Tuesday, September 23, 2014

MacKay Swaps Out Doheny for Stefanik on the E Line

  As expected, the NYS Independence Party has placed Elise Stefanik on the E-line in place of Matt Doheny who vacated the line recently, presumably through a nomination to NYS Supreme Court in a JD he won't win in.
   The Indy line routinely goes to GOP candidates in upstate Congressional and State Senate races, while on the statewide races, the party leaders put the Democratic slate on their line.
    In NY's system of fusion voting, being on more lines is considered desirable.
     The MSM will have to search and find out which JD Mr. Doheny is running in . 
     Last February, when the line was handed to the Alex Bay native, it was a banner headline heralding the will of the party members. I suspect the September switcheroo will be less noteworthy.
     This is a boost for Ms. Stefanik but one shouldn't assume the votes appearing on the E line wouldn't have gone to her anyway.
     The advantage is the change denies Doheny loyalists a ready means to vote for him.
      Party vice chair Tom Connally said the IP is "proud to support Elise' candidacy."
      Ms. Stefanik thanked Mr. Doheny for removing his name, and giving the GOP a better shot at winning the seat.

NY21 Stuff...Race Plods Along

  House Speaker John Boehner is to attend a private fundraiser this evening in Glens Falls for Elise Stefanik. Protestors are expected so there will be some news coverage.
   Mr. Boehner was upstate for an event for NY24 GOP candidate John Katko.
   Democrat Aaron Woolf is in Watertown today, after an appearance last night in Alexandria Bay.
    Yesterday was the final day to hold judicial conventions in the state, and observers will be following filings with the BOE in Albany or NYC to see if anything new happens with the E line in NY21. Routinely in NY candidates get off the line by taking a nomination for a Supreme Court race. Usually the nomination comes in a district where there is no chance of winning. Taking a nomination for another office is the only practical  way off the ballot this late and judgeships are the only nominations available this late in the season.
    If vacated the states Independence Party could fill the vacancy.

Democrats Slam Astorino For Visiting All 62 Counties | New York Observer

       Rob Astorino may think it's a milestone to report he has visited all of New York's 62 counties, but Democrats says its evidence he is a slacker at his job at Westchester County Executive.

       Mr. Astorino was elected to a second term running the suburban county shortly before he embarked on the race to replace Governor Andrew Cuomo.\

      So far his efforts have yielded little as he trails by a huge margin in polls.

      He will likely list Westchester among the counties he loses to the incumbent.

Democrats Slam Astorino For Visiting All 62 Counties | New York Observer

US and partners begin airstrikes in Syria: Pentagon | New York Post

    Under the command of former Fort Drum commander, General Lloyd Austin, US forces and their Arab partner nations have begun attacks on ISIS forces in Syria.

      Fighters, bombers, and cruise missiles are in play as the effort intensifies to eradicate the brutal Islamic nation that has shocked the world with their televised beheadings.

US and partners begin airstrikes in Syria: Pentagon | New York Post

Monday, September 22, 2014

Andy Gives the WFP the Charlie Brown Treatment | Capital New York

    How simple is the WFP and the other Democrats who profess to want a Democratic Senate in Albany ?   The Governor does not want that. He doesn't want liberal and progressive hegemony in the capital.  He wants to play the middle against the two parties. That's how he can be effective and important.
    He said what he had to say to get the D line on the ballot. Pols do that with the C line, the D line and the E line all the time.
     It's not dishonest or disingenuous. It's politics in a state that allows fusion voting.
     Kudos to the Governor for stiffing the WFP on the Senate pledge. We don't need that crew teaming with Sheldon Silver.
Cuomo's mixed message on Senate control | Capital New York

Wall Street Sit-In Planned On Climate Crisis « CBS New York

      Protestors tried to flood Wall Street today to protest the grip corporate America has over the environment and the people. It didn't appear to be that big a deal as crowds were much smaller than yesterday's climate change march. Surely some of those people had to go back to work today.

     Pols in NY have it rough. Today Governor Cuomo declared it Climate Change Week as he tries to keep a foot in both camps.

Wall Street Sit-In Planned On Climate Crisis « CBS New York

Most common birthday for American babies is the late summer | Daily Mail Online

     People with time on their hands do these kind of studies but its still interesting. Late summer births would tend to indicate doing the dirty deed during the Holidays.

      Most common birthday for American babies is the late summer | Daily Mail Online

LOVETT: Gov. Cuomo launches door-to-door push for ‘women’s equality agenda’  - NY Daily News

    Governor Cuomo's trying to be a lady's man. He has mounted a digital and door to door bid for women's votes. What would be really funny is if his Women's Equality Party ended up sinking the WFP.  I don't think it will as there are enough automatic union votes on the D line, but hey, you never know.

    There are a lot of women on ballot here in Watertown and it's very possible residents here could have a female MOC, Senator and Member of Assembly, along with a female Sheriff.

      And all that could happen without the Governor's 11 point women's equality agenda.

      I wonder if women can be dog-whistled to vote on the WEP line which is way down ballot.

LOVETT: Gov. Cuomo launches door-to-door push for ‘women’s equality agenda’  - NY Daily News

Miss America was booted from sorority for abusive hazing | Page Six

       So what. She's Russian and you'd expect Kira Kazantsev to be hard on pledges. Putin would be proud.

Miss America was booted from sorority for abusive hazing | Page Six

Map of 2015 Health Plans Offered in NY State of Health | New York State of Health

    There are three health plans available in Jefferson County under Obamacare for 2015.

Map of 2015 Health Plans Offered in NY State of Health | New York State of Health

MCM Still Wants Those Dating Records

   Middle class Mike was back on the HOTLINE today asking for more thorough vetting of the candidates for Congress.  Don't hold your breath Mike.
     What's funny is that some people are awestruck at $250 or $500 donations, as if that's a big deal. Those FEC reports for everyone are littered with $2600 max donations from people from all over.
      What I find amazing is that so few of the well to do in this area don't write at least $1000 checks, much less $2,600.
       That's why NNY likes self funders.  Earlier this year, I remember someone supporting Doheny who was complaining about the T-shirts not being the same quality as two years ago.
        I think the candidates are pretty well vetted. I know a lot about all of them. 
        And when it comes to voting, I'm no tyro and can make up my mind on the information out there.

Hawkins seeks to have Teachout vote expand Greens' reach - Newsday

    With Zephyr on the sidelines for now, Howie Hawkins is hoping to exploit the Achilles Heel in Andrew's bid for a 70% reelection.
     Mr. Hawkins is openly courting Teachout voters to add to the normal Green constituency.  Mr. Cuomo is trying to be center-right again, appearing before the Business Council to tout his union rattling ways.
      Teachout represents the Democratic version of the GOP Tea Party.
Hawkins seeks to have Teachout vote expand Greens' reach - Newsday

Daily KOS Takes a Swipe at Elise

       Last April I looked at financial disclosures and wrote a piece or two on it, but nobody else writes about them so I figure nobody cares. We all know how money is raised and its not at a meet and greet at the Italian American Club.
       The lefty publication Daily KOS has taken off after Elise Stefanik in one of those stories done in national media, that the parties hope gains traction within the district. We have seen a bunch of those on the other side too.
       Let's say everyone gets more money from K Street and Wall Street than they do from Main Street.
For those of us who read the NY Post more often than the Daily KOS, this is just an aside, but we offer it to you in our continuing bid for fairness, up to a point.
NY-21 - Elise Stefanik Has Received Thousands in Donations from Controversial Contributors

WDT: Astorino Says He Has a Path to Eagle Street...Just No One Else Sees It

       In the Governor's race, Republican Rob Astorino keeps whistling past the graveyard, Andrew Cuomo heads to a second term, and Green Howie Hawkins is surging as the progressive alternative
       Another Siena Poll is out. This one in CD 24 (Syracuse) and it shows Governor Cuomo leading in central NY 44-32 and Hawkins at 15% (24% in the City of Syracuse)
        If Mr. Astorino is not competitive in upstate NY,how does he overcome his downstate deficit ? The answer is he doesn't. I respect his perseverance but  there is no way the numbers add up.
Rob Astorino at the WDT Recently (Photo: WDT)
        The Hawkins numbers are not  a surprise in the Salt City where he has been an activist for years. It also means CNY will control a significant portion of the weighted votes on the next Green Party State Committee.
        If the race continues on this pace, Andrew Cuomo wins but is disappointed his margin is not that of his father in 1986.  Rob Astorino returns to White Plains. And Mr. Hawkins grabs the C line.
        Watertown Daily Times | Undaunted, Republican Astorino sees path to finish line in governor’s race

WDT: Trading Barbs on Trade

     I would be such a disaster running for Congress. I don't know anything about any Trans-Pacific trade deal, but I am glad some people do.
     Like many who voted for Perot in the 90s I am suspicious of all the free trade talk as a benefit to me. It really just codifies the diminishing of US wealth and lifestyle vis a vis the rest of the world.
     As the planet gets smaller and old boundaries are erased by the Internet, I understand things will not be as they were.
      Certain issues like repeal of the medical device tax are easy talking points for both parties, at least when in a competitive race.
       Aaron Woolf continues to talk about the Buffett Rule as a means to pay for everything, along with a hike in the minimum wage which he says would save SSI and Medicare.
        Elise Stefanik thinks  fast-tracking free trade is a good idea, so that Congress essentially cannot debate the issue.
       Matt Funiciello thinks free trade deals are done for benefit of the already wealthy, which is a given since they pay for the campaigns.
Watertown Daily Times | Candidates for the 21st Congressional District differ on trade agreement positions

Fall Foliage in New York | Autumn Leaves, Scenic Drives

   Evening if you are down on New York's prospects, the beauty of Fall cannot be denied, so get your mind off Albany and check out the scenic byways.

Fall Foliage in New York | Autumn Leaves, Scenic Drives

Poll of upstate New Yorkers: Our best days may be past - The Buzz: Business news

      New Yorkers are not optimistic about the economic future of the State, according to a Times Union/Siena survey.
      No surprise there. Look at the past ten years in Albany, from Spitzer to Pedro to Smiling Malcolm.
Poll of upstate New Yorkers: Our best days may be past - The Buzz: Business news

WDT}: Sheriff Candidates Both Want Fewer Inmates

   The candidates for Sheriff say there are too many people in jail and that many drug offenders should be dealt with in other ways like treatment or alternative sentencing.
   Of course that's not what John Bocciolatt or Colleen O'Neill are being elected to do. They are running for Sheriff and that means running a jail in accordance with State guidelines.
    That there are too many clogging the system may be a great social issue to muse about, but we don't get to elect the people running social agencies.
      The issue in this race is leadership and ethics and both candidates are mumbling through the race and I have seen them both speak at party functions.
Watertown Daily Times | Jefferson County sheriff’s candidates discuss ways to reduce jail overcrowding

Autobiography to launch Cuomo presidential run is shelved | Page Six

    The authorized biography of Andrew Cuomo is no longer on track for an October release and may never hit the shelves.

     The tome is said to have been the kickoff to a Presidential bid, but at this point Mr. Cuomo is said to be too busy with other things including the federal investigation into the Moreland Commission.

      These vanity biographies are often the financial and publicity springboard to national ambition.

       No disrespect intended, but who would have read it ?

Autobiography to launch Cuomo presidential run is shelved | Page Six

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cuomo stresses tax-cutting, spending restraint in new speech | New York Post

Governor Cuomo talked tax cuts and beating up on public employ
Governor Cuomo at African American Day Festivities in Harlem
Photo: Governor's Office
yee unions when addressing the Business Council this weekend. A far cry from the tune sung when seeking the WFP and whipping up support for his primary win over Zephyr Teachout.
    He wins if he stays left but he wants validation from the business community too. Given his certain win, I am sure the Business Council gives him what he wants.
    As for the WFP, that ship sailed. He's got the line.
Cuomo stresses tax-cutting, spending restraint in new speech | New York Post

Voice Memos the New Text

   I never figured I'd be on the cutting edge of anything, but everyone I have sent a voice memo to, via text, has asked how to do it.
   Even some of my most tech saavy,  Millennial friends.

Hedge-funder’s defense in ‘grope’ case: I never grabbed her | New York Post

     A waitress and aspiring actress says a wealthy hedge fund manager grabbed her butt and made a suggestive remark...So she quit her job and shamed the guy on social media in a matter that made the Post and other publications.
     She was also mad over the two dollar tip.
      Waitresses and bartenders often think they are entitled to tips and complain about low tippers. That's unprofessional as if you give good service you will average out doing well. And who knows, maybe the service was terrible.
      Of course this rich guy has no business playing grab ass and he bragged about it to the Post as well as calling her the name that women don't like too much.
      So, he deserved some Internet shaming.
   Hedge-funder’s defense in ‘grope’ case: I never grabbed her | New York Post

The rowdy greens take charge - Elana Schor - POLITICO.com

     Climate concerns brought thousands of Greens to the streets of NYC this weekend as those not enamored with the two corporate parties get rowdy.

     It's always good to see people passionate even if you don't agree with all they have to say. Nothing the powerful hate more than people who are not sheeple.

The rowdy greens take charge - Elana Schor - POLITICO.com

WDT: I Learned Something Today

      I learned a new word reading Perry's column.
       It means new to something or a neophyte.  Thanks Perry.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Indy Chair Pens Book on Third Parties

   I got forwarded a copy of Indy Chair Frank MacKay's new book, "What About the Rest of Us ?"
It's a critique of two party failures and how a viable third party is the answer, as in the Independence Party of NY.
    The criticisms are valid but I don't necessarily agree that the IP has been much of a cure, although the Chairman does make a case for a party devoid of platform, advancing the interest of centrist politicians.
    It doesn't work that way because the nature of politics is that the line becomes transactional in nature.
Frank MacKay During 2007 Visit to Watertown on Behalf of My
Reelection. A Year Later a Schism Developed Over My Refusal to
Endorse a Republican in the State Senate Race
     I did enjoy reading a summary of events in the 90s in which I was a part. I even learned a couple of things about the 1998 convention in White Plains..
     The Indy line was formed as a result of the 1994 gubernatorial race, and I registered in it in January,1995. I was the US Senate candidate for the party in 2000.
      For years I was very active but have generally lost interest as New York's fusion voting and the Wilson-Pakula Act have resulted in me-too parties with the Conservatives and Indy's backing GOP legislative candidates and the party aligning with people like Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo who have the name recognition to garner the votes necessary for ballot position.
     The situation is worse this year with both major party gubernatorial candidates trying to create even more niche parties.
Among Early Organizers of Indy Party...Fred Newman and Lenora Fulani

      Ultimately the Indy Party is centralized power as there really are no people at a local level interested in being active. Petitions are gathered by notaries from the offices of GOP state legislators. There are few constituted county committees and virtually all authorization authority rests with a couple of people. The same was true for some years locally when the county committee was only a legal framework and the decisions rested with a small group.
      I remember one year someone running for Sheriff asked for a screening. I told him such things are a waste of time as Sheriff Burns was a friend of mine and that's how it's coming down.   In defense of that the right to decide is the reward for doing the work, which I did lots of, gathering countless signatures across NNY each year.
      What started in the Perot era as a movement quickly became more of the same.
       I congratulate Frank on his book.  I just don't buy the premise any longer.
       The most interesting third party is the Green Party because it does not cross endorse, although this year we are seeing major party judge candidates  (Langone) seeking the line and major party legislators are seeking the line through an OTB. That means the party's hippy dippy image is gone and there is no support-the-line hegemony.
      Things change and the two me-too parties supporting Governor Cuomo should be avoided. Vote for Andy on the A-line and you can be cleaning up some of this corruption in Albany we hear so much about.
      That said, I had many good times working with Frank years ago, admire his political acumen and wish him well. Lot of great memories and stories, for sure.

: Mayor de Blasio blasts anti-Islamic ad campaign as 'outrageous' - NY Daily News

    Mayor Bill deBlasio is always outraged it seems, especially when someone exercises free speech as is happening with an ad campaign on NYC busses aimed at Islamic Jihadism.

     The Mayor thinks its offensive.

EXCLUSIVE: Mayor de Blasio blasts anti-Islamic ad campaign as 'outrageous' - NY Daily News

It's Officially Fall...Oktoberfest Has Begun | Daily Mail Online

     Lots of great photos in this Daily Mail account of Oktoberfest, now underway in Munich.

First kegs of Oktoberfest are tapped as steins and beer tents overflow in Munich | Daily Mail Online

WDT:JCC president says college has acted properly throughout investigation of assault claims

      It's tough to know what really happened and in a dormitory setting you are going to have instances of human interaction that don't work out. Where is the line where you call the police if the participants don't ?

       In most instances situations resolve themselves, but when the matter is an alleged sexual assault the issues are more vexing than just a scuffle in a hallway or a food fight in the cafeteria.

       Just a couple weeks into the dormitory business, JCC has found itself mired in controversy over a basketball player allegedly preying on female dorm residents.

       The question, it seems to me, is was calling the police discouraged to avoid controversy for the college or bad publicity for the newly minted dorms ?

       Calling the police ups the ante for everybody, especially in a case like this.

Watertown Daily Times | JCC president says college has acted properly throughout investigation of assault claims

WDT: City has position open and waiting for former Parks and Recreation employee

       The City is complying with a court ordered return to work for an employee dismissed in 2013 but an appellate court ruled should not have been.

Watertown Daily Times | City has position open and waiting for former Parks and Recreation employee

WDT: Howie Hawkins Confident Greens Can Be State's Third Party

      Green Party Gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins says this is the year his party can be the state's true third party alternative promoting progressive causes.

      Mr. Hawkins expects to use liberal angst over Governor Cuomo to pile up the numbers needed to move his party up ballot ahead of the me-too parties that routinely cross endorse under New York's fusion voting system.

      Speaking to the Post Star, Mr. Hawkins outlined an agenda calling for no fracking and a realigning of the tax code.

Watertown Daily Times | Hawkins: stop fracking, promote clean energy, adjust the state tax rates

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Various Items

        Somebody ask me why I wrote that Aaron Woolf paid a combined 38% in income taxes to Uncle Sugar and Albany.  Well, I read it on Newzjunky so I figured it was true.
        That answers my other question as anyone boasting of how much they paid surely voted for Zephyr Teachout over Andrew Cuomo, who has at least tried to constrain spending a little bit.
        This appears a GOP year as far as the turnout model, so that's why the local GOP is downright cocky about winning the Sheriff, judge and Assembly races.
        There is a lot of momentum their way and they might well win them.
         I like the commercials for GOP AG candidate John Cahill. He is dead on about corruption in Albany which the current AG overlooked while he was extorting what he could out of a Franklin Street business.
         This Assembly race baffles me. There is so little known about the candidates but I think there is enough "anybody but Addie" sentiment in some circles, that she could lose.
        I haven't seen any fundraisers for her and still no lawn signs.
         But I am confident Patty Ritchie will be reelected.

Cuomo: I Won't Decide on Fracking Before the Election - The Epoch Times

    In order to keep the base in line, Governor Cuomo says there will be no decision on fracking before the election, but after that's out of the way, will he green-light the controversial process ?
      I don't think so. The left has cracked the whip on Andy and he will have an ultra-liberal Senate to go with Sheldon Silver's Assembly.
      Most in the party are looking beyond Mr. Cuomo's second term with Mayor deBlasio already being talked about for 2018.
     I suspect the Governor would like to approve fracking, but he is a captive of the progressives now and has less and less cachet in the capital.
Cuomo: I Won't Decide on Fracking Before the Election - The Epoch Times

L.A. schools police will return grenade launchers but keep rifles, armored vehicle - LA Times

      A split decision in the LA school district. School officials are giving back the grenade lauchers but are keeping the MRAP.

L.A. schools police will return grenade launchers but keep rifles, armored vehicle - LA Times

Gov. Cuomo spent $5.6 million the past 3 weeks; has $25 million left in campaign account - NY Daily News

   Wanting to stay on the right side of Albany the new owner of the Buffalo Bills has kicked $25K into Governor Cuomo's campaign. And he needs the money as he had to spend $5.6 M fending off Zephyr Teachout. Mr. Cuomo's war chest is down to just $25M.  That's still ten times what his GOP opponent has.
    The Governor also transferred over $3m to the NYS Democratic Party to run attack ads.
     While the results November 4 are certain, Mr. Cuomo will have to decide if massive spending can help him run up the score.
Gov. Cuomo spent $5.6 million the past 3 weeks; has $25 million left in campaign account - NY Daily News

Micro-lofts In a Downtown Arcade

    This is interesting and an insight into the increasing appeal of urban living.
     The sister indoor mall to the Paddock Arcade is the Arcade Providence in Rhode Island..
      Upper floor space in the mall is being made into "micro-loft" apartments of as little as 225 square feet. 
      While the Paddock has rebounded greatly from it's nadir in the 90s, there are still many possibilities there and with so much going on downtown the possibilities are endless.
Micro - Page 5 - CBS News

Churchill: Green adds color to 21st District race for House - Times Union

The Times Union calls NY 21 as a race between boilerplate and robotics with a colorful Green candidate who makes the race interesting.

Churchill: Green adds color to 21st District race for House - Times Union

Woolf: I Pay Lots in Taxes

      The Woolf campaign says their candidate paid an effective federal tax rate of 29.53% and a state rate of 8.82%. This, the campaign says, places Mr. Woolf at near the Buffett threshold of 30% and is at the top rate in the state.
       When you release partial information you cross my privacy threshold. Normally I would say its none of my business, but if you are bragging at how much you pay, I'd like to see the complete picture from both candidates.
      The Stefanik tax returns are to be out this week. Last week came the summary. Must be that stretches the story out more.
     My tax returns will be available to the media Monday night during the JETS game, but only to reporters who spend a lot over the bar.
Stefanik Set to Release Tax Returns

Playing It Safe...Sitting on Leads....Why Area Codes Matter

       In today's world of operatives controlling access to candidates, it will be very tough to get candidates for even local office to appear jointly on America's Favorite Noontime Talk Show.
      While everyone who has appeared there thinks I do a very fair and balanced interview, it's inconceivable those running say the Sheriff candidates would ever allow Mr. Bocciolatt and Ms. O'Neill on jointly.
      Politics is often about error avoidance.
      That's the case in NY 21 where a Dem insider concedes Elise Stefanik is winning but says it's not October yet and that "a week in politics is a lifetime."  This insider says the Woolf campaign is hoping for a major gaffe or that she gets mad or petulant. That so, it means everyone will be extra cautious and not likely to expose candidates to unscripted moments.
      The buzz around the Hill is that Ms. Stefanik is winning. As one observer in the Nation's Capital said today. "She's not measuring for drapes yet but the fat lady is warming her vocal chords."
      We are told Ms. Stefanik was in DC this past week and that in speaking to groups has a "very good command of a room full of people......definitely has that 315 personality....the connection was real. Doesn't come across as coerced....Matt was more 212 as is Woolfie,"  said the insider.
       Funny how DC people refer to localities by the area code.  And for the record we will point out Ms. Stefanik is from the 518.

Putin: PBR Me ASAP ?

    The Russian owned Oasis Beverage Company has purchased the iconic Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, continuing a trend of foreign ownership of America's most best known beer brands.
    Pabst was once the choice of the working man and was my top seller when I opened in 1985. It floundered after that but has bounced back in recent years as a trendy brew for millennials.
Pabst Brewing to be sold to Russian company

WDT: Barking up the right tree: Council members set tails wagging by allowing dog park in city

      Scott Gates is getting better press than City Council these days as the dog-centric,  but persistent City resident now has editorial support for a dog park along with extensive coverage the MSM has given to his years long quest to build a dog park.

     Council has warmed a little to the concept and staff is identifying possible sites. However, there is still a caveat that it must be built with private funds.

       I guess every dog does have his day.

Watertown Daily Times | Barking up the right tree: Council members set tails wagging by allowing dog park in city

Cuomo strikes ambivalent tone on Democratic Senate - The Insider Blog | Crain's New York Business###

   In politics it depends on who you are talking to. When you will do anything to get the WFP line, it's all about winning the State Senate for Dems, even if it means pulling the rug on the IDC which you help establish.
   But for Governor Cuomo, that's not the stance you take talking to the NYS Business Council this week. Mr. Cuomo wants their backing again this year, and as the likely winter he may well get it.
    Mr. Cuomo sounded like he didn't care who won the Senate, but its goal number one for Dems this year to win uncontested control of the upper house.
    Business interests feat that as then there is no check and balance on anti business policies and laws.
Cuomo strikes ambivalent tone on Democratic Senate - The Insider Blog | Crain's New York Business###

Friday, September 19, 2014

Infamous Murder the Subject of New Book

   One of the areas most celebrated murders is the subject of a new book by former Times scribe David Shampine. The Egan murders fascinated Watertown when they happened on New Year's Eve 1964.
     The murders occurred in a rest area on a then unfinished I-81.  Famed attorney F. Lee Bailey was a part of the defense of the man charged but not convicted.  The book is available October 14, according to a Facebook post.

The Place Was Lousy With Democrats....

        I was probably the only non-Democrat in the room as members of the party of Andrew Jackson gathered at the Coyote Moon Winery near Clayton to hear from Assemblywoman Addie Russell, Sheriff candidate Colleen O'Neill and judge candidate Sue Sovie.
      Featured speaker was former Senator Darrel Aubertine who gave the ladies the wisdom of his years.
Darrel Aubertine Talks to the Flock
     I learned a lot from talking to Dems.  I heard authoritatively that Andrew Cuomo will not seek a third term in four years and will likely move to the private sector. I heard the only statewide candidate Dems are at all worried about is the AG.
      I listened to the candidates, and sampled a heated apple spice wine that was delicious.  I met Jim Cummings who owns Luna, widely considered the county's second most attractive dog.  And Ted Ford was there with his lovely daughter Mary.
      My advice to candidates I have heard this year on both sides. Focus. Be concise. Don't use a written text and speak from the heart. Everybody running this year is a good person but you have to wade through a lot of ramble to realize that.
     You know someone I never heard mentioned, even when the A-line slate was being talked about.  No one mentioned the party's Congressional candidate, either in discussions beforehand or during remarks to the group.
     I think they have written him off. 

Food stamp system to go down across New York this weekend

    A state of emergency will be in effect and counselors will be available from midnight Saturday to noon Sunday as the states EBT processing system will be down for repairs.

    No 2 AM subs or bags of HoHo's.

Food stamp system to go down across New York this weekend | syracuse.com#incart_m-rpt-2#incart_m-rpt-2

San Diego School District's New 18-Ton Armored Vehicle Creates Stir : The Two-Way : NPR

   The San Diego Unified School District paid $5,000 for it's own MRAP...Now they are giving it back.

San Diego School District's New 18-Ton Armored Vehicle Creates Stir : The Two-Way : NPR

WDT: All Purpose Writer Tries Sports Analysis


 I am not a sports writer but was asked to write an op/ed on the NY JETS, who play editorial page editor Jerry Moore's Chicago Bears on Monday night.
     It's my first stab at sports so keep that in mind.
Watertown Daily Times | New York seeks a return to past glory

Political Chatter

  I believe overseas military ballots go out in the mail today to comply with federal law that makes sure those voters get a ballot. But if there are changes in the ballot due to judicial conventions, those ballots won't be accurate.
 Democrats for three local offices hold a joint event tonight at the Coyote Moon Winery in Clayton.
Addie Russell, Sue Sovie and Colleen O'Neill will host the soire.
  My DC insider who was a reliable source pre-primary now sees the NY 21 race as Ms. Stefanik's to lose. "Easily....walking away" is how the insider characterized Elise Stefanik's prospects.

WDT: Letter Writer Worries Over Errant Democrats

     Democrats are scrambling to slow the candidacy of Matt Funiciello as the they live in the world of two parties where the belief is not in the free will of voters but in party hegemony.
      In a letter to the editor Brad Mintener of St. Lawrence County advances the old saw of "spoilers" and a vote for Mr. Funiciello is a vote lost for Aaron Woolf and in effect is a vote for Elise Stefanik.
      Not really. A vote is the property of the citizen and they should cast it as they see fit without guilt and shaming.
      Mr. Mintener still has 2000 on his mind when Democrats blamed Ralph Nader for losing the White House.
      Dems have feverishly worked the media over year's old statements of Mr. Funiciello over 9/11 and even have trotted out Rep. Bill Owens to slow what they see as bleeding on the left.
       Most observers now see the race slipping away from the Democrats and that explains their flailing over the Green candidate.
Watertown Daily Times | A vote for Funiciello is a vote for Stefanik

Not Enough Brave Hearts. Scotland to Remain Part of UK | Daily Mail Online

      Scots have voted to stay as part of the United Kingdom. The margin was 45% Yes and 55% No.
In the end nationalism and cultural pride lost out to the practical concerns over what independence would mean.
    Concerns over fiscal issues and the myriad of challenges in setting up a new nation carried the day.
     Scotland has been part of the Empire for 307 years.
Scotland independence referendum results | Daily Mail Online

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why He Will Win

   A poll in two downstate CDs shows Andrew Cuomo easily beating Rob Astorino, and that's why the Governor can coast...He may be nip and tuck up state but wins easily in the City and Long Island. Remember when Nassau and Suffolk were solid GOP counties ?

In Two Downstate CDs, Cuomo Popular

Teachout Urges ‘No’ Vote on Redistricting Amendment

    If Zephyr says vote no , then I will vote no.  The "reform" commission on redistricting is not independent and its not reform.
    The people bringing it to you also refused to repeal Wilson-Pakula and are trying to create more minor parties they will own.
     Teachout Urges ‘No’ Vote on Redistricting Amendment

Atop A Pile of Trash I Looked Out Over the Expanse of NY21

       A festive evening at the DANC landfill as I stopped in for a open house and got a tour that took me to the top of the mountain of trash that I helped contribute to with my wasteful ways.
      Dick LeClerc was kind enough to drive me around and show how it all works. Eventually the mountain will be 120 feet high. I also met an owl named Sylvia.
      There was a range of displays and activities for children and adults and a good time was had by all. Now that I have seen the Eighth Wonder of the World, I won't have to visit again, but I appreciate the tremendous hospitality of DANC Czar Jim Wright and his staff.

WDT: NYC media outlets interested in NY21 race because of Manhattan connection

  Perry and company may have been slow to warm to Elise Stefanik but more recent coverage has taken its share of hits at her foe, Aaron Woolf......This piece on the spate of NYC news stories on Mr. Woolf raps him hard on residency as the editor at the Daily News calls him a NYC resident., a direct contradiction of the campaign's contention that his heart and body are in Essex County.
    In this race all the candidates are new to us, so when the media seems snarky, they may just be doing their job, although last winter the Watertown press was clearly rooting for the home team.
    Some adverse coverage makes the good candidate work harder and having overcome the testing this year has provided,  the good candidates have developed a tougher skin.
    Watertown Daily Times | City media outlets interested in NY21 race because of Manhattan connection

Go Wolves !

    The Watertown Wolves hockey team unveiled their new logo today and released details of the upcoming season. There are now six teams in the Federal Hockey League and the first howl for the Wolves is October 17 vs the Danbury Whalers at the Fairgrounds Arena.
     The locally owned team is ready to go and will play a 56 game season.

Ad Duel in Governor’s Race Turns Toward the Trivial - NYTimes.com

    With the end result not in question, it's only a matter of how much money the TV industry will make off Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino.
     The NY Times reports the ads to be silly and distorting. What's new there ?
      This race for Governor is beyond boring and the only question is which minor parties make it to 50,000 and in what order.
Ad Duel in Governor’s Race Turns Toward the Trivial - NYTimes.com

WDT: Another School Named for a Superintendent....A Unique NNY Tradition

    Remember when schools were named after Presidents or major historic figures like Dr. King or Ben Franklin ?
     Here in NNY another school has been named after a hired administrator. This time it's retired BOCES czar Jack Boak.
      OK, let me say it. I like Mr. Boak and he is a good and decent man.
       But why is everything up here named for the hired administrators.  They do a job and are paid for it. Fine. Good...Nothing improper in that.  But are the children taught about their superintendents lives ? Are they historic figures ?
       The signage is only a few thousand dollars, or in the case of the Fargo lawn sign, about $40K.  
        Let me say I like Terry Fralick and his tough stance on twirking, but I don't want my alma mater named after him.  
        But I do wish Jack only the best in retirement.
         I mean really, what if I proposed renaming City Hall, the Ronald G. Forbes Municipal Building ?
Watertown Daily Times | Lowville BOCES building renamed for retired superintendent

WDT: Owens Calls Constituent "Offensive" as Dems Are Apoplectic Over Green Surge

       That the Democrats have felt the need for opposition research and attacks using a sitting MOC is evidence the Green Party this year is giving them fits and may indeed be in danger of eclipsing the candidacy of their candidate.
       Charges of "outrageous and offensive" from Rep. Bill Owens towards Matt Funiciello. That's strong stuff from a sitting member to say about a constituent. 
Photo: WDT

      Surely Mr. Owens and the man he supports, Aaron Woolf, long for the good old days of two years ago when Donald Hassig was the Green candidate. Mr. Hassig was considered a fringe player who at the end of the campaign endorsed Bill Owens, but never stood next to him for a photo op. 
      Who else will speak out against the Green candidate?  The President ? No, his numbers are too low here.   The Governor? No, Mr. Woolf refused to endorse Andy.
      For now , it's the Congressman using his weight to move his party's nominee forward.
Watertown Daily Times | Owens, Woolf call Funiciello’s 9/11 views ‘outrageous and offensive’

Astorino Says He Ignores Poll Numbers | WWNY TV 7

   The tough thing about running as a challenger is that when the media does interview you it's all about process and tick tock....About the polls.
    Especially when its the media that commissions a poll they have a stake in publicizing and legitimizing.
     Poor Rob Astorino's trip to NNY yesterday was like walking through a field in a blizzard. The remnants of your trek are covered over quickly and soon it appears you were never there.
Astorino Says He Ignores Poll Numbers | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Q&A: What you need to know about Scotland's vote

        Today's vote in Scotland is really about fear of the unknown. An independent Scotland would involve recreating all the mechanisms of government separate from London. From currency to flag.
        The question is: Is being independent work the hassle ?
Q&A: What you need to know about Scotland's vote

WDT: SUNY Potsdam student charged with rape in campus dorm

      An alleged rape at SUNY Potsdam and college police made an arrest.
Watertown Daily Times | SUNY Potsdam student charged with rape in campus dorm

Zephyr Teachout may run for office again | New York Post

    Zephyr Teachout says she likely will not endorse in the Governor's race and may well run again herself for a citywide or statewide office.
    On her radar is Attorney General in 2018. That office is now held by Eric Schneiderman who likely will win reelection this year but is not a likeable pol, according to a veteran Albany observer I was chatting with last night.
     Ms. Teachout says she has the poltical bug after her brief run at the Democratic gubernatorial nomination that attracted a good number of votes and a network of small donors.
Zephyr Teachout may run for office again | New York Post

WDT: Owens Brought in to Bolster Woolf Bid

       Rep. Bill Owens is using his prestige and popularity in a bid to boost the campaign of Aaron Woolf  for Congress. The two participated in a press conference call yesterday knowing Mr. Owen's presence would give muscle to attacks on Mr. Woolf's two opponents.
     On the matter of tax returns, Mr. Woolf says he will do what Mr. Owens did and release his effective tax rate but says releasing returns crosses a line a candidate shouldn't have to cross.
     Of course the difference is Mr. Owens was a long time community leader in Plattsburgh of whom much was known.
     Nothing was known of Mr. Woolf till his slow as molasses roll-out earlier this year and Mr. Woolf's personal assets contain tens of millions of dollars in securities and real estate.
     Mr. Woolf took issue with a visit to the district this week by House Speaker John Boehner, trying to remind voters of his theme that Ms. Stefanik is too Washington, a theme echoed in his current TV spots.
Watertown Daily Times | Woolf calls on Stefanik to talk to Boehner about expanding economic opportunity, will release effective tax rate but not full income tax return

WDT: SLC Finances Make One Wonder, Who's in Charge ?

      St. Lawrence County continues to have financial woes but let's see if elections can solve that. Unlike Jefferson County, SLC has a more evenly split Legislature but as governments have become so large, there is no accountability on the executive side.

      It used to be a Board of Supervisors ran counties with its chair the effective head of government. There was a clerk/budget officer but the chair was in charge and as an elected official there was accountability.

     As government's expanded the power structure didn't want elected officials with that much power and didn't want them being paid what is necessary to run such an operation.

     School superintendents had become the new czars and they aren't elected.

      However in a county like St. Lawrence the appointed administrator hasn't the mandate provided by elections and the legislators have found government to large and unwieldy to manage.

     The new unelected ruling class isn't working out too well in the Big County

Watertown Daily Times | Stop the slide: St. Lawrence County has work to do to stabilize its finances

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Stefanik's Doppelganger ?

   One of our readers is insisting Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik is a dead ringer for Canadian actress Fiona Loewi, who currently stars in a commercial for Dulera, an asthma inhaler.
    The 39 year old starred in movies like Blackheart and National Lampoon's Senior Trip.
      People who make these observations are clearly not issue oriented and have considerable time on their hands.
Fiona Loewi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Owens Enlisted to Take Out Funiciello....Mayor Ford Faces Cancer Challenge

    Democrats see an opening with some comments about 9/11 made by Matt Funiciello, the surging Green for Congress and the biggest threat to the wobbly campaign of Democrat Aaron Woolf.
     Even Rep. Bill Owens is out blasting Funiciello as unfit for office.  Publicity is publicity and having such top Democrats and their media acolytes in full frenzy over a third party candidate speaks volumes as well.
      In other political news, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and will undergo chemotherapy.  He is said to be in pain from the tumor.  The cancer is described as aggressive. Mayor Ford last week dropped out of the race for reelection.
       GOP Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino was in the North Country today. He didn't stop in Watertown that I know of even though the Farmers Market was today.
Rep. Owens: Funiciello's Sept. 11 Remarks 'Totally Outrageous'

John Cahill Hires the CAT - NY Daily News

     The CAT has landed on his feed.  Political operative and former Doheny mouthpiece David Catalfamo is identified in this article as the spokesperson for GOP AG candidate John Cahill.  Of course, Mr. Cahill and the CAT were buds from the Pataki days.

John Cahill internal poll filing with the state raises more questions than provides answers - NY Daily News

AdirondackDailyEnterprise: Funciello Surge in Saranac

   The Central Adirondacks is teeming with tie dye and support for Matt Funiciello  the Green candidate for NY21.

    An on line poll by the ADE has Mr. Funiciello over 80%.  And don't say it's rigged. The operatives for the other two should be doing their job too.

AdirondackDailyEnterprise.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Saranac Lake region — Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Schneiderman Stonewalls on Moreland While on the Trail

      AG Eric Schneiderman (of Legal Docs by Me fame) is campaigning for a second term against Republican John Cahill, although in the NY of 2014, the statewide Dem ticket is assured reelection.

      Mr. Schneiderman was on Long Island where he declined to answer questions about the Moreland Commission.

My Trip to Long Island

NRCC spends $198K opposing Woolf

    The effort goes on to increase Aaron Woolf's negatives and make him too risky for NNY voters who barely know him.   That's the job of outside groups like the National Republican Campaign Committee.

     So far Mr. Woolf has been the TV spending leader, but that could change.

     NRCC spends $198K opposing Woolf

WDT Get residents involved: Community should give ideas along with funds for monument

I am glad to see an editorial on the proposed Army monument in Thompson Park. Community input has been nil and really this is, if built, something  City residents will own in perpetuity.
  The organizers of the effort should not lock in to design ideas until a range of opinions is sought. To do otherwise risks a project less than what it should be.
Watertown Daily Times | Get residents involved: Community should give ideas along with funds for monument

Can You Win on the E Line ? We Will Find Out - The Buffalo News

       A WNY State Senator defeated in the GOP primary says he will try to run on and win on the Independence Party line (Line E).

        Sen. Mark Grisanti will face a Republican and Democratic foe but he has money and says he can raise more.

        Usually a candidate stranded on the E line will either stand down and not campaign or use one of the ways to be removed from the line.

        This will be interesting but Senator Grisanti faces an uphill climb.

Grisanti plans active run on the Independence line - City & Region - The Buffalo News

WDT: At Least If You Are Convicted in College Court, You Don't Go to Jail

   What is this parallel judicial system at JCC ?

     A student has been booted from the dorm and banned from extracurricular activities after being found guilty in a college tribunal of sexual assault.

      This came after a second woman complained of the hoop player who is said to have gotten physical with women in his room at the dorm.

      This same set of events in a private apartment would be handled how ? 
       I haven't run the man's name because he has not been charged with anything by police, but something seems amiss when the college brings "charges" in a alleged sexual assault and issues a sentence.
        If a theft occurs in the dorm, or a homicide, how is that handled ?
        Am I the only one finding reading these stories puzzling ?

Watertown Daily Times | JCC toughens penalties in sex assault cases

WDT: Getting Media to Bite Takes Getting Your Point into an Official Proceeding

    We mentioned Addie's island some time ago when she bought it and now she has a camper on it and the GOP has made sure it made the news.

     The Assemblywoman says she plans to build a cottage on the island but put a camper there in the meantime and due to complaints from other Otter Point residents she has to seek a special use permit from the Town of Orleans Planning Board.

     The press was alerted to the board meeting as having an official proceeding justifies the media reporting on the fact she owns an island.

       Ms. Russell says alerting the press was political. No kidding. Showing a liberal Democrat owning an island (not as well appointed as a GOP island, but still an island) is an effective campaign tool.

       The Russell side has floated the Oneonta bar owned by her opponent, which was the subject of SLA action, and because there is an on the record account, the media will cover that too, but a way has to be found to get the documents in print as its a past and not current proceeding, and the media won't do that digging for you.

       It's part of politics to get little tid bits like all of this in print or on TV. Whether it advances a candidacy I don't know, but the same thing was done with the Brooklyn business of Aaron Woolf or the family business of Elise Stefanik where any and all fines and violations have been shopped to the media.

     It's politics and it's not bean bag.     

 Watertown Daily Times | Otter Point residents object to camper on island owned by state assemblywoman

Interview: Nader says Funiciello can win | News from North Country Public Radio

     One thing I noticed in this interview with Ralph Nader is that he did an interview and was versed on the NY21 race and the geography of the district.

      Bringing in a national figure garners attention and validity for the candidate.  In the major parties, it's done through closed events that don't make sense in NNY politics.

      Interview: Nader says Funiciello can win | News from North Country Public Radio