Saturday, December 1, 2007


November 30, 2007

If ever he ventured across the street from a favored haunt in the Village of Sag Harbor, Rudy Giuliani would hear why a certain conservative-leaning barber won't support him in the presidential contest.

"If he asked me, I would say, 'Rudy, you let me down. I'm upset with you,'" said Mario Trunzo, 89, owner of Marty's Barber Shop, who regularly sees Giuliani come and go from the trendy American Hotel Restaurant, but has never spoken to the former New York City mayor.

The reason for Trunzo's ire - reports of Giuliani's travel and security-detail expenses being shunted into the budgets of little-known city agencies during his extramarital affair with Judith Nathan - was splashed across the front page of a tabloid newspaper neatly folded atop an antique cash register in his shop.

Here, on the East End where Giuliani and Nathan met for trysts, the news served to increase cynicism about politicians and politics. Trunzo, a conservative who regularly votes Democratic for president, said he'd do so again. "If you don't have honesty when you deal with people," he said of Giuliani, "then how can they say you're a good man?"

Just down the street from the Atlantic Hotel in Southampton, one of the places where records show members of Giuliani's security detail spent the night, a house painter said he was disillusioned.

"Taxpayers want to spend money the way it's supposed to be spent, not on some secret trips," said Charlie Applin, 62, who was inside the Blue Collar Bar on Route 27.

"I don't think that's right at all," bartender Kristy Perrotta, 23, said of the reports. "There are people on welfare, people who can't eat. ... This is one more reason I don't think Giuliani is honest."

Yet elsewhere in the Hamptons, where Giuliani and his wife are just another famous couple at the farmer's market or a charity event, there was sympathy, if not indifference.

"We get all kinds of celebrity types in here and the reason they come here is because they want to be left alone," said the owner of a deli on Noyac Road, not half a mile from the cottage complex where Nathan has a condominium. "I have nothing to say to you," he said, refusing to give his name.

The complex overlooking North Sea Harbor was barren yesterday, nearly all of the two dozen units unoccupied in the off-season. One neighbor, who did not want to give her name and did not live there during 1999 and 2000, the early years of the couple's relationship, said she liked Giuliani as mayor and stood by him, though she said. "It's a sin what he did. I think the American people need to choose a president for different reasons."

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