Update: Bishop asks supporters for help

11/06/2010 5:18 PM |

Randy Altschuler

Saturday 10:30 p.m.
In a letter to supporters Saturday, Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) asked for donations to reach a $25,000 goal by Monday to cover legal expenses in his battle to win re-election. He also asked voters who experienced problems casting their ballots to report those issues.
“The integrity of the electoral process is frankly more important than even the result of this election,” he wrote.
He also asked supporters to volunteer their time during the recount process.

Saturday 11 a.m.
A  recount by the Suffolk County Board of Elections now has Congressman Tim Bishop’s Republican challenger Randy Altschuler pulling ahead by about 400 votes in the race for New York’s 1st Congressional District, according to both camps.
After polls closed Tuesday, the BOE listed Mr. Bishop as having nearly a 3,500 vote lead over Mr. Altschuler. However, a recanvassing of the machines show that Mr. Altschuler now has a slight lead.
The results shifted after the Board of Elections finished downloading the electronic results directly from the new electronic voting machines. Previous results could have been altered through human error, as they were reported from individual polling places.
“This happens,” said Altschuler spokesperson Rob Ryan. “Especially with these new machines.”
Mr. Ryan said an official winner may not be declared until the end of the month. Military ballots are not due until Nov. 24.
Bishop spokesperson Jon Schneider said the congressman would like to see a recount by hand.
“At this point the only way to be sure of the accuracy of the count is to do a full hand recount of all the ballots, ” he said in a telephone interview Saturday. “There is a reason that Suffolk County residents insisted on having a paper backup and these circumstances demand we use it.”
It was a far cry from the tone of the Bishop camp Wednesday, when they all but declared victory.
“”The only people who think this race is ‘too close to call’ are on Randy Altschuler’s payroll,” Mr. Schneider said Wednesday. “Tim Bishop is leading by a solid margin, which will only grow as we count absentee ballots.”
Mr. Ryan said the results now show the Altschuler camp was right all along in its decision to not concede.
“We knew the Bishop team had jumped the gun on claiming victory,” he said.
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8 Comment

  • This purchase is another fiscally irresponsible move by the local politicians. I have a piece of property I will eventually like to sell. Maybe the town and county will buy it when I’m ready. I will need the money to furnish my retirement.

    Why couldn’t the Vassilaros family continue to own it, pay the property taxes, keep it undeveloped? They were not obligated to develop it. Instead, they got a bailout, paid for by Suffolk County and Brookhaven Town residents.

  • Libertylover – The reason is because the Vassilaros family had developers who were willing buyers. A family is under no obligation to keep property undeveloped and continue to pay taxes on it. Isn’t it their right to sell the property to take care of their family? So the local governments can either let a tract of land be sold as of right to developers or they can purchase it for public purposes like preservation or development of a park. You are right to question the value of the purchase but you should not question the family or put the burden on them. That is not fair. When you are ready to sell your property you sure wouldn’t want anybody telling you you can’t.

  • I bet she’s thrilled!

    I’m not sure how having 2 private residences on publicly owned land is going to work out. Can I go hiking through their back yard?

  • Why can we not question the family, or the politicians who arranged this deal? The family used the threat of selling their land to a developer to get politicians to use our tax dollars to outbid the developer. Talk about a rigged auction. The local politicians are creating a distorted Wall Street right in Suffolk County. You are right, paying taxes is a burden and the Vassilaros family is obligated to pay them just like the rest of us. But this deal transfers their tax obligation to the community. They concentrated the benefits of the government’s spending to themselves and diffused the cost to the community. The town and county now have a higher tax burden and 58 acres of land.

    The Vassilaros family has the right to dispose of their property but not at the community’s expense, which is represented by the local politicians. Instead, the local politicians represented the Vassilaros family at the community’s expense.

    As for the developer, its plans would have to undergo all kinds of scrutiny by politicians and community groups before it is enacted. This strikes me as unfair because the Vassilaros family can dispose of their property without question but a developer has to undergo deep scrutiny. I’m not saying it shouldn’t, but why question the developer motives but not the Vassilaros family?

    Worse, the local politicians forfeited recurring tax revenues from the eventual development of the property and instead created a new $6 million on the community. There would have been 53 new home-owning taxpaying residents but that tax revenue stream will never materialize. Even if state or federal politicians earmark an expense to pay for it, we do not have the tax revenue stream.

  • When the Town claim to not have money beyond 2012 or 13. It is not good to rub this in the taxpayers face. Every paper you look in the town claims that without frugality they will be broke. Maybe down the road it may have been a good idea, not while the town talks about layoffs.