Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pete's Chatter...Darrel is Likely a Go

I was at Petes Restaurant Saturday night and a long time GOP office holder whose opinion I value said what many of us believe. That is the Republicans are likely to lose the McHugh seat in Congress to Darrel Aubertine and the Democrats.
Lack of a compelling candidate is the primary reason, I was told. Also lack of interest across eleven counties.
If it is Aubertine vs Alexandria Bay native Mathew Doheny, we will have a Bay vs The Cape race of great interest here, but no where else.
Plus after all of us got a look at the crew controlling the Democratic caucus in the State Senate, one might not blame Aubertine for saying thanks but no thanks to staying in Albany.
The new top guy in the Democratic caucus is a Brooklyn lawyer who once represented foul-mouth rapper Lil Kim........I don't see Darrel being that anxious to continue and association with the rough and tumble crowd on his side of the Albany aisle.

Blind Leading the Blind

I was reading Political IV and he was analyzing a recent column of mine. Is the public enhanced by vain, self-serving bloggers musing about each other's nonsense.
Of course it is.....keep it up IV !

Time for Polling

With special elections looming for Congress and State Senate, I would be remiss as a media type if I did not conduct polls. As you can see our Palin-Paterson poll garnered 500 votes so far.....a sample as large as Sienna or Quinnipiec....
So get your friends to vote, and see if we are bellweathers !

The Tie That Binds

It's looking like the State Senate is headed back to a 31-31 tie as Sen. Hiram Monseratte is expected to return to the fold after changes in leadership were made yesterday.
So what's it all mean....who know's.
For Sen Monseratte, what was he thinking? He is facing felony assault charges in Queens and his sojourne to Republicanism would hardly enhance his chances for a favorable plea bargain from Queens DA, who I am sure is a Dem.
Fact is the Dems never really had a majority. Those NYC seats are a gimme for whomever has the line so there is no loyalty to party, just to one self. Maybe that's OK, but in a world divided by an aisle, it just doesn't work.
Regardless of who holds the top titles in the Senate, look for more of same in the months ahead as everyone is positioning themselves for 2010.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fabled Name in City Politics Returns & Other Stuff

* The name Karl Burns is well known to the 50+ crowd who remember the former mayor and drug store owner from the 60s,70, and 80's.
I spotted his grandson's name on a petition vacancy committee and the young man known as Colin Burns, is actually Karl C. Burns. It was one of those flashback moments.
* The Times reported today the City Council wants lap top computers so they don't have those big stacks of paper agendas to wrestle with.
I told the manager, I don't want one, just email it to me. The last thing I want is a city cell phone or a city laptop that the media jackals can FOIL to check up on me.
* A high ranking local Democrat told me today he thought Sarah Palin did a great job on the Today Show this morning. Better be careful. That's just not on the Democratic list of talking points. I won't reveal who it was.

No Malcolm....Lots of Enthusiasm

Featured speaker, former Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith was a no show. He was in Albany fiddling with his Blackberry.
Nonetheless, Jefferson County Democrats gathered in force at the North Side League Friday night ready to embark on a year where they are early favorites to win the soon to be open 23rd Congressional seat.
Likely Congressional candidate , Sen. Darrel Aubertine, conceded his party was caught "flat footed" this week by a well run GOP plot to seize control of the Senate. As I write this , I really still do not know who is in charge.
Aubertine had harsh words for architects of the coup.
"They should be in jail," Aubertine said, delighting the crowd of some 200.
Long Island Congressman Steve Israel also spoke, expressing optimism the Dems can grab the 23rd once Rep. John McHugh becomes Army Secretary.
For Dems, the smell of victory was in the air as they dined in the more blue collar environs of the League.....Those recent years of eating at Partridge Berry and pretending to be Republicans fortunately have passed as the party returns to its roots.
Oh, and Ted Ford was there, looking very much the operative with his shaved head and dark suit.

Poles Rattle Local Pols

Not since the Reverand Schick rousted Johnny Spezzano from his nightclub on route 3 east of Watertown, has such a flap developed as what is unfolding in the sleepy hamlet of Great Bend.
Seem's the local pub...O'Larry's Dolls....used to be Gary's Pub, then just O'Larry's, and now the dolls have been added.
In these times when you can watch scantily clad on TV and the Internet, and neighborhood pubs struggle, it's not surprising a little pulchritude will be employed to rustle up some customers.
But there are a number of high dollar homes not far from the tavern and I hear the neighbors are upset. Surely the garish green exterior and erotic looking sign peaked their interest.
Now the Town of Champion is descending on the pub's owner with stop-work orders and the town board is going to discuss it at their next meeting.
A similar spate of outrage arose last month in Alex Bay, when cage dancing debuted.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Issues as I See Them

With two seats up for grabs in this year's City Council elections, one might ask....just what, if any, are the issues.
There was little heavy lifting done in the recent budget deliberations because the proposed spending plan was pared down enough so that fears of a day of reckoning evaporated.
The issue coming up is who is willing to shy away from elaborate spending projects in favor of conserving and fixing what we have. Case in point is the differing views on construction of a new ice arena.
The current arena is in need of updating and repair. Engineers put the 10-year price tag at $6.5 million. That is a major drag on city finances, but not out of the question because these facilities are important venues for recreation, commerce and culture.
The coming years will be ones of choices between what we need versus what we want.
We need leadership showing restraint but also leaders who can lead the community in a discussion of why some expenditures are good, even though it is a burden. The flip side is the ability to explain why some things just cannot happen.
It looks like a fairly bland election coming up, but that does not mean voters should not engage the candidates to see what their spending intentions are.

Times they are a Changin'

I was reading a piece in one of the "big time" blogs speculating what we discussed here last week and that is Albany Republicans are anxious to strengthen their tentative control of the Senate and they are willing to take a powder on the 23rd CD to do it.
Imagine how old time GOP icons like the Johnsons, the Nortz, or the Marsh's, or my late uncle Ed Redder would think about giving Darrel Aubertine the House seat just so he is out of the way and they can retake the State Senate seat.
It's not your father's GOP anymore.

New Message-No Obama

After being told his franchise agreement was in peril the anti-Obama messages are gone at Iron Block Harley Davidson in Adams Center.
The electronic sign now promotes Father's Day on June 21 and a Tea Party on July 4th.
Hope the Tea Party is all right with our new minders.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Harley Says Take It Down

This evening Harley Davidson lowered the boom and ordered rebel dealer Eric Dunk to eliminate his controversial anti-Obama messages from his electronic sign alongside his Adams Center Dealership.
Dunk says his lawyer gave him the ultimatum after a day of talks with Harley's head office in Milwaukee. Dunk says he was told the company wants no controversial references to the President or religion that would reflect poorly on the company's image.
The sign at Iron Block Harley Davidson must be turned off by 10am Thursday. Mr. Dunk decided to acquiesce rather than threaten the profitability of his business and the livelihood of employees by having his franchise threatened.
The issue flared yesterday when one passing motorist complained to the iconic maker of bikes that a message alluded to Mr. Obama and the Muslim faith.
Dunk has for months placed anti Obama messages on the sign including calling him a dictator and suggesting Obama does not possess a valid birth certificate.
Mr. Dunk does not know what message he will post next.
"This is sad," said his wife, Claudia.

Political Candy-Bite Size Nuggets

*City Councilman Jeff Smith and former Councilman Steve Bradley were out on the Ten Eyck Street area this evening gathering signatures on the this first day of petition gathering.
*Looks like the GOP has no candidate in County Legislative District 4, the seat formerly held by Assemblywoman Addie Russell.
*Top brass in the NYS Democratic party were said to be at the DCCC lobbying against national party support of an Aubertine congressional campaign.
*As for Sen. Aubertine, he is said to want to run and Indy party support only he can get may be a deciding factor. If the Conservatives follow suit, it's off to Washington for the dairy farmer.

Tried to Introlduce Myself

On my way to the HOTLINE, I stopped by 303 Paddock Street to try and meet the next Congressman, Mathew Doheny, who registered to vote there on May 5.
I saw a car in the driveway, but when I rang the bell no one answered.
Doheny is said to have already spent a quarter million hiring staff for a campaign. Maybe some of Matt's neighbors will go meet him.

Letterman a Vile Person...Better Watch Conan !

The recent visit of Governor Sarah Palin to New York State did not escape the notice of late night "comic" David Letterman.
Letterman is a frequent ridiculer of the Alaskan governor and has helped shaped the negative view some have of her.
This week Letterman crossed the line, not once but twice.
One joke suggest Palin went shopping for cosmetics in NYC so she could maintain "her slutty flight attendant look."
Palin is a conservative, traditional dresser who is more often compared to a librarian than a "slut." Cheap shot, mysoginistic, and sexist. But don't look for the feminist crowd to be outraged on this one.
Then there was the remark about 14 year old Willow Palin, the governor's daughter.
Letterman said Palin's visit Sunday to Yankee Stadium was awkward because Willow had been knocked up by Alexander Rodriquez, the playboy Yankee slugger who has among others dated Madonna.
The weak attempt at humor was a continued effort to play on the uninitended pregnancy of older daughter Bristol, a subject already well worked over by the media.
Surely the bounds of decency have not lapsed so much that a 14 year old girl can be humiliated in this manner.
My advice, skip Letterman and watch Conan.

Eric Dunk on Hotline

Eric Dunk of Iron Block Harley Davidson did a great job on the HOTLINE today defending his anti-Obama sign in front of this Adams Center dealership.

Eric is a patriot who says what he feels and won't back down.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Race in District 11

Republican honchos tell me they have a candidate in the open seat race for County Legislature District 11.
He is businessman Bobby Ferris, owner of Big Apple Music.
Ferris will run against Democrat Paul Simmons.

Contested races are also expected in Districts 6 (Zando) and 10 (Behling)

Phantom Millionaire

Liz Benjamin reports Republican Matt Doheny is ready to spend millions on the Congressional race here.
He did register to vote here on May 5. He has owned a house at 303 Paddock Street since 2006, but I don't think anyone lives there...Anyone know ?

Route 81 Sign Flap

The electronic sign in front of Iron Block Harley Davidson in Adams Center reads as follows:

"Obama are you kidding? We are not Muslim ! You are not Christian !"

How about this sign:


Indy's for Aubertine

In two races for State Senate, Darrel Aubertine saw his chances for nomination by the Independence Party stymied, but now that he is leaning towards running for Congress, the state chair of the party on Line C is promising to back the Cape Vincent dairy farmer.
IP Chair Frank MacKay is fond of saying in politics if you don't like whats happening now, just wait a minute and it will all change. So true.
An Indy endorsement of Aubertine makes the race more problematic for GOP hopefuls like Assemblyman Will Barclay of Pulaski, who likely would be the top Republican contender.
Good news for Young Will (his friends call him that, not me)......If Aubertine heads to D.C., the vacant senate seat would be a slum dunk for the son of former Sen. H. Douglas Barclay.
Rahm picks up a house seat, Darrel makes history for fastest rise to Congress, Will gets the legacy seat in the senate and Albany Republicans firm up their shaky new majority in the upper house, halting the leftward tilt in the capital.
Many people are happy in this scenario.

What's Next

Will there ever be reform in Albany. No, of course not.

It's about power, control, patronage and of course getting reelected.
Republicans had run the Senate for 43 years and were quite used to having all of the above. Democrats chased the car and finally caught it, but not knowing what to do next.
As the Post's Fred Dicker writes today, the Dems were more overbearing than their predecessors and were attempting to grind the GOP into dust.
Well, they fought back and with the help of two democratic senators, turned the tables.
Yes, the pair of senators are shady guys, one under indictment for carving his woman's face with a wine glass, the other is a serial party switcher guilty of dubious pay to play scenarios.
The fact the Democrats assumed power with such a cast of characters says much. Another of their caucus was indicted recently as well.
The fact Republicans regained control using such dubious characters is ironic, but also troubling.
This may slow or derail some of the left wing agenda flourishing in Albany, but it ensures a bitter statewide effort next year for control of the Senate.
Stay tuned.
Oh, and as for our state senator, look for him to try for Congress.He knows his senate seat will be ground zero again for control of the state senate, and may not want that battle again.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Council Seats

Elections for local office continue to attract few candidates, but there may actually be a race for the two seats up this year on City Council.
Councilman Jeff Smith is running for reelection, as is former Councilman Steve Bradley.
A local businesswoman, Teresa Macaluso, is also considering running. She is owner of the Brew Ha Ha on Coffeen Street, a popular drive-through coffee shop.
The date to start circulating nominating petitions is Wednesday, but given the low number of signatures needed, other candidates may still come forward.
Two years ago, Joe Butler Jr was the last candidate to enter the race, but ended up the top vote-getter by a large margin.
We will see what happens.

Senate Coup

Reports from Albany say the GOP has reclaimed control of the NYS Senate by cutting a deal with two Democrats from NYC.
Sen. Hiram Monserrate and Sen. Pedro Espada joined with 30 GOP senators to wrest control of the body from Majority Leader Malcolm Smith of Queens.
Sen Smith has held a shaky grip on the Senate since January.
Today's action places Long Island's Senator Dean Skelos in the top spot.
For Republicans, there was a price. Monserrate was charged earlier this year with assaulting his girlfriend, while Espada is a race baiter intent on placing a Hispanic (like himself) in a leadership role.
For Smith....known as smiling Malcolm in Albany circles....the action today apparently ends his role as one of the capital's Big Three, which includes the governor and Assembly speaker.
The rebel senators will likely be targets of a primary next year as the Dems try to place more reliable persons in their caucus.
For us in the 48th District, Senator Darrel Aubertine is back in the minority caucus, and this may make his decision to bolt for a run at Congress easier.
Crazy place this Albany.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Palin NY Trip Continues

Sarah Palin's successful trip to the Finger Lakes region gave way to another positive event today in Westchester County as she participated in a walk to combat autism. Sunday night, she attends a dinner on Long Island to benefit kids with handicaps.
It's the kind of stuff you would think even MSNBC couldn't find fault with but they will. Mathews will have it in his "Sideshow" segment and will fault her criticisms of President Obama as Limbaugh-like. And Olberman and Maddow will pile on as well.
There was some good coverage in upstate media of the Auburn event. I am sure many will see the virtue in Palin's trip.
Sunday afternoon she visited Yankee Stadium (photo), a highly visible appearance.
I suspect she will use her proximity to NYC to tape some kind of interview for cable television. Betcha it's Hannity or Greta.
She should consider MSNBC's "Morning Joe" where Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzenski (sic). It's mostly fair with the only real lefty, Mike Barnicle, balanced off by Pat Buchanan.
Much of the Obama-mania media is still committed to discrediting Palin, but a trip into the belly of the beast at Rockefeller Center would be gutsy. Maybe even the View but only if Hasselhoff is there that day.
I could see in Auburn, there is an appetite for Palin in middle America, but at some point you have to take on the jackels and hold your ground.