Saturday, June 20, 2009

Great Bend....Not Sodom on Route 3

I had to write this because the other news directors and editors can't bring themselves to visit such places.
After work today, I stopped by O'Larry's in Great Bend to see what the fuss is about. As was reported in local media, the Town of Champion is shocked....shocked I tell you ....that this tavern has dancers...Not nude...just go-go dancers like the old Woodruff Hotel.
I stopped in and talked to Larry the owner.....He is the type of guy you expect to run a club just a little on the edge and he does have an attitude. But he also appears to know how to run a tight ship....
The place was clean and well supervised and while little was happening during my visit, I know what to look for in this racket and he seems to know how to stay inside the bounds of the law and community standards.
Now I realize Town of Champion officials have a role to play in this drama....they are supposed to be against it. That's what you do in politics.
However, if it is run properly, there is no lawlessness here and the threat to morality is no worse than what was posed to the folks with their noses pressed to the window of the Woodruff GoGo Lounge forty years ago.
The only good part about getting older ,is you realize there is nothing new under the Sun and what goes around comes around.

Doheny, Scozzafava Both Top Aubertine

It's just an internet straw poll but political newcomer Matt Doheny bested Sen. Darrel Aubertine in our hypothetical matchup in the 23rd CD. Of greater concern to Dems is the lopsided margin Assem. Diedre Scozzafava had over Aubertine.
Out numbers suggest Republicans could still hold the Congressional seat especially if Scozzafava runs. .
Our other poll showed a dead heat between Will Barclay and Addie Russell to pick the carcass of Aubertine's senate seat..

Being Played by The Prez

Sycophancy is at an all-time high in the nation's capital and the new President is so confidant of his Svengali-like sway over the press, he can joke about it to their face.
Last night was the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner in D.C. It's one of those entertaining but also disturbing melding of political and journalistic heavyweights.
President Obama told a joke about while tossing and turning through a sleepless night, he rolled over in bed and ask advice of Brian Williams, NBC anchor and leading Obama sycophant.
They all laughed.....I would be mortified if the President gained the chuckles of my peers by pointing out I was in bed with him.
For Williams, et al, it's not an insult because after all they were granted "unprescedented access" to this elegant, intelligent, transformational new president who sends a tingle up their leg.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Senate Brethren to Burns...."Don't Taze Me Bro ! "

Imagine a building full of crooks, thugs,mysoginists, drunks and philanderers.... The perfect spot for a career cop to start busting criminals and sociopaths.
Maybe that's why Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns says he will likely seek the State Senate seat now held by Darrel Aubertine who will likely make a run for the soon-to-be-vacant House seat of John McHugh.
Ordering a Blue Moon draft (he skips the orange slice), Burns says he has been ask by many people to consider the run.
Restoring law, order, civility, comity, and competance to the capital will not be easy, but Burns gave every indication its a go should Darrel move up.
However, a ferocious GOP effort is expected to retake the seat in advance of legislative redistricting in 2012.
Be careful Sheriff, your own caucus would likely fail a metal detector trying to get in their favorite strip club.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

OK That Makes Sense, Sort of.....

Just back from vacationing in Oregon, a prominent Republican gave the official spin on why it's OK for the GOP to roll over and lose the Congressional seat being vacated by John McHugh.
The pitch is that with redistricting coming by 2012, a Republican like Diedre Scozzafava or Matt Doheny would only hold the seat a couple of years before Democrats in Albany would slice and dice the district out of existence.
The greater good is to let Darrel Aubertine have the House seat and try to win back the State Senate seat, giving the GOP a shot at controlling the Senate and being a player in dedistricting.
I am told the exception is Will Barclay, who if he won the House seat might have a shot at holding it in 2012 in an expected new district race with Democrat Dan Maffei of Syracuse. Maybe, if the only ones voting in Syracuse are lawyers.
Bottom line is they want the Senate seat, and that's going to be a tough thing to explain to national Republican leaders anxious to staunch the bleeding.
UPDATE-SYRACUSE POST STANDARD REPORTS THE VACANCY WILL NOT OCCUR TIL SEPTEMBER AT THE EARLIEST.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Circus is Coming to Petes

When I was talking to Matt Doheny the other night about the upcoming House race in the 23rd, we both concluded we will be ground zero for national politics as the Dems try and put a stake in the heart of the GOP as a national party by taking this long time Republican district in rural upstate NY.
Republicans want to hold the seat to symbolize their pending comeback heading into 2010,
Millions of dollars, hundreds of operatives, real reporters from big city media......all descending on what is the Star Wars Bar for political types, Petes Restaurant on Breen Avenue in Watertown.
It could eclipse the Aubertine/Barclay race of 2008 that led me to seek counseling after such an intense political experience.
It will be fun to watch.

Fantasy Announcements

Just got a text that an Oswego OB/GYN named Dr. Ronald Uva is running for Congress...Yesterday an accountant from Lake Placid came to town to say he is running. His name is Doug Hoffman.
Oh, and Danny Francis says he wants the Democratic nod.
Meanwhile, I just announced I am marrying Renee Zellweger. I am doing so because I saw her in Chicago and thought she was cute.
Of course, she knows nothing about my announcement and she would never say yes......but I am still entitled to unilaterally announce my engagement to her.
Well, it's the same with these Congressional hopefuls. They are running in their own mind just like I really think Renee and I are a great couple.
Difference is, the local paper won't print my announcement because I think they charge for those now.

Gravitas Gap in the 23rd ?

Is there a higher bar when voters ponder their Congressional choice versus electing people to the dysfunctional state legislature in Albany?
Is it intellect....sophistication....the ability to articulate everything from the federal reserve to the Israeli settlements, and by the way who really does rule Iran ?
Republicans have long argued their successful nemesis of late, Darrel Aubertine, is a nice guy but not real deep. The popular GOP mantra is "dumber than a box of rocks."
I have always responded by telling my GOP friends he has been smart enough to kick their ass several times, so don't be too quick to draw those comparisons.
They don't like hearing that and we usually move on to another subject.
However, will Aubertine have a deer in the headlight moment where the popular, attractive, charismatic Darrel is made to look not ready for prime time? Would local media even edit and present video in that manner ?
Privately, the GOP wants the series of live TV debates recently seen in the 20th CD race. However, North Country media has not organized such events in decades and I suspect Democratic handlers are hoping media doesn't choose this election to wake up.
Look for the over-used word "gravitas" to make an appearance in this year's special election.
Remember if past is prologue, gratuitous attacks on a guy thought of as 'one of us' amounts to attacks on us.
Attacking Darrel is like joking your 14 year old daughter was knocked up by A-Rod. Your amen corner will howl with laughter, but most are not amused or impressed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Alex Bay Native Comes to Pearl Street to Say He is Running

Calling himself a lover of the North Country and a defender of Capitalism, Mathew Doheny used a stool at Fort Pearl Tavern to declare to this humble blogger that he is in it to win it.....The race for the 23rd Congressional District ,that is.
The seat in D.C. is soon to be vacated when John McHugh's ascends to Secretary of the Army, and an election will be held this year to fill the remainder of the term.
Accompanied by Ogdensburg city councillor Nicholas Vaugh, Doheny, an Alexandria Bay native turned big money portfolio manager, was in the eastern part of the district stopping in Watertown enroute to his island home in the St. Lawrence River. He also has a home on Paddock Street in Watertown.
Doheny says he will open his campaign headquarters in downtown Watertown, if he is the choice of GOP party elders to run in the special election against presumed Democratic nominee, Senator Darrel Aubertine of Cape Vincent.
Doheny says he comes from a modest Alex Bay family and that he worked his way through law school at Cornell. He says he is a self-made man who prospered in the world of investment portfolio management.
His platform includes jobs, taxes and health care in a campaign he says plays out against what he sees as diminishing fascination with the anti-capitalist ways of the Obama administration.
Doheny struck me as well informed and one who had already done the oppostion research on Aubertine and his record in the state senate.
Doheny sees a recent photo of Aubertine standing behind the rather suspect Senate leadership as the image he will share with residents of the 23rd.
Doheny is an ex college hockey goalie who knows he will see numerous shots on goal by a confident Democratic team led from the White House.
He says he is talking to GOP chairs and sees Assembly members Diedre Scozzafava and Will Barclay as rivals for the nomination.
The prospective candidate was drinking Labatts Blue Light as he outlined his plan to yours truly, apparently thinking this blog is somehow influential.

Conceding Without a Race

I was reading offerings from a couple of Watertown Daily Times bloggers and it sounds like they are both repulsed and resigned to the notion of writing
"Rep. Darrel Aubertine (R-Cape Vincent)"
in stories in the not-to-distant future.
Now the Times has never liked Aubertine, as is their right, but his imminent rise to Congress should not merely be dismissed as some strange confluence of tradewinds forming the perfect storm sinking the Titanic (aka Republicanism in the North Country).
Remember those GOP TV commercials with JohnMcHugh, Jim Wright and Bob Nortz sitting around a table nodding in approval at each other as the announcer chortled about the Republican Team.
That kind of appeal to party loyalty started fading long ago, about the time consumers were switching from Detroit to Tokyo.
Today the table is empty and the GOP stands to lose their crown jewel,the Congressional seat.
Too many years of being the me-too party to modern big government liberalism. Voters decided that in blue-state New York, if you like big government, why not start electing the real thing who also control Albany and now Washington.
That's no perfect storm.....it's a rotting carcass.

Monday, June 15, 2009

DeDe Have a Chance? You Betcha !

The prospects for Diedre Scozzafava running for Congress still appear dim to me, but a key GOP insider tells me there is still strong support for her candidacy among the county chairs in the 11 county 23rd CD.
Under a weighted voting system, I am told the chairs in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties would carry the day. Good news for DeDe.
But this same source also confirmed there is an undercurrent in the party in Albany that suggests Republicans in the capital are willing to throw the election to Darrel Aubertine in order to vacate Aubertine's State Senate district, which most expects say would return to the GOP.
The methodology for losing involves New York's Independence and Conservative parties agreeing to endorse Aubertine, making a Republican run in the 23rd a dubious endeavor. The IP has already backed Aubertine and the Conservatives may follow suit since the Senator is strongly against abortion and same-sex marriage.
For both Scozzafava and Aubertine a trip to Washington is a good career move. Either one could upon election take a state retirement and then enjoy the nearly $150K Congressional salary plus another great pension plan.
I still think there will be a lot of pressure on these county chairs, but maybe they will resist outside influences and field a candidate with a reasonable chance of winning.

What a Loser

Senator Hiram Monserrate of Queens has come home.....But it is a dysfunctional home.
The rebel senator was one of two purported Democrats behind last week's GOP coup. A coup that left New Yorkers wondering whether there is any sanity left in the capital. He tells the Daily News he is returning to the Democratic caucus. Wonder what Darrel says to him,"great to have you back bro'" ? Or does he say, "you're a loser but I don't care because I am headed to D.C."
Now it's a 31-31 tie and nobody knows what that means, except I suspect whatever happens we get higher taxes and more government.
The more you see of those senators who seek Monserrate's return, the less anxious I am to have these people in charge.They look like thugs and in some cases (Monserrate and Parker) a grand jury agrees.
The weekend photo of Senators Monserrate and Espada at the Yankee-Met game was a case of a picture worth a thousand words.
And what a sad site to see the leadership of the parties fighting over Hiram's allegiance. Even sadder is the GOP plan to have Pedro Espada a heart beat away from the Governor's mansion.
Darrel, get 'yo bad self out of there and take the Congressional seat. Mom always said you are judged by the people you associate with....The sooner you beat feet out of Albany, the better for you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Palin Pummels Paterson in 2010 Straw Poll

Governor Sarah Palin's three day whirlwind visit to New York State last week is all the campaigning she has done, but an on-line poll taken by this blog shows the Alaskan swamping embattled NY Governor David Patterson by a nearly six to one margin.
A whopping 523 people voted with Palin besting Paterson 73 % to 13 %. All in all a revealing look at the horrible state of our Governor's popularity and the previously under reported popularity of Alaska's governor.
Voting in the non-scientific poll concluded tonight at 8PM, after seven days of balloting.

PALIN...................... 383....... 73.2%
PATERSON............... 67 .......12.9%
NEITHER.................. 73....... 13.9%