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Aug 4, 2009 7:55 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Gardiner's primary bid is stymied once again

Aug 4, 2009 7:55 PM

East Hampton Republican Committee treasurer Don Cirillo and his wife, Carole Campolo have appealed the Suffolk County Board of Elections July 28 denial of their challenge to petitions submitted by Bill Gardiner, who is trying to wage a primary against the nominated Republican candidates for Town Board.

Mr. Gardiner plans to face off against GOP Town Board candidates Dominick Stanzione and Theresa Quigley in a September 15 primary.

The Cirillo and Campolo challenge will be heard in Suffolk County Supreme Court in Riverhead before Justice Jerry Garguilo on Thursday, August 6. Mr. Stanzione and Ms. Quigley have added their names as complainants in the appeal.

Mr. Gardiner said he received notice of the initial challenge on Tuesday, July 28, and received a notice the very next day that the Board of Elections had thrown out that challenge. He said he then received yet another letter, this time by Express Mail, on Thursday, July 30, notifying him that an appeal had been filed.

Mr. Cirillo said that the other candidates were added because, as the aggrieved parties in the case, their names are required for the appeal, but Mr. Gardiner said that he believed that the addition of their names was bad form.

“Two committee candidates have filed suit to have my candidacy taken off the ballot,” said Mr. Gardiner. “I don’t care for it, because to me it’s the candidates saying we don’t want the rank and file to have a pick. This is telling the world that we don’t want the rank-and-file Republicans to have a choice.”

“They have to sign. They’re the aggrieved parties. It’s not a big deal,” countered Mr. Cirillo.

Mr. Cirillo and Ms. Campolo’s initial challenge stated that Mr. Gardiner had submitted photocopied pages of the petitions and that one page of signatures had not been witnessed by the man who signed the witness’s portion of the document.

Mr. Cirillo said that in order for his specific challenges to the witnessing issues and the alleged xeroxing of documents to be heard, his case would need to go before a judge, since the Board of Elections can only make decisions based on the validity of actual signatures, not the validity of the signature-gathering process.

“Our issue is an integrity issue,” said Mr. Cirillo, who pointed out that the town is facing a securities fraud scandal over charges that town officials filed false bond documents.

Mr. Gardiner said that he had the petitions bound by a commercial copier, who accidentally put a duplicate page with eight signatures into the file. He also said that the man who had signed the witness’s section of the other page of petitions was sitting in a car when a friend of his knocked on three doors and had the petitions signed. He said that the man in question has signed an affidavit supporting Mr. Gardiner’s assertion.

“They signed while he was sitting in the car. That’s legal,” he said. “If you were half a mile away with high powered binoculars, you saw it.”

“This is playing into the Democrats’ hands,” he added. “Is it more important to the Republicans to do well in the election on November 3? It’s not right.”

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While Bill Gardiner was the Chair of the Republican Committee during the 2007 campaign he paid David and Lona Rubenstein to NOT WORK with the committee, and destroyed any chance he had of being deemed a credibie candidate for any position. His advisors in this primary bid are still Lona and David Rubenstein, who are working for Deb Foster, Ben Zwirn and Democrat candidates. Sadly, it seems as though it is Mr. Gardiner who is playing into the Democrat's hands. Whether or not he is on the ballot ...more
By Board Watcher (534), East Hampton on Aug 1, 09 11:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
Bill Gardiner, who is a nice man, is having done to him what he did to Bill Mott two years ago to thwart Mr. Mott's attempt at a Republican primary for town board. Bill Gardiner, what is different today that makes you believe a primary run by you against the party selected candidates is better or different than a primary by Bill Mott against you two years ago which you tried to and did thwart? If you though a Republican primary was a bad thing two years ago, what makes you think it would be helpful ...more
By truthinbonac (46), Amagansett on Aug 2, 09 10:52 AM