Never mind the long tradition of anonymity in political speech that goes back to before the founding of this nation. Never mind that some of the greatest authors ever to put pen to page wrote under pseudonyms. Ted Hintz, John Tuttle, Sheila Barton Engel and their friends want you all to know — for the umpteenth time — that writing under any sort of assumed name totally invalidates your opinion. Yes, even if your opinion is supported by a preponderance of evidence, or is shared by the overwhelming majority of governmental oversight bodies dealing with local municipalities. In their gospel, if you write under an assumed name, your opinion is utterly without merit, no matter how sensible your views.
As I often say, here’s the thing: almost 2 and a half years ago I sat in a high school auditorium with a few hundred or so concerned citizens of East Hampton and witnessed impassioned, reasoned pleas from a broad majority of residents regarding the attempts of the 2010 Council to get rid of Matt Reimondo for reasons that, in the years since, have stubbornly refused to materialize. I was left with the stunning, indelible impression not only of the utter tone deafness of elected Councilors to their own constituents, but of their unveiled contempt for the same. I found it sickening. In that moment, I vowed to act, and this this blog was born.
With the relative saneness of recent months it has been easy to forget how thick and fast the excrement was flowing back then; during the TC6 tenure it seemed that every day brought a new, fresh hell. From the moment they tried to fire Reimondo, town governance was effectively ground to a halt, and in the end several local political careers and reputations were forever trashed. Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars lost in the vacuum of settlements and legal fees. But somehow, in the haters’ narrative it was all the fault of the Chatham Party and bloggers such as yours truly.
Flattering, to say the least, but like so many things promulgated by the East Hampton Candide Posse, totally fictional. To this day Beth Shephard’s CHRO case against the town remains unresolved, and not one person can satisfactory answer: if Jeff O’Keefe was in fact so utterly innocent, why did he resign? The FOIC and State’s Attorney clearly came down on the side of reality, and the TC6, less Barbara Moore, paid the price, with stunning losses both in the Ordinance 109 referendum and the council election a year later.
Today, with a new Town Manager seated, it seemed better days were ahead. But the moment he made a decision — a perfectly sensible, rational , legal decision well within his own authority that did not sit well with Reimondo’s enemies — suddenly all hell breaks loose and its 2010 again, except this time it is Ted Hintz and a half dozen or so of the East Hampton Candide membership desperately looking to gin up the specter of malfeasance where none exists. The press at large is, of course, nonplussed and has to rightfully trot out the entire narrative; this is once again parsed as “bias” rather than objective reality.
So what’s this really about?
My take: a sad, desperate attempt to retake even the smallest shred of ground the TC6 and their supporters long since rightfully lost. Matt Reimondo is all but done with East Hampton; at this point it is merely a question of when. Maniscalco decides to resolve the difficulty of filling the interim Chief position by effectively postponing Reimondo’s retirement by 90 days, and the haters literally go apeshit, hoping we won’t remember how their antics cost the town the last time. Ted Hintz attempts to co-opt the methodology of TBOT’s wildly successful 2010 grass roots campaign, failing to realize it is all but impossible to rally people to your cause when you have neither sanity, prudence or common sense on your side.
It’s like in that movie “200 Cigarettes” where the unpopular girl throws the New Year’s Party and no one shows up. Except Ted is the girl.