Thursday, April 24, 2014

NY-21 Top Issues -- Empire State Forest Products Association

       Just when you get thoroughly into the horse race, along comes an old school guy like Maury at the Post Star wantin' to talk about the issues..

      OK we'll post it, but I reserve the right to interrupt this space if Tommy John poses with anyone else.

NY-21 Top Issues -- Empire State Forest Products Association

Stefanik to Appear on Live at Five

   Glenn Curry told me yesterday he has booked Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik for an in-studio interview on next  Tuesday's Live at Five program. The appearance is convenient for the candidate as she has a meet and greet slated for 6PM that evening at the Italian American Club, just  a block away.
     Glenn is very much a conservative so he will have much in common with the Conservative Party nominee. Ms. Stefanik was a guest on the HOTLINE during her last visit, but that was before she knew about my dalliances with liberalism...
    Like being a Jerry Brown delegate to the 1992 DNC...or conspiring with Hillary's operatives to deny Lazio the Indy line in 2000, and I never, ever mention in public the vote for Mondale in '84.
    I am sure Glenn will do a great job as usual.

Albany seems uninterested in combatting sales-tax cheats | New York Post

       There is a natural aversion to just giving money to the government. For instance, if your brother in law were vacationing in Myrtle Beach, would you feel at all guilty asking him to pick up a few cartons of smokes ?
      If a friend has access to Fort Drum, would you think it immoral for him to pick you up a couple bottles of Jack at the class six store..?
       Frankly most people don't think finding a way not to give money to the government is wrong at all, as long as you don't get caught.
       Despite this article alleging otherwise, the State of NY tries to enforce its tax laws, but there are so many taxes, so many transactions, and so many ways not to pay all the tax you could, there will always be seepage and always be those pining the state didn't get the theoretical maximum out of the citizenry.
Albany seems uninterested in combatting sales-tax cheats | New York Post

Rep. Owens to tour 21st District with congressional candidate Aaron Woolf - Time Warner Cable News

     Endorsements are often overrated, but this one does matter.  Rep. Bill Owens is touring St. Lawrence County businesses this week with his party's Congressional candidate, Aaron Woolf.
Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY 21)
       In case you weren't paying attention, this is a reminder the Dems will have a unified front come the fall while the GOP will be in tatters after a bitter primary battle.
      The Owens-Woolf appearances also gives the imprimatur of local legitimacy to Mr. Woolf, who only recently surfaced on the NNY political scene.
       Can a Scozzafava-Woolf appearance at Jumbo's be far behind ? I'm sure he would want to hear the history of the giant LifeSaver.
Rep. Owens to tour 21st District with congressional candidate Aaron Woolf - Time Warner Cable News

WDT: McDonald's Proposal Will Require a Zone Change

     A new McDonalds at the corner of Washington and Chestnut Streets was on my radar quick yesterday when plans arrived at City Hall on their way to the Planning Board.
      The chain restaurant would clean up a  run down corner, be convenient for that part of town and provide jobs for young people right near the school they attend. It would also add significantly to the tax base and put a responsible corporate entity in charge of a prominent parcel in a nice neighborhood.
       The proposed eatery would also require a zone change. Not on Washington Street, but on the additional parcel on Chestnut being purchased to accommodate the building.
       Zoning changes usually mean controversy from people living on the back street who are concerned over commercial encroachment that they feel would adversely affect their lives or property values.
        The key for a developer is to reach out to potential neighbors ahead of time. There was controversy next door over a proposed expansion of a convenience store. Some of the issues were different there.  I suspect if there are issues here , they will revolve around traffic flow.
Watertown Daily Times | Third McDonald’s may be built in Watertown

WDT: Crowd On Hand to Meet Tommy John Gets a Special Treat.....Candidates

     While attendees  likely wanted to see and meet pitching legend Tommy John, folks eating dinner at the Italian American Civic Association got to meet a variety of candidates for office, including Congressional candidate Matt Doheny, three Sheriff candidates, and a couple Assembly hopefuls, including Republican John Byrne and Conservative Russ Finley.
     Mr. Finley's presence indicates a possible Conservative primary in September as Mr. Byrne has the Republican and Independence lines assured and likely will get a Wilson-Pakula from Mike Long.
      Meanwhile, former GOP candidate Joe Gilbert says he is not out of the hunt entirely. He told me yesterday he does not intend to back either person in the GOP primary and may still run on an independent line, which has a circulating period later in the summer. However, the petition requirement is high and such submissions surely would be challenged by whoever is the GOP nominee.
      No offense to any of the hopefuls, but I am sure the crowd enjoyed Tommy John. He is an affable and interesting speaker who now lives in the area and is often seen at local events.
     A couple years ago, Tommy appeared on the HOTLINE with former A's pitcher Vida Blue.  It's a guy thing, but it was thrill.
Watertown Daily Times | Gilbert down but not out of NY21 race; Doheny appears at Tommy John dinner

Pineda ejected for having pine tar on neck as Yanks fall to Red Sox | New York Post

     Wow...that was brazen , or kinda dumb. Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from last night's Bosox game after the umps found pine tar smeared on his neck..A couple weeks ago Pineda was caught on camera with the substance on his hand.

     Pineda will face a suspension

Pineda ejected for having pine tar on neck as Yanks fall to Red Sox | New York Post

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WDT:| DCCC: Ryan budget major issue in NY21 race

   Remember in January when Aaron Woolf surfaced...The chattering class (like me) and the GOP brain trust all dismissed him as the "Brooklyn green grocer."   I recall at the time candidate Stefanik telling me that the Dems are not stupid and the Woolf candidacy is to be taken seriously.
  Well, she was right, by golly....With the GOP mired in a nonsensical primary, the Dems are on point.
   I hate to admit I was wrong, but I was.....Don't look for other members of the chattering class to do the same.
Watertown Daily Times | DCCC: Ryan budget major issue in NY21 race

NY21 Republican primary goes from sour to bitter | News from North Country Public Radio

       One man's bitter is another man's competitiveness.
       The GOP race in NY21 is spirited and it will be a gloves off race.
       Matt Doheny is pursuing a lifelong dream that has evaded him in three cycles. Elise Stefanik is an aggressive and driven candidate the likes of which we don't see that often.
       For Ms Stefanik, this is a chance for a seat in Congress. For Mr. Doheny, its his last shot. The stakes are high. There are only 435 of these in the nation and few are open in a given year.
       Few will walk away happy. Except the consultants who get paid regardless of the results.
NY21 Republican primary goes from sour to bitter | News from North Country Public Radio

McDonald's Restaurant Proposed for Corner of Chestnut and Washington Streets in Watertown; City Planning Board to Discuss Zoning Change

   The Golden Arches may be coming to a spot just a stone's throw from Watertown High School....A developer is seeking permission to locate a McDonalds on Washington Street at the intersection of Chestnut

McDonald's Restaurant Proposed for Corner of Chestnut and Washington Streets in Watertown; City Planning Board to Discuss Zoning Change

Lewis County Dog Turns One (Seven)

   A Lewis County Dachshund celebrates his first birthday today. Best wishes go out to Max, owned by high powered lawyer and Lowville area native Brian McGrath. Don't give Max a Milk Bone. He is on a grain-free diet.
    I am sure Max got many gifts and is hopeful his dad's political wager yields more, but as Jet says, 'don't count your chickens before they hatch.'

Burke Likely Toast As Last Minute Objection Filed

    Specific objections were indeed filed Tuesday in Albany against the Democratic nominating petitions of Steve Burke, the affable 77 year old from Macomb who is seeking a primary run against likely party pick Aaron Woolf in NY21.
    With only a handful of signatures over the minimum needed, and no high priced lawyer to save him, Mr. Burke's prospects are doomed.
     That will make Mr Woolf the nominee of the Democratic and Working Families Parties.
     NY 21 is now rated a toss up due to the unexpected strength of Mr. Woolf and the self immolation going on in the GOP as an increasingly bitter primary battle ramps up.

Does This New Word Tells Us Anything ?

   Is there a difference between a "futurecast" and forecast ?  Time Warner seems to think so and labels their weather guesses as a "futurecast".
Vanessa Richards Foretells the Future
    Was invention of a new word necessary.  For years, a forecast sufficed as a harbinger of prognostication about what we cannot control, the weather.
     Maybe Vanessa, Carrie and Courtney should be called 'weather swamis'.

‘I was drugged’: Doctor refuses to pay $135K strip club bill | New York Post

Such a different world downstate.  Down there a doctor can run up a $135K bill at Scores in four visits. Up here we're upset about the Snirt run tearing up some open fields. What the doc spend at the jiggle joint would have solved a lot of problems elsewhere...It also tells you why the price of medical care is so high.
     Imagine if there was a Scores near our hospital.

I was drugged’: Doctor refuses to pay $135K strip club bill | New York Post

Search For Missing Canoeist Goes From Rescue To Recovery Effort | WWNY TV 7

   I heard last night it was an employee at Pete's who pulled the woman to safety in this incident and that the man in distress handed the lady off to the rescuer before going under water and never resurfacing.
    The media is still not reporting the names of the rescued and the missing man. That's always odd, since there is nothing about knowing that affects anyone.
      Due to 36 degree water temps, the missing body may not surface for some time.
It makes you wonder why these people were out in canoe, but a bad decision can turn tragic in such perilous conditions

Search For Missing Canoeist Goes From Rescue To Recovery Effort | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Perfect Conviction Revord on Line-

     When a prosecutor obtains star status like US Attorney Preet Bharara  in NYC, and the press starts talking about perfect conviction records and possible future Senate runs...When they talk of crusaders against corruption, or Sheriffs of Wall Street, I worry.
      Mr. Bharara has inserted himself in the news cycle as a righteous fighter of corruption on Wall Street and in politics.
US Attorney Preet Bharara

      He is involved in the opposition to the disbanding of the Moreland Commission and has been chasing around allegedly corrupt NYC pols.
        Mr. Bharara knows how to garner publicity as a former aide to Senator Chuck Schumer.
         Like Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio , who is a right wing cult figure, are these crusaders just using the authority of the state for personal aggrandizement. ?

Appeal Judges Hint at Doubts in Insider Case - -

WDT: Is Fence Code Justifiable ?

   It's a case of rules enacted in response to concerns deemed legitimate and then finding out one size doesn't fit all. It also is a case of  enforcement driven by complaint only, so when there is publicity over enforcement of a seemingly innocuous situation, it's easy to find other violations that no one complained about, like Mr. Peters case.

    On the other hand, how else can you have a system of rules and regulations in the public interest without occasionally having one of these episodes.

    Watertown Daily Times | Can Watertown officials justify arbitrary part of city fence code?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Press Advisory .....For Dinner ?

   I saw the Insider on Cap Tonight, so I paid extra attention to the press advisory touting a 6PM appearance tomorrow by Matt Doheny at the Italian American Civic Association.  If he was just going for dinner why the release ?
    An announcement, a withdrawal, a doubling down ?   Who knows. ?   NNY media doesn't cover politics so there better be some meat on the bone.  We will see.

Of Screen Doors and Politics

            Got a lot done today including getting the Pearl Street compound all swept and raked Also fixed the sliding screen door Jet mauled. Picked up a pet guard at Home Depot, so hopefully that won't happen again.
            We still have a very small mound of snow left so we are seeing who wins the contest on picking the date for the last snow to melt....I think it will be a couple or three more days.
             Now on the political side. The Doheny campaign is holding an event tomorrow night at 6PM at the Italian American Civic Association in Watertown.  The email I got did not explain further what it was, so I assume its an announcement or presser.
             Next Tuesday the IACA is hosting a meet and greet for Elise Stefanik from six to eight PM.
             The raucous nature of the primary has been evident this week and I have allowed latitude in the comment section as I wanted to find out how caustic and raw things are...Well they are, and its time to reign in the invective.
               A lot more will be on the cutting room floor if we are going to keep harping about babies, candidate's mental health,  sobriety or lack of, fidelity or lack of, physical characteristics, people's mamas, their lifestyles or other areas of dubious taste.
               Hit hard, but be fair.
               And remember....while this blog is wildly popular compared to others...There are no undecided voters lurking here.

Attorney: Doheny Petitions a "Disturbing Transgression"

  In a brash move that could mean total war, the election law attorney for Elise Stefanik today accused the Doheny of acquiring large numbers of illicit signatures in a bid to get on two minor party lines.
   In the case of the Conservative Party that may have meant waiting till Stefanik submitted over 700 signatures and then claiming to have over 1000 in a bid to impress the party's state committee which was about to make a decision on a Wilson/Pakula.  Of 1025 signatures, there were rumors at the time that over 600 were hastily gotten names not even from party members.
    In the case of the Indy line, the Stefanik campaign, through its attorney James Walsh, boasts they will be able to disqualify Mr. Doheny from the E line.
"Unfortunately, after reviewing the petitions submitted and notarized by the Doheny campaign for the Independence and Conservative Party Lines, it became very clear that the Doheny campaign was more worried about inflating numbers and not about following the legal petitioning process. That is misleading to the voters, compromises the process, and reinforces a troublesome pattern of legal transgression.  We also believe it will ultimately disqualify the Doheny campaign from the unqualified right to the Independence Party line,"  said Attorney Walsh.

   For most people, including the press, the petition process is an obscure anachronism, but anyone who has done minor party petitions in great numbers knows that the high signature requirements and hard-to-find nature of party members makes the process difficult, if done honestly.
   I happen to be the best person to speak to the issue, having worked throughout the three county area to gather signatures over the years for McHugh, Wright, Aubertine, Burns, Intschert and others along with various county committee drives.
    I know how hard it is and frankly never bought the Conservative claims. The fact this had to be done in winter made it more hard to swallow. Remember, these are not done by "committed" party members. It's all notaries, many coming from the offices of various state legislators and other hacks and law firm employees.
    On the Indy line, if they do challenge Mr. Doheny off, it will make for a level of bitterness not yet seen. "Total war" is  I think the phrase Chairman MacKay would utter in these circumstances.

UPDATE:  Doheny campaign spokesman David Catalfamo said late today his side is confident the petitions will withstand challenge and he reiterated a statement last week rapping the Indy signatures submitted by Ms. Stefanik's campaign which were lacking in number, but may have been gathered in a bid to block out the names of people who later signed Doheny petitions. 


Owens to endorse Woolf...Sounds Like He Has To

   A few weeks ago he didn't know who he was, but Rep. Bill Owens has announced his support for likely Democratic nominee Aaron Woolf.  Mr. Owens says his support will be tepid, confined to issue advising and not fundraising.
    Mr. Owens was elected as a Democrat but never had ties to the party til his 2009 emergence on the scene. For many years he worked in the GOP law firm of the late Senator Ronald Stafford of Plattsburgh.
     In the end, Mr. Owens had little choice. It was the Dems who gave him the honor and privilege of serving in the House.

Owens to endorse Woolf

Spring Fever

   Spring officially arrived on Pearl Street about 30 minutes ago as the street sweepers made their first pass. We also have the folks from Seaway Gardens here power-washing the dirt and getting the grounds in order.
After a long winter its nice to have the remnants of the season fading.

    We still have one small mound of snow waiting to melt.
     Looks like the branch removal is going smoothly so the City will be in great shape for summer. Thank you to everyone who has patiently stacked their debris.
     There is a tragedy of the season unfolding as it appears a man drowned while canoeing last evening in the Black River. Please remember the dangers present especially this time of year. The search resumed this morning.

WDT: Stefanik to visit Watertown

        I always like to read the other political coverage and usually learn a thing or two. Elise Stefanik is holding a meet and greet on April 29 (6p to 8p) at the Italian American Club. No pols likely to be there including me as I have to attend the annual Law and Order Dinner over at the Legion.  I like to ask my pol friends if they are going over to meet her and they get all pale and palsied and tell me they can't be seen there.  Everybody worries about the minders in the major parties who enforce discipline.
         Maybe she will do the Live at Five Show while here. Heck, it's only a block away.
         I am still waiting to meet Mr. Woolf. I keep hearing he is charming, but a top Dem told me he is likely to avoid a courtesy call to City Hall as he suspects I am not voting for him.  He's still welcome, and I don't care if they take a picture of the visit. The saving grace to being independent is you don't have to worry if Don or Ron is upset with you.
         Watertown Daily Times | Stefanik to visit Watertown, endorsed by college Republicans; Woolf has several donations from ActBlue PAC; Burke “curious” to see objections

Nothing Much to Report Today

   Without being there, I don't know but it there is anything new on the petition challenge front. According to the BOE website no specifics were filed by yesterday's deadline, except in in the case of the Stefanik Indy petition.  I suppose they could have been postmarked yesterday, so we will wait a little longer.
    Assuming everybody ends up where they are, it would be an interesting question to ask the candidate's intention if they lose the GOP primary. Nobody likes to admit fallibility, but will there be pledges to vacate the minor party lines ? My recollection is you can do it by moving out of the state till after the election, or taking a judicial  in September for a race you won't win. (Have to be a lawyer to do that).
      It's an easier question for Mr. Doheny as the E line is worthless by itself in November.. The C line drew 46% in the 2009 special,  so you never know with that scenario.
       I know Kari Plumpton reads this blog religiously but is probably checking out Taylor Swift's shoes. Text me if that's true, Kari .

Restaurants take extreme measures to cope with lime crisis | New York Post

     Hope I still get that key lime pie for my birthday.  There's a lime shortage. Prices have skyrocketed and bars are among those scrambling to afford the staple of garnishes.
     While Republicans obsess with repealing Obamacare and Democrats rail against the one percenters, can someone please do something about the lime crisis.
     I will vote for candidates pledged to my issue.
Restaurants take extreme measures to cope with lime crisis | New York Post

Siena Poll: WFP Candidate Hurts Cuomo

    For the state's "me too" parties, the goal for 2014 is simple. Get over 50,000 votes with a candidate for Governor, so they continue to have a ballot line for four more years and then use the line to leverage policy, money, patronage or whatever from the major parties.
    Of course a separate WFP candidate would cut Andrew Cuomo's margin over challenger Rob Astorino. But it depends on who the WFP candidate is.
     A poll like this one from Siena gives the progressives a talking point with this Governor. Get in line with our agenda.
      But Andrew Cuomo is smart enough to know the WFP doesn't want to be estranged from the bosom of government. They will do his bidding and nominate him.

Siena Poll: WFP Candidate Hurts Cuomo

School property taxes will go up, but this year New York state will pick up increases for most taxpayers |

    I read this article and still don't really understand this whole property tax rebate program, other than you get a small check just before the election which will create a desire to vote for the Governor.

     The gist of it all is that taxes will go up, but while we have to pay them we will get a check back from Albany.  

       This is supposed to promote more efficiency in local government by shaming the local officials. Deal is those local officials are mostly volunteer school boards and most people don't follow the dealings of local tax jurisdictions.

       School property taxes will go up, but this year New York state will pick up increases for most taxpayers |

Monday, April 21, 2014

Here We Go....

   A fellow sent in a comment tonight on the narrative being used to combat the candidacy of Elise Stefanik.
Here is what he sent.
 Winston Smith said...
I am a registered Republican and will be voting in the upcoming primary.
Just wanted to let everyone know that the Mayor is right and that things are about to get REALLY nasty.
I just received a survey call which was actually a call testing the best attack lines against Stefanik. Here are some of the mud they are planning to throw at her:

1. She broke the law by falsifying a recent FEC filing by stating the value of her townhouse was $250,000 - $500,000 when in fact the recent assessment was $1.3 million;

2. She is a Washington Insider that supported the invasion of Iraq and supports the neo-conservatives;

3. Her parents bought her the million dollar townhouse she lives in;

4. She supports portions of Obamacare and won't fully repeal it.
           Going to be a lot of things to discuss in the coming weeks. Please relay the beneath the radar sniping by all and we will post here     
 Some of the commenters say this message was a plant and that I took the bait. That's OK as these are commonly used talking points I have heard elsewhere.By the way....I don't consider this to be all that nasty. , and I am sure everybody is doing this kind of phone polling.  Ii is about winning and "nice guys finish last"...

City Council Stuff

   City Council tonight said fish or cut bait on Western Boulevard. An offer had been made to the owners of Stateway Plaza to acquire the land and after hearing nothing, Council said the offer is good for 45 days. Beyond that, there is little interest in proceeding further.
    Council approved repairs to historic Arch Street and improvements to the water distribution system. There was agreement on a new fee structure for athletic fields that should resole SoftballGate.
    All in all a congenial meeting, and the City's Greatest Deliberative Body adjourned to next Monday.

College Republicans endorse Stefanik, So Does Dave Mance

    You mean there are college Republicans ?   From talking to people I don't think anyone under 28 could tell you who the President is or point to New York on a map.
    The June primary will be dominated by fossils, and I predict, at 29, Ms. Stefanik will be the youngest Repubilcan to vote that day.
     But the good news for her is Dave Mance called the HOTLINE today and without prompting said Ms Stefanik was his preferred candidate.   And Dave's a wicked RINO, who now that he is in Florida will probably be voting for Charlie Crist. He also lives in the CD with the coke snorter who had to resign. Their primary is tomorrow.
     But Dave supported me every time I ran , so how can I question his judgment.
College Republicans endorse Stefanik

WDT- Vortex at Thompson Park among 50 paranormal destinations highlighted by tourism website

 The Thompson Park Vortex is on the map.....A state registry of 50 haunted spots is out and we made the list.  Last year, the City dedicated a sign to mark the long talked about paranormal spot, where people are thought to have disappeared only to reappear somewhere else.
Watertown Daily Times | Vortex at Thompson Park among 50 paranormal destinations highlighted by tourism website

Veteran Gets Fence Fixed For Free | WWNY TV 7

    A veteran who lives alone with his dog will avoid a trip to State Supreme Court now that his offending fence has been brought into compliance. Merrill Peters inadvertently got drawn into Fencegate when someone pointed out he has a fence very similar to fence scofflaw Jake Johnson who lives up the street.

    The fence company corrected the error at no cost to Mr. Peters which is the correct thing to do as an out of code fence shouldn't be installed by contractors who know the law.

Veteran Gets Fence Fixed For Free | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

They Aren't Even in the Backstretch Yet

   Today is the final day for specific objections to be filed against nominating petitions for Congress in NY21.  The clock on most of the challenges has expired, but there could be some work for lawyers today if the Doheny Indy petition is disputed.  Also today, Steve Burke's Dem signatures will likely be cited by party leaders anxious (apparently) to avoid a primary against Aaron Woolf.  Come on Woolfie, the guy's 77 years old. Let him have his day.
    Just over nine weeks left till the gala GOP primary and the pace is frantic. For those interested in a serious discussion of "the issues" the coming weeks will be thin gruel.  But for those who enjoy the horse race and follow the tick tock , there will be enough to entertain and amuse.

Daily News: Gov. Cuomo builds reelection campaign team that includes ad whiz behind Dante de Blasio video - NY Daily News

   Governor Cuomo has hired the ad firm that helped Bill deBlasio get elected Mayor of NYC. They are the no ones who used the Mayor's 15 year old son Dante so effectively in a commercial that featured the lad's afro hairstyle.

     But in a sign some in the liberal media are also turning on Mr. Cuomo, the Daily News featured a photoshopped image of Mr. Cuomo that ridicules the choice.
EXCLUSIVE: Gov. Cuomo builds reelection campaign team that includes ad whiz behind Dante de Blasio video - NY Daily News

Dems won’t support Cuomo for president in 2016: sources | New York Post

   Several years of on-time budgets and no diminishment of the state's welfare state and pro-union bias....yet Andrew Cuomo continuously is derided by the left, now to the point no less a pundit than Fred Dicker says Andy's White House hopes are over.
   He passed SSM and the nation's toughest gun laws, and provided millions for pre-K, yet the base calls him an embarrassment.
    Maybe Fred is just trying to make the Gubernatorial race more interesting to write about. Can't fault him for that.

Dems won’t support Cuomo for president in 2016: sources | New York Post

Back to Work After Spring Break

    City Council will approve various public works projects tonight including repairs to Arch Street and improvements to the water distribution system. This is also the last Council meeting prior to release of the proposed City budget later this month.

    Due to last week's spring break, the work session normally on the second Monday is moved to the fourth Monday.

Saving Arch Street in Watertown | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

WDT: Green Party candidates: A dance between quirky and conventional

     While the battle royale plays out for NY 21, its the Green Party where a thoughtful discussion of the plight of people in the district may occur, unencumbered by worries about winning.

      Matt Funicielllo and Donald Hassig are apparently in a primary. The winner will carry the party banner to the fall elections against millionaire and millionaire-funded candidates.

      Mr Funiciello is a businessman. Mr. Hassig a free spirits. They will raise and discuss issues apart from the major party talking points.

     We welcome their input.    


Watertown Daily Times | 21st Congressional District Green Party candidates: A dance between quirky and conventional

Crowds flock to 4/20 convention in Denver

    There are no absolutes in life...Here in Watertown on April 20, marijuana is the demon week, a gateway drug, the subjects many arrests....While the same acts got you nothing in Denver where the annual pot observance day was one of great festivity.

Crowds flock to 4/20 convention in Denver

Stefanik: Likes Some Kick to Her Deviled Eggs

   Candidates went dark for Easter, sending out best wishes on Facebook.  Candidate Elise Stefanik told followers her favorite food on Easter are deviled eggs spiced with horseradish and mustard.  Says its a Polish tradition.
   No word on what the other candidates prefer on the Holiday, Although Steve Burke may be eating his last meal as a candidate as Dem insiders say they have his number on the petition challenge to be heard tomorrow.
Horseradish Deviled Eggs Recipe | Taste of Home

When The Attacks Come, Here's the Narrative

    The NY 21 GOP race is intense. Two-time candidate Matt Doheny no doubt assumed when he offered to get in the race following the Bill Owens announcement, that his previous runs,associations, hard work and money spent would push 'the little girl' (a phrase I heard a couple of times, not from Doheny though) aside and the nomination and the seat would be his.
   That's what the quick deal on the Indy line was all about as normally a minor party would never give it up so early and without going through a process. A stampede, which was aided by some media who assumed inevitability and promoted the notion.
    It wasn't that easy and there was resistance to a third run in all but his home county. Couple with that the organization, fundraising and steadily improving campaign skills of a sharp and driven opponent in Elise Stefanik.  Then there was the Conservative Party smack down.. Former friend Mike Long was summarily trashed.
     If it wasn't apparent at first, it is now. This race will not be won by Mr. Doheny without landing some serious punches and discrediting Ms. Stefanik's bid leaving her seen as too young and inexperienced for the big time.
     He's not winning. GOP chairs have ask he reconsider and even in Watertown, some in the party are now suggesting the dogs aren't eating the dog food. Mr. Doheny also has the resources to spend and that keeps media looking for a pay day in tow. So he is not down for the count.
     Ms.Stefanik is the fresh face who has so far passed the gravitas test and is well positioned. Mr. Doheny is working hard to get a second look from many after his late entry.
      There have been efforts to tarnish her shiny new image.  There is chirping about her residency, and pestering the media with stories about her Harvard education. The latter prompted the WDT to pressure her to prove she graduated. The Times says they are now satisfied she did get her diploma. (No other candidates have had to do that)
       In reading comments, and talking to people there is an undercurrent that the D'Amato team "has the goods"  on her.  They talk a lot about just what did she do in DC ?....who did she work for ?...what's the timeline ?...The thrust so far has been to try and portray her as an "intern"  without significant DC experience. (Then in the next breath call her a DC insider). There were other more nefarious suggestions about accessing medical records or seeing if anyone has a unflattering photo from a DC party.
       The other area being shopped to friendly media is her relationship with her family's plywood business. The argument is she gilds the lily and exaggerates her role in the business. Ms. Stefanik says growing up in a small business family has taught her valuable lessons.
        The gist of the plan is to show she is less than truthful. That's why they enlisted Indy Vice Chair Tom Connolly to send out a release last week accusing her of deceit in petitioning. The media printed at face value even though a quick check on the writer would have given pause to printing the charges.
       There will be fuzzy photos of her Willsboro home and some neighbor will be on camera saying they don't know her. Some weeks ago I mailed something to the address and the candidate acknowledged in a day or two, so she is there.
           The more intense the attacks, the more the temptation to retaliate and we know what that will include. My guess is Ms. Stefanik avoids that, as it could make her seem petulant and insecure. Running at age 29 is OK but people are wanting proof of the maturity necessary to serve and will look at some personal traits a little more closely. Frantic or shrill behavior wouldn't help.
        So the attacks will come, because for Mr. Doheny , winning this primary is it for his political career. That means anything goes and he has retained people who are skilled at doing it. Yet, he has a dilemma too. Mr. Doheny has, according to supporters, worked to burnish his image and be more congenial, so the jabs have to leave no fingerprints.
        A lot of it will be by direct mail. It's less expensive and tends to sit around on the counter long enough to get looked at.  There will be whispering campaigns all around...those have been going on. Lots of social media where the younger candidate seems to have the edge.
Everybody will be looking for interesting cell phone photos..Trackers ?  The media is being worked, in a bid to get them to do the damage.
       It will all center on the notion Ms. Stefanik is not ready for prime time and isn't honest.   Only problem is folks may have already decided she is ready and that her life is what she says it is.    More important they may have already judged Mr. Doheny and decided its time to move on. A nasty campaign may stiffen that resolve.
        A lot of this is about data bases and ground games. In fact that is the most important part, but there will be no shortage of effort to make the new face seem worrisome and risky.  She didn't turn out to be the 'little girl' some envisioned.

Katko Launches Bio Video

     I was talking to someone at Pete's the other day who said he was related to Republican Congressional candidate John Katko from NY-24, the Syracuse-based district now held by Rep. Dan Maffei.   Word is he's a nice guy, so if you hear that at Pete's, that's sufficient that we endorse him here.

     It looks like a swing district and Rep. Maffei has lost before. Mr. Katko is a former US attorney and seems to have the beginnings of a winning effort.

Katko Launches Bio Video

Saturday, April 19, 2014


   Our little poll on the Congressional candidates was revealing before the children started playing.  When someone is climbing precipitously after being behind for a day, we know its the J man discovering how to sidestep the process.
    What was obvjous from our uninterrupted 12 hours is that Steve Burke will not be out next MOC....Elise Stefanik did way better than previous polls a couple months back.
    Matt Funiciello has some enthusiastic supporters,as does Matt Doheny.
    Aaron Woolf was trailing but this is a Republican leaning blog.

Gouverneur Gun Rally

   I was watching Channel 7 news tonight and that anti SAFE Act rally in Gouverneur looked pretty boisterous. I don't know if candidates were there as 7 reporters are under strict orders not to interview candidates unless both are there and then sometimes not.  They don't want to offend a potential advertiser, or who they think will be spending a lot.
   Those who did speak were vehement in their desire to sink Governor Andrew Cuomo. But....There's more Democratic votes for Mr. Cuomo in one block of Brooklyn than you could stuff into the Legion in Gouverneur.

No Easter Break in the Headlong Rush to June

      On this Easter weekend, the least the GOP candidates are out stumping for votes..  The crusade ahead will be non-stop as two-time nominee Matt Doheny tries to regain lost allegiances from the 29 year old Harvard grad who has been relentlessly campaigning for the seat the past year.
     Elise Stefanik was North Country chic in flannel today in Gouverneur as she and Mr. Doheny talked Second Amendment issues, a popular theme in this primary race. Mr. Doheny was due to be at a gun event in Johnstown according to his Facebook page.
      The coming week will see the continuation of petition challenges and while not talked about in media, an increasing concern among the party thinkers and elites that this raucous primary will hurt the party's prospects of regaining the seat in the fall against a surprisingly robust candidacy of Aaron Woolf.
      Media likes the horse race as they see a pay day in May and June, but party insiders from county chairs to perhaps even former statewide elected officials are talking privately. Last week a little of that surfaced on Twitter in a dust up between the Franklin County Chair and a Doheny loyalist.
    And while some say Mr. Doheny's effort faces hurdles, other political followers like Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall says it's clear sailing for Mr. Doheny.  Hizzoner was in Albany today when I called him. He says he regrets having missed Ms. Stefanik's visit to the Oswegatchie Coffee Company today, as the Mayor says that's a favorite spot of his.
     Few will talk candidly here and virtually no one on the record, but serious people are starting to express their concerns and their belief Mr. Woolf isn't the political cripple they originally thought.
      It's hard to imagine anything other than a fight to the finish. Too much money, ego and prestige on the line.
      But two months is an eternity in politics. A lot can happen.

Sins Revealed

   It's been a half century or more I have been living with a terrible lie but now that the photo has surfaced during the review of my late Mom's personal effects, I want to come clean.
   I didn't draw the picture of the house. It's a fraud and a hoax. I am so sorry...It' just that's how they did those things in the sixties...or was it the late fifties ?

   Thank God , there is no longer a Moreland Commission to investigate this. Maybe Schneiderman can launch a probe.

WDT: Raging Black River Lures the Adventurous

   Thrill seekers were out in the raging waters of the Black River this week giving onlookers at Maggies Restaurant quite a view.  That nice,  lady photographer at the Times who I annoyed with my discussion of her Dutch angle photo of Aaron Woolf took some very nice pictures this week.
                                                      Photo: Amanda Morrison, WDT
     I just hope no one gets in trouble and needs to be rescued.
Watertown Daily Times | Black River at flood stage elevates playing field for pro kayakers (VIDEO)

If Only (fill in) Had Run

       In the comments this week someone was musing about how they wish Warren County DA Kate Hogan was running for Congress and how experienced and classy she is. Earlier this month a leading citizen in Watertown was waxing about how he wished Dede Scozzafava were running.   I am sure there is a regular at Pete's who wishes Darrel had run.  Heck, I was enjoying broiled fish (it was Good Friday) at Pete's last night and Caitlyn's very astute dad came up and told me he wishes I had run.
     Well guess what. None of us and many others had the time, inclination, money, intellect (well that I have), blind ambition, obsession, or desire to embark on such a journey.
      You gotta want to do this and you have to be wired a certain way. The challenge is to be wired that way and not lose all sense of the lives and needs of the other 720,000 people in NY21 who don't have such ambitions.
      Granted its not like the old days when 260 and the other bright lights of NNY life would say, 'here's your new RINO and his anemic Democratic challenger. Vote if you like, but the choice is made..'
       We have five people willing to do this drill. That's pretty good.

District Attorney - Warren County, NY

Pennsylvania teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom at a school assembly  - NY Daily News

    Isn't rejection punishment enough..The 18 year old PA teen who strode to the front of a high school assembly to ask Miss America Nina Davuluri to the prom has been suspended for three days.

      Becoming a celebrity and getting three days off from school. That's a good deal.
Pennsylvania teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom at a school assembly  - NY Daily News

Parents, kids don’t want first lady at HS graduation | New York Post

      These people must watch too much FOX News. Having the First Lady at your high school graduation is a big deal and an honor, but I know how people are.
       In 1999, the then First Lady Hillary Clinton came to our beloved Flower Memorial Library and the then library director protested and stood outside during the time she was there.
       This flap is in Topeka. Maybe they should ask former Govenor Sebelius to speak instead.
Parents, kids don’t want first lady at HS graduation | New York Post

Senate Independent Democratic Conference hires Jennifer Rainville - UPDATED - NY Daily News

   The five Senator rump conference called the Independent Democratic Caucus has hired a communications director for $105K.  Jennifer Rainville has long been associated with Bronx Senator Jeff Klein, who heads the caucus.

Senate Independent Democratic Conference hires Jennifer Rainville - UPDATED - NY Daily News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Miner: No Plans To Run For Governor

   It would end her political career in NY, but it would have been interesting if Mayor Stephanie Miner had run on the WFP line for Governor. She could have got the 50,000 votes but it would have left the party with a concentration of state committee weighted vote in Central NY. They don't want that and besides, the patronage play is to stick with the Governor.

    Mayor Miner this week gave up her post a vice chair of the Democratic Party after a rocky tenure in her dealings with Mr. Cuomo. She says she wasn't forced out, but really, why stay if you are not liked.

Miner: No Plans To Run For Governor

Nothing New (That we heard of) in Albany

   No new specific objections filed in Albany to NNY Congressional petitions and Monday is the last day for objections to Steve Burke's Democratic petition and Matt Doheny's R, C and I petitions.  If there is action, that's where it will be.
    Dems should just let Mr. Burke stay in as he can't win and the primary will be a low pressure environment for Mr. Woolf to tune up his campaign skills and get better known. As long as there is no nastiness, and I am sure there wouldn't be, Mr. Woolf ends June well positioned against a GOP rival just coming out of a raucous and divisive primary.

Moore: MGV Plays it Straight

    Last night my old friend Mike Schell told me he this humble blog was tilted in one direction politically, especially in the NY21 race....Hmmmm I said, and all this time I thought I was fair and even handed, as we run photos of everyone and reference what they are up to when the information is available.
    So I was talking to the dean of NNY journalists this morning and I asked John Moore what he thought.  John said he thinks the blog is even handed and you can't tell where I am coming from.
    So with the affirmation of the North Country's most respected journalist, I soldier on secure in the knowledge I am not a shill, or worse.

WDT: Children Behave...Playing Games With GOOGLE

         This reminds me of the time Johnny Spezzano dressed in a wedding gown and sent the photo to the Times. It was funny, but juvenile.

          Playing pranks with misdirecting Google searches doesn't smack of what serious voters are looking for.

           Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Rob Ford launches re-election bid: 'I won't back down' - Toronto - CBC News

    With  2,000 supporters on hand (that's a lot for a municipal race), Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has kicked off his bid for a second term.  The best known mayor on the continent is stressing the same taxation and finance issues that led to his 2010 win.
Mayor Ford Seeks a Second Term

      Now the voters can decide and not the righteous media, many of whom routinely snort cocaine and smoke pot themselves.
Rob Ford launches re-election bid: 'I won't back down' - Toronto - CBC News

Challenging Times in Albany

   Just checking the BOE site to see what's up with petition challenges.  Seems the ones to Stefanik's R and C line petitions never had specific objections filed, nor did Matt Funiciello's Green petitions, although I think they could still arrive by mail today in his case.
   Still hanging out there with specifics due by the 21st are  Steve Burke's Democratic line prospects and Matt Doheny's  Republican, Indy and Conservative petitions. Most serious challenges would also bring some action in State Supreme Court as the rulings of the BOE tend to be more foregiving.
    It's hard to know the back channel stuff sitting here on Pearl Street, but we do the best we can with the talents the Good Lord gave us.
    I was talking to a lawyer who is a veteran of local and state politics last night about petitions. He says kitchen table signatures are a problem but just getting people to sign who you know probably are not in the party in question is OK in the ethos of Albany.

Indy Party is Unvarnished Politics at Its Best

       Here in the North Country, it's just a line on the ballot and when you read someone was "endorsed" there is the feeling its the result of some kind of "process".  The Indy Party and politics in general is what it is, a transaction.  .
        Let me explain. A line on the ballot has intrinsic value  because it enhances the prospects for winning. I sometimes think that's overblown, but in cases like Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Indy line was essential in winning as a non-Democratic Party nominee. The same has been true for GOP Senators on the Island and upstate who often face tougher races than their Dem counterparts in the City.
        Unlike the Conservative line which is linked to ideology, the Indy line has no core underpinnings. It's leaders endorsed SSM, but the people seeking the line didn't.   It is what you want it to be, and provides a place on the ballot where anyone can feel comfortable voting. Lots of people see themselves as independent.
        Now the mechanics of it. The operation and manipulation of party lines is proscribed by election law and to get control of a line takes a lot of work, initiative, guile, and attention to detail. People think it just happens or exists, but it doesn't. I used to organize county committees. They were shell organizations, but you still have to get the petitions done accurately, file them, constitute at a meeting, file reports and in general know how things work.
       Then they come. The candidates seeking out-of-party authorizations, or Wilson-Pakulas.  Call us dumb up here, but we never monetized the process but that's done all over. Money for "party building" or a "chairman's account" are oft used phrases.
         Sometimes the wheeling and dealing gets too obvious and somebody acts outraged and creates a Moreland Commission and a few newspaper articles appear. That calms down eventually.'\
          New York's system of fusion voting puts pay to play on steroids. Everybody knows what goes on, but frankly the notion of paying for a commodity is not offensive to many. Like I said, establishing and maintaining a party apparatus takes a lot of time and effort.
           The Independence Party, devoid of ideology or policy positions is the most unvarnished instance of pay to play, but not the only. Frankly, some would argue that an extra line that helps the GOP keep a balance in the Senate is good for the public.Sometimes the process is more raw than some would like as happened a couple years back in Oneida County.
          There's a back and forth going on over Indy petitions in NY21.  Petition challenges. Yesterday's statement by the party's state vice chair was a preemptive PR move, and since those reporting don't understand the background its a way to get a press hit for the endorsed candidate, in this case, Matt Doheny.
           Some say all of this is "corruption"  Those who operate the system or get the line will call it "the will of the people."    It really is neither.  \
           I just call it politics.
       Here's some links that sum it  all up.

Cut them loose, gov  - NY Daily News

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child -

     An heir to the Clinton dynasty is in the making !  Chelsea Clinton is pregnant, giving grandmother to be Hillary a respite from the political grist mill she has been on for decades. Mrs. Clinton and her daughter made the announcement Thursday in NYC.

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child -

WDT: State Willing to Compromise on Court Facilities. Both Sides to Meet in May

      City Council will meet in a special session May 6 with the chief judge of the Fifth Judicial District to further refine changes that will be made to City Court now that there are two full time judges. After objections to cost, the courts are seeking a smaller second courtroom along with enhanced security arrangements, something long needed regardless of how many judges there are.
     A compromise is what is needed and we welcome the session with Judge James Tormey and his staff.
Watertown Daily Times | State agency make reasonable proposal for city courtrooms in Watertown