Saturday, March 6, 2010

New Restaurant Draws Crowd to Newell Street

If an establishment is to be judged by the number of television sets, count the newly minted "Maggies on the River" as a success.
The former Red Lion Brew Pub on Newell Street is open again under new management....and it has a lively atmosphere with lots televisions....bar games...and an expanded bar area that creates a real pub atmosphere on the shores of the Black River.
The recently built Whitewater Park and other improvements to the neighborhood should help this eaterie and pub do better than its predecessors....But it is still going to be a challenge to lure the public from nearby Coffeen Street....
Maggies is run by Reg Schweitzer and Christine Schulz. At tonights sneak preview party, I read a proclamation wishing them well and for the first time the owners got to see the simple joy of money coming into the register.
The bar no longer brews it own, but sports a couple dozen taps with all sorts of exotic brews. I have no idea what the menu is, but there will be plenty of time to check that out later.
This restaurant can do well, but as always its about promoting the atmosphere and controlling costs....
After two owners who didn't make it , the new owners are hoping the third time is a charm...and Saturday night's soire was certainly a good start.

Political Royalty on Pearl Street

Got a dose of politics and sports today as Assembly Hubby Ron McDougall stopped by to watch SU lose their number one ranking on the final game of the season.
After the game, Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava stopped by to pick up Ron for the trek back to Gouverneur...
I gave her a copy of the smoking gun letter from the state tax department admitting they committed contempt of court by keeping millions of dollars in cigarette vendor fees in violation of a court order....She said she would rattle the AG's cage to see why the state seems so above the law.
We talked a bit of politics...the quick demise of Massa....the pending demise of the Governor and the increasingly thuggish nature of the Legislature.
She is predicting the election of deposed Senator Hiram Montserrate in the coming special election.
She again pledged to come on the Hotline.........
It seems the whole 2009 scene is behind her, so I didn't bring it up.........And off they went to St. Lawrence County.

Your Neighborhood Pharmacist and Bartender

Let's check that shopping list.....aspirin...
Ex-Lax...oxycontin....viagra...cigarettes.... an 18 pack of PBR...a newspaper....condoms and a bottle of Kendall Jackson pinot......
That's right, its not just supermarkets who will get to sell wine if Albany gets its way...Its any store now selling beer and that includes drug stores.
Word is they are gearing up and are researching the top brands of wine so they can make shelf space available.
Don't look for a huge selection...just the top sellers with the top mark-ups...No local wines or obscure brands..
As for the liquor stores , they are still wondering why if there is competition why can't they sell beer and cigarettes...
Simple....it's because they want you out of business...Regulators and tax collectors would rather deal with a few large chains than a bunch of mom & pops.

Paterson Vows He Won't Bow To Pressure And Resign - wcbstv.com

The Governor is cutting the ribbon at a restaurant in order to make it seem he is doing just normal governor stuff. Normal stuff might mean being in Albany and not lunch at the Four Seasons and dinner at JFK's Palm Bar and Grille.
This is crazy...Just about everyone thinks Paterson is toast, but he plans on staying...The Governor has finally hired a lawyer and seems ready for the fight...
Maybe I will run into him tonight at the opening of Maggies on the River in Watertown...This Governor definately enjoys fine dining.
Paterson Vows He Won't Bow To Pressure And Resign - wcbstv.com

Dysfunction Displaces Work in a Distracted Albany - NYTimes.com

This is why I think we the people are in for a serious hosing...Albany is treading water and there is no ability to bridge the $9 Billion dollar budget shortfall. That means the quick and easy solution...more taxes...
An on-time budget is impossible (April 1st) and continuing resolutions will only result in spending more money the state doesn't have.
Dysfunction Displaces Work in a Distracted Albany - NYTimes.com

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Face in an Old Spot.....And a Big Debut on the River Slated for Monday

For those who dine out a pleasant surprise as Tom Costanza announced long time dining room favorite Cocoa will replace a departing bartender.
The perky blond will replace Megan who is pursuing a career as a Zumba instructor....
Meanwhile the neon's were on tonight at the city's newest eaterie...Maggies on the River opens Monday on Newell Street at the site of the former Red Lion Brewery.
Owners Reg Schweitzer and Christina Shultz are making last minute preparations including a sneak preview for invited guests tomorrow night.
Other establishments due to open soon include Coleman's and the Tilted Kilt as the city's hospitality trade seems to prosper.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch hold secret meeting - NYPOST.com

Today's secret meeting between the two men who may become the state's next two governors is very telling. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is favored to be elected this year and begin serving in January...Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch will serve this year if Governor Paterson heeds the calls for his resignation...Calls he so far has ignored.
Mr. Cuomo is investigating the case of Mr. Paterson's alledged improper influence in a domestic violence case against the governor's closest aide.
We all know the results of the probe will likely determine whether the Governor feels obliged to step aside in favor of Ravitch.
And we all know any "probe" on obstruction of justice can be made to look like whatever the prosecution wants it to...either criminal or just bad judgment or nothing at all.
In this case, the actions of Paterson staffers, the State Police and the Governor himself could easily be weaved into obstruction.
So does Mr. Cuomo have an interest in Mr. Ravitch taking office now....Yes he does.
That would create a defacto Cuomo administration in the coming months when tough budget decisions will be made. Ravitch could take the heat for what Cuomo does not want to have to do.
Given the attorney general's clear interest in succession, Its surprising something as brazen as this face to face meeting would be held....But it may be a canary in the coal mine for Governor Paterson.
A Ravitch Administration may be both a stalking horse and a transition for Mr. Cuomo who surely cannot imagine losing the November race to Rick Lazio.
Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch hold secret meeting - NYPOST.com

Massa will resign from Congress , Paterson Will Not

A special election is likely as Republicans will try to win the southern tier Congressional seat of Rep. Erik Massa, who is resigning due to what he says is poor health and a burgeoning sex scandal involving a male staffer. Massa won the seat in 2008 giving the Democrats 27 out of 29 seats in the NY delegation. There is a good chance the seat will return to the GOP.
Meanwhile Governor David Paterson continues to say he will not step down...Mr. Paterson says he will serve to the end of the year despite a spate of allegations that have forced him from seeking the seat again in the November election.
Massa will resign from Congress : Alerts : The Buffalo News

Owens Has No Choice on Health Bill

There is no room for Rep. Bill Owens to take a powder on the health care vote since fellow upstate Democrat Michael Arcuri of Utica has flipped to the no side.
Members of Congress worried about electoral blowback from a yes vote is making it difficult for Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer to hold the herd together....The original health bill barely passed in 2009, and now the House will be asked to approved the Senate version as a prelude to promised reconcilliation that will add items to the final product to placate the left.
Representitive Owens was mute on the bill during last year's campaign until the last moment. He voted for the bill shortly after taking office.
The bill is expected to be an issue trotted out by whomever of the three Republicans who run against Owens.
Meanwhile, Mr. Arcuri....who barely won in 2008, did the calculus and decided the bill is a loser politically.
Sometimes leadership will allow a member like Owens who is in a close race to vote no for local political expediency. Not so on this issue...There are no more votes to spare.
For Mr. Owens, its hard to say if the increasingly blue North Country electorate will see a yes vote as a plus for minus.
Ten people who could decide health care reform - Carrie Budoff Brown and Patrick O'Connor - POLITICO.com

While Albany Fiddles, Taxpayers are About to Get Burned

I guess Reverand Al tried to throw Governor Paterson under the bus at the meeting of black leaders called to decide the fate of the Governor. Really, it's their decision not ours. There is a sentiment of support for Paterson, given the suspicion that this firestorm of bad stuff and bad press must have been ready to unleash if the Governor had not been willing to yield to the Cuomo candidacy.
Paterson finally dropped out of the race but by then, party leaders had already unleashed the nuclear option and Paterson is having trouble recovering.
This is all good theater, but keep one eye on the budget process...We small business owning tax payers along with all New Yorkers are in for a serious beat down when it comes to taxes....The sugar tax is just the tip of the spear that is going to be rammed into all of us in order to keep all the six figure state workers living in the manner they are accustomed.
Paterson must now be sacrificed on the altar of bigger government and higher taxes.
News Of The Day

Hey What About Us ?...Northside Food Store Left Out of Sale

The prospects for the Watertown P & C store look a bit more grim as new owner Tops Markets sold all its North Country stores except the one in Seaway Plaza and Lowville. Tops bought bankrupt P & C, but did not want all the far flung stores for logistical reasons, since its supply hub is in western NY.
The Seaway Plaza store is in rented space and that may be an issue. However, it is a popular location and is the only supermarket left on the City's northside. Shame to see it go, but it looks like options are dwindling.
Watertown Daily Times Tops to sell 6 stores to Price Chopper Inc.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How Am I Doin' ?....Mayor Koch Wants Change

Former Mayor Ed Koch has earned the right to say enough's enough with government....But Hizzoner is suiting up to join with various good government groups to work for the defeat of members of the State Legislature considered a detriment to Albany.
Its a noble gesture , but not easy since the problem is finding new faces to run. Most people would never think of running for state office or are unable due to current career or family committments.
The incumbents have all the money and the ability to raise more.
Holding feet to the fire will require some defeats of incumbents....but to think there will be a mass turnover is to deny the very essence of how politics works.
Good to see the Mayor back in the action though.
Who Can Save Albany? Edward I. Koch and Company Will Try - NYTimes.com

Bar shut down following raid - News 10 Now

Last night must have smelled the sweet aroma of victory to the Town of Champion as O'Larry's Tavern in Great Bend was raided and closed for operating without a liquor license....Seems the owners had let it expire so I am sure they expected the visit...By today, O'Larry's had regrouped and its offending female dancers are still slated to dance....This time all nude and without alcohol.
The former Gary's Pub had become a men's club last year and neighbors objected to the combination of the Devils Brew and female pulchritude. Town officials vowed to put their foot down, but were unable to stop the partial disrobing of the female form.
Now O'Larry's is sans alcohol and there is no oversight from the State Liquor Authority...so the usual hammers are gone and the town will have to contend will an all nude bar with no alcohol.
Ads were heard on the radio today for the new format. The town can bring suit...but it won't be as easy to control as it would be with the SLA to threaten...
The state did all it could...Now the Town will have to finish the job...but it will cost ...Lawyers don't come cheap.
Bar shut down following raid - News 10 Now

Perkins: 'Scandal Fatigue' Could Help Paterson

Is there a feeling that Governor Paterson is being piled on ?....It does seem the "scandals", especially the Yankee tickets, are well orchestrated in their release.
Perkins: 'Scandal Fatigue' Could Help Paterson

Sharpton calls meeting of black leaders in Harlem to discuss Gov. Paterson's fate - NYPOST.com

Reverand Al is calling a meeting of black leaders to discuss the Governor's situation.....So would it be OK to call a meeting of white people to do the same ?
Sharpton calls meeting of black leaders in Harlem to discuss Gov. Paterson's fate - NYPOST.com

New York gone wild - Ben Smith and Glenn Thrush - POLITICO.com

New York is capturing the fancy of a nation for its spate of corruption and incompetance...This week its been a dizzying string of examples on top of numerous others over the past four years....No point listing them all here...but you get the message.
New York gone wild - Ben Smith and Glenn Thrush - POLITICO.com

Wednesday Night Fever

-Bad Day for the Dems....Rangel steps down from his chairmanship and Rep. Eric Massa bails after one term amid nasty, gossipy stories about alleged advances on a male staffer.....
Don't ask Don't Tell.
-The Doheny campaign tells me their official campaign song is the popular country tune "Chicken Fried" performed by the Zac Brown Band. Good choice...down home and patriotic.
-I hear a wealthy Buffalo area businessman is going to run for governor on an independent line labled Tea Party in hopes of getting 50,000 votes and ballot status for four years.
-I made a mistake on John McHugh....he is first in line after the Deputy Defense Secretary....Still an honor.
-Patty Ritchie and Addie Russell are competing to see he can most concerned about the possible prison closing in Ogdensburg.
-With Ford and Zuckerman out, Gillibrand has no real opponent.
-It looks like the Legislature will zing the hospitality industry with a sugar tax, no modifications of Lottery hours, and no relief for liquor stores......Great job, Albany.
-Ted Ford predicts no April 1st budget, just endless continuing resolutions to keep the government going.
-Media flurry tonight with the sighting of the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.
Hoyer knew of Massa allegations - John Bresnahan and Josh Kraushaar - POLITICO.com

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Doheny Hits the Trail

Matt Doheny is starting to be seen more and more as he attempts to win the GOP nod for Congress in NY 23. An appearance in Canton is being touted even by Twitter. So far Doheny has been on the down low talking to party poobahs in an effort to short circuit Doug Hoffman's second attempt at the race.
Doheny is a Jefferson County businessman raised in Alex Bay. He did not attend prep school, or so he is fond of reminding this humble blogger !
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Upstate Dem Congressman Bails on Reelection Bid

Another rattling event for Democrats as we got word moments ago that Southern Tier Congressman Eric Massa is not seeking reelection this fall. He had just won the seat two years ago. A GOP candidate has already emerged. No word on the reason for dropping out.
And Rep. Charles Rangel of Manhattan is losing his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee of the House. Observers suspect the Harlem Congressman will pass on running this fall, although Dems are sure to retain the seat.

Gov Slapped With Ethics Charge

When it rains it pours...for David Paterson...Now its an ethics charge related to securing World Series tickets...and the man who arranged for the passes to Yankee Stadium was none other than body man David Johnson.
This is the type of thing you have to be careful of getting nicked on at this level of politics...A Governor getting tickets to a ball game may not seem that bad a thing, but if somebody doesn't like you it can be made to sound bad.
Regardless, Paterson is also finding his own staff is busy leaking to media and his loyalists are getting fewer in number...He may not be able to hang on.
Gov Slapped With Ethics Charge

Paterson Should Consider Leaving

The NY Times and the Syracuse Post Standard are the latest to suggest in editorials that Governor David Paterson resign as a result of the exploding scandal involving the possible suppression of a domestic violence complaint against Paterson aide, David Johnson.
The Times continues to report on possible efforts by the Governor to pressure the victim and make the issue "go away."
Scandals, probes, and perfunctory demands for resignation are common in today's political world. Many times these things are either political opportunism or media grandstanding.
In this case, the assertions cut to the heart of the Governor's role as overseer of the State Police and the Executive Branch. If true it speaks to abuse of power and obstruction of justice....in addition to wicked poor judgment. The hiring of Johnson and reckless actions to protect him are serious.
All of the things up to now that people talk about, including mansion liasons,
are political fodder......And a lot was brought up as Andrew Cuomo and party leaders sought to push Paterson out of the way.
I was a defender of Governor Paterson on those matters and thought he should fight it out.
With his withdrawal from the campaign, there is little left to fight for .
For me, the bottom line is that if the NY Times scenarios are true, he should leave office as the result will be an ugly drip, drip, drip that could lead to criminal charges or impeachment proceedings. Given the timing of the current term, it may just end up a very ineffective stewardship of state finances with a $9 Billlion deficit deficit looming.
The investigation will take weeks, so no matter what happens these are turbulent times ahead in what may now by the nation's most dysfunctional state capital.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

McHugh Almost Next in Line if Defense Secretary Dies

President Obama has placed Army Secretary and Watertown native John McHugh almost next in line to be Defense Secretary should something happen to current Secretary Robert Gates.
Mr Obama put the former North Country Congressman as next in line after the deputy secretary by a March 1 executive order....Under President Bush the Army Secretary was sixth in line for the top defense job.
Who would run the Pentagon if Gates died? - Boston.com

Head Trooper Out...Paterson Vows to Stay

Corbitt Out

Look on the Bright Side, Harold Ford: You Never Have to Go to Buffalo Again - Harold Ford - Gawker

Harold Ford Junior's campaign for the US Senate in NY was a strange quixotic affair marked by aggressive assaults on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.....A cursory tour of Upstate.....revelations of his Hampton's lifestyle....and a sudden departure from the race just when many were feeling he could be the outsider candidate in a year of outsiders.
I thought it would have been a great primary, but the party poobah's must have scared him off...He could get the money and has the charm, but in New York's Democratic party it is so so necessary to be not just be courteous but obsequious to the radical gay lobby....the NARAL crowd....and the Manhattan dilettantes with cash who have veto power over nominees.
Sen. Gillibrand had to get the gun out from under her bed....Harold Ford had to get out of the race....The value of conformity is obvious.
Look on the Bright Side, Harold Ford: You Never Have to Go to Buffalo Again - Harold Ford - Gawker

Toyota Sales Sag Locally But are Still in the Pack

Despite a month of horrible press, sales of Toyota cars and trucks were in line with other manufacturers locally last month.
While Toyota is frequently well ahead of domestic auto makers in Jefferson County, the numbers from the County Clerks office would have to be considered good under the circumstances.
Kia was tops in cars with 20 followed by Toyota at 18 and Chevrolet at 15. Ford, Honda and Nissan logged 13 each. Walt Young scored an impressive 11 for Volkswagen.
In trucks, Toyota's eight new trucks led the field.
These numbers do not include dealers who choose for logistical reasons to register out of county.
Nonetheless, brand loyalty and a strong local dealer in Waite's kept some metal moving off the lot.

NYC Media Blasts Darrel on Farm Workers Bill....Gotta Love It

Senator Darrel Aubertine is getting lots of press downstate for his opposition to a farm workers rights bill....The libs say he is holding show trials in the Ag Committee to stall or kill the bill, which upstate lawmakers say will place onerous and expensive mandates on beleaguered farmers.
Regardless of the merits of the bill, this is a great way for Democrat Aubertine to inoculate himself against downstate Democrats in a year the GOP will try to tie Aubertine to them.
That may be why Senate leader John Sampson allowed the bill to meander from the Labor Committee to Aubertine's Agriculture Committee. The leadership knows NYC media bashing Aubertine is just what the Senator needs to have read by voters in the 48th District.
A growing injustice: Farm workers' rights need Senate vote, not sham hearings

Dave told state workers to call aide's 'beaten' gal pal - NYPOST.com

Loyalty to his "body man" is said to have prompted Governor David Paterson to ask his own staff to suppress claims of domestic violent by aide David Johnson's girlfriend...Calls for his resignation will continue but Paterson will likely refuse.
Dave told state workers to call aide's 'beaten' gal pal - NYPOST.com

Monday, March 1, 2010

More Trouble Looms for Embattled Political Party - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com

Here's a story that may have a huge impact on North Country Democrats like Bill Owens and Darrel Aubertine......The New York Times reports the embattled Working Families Party may not have the Democrat Andrew Cuomo on its line this year...The reason is fundraising miscues and a federal investigation of the labor-led party....The WFP is the 'me too' party for local Dems and if Mr. Cuomo shies away from the line....that pressures a Bill Owens and a Darrel Aubertine to do the same....For Owens and Aubertine, that second line on the ballot is important. For the WFP, a viable candidate for Governor is needed to maintain ballot status.
In the end, Dems will rightly conclude the public doesn't care about the WFP's legal problems...They will take the line, unless the Indy Chair Frank Mackay offers up line C in an effort to sink the WFP......
More Trouble Looms for Embattled Political Party - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com

Council Yields to Lobbying....Approves Breen Avenue Reconstruction

In the end it was freshmen Councilperson Teresa Macaluso who cast the lone vote against spending $2.2 million on the resonstruction of Breen Avenue on the City's west side.
Council okayed the project after a month of deliberating, studying, lobbying and musing about the project.
In the end Council said while several streets deserve work, this one was in the queue for several years, had already been engineered and there is a need to do some reconstruction work even in tough times.
The project will begin in June and be completed this year, if bids come in as anticipated.
The borrowing for the project will add $130,ooo to the fiscal year budget starting in July....That equals about 1.8% on the current tax levy.

Ford Muscled Out of Senate Race

Ohhhh....That was a close call...The Democrats almost had a real blue dog running for US Senate....But Harold Ford Junior has been driven from the temple of liberalism that is New York's Democratic Party.
Now Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has a clear path to the nomination and given the GOP paucity of candidates a near lock on the election.
At the time of her appointment, Ms. Gillibrand seemed a blue dog upstater, but has veered far from her moderate roots in order to curry favor on the upper West Side.
Ford must have been dealt some serious pressure or given a promise of a cabinet post in DC.....This is a guy who likes the action too much to roll over.
As for the Democrats, the post-racial era has meant the kicking to the curb of the state's first black governor and now Harold Ford.....You go , Reverand Al !
The Daily Politics

Chuck's in Town

Senator Charles Schumer touted the recently passed $15 Billion jobs bill saying it will encourage employers to hire those laid off more than 60 days. The bill is yet to be signed by President Obama, but when it is employers will get to save on new hires.
Mr. Schumer says its money spent only if a job is created and said that should appeal to folks like me...the Senator must be reading this blog.....
One thing the Senator did not do is not answer questions about Governor Paterson....He knows how to stay on message and not drown out what he wanted to say.
He also was vague on health care saying he preferred to wait for the President's revised plan on Wednesday.
His appearance was at St. Lawrence Tape....a manufacturer of hockey tape in the Industrial Park.

911 calls reveal Paterson aide's ex pleaded for help as 'victim of violence' - NYPOST.com

The drip...drip...drip of scandal will likely continue to plague the lame duck regime of Governor David Paterson.....While some call for his resignation, others say the Governor is now unshackled from politics and can better deal with the state's thorny budget issues
Governor Paterson will not leave office and the Legislature is hardly going to try and impeach a sitting Governor in an election year, when he is due out of office in December.
I hope the Governor uses this unique opportunity to do some good, but I don't think it will happen. Neither to I think 76 year old Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch would do anything more than a potted plant would if put in the charge of the Second Floor.
911 calls reveal Paterson aide's ex pleaded for help as 'victim of violence' - NYPOST.com

WDT: Owens Dancing on Health Care

North Country Congressman Bill Owens has easily adapted to his new life and is at ease dealing with constituents while his staff seems to be responsive to local needs. All a recipe for easy reelection especially since the Republicans are headed for a "soul of the party" fight that won't end till primary day in September.
Mr. Owens need only worry that those pesky things called "issues" get in his way.
Take for instance, the health bill....Mr. Owens immediately backed the House version upon getting elected although he was vague on the matter during the campaign.
Now, the WDT reports the Congressman is busy nuancing his position in the hope something like health care or cap 'n trade doesn't erupt into something people base their vote on.
The worry about issues may not be necessary....One veteran GOP icon told me over the weekend, the demographics of the North Country favor the notion of getting something for nothing, which is what nationalized health care is all about.
Make no mistake, if Speaker Pelosi says jump, Mr. Owens will have no choice and so far the Speaker seems obsessed with pushing this bill through.
That's the rough part of party politics. the party gets you elected and then you have to do their bidding.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

NYT: Troopers Were Taking Orders from a Drug Dealer ?

As the State Police come under scrutiny again, this NY Times piece is a good summary of why Troopers become complicit in things like the David Johnson case.
In the case of Mr. Johnson, a key personal aide to the Governor, the SP was in essence taking orders from a convicted drug dealer and known mysoginist.....Add to that the desire of troopers on the detail to please because they like the cushy, prestigious job and you have a recipe for what happened.
This detail stays at the best hotels and eats in the best restaurants...There is likely lots of overtime. And these officers know that on a whim they can be reassigned and find themselves writing their eight tickets a day on a lonely highway in Hamilton County.
What is fascinating is that the Major commanding the detail says his superiors OK'd repeated contact with the alleged victim of David Johnson's actions. Read on.
State Police Had Trouble Under Pataki, Spitzer and Paterson - NYTimes.com

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tensions Flare At Sharpton Summit

So the end of David Paterson's candidacy requires a meeting of black and latino politicians to do exactly what ?.......And if you read Liz' story you will see Harold Ford showed up and got 'em all mad by not joining Reverand Al's 'amen corner."
And look who is sitting next to Rev. Sharpton....Rep. Charles Rangel, with his freshly minted rebuke from the House Ethics Committee.
These are camp followers....they were all greasing the skids under Governor Paterson because they care not about the state's first black governor nearly as much as their desire to be close to power and not antagonize Andrew Cuomo.
Kudos to Harold Ford for going and pointing out the hypocritical orthodoxy of New York's master of identity politics.
Tensions Flare At Sharpton Summit

Paterson scandal: State police boss Corbitt sounds like mob boss trying to explain conduct

I was struck the same way when I heard State Police Superintendent Harry Corbitt say his officers talked to a domestic violence victim linked to an aide to the the Governor because they were trying to present her with options. A clear admission the members of the Governor's security detail were leaning on the woman to abandon her claims against Paterson body man David Johnson.
If these officers didn't know this was improper they shouldn't be making the kind of coin they were hauling in...The same is true of their boss. If they did it intentionally they should be indicted.
Instead it will be swept under the rug.
Paterson scandal: State police boss Corbitt sounds like mob boss trying to explain conduct

DeDe Trying to Talk Common Sense Fiscal Restraint as She Puts 2009 Debacle Behind Her

As if her ill fated Congressional run had never happened, Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava is out an about at town hall meetings talking some common sense spending cuts in a state capital where common sense seems to have given way to common criminals.
North Country lawmakers need to be truth tellers in these times when so much of the Albany scene is consumed with poor personal behavior on the part of a list of names we all know.
I was interested in Ms. Scozzafava's observation about the increasing reliance on tickets and fines not as behavior modifiers, but as revenue streams. The quota for State Police ticket writing is now up to eight or nine a day. I have to assume there is similar pressure on other agencies that have the power to write citations and issue fines....Thank you DeDe for at least talking about the topic that is routinely lied about by policy makers.
The Assemblywoman is clearly running for reelection despite the fallout from last year's ugly race in which she pulled the plug on GOP efforts to hold NY23 in favor of backing Rep. Bill Owens. It will be interesting to see if she supports him this year, but for her if doesn't matter. She has a following in the 122nd and frankly, no one is that loyal to parties anymore.
Speaking out on the issues is the best therapy for last year's overreach.
Watertown Daily Times Scozzafava offers ways to fix the state budget

Breen Vote on Monday

City Council will hear from west end residents Monday night over Breen Avenue and the decision is a difficult one given the cost of even these relatively small projects.
Residents of the street are anxious for a rebuild and that is entirely understandable. This is a close knit neighborhood where people are proud of their homes and an improved street would be a wonderful thing
Every member of City Council knows this project has been in the queue for years, even though there are other streets more heavily used and in similar or worse condition.
The downside is cost...While this is a project slated for 2010, the costs associated with it or any project come at a time when revenues have softened. To sustain the first year debt service costs would mean a percentage or two on the property tax levy in a budget where the five year plan already assumes an 8 percent increase.
This is the classic legislative conundrum of spending and tax rates, compounded by a general nervousness about debt in a nation so wracked by overspending.
There are sound arguments on both sides and that is why normally perfunctory bond ordinance vote has become difficult.