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Sep 11, 2018 4:11 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Rare And 'Confusing' Ballot For East Hampton Democrats On Thursday

David Gruber and David Lys appealed to East Hampton Democrats last Tuesday at their lone ebate before this Thursday's primary vote.
Sep 11, 2018 4:18 PM

East Hampton Town’s large Democratic Party constituency will be presented with a thoroughly unique set of circumstances at local polls on Thursday, September 13.

Along with the primary runoff for nomination to the November ballot, with the winner running in a rare off-year election for just one year of a seat on the Town Board, Democratic voters will be asked on Thursday to choose from among more than 60 candidates for the party’s committee, with voters choosing two candidates in each of the town’s 19 election districts.

A contested election for committee assignments is all but unheard of, and political veterans say that such a broad contest for nearly every seat on the committee has certainly never taken place in the town before.

To be clear: A voter will not be asked to pick 38 committee people—just two from his or her district. Each voter will cast three votes in the local races—there are also primary races for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and a surrogate court judgeship on the ballot—choosing from among the two Town Board candidates, David Lys and David Gruber, and the three or four candidates for the two committee seats, depending on the district.

Driving the bizarre electoral condition is a split within the party between two factions that have put up competing slates of candidates for the committee.

One slate is supported by the leadership of the party and the majority of the current committee. The other slate is supported by the Reform Democrats, a splinter group of committee members that organized following a disagreement about how the chairmanship of the party was being passed down last winter. It is trying to wrest control of the committee from those who have led the party for the last two decades—and overseen its rise to nearly complete political dominance in town offices.

“The committee is run by insiders and … we’re trying to break that system,” said Rona Klopman, a committee member from Amagansett who drove the wedge of the split when she challenged the process of replacing the longtime party chairwoman, Jeanne Frankl, last winter. “People are fed up with cronyism.”

Ms. Klopman filed a lawsuit, alleging collusion by committee members in presenting Cate Rogers, then the Zoning Board of Appeals vice chair, as the favored choice to take over as the head of the party. She then mounted a campaign to be the new chairwoman herself. Ultimately, she lost to Ms. Rogers in a vote of the committee.

But she rallied some committee members around her in opposition to the majority’s choice of Mr. Lys to be its Town Board candidate this year. The splinter group chose Mr. Gruber and set off what has been an increasingly nasty internecine skirmish.

“This is certainly a sign of the times and what comes down from the national dialogue,” Ms. Rogers said. “When the majority of the committee nominated David Lys, David Gruber wrote two letters to [The East Hampton Star] asking people to get rid of the people who didn’t vote for him. It’s just too much like national politics. The vitriol that’s coming from them is very damaging to the community.”

If the deluge of robocalls and mailers that the two sides have been employing in support of their candidates have not helped clarify the contest, Thursday’s ballot will not make it easy for voters to differentiate between which committee candidates are aligned with which group. The slates will be jumbled between the two lines, A and B, on the primary ballot in some districts; since they are all Democrats, there is nothing identifying which committee candidates are affiliated with which faction of the party.

Mr. Lys will be on line A and Mr. Gruber on line B. But the Reform Democratic slate of “county committee” candidates will be on line A in some districts and line B in others.

Both Ms. Rogers and Ms. Klopman called the arrangement of the ballot “very confusing.”

Only registered Democrats will be able to cast ballots tomorrow. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Q: How do you confuse a Democrat?
A: No need. They are born that way.
By even flow (799), East Hampton on Sep 12, 18 7:48 AM
How do you know someone thinks democrats are dumb?

Don't worry, they'll tell you
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4554), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 12, 18 7:58 AM
How do you know the least educated vote for Democrats? Check the demographics of presidential elections for the last 50 years, and in every single instance the Democrat received the majority of high school dropout votes.
By MoronEliminator (154), Montauk on Sep 12, 18 1:56 PM
2 members liked this comment
^ Life imitates art!
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4554), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 12, 18 2:00 PM
Moron, prove that.
By Fred s (1466), Southampton on Sep 12, 18 2:04 PM
“The Anti-Democrat Diploma: How High School Education Increases Support For The Republican Party”, John Marshall, December 2016, harvard.edu

Gallup polling data also supports the claim.
By SDG1776 (114), Southampton on Sep 12, 18 6:48 PM
Now tell us about who college graduates vote for.

Or instead, let's not play the "whose supporters are more dumb" game because at the end of the day, whichever candidate one supports needs dumb votes too.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4554), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 12, 18 10:49 PM
Highly educated adults – particularly those who have attended graduate school – are far more likely than those with less education to take predominantly liberal positions across a range of political values. And these differences have increased over the past two decades.

By even flow (799), East Hampton on Sep 13, 18 9:48 AM
From the Washington Times, liberal rag that it is.When it comes to education, the parties have switched places over the past two decades.

According to a Pew Research Center poll released this week, Democrats are now the party of college graduates, especially those with post-graduate work. Meanwhile, people with a high-school degree or less, by far the larger group, slightly lean toward Republicans.
By Fred s (1466), Southampton on Sep 13, 18 10:14 AM
Republicans are the worst! Look who they put in the WHITE HOUSE!
By MelissaA (42), Sag Harbor on Sep 12, 18 10:30 AM
To be clear: There is nothing in this article that brought any clarity to the primary election.
By shadow captain (34), sag harbor on Sep 12, 18 10:40 AM
Another reason why 50 percent of voters stay home.
By country joe (35), sag harbor on Sep 12, 18 10:59 AM
In tomorrow's Democratic Primary for Suffolk County Surrogate Judge, there is only ONE Democrat....Judge Theresa Whelan. Tara Scully is a Republican endorsed by the Republican Party and running on the Republican line., with ZERO courtroom experience.

Judge Theresa Whelan is a proud lifelong Democrat with the experience we need representing our Democratic values in the Suffolk County Surrogate Court.

VOTE ON SEPTEMBER 13 FOR JUDGE THERESA WHELAN


By HamptonClassic (73), Southampton on Sep 12, 18 1:03 PM
1 member liked this comment
And here the whole time I thought judges were supposed to be impartial decision makers who put aside party, politics, and personal opinions when doing their job as a judge.... I guess Democratic judges now exclude themselves from this long standing tradition. Now you know why we don't want any more Democratic judges on the SCOTUS.
By localEH (340), East Hampton on Sep 12, 18 2:49 PM
The law is not always black and white. Judges exercise broad discretion, and we predict how they will do so based on their record and political affiliation.

If you don't like elected judges, the alternative is appointed judges...is that really any better?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4554), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 12, 18 2:58 PM
Local, very ridiculous post.
By Fred s (1466), Southampton on Sep 12, 18 3:23 PM
localEH, goes to show how little you know about civics. So now I'll educate a Republican or as Trump calls you.. the less educated. Judges are put on the ballot by both parties to be voted on. First, you can have a primary, by political party. Should be Dems on Dem primary ballot and Reps on Republican ballot. In the General Election (Nov) it usually is Dem vs Rep vs any other party. That's how it is done in our state and country.
Judges for the Supreme Court are picked by the President in ...more
By SpeedRacer (125), Southampton on Sep 12, 18 3:11 PM
And it goes to show how little you know about judicial ethics and NY law. But hey, I’m only licensed to practice law in five states including NY, so what do I know. Since you seem to so horribly misinformed about the ethical obligations of our judiciary, I’ll try to help you. NY Judicial Conduct Section 100.2: A judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of the judge's activities.
(A) A judge shall respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times ...more
By localEH (340), East Hampton on Sep 12, 18 9:44 PM
Who's talking about rejecting impartiality?

If you're a member of the legal profession you should be well informed on what decisions politics can and cannot affect.

The kind of malfeasance that you suggest people are seeking in judicial candidates would be overturned on appeal and such judges would be censured by their own peers.

The Supreme Court is in a unique position, dealing with issues of first impression, circuit splits, or state/federal disagreements, and the ...more
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4554), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 12, 18 10:44 PM
localeEH, I do not believe you are an attorney in NY or any state. Your comprehension of my post shows that you don't have the minimal ability to represent a person in a court of law.
First, no where do I maintain that a Judge has to be loyal to the political party that they come from. YES, every Judge comes up the ranks of a Political Party, else how do they get elected? Once they take the oath of office, their loyalty is to the Constitution of the US and usually the state they practice in.
Corruption! ...more
By SpeedRacer (125), Southampton on Sep 12, 18 11:03 PM
That’s a pretty fast spinning backpedal you have - how typical. This whole discussion is about the fact the Classic said people should vote for Whelan because she’s a Democrat who “we need representing our democratic values”. That is a clear statement rejecting impartiality and encouraging the institution of someone into a judicial position so they will decide issues before them based upon “democratic values” rather than facts before the court. As for the SCOTUS, ...more
By localEH (340), East Hampton on Sep 13, 18 9:29 AM
Are you saying there is no room in a judge's charge to "represent democratic values"?

Again, if you are really an attorney, you are well-versed on where a judge's politics may permissibly enter into their decision-making, and where they cannot.

I have no personal objection to Kavanaugh, though I agree with the persistent demands for transparency in light of the documents that Republicans don't want to disclose.

If he's really so squeaky clean, what are they hiding?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4554), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 13, 18 9:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
I am going to vote for the younger guy, we need some youth in government.
By Preliator Lives (312), Obamavillie on Sep 12, 18 3:21 PM