Who Cooked Nomination, Left, Right or Wong?
On August 9, 2011 a Democratic judge along with a Democratic attorney managed to knock Gene Cook off the Republican line of the Nov 2011 Town Hall election ballot. Vivienne Wong, brought the successful lawsuit about, although many sources speculate that there are several other parties that are behind the lawsuit and encouraging Wong to cause dissension in the Republican party. The reason for the ruling was that the Republican committee did not follow proper procedure in nominating Cook. It seems that the agenda at the Republican convention was taken out of order which was enough to remove Cook from the ballot. In addition, the Wilson Pakula resolution had discrepancies. (See Wilson Pakula article). The party is currently appealing the ruling as they feel it was political in nature.
The strange twist to the story is that Vivienne Wong, prior to the screening for the Town Board, considered Cook a personal friend. She was also Cook’s campaign manager when he ran for Town Board in 2009 and lost by only about 250 votes. Wong didn’t seem to be disturbed about Cook being a registered Independence party member when she helped to run his campaign in the last Town Board elections. Sources who are close to the situation are speculating that Wong did this because of a vendetta she has against Toni Tepe who is the current chairperson of the Republican party. Removing Cook from the ballot actually seems to undermine Wong’s claims that she wants to remove the current majority on Huntington’s Town Board. Wong is not eligible to primary for the Republican Town board because the vast majority of her petitions signatures were invalid. Wong even signed her own petitions which is not allowable by election laws. Now that Cook has been removed from the ballot, Herb Morrow will be the only candidate on the Republican line. It is too late to add another candidate since the deadline date has passed. On her website, Wong is touting her reason for knocking her friend Cook off the ballot as trying to restore honor and integrity to Town Hall. In an article in the Long Islander Newspaper, Wong was caught in a variety of lies which seems to be a pattern for the candidate. In trying to sort out the tangled web of controversy surrounding the 2011 Town Board elections several sources who refused to be named because they “feared Wong’s relentless interest in vendetta’s” expressed a variety of reasons behind the lawsuit. There is a group of people working together. Some of them are doing it for the power of trying to unseat Toni Tepe, others are alleged to be connected to Frank Petrone and are very concerned about losing the majority on the Town Board. The Huntingtonian asked the source what they meant by “Wong’s relentless vendetta’s” and they described such things as calling one’s place of employment, threatening law suits, sending e-mail blasts and blogging slanderous statements, and things as silly as sending fake magazine subscriptions that the person will eventually be billed for.
It seems the current town board members are concerned about their decreasing popularity and therefore are trying to come up with ways to knock their competition out of the way rather than face them at the polls and let the voters decide. In another similar situation supporters of Glenda Jackson and Susan Berland managed to knock Kevin Thorbourne off the Working Families line. Kevin Thornbourne has a strong passion for the Huntington Station community and decided to run because he is fed up with the neglect of his community by the current Town Board.
So while the average citizen is trying to earn a living to pay their ever increasing property taxes, others are enduring 3 hour round trip rides on the LIRR, and finally others are rowing their way through the flooded roads of Halesite, our politicians are working tirelessly to figure out how to knock each other off for technicalities. The Huntingtonian can only guess that the average citizen would wish that these politicians would put as much effort and creativity is trying to solve the real problems of our Township. There is much at stake in the 2011 Town Board elections which means that there will be many more tactics by these political folks. The Huntingtonian reporters will continue to get to the bottom of the story. These stories read more like a prime time soap opera or the latest reality show.