Election 2011 Over But the Parties Aren't

News and notes from the Greenwich campaign trail and political scene.

The dust is settling from Greenwich Election 2011.

It's their party - and swearing in ...

First Selectman Peter Tesei is putting the finishing touches on the Nov. 30 swearing-in ceremony for the Board of Selectmen.

"We're bringing it home ... to Town Hall," Tesei said Thursday. For the first time since he took office in 2007, the swearing in ceremony will be held at Town Hall, at 6:30 p.m., Nov. 30. Former First Selectman Tom Ragland will emcee the event.

A reception for supporters will follow at the Greenwich Boat and Yacht Club at Grass Island Park.

Stay tuned for more details.

And one of the questions is what will they do?

Democratic First Selectman candidate John Blankley now finds himself without any involvement ... for now ...given his run for Greenwich's chief elected official - Blankley couldn't run to retain his seat on the Representative Town Meeting's District 10, representing northwest Greenwich.

Blankley's campaign manager Christopher Smith said Blankley "is out of pocket" and unavailable to discuss his future plans. Blankley was soundly defeated by a nearly 3-to-1 margin by Republican incumbent Peter Tesei. Blankley, who owns an Internet technology company, has said he hopes that the town of Greenwich will find contracts to award his firm. He had served four years as a member of the District 10 delegation of the RTM and when he was nominated to challenge Tesei, he resigned his post as the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee's treasurer.

Another defeated Democratic candidate is Stephen Ng, who was a part of the District 8 delegation from Cos Cob. Giving up the RTM, Ng challenged 10-term Republican Town Clerk Carmella Budkins and despite his proposals to modernize the office, was resoundingly defeated by a vote of 8,186 votes for Budkins, to 3,652.

Hmmm, what are Ng's future political plans?


Shops closed

They both looked impressive and in the blink of an eye ... hours after the close of the polls, poof - they're gone, as quickly as they opened like pop-up stores for the holidays.

The Republican campaign headquarters on Greenwich Avenue is closed down - thanks to a cadre of volunteers packing up supplies and whatever else was in the storefront that used to be part of the now-defunct Grossman's Shoes.

And on the Democratic side, the majestic historic home at Field Point Road - a stone's throw from Greenwich Town Hall - has been vacated by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.


Speaking of Field Point Road ...

It seems some town residents, Republicans in particular, have a bone to pick with the Blankley campaign.

Apparently several residents - many of whom are Republicans - received robo-calls from the Blankley campaign the night before Election Day. "The caller ID showed the call was from the Town of Greenwich. I picked it up and it was Blankley. I never would've picked up the call," said one GOP stalwart.

Other residents reported caller IDs indicating DCF Capital, the hedge fund run by state Rep. Livvy Floren's husband. Floren referred queries to Greenwich Republican Town Committee Chair Jim Campbell who said, "candidates have to be careful when they place calls and with the source of their calls and what the ID will say. I don’t know why John Blankley would say Town of Greenwich and that would be inappropriate and I would expect his campaign would explain on how that happened."

While Campbell hasn't talked with the Blankley camp, he said, "I look forward to hearing from their campaign as to why that happened."

Blankley campaign manager Christopher Smith said, "This is first I’ve heard of this … the robo’s we sent, I believe, almost all of them, came from our campaign headquarters." He added, "We’d never, ever ever use a Town of Greenwich phone number. In my opinion,  that is unethical and we would never ever do that."

Some insiders have wondered whether the Democrats used existing telephone trunk lines used by previous tenants in the area - including DCF Capital - and that created this electronic cross-over.

Smith, who said Blankley was "out-of-pocket," taking some well-deserved time off, added, "Obviously, we apologize for any sort of miscommunication on the phone number, we always put the campaign HQs number on the calls … we specifically asked that the headquarters number be displayed."


GOP Party Central, a Who's Who in the GOP

The Republican victory party held at the Milbrook Club was a veritable pot-pourri of the GOP's Who's Who past and present.

Among the attendees were Ex-First Selectmen John Margenot, Tom Ragland, Jim Lash and Lolly Prince, plus former selectman Peter Crumbine.

There was nothing but smiles on the faces of the Greenwich legislative delegation - state Reps. Lile Gibbons (R-150), Livvy Floren (R-149) and Fred Camillo (R-151) and state Sen. L. Scott Frantz (R-36).

Also spotted at the soiree that featured an array of Asian and Italian delicacies, were ex-GOP town chairmen Ed Dadakis and John Raben. Tesei's honorary campaign chair Malcolm Pray also was seen mingling with the crowd.

Former ambassador and gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley and his wife Leslie also attended, and continued to accept congratulations on the births of their twin daughter and son a mere six weeks ago.

And making a brief appearance before slipping out the doors was the new state GOP chairman, Jerry Labriola Jr., who beat out Greenwich's Jim Campbell for the top seat in the party this past summer.


This column was updated to correct the districts represented by Lile Gibbons and Livvy Floren.


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