In all recent elections, the outcome had been predictable. The Dobbs Ferry Party (“DFP”), a collection of Republicans, independents and Lieberman Democrats had handily beaten the candidates of the Dobbs Ferry Democratic Committee by a margin of 58% to 42%. Prior to the DFP, the Village had been dominated by the Republicans, probably since the days of the ‘Robber Barons’ whose estates line the crests of the Village’s hills.
The Dobbs Ferry Party hit on a simple recipe for victory that was propagated and re-inforced by the editor of the local newspaper, The Rivertowns Enterprise. The DFP creed was that local issues were completely separate from State and Federal issues and that their ticket represented non-partisan values. In truth of fact, the DFP was the means by which the declining Republican Party extended its grasp on power for one more decade. Its propagandists led by renegade Democrats (read the Village equivalent of neo-conservatives) extolled the non-partisan virtues of unfettered real estate development and a very large police force. Worse of all, the DPF was not an open party; you had to be invited to join and run, so it really served to maintain the status quo of Village patronage.
But the year 2006 turned out to be a watershed in American politics. Democrats across the country were swept to power. The tactics of fear that Karl Rove and the Republican Party had perfected in the last three elections had fallen on jaded, misbelieving ears. Nine-eleven no longer elicited a knee-jerk reaction for revenge. Gay marriage turned out to be irrelevant next to 2,000 dead and 30,000 mutilated veterans of the Iraq Counter-Insurgency.
On election night, November 7, 2006 as the voting machines were opened at Village Hall David Mintzes, the Karl Rove of the Dobbs Ferry Party, watched with chagrin as the tallies were read. The Democratic candidates had triumphed by an astounding margin, in some districts by 65%. The Dobbs Ferry Party, the self-selected guardians of the status quo, were no longer be in power. For the DFP, this was a seismic shock because they had grown accustom to power and the superficial respect it engenders.
The camera crew from the Rivertowns Enterprise sensing the shift abandoned its plan to attend the expected celebration at Doubleday’s Tavern and drove up the hill to the cocktail party at Joy Haber’s house where the Democratic were celebrating their victory. Curiously, the Rivertown’s
But before the bubbles from the champagne flutes could go flat, the Village, the DFP and the newly victorious Democrats jointly faced a grim reminder that events beyond the local level could rock very foundation of their community. Almost immediately after the election, it was announced that a state commission had decided to close
So in less than one month, the Dobbs Ferry Party had to hand over the strings of power to some newcomers – that is people who moved into Dobbs Ferry for the schools and the commute — and realize that that politics can’t be non-partisan and strictly local forever.
"November is the cruelest month.
Slogans weeping on wind swept poles
Lamenting the dreams of Indian summer."