There are five Election Districts in the Town of Rochester. Each district elects two persons to the Ulster County Republican Committee, and they are known as Town of Rochester Republican Committee. Since 2009, none of them were actually elected. They got the seats by successfully challenging the opponents’ petitions. More power to them.
In June 2010, a Republican resident’s decision to run for a seat in District 2 triggered a flurry of emails between the ten members of said Committee. For its sheer non-sense, unmitigated demagoguery and downright stupidity, this email – sent by Imre Beke, Sr. to the other nine committee members – takes the cake:
From: Imre Beke Sr.
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 4:49 PM
To: Dave O’Halloran, Shane Ricks, Leon Smith
Cc: Zaccai, Dejager, Callan, Case, Bernardo, Ryan
Subject: GOP District 2
David, Leon and Shane:
I fully agree with the opinion expressed by both Shane and Leon.
Regardless of the personalities involved, my major concerns from an objective point of view are as follows:
(1) After so many years of division in our Town’s GOP (not to mention of the incompetence and ineffectiveness of the previous Committee), we finally have a united, well-organized Town Committee, ready for a major election campaign next year. We know that the opposing party will launch a major campaign to regain its power, with the consequences of tax increases, divisions, etc. following should they win. Any action that weakens our GOP’s united front to retain the majority is insulting to our fellow citizens who support our Republican and Conservative values and also an affront to our whole community’s expectations.
(2) It is the duty of the Committee to find talented people with political ambitions. We should encourage such people to participate in the many different positions, memberships available in the different entities of our Town Government. To participate in this process of nomination is a great responsibility for the members of the Committee. Now, in view of this fact, let’s analyze the situation for a minute. If the chair (or any other officer) of the Committee (or of any Board, Commission, etc) is doing an excellent, constructive job (as David is certainly doing, in our case), how would the common good be served if somebody wants to replace him/her only to satisfy his/her own blind ambition? Then, the inevitable question arises: how can we expect one to have the wisdom and temperament to make objective, unselfish judgments as a Committee member, when one seems to be incapable of taking into consideration the damages that one’s actions will cause for the community?
(3) Shane probably remembers that when I was a member and Chairman of the Planning Board (for 14 years), I constantly defended our fellow citizens’ causes (many times against the opinion of our town attorney) by claiming that we should take into consideration not only the “letter of the law”, but also the “spirit of the law”. In our present situation, somebody may have the “right” (by law) to act against the common good, but still abuse and violate the “spirit of the law”. Here is the reason: ethically, whenever the Committee will discuss an issue involving the Town Board or the nomination (or support) of certain persons to a position, the question of conflict of interest will come up if a Town Board member is also a member of the Committee. If such a person is not able to understand the ethical implications of this conflict, then the natural remedy should be to convene an “executive session” without his/her presence. Obviously, that will create further division in the community, thanks to that person, who is deliberately trying to sabotage the GOP’s agenda and mission.
This is only “one man’s opinion”. I strongly believe that if we honestly want to have a strong GOP presence and good, conservative governance in our Town, we had better make sure that our ranks are united and not let the needs of the party and the community be usurped by selfish ambitions.
I’m not going to insult your intelligence by pointing out what’s wrong with this email. (On the other hand, if you don’t see it yourself, no amount of pointing out will help.) But I must tell you who was the challenger Imre Beke loved to bitch about: Town of Rochester Councilwoman Manuela Michailescu. You are not surprised.
– Jon Dogar-Marinesco