Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Night Fever

-A fascinating story is in the works for the AM...But you will have to wait...Sorry.
-A commenter says Patty Ritchie supporters were passing petitions at the parade in Ogdensburg. That means she is seeking an independent line on the ballot after losing out on the Indy line. She has til August 17 to work on it. Is anyone additional going to vote for her because she is on three lines instead of two.....This system is nuts.
-I had to dust of the Spanish tonight while speaking to a group of mostly Hispanic worshipers at the Church Tabernacle of Worship on Haley Street. They had a super wrap up to their summer youth camp and invited me to speak. Hola !

California Official's $800,000 Salary in City of 38,000 Triggers Protests

How could a city manager in a city of 38,000 be paid a salary of $787,000 or the police chief be paid $457,000 ?
Welcome to Bell, CA where the streets are clean and safe and the public servants are paid well. City Council members are paid nearly $100,000.
If you think their pay is rich, wait till you figure up the pension costs.
Apparently its been going on for a while as 12 percent annual raises kept piling up.
California Official's $800,000 Salary in City of 38,000 Triggers Protests - Bloomberg

Law Makers Getting Paid Their Per Diems so They Are Able to Eat

While lawmakers are having their salaries delayed pending a budget, they are still getting their per diems...that's the extra money for every day they are in session...For the period from June 21 to July 16 of this year, that was an extra $2400 each for Assemblywomen Russell and Scozzafava.
Per diems now and then - Capitol Confidential

What to do About the Rangels of the World ?

All these years I never heard anyone call for Rep. John McHugh to take a 50% pay cut, scrap his pension or not get federal health benefits.
Now GOP Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny is calling for Members of Congress to do just that and face term limits as well.
Mr.Doheny harkens back to the days of the "citizen lawmaker", who put down his plow and trekked to the capital of the state or nation to do the peoples business, before returning to the field.
I don't know if thats the way it was, but I do know life is different now. We (voters) hire this person to represent eleven counties and some 700 thousand people. It's hard work, or it should be.
Nowadays, people expect much more from government and have a bigger stake in the decisions made. Congress is not something you can just drop what you are doing and have your current job protected, like a two week stint in the Army Reserves.
Your representitives need to be compensated, unless the people's house is going to become a place for the wealthy. It mostly is now.
Let the millionaires have the Senate. That was the intent until direct election of Senators was passed....I think that was the 17th amendment.
If the Doheny proposal were enacted, there would be an end run as Members would do their term and rotate into a staff job for their successor. It would still be about personal advancement and earning a good living. These people have families too.
What is appropriate for the someone who manages to get him or her self elected to a job that has to be renewed every two years. ?
Half of the current salary is about $87000. With no benefits, who would run ?. The new principal of Watertown High School was just hired for $107000 with full benefits. An assistant superintendent was hired for $118,000. A District Attorney is a bit more , as is a judge, and its commonplace in many cities for police and fire persons to make well into six figures.
Some say , 'whatever happened to public service ?'
It went the way of standing behind the plow.
Mr. Doheny's frustration with career Members who seem to serve their own interests comes at an opportune moment with the Rangel eithics flap on the front page.
However, we should live in an economy where people strive for better things and work hard to get there....Lowballing the value of our Member of Congress does not solve what many see as a problem. It will just vest more power in the unelected portions of government.
The hard work demonstrated by Mr. Doheny in his campaign is evidence he understands that as well.

Paterson Vetoes Wine at Food Festivals Bill, as WIG Crowd Regroups

Governor Paterson may seem contradictory by vetoeing a bill to facilitate wine sales at food festivals...but in fact he is being consistant.
If the Legislature insists wine remain the domain of liquor stores, then it would be wrong to allow it in other venues.
Meanwhile wine in grocery stores (WIGS) continues to be lobbied for. It should be allowed in other venues, and the Governors compromise proposal would have compensated liquor stores for their loss by granting them a saleable medallion to be sold to a grocery outlet... Resentment over liquor store owners getting a little cash for their trouble sank the measure.
I don't think the issue is dead and will likely come up again next year if not sooner. Already a commercial is on the Web urging lawmakers to revisist WIGS.
Paterson vetoes bill letting wineries sell at food festivals Poughkeepsie Journal

Friday, July 23, 2010

Third Party Fans Take a Break in NNY

The decision by local Independence Party activists to not circulate petitions for a constituted county committee brings to an end 12 years of having such a body to make local endorsements and rally for candidates.
In early years, IP only candidates peppered the ballot but as happens with third parties in NY, the recent trend is towards cross endorsing major party candidates.
Quite frankly, most local races are unopposed, so getting a third candidate is not that easy.
Under party chairs Tammy Bramhall and John Rice, the party was instrumental in the 2002 election of Darrel Aubertine as Member of Assembly and was front and center in 2008 for a nasty battle with State Chair Frank MacKay over the endorsement of a candidate in the open seat race in SD 48.
Unlike other counties the Jefferson contingent did not fund raise off the major parties and until the last two cycles kept petitioning within the party.
In fact, in most counties, major party operatives circulate all the petitions including county and state committee.
Since the party was formed by Tom Golisano in 1994, there have been some fascinating battles for control of the party, wresting it from a GOP cross endorser in the late Chair Jack Essenberg to a move towards local control and then back again to the current arrangement.
Many in the party have become prodigious fundraisers and the theory is these minor parties act as a voice to leverage major party candidates.
I was the party's US Senate Candidate in 2000 and the people met over the years around the state have been fascinating. I learned a lot about politics, not as practiced in NNY but downstate politics. A favorite moment was having dinner with Tammy and John Moore at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains in 1998 and some guy named Schumer just sits down to tell us why he should be the next Senator. Another time was joining activists from around the state in an Albany courtroom to stand down a GOP judge and win control of the party.
The decision not to organize this year was a result of declining interest and a bit of fatigue. Also, the other demands of life tug at many like current Chairman Rice.
John says he intends to stay involved and maybe some other people will step forward. Fact is, most people just think candidates appear and multi million dollar campaigns just happen. It is very difficult to find true political hobbyists these days.
Meanwhile with malice towards none, the Jefferson County Indy Committee fades to black on September 14.

Sometimes Metaphors Just Jump Out at You

-The WDT's Jude Seymour captured one of those one picture worth a thousand words moments at the Lewis County Fair.
The misspelled word on the balloon may have been an honest mistake, but after you blow up the first one don't you stop ?

How Much Does the Governor-to-Be Loathe the People in Power ?

When I heard the way Andrew Cuomo referred to today's Albany during his speech yesterday, I wondered if there is some expectation of changes not just in lawmakers but also leadership.
Mr. Cuomo drew a scathing analogy of todays state government compared to the NYS government he grew up knowing. Is it just a shot at Espada and the like or do some see changes to all three men in the room ?
No one is more embedded in his job than Speaker Sheldon Silver...and there seems to be satasfaction with Senate Conference Leader Sampson.
Of course taking oblique shots at Governor Paterson is OK as he is a lame duck.
Local lawmakers quickly chimed in on Mr. Cuomo's broad brush of criticism.
I can't imagine the Speaker in any kind of trouble...Just ask Mike Bragman.

Everybody Wants to Cut the Pork...But Where's the Beef ?

When candidates say the "days of pork are over" just what does that mean ?
Is that no more state money for a children's clinic or a volunteer fire department ? Will there be no more connector roads to Fort Drum or grants for buildings to be spruced up in downtown ?
Andrew Cuomo said the pork is kaput during his visit yesterday, and others will no doubt say it as well.
Getting appropriations for your district is as American as apple pie and people expect it.
Everytime a project comes before City Council , the question of cost is always followed by the query, 'can we get a state grant ?'
The state's problems are deeper than a few appropriations for feel good projects.
Besides, the incumbents need to be seen as doing something for their constituents.
It's the real systemic changes that are needed.....and that means eliminating functions and agencies. Getting rid of a City Parking Authority that employs your spouse at $50K a year. The social programs that purport to end all human frailties....The school superintendent every five miles, or the state plow that only goes up to the bend in the road where the county plow takes over until the town plow picks up and goes to the city limits.
Cutting those 1000 state agencies by 20% is a start and that's what Mr. Cuomo is proposing...
Remember years ago when something called SLEOC(St. Lawrence Eastern Ontario Commission) was always proposed to be cut and then it got restored after the Watertown MSM carried on and on about an agency none of them knew anything about other than they would like their spouse or son or daughter to get a job there.
I think its gone now.....but you know, I really don't know...It could still be tucked away somewhere in the Dulles SOB. Somewhere between the Tug Hill Commission and the Hudson Black River Regulating District.
And remember, cutting one teacher, cop or bureaucrat is far more newsworthy than 50 or 100 private sector jobs just disappearing.
It will be tough to eliminate those 200 agencies.
Imagine getting rid of the South Central Bronx Parking Authority or the Greater Niagara Waterfall Development Authority....
Let's see if Mr. Cuomo really has the appetite for heresy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New York Uprising’s enemies list (updated) - Capitol Confidential

Ed Koch likes Patty Ritchie, Dave Forsythe, Brian McGrath and Ken fact he considers them heroes...Meanwhile Hizzoner says Darrel Aubertine and Addie Russell are enemies of reform.
New York Uprising’s enemies list (updated) - Capitol Confidential

New Dem Message: We Hate Our Friends

I really went to Andrew Cuomo's Watertown appearance with an open mind as I had really not heard much about his ideas for what he wants to do as Governor.
I liked the discussion of integrity in government, living within a budget and reforming the structures of state and local government.
Now I know its all easier said than done. Remember on "day one everything changes" ?
Still, Cuomo and the legacy of his father, is an imposing figure in NY politics, and by force of will he probably could get some things done.
What I found fascinating was how the Democratic high command, including Mr. Cuomo, throw their current leadership under the bus and with dripping sarcasm, ridicule them and say how ashamed they are of them....
Them being David Paterson, Sheldon Silver and John Sampson.
Even the legislators like Aubertine and Russell openly talk contemptuously of their own party and its leaders.
Today, Ed Koch labled Silver and Sampson as enemies of reform. I believe Mayor Koch as he is sincere. These others are awfully close to the regime of corruption to be condemning them...
Nonetheless, I enjoyed what Mr. Cuomo had to say and think there is merit to much of his message.

Rasmussen: Paladino Slightly Stronger Than Lazio vs. Cuomo

Today Erie County Executive Chris Collins, himself once a gubernatorial contender, is backing Carl Paladino for the GOP nomination....And a poll out now shows Palidino slightly stronger than party designee Rick Lazio against Democrat Andrew Cuomo. Paladino is looking more and more the likely Republican nominee, although his prospects for moving his family to Eagle Street are still decidely slim.
Rasmussen: Paladino Slightly Stronger Than Lazio vs. Cuomo

Cuomo Wows Crowd in Watertown Speech

-Local Indy Chair John Rice attended the Cuomo rally today as the local party prepares to fade to black soon.
-Assembly hopeful McGrath says he is not concerned over petition challenges.
-Ted Ford was there !
-The Cuomo daughters were charming and a real addition to the campaign effort. The candidate says his RV trip combines sightseeing, family time and campaigning. Great work if you can get it !

Scozzafava For Cuomo..The Transition is Complete

It was Andrew Cuomo's rally, but Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava stole the show with her thundering endorsement of Mr. Cuomo's bid for governor.
During Mr. Cuomo's appearance in Watertown today, Ms. Scozzafava was asked to speak and skewered official Albany and declared her allegiance to the Democratic AG's bid for the state house.
For Scozzafava its part of a metamorphosis from GOP mayor and lawmaker to what her critics would call the ultimate RINO. Last year's disastrous bid for Congress left the moderate Gouverneur resident angry at the GOP and today's endorsement may well be her job interview for a position in the Cuomo admnistration next January.
Meanwhile, Mr. Cuomo and his three daughters arrived in their RV as part of a tour of upstate.
The candidate decried official Albany as not the state government he grew up knowing...It was as if during his eight years as HUD secretary, Albany changed from the beacon of good governance to a cesspool of corruption, waste and low morals.
Cuomo pledged to lead a citizen crusade to reform Albany and cut the size of government. One point he made that I liked was a pledge to streamline the state's 1000 agencies and 10,500 taxing jurisdictions.
While I am sure it was boilerplate in content, Mr. Cuomo's speech was assertive and passionate....a throwback to the rhetorical flourishes of his well-liked ( well, I liked him) father.
There were fond memories in the room at the Italian American Civic Association. Andrew's father, Governor Mario Cuomo, had visited the room years ago and Fred Benedetto presented the AG with some memorabilia from that era.
Scozzafava For Cuomo

Donovan Takes A Pass On Indy Line

A shrewd move by the Staten Island DA as he repudiates interest in the Indy line due to the negative attention that party and its state chair are getting of late. Dan Donovan is running as the GOP candidate for NYS Attorney General and could have gotten the line as the Indy's had put an attorney place holder on the line and could trade that position in late September for a judicial nomination for the purported candidate. In essence a judgeship for the the nomination. Its a common practice and in fact the WFP has done the same thing with some of its nominations for statewide office.
By taking a pass on Line C, Donovan takes the high ground and perhaps makes the line too toxic for any of the five Democrats running, but I doubt it.
Donovan Takes A Pass On Indy Line

Mayor Muses about Media

Here's a worthwhile tome in today's WDT blog section...worthwhile because I wrote it !......Thanks to the WDT for the forum.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Enough With Personal Stuff in the Comments...I Am Tired of Deleting Anonymous Cheap Shots and Vulgarities

Everyday I have to do a little cleaning up of the comment section as interested people and operatives try to get that little dig in at their foe. The things the MSM won't report.
Usually its something about a girlfriend or the fact that Brian McGrath is gay and has a partner whom he may have married in California during the period such weddings were legal there. He has said he is gay and that he knows its the elephant in the room.
I put it in the main body of the blog so all the anonymous people wouldn't have to keep slipping the oblique references in the comment section.
So now all the readers know and if that's a factor in their voting decision, that's their business.
There have also been over the top comments about his opponent, Mr. Blankenbush, usually references to physical attributes. So neither side is without sin.
I think the MSM should do a complete matrix on all the candidates....Not just age, childrens's ages, schools attended, jobs and the last book they read. (What if you say "Going Rogue" ?)
We need to know the number of divorces, child support records, FICO scores, number of DWI's with BAC levels, certainly bankruptcies, church attendance, incidence of adultery, body mass index, and records of treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.
Seriously, isn't a persons credit record an indicator of managing a government entity ? Do you want a guy with a 490 FICO score running the Town of Worth ?

The Story of Cuomo Visit is Who's There and Who is Not ?

So what will Andrew Cuomo say in his visit to Watertown today. I really haven't heard a lot of what his plans are because the race is a foregone conclusion.
As I have said before, his advance people are looking to get as many non-Democrats in the room as possible.
One thing the Albany and DC crowds are missing is the increasing numbers of people who don't define their lives in terms of the two parties. They have idealogical and issue differences, but how many people's lives are defined by what side of an aisle they are on ?.
So I can understand wanting to bring more people in the tent, but for Mr. Cuomo and his core people its still about electing Democrats and no one should lose sight of that.
While I certainly dabble in state politics, I am not a good one to ask about the parties as I have been marinated for years in the city's non-partisan system where there is no majority lining up on party lines.
These things are always interesting just to see who shows up...And believe me they do take names.
Some people feel they must be seen there and others feel they can't afford to be seen there.
The Cuomo visit is 1:30 PM at the Italian American Club on Bellew Avenue.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Objections Listed on Capital Tonight Blog..So Here is the Update

Rumor from storm ravaged LA is that Russell's Indy petition was sufficient...But a commenter says just the opposite.
As for McGrath his number on the Indy line is good if it was done carefully....The number of Democratic signatures is poor and likely irks June.
The key is how you do them...If you work off the list and know who is signing you don't need a big overage. If you are sloppy or don't know what you are doing, then you do.
Senator Darrel Aubertine's Indy petitions were also challenged.
However, take note these are all general objections and specific objections must be filed by July 26. Specifics would delineate the actual deficiencies.
There were no challenges to the Congressional petitions meaning its a guaranteed three way in the fall.

Rift In City, State Independence Party Factions To Be On Display At Charter Hearing

I remember when the Fulani faction and Frank MacKay were on the same side and I observed at the time that someday there would be a purge...There was and the NYC wing of the party no longer ventures outside the five boroughs as the party rules were written to minimize their power. Now the NYC crew has quite a past as well and has also suckled at the money teat of Mayor Bloomberg. Still they are hard workers and are likely biding their time hoping for Chairman MacKay to unravel.....
Rift In City, State Independence Party Factions To Be On Display At Charter Hearing

Seeking Elephants for Watertown Event

The Cuomo campaign is busy trying to get Republicans to attend his rallies...people of other parties too. It's like this is no longer a campaign, but a listening tour by the new governor. I was asked to rustle up people and ask to find GOP electeds to go.....Granted the Republicans don't really have a candidate for governor, but are any going to be seen as disloyal by showing up ?...Of course not.
I am sure Thursday's event in Watertown will be well attended as people do want to see the next governor....Will a Scott Gray show up ? Well, would Ted Ford go to a Paladino rally ?
That's not a good comparison, cause I think Ted would go...even though he is supporting Kristin Davis......
State of Politics Blog

Silver And Sampson Meet On Budget

Speaker Silver and Senator Sampson likely don't have to fret about getting reelected....But there are a handful in both houses who must be worried about the continued lack of a budget and how it looks to voters. And many are also tired of not getting a pay check. That may be why the leaders met in Manhattan today....Governor Paterson is also threatening to force the lawmakers back to Albany, somewhere they don't want to be in July.
Silver And Sampson To Meet On Budget

Iconic Zoo Building to Spark Debate on Monday

The much awaited meeting between the Zoo and City Hall is Monday evening and once Council decides on the fountain art work, the discussion turns to the Aviary on the Zoo Grounds.
After renovations were made after a 2006 fund drive, the Zoo Board suddenly this year asked the building be demolished. A surprised Council toured the structure in the spring and informally concluded the structure would stay.
There seemed a willingness on Council's part to perform maintenance and repairs on the structure.
The first question is will the structure be an aviary (bird house) or will it perform some other function, whether it be display, educational or just a recreational spot on the grounds.
I suspect there are a lot of good ideas out there and am anxious to hear the discussion.

Objection Update

Brian McGrath says he submitted a Democratic petition with 617 names...not far above the 500 needed for an Assembly race in a major party. He says he is confident he vetted the ones he turned in.
On the Indy line, he got 203 and needed 155. That should be sufficient if he was careful, except that with competing petitions turned in there could be duplicates.
In the 118th, I would say Addie Russells Indy petition is problematic since it was only a handful over the minimum.
So far I am told only general objections have been filed and no specific objections.

Losers Not All Equal When You Head the Ballot and People Below Depend on You

Polls all show Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino each losing to Andrew Cuomo in the fall by margins approaching 40 points...So why spurn the GOP designee in favor of the outspoken, mad as Hell, Buffalo businessman ?
Simply this, he is more exciting and that may help down ballot GOP candidates who are distraught over how badly the top of the ticket is doing.
One veteran observer from the capital area told me he too has spoken to many in the GOP who are favoring Paladino.
Another problem for Lazio is an in-party challenge in the Conservative primary. If Lazio loses the Conservative Party would do a switcheroo using a judicial nomination and place Paladino on that line too.

I Object !

I am at a little bit of a loss to know whats going on in Albany, but word bubbled up this AM that general objections may have been filed against Indy petitions for Assemblywoman Russell (118AD) and Brian McGrath (122AD). Also I hear McGrath's Democratic petitions are getting the eye.
In all cases, the candidates compiled numbers of voter signatures barely over the minimum needed and within a range where a challenge could eliminate enough signatures to leave the line vacant.
If that happens look for a quick, quick effort to field an opportunity to ballot petition to create a write in primary.
Just one caveat, filing general objections merely preserves the right to file specific objections. Sometimes its good to file generals just to rattle the opponent or give them some bad press.
In this case, it could be they are lean petitions, as the big effort for Dems was getting Senator Aubertine's done in the final days.
It is routine for operatives for the parties to peruse petitions as they come in looking for obvious errors or deficiencies.
UPDATE: McGrath Campaign has sent out a press release deriding Blankenbush effort to remove him from the ballot.

A Double Cross or Just Angling for Survival ?

The political establishment is aflutter over what they see as erratic and unpredictable endorsements by the high command of the Independence Party.
The former allegiance to the GOP in the Senate appears gone as two key Democrats upstate got the Indy line...That includes David Valesky and Darrel Aubertine.
In the latter race, Republican Patty Ritchie was provided petition blanks by party leaders and seemed to have assurances of backing, but it didn't happen.
There seems to be considerable outreach to the Democratic Party which years ago had seemed interested in ending fusion voting, particularly when the Conservative Party was such an aid to GOP candidates (Pataki, D'Amato).
Ingratiating itself to marginal Democratic senators will likely keep them from wanting to dump the practice of cross endorsements......
Cross endorsing is at the heart of the power the leaders of the tiny parties have and is an enormous source of money from the the major parties.

NY 23 Chatter

- Recent campaign finance reports can produce diverse headlines....Owens raises more...Doheny has more...Hoffman campaign pays Hoffman interest on loans from candidate.
The latter is interesting as it is unusual for a candidate to calculate interest on his money loaned to the campaign. The interest story is something Doheny has wanted to get into the MSM as it suggests Hoffman is doing something wrong. This WDT story says it is not improper, cut certainly is an unusual practice.
A lot of people might want to loan Hoffman's campaign some cash as the 7.5% yield is better than you can get anywhere else.....Caution before you offer...campaigns are risky and after one loses there is little incentive to repay.
How long did John Glenn have that multi million dollar debt from his ill fated 1984 campaign ?
-Meanwhile the internal poll released yesterday by the Hoffman campaign is being dismissed as a "push poll" and a sign of desperation. Mr. Hoffman's survey of likely voters showed him leading 52-20 in the race for the GOP nomination. It certainly is suspect and is self serving, but it is one snapshot. Besides,few know about it as the MSM passed on the story, except for the blogs.
- Its been since April the Hoffman house organ "What's Up NY23?" blog posted anything new, so I deleted it from my favorites.
Watertown Daily Times

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wilson Pakula - They Don't Teach You About This in School

Time after time I have had to explain to people what a Wilson/Pakula (or out of party authrization is). Turns out Wikipedia has a treatise on the 1947 law which was designed to reduce Communist infiltration in major parties, but now serves as the means one person or group of persons can control, and sometimes sell a line on the ballot. The Wilson/Pakula is what is granted to an out of party candidate who has circulated petitions.
In the 48SD , both candidates circulated petitions but only one got the W/P, so the other set of petitions are essentially null and void.
Its not always corrupt. Sometimes candidates who make their case to the decision makers get what they want. Usually its a deal or trade off of some kind. Because NY also allows fusion voting (the adding of totals from separate parties nominating the same candidate) the cross endorse mania continues. And the major party candidates will do just about anything to get the small edge an extra line provides.
Wilson Pakula - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Owens Raises Most Cash..Incumbency Has Its Privileges

For all the talk of the personal wealth of Matt Doheny and Doug Hoffman, it is Congressman Bill Owens who raised the most in the most recent cycle !
That's because as the incumbent you get all the corporate PAC, unions and other groups with a stake in DC giving you money.
It will be a glorious festival of spending this fall and that's good for the media.
Owens raises most in second quarter - News, Sports, Jobs, Saranac Lake region — Adirondack Daily Enterprise

I Pledge Allegiance to.....

When my good friend Sean Hennessey ask me to attend Andrew Cuomo's event Thursday, I was glad to oblige.....Then he started talking about if I would sign some five-point pledge.
Like when Lazio tried to make Hillary sign a pledge ? Or like signing a statement or contract without having your lawyer look at it ?
Oh, it's a political contract, which by definition is breakable at will. Like 'read my lips, no new taxes.'
I looked over Mr. Cuomo's five points of light and they are all laudable goals about fiscal houses in order, reordering government, getting everyone a job and being nice to everybody.
I am for all of that already.
I look forward to welcoming Mr. Cuomo and hearing what he has to say. He will be the next governor and should know there are people who are mad as Hell like Paladino but realize political acumen and relationships with all New Yorkers is needed to get anything done. Carl's baseball bat sounds too much like Spitzer's steamroller.
He will need to articulate his ideas for reform and tell us why he is best equipped to navigate Albany's murky waters. I am sure all that can be done without signing pledges.
I look forward to the event Thursday at 1:30 at the Italian American Club.

Hoffman’s Poll Shows Hoffman Ahead In NY-23

All of conventional wisdom says Doug Hoffman is a dolt, a dweeb, a teabagger, a whack job.....That's the MSM and the GOP establishment....Could they be wrong ?
Mr. Hoffman has commissioned a poll that shows he leads fellow Republican Matt Doheny 52-20 in a potential primary. Now I am sure the poll was done and released as a tactic, but it could mean there is a Hoffman core vote that isn't linked to the esteemed chairs and leadership in the Grand Old Party.
Maybe the MSM could split the cost of a poll in the district.
Also the primary is still two months off and Doheny is only now rolling out the media buys.
Doug Hoffman will have to spend a bit on his own behalf and has to close the deal. He did not do that last year in his meteoric rise to near victory. (remember the TV debate)
That is why Doheny wants to lure Hoffman into debates, where he figures its leading the lamb to slaughter....The lamb may not oblige.
Hoffman’s Poll Shows Hoffman Ahead In NY-23

Oregon Governor to Sign Fusion Voting Bill

Looks like Oregon is adopting fusion voting just like in NY. The argurment is it will empower minor parties and allow coalitions to form around issues and not just blind loyalty to a political party. Of course, we in NY know that while that's true, there is a down side.
The condolidation of power created by the Wilson/Pakula act does not allow major party candidates an equal chance to reach out to registrants of a minor party through a primary. I don't know the specifics of the Oregon statute, but one can be sure there will be a WFP, "me too" party for Democrats and the Oregon Taxpayers Party for the GOP.
Fusion voting is considered a "progressive" measure by some but it does have a downside.
Kulongoski will sign fusion voting bill

MacKay Under Fire

Indy State Chair Frank MacKay continues to get bad press for the party's high dollar finances. MacKay has made the party a sought after commodity...but its just that, a commodity.
It would seem what's happening is the inevitable result of NY's system of fusion voting which creates cross-endorse parties controlled by literally one person who issues the out of party authorization. The situation is amplified in the City of New York where large sums of money are available and commonly thrown about.
MacKay Under Fire

Cuomo Upstate Tour Comes to Watertown Thursday

The man likely to be the next Governor of New York comes to Watertown Thursday to tout his five point pledge to reform the state. Andrew Cuomo will be at the Italian American Club on Bellew Avenue at 1:30 pm.
Many in the political class will be there, but everyone should take the time to hear him out as they should with any of the candidates passing through our city.
Mr. Cuomo is conducting an upstate tour this with riding in an RV with his daughters.
Newzjunky - Andrew Cuomo to Visit Watertown Thursday, July 22

GOP leery of Tea Party Caucus - Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman -

They want the votes but they are afraid of what people in the New York-Washington media axis will think of them. Such is the dilemma Capitol Hill Republicans have with the so-called Tea Party Caucus being organized by Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota.
The Tea Party is and it isn't a political party or movement. Its a catch all phrase for those mad at government, mad at President Obama, concerned over the deficit and spending, think government is too big and intrusive, and for some who harbor wacky views and want to attach themselves to something powerful.
Country club Republicans who crave acceptance by the media and want to win enough seats to get back in power are antsy about being associated with those less refined and out of touch with Washington political society.
Then there are the unknown number of Tea Party activists who are birthers, bigots and the subject of media ridicule when they brandish homemade signs with coarse messages about the man the media helped create, President Barack Obama.
I see the Tea Party as people genuinely concerned over the demise of American values and the increased creep to socialism. The change that is coming is pervasive, expensive and hard to understand.
Yesterday, I read a summary prepared by the NY Conference of Mayors on the effect on employers of Obama Care. Not only does it make you glaze over, its staggering how much additional government is on the way to keep tabs on all this........
We have lots of caucuses set up in DC. The Congressional Black Caucus being one of the most noted. It seems we always have to divide up our legislatures in special interest groups and racial and ethnic enclaves. Such will be the case with the Tea Party Caucus...It's just another Balkanization that will make some feel threatened or left out.
GOP leery of Tea Party Caucus - Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman -

Monday, July 19, 2010

Techno Visionaries in the Arcade Every Morning.

I was in the Paddock Arcade this AM waiting for the bank to open and so I dropped into Steve Weed Productions to brag about how I was blogging life from Albany yesterday but nobody in the MSM paid much attention.
Anyway, I thought it was all part of the new ways news is delivered in real time...not noon, six and eleven...
Weed's Internet guru Bob was there and was telling me he sees some great ways politicos can use the Web this year....Just as Weed used a new Internet technology to give TV 7 live shots from Plattsburgh and Saranac Lake last November, Bob says candidates could hook up multiple candidate rallies or forums in remote places in the spacious 23rdCD. Live feeds of candidates activities could be put out there. Then Bob started getting way technical ...GOP boss Coon and I were quickly feeling it was over our head.....
Bottom line is things are becoming more affordable that you couldn't do before.
The message is that campaigns, like the news biz, are changing as technologies change...We have to get up to speed or somebody will pass us by.

Bloomberg On Aide's Anti-Palin Tweet: She's Got A Right To Speak Her Mind »

So predictable the left are...Sarah Palin tweets a message that the proposed mosque in Lower Manhattan "stabs hearts", meaning its an affront to those saddened by the loss on 9/11.
Immediately a staffer for Mayor Bloomberg tweets back..."you mean racist hearts." Those who find the locating of mosque with its radical cleric inappropriate are racists...those tea partiers against deficit spending are racist.....
Everybody's a racist...that's too bad because it diminishes the stupidity and cruelty of those who truly are.
Bloomberg On Aide's Anti-Palin Tweet: She's Got A Right To Speak Her Mind »

New York State Officially Broke

The Comptroller, who used to be a Member of the Assembly, says NY ended its fiscal year April 1 in the red....Thomas DiNapoli says the answer is for the Senate to pass the revenue section of the as yet unfinished budget. More revenue...not less spending...that's always the answer...
New York State Officially Broke

Moreno Statement

an outspoken Staten Islander

Morano Quits, Lambastes, Indy Party

Hey, I was there when all this happened...It was wicked grandstanding by Morano and its hard to outgrandstand MacKay.
Morano wanted the line for a friend of his and MacKay wanted the Democrat to get the line as a favor for Andrew Cuomo...That's the way I saw it.
Besides, NYC politics is complicated because the county chairs are Fulani people and they control city endorsements but MacKay wrote the state party rules to prevent locals in cities over one million people from endorsing state candidates. Its all a mish-mash of egos, intrigue, power and money.
Shocking to find gambling in a casino, isn't it ?
Morano Quits, Lambastes, Indy Party

Indy Criticisms

I was reading through the comments on the story on the Aubertine endorsement.
Some ask who local committees are. They are the people who choose to get involved and circulate the paperwork needed to constitute a county committee.
No, they are not necessarily indicative of the 2700 people locally who registered in the party, but I know when candidates have approached any member of the local executive committee they have gotten the courtesy of listening.
Many of these candidates did just that. Others did not even though the nine names are on record at the BOE.
As for MacKay, he is a wheeler dealer at the state level, but he does urge candidates to talk to the local activists.
In the case of McGrath, that was a call by Lewis County activist in chief Joe Baruth, who made the recommendation that was forwarded to the state leadership.
In the Senate race, Chairman John Rice and his committee have long backed Darrel Aubertine and endured the vicious attacks in 2008 for not backing Barclay or Renzi. Their recommendation this year was hardly a surprise or a change.
What was different was MacKay's decision. I do know his adament position in 2008 had to do with supporting a GOP majority, not the individuals involved.
As for sheriff, I have known John Burns for years as well as Councilwoman Roxanne Burns and his son Colin, who works for me part time. I know his dad and was honored to have delivered the eulogy at Mayor Burns funeral.
If someone had bothered to ask me who I support, I would have been straight. No one bothered to ask me or Chairman Rice. If someone had lined up the petitions and gotten five of nine votes on the county committee they could have had the line or forced a primary.
That's the law...that's the system...If you don't like it, change it....
Don't carp anonymously about me or try to get back at me in some sneaky way.
If you are running, its like a job have to approach the decision makers, look them in the eye, and make your case...If you don't do that, that's not my problem.
Some good folks, like Patty Ritchie did make the honest effort, and in all fairness there could have been a primary, given the support on both sides....But party bosses don't like primaries so we knew one would be chosen. it turns out, this time it was Aubertine.
He is a good choice and a good Senator.

Paladino and Cuomo Both Pledge Change...But Can They Bring the People Along ?

Both Carl Paladino and Andrew Cuomo have talked about the reorganization of government at the local level and there are many things that need to be done. One suggestion is to make counties larger behemoths than they already are. In other words making them the unit of local government administration instead of towns and school districts.
Whether that's a good idea or not needs to be debated, but there are many common sense changes that could be made and it is good to see candidates talking about changes.
As always, it comes down to the notion that the government that governs best is that one that is closest to the people....versus the argument in favor of economies of scale.
There are no silver bullets, but much of our problem is the proliferation of programs and the systems for compensation 0f government employees, particularly the out of control pension system.
Mr. Paladino is the mad as Hell candidate, expressing the popular rage of many. Mr. Cuomo is the ultimate insider who claims he can build the consensus needed among diverse groups and interests.
They both have a point. A shakeup is needed, but Paladino's baseball bat to the Legislature sounds familiar to the 'f------ steamroller' of Governor Eliot Spitzer who turned a 70% mandate into a failed governorship even before Ashley and he hooked up at the Mayflower. One key aide to a local legislator told me if Paladino brings a bat to the Legislature, we'll 'stick it up his ---."
Such colorful talk is common among the political class in Albany.
Mr Cuomo says all the money he has taken from the unions, business interests and special interests doesn't mean anything...other than it gives him the means to compete and be the champion of the people. That too is a naive approach.
Both men need to find ways to be assertive without being a bully. Consensus is important...not so much in the Legislature but among people....To say folks want lower taxes is easy to say...but there is no consensus on the notion of having a smaller government.
Being a demagogue always at odds with lawmakers, or just being the ultimate deal maker with no core mission will not change Albany.
Success will hinge on building a consensus among those being governed....Remember the phrase 'consent of the governed' ?
Paladino plans sweeping changes - News, Sports, Jobs, Saranac Lake region — Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Then and Now.....Bad Darrel vs Good Darrel

Indy State Chair Frank MacKay is fond of saying that in politics, if you don't like the way things are....just wait and it will all change.
In 2008, MacKay gave me a telephone tirade that would make Mel Gibson blush and concluded he would destroy me for not supporting Will Barclay for the State Senate seat vacated by Jim Wright. Hey I am still here.
Ditto in the fall of that year when Dave Renzi was the GOP "Great White Hope" against Senator Darrel Aubertine.
All because Frank's world revolved around keeping the Republicans in control of the Senate.
Must be he doesn't care about that now, since he embraced the recommendation of the Jefferson County Indy Party to back Aubertine against Patty Ritchie. Must be he sees the Senate staying Democratic or has just moved on to another project.
For all the emotion and vitriole of two years ago, none of it means anything now....That's how politics often is...What's a big deal now isn't next year.
Now the fracas certainly led to estrangement and one never forgets such things....But with Joe Bruno convicted and Democrats on the verge of controlling redistricting, it doesn't hurt to stay on their good side.
In the comment section today, someone raised the issue of who cares who the Indy Party endorses...Or the Conservatives or WFP for that matter ?
Good point...remember NY is one of three states that allow fusion voting...In most of America you cannot run on multiple parties and add the totals together.
As long as this system exists it will be perceived as important and the pols will lust for as many lines as possible. That will make those who control the line important. This year there were more petitions gathered for the Indy line locally than ever before...
Must be someone thinks it matters.

Aubertine Gets Indy Line in SD 48....Party Move Signals GOP is toast in Bid for Majority

12:15 PM...

They are reading the list of endorsements in multi-county districts....

CD23 is Mathew Doheny as previously announced.....
48 Senate pick is Darrel Aubertine...This is a big switch from previous years when the State Leadership was behind the GOP Senate majority. The decision to go with Aubertine is in part a realization the Dems will likely retain control of the body. Also, in Jefferson County local IP members had supported Aubertine ever since his first Senate run in the special election of 2008.

The schism between the state chair and local IP members had been heated in races between Aubertine and Assem. William Barclay and a later race with David Renzi.

In the Assembly Addie Russell is the nominee in AD118 and in AD122 it is Brian McGrath.

Indy Endorsement Meeting in Albany

Just got to Albany and am waiting to see what happens....The only real mystery is what the state chair does with the 48th SD.....Both Darrel Aubertine and Patty Ritchie have submitted what appear to be sufficient petitions. Either of them need an out of party authorization, also called a Wilson/Pakula. If one gets it the other is out of luck....If they both get one, there is a primary.
Will keep you all posted.

Cuomo: ‘I need to raise money to be competitive’ - Capitol Confidential

In a 'the devil made me do it" moment, Andrew Cuomo was all over the news Saturday explaining how he is of modest means and needed to raise so much money from special interests in order to be competitive so he could fight on behalf of the people.
Mr. Cuomo has a large $23.6 million war chest.....He already is competitive as a well known and well connected son of a three term governor. He is a former cabinet secretary and current attorney general....Raising money just happens as just about everybody wants to be connected to the next governor.
Mr. Cuomo is correct in saying the irony of politics is what you have to do to win forces you to compromise ideals. He says he won't have to answer to the money folks....Well the money folks are the unions, the advocacy groups, the lobbyists and the well heeled. They expect access and frankly should get something for their money. How much they get is always the rub.
As as candidate, you can never have enough cash as you come to believe the only thing between you and victory are a few more commercials...some more lawn more direct mail piece.
That's why you make the phone calls, attend the parties, and shake and shake and shake the money tree.
What is interesting in all the talk today, is that Mr. Cuomo is talking like he expects Carl Paladino as his opponent and not Rick Lazio.
"It takes a different type of person other than a politician to confront these demons," Paladino said today during a stop in Corning. Paladino is so far funding his own effort....but even the $10 million in personal funds Paladino is putting up will run out as November approaches.
Cuomo: ‘I need to raise money to be competitive’ - Capitol Confidential