A caucus for the history books

Tony Spano

It’s all about the vacant seat on the Rochester Town Board
Ulster County Republican Committee member and former Town of Rochester Councilwoman Manuela Michailescu lost the nomination of the Rochester Republican Caucus to Cindy Fornino – a registered Conservative, the wife of Rochester Conservative Party chairman Gerry Fornino. I will re-visit this paragraph one of these days; for now I want to focus on the caucus.

The 2014 Town of Rochester Republican Caucus was something else.
Something fake like… whatchamacallit?… a Conservative Caucus, only ten times bigger. Otherwise, this caucus brought us a bunch of firsts.

FIRST Republican Caucus kept under wraps
A 3-line legal notice buried in a newspaper nobody reads covers your ass legally, not ethically. Moreover, the Republican Committee member Imre Beke – of the Virgin Mary Cancer Pills fame – misled fellow Committee member Manuela Michailescu about the date of the caucus.

Danny Aversano, the freshly minted chairman of the Rochester Republican Committee, tried to fly this caucus under the radar, as ordered by Terry Bernardo. So much so that without the intervention of fellow Committee member Manuela Michailescu, this caucus would have been illegal. You read that right: I-L-L-E-G-A-L. Two hours before the deadline, Manuela checked if the caucus notice was filed with the Town Clerk and posted at the Town Hall. It was not. Manuela called Aversano and made him correct the situation. Aversano’s lame excuse: “Nobody told me.”

With the exception of the people who learned the date of the caucus on this blog or from my and Manuela’s Facebook pages, all others were invited to attend in order to vote for Cindy Fornino.

FIRST Republican Caucus completely taken over by Terry Bernardo
I arrived 30 minutes earlier, in time to witness the frantic staging of the caucus. In the past, Republican Committee members – with help from the rank and file – prepared the caucus venue. This time, under Terry Bernardo’s direction and supervision, the Conservative Party chair Gerry Fornino, helped by family and Bob Garrett, moved furniture and prepared the seating, assigning two chairs to a six-person Republican committee, obviously trying to steal Manuela’s seat at the table. The place was awash in whispers and hostility.

Ulster County Legislator Ken Ronk came all the way from Shawangunk to explain to Aversano how the caucus works, despite the fact that the new Chair could have asked for help in our own town.

FIRST Republican Caucus ashamed of itself
Chairman Aversano opened the meeting welcoming the audience to “our Caucus,” not to “the Republican Caucus.” He did not introduce the four present members of the Rochester Republican Committee, Manuela Michailescu among them.

Displaying disloyalty and lack of respect for the Republican candidates, Aversano started the nomination process with the Conservative candidate – a moronic move surely imposed by Terry Bernardo. Moreover, Aversano didn’t state that Cindy Fornino belongs to a different party. When Committee member Manuela Michailescu made him do the right thing, Imre Beke – always the loyal servant of Terry Bernardo – felt the need to mumble in the name of the Committee: “and we support Cindy Fornino!” My dear Beke, you might support a candidate as a private person, but the Committee is not allowed to support candidates for town offices. It’s the law, genius!

Next, Chairman Aversano – despite being given written information about Manuela Michailescu’s candidacy – played cute and replaced the required “the Chair recognizes Kandy Santosky for the purpose of a nomination” with a disrespectful “anybody else?”

FIRST Person who counts the votes after nominating a candidate
Yep, Bob Garrett nominated Cindy Fornino, then was allowed to count the votes.

FIRST Secretary of a caucus making a fool of himself
Yep, Imre Beke, with an idiotic smile and a bobbing head, confirmed to everybody in Fornino’s camp that Cindy won the nomination, long before Chairman Aversano made the official announcement.

FIRST Caucus where Town of Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman
couldn’t stop looking at his shoes

Yep, no matter how crooked you are, pangs of conscience might tickle your belly.

It was obvious to everybody attending the caucus: a coalition of unsavory characters conspired to stage the caucus to get rid of Manuela. In the near future I’ll take my sweet time to skewer all of them. The messages received by Manuela after the caucus confirmed my suspicion that I’m not crazy. Many other people saw the same dirty deal:

    They are talking unity in the town, that will never happen as long as everyone is stabbing every one else in the back… Including Carl… I just don’t know how you do it dealing with all these phony people… You are one strong lady… I take my hat off to you…


    Hi Manuela. I hoped you win the nomination. You have to dig deep and figure out what they have against you. Something is obviously not right. Are you sure you want to sit with such inadequate people? You deserve better than that. My fingers were crossed. However, I felt that they made their own private decisions and made it look like it’s out in the open. That’s politics. Crooked as a broken toe!


    Manuela, I really think they have black listed you because they don’t like Jon. But, their loss. They don’t deserve your skills. At this point, if I were you, I would not bother helping them with ANYTHING. Let them figure it out for themselves.

    Then the speech about coming together! that was a joke. If you want people to come together, nominate and elect from your own party! Cindy should be running on the Conservative line, not the Republican line when we have a Republican that wants to run.

    It was another deal so let’s see what they really get out of it.
    I am not expecting much more than continuous 5:0 voting and nothing really getting done.


    I am so sorry. That was very unfair. It’s almost sickening.


    It was all so pre-planed. I am sure that Carl and Cindy’s husband are friends. I bet it was already a done deal. The deserving party never gets a true vote or a chance to win. That is crooked politics. We do not have room for that in our town. Just try to relax and know that it is not you. It is them that treat the positive person so negatively.


    Manuela, I just read again all the applications. I cannot believe how obvious it was that they chose Cindy due only to friendship. Definitely you should have been chosen. How unfair. How ludicrous Carl now looks. He should be ashamed of himself. I am ashamed to read these resumes and see that she was voted in based on that. I really have no other words. I am just saddened.


    It’s disturbing to say the least. So corrupt from town level up. Love you – the good will prevail.


    You know Carl is a weak man – he’s so worried about losing his position that he bends like a reed in the wind. It’s a shame – I used to think he was a man of conviction. Wrong!


    For some reason the local Conservative party has their own private ‘get Manuela’ agenda, apparently they still hold on to it.  When I questioned one of them, a member, he had no answer. Just don’t let it get you down, it is beyond logic,  maybe it’s ethnic, you know what a screwy political town this is. I would not lift a finger to help advance Carl on anything, including his stupid reasoning excuse for mishandling the trash site. His first obligation to this town was to clean it up, period.

Any thoughts? Feel free to comment…

– Jon Dogar-Marinesco

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2 Responses to A caucus for the history books

  1. dukas says:

    And Jon comes out swinging. If anyone can do it, it’s only you, nobody else has the balls. It’s as if these freaks feel they have the self-worshiping right to project their own sense of reality onto all other life forms by ignoring common decency. They’re certainly on another level, more like the monkeys in the Central Park Zoo ejaculating or throwing feces when one walks by. Devoid of the class they imagine themselves in, they muddle through the universe.

    Good luck and good fortune in your upcoming battles.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The above comment pretty much says it all.

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