Who is Brutus?

This is more local New Paltz business (endlessly fascinating, I’m sure, to readers in Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and California, etc.).

Erin Quinn, the senior reporter at the New Paltz Times, is waging a mimetic contagion against village of New Paltz mayor Terry Dungan. In response to being called petty and vindictive, Quinn becomes even more petty and vindictive. Today’s paper features more deep reporting, this time about how the mayor scandalously wrote a few parking tickets while the parking enforcement position was empty. A mimetic contagion is a monkey see, monkey do mass psychology that spreads through non-resistent minds like a wildfire.

Quinn never forgave Dungan for defeating her golden boy Jason West for mayor two years ago. She was a relentless apologist for and glamorizer of West and, as one might imagine, she has been just as relentless in the opposite direction on Dungan.

This melds nicely with New Paltz town supervisor Toni Hokanson’s effort to get the attention off of her and onto Dungan. (New Paltz has a town government and also a village government within the town. The two have certain conflicts natural to overlapping jurisdictions.) So, Quinn, for instance, plays Dungan’s attempt to shed light on what appears to be the town’s, and Hokanson’s, practice of double-dipping, i.e., taxing villagers twice for the same service, as the mayor being out of control. He is, of course, doing his job, which is to look after the best interests of village residents.

Hokanson is up for re-election this November but must first be renominated at a New Paltz Democratic Party caucus in September. She is very unpopular with local voters, especially for taking the position that the hundreds of people who put time in to attend planning board meetings to express opposition to the Crossroads project were talking into her deaf ear. She wants the project, but has never given a satisfactory explanation why.

But in this building mimetic contagion being thrown at Dungan there is a surprisingly active Brutus, someone who has left open a side door, so that Quinn can have at Dungan’s flank. This is a surprising development to me, and I’ve looked into it a little. My conclusion is that it’s a surrender to this petty contagion and will not serve Brutus or the things he cares most about.

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