Letter to the Editor: Questioning Cortlandt United

To the editor:

The Cortlandt Republican Party has a new child: Cortlandt United, sibling of Croton United. They’ve changed their name, but not much else. They’re still running on the Republican and Independent/Conservative lines.

There’s nothing new here. They’re still using all the same old catch-phrases: keeping our town and families safe, keeping them healthy and prosperous, minimizing taxes, promoting economic growth, protecting the environment, supporting police and fire departments, good citizenship, paving roads, keeping the power on … as if Democrats aren’t for these same things. Who’s not? They want to stop the migration of our neighbors exiting New York, as if Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi was pushing them to go.

It’s a lot of words, but no actual policies. They don’t tell us how they would accomplish these things.

They don’t mention anything about racial justice or preventing race-based violence.

In fact, the Dems have been implementing many of their talking-points for decades, successfully, under Linda’s leadership.

There is one major policy difference, on the only actual policy they mention. They support and trust a company named Holtec International, from Jupiter, Florida, to decommission the Indian Point nuclear power plant, while Cortlandt Dems have reservations.

I think what’s going on here is that they’ve seen that Linda is retiring: that after all these years, with her long and successful career (known for its universal bi-partisan support and filled with accomplishments) coming to an end, they’ve finally got their chance, and they’re jumping on it.

In fact, Linda has endorsed the entire Democratic slate to follow in her footsteps and continue her legacy.

The coordinated launch of the Cortlandt United campaign leads to some questions.

Why the name-change? Are they embarrassed to be Republicans? Their candidate for receiver of taxes, Peter D. Marengo, revealed, in a letter to the editor in the 9/2-9/8 Gazette, “we decided not to call our team ‘Republican’ because Conservative and independent voters may take issue” (So they changed their name because calling themselves “Republicans” might cost them votes).

Are they embarrassed that three of them: Supervisor Candidate Laurie Abbate-Ryan (their party leader), Receiver of Taxes Candidate Marengo, and Town Clerk Candidate Fitzgerald-Bernard recently attended the fundraiser in Briarcliff where Trump was the keynote speaker and The Proud Boys provided security? They took pictures and posted them on their social media websites.

Have they realized that supporting team-Trump, with its associated lies, racism, election denials, climate denials, covid denials, mask refusals, bleach injections, horse de-wormers, hydroxychloroquine, Q-Anon theories, Pillow-Guy theories, vote-counting audits, fascists, and insurrectionists might not be as popular with the general public as it is with them? Have they realized that, despite their own personal feelings, Trump trying to overturn the vote, and with it, our democracy, might not be as popular an agenda in this part of the country as it is with them? Have they decided to keep their opinions to themselves in order to try to win an election?

Did they support the January 6th insurrection? Do they believe that the last election was stolen? Do they still believe Trump won?

Do they believe it’s justified to use violence if they don’t win?  Why not? If the candidates they support do (like Trump), why wouldn’t they? When they lose, will it be safe on Cortlandt Boulevard? Will they accept the results? Will they get out their weapons? Will they attack the police they claim to love? Will they beat ’em with flagpoles, clubs, and bear-spray? Will they tase ’em with their own tasers? Do they beleive January 6th was a “normal tourist visit”. Will they say it was just a normal day in town? Will they blame Antifa? Will they call in the Proud Boys, for security, just like Trump?

Is this a wolf in sheep’s clothes? Are they trying to conceal the connection? Why not acknowledge it? Why not go above-board?

Will they denounce the use of force?

Will they threaten me for writing this?

There was a time when these wouldn’t have been legitimate questions. That time ended January 6th.

David Bluestein

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