Political Payback

I forgot to be upset today. Even with the hundreds of consolation emails, voicemails, text messages, and grim shrugs. I lost the election. But, I cannot summon any regret, sadness, or melancholy. Au contraire. I am in a great mood, full of hope, appreciation, and happiness. Here’s why: the world did not end. Not my world. It did not even bend. New Milford will survive and prosper. I have work to get back to and children to continue to raise. I am catching a flight in few hours to Los Angeles with my best friend and soulmate.

There were over 12,000 individual votes cast for these two seats. I lost by about 160. That was my sweet spot. Less, and I surely would have lost sleep wondering what I could have done differently. More, and I would have given in to paranoia. You see, there are thousands of voters who have no idea who I am. There are only so many doors upon which one can knock. For most, the first time they ever saw my name was in the voting booth. And, how many times have I skipped over unfamiliar, if not qualified, candidates for those I knew something about. Of the 6 council candidates, I was the least known by far. Against those odds, I did my daddy proud.

But, there is more to celebrate. This was, in my view, the most civil, respectful, and amiable election that I can remember. (With a few ugly exceptions). It’s a credit to all the candidates and most of their enthusiastic supporters. I promised to restore civility. And, while I do not and cannot take any credit for the tone of the campaign, I am proud to have been part of it. I hope it continues with the new council. I think it will.

We have some issues in town that need some attention. Nothing cataclysmic or catastrophic. Nothing that good people, with good hearts, great minds, and mutual respect cannot tackle. If they can, I am content to sit out. If they can’t, I am happy to try again someday. It’s all good.

The rub, of course, is the amazing people I have met along this journey. Every door, every address. Supporters and not so much. We have a great town, filled with the most amazing people. Everyone I met was kind, friendly, interested, and interesting. (With a few ugly exceptions). Abraham Lincoln once said that “the true measure of a town’s greatness can be found in its citizenry.” He didn’t actually, but he should have because it’s true. Politicians come and go. But the character of this town is imbedded in its DNA.

That reminds me of a few examples. Mike Putrino, my campaign manager, is about the nicest, most sincere guy I have ever met. I cannot wait for his return to politics. Randi Duffie cares more about New Milford than almost anyone I know. She is kind and selfless and willing to do just about anything to help. She was, is, and will be among the giants of our council. Ira Grotsky is a cutie. Humble to a fault, but sharp as a tack, he will literally transform the council next year, and the dividends of his election will be immediate.

Diego and Dominic have worked tirelessly for the last 6 years for New Milford. We can, and almost surely will, disagree on various obstacles and their cure. We can stand on opposite sides of an issue. But, no one should ever question their motives or their love for this town. We agree on far more than we don’t.

I’d have seriously considered voting for Kelly. She’s smart and exhausting. But, she is on the first K of this marathon and she already has the tools to be a first-ballot Council Hall of Famer. She is strong enough to break the long cycle of partisanship and cabalistic rule. If she does, she’ll have my vote for reelection.

And, all the rest. The people, and you know who you are, who made this trip so much fun! It was exhilarating and rewarding. I saw my side of town rally around me in a way that I will never forget. I saw my wife and children laugh with me (and, often, at me), but I knew they were behind me all the way. I saw long standing Republicans support me (some very quietly). I made new friends. Lost weight. I found respect hidden in plain sight all over town. Yes, there were jerks. There always are. But, the payback is that they will continue to be jerks long after this election is forgotten. Heck, even the jerks were entertaining.

So, you see, there is much to celebrate today; little to despair. For the thousands of people who read this blog (apparently, not too many of them in New Milford), you know I am never shy and rarely hesitant to speak my mind. The journey exceeded the destination. Rarely is that more true than today.

Thanks for the adventure.

By the way, who won the presidential election?

About aweisbrot

Ari is a prominent litigator in New York and New Jersey. He has been featured on CBS Radio’s Wall Street Journal Report, quoted in legal and non-legal periodicals, and has been recognized as a “SuperLawyer” in New Jersey and a "Top Ten Lawyer to Watch" in New York. Mr. Weisbrot is a true “client’s lawyer,” representing a diverse range of clients from among the largest retailers in the United States to smaller local businesses to religious and charitable organizations. Ari was appointed by Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey to a three-year term of service on the Committee on Character. The Committee determines the fitness to practice law of each candidate for admission to the Bar of the State. Mr. Weisbrot also continues to serve on the District Ethics Committee (IIB - Bergen County), which operates under the auspices of the New Jersey State Office of Attorney Ethics. Mr. Weisbrot has been awarded an 'AV' rating for his professionalism and the quality of his legal work from Martindale-Hubbell, the premier directory of legal professionals, and has been selected by his peers as a Super Lawyer. In addition, Mr. Weisbrot has written several articles on commercial litigation, which have been published in the New Jersey Law Journal and the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. A Former New York City prosecutor, Mr. Weisbrot is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law, where he was a member of the Urban Law Journal and a featured columnist in the Law School newspaper
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2 Responses to Political Payback

  1. Somehow I always enjoy reading your blogs. I think the township lost an opportunity to have you working for them.
    Good luck in the future!

  2. leora fineberg says:

    Wonderful article Sorry you didn’t make it, but, you handled yourself with dignity throughout Have fun getting back to normal life 🙂 Leora

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