The Hezitorial: Political Slime, By Sam Zherka and Hezi Aris

eHezi Archives 38 Comments

EHezi_Hezitorial Zherka_Selim The People have for too long become accustomed to suffering those whom we have elected to office. Despite the grand visions promised, rarely are the political contenders endowed with the backbone demanded of them.  Too often we lust for the visions espoused only to be disappointed by recognizing we have collectively been played by those who ask for our trust. We shrug our shoulders, grumble and spit a litany of epithets in recognition we have been played for fools once again. Our political history is littered by our being outmaneuvered at every turn. It is punctuated by us sitting in wait for better days, believing in the promise that is never realized. We are in Yonkers

Tunisia-Ben-Ali In juxtaposition to Yonkers, Tunisia has witnessed a major upheaval to the status quo entrenched for almost 23 years. In the Arab world, the young generation cheers for the rioters who have caused  President Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee. Fellow autocratic rulers in Egypt, Sudan, Iran, and Algeria had hoped for President Ben Ali to maintain his stranglehold on his nation fearing they may be next to suffer a forced departure from office.

The corrupt regime had ossified with time, distanced from reality by losing touch with the aspirations of its people. Believing we are cultured and thereby a step removed from our estranged Arab brethren, we laugh at their predicament believing we live by the principals of democracy.

We believe we are removed from the suffering of rising commodity prices forgetting the riots in Mexico a few years ago when corn futures caused the populace to no longer be able to afford making tortillas, their staple food stuff. Similarly last week, in Algeria riots erupted over rising food prices.

Amicone_Phil Yonkers may not suffer as acutely as did Mexico a year ago, or Algeria last week. Yonkers suffers from the stifling of liberties among our borders. Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone directs the Yonkers Police Department to steal the newspaper racks of The Westchester Guardian newspapers by which his governance is exposed inept or arrogant. An $8 million Federal Court ruling judged Phil Amicone personally liable to that end.

Parental guidance demanded patience among their young to await the promise of economic sustenance. The elders were wrong to demand patience of their progeny.  Patience begat economic instability and deprivation. The political heirs of this autocratic government is now fortified among the “friends and family" network and the political retreads that are revealing themselves intent  to appropriate power and extending control for long after the term-limited Mayor Amicone is gone.

The backdrop of economic malaise maintains its grip among the City of Yonkers (CoY) yet the “drama” reducing those employed at the Yonkers Board of  Education (YBoE), the Yonkers Fire Department (YFD),  the Department of Public Works (DPW), the Yonkers Police Department YFD, among other departments, has eclipsed the dire circumstances before CoY.  The Amicone Administration had plotted this ploy to put a lid on the public outcry.

Schorr_Dan Inspector General Dan Schorr, having been handed a court ruling initiated by former Inspector General Phil Zisman has been castrated by Mayor Amicone. He will not pursue purview over the Yonkers Board of Education as deemed appropriate by court ruling. He will not find residence in Yonkers as he swore to the Yonkers City Council he would within 6 months of earning their approval of becoming the IG. He will sit idly by, doing nothing to earn his $200,000 inclusive of  benefits per annum posting other than to twiddle his thumbs at Yonkersites and the system of governance they have come to tolerate and endure. He claimed to be an ethicist to whom all could turn for advice. How duplicitous of him. His only responsibility is to to protect Mayor Amicone from legal complication two years beyond the mayor’s departure from office. Mr Schorr’s reward is to take a second swipe at becoming Westchester County District Attorney or succeeding White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley with the help of his future brother-in-law, White Plains Common Councilman David Buchwald. 

Martinelli_Richard The latest circus event is the coming out party of would be political contenders for office of mayor of Yonkers. Richard Martinelli, whose tenure as Yonkers City Council President about five years ago had him abdicate office by his not fighting the “good fight” for reelection. He conducted his four years in office as the ultimate ass-wipe for Yonkers Mayor Amicone. His last act was to acquiesce to the Forest City Ratner development project at Ridge Hill that saw the sale of the land for $8.5 million in order to fill a hole in Mayor Amicone’s budget deficit. The land was worth $500 million. CoY will see little return for the enormous taxpayer subsidized investment  by which Ridge Hill will come to be completed. Mr Martinelli is the son of former Yonkers Mayor Angelo Martinelli who directed the tearing down of the colonnades despite a public outcry against it being demolished. The pain of that action has yet to heal the scarred Yonkers psyche.

Hitching a ride on the re-branding of Richard Martinelli for mayor of Yonkers in 2011 is former Mayor John Spencer who demanded Richard Martinelli await his decision to run or not before he could announce his candidacy. John Spencer eventually made some people privy that he would not run allowing Richard Martinelli to move ahead. Richard Martinelli’s coming out is far from commanding.

Martinelli Press is the major attribute afforded Richard Martinelli his ability to launch his campaign effort.  Right to Life advocates’ support of his campaign has stolen the limelight momentarily but will not likely endure the economic ills CoY is suffering to direct Yonkersites to the Richard Martinelli campaign effort.

McLaughlin_liam Asc_headshot-red Those who would hang their hat on the second floor with Richard Martinelli are the likes of Liam McLaughlin, New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ failed opponent, and Kathy Spring-Spencer, the former Chief of Staff to Mayor Spencer and Mayor Amicone.  Family reunions are usually not as much fun as one would hope but it is all about the “family and Friends” network in politics.
The other Republican contender for mayor, Yonkers City Council Majority Leader John Murtagh(see below left) , orphaned despite his best efforts to be adopted by the Astorino Administration, has lost Mayor Amicone’s favor, and has been shunned of late by media. Mr Murtagh’s ability to mount a competent campaign effort is suspect. 

Murtagh_John Barbato_Dee Former Yonkers City Councilwoman Dee Barbato will show up at all the political “dos” for awhile. She will eventually be told to hit the road and she will. So much for telling it like it is.

Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick (see below), who shovels the manure for Mayor Amicone, lest he stink up their “non-aggression pact” agreement to get along to get along, maintains his political subterfuge within the guise and tenets of “Lesnick the Liar;” aspects to which Yonkersites can well attest.

Lesnick_Chuck with Flag Mayer_Shelley Former Senate Majority Counsel Shelley Mayer, now unemployed by the Democrat Senate Majority, having  been relegated to minority status, was considering plundering CoY, but having been outed, will now look to find employ elsewhere. 

Yonkers’ convulsions are heard throughout New York State.

Those with bigoted minds will laugh at Tunisians believing they reside within an untenable governmental structure having once mistaken repression for stability. 

Yonkersites’ experience with democracy has proven wanting. The demonstrators’ win in the streets of Tunis have had their way. Have the warning signals sounded there been heard here? If not, when?

Sam Zherka is the publisher of The Westchester Guardian. Hezi Aris is the editor of  The Westchester Guardian and publisher of  the Yonkers Tribune.

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eHeziThe Hezitorial: Political Slime, By Sam Zherka and Hezi Aris

Comments 38

  1. You are a puffer puppet.
    You need to check personal “facts”
    in some of your stories that were
    spoon fed to you.
    So…..What does it really “take”
    to pull your strings?
    I am sure the string pullers can
    throw a comment or two your way.

  2. You are a puffer puppet.
    You need to check personal “facts”
    in some of your stories that were
    spoon fed to you.
    So…..What does it really “take”
    to pull your strings?
    I am sure the string pullers can
    throw a comment or two your way.

  3. I agree that Cuomo will not endorse Chuck. hey Mike, why do you not think chuck could win that congress seat? hes bright and i think would be a great person to take over for nita. On a local level I do think Mike is our best hope for a democrat to win in Yonkers
    No offense to Chuck who I hold in high regard

  4. ” A dem in the know ” would know how to spell two of the most prominate democrats in the state names.
    …………..On second thought, probably not.
    Stupid democrats.

  5. Tonton…
    The “Gotcha” was an acknowledgment of understanding….not a gotcha/caught.
    Your characterization of politics as a negative blood sport speaks volumes about how you consider things.

  6. that’s a rather bold prediction..chuck will never
    be US representative….should Nita ever give up
    her seat…Noam Bramson mayor of new rochelle is
    next on line not chuck…and if it isn’t Noah there
    is amy Paulin from new rochelle and scarsdale etc
    chuck is a non starter

  7. Scary the entitlement culture that surrounds all of these assholes. They think they own the $ucking shop. It’s Mikes seat, It’s Martinelli’s seat, It’s Spano’s seat. Kick them all out…wait they are the only ones in the race, scary.

  8. Cuoma and shumer will not support Lesnick because they dont think he can win. As a dem in the know, I can tell you that they will not take the risk of lossing to Murtag and they will encourage Chuck not to seek the dem line and will endorse Mike Spano in this race.
    Chuck will run and win the congress seat held by Nita lowey right now.

  9. ha…and $1,250 of Murtagh’s warchest comes from three politically associated entities – DelBello, the city council’s auditors, and the city council minority counsel…nothing like not getting money from regular constituents….

  10. sorry Mr. Stanton but Murtagh is a fraud who only surfaces when he is running for one office or another. He could have been great, had he been consistent when he first took office. But, however, he was not and thus us not.

  11. You didn’t gotcha anybody. Politics is a negative blood sport and is negative night and day. The only ones who create positivity out of it are the politicians themselves who after a while believe their own $hit, and the press releases created for them by their PR handlers.

  12. OK Pol….
    When the Khmer Rouge controlled Cambodia, you had a totalitarian state. In Yonkers, you have a disinterested population with a small, active political set of cronies.
    Vote them out. But what comes next?
    I’m waiting for someone to step forward and lead us through the malaise. The process may stink but comparing it to Cambodia under Pol Pot or current day Tunisia really doesn’t add anything positive to anything.

  13. Jack T,
    Murtagh’s record as a reformer speaks louder than Chuck and his 1001 broken campaign promises. I also resent his comments about Catholic school closings and their effect on increased public school sizes. Does he forget that the parents already pay property taxes for a school system???
    And worse, why does he not utter squat about the hundreds of illegals living in Yonkers with their high birth rates??? Why are they not an issue with each child costing $19K per year to educate ??? That doesn’t even count all the other services they are bleeding us for…
    Arch Stanton

  14. Yonkers is a totalitarian state, with a dictator with the appearance of democracy, but not in reality. It’s the same old families and the same old insiders doling out and picking their jobs. Once elected those with the party in, are awarded jobs to themselves and their families, thru the process they have set up.
    All one has to do is to look at the YPD and the YFD and the DPW.

  15. I’m missing the comparison between uprisings in Tunisia and the economic strife in Yonkers.
    Tunisia is a real totalitarian state that is undergoing change…Yonkers is a City with problems. The comparison is really a stretch…meant to incite, I think.
    I hope that we are not seeing a diminution in journalism tied to our new editor.
    I think part of the answer as to why we don’t have new people coming forward to run for office is exactly this process. Look at this article. Is every one of these people really only out for themselves? The conspiracy that is attempted to be portrayed here seems to involve everyone…even Richard Martinelli, who has been out of office for 5 years!
    People are dying every day in Tunisia. The strife that is occurring there dwarfs our economic trouble here in Yonkers.
    There are good people….and bad people …involved in Yonkers. But I really don’t think that our new editor needs to draw the comparisons he does to make his point.
    We need constructive dialog about the real issues we face in Yonkers…and if we have simply concluded that every single person who gets involved is doing it only for themselves, maybe we should just wrap it up right now. Bring in a Control Board.

  16. Unfortunately, in my opinion Lesnick has the best funded and organized campaign.Lesnick has the money from Schumer, Lowey,Engle and Cuomo.He has the professional campaign staffs that these powerful elected officials can provide.There is a solid base Democratic base from Lake Avenue south to the city line that will give Lesnick 75% of their vote.NYC Democrats want complete political control of Yonkers and Lesnick is their man. The “Republicans” running have been bitterly competing against each other for decades and although a few might unite together, the rest will undercut any “Republican” nominee.

  17. Raising money on the internet has become a well established technique, but Lesnick’s tone and frequency of appeal had all the signs of begging. In JANUARY.
    I somehow doubt that is how Obama approached it.
    A touch of class and maturity might be nice.

  18. to play by the rules…
    are you kidding me? Lesnick takes from EVERY DEVELOPER OUT THERE, AND THEN SOME, pluse the little people to which you allude. He practically worships at DelBello’s feet, which happen to be imprinted over every development project in Yonkers, in one way or another. wake up and smell the daylighting.

  19. Lesnick’s use of the internet to raise small amounts from lots of people (like Obama) is much better than having to rely on the developers and those who have contracts with the City. until Yonkers gets public financing of elections one needs to play with the rules in place. I would rather see internet fundraising than “pay to play”.

  20. The Tunisian revolution was born in their streets, and they say that the “Arab Street” is fierce when it makes a move. I really hope that they find inspired, dedicated leaders among the weary opposition. It’s a grand signal to their neighbors that change is possible, and it’s not pretty when it happens, but it’s worse if it doesn’t. InshAllah, they will find a peaceful outcome soon for their struggles. The world will be a better place for it. It truly matters.
    As for Yonkers politics, it’s sometimes like a hall of mirrors, and you wonder where someone truly stands on an issue. If the voters will become more engaged, that would be crucial for a better future. Here’s hoping that the media is always fair and inclusive so these campaigns really reach the locals and encourage the vote.
    Margaret Setterholm

  21. It should also be noted that Lesnick was begging on Facebook for money so he could show up the other candidates.
    The campaign has not even started and he has to shill on facebook to raise cash? What will he do later on when he needs serious cash?
    His facebook campaigning really is tacky and desperate.

  22. The sole opinion of the Yonkers Insider, you mean all cut and pasted from the web. That’s some investigation, from the guy who is running every year as a write in candidate and gets 10 votes every election. Another yonkers laugh.

  23. Yonkers Insider Article.
    Lesnick outshines Potential Mayoral Candidates for Yonkers Mayor in
    January filing.
    The Yonkers Insider does this article to show our readers how all the
    Potential Candidates for Yonkers Mayor are doing when it comes to
    Fundraising in this recent January Report for 2011.
    A review of all the filings of the potential candidates for Yonkers
    Mayor shows Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick outshining
    the other potential candidates for Yonkers Mayor in the January, it
    speaks to the widespread support that Council President Lesnick has
    within the Yonkers Community as well. It shows Lesnick’s camp with the
    ability to raise money and that he also has a good organization, which
    could help him if he decides to run for Yonkers Mayor.
    According to the January Report, Potential Candidate for Yonkers
    Mayor, Council President Lesnick raised over $25,897.00 and spent
    during the same time frame of $5,535.54 and The Council President
    has the most money on hand in terms of all the potential candidates
    for Yonkers Mayor of $30,434.97.
    Another Potential Candidate for Yonkers Mayor, Yonker City Councilman
    John Murtagh has raised during this same time frame of $14,298.00 and
    Councilman Murtagh spent during the same time frame of $7,055.31 and
    Councilman Murtagh has on hand during this time a grand total of
    Another Potential Candidates for Yonkers Mayor, New York State
    Assemblyman Mike Spano has raised during the same time frame of
    $5,628.00 and Assemblyman Spano has spent during the time frame of
    $10,948.02 and Assmeblyman Spano has on hand during this time frame a
    grand total of -$10,483.28 – his campaign committee is running a
    Another Potential Candidate for Yonkers Mayor, former Yonkers City
    Councilman Dennis Robertson has filed a No activity statement in the
    January Report Filing.
    Other Potential Candidates Like Yonkers Deputy Mayor Bill Regan,
    Former Yonkers City Council President and Yonkers City Councilman
    Richard Martinelli and Democrat Shelley Mayer don’t have any active
    campaign committees during this January Reporting Filing Period.
    Mayoral Candidates:
    Chuck Lesnick –
    2011 January Periodic Report Summary Page
    Opening Balance $5,073.30
    Contributions $25,897.00
    Miscellaneous Receipts $5,000.21
    Total Receipts $30,897.21
    Total Expenses $5,535.54
    Closing Balance $30,434.97
    Michael Spano –
    2011 January Periodic Report Summary Page
    Opening Balance -$5,163.26
    Contributions $5,628.00
    Miscellaneous Receipts $.00
    Total Receipts $5,628.00
    Total Expenses $10,948.02
    Closing Balance -$10,483.28
    Shelley Mayer – No Campaign Committee.
    Dennis Robertson – No activity statement was filed in the January Report.
    William Regan – No Campaign Committee.
    Richard Martinelli – No Campaign Committee.
    John Murtagh –
    2011 January Periodic Report Summary Page
    Opening Balance $425.61
    Contributions $14,298.00
    Miscellaneous Receipts $.00
    Total Receipts $14,298.00
    Total Expenses $7,055.31
    Closing Balance $7,668.30
    This article is the sole opinion of The Yonkers Insider.

  24. Hezi refers to Martinelli’s four year term yet his was the last of the two year terms. He only served from 2004-205.
    Also the blooger who wrote about Lesnick’s finances was wrong. Lesnick started with $5 k, raised $30 K and spent $5 k so he still has $30 K in the bank. It may not be much but is more Murtagh, Martinelli, Regan, Robertson, Mayer and Spano put together. Only Jenkins has more in bank but that is from previuos fundraising when he was party chair.

  25. None of the Candidates have any money in the bank (at leats officially) acording to the NYS BOE. Mike Spano can’t rely on Nick $60,000 in debt and counting, to finance his campaign.
    Lesnick raised 25K and spent 20 of it. 5K in the bank is like starting next Thursday.
    Murtagh has a bit more but nothing to write home about.
    No telling what is left in papa Martinelli’s rolodex but given Rich’s lack of effort at recent events, any $ spent will be lost.
    Dee has never raised over 20K in her life and is not about to start now.
    Given the economy, this election will be about a few mailers, some free TV time and a good organization.
    They all have baggage.
    Where are the next generation of Yonkers leaders?
    They moved to other parts of the County.

  26. This is the same story that ran last week, sans spano.
    I would not plan on mike spano so fast. If the indictments come down before election day, the spano name may well be mud in Westchester, even if Mike is not a target (and I have no reason to think that he would). He is just too close.
    Lesnick is the weakest of all. He is simply such a spineless turd and by now everyone in Yonkers realizes it.

  27. so the real question posed by the story is considering
    that there will likly be two primaries for mayor
    which candidates will emerge from each…martinelli
    vs murtaugh….and lesnick vs spano…and then
    of the two winners who ultimately becomes mayor

  28. The spirit and the thrust of this piece are certainly right on. However, the exclusion of Ken Jenkins, a major corrupting influence and enabler, a felon guilty of ongoing ELECTION FRAUD was unfortunate.

  29. This article describes the political landscape of Yonkers quite well. This is what politics is all about. It’s about them, and their little band of merry men and women. It has nothing to do with policy and legislation.
    This is the political blood sport, far better than the Jets game as it goes on for ever, and is not over in 4 hours.
    Running for Mayor is better than being Mayor, it’s the game these $uckers live for. They crap on the public, tell the public every lie they can get away with. What’s going to be great about this season is watching those who wanabee Mayor getting $ucked by their own party and their “friends” and enemies.
    There is not one of these that should be Mayor, they are all hasbeens and not one with a resume to show any accomplishments. We need fresh blood, but no one in their right mind would join with this motley crew.

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