Saturday, July 17, 2010

There Are Jobs For Those in a Work Mode

One of the popular expressions of the perpetually unemployed is there are only service jobs in Watertown and by golly I won't stoop to that cause I heard you can get $30 an hour as a flag man on Fort Drum.
Well if you have youth and looks on your side...neither lasts long can likely find a chance to make some serious cash at the new Tilted Kilt....This franchise restaurant is locally owned, but its decked out as a English Pub version of Hooters. Plaid skirts instead of orange shorts.
Now for those who can be dependable, show up on time, leave the boyfriend at home, not chew gum when speaking to people and be honest....A place like this is golden...Its a festive atmosphere with customers in a demographic that likes to spend.
Don't show up for the casting call looking like a slouch....try a little dress...skip the piercings and get somebody to teach you some good English and don't say 'you know' every sentence. Oh , and the verb 'to go' is not interchangeable with 'say or says.'
As in 'he goes let's get drunk and I go not today, and he goes come on let's get blitzed and I go OK.' I was brought up to hate that usage.
I look at the people who apply for jobs and it's like wow, man...Who would want this waiting on me ?
And trust me...good service and good grooming will make you that $30 an hour without standing in the middle of a dusty road on a hot day.
If you don't believe me ask Tammy at the Wench....

New Yorkers...Keep Rooting for Sharon !

New York's prospects for having our Chuck Schumer as Senate Majority Leader may be fading. A new poll shows current Leader, Sen Harry Reid of Nevada, ahead of challenger Sharon Angle by seven points.
Mr. Reid had been trailing but in Ms. Angle, the Democrats have found a target for attack ads......As a "Tea Party Favorite" she is clearly a racist nut who wants to cancel Social Security.....Or so they would have you believe.
If Reid is defeated, many expect Senator Schumer would move up and that would be good for New York.
Meanwhile Schumer's reelection is considered certain especially with a war chest rivaling Andrew Cuomo's.

It's Apparent Hoffman is Sticking Around

It's become conventional wisdom among those of us who follow politics that Doug Hoffman will lose the GOP primary to Matt Doheny.
After all, the county Republican chairs are behind Doheny. He is buying lots of ads and conventional media wisdom hinges on how big the latest "buy" is.
Doheny is also working very hard and the other day did what Hoffman has not or won't and that is call a live talk show with an unpredictable host.
To that end, many of us conventional wisdom types figured Hoffman's Waterloo could come with submission of petitions. It did not. He turned in numbers well above the minimum and that shows a level of organization. He has raised some money (not as much as his opponent) over the Internet. He also continues to show up at events. Although his public speaking is still poor, it has improved.
Hoffman's name recognition is high and he is still referred to in the national media as the "Tea Party favorite."
I believe Doheny wins the GOP primary simply because he is the better candidate to face Rep. Bill Owens. But Hoffman will be a force and will continue on to November on the Conservative line.
Doheny people say they had hoped Hoffman would fade, but had planned all along to deal with winning a three way race in the fall.
Democrats chortle that a three-way ensures their guy wins.
On November 2, we will see who has the better plan.

Boulder: No masks, nudity during City Council meetings - Boulder Daily Camera

We haven't had too many decorum issues at our City Council meetings since we reinstated having an officer there. Certainly there has never been anyone in their boxer shorts addressing us...When the cameras first started recording and webcasting the meetings a couple years ago, we did have a spike in public comment appearances and a couple people who had to be gaveled and a couple more who should have been.
The novelty wore off and the extent of public comment are a few remarks by Wayne Zimmer.....Good luck to the folks in Boulder, but you don't necessarily need a new set of rules...just some common sense by the person chairing the meeting.
Boulder: No masks, nudity during City Council meetings - Boulder Daily Camera

And Back Home You'll Always Be Known as 'Senator'

This is a great deal....Imagine if you are 36 years old, puttering around politics and all of a sudden without doing a lick of campaigning you get to be a United States Senator.So it is with Carte Goodwin, who gets to be the placeholder for the late Senator Robert Byrd's Senate seat from West Virginia. Senator Goodwin will serve until a special election can be held and Governor Joe Manchin....who appointed Goodwin....can run. Governor Manchin could have appointed himself right now but that would have seemed too self serving.
Wonder if Senator Goodwin will like the job so much he will want to keep it ?
Carte Goodwin, 36, Gets to Be a Senator for a Few Months -- Daily Intel

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bachmann forms Tea Party Caucus - Jake Sherman -

Here is a litmus test for Matt Doheny and Doug Hoffman....Would they join the Tea Party Caucus formed by Rep.. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota ? Bachmann is a Tea party favorite and is a key link to the mad as Hell crowd. Lets see what happens.
Bachmann forms Tea Party Caucus - Jake Sherman -

Jefferson County the Sales Tax Hottie in NY this Spring

Jefferson County tied with Chemung County in garnering the largest year to year sales tax increase in the quarter that ended May 31.
Sales tax collections up 10.6 percent statewide, down in 22 counties Politics on the Hudson

Rank and File for Paladino...Sure Seems that Way

I was chatting with some Republicans this afternoon at a social event and I have to tell you that while no one believes Andrew Cuomo will not be the next governor, it is also true, Rich Lazio is in deep trouble in the GOP primary.
Carl Paladino and his Mad as Hell mantra is exciting Republican insiders who see Lazio as the John Faso of 2010.
That's just my observation and I am sure there are plenty of cloth coat Republicans who will vote for Mr. Lazio.
This week's finance numbers show Paladino is in much better shape to contest a primary.
Meanwhile Andrew Cuomo meanders around the state on an RV, secure in the knowledge the mansion on Eagle Street is his come January.
What's going in your circle of friends ?...Comments please.....

TGIF and Petitions are Over Too !

Looks I will be going to the Indy Executive Committee meeting Sunday in Albany, thanks to a nice GOP operative who volunteered to fill in for me so it wouldn't be such an expense to go. We will see what happens with local endorsements. It was suggested someone from up here be there and Lewis County's IP icon Joe Baruth couldn't make it.
I haven't heard of any petition challenges and it looks on the surface like the Hoffman campaign is better organized than appeared. They got good numbers on the GOP and Conservative ones and have been doing some fundraising according to the latest FEC filing. He had a nice showing of supporters in the Fair parade on Tuesday.
He does not seem inclined to blink despite the well organized and funded effort of 40 year old candidate Matt Doheny.
Doheny meanwhile had an impressive showing with its petition submissions and seems poised to compete effectively in the September 14 primary.
Hoffman is still not on TV and his initial edge in name recognition is surely fading. The next two months will be interesting.
I spoke to Jefferson County Conservative activist Ken Parks today. He said he resigned as chair because he had enough of all the petition nonsense and all the effort that goes into being a constituted committee.
The process is really an illusion as the public and MSM talk about parties as if they are some organic body representing a large number of like minded people. It really is all about who knows how to game the system to get control of a line on the ballot....That's not necessarily bad as organizational skills are important....But on a county level minor parties are a very closely held corporation.
Ken knows that.

Caputo: Lazio’s Numbers ‘Embarrassing’

One person not getting high grades in the shake down department is GOP gubernatorial hopeful Rick Lazio, who had to loan his own campaign money to keep things afloat. With a primary in the offing against the Mouth of Buffalo, Lazio has his hands full....The campaign of Carl Paladino waisted no time reminding New Yorkers how much money they have vis a vis Mr. Lazio.
Caputo: Lazio’s Numbers ‘Embarrassing’

Politics At All Levels is Quite the Racket

NNY numbers for local campaign war chests pale in comparison to other parts of the state. I have been reading the posts on the state blogs and it seems everybody has 1.9 million or 2.7 or in the case of Andrew Cuomo 23 million.....And of course there was the 103 million dollars Mayor Bloombert spent on himself.
In NNY candidates raise a few thousand.. Few people here write the big checks or max out....
Still, it's a full time effort to keep the money coming in and you can't hope to compete otherwise. In the local Congressional race, Matt Doheny is able to jump start his campaign and the latest filing shows Doug Hoffman spotting himself a six figure sum to keep his effort going.
Ken Blankenbush has put $23,000 of his own cash into the rat hole, while the incumbents don't have to....They have the unions, the downstate donors and the interest and advocacy groups sending in checks.
It's mind boggling.
Watertown Daily Times Aubertine takes in more than Ritchie

40th Birthday WIshes for Candidate Doheny

Like crossing the Rubicon, the transition to 40 does not offer a return trip....So it is today for Congressional hopeful and Watertown businessman (stock picker) Matt Doheny !
The Republican candidate now squares off against Doug Hoffman in a primary and with the guarantee of the Indy line, he is a certain November opponent to Rep. Bill Owens.
Doheny made his first ever call to the HOTLINE radio program yesterday and did well, except for the birther question which he never really answered yes or no....But that's OK.....It was just a Chris Matthews 'gotcha' question anyway..
Doheny will celebrate with friends today and attend the Alan Jackson concert tonight.
Best wishes to Matt on his 40th.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brown blasts Griffin, Bravo on insult to daughters - Ben Smith -

Cable or no cable, what is wrong with the entertainment industry that they think its OK to call two young ladies "prostitutes" just because they are pretty and the daughters of a public figure ? Good for Senator Scott Brown for speaking out against Kathy Griffin, who really is not as funny as Bravo must think.
This is one area where the liberal elite media do get a free pass. The Letterman comments about the Palin daughters or these remarks about Brown's daughters are accepted as OK. They are not.
Brown blasts Griffin, Bravo on insult to daughters - Ben Smith -

Authorities Budget Office hones in on Fulton Co. - Capitol Confidential

Here's a good example of a local agency headed in the wrong direction. When a local development corporation starts to define itself as a private membership organization to avoid rules and scrutiny, that is wrong. This agency in Fulton County got called out on it. Even though the Authorities Budget Office is an added bureacracy, it is a reaction to situations that led to abuse.
There is an irony to all this and that is while these LDC's are considered government entities the state has not allowed them to get status as public employers and that is why many have had to contract with other agencies to provide staffing. Such a situation existed locally.
My view is economic development agencies should be public entities in every sense of the word.
Authorities Budget Office hones in on Fulton Co. - Capitol Confidential

Filings Pretty Much Complete

More petitions have been filed, including duplicate sets in SD48, AD118 and AD122.
I would like to try and get down to Albany Sunday for the Indy Executive Committee meeting. Tough to do as I have to work at the bar and between travel and bringing someone in, its an expensive day to indulge one's political hobby.
I will see what happens.
Meanwhile, it was an interesting summer season.
Not quite over though....there are still independent line petitions and we'll see if that Cuomo RV makes it to Watertown. I would like to meet the Manhattan Madame and see if Paladino is really mad as Hell.
All these other people running for will be interesting to meet them all if they pass through.
Since you can win a statewide race by carrying as few as a half dozen of the 62 counties, we may not see too many.

Petition Mania Across NY

Party Activists and Notaries have been busy this summer gathering and filing huge numbers of petition signatures for candidates...
Incumbents facing challenges are trying to Big Foot their upstart opponents. Rep. Charles Rangel gathered 30,000 signatures even though in a Congressional race you only need 1250.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney garnered 23,000, while many people were submitting totals of 8-10 thousand.
Even in the minor parties there was heavy duty work. Rep. Scott Murphy gathered a whopping 2300 in CD 20 while in SD 48, both candidates seemed to have an adequate number as they await the decision on who gets the Wilson Pakula.
More and more, it's the domain of paid gatherers as the demands go beyond what volunteer activists are up for.

Conservative SNAFU Can Be Rectified With a Little Work

The Conservative line does not have to be vacant after a flap over a plan to give the line to Democrat John Burns apparently met with somebody's displeasure. Likely GOP pressure on State Chair Mike Long played a part in a sudden decision reported by Jude that Burns would not get the out of party authorization to run....and without time to do petitions for opponent Charles Ruggiero.
However,Conservative registrants can still weigh in by a process called Opportunity to Ballot. If a petition for an OTB is turned in by July 29, there will be a write in primary on September 14.
Whatever happened in this case, it points to the dilemma in minor parties when you are not a constituted committee locally and have to depend on the State Chair for an authorization. In that case you really cannot promise anything to anyone....and it appears that's what happened here.
You may recall there was an OTB in the Indy Party last year in County Leg. District 11 after neither candidate bothered to do petitions. In the end Paul Simmons won the OTB with a handful of write in votes and thus had the line in November.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Indy Drama to Extend Through the Weekend

It's pretty clear the Aubertine for Senate campaign is taking petitions for the Indy line seriously. Twice, their people have brought back to me petitions I gathered to rewrite or correct minor errors that could be used as the basis for a challenge. Usually its sloppy penmanship in writing in the locations. I have been dinged for poor writing since the first grade.
In the world of Albany,lawyers will be on the Indy petitions in SD48 like flies on a ribroast....Hoping to find a date out of place or a witness statement with a minute flaw.
Today, Aubertine and challenger Patty Ritchie will submit their Independence Party petitions in hopes the party's high command will give one of them an out of party authorization. With two valid sets of petitions, the party could allow a primary, but that power rests with the party's Executive Committee, meaning essentially the State Chair. A meeting will be held in Albany on the subject this Sunday.
Usually these deals are cut by now, so this situation is unusual.

Masons Aiming to Decide Soon on Temple Buyers

An ad posted this week seems to suggest the Freemasons who own downtown Watertowns decaying temple are ready to deal with whomever will buy it. The temple is similar to Masonic structures built in communities around the world, some large and imposing, some as small as a single room.
As Freemasonry waned in membership, the Washington Street structure did too and there were efforts to keep the building viable through renting office space.
When the building finally became vacant, the Masons offered it for sale and while many have looked at it, the massive structure didn't sell and the price has been dropping to its current asking price of $125,000. Essentially two vexing problems. What would one do with the building and what about the cost of renovation ?
Now, frustrated with the lack of a sale and still paying taxes on the building, a deadline has been set for July 23 to review any and all offers. One presumes a sale may be imminent.
Because it is a privately owned building the sale decision is clearly with the owners and the due diligence to research the use and condition of the building has rested with the prospective purchasers. There is a suggestion to publicly fund a study on the building, but if a sale occurs first, one doesn't know what happens with that idea.
The building is a bit of a hazard with its falling pieces of stone, but with no one using the property, that issue is limited. The building is decaying, but has the look of an ancient ruin, so ironically its not that offensive visually.
Downtown buildings have been the subject of many efforts in recent years and there have been some stunning successes. A handful of buildings remain a challenge and the one we at City Hall have been most concerned about is the Woolworth Building, truly the cornerstone of Downtown. After helping secure $2.5M in state money for a proposed hotel project, that effort seems stalled.
Sometimes all the King's horses and men cannot fix something like the Temple. The building needs a mission and other than talk of an art gallery or an opera house, little has been said about what could go there.
At this point, the Woolworth Building is the number one priority and the Masonic Temple is going to have to find its direction through the action of the market place. On July 23 we will see if there are indeed offers. After that, public agencies can decide on a study.
Masonic Temple - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Buffalo, A Socialist Enclave? Carl Thinks So ! And He Wants Mike Long to Step Down !

Buffalo Businessman and Outspoken Gubernatorial Candidate Carl Paladino is always making headlines for something. He is seeking a primary against Rick Lazio and is circulating independent petitions under what he calls the Taxpayers Party. Last night at the Buffalo Common Council meeting he suggested the Queen City has worked hard to become so poor and is a socialist enclave.
This evening on Capital Tonight, he told Liz that Conservative Chair Mike Long should step down....Now that kind of heresy would never come from the mouth of a country club Republican.
Early on the GOP intelligencia collectively dismissed him as a nut.....but with their candidate, Mr. Lazio, making little headway, Paladino is now considered a contender for the nomination.
He is the kind of Tea Party, Mad as Hell populist that the media would love and hate at the same time. Meanwhile the next governor, Andrew Cuomo, would face some spirited dialogue from someone like Paladino.
Republicans cannot win the State House with either of these men....But Paladino will give them excitement and energy they will need down ballot.
Buffalo, A Socialist Enclave?

WDT: Sales tax tallies mixed

When sales tax is by far your largest source of income.... (at least twice that of property tax) you keep an eye on the ying and yang of local retail.
The most recent quarterly numbers were good and left the city budget ahead of original sales tax projections for the fiscal year just ended. As you recall, last year, declining sales tax led to mid year cutting of expenses. That move proved prudent as the situation for the entire year has balanced out.
The recent burst in sales tax may be temporary as a result of Canadian shoppers following the exchange rate.
Some other factors weigh in as well. Hydro revenue was off $200K in the fiscal year just ended and state aid was down as well and the future of that source is dicey. Surging pension fund contributions also are a concern.
By and large, the mid course corrections and the modest recovery of the retail economy leave city finances in reasonably good shape headed into the new fiscal year. However, the need for caution is still there as sluggish retail numbers elsewhere suggest our numbers, while good, could be an anomaly.
Watertown Daily Times Sales tax tallies mixed

Independence Party Divide Threatens To Boot Padavan, Como From Ballot Line

There is an Independence Party Executive Committee meeting this weekend to vote on the out of party authorizations for various offices. There is some high drama, perhaps real, in several races. What it really comes down to is whether there is a real chance the GOP can retake the Senate and the third party could be the kingmaker. If it looks like that won't be the case, some key races may favor endorsing the Democrat. There are no more than a half dozen races statewide really in play, so a very few decisions can leverage a bigger result.
I have not decided whether to go to the meeting.
Independence Party Divide Threatens To Boot Padavan, Como From Ballot Line

GOP Holding Out Hope On Minor Lines

Conservative and Indy Party activists have announced backing of a Democrat in a key Senate race in Western New York. Whether this is any indication of what will happen in our Senate district is hard to say. In the 48th District, the Conservative line is a lock for Pattie Ritchie, but unlike the last two election, the Indy high command has been coy, trying to figure out who will control the body in January before picking sides.
Both Ritchie and Darrel Aubertine are planning to submit petitions for the Indy line this week. Assuming they are both solid and I believe they will be, there is still the remote possibility of a primary. Jefferson County activists had already back Senator Aubertine, but there is clearly a need for a primary in a situation like this where significant numbers of people have backed both candidates.
GOP Holding Out Hope On Minor Lines In 58th SD

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Parade Duty for Most of Those Running

While tossing foam footballs, Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny was clearly pleased with his effort at gathering signatures on petitions. Nearly 9000 people signed GOP ones that were submitted today. Some 1400 signed Independence Party petitions......It is not known how many Conservatives signed.
Doheny took part in the Jefferson County Fair Firemen's Parade along with rival Doug Hoffman. Both men put on a good showing in front of the grandstand....but the real question will be how well did Hoffman do on petitions which are due Thursday.
The parade helped Senator Darrel Aubertine who by coincidence was presented an award for restoring funding to, of all things.....the County Fair !
I didn't see opponent, Patty Ritchie, but she says she marched with 15 of her supporters...... I was scolded by the Jefferson County Clerk for getting my plates in Canton....
Assemblywoman Addie Russell marched with the aid of veteran banner holder Ezra Ted Ford.
Both candidates in the 122nd marched with Ken Blankenbush looking happy and Brian McGrath having to endure being introduced as Brian McCarthy.
Both Sheriff candidates were there in force.
One nice feature of the reviewing stand was the clean split as Republicans sat on one side and Democrats the other.....Senator Aubertine and Sheriff Burns seemed miffed Doheny didn't shake their hands much less give them a football.
I don't know how many people make a decision based on this event, but the pols thought it was important.

WDT: Ruggiero Miffed at Backing of Burns

There is no reason for anyone to be miffed. Obviously, local Conservative Party activists wanted to help out Sheriff Burns and ask State Chairman Michael Long to issue Mr. Burns an out of party authorization.
There is little point in putting candidates through a screening if there is no intention of supporting that candidate. Under NY law, a candidate has an absolute right to seek the nomination of the party they are registered in. There is no right to be considered by another party.
Usually the Conservative Party functions as a "me too" party for Republican candidates, but apparently not in this case.
This week I had a candidate from up North call me to ask me about an authorization for a race in St. Lawrence County. There is no organization there and that outreach needed to occur weeks ago to the state chair. Little can be done at the last minute.
There is also the matter of petitions, which need to be done earlier than this.
Politics is about personal relationships and allegiances. You don't have a right to be considered. You have to seek out and convince people. They in turn owe you an honest assessment. Conservative Chair Parks got snookered into saying he had made a mistake. Not so. He did what he wanted to do. There was no mistake.
Watertown Daily Times Ruggiero miffed at backing of Burns

Long Summer Ahead for the GOP Designee

How bad are Rick Lazio's prospects ?
Pretty bad....This week I have made it a point to ask around about Carl Paladino vs Lazio and even those deeply embedded in the GOP are not enthused about Lazio...Some like Paladino and others think he is a nut....Bottom line is talk is intensifying about a Paladino upset in the GOP primary for Governor, not to mention the impact of Paladino's Taxpayer Party independent line.
With campaign finance deadlines on Thursday it is widely thought Lazio has raised little. His single biggest asset is his apparent grip on the Conservative line...Even with that,an in party member is competing in a primary for Line D...An in party member who is a lawyer and could get off the line in September if Paladino won the GOP primary
Paladino commercials continue all over talk radio and on FOX, and that's where Republican primary voters hang out.

The "Boss"...George Steinbrenner Dies at Age 80

Baseball legend and longtime Yankee owner George Steinbrenner has died at age 80.....
George Steinbrenner - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Lines on the Ballot for Next Four Years ?

This could be a year when we get extra parties added to the ballot for the next four years. There are now five, but four years ago there were eight.
Today, I downloaded a petition for Carl Paladino's Taxpayer Party....The other day, I got one for Kristen Davis' Anti-Prohibition Party. There are probably more out there.
If any of these parties qualify this year and draw 50,000 votes in the Gubernatorial race, then they are on the ballot and start the process of becoming as venal as all the third parties before them.
It might be fun to get some signatures over the next couple of weeks just to help out these folks. After all, they are just dabbling in democracy and trying to raise a few of their pet issues.
The great thing about this year is that it's OK to dabble.
We all are secure in the knowledge Andrew Cuomo will be the next governor, and on balance that's fine. We know Senator Schumer will be reelected, and you know if Sharon Angle wins in Nevada, I think Senator Schumer will be good for NY as majority leader.
So, when you think about it, with NY's fusion voting system, it's a good year to support the minor parties so they can continue whatever it is they do.
Vote for Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Schumer on Line C (or E if you are feeling a bit randy). Vote for Lazio on the D line or vote for one of the new parties. It's a year when you can afford to be off the reservation, so go ahead...get a little crazy.
Just a note of caution.....The Comptroller race is competitive so make sure you really vote for whom you want to win. Oh, and the AG race may be as well...or so I am told..

Calling the Hotline is Good for the Soul and Your Campaign

I have been thinking about what to ask if Congressional hopeful and holder of North Country values Matt Doheny ever called America's Favorite Noontime Talk Show.
"Any day now," is the word from the high command. My giddiness is palpable, like those anxious days and hours as a child when Christmas approached.
As politicians go he is pretty successful. He made more last year than Barack Obama, but less than Sarah Palin. And he did all of it without writing an autobiography about those trying days growing up in Alex Bay during the Depression.
He is the best organized of the campaigns this year with his own NORAD war room buried deep in downtown Watertown. As I have said, Doheny is well read and versed on the issues, whatever they are.
As for Congressional je ne sais qua, it's tough to compete with Rep. Bill Owens, who sails through a room like a cool breeze off Lake Champlain. And Mr. Owens has called the HOTLINE twice this year !
So , if and when Doheny bows to convention and calls the HOTLINE, I will pepper him with banality, try to trip him up on sports trivia, and ask him what he really thinks of Doug Hoffman, who will never call any show that is live.
Go ahead, Matt.....make my day !

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cuomo Takes on ........a Dating Service !

Attorney General and soon-to-be Governor Andrew Cuomo has successfully smacked down in court a dating service he says charged too much for too little results.
That is reassuring ! Who would run to the Attorney General claiming they were fleeced by a dating service? Are you hoping Mr. Cuomo can prove you didn't get a date because of fraud and not because you are just homely or boring ?
As Governor, we all hope Mr. Cuomo can take on some more significant issues when he trades the AG job for that of running the Empire State
LegalNewsline Dating service shot down in N.Y.

Council As Art Experts

City Council is getting closer to a decision on the design, if any, for the fountain at Lachenauer Plaza on Court Street. The public has been looking at designs since the North Country Arts Council offered to spearhead a competition to redecorate the fountain.
Since that offer, Public Works crews have stripped and painted the fountain blue and since it looks so good it could remain a solid color.
Council toinght discussed criteria for a final choice and seems to agree a less "busy" design would fit best on the relatively small area available.
At its work session tonight , Council also reviewed a list of City owned property and decided on which ones to send to auction. Included are tax sale certificates for six properties thought to have pollution problems.
Council also discussed concession arrangements for events in Thompson Park and the need to recruit people to serve on City boards and commissions.

Grant Award for Washington Street Endeavor

The Northern NY Community Foundation has awarded $225,000 for a YMCA daycare center on Washington Street in a former medical building. This will provide a needed service and do so in the City of Watertown. It will also stabilize an attractive but vacant building. (its the one with the copper colored roof)
The other day when driving around town with Ted Ford of LaFargeville, Mr. Ford commented on how many properties in town have been improved of late. Ted is right...There is a lot going on.
New hotels, restaurants, stores and public works projects along with facilities like the Y and the nearby hospital are all evidence that despite national leadership that talks down the economy, there is much good going on here.
Rande Richardson and the Foundation continue to do a great job on picking projects that make a difference.

Espada: I Have 10,000 Supporters

The Democratic High Command may have targeted Sen. Pedro Espada for extinction, but the folks back home seem to like the controversial lawmaker.
Speaking to his peeps in the Bronx, Senator Espada claimed today to have 10,000 signatures on petitions...Ten times the number required. He will no doubt be in the September primary, despite efforts by the freshly scrubbed statewide party to purge Espada from the ranks.
Espada has done everything that should disqualify him for further office, but then again I don't claim to understand ethnic politics in the Bronx, where messing with Espada is likely viewed by some as picking on one of their own.
Be sure, Pedro will always make it interesting and is due to be on Capitol Tonight this evening (Monday).
Espada: I Have 10,000 Supporters

Worker quits Working Families Party, citing fraud -

Petitions done at the kitchen table....It happens I suppose, but not that much. People I know who are getting them this year are taking great pains to make sure they are accurate.
However, in something like the Working Families Party, it doesn't really matter as it is just a Democrat "me too" party to give an extra line.
Worker quits Working Families Party, citing fraud -

Petition Week to Dominate the Attention of Pols

The new week brings perfect summer weather, a state budget still not done and an end to one phase of the political cycle as candidates submit nominating petitions.
Election law attornies will be busy challenging petitions in the effort to fulfill their mantra that the "best election is no election." The big prize locally is can Doug Hoffman's Conservative party petitions be found insufficient or flawed.
If he is off that line, he is essentially out of the race for the fall and then its a two way race for Congress.
Once the race for Congress becomes an east (Plattsburgh) vs west (Watertown) affair, the GOP has its best shot at retaking NY23.
The other interesting petition fight will be in SD 48 where Patty Ritchie and Sen. Darrel Aubertine are gathering signatures for the Independence Party nomination. Meanwhile the party's state chair is staying mum on who gets the out of party authorization.
If they both get one, there would be a primary unless one side can get the other side thrown off the ballot.
It's not really "irregularities" or fraud that will sink anyone. It's whether technical errors or duplicate signatures come into play as line by line scrutiny will be employed to reduce the number below the legal threshold.
It's the dark art of politics and for those who understand the game it will be interesting.
It would be nice, in a Jeffersonian way, to let the people decide...but that is not the agenda of those who control such decisions.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Is There a Right and Wrong Way to Raise Money for a Good Cause

I went to the Iron Block event Sunday and watched the auction...schmoozed...did some politicking and took a peak at the Paradise Found ladies when they arrived for the bike wash...Shot a couple photos for Newzjunky and left to do some petitioning with Ted Ford.
Some commenters were incensed and I wondered later whether a bike wash fundraiser for Hospice was appropriate ?
They have yacht races and cocktail parties, but are dancers an appropriate way to raise dollars for charity ?
I didn't see anyone from Hospice there, so I don't know if Erik Dunk had permission to raise money for this worthwhile charity.
Just because it's a good cause, does that mean anything goes ? Last fall I held a 'Beers for Bears" zoo fundraiser at local taverns. The effort left the MSM cold as they likely thought it's not the proper way to raise money. So it may be with Mr. Dunk's fundraiser for Hospice.
I saw no harm in the saucy event, as I know Hospice is valuable.....But others would surely prefer the yacht race.

Sundays Are Made for Politics

So I went out for the last time this season to grab a few petitions....This time with Ted Ford who drove his Ford Taurus around the City to help pick up a couple dozen Indy sigs for Aubertine, Russell, Doheny and Burns.
I was talking to Ted about a few things......In a clear break with his beloved party, Ted signed a petition for the libertarian Kristin Davis for Governor....And he said he actually liked Matt Doheny and his TV commercials...But then quickly added that as a Democrat he will still vote for Bill Owens.....That's the great thing about being a loyal member of a party...You really don't have to ponder the choices.
Then I went to Pete's and handed off my petitions to a Democratic operative who folded them and put them in his back pocket.
Congressional candidate Doheny stopped by with a woman who drives a pickup truck. She is a charming lady from a Congressional district far away.
We had a good discussion and Doheny said he would use his Svengali skills in finance to remake Fort Pearl into an economic engine for job creation.
Well, he says in the ads he does that stuff, so I appreciate the help.
All in all a good day, and I look forward to seeing what happens with the Indy line in SD 48.

Petitions Gathered Here for Davis for Governor.

Folks who ride bikes have had their fill of David Paterson as governor....While collecting signatures for independent candidate for governor Kristin Davis, many voters bristled over the Paterson tenure.
Claudia Dunk...a well-known libertarian and free spirit...garnered signatures between transactions at an event at Iron Block Harley Davidson in Adams Center. A bike auction, band, cookout, and bike was to benefit Hospice were featured events that attracted about three hundred people.
Kristin Davis is running on the Anti-Prohibition Party and needs to collect 15,000 signatures statewide by August 17 to gain a spot on the November ballot.

Local sheriff candidates feeling small backlash of voters upset with Albany - YNN, Your News Now

All the talk of anti incumbent sentiment will be interesting to watch this year.....While there is widespread criticism of state and federal lawmakers, are enough voters in a 'throw the bums out' mood to make a difference in other races like sheriff ? This YNN story suggests there is a bit of that this year.
Most incumbents will be reelected simply because most races are not seriously contested but in Albany there are a handful of Senate seats in play and party control is in play. With that party control goes redistricting after the Census and its widely thought an all Democratic Legislature will be able to redraw the lines to ensure hegemony for half a century.
Also, I am not sure what people really want. Sure, everyone says they want lower taxes, but then the Governor does a little vetoeing and the whimpering starts. Maybe its not money and taxes as much as it is an inability to resolve issues so people can get on with their lives and businesses.
A good example is wine in supermarkets which continues to hang out there and many small business people would like to know the effects they will have to deal with. Do we keep the business for years to come ?...Do we lose it and maybe our family business ?...or will there be a package of changes that will help us with the transition. ? Just not knowing is a source of frustration.
There are likely many issues for which individual groups have been frustrated and angered.
Will all the frustration with state government trickle down to a Sheriff race? It certainly could and that's a reminder that the fundamental job of an elected official is to stay connected with the people he or she represents. All of those candidates will have to do that this year.
Local sheriff candidates feeling small backlash of voters upset with Albany - YNN, Your News Now