Saturday, May 22, 2010

Owens touts job creation and health care reform at local forum » NEW TODAY... » Press-Republican

From the fair and balanced department, this missive.....For all the attention of late to the GOP race for Congress in NY23, its worth noting that the current Representitive....Bill Owens has been out and about as well and is slowly solidifying support and making friends in the massive eleven county district.. This weekend he held a town hall meeting and while many still do not know him, many more do compared to when he grabbed 49% of the vote in winning the seat last year.
There has been a lot of talk of late about it being a Republican year.....but often its the Republicans telling each other that....This is a very competitive race with three candidates who all have their own attributes. Anybody who tells you today he knows who will win is blowing smoke.
Owens touts job creation and health care reform at local forum » NEW TODAY... » Press-Republican

For All You True Lefties Out There

With Andrew Cuomo professing to be a fiscal conservative, there is a progressive running that a guy like Ted Ford could rally round.....He is Howie Hawkins....
Mr. Hawkins is the Green Party candidate....He is from Syracuse and will be the most left of center candidate in the race.
The Greens are hoping to regain ballot status by garnering 50,000 votes.....Since Mr. Cuomo is a cinch to win, feel free to help Howie get 50K !
Howie Hawkins

Cuomo Announces!

With pledges of "radical reform", "taking back our state", and building a "new New York", Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has finally announced his candidacy for the office of Governor....an office his father Mario held for 12 years. The long awaited announcement came in a 21 video realeased on the Internet at 10:00 this morning.
Mr. Cuomo pledged to visit all 62 counties this year and build a citizen coalition of people demanding reform in Albany.
Candidate Cuomo called New York government "disreputable and discredited." He pledged to fight for consolidation of the state's 10,000 local governments and wants caps on state spending and local property taxes. He opposes massive borrowing being proposed this year and says sometimes the answer is 'no' when it comes to spending.
Mr. Cuomo, a divorced father of three girls, alluded to his defeat eight years ago and the personal problems that followed. He said he has fought back and is ready to lead the state on it's return to prominence.
Democrats will meet next week to formally nominate Andrew Cuomo, as well as the rest of the statewide slate of candidates.
So far, Andrew Cuomo has led a Rose Garden campaign and in doing so built a 40 point lead over any of his potential rivals. Upon his nomination, I believe the problems in Albany are immediately his, as the lame duck governor will be more lame and the certainty of his election is so sure. The link to his speech is in this Daily News story.
Cuomo Announces!

Payback Time - Padded Pensions Add to New York’s Fiscal Woes - NYTimes.com

Imagine you are a Yonkers police officer with a base pay of $74,000 a year....Good job and a twenty year retirement...How about retiring at age 44....and getting a pension of $101,333 a year ?
How is that done ?.....Overtime...lots of it ladled on you, including a scheme where officers work side jobs as flagmen for Consolidated Edison...ConEd paid the city for their services and the city paid the officers....Except now that private job adds to the public employee pension because all of that money is counted by the State Retirement System.
This NY Times article tells it all...The shocking stories of a system so out of control it may never right itself.
Payback Time - Padded Pensions Add to New York’s Fiscal Woes - NYTimes.com

Aviary's History: From Excitement to Disdain in Three Decades

In an effort to gain a better understanding of the history of the Thompson Park Aviary, Councilwoman Roxanne Burns has asked the City Clerk to do further research on the facts relating to the decision to build the stucture.
Recent assertions have been made that officials did not know what they were building. Indeed a 1978 news article did use the phrase "(bird house)" after the word 'aviary'....Presumably because readers at the time (1978) may not know what an aviary is.
City Council did indeed know what an aviary was and debated it extensively in that era as an effort was made to spruce up the aging,city-operated zoo. Shortly after the Aviary was built, the City Council accepted donation of new lion cubs, in what is now seen as a dubious effort to hang on to a facility under increasing criticism for its treatment of animals.
At the time of the Aviary debate, Mayor Karl Burns said the structure is more than a bird house and would be something to be proud of. "I don't think we can continue to allow the park to deteriorate," the Mayor said....He added failure to follow through with the project would threaten state aid for the facility. (Some things never change.)
An overview of the our zoo done by officials of the Utica Zoo, praised the Aviary as "remarkable","incredibly sturdy" and "flexible in its applications."
"The exhibit has the most exciting potential." the report added.
A decade later, with the Zoo in disarray and facing closure, another report quoted the then Park Superintendent Robert Reid as saying the structure is "totally useless" . He also said it was difficult to find birds that fit its design.
While Mr. Reid had no formal training in running a zoo, he was charged with keeping the facility afloat during a sad period of transition.
Fast forward two decades and the Zoo, under private supervision, is a different facility with indigenous species and by most accounts much more appropriate in its mission and operation.
A debate has flared anew over the Aviary, with some saying it is indeed useless and others (City Council) of the opinion the interesting-to-look-at structure is a part of the Park and should be made viable.
Council toured the facility and has expressed a desire to have a dialogue with the Thompson Park Conservancy about the Aviary's future use and what is needed to achieve it.
There are no votes on Council in favor of razing the structure. As a city-owned asset a majority vote of the body would be needed to demolish it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cuomo to Propose Broad Streamlining of New York Government - NYTimes.com

Well, just who does this Andrew Cuomo think he is ? We need our DANC....our Tug Hill Commission....our St. Lawrence Eastern Ontario Commission....(SLEOC) Remember them...every year the media would wonder if it was in the state budget , so that a bunch of offices in the SOB could stay filled.
Government in NY needs a thinning of the herd, but don't look for it to happen....Too many working at these agencies...and these agencies are often the repository of patronage....A place where the parties can put those people they owe this or that to.
Andrew Cuomo will be chewed up by the Legislature and the unions....The result is we will pay more taxes and things will remain largely as they are...
Cuomo to Propose Broad Streamlining of New York Government - NYTimes.com

PS: Oswego Dems Tip McGrath's Hand....He is In

Guess that makes it official....The Oswego County Democratic Committee has endorsed Lowville native Brian McGrath as their choice in the 122nd Assembly District....A small piece of the district falls in that county. Mr. McGrath has not said he is running but the action of the Oswego Dems says he is.....
McGrath is an attorney who successfully practiced in NYC but has been angling for elected office in his home region. Last year he sought the Congressional nomination.
McGrath is thought to be well heeled and able to finance a significant effort against Republican Ken Blankenbush.....The seat is currently held by Diedre Scozzafava, whom after her estrangement from the GOP is expected to back McGrath.
The district is a rural swath that includes Gouverneur, Lowville and Carthage and a lot of space in between.
Oswego County Democratic committee makes endorsements

Levy’s LG Short List?

There still seems to be no way the numbers add up to Steve Levy getting in a GOP primary for governor, but the Suffolk County Executive is going to name a preferred running mate prior to the party convention.
Three women top the list of possible runing mates and that could appeal to the party since there are no other Republican women running for statewide office. Rick Lazio has named a man as his lieutenant governor designee.
The problem for some of the ladies is that they currently hold office and are up for reelection this year. Who wants to give up a safe Assembly or County Clerk seat for the very dubious prospect of trying to defeat Andrew Cuomo this fall ?
As for Levy, since he is not a registered Republican, he needs 50% and not just 25% of the convention vote to get a spot on the primary ballot. Rival Rick Lazio is said to have just over 50% but that could erode quickly as its tough to vote for a frontrunner who is 40 poiints behind in the polls.
No word on Carl Paladino's plans, but since he is seeking the primary spot through petition, he could just take whatever running mate the convention and primary process produce.
Levy’s LG Short List?

DN: Andrew Seeks Pledge Signers

Andrew Cuomo will ask local officials who want his blessing in their races to sign a pledge to support Mr. Cuomo's list of issues and agenda. He must think his popularity is so pervasive that everyone will sign on.
Mr. Cuomo has not even announced his candidacy for Governor, but is widely thought to have a lock on the job and the campaign is a perfunctory exercise.
I will have to take a look at the pledge Mr. Cuomo wants me and others to sign. It says in the Daily News if you don't sign, you won't get the Governor's help in your own electoral endeavors.
I will be pleased to see the new Governor pursuing a reform agenda, but I will pass on signing anybody's pledge....
Remember when Rick Lazio tried to get Hillary to sign that pledge during a televised debate in Buffalo...That went over well.
Andrew Cuomo

WDT: Some teachers may be reinstated

Stop already. If staffing levels are being decreased, you can't look for ways to not make the cuts or you are in the same situation next year. That's not being mean, that's just being honest.
These early retirement programs that keep getting approved are costly, but the stated goal is to provide a soft landing and contain long term costs. If you buy people off the payroll and then use that as a rationale for hiring other people there is no cost containment.
I have talked to to so many people this year who believe that legions of teachers have been fired..I think a lot of that is the natural media affinity for people in some occupations as opposed to others. Payrolls are being trimmed because economics says they have to be .
You cannot just keep people employed for the heck of it or because you have convinced yourself you are "creating" jobs.
The coming round of federal and state tax hikes must be taken into account by local governments. It's going to be brutal and that small local tax hike in itself isn't bad but it's the coming confluence of taxes that will suck the life out of any hope for economic recovery.
Watertown Daily Times Some teachers may be reinstated

Turning Stone alcohol approval - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch

After years of trying the Indian nation that owns Turning Stone Casino near Utica has been approved to sell alcohol at its massive complex and the O-D reports the "Nation" leaned on vendors doing business with them to go to Albany to testify in front of the NYS Liquor Authority for approval of the scheme to bring booze and blackjack together at last.
The new arrangement involves leasing space to a third party firm who technically operates the licensed establishments. All of this is linked to a Rome restaurant owned by the family of the local Member of Assembly.
Bottom's Up !
Turning Stone alcohol approval - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Top Recipients of Public Pensions in New York - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

Do you want to know why NY is broke....How's a $316,000 a year pension...based on a final year salary of $400,000......For a retired public school teacher...Check out this story and the list of recipients....
Top Recipients of Public Pensions in New York - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

Readin’, ritin’, ‘rithmetic — not rosary - Schools - Education blog - timesunion.com - Albany NY

No rosary beads in school because they are gang-like ? When it comes to educating the children we must leave it to the professionals !
Readin’, ritin’, ‘rithmetic — not rosary - Schools - Education blog - timesunion.com - Albany NY

Tough to Carry out the Will of the People When the People are so Quiet

A common complaint of the politicians is they don't listen to the people....But what do you do when the public has nothing to say.
City Manager Mary Corriveau proposed a budget a month ago and after three tedious review sessions, no changes have been made.
Further, I have received no comment....None...nil....nada...
This coming Monday at 7Pm is the public hearing on the spending plan and there is every reason to believe there will be no one there to comment...Unless Wayne Zimmer gets back from Tennessee in time.
It would be easy to bloviate about this or that and cut something, but I think the budget was fairly tight to begin with. I honestly feel the sales tax will perform better and the most recent numbers support that belief. So I feel we could be content in relying on that tax a little more and the property tax a little less....
But that's just rearranging the deck chairs.
Fact is whatever changes are made are in the absence of any public input...Not that we don't want it...but it just isn't there.
So feel free to come on down Monday night at 7PM and we'll will hear your input.

Utica Pols Take it Seriously !

I was wearing a black dress shirt today and that put me in the mood to give a call to my Indy friend John Doti, who is a state vice-chair and runs the Oneida County operation....John is very Italian and lives in Utica, so he always wears dark shirts....
Anyway, we got to talking about what's up this year....No judicial conventions in the Fifth District...that's good news. He says Rep. Arcuri is floundering in the wake of his on again off again support of Obamacare that in the end made him a pariah with Big Labor and the lefties at the WFP......
Part of our CD touches his county...We both like Doheny...because he is working hard and in my case because he is registered to vote in the City of Watertown and has a home here.....
I root for the home team...
In the end, the Indy line is decided by the state leadership although I believe this year they are interested in hearing from the folks on the ground.
Indys are so spread out in the 23rd, its hard to know what's up and I know candidates are talking with the activists.
Jefferson County Independence Party Executive Committee will meet at some point to decide on local races and recommend on the multi-county races.
I am semi-retired from partisan politics and try to keep a little distance so my blogging is not just shilling for someone.
There is an Indy state convention on June 5 in Albany to nominate the statewide candidates. I will pop in to that...Haven't been to one of those in a while.
I will take some pictures for you all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WDT: 2 Fort Drum colonels killed in car bomb

Tragedy befalls Fort Drum as two senior officers are among those killed in Taliban attacks today.
Watertown Daily Times 2 Fort Drum colonels killed in car bomb

Lazio Picks Unknown as Mate

Rick Lazio has a running mate and you never heard of him....He is a County Executive from Chautauqua County in Western NY......A county slightly larger than Jefferson...Hey, why can't we have an elected executive here..Oh yeah...the voters can't be trusted with that much power...I forgot...
Anyway, while this fellow is a nice guy I am sure....This is a very weak ticket.
Dailypolitics - NY Daily News

Drums Along the Mohawk for Campaigning Carl

This is how to enjoy a campaign and get some needed attention too. Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino is taking a leisurely ten day cruise on the Erie Canal from Albany to Buffalo....He will meet supporters along the way and end up his trip just in time for the GOP Convention June 1 in Manhattan. Paladino is not expected to have enough delegates at the convention to get the nod for governor, and will have to circulate petitions to force a September primary against likely designee Rick Lazio.
The insiders say Paladino is a little crazy....I'm thinking this state need a lot of crazy to get back on track. Hope he enjoys his trip...the weather forecast is great.
Carl Paladino

It's official: GOP backs Doheny, Tea Party backs Hoffman « The In Box

Congressional hopeful Doug Hoffman is hoping NNY is a lot like Kentucky, where last night Tea Party favorite Rand Paul beat the GOP establishment candidate in a US Senate primary.
Hoffman has received the endorsement of UNYTEA, the upstate group of Tea Partiers. Hoffman's opponent for the Republican nod is Matt Doheny, who is backed by all the party leaders and poobahs.
A couple of differences though....Rand Paul is the son of a Congressman who in 2008 raised oodles of money in a Presidential race. Mr. Paul also became a media darling in the Blue Grass state....Here in NNY, Hoffman has had troubled fundraising this year....the media hates him...and he has lacked the organizational skills to win a primary.
There is however the Kentucky narrative and Team Hoffman surely wants to replicate the results.
Doheny needs to not worry about endorsements...and embrace the Tea Party themes. The message sells....Oh, by the way...lose the white shirts and sprinkle your speech with some "ubetcha's".
It's official: GOP backs Doheny, Tea Party backs Hoffman « The In Box

This Is a Good Cable News Type Story....

BullGate....Another one of those incidents where a law misapplied exposes government to ridicule.
Shawn Massey...owner of Massey's Furniture barn bought a fiberglass bull four years ago and mounted the icon on the roof of his Massey Street store.
The Bull had long been perched in front of the former Benny's Steak House where is served as a representation of the type of food sold in the restaurant.
The Bull became a bit of an icon and when the restaurant relics were auctioned off, Mr. Massey bought the bull and pledged to keep it in the neighborhood.
It went on his roof although it has no commercial nexus to the product sold there. In essence it is like one of those weather vanes with a rooster on it.
Recently another Arsenal Street business owner upset over someone complaining about his signage decided to photograph 28 other businesses with technical violations of the city's 1988 sign ordinance. The long problematic (my opinion) law suddenly was consuming staff time in the city's codes office and citations were issued. In all but one case the violations were corrected.
Mr. Massey's bull was deemed a "sign" that placed the store in excess of the maximum square footage for signs in that location.
Thus, to comply he will have to take it down, unless he gets a variance (more money and staff time) from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
I am a legislator, not a lawyer.
My solution is not to lawyer the issue to death...I feel the ordinance needs to be amended to exclude those iconic or artistic expressions unrelated to the principle commercial enterprise on the property.
That way a flag...a mural....a wooden Indian.....and the like would not fall under this law. Since lawmakers are naturally averse to lessening government's grip on the populace, I suspect my suggestion will be difficult to sell...But it's what I think needs to be done.
My other point is that snitching on people and playing "gotcha" can have unintended consequences.....It's not a good thing to do, even though it is encouraged by some.

WDT: Phil Reed Takes a Powder

I guess Phil followed my advice and steered clear of the 118th Assembly race.....Phil's a nice guy with a great family and a career at Waste Management. He doesn't need to disrupt all of that to become the Sisyphus-like figure that all our state lawmakers become.
The GOP lawmaker did make a bit of a Freudian slip...telling Jude he will entertain a run for Assembly in 2012....An admission he doesn't think his party's candidate for this year will win.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut AG and senate hopeful, says he misspoke on Vietnam vet claims

So I am listening to Morning Joe and some in the MSM are busy defending Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal who is their clear choice to succeed Senator Chris Dodd in the Nutmeg State....The rationalizing is that Mr. Blumenthal went to funerals for soldiers and bloviated about veterans issues.
Yet the NY Times reported this week, Mr. Blumenthal also on many occasions claimed to have served in Viet Nam and even lamented how when "we" returned from 'Nam he was spit on. It was rhetoric that fit the moment...Statements that created a narrative and no one disputed it. Why would they ? Mr. Blumenthal was one of those "tough as nails" attornies general who is always suing somebody and putting out press releases.
He didn't "misspeak," He lied. He was never in Viet Nam.
Makes you wonder what else isn't true.
Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut AG and senate hopeful, says he misspoke on Vietnam vet claims

Push made for nonpartisan Utica elections - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch

Breaking the death grip parties have on the political process is not easy, but in Utica there is a move afoot to do just that. The city's Charter Commission is considering a move to non-partisan municipal elections, a method used in Watertown for nearly 80 years.
Just think how neat it would be if we had a partisan system...We could have a minority leader and a majority leader...We could fight over whether we contract with GOP or Democratic vendors.......We could check your registration before responding to a constituent complaint...
While the parties are well entrenched in Washington and Albany, the one side of the aisle or the other mindset does little at a local level.
I am pleased with how our system works and was glad to tell that to the O/D reporter when he called yesterday.
Push made for nonpartisan Utica elections - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch

Tuesday Night: All North Country School Budgets Pass | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY | Local News

So much for public anger over government spending......Despite all the turmoil and all the festering over taxes, every school budget in NNY passed....
Tuesday Night: All North Country School Budgets Pass WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bull Fight! Massey's Furniture Barn Fighting Alleged Zoning Violation

A tit for tat complaint from a rival businessman is causing grief for an Arsenal Street businessman.....The fiberglass bull on top of Massey's Furniture Store is a bit of a local icon after its many years in front of Benny's Steak House.
The bull has been there for years and now its the victim of the city's 1988 sign ordinance. Even though the bull has been evident for year's, the complaint driven system produces this type of waste of time and money.
This is a good argument for what in criminal law is called jury nullification....I'm rooting for Mr. Massey.
Bull Fight! Massey's Furniture Barn Fighting Alleged Zoning Violation

Pre-Council Meeting Ruminations

-Got a call from the Utica Observer Dispatch...There is some rumbling about going to non-partisan government in that city and he wanted my views.
Given the Watertown experience since 1922, I think its a good thing.
It opens the process to people and prevents issues from being seen only through the prism of which side of an aisle you are on.
-Wonder if an Indy primary between Aubertine and Ritchie is possible ?..I have advanced the idea quietly and there is some interest. Since nobody knows who will control the Senate statewide there is less appetite for lining up solely with one party. Not my decision anyway, but I think its a good idea.
-GOP insiders say Alex Bay's Phil Reed has missed another self imposed deadline on deciding to run for Assembly.....The clock is ticking.
-After extensive testing, it has been determined my gavel works at City Hall and I have decided there will not be a repeat of last night's rampant bloviation.
-No FloristCam at the B-Bush event Sunday so I will have to rely on somebody else for a pix.
-Councilwoman Burns has called for a bird summit to discuss the Aviary since no one on City Council supports demolition. A mission for the building must be clarified and then a plan for fixing it up can go forward.
-Ted Ford is a delegate to the Democratic Convention next week in Rye, NY.
Ted's is seated on the far left side of the room.
-That AFL-CIO attack on Aubertine was just for show and he will still get all the labor backing, according to someone who knows.
-NNY Dems look to be taking the WFP line despite the bad press the lefty party has gotten.......Out of Acorns, mighty oaks are grown !

For David Paterson, a Small Window To Accomplish Something

Since he no longer has to worry about politics, Governor David Paterson isn't showing too much regard for the party nominating conventions just around the corner....After an unsuccessful budget summit with Legislative leaders today, the Governor said he may call more budget meetings in Albany next week....during the Democratic Convention in Rye.
There is no need for Paterson to show up there to see Andrew Cuomo get the nomination he wanted.
After all, Governor Paterson was kicked to the curb by his own party, so he should care about nothing else now except getting the job done.
Once Andrew is coronated, he will be the one to whom the tough questions are directed and the mess in Albany will increasingly be Mr. Cuomo's property.
Then David Paterson can begin the months long march to obscurity...but for now he is in a position to get something done.
Dailypolitics - NY Daily News

The President & Vice President's Financial Disclosure Forms | The White House

Learned something new today....In 1917 a man named Henry Freeman died and in his will he left a trust to provide a $12,000 annuity to each First Lady during his term in office.
The payments are admnistered by Wells Fargo Bank and in the financial disclosures of the Obama family a notation about this is included.
In it's day that was a healthy sum and given the work required of a First Lady, it is compensation well deserved.
The President & Vice President's Financial Disclosure Forms The White House

WDT: Feds to City...Butterflies are Not Free

The Obama Admnistration has imposed stricter rules on butterfly exhibits in zoos like the one in Thompson Park. The new rules are to make it more difficult for exotic butterflies to escape into the ecosystem. All of this proves Butterflies are Not Free.
Meanwhile thousands of barrels of crude oil continue to escape into the Gulf of Mexico and the head of the agency regulating such matters has been forced to resign.
Clearly, all of this is the fault of the Bush Administration.
Watertown Daily Times Zoo's butterfly house to follow stricter rules

Cuomo's Short List - Byron Brown | The New York Observer

My insight on Andrew Cuomo's running mate is no better than anyone else but of those on the short list, I think Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown will be chosen.....In these cases you look at how many times a candidate punches the ticket....Upstate....Executive experience....successful at fundraising and campaigning....
Mayor Duffy of Rochester and Senator Stewart-Cousins of Westchester are the other likely candidates, but neither matches Brown's combination of electability factors....Now I am assuming there is no dirt on Mayor Brown...If that's true, look for him to be the nominee at the convention next week.
Mr. Cuomo is expected to name his running mate within days.
Good job by our Senator in getting talked about for the post, but a pro-life guy from Cape Vincent is a bridge too far for NYS Democrats.
Cuomo's Short List - Byron Brown The New York Observer

Monday, May 17, 2010

Governor: People Will Be ‘Very Surprised’ By School Board Votes

The lame duck Governor with a lot to say now is predicting mass defeats for school budgets tomorrow in protest over the budget dilemma.....I beg to disagree...I don't think voters make that linkage and school votes are attended by a small number, most of whom think they have a stake (and a steak) in passage....Besides, we all know that a NO vote doesn't mean anything as far as spending or taxes.....
It is an interesting idea though....voting no to protest Albany.
Governor: People Will Be ‘Very Surprised’ By School Board Votes

Gov. Paterson threatens cutting 10K jobs - NYPOST.com

OMG.....When you are short on cash you actually lay off people....as in firing them ?
That's how it is done in the private sector where people make less money and actually face the prospect of unemployment when their boss can't make payroll anymore....
Reduction in the number of workers is what needs to happen...across the board cuts.....All these furloughs, pay cuts and other gimmicks are just government's way to deny reality....
It sounds Darwinian, but's that's what happens.
Gov. Paterson threatens cutting 10K jobs - NYPOST.com

AFL-CIO Targeting Three Senators On Jobs, Unemployment

Wow, Big Labor is attacking Senator Aubertine...But don't worry....Big Labor's political arm, the Working Families Party will still be endorsing him.....
Actually, it will be interesting to see if Patty Ritchie uses feigned labor outrage to run and embrace as many unions as she can....And in doing so will she antagonize the GOP base of business people ?
Actually, I think Labor is just jerking the leash a little on the Senators not totally obsequious to their demands. Although his position on the farm labor bill does put Mr. Aubertine directly opposed to the very essence of organized labor.
AFL-CIO Targeting Three Senators On Jobs, Unemployment

DN: Darrel's Stock Slips in Race for Running Mate

With the only mystery left being who will be the running mate, the Daily News reports Andrew Cuomo will announce his choice prior to the Democratic Convention next week.
Missing from the DN list is Senator Darrel Aubertine who says he did talk to Mr. Cuomo last week.
After the Paterson situation, Mr. Cuomo is expected to select someone with executive experience who could take over. Whether running his dairy farm qualifies Mr. Aubertine is not known. The DN reports the choice will not be strictly political, in other words a person who demographically balances the ticket.
The mayors of Rochester and Buffalo are on the list...A tip of the hat to upstate. Maybe the choice will be political.
Democratic convention

Can a New Face Become a Hit in the River District ?

With all the excitement over the races for Governor, Congress and State Senate, it's easy to forget the contest for Assembly in the 118th (River District).
David Forsythe is a St. Lawrence County Legislator and businessman. He hopes to unseat one term lawmaker Addie Russell.
This WDT introduction of Mr. Forsythe gives some insight into his candidacy. I have met him and he is a sincere fiscal conservative, but as a relative unknown in out end to the district, it will be an uphill climb. There is also the lingering talk of Alex Bay's Phil Reed launching a primary challenge.
This is a tough race for either GOP candidate, but in this year's anti-incumbent fever (if it continues), Ms. Russell will have to keep an eye on her opponents.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Meet Bill....Mad as Hell and Tired of his Past Choices

Now a word for the other side....Before the local Dems crow too wildly about their prospects, let me introduce you to Bill.
Bill is a sixty-ish hard working guy in retail whom I have known for years and is a registered Democrat.....I was chatting with him during dinner at Pete's (surprise).
Bill regularly votes for the Aubertines and the Schumers, but this year he wants nothing to do with incumbents. Bill tells me he has had enough and is disgusted with the whole Albany and Washington scene.
Bill is one of those people who is not in a union and not a government employee and as such is a persuadable voter. As he sits tonight, he is anti-incumbent above all else.....
If your name is Hennessey or Ford, voting is easy...You vote the party....But for guys like Bill who have thought of themselves as Democrats, it's not so automatic.
That is the reason the Dohenys and the Ritchies are very much in the hunt although conventional wisdom suggests otherwise. It's not a party thing...not a desire for the GOP to be in charge...It's a visceral revulsion of the current ruling class.
There are people out there who are mad as Hell....Bill is one of them.

Buyers Remorse ?

When County Legislature Chairman Ken Blankenbush bought into the notion of running for the Assembly seat in the 122nd, the demographics of the district seemed to favor a win......but If I were him I might be getting a little buyer's remorse and consider staying put..
Now he is going to be facing a well-financed lawyer from Lowville named Brian McGrath, who is also June O'Neill's latest pet project for sticking it to the NNY GOP.
It's painfully obvious current Assemblywoman Scozzafava is going to back McGrath and that will be a factor in the important Gouverneur section of the 122nd.
This morning the WDT fired away on what they see as a lack of leadership by the Chairman on the wind issue and the faux pas with the NYS Power Authority.
I hear there was also a Hoffmanesque meeting between Mr. B and the publisher that will bear nothing but ill fruit in the months to come.
People are ripping you on blogs and web boards. The political cogniscenti have been looking ,at other candidates, though none have stepped forward but for a brief moment.
Some on your own Legislature are carping about the attention to the big race and want to put Carolyn in as chair.
In short, its not going to be a cake walk and the prospects for success are not as certain as they were a month ago.
Oh, and you get to spend weeks driving from one middle of nowhere to another.....
All this grief to be a backbencher in the Assembly.....Surely there are other pursuits for a 62 year old successful businessman....But when you get candidatitis, your priorities shift.
Watertown Daily Times Wind PILOT

WDT: Demolition of building on city school ballot

I had to chuckle at the made-for-media show and tell at the City School District's former administrative offices on Butterfield Avenue.
The District wants to tear it down because there is mold in it and we are all led to be shocked....SHOCKED...I tell you that a building left vacant and to the elements for some time ends up in such condition. I thought this building was going to be recommissioned if enrollment went up again, but then again I thought the Aviary was OK too.
Then the clincher is we were told, and it was reported as such, the $650,000 demolition cost wouldn't cost the "taxpayers" anything as the monies are being taken out of fund balance (also known in the spending class as "fun balance.")
Whoahhh...I am in this racket called government and the money most certainly is the people's....as it could have been used to lower the tax levy. By using it on demolition that is tax relief denied which is the same as higher taxes.
The propensity of government...especially those charged with the education of our youth....to misrepresent basic finance is staggering !
I was concerned to watch on TV my good friend Deltra Willis and one of the few superintndents I like, Terry Fralick, don masks to walk into the once bucolic neighborhood school. I wouldn't want either of them to catch anything.
I love those kind of schools as I went to one in suburban Rochester named Brookview Elementary School....I wonder if it caught mold too ?
Tear it down if you must, but excuse me if I am not amazed at the mold and if I accept the expense as just part of the cost taxpayers incur when they decide to educate the next generation.
Watertown Daily Times Demolition of building on city school ballot