would stand behind each and every party position, no matter what I thought of it and I said no. Read your writing; random use of adjectives and a desperate plea discourage a man who seeks to reduce the size of government, your source of income without justification for it.

  • Yep… about what I expected. Only a passing response to one question (and a BS response at that) and then completely ignored the other question (probably because it can’t be answered with BS). And then, of course, back to beating the dead horse of attacking with the completely wrong assumption that I’m some kind of TOB or other government employee. How many times must I tell you, Ray? BUZZ!!!! Wrong answer… Hell, I don’t even work in Suffolk County. “Random use of adjectives”? Which adjectives didn’t you like Ray? Baseless? False? They were hardly random, I chose them specifically for their appropriateness in describing your accusations.

    And I called no one a bully or mobster, where did you think you saw that? My comment about using a “mob rules” process referred to the method by which you forced this primary after being rejected by the 5 parties you implored to put you on their ticket… all of whom seem to have recognized you as some kind of professional gadfly.

    Btw – “desperately” would be an adverb, not an adjective, but still appropriate to describe your seeking of some elected office… apparently ANY elected office. Seems this wasn’t your first time being rejected after screening for a political seat, was it? The Sun article says you’ve sought nominations in the past but that this is your first actual run for office; always a bridesmaid? I mean other than an assistant town attorney spot, but isn’t that the kind of patronage appointment you say you want to eliminate?

  • Yep… about what I expected. Only a passing response to one question (and a BS response at that) and then completely ignored the other question (probably because it can’t be answered with BS). And then, of course, back to beating the dead horse of attacking with the completely wrong assumption that I’m some kind of TOB or other government employee. How many times must I tell you, Ray? BUZZ!!!! Wrong answer… Hell, I don’t even work in Suffolk County. “Random use of adjectives”? Which adjectives didn’t you like Ray? Baseless? False? They were hardly random, I chose them specifically for their appropriateness in describing your accusations.

    And I called no one a bully or mobster, where did you think you saw that? My comment about using a “mob rules” process referred to the method by which you forced this primary after being rejected by the 5 parties you implored to put you on their ticket… all of whom seem to have recognized you as some kind of professional gadfly.

    Btw – “desperately” would be an adverb, not an adjective, but still appropriate to describe your seeking of some elected office… apparently ANY elected office. Seems this wasn’t your first time being rejected after screening for a political seat, was it? The Sun article says you’ve sought nominations in the past but that this is your first actual run for office; always a bridesmaid? I mean other than an assistant town attorney spot, but isn’t that the kind of patronage appointment you say you want to eliminate?

  • Wow, are you nervous. OTB, here comes BeamMeUp_Scotty! Get a desk ready. Any desk will do; he’ll only be there 3-5 hours a week.

  • ^^^ These are screen names, not actual names. I’m surprised you don’t know that.

    1,059 registered Republicans signed a petition to put Ray Negron on the ballot. Nothing more, nothing less.

    It would be wise to offer some sort of evidence before casting assumptions about others. I don’t vote for politicians who make an ASS (out of) U (and) ME, or “assume” if you prefer the whole brevity thing.

    It is tellingly ironic that a politician who unsuccessfully seeks backing from any political party that would have him calls someone else desperate.

  • Ow… gee, well that hurt. So tell me, when do you break out the “I know you are, but what am I” taunts?
    I love the direct response to issues. If that’s representative of your courtroom argumentative ability, I have to wonder if you ever won a case.

    I’m betting that “ability” is the real reason you got passed over by all of the political parties, and not either of the 2 different reasons you’ve given in this blog.
    You remember the different reasons you gave, right?
    1) “The reason NO party wants me on the ballot is because they all have the same primary goal: maintain the no-show/useless job network.”
    and
    2) “All 5 parties passed because EACH one asked me if I would stand behind each and every party position, no matter what I thought of it and I said no.”

    So which was it… the parties wanting to maintain the “useless job network”, or you not being willing to agree to all of their positions? Enquiring voters deserve to know.

    Subject: [thetimesreview] Re: Mount Sinai resident to challenge Bonner in GOP primary

  • Ow… gee, well that hurt. So tell me, when do you break out the “I know you are, but what am I” taunts?
    I love the direct response to issues. If that’s representative of your courtroom argumentative ability, I have to wonder if you ever won a case.

    I’m betting that “ability” is the real reason you got passed over by all of the political parties, and not either of the 2 different reasons you’ve given in this blog.
    You remember the different reasons you gave, right?
    1) “The reason NO party wants me on the ballot is because they all have the same primary goal: maintain the no-show/useless job network.”
    and
    2) “All 5 parties passed because EACH one asked me if I would stand behind each and every party position, no matter what I thought of it and I said no.”

    So which was it… the parties wanting to maintain the “useless job network”, or you not being willing to agree to all of their positions? Enquiring voters deserve to know.

    Subject: [thetimesreview] Re: Mount Sinai resident to challenge Bonner in GOP primary

  • BeamMeUp -Scotty You should be beamed up because you are fr m another planet.You are so wrong about Ray Negron. But, it is interesting how much comment he has developed. Ray Negron is probably right and you are riding the gravey train on the democrat town clock.

  • BeamMeUp -Scotty You should be beamed up because you are fr m another planet.You are so wrong about Ray Negron. But, it is interesting how much comment he has developed. Ray Negron is probably right and you are riding the gravey train on the democrat town clock.

  • Private industry job. Any dealings with the Town?

  • BeamMe Up Scotty It’s Bonner against Ray Negron not BeamMeup-scotty vs Negron and I believe Negron will win.

  • Scotty, to your first point – if Mr. Negron is what you fear him to be, than that will come out in the primary process. I admire him, and any other candidate, for opening themselves up to the scrutiny. Everyone deserves a chance to be heard, he or she takes the chance to be embraced or rejected.

    As to your second point, you might want to recheck your civics lessons. Our Republic deals with our form of government, the Party is a private entity and not a government; essentially it is a club with like minded members.

    All Party chairmen and committee members are meant to be stewards of their organizations, seeking the members’ approval for their actions. These positions do not exist to allow them to dictate onto the membership what they personally believe to be right or wrong. They can offer their opinion, but they should not prescribe onto us what they desire, if they do so, they are abusing the authority given to them by the membership. As a member of the Republican Party, it is only proper that I have a say in whom I will select to be the Party representative. It would be great to see 5 more candidates running. May the best man or woman win!

  • It should come out in the primary process, but stranger things have happened when one side is so unabashadly willing to shovel garbage.

    As to the second issue, I guess I misunderstood your initial post, I just assumed you were talking about the electoral process in a republic, as our form of government, not the mechanics of the Brookhaven GOP.

  • Wrong how Robert? By asking questions about the things stated in this and other articles, and things stated by Ray himself? Questions that still haven’t been answered.

  • None whatsoever… I don’t even work in Suffolk County

  • None whatsoever… I don’t even work in Suffolk County

  • Quite true, I’m not running for anything. But you might want to consider the possibility that Mr Negron and I may have had professional dealings in our prior positions… dealings that may have left me vastly under-whelmed.

    …or not. ;-)

  • I am suspicious of a person, who in wanting to represent the best interests of the people, chooses to engage in this type of nonsense on a message board. Vote lost.

  • How do you know anyone is who they say they are? I see RayNegron AND Ray_Negron. Jesse Garcia himslef uses about 10 screen names on blogs and often orchestrates arguments on both sides culminating to a victory for his position. Reach out to the candidates, don’t believe blogs.

  • How do you know anyone is who they say they are? I see RayNegron AND Ray_Negron. Jesse Garcia himslef uses about 10 screen names on blogs and often orchestrates arguments on both sides culminating to a victory for his position. Reach out to the candidates, don’t believe blogs.

  • How do you know who is posting? I see RayNegron AND Ray_Negron! Jesse Garcia uses about 10 screen names on blogs and stages arguments culminating in a victory for his positions ALL THE TIME!! Reach out to the candidate and make a sound decision. Don’t fall for party tricks, they all just want to keep their jobs.