Posted by: Dawn Powell | November 27, 2009


Anatomy of a hit.

Journal News “Interview”

Herb Pinder asking the question. “I have one quick question for Ms. (sic) Powell.  I would be remiss if I didn’t go down memory lane.  We’ve never met, but I want to get your comments on the controversy that involved you and Mr. (sic) Davis when he was…was  Supervisor.

I mean, you know the facts (emphasis added). You had a relationship.  You worked for him.  He sought to increase your compensation by a substantial amount and there was a great public uproar that involved the board and certainly involved you.  I just want to get your comment on how that whole scenario played out.”

Do you believe this oft repeated lie?  Who told it to you?  Did you learn it from the Journal News, from Mr. Tendy (John Zarcone’s former law partner), from Wendy Whetsel? Think back to who told you this lie, and what their motivation might be to say something so completely false.  And why wouldn’t the Journal News check their facts, instead of continuing to report the same lie for four years?  And, of course, they have still not corrected their lie.

I do know the facts, but they are unrelated to the reporting in the Journal News or to Mr. Tendy’s response.

Salaries are set by the Town Board in November when they pass the budget for the next year.  Mr. Tendy (Mr. Zarcone’s former law partner), Mr. Ricci, Mr. Santos, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Finger set the salary for the position in November 2005 at $46,000, interestingly, after the election.  Yet Mr. Tendy (Mr. Zarcone’s former law partner) has lied about it again and again and again, as has the Journal News.  Both know how the budget is set.  There was no raise, ever, and they know that.

Further, on the subject, Mr. Tendy’s Ethics Board said, “The Board finds that the Domestic Partner was not compensated at a rate so unreasonably high as to violate the spirit and intent of the State or Town ethics laws.”

I will leave the arrogance of the reference to me as “the Domestic Partner” for discussion at another time, but the decision was very clear.

So why would The Journal News and Mr. Tendy (Mr. Zarcone’s former law partner) and Ms. Whetsel lie about it?

Do you believe that there was an “appearance of impropriety”?

Judge Jonathan Lippmann, when a Supreme Court Justice said that “the hiring of Dawn Powell was not illegal or unethical.”  Judge Lippmann is now the top judge in the state.  He is the Chief Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals.

Mary Beth Becker, in one of her tirades, said it doesn’t matter what the judge says.   It’s the appearance. But I believe that it is supposed to matter what the judge says.  When people get whipped into a frenzy, justice is supposed to be the even hand that determines whether or not someone has or has not played by the rules.  The court determined that we had done nothing wrong, that we had played by the rules.  Yet Mr. Tendy (Mr. Tendy’s former law partner) and Ms. Whetsel are unwilling to acknowledge that truth.  It was they who created an “appearance” by their inflammatory propaganda.

Do you believe that you understand this concept?  Do you know what an appearance of impropriety is? 

There is a book, The Appearance of Impropriety by Peter Morgan and Glenn Reynolds.

“It is, ultimately, a story of institutional breakdown and failure to take moral responsibility – a story of substitution of appearances for substance, of technicalities for judgment, of opportunities for self-discipline.  The phenomenon we describe is both a cause and a symptom of the dysfunctional politics of recent decades.  Its cure will require more than the appointment of commissions or the enactment of new laws.  It will require a willingness on the part of politicians, executives, community leaders, journalists, and even voters to make critical judgments and to take responsibility for them.  It will, in short require a move beyond appearances.”

Chris Lehman, wrote of the book in In These Times,

“This briskly argued polemic dissects a key paradox that should be obvious to anyone following the debauchery of our national political life over the past two decades.  As ethics bureaucracies (and independent counsel) continue to proliferate, the quality of public morality deteriorates.  In an ethics culture governed by appearances rather than substance, no one is ever held clearly accountable for anything.”

From the preface of the book, “We live in an Age of Appearance, a time, oddly enough, in which it seems necessary to argue formally that substance should govern over image… we do not believe we are mistaken in the overall contention that the modern appearance fad is misguided – and indeed symptomatic of more serious, if less plainly visible, problems in American life.”

Apparently, according to Mr. Pinder, who never met me before, and according to PCNR, there was a “relationship” between Sam Davis and myself, and now, something has changed significantly.  Not being privy to the editorial meanderings of journalists who pretend to report the news, I don’t know what that is about.  You would think that being in on my own life, I would also be in on that information, but no, I’m not. 

Challenge your assumptions.


Pants On Fire

Same interview, a different lie, ” In fact, I have every year put in a for a raise for the Supervisor’s position.  I don’t vote on it.  I’m abstaining from it.  I don’t think the position pays a sufficient salary.  I don’t think it paid Mr. Davis a sufficient salary.”  -BT

….every year? ….doesn’t vote on it?  ….Mr. Davis?  In the same interview he stated that the supervisor position was a full time job, yet he has openly continued his law practice.

I will post his discussion, and Gene’s support for his raise at the Oct. 14 meeting when I have time.  The October 7 discussion may be viewed on the ‘Tendy’s Raise’ page, as well as the discussion of part time health care benefits.


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