Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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September 24th, 2010

Politicos woo conservatives as cooke gets roasted

Of all of the political fundraisers held in Sullivan County the one held by the Conservative Party is always the most fun. Last week’s fete held at the Eldred Preserve was no different. It brought together a smorgasbord of our movers and shakers.

Conservative Party fundraisers often have more people in attendance than similar events held by Republicans and Democrats combined.

An endorsement from the Conservatives can at times guarantee victory, so as one would expect the event was flooded with political powerhouses including District Attorney Jim Farrell, Sheriff Michael Schiff, Undersheriff Eric Chaboty, State Senator John Bonacic, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Legislators Elwin Wood, Leni Binder, Jodi Goodman, and Ron Hiatt, County Clerk Dan Briggs, former County Clerk Neil Gilberg, Town Supervisors Dan Strum, Tony Cellini, and Steve Vegliante to name a few.

Republican County Chairman Dick Coombe was also in attendance, while Democratic Chairman Steven Wilkinson and Independence Chairwoman Tammi Chaboty were unable to attend.

The Conservative Party leadership led by Robert Hoose and Steven Burke say they strive to endorse the best qualified candidates even if their political ideology differs from the state platform. They stress that Sullivan County’s needs come first.

State Party Chairman Michael Long and I spoke about the gubernatorial race and the fact that Rick Lazio won the Conservative Primary. We discussed the chances of Lazio energizing the Conservative Party if he remains in the race.

Conservative endorsed candidates addressing the crowd included Congressional candidate George Philips, State Senator John Bonacic, and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.

Michael McGuire, who beat Cindy Barber in the Conservative primary for County Court Judge, surprisingly attacked the former Town Judge in his speech saying while he was an Assistant District Attorney for four year’s prosecuting violent criminals; Barber was busy as a judge reducing traffic violations to parking on pavement.

Once all the political rhetoric concluded, all eyes were focused on Sullivan County’s perennial toastmaster George Cooke as he had the tables turned on him and was roasted by a long list of dignitaries.

Former State Appellate Judge Anthony Kane, State Senator John Bonacic, IDA head Alan Scott, County Clerk Dan Briggs, and Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini were among those telling humorous tails of Cooke.

Cellini spoke about the kind of loyal friend Cooke was. He said Cooke stayed with him around the clock during a hospital stay with his foot on a respirator, because he wanted him to croak so he could run for Town Supervisor.

In reality Cellini and Cooke are best friends, and although Cooke is now employed by the Town of Thompson, Cellini does not need to worry about Cooke replacing him; especially considering Cooke is a favorite to be appointed our next Commissioner of Jurors.

During the many speeches, I recalled in my mind how unjustly Cooke was treated and forced to resign the County Clerk’s position after so many years of dedicated public service because the legislature would not stand up for him.

It was good to see Cooke finally being honored and acknowledged. A well deserved tribute.

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