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Jan 19, 2010 9:25 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Suffolk County Republicans are screening candidates early to prepare for Bishop race

Jan 19, 2010 9:25 AM

The Suffolk County Republican Committee is expected this week to finish screening seven potential candidates, one of whom would ultimately challenge Democratic U.S. Representative Tim Bishop of Southampton in November—and many of those making the GOP’s list have connections to the East End.

Of the seven potential candidates who were screened on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, five are from or have homes on eastern Long Island, according to John Jay LaValle, the chairman of the Suffolk County Republican Committee.

Richard Blumenthal, a school counselor, lives in Westhampton Beach, while Christopher Cox, the son of New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, and grandson of former President Richard Nixon, also has a home in Westhampton Beach. George Demos, a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement attorney, lived on Shelter Island before moving to Brookhaven Town, and Jim Staudenraus, who has worked in sales and marketing, also lives on Shelter Island. The fifth local candidate is Fred Meyer, a lawyer from Hampton Bays.

The two other Republican hopefuls who were screened this week live on the North Shore: Randy Altschuler, a businessman, hails from Saint James; and Gary Berntsen, a former CIA operative, lives in Shoreham, according to Mr. LaValle.

Suffolk County Republicans intend to announce their pick before the end of the month, according to Mr. LaValle, even though their candidate will not be official until the party hosts its nominating convention in May and designates a candidate.

All of the Republican hopefuls, aside from Mr. Cox and Mr. Berntsen, have websites advertising their interest in seeking Mr. Bishop’s 1st Congressional seat, which spans the entire East End and stretches as far west as Blue Point and Kings Park.

Mr. Bishop, a Democrat from Southampton, intends on seeking his fifth two-year term in office, according to Richard Schaffer, the chairman of the Suffolk County Democratic Committee. To date, no other Democrat has stepped forward to challenge Mr. Bishop in his reelection quest. Mr. Bishop was first elected to his seat in November 2002.

The Independence Party of Suffolk County will screen its candidates in May, said Frank MacKay, the chairman of that political group.

Suffolk County Republicans, meanwhile, wanted to decide on a candidate as early as possible because they want their candidate to start making the rounds in the large district as soon as possible, Mr. LaValle said.

“We want to start early to get a candidate out there to meet people, raise money and knock on doors,” he said. “We got to start now. We got to start early.”

The seven GOP candidates endured a three-day blitz of interviews from different town Republican groups. They sat down with Smithtown Republicans on Monday, Brookhaven Republicans on Tuesday and Republicans from Southampton, East Hampton, Shelter Island, Southold and Riverhead on Wednesday evening.

Ernest Wruck, the chairman of the Southampton Town Republican Committee, said his party is looking for a candidate who possesses solid Republican principles, such as lower taxes and less government regulation. He could not say if there was a preferred candidate on the screening list.

“I think it would be way too premature to say that,” Mr. Wruck said earlier this week, prior to sitting down for the screenings on Wednesday evening. “The purpose of the screening is to evaluate the candidates.”

Mr. LaValle also could not say if one of the seven candidates is favored to win his party’s endorsement. The committee is looking for a candidate who has solid Republican principles, he reiterated, and also for someone who will fight for Long Island.

“We have several dynamic candidates who can absolutely do that,” said Mr. LaValle, a former supervisor of Brookhaven Town. “A lot of them share the same principles and ideals. Now it’s just a question of who can deliver that message more eloquently to the public.”

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Get ready for Tim Bishop. His roots really do go deep in Southampton Town and by that fact in Suffolk County also. Tim really has a feel for the good of the people who live out there year round not just for a vacation place. A Representative who really cares about the District is what is needed!
Haven't the Republilcans already shown us just what they're after. Maybe another Bank bailout. It was so discusting to see them run around in Sept. of 2008 like Chicken Little They sky is falling. ...more
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Jan 14, 10 4:59 PM

Have you been in a coma for the last 12 months. It was our 1st "African American" president that bailed out the banks, GM, Chrysler, AIG Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He printed up more money in his first 6 months in office than it cost to clean up any of the disasters that happened in the world (ex: Exxon Valdez spill). Now he and Tim Bishop want to reform healthcare and give illegal aliens Social Security. That's my hard earned money going to people that should not be in ...more
By bobalooey (45), East Quogue on Jan 14, 10 7:04 PM
Equally forgetable by Summertime apparently was Democrats Chris "I didn't really get that big a break on my mortgage" Dodd and Barney "I am willing to roll the dice on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae making loans to increase home ownership" Frank standing on the steps of the capitol chastising the Republicans for not being in favor of the bailout and guarenteeing that there would be strict oversight, meaning no bonuses. That was as big a joke as they are.
By DJII13 (155), Hampton Bays on Jan 14, 10 7:21 PM
Bishop is a pelosi clone. He votes party line agenda with little regard for his constiuents. I would vote for Bugs Bunny if he was running against him.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 14, 10 7:42 PM
Tim Bishop consistently works for the people of Eastern Long Island. We are fortunate to have such a representative working for us.
To the angry folks out on the right wing, do not speak for the constituents. You do not represent us.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jan 14, 10 10:16 PM
Except for the fact that maybe we are constituents too?
By DJII13 (155), Hampton Bays on Jan 14, 10 10:35 PM
OK, say that instead of giving the false impression that you speak for the all of the constituents.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jan 14, 10 11:13 PM
I support Tim. He knows the community and is a congressperson who has earned the respect of the voters.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Jan 15, 10 8:20 AM

Tim Bishop still wants to give illegals our Social Security dollars. It's time that he talk to the people and get their feelings on this. He will find that most people agree with me, that illegals should not be allowed to use our schools and hospitals. He would find out that children born of illegals are illegals themselves, not US citizens. Illegals should be deported or should have to get green cards and start paying taxes, just like I do. This is not a right wing view, ...more
By bobalooey (45), East Quogue on Jan 15, 10 11:55 AM
yours is an extreme right wing view and antithetical to the principles upon which America was built. Ignorance and bigotry are the biggest threats to our future.
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Jan 15, 10 12:13 PM
No Yearrounder..people like you are the biggest threat to our furture
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 15, 10 1:33 PM
Coming from you, Razaa, I definitely take that as a compliment. Don't stop hating.
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Jan 15, 10 1:48 PM
As a registered independent who has voted for Tim Bishop in the past all I can say is I'm very disappointed with Tim Bishop. His positions do not reflect those of his constituents. He is for raising taxes, big government, unions, and providing amnesty for 25 million illegal aliens.

I was very sad to learn that Tim Bishop's aide was caught ripping down his opponents political signs last election. If Tim was so confident in himself he wouldn't have directed his staff to violate his opponents ...more
By Bilge Water (131), East Hampton on Jan 15, 10 1:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
Just curious Yearrounder are you saying the principals of America are based on entry into the US illegally and being able to use someones elses money to receive free benefits
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 15, 10 2:03 PM
What I am saying is that America is built on principles of intellect over fear, compassion over hate, acceptance over bigotry. This country was built on the sweat of "illegals". Why are you deserving of American citizenship and someone else is not? I would rather be a neighbor to a sea if immigrant workers (documented or otherwise) than one of someone like you. Immigrants get nothing free. In fact, if it weren't for undocumented workers paying into social security (not a dime of which they ...more
By yearrounder (208), Southampton on Jan 15, 10 2:24 PM
1 member liked this comment

1. The country was BUILT on the sweat of illegals
2. Immigrants get nothing for free
3. If it were not for undocumented workers paying into SS it would already be bankrupt.

Wow you really are out there

As far as "corporate enemies" go if it werent for those enemies you wouldn't have enough tax revenue to push your socialist agenda.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 15, 10 2:55 PM
bobalooey, and others, you all blame our congressman for illegal immigration.
As far as illegal immigration, why do you tea-baggers not take this issue to the people who are hiring the immigrants? The business owners who are making huge profits off of these people. Many of these folks are Republican donors, and they are getting off with no repercussions. I have seen trucks with “support the Troops” bumper stickers picking up immigrants. I know REPUBLICANS who are housing and profiting from illegals. ...more
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jan 15, 10 2:37 PM
SHnative good point but increasing the size of gvt and raises taxes has not been one of Bishops concerns
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 15, 10 2:58 PM
I''d like to try to take the politics out of this conversation and introduce some reality. I own a contracting business on the east end. I must buy liability insurance, commpensation insurance, and a home improvement licence. Now I must compete against people who come here from away,pick up a different crew every day at seven eleven or elsewhere and pay cash.I can no longer compete. This is no longer about politics it's about fairness.
By montaukman (98), easthampton on Jan 16, 10 6:20 PM
2 members liked this comment
MONTAUKMAN polics is reality. Bishop is representing you and setting the law and his politacal agenda
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 16, 10 8:16 PM
Hello everyone. I'm back. It is interesting to hear the comments on both sides of the fence that I have built. I'm sure that there are both Republicans and Democrats picking up the illegals to work for them. If you think about it, if there were no illegals on the East End, then these contractors, electricians, HAC people would have to hire Americans that are looking for work. That's a novel idea--hire an American. Enlarging the government and raising taxes is nothing new for Tim Bishop and ...more
By bobalooey (45), East Quogue on Jan 18, 10 1:00 AM
You do not get it!
It is business, in many cases, big business who are hiring the illegals. They came here under a Republican administration. Where were all of you teabaggers then? I personally know of REPUBLICANS and not just one who have put these folks up and are giving them work. I know of no Democrats who do this.
Why are you not focusing your efforts on those who are hiring them and putting Montaukman out of business?

By the way, would you really "drop an atomic Bomb" on ...more
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jan 18, 10 8:38 AM
I said remove the illegals and the trades owners will have to hire non-illegals to help them.
By bobalooey (45), East Quogue on Jan 18, 10 10:58 AM
Right, and who do you think is going to pay for that? The taxpayers? Why should I pay for removing laborers who have been benefiting business. You all should get the businesses who hire them to remove them.
You and I both know that they (business) are making too much money off this to do anything.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jan 18, 10 11:37 AM
There are Americans who see illegal immigrants as thieving vermin. Others see them a people trying to give those they love the best life possible.

Since I may very well have descended from one, (or two), of the latter, I favor that view. As a Christian, I value compassion above all other qualities, so, naturally, I am glad that we don't allow illegal immigrants, or their children, to suffer unnecessarily.

We have to stop illegal immigration because it is hurting Americans who ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Jan 19, 10 2:35 PM
It's not about not being compassionate. They are illegal, but they are human. Don't punish them, just send them back from whence they came. Or, let them stay here. The point is that if people who simply want to better their position in life can get past customs, so can terrorists. The borders must be secured and the law enforced to prevent that. If other inocuous people are also stopped from entering illegally in the process, so be it.
By Remsenburger (11), Remsenburg on Jan 19, 10 3:47 PM
Yes, and let's get the business owners from these illegal hiring practices and undocumented/illegals will go home by themselves.
Let's not let the taxpayer pay to deport after business has made their profits. Let's get the business owners to step-up to this conversation.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Jan 19, 10 7:15 PM
if the mass senate race is any indication as to the publics perception of how hope and change is going Bishops days are numbered. Good riddance!
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Jan 19, 10 10:04 PM