Hardy Plumbing
August 01, 2007

In East Hampton: McGintee's Strange Bedfellows


East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill McGintee's most recent campaign filing with the Board of Elections is an eyebrow raiser. The People for McGintee committee depicts a variety of individual contributions in excess of the $1000 legal limit, and who some of the contributors are is even more of a shocker.

Breaking with a long tradition, pilots and those with aviation-related businesses, and even reliable GOP supporter and local businessman Ben Krupinski have donated to the incumbent.

McGintee received a total of $8000 from former Save The East Hampton Airport underwriters – Stephen A. Schwartzman, Michael Recanati, Thomas Lee and Barry Friedberg – plus another grand from the former president of the East Hampton Pilots Association, Tom Lavinio.

Lavinio, a fervent proponent of the airport and a frequent critic of the Democratic regime, issued a series of no comments when quizzed about the sudden change of heart yesterday. "Whatever you ask I'm going to have no comment," he said.

Another two grand came from a donor who owns planes and a hangar at the airport, Paul Scheerer, and still another $4000 from a husband and wife, said to be business partners with Krupinski. Amy and Joe Perella, who a source said own a helicopter, gave $2000 each. Krupinski, who owns two airport businesses, gave $4000. Recanati is a business partner of Krupinski's, sources said. Michael Schulof, who owns a jet, also gave $2000.

Save The East Hampton Airport was in the news about two years ago, when the committee launched a television advertising campaign geared towards urging the town to repair runway 4-22. Reacting to the ads, McGintee shut down the landing strip, and asked engineers from the Federal Aviation Administration to assess the safety of Runway 4-22. The feds have kept it shut.

For over a decade Democrats and their supporters, most particularly one time town supervisor candidate and party chair David Gruber, have been passionately opposed to expansion at the airport and accepting FAA money for improvements. Each time a municipality takes funds from the feds, grant assurances tie the town to running the facility to FAA standards. McGintee, and running mate Councilman Pete Hammerle have both expressed ardent opposition to taking any further FAA funds.

Legislator Jay Schneiderman, McGintee's predecessor in town hall was at a loss to explain the support shift. "So, they're all giving to McGintee?" Schneiderman asked on Monday. "That's interesting." The lawmaker emphasized, "A campaign contribution doesn't necessarily mean the candidate is going to act in your interest. It isn't supposed to be a quid pro quo situation. I hope Mr. McGintee made that clear."

On Tuesday McGintee saw the contributions as a coup, a demonstration of his efforts to please groups with differing opinions and develop consensus. He beMcGintee Supporters Make Strange Bedfellows

By Kitty Merrill

East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill McGintee's most recent campaign filing with the Board of Elections is an eyebrow raiser. The People for McGintee committee depicts a variety of individual contributions in excess of the $1000 legal limit, and who some of the contributors are is even more of a shocker.

Breaking with a long tradition, pilots and those with aviation-related businesses, and even reliable GOP supporter and local businessman Ben Krupinski have donated to the incumbent.

McGintee received a total of $8000 from former Save The East Hampton Airport underwriters – Stephen A. Schwartzman, Michael Recanati, Thomas Lee and Barry Friedberg – plus another grand from the former president of the East Hampton Pilots Association, Tom Lavinio.

Lavinio, a fervent proponent of the airport and a frequent critic of the Democratic regime, issued a series of no comments when quizzed about the sudden change of heart yesterday. "Whatever you ask I'm going to have no comment," he said.

Another two grand came from a donor who owns planes and a hangar at the airport, Paul Scheerer, and still another $4000 from a husband and wife, said to be business partners with Krupinski. Amy and Joe Perella, who a source said own a helicopter, gave $2000 each. Krupinski, who owns two airport businesses, gave $4000. Recanati is a business partner of Krupinski's, sources said. Michael Schulof, who owns a jet, also gave $2000.

Save The East Hampton Airport was in the news about two years ago, when the committee launched a television advertising campaign geared towards urging the town to repair runway 4-22. Reacting to the ads, McGintee shut down the landing strip, and asked engineers from the Federal Aviation Administration to assess the safety of Runway 4-22. The feds have kept it shut.

For over a decade Democrats and their supporters, most particularly one time town supervisor candidate and party chair David Gruber, have been passionately opposed to expansion at the airport and accepting FAA money for improvements. Each time a municipality takes funds from the feds, grant assurances tie the town to running the facility to FAA standards. McGintee, and running mate Councilman Pete Hammerle have both expressed ardent opposition to taking any further FAA funds.

Legislator Jay Schneiderman, McGintee's predecessor in town hall was at a loss to explain the support shift. "So, they're all giving to McGintee?" Schneiderman asked on Monday. "That's interesting." The lawmaker emphasized, "A campaign contribution doesn't necessarily mean the candidate is going to act in your interest. It isn't supposed to be a quid pro quo situation. I hope Mr. McGintee made that clear."

On Tuesday McGintee saw the contributions as a coup, a demonstration of his efforts to please groups with differing opinions and develop consensus. He believes the draft master plan for the airport gives a little to each of the differing factions.

"I think the donations are a result of the balanced direction we're taking, and the fact that someone's finally moving on it [the airport plan]." The supervisor said he's been pleased to receive donations from a variety of segments of the community, from those with environmental interests to members of the business community. Although members of the local GOP were shocked to hear they switched camps McGintee said he believes both Ben and Bonnie Krupinski have been pleased, not only with his airport efforts, but with land protection and land use policies as well.

"There's some kind of a deal," offered one airport insider. "They are going to reopen [Runway] 4-22."

kmerrill@indyeastend.com

lieves the draft master plan for the airport gives a little to each of the differing factions.

"I think the donations are a result of the balanced direction we're taking, and the fact that someone's finally moving on it [the airport plan]." The supervisor said he's been pleased to receive donations from a variety of segments of the community, from those with environmental interests to members of the business community. Although members of the local GOP were shocked to hear they switched camps McGintee said he believes both Ben and Bonnie Krupinski have been pleased, not only with his airport efforts, but with land protection and land use policies as well.

"There's some kind of a deal," offered one airport insider. "They are going to reopen [Runway] 4-22."

kmerrill@indyeastend.com

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