Saturday, August 29, 2009

Obama's Moving Tribute to Teddy

President Barack Obama delivered a tender, insightful tribute to Senator Kennedy, who very likely propelled him to the White House with an early endorsement in 2008. Mr. Obama was joined by Presidents Bush, Clinton and Carter at the Basilica of Perpetual Help in Boston.
Text of President Obama’s Eulogy - Text -

How About a Press Release for Bad News ?

The mainstream media did a good job this morning on the tobacco retailer issue.......
I wonder why the media had to find out about this hike from surprised business owners. Why didn't our elected officials put out a press release trumpeting our new tax.
It could be written in a very positive way.

-Better health care for New York's kids, more cops on the streets, and tax breaks for our seniors are all on the horizon as a result of legislation that makes wealthy merchants and their smoking customers pay their share for the havoc they cause.
Senator Foghorn Leghorn is proud to announce a hike of up to 5000% in the fee tobacco retailers will pay for their annual permit.
"Because of this bold and progressive action, New York will balance its budget without taxing families, veterans, senior, or any other group that votes at rates higher than the general population," said Senator Leghorn.

I used to write press releases and will gladly lend my services for free to the staff of our state representitives who may be struggling with how best to put lipstick on a pig.
Sounds like in the coming years they will have their hands full
Watertown Daily Times Retailers' tobacco fees rise

Friday, August 28, 2009

Amazing How We Survived All Those Year Without These Gadgets

In case you haven't noticed, I like all this new technology that allows us all to stay in the loop all the time. But really, it is a good idea to stay away from texting while driving. A recent public service announcement was a good eye opener on the dangers of distracted driving and I have been pulling over a lot more lately. None of us are perfect and habits like yakking on the phone are hard to curb, but let me urge you all join with me and try to break the bad habits that can lead to tragic consequences.
Paterson signs law banning drivers from texting The Journal News

I Was a Bad Boy

When I opened my mail today to find the Albany Gang had enacted a ten-fold increase in the fee for an annual permit to sell cigarettes in a retail outlet, I first blew up and accused our lawmakers and governor of declaring war on small business. I thought I was just a guy playing by the rules....selling a highly taxed product....and in the process delivering a healthy amount of cash to NYS.
I just didn't understand......With a $15 Billion budget shortfall and putting actual cuts off the table, our state has no choice but to extract more from those who sell sin.
Booze, butts and Lottery are all products I sell at Fort Pearl. The same products are now sold in chain drug stores and supermarkets, so I was wrong in thinking it's an affront to mom and pop. All the sin merchants must pay more.
As was explained to me tonight by an operative.....Mayor, you just have to work a little harder....we have a state budget to fund....
Another former political kingpin chimed in and told me it's not about money, it's just as a matter of policy they don't want little guys selling sin...they want it funneled throught the chains like Wegmans and Wahlgreens who can be easily regulated and always pay their tithe to the state.
So, I apologize for my outburst against the State of New York....I just didn't understand that a person who has always worked.......and has kept a business open for 25 years really needs to double down and start giving more......
I hope other small business owners will avoid the temptation to use such tax and fee hikes as an excuse to lash out at the benevolent and all-knowing State of New York.

City Firefighters Attend Funeral

Watertown City Firefighters join the mourning Friday for a pair of Buffalo firefighters killed fighting a convenience store fire earlier in the week.
The Buffalo News

Even the Partisans Gush for Teddy

As long as he is able to fog a mirror, Darrel Aubertine will probably never have a kind word written about him by our friends at Political IV.
But the death of Senator Edward M Kennedy has prompted a wistful moment for IV....he is praising a Democrat.

The country has lost a great member of a great family, Ted Kennedy. The end of a family dynasty that has spanned decades. Whether or not you agreed with his policy positions, you could find common ground on his approach and admiration for the way he did his job. Our country has lost a good man!

Does a Democrat have to pay the ultimate price to get a good write-up on IV ?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Watertown Firefighters Honor Their Own

A delegation of about ten city firefighters from Watertown will attend the funeral in Buffalo for two of that city's firemen killed earlier this week when a floor collapsed in a convenience store fire.
Chief Milton Sayre said the Watertown firefighters will join their counterparts from many communities mourning the loss of Lt. Charles McCarthy, a 22 year veteran, and Firefighter Jonathan Croom, a ten year veteran of the Buffalo Dept.
As we give thanks our firefighters and the job they do, we share the loss of the people of Buffalo.

City Donates Pumper as Learning Tool

The City of Watertown today donated a surplus 1986 fire pumper to Jefferson Community College to be used in JCC's fire training program.
Yours truly and Fire Chief Milton Sayre presented the title to JCC President Carole McCoy Thursday afternoon at the college.
President McCoy sat in the cab and sounded the horn of her newest vehicle.
This pumper was used by the city for 22 years and was loaned to the City of Fulton last year. Upon its return, City Council voted to donate the vehicle rather than try to sell it.
I am sure this vehicle will aid greatly in the training of firefighters.

Some Dems Better Hope This Guy Disappears and Soon

Can the Democratic Party in NY survive 2010 with Pedro Espada as the party's choice for Senate Majority Leader ? The answer is yes. Most Democrats come from non-competitive seats or are popular enough on their own that they needn't worry.
However, in the 50-50 Senate, the more marginal our Senator Darrel Aubertine. may want to consider the merits of being linked to this guy. The stench from Espada's dealings and the willingness of the press to report on them is an easy issue with which to tar other members of the Senate. That is why the 48th District will be hotly contested again next year........Mr. Aubertine had survived two close contests and under most circumstances would be entitled to a breather.
But with Espada in a leadership post, a Republican will be able to run against downstate corruption instead of running against the popular fellow from Cape Vincent.
Did Espada lie for $3M? -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY:2863:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Danny Ask, I Answered

A reader posed a question to me as to whether I recommend people watch Glenn Beck on Fox. I do watch Beck....and O'Reilly....Hannity and Greta....
But I switch around a lot and also watch Mathews and I like Rachel Maddow, as she is smart, liberal and not mean about it.
On occasion I watch a bit of Olbermann....But like Propofol, Keith should only be taken in limited doses.
Exclusively watching any of these shows only places you in the echo chamber.

Lewis County Uncovered

Its good to see Bruce Krug is taking a stab at commentary. Krug is not the Political IV of Lewis County....He is a Dem...but more important he is a hard charger and a hard thinker. He stirred up Lewis County's clubby governance and I am sure his commentaries will be pointed.
Lewis County Uncovered

With DeDe a Shoo-in, Who Gets Her Assembly Seat ?

I am not on their press release list, but I read a blurb somewhere today about the regional chairs being appointed to run Diedre Scozzafava'a Congressional campaign. Seems like she is doing something and with time dwindling I don't see much organizationally from the other two designees of their parties.
With Scozzafava certain to win the Congressional race, we are within bounds starting to speculate about who should run for a special election in the 122nd Assembly District. It won't be a high dollar race because nobody cares whether there are 41 or 42 GOP lawmakers in the heavily Democratic Assembly.....But hey its a good gig for somebody and names are floating.Legislature Chair Ken Blankenbush is a favorite...There is a Lewis County lawmaker named Lucas said to be in the hunt.
If you have names of contenders, please put them in the comment section....

Jefferson County

Last of the Kennedy Brothers Passes Away

It was very much expected, especially after he was unable to attend his sister Eunice' funeral just days ago. Senator Ted Kennedy was delivered to the ages late yesterday at his seaside home with family at his side.
He was an iconic and often controversial figure of my entire life, and politics will be of less substance and less interesting without Teddy Kennedy.
Sympathies to his family and the people of the Bay State on their loss.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Feedback: Radio Personality George Neher Dead At 65 | WWNY TV 7 Watertown, NY | Local News

Channel Seven Among Those Mourning the Loss of George Neher
Feedback: Radio Personality George Neher Dead At 65 WWNY TV 7 Watertown, NY Local News

Old School Broadcaster Passes....George Neher is Dead

Sometimes a death notice hits you little harder when it's one of your own........
Such was the case today when the bad news came via text that long-time Watertown broadcaster George Neher had died at age 65 in his Gotham Street home.
George had the great pipes and the intellect to match. He knew the community and that cannot often be said in today's radio world where there are more stations and less content.
When there was an ice storm or a contentious issue, George could be counted on to say just the right thing.
As mayor, I always enjoyed a trip to his WTNY morning show because as a couple of radio guys we could spar to see who was smarter or more mellifluous.
I always knew his questions would be thoughtful.
I moved to Watertown in 1968 and remember George as part of the channel seven crew featuring Joe Rich, Dennis Honeywell, Bob Tompkins and of course Ezra "Ted" Ford. He was of the Malara era when local was everything in broadcasting and satellite programs were unheard of.
I doubt his local time slot will stay local. That era is passed in today's corporate radio world. That is of course a shame in the same way local newspapers are fading.
The passing of this radio legend is a reminder that for all the technology that allows media to do more, it still comes down to intellect and content.....
And a good set of pipes...
May God bless you George for all you have done and deepest sympathies to all who mourn your loss.

Giuliani Run Pondered for 2010

A spirited race for governor may be on tap for next year with two marquis names possibly on the ballot. Former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo are both thought to be in the hunt to replace David Paterson at the mansion on Eagle Street in Albany. A gubernatorial race, 2 US Senate Races, Congressional Race and the biannual effort to defeat Senator Aubertine could make for an exciting 2010.
Governor run on former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's mind, says top ally Pete King

Monday, August 24, 2009

Call Me a Skeptic...But Doug Hoffman is No Jim Buckley

I have been a little rough on the possible Conservative Party candidate for Congress in NY-23.
Doug Hoffman is probably a decent guy but I just think the conservatives have two fundamental flaws in talking about running this gentleman.
So far the rough and gruff Conservative State Chair Mike Long has been doing most of the talking. We know nothing of this candidate.
Why wouldn't a prospective candidate do the basic, perfunctory and free media appearances like the Hotline or other similar shows ? My show at the very least gets you the chance to answer a few questions and show some gravitas to the political class.
The strategy seems to be that Mr. Long will publicly chastise the GOP for nominating a liberal (or moderate if you prefer) all in hopes the Republicans will get spooked and dump Diedre Scozzafava and embrace Mr. Hoffman, who tried and failed to win the Republican nod.
That won't work. Scozzafava has the nod and if the Conservatives want to run they better try to replicate the 1970 US Senate race won by Conservative James Buckley.
I am just not sure the Conservative Party of 2009 has the spunk to take on that kind of challenge. After years of being the GOP's me-too party, Conservatives are not really that conservative anymore. They are content to nominate Republicans just so long as they don't get embarrassed by a liberal view on gay marriage.
I still think once Scozzafava officially gets the nod the Conservatives fold and leave their line blank in a pique.
Maybe I am all wrong....It's just that I was told by insiders early on that the Conservatives may sit on their hands but will not actively try to defeat the Republican. Once those kind of deals are cut, the subsequent histrionics are just for show.

Paterson: High Hopes To Good Riddance in a Short Time

Between trips to the Hamptons, Governor David Paterson put another and perhaps final nail in his gubernatorial coffin. Mr. Paterson's claim of media racial bias towards blacks strains credibility. It's time to move on and for New Yorker's the swearing in of Andrew Cuomo as the next governor cannot come soon enough.
Dicker: Paterson's Pal Suozzi
Says Gov's A Goner

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Afghan War Is Nine Years Old and Not Going Well

With so many members of our Fort Drum family in harm's way in Afghanistan, it is disconcerting to read the national leadership is conceding the situation there is getting worse, not better. This war is now seen as a dubious venture by a majority of Americans, according to recent surveys.
Afghanistan War 'Serious' and 'Deteriorating,' Mullen Says - Political News -

Do We Have Elections Anymore ?

When does the excitement start in the City Council race ?
Seems like everytime I ran for citywide office, there was still lots of campaigning through the summer months, but nowadays there is no zeal for politics. Elected office is generally looked down upon in part because so much of the running of government has been given up to the unelected.
There is a feeling that the affairs of government are best left to the admnistrators, authorties and superintendents.
I think the diminishment of elected office and the lack of interest in races for office leads to a lessening of the principles that made this country great.
So let's at least see some lawn signs folks....

So Much of Governing is Just Showing Up

Politicos showing up for good news events like ribbon cuttings is nothing new....But some just show more interest in these events than others.
County Legislators like Bob Boice and Gino Zando have always been good at attending these little events that mean a lot to the participants.
Newly appointed Councilman Jason Burto was at last Wedneday's dedication of a picnic pavillion built and donated to the City by the local Noon Rotary Club.
Mr. Burto was a new face to those there, but I am sure they appreciated an elected official (even one who wasn't elected) showing up for this important event.

Is It Mike Long Who Is Running ?

I was among the first to come out in support of Diedre Scozzafava's Congressional bid, and I believe she will win, but there is a differing view, as expressed by Conservative Party Chief Michael Long.....Mr. Long let loose again in an op/ed piece this week. Too bad he is hawking a candidate who does not live in the district and was an also ran in the GOP selection process. I am totally fine with a third candidate in the race, but get one who can carry his own water and not have Mr. Long mosey up from Long Island to do it for him.
Watertown Daily Times Record proves Scozzafava's a liberal

Glad to Be Here in Tough Times

For years and years, the North Country basked in the notion that it is an economic backwater, with high unemployment, below average family income, less formal education, higher levels of teen pregnancy, and the indices go on.
A look at the numbers now is interesting.....Unemployment is in the sevens while the national jobless rate is in the nines, with states like Michigan topping 15%.
Whatever the reason, and likely Drum has a lot to do with it, it's nice to be on the more prosperous side of the nation's economic woes.