Upon coming to America, a friend of mine made a deal with himself: no jaw dropping, no matter what. The deal fell through a few days later when he saw the size of Sunday New York Times.
Thirty years later something amazed me too. In January 2012 my jaw dropped during an Ulster County Legislature roll-call: Parete John… Parete Richard… Parete Robert… Beg your pardon? Three members of the same family in a 23-member Legislature? Nice voting bloc if you can get it!
I never met any of the Paretes and as far as I know each of them might be a cross between George Washington and Mother Theresa, but that’s not the point. Hoarding three legislative seats by a father and his sons it’s enough to make any thinking person throw up. On the other hand, the voters are equally responsible for this aberrant situation. Papa John does not even reside in “his” district, while the cubs live across the Route 209 from each other.
The good news: the incumbent Parete Robert didn’t run in the 2013 election.
The bad news: rotten moral fiber notwithstanding, Parete John wants to be the Chairman of the Legislature. Get details from Ulster County Democratic chairman says GOP ignoring will of people by helping John Parete become Legislature chairman – a Freeman article by Patricia Doxsey:
Democrats secured a 13-10 legislative majority in the November election after being in the minority for four years. Rodriguez, D-New Paltz, then was tapped by the Democratic caucus to be chairman.
But Parete apparently has the backing of the Legislature’s 10-member Republican caucus. And that support, along with Parete’s own vote and that of his son, Richard, D-Accord, gives the elder Parete the 12 votes needed to become the next chairman.
In a letter to the Freeman, Democratic Chairman Frank Cardinale blasted GOP support of Parete John, D-Boiceville, as “a desperate effort” by Republicans “to cling to power despite their loss at the ballot box.”
In his letter, Cardinale also questioned Parete’s loyalty to the Democratic party that Parete once led.
“It is my great belief that no honorable Democratic legislator would even entertain the idea of turning his or her back on the hardworking Democratic committee people who have done so much, or on the will of the voters of Ulster County in return for selfish short-term personal gain,” Cardinale wrote.
Without any doubt Len Bernardo is behind the Republican support for his buddy Parete John. Based on closely watching the GOP for the last few years, I predict another Bernardo victory. Papa Parete will get the chairmanship and the cojones-challenged Republican legislators will rush to introduce some fitting local laws and resolutions: No legislator shall live in the represented district… All legislators must add Parete to their last names… No legislator is allowed to cast a vote before showing proof of attending at least three fundraising events at the Boiceville Inn… All legislative committees’ meetings will be held in Len Bernardo’s kitchen…
If the headline of this post doesn’t ring a bell for the GOP legislators, here is a little help:
“…and then there were none.”
– Jon Dogar-Marinesco