“Packing the house” is a theatrical expression used to describe a show that has become a runaway success and fills all seats at every performance. It also describes the shady theatrical practice in which unscrupulous theatrical producers selectively give out tickets for opening-night performances to friends or hired audiences to create false enthusiasm and applause, thus swaying newspaper critics when they write their reviews. The latter underhanded maneuver is what is apparently going on in Croton to promote the Republican candidates and attack the Democratic incumbents.
While down at Croton Bay taking photographs of the omnipresent railroad ties for a future news story, Crotonblog came upon a small bottle floating in the water at high tide. Inside the bottle we found a most interesting letter and attachment. At this very moment, these are being circulated by e-mail to selected Croton residents. They reveal a plot to use an upcoming Village Board meeting as the setting for an organized protest to sway voters in a political campaign under the protective coloration of indignation over the Village’s attempt to explore negotiations with a property owner. This is electioneering, pure and simple, although on analysis, its purpose is not pure, nor simple. It deserves to be unmasked for what it is—an attempt to pack the house with a raucous and tiresome crowd that will repeat the same doleful message over and over again: Croton is going to hell in a handbasket because of the Democratic majority on the Village Board. Elect us Republicans.
The writer of the letter was Joann Minett, perennial village discontent, and the creator of the attached flyer was Susan Schmidt, wife of the present Mayor. Crotonblog is publishing both privately circulated documents here as a public service to the people of Croton who might otherwise see this demonstration next Monday evening as a spontaneous upwelling of popular sentiment. Instead, it quite obviously will be a blatant attempt at manipulation and electioneering. As Bette Davis, playing fading actress Margot Channing in the movie “All About Eve,” tells her party guests, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!”
Friday, February 2, 2007
“We won. We got rid of Metro Enviro and now we need to get rid of Regus. Never before has it been so important for you to attend a meeting as it is now. This will affect us all so greatly in so many different ways it is scary. We need to band together now! Please come to the Village board meeting, listen and let your voice be heard. Do we really want this environmentally hazardous entity in our village? Do we really want to see our home values plummet? Do we really want thousands of trucks rumbling through our village? Weigman. Kane and Gallelli do! The people in this village must not let it happen. So many mistakes have been made in the past and we must not let it continue. They claim to be environmentalists yet this operation is against everything environmental. From our river and land to our health and safety.
Please see the attached flyer (illustrated below) and send it to your friends. Print it and hand them out. We need the grassroots spirit!
— Joann Minett”