Thursday, October 2, 2014

WDT: Cuomo May be Treading Water With No Agenda, But He Will Win Endorsements from Most Papers and the Voters

    In a campaign where the incumbent Governor accused his opponent of being a closet Miami Dolphins fan in his continuing effort to win Erie County, it's probably not a surprise the GOP opponent would take unproven allegations of corruption and equate it with the prospect of nuclear Armageddon in the Cold War.

     It's also rather thin gruel for voters and a study of candidate literature  and websites shows little or no focus on issues, policy or the future from either Andrew Cuomo or Rob Astorino.

     This is a non competitive campaign between two men just logging the days till November 4.

      From an editorial viewpoint papers like the WDT have to endorse the incumbent as his record has some successes and Mr. Astorino has no traction with voters.

      The only alternative for voters is to shave a couple hundred thousand off Mr. Cuomo's margin so that Green candidate Howie Hawkins can take his party to Line C for the next four years.

       There is sense in that for those interested in political reform, but that kind of strategic voting may be a little bit of a stretch as most of the four million who will vote next month are party line types.

       I was at a table of Republicans last night and one person lamented the Governor will win because of NYC. I was briefly the skunk at the picnic when I told the man Mr. Cuomo likely wins Jefferson County as well. A comment that drew a look of disapproval from a party deity seated across from me.

        This race is like watching paint dry.







Watertown Daily Times | Nuking a campaign: Rob Astorino showcases silly ad that doesn’t make any sense

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

GOP Countywide Candidates Draw Well at Events.

      So I went over to the Italian American Club tonight to check out the John Bocciolatt for Sheriff spaghetti dinner.....At $ 8 a person, it wasn't a big fundraiser.
      Tommy John was there and the crowd was large as was the crowd the night before for the Eugene Langone fundraiser at the Paddock Arcade.
      I don't claim to know how the two county wide races will go but it appears Mr. Langone is all set and the Sheriff race is very competitive.
      Time will tell.
       I always chuckle when people seem amazed I am there. I have been in politics long enough to know its not about elephants and donkeys..  It's about people.

WDT New poll shows Woolf within eight points of Stefanik

   A second poll made public in NY21 shows Elise Stefanik with an eight point lead over Aaron Woolf, her Democratic opponent 45-37.
    Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello has 8%.
     The polls by Harper Research is said not to have been commissioned by either campaign. A previous Siena poll had the margin at 13. This surbey shows Ms. Stefanik well ahead among independent voters and as always the final turnout model will be important.
     A week from today is the first debate and  that will likely help firm up the race.
     Bottom line. It will take a mistake for Ms Stefanik to lose but the gap certainly could be bridged.
Watertown Daily Times | New poll shows Woolf within eight points of Stefanik

Quinn: Daughters Explain Majority-Male ‘Women’s Equality Party’ Slate | New York Observer

    The Women's Equality Party has 17 people running in NYS this year. Eleven of them are men.
     This party is yet another cynical abuse of the system of fusion voting where often Conservatives are not conservatives, Independence are not independent and Working Families often don't work.
     The Women's party will routinely cross endorse Democrats and will be under the direct control of the Governor.
     Those wishing to vote for Mr. Cuomo should strike a blow for political reform and vote for him on the A-line.
Quinn: Daughters Explain Majority-Male ‘Women’s Equality Party’ Slate | New York Observer

Feedback: Town Could Yank Former Officials' Health Insurance | WWNY TV 7 -

      Fueled by media outrage the Town of Alexandria wants to end a commitment made to town officials years ago. It's medical insurance for people like Sampie Sutton who is on oxygen at his home and another former town official who has leukemia.
      In both cases Medicare is the primary provider with the town plan the secondary. Many employers do end all coverage at 65 but that's spelled out up front.
      Changing the rules after the fact discounts the fact people make plans according to how things are.
It's easy to gain acceptance of sanctions against the politicians, but they too in many cases have served and deserve at least the dignity of care.
      I knew Mr. Sutton over the years and at times sparred with him. But he ran and won and served, and at this stage in life I wish him well and don't revel in seeing him punished.    
Feedback: Town Could Yank Former Officials' Health Insurance | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Diamond: "Depending on my popularity ... they might not want my endorsement."

   Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond says nobody has asked for his endorsement and he chuckles his popularity may dissuade candidates from asking. Actually formal "endorsements" are pointless. We all contribute to one or the other and we might help a favorite, but endorsements only have meaning early in the process when a newcomer is seeking to be scene as having real support.
   Endorsements now are of no value and can actually hurt as my enemies become the endorsees enemies.
Diamond: "Depending on my popularity ... they might not want my endorsement."

Can 3rd Party Candidate Move Beyond 'Spoiler' in NY21? - Time Warner Cable News

   Ever notice when they interview those college professors about third party politics, the answers come from people well marinated in the two party duopoly ?
   Professors are nice people who have never run for office or been in the trenches of third party politics. So my take on the Funiciello bid is he has little chance of winning but a better than most chance of accelerating towards the end due to an expected good performance in the three debates.
     If there were to be a precipitous collapse of the Woolf candidacy, interesting things could happen.
Can 3rd Party Candidate Move Beyond 'Spoiler' in NY21? - Time Warner Cable News

Will The AD116 Hopefuls Debate ?

   So we know there are three televised debates with the three Congressional candidates, but what about our three way race for Assembly in the River District.
    I'd like to see the three of them together....Addie Russell, John Byrne and Russ Finley.
     Word on the street there are some non televised forums but the organizers excluding the Conservative candidate.
      The problem with that race is no one is that interested and the media probably wouldn't cover a debate.

Hawkins Had a Lot to Say About Real Stuff

   It was such an interesting conversation I forgot to take a picture as Howie Hawkins visited the HOTLINE to talk about his Green Party candidacy for Governor.
    The long time activist is clearly the candidate most willing to talk about issues and he is buoyed by polls saying the Greens have a great chance at grabbing line C on the ballot the next four years.
     Mr. Hawkins spoke with confidence about the Green candidate for Congress in NY 21, Matt Funiciello.
     The Syracuse resident is polling in double digits in much of upstate. He opposed passage of the SAFE Act and is dead set against fracking.
      Economic justice and political empowerment are first on his mind.
      With Governor Andrew Cuomo's reelection assured, there is a solid case to vote for Hawkins to propel the Greens to Line C and clip the wings of the pay to play cross endorse parties.
   

In New York's North Country, The Republican Party's New Poster Candidate : NPR

   Who would have thought the new face of the GOP would ever have walked into the Pearl Street Pub ?
Increasingly, the youngest ever female to be elected to Congress is being talked about as a future star of the Republican Party and someone who will get a better than average portfolio for a freshman Member.
    So let's plan it out. When Senator Schumber retires in 2022 Elise Stefanik unleashes an upstate based campaign and wins the seat, shocking the political establishment. Then I figure a national ticket in 2024 or 2028. If I am around to see it, I can say "I remember when she walked all alone into City Hall way back in '13 to tell me about how she was going to beat Bill Owens."
In New York's North Country, The Republican Party's New Poster Candidate : NPR

NY Minute: Cuomo aide kept informed of Board of Elections inquiry into GOP candidate | syracuse.com

   Apparently investigating and ending election corruption involves keeping the Second Floor in the loop. That and other election highlights in a NY Minutr from the Post Standard.\

NY Minute: Cuomo aide kept informed of Board of Elections inquiry into GOP candidate | syracuse.com#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river#incart_river

Derek Jeter Won't Release His Dating Records Either- TODAY.com

      Derek Jeter has never been one to publicize his dating life like some in sports. He also has never embarrassed himself or the team.
On keeping his dating life private: “I've always drawn the line between what I do for a profession and my private life. I think once you open that door, you can't shut it."
     Despite intense interest in his personal life , Derek says he doesn't want to assumer George Clooney's moniker of world's most eligible bachelor.
Derek Jeter dismisses 'most eligible bachelor' title: 'I try to stay away from that' - News - TODAY.com

WDT: Aaron, Could You Deny This Premise, So I Have a Story

       Matt Funiciello gets the media to print his demand Aaron Woolf quit the race and then the Woolf campaign and the candidate publicly deny he  will.
       A Democrat starts a Facebook page for Funiciello and questions Mr. Woolf's ties to the area.  The campaign issues a statement denying it.
       Of late, Matt Funiciello has been getting "earned" media. The kind you don't pay for but the stories advance your interests.
      Now I think its great to see the media open to third parties, and Mr. Funiciello has been good at mining the lode. Sometimes to his detriment with the 9/11 stories which the major parties crow about, but generally he has become a household name on a budget.
Watertown Daily Times | Democrat creates Facebook page to support Green Party candidate

St. Lawrence Co. DA: I Don't Need Checks and Balances... - Time Warner Cable News

   Imagine if we never had to pay for police or prosecutors. We let the bad guys pay. Got a doobie in your house , we take your house. Get a DWI driving your new Lexus. Ooops now the Police Chief drives a Lexus.
    The notion that seizure creates a pot of money to be used by those doing the seizing is not only wrong, it's a corrupting influence.
     The notion a DA can remodel her office, no matter how needed, is not good government.
      If this is good policy, then lets restrict the "war on drugs" to those nicer precincts where people have more to lose ?  Let's emphasize enforcement of the laws that result in seizure ?
        The job of appropriating public money for the purpose of office remodeling is clearly the role of the Legislature. Period.
St. Lawrence Co. DA: Use of Forfeiture Funds for Office Expansion Allowed - Time Warner Cable News

The Only Candidate With Ideas Is On the HOTLINE Today !

    It has seemed to me for weeks now that the Gubernatorial race is bereft of ideas. Now an analysis proves it with the incumbent committing zero words to policy matters in his campaign literature and websites.
     The good news is the candidate talking about ideas is Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins who is the in-studio guest today on the HOTLINE.
Not Exactly A Campaign Of Ideas

Why Would You Want to Be Mayor of NYC ? For Starters Your Friends Can Make $170K and Keep Their Ex-con Boyfriend

    She makes as much as the Governor...or a Congressman or an upstate school superintendent..and her job is to be the assistant to some the wife of New York City's Mayor.
     Rachel Noerdlinger makes $170K as top aide to First Lady Chirlane McCray, the wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio.
     Ms. Noerdlinger has an ex-con boyfriend who likes to make racist and sexist rants on the Internet.
     The deBlasio Administration defends Ms. Noerdlinger saying you can't control what someone's boyfriend says.
      Ex-con boyfriend of First Lady Chirlane McCray's top aide went on web rants about race, women - NY Daily News

WDT: Heating costs expected to go down this winter, National Grid says

      Don't tease us. Winter is coming and the prospect of lower heating prices is welcome, after last winters bruising weather.
       Today I had the furnaces checked,. Cheney's brought my refurbished 20 year old snow blower back from the shop.
       Still lots of nice weather left but its good to be ready.
Watertown Daily Times | Heating costs expected to go down this winter, National Grid says

NJ: Jake's Lawn Care Donates Labor, Materials to Landscape Flower Memorial Library Fountains in Watertown

       The one-time fence scofflaw and defendant in an expensive fight over fence hegemony has won another public relations coup with his donated landscaping front of the Flower Memorial Library. The Library is readying to conduct a ribbon cutting on the newly repaired front entrance with its two fountains.
       While City Hall frets over whether he trimmed trees without authorization, Jake Johnson is seen hands-on planting dozens of plants in front of the iconic structure.
        I would only say, we appreciate the extra effort on his part and look forward to the ribbon cutting later this month.
     Jake's Lawn Care Donates Labor, Materials to Landscape Flower Memorial Library Fountains in Watertown

Debates Loom in NY 21.......River District an Enigma

       "Game changer" is a cliché you hear with less than five weeks left and a race where most experts feel the race is going one way...In the case of NY21, the direction is towards Elise Stefanik, although the campaign of Aaron Woolf is not without hope.
      They have organization, potentially unlimited money, true believers, and three debates on television which all provide the opportunity to knock his opponent off the rails.
       The complication for Mr. Woolf is Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello who will not go quietly during those debates and will direct his most ardent fire towards Mr. Woolf, who he has suggested is taking up space and should withdraw.
         The first debate is with Liz on Time Warner. Stay tuned.
          As interesting as this race is, the undercard race is in the 116th AD where there seems to be no conventional wisdom on whether Assemblywoman Addie Russell survives.
         The lack of signs, commercials, fundraisers and the like suggest Ms. Russell knows more than we do, that she leads and doesn't feel the need to engage.  However, the candidacy of Republican John Byrne is ubiquitous and he is the vessel for anti Russell votes.
         The unknown in that race is Conservative Russ Finley who is actively campaigning.
          The Byrne campaign is simple. "Remember my name and it's not Addie."
           That may well be enough.


         

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Schock and an Awesome Candidate for NY 21

   A pitch perfect day with the media for Elise Stefanik as her high profile Congressional visitor talked to reporters ahead of the fundraiser at the Savory and Ms. Stefanik appeared a block away at a GOP event for judge candidate Eugene Langone.
Elise Stefanik Shows Up at Arcade to Support Eugene Langone
 
     Rep. Aaron Schock was in town and the 33 year old MOC from Illinois underscored the essential theme of the Stefanik bid and that is generational change and new ideas.
    At age 33 and 30, these folks are the future and their crisp and mildly conservative message should fit well with NNY voters.
Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois
 
    Ms. Stefanik has fine tuned her presentation to the point supporters last night in the Maple City gave her a standing ovation. I didn't stay for the Schock event but supporters , especially one, were anxious to see him.
     There are still a few local GOP grumblers but for the most part, voters see her as the fresh voice they want in Congress.

Stefanik Lands Business Endorsement

    The National Federation of Independent Businesses endorsed Elise Stefanik today at a presser held at Coughlin Printing on Court Street.  At the event, Ms. Stefanik did express conditional support for the proposed $10.10 minimum wage and continued to seek changes to Obamacare and less emphasis on government regulation.
Elise Stefanik
 
 
       Ms. Stefanik labeled her Democratic opponent a "do nothing" and cited Aaron Woolf's small business problems in Brooklyn.
        The problem with  national or state minimum wage is it doesn't reflect local issues.Promising $10.10 nationwide is of little consequence here as NYS raise its own with what will be elected at the state level this year, especially a Democratic Senate.

Busy Week for Politics

   This morning I had the pleasure of taking Elise Stefanik on a tour of the Woolworth Building, to show her the great things happening in Watertown. She has a couple other business visits before hosting a reception tonight for Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois.
    I also got notice today that Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins will be live in studio Wednesday for the HOTLINE. We are looking forward to the interview and anyone else from any party is welcome.
    NOTICE
    As a matter of protocol, as Mayor I will host or show around anyone of any party. If the visit is public or private is up to the visitor and just like with visits of high ranking officials we always let the visitor do the announcing.
    So in that sense, I do routinely not put material I am aware of in the blog or on the talk show. Those who book for the show or send a notice to the blog....that's different.

Both Sides in Governor Race Say The Other Guy Sells His Office - NY Daily News

    Both major party candidates are charging each other with pay to play governance.

EXCLUSIVE: Democrats accuse GOP candidate Rob Astorino of ‘pay-to-play’ in report - NY Daily News

That $15 Minimum Wage May Come to NY Sooner than You Think - NYTimes.com

   That $15 minimum wage Matt Funiciello talks about may be closer to reality than you think. But there won't be any of Mr. Funiciello's proposed reductions in other welfare and tax breaks for the working poor.
    Mayor Bill deBlasio will launch a battle next year to allow NYC (and presumably other municipalities) to set their own minimum wage, opening a path to $15 an hour by 2019.
     The Mayor has the juice if he succeeds in winning control oft he Senate. Also, Mr. deBlasio will have sway over the Governor who benefited from the Mayor's rescue efforts in the recent primary.
     I suspect Governor Cuomo is going to find his second term more challenging as the Legislature will be emboldened and the Mayor is looking to run for Governor in 2018.
De Blasio’s Executive Order Will Expand Living Wage Law to Thousands More - NYTimes.com

People are Jerks

   Just how coarse people are was evident yesterday on Vanduzee Street when I sorta witnessed an accident in which a motorcyclist clippled a bicyclist sending the bicycle and its young male rider tumbling. I was headed north and heard the crash and saw in my mirror the young man on the ground as the motorcycle sped on.
    After turning around to see if help was needed the bike rider was up and about, holding his bent-wheel and useless bicycle. While trying to talk to him I heard screaming and obscenities coming from up the street as the motorcyclist and his female passenger had decided to pull over and he marched down the sidewalk without a care if someone was injured but dropping F-bombs about how his motorcycle was damaged.
     It didn't look like a great scene and fortunately another observer had called police who arrived to sort it all out.
     My read on it was the bicyclist was weaving in the lane and the motorcycle tried to pass, probably too rapidly. Some blame all around, but there was a double line...Of course you assume the bicycle stays to the right. All that's for the cops to sort out and thank goodness no one appeared hurt...But it was clear concern for one's fellow man was not on display on this otherwise sunny afternoon

NJ: Renovations Begin for 36-Inmates More at Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building

   For those who live on one side of an aisle or the other, Jefferson County's Democratic Sheriff and it's Republican Administration have reached a compromise on jail overcrowding that will ease the problem without the massive expenditure of building a new wing.
   A recreation area is being equipped to house 18 inmates at the Waterman Avenue facility.
   The current Sheriff's race has been silent largely on this issue instead focusing on ways to reduce the number of people locked up.
   Trouble is the Sheriff doesn't determine that and their job is just to house the inmates.
    The extra beds will reduce the expensive, inconvenient and potentially dangerous practice of carting inmates all over upstate.
Renovations Begin for 18-Bunk Dorm at Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building

Acquainting Candidates with Local Issues an Important Job

       Today's political calendar includes a 10AM tour of the Woolworth Building which is a chance to further acquaint Elise Stefanik with Watertown's rich history and see up close the project at the center of downtown revitalization.
      Candidates representing such a large district need to be aware of the goings on  in Watertown and it's important for local officials to help do that.
      Over the past two years, Ms. Stefanik has toured countless businesses and projects and one of the advantages of such a long and diligent effort is you take office with a firm grasp of what's going on here.
     
     

Monday, September 29, 2014

Stefanik Woos Ogdensburg

      The funniest moment at the Patty Ritchie meet 'n greet for Elise Stefanik in Ogdensburg tonight was when chatting with a couple of GOP regulars, a lady named Nancy said, "you know there's a car outside with a Teachout-Wu sticker on it ."
   Well Ma'am, that would be me !

Elise Stefanik Meets SUNY Potsdam Students

With the Maple City's First Couple, Darlene and Bill Nelson
    
      It was a nice crowd at the Freight House and not for nothing I think I got a little more applause than my good friend, Mayor Bill Nelson.
      Candidate Stefanik wowed the crowd in a city that had voted for Matt Doheny in the June primary. Her presentation was polished and many people jockeyed to meet her and pose for pictures.
Speaking to the Crowd With Assemblyman Blankenbush and Senator Ritchie
 
      Many agreed Ms. Stefanik has a bright future on the national scene.
       It was good to see friends from the Maple City where I always feel at home even thought the Dark Side and the Sly Fox are long closed.
Senator Ritchie Present Elise with a SLU Jersey
 
       Tomorrow Ms. Stefanik comes to Watertown to visit the Woolworth Building and host an event with Rep. Aaron Schock.

Astorino Tries To Goldwater Cuomo

    Often I find myself talking to my Millennial friends about something that is common knowledge to me, but they have no idea what I am talking about...Whether its Spuds Mackenzie or the classic 1964 "daisy" commercial used to portray Barry Goldwater as reckless with the nuclear trigger.

   So while I am amused at the Astorino campaing's analogy, it may be lost on all but a few. Still, at this point, what's he got to lose ?

Astorino Tries To Goldwater Cuomo

Woolf: Expand Earned Income Tax Crefit

   Isn't this where people get big tax refunds even though they paid little or no income tax ?

Woolf: Expand Earned Income Tax Crefit

Candidates Meet and Greet and Meet and Greet Again and Again

    Lots of political events you can attend this week if your social life is so bereft of substance.
    Judge candidate Sue Sovie has events tonight AND tomorrow night at the Italian American Club, while her opponent Eugene Langone has one tomorrow night at the Arcade.
    John Bush-a-Lot has a spaghetti dinner Wednesday at the Italian Club.
Chick Magnet ?  This Watertown Home Ignores party Hegemony in Favor of Gender
 
     Tonight Sen. Patty Ritchie has an event for Elise Stefanik at the Freight House in Ogdensburg. I might just go to the Maple City for that one.
     Then tomorrow Elise Stefanik is in Watertown for various events. The two I will likely attend is a morning tour of the Woolworth Building and and evening soire with Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois. He's the new generation guy who one local GOP operative posts shirtless pictures of on her Facebook page.
     If there is anything else going on , let me know. I will be glad to publicize free of charge and with animus towards none.

Astorino wants investigation of Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Party | New York Post

    The creation of two more minor parties by both the major candidates is merely an extension of the corruption that is endemic with fusion voting and its also a stab in the back to the other "me-too" parties linked to the GOP and Dems.
      That said, Governor Cuomo's vanity party called the Women's Equality Party seems at this point more of a joke than Rob Astorino's End Common Core Party.
      Mr. Astorino wants the US Attorney to probe the fraudulent petitions used by Dem operatives trying to get upstate Senate candidates an extra line.
       This latest cynical twist to the political process has as co-conspirators, Governor Cuomo and Mr. Astorino.  Arguing over the level of sin is merely a debate over how many Hail Mary's you have to recite after Confession.
Astorino wants investigation of Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Party | New York Post

Coalition pushing for Democrat-controlled state Senate set to begin campaign mailings - NY Daily News

   An alliance of Governor Cuomo, Mayor DeBlasio and unions is said to be behind direct mail efforts to sway voters in two key Hudson Valley Senate races. With everything else decided, there is a bid to give traditional Democrats a lock on the Senate without have to depend so much on the squishy IDC faction.
   The IDC group of five, while originally encouraged by the Governor, allowed the GOP a semblance of power in Albany, but the deal outraged NYC Democrats who wanted complete control  of the Legislature .
     Coalition pushing for Democrat-controlled state Senate set to begin campaign mailings - NY Daily News

: WEP flops upstate - Times Union

       An attempt by Democrats to use their new Women's Equalirty Line as a boost for upstate Senate candidates flopped as challenges revealed the petition drives were largely bogus with thousands of signatures invalidated.
      The effort was fueled by Governor Cuomo's campaign as Mr. Cuomo invented the line for his statewide ticket of himself, Kathy Hochul, Eric Schneiderman and Tom DiNapoli.
        Casey Seiler: WEP flops upstate - Times Union

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Funiciello calls on Woolf to drop out

   Five years ago this was blasphemy....A third party candidate demanding a major party candidate step aside and getting good press. Used to be it was policy to not cover third parties...I know it's true because local MSM reporters told me...This year its all different and very refreshing.

Funiciello calls on Woolf to drop out

Lay it out, Eric - NY Daily News

   AG Eric Schneiderman is getting some heat for his less than candid dealings with his ex wife and for his Moreland record......But it won't matter....He's a Democrat and this is New Yawwwwk !

    I just wonder if GOP candidate John Cahill will ever come to Watertown and do a presser in front of Legal docs.....Unless maybe he is part of the lawyer cartel who agrees with Mr. Schneiderman's Jihad against the Franklin Street business.

     Lay it out, Eric - NY Daily News

WDT: In Afghanistan, Gov. Cuomo praises efforts of Fort Drum soldiers

    Governor Cuomo greeted Fort Drum's commander and praised Tenth Mountain soldiers during this weekend's surprise trip to Afghanistan

Photo: US Army
Watertown Daily Times | In Afghanistan, Gov. Cuomo praises efforts of Fort Drum soldiers

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher walk their dogs at Hollywood park as they await first child | Daily Mail Online

        Dog parks are popular in many places, so maybe some celebrities supporting one here would help move the idea along. Do we have any celebrities.

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher walk their dogs at Hollywood park as they await first child | Daily Mail Online

We Know Who Wins, But You Do Have Some Choices.

   The North Country, like all of NY will vote to reelect Governor Cuomo but on what line will you vote for him ?
    Democrat, Working Families, Independence or Women's Equality.   Which one will you use and why ?

Fleetwood Mac is Back..How Retro is That ? - CBS News

    Everything comes around again and second acts are common in music as in life.
    The band that dominated my "Wonder Years" as a young adult was Fleetwood Mac and they are back on tour this week...all of them...and a new album is in the works.
     It doesn't make you feel young again, but it's great to hear the songs again.
Christine McVie on rejoining Fleetwood Mac - CBS News

The Last Sunday in September

   What a beautiful day as I walked down to the store for a NY Post and breakfast at Mo's Diner. I detoured through Factory Square Park, which is really a pleasant spot with tremendous potential.
     I had a little Mayor's work at the diner as a woman who hasn't been paid by her employer asked me what she and her co workers should do since the DOL said they were too busy and the AG is busy stinging the Legal docs folks.
     One of the worst business practices is that of scheduling people to work and then not paying them because you didn't make enough or decided to pay yourself first.
     A lot of times that kind of stuff is dismissed by the media as no big deal, but it is for those counting on that extra income.
     Little bit of politics going on this week with events Monday and Tuesday. Some meetings as well.
Had a nice chat last night with a couple of Council members about dog parks and other matters.
     Today it's watching football.  JETS and Lions at 1PM on FOX.
    

Time to Start Speculating on Charlotte's Politics

   With the Clooney wedding and the birth of a Clinton, a busy weekend for Page Six, although the Post seems a little snarky in assuming baby Charlotte is another whining Democrat.

    The grandparents were quick to get a positive photo out of Bill and Hillary adoring their grandchild.

The Clintons welcome baby Charlotte | Page Six

Get Your Assault Knives Now

    If you want to cut someone's head off you need only have tuned into the "Cutlery Corner" early this morning on QVC.  All sorts of bad ass looking blades on sale like "Zonbie Executioners" and machetes with alien green handles and the biohazard symbol on them.
     These are definitely assault knives. New law anyone ?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

20,000 former NYS residents will still get $350 rebate checks

   Wonder if Mance got one ?
20,000 former NYS residents will still get $350 rebate checks

Second Floor to Liz: Drop Dead....No TWC Debate..

   Governor Cuomo doesn't have to debate and has nothing to gain from televised encounters with his foes. So its no surprise he is doing the minimum with what appears to be a radio debate with his GOP opponent in NYC and a Public TV debate in Buffalo that includes the Green and Libertarian candidates.  No Sapient Party Candidate.
    The big dis again went to Time Warner and Liz who are shut out from the process. Mr. Astorino should decline the radio debate and insist veterans like those at TWC and NY 1 be able to hold a televised debate for all candidates downstate.
     He won't do that though.
     Mr. Cuomo has no need to give Rob Astorino a clear shot at him and doesn't want to give much publicity to Howie Hawkins, whose progressive message splits the Dem vote.
     Today's trip to Afghanistan shows the Governor will be staying away from any campaign antics and use the functions of his office to stay in the news.
     Frankly its a smart strategy to get reelected. In the end that's all that matters.
Cuomo Agrees To Two Debates (Updatedx2)

Buffett Rule Skirmish Continues

   Every war has lots of skirmishes and battles but people only commit a few to memory. Valley Forge, Gettysburg, Normandy, Iwo Jima, Chosin, Khe Sahn.
    The battle over the Buffett Rule might stand out in NY21 this year as it involves privilege, fairness, taxes, with some national celebrity.
    Aaron Woolf embraces the demagoguery of the "rule", which presumes Warren Buffett should pay a higher marginal rate on income than his secretary.
    It sounds like an easy reform but Elise Stefanik says its a gimmick.
    Matt Funiciello, voice of reason that he is, says it would never be made law anyway.
    Mr. Woolf says the millionaires and billionaires who support Ms. Stefanik. oppose it and that's why she does.
    Earth to Aaron:  You're a millionaire...big time ! And if you keep rapping everyone else's wealth, a reporter might try to pin you down on your net worth.
     This is going to be a battle to remember.   
     Got a feeling Warren Buffett gets some mention during the TV debates.
Buffett Rule volley continues

Many Worthwhile Endeavors Out There

  While I am sure the Governor Cuomo trip is the lead on the news, I sense another dog park story coming on WWNY. Their reporter called me this morning for some background, but had others to interview.
The key to anything is getting buy-in and making it a positive process. It's especially important to get new people interested in the concept. The first steps include designating a location. Staff is researching that now, much as we did with the Monument project.
Location, design, cost and then raise money. No one will give without the aforementioned and a respected repository for funds. That's why the NNY Community Foundation is in the mix,
    Any of us might buy a $5 raffle ticket on something we know nothing about, but if you are being ask to stroke a check for a grand or more, there needs to be meat on the bone.
    Councilman Jennings has moved this along and brings with him the imprimatur of the establishment.  Reluctant lawmakers need that reassurance before they get in too deep.
    Another worthwhile project with traction is the remake for the Children's Playground in the Park. That needs support too. There is also the Monument and the Rotary splash park. Lot's of good ideas for an interested and involved citizenry to get involved with.

Andy's in Afghanistan

   Governor Cuomo is Governor Globetrotter lately with his second international trip in a month. Mr. Cuomo is in Afghanistan for a briefing on counter terrorism efforts. He has met on the topic recently with NY Governor Chris Christie. Mr. Cuomo also rode a subway this week to show they are safe.
Governor Cuomo Visits Wounded Troop in Afghanistan
 
    In his first four years, the Governor stayed in NY but may now feel the need to expand his foreign policy portfolio.

Albany's Pre-Election Free S--- Program Drops $1.6M in Jefferson County This Weekend.

   The $350 checks are arriving at select NNY homes
.
    4,601 in Jefferson County for $1.4M.  1285 in Lewis County and 5,005 in St. Lawrence.
    In the three counties about $4M this weekend to lubricate the local economy. And best of all 10,000 local families bribed with their own money.
    There are a little over a million checks statewide, with Suffolk and Nassau counties faring the best and that's by design. Those swing voters in the burb, don't you know.
    

The Heretic Comes Home After His Last Tango in Syracuse

   Ted Ford is back in the fold. After his brief and controversial dalliance with Zephyr Teachout, there was Ted this week holding up a Cuomo-Hochul sign at the local Dems organizational meeting.

    Ted had incurred the wrath of party leaders when he publicly endorsed Ms. Teachout and allowed himself to be photographed with her at a rally in Syracuse. This photo should get him off the hook but he will likely forever be viewed as untrustworthy by establishment Dems.  Just to remind Sean and June why they should hate Ted, here's a reprise of last month.
 
       Given the issues that animated the Teachout campaign, it's hard to imagine just falling in line so publicly. But that's what you do in a party. It's called discipline and without it the whole two party system would unravel. Wouldn't that be great.

Wage Board Public Hearing on Friday

   The first of four public hearings of the Governor's "Wage Board" will be held October 3 in Syracuse and last in NYC in December where the Board where get the full compliment of people alleging "wage theft" and how they aren't paid enough.
   The left wants to eliminate the sub minimum restaurant wage of $5 an hour because, they say, the big corporate restaurants are rich and can afford to pay more. Advocates for small business say these workers do well with tips and eliminating the service wage will hurt small business.
    How about more buffets and cafeterias ? That will cut expenses.
     I doubt many small businesses will attend the hearing as the end result is decided by the elites and who can take a day off from work anyway.

Casual Congressman Comes to Watertown

       The buff Congressman from Illinois due in Watertown Tuesday was on Fox and Friends this AM sharing the curvy couch  with the anchors and dressed casually in an open shirt and not shaved in at  least a day.
Rep. Aaron Schock on Fox and Friends

       Rep. Aaron Schock was talking terrorism but looked like a movie star more than a Congressman.. Mr. Schock will be in Watertown Tuesday evening for one of those private fundraisers for GOP Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik. We'll see how many young Republican women there are and whether they swoon...
     If I meet him, I will ask what Anna Kooiman looks like in person. Don't want to be too issue oriented at a social event.

Aaron Schock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hochul Says Her Husband Is Staying Put

   She can go to Albany, but the hubby can't go to DC.
    Soon to be LG Kathy Hochul says her husband Bill won't be taking the job as US Attorney General, if it were offered, which it probably would not be..
US Attorney William Hochul
 
     Mr. Hochul is US Attorney for the 17 county Buffalo district, meaning the Hochuls are quite the power couple.
      The new LG will be be able to spend lots of time at home. Buffalo is what, about three hours from Albany with the SP at the wheel.
Hochul Says Her Husband Is Staying Put

Educator Shows $$$ Acumen in Skirting Taxes for Over Two Decades

   The first time this story ran I didn't pay attention as its just another school superintendent saga, but after somebody wrote an op/ed in defense of Indian Lake Superintendent Mark Brand and his teacher-in-the-same-district wife, Robin, I read the latest iteration.
    So he had these buildings in Jefferson County titled to a now defunct corporation that defaulted on a bank loan and didn't pay taxes. The bank never exercised their option due to pollution concerns and the government never took title. However, Mr. Brand continued to "own" and operate the rental properties for years without paying taxes while he moved on to a career as an educator in the remote Indian Lake District.
      Now the county says he owes $220K in taxes as the dissolution of the corporation gave him and his wife title. Also it was apparently improperly assessed for years as being a vacant commercial property, so the bill would have been higher.
      I guess the rub is not that he abandoned the property, but that he continued to rent it to this day. By the paper making a fuss, a "probe will be launched" for sure.
      These things come up from time to time when government owns the tax sale certificate but never files the deed to stay out of the chain of ownership in case the DEC comes a calling. Sometimes the taxing jurisdiction sells the certificate at auction.
      What makes this interesting is that the property "squatters" discovered a way to continue to operate it as rental property with no lien and no taxes.
       That kind of resourceful fiscal management is what a school district needs in these tough times.
Watertown Daily Times | County attorney says school chief is presumed owner of property where $220k in taxes owed

SUNY Canton Disciplines Students, Fraternity After Wild Party | WWNY

   Why is it up to a college to "discipline" students for an off-campus private party at which no arrests were made ?
    Was it because if got a lot of media and we have to continue this denial of human nature reflected in the ill-advised 21 year old drinking age ?
     Yes, of course it is.
      When I was that age we called a "wild party" by a different name. We called it 'Friday night".
SUNY Canton Disciplines Students, Fraternity After Wild Party | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Chelsea Clinton gives birth to baby girl, Charlotte | Page Six

      A new generation is born in the Clinton dynasty.  Chelsea has been blessed with a daughter, named Charlotte. That makes Hillary a grandmother.
Chelsea Clinton gives birth to baby girl, Charlotte | Page Six

Five candidates, 10 ballot lines for NY governor | Politics on the HudsonPolitics on the Hudson

   Those other two candidates for Governor are Libertarian Michael McDermott and Sapient Party candidate  Steve Cohn.
     Sapient is a word meaning 'showing great wisdom or insight.'  It isn't really a party, but will be if Mr. Cohn gets 50,000 votes.
     Governor Cuomo is running on four lines and Rob Astorino on three.
      Under New York's system of fusion voting the totals from multiple lines are added together.
Five candidates, 10 ballot lines for NY governor | Politics on the HudsonPolitics on the Hudson

Republican John Cahill Has Poll Showing Beating Schneiderman at Least Possible - NY Daily News

     The one statewide race where Republicans may have a slight hope of winning is for Attorney General with one poll showing John Cahill within striking distance in Eric Schneiderman who is little known to most New Yorkers.
    Mr. Cahill has run an aggressive ad campaign keying on Mr. Schneiderman's link to the Moreland Commission controversy.
     Mr. Schneiderman is best known in our area for his actions against Legal docs by Me, a do it yourself legal service he tried to shut down.
     One interesting thing about that case is that the Legal docs folks had to consent to a gag order and not talk about their dealings with the AG.
Republican John Cahill begrudgingly releases poll on attorney general race - NY Daily News

Friday, September 26, 2014

Assembly GOP Leader Brian Kolb defends use of GPS device - NY Daily News

    Note to Ken:  Do you really want this guy as your leader ?
Assembly GOP Leader Brian Kolb defends use of GPS device - NY Daily News

Some Odds and Ends

     The ballot for Governor will not feature Jimmy McMillan, the Rent's Too Damn High guy.. His petition was ruled invalid. There will be a Libertarian and a Sapient Party candidate but really its the main three. Cuomo, Astorino and Hawkins.  
     Those crazy new parties qualified...the Anti Common Core and Women's Equality.
      Green Howie Hawkins is in Watertown mid-week and has asked to be on the HOTLINE. Of course we will oblige.
      I am still trying to get a response from my request for the GOP Sheriff candidate as the boss is a stickler on equal time. If you don't want it , just let me know.
     

Ravitch Endorses Hawkins

    A key supporter of Zephyr Teachout has endorsed Howie Hawkins and look for a lot of those votes to go that way.

Ravitch Endorses Hawkins

Cuomo Leans Toward Third Party Candidates In Debates

       If the gubernatorial debate on TV is just Governor Cuomo and Rob Astorino, the incumbent says he would have liked other ballot qualified candidates, but the organizers just wanted two.
        The Green's Howie Hawkins should be in. He is the only candidate who could accomplish something. Mr. Cuomo is already reelected....Mr. Astorino can't win....and Mr. Hawkins could at least move the Greens up to Line C.
        I don't know who the other qualified candidates are, but the media should take a cue from the recently enlightened NNY media and include the Green, as long as he is competing actively, which Mr. Hawkins is.
Cuomo Leans Toward Third Party Candidates In Debates

Beheadings Come to America

       It's coming to a town near you.. An Oklahoma woman has been beheaded by a former co-worker who spent a lot of time trying to convert people to Islam.

Man beheads woman, stabs another after workplace argument in Oklahoma | WHNT.com

Stefanik Says Buffett Rule a Gimmick

    I like it when someone spurns the catnip, and Elise Stefanik has done just that by rejecting the warm and fuzzy rhetoric of the Buffett Rule.  Even though polls show support of the concept of ensuring bosses pay more in taxes than their secretary.  Ms. Stefanik says she opposes it because its a gimmick and that the whole tax code needs rewriting.  I smell another press conference on the steps of the Masonic Temple.

        Stefanik rallies campaign workers

WWNY Accused Student Defends Himself in Statement to TV 7

   Now we know her name is Katie and the man accused of assaulting her (not criminally) says he was left homeless and hungry when the college booted him from their shiny new dorm.

     Drama.

Bacchus, Accused In JCC Incident, Says Accusations 'Untrue' | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Let the Pancakes Be Syrupy not the Speech


      Pancakes with Elise coming up in North Bangor...That's in Franklin County....Ms Stefanik goes west next week with an event in Ogdensburg put on by Senator Ritchie....I am pondering on whether to attend..The next MOC is in Watertown next week too, probably to see her old friend Perry.
      

Dem Candidate's Film Studio Failed to Pay Taxes While Taking Subsidies to Make a Movie Criticizing Farm Subsidies | National Review Online

   Does a day go by when a story doesn't appear about Aaron Woolf's business ventures. Now it's tax warrants against his film company that made King Corn.

   They were not for big amounts, but you have to know everything is going to come out. The vetting of Mr. Woolf is getting painful to watch.

Dem Candidate's Film Studio Failed to Pay Taxes While Taking Subsidies to Make a Movie Criticizing Farm Subsidies | National Review Online

Inside Twin Peaks, America's Fastest-Growing Restaurant Chain - Businessweek

   While we open another Tim Horton's here in Watertown, a more salacious chain is growing in other markets. It's called Twin Peaks, a hamburger joint stressing female pulchritude.
     One thing skin restaurants has revealed is the extent to which a new generation of women are inked up.
Inside Twin Peaks, America's Fastest-Growing Restaurant Chain - BusinessWeek

Another Poll Has Andy in a Romp...And the Governor Likes Miley Cyrus

       Can we just stick a fork in Rob Astorino now and end this faux race for Governor.
       Another poll...this one from Siena....has Governor Cuomo winning easily, by 29 points, 56-27.
       Howie Hawkins polls at 7%....       The GOP candidate at 27 is pitiful and turnout this November could drop to under four million as New Yorkers tune out the race
        At that turnout, Mr. Hawkins' seven percent should net enough votes to move the Greens to
Line C.
        That will be the only result from this election.
        It was revealed Thursday that the Governor is a fan of Miley Cyrus.
NY State of Politics « The STATE of POLITICS blog is a running statewide conversation about NY politics – the debate and the drama, the victories and defeats. We invite you to be part of the discussion. Please share your comments on our posts or (please!) send us a news tip.

WDT: Black River Parkway a community blessing

     In all the talk of great issues, it's refreshing to see a citizen write a letter to the editor talking positively about something simple that makes their life easier.
     Comedian Ray Canale writes about Black River Parkway, the shortcut across town built in the 80s on the site of the old rail bed.
     Thanks, Ray, for saying something nice.
Watertown Daily Times | Black River Parkway a community blessing

WDT: Little Light Shed As Candidates Queried on Econmic Development

      The tough thing about these stories in which the candidates discuss the "issues" is that in a sentence or two you just get the platitudes. To the extent that is a window into the soul of the candidate, that's fine.
       Economic development presumes as true the fallacy that your next MOC is going to create jobs, solve the digital divide or transform agriculture.
        Market forces will determine what happens within the context of the regulatory environment. So if there is a $15 minimum wage, the market will adjust.
         Of course any talk of minimum wage assumes all is the same everywhere, and candidates should realize many states and some localities already are above the federal minimum wage.
         There is even talk in Albany of allowing localities some latitude in adjusting it locally rather than statewide.
          Wonder if the candidates believe in that kind of devolving of power to governments closer to the people ?
Watertown Daily Times | NY21 candidates answer economic development questions