Wooten Column: Coates’ brand of politics is wrong for Riverhead

08/28/2013 2:30 PM |
FILE PHOTO | Councilman James Wooten (left) in  Town Hall.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Councilman James Wooten (left) in Town Hall.

I have sat back and watched and listened to all the obvious political hand wringing and bullet points presented throughout this primary season.

I will say never in my life, much less my political one have I seen such dirty politics, name calling, character assassinations and blatant bully tactics.

One can only hope and vote for the people that best represent them in the community, especially in a local town such as Riverhead. This new shade of western politics has no place in our community. I have seen and listened to once committed and dedicated community leaders get caught up in the frenzy, all of a sudden there is an axe to grind with heads to roll.

It’s just plain dirty politics.

This current Town Board has worked very closely with all the different entities that make up Riverhead Town, and with noticeable results. This board has dealt with the problems facing the future of our Town, and has been working to move forward.

What really irks me is all the attention being afforded to one political strategist, Anthony Coates, who from the time he arrived in our community has created a cloud of darkness and controversy. This is a man who couldn’t give a satisfactory answer to the first question posed to him at Monday evening’s debate regarding what he’s been doing the last five years to earn a living.

He only provided a very artful dodge to the question. Yet, he was quoted in a News-Review opinion piece as having earned “oodles of money” some years back.

It seems to me to be more like noodles of money.

Over the years we have been subjected to double headed llamas, the destruction of a Republican campaign for supervisor in 2005 and most recently, a public dismissal of his own candidate for county Legislator as a shoe he could longer shine.

How can we support a candidate whose allegiance is so fickle? It’s sad, really; I know there has to be a person in there somewhere. When your whole life is built around political maneuvering it’s easy to get caught up and actually believe the rhetoric you spew.

This town has changed a lot in the last 10 years, despite its growth I sincerely hope that it never loses its charm and hometown atmosphere.

Narcissistic political advisers and animated buffoonery are not the face of Riverhead, at least not where I sit.

I can name at least 10 civic and community leaders who are far better qualified and deserving to represent the town in government, who truly have the ability and proven desire through actions already displayed, not just talked about.

Mr. Coates isn’t even close on any list, except his own. Please don’t get caught up in the hype, this town is moving forward and the team in place has set a good course for the future, lets not muddy the waters with just plain unadulterated politics at its worst.

James Wooten is a retired Riverhead Town police officer and Republican town councilman currently in his second term in office.

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