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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tonight's Judicial Rubicon

Tonight at 6PM, the Town Board will meet to interview four so called finalists for the vacant position of town justice. Three Board members are needed in order to make an appointment and with one of them, Alan Michaels, seeking the appointment himself, only 4 Board members will be voting.

But the vote has turned into a modern day political Rubicon of sorts with the four non Republican board members, all of whom sought an endorsement from the GOP to run as Republicans, apparently pressured to pay homage to the GOP for those endorsements by delivering their votes for their judicial candidate Stephanie Piel.

Remarkably, Piel is the only one of 4 finalists with no trial experience, not even a traffic ticket case. It becomes very clear that she should not even be on the stage this evening with the other three, all of whom have beefier legal resumes.

So tonight, the public will get to see a remarkable vote and hear the justification for it. Evers was given the Repoublican endorsement Monday night and Al Spain was sent home empty handed, we are told because he refused to barter his office with the GOP. Councilman Kern, who usually does whatever Mark Evers tells him to, was dumped by the GOP, giving him no further reason to join Evers in support of Piel in selling his office. They continue to dangle a contrived hope in front of Kern that he might be allowed on the ticket if one of the GOP candidates is too ill to run. Right, Ernie, we have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale too.

The other Board member in the mix is Conservative Lou Desso who has avoided telling confidants what he will do on this vote. He is said to be concerned about a tape made at a recent fundraiser in which a member of the town Republican Committee who incidentally, is employed at town hall, verbally warned him that he had better vote for Piel. That's a case of the tail wagging the dog for sure.

So tune in tonight at 6PM as North Greenbush's dysfunctional town board shows how they appoint a judge. Our kudos to Al Spain on this one. While he has been the subject of our criticism in the past, finishing second in a vote decided by a barometer of one's willingness to improperly exchange a vote on the town board for a political endorsement is a price too great to pay. What a story he could share this evening about his interview witht the GOP.

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