Elise Stefanik at a Labor Day Parade in Moriah

Elise Stefanik at a Labor Day Parade in Moriah
Campaign Kicks Off in Earnest This Weekend

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Conservatives: 'No enthusiasm' for Lazio

The other shoe is starting to drop for Rick Lazio, the presumptive but less than exciting GOP candidate for Governor.....If Conservatives start to flock to recent GOP convert Steve Levy, the end may come for Lazio......The issue is who can run a vibrant campaign against Andrew Cuomo...Some doubt Lazio can...
Conservatives: 'No enthusiasm' for Lazio

Oswego Tea Party: RINO Ritchie at the Oswego County Republican Committee Meeting

GOP Senate Candidate (likely) Patty Ritchie took it on the chin in this blog from Oswego County Tea Partiers....In what was frequently straying into a sexist preoccupation with looks, the appearance by Ritchie at a county GOP meeting drew a thumbs down from the Tea Party Blogger.
I will say laying off the license plate story would help....but the Blog writer seems to only like Palinesque good looks.....and besides, without wanting to contribute to the sexism, Patty looks fine.
These blogs and citizen journalists may suffer at times from accuracy and bias issues, but they do provide an insight into campaigns that you cannot get from the MSM.
Ritchie needs to say she wants the seat and articulate her philosophy and agenda....She needs to make the case for why she would help change Albany for the better.
Like it or not this Tea Party blog surely represents the opinions of some and Ritchie needs to reach the issue crowds on the right....
Oswego Tea Party: RINO Ritchie at the Oswego County Republican Committee Meeting

RACE ON...OWENS TO VOTE YES....FOES SAY BRING IT ON !

Finally, after the issue was all but settled, NNY Congressman Bill Owens did what everyone expected and said he will vote for the Senate Health Care Bill.
This tees up the ball for either Matt Doheny or Doug Hoffman....the possible GOP opponents who both opposed the bill and plan to make the November election a referendum on Owens support for the President.
Mr. Owens statement is attached so you can check out his reasoning.
Owens will vote to improve, increase coverage for hundreds of thousands of Upstate New Yorkers

'Game changer' Levy calls for $$ uprising - NYPOST.com

A few weeks ago, when I read that former Assemblyman (in Shelly's caucus) and current Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy was seeking the Republican nomination for governor, I looked at the effort in the context of the old paradigm.
Levy is a registered Democrat....he is of a different species and surely old-guard GOP'ers wouldn't allow cats to sleep with dogs.
But these are tough times...the State is careening out of control, the pols in Albany are a laughing stock or worse and the beatification of the son of a former governor has not given us any agenda for making things better.
Levy preaches drastic change and it seems has a record of addressing money issues in the populous Long Island county he presides over. He has run for office...raised lots of money and won.
The MSM accounts of his candidacy are respectful and do not dismiss him as a kook......
Steve Levy has a long way to go to get the GOP nod....Since his registration change does not take effect till next year, his only way on the ballot is at the party convention where he would need more than half the vote in order to get an out of party authorization....There may be too many GOP committee persons who just cannot stomach a man who as a young man checked the wrong box and was seen palling around with liberals (Speaker Silver).
He could catch fire if his message is right....
New Yorkers are craving a message.....
When opponent Rick Lazio issued a press release with 10 reasons not to vote for Levy.....the response from Levy was quick and devastating.....
"Give us one reason to vote for you," he told Mr.Lazio....There was no answer forthcoming.
'Game changer' Levy calls for $$ uprising - NYPOST.com

FOX: Nancy Wins

A FOX News "whip count" of House members shows Speaker Pelosi has the 216 votes needed for passage of the health bill....Of course, all these media summaries involve certain assumptions that could in the final tally change.
Meanwhile, opponents of the bill are pursuing all sorts of measures to derail the bill and its implementation. Some state AG's are preparing law suits.
What's obvious is this matter will go on long after the Sunday vote....(which of course may not really be a vote)

I Have a Reader Who Lives in Manhattan !

I sometimes wonder who reads a blog like this....I know the usual suspects like Justin or Danny....
This evening I was chatting with a high powered corporate lawyer who lives in Lower Manhattan.....and she says she absolutely loves this blog....
I won't name names but let's just say my writing style was compared to Peggy Noonan.....
I would say the prose of a Noonan with a dash of the ideology of Glenn Beck.
Oh, when I said "high powered" I was gilding the lilly a tad....After all she went to law school at Penn, not Harvard.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Speed Reader Bill Owens Has an Appetite for Words

This article says Bill Owens completed reading 2400 pages of health bill and the darn thing only went on line Thursday....That's fast reading..That would be like reading Going Rogue six times in a day.
Plus, legislation is hard to read because it often refers back to other laws and in this case you have to interpret the ramifications of taxes, laws, unforeseen circumstances and lots more....
The fact is few people are voting based on an intimate knowledge of this. And with all due respect to the Congressman, no one could read and fathom 2400 pages in a day, except perhaps my good friend Dan Francis. Oops gotta run...Palin is on Greta's show.
The Press Republican - Article: Owens says he's undecided on health care

Exclusive: Murphy will vote ‘aye’ on health care - Capitol Confidential - New York Politics - timesunion.com - Albany NY

Rep. Scott Murphy of Glens Falls has folded into line behind the health care bill. Rep. Michael Arcuri is being beaten about the chest and head by labor for his announced no vote....
And that leaves NNY Congressman Bill Owens still on the bubble, although everyone expects him to back the bill tomorrow.
Like Murphy, the labor-based Working Families Party put Owens over the top with top notch field canvassing and line E on the ballot.
These upstate Dems need this support to win, even though a yes vote will embolden Owen's likely GOP opponents, Matt Doheny and Doug Hoffman.
Arcuri almost lost last time despite the Obama landslide in NY......The Utica Congressman was in trouble no matter which we he went....He likely is headed for defeat.
Exclusive: Murphy will vote ‘aye’ on health care - Capitol Confidential - New York Politics - timesunion.com - Albany NY

WDT: Bill's Pillow Will Tell Him How to Vote

Now Jude says Bill Owens has to sleep on it..... Congressman, your dilemma will not look better in the morning...Just use the occasion to get what you can for NNY !
Have a nice dinner in DC and get a good night's sleep.....
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

WDT:Obama Calls Owens

North Country Congressman Bill Owens says he is still reading the bill...........No need to, the President himself told FOX this week he hasn't read it....Mr. Obama is said to have called our Congressman and this afternoon, Mr. Owens gets to meet with Speaker Pelosi....
Meanwhile Owen's likely GOP rivals are enjoying his predicament and fully expect him to vote yes and hand the GOP a potent issue for the fall campaign.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

GOP Leaders Rally Round Levy...the Democrat

Could Democrat turning Republican Steve Levy actually derail the presumptive GOP nominee for Governor ?
Levy...who is County Executive in Suffolk County on the east end of Long Island is a fiscal hawk with many friends in the Republican ranks and more than one of them is now backing Levy....Meanwhile Rick Lazio, who seemed to have the nomination in tow is calling Levy a "rank opportunist."
It won't be easy for Levy, but he does seem to have traction and money....Something Lazio is having trouble finding.
Democrat Levy to make GOP bid for NY governor -- Page 1 -- Times Union - Albany NY

NYT: Owens One of a Handfull Whose Political Future is Being Weighed

Decision is being made....Does Bill Owens get a pass to vote no ?
Political Memo - In Health Vote, Democrats Weigh Success vs. Survival - NYTimes.com

New York's Cuomo Probes Pension 'Spiking' - WSJ.com

This is like finding gambling in a casino....and acting surprised....
New York's Cuomo Probes Pension 'Spiking' - WSJ.com

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Levy To Announce to Run Against Lazio for GOP Nod for Governor

I don't know a heck of a lot about Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy....but his resume sounds interesting...A fiscal hawk and contrarian chief executive who won his last reelection bid with 96% of the vote.
Only problem is he ushered in 2010 with the Democrat box marked on his voter registration form....So now that he is seeking the GOP nod for Governor, he is trying to appeal to party leaders who believe what box you check at a young age is a window into your soul and psyche. But Republicans are not averse to flight...Look how fast they ran from their party's nominee last year in NY23.
So far, Rick Lazio has not lit the political world on fire...And Levy has far more money left over from his last county election ($4.1 million) than Lazio has raised this year.
To force a primary a newly minted Republican like Levy would need over half the weighted vote at the party convention in late May....Not an easy thing to do with so many party leaders already announced for Lazio.
Plus the State's Conservative Party is unlikely to back Levy and the Independence Party will surely back Andrew Cuomo.
Levy is in a tough spot...But its a year for outsiders and this NYT article suggests that is what he is.
Steve Levy Plans Switch to G.O.P., Stirring Governor’s Race - NYTimes.com

Idaho first to sign law against health care reform

Don't look for the further federalizing of health care to happen without further fights....The state where Sarah Palin was born has passed a law requiring the Idaho AG sue any federal attempt to force citizens to buy insurance. Something about state's rights and the Tenth Amendment...
Idaho first to sign law against health care reform

House Democrats release 'fixes' to $940 billion health care bill - On Politics: Covering the US Congress, Governors, and the 2010 Election - USATODAY.com

It isn't just that shady sleight of hand legislating is resulting in the passage of the health bill...Its that an overwhelmingly Democratic House and Senate cannot bring itself to vote on the signature issue of its leadership.
This process is such a departure from the "How a Bill Becomes a Law" that is supposed to be taught in school.....Teaching this mess just instructs kids how to skate around the rules.
Its no longer Civics 101....but instead Machiavelli 101.
House Democrats release 'fixes' to $940 billion health care bill - On Politics: Covering the US Congress, Governors, and the 2010 Election - USATODAY.com

Friday's Sojourne

Just to get away from the health debate I took a drive today to Alex Bay and had a beer at the Dockside....In deference to the President's desire for wellness, I tried one of the new 55 calorie Bud Lights....
Upon my return I see Utica Congressman Michael Arcuri said no way to the bill....but our Congressman is still undecided. If they do that "deem and pass" Bill Owens won't have to say he did or he didn't and the MSM won't press him on it. Smart guy.
Had a good Hotline today....Glenn fixed the streaming audio and lots of good calls.
I paid a personal visit to Crazy Ray while in the Bay...He is doing fine.
Busy day tomorrow with meetings at City Hall....Oh I also did a phone interview with a guy from the Ottawa Citizen about the strong Canadian dollar's effect on the North Country retail and tourist economy......
That would be a good story for the local MSM. I think there is a strong impact from the Canadians and it will give the sales tax numbers a boost....enough of a boost no one will have to give up their spending ways right away.
Grabbing a quick bite to eat at Pete's before heading back to Fort Pearl to work this evening......Got to save up for my new taxes from Albany and Washington.

WDT: White House Claims Bill Would Help 23rd

The pressure continues on Representitives Bill Owens and Michael Arcuri and neither man is publicly showing his hand. This has gotta be more grief than either man anticipated when they got elected as a Democrat in formerly long-time GOP districts.
Watertown Daily Times CONGRESSMAN WAITING UNTIL BILL IS READ

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Area Reps Under the Gun...Hoping for a Reprieve

Utica area Congressman Michael Arcuri may be wishing he kept his DA job now that he is getting pounded from both sides on the health care issue...The SEIU and the radical Working Families Party are leaning on Arcuri and may soon put the arm on North Country Congressman Bill Owens.
Those WFP resources and votes elected these upstate Dems....Yet both men face conservative challenges in the fall that could topple them......
Syracuse Congressman Dan Maffei folded his cards already, but he is an avid fundraiser and considered more insulated from a challenge this year......
For Mr. Arcuri...or Mr. Owens, the hope is the leadership can get to 216 without them....Then they will get a pass to vote no if they want to.
The Daily Politics

Play Ball !

I am with the Governor about going to a Yankee game.....We have to stop the nonsense about what is "official" vs "unofficial" business....A President...A Governor...Even a Mayor is always on duty and representing the office.....
Sometimes that means somebody bending your ear at the diner Sunday morning or it may mean attending events like a championship baseball game...Frankly, I like to see the leadership of the state or City of New York attending games...And you know what...if they are offered a hot dog and soda, I don't care either.
Sure there is a line one can cross in taking things....School Superintedents being taken on golf trips by contractors looking to build that next school...That bothers me.
Preferential treatment on mortgages; free wardrobes and cars....there are lots of things that are problematic....
But getting into to watch your state's or your city's team in a championship is not a problem...And the Governor's foes are barking up the wrong tree on this one.
The Daily Politics

New York will delay income-tax refunds | theithacajournal.com | The Ithaca Journal

Looks like my modest refund will be among those delayed by the Governor....But that's OK....Oh my quarterly sales tax is due this weekend....You folks have any problem if I take my sweet time to send it in ?...It's only fair that all of you compensate for my inability to manage my own affairs.
New York will delay income-tax refunds theithacajournal.com The Ithaca Journal

Seneca Falls residents vote to abolish village |

A bit of history is made as a village of significant size and community character votes to dissolve itself and cease to exist as a municipal entity. By a narrow vote, Seneca Falls will disappear and just be part of the township it sits in. The promise of lower taxes because of a nearby privately owned landfill prompted the move under a recently passed state law that allows village residents to initiate a measure to dissolve.
Seneca Falls residents vote to abolish village

WDT: No to health plan

After doing much to urge his election the largest circulation daily in NY23 is on the verge of breaking with freshman Congressman William Owens over the health bill now before the House of Representitives, a measure arguably the most profound vote he will make.
Following his election last fall, Mr. Owens voted in favor of the original House version of the bill. At the time, the leadership in the House needed his vote badly....They still do and the pressure to conform is great. On the current Senate bill, Mr. Owens has said he is undecided. His potential opponents are planning on running against the health bill.
However, the Working Families Party and organized labor have vowed to work against any Democrat opposing the bill.
Yet, despite declining circulation, newspapers and their publishers do still represent something of an institutional knowledge and outlook of the area.
Who will he listen to ?
If he wants to continue in his new job, he will vote with the President and not alienate the folks who worked hard to put him there.
Watertown Daily Times No to health plan

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Senator Slasher Thrashed in Special Election in SD 13 in Queens

Assemblyman Jose Peralta has easily defeated defrocked Senator Hiram Montserrate in a special election held today...The margin was well in excess of two to one.
The Daily Politics

Why Vote if You Don't Have To ?

I am sure my Progressive friends like Ted Ford could justify passing a bill without voting on it....After all America wants this bill passed...the polls are wrong...The 71% fo Newzjunky readers who say no are just ignorant......
I just think its so sad these procedural sleight of hands are considered as a way to let Democratic Congressmen off the hook....
I know...this bill must pass...Barack Obama's Presidency is on the line....Poppycock...and so what...
Things get defeated all the time...This doesn't have to pass...If it doesn't, we just move on....
"Deeming" the measure passed will "doom" the Democrats this fall.....or so we think...Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says after time people will forget how the bill was enacted...only that it was....The end does indeed justify the means....
House may try to pass Senate health-care bill without voting on it

Capitol Punishment: Members Under Intense Pressure

It's getting intense in the Capitol as the phones ring and the Democratic leadership turns up the heat on weak kneed Dems who are threatening to vote no.
The President is schmoozing some and threatening others....While one report says House Speaker Pelosi had Utica Congressman Michael Arcuri pinned to a wall trying to convince him to change....Syracuse Congressman Maffei folded his cards and other members of the NY delegation are getting the word from Union and party bosses that they had best get in line.
There are so many ways the leadership can squeeze these people, it is a virtual certainty the legislation passes.
Meanwhile in Watertown, opponents of the bill gathered in front of Rep. Bill Owens downtown office to register their complaints.
There is also talk of parliamentary gimmicks being used to "deem" the Senate bill as approved with a vote...Such a move could spark a riot among voters.

Swing State Project: Fusion Voting in New York, the Working Families Party & Close Elections

New York's unusual system of "fusion voting" seems normal to all of us, but it is not the norm across the country. The ability to run on separate party lines and have the totals added up is not how its done elsewhere...That's why small minor parties can wheel and deal, and the group doing that now is the far left Working Families Party....The WFP takes credit for the election of Bill Owens in NY23. Here's a primer on the topic courtesy of the WFP.
Swing State Project: Fusion Voting in New York, the Working Families Party & Close Elections

Census is Here....Gee Didn't We Do That 10 Years Ago

My Census form arrived today and I already filled it out and sent it in......I still think its silly that in a post-racial world, the government feels they have to keep track of us by race....but the other questions didn't bother me.
Since I am a believer in the Constitution and the decennial Census is part of the Constitution, I say go ahead and fill it out accurately and send it in.....

Owens Said to Be on the Bubble, But I Hear Little Debate in NNY on What He Does

North Country Congressman Bill Owens is said to be on the hot seat as a vote nears in the House on the Senate version of health care reform. The NY Post says Mr. Owens is one of four New York lawmakers getting the full court press from the White House.
I don't think its an issue at all. Mr. Owens voted for the House version within days of his election last fall and his candidacy last year was facilitated by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Labor unions and the ultra left Working Families Party are threatening to rescind support from Members who don't play nice, and Mr. Owens won because of the get out the vote efforts of these groups.
However, his electoral prospects suffer more if he votes against the leadership at this point.
Mr. Owens knows the health bill is an issue both Doug Hoffman and Matt Doheny are chomping at the bit to use this fall to defeat the freshman Member.
There is no way our Congressman bolts on this...and frankly there is no way the WFP does anything but support the Democrat in the fall.
There really has been no significant festering in NY 23 and there is little evidence a yes vote would have that much effect. Its a 50-50 district these days and the winner will be determined by turnout drills on each side.Democrats have better GOTV efforts and that is what carried the day last year and could again this year.
After all, Mr. Owens was in Watertown on Sunday and I never heard a soul say anything to him about this bill.
4 New York congressmen pressured to vote for ObamaCare - NYPOST.com

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dunk to Protest Health Bill

Local 912'er and Tea Party enthusiast Erik Dunk tells me he will be in front of the Watertown office of Rep. Bill Owens tomorrow.....
The purpose: to protest the health care bill likely to be approved by the House of Representitives this week.
Mr. Dunk is urging Mr. Owens to vote no, because the reconcilliation methodology is contrary to the United States Constitution..
Dunk says he would be pleasantly surprised if Mr. Owens went against the status quo and voted to uphold the Constitution......
Dunk owns the Harley Davidson dealership in Adams Center and has been at the center of controversy over messages placed in his message board in front of the dealership.

Soda tax proposal falling flat among NY lawmakers | recordonline.com

The soda tax is struggling...simply because for a handful of upstate Democratic Senators, a yes vote is a kiss of death. That's good....it means the political class is being made to be responsive....but how long can we muster the energy to fight these crazy niche taxes....
Soda tax proposal falling flat among NY lawmakers recordonline.com

Albany blowing budget deadline - NYPOST.com

The good old days are back in Albany and that means no budget April 1st. In the end, look for tax hikes and massive borrowing as the Legislature will not be able to say no to the groups who fund and ensure their reelection. I see it being a long summer.
Albany blowing budget deadline - NYPOST.com

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Doheny Effort Needs Focus....It Now Has a Target

With Will Barclay out of the way, Alexandria Bay native Matt Doheny has to make his move....
His diligence in visiting counties with his old SUV is laudable, but he needs to Big Foot Doug Hoffman with cash soon if he is to establish himself as the candidate who cannot just win a GOP primary but also gain the backing of the two minor parties he will need to win.
All things equal the Conservative Party goes to Doug Hoffman for his heroic 46% on Line D last year.
The mercurial Independence Party will hold out publicly, but likely would not support a perceived loser against Bill Owens, whom the State Chair backed last year.
I had one of those canary in the coal mine discussions about the race with my mom who lives in NC but follows this stuff....
She said she watched the Jude Seymour interviews with Hoffman and didn't understand why everyone keeps saying he is a verbal Titanic awaiting its fate. (Actually the maritime metaphor was mine)
If Doug Hoffman corrects his PR miscues and really moves into the district as he says he is, then he has significant momentum.
Doheny's best bet is to drop a cash bomb on Hoffman soon in the form of TV ads....I know the primary is in September, but people's opinion's are being shaped now.
I have said on this blog that Doheny is young, bright and personable and has a belief in core economic principles that should play well this year.
But a lot of people have those attributes and routinely lose elections.....It's about strategy, and the time has passed to languish at a 2% recognition rating.
Doheny's underground war room in Downtown Watertown needs to order an air strike.

WDT: Barclay Bows......Two Way Slugfest on in GOP

Its always great to get a prediction right...especially when I have missed a few prognostications over the years....
The WDT reports Assemblyman Will Barclay will not seek the GOP nod in NY 23.....He will seek another term in the Assembly instead......That means his play for Congress, if it occurs, will come after redistricting in a race againse Rep. Dan Maffei of Syracuse.
Barclay's prospects in NY23 were not good with the race shaping up as a doozie between Doug Hoffman and Matt Doheny. All for the chance to take on Rep. Bill Owens in the fall.
As for Mr. Owens, he is not taking anything for granted. Today he was in the St. Patrick's Parade in Watertown. He worked the crowd like an old style pol and will be a tough opponent in the fall......
However, Hoffman and Doheny are both contenders in their own ways. For those who enjoy the game, a good year ahead.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Parade Brings out the Pols on a Windswept Day

Sheriff John Burns....we'd like to see ya in a Kia.....that's about the only vehicle the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department doesn't have.
At todays St. Paddy's Parade, the Sheriff had all the vehicles he has acquired through Homeland Security grants.....No chopper yet, but on land and sea the Sheriff has you covered.
Also in the parade, Congressman Bill Owens and his wife Jane walked the route with Mr. Owens distributing candy while Mrs. O and I walked and waved to the several hundred persons in attendance.
Also marching was Assemblywoman Addie Russell and City Council Members Burns and Butler.......
Joe was a little nervous around all those Democrats, but I told him that's all that get elected around here of late....
The crowd seemed excited and enjoyed the short but festive parade, especially the bagpipers and the step dancers....

Time Marches On....So Just Let it Happen

Spring ahead, Fall behind....OK after all these years I get it.
Now I have to figure out how to do it...Its easy with most of the clocks in my life....Even the one in the car.
One I always have to research is the cash register...lots of code numbers to program it....That took me about 10 or 15 minutes...
Then there is this clock radio I bought this year to replace my old electric bedside alarm clock...Way too many buttons and none of them seem to allow for a time change. Some beep, some chirp...but none changed the time except one that did jump the time but I ended up an hour too far ahead...but a light labeled DST came on...
Daylight savings I assumed.
So I am no better off and I went to sleep and decided to tackle it in the AM when there are more brain cells working.
I went after it again and couldn't get the time to change, but I hit the DST button and it went back an hour.
So now I have the right time without the Daylight Savings Time light.
I'd like to live on one time all year.