Saturday, August 14, 2010

Palin says Obama Isn't Taking a Position on the Mosque

The President today stepped back from last night's seeming endorsement of the Mosque and Islamic cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan. Today the President is saying while they have a right to build it, he is agnostic on whether they should.
As is said in this link, everyone knows they can build it.....But if the President or anyone else is going to weigh in, the question is should they build it there given the sensitivities.
All the President has done in making his pronouncement is take the Mosque story and make it national. Up till now it was pretty much a local issue being exploited by a handful of local politicos.
Palin makes a good point...If you are taking a position...please actually take one.
Palin says Obama isn't taking a position - Maggie Haberman - POLITICO.com

In Defense of Ken's Right to an Uncontested Election.

Many of our commenters have been ripping Ken Blankenbush and the GOP for their "Albany style" courtroom efforts to deny a spot on the ballot to Democrat Brian McGrath.
This linked story is about Democratic Rep. John Hall who is in court trying to get his Republican opponent thrown off the Indy line. The Hayworth (his foe) petitions were upheld at the BOE...But Rep. Hall is in court arguing the signatures are "permeated with fraud."
There are some differences in the facts, but the bottom line is that both parties have an interest in denial of franchise when it furthers their candidates...and both parties work off the same playbook.
So while it is fair to criticise Mr B., it really does need to be remembered what is happening is a common thing perpetrated by both incumbent parties.
Hall challenging Hayworth NY-19 Indy petitions in court - Maggie Haberman - POLITICO.com

Holy Cow...NYS Actually Cuts a Program !

The State of New York is getting out of the dog licensing business as of 2011. Ag & Markets will no longer administer the program and localities will take it over. In Watertown, that means the record keeping falls to City Clerk Donna Dutton who already has the apparatus in place to handle it.
The State has long licensed canines in order to prevent the spread of diseases like rabies.
There will be a slight revenue bump for cities since all the fee stays local, although there are some offsetting costs like tags.
I never bother actually putting the tags on my dog. He has a name tag shaped like a bone and there is nothing worse than a dog with too much bling.
New York State to No Longer Administer Dog Licenses in 2011

WDT: Wind Brings More Grief on Tiny Town

Local municipalities usually do not have the oversight of an informed and involved electorate or an inquiring media. Witness, Bell, California.
That is why governments are run as little fiefdoms with a handful of similarly inclined citizens controlling things.
When the suits come in...in this case wind developers...and the money is flowing and neighbors suddenly see government as being able to represent them on a complicated and contentious issue.....well the machinery in place has trouble with the deep divisions of opinion. Its neighbor against neighbor and base human emotions like avarice and jealousie flourish.
Elections are one way to deal with all of it and in Cape Vincent there were changes. That leaves a disgruntled former ruling elite and fertile ground for playing gotcha and demanding probes be launched.
This will require many of these people to get lawyered up as those guys from the AG's office are not in town to do anyone a favor.
Watertown Daily Times State probing officials at Cape

Foreclosure costs to rise - Capitol Confidential

Brilliant. At a time when people are losing homes due to foreclosure, why not use it as a way to get more for the government, so government can fund the programs to help those displaced by the economy ?
Why didn't we think of it sooner ?
Foreclosure costs to rise - Capitol Confidential

Cuomo Decries Albany’s Intense Partisanship

Andrew Cuomo understands partisanship as well as anyone. As his father's political enforcer...as a cabinet secretary...and as a candidate for statewide office.
Nonetheless he deserves the benefit of the doubt in his stated desire to move past blind partisanship....When Mr. Cuomo acts puzzled over why parties vote in lockstep..well he knows why it is that way.
Essentially, to prosper personally or legislatively you have to play by the rules....and the rules require adherence to leadership of the party...You try to make your impact through those channels.
That's why 32 Democratic Senators voted in favor of every budget bill and 30 GOP Senators voted against it. Once they had made their pitch to get a favorite program included...assuming they were satiated to the extent possible, they owed it to leadership to vote in lockstep.
That's governing....No need to be amazed at it.
Cuomo Decries Albany’s Intense Partisanship

Friday, August 13, 2010

POTUS Joins the Debate on the Mosque

There were just too many people getting too much face time on television....The 9/11 Mosque story was polarizing people and was a perfect left vs right story.
Everyone was on television except The One.
He couldn't resist...The man with an opinion on everything and an incessant desire to be on the tube has weighed in. President Barack Obama favors construction of the Mosque on religious freedom grounds. No shocker there...Just what took him so long ?
Obama Breaks Silence On The Mosque

Come on June...Respect Your Elders

June and the Democrats are trying to keep one of the sharpest political operatives out of state politics this year by creating a fuss over GOP Consultant Roger Stone.
Mr. Stone...who is at an age where he can be a consultant and political hobbyist.....is advising two gubernatorial candidates...Carl Paladino and Kristin Davis.
Stone says he thinks Paladino can win and that he wants to help Davis establish her "Anti-Prohibition Party".
It sounds like a good time for the veteran political mischief-maker. Roger was on with Liz last night and it was fun to watch her play Whack-a-Mole with the wily hack.
With Andrew Cuomo's election such a foregone conclusion, it's understandable political types would dabble in starting new lines and supporting non-establishment candidates.
Time for June and Company to accept their pending victory with grace and quit picking on such political statesmen as Mr. Stone.
Dems trying to light fire from a Stone - Maggie Haberman - POLITICO.com

Tenants Group Pulls Support from Aubertine

First it was the teachers union and now its the PAC purporting to represent tenants right which is withdrawing support for three Democratic Senators including our own Darrel Aubertine.
Apparently Aubertine, along with David Valesky and Brian Foley voted against some tenants rights legislation...Earlier in the summer, Aubertine had voted in favor of making permanent the Loft Law...but its a case of 'what have you done for me lately ?"
If you look over campaign finance reports you see lots of donations from groups you never heard of, but they are all part of the special interest network.
With a 32-30 edge in the Senate, the folks with more extreme agendas are troubled at the occasional lack of hegemony in the Democratic caucus. The recent Farm Labor Bill was such a measure.
So Darrel loses out on $3,000 from the Tenants PAC....
The Daily Politics

Fountain Project an Evolving Success

This weekend is a celebration of the arts on Public Square as the thoroughfare is closed to traffic Saturday....Among the displays is one in progress as local artist Jeff Rule works on putting his design on the fountain at Lachenauer Plaza.
The soothing blue and green array of circles was the design chosen by City Council and it is looking like a good choice. Once the design is complete, a clearcoat will have to be applied before a dedication ceremony can be held and the water turned back on.
Some wags rapped the decision process, but it looks like the generosity of local artists is going to work out just fine.
Enjoy the arts festival this weekend and if you see him, thank Mr. Rule for his donation of time and talent.

Paladino Picks Up Another GOP Chair

Slowly the GOP designee for Governor is seeing the ground beneath him eroding. A chair here and a chair there starting to endorse upstart,mad-as-Hell candidate Carl Paladino. When are we going to hear from out local GOP honchos. The leadership seems to roll their eyes at Rick Lazio when you run into them at HSBC, so I get the impression they are just waiting for him to lose and hoping Paladino doesn't hurt their down ballot races.
Paladino Picks Up Another GOP Chair

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Only One Direct Mail Piece, But Its Telling About Whats To Come

There is a real chance Patty Ritchie could beat Senator Darrel Aubertine, but her chances diminish if she hands herself off to the downstate brain trust that ran Barclay and Renzi into the ditch.
Today's mailer which misspells Aubertine's name and is the same boilerplate piece used against other targeted Dems will not do the trick. The thing was nonsensical and juvenile.
In Ritchie the party has a likeable, energetic candidate with a decent record in the job she now has.
There is a credible narrative for why parties need to be switched to ward off downstate domination and a disastrous redistricting that will ensure Donkeys for decades to come.
The message has to come from her...whatever the message is...the vicarious campaigning of Team Skelos will once again fall flat in NNY.

Second New Hampshire Dem. under fire for joking about Sarah Palin's death, resigns from state House

This is the passion that Sarah Palin creates among the Progressives...They wish her dead...Its not surprising as this is something encouraged by some in media and by pop culture icons......People think its cute or clever and it usually is well received by their peers...But the Granite State still have some semblence of old values and one mouth lawmaker fell on his sword....
Second New Hampshire Dem. under fire for joking about Sarah Palin's death, resigns from state House

Madame Needs New Mate

As the deadline for independent line petitions nears, AntiProhibition Party candidate for governor Kristin Davis has to find a mate.
Glen Cove resident Linda Espejo is said to be planning on declining the nomination for Lieutenant Governor when petitions are submitted. That means the vacancy committee which includes former Indy Executive Committee member Frank Morano will pick a successor. As of this afternoon, no petitions have been submitted. Former Nixon political guru Roger Stone is also helping the campaign.
Ms Davis is the former hedge fund manager turned madame who carries a libertarian platform into her long shot race.

Will An Endorsement by Doug Barclay be Next ?

I guess an old bull of the NNY GOP endorsing you is a good thing...but whose vote does it change ? Rep. David Martin was the NNY Congressman in another era in local politics...Elected in 1980...Left the North Country suddenly in 1993.
This doesn't seem like a game changer, but it reenforces the image of Doheny as the establishment candidate....
Former Congressman David Martin Endorses Doheny WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

McGrath Appeal Filed...Multi-Judge Panel Next Stop

The McGrath appeal of his ballot tossing seems reasonable and well stated, but its more semantics than anything. Also, it depends on who is drawn to hear the case at the appellate level.
The matter will be heard next Monday and a quick decision is likely since its an election law case.
The text of the submittal is on Newzjunky.
A commenter says McGrath has been left off the Jefferson County Democrats website.

Like the First Robin in the Spring......Political Junk Mail is a Harbinger

In the mail box today was the first salvo in the GOP effort to defeat Senator Darrel Aubertine....And it was a mighty sloppy, ill conceived, full color brochure.
It shows a person sitting on a deck chair on a cruise ship and suggests the Senator is on vacation while a big spending budget is passed...
The piece is obviously generic to any incumbent, but the hodge podge of stuff on it is incoherent....
These mailers, like robo calls, have become less effective as they become more predictable.
Direct mail like this crap will not defeat Darrel....Got to step it up Patty.

All Bills Ticket Looms for GOP as Primary Nears

We could end up with an all Western NY team running for Governor and Lieutenant Governor on the GOP ticket.
If Buffalo's Carl Paladino wins the gubernatorial nod and party designee Greg Edwards defeats NYC resident Tom Ognibene for Lt. Governor, then the Chautauqua County Executive would be teamed with Paladino.
In NY the Governor and Lieutenant Governor primaries are separate even though they run as a team in November.
It would be a GO BILLS ! ticket for the fall.

Sometimes Being in the Majority Isn't Much Fun

A couple of years ago Democratic Senator David Valesky of Syracuse scored a 100 with the National Federation of Independent Businessmen....This year he got a 20. Senator Darrel Aubertine also got a 20.
These rankings are done all the time by interest groups but the NFIB agenda is significant upstate.
The drop is the result of being in the majority in a closely split house. The 32-30 Democratic edge means you have to vote for things you don't always like because not doing so means you are disloyal and you won't be able to get some things you want for your district.
If the margin in the Senate were what it is in the Assembly, you could cast some stray votes for the purpose of getting reelected, but senators like Valesky and Aubertine will get caught on why they had to vote certain ways in certain circumstances.
The lopsided domination of the majority caucus by Senators from NYC will be the wedge the GOP uses, but the counter argument is that in a state dominated by downstate, these upstate Democratic Senators at least have access to power.
Look to see these ratings from groups like the NFIB at lot this fall.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rangel Celebrates 80th Under a Cloud

Charlie Rangel may be in hot water and may be a pariah to some, but he still celebrated this 80th birthday in grand fashion in NYC Wednesday night.
Top Democrats still showed up including Andrew Cuomo.
TheDailyPolitics - NY Daily News

Hey Weiner.....Cat Got Your Tongue ?

Rep. Anthony Weiner is a media darling...and is not shy about expressing himself...witness the recent dust up with Rep. Peter King over some legislation related to aid for 9/11 responders.
When it comes to the mosque near Ground Zero, Mr Weiner is uncharacteristically quiet...
Weiner is a Jew and his new bride is Muslim so you would think the Bloomberg position would be his...But Mr.Weiner has been hemming and hawing...waffling...equivocating...he is doing it all to avoid taking a stand..
Now he has this view that Members of Congress should not weigh in on such a local issue...
Its amusing to watch a big talker have his tongue so tied.
Weiner Stands Between Church And State

Pete's Abuzz as Craig Conroy Signs to Keep Playing for Calgary

Veteran NHL star and Henderson resident Craig Conroy has signed on to keep playing for Calgary....at age 39.
The Potsdam native is married to the former Jessie Costanzo, and is a frequent off season visitor to Pete's Restaurant which is operated by his father in law.
Wow, I am a sports reporter.
Flames signs veteran Conroy Hockey Sports Toronto Sun

Owens Gets Positioned for the Fall Run

The incumbent in NY 23 is enjoying being a Congressman...loving the wonderful summer weather on Lake Champlain and talking to media like the good folks a CapCon. Mr. Owens will no doubt be rested and financially replenished enough to launch his reelection bid on September 15.
Owens: DADT ‘not a topic of high-level discussion’ - Capitol Confidential

What's Up Out There ?

Insiders with the McGrath campaign (and no I am not one of them) are pointing a figure at the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee for the problem that currently bedevils them....The petitions had been either formatted by or at least vetted for form by the party big wigs....They missed an easy land mine that is a frequent grounds for challenge. An appeal is pending.
The problem of low signature count was evident by a scramble to get Indy signatures in the final days. A source tells me one notary went out the final weekend and got 54 signatures while a labor honcho also helped in the last minute scramble.
Such is often the case with these efforts and Indy signers are hard to find, but its clear an earlier start to the effort might be advisable next time.
I am told one campaign not wanting for diligence is that of Patty Ritchie. I hear the candidate is out and about in the most remote places looking for votes. Senator Aubertine needs to don his farmer duds and shed that Albany image and he likely will.
The effort to get a Taxpayer Party line is further evidence since other candidates took a powder on the opportunity.
The Congressional campaigns seem to both be firing on all cylinders. Early on the Doheny effort far eclipsed Doug Hoffman. Now there is a semblence of organization being shown by Hoffman......I heard a radio spot today and in the absence of money for television, the CPA is working on lawn signs. He has already defused the debate issue with a pair of debates slated for early September.
Doheny continues a TV blitz and an amazing regimen of traveling the massive district to visit whomever needs visiting.
As an end game look for Hoffman to try and grab more of the free media and that means a reprise of outrage over Doheny's seamanship.
I can't figure out the 118th. The Russell apathy over petitions at the end was staggering and I haven't heard or seen Mr. Forsythe in this end of the district.
The Sheriff race is fairly quiet although the incumbent has been putting out signs.
It's still the dog days and only people like you are paying much attention but the work done over the summer is what yields results in November.

Hey Folks....It's His 80th Birthday

The big question among Democrats on this Wednesday is whether there is any political harm from attending tonight's 80th birthday party for Rep. Charles Rangel. The 20 term Congressman is facing ethics charges and refuses to go quietly...His defiant speech yesterday left no doubt about that....
Let me say, I am not attending, but its not because I wouldn't like to. It's just I have to work tonight.
For those top Democrats, who suddenly put their own interest above those of Mr. Rangel's milestone, I say shame on you....Go to the party and wish him well...You can always call for his resignation tomorrow.
attend Rep. Charlie Rangel’s birthday fundraise

Hoffman and Paladino to Appear at Event August 26

A political event later this month in Casenovia could suggest a level of coziness between Congressional hopeful Doug Hoffman and insurgent GOP Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino....Its one of those 9/12 events and according to the publicity several major candidates will be there.
It would be interesting to know where the Congressional candidates stand on their party's primary for Governor between Mr. Paladino and party designee Rick Lazio.
Huge Candidate meet & greet in Cazenovia! - CNY912 (Syracuse, NY) - Meetup.com

News From Paladino Country...Buffalo Man Arrested for Marinating His Cat

Cats can be nettlesome....I had a phone call this morning from a Cooper Street woman absolutely distraught over wild cats roaming the neighborhood and ripping pool liners...I really didn't have good advice other than to attend the next Council meeting. The county dog warden doesn't do cats and the DEC doesn't either.
Then there is this other cat story from Western New York....A Cheektowaga man was arrested following a traffic stop for allegedly marinating his cat in advance of a planned cooking of the kitty. Gary Korkuc said other weird things, leading to the conclusion he had a screw loose...The cat has been seized and will get a new, less threatening home.
No, I am not suggesting cooking the cats on Cooper Street.
Buffalo police find cat 'marinating' in trunk of Gary Korkuc's car

WDT: Owens votes for education, jobs spending

When you are in Congress, you get to vote for free stuff, and Rep. Bill Owens cast his lot this week in favor of the $26Billion state and local government bailout.
Teachers, health clinics, more cops and firemen all without raising local property taxes.....
State and local governments have been coming to grips with a changing economic environment and have been either cutting costs or raising taxes.....The federal intervention is a narcotic the states don't need to get addicted too.
This is an election year bone to the usual suspects and I just don't understand how this level of spending can continue....But then again it has no direct benefit to me. If you're family gets an income out of it, I certainly don't question your support.....

In other Congressional news, Republican Doug Hoffman is opening his Watertown HQ this weekend and is planning activities in the city. His rival Matt Doheny is at the Franklin County Fair this week and Saturday will be marching in a Pirates Week Parade in his hometown of Alexandria Bay. Please don't dress like a pirate.
Watertown Daily Times Owens votes for education, jobs spending

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Team Ritchie on Public Square...Or So I Am Told

Somebody said, Patty's people were on the Square today passing her independent line petitions for the Taxpayers Party...Must be she has come down on the side of Carl Paladino...That's a smart move as nearly every Republican I talk to is voting for him in the GOP primary.
Andrew Cuomo will win the state but the mood of the nation on deficits may drive more traditional rural areas back to voting for more conservative candidates, or at least candidates who portray themselves that way.
That's why Mr. Cuomo is seeking Republican endorsements and is talking about property tax caps instead of same sex marriage.
The Aubertine people have endured two tough campaigns, so they are battle hardened......Nonetheless Darrel's inner circle is worried about this race...not because of his record or persona, but because there is a wicked anti-incumbent mood....
In Brooklyn that might mean a Democrat gets 78% instead of 88%.....but up here you can't bleed that much when you got 52% last time out.
Patty on the Taxpayer line might be a better move than teaming up with Andrew on Line C........Plus the work to get the extra line forces exposure to thousands more voters.

Monsignor Milia Dies

An institution has passed in Watertown with the death at age 84 of Monsignor Anthony Milia, the longtime pastor of St. Anthony's Catholic Church on the city's west side. Monsignor was a dedicated priest and community servant and a fixture in the Flats.
Feedback: Community Mourns Death Of Monsignor Anthony Milia of St. Anthony's Church WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Paladino To File 28,000 Signatures For New "Taxpayers" Ballot Line »

Carl Paladino is filing for an independent line on the ballot...called the Taxpayers Party....If successful this will allow Paladino to run to November no matter what happens in the September 14 GOP Primary.
Further, Paladino could end up starting a new party in NY if he gets 50,000 votes on the line.
If he loses the GOP primary, he has the option of ditching the extra line, but while party poobahs want that, many who signed the petition would want him to run on and form the new line on the ballot.
There is also a Conservative Party primary for Governor, so the lay of the land for the fall remains up in the air.
Paladino To File 28,000 Signatures For New "Taxpayers" Ballot Line »

Sharpton Opposes Watertown-Style Goverment...Claims it Hurts Minorities

The Rev. Al Sharpton wouldn't like Watertown and its nonpartisan city elections....Rep Sharpton just put the kabash on a proposal for such elections in the City of New York. A charter commission has been considering them for years. That leaves Watertown the only city I know of with this form of government born of the Progressive movement of the early 1900s.
Sharpton and others say nonpartisan elections would allow rich people to dominate elections....You mean richer than the guy who just spent $109million buying a third term as mayor ? Sharpton and others played the race card and argue minorities are better served by a partisan system in which one party dominates virtually all city elections. Sort of like a Democratic Party plantation.
Watertown has had nonpartisan elections since 1922 but there is little evidence the wealthy dominate who gets elected.
Mayor Bloomberg to end nonpartisan election push - $7 million later

Armed, and representing - Times Union

There is a website that lists who is licensed to pack heat in NY and many are crying foul , charging its an invasion of privacy. It is of course and it places law abiding citizens in the position of being targets for those wanting to steal a handgun.
The Times Union poured through the lists on http://www.whospackingny.com/ and discovered gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino packs a handgun in addition to the bat he is going to use on Albany.
NY has done much to curtial Second Amendment rights and a scarlet letter list of people exercising that right is one more example.
Armed, and representing - Times Union

NYC Councilman says Dems Dissed Blacks, So They Should Start Their Own Party

Just in case you thought we are in a post racial country, take a few minutes to read this manifesto from NYC Councilman Charles Barron, who is attempting to run for Governor under the Freedom Party banner. Mr. Barron is hoping to make the Freedom Party a line on the ballot for black people after what he sees as a racist Democratic Party nominated an all white statewide slate this year.
Its not a movement I would think could succeed, but its a window into the far left and what happens when the Democratic Party attempts a move to the center. Nonetheless, the Dems did kick the state's first black governor to the curb and there was little talk of rainbow coalitions at this years party convention.
We will see how Councilman Barron does.
Support Charles Barron and the Freedom Party People Of Color Organize!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dale Herman Named Fire Chief

Veteran smoke-eater Dale Herman has been named Watertown Fire Chief after a nearly year long search. Chief Herman has been a batallion chief since 1999. City Council approved his salary of $84000.
Congratulations to Chief Herman and his family.

Independence Party chairman Dote charged with impersonating investigator - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch

Another ding for the Indy Party...This one closer to home with Oneida County Chairman John Dote indicted on a misdemeanor count of impersonating an investigator....
Independence Party chairman Dote charged with impersonating investigator - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch

Judge in McGrath Case Had Been Rapped for Ascent from Defendant to Bench

For those who want to see a conspiracy, here is an editorial about Judge Henry Zwack, who decided the Blankenbush/McGrath case.
EDITORIAL - From Defendant To Judge---Typical GOP Progression

Judge Zwack Was Very Much a Part of Bruno Country Before Elevation to the Bench

Well, I read Judge Zwack's opinion on the McGrath petitions as well as checked out his biography.
The 58 year old father of three is from the Bronx, went to Siena College and served as Renssalaer County Executive, where he was embroiled in corruption charges. He was acquitted.
Governor Pataki appointed him to some alcohol agency before putting robes on him in an out-the-door appointment. Renssalaer County (Troy) is of course the home base for former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno.
He has much to be thankful for, and in a close call decision he has good reason to help his party. Whether he did or not, God only knows.
His decision on the petition form is that since judicial delegates and state committee people are also elected based on Assembly district boundaries,there could be confusion among the petition signers.....The phrase "New York State Assembly-122nd District" is , according to the judge, a geographic designation that does not describe the office. The judge says the lack of clarity brings into question whether the signers knew what they were signing.
Henry F. Zwack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Off the Reservation

Mayor Bob Duffy of Rochester says he would like to see the 9/11 Mosque put somewhere else, although he says he knows its a decision for NYC officials...That puts Mayor Duffy, who is Andrew Cuomo's running mate, a bit at odds with the top of the ticket...
AG Cuomo supports the mosque as a freedom of religion issue,as does NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

TU: Public Pay, Special Deals

Its tough to create jobs upstate.....but the people who claim to have the power to create are crafting some nice jobs for themselves...Take Jeff Bray, an economic developer working for the Fulton County Economic Development Corporation. In 2008, Mr. Bray was paid $591,000 , much of it through a "private" corporation owned by the EDC.
Now just so you don't think Fulton County is Wall Street....Its a tiny county along the Mohawk Valley with Johnstown and Gloversville as population centers. Its a lot like us only without Fort Drum.
Similar deals were were going on in Greene County.
Lately, Mr. Bray has been invoking his Fifth Amendment rights, after Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (also an AG candidate) started going after these arrangments at public authorities.
I think the best economic development for upstate would be to cut spending by 10% and cut taxes by 20%...And pass that property tax cap.
As for these authorities, I believe they should be county agencies like they started out. And before someone says it, I feel the same about City LDC's. Mine is not the majority view.
There are a lot of poor folk in Fulton County who likely had no idea what was going on there, and with these bodies increasingly outside the orbit of elected bodies, the potential for further abuse is tremendous.
No system is perfect, but the continued diminution of control and oversight of elected bodies in favor of Authorities and "private" corporations is bad public policy. Next time you are worried about your state legislator being paid too much, think of Mr. Bray.
Public pay, special deals - Times Union#page-2#page-2#page-2#page-1#page-1

Pharmacies Next in Crusade Against Tobacco

The ironies of pharmacies selling tobacco and beer are obvious, but the local drug store long ago became a mini-Wal-Mart. It's just the way it is.
Now the taxpayer funded anti-tobacco groups are setting their sites on pharmacies as is seen in this letter to the editor on today's paper.
These groups, along with their anti-alcohol counterparts are fond as trying to enforce their social agenda in the marketplace, even going as far as making complaints to regulatory agencies against local businesses to stop what they see as wrong. There will be efforts to sting the drug stores so as to shame them. It won't work. Forcing 25% of your customer base to go elsewhere for cigarettes is not part of the retail plan for pharmacies.
If cigarettes are to remain legal, they perhaps should only be sold in an adults only environment like liquor stores. Ironically while pharmacies can sell cigarettes, a liquor store currently cannot. Explain that.
Watertown Daily Times Pharmacies shouldn't sell tobacco products

Another Bailout Coming This Week....Is a Day of Reckoning Coming ? Nah..Spend It All !

Congress is back in DC this week so the House can pass another spending bill....This one is a bailout for states so that they won't have to make the tough decisions and can keep employing people.
The politics of it is to keep teachers employed and help states with Medicaid.
This is pre-election puffery in advance of the dire news expected from a deficit reduction panel due to report December 1....That report is expected to call for an increase in the Social Security retirement age.
None of that will be discussed prior to the election...
This is the debate to be had this fall in the Congressional race, but with so many government employees in NY23, the notion of fiscal restraint may fall on deaf ears.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dowd: Michelle as Marie Antoinette

If Maureen Dowd thinks the First Lady's trip to Spain was over the top....well that says it all.
Op-Ed Columnist - Feliz Cumpleaños, and Adiós - NYTimes.com

Since It Generates Comment, Let's Have Another 122nd Story

I was talking with some veteran politicos and operatives today who don't really have a dog in the Blankenbush-McGrath petition battle.
At issue is not the number of signatures. It is conceded there are enough for the Democratic and Independence nominations for McGrath.....It is a form issue as the petition says New York State Assembly-122nd District, instead of Member of Assembly.......
One GOP type told me the same matter has been litigated and the distinction will hold and McGrath is off.....Others weren't so sure.
Another opinion is the phrasing is not enough of a distinction so as to confuse signers so they wouldn't know what they were authorizing.
Since there were sufficient signatures, party members have legitimately expressed their desire for a candidate to run in the political subdivision known as the 122nd Assembly district. Therefore, my ruling is so as not to penalize the signers (it is, or should be, about them) the appellate court should at least order an opportunity to ballot for September 14.
An OTB is a write in primary in which no name appears on the ballot. This would protect the sufficient number of party members who did sign.
These decisions need to be about the voters and in the absence of a reversal, the OTB is clearly the best option as it allows voters in the two affected parties retain their franchise.
Isn't that what those folks at Valley Forge, Gettysburg and Normandy died at least in part for ?

This INDY Backbite Smarts

A few weeks back one of Frank MacKay's inner circle did his version of Hess' flight to Scotland and left the party, it was dismissed by the chair as a hissy fit by Staten Island's Frank Morano....Now Morano has sent a blistering treatise to the NYS BOE ripping the IP finances and alleging the whole thing is a scheme to enrich those who control the Party. Guess he doesn't buy the line about "party building." His complaint will catch a headline and go where all such complaints go...into the sour grapes basket at the BOE.
What is interesting about Morano is that a man with his name and address appears on the vacancy committee of the newly formed "Anti-Prohibition Party" which features the candidacy of Manhattan Madame Kristen Davis.....
Those petitions were available prior to Morano's schism with MacKay so he likely was planning an exit.
As for the value of his complaint, its one of those things where you can believe the party is whatever you want it to be....For some its a close held, self serving, pay to play scheme.....Others see it as a grass roots vehicle for independent voters to have a say in a government dominated by two parties...And that the party leaders are doing the work needed to hold the thing together.
Pick your narrative.
TheDailyPolitics - NY Daily News

WDT: Donations Provide Window into the Souls of Congressional Hopefuls

I always thought newspapering lends itself well to charts, graphs and tables...So when Jude's Internet piece on political donations made it into print today, I perused the donations our three Congressional candidates have given to others....
Democrat Bill Owens donating to Al D'Amato and George Pataki (does June know about that), as well as GOP Assemblyman turned convicted sex fiend Chris Ortloff, but Mr. Owens also gave to unconvicted sex enthusiast Eliot Spitzer.
. Matt Doheny is heavily invested ($9500) in Patty Ritchie, gave $2400 to now Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), gave to various county committees and the Club for Growth (could be why they aren't backing Hoffman this year) , $4000 to the Oneida County Independence Party (money well spent), gave to a bunch of people I never heard of, and gave that pesky $2400 to DeDe. No donations to SarahPAC are noted.
Doug Hoffman donated the least of the three unless you count those loans to his own campaign that pay interest.
Its good to see the Times delving into donations again...They had gotten out of the habit in recent years.
Watertown Daily Times Doheny outdoes rivals in donating

Letter To Editor Tells Doheny How to Spend His Stash

Wow, here is a letter to the editor from a committed socialist.
This Oswego County resident excoriates Matt Doheny for making a lot of money in his chosen field of endeavor...the stock market. Then this gentlement delivers a list of ways Doheny should spend his $6million plus income made last year...
Let's see, Mr. Lee Schick of Fulton says Doheny should sink $2.5million into the failed Nestle chocolate plant...Then he wants Matt to drop a half million on the Golden Fish Restaurant in Port Ontario (Lee must have enjoyed the fish platter)...Then he is advised to sink the rest into the defunct Dealmaker auto dealerships. And if anything is left over, Mr. Schick advises it be given to charity.
Mr Schick, says he will instead vote for Doug Hoffman...That is of course his right and its a justifiable choice on many grounds, just not the grounds he uses.
Being successful is not a bad thing. All three Congressional candidates have been enormously successful in their respective fields and are millionaires.
The notion that we should condemn success and then attempt to tell the successful how to invest their earnings is not consistent with the free enterprise system that has driven prosperity in this country for 200+ years.
But, if folks like Doheny decide Mr. Schick's mantra makes sense, I have suggestions for spending that $6million.
A couple of million on Sewall's Island to build a Kayaking Hall of Fame.....A half million on Shooties as a respite for Steelers fans stranded in NNY.....I would like a million spent on reopening the old Bajjaly's Market because a friend of mine has fond memories of buying Swedish Fish there as a child.......
How about a million reopening the Air Brake Foundry, another million paying the Grid bills for all my friends and relatives for the next five years, and with the last half million, please put small bills in a brown paper bag and leave it in Zeppelin's dog house this evening at 6PM.
Another thing left over, please donate to charity. I will send you a list of ones I prefer.
The notion that if someone makes money, we should collectively tell them how to spend it is at the heart of many of our problems. That is why I respectfully suggest that the letter writer is indeed a socialist.
Watertown Daily Times Doheny does not give back to community

WDT: Franklin Building Was a Rival to Paddock Arcade..History Now Revealed

While there is considerable construction going on all around the Watertown, the rehabilitation of the Franklin Building in downtown is a welcome addition to the city's historic core.
Much of public square has been rebuilt in the past 30 years, and there are still buildings to be addressed. The Woolworth Building is in limbo, but the Paddock Arcade is doing well again.
It would be nice to do it all at once, but sometimes you have to wait till the economics allow it. The completion of the Franklin Building will be a welcome addition to a rehabilitated downtown. Congratulations to those who have worked on it.
Watertown Daily Times FORMER YWCA: Public Square edifice housed businesses in early 20th century FRANKLIN ARCADE EXCAVATED