(Sweet fancy Moses, but Piney is a frustrating personality. He's a curdled romantic who can't live up to his own ideals, so he projects his disappointment onto everyone else when they turn out to be human too.)
Anyway, Jax leaves silently, since it's evident that he and Piney are never going to see eye to eye on this vote.
We go to the fundraiser. Roosevelt and Rita meet under a tree, and she bemoans the lack of success the fundraiser is having. Roosevelt tells her, "You went with your gut. You did something because you knew it was right." Rita moans, "I created tension between you and the mayor..." and Roosevelt grins, "Well, you know that's my favorite part. I love getting under that guy's skin." (Y'all, I like these two so much. They are Charming's new fun couple so far as I am concerned.) Clay then comes over with Gemma and says gently, "Mrs. Roosevelt? Excuse me? Uh, I was hoping I could say a few words to the folks and make a formal donation? Family friendly, I promise." Roosevelt looks at Rita all, "This is your call, babe," but Rita knows Gemma will have Clay's guts for garters if he messes with this, so she okays it. After Roosevelt stalks off, Gemma chirks up Clay with, "That went well," and kisses him. He grins at her in return. Clay is never happier than when he thinks his schemes are rolling along unimpeded.
Meanwhile, SAMCRO, the Mayans and Luis's token force of four people is getting all hyped for the presumed Lobo Sonora ambush they're about to pull off. Pedro has been tied up and gagged for the occasion.
Back at the fundraiser, Clay's speechifying, and it is so skillful, I will just transcribe it for you: "My wife grew up in this town. [puts on reading glasses, checks paper] It became my home 31 years ago. I love Charming. I know some of you have an opinion about my club. You think maybe we overstayed our welcome, but ask yourself this: What's worse? A few broken windows, some fightin' now and again -- or bulldozers gutting the heart of your town? Sons of Anarchy have always stood up for Charming. We pride ourselves in knowing that we've kept this town tight-knit, supported and protected small business owners. Charming Heights is the beginning of the end. Sooner or later, your businesses are going to end up just like this garden -- hanging on by a thread, hoping, praying for the charity of others. Tonight, I offer that charity. Two checks for $75,000." Rita laughs in disbelief, and we see a few veterans (or active military) applauding Clay. Roosevelt is sullen; on the one hand, his wife's efforts have paid off. On the other hand, they've been paid for by thugs. The garden has just become the literal embodiment of fruit from the poisoned tree. Clay says, "One of those checks is from me, so I know what you're thinking: blood money, probably stole it. It's okay, you can think that." We cut to Tara, who is giving Clay an appraising look. Clay continues, "The other check comes from a man who believes in this town even more than I do, a man whose family has pumped lifeblood into this community for almost 50 years. So if you can't thank me, you should definitely thank him, the guy who should be mayor, Elliott Oswald." Going by the mood of the crowd, if elections were held tomorrow, Hale the Lesser would be a single-termer.