First, let’s get a few things straight. Some of Pat Pizzella’s chablis-sipping, pinkie-in-the-air downtown pals have been contacting me about what they see as “disrespecting” their guy.
They claim “Parachute Pat” is a “retired government employee” who settled down in Pinehurst, just like “many of us.”
If you check out this link, you’ll see that Pizzella spent much of his adult life going in and out of government — a few years at an agency, then a bunch of years lobbying that agency and similar agencies. Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. It’s called “The Revolving Door” in DC, and “Parachute Pat” took full advantage of that. Pizzella is and has been an influence peddler.
According to DC media, the big thing that kept him from getting named Secretary of Labor was his close professional relationship with Jack Abramoff — the disgraced DC lobbyist who has become the poster boy for DC sleaze. “Parachute Pat” once boasted in a Senate hearing that he was one of Abramoff’s few associates who did not get charged.
I’ve also been told by Team Pat that their guy had a home here long before he showed up to run for Village Council. I seem to remember Pat — during his and Strickland’s lie-infested rampage against vacation rental property owners — suggesting that owning property here while not living here DOES NOT make you part of the community. (So, using Pat’s own logic, he really didn’t become a member of the community until he registered to vote in March 2021 and ran for Village Council in November of that same year. )
If you check out his first campaign finance report back in 2021, Pizzella’s treasury was stocked mostly by DC area acquaintances.
I’ve watched Pizzella in action. He speaks of things like “historic pine trees”. (George Washington peed here?) I’ve heard tales of ol “Parachute” mocking constituents who show up to offer input to the council. Pat seems to have little knowledge about key people in the area, community history, or even basic knowledge about private enterprise.
“Parachute Pat” hasn’t completed his first term — highlighted by authoritarian, anti-private property positions — yet. He’s already setting his sights on the office of mayor.
I seem to remember a former Army soldier who moved here from Bragg a few years back and filed for mayor within his first year in town. The guy got ridiculed for not being here long enough to know the people and the community’s history and background. But those same ridiculers are lauding “Parachute Pat” for doing basically the same thing.
Municipal races are usually low turnout affairs. Pizzella got backed in 2021 by an elitist downtown cocktail clique that calls itself “The Friday Group.” Their get-out-the-vote efforts, in a low-turn out event, managed to do the trick and launch “Parachute Pat’s” elected political career.
In elections, you get what you ask for. There will be at least two choices for mayor besides ol’ “Parachute”: current council member Jeff Morgan and former council member Kevin Drum.
If you sit out and ignore the November elections for Pinehurst council like you did last time, you just might find yourself with a carpet-bagging, influence-peddling mayor who jumps when a small coterie of angry octagenarian “Get Off My Lawn!” yankees says “Jump.”