Friday, August 1, 2014

NYPD Officer's Choke Hold Led to Staten Island Man's Death: Medical Examiner - WSJ

   A tragedy for the victim, but Manna from Heaven for Reverend Al.

NYPD Officer's Choke Hold Led to Staten Island Man's Death: Medical Examiner - WSJ

Giraffe dies after hitting its head on a low bridge as its owner drives it in open-top truck | Mail Online

   Read this story and tell me there aren't idiots in the world...How does someone so dumb get a giraffe ?

Giraffe dies after hitting its head on a low bridge as its owner drives it in open-top truck | Mail Online

WDT: Funiciello on NY21: “I think I’m the most credible candidate”

    We will discover on Wednesday if Matt Funiciello can overcome media aversion to third party candidacies and so far he is doing fine. An article in the paper today....interviews on TV 7, radio talk shows.....
     All the insiders are thinking the way they always think. Dems worry he will take lefty votes and the GOP thinks he is the ticket to paradise.
    But this guy is dangerous to that paradigm, as he appears to be a thinker, a small business owner and not one to fit into the Green model we saw two years ago.
     It's hard to imagine him winning....but as the Lottery says, "hey, you never know."
Watertown Daily Times | Funiciello on NY21: “I think I’m the most credible candidate”

A Cuomo Opponent Tilting at Corruption Faces a Day in Court - NYTimes.com

    Next Thursday in a courtroom in Brooklyn the trial starts as Andrew Cuomo attempts to eradicate the woman who probably can't beat him but can embarrass him the next six weeks till the Democratic primary.
   Mr. Cuomo (through surrogates) is trying to get Zephyr Teachout tossed from the ballot, contending her candidacy violates the NYS Constitution's requirement of five years residency to run for Governor. She took a tenure track job at Fordham in 2009 but had ties to Vermont.
   Mr. Cuomo has nearly $40M, he has the party apparatus, name recognition and the legions of patronage and other automatic votes.....But Mr. Cuomo remembers...He surely remembers unknown Lenora Fulani getting good numbers against his dad years ago....And he doesn't want an attractive, smart candidate like Teachout topping 40% in a primary.
    The Governor has the best in election law lawyers including Senator Marty Connor who probably has gotten more people tossed from ballots than people there are in Dexter.
     Democrats are the party of empowerment, except when their power is at stake.
     Ms. Teachout and her running mate are both law professors, so I am sure they know some good ones to represent her.
     Mr. Cuomo knows the suit even if it fails (and it should) will consume dollars that could be used for ads and will keep the candidate worrying and wondering.
      It's in Brooklyn and Mr. Connor knows the judges...Better hope for help at the appellate level.
A Cuomo Opponent Tilting at Corruption - NYTimes.com

Trip to Canton

    The trip to Canton was slow today as construction in Gouverneur is  brutal...But I made it for the  Regional Council meeting....However, its good to show the flag. It was at one of the public colleges and the facility was nice but for lunch you can't beat the spread they put out at Clarkson.
    Had a chat by phone with Mayor McDougall to see how his day with Elise Stefanik went...Of course in the circles he travels you have to be obsequious to Democratic orthodoxy. He was complimentary and said she is a good listener and asks good questions.  I've heard that critique on several occasions.
    Ron was a little worried as she met a bunch of union employees at the plants she visited.  We don't want those folks to be exposed to contrary thought, after all.
    Also ran into June O'Neill, the Democratic uber-operative who said she notices all the mentions she gets here...Tried to compliment June by telling her she's the most important Democrat I know....All she said is I should get out more....
      The trip home was uneventful.

WDT: Stefanik tours Gouverneur businesses, vows bipartisan approach to reforms

    Republican Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik outlined her  pragmatism yesterday in Gouverneur by listing what she sees are bipartisan fixes to Obamacare that while short of repeal are doable.
    Ms. Stefanik toured local businesses and like her Democratic opponent earlier in the week, the GOP candidate was talking about changing the tone in DC.
    Ms. Stefanik has considerable knowledge of how Washington works and will have her hands full once there, as turmoil continued this week with a bid by House Republicans to sue the President.      The 30 year old Harvard grad has talked throughout the campaign about a new approach by a new generation, but her opponents have sought to link her to current House leaders including Rep. Paul Ryan.
      I don't know if the Gouverneur visit was covered by TV. If not, its the second Stefanik event this week of some importance passed on by journalists anxiously covering an Aaron Woolf rally on Tuesday.
      Many in the broadcast arena have said coverage of politics is bad for ratings.
Watertown Daily Times | Stefanik tours Gouverneur businesses, vows bipartisan approach to reforms

Tim Wu Outlines Laws Broken by Cuomo Administration, as Foes Feast on Scandal

    Opponents of Governor Andrew Cuomo are continuing to try and talks of possible laws broken in the matter of the Moreland Commission and efforts to "set the record straight" by the Second Floor.
     LG hopeful Tim Wu is today outlining his take on possible witness tampering violations by the Administration.
     Mr. Cuomo, through a statement, says he will have no more to say on the topic. That doesn't mean others won't be talking extensively on the one issue that may affect the Governor's prospects in the September primary or the November general election.
     Despite the kerfuffle, most observers don't see serious threats to Mr. Cuomo's reelection.
Register For:Tim Wu Outlines Laws Broken by Cuomo Administration | myaccount.maestroconference.com

Journey to Canton on the Agenda Today

    It's off to Canton this morning, for a meeting of the Regional Economic Development Council.  I just like to stay caught up on the connections from across the North Country.
    Councilwoman Roxanne Burns will be filling in on the HOTLINE and will get her first shot and the new and improved AM studio. Not everything is hooked up yet as we saw yesterday with the streaming audio.  Glenn Curry is working on all that but listeners said the station sounded better yesterday.
    The improvements are the first in decades. We are also getting a new solid state transmitter.  It's been 75 years since transistors were invented, but in Watertown we don't like to jump into new technology for fear it will be a passing fancy.
    

Funiciello Takes a Swipe at Stefanik Over Singer Connection

     Green candidate Matt Funiciello is taking both his challengers to task for ties to big money. Mr. Funiciello has called Elise Stefanik donor Paul Singer a "vulture capitalist" and the Green feels his GOP foe needs to speak out on the issue of Mr. Singer's role in the Argentine default.
      Those who assumed Mr. Funiciello only sought to gnaw at the lefty vote of Democrat Aaron Woolf may be in for a surprise when the Green goes after the Republican too.
      Mr.Woolf gets a shout out for his recently revealed huge wealth including considerable money in hedge funds.
      Mr. Funiciello is booked on WWNY's noon news next Wednesday as well as on the two WATN talk shows.
Funiciello Calls Stefanik’s Silence on Paul Singer’s Role in Argentina’s Default Reprehensible | Matt Funiciello for Congress

One News Outlet is Moreland Free

    Governor Cuomo has been place to go for news sans Moreland.....His brother Chris Cuomo's CNN has run no stories about the Governor's problems.  Chris works as an anchor on CNN's morning news.

    Guess How Many Times Chris Cuomo and CNN Have Mentioned His Brother’s Ethics Scandal | Mediaite

Capitol Confidential » Cuomo: We, meaning I, were only trying to correct the record

   Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will speak no more about the flap over the Moreland Commission after US Attorney Preet Bhahara wrote a letter suggesting the Second Floor exerted undo influence over former Commission members.
     The Governor says he was trying to correct the record when he asked members to put out statements defending Mr. Cuomo.
      There has been no polling since a New York Times story outlined efforts to tamp down Moreland controversy.  None of this helps the Governor in his bid to run up the score in a reelection bid, but make no mistake, there are enough automatic votes to power the Governor to reelection.
Capitol Confidential » Cuomo: We, meaning I, were only trying to correct the record

WDT: Widower Charged in Fundraising Scheme

        In a sad development to a sad story, the husband of a woman who died from a rare form of cancer and received the sympathies of many over her plight has himself been charged with improperly cashing checks meant to pay for his wife's care and the care of the couple's twins.
       Everyone was taken with Jenna Hinman's tragic story as a young woman...a young couple with two small children ripped apart by disease.
       Fundraising went on and recriminations started. Makes you wonder about the many such fundraisers routinely held to aid in some tragedy.
Watertown Daily Times | Jenna Hinman’s husband charged with grand larceny, accused of taking $46k in donations

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Does the Mayor of Gouverneur See Elise Stefanik as a LifeSaver for NY 21 ?


         Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall  (husband of one time Congressional candidate Dierdre Scozzafava) spent the day with Elise Stefanik on a tour of village businesses.....Maybe his stint in office has shown Hizzoner the light...Mainly that knowledge of process and policy matters when seeking high office. 
   
Dede's Husband Touring Gouverneur With Elise Stefanik
 
       The Mayor has extensive labor contacts as well as being St. Lawrence County's top political hobbyist.   His willingness to spend the entire day with Ms. Stefanik is seen as perhaps a change of heart in his family's allegiances.....Next thing you know he will be showing Zephyr the Pep-O-Mint monument.

U.S. attorney threatens to investigate Andrew Cuomo for witness tampering - Salon.com

       Now that the US attorney has warned of a probe of the Governor for possible witness tampering the Moreland affair is gaining attraction....Although in fairness to the Governor, public warning of a probe is a bit of character assassination.
      We will see what happens next...but I still contend none of this threatens Andrew Cuomo's reelection.
U.S. attorney threatens to investigate Andrew Cuomo for witness tampering - Salon.com

The Info We Need to Judge Our Candidates is Out There

    Now that we have those financial disclosures out there, let's ponder voting records.  I think voting is a record of civic involvement and differentiates between those who want to serve and those who dropped in suddenly without a lot of prior involvement.
Candidate Woolf in Potsdam
 
Let's find out who voted, where and when....Don't bother with school board votes. 
    That would be a good job for the main stream media in their spare time.

Workers Race to Complete Sonic in Time for Monday Opening

     We miss a little bit on the latitude but the bright and cheery staff makes up in attitude at the soon to open Sonic located in Stateway Plaza in Watertown.
     Watertown is not the northernmost store, we lose out to Minot , ND, but it's the first of fifteen new Sonics in New York State and the furthest north in the Empire State.
     Western NY businessmen Fran DeSimone and Adam Cidzik are scurrying to get staff trained and the finishing touches on the million dollar building and grounds. There are about 3500 Sonics nationwide, mostly down south where the stores do not have indoor dining, but car hop service instead.
 
Car Hop Stations at Sonic
 
    Mr. DeSimone says this store features a 44 seat dining room and year round car hop service and a drive-in take out window.  Service will continue in the winter although the boss said he will equip staff in snow shoes if necessary.
    Today, pavers from Granger Paving were working on the parking lot and inside, everyone was scurrying, hoping to meet a Monday goal of opening.........No matter the day, the store will be open from 7AM to midnight seven days a week.
    Last minute issues could result in a change in the opening day, but for now staff plans a friends and family day on Sunday and public opening Monday....Subject to change, of course.
    The owners say they are opening 15 stores in upstate and this is the first.
    We welome them to the city and appreciate the investment.

This Year's Green Choice Not as Easily Categorized as You Would Think

    While conventional wisdom divides us between left and right, this year's Green candidate for Congress offers a more complicated choice,
     Matt Funiciello advocates for the usual economic justice issues and he of course wants to end corporate welfare, but issues like the latter appeal to folks beyond progressives.
     Mr. Funiciello supports the Second Amendment and a decentralization of much of government. Mr. Funiciello owns a bakery, so he legitimately is a small business person.
     The Green candidacy is widely viewed as a threat to Democrat Aaron Woolf, but I have thought all along its not that simple. 
     We also must consider the media, who don't like covering two candidates and surely disdain third parties. Will they conspire to prevent Mr. Funiciello from participating in debates ?  My guess is they do and it will be aided and abetted by whichever major party candidate benefits from his exclusion.  What say you Scott ?  Liz ?
     We will hear more about Mr. Funiciello next Wednesday on the two WATN talk shows and at a meet and greet at the Pearl Street Pub.
The Green Decentralist | Revolution in 8 Bits

My Morning

    An early day at City Hall, as I have an 8:30 meeting with the chair of Advantage Watertown followed by a Board of Audit meeting. We also have a retirement ceremony.  Later I plan on stopping  at the new Sonic where the new franchisee, Fran DeSimone has kindly invited me for a tour in advance of an expected opening early next week. More on that later, but its exciting to have the Sonic chain so far north.
   

Is the Big County the Big Prize in NY21 ?

   Generals, like politicians, often are still fighting the last war, and if so, a major battleground in NY 21 will be St. Lawrence County where two years ago the GOP lost badly in the county of June O'Neill and Democrats need a repeat this time to have a chance at holding the seat.
    If Elise Stefanik can keep the Big County close, it is difficult to see a path to victory for Aaron Woolf.  Ms. Stefanik won the primary by ten points in St. Lawrence.
    The most Democrat friendly areas the past three cycles have been St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton and Essex counties , all won by Rep. Bill Owens two years ago.

Fracking Foes Likely to Crow Over Poll Showing Public Not Supportive of Process

   A poll shows a majority of voters across a swath of upstate that would be affected by hydrofracking actually oppose the controversial process.
     That should fuel foes, who so far have teamed with the Governor to prevent the gas extraction method from coming to New York.
     Proponents argue fracking will produce economic benefits to the region, but unless you personally will profit, most will not go to the mat for approval.
     Hydrofracking will likely never come to New York.
TWC News/Siena Poll: Voters In Southern Tier, Hudson Valley Oppose Fracking, But Acknowledge Economic Benefits

WDT: Board responds as Cape residents call DANC water charges unfair

     With wind gone as an issue, the turmoil in Cape Vincent swirls around the cost of water and pols are in the middle of the debate. Former Senator and current Comproller staffer Darrel Aubertine says he and other residents are paying too much for water from a line run by DANC.
     On the Town's side, GOP Assembly candidate  board member John Byrne is carrying the water for the Authority.
      Mr. Byrne is in a three way contest for the GOP nod and is attempting to topple the apparent Conservative nominee through a write in primary.
Watertown Daily Times | Board responds as Cape residents call DANC water charges unfair

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stefanik to Tour Gouverneur Businesses Thursday.

    Gee, Elise Stefanik is visiting five businesses in Gouverneur tomorrow and my good friend the mayor is not on the route....Come on Ron, get on board. I am sure your Republican bride supports Elise.
Republicans in the Big County Rally Behind Their Candidate
 
    Go ahead...invite her over to Nina's for a Genny Light. Show her the Lifesaver.
    Ron, you can tell me all about it Friday when I see you in Canton......I'll be sure to ask.

N.Y. prosecutor ‘reviewing’ complaint against Astorino - POLITICO.com

    An investigation is afoot into Rob Astorino's 2013 attempt to get the E line in his county executive race in Westchester County.....The world doesn't have to time to investigate everything that goes on in the Independence Party.....It is what it is.

N.Y. prosecutor ‘reviewing’ complaint against Astorino - POLITICO.com

The Little Stuff Still Matters.

    In checking Facebook today, I see Elise Stefanik at a meeting of the Adirondack Review Board in Keene.  It's typical of the countless small groups and businesses Ms. Stefanik has been visiting and listening to concerns.
    Part of it is looking for votes, but the concurrent benefit is a better Member of Congress who begins her term in the know and connected to the communities and people of NY 21. 
    That's something to remember when all the commercials start flying and the talking points abound. Although I confess I like balloons, rallies and red meat rhetoric, its still the slow grind that gets the job done.
     It's about knowing all those remote places and piddly issues and having met as many people as possible, and frankly that's what Ms. Stefanik has done on her long journey that will end in Congress the first of the year.
    

WDT: Woolf, the Blank Slate is Being Sketched In

        Who's more North Country ? Who's less Washington ? Sound familiar ?
         Get used to 90 more days of it as the mountain man rolled out of the Adirondacks yesterday to brand himself to the lowlanders in the western reaches of NY21.
         Up till now, little known Aaron Woolf was known only by the bits and pieces reported in the often sparse NNY political media.   A documentary film maker....owned a grocery store in Brooklyn.....registered to vote here this year.....lives with his wife and daughter in Elizabethtown in Essex County. and he was handed the Democratic nomination sight unseen by 12 county chairs.
          All vestiges of elsewhere are gone. He is bringing "North Country" values to Washington...will break the gridlock, he says, and end the privileged life Members of Congress lead.
        "If the politicians in Washington worked as hard as the people in the North Country, they'd get a lot more done," says Mr. Woolf in his brochure, which features lots of Adirondacky imagery.
         "We need more North Country in Washington and less Washington in the North Country," says Mr. Woolf in a Doheny-esque swipe at his GOP opponent, who spent time working in the capital.
          His message is thin on issues and long on aspiration. Bullet points that include fighting cuts at Fort Drum; protecting Social Security; investing in infrastructure and of course the obligatory lower taxes and less regulation for small businesses and farmers.
          At last nights appearance just feet from the front door at 260, Mr. Woolf espoused the mantra of the local political establishment. He's a centrist, he says and you didn't need to graduate from one of the better J-schools to write the lead after hearing the speech.
           He spoke lovingly of his little daughter but doesn't take her around to events. His wife Carolyn, from whom the couples great wealth comes, is not seen much either. Mr. Woolf clearly doesn't like discussing his portfolio, as wealth and society don't entirely fit the narrative.
           His fashion sense is shirt and tie....nothing too silky....and jeans and hiking boots. He has charm and those in attendance were taken by him.
           The common man tired of the DC dysfunction coming down from his cabin to do the people's business, and as a self-funder, he won't be a burden on anyone as he pursues his ambitions.
             His brochure correctly ends with a call to action.
             "Join Us," it says.  And last night, dozens did.

Watertown Daily Times | Woolf visits Watertown, works to stake out the middle ground in NY21 (VIDEO)

Zephyr Goes Rural as Challenger to Andy Works Upstate

    Democratic Gubernatorial hopeful Zephyr Teachout will find out what animals look like before they are gloves when she attends a campaign event next month at a farm in Fort Plain....I think that's just east of Utica.
       Complete with a vegan menu and home brewed beer, the "Frolic on the Farm" is clearly an effort by Ms. Teachout to move beyond her NYC home, where she has lived for at least the last five years.


       And for those who don't want to drive home, there is a fire pit and camping. The Teachout campaign is awaiting word on a courtroom bid by the Governor to get her tossed from the ballot after she submitted over three times the required signatures to force a primary.
        I noticed Zephyr's running mate, Tim Wu, commented on a recent post here. As I advise all candidates, if you come to Watertown make it a Wednesday as the backdrop for the weekly Farmer's Market downtown is great for TV.

Contest Underway To Name Watertown's Hockey Team | WWNY TV 7

       The people will get to help decide the name for the pro hockey team playing at the Fairgrounds Arena this winter.....That's right, we are thinking about winter.
        The new local owners of what was the Privateers is seeking a new name and asking the public to participate.
       I have an idea. In deference to our Native American neighbors, let's call them the 'Redskins'.  We'd make the national news.
Contest Underway To Name Watertown's Hockey Team | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Hillary Clinton: Redskins Team Name 'Insensitive' - NBC News.com

   How many years has the next President spent in Washington and now she realizes  the local football team has a name that's "insensitive" ?

Hillary Clinton: Redskins Team Name 'Insensitive' - NBC News.com

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Both Parties Shop Their Bad Idea...More Crooked Minor Parties

   Privately, top Democrats say its silly....and I am sure top Republicans would say the same...These niche parties being formed for Women's Equality or  Common Core....So stupid and just a perpetuation of the corrupt system of fusion politics in New York....Governor Cuomo never even responsed to my letter last year calling for the repeal of Wilson-Pakula and no one else wants to change the system either..
Statewide Slate Seeks Another Line....The Women's Equality Party
 
   Now both parties are circulating petitions to form even more minor parties...and a top Democrat told me tonight it's silly, but he's a good soldier so he will sign it....
    That's what I love about parties.

Woolf Claims the Middle of the Road in NY 21 Race During Watertown Rally

    Tonight I wandered into the Woolf's lair and found a roomful of supporters for Democratic Congressional candidate Aaron Woolf.  It must have been a big event as even Channel 7 broke their rule about not covering political events for free.That's a positive development, actually.
Democrat Aaron Woolf Addresses Several Dozen Supporters at Masonic Temple
 
    In the Masonic Temple, Mr. Woolf told the faithful he was the centrist in the race positioned between two "extreme" candidates in Republican Elise Stefanik and Green Matt Funiciello.
    Mr. Woolf also is taking a Doheny-like approach to handling Ms. Stefanik , by claiming to have been raised in Elizabethtown and tagging Ms. Stefanik a "DC insider".
     Mr. Woolf rapped the Congress as more "do nothing" than the one Harry Truman labled as such in post War DC.
     The candidate told Ted Ford he favors higher taxes on the wealthy as it's no secret now that Mr. Woolf is extraordinarily flush. With a smile, I asked if he wanted to reveal his net worth. He declined the chance to confide in me.
     The Woolf stump speech was down home and full of personal references to his young daughter. The crowd was enthused and there was lots of campaign swag ready to go.
      There were many old friends in the Woolf's den, including a couple people I plan to vote for. But I was clearly the sole Stefanatic in the crowd, but everyone was friendly, as it should be.
      After all, we all live.here.

      For followers of City politics, I saw Cody Horbacz and Jasmine Borreggine at the event. Looked like a prelude to next year.  
      Also I talked to Democratic judge candidate Sue Sovie. She did file for the WFP, she said.    Republicans were spooked from filing by the Coon-ocracy but did file for the Green and Indy lines.
       After attending this function, I wondered....Am I a tracker ?
      
    

Radio Workhorses to Be Retired

    The AM ghetto is betting a facelift with some newer equipment and a new solid state transmitter that will improve the signal and use a fraction of the power of the mid 19th Century RCA units now in play.  One is the current backup unit and dates to 1941 when WATN went on the air. The other is the current front line unit bought some years later....Guessing around 1960.
     The old units are great to stay warm with in winter, but really heat the place up in summer. They should go in a museum along with the Babcock.

On the Move, Upbeat Theme in Stefanik Campaign as Opponent Visits Watertown

   A new web video put out by the Elise Stefanik campaign is upbeat and relies on the theme of a new generation of leadership....The video features fast paced editing and a driving musical bed to project the image of an energetic candidate bringing a new generation of leadership.
      Meanwhile Democrat Aaron Woolf is reportedly in Watertown today for the dedication of Democratic HQ at the Masonic Temple building. Hopefully he will post photos and we will be glad to share them.
      Never mind, I will snap a few as Ted Ford invited me to stand near him, and since I will be voting for two Dems this year, I might as well be cordial.
   UPDATE: Mr. Woolf visited the Pearl Street Pub late this afternoon for a chat. It was very cordial.
 

Argument Just a Small Part of Ford Fest | Toronto Star

    Of course the media had to dwell on the argument between some guy and an LGBT activist, but by and large this weekend's Ford Fest in Toronto showed the embattled mayor still has his fan base.

Retiree's Ford Fest experiment led to attack | Toronto Star

Whatever Happened to that Dog Beater ?

    Back when I was a distinguished member of the NNY press corps, I sometimes (between walking stand ups) would lament the reporting of police blotter news with no follow up. Like reporting some sex crime in Lewis County and never bothering to check on the disposition, meanwhile a reputation is in tatters.
   Well a few weeks ago, the media reported on a woman near the 'Burg who beat a small dog to death in the presence of the little boy walking it. I think she used a shovel.
    I thought the cat-centric press didn't give enough coverage to this heinous crime and we never heard what happened to the alleged fiend.
    Was the DA too busy chasing the county administrator ? 

Tim Wu | Law Professor, Net Neutrality Guru, Antitrust Attorney, Candidate for Lt. Governor of New York

      The man who is the undercard for the top spot on the New York ballot is a Harvard grad, a law professor and an expert in net neutrality and antitrust law.
      Tim Wu is the running mate of Zephyr Teachout, but in NY the governor and LG slots are elected separately in the primary and run together in November.
      Therefore, Mr. Wu is running against Governor Cuomo's preferred choice for LG, former MOC and former Erie County Clerk, Kathy Hochul.
      If Mr. Wu is able to knock off Ms. Hochul, but the Governor wins his primary, then Mr. Cuomo would be paired with a person not of his choice and something would have to be done with the two "me-to" parties on lines D and E.  Those vote totals cannot be added as the tickets would be dissimilar.
      I don't know if you can get her off as the option of using a judicial nomination is not available with her. Lawyers would have to figure that one out.
Tim Wu | Law Professor, Net Neutrality Guru, Antitrust Attorney, Candidate for Lt. Governor of New York

WDT: Cuomo to announce $21 million Corning plant expansion project

   Economic development projects, some with some without his StartUp NY plan, are being announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
   A $21M project for Corning near Canton in St. Lawrence County comes after a day of announcements in Buffalo.
    The Governor will get more press locally out of this announcement than coverage of his Moreland woes and that is sound politics as the fall election is less than 100 days away.
Watertown Daily Times | Cuomo to announce $21 million Corning plant expansion project

Comptroller Candidate: Why Is Moreland Director Still On Payroll?

   There may not be a Moreland Commission anymore, but apparently its executive director is still on the payroll to the tune of $7,000 a week.  Regina Calacaterra remains on Governor Cuomo's payroll, according to the GOP candidate for Comptroller.

Comptroller Candidate: Why Is Moreland Director Still On Payroll?

WDT: Moving on:

      Moving on is a good way to characterize where the NY 21 race is headed for the GOP as we saw Saturday with the joint campaigning in Ogdensburg between Matt Doheny backer Patty Ritchie and her new candidate for Congress, Elise Stefanik.
      The spirited primary campaign was just politics and those who try to make it something more onerous just don't know how the game is played. Someone tries hard and is disappointed. 
     For the GOP and those who want more conservative governance but are not into registering in the party, the job is clear.
     Friday's decision by Matt Doheny to move on and endorse Ms. Stefanik was sound thinking, politically and personally.
Watertown Daily Times | Moving on: Matthew A. Doheny exits race for 21st Congressional District

Monday, July 28, 2014

GOP Finding Green Their Favorite Color...But the Party of Lincoln Has a Spelling Problem

     Republicans are hoping the candidacy of Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello will divide the left and of course Mr. Funiciello is hoping for a massive shift to his platform of social and economic justice. Given the moribund nature of Democrat Aaron Woolf's campaign of late, the Green might do better than expected.
    Unlike the last Green, who actually endorsed Rep. Bill Owens a week before the election, Mr. Funiciello is a well spoken and credible advocate for his position and on August 6th visits Watertown for a media spree and a meet and greet at the Pearl Street Pub. (trackers welcome).

     Meanwhile the GOP high command had this to say:

“Manhattan multimillionaire Aaron Woolf’s failure to offer much substance in his campaign has many liberals looking instead to Green Party candidate Matt Funicello. Add to that the fact that Republicans and Conservatives are united for Elise Stefanik and it equals bad news for Woolf this November.” – NRCC Spokesman Ian Prior

      The NRCC should work on spelling Matt's name. Its Funiciello.
 
     Mr. Woolf's ties to Manhattan and Connecticut high society made Elise Stefanik's residency issue that arose in the primary seem miniscule...She grew up a little outside the district, before adopting Essex County as her residency.
     Democrats are said to be readying a media onslaught for the fall...Shock and awe , to sell their unknown candidate. However, Mr. Woolf is charismatic and engaging in person and he has June O'Neill and Rep. Steve Israel orchestrating it all. These are sharp people, who managed the election of Bill Owens in three elections.
NY-21: Doheny endorsement of Stefanik improves GOP chances | News from North Country Public Radio

Cuomo: Moreland Was Never Interfered With

   Speaking in Buffalo today for the first time since the NY Times ran its piece on Moreland interference, Governor Cuomo said......there was no interference.

    That's a relief.  

Cuomo: Moreland Was Never Interfered With

O'Neill Bumped from Indy Line.....Hearing Invalidates 29 Signatures

  Democratic candidate for Sheriff Colleen O'Neill has been bumped from the Independence Party line after a hearing Friday determined GOP objections invalidated 29 signatures for various reasons, mostly that the people were not enrolled party members.
   Ms. O'Neill's petition only had 18 over the minimum so there was little room for error and the GOP pounced quickly.
   The hearing Friday was spirited at times but both election commissioners agreed on the ones to be tossed.  Ms. O'Neill could seek relief in NYS Supreme Court, but that's expensive and the most likely result is the E line goes dark for Sheriff.
    Generally, you don't want to cut it that close unless you really, really, know what your are doing.
     And yes, I do support Ms. O'Neill's candidacy, but that doesn't relieve me of the obligation to accurately report what happened.

Five Years of Fun

      We've been blogging for about five years now and after thousands of posts some things remain the same and some things change as you can see in this summary of stories in our first year.
       Now we have gotten to the point where blogs are accepted and welcome supplements to conventional media. At first it was a source of rage and resentment as some thought I was eating their lunch or trying to put them out of business. That would have been true if I was selling advertising instead of practicing a hobby. But I never sold an ad other than the ones Google puts on the left side which generate about $175 a year, hardly an economic threat to anyone.
       Kudos to the trailblazers in local blogging, Scott Gray and Ted Ford, who penned the popular "Political IV"  and "Danger Democrat" blogs now no longer with us. Their blogs are no longer with us.....fortunately Scott and Ted are still around.
Mayor Graham's View: Top Local Stories of 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays

 
      On this cool and rainy Monday morning, I think we can say it's official. This will be a cooler and wetter summer than last year, but I enjoy the moderation as I am a centrist and spurn extremism.
      I was reminded this morning that posing for pictures is best left to the young and beautiful and not ravaged-by-the-years guys like me or my friend and former Council colleague Kevin Kieff of state parks fame.  Nice front page, above the fold Kevin !
      As soon as he is in his office, I'm calling Councilman Jennings. I threw a bag of trash in the dumpster this morning and there were three raccoons looking at me. Startled, I scampered away but quickly grabbed a photo (one can be seen in the upper left).  I was more alarmed than if a couple mute swans were looking at me.  Maybe the Councilman will lay a fluoride trap, which may not kill them but will leave them too stupid to attack.

     No Council meeting tonight. I will miss the company of my colleagues. Incidentally, for the humor challenged, I feel obliged to point out some of my remarks are "tongue in cheek" and not meant to be insulting or ridicule any community icons.
      Rande, take your eyes off that statue and get to work !

Governor to Get a Cleaning

      The statue of Governor Roswell P. Flower will get a cleaning this August, a follow up to the restoration done in 2003.
      Governor Flower's biggest fan and steward of the historic statue, Rande Richardson, ask me if the City could schedule the work as the original restoration funds were exhausted.  We were glad to oblige as this stature is a treasure.
      The work will be done next month.

WDT: City's Second Full Time Judge to be Elected, If Andy Agrees

    An anomaly in the law that authorized Watertown having two full time city judges is on its way to being corrected. Legislation setting up both spots as elected positions has passed both houses of the legislature and awaits Governor Cuomo's signature.
     That would mean Judge Catherine Palermo would be up for election in 2017. Ms. Palermo was originally appointed to the bench as a part time judge in 2012 and when changed to full time that method remained.
     City Council members and I felt it should be changed and so did officials in Kingston, NY which had a similar situation arise.
      The other jurist, Judge Eugene Renzi was elected to a ten year term in 2011.
Watertown Daily Times | Cuomo expected to sign legislation for elected Watertown City Court Judge

End of an era nears for GE and Fort Edward

  Another piece of the industrial past in New York leaves next year, as on the other side of NY 21, General Electric closes the remnants of its once bustling plant in Fort Edward, in Washington County.

End of an era nears for GE and Fort Edward

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Buffalo event is Cuomo’s 1st amid uproar on Moreland - Buffalo News

    Andrew Cuomo heads to Buffalo Monday morning to make an economic development announcement...Probably one of those StartUp zones, but nobody will be asking about that.
     This is the first public appearance by Mr. Cuomo since the NYT story on undermining the Moreland Commission by the Second Floor.
Buffalo event is Cuomo’s 1st amid uproar on Moreland - City & Region - The Buffalo News

If a Picture is Worth 1000 Words, Then That's Less I Have to Write

      For the commenter who said they wouldn't read this blog anymore because there is too much Stefanik coverage. Well, yes I do support her candidacy and have for some time, but I also check every day the Woolf Facebook page to see if there are photos posted. I did the same for Mr. Doheny in the primary campaign. And when Matt Funiciello visits Watertown on August 6, he will get lots of photos here....
       I have found a little niche here in compiling submitted and original photos to create a mosaic of the campaigns.
       Have you seen a picture of anyone campaigning elsewhere ?

Times Union Berates Andy

   The Times Union delivered a blistering editorial on Governor Cuomo's ill fated efforts at good government. But don't worry Governor the T-U and all the rest will back you in November.

    An explanation, governor - The Observation Deck

NJ: Watertown Native's Event Planning Business a 'Soiree!'

  I always liked Sarah Compo  at Senator Ritchie's office and wish her well in her new events planning business.
  If I have an event, I will call.  Gee, maybe I should call her for that upcoming Green Party meet 'n greet I am hosting.  I have no idea what those people eat.

  Watertown Native's Event Planning Business a 'Soiree!'

The New York Times Calls for Marijuana Legalization - NYTimes.com

   Didn't Maureen Dowd get all filled with reefer madness recently while on assignment in Colorado ?

    Now her employer is calling for the repeal of what they call a new Prohibition, the federal laws banning marijuana. All the usual arguments, but with states legalizing and the President ordering federal laws overlooked in some states, the matter may come to Congress, and so this has to be added to the list of questions asked by the next blue ribbon panel asking questions at the debates this fall in NY21.
The New York Times Calls for Marijuana Legalization - NYTimes.com

Rating Your Professor

         They didn't have this when I was in college, but I guess you can rate professors on line....Here's one for one time University of Vermont professor Zephyr Teachout, who is now teaching at Fordham and running for the Democratic nomination for NY Governor.
       Middle of the road ratings, except for the one that matters.
Zephyr Teachout at University of Vermont - RateMyProfessors.com

GOP: The Next $ean Eldridge is . . . Aaron Woolf ?

     It was a one day news story and a no day story in much of NNY media but the revelation about Aaron Woolf''s extraordinary wealth is prompting the GOP to compare Mr. Woolf to another big city millionaire running upstate in an adjacent CD.
     That race pits Sean Eldridge against Rep. Chris Gibson and in that race Mr. Eldridge is the beneficiary of the massive wealth of his spouse, who is part of the Facebook fortune.
     The question for voters and the gatekeepers is, does this matter ?
      I say yes...not because he is wealthy but because it speaks to motive for moving here and running as well as candor, since Democrats have been very circumspect about their nominee and why they chose him. (The reason is they were caught flat footed by Rep. Owens retirement and Mr. Woolf offered the potential of a self funder).
    The Next $ean Eldridge is . . . - National Republican Congressional Committee www.nrcc.org

WDT: Moreland Mess Mars Andy's Image....But Likely Not His Reelection Prospects

    The Governor's Moreland mess is prompting some editorial criticism, but the kerfuffle comes in the middle of summer and if it has no further legs will have no effect on Andrew Cuomo's reelection or the extensive editorial support he will receive from the state's newspapers. 
     If the Governor is successful in challenging Zephyr Teachout's residency and  there is no Democratic challenger, the matter dies as Republican Rob Astorino just hasn't developed traction overall and can't make the case on Moreland.
      If Zephyr stays in, she can make the case around the state and while likely not winning the primary, the rat-a-tat-tat of scandal would at least deny Mr. Cuomo a chance to match his dad's second term percentage.
      That's why the fight over Ms. Teachout's residency is so important to the Second Floor.

Watertown Daily Times | Corruption à la carte

Analysts: Doheny's decision is a gain for GOP in congressional race

    Maury's take on the revised race for NY21 is that the withdrawal of Matt Doheny is a clear advantage for the GOP regaining the seat.  The Post Star scribe is outside the Watertown media echo chamber and Mr. Thompson looks at the numbers in the district which would suggest a viable, center-right candidate wins in an open seat race.

Analysts: Doheny's decision is a gain for GOP in congressional race

Gun Fans a Political Force....But to What Extent

  In the "non-political" Seaway Parade in Ogdensburg, one float stood out among the bands and Shriners....The blaring, flag waving float against the SAFE Act rumbled through the parade with Lady Liberty towering high holding an assault rifle above her.
   There was a dispute this week on whether the float would be allowed but it was as long as there were no anti-Cuomo signs and it was just a way to promote civic involvement.
Exclusive: GOP LG Candidate Campaigns in Ogdensburg
 
    GOP LG candidate Chris Moss accompanied the Second Amendment supporters as they led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance at the reviewing stand.
     On the way to the 'Burg yesterday, I saw many SAFE Act signs and the float made me wonder the effect on the election. Will the issue animate enough voters to matter and in races other than Governor, who do they support ?
     I always wondered.  If you are a member of the teachers union, but also have guns, who do you support, Addie Russell or Russ Finley ?
    

WDT: Fairs and Parades Mask the Looming Storm

       As I was enjoying some politicking in the Maple City , it struck me that things are coming together nicely for Elise Stefanik. She was stumping with Senator Ritchie....Mayor Nelson came  on board...people were friendly....and her Democratic opponent was nowhere to be seen and frankly is diminished in my mind for the total lack of candor by his party on who he is and why they selected him.
      Thursday, Matt Doheny endorsed Ms. Stefanik and more important urged his followers to think it over and do the same. There are those who won't heed that advice but generally they will.
      There is always a calm before a storm. and it makes you wonder how the fall plays out. The commercials, the debates, the accusations and recriminations, the tenor of it all.
     At some point the endless parades and fairs of summer ends and the drama begins. And we'll be here to present the tick tock as we see it.
Watertown Daily Times | Matt Doheny bows out, throws his support to Elise Stefanik

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Friendly Pit Bull Finds No Friends on the Campaign Trail

 
      The leash had the word friendly printed on it, but the candidates didn't flock to this pooch on the parade route in Ogdensburg.  The lady with the puppy in her arms....sure...but the pit bull...Patty and Elise passed her by even though I had crouched down to get a photo....
       For Elise, I understand, after her rocky introduction to Jet, but Senator, surely you know how to run with the big dogs.
 

Ritchie Stumps with Stefanik in Maple City....Mayor Nelson Backs Her Too...Seaway Parade Attracts Big Crowds

  
Pleasant summer weather on the St. Lawrence  River and thousands of people lining Ford Street in Ogdensburg made for a great Seaway Festival Parade as I joined Senator Patty Ritchie and Mayor Bill Nelson marching the distance.
   Other pols were there too including three of four Assembly candidates, Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss.
     There was some news at the parade as Senator Patty Ritchie walked the route prior to the parade with Elise Stefanik and Ms. Stefanik was endorsed by Mayor Nelson.
Mayor Bill Nelson with Elise Stefanik
Well he wanted to pose for a picture and I interpreted that as an endorsement and in talking to the mayor along the way, yes it was.
    It was interesting with Ms. Stefanik there, as it would have been a good angle to get her on camera on the day after the Doheny withdrawal....but that's just my old style warped sense of journalism.
Elise with Three Future Voters...Triplets !

     The parade itself is scrubbed of politics as only elected officials are allowed in
 and they aren't allowed to wear campaign swag. But that didn't stop a dispute before the parade when Democrats reportedly objected to GOP Assembly candidate John Byrne being in. Mr. Byrne is technically a Cape Vincent town councilman.  Didn't matter, nobody knew who he and Addie Russell were anyway.
     I ran into the likely Conservative candidate Russ Finley afterword and he explained the phrase on his T shirt  which was Greek to me.
                    Assembly Hopefuls Russ Finley, incumbent Addie Russell and John Byrne

        And I had a great time too and appreciate the wonderful response from all my friends in the Maple City.....A couple people even remembered me from when I worked at WWNY.

      And may I say Mayor Nelson did get a good response along the way and I'd say he is solid for reelection next year. 
    

WDT: Flint Wins Women's Award

   Congrats to Erika Flint on the recognition of her role in running the Urban Mission on Factory Street and on her general involvement in the community.  I had the good fortune of appointing her to the Watertown Trust board, where she has done a very good job as well.
Erika Flint Shows Elise Stefanik the Mission Facility
(Photo: WDT)
    So many talented women are in leadership roles in our area. Ms. Flint will be honored at a Chamber of Commerce dinner in September.

Watertown Daily Times | Erika Flint, Urban Mission executive director, selected as 2014 Athena Award recipient