Saturday, October 3, 2009

DeDe on Pearl Street

The powerful come to Pearl Street....Tonight, when I returned from the Zoo To Do fundraiser at the Flower Library, I was pleasantly surprised to see Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava and her husband Ron were at Fort Pearl.
Ms. Scozzafava had just finished a day of festivals and parades in her bid to win the vacant 23rd CD.
I burdened her with advice, let her put up a lawn sign and gave her a check....That's what you are supposed to do....I gave it to Ron, because the candidates never like to touch the money.
I like my next member of Congress to visit the lonely precincts where average people gather and cling to their guns and bibles.
DeDe liked my standup of Sarah Palin and the photo from the Auburn visit.
I think she realized this was not an ACORN tavern.
She told me she is attending the Tea Party in Plattsburgh tomorrow......That's good....Ron even said he watches a little Glenn Beck from time to time. Maybe these folks aren't as doggone liberal as Mike Long says.
Let's hope so.

Go West Young Lady, Go West

The first time I ran for mayor, I scored big wins in the northside neighborhoods near where I lived and held the opposition close elsewhere. Once in office, my north and south side numbers became equal.
The point is, your first time running for an office, you have to depend on the folks who know you best for the boost.
For Diedre Scozzafava, that's the people of the greater Watertown area. She should be pulling 70% or more in that area and the new Sienna Poll says she is not.
People like the devil they know and they vote their own interests.
The case for Scozzafava is simple. She's from here. The other candidates live three hours away.
Instead of sparring with Conservative Doug Hoffman, the Gouverneur native needs to run up the score on her home turf, knowing she will get roughed up in some of more distant precincts of this way-too-spacious Congressional district.
Her opponents have no connections here. Bill Owens, for all his classy TV spots, still hasn't met key Democratic elected officials from Jefferson County, much less the teeming masses in places like Adams, Clayton and Oxbow.
The Conservatives are playing hide the ball with Hoffman because word is he doesn't come across well on the stump, but does do well by wearing the word "Conservative" like a Snuggie on a cold December day.
DeDe, run up the score in the western end of the district. That's where the preponderence of the votes are.
Parochialism and appeals to regional loyalty may seem intellectually cheesy,but this is about winning.
While we all know there are nice people in Plattsburgh, it's time to make clear those on the other side of the mountains are not "one of us."
Once you win, you can work on making friends over there, just as John McHugh had to due when he rode the western counties to victory in 1992.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Week is Over.......

Its always nice to lend a hand to something as worthwhile as the Thompson Park Zoo. Today, my friend Tammy Bramhall of the Wicked Wench Tavern in West Carthage presented the Zoo Director John Scott Foster with $1120 collected in the Beers for Bears program hosted by 14 area taverns and restaurants.
Hopefully next year, with more preparation the event can raise more.
Thank you to those who helped out including Councilwoman Burns and the business owners.

I must have got it wrong. Thru an on line poll and comments on the Hotline I got the message. David Letterman is well liked and his admission he had sex with staffers gets a pass in the entertainment industry. I had thought that inappropriate behavior for someone in charge, but I guess I was wrong.

All the King's Horses and All the King's Men (even Oprah) couldn't stop Chicago from getting the heave-ho in first round voting to be chosen as the site of the 2016 Olympics.
Earlier this year, President Obama said the Windy City games would be a capstone to his eight year reign.
This weeks sojourne of Mr. and Mrs Obama and their favorite talk show host didn't work and was a distraction from a war we are not winning and a health care debate that just goes on and on.
Congratulations to Rio, but really the amount of money spent on courting these games is disturbing....
The President suffered an embarassment today by putting his prestige on the line without an assurance of success.
As the headline on Drudge said of the return of Mr. Obama.

"The Ego has Landed....World Rejects Obama."

This was a humbling day for a man treated defferentially for some time.

And tonight is homecoming at my alma mater, WHS. Look forward to going on a rainy fall night at the Fargo Campus.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday Happenings......

Had a busy day...just catching up....

First I just heard that Lewis County Legislator Rick Lucas is telling folks he is so certain about taking DeDe Scozzafava's soon to be vacant Assembly seat that he has already picked who he wants to replace him on the County Leg.
Wow.....My old friend Joe Baruth is running in that district. Why not let him win so he can do a good job ?
Now before anyone can take DeDe's place, she has to get elected to Congress. A Sienna College Poll out today lists the race in NY-23 as a toss-up with Conservative Party candidate Hoffman polling at 16%.
Hoffman has some spiffy TV ads. I saw one today on TV 7 just before the Price is Right. He also has radio ads....but so far none on the Hotline.
Political IV is berating his own party's candidate by blasting her campaign operatives for being obsessed with Hoffman.
Meanwhile, the process of governing moved ahead late today as I met with the Hockey Association and reached the framework of a deal to get the Fairgrounds concession stand open for the season.
I still feel long term the city needs to operate concessions, but for this season some negotiating of a contract was in order.
And after that bit of mediation, I went over to Pete's. Like that's news.
There is a reception for Council candidate Teresa Macaluso and it seems busy.
Candidate Jeff Smith says his campaign is gearing up and he has signs and palm cards printed. The third candidate, Steve Bradley, already has some signs up and was seen this week visiting the home to soon-to-be Florida resident Dave Mance.
Time to relax.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hello Autumn

In case there was any doubt, today's highs in the 40's leaves no doubt what's ahead....but unlike some I do love fall and the run-up to the holidays.
Let's see, the snowblower and furnaces are serviced and ready to go. Got some replacement windows to save energy, and as soon as we get a dry stretch, we can get that leaky roof drain fixed. Hopefully nothing else goes wrong.
Last of the paving season is near and in a month the snow tires go on.
By February the enthusiasm for winter will be long gone, but it's the cycle of change we like up here.
Oh, I forgot the cider.

Now To Get My Friends in Media Riled

With only a month left till the Congressional election, it appears voters will have no opportunity to see the candidates together live on the same stage.
I am told there are no set plans for a debate or forum and if there is any joint appearance it will not be live.
I am told it's logistics.
This is broadcast production 101. Get me Teddy Ford and Bill Saiff and Lois Dempster and we'll have this thing on the air by sundown. Three stools lit in limbo and an inocuous moderator to keep it going.
Run it live on a Sunday morning and give it a couple replays in different day parts and on the internet. Find some public spirited institutional type advertisers so the station can make a little $$$.
The event will make news and feed the cycle for a couple of days.
Do one in Watertown and one in Plattsburgh. Both cities have Public TV facilities. to aid in production if need be.
It used to be broadcasters operated in the public interest, convenience and necessity. They need to readopt that credo.
Teddy, time to suit up for one last battle !

WFP, Dems in fraud probe

This is why Diedre Scozzafava should repudiate the WFP and unequivocally say she does not want their nomination, which of course she wasn't going to get anyway.
WFP, Dems in fraud probe

Meanwhile, On the Other Side of the Mountains

A little fairness now as we look at the campaigns of Democrat Bill Owens of Plattsburgh and Conservative Douglas Hoffman of Lake Placid.
Both keep touting how they created jobs. The first through efforts in Plattsburgh to reuse the old air base in that city, while Mr. Hoffman hops into the Way-Back Machine to ballyhoo his role in the free-spending Olympic Regional Development Authority in the run-up to the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Jobs are understandably a popular issue....Most people like paychecks.
However, Presidents, Governors, State Senators, even some Mayors always seem to think they created jobs. Jobs are created through the efforts of entrepreneurs, innovators, hard-workers, risk-takers and the like.
Government can provide the regulatory framework that protects the public interest (sometimes) when growth occurs. That's fine.
However, to cite your involvement in ORDA as "creation" is a stretch, especially since it was massive government spending that allowed the Olympics to occur, hardly a manifesto for a "Conservative" candidate.
Also, our two friends from east of the Adirondacks haven't seemed too interested in the westerners of the the 23rd. Now I concede, I may have missed their appearances and maybe the media is downplaying them, but in a month they need to convince a lot of people they are sincere about us folks too.
Hoffman has former Senator Fred Thompson backing him via a web post, while Bill Owens touts a Joe Biden appearance at a fundraiser at a Syracuse law firm. Mr. Owens seems slippery on the progressive agenda he seeks to join, particularly on the "public option" and abortion rights.
It almost seems like Owens and Hoffman are some kind of tag team with the former being the statesman while the latter jumps in to trash Scozzafava for being too liberal. Maybe she is, but shouldn't progressives (as they like to be called) expect their candidate to be one.
The Press Republican - Article: Congressional candidate touts job creation as top priority

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Republican worry over McHugh seat builds -

There has to be more to the GOP effort than attrocious looking lawn signs and a series of press releases touting the endorsements of people who have no one else to endorse because their family's livelihood is linked to being a loyal partisan.....
Who cares that the family of deceased Senator Ron Stafford endorses Scozzafava ?. Or GOP Senator Betty Little....or a couple of Republican members of Assembly.....Who else would they endorse ?......This isn't one of those good-old-days elections where McHugh, Wright and Nortz can be pictured around the kitchen table nodding while the announcer chortles about the North Country Republican Team.
This is survival time for the GOP and safe, hackneyed press releases and a reliance on a dwindling registration advantage won't make it happen.
America's interests are not served by increasing the size of Nancy Pelosi's flock. Stopping a Democratic win is going to take some tough rhetoric and some tough campaigning.
I might suggest that would be a good strategy.....Oh, and its time to stop playing footsie with the WFP. They are going for Owens and its better to write 'em off and cut Hoffman off at the pass on the issue of who is to liberal.
I know it's none of my business, but I like to throw my 2 cents in...Sorry if I offended anyone.
Republican worry over McHugh seat builds -

Gov. Paterson Sets SpecialElection Date for Nov. 3

It's game on. Governor Paterson has called the NY-23 election for the regular election day of November 3.
This means a short campaign ahead and enhanced turnout which may affect the many local races on the ballot. Traditionally a non-mayoral off-year election in the City of Watertown would be lucky to draw 3,000. With an open Congressional seat at stake the number may be much higher. District-wide turnout estimates range from 120,000 to 180,000.
The next step is for the parties to formally designate their candidates. Stated party preferences so far include Republican-Independence for Diedre Scozzafava.....Democrat for William Owens....and Conservative for Doug Hoffmann. The Working Families Party will likely side with Owens.
Let the spending begin.
Gov. Paterson Sets Special
Election Date for Nov. 3

State Sen. Pedro Espada 'should be in jail,' says Dem Neil Breslin

In what is an unusual embarassment to the Democratic party, a key state lawmaker has upped the ante over the fitness of Sen. Pedro Espada to be Senate Majority leader. Dems put Espada in the post to hold on to their one vote majority rule after Espada briefly organized with the GOP. Espada's problems and his own party members willingness to say these type of things about him could be a problem in 2010.....but only if the Republicans can effectively make hay over the matter.
Saying someone should be in jail, without substantiation, would normally be slander if said and libel if printed, but such charges are OK for public officials You can call Espada a wife beater and a puppy kicker too. Might as well at this point.
State Sen. Pedro Espada 'should be in jail,' says Dem Neil Breslin

Everybody is an Independent Nowadays

So former senator and presidential hopeful Fred Thompson has weighed in on NY-23 to not endorse the Republican candidate. President Obama refuses to endorse the Democratic candidate for Mayor of NYC, even though as an obscure Illinois senator he did so in 2005.
Where is party loyalty ?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Last Chance to Help the Animals

Enough of this silly politics.
This Friday at 2PM at the Thompson Park Zoo, proceeds from the Beers for Bears program will be presented to Zoo Director, Dr. John Scott Foster.
Tammy Bramhall, owner of the Wicked Wench Tavern in West Carthage, will present on behalf of the 14 businesses which took part.
If you want to help the animals eat this winter, contributions are being taken at great local establishments like the Time Warp and Fort Pearl.
The Zoo-to-Do fundraiser is this Saturday night at the Flower Library.

Just Don't Use Their Slogan: "Workers of the World Unite !"

This Working Families Party deal is interesting as over the years the same panic has swirled around the Independence Party as some candidates tried to link the line to Lenora Fulani, a New York City activist linked to Marxism, Anti-Semitism and Cultish behavior.
The Fulani link never hurt candidates up North as folks confused her with Lola Folana, the dancer.
Nonetheless, these minor party lines are widely viewed not as an ideology but just a second or third spot on the ballot.
Many who voted for Aubertine, Russell, Obama, etc did so on the Family line so they didn't have to vote for the Democrat. It's all a rather silly game made possible by fusion voting which is allowed in NY but not many other states.
Candidate Scozzafava will pay some price for taking the WFP line, which seemed harmless when running in a safe seat in NNY. No one ever noticed.
Like a writer's paper trail, the WFP endorsement will drive some into the Doug Hoffman camp....
And the current ACORN mess makes it worse.
All DeDe has to do is what most in Congress did. Throw ACORN under the bus and move
The play on words was in honor of Bill Safire.

From Little ACORNS Grow Big Trees

The ACORN Card is being played in the race for NY-23. The conservative blogger RedState America is accusing the GOP of nominating an ACORN-backed candidate in Dierdre Scozzafava. The premise is Ms. Scozzafava's previouse dalliances with New York's Working Families Party, a labor-based me-too party usually reserved for Democrats.
The funny thing is thay ACORN'S patron saint is the Service Employees International Union, which is backing the Democrat Bill Owens of Plattsburg.
All of this is part of the continuing conservative dissatisfaction with DeDe and their effort to spook the GOP into dumping her.
Local media has done little to cover the controversies over ACORN, in particular the undercover videos that proved so damning. How much the ACORN label hurts in increasingly blue Northern New York is unknown.
New York Republicans Put Up ACORN Backed Candidate in NY-23

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dave to Bam: That's for Me to Decide

The man who has overcome a profound disability to become governor says he won't be chased away by a President who tried to push him aside due to low poll numbers.
Governor David Paterson was on Meet the Press today and continued to defy the leader of his party. I think the governor has his sympathizers who realize he means well and is trying to play a bad hand.
The Democrats will likely nominate Andrew Cuomo next year and Mr. Cuomo will probably be the next governor. Having to push Paterson aside at a convention or in a primary is a bit more messy, but it will happen. If he doesn't have the votes he loses.
Maybe he will preside over a budget showdown that will accomplish something this winter. If that's the case, his fortunes will turn and he can say he did it without the White House. More likely, Albany will be at impasse, nothing will get done, and David Paterson's ambitions will collapse under their own weight.
Either way he can say , as Sinatra did, "I did it my way."
Paterson tells nation he won't drop out : Home: The Buffalo News

Gaddafi's Oddest Idea: Abolish Switzerland - TIME

Gaddafi's Oddest Idea: Abolish Switzerland - TIME

Safire Dead at Age 79

The man who staged the 1959 "Kitchen Debate" between Krushchev and Nixon and coined one of my favorite lines. "nattering nabobs of negativism" is dead at age 79.
Speechwriter and columnist William Safire died of cancer and was one of the intellectual bright lights of the Nixon era and a respected pundit in the years after.
It's always a loss when a good writer passes.

Distorting Ads....Shocking I Tell You

Here's a look-see at advertising accuracy from Jude Seymour. Good for him for trying, but this campaign will continue to be all about TV, direct mail and e-mail skirmishes between the operatives.
If you want some more interesting reading in your Sunday WDT, check out Dave Shampine's piece on the balloonists....That's a story worth the full $2.25 !
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Watch Syracuse TV if You Want to See Who's Serious About Winning

Wow, I was watching TV 3 in Syracuse tonight with sound off and an anti-Scozzafava commercial came on courtesy of the Democrats and their candidate Bill Owens.
The visuals alone sent their message...that the Gouverneur girl-next-door is a tax-hiking, shady business-dealing, Albany insider.
Now that spot may fall flat with the clientele at Ninah's or the Clearview....but for the folks in Madison, Oneida, Oswego, Fulton, Hamilton, Essex, Franklin and Clinton counties, these spots and ones like them can quickly define her. The fact they can buy Syracuse media means they are in it to win it.
This kind of assault in the outer counties by Owens, combined with the nibbling campaign of Conservative Doug Hoffman who is gnawing away at the center-right that defines the GOP spells a long month ahead for Scozzafava.
The bummer for DeDe is that with her own conservative credentials in question, its hard to make Owens out as the Henry Waxman, Barney Frank type lefty that the GOP thinks will not play here.
Add to the mix, the uncertainty over the date of the election....the Governor could still call it for an odd date, if Dem operatives think there is some tactical advantage in doing so. I don't see it, but I've been wrong before.
You have to be of Ted Ford's vintage to remember those gentle contests between say a Bob McEwen and Norma Bartle when the GOP machine purred quietly while the Dems acknowledged their role which was to lose politely. And nobody spent too much money.
I am sure the Republicans of yore would be asking, "is anything sacred?"
The answer is no its not.