Saturday, May 15, 2010

Looks Like Fall Races are Getting in Focus

The races are locking in as time dwindles for candidates to get in the hunt.
In the 122nd, it will be Brian McGrath vs Ken Blankenbush.
In the 118th, I still keep hearing people say Legislator Phil Reed will announce, but I don't think so...It will be Forsythe against Russell.
In NY23, I have a hunch it ends up solely Owens vs Doheny and that Doug Hoffman gets out in the summer after finding out the logistics of getting petitions done is not that easy. If he fails to get the requisite signatures for the Conservative line, Chairman Long has his out and can give Doheny the Wilson/Pakula. (Hoffman's foes are shopping the story he just returned from three weeks vacation....if true, it's hard to imagine he has any serious plan for the next step in the process.)
In the 48th, Aubertine and Ritchie will ebb and flow based on what goes on in Albany. The expiration of the Power for Jobs program, the reintroduction of farm labor regulation and the overall disgust with official Albany continues to weigh heavy on Aubertine as otherwise he would be an easy candidate for another term.
Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns looks like another term, as there is no apparent compelling reason to change.
The period for circulating nominating petitions begins June 8.

Dem in Hospital Threatens Thin Majority

Senator...take care of your health and don't worry about budget extenders....There are 61 other Senators who can be there and should be able to pass a budget.
State of Politics Blog

Lots Going on for a Saturday !

Cool but pleasant weather allowed thousands to line Washington Street for the Armed Forces Day Parade....This is a day for the military to show off to the public its assets including the always pleasing 10th Mountain Division Band and many entertaining pieces of equipment including a bomb squad robot.
I walked in the parade with Senator Aubertine and the crowds were friendly....Likely more due to the Senator who still doesn't discourage speculation of a Lieutenant Governor slot on the Cuomo ticket.
The parade gave way to a downtown craft fair and display of antique cars.
The focus was on Green Street for a time as muscular dystrophy victim Storm Wood got to see the makeover local volunteers and contributors did to his home....
The custom bathroom was a highlight for this well liked fellow with special challenges.
The makeover was patterned on the ABC TV show when a bus pulls away to reveal the new home to anxious recipients.
It was an inspiring time and the effort was spearheaded by radio personality Johnny Spezzano.

TV Cook Sandra Lee Is Cuomo’s First Lady -

Gingerbread Martinis ? Just one of the concoctions TV cooking hostess Sandra Lee may be whipping up in the Governor's mansion in Albany next January.
With the campaign of her boyfriend, Andrew Cuomo coming into focus (finally), New Yorkers will be anxious to get to know their next First Lady. Ms. Lee has had an interesting life and career.
With Mr. Cuomo's election as governor a virtual certainty, getting to know Sandra will the next step and its likely New Yorkers will be anxious to meet her.....
As they say on 'Morning Joe', the "optics" of the Cuomo campaign will be great. I have no idea what he stands for, but as long as the optics are OK, you can figure out the rest later.
TV Cook Sandra Lee Is Cuomo’s First Lady -

Everybody is Hopping on the Band Wagon

Everybody seems to think they are a newsman these days. Last night I noticed a new site run by mattress meister Kevin's an aggregation of stories from other media plus links to media, web cams and other things of interest including this blog.
It's another attempt,and there are others, to replicate the enormous success of the pioneer in this field,
Imitation is flattery and the proliferation of such sites is evidence of the success Newzjunky has had. The new competition is good in that it keeps up the pressure to create original content.
In the end, I still believe content is king and I think you will see more original reporting by Junky in order to maintain his edge in this emerging field.
While these sites can be cobbled together with a fraction of the dollars spent running old media, their mere existence does not guarantee success.
The new aggregators also drive traffic to existing old media who still create most of the content others piggy-back on.
In the end the marketplace will sort out who survives and prospers and who is just a flash in the pan. While people might sample different new sites, they will return to those perceived as offering the content they want. In Watertown, that's Newzjunky, the WDT and TV 7.
In that sense Junky is the new and old media at the same time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I Love Visitors, but all I have to Offer is Sparkling Wit and Engaging Conversation

It is always good to see Patty Ritchie and today she made her third sojourn to Pearl Street in search of the elusive (and largely meaningless endorsement) of either me or the local Indy Party.
She dropped off a couple of handmade (Hank Ford, SLC Conservative Chair made them) buttons....Pretty good looking ones that I placed in a position of prominence.
But don't look for endorsements from me. I had my fill of all this in the 2008 special election in which I got too close to the third rail of state politics. The resulting obscenties, threats, slander, and general grief told me to just stay away from this stuff.
Besides in races like the Senate, I like both candidates personally and am not interested in slamming or slighting anyone.
As for Line C, somebody will get the Wilson-Pakula and a bunch of notaries will be dispatched to get petitions.
So I don't want to dissuade Patty or anyone else from stopping by. After all I will be voting in November....And I will be writing about the race but beyond that....I don't have a dog in the fight.
I will as I have done of late concentrate as much time as possible on city affairs. After all, those odd numbered years are my time.

This Guy is Running...NO Doubt in My Mind

I got my best evidence yet that Lowville native Brian McGrath is running for the Assembly in the 122nd.
While checking my email at the office, I noticed he had sent a birthday greeting even though I have never met the man...Now it was a nice gesture, but a sure signal he is running and wants to cultivate good ink here on this modestly influential blog.
The only other birthday wishes I got from a pol was a text from Das Clerk up in Canton, and she is of course running.
No belated wishes please....the period for spontaneity is over.

Palin Calls Foul on Highland Park High - Robert Costa - The Corner on National Review Online

If you break into rage over the mention of Sarah Palin, don't read this because it will challenge your belief structure.
You see on the issue of the girls basketball team at Highland Park High School in Illinois, Sarah Barracuda is clearly so right....
I know this is one of those cable news stories that in essence create outrage among the chronically outraged, but why should a high school hoop team slated to attend a tournament in another state lose out because the professional school administrators declare that state is inconsistent with their values ?
Remember "One Nation Under God ?" No More....People in some states where the legislature adopts certain laws must be ostracized and punished. All people are not created equal and we must judge not by their character but by the geographic location they live in.
Therefore, this group of teens had to be denied their trip to AZ because the new orthodoxy of the left is that this is a state of evil and must be boycotted. These girls cannot be exposed to the deviant state.
Palin is so right to call the school hierarchy out on this one.
Imagine if a Phoenix HS team were denied a trip to Iowa because that state allows gay marriage ?
Palin Calls Foul on Highland Park High - Robert Costa - The Corner on National Review Online

Is Voting Important.....Not to Some Who Are Very Successful

Why is it those so successful in our society show so little citizenship.
When I was 18, I couldn't wait to vote but it always seems when these rich people run for office we find out they don't vote.
In my native CA, GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman got rich running EBay....has spent $66 million on her own campaign and yet it is now revealed she went 28 years without voting....Never voted for Ronald Reagan...
Only in recent years has she apparently discovered an interest in public policy.
The interesting research would be to see if she was writing checks to candidates during all those years not voting.
The same poor civics record has shown up with other members of the well to do who suddenly discover politics is the last and best ego boost they can add to their successful lives.
Could be Ms Whitman knows that the real deals cut in life have little to do with the party labels and political front men we all pledge allegiance to. Nonetheless, she should have been an active participant if she wants to run now.
I suspect her Democratic opponent, Jerry Brown, has not missed too many chances to vote.

Gillibrand Headlines Congressional Softball

For the morons who carped about the Wall Street Journal publishing a photo of Supreme Court designee Elena Kagan playing softball, its got to be disturbing that Politico has discovered twelve female Members of Congress and Senators who play softball three times a week. Included in the group is our own Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. The Kagan photo prompted howls from gay rights folks who claimed depiction of a woman playing the sport casts her as a lesbian...No, really, that's what they said.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Council Says Not So Fast to Demolition Request

Four of five City Council members toured the aging Aviary at Thompson Park tonight and following the session concluded they want the structure saved....not demolished.
The Aviary was built in 1978 and was the subject of a fundraising drive in 2006. Nonetheless, the Thompson Park Conservancy this spring requested the city demolish the structure citing disrepair and difficulties adapting the structure to contemporary zoo exhibits.
Various attempts to alter the structure over time have contributed to the hodge podge look.
Lawmakers were impressed with the unique architecture and the potential for the building.
The Aviary is at the center of the Zoo property and is the edifice featured on the opening page of the Zoo website. It was built during the tenure of Mayor Karl Burns with funds from the city and from what is now the NNY Community Foundation.
Lawmakers requested an estimate of figures to accomplish the correction of deficiencies pointed out tonight including doors, the indoor pool and general deterioration of the exterior surfaces of the structure.
While city funds need to be part of the equation, it is hoped the public will contribute as well as local institutions.
How about a tiered system for levels of contribution...sparrows..quails...owls...and eagles..?
Just a thought.
We could get Dave Mance to be at least an owl !


During budget discussions with Police Chief Joseph Goss, there was much interest in moving the Police out of the Jefferson County Public Safety Building
and into new quarters...either in a new building adjacent to City Hall or in the soon to be vacated Army Resesrve Center on Massey Street....The Army is moving its operation to Fort Drum this summer.
Chief Goss says he supports a departure from the PSB, an isolated facility located next to a swamp on the city's west end.

Andrew Cuomo is a bully just like Eliot Spitzer, GOP governor hopeful Rick Lazio says

Rick Lazio is finally saying something....and its about likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Cuomo. The effort to compare Mr. Cuomo to Eliot Spitzer in terms of temperment and ambition could stir the pot a little. The fact that Cuomo and Spitzer both came from the AG job and are aggressive political animals is true....Ultimately though, don't people want someone who can tame Albany by sheer force of will ?
I do think it valid to rap Cuomo's lack of apparent agenda or platform, but so far lack of specificity has not hurt him....As for Lazio, he continues to poll no better than his GOP rivals, and Steve Levy so far has been more outspoken on the need for radical change in the capital. The third candidate for the GOP is businessman Carl Paladino who also has a pointed, 'mad as Hell' message.
Andrew Cuomo is a bully just like Eliot Spitzer, GOP governor hopeful Rick Lazio says

Doug's Death March Through GOP County Committees

Despite his rebuff this week from the state's Conservative Party Chair, Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny is crowing about the backing he received this week from the Essex County GOP committee...Essex County is the home of rival Doug Hoffman.
It is clear all eleven county organizations will back Doheny who may face Hoffman in a Republican primary in the fall for the right to run against Rep. Bill Owens.
It is also clear Doheny is facing some blowback among Conservatives over his $2400 (max allowed) contribution to Diedre Scozzafava's campaign last fall.
What I still wonder at this point is who is getting Hoffman's petitions ? GOP party regulars likely won't lift a finger for him and the Conservative petitions are hard to get because of the sparse numbers and the long distances between members.
I have no idea where the Independence Party line will end up, although I suspect line C will for the most part go to Democrats for the statewide races.
Nonetheless, the Indy line will require over 1000 signatures and there is no real party organization across NY23, so paid gatherers or notaries from GOP or Democratic law firms will do the job.
The petition period will be telling as that process determines ballot access.
Major party candidates need a flat 1250 valid signatures, something not hard to do. However, the bar for the minor parties is higher....5% of enrollment, which is easier said than done.
The next few weeks will show organizational skills and should be telling.
I also do not rule out Doheny getting the Conservative nod. In the end, Chairman Long is a tool of the GOP and could well acquiesce after what last year was widely viewed as a temper tantrum.

Bird House on the Bubble Tonight in Council Tour

Tonight, City Council makes a quick side trip to the Thompson Park Zoo to hear why the Thompson Park Conservancy wants the 31 year old Aviary razed.
In a letter, the Conservancy's head said the A-framed shape structure is in disrepair and lacks the "wow factor" visitors are looking for. Four years ago a public fundraising effort was conducted for the Aviary, the construction of which was headed by Mayor Karl Burns in an early attempt to spruce up a zoo which at the time was struggling.
I hear the architecture doesn't sit well with some who want a more Adirondack style building similar to the main visitors center.
In more recent years, the Zoo has been remade through efforts of a private group called the Conservancy. The city has supported that through in-kind work, electricity, and a small cash stipend of $20K a year.
The questions likely to be raised include what are the deficiecies ? What will it take to repair them ? Why was it allowed to fall into a state where demolition is contemplated ? What is the plan for the site ?
Most residents I have talked to scratch their heads at the proposal and some of those involved in its construction do the same. It is a somewhat iconic looking building which is routinely featured in promotional photos of the Zoo.
As current Mayor, I am also keenly aware of the importance of the Aviary to then Mayor Burns, who was an important figure in my early political life and was a person I was asked to eulogize upon his passing some years ago.
While only one of five votes on this issue, I will concede from the onset that I am skeptical of the notion of demolition and am hopeful a new look at the mission of the structure and some rehabilitation can keep it in the landscape of the Park.
After tonights tour of the building, Council will retire to City Hall to continue budget deliberations.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Elena Kagan's friends: She's not gay - Ben Smith -

After publication of the softball photo, friends of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan feel obliged to run to the media to say she is not gay and that she dated guys and talked about how cute some of them were....This is like so ridiculous.
This happens all the time to folks seeking public office who are not married.....It is hinted they are gay and forced to emphatically deny it as if it were true it would be something horrible. It's going on in races in our area as I write this.
Ms. Kagan is old enough that we need not be concerned with her social life...but some people are....
I'd be glad to take her out to Pete's for chow and over to the Wicked Wench for digestives (after dinner drinks) if it helps her over this bump in the road.
Elena Kagan's friends: She's not gay - Ben Smith -

Federal Court Stops State Furloughs; Grants CSEA Temporary Restraining Order

This is why the smart vote for upstate Democratic Senators was no on the furlough-laced budget extender......Force the issue...make the lawmakers make the changes needed....Furloughs do not address the state's structural deficit.
Now the extender is in place sans furloughs....Life can go on and no decisions are needed...
Federal Court Stops State Furloughs; Grants CSEA Temporary Restraining Order

Lack of Budget Fraying Nerves

Furloughs are in the hikes rescinded....and now Members of Assembly are marching on the Governor's office demanding discussions on a spending plan.....These members have leadership who will do that for them, but they are not satisfied with the course of events.
We need a bit of civil disobedience in the docile caucuses that sit in Albany.
The Daily Politics

Cuomo Won’t Join Obama In Buffalo, Will Paterson? (Updated: No, Paterson Will Not Be In Buffalo)

The President is in New York State (Buffalo) tomorrow and the top Democrats in state government are not going to be there ? Neither Governor Paterson or Attorney General Cuomo will be on hand. That's curious.
Cuomo Won’t Join Obama In Buffalo, Will Paterson? (Updated: No, Paterson Will Not Be In Buffalo)

Birthday Musings

I don't usually go out of my way to mention my own birthday but others did it for me today....Turning the double-nickle attracts attention.
-The City Manager gave me retirement papers.
-Dave Mance announced it at the Armed Forces Luncheon
-Roxanne Burns trumpeted it on the Hotline as she filled in for me.
-Newzjunky ran a photo of me buying myself a birthday present.
-Joe Brosk says its a "champagne" birthday when your age equals the year
born. (1955)
-Johnny Spezzano let it out on the FM where the big ratings are said to be.

So I was unable to pass the milestone in anonymity, but I do appreciate the well wishes as will Yogi Berra who celebrates his 85th birthday today....
After all, "it's not over till it's over."

Softball Photo Raises Ire of Left

My old school journalism says that when someone is nominated for national office, you start looking for biographical material....Childhood photos, college photos and anecdotes, whatever is interesting.
So when a photo of Solicitor General Elena Kagan playing college softball hit the photo desk of the Wall Street Journal, you run it with a cute headline about her stepping up to the plate for her upcoming Senate hearings on her pending Supreme Court nomination. (It was run on the front page)
Seems harmless...Until the politically correct crowd condemns the photo as inappropriate and a slam at her being gay.....Something that no one had ever said was the case and frankly no one cared about.
All over MSNBC this AM the talkers were debating the use of the photo with the suggestion that any woman who plays softball is gay and therefore using a photo of a woman playing softball is introducing sexual orientation into the debate.
Whoahhh! By their outrage, the left is raising the issue even though I hadn't heard anyone reference it before.
To suggest running a softball photo is a personal attack is promoting the very stereotype the libs claim they abhor.

WDT: Sheriff challenger finds he can't reject pension

The easiest way to reduce the fiscal footprint of the Sheriff's Department is to limit it's functions to those required in the NYS Constitution...I believe that would be a civil office and a jail. Since the politics of that is daunting, and deputies currently make less than state or city officers, its difficult to see how one delivers existing service at a significantly lower cost.
As for not using a car, this really is a job where you are always on duty.
Watertown Daily Times Sheriff challenger finds he can't reject pension

So What's Next ?

So Governor David Paterson is a no good rat for proposing furloughs and talking semi-tough with the state's public employee unions ?
And just where are these unions going to go in the fall ?....They will be there supporting the Democratic ticket headed by the man who has carefully avoided any involvement with the State's current fiscal and ethical woes.
Danny Donohugh of the CSEA and all the others will be at the altar of Andrew Cuomo, even though Mr. Cuomo will have the same list of problems and solutions as David Paterson.
I fully understand the politics of staying out of the briar patch as long as possible and there are no solutions to a lack of money other than cutting a fifth of the state work force.
Just so long as we all know what really has to happen.
Governor Cuomo will have some political capital that Mr. Paterson does not, but that won't last long. The legislative leadership will be the same.
In the coming weeks, lawmakers will pass an almalgamation of new taxes and borrowing in order to buy peace through the election. The situation will crop up next winter and we will no longer have a governor who doesn't have to care about his popularity rating.
We have a right to pose the question....when he decides to engage, what will Andrew Cuomo do about all this that is different from what is being done now ?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Long Scozzafavas Doheny

Liz reports Conservative Chair Mike Long is not only reaffirming his support for Doug Hoffman for Congress, but he is also taking shots at the surging GOP hopeful, Matt Doheny....
None of this is good for Doheny, who has been hoping for a rapprochemont with Conservatives and the possible exit of Hoffman from the race.
The biggest fear among the GOP is Doheny wins their primary but still has Hoffman on the D Line....Doheny himself says he is prepared for that scenario and can win as a Republican if he can also gets the Indy line.
Chairman Long chose to push back against Doheny and this was surely no coincidence. By linking Doheny to his favorite nemesis, DeDe Scozzafava, Long is upping the ante.
NY23 will be a tough race, but from what has been seen so far in terms of fundraising and strategy, Doheny is the emerging favorite for the GOP nod.
Fire on the right is what Dems are hoping for as they seek to gain a full term for Rep. Bill Owens, who is garnering support from Republican insiders anxious to be in league with the winner.
Long Scozzafavas Doheny

Aubertine: "I Always Keep My Options Open" | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY | Local News

Senator Darrel Aubertine at the very least is doing nothing to discourage rumors he is under consideration as Andrew Cuomo's running mate...and in fact he has told Channel 7 that discussions have occured concerning such a pairing.
A NYC blogger reported on the Aubertine option last week and made a plausible argument for why Mr. "One of Us" would be a good choice.....Now Aubertine tells his home town media that he "always keeps his options open."
Maybe he just enjoys the speculation. Who wouldn't ?
Then just maybe there is a story here.
Aubertine: "I Always Keep My Options Open" WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Pols reluctantly approve furloughing 100,000 state workers; labor groups file court challenge

The furloughs are law, even though many lawmakers think they will be overturned. Democrats in the Senate voted in lockstep in favor of the budget extender that includes the one day off a week. Of course the GOP had the option of sticking up for those CSEA workers who won't endorse them. Meanwhile Dems will say they had to do it to provent a shutdown of state operations.
Ninety percent of the lawmakers involved in this vote will be relected this fall.
While the parties functioned in lockstep as they do under our system, I can't help but wonder if one Democrat had said no....settle the budget now or shut the state down...Would that be reckless brinksmanship ? Or a courageous and bold move in the public interest ?
Pols reluctantly approve furloughing 100,000 state workers; labor groups file court challenge

Cuomo Ready To Take WFP, Independence Lines

In a scramble to get the 50,000 votes needed to maintain ballot status, New York's minor parties love Andrew Cuomo as they feel he is their best shot at getting to be a player for the next four years. In particular the Indy and Working Families Party need the celebrity Mr. Cuomo can provide. Mr. Cuomo will take the lines, as will other top Democrats running statewide.
Cuomo Ready To Take WFP, Independence Lines

WDT: Ruggiero forswears benefits if elected

Let me say I don't plan on voting for Sheriff or Congressman or any such office based on whether the person who wins takes or doesn't take the pay and benefits afforded the position. And I don't think it's fair GOP Sheriff candidate Chuck Ruggiero has to devalue himself or the office by feeling the need to pledge he won't take this or that.
If you run to be the County's top cop, it's a job.....You won the toughest job interview and that is getting elected, and you are subject to career interuption every four years.
There is a lot of frustration with politicians and it's well deserved in many cases. However, elected officials are important in representitive government. They provide accountability and a direct link to the people.
In modern politics, as government has grown, more and more of the function of government is placed in the hands of the unelected layers of bureaucrats. Elected leaders are too often running around saying they don't need the money...Well, if you do or not is not my business....You are there to do a job and my interest as a citizen is whether you do that job as I would like it done.
As for compensation, that is set by the County Legislature. Let them run on the platform of cutting the Sheriff's pay and benefit's. Let the Sheriff candidates run on how well they think they can do the job and what their ideas are for change or improvement.
Watertown Daily Times Ruggiero forswears benefits if elected

Council Hears About Playgrounds, Parks and More at 1st Budget Session

City Council Monday night heard details of a revamped summer playground program that features expanded activities at a central location at the Fairgrounds with fewer staffed playgrounds around town.
The lesser used playgrounds were averaging five kids a day and it's hoped that fewer locations will provide the concentration of kids to at least allow a kickball game to be held.
Lawmakers started work on a budget after a long discussion about a loading zone on Court Street and rules at city parks.
The end result was likely revised procedures for gatherings for group functions and a further look-see at hours of operation.
Nothing has been introduced yet, and there will be time for public input and amendments.
Council agreed to submit a request for grant money for the Fire Department and reaffirmed its desire to seek permission from Albany to sell or lease the deck on Newell Street. They also heard there is no interest in bidding to run the concession stand at the Fairgrounds Arena and the Recreation Department will organize staffing of the facility soon.
Lawmakers meet Thursday at 6:15 at the Zoo to see the Aviary some want demolished.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Profile in Courage...Silver Says Furoughs are Illegal But Will Vote for 'em Anyway

He's been an attorney his entire adult life...and by most accounts a shrewd and compentant one....But now he says he is voting for the budget extenders with furloughs, even though he admits it's illegal and the state will be forced to pay workers after a court fight...In essence, Sheldon Silver knows these furlough days will become paid days off.
Now the other day I ask one of the city's lawyers if we should just sell that pesky deck and if nobody objects, what's the harm ?....It was a somewhat rhetorical question as I knew the answer...but I was correctly advised that it would be morally wrong to pursue a policy you knew was a breach of contract in the hopes no one challenges the move.
Well, the rule of law took a hit from Shelly who says he votes for furloughs with absolute metaphysical certainty the move is a breach of the labor agreements the state signed.
Now, there is no sanction for doing this as Silver's seat is bulletproof for the Dems....As he said last week, Lassie could win his AD running as a Democrat...
Why do we need Lassie, when we have that old dog, Shelly ?
Dailypolitics - NY Daily News

WDT: Jefferson Lawmakers are Clueless

Here's a good Perry White column about the conundrum the Jefferson County Legislature has found itself in by poking their finger in the eye of the NYS Power Authority.
By trying to pander to the unions and the Big Wind folks behind Galloo Island, lawmakers concurrently felt a need to pander to the NIMBYs, the environmentalists, and those who oppose wind on economic grounds.
By approving the Galloo giveaway and then telling NYPA to take a hike on its plans to develop off shore, the Legislature is in a bad position that would really matter if it weren't for the fact nobody ever runs for these seats and even fewer people would run on a platform of unbridled development that would get in the way of people who fish.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Fed Up, Mad As Hell And On The Air

With party conventions around the corner, the three Republican gubernatorial hopefuls are stepping up their efforts to sway state committee members....Among those on the airwaves is Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino who has pretty much been dismissed by the political establishment as a whacko but he does have money, a message and a small cache of convention delegates from Erie County.
Paladino is the mad as Hell guy....the embodiment of the rage against Albany and while likely not electable (he has a love child) his message will have to be at least in part embraced by whomever does the party nod...
At present the favorite is Rick Lazio, but his candidacy has no fire and is being challenged by Suffolk County Executive and recent GOP convert Steve Levy.
While the Democrats don't have to wonder who their nominee is , the GOP fight has some excitement and that might help their otherwise moribund prospects in the Empire State.
Fed Up, Mad As Hell And On The Air

Kagan Looks Like Safe Pick

In picking Elena Kagan to replace Justice John Paul Stevens, President Obama may have a fairly easy confirmation and will fit a common theme of justices having gone to school at Harvard and Yale.
An irony in Supreme Court politics is the religious breakdown of the new court will be six Catholics and three Jews.....No Protestants.
She was president of Harvard Law School and was involved in a flap over ROTC and that will cause a kerfuffle, but I think most people are anxious for a shorter rather than longer confirmation hearing.
The big fight is in the future if Justice Kennedy or Scalia were to vacate as that would result in an idealogical change.
As Solicitor General, Ms. Kagan already is a member of the clubby atmosphere of the High Court and is considered an affable person unlikely to make enemies in the weeks ahead.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What Will You Talk About Monday Morning ?

How many times have you heard it said that the weather here is so harsh, we once got a foot (or was it two feet) of snow on Mother's Day ?
Embellished, yes....but true for those trying to project the image of an eternal winter to those just arriving.
Well, on this Mother's Day there was snow...just a flurry or a touch in most places with some accumulation in the higher elevations.
So this fellow (or woman, we will never know) who snapped a photo and sent it to Newzjunky covered the story that will be most talked about around the water cooler Monday morning.
Such is the evolving role of the "citizen journalist"....the lifeblood of people like Junky and the bane of the least those who do not embrace the role these folks can play even in traditional media.
I am not one of those touting new media as a replacement for "bricks and mortar" journalism. Someone has to produce original content and cover the very real events that occur.
New media embraces the citizen journalist out of necessity...a need for content...
The reluctance of old media to so the same has been costly and is an area they need to explore before its too late.

I Say Mom's Worth Dinner and Flowers

A local florist is fuming over a restaurant advertisement for Mother's Day suggesting that taking mom out to dinner is better than spending money on "overpriced flowers."
While we won't mention the participants as they are both respected city businesses, the political analogy is worth a discussion on "going negative."
While we are all competing for available business, is it good to take such a swipe at an industry that successfully has made money by "flowerizing" various holidays ?
Everyone knows the value of flowers when all else fails or when you want to guarantee the recipient will be happy. Our better florists go the extra mile to get the product there on time and make sure it's a special occasion.
Restaurants should strive to do the same and if they do, the repeat business will be there.
Going negative sometimes works but usually on a local level does not. Those who have unloaded on me realize that.
As for all of us on Pearl Street, for the past 25 years Shootie and I have have nothing but good to say about each other.

Nobody Has Ruled Out Aubertine as a Choice, So I Would Say He is Still in the Hunt

It's been a week since the whimsical posting of speculation that Darrel Aubertine would be chosen as Andrew Cuomo's running mate. The Democratic convention is now less than three weeks away and Mr. Cuomo still has not publicly stated his intention to run and we have no idea who the running mate is.
Four years ago nobody cared. In fact nobody paid attention as Eliot Spitzer chose an obscure (to most) state senator from Manhattan to be a prostitute away from the Governor's Mansion.
So, what's up ? Wouldn't it be good to know some names and have a little vetting going on.
Four years ago there was no examination of whether the running mates were appropriate. This year it may be the same.