Friday, July 25, 2014

WDT: Blood Sports Shouldn't Trump Humanity

   As Jerry Moore points out in this OP/ED, politics is a blood sport and is not bean bag.
Politics does bring out the most competitive spirit and we end up hostile towards a person we otherwise agree with.
   It's largely that politics puts so much of your psyche on the line for all to see. It puts you in line for Constitutionally protected ridicule and can leave the healthy ego needed to compete in tatters....again for all to see.
    It's the nature of the business, but the good news is people move on. I regularly run in to former opponents and it's always cordial. This week I bumped into Jeff Smith and Joe Butler. One beat me and one I prevailed over. In both cases we had a nice chat and there were lots of smiles.
      Life is really too short to work up hatreds that last more than a campaign season.
Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York.

Cuomo Gets First Newspaper Endorsement of the Season

     Governor Cuomo has received what surely will be the first of a long series of newspaper endorsements as the Amsterdam News has backed Mr. Cuomo, in part for the Governors efforts to fight corruption and hold Albany "to a higher standard."

    The Amsterdam News is a Harlem based paper.

Amsterdam News September Primary Endorsements | New York Amsterdam News: The new Black view

Teachout responds to residency challenge | Capital New York

      Governor Cuomo, through surrogates, is trying to end the primary challenge of Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout, possibly by challenging her residency. To run for Governor you have to have been a resident of the state for five years and  Mr. Cuomo's team is said to be alleging evidence Ms. Teachout lived in Vermont, something refuted by the 42 year old activist who is mounting a spirited challenge to the incumbent Governor.

Teachout responds to residency challenge | Capital New York

WDT: Tennessee Firm Buys Knowlton Technologies.

      A longtime Watertown manufacturing firm is being sold to a Tennessee based company.   Eastman Chemical Company is buying Knowlton Technologies, now based n Factory Street and long a key part of downtown and the local economy.

       The firm has been locally owned in recent years.

Watertown Daily Times | Knowlton Technologies to be sold to Eastman Chemical Co.

WDT: Defunct North Side League May be Revived at VanDuzze Street Site

        Like many civic or social clubs, the North Side Improvement League just faded away and the last group of people involved with the 104 year old club say they hope to revive the organization in a new location on VanDuzee Street.

  Watertown Daily Times | North Side Improvement League will get new home on VanDuzee St.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tea Leaves Point to Four Way Contest and an Interesting Summer and Fall

        Few know what Matt Doheny will announce Friday morning at 11 on the steps of the Agricultural Insurance Building in Watertown. The location, timing and rumor suggests he plans to stay in the race on the Indy line and use the occasion to redress the injustice he may feel the Republican Party did in spurning his bid for a seat in Congress.
Matt Doheny
     Mr. Doheny could get out and seek removal from the E line. He could stay on the ballot and not campaign. He could stay in on a marginal level, do the debates and hope to affect the result or he could go full bore, spend a lot of money in a bid to change minds and win.   
     Whatever happens, there are still two months till a judicial convention in the Bronx could offer him the legal mechanism to get off Line E.  A lot can happen by then and by then staying in may not seem like much fun.
      No matter what plays out Friday morning, the race is still between Elise Stefanik and Aaron Woolf.    

Little to co-chair Stefanik campaign

      I've been wondering when North Country elected Republicans in semi high office would get behind their candidate for Congress.  Senator Betty Little says she will campaign with Elise Stefanik and chair her efforts in the eastern counties.

      I'll leave it at that.

Little to co-chair Stefanik campaign

Post Star: East Side Pol prepared to back Doheny on Independence Party line

   In the absence of facts, speculation is always in order such as this Maury piece on a Warren County local pol named Ron Montesi who says he will support Matt Doheny for Congress on the E line should he announce tomorrow he is staying in the race.
    One theory is there is a segment of the Doheny base that will never gravitate to Republican nominee Elise Stefanik, so better they vote for Mr. Doheny than not have him on the ballot and vote for Aaron Woolf.
    You can overthink these third party scenarios.
    Montesi prepared to back Doheny on independence Party line

1,803 Local Government Employees Paid More Than Governor

   Yeah, the politicians are getting rich....overpaid, right ? 

    In New York 1,803 LOCAL government employees make more than the Governor and that doesn't count all the state employees and authority employees who make more than the $179,000 the Governor receives.

    One Suffolk County corrections officer made $414,000 last year. The Long Beach PD just about all make more than Andy.   But the headlines when he took office was he cut the Governor's pay by five thousand dollars.

     1,803 Local Government Employees Paid More Than Governor

Mystery Bust Surfaces

   A mystery has surfaced at the Flower Memorial Library where this week a mystery bust was donated from a man who says he got it as a yard sale and that it originally came from the Hotel Woodruff which was demolished in 1976.

     Who is the bust of ?  Doesn't seem to be anyone locally famous, so maybe a President....Grant ? 
Hayes ?
      Library officials are trying to find out , so help them if you can.

Here's Something We Haven't Heard Before and Would Be Very Interesting and Informative

    I can't really disagree with my friend and fellow sage Cary Brick about what should be said. I know what the media wants said, and I know what Steve Israel would like said, but there's only one thing to be said that's good for the GOP and the district.
    What I think would be fascinating is something entirely different. I have long said there is no one I have met who knows more about the ins and outs of finance, the markets, and wheeling and dealing on Wall Street (in a good sense) than Matt Doheny.
Who Better to Explain Wealth ?
     So the other night when sitting around with a fellow hack trying to make sense of Aaron Woolf's newly found disclosure of extraordinary old money wealth reported by a man who earned $15K last year, I thought the guy who could peruse the 26 pages of opulence and make sense of it all and what its really worth is Mr. Doheny.
     That would be a great topic for Matt Friday morning after he follows Cary's good advice.

Brick: Move On

   An experienced paw ('old hand' is so overused)  at NNY politics has some advice for Republican Matt Doheny on the eve of Mr. Doheny's "major" announcement concerning his Independence Party candidacy for Congress.
    Cary Brick worked for Representatives Robert McEwen, David Martin and John McHugh and from his perch in Clayton, Mr. Brick ask I relay sentiments of his first boss in these situations when defeat leaves you angry.

Early in my first year as a staffer with Rep. Bob McEwen, a  gentleman in every respect, he taught me the golden rule among his heroes in the electoral process: ‘Winners never stop giving credit to others; losers lick their wounds privately, gracefully accept the results, blame no one and move on with humility.’  Cary Brick, Clayton.
      Prevailing thought is Mr. Doheny cedes the E line and ends his 2014 bid.  His announcement comes Friday morning in front of 215 Washington Street.

WDT: Waggoner starts first week at Flower Memorial Library

   The new director of the Flower Memorial Library is on the job. Margaret Waggoner took over this week at the city's greatest treasure.
    Those of us next door look forward to working with Ms. Waggoner in the years to come.

Watertown Daily Times | Waggoner starts first week at Flower Memorial Library

WDT: Dem Sheriff Feud Could Leave Bush-a-Lot in Stronger Spot

    This Democratic primary for Sheriff will be a test of whether party leadership can determine a nominee. Then again, Democrats are the party that only can elect one of fifteen members of the County Legislature.
      So you have to figure Colleen O'Neill has the edge in the primary against Undersheriff Paul Trudeau.  Heck, Mr. Trudeau says he is the underdog and he has complained this blog shortchanges his candidacy.
       What is likely troubling for the O'Neill campaign is that this primary will leave a segment of the party not inclined to support the nominee. Mr. Trudeau is not a long time Democrat, only having registered in the party last year.
     Republicans are giddy over their prospects with John Bocciolatt running, and have already started radio ads even though the primary is still six weeks off.
Watertown Daily Times | Democrat sheriff candidates see roles differently

WDT: Assemblywoman: allegations in ethics panel scandal ‘beyond troubling’

   Just in case the Moreland woes get too close to the state's top Democrat, local Assemblywoman Addie Russell has put some distance between her and Governor Andrew Cuomo.
     Ms. Russell says the NY Times report about tampering by the Second Floor are "beyond troubling."
      The Assemblywoman has been criticized for being too reluctant to question corruption issues related to the Speaker, but perhaps she realizes there is little gain in defending Albany.
      No need to worry. If asked about the Governor's Moreland woes, her three opponents would likely respond they hope to repeal the Safe Act.
Watertown Daily Times | Assemblywoman: allegations in ethics panel scandal ‘beyond troubling’

Teachout: Cuomo Might Have to Resign Over Moreland Mess (Updated)

    The Cuomo administration and its supporters are pushing back, saying Andrew Cuomo did not attempt to pressure the Moreland Commission to stay away from probing issues sensitive to the Second Floor.
      Meanwhile, the Governor's critics, among those people who want to replace him, are suggesting a New York Times report on the topic could lead to pressure on the Governor to resign.
     That's wishful thinking on the part of Mr. Cuomo's foes. 
      It's a bump in the road for the Governor. Who do you know who is not voting for the incumbent based on the Moreland Commission ?
Teachout: Cuomo Might Have to Resign Over Moreland Mess (Updated)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Standard & Poor's upgrades New York's credit rating - NY Daily News

   The heck with the Moreland Commission, it's real world results that matter and an improved credit rating for the state is something Governor Cuomo can point to.

Standard & Poor's upgrades New York's credit rating - NY Daily News

Liz Gets New Do....

   Whether its fair or not is not the issue....women in media, politics or whatever just get more scrutiny on issues of style.
    I mean who focuses on Dicker's look ?
    I was surprised while watching Capital Tonight to see Liz has a dramatically new do. It looks great.
    Two lessons in life on the matter of women's hair. If its different, notice it and always compliment the choice.  In this case the praise is sincere.

Beware Promises of Stores We Will Never Get

        Two years ago the candidates for Congress both promised one of my callers they would bring an IHOP to Watertown....It never happened....
       So this year, if the Democrats promise a Bloomingdales in the Woolworth Building, don't believe them...
       On the other hand, last year I was musing about Watertown getting a Sonic and voila, here it is....

Hawkins: Let’s Debate Ethics

      A lot of people are talking about the Governor's bobbled relationship with his own Moreland Commission, but is it an issue that threatens the Governor...Not really...

      Today one of my regular callers who is a Democrat with all the anti-Stefanik talking points down pat, had no idea what the Commission was and said no matter the corruption, it would never dissuade him from voting for the Governor....Debate it all you want, New York....This state is reelecting Andrew Cuomo.

Hawkins: Let’s Debate Ethics

Super PACs: The Nominating Committees of the Future | Brookings Institution

    Which came first the chicken or the egg.

    Campaigns for high office are now so fought over, that the cost is way beyond the locals to fund, so it has to come from somewhere....Either outside donors, Super PACS, or self funders.
     In that sense the old days of county committees in places like Jefferson County are gone. You go where the money is. Where it's free, free, free and you get the complimentary T-shirt. County chairs and local power mavens are forced to think that way.
      It was certainly that way with Democrats this year in NNY as a trust fund self funder was given the nomination without contest or vetting. How else you gonna pay for it ?
      On the GOP side, leg work and the allegiance of the county committees did play a role, but the temptation to spend by outside interests was there, as we saw. In some instances it worked, it some areas it had the opposite effect.
       Local activists still matter as votes have to be cast. Being involved counts.
       I have been watching these high dollar races locally since 2008's Barclay-Aubertine spend-fest.
       What happened before that was incredibly perfunctory and limiting.   Races didn't cost as much but there were no serious contests. The 1980 GOP Congressional primary was about the only serious match and that was determined mostly by the fact all but one county committee supported Dave Martin. Sound familiar.   
Super PACs: The Nominating Committees of the Future | Brookings Institution

Maury Notes Location of Press Event on Friday

    With a mystery "major" announcement, media is left writing about less important things like where the Matt Doheny announcement is happening.  It's in front of the old Agricultural Insurance Building at 215 Washington Street. Mr. Doheny has a personal office there and the Elise Stefanik campaign has used an interior office for phone banking prior to the primary.
    What's interesting is that it is an outdoor announcement, on the steps of the office building. Will there be an audience or is it just a presser? I think the Ag building was chosen as Mr. Doheny's office is there and has been for some time.
     That it's a personal appearance and not a written statement shows Mr. Doheny has a message in particular to deliver. It may be what he has said was an unfair party primary or he may be announcing he is staying on the Indy line or he may announce he has agreed to take the measures necessary to get off the line.
     In any event, the announcement caps a week in which voters learned a lot more about the Democratic candidate and his enormous but previously not talked about personal wealth.
     It's a good week to be a political reporter.
NY-21 'Location, location, location'  

NJ: Committee Formed for City Hall's 50th Anniversary Celebration, Time Capsule Unveiling

      Between now and next June, there will be a lot of looking back at the fifty years City Hall has been on the corner of Washington and Sterling Streets.  The original City Hall was on Court Street.
      City Clerk Ann Saunders is heading up the blue ribbon committee to organize the observance which will include breaking open a time capsule nestled behind the cornerstone.

Committee Formed for City Hall's 50th Anniversary Celebration, Time Capsule Unveiling

Some Extra Things to Ponder for the Harvard Lass

   In addition to raising money, making appearances, articulating positions and strategizing, Republican Congressional nominee Elise Stefanik has two new things to ponder.
    One is Friday's press conference by rival Matt Doheny who will stand in front of the Ag Building in downtown Watertown to utter his first public words since losing the GOP primary last month. His announcement will be concerning the Indy line ballot spot he still occupies. What's done and said will garner news coverage, and no matter what is said will raise the primary issues about outside money.
     The other matter Ms. Stefanik must ponder is Democrat Aaron Woolf's massive wealth, now revealed in mandated federal disclosure documents. The story of a man with little actual income from working, sitting on top of a massive fortune from his heiress wife's holdings means Mr. Woolf can spend whatever it takes to win and Ms. Stefanik will have to decide what to say , if anything, about the revelations.
      You hope it gains legs in the media, but I suspect its a one day story, if that.
       If you say anything about what it all means, the press jumps you for being negative. That's especially true of a liberal candidate. Look at what happened to anyone who went after the then not-vetted Barack Obama in 2008.
       I don't have nearly as much to think about this week.  Maybe what to wear to Saturday's Seaway Festival Parade in Ogdensburg.  I certainly don't want to clash with the Senator.

Cuomo’s Office Hobbled State Ethics Inquiries -

    The issue of the year may be ethics in Albany and the disbanding of the high powered Moreland Commission by the Governor who created it.
    The NY Times reports the commission was stymied by the Second Floor, although Governor Andrew Cuomo's office denies that.
     Yesterday two rivals for the office of Governor from different parties held a joint press conference to discuss Albany's dark side.  Zephyr Teachout and Rob Astorino held the presser in NYC to discuss the one issue they agree on.
      Governor Cuomo doesn't seem to be suffering from all of this as polls have him far ahead.
Cuomo’s Office Hobbled State Ethics Inquiries -

WDT: St. Lawrence County Woman Brings Home a Pig

      The St. Lawrence County Humane Society has found a home for Sir Edward Winston, a pig who came to the shelter last winter.
       Every pot has its lid, I guess.
Sara Dawn Lamica and Her New Pet
Photo: WDT
      Sara-Dawn Lamica lives in Louisville with her other pig, a teacup named Rhemmy.

Watertown Daily Times | Sir Edward Winston the pig finds home, new friend in Louisville

Al D’Amato Calls On Astorino To Apologize

    Al D'Amato is a key GOP supporter of Governor Cuomo and the former Senator and current power broker is criticizing his own party's nominee, Rob Astorino.

    Mr Astorino faces diminishing prospects in his long shot race against the popular incumbent and appears headed for a crushing defeat.

Al D’Amato Calls On Astorino To Apologize

WDT: General Brown, Lyme central schools discuss sharing superintendent

  If General Brown and Lyme School Districts share a superintendent, that would break the long standing tenet of a superintendent every five miles throughout upstate New York. If such a practice caught on, it would lesson employment prospects for the administering class.

    Stop the madness.

Watertown Daily Times | General Brown, Lyme central schools discuss sharing superintendent

Astorino and Teachout team up to attack Cuomo on corruption | Capital New York

   This was an interesting presser as GOP Gubernatorial candidates Rob Astorino appears with Democrat Zephyr Teachout to talk about the one issue they have in common.
   Corruption in Albany. 
   When you are a long shot, you do what you can to attract attention.
   storino and Teachout team up to attack Cuomo on corruption | Capital New York

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Figuring Out the Value of the Woolf Takes More Than One Dinner

       Dinner conversation consists of many things, but tonight an operative and I were at Pete's trying to make sense of the Aaron Woolf financial statements...When we were looking at the street view photos of Bloomingdale's Third Avenue store possibly owned by the candidate and his wife, a bar staffer chimed in that she loves the iconic department store and may vote for Mr. Woolf because of his involvement.
     Mr. Woolf's grandfather in law married a Bloomingdale and reports ownership of a realty trust in his mother in laws name... You need an MBA to figure all this out...But its very interesting.
      Assessing the value of this trust is very difficult, but according to the statement it received between one million and five million dollars in income last year....And that's just a part of th 26 pages of investments listed.
     Surely there are other people with a piece of the realty trust named for the Third Avenue address of the store. But given the reported income stream,who knows ?
     As for the famous department store chain itself, that is owned by Macy's, a publicly traded company.

Former Mayor/Governor Cited for Speeding in Wasilla

      Saying she was "qualifying" and not speeding, Sarah Palin was cited by her own peeps in Wasilla.....This will be the lead on MSNBC for sure.

Sarah Palin caught speeding in Alaska | OnPolitics

Doheny to make campaign announcement on Friday

    The Post Star reported earlier today that Independence Party Congressional candidate Matt Doheny was in discussions on his withdrawal from the E line, but the candidate through his spokesperson denies that and says an announcement on the future of the Doheny bid will come Friday.
     Mr. Doheny lost the GOP primary last month to Elise Stefanik, and has remained quiet since June 24.
It could be arranged for him to get off the E line and NYS Chair Frank MacKay could fill the line.
      This is really no different than four years ago when Rick Lazio lost the GOP nomination for Governor to Crazy Carl.  Mr. Lazio had the C line and they got him off by arranging for a judicial nomination in a jurisdiction he couldn't  win, like the Bronx.
      It's usually done quietly and no one knows, although in the simpler politics of NNY this is seldom done.
      If Mr. Doheny decides to stay in, he would remain a factor as he has hard core supporters throughout the district, but all his previous statements have revolved around allegiance to Republicanism.
      Guess we wait till Friday.
Doheny to make campaign announcement on Friday

NY21 Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello gears up for general election - Adirondack Journal

     For those looking for one of us but can't bring yourself to vote Republican, there's Green Party candidate for Congress, Matt Funiciello.
    Mr Funiciello owns his own bakery so he is a small business owner, signs paychecks and puts up with all the taxation and regulation. Yet he embraces a progressive agenda and wants an end to corporate welfare.
    Mr. Funiciello will be in Watertown on August 6 to visit the Farmers Market, do a couple of radio shows and hold a meet and greet at the Pearl Street Pub.
  NY21 Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello gears up for general election - Adirondack Journal

Bill’s secret ‘mistress,’ the ‘Energizer’ | Page Six

      With his wife readying a run for the White House, word is Bill Clinton has a buxom, blonde mistress nicknamed "the Energizer" by Secret Service agents assigned to the former President's Chappaqua home.

       She is described in a new book out soon and its said she often would bring cookies to the agents when she was admitted to the Westchester County home.

       Let Bill be Bill !

Bill’s secret ‘mistress,’ the ‘Energizer’ | Page Six

Jennings Briefs City Council on Rental Registration, Proposal Likely by Fall

   This morning about nine o'clock while in the office at City Hall, a man came in to gripe about Councilman Stephen Jennings and his plans to introduce a rental registration ordinance.

    The same thing happened yesterday. In both cases I fielded the complaints and assured the men nothing had happened yet and there will be plenty of time for public comment.

Jennings Briefs City Council on Rental Registration, Proposal Likely by Fall

Chris Christie Dismisses Astorino: as a "lost cause” -

       Sometimes blunt is what's needed and Republican Governors Association head Chris Christie of New Jersey said it best concerning the flagging candidacy of Rob Astorino against Governor Andrew Cuomo.
     We don't "invest in lost causes."   Game, set, match.
     Rob Astorino should have enjoyed the afterglow of his reelection as Westchester County Executive.  Zephyr has a better shot at moving in on Eagle Street than Mr. Astorino......
     Andrew Cuomo will be governor for four more years.
Chris Christie on rob Astorino: RGA won’t “invest in lost causes” -

WDT: $56M Lottery Winner Passes at Age 75

    A Watertown man who won one of the largest Lottery prizes ever and donated to local churches has died. Garry McGivney purchased the winning ticket at Gold Star Deli on Arsenal Street. Mr. McGivney was a former Department of Labor employee.
    The $56 M  prize was won in the summer of 2005.  Mr. McGivney was a Malone native.

Watertown Daily Times | Garry T. McGivney

WDT: Woolf Really Is Worth a Boatload

   Tamp it day newspaper story..keep it off TV problem....had to come out sooner or MCM and the JCC prof and get them back on Rove, Rove, Rove.....
    So the chatter likely went in Elizabethtown this morning as Democrat Aaron Woolf's massive wealth and connections to big tobacco came out in the Watertown Daily Times....Front page no less.
     Now we know why Dems were so enamored with a stranger who walked into their lives last winter.
Carolyn and Aaron Woolf at a Charity Event in NYC
      A potential self funder for Congress.....That was what many Republicans liked in Matt Doheny the last four cycles but this time went with the more modest balance sheet of Elise Stefanik.
      Now its Dems intoxicated by the prospect of a candidate who will do it all for them.
      The funny quote in the Times is from the Woolf campaign that the listing of all his wealth in a federal filing was part of the candidate's commitment to transparency.
      No, it's obeying the law, and these aspects of his life were kept under wraps until the report trickled out over the weekend.
        The fact is we know little about Aaron Woolf...We found out something today.
Watertown Daily Times | Financial disclosure reports reveal personal assets of Democratic candidate Aaron Woolf

Buffalo Teachers Federation Backs Zephyr Teachout for Governor - Time Warner Cable News

    While the Governor's political minions try to get her tossed from the ballot, candidate Zephyr Teachout was in Buffalo last night picking up the backing of the Buffalo Teachers Federation. That's a setback for Andrew Cuomo who has courted western NY with a pot of money for Buffalo and the designation of Kathy Hochul as his running mate.

      Ms. Teachout, a Fordham law professor and former Howard Dean supporter, says the Governor has abandoned what she sees as traditional Democratic Party issues like education funding.
      Ms. Teachout face a steep climb in trying to beat Mr. Cuomo who is still polling very well and is slathered in campaign cash.
      The likely Cuomo strategy towards Ms. Teachout would be to ignore her publicly while pestering her with legal challenges.
Buffalo Teachers Federation Backs Zephyr Teachout for Governor - Time Warner Cable News

Court rules it's 'reasonable use of force' for parents to spank their kids - NY Daily News

     A New York State court has ruled that spanking is a reasonable form of punishment for a child but it today's world where you can be arrested or sued at the drop of a hat, you still may want to consult counsel before paddling the little darling.
     Somehow a Long Island man ended up in the court battle after he spanked his kid for cursing at a party. The child should be thankful someone cared enough to curb his behavior.
Court rules it's 'reasonable use of force' for parents to spank their kids - NY Daily News

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mayor Pulls Parade Duty With Patty This Weekend

   My good friend and State Senator Patty Ritchie and I will be marching in the Seaway Festival Parade in Ogdensburg this Saturday.
    I am looking forward to seeing all my friends in the Maple City where I have visited many times over the years.
    From the days of hanging out with John Moore at the Sly Fox, to the many times I have covered news stories there or attended political events, Ogdensburg has always been my favorite community in the Big County.

Teachout: Women Don’t Need A ‘Party’

       Governor Cuomo's people have filed general objections to the nominating petitions of Zephyr Teachout....Really....what does the immensely popular Governor have to worry about ?
      What was refreshing was Ms Teachout debunking the ill advised proposal from the Governor to circulate for a new political party dedicated to women's issues. The notion is as bad as Rob Astorino's plan to seek a ballot line for a party against Common Core.
     The Governor needs only to fog a mirror the next four months to win. He has too many advisors and too much money to spend.
       Teachout: Women Don’t Need A ‘Party’

Zephyr Heads to Queen City (Buffalo)

    Although the women's suffrage movement began in Seneca Falls, NY, New York is not one of 23 states to ever have had a woman Governor.....This year it would be a long shot for Zephyr Teachout to topple Andrew Cuomo on a Democratic primary.
    Ms . Teachout was in Buffalo today and she has support among progressives and labor.
    She cannot win as just the state employees alone voting for Mr Cuomo would carry a primary, but I was talking to a local activist for Zephyr who says she will try to get her to visit Watertown.

Could New York Elect Its First Female Governor in 2014? |

City Hall Readies for Anniversary

   City Hall has been there fifty years as the building was constructed throughout  1964 and open for business in June ,1965 when the cornerstone, including a time capsule was laid.
       Tonight I announced plans to commemorate the event and the City Clerk has graciously volunteered to orchestrate the event for next June when we will open the capsule and place new items in it for those in 2064 to find.
      The current City Hall replaced one on Court Street.
       Mayor John Galvin opened the new one.
       Also at tonights Council meeting, we got an update on Councilman Stephen Jennings rental registration proposal which he says will be proposed in the fall.

How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You....I Am Not a Journalist !

    I had a call on the HOTLINE today from Undersheriff Paul Trudeau.....He of the "posse" fame.
    Mr. Trudeau complained I don't cover his campaign enough. Funny, I thought I was being fair to everyone, but let's make one thing clear.
    I am not a journalist. I am a politician who publishes a blog to advance my views and causes I like. I find that giving publicity to all candidates helps attract readers and I enjoy helping the underdog on occasion. (Like Zephyr)
    But let's be clear, I am not here to be "fair and balanced" and I don't adhere to the nostrum that if you have coverage of one candidate you have to cover the other one the same day.
   There are real journalists in this town. Perry White at the Times...Steve Smith at Newzjunky...Scott Atkinson at WWNY....They are the gatekeepers who decide what you need to know.
    I operate on the fringes, and my goal is to offer my perspective based on years in politics and to advance the interests of the City of Watertown.  Beyond that, I don't give a hoot.

Under the Tent and Now on to the Stage...The Society Side of Aaron Woolf

  With the primary over, focus turns to Democrat Aaron Woolf  and what he is all about and who he is. Remember, Mr. Woolf has said he never visited Watertown until March of this year, so we have a lot of learning to do, and frankly the same has been true of Elise Stefanik, but by my accounts she has worked hard to become known here.
   I was looking at the circles Mr.Woolf travels in like the Mount Sinai Ball , a charity event raising $3.7 M
Nothing wrong with that, but it appears his now revealed personal wealth and he and his wife's social connections paint a far different picture than the 'mountain Democrat' image shopped by his party.
    Sophistication and good breeding and connections can lead to effective representation, but I wonder if a seat in Congress is a means to different ends, especially for someone with no prior involvement in politics and public policy.
     Other Democrats who are wealthy and socially connected like Secretary of State John Kerry had long records in public life to build on.
Under the tent and on the stage

Clearance Hats, Caps and Apparel-JETS

    The Jets are having a 50% clearance blowout sale and pre season hasn't even started.  That's a bad omen.....Surely Rex has a plan.

Clearance Hats, Caps and Apparel

Construction projects prelude donations for Cuomo | New York Post

   In fashion, you can never be too thin and in politics you can never have enough money. It's the security blanket and the sense of validation for what you think is a job well done.
   The Post reports Governor Cuomo is poised for a good fundraising season ahead to build on his more than adequate $33M war chest.
    Construction projects prelude donations for Cuomo | New York Post

Pennies (Lots of Them) from Heaven for NNY Broadcasters As Its Official...This Will Be a Spending Spree

   For television, Internet and to a lesser extent print outlets, the spring GOP primary was gravy as political ad revenue normally wouldn't come that time of year.
   Now, ad executives have to be salivating over the financial filing of Democrat Aaron Woolf. Not just because of the personal wealth, but its clear he has the resources himself along with money he can raise, DCCC cash and third party PACs. 
    The image of an accomplished, wealthy man wanting to take a try at Congress shows a willingness to spend what it takes.
    Over on the GOP, Elise Stefanik has already shown a knowledge of how fundraising works and she too will have national and third party help as well.
     It's official then. The NY21 race will be an advertising windfall;
     I just hope they throw a little to radio.

Who Is Aaron Woolf ? Report Reveals Wealth and Book Shows Ties to Cigar Fortune

   Getting to know Democrat Aaron Woolf hasn't been that easy since his emergence on the scene in January after the retirement announcement of Rep. Bill Owens.
    At first attention was focused on his career as a documentary film maker and owner of a Brooklyn health food store.
     Now financial disclosures mandated by the House of Representatives reveal an enormous personal wealth consuming page after page of listings of stocks, bonds and other holdings.
 That brings into focus the candidate's wife, the former Carolyn Sicher, who was introduced to her husband by filmmaker Sam Cullman, who like Ms. Sicher was an heir to the Cullman family business, which began manufacturing cigars in 1906 and later grew to General Cigar Corporation, makers of Garcia & Vega, Tiparillos and other well known brands.  The two married in 2009.

     Mrs. Woolf is a very well educated and accomplished woman , receiving her doctorate in psychology from George Washington University before landing a job in child psychology at prestigious Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC,
      According to the book "Cigars and Other Passions: The Biography of Edgar Cullman", Carolyn and husband Aaron built a home upstate during a six month hiatus she took from her job. The two also for a time owned a $4.5M home in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.
Cigars and Other Passions: The Biography of Edgar M. Cullman
     The pair are described as being interested in rock climbing, mountaineering, travel and cooking. They also are described as interested in increasing public access to fresh produce and humanely raised meat.
The Woolfs March in Parade Saturday in Elizabethtown
      It would be nice, if at some point the Democratic Party would allow folks to meet its candidate rather than having to paw through public documents like the rarely looked at House financial disclosures.
      I met Mr. Woolf some weeks ago and found him engaging and sincere, but we are electing a Member of Congress and in such a fragmented area when it comes to media, we are just not learning a lot about him.
    We did learn about the GOP candidates during their recent primary, but for now Mr. Woolf is an enigma to all except those party insiders who sing his praises.

History of General Cigar Holdings, Inc. – FundingUniverse

Florida’s CFO accusing Cuomo of running deceptive tax ads | New York Post

    New York's StartUp NY ad campaign has drawn some fire from the Sunshine State where the state's comptroller has labeled the ads deceptive and Governor Cuomo a "huckster."

Florida’s CFO accusing Cuomo of running deceptive tax ads | New York Post

Siena: Cuomo Retains Big Lead as Astorino Fails to Gain Traction

     Another poll is out showing Governor Andrew Cuomo a shoo-in for a second term, sporting a 37 point lead among likely voters over Rob Astorino in the new Siena Poll.
     The Governor's 60-23 edge suggests the Republican is making no impact so far and with commercials already running, ripping him already on the air, its hard to imagine a breakthrough. Last night Democrats put out a story claiming Mr. Astorino had ancestral ties to the Genovese crime family, and while mainstream media hasn't carried the claim, it shows how serious Mr. Cuomo is in fending off his challenger.
     OK, Siena may be the Democrats pet rock in polling and a lot can still happen, but its really hard to imagine Mr. Cuomo losing this.
Voters back Cuomo; split on Common Core and hydrofracking: Siena Poll - NY Daily News

WDT: Landlord Registration Vote Will Come, When There Is Something to Vote On

    This editorial is not a surprise, and its meant to push City Council into a rental inspection program for the City (not the County).  Having attended a meeting of Councilman Stephen Jennings ad hoc committee on the subject, I got a good understanding of the arguments and concerns on both sides.
    We conducted an interesting conference call with officials
from Buffalo, where such a program has been in place and we heard reservations from the City Engineer and respected local property manager John Doldo III.
     The devil to anything is always in the details, and how onerous a law becomes to property owners.
      I will wait to see what Councilman Jennings proposes and there will be ample opportunity for public comment. That's the process.
     I have two rental units on my Pearl Street property.  I just thought I'd reveal that in the public interest. If I ever moved out of the house on my property, I would rent that too, then I would have three units, but for now I only have two.
Watertown Daily Times | Get off the fence: City should start registering and inspecting rental properties

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Astorino to Cuomo: Halt 'Open for Business' ads

    Republican Rob Astorino has joined in on the criticism of Governor Cuomo's StartUp NY and Open for Business ad campaign. Mr. Astorino says its a swindle just used to promote the Governor's image.

   The business recruitment effort, which promises no taxes for ten years has also been criticized on the left for being just more corporate largesse.

Astorino to Cuomo: Halt 'Open for Business' ads

Because MOC is a Big Deal, I Am Told You Do Have a Right to Know

     When I was looking through the pages and pages of stock, bond and hedge fund holdings of Aaron Woolf that show up on his House-mandated disclosure form, my first question is why is that my business.?
         After all, I am in office and don't have to reveal to the Times or Newzjunky my personal finances.
       An expert in such things told me this morning that because being one of 435 MOC's  is a big deal, the bar is set higher as far as the public's right to know."Unfrigginbelievable" is how this expert veteran of DC politics described the Woolf filing to me.
The Woolf Pack with Candidate Saturday in E-Town
    So now that I am informed it is my business, all I can say is wow !
     I never heard any stories of all this wealth from the Pete's Democrats who tout his candidacy and with justification now say he can win NY 21.  I never heard about General Cigar Company.
      I was impressed last year with Elise Stefanik's associations and I know you need some of that to win.  She seems to come from a nice family who surely did help her out
      But the scope of Mr. Woolf's financial holdings make Ms. Stefanik's much talked about DC townhouse the equivalent of a hunting camp in the Town of Watson.
      Like the Kennedy's and the Roosevelt's we often respect those who have much and are willing to serve. After all, Mayor Bloomberg didn't do those 12 years for the paycheck.
     But this filing was a bit of a shocker to me. I can't wait for Mr. Woolf to come on the HOTLINE so I can ask him about it and get some perspective.
525 W. 22nd Street, Unit: 2D, Chelsea, New York 10011 | Manhattan

Being Seen With People in Cell Phone Photos Can Lead to Criticism by the Political Class

    So when someone wants to take a picture with you should you let them....or if you run into someone of the other party, should you not play nice and shake their hand for fear a camera is nearby.
    So it is in partisan politics where yesterday at the Can-Am festival candidates and elected officials were in lose proximity and cell phones abound. On my way into the grounds two candidates wanted to pose with me, which I obliged because I don't give a damn and don't have a party chair to answer to.
    The only thing such pictures say to me is I need to lose a few and should have started on Rogaine years ago.   I was talking to a GOP elder who was very critical of Elise Stefanik for shaking hands with Sheriff candidate Colleen O'Neill who is of the opposite party. The photo occurred at the end of the parade and I believe Elise also shook the hand of Colleen's dad, the former Sheriff Al O'Neill. I thought it was a nice gesture by both.
 Of course it only matter as I was there and snapped a picture. It was not an "arm around each other" photo so I don't think is rises to the level of political heresy.   

Are You Nosy ?....There's a Site to View Personal Finance Disclosures and the Search is Fascinating.

   I don't know how much of a fan I am of candidate disclosures of personal finance, but it's required for candidates for Congress, so I was a little nosy and checked it  out for the two principle candidates in NY21.


    I am fairly astute at such things but what I found was interesting. Not that extraordinary wealth is a bad thing, but it makes you wonder sometimes what the agendas are and where it came from.
    On the other end, is a more modest income a sign of something as well ?
     You can check it out.

WDT: Ontario shark tale takes another bite out of Internet credibility

    Long before there was the Internet , or it's evil twin, television, people were willing to buy into hyperbole and lies spread in many ways.....
     There are always tales to be told and falsehoods to be spread for whatever reason.  A lot of time it's to make money, or have fun....or more likely to control people. Government and religion like to do that.
     The Internet is a handy thing, more often used to settle arguments over facts than not.
      As for the shark story, things like the Cardiff Giant or the Spezzano wedding hoax have happened without the world wide web.
       What the Internet can lack is accountability because of its frequent anonymity.
        Skepticism and its partner paranoia are not bad things to have in any time.
Watertown Daily Times | Ontario shark tale takes another bite out of Internet credibility

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Canine Conundrum

     This afternoon when I got back from a ride to Carthage, I noticed a cat in my neighbors back yard watching what appeared to be a dead or very sick cat next to it.  Turns out it was a dog. A pug barely able to move and clearly old.
    My bartender and I couldn't figure out what to do as at that time of day on a Saturday, there is no dog warden and it clearly looked like the dog wouldn't survive. Diana tried standing it up and it wouldn't take water.
    No vets around then and so we were looking into alternative ways to put the animal down when a van pulled in the lot and two people got out and scooped up the frail animal saying it had wandered from their house and was nearly 18 years old. It didn't seem to add up , but it was a solution.
    The whole incident was unsettling and I don't feel good about the dogs prospects, but when that kind of suffering is playing out in view and there is no one to call, you are sickened at the prospect of just leaving it there.

Me ? Not an Indy ?

   I heard something today I can't readily confirm but it sounded fascinating, so I will put it out there. As you know the GOP is challenging the Indy nominating petition of Colleen O'Neill.
    I was told today the Republicans are objecting to my signature on the grounds I am not a member of the Independence Party.  I hadn't heard that before. Been a member since 1995, again this is a rumor suitable only for the lower journalistic standard of a blog.
    One thing is for sure, the Sheriff race will be intense, with partisans lining up, and everybody trying to claim to be the better cop.  Cop or not , it's the first person to articulate a plan for the department and a response to the well publicized issues at the PSB. Also the lack of rapport with the County Building will be an issue.
    I can see already, emotions are high.

Tracker Stalks Your Mayor While Helping Out a Friend....How Low is That ?

      You know I have some residual popularity from when I briefly lived in Sackets in the 80s, so when Anthony from the Elise campaign asked me to walk with her , I was more than happy to help. Little did I realize I would be stalked.
    .For the entire Can-Am Parade route in Sackets Harbor today there was an earnest looking young man named Rob taping the walking, talking and hand shaking of Elise Stefanik, and darn if he didn't get lots of video of me too.
All because I was lured into the sordid world of politics by all those fresh, new conservative ideas. I'm telling you Steve Israel, June O'Neill and the DCCC crowd must lead quiet lives if they think this stuff is interesting....
Really, I Just Like to Campaign...And Are Those Colors Coordinated or What ?
     But it was fun to return to Sackets and meet lots of friends. And for Ms. Stefanik it was fun too, meeting all those nice people who surely will vote for her in November when she faces multi-millionaire (more on that later)  Aaron Woolf.
Elise Works the Crowd in Sackets
       This is one of these stories when you are writing it , you realize you have more good photos than things to say. But as an experienced wordsmith, here goes....Not daunted by party, Elise and I trekked to the front porch of Dr. Bob Johnson, the Democratic Congressional candidate in2006-08.  Doc, remember who came to see you !
Stefanik talks Obamacare with Dr. Bob Johnson
       Ms. Stefanik also visited a local farm where she petted the goats.  I did see some disturbing images on the parade route.
Branded by the Woolf
      But there were positive images too as two bright, strong women running for office met. It was impromptu but a local Republican poobah immediately condemned the fraternization....Jeez....
       This sounds terrible...but I really enjoyed politicking in Sackets today, and while I don't have to run till next year, it was a lot of fun to play politics in the off year. Thanks Elise !

                                         Photos not copyrighted, so trackers, help your self !

Zephyr: ‘Cuomo’s Albany Is Structurally Corrupt’

   This whole Moreland Commission disbanding by the Governor who appointed it is a solid issue for whoever can articulate what it means. Rob Astorino has tried, now it's Zephyr's turn.

Teachout: ‘Cuomo’s Albany Is Structurally Corrupt’

Sonic Brass Predicts "Crazy Busy" Opening to Watertown Restaurant on August 2- WWNY TV 7

    Hard player....motivated....That's what any employer wants and that's what the Sonic restaurant is looking for as they scramble to meet an August 2 target date for opening.
   Sonic is taking applications and look for the store to be "crazy busy" when it opens.
Sonic Drive-In Looks To Hire 150 Workers | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: Volunteers to Work on Downtown Cleanup Today

    Kudos to publicly spirited volunteers who are out this morning helping to clean up sections of downtown along the Black River.

     Watertown Daily Times | Cleanup to be held today in J.B. Wise parking lot

WDT: Why is sales tax down?

     There is always a lot of talk about property taxes, but sales tax is for most local governments here a far larger source of revenue and when it doesn't meet expectations it can be made up for in three ways.
     Increasing the property tax levy....using reserve funds.....or cutting expenses.  
      Sales tax is a little more volatile than property taxes, which are fixed and secured by the value of the property and the fact if not paid the government will take the property.
       Currently, sales tax is performing slightly under expectations, but that's the system that has evolved and generally over the past forty years, sales tax has been a steady and increasing revenue stream.
      The difference being, when sales tax revenue goes up due to inflation or increased retail activity, there's no headline. Property taxes are a different story.
Watertown Daily Times | Why is sales tax down?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Stefanik Throws a Strike

    Having spent the day reviewing infamous first pitches, including 50 Cents toss this year, I was nervous about the prospects for newly minted GOP Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik at the Rams game tonight at the Duffy Fairgrounds.
   Ms. Stefanik was to toss out the ball and ventured to the mound and I crouched behind the catcher to take a photo....It all happened so fast and I was trying to squeeze off some shots when I heard the sound of the ball hitting the mitt.....Relief, and like the debates and the primary another milestone negotiated by the candidate.

         It was a wonderful night at the ball park and I joined the candidate and her staff in the stands for six innings until I scooted over to Petes. 
        Anyway we caught up on politics and other things as I hadn't talked to her since post primary.    It's seemingly been quiet in the race since June 24th although there's a lot of behind the scenes things going on.
       We were told challenger Aaron Woolf plans to throw out a pitch soon....We will watch with interest if he posts photos.

Zephyr: Andy's a Closet Right Winger

    In a sign of the differences of opinion in New York politics, the woman challenging Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination for Governor calls Mr. Cuomo a "closet right winger."
Zephyr Teachout
     This seems a common chant among progressives and 42 year old Zephyr Teachout is their mouthpiece, at least till September 9 when she likely succumbs to the inevitability of Andrew.
        But for now , it's fun to watch the former Howard Dean staffer have fun putting the Governor between a rock and hard place.
        Funny, most Cuomo critics upstate call him a closet liberal, or worse.
Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu’s bid against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: A challenge from the left.

Woolf Opens His Den in Warren County

    With his principle opponent throwing out a first pitch, Democrat Aaron Woolf this week opened his campaign office in Glens Falls...   Mayor Jack Diamond helped open the den as members of the Woolf Pack gathered.
Woolf HQ in Glens Falls
       With Elise Stefanik in Watertown this evening, it will be interesting to get her read on the second half of the race. This is her first visit out west since the primary.

A Lot Rides on a Toss of the Horsehide

   For over a year, Elise Stefanik has been making her pitch to voters, but this evening she actually has to throw a baseball as she delivers the first pitch at the Rams game.
    This is high anxiety for the behind the scenes types. If the ball makes the catcher's glove it's not news, but if it sails to the backstop or even worse is a replay of 50 Cent at the Mets game this year....Whoahh....
     That would be manna from Heaven for some.
      I have done first pitches and it's not easy. You can stand on the sidelines and play catch all day, but when in front of the crowd you try to finesse the throw and that's where the trouble starts.
      Of course, I think it's tougher as a guy, where so much of your machismo is on the line...or so you think.
     For a woman, I don't know. What's the worst the media can say ? "She throws like a girl."  

GOP Says It Has the Goods on Indy Sigs

   Republicans have filed specific objections to the Independence Party nominating petitions of Sheriff candidate Colleen O'Neill. A hearing will be held next week.
    Ms. O'Neill had the party authorization to run on the E line, but her petition had only 18 signatures over the required number, prompting GOP Chair Don Coon and company to smell blood in the water.
   If successful, the challenge would leave the E line blank. No great loss, really.

News Boss Lambastes Your Humble Blogger

     One of the long time gatekeepers for what you hear, see and read has fired back, questioning my ability to be a media critic when I also support a candidate. In a response to a story about TV profiting off political money they decry, Scott Atkinson of WWNY said this:

"Finally, not for nothing, but your position as Watertown's own ex-reporter turned media critic is somewhat undermined by your current bout of advocacy in the race for Congress. When you take off after us, who is speaking - the Jeff Graham who has a fair eye on the foibles of the press or the Jeff Graham who's trying to push back against stories that might not reflect all that well on his candidate?"
Rare Photo of Scott Atkinson

     Scotty is  great guy and I have known him for years since we worked together in the golden days of local TV news.
    Here's the deal Scott, when you get to be our age you are an expert in something. I have had the experience of dabbling in politics at different levels and get how the system works. I also know the media and in particular am familiar with the M.O. of local media mandarins (not hyenas).
    Somebody has to speak truth to power and in many ways I am as flawed as others in that regard. I know first hand the wrath the city's two major megaphones can rain down if provoked, but at some level I like to do my part to point out the duplicity of the system. I often moderate my views to reflect deference to power as well as the position I am honored to hold.
     What it comes down to is this, the broadcast media has been a willing partner in allowing the discourse on races to be in the arena of ads, regardless of who pays for them. That's a fact in my mind and I won't back down.
     As for my support of a candidate, I don't recall seeing any coverage of it, so I assume its not true. Besides, somebody has to counter the newsroom lobbying of the guy from Senator Griffo's office.

WDT: County Uses Former Utica Democratic MOC to Badger DA

    SLC DA Mary Rain says a judge's order is too broad and not well written when it forbids the elected DA from pursuing grand jury proceedings.
    The County is using former Democratic Congressman Michael Arcuri to rein in the GOP DA. Mr. Arcuri works for the expensive Syracuse law firm that secured the judge's order.
Watertown Daily Times | Rain says judge’s order too broad and ‘inartfully written’

Finley Was Behind the OTB Petition/ GOP Returns the Favor

    I was right on the filing of the OTB petition for the Republican nomination in AD 116. It was Russ Finley who was behind it. Mr. Finley is the likely Conservative Party nominee to run against Assemblywoman Addie Russell. Mr. Finley is attempting to secure the Republican line although GOP insiders are backing the candidacy of John Byrne, a Cape Vincent town  councilman who also has another GOP opponent in John Humphrey.   Not to be outdone, GOP operatives have apparently filed an OTB for the Conservative line providing the means for Mr. Byrne to get on that line.
Conservative Candidate Russ Finley
     Mr. Finley says he got the opportunity to ballot petition together with the help of his mom and two 80 year old aunts.
     An OTB allows for a write in primary and is a way around an out of party candidate having to get a Wilson Pakula from party brass.
      The OTB would be needed to force a primary if one of the two petitioned GOP candidates was kicked off and the effort by Mr. Finley is supposed to garner publicity.
      I heard there was a challenge to Mr. Byrne's petition, but unless you are down there its hard to follow all the goings on at the state BOE.
      By the way, I have to check on those Indy petitions for Jefferson County Sheriff. I don't know if the GOP ever did submit specific objections to Colleen O'Neill's petition.
The former Trooper had received the party authorization to run last Saturday.

WDT: A single-issue election?

      In this analysis, the WDT wonders if Common Core educational standards can become the single silver-bullet issue allowing Rob Astorino to pull off an upset win over Governor Andrew Cuomo.
     The Astorino campaign is trying to grab another line on the ballot and create a new minor party linked solely to that issue.
      Common Core has sparked controversy but no single issue can chase Mr. Cuomo from office.  Common Core, guns, fracking, Moreland, corporate cronyism....they are all issues that are legitimate but of the four million people who will vote in November, most are frozen in amber.
      Plus Mr. Cuomo has his talking points, including getting on-time budgets, some pension reform, SSM and the Governor has stayed in NY and not played on the national stage like some neighboring governors.
      There will be a little drama here and there and at some point a poll will show the race closing and that will produce a little excitement. But in the end, Andrew Cuomo has too many Democratic votes already baked in the cake to lose.
       Assuming the Governor doesn't get chewed up by his primary against Zephyr Teachout, it's hard to imagine Mr. Astorino gaining that much ground on Common Core.
Watertown Daily Times | A single-issue election?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

House Democratic leadership boosts Woolf campaign fund

    Outside money in to NY 21...Not from Rove, but from Pelosi and the Democratic leadership in the House....A bad thing ?  Not necessarily, just the way it is.

     Maury over at the Post Star takes an interest in this stuff.

House Democratic leadership boosts Woolf campaign fund

Here We Go Again, The Prime Benefactor Decries Big Money | WWNY TV 7

       Remember the golden days of NNY politics. Those commercials with Nortz, McHugh and Martin sitting around a table nodding at each other in approval. They were the North Country Republican Team. They always got reelected, because there was no competition.
     Oh the Dems might throw up a Rose Ward, but that was about the extent of it.
      Now the media (the ones who openly eschew covering politics and declare they are not there to promote politicians) continues to carry on about big money.
      We lost that virginity long ago, but the real acceleration came in Barclay-Aubertine in 2008. It's been going on ever since, and one of the prime benefactors has been WWNY-TV 7.
        It's time my friends on Arcade Street came clean about their stake in big spending campaigns.

        And while I am sure Professor Petersen is a great guy, his slant is clear and he is not gospel to us all.
        What I find fascinating is the lack of interest in all those $2600 checks written by people from all over the country. There is only one $2600 contributor so far this year from Jefferson County.
        Could Dr. Petersen tell us who it is ? Could the MSM ?   I can, and its the abdication of involvement by a North Country content to have someone else pay for everything that is of concern.
         Now if we could just go back to the days of Tony Malara when WWNY was on the Ottawa cable system....That was a time when you really could eschew all that big money, and be a little bit credible. Terrible thing having a good memory.

Local Politics & Big Money - What Does It All Mean? | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

WDT: Stefanik to throw out first pitch at Watertown Rams game Friday/ Funiciello to Visit Watertown

       Elise Stefanik will test out her arm Friday night by throwing out the first pitch at the Ram's game.
Pitch Woolf low and outside...He chases a lot of bad pitches.
      Also, Green Matt Funiciello will be in Watertown August 6. He will tour the Farmer's Market and appear on the HOTLINE and Live at Five.
        Mr. Funiciello will also host a meet and greet that evening at the Pearl Street Pub.  We will be covering our sign for a couple of hours, but I am sure Elise understands...Surely she doesn't only sell plywood to Republicans.     

Watertown Daily Times | Stefanik to throw out first pitch at Watertown Rams game Friday

Buying from Billy Always a Pleasure !

   Had a great buying experience this morning at FX Harley-Honda in Adams Center as I traded by 125cc Yamaha for a Honda Forza.   Great bike and my salesman Dave was great as was Rob Hennegan and the girls at the counter.  One of them, Jo, presented me with my key.
Jo Hands over the Key
        FX Caprara Harley has an amazing selection of bikes, ATVs, snowmobiles and other recreational vehicles. Stop in today.

Stefanik in WDT: I Will Protect Fort Drum

    If I had known Elise Stefanik already had an OP/ED on Fort Drum in the queue this week, I would have saved my tome from the other day to a later date....But even if inadvertent, a little tag teaming never hurts.

Stefanik Talks to Supporters Last Month
      Ms. Stefanik's well written and thoughtful treatise on Drum is evidence of why she will be an excellent representative.  Like I said before, understanding policy and process matters.
      Winning over the skeptical and fearful is a process, not an epiphany, but thoughtful and detailed writings like this will move the ball.

Watertown Daily Times | I will fight for Fort Drum

Maziarz leaving office with $1.1 million in campaign fund - The Buffalo News

   A western NY Senator who surprised many by announcing he would not seek reelection is not quitting for lack of campaign cash. Sen. George Maziarz has $1.1M in his war chest for what is always a safe seat. The Senator is being probed for campaign finance law violations and will be able to use those funds for legal defense.

   Maziarz leaving office with $1.1 million in campaign fund - City & Region - The Buffalo News

WDT: Jennings Pushes for Landlord Registration

    Once again a landlord registration program is being debated in the City with newly minted Councilman Stephen Jennings pledging to introduce a proposal that would require owners of one and two unit rentals to be on file, but face no inspections as are done now for properties with three or more units.
Councilman Stephen Jennings
    Advocate of such a program argue it creates accountability in the rental market and that there is a need to know where rentals are and who owns them.
     Property owners like John Doldo Junior argue its a pointless addition to government bureaucracy and that such data is or should be available from the Assessor's office.
     Mr. Jennings has chaired an ad hoc panel looking at the issue and the group held a conference call yesterday with those running a registration program in Buffalo.
     As with most things in life, the devil will be in the details.
     One thing is for sure, Watertown looks better than it has in years and many property owners are doing a great job.
     I attended yesterday's meeting and found the arguments on all sides interesting.
Watertown Daily Times | Jennings, Committee endorse landlord rental registration program

Campaigns Continue Summer Pace

    Congressional candidates are out and about, with a photo on Facebook today of Aaron Woolf in rustic Hamilton County. Meanwhile Elise Stefanik makes her first western tour since the primary with a visit to a Rams game on Friday and a parade on Saturday in Sackets Harbor.
    Meanwhile the Funiciello campaign has set up a tentative date soon for appearances on the HOTLINE and the Live at Five show. We will let you know more details as they are available.
Matt Funiciello's Truck Echoes Theme During Parade
    Meanwhile the major party candidates are into fundraising as its clear the two and a half million spent on the primary will at least be replicated in the general as both parties see the seat as winnable.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WDT: Rain Soldiers On...As Buyers Remorse Builds

     When you are deciding on certain public offices, there are consequences to bad decisions. The local political/media establishment cast their lot with Mary Rain last year for SLC DA.  They made a mistake, and now there's four years of Ms. Rain to look forward to.

      Watertown Daily Times | Rain says she’ll press on with probe despite judge’s order

Zephyr: I Had More Donors than Andy

      For all the ooohs and aaaahs over Andrew Cuomo's war chest of $35M, his primary opponent claims to have more actual people giving....Zephyr Teachout says she reported 818 donors to Mr. Cuomo's 716 in the last six months.

     Of course, Cuomo donors are more corporate, more union and more high dollar. That is Ms. Teachout's point.

Press Releases - Teachout - Wu for New York

Lake Ontario 'shark' turns out to be a publicity stunt - Toronto - CBC News

       Beaches are open....the shark scare on Wolfe Island turned out to be a hoax....the CBC reports it was all cooked up by the Discovery Channel to promote a program on sharks.
       Relieved residents will have something to talk about the rest of the summer.

Lake Ontario 'shark' turns out to be a publicity stunt - Toronto - CBC News

Ballantine Coming Back to Watertown

   Once the nation's fourth largest brewer, the Ballantine label will be returning to Watertown...or so I hear from my Doldo salesman.

    Ballantine was once a staple of American beer drinking and a long time sponsor of the NY Yankees. The brand originated in Newark, NJ and grew until its decline started in the sixties.  Now, it's contract brewed by Miller for Pabst.
    Bring back Topper and Schaefer while you're at it !

Ballantine Brewery - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

WDT: Mayor Graham proposes reopening Watertown park to vehicles

    Let the arguing begin..

Watertown Daily Times | Mayor Graham proposes reopening Watertown park to vehicles

Republican Primary Was Very $$$ | WWNY TV 7

   One thing my friends in broadcasting always forget to mention in their tomes about all that nasty political spending...How much of that $2,483,000 passed through Cathy's hands ?
Republican Primary Was Very $$$ | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Suspected shark sightings in Lake Ontario leave island on edge, though professor says it’s probably a porpoise | National Post

  A shark in the St. Lawrence ?  Is this news being kept from us to protect the local tourist industry ?
Did the shark slip in while the DEC was shooting swans ?    

Suspected shark sightings in Lake Ontario leave island on edge, though professor says it’s probably a porpoise | National Post

OTB Petition Filed in River District for GOP

   In an unusual move, an opportunity to ballot petition has been filed for the GOP line in AD116, the "River District."
   An OTB allows primary voters to write in a name other than those listed on the September 9 ballot. Republicans John Byrne and John Humphrey filed petitions last week. A write in primary in a major party is almost impossible to win. You'd have to get a look at the petitions to see who was behind the effort. It could be a shrewd move by Conservative Russ Finley to access the B line.
     No word on who's challenging what in Albany as the information doesn't seem to be on the NYS BOE site. In the past it was.
    A Democratic source told me this AM that the Byrne GOP and Indy petitions have been challenged by a Dennis Robertson.No other details.

Woolf Has Most Cash in His Lair, as Republicans Had to Spend During Primary.

   Mid-year FEC filings show Aaron Woolf with the most cash on hand with $377,085 as of June 30, although his money raised so far, $581,955, is less than his two most active competitors.
    Mr. Woolf did not have to run a primary. His revenue includes a $200,000 loan from himself.
    Meanwhile, GOP nominee Elise Stefanik has raised $836,127 followed closely by Independence Party nominee Matt Doheny at $784,524.
     Mr. Doheny reports $24,710 on hand and reports a debt of $3,129,128.
     Ms. Stefanik reports $152,103 on hand and a debt of $43,879. She spent $684,023 so far.
     Fund raising will intensify as the fall race is underway.
     Of course, none of this takes into account third party expenditures.

Andy's Stash Grows

     Despite spending millions on self promotion the last six months, Governor Andrew Cuomo's campaign war chest grows...It's now at $35M+, about 15 times that available to his GOP challenger.
     The great thing is local Democrats don't have to give a dime. It all comes from big labor, big corporations, and rich people.
     Mid year filings are posted on the BOE website if you want to check them out. I remember last time I ran, a local media maven was aghast I had raised and spend about $10K.  Funny in life, the bigger the numbers the less you pay attention to them.

Cuomo's war chest nearly 15 times Astorino's - Times Union

WDT: Has the DA Gone Off the Rails ?

   A judge has halted the grand jury probe launched by St. Lawrence County DA Mary Rain, who is increasingly isolated after what are being scene as a couple weeks of erratic behavior in which she demanded the local county judge no longer hear cases brought by her office.

    Politically, Ms. Rain is not likely to be seen with fellow Republicans nervous over pulling out all the stops last year to get her elected and now seeing a bizarre feud between the DA and the county administrator and county judge.

      Ms. Rain got a pass last November when she intemperately swigged champagne at an election night event and it sprayed on her as photographers clicked away. Little was said at the time as Ms. Rain had been endorsed by key opinion leaders.

Watertown Daily Times | Rain ordered to halt probe; judge to consider special DA