Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eric Schneiderman Scores New York Times Endorsement For AG: Updated

Do endorsements matter ? I don't just mean media ones...even personal ones.....
In the media they matter mostly in the sense of how they may color the day to day coverage of a campaign.....But the endorsement itself...not so much....
The NY Times has come out early for Manhattan State Senator Eric Schneiderman in his bid for AG. No surprise there. He is a far left lawmaker and will likely try to move the AG office towards so called social justice issues....He may win the 5 way Democratic primary with the winner facing Republican Dan Donovan in the fall. I can't imagine too many Democrats voting on that endorsement alone...People interested in the NY Times editorials are already of a certain persuasion and will vote that way without the paper's urging.
Now back in NNY, the local paper is reflecting or maybe leading the charge in the Democratic surge up here. Used to be the Republican team was a big deal, now its Clintons, Obama, Schumer, and Owens who are backed by the Watertown Daily Times. It will be interesting to see if their long time aversion to Darrel Aubertine will fade this year now that the Senator is well established on key committees.
Endorsements matter to me in the sense the people making them are well versed in issues and whats going on....it gives a reason to look a little harder at a given candidate...but in the end its still my own choice and it often differs.
How about personal endorsements ? They are even more dubious......
I saw recently former Congressman David Martin was trotted out to back a current candidate....I saw little relevance as Mr. Martin had long ago left the North Country for the green pastures of DC lobbying....:Last year's endorsers were Dick Armey, Fred Thompson and the Vice President.
Take somebody like me...I vote for people...put up lawn signs...get petitions...help out people having trouble with the system....I don't think any of that means people should vote for who they think I support....
Yesterday, some people thought I was showing a preference for Ken Blankenbush because on the HOTLINE I was short with Brian McGrath when he spontaneously called to spew canned talking points....I didn't mean to be rude but I hear that stuff every day, like when Blankenbush put out his boilerplate called Points North....
So I will try to step back and take a critical and fair look at all the candidates on this blog and my talk show. And I promise....no endorsements, at least not until I find out who won.




Eric Schneiderman Scores New York Times Endorsement For AG: Updated

WDT: Court Avoids Election Tragedy

In this OP/Ed both candidates in the 122nd AD come under some razzing for their campaign, but most of it is leveled at Republican Ken Blankenbush for the petition imbroglio that almost left voters in the open seat race without a choice. Democrat Brian McGrath takes a rap for a petition drive that was barely adequate.
Most everyone thinks Mr. Blankenbush hurt himself by attempting to exploit a marginal claim which was designed to provide an incontested election and a free pass to Albany.
The election is a ways off and this issue may die with leaves falling from the trees.....There is also another side to the story...the Blankenbush position is that the election law ritual is part of the process and the challenges are part of the trial by fire candidates must survive.
Few will buy that position.
Watertown Daily Times Travesty averted

Campaign 2010

In the gubernatorial race, its more treading of water with Andrew continuing his perfect adventure in the Finger Lakes...Today I saw him on TV eating an ice cream cone....He is going to be vacationed out by the time he takes office.
Carl Paladino is deploying people in chicken suits to point out his opponents reluctance to debate...Lazio had a bad time at a debate ten years ago...And as for the GOP designee, his cognition these days is limited to mosques.
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli got endorsed by Planned Parenthood and promptly assailed his opponent on abortion rights...Tom, you are the Comptroller....You don't have anything to do with reproduction.
The Working Families Party was cleared so Democrats everywhere can start taking the line again....Except for Darrel, cause he killed the Farm Labor Bill.
Doheny said again today he will endorse whomever wins the GOP primary...unless the winner is Doug Hoffman.......

Friday, August 20, 2010

Doheny on Capital Tonight in Real Time

Watching Doheny being interviewed by Liz....Matt says he lives in Watertown (that's a plus)....says he loves guns and uses them when on the campaign trail(Liz chuckles) ...He's against gay marriage....says DeDe did the unthinkable in endorsing Owens....
Says DeDe is a quitter....And says he will endorse Hoffman if he wins the primary....Little nervous looking sitting with Liz, but that's understandable...She's tough.
Oh, the BWI issue has come up....Matt says he deeply respects law enforcement.
Doheny says he has the depth of understanding of issues and has fought for what he has in life.
Liz says Bill Owens will be on next Wednesday.

Military PAC Backs Hoffman...Important or So What ?

The pesky candidacy of Doug Hoffman continues to vex party choice Matt Doheny...Today Hoffman announced the endorsement of a PAC representing military interests...More important it gives Hoffman the chance to remind voters he served in the military and his primary opponent did not....
There was a time when military service, a wife, kids, and a dog were all required ornaments of life for candidates......Presidents Clinton and Obama show you don't have to have time in the service anymore.
The military angle in NY23 tends to favor retired Air Force captain and current Congressman Bill Owens...But everybody still likes to tout patriotism and family values. As we find out every day these traditional political attributes are constantly being redfined...
Used to be you better demonstrate church attendance....Now we have a President who big segments cannot decide if he is Christian or Muslim......
Nothing is as easy as it used to be.
Watertown Daily Times Hoffman endorsed by military PAC

For Strippers Near Ground Zero, It’s Business as Usual Amid Mosque Uproar | The New York Observer

Now its official...EVERYONE has now been asked their opinion of the Ground Zero Mosque....Reporters are interviewing strippers at nearby bars about their feelings on it. Journalism in 2010 !
For Strippers Near Ground Zero, It’s Business as Usual Amid Mosque Uproar The New York Observer

WFP: US Attorney’s Probe Ends With No Charges

The US Attorney has given a clean bill to the Working Families Party as no charges are being brought against the occupants of Line E on the NY ballot. This likely clears the way for Andrew Cuomo to take the line in late September.
He has too...This party goes dark without him to rustle up 50,000 votes or more....Otherwise Democrats lose their "me too" party....their equivalent of the Conservatives relation to the GOP.
The way it will come down is the lawyers given the nomination for WFP statewide slots will be nominated by a judicial convention in late September. If there are really being taken care they will be put on to run in a Judicial District where ballot presence guarantees a win...So the reward becomes 14 years on the bench for being a placeholder...How come nobody investigates those deals ? (Yes, the IP is doing the same thing for the AG line)
Sometimes they just get a non winning judicial nomination and no 14 years...Just depends on the deal.
WFP: US Attorney’s Probe Ends With No Charges

Newzjunky: 1240-WATN: Kristin Davis

Here's the link to Thursday's HOTLINE program. A lot of people have commented they enjoyed the inside story on the most avante garde of this year's gubernatorial hopefuls.
Newzjunky: 1240-WATN: Kristin Davis

Paladino to state workers: Tell me your problems - Capitol Confidential

With every one of them likely to vote against him, Its hard to see how Carl Paladino can win in NY...but the feisty Buffalonian is reaching out to workers....Asking them to tell him why they shouldn't be fired when he takes office in January...The request for suggestions for efficiency and an identification of slackers is not likely to get many responses.
Paladino to state workers: Tell me your problems - Capitol Confidential

Paladino Says He Won't Quit Taxpayer Line and He Will Win GOP Primary

In several interviews this past week I have heard political reporters beating the drum for the two party system by peppering candidates like Doug Hoffman and Carl Paladino with the Question.....That inquiry is, "will you stand down your minor party line candidacy when you lose the GOP primary?"
When the candidate tries to express confidence by not wanting to talk about defeat, the reporter concludes, "candidate refuses to pledge to quit race when he loses."
Why should he ? Just because the reporting class is marinated in the two party system where everyone is hanging out on one side of the aisle or the other, that does not mean candidates owe them or their readers a pledge to quit when they lose....
As a matter of law in NY, we have a system that allows you to run on multiple lines and the people registered in the minor parties have a right not to have the MSM always advocating for two party hegemony.
In fact, I notice these interviews dominated by questions of campaign finance and other tick-tock aspects of politics masks the "issues" everyone says they want to hear about.
Now I like hearing about the tick-tock of politics and that's why I was glad to hear Mr. Paladino give Liz a 'Hell no' to her repeated questions on whether he would abandon the Taxpayer Party if Rick Lazio were to edge him out on September 14.
My favorite Paladino-ism is when he grunts about "taking this government down" and taking on the ruling class of both parties that cling to the public trough.
If Paladino is to stay on the TXP, that makes it a good bet to win Line C and could eliminate or diminish the Conservative Party...That's tick-tock, but I like reading about it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

'Amityville Horror' House Sold

You couldn't pay me to live in this house.
'Amityville Horror' house goes into contract

GOP Lawyers Miss the Kill Shot......

The Five-Zip appellate ruling that put Brian McGrath back on the ballot included a rebuke from one of the Republicans on the panel who couldn't understand why this case was before them.
The description-of-office argument apparently didn't impress the judges, and for Team Blankenbush it was a head shot that missed.
Often a trial level decision that is shaded will scare off the defendant who is cowed by the process and lacking in funds to buy a little more justice.
For a trial attorney like McGrath, he was familiar with process and had the resources to purchase another level of justice.
It's often said if you are shooting to kill, then you better do it because the wounded grizzly is that much madder. Many people don't like this kind of courtroom politics. (Yes , I understand many Democrats have gone to court this year to do the same thing.)
If this strategy had worked, Ken Blankenbush would have had a free pass to an Assembly seat......It didn't and his path is much more difficult...
Still, this is a GOP district in its makeup. Mr. McGrath got a boost today, but he is still the underdog....

For McGrath....It's Game On !

A bird just called to say Brian McGrath is back on the Democratic and Indy lines for the Assembly race in the 122nd....A five to nothing ruling from the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court did the trick.
McGrath had been tossed by a trial level judge for an indequate description of the office sought on his petitions.
This sets up a raucous race between McGrath and Republican Ken Blankenbush for the right to succeed Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava.

Madame: Eliot Dropped the Dime that Got Me Busted

In the tradition of Tom Snyder, I did an extended interview on the HOTLINE today with gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis..... It was one of the more interesting I have done since the story line of small town girl to Manhattan Madame is so out there its hard to believe....
I don't know if there were any revelations but Ms. Davis clearly has no love lost for former client Eliot Spitzer, whom she thinks dropped the dime on her that resulted in her March, 2008 arrest. The sheer size of her operation to include off- shore deposits was staggering.
So was her account of her imprisonment in Rikers Island for four months.
Her transition to libertarian political figure running for governor is interesting as well.
What she did is self evident , but its a pleasure to get to learn more about a person who the media has made such a caricature of.......She did something wrong but now is trying to use her fame for whatever her political goals are. If it's redemption, I guess you have to wish Ms. Davis well.
I appreciate the interview opportunity, and hope more candidates call in...although I doubt any will have as bizarre a tale to tell.
In the morning, http://www.newzjunky.com/ will post the audio of the interview. Thank You !

City paid $2 million to insure dead workers - The Buffalo News

Today's encouraging news is that the State was paying money to foster parents to support disabled children....Except in the case of the 25 of them, the youngters were deceased....Then there is this story from Buffalo about the City paying health benefits to the deceased...
Proof positive that our cradle to grave socialism is being extended...
City paid $2 million to insure dead workers - The Buffalo News

Forget About the Yankee Tickets for the Governor

Why is a state commission still musing about Governor Paterson getting to attend for free a World Series game at Yankee Stadium in 2009 ? If the Governor and Mayor are guests of the team, so what...It's good to see the top officials there supporting the team....I know "comps" can be overdone...but I am glad to see our governor at such an event....
Let the guy finish his term and quit wasting money on this Quixotic quest for public integrity.
Paterson ‘Surprised’ By PIC

Thursday Morning Fodder

Had a nice chat last night with GOP Assembly candidate David Forsythe who is running hard to wrest the 118th seat from one term lawmaker Addie Russell.
Mr. Forsythe had been in Cape Vincent for an event and it sounds like he is working hard on the race. Campaigns are about proving yourself so we will see how he does.
Independent gubernatorial candidate Kristen Davis is due to call the HOTLINE radio show today to discuss her bid. She is one of a passle of third party candidates.
Today is crunch time for Democrat Brian McGrath who is hoping an appeals court puts him back on the ballot after GOP lawyers successfully got him nixed over the wording on his petition. There are lots of these court cases trickling through the system across the state....Seems like this is one of those years when aggressive challenging is in vogue.....
Congressional candidate Doug Hoffman was on Capital Tonight last night....Most of the discussion was about campaign tick-tock....Polls, finances,will you get out when you lose the primary ? Hoffman says he is well ahead of challenger Matt Doheny, while the local GOP high command is predicting Doheny wins with 60 to 65 %.
What is increasingly obvious is that if Hoffman wins, the party poobahs will sit on their hands in the fall and let the seat stay in Owens hands. Lot of ill will between Hoffman and the chairs.
For all the talk of the Ground Zero mosque, the project is still far from being built, with the latest reports suggesting planning for the structure is only in the nascent stage.
The pesky mosque continues to dominate cable new coverage.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Combine New Parties and Fusion Voting and Look What You Get

Everybody wants a party...and one group linked to the current Indy Party may be involved in the possible formation of the Tea Party line on the ballot. Petitions filed this week listing a lawyer named Steve Cohn as candidate for governor...No way he gets 50,000 votes so look for a substitution. By this time next year the NY ballot may look a lot different. The Conservative Party could be gone....The Indy Party will draw enough with Cuomo on the line to stay on line C or D.
The WFP may be gone. Tea, Anti-Prohibition, Libertarian, Green and Damn Rent Too High will make their play.....And the Taxpayer Party of Carl Paladino could do very well.
And all these parties will be able to cross endorse under NYs fusion voting. So you could have the Republican-Taxpayer-Rent too High candidate against the Democrat-Anti-Prohibition-Green-Indy candidate.
Quite a system.
Tea Party Activists Pulling Together For New York -- And Then National -- Ballot Line Push »

Andrew's Campaign is the Way to Do It

While his principle opponents argue over the Mosque, Andrew Cuomo continues his leisurely RV tour of upstate...This week it was the scenic Finger Lakes where he and his three daughters took in the sights and got the feel of the state up close.
This is as good as way as any to campaign...spend time with the family and bide time until Cuomo's likely election in November.

Talk About Surprises During the Dog Days of August

A sidebar to this year's elections occured this week when independent candidate for governor Kristin Davis ask if I would like to run as LG on her Anti-Prohibition Party ticket. The candidate on her petitions dropped off at the last minute.....This was like out of the blue.
Ms. Davis and legendary GOP operative Roger Stone called me this week about the matter. They obviously wanted someone with government and political experience to boost their chances of the party getting 50,000 votes and ballot status. I had never met either of them before.
I appreciate their kind offer, but as an office holder this is not something that fits for me. There are several independent candidates vying for governor and while I wish Ms. Davis well, and I do support the 19th Amendment, my views are not consistent with the wholly libertarian views of this fledgling party.
I do support individuals trying to use third parties to raise awareness of their issues, but I am committed to my current duties as mayor.
Hopefully, Ms. Davis and all the candidates for governor will take the time to visit upstate communities including Watertown and I am always willing to impart upstate issues to them.
While Andrew Cuomo will be the next governor, the many voices that will be heard in the interim also are important.
In any event, its the first time I have been called by a madame...albeit a retired one.

POLL: Paladino Gaining, Cuomo Holding, Gillibrand Beats ‘Someone Else’

Looks like Carl Paladino is gaining in his bid for the GOP nod and most of the Republican insiders I talk to now say he is likely to defeat Rick Lazio...
All of that is not improving the situation for the GOP against Andrew Cuomo, who is still the far and away favorite to win the statehouse in November.
Its all complicated because both Lazio and Paladino could survive to November on an independent line or minor party line even if they lose the GOP primary.
Siena (Take II): Paladino Gaining, Cuomo Holding, Gillibrand Beats ‘Someone Else’

WDT: Children's Clinic receives $200,000

Oh, to be an incumbent....Even in tough times there is ...oops I found a stash of cash somebody must have overlooked...Going back to the days of Jim Wright, "securing" a stipend for the Children's Clinic has been de rigueur for NNY pols....I mean, how better can you use the cliche ,"It's for the children" than on a project like this....
The clinic is a great asset in Downtown Watertown and we appreciate its presence...I just enjoy the yearly "securing" of funds for something that's been supported for so long.
And there is surely a voting constituency that goes along with this organization.....
Watertown Daily Times Children's Clinic receives $200,000

Unfortunately, This August Story Has Legs

The Mosque issue continues to burn bright as everyone is following the President's lead and weighing in....The few not doing so are the temperate, the logical and the prudent....and of course those are few in number.
You cannot run for highway superintendent without being ask....
I wonder who made the first gesture of opposition ? Because whoever it was sure batted a hornet's next...
All the crazy metaphors and analogies are out there...We wouldn't let the Nazis build next to the Holocaust Museum...We wouldn't let the Japanese build a sushi bar next to Pearl Harbor....We wouldn't build a Burger King next to a health club....
It's August and these things happen in the void of real news. But with a campaign ahead, forecasters are predicting ten more weeks of Mosque-y weather.
Op-Ed Columnist - Our Mosque Madness - NYTimes.com

O'Neill Says She is Confident McGrath Will Be Back On

The doyenne of the Democratic Party in NY called the HOTLINE yesterday. June O'Neill said she is confident her candidate for Assembly in the 122nd will be restored to the ballot, but she stopped short of saying the trial level judge who booted Brian McGrath did so for politics only.
Ms. O'Neill says the appellate judges who hear the case on Thursday will opt to empower voters and says in the absence of fraud that is usually what happens in these cases.
June has been the force behind McGrath and has wanted to take this AD, which was drawn ten years ago as a throw away district when the 118th "River District" was drawn to help elect Darrel Aubertine to the Assembly.
So far, GOP insiders have expressed confidence the original ruling will hold.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Last of the Fringe Parties File

An old hand at running for office is the Green Party candidate for Governor....Syracuse's Howie Hawkins submitted petitions today....The Greens had ballot status after Grandpa Munster got 50,000 votes in 2002....But lost the status four years later with a no-name candidate.
My favorite party for 2010 is the "The Rent is Too Damn High Party." A fellow named Jimmy McMillan is running for Governor on that line. There is also a "Tea" party headed by Steven Cohn.
If the petitions all hold up, it will be a crowded field for the right to live on Eagle Street.

A Big Bust for the Hot Shot Federal Prosecutor

Wow...After prosecution claims of a slam dunk and charges that would make Lincoln turn over in his grave, Blago was convicted on only one count...Lying to the FBI....Isn't that what people do ?
The maximum term is five years so I am sure they will go for that to redeem themselves.....
Blago is a blowhard...he is crude...he is a typical Chicago pol...just like Rahm...Barack....Axelrod...and many others in the Windy City....
His deal making over the Senate appointment is what politics is...horse trading...
I am not offended by what he did and I guess the jurors were not either.
Time for a reality show.
Blago Guilty On Just One Of 24 Counts

"Manhattan Madam" Kristin Davis Files Petitions For Governor

The last of the Gubernatorial candidates has filed. Anti-Prohibition Party candidate Kristin Davis, aka the Manhattan Madame, has filed over 22,000 signatures to run for the state's highest office.
Like most of the minor party candidates, her goal is to raise awareness of her key issues and to secure the needed 50,000 votes to gain ballot status.
The 35 year old former hedge fund manager got into trouble when she started a high price call girl operation as a business venture. Among her clients, it turned out, was Governor Eliot Spitzer. She was arrested in February, 2008 on prostitution charges and was held in Riker's Island jail on extraordinary high bail....her supporters say she was in essence held there to keep her away from the press anxious for details on the Governor's problems. She later pleaded to a lesser charge and was released for time served. It was a tough way to gain fame....
While her notoriety comes from prostitution, she plans to downplay the issue this fall in favor of a traditional libertarian agenda of marijuana law reform, same sex marriage and removing other personal choice restrictions. She has also been a critic the state's onerous taxation.
Along with the other minor party hopefuls, she will likely add some spice to a race most consider already decided in favor of Andrew Cuomo.
She is being assisted by veteran GOP political operative Roger Stone, whose career dates back to the Nixon years.
"Manhattan Madam" Kristin Davis Files Petitions For Governor

Political Meddling Seen in Albany Public Authorities - NYTimes.com

Here's a study that shows that elected officials shouldn't intrude into the sanctity public authorities...To much politics they say....
Well, guess what...its called representing the public will and its what elected officials do...Some better than others...
This notion of public authorities as some bastion against the pols assumes a level of santimony I don't believe is warranted.
Nonetheless while I don't agree with the premise of the report, I did read it and present it in a spirit of being fair and balanced.
Political Meddling Seen in Albany Public Authorities - NYTimes.com

Rice Touts Drug Enforcement in Latest Ad

In a new commercial AG candidate and Nassau County DA says she reduced drug crimes by 70%....This is an ironic claim for the admitted former cocaine user turned tough-as-nails prospector. Kathleen Rice is widely considered the front runner in the Democratic five way primary for AG, but she best watch the crime claims lest it blow back in her face.
Rice and fellow candidate Eric Schneiderman have both admitted to cocaine use while in their 20s...(That's back when it was legal.)
Rice: ‘No Pushover’

In Radio Spots, Hoffman Pushes the Hot Buttons in Bid for Primary Win

In the race for Congress, the candidates seem to be playing entirely different games...Matt Doheny is very much the mainstream Dave Martin-endorsed, local issues type of Republican....while Doug Hoffman is not appealing to the people who care about water levels on the Seaway..he is pushing the hot buttons on the Mosque and the AZ immigration law.
Just think of the Mosque....it was something unheard of a few weeks ago until it percolated up through state politics...hit the cable nets and then the President felt inclined to weigh in on it. This is the type of visceral issue that Hoffman hopes will stimulate his segment of the GOP in the September 14th primary..
Doheny hopes those cloth coat Republicans who for years elected the McHughs, Wrights, Nortz', and the like will quietly file to the polls for him.
If you realize how complicated being a Congressman is , the use of the hot buttons may seem shallow and cynical....But there is the argument that taking stands on such things is also a gut check in times where people are polarized more than ever.
With four weeks to the primary, Doheny likely will not change and will depend on his breakneck campaign schedule and his huge money edge to stay on the airwaves. His newest commercial featuring his mom is well done.
I always wonder whether a lot of spots help or not...I guess we will find out. We will also discover whether the primary will be dominated by those voters who get agitated over the issues Mr. Hoffman advances.
In radio ad, Hoffman spins immigration law - Capitol Confidential

RINO Dave Calls Excited over his Invite to see Chuck

A good friend who is very much the RINO called me today all aflutter over news Senator Chuck Schumer is coming to Wellesley Island on September 2 to attend a fund raiser for Rep. Bill Owens.
This is the second major fundraiser Mr Owens has done in the Thousand Islands region.
Mr Owens, along with Doug Hoffman and Matt Doheny are being interviewed separately this week by Liz on Capital Tonight.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Political Updates on a Busy Day

Patty Ritchie has filed to appear on the ballot under the Taxpayer Party moniker, establishing a clear link to GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino who is behind creating the new line on the ballot.
Ms Ritchie obtained some 5000 signatures according to GOP sources and did so after having the rug pulled on what seemed a near certain designation on the Indy Line.
Actually, I think this move helps her more, but time will tell.
Meanwhile in the bitter race in the 122nd Assembly District, Democrat Brian McGrath is campaigning like he is on the ballot...He has scheduled a NYC fundraiser and a September pig roast in Lowville.....Meanwhile an appeals court was do to hear his bid for a spot on the ballot after a Supreme Court justice booted him for an imprecise description of office on his petitions.
If he gets back on, this race will be a wing ding.
NYC Councilman Charles Barron has submitted petitions to run for Governor under the Freedom Party banner....Mr. Barren says he is doing so to allow a ballot line to be created for people of color since he feels the Democrats dissed his people this year....I don't thing this one gets 50,000 votes.
Tomorrow it is expected Anti Prohibition Party candidate Kristin Davis will file on what is the final day to do so.....Despite her notoriety as the Manhattan Madame during the Spitzer scandal, she too will face a steep climb to get to 50,000 although her flashy image and liberatarian message should keep the media intrigued.
Jude was bugging me today about what I know about Ms. Davis...like he is suggesting we are an item...I have never met the woman.
By the way...sorry about the lack of posts today...been very busy...

Is Andrew Cuomo Already the Governor ?

It is no surprise to learn Andrew Cuomo is likely already the de facto Governor of New York. Behind the scenes, the certain winner of this year's election has apparently been the force behind Governor Paterson's budget strategies including the so far unsuccessful fight for a property tax cap.
Lawmakers and the state bureacracy are realistic enough to know who the next boss will be and they remember the days when Andrew was his father's political enforcer....They know he takes names and keeps score.
While I like a lot of what Mr. Cuomo is saying, I am still wary of anyone promising to shake up Albany, after the huge disappointment of the last AG who moved to Eagle Street by making such claims and promises.
Nonetheless Andrew Cuomo does have the knowledge of process, the connections, and the political skills that I am now not so sure Eliot Spitzer did.
So I guess the bottom line is we are getting a discrete sneak preview of a Cuomo administration behind the scenes.
Cuomo already Albany's behind-the-scenes governor, say Dem sources - NYPOST.com

This Week: Ballot Takes Shape

This is the week we find out if there is a race for Assembly in the 122nd, or do we have a successor to DeDe already decided ? Brian McGrath will have his ballot access case heard and Republican insiders are still confident they will prevail and that there will be no election in the fall.
This is also the week for submitting independent nominating petitions. So we will get confirmation of Patty Ritchie's efforts for a third ballot line.
We will also find out the field of candidates for statewide office. Will Freedom Party hopeful Charles Barron succeed in getting his blacks only party on the ballot ?....Will libertarian Kristen Davis get on her "Anti-Prohibition Party."?
It looks like the Taxpayer Party is a go with Carl Paladino. There might be other petitions.
At stake are party lines as if any of these people get 50,000 votes, their party gets ballot status for four years.
Under NY's system, the minor parties that are formed for good reasons go through a cycle that results in them being co-opted by forces like greed, self interest, and a desire to be accepted by power.....The result is the minor party loses relevance, other than as a cross-endorse mechanism delivering the illusion of conservatism, independence or liberalism.
If there are new parties formed this year, they will go through the same cycle of principle, ascendency and then decay.
The party with the best shot is Paladino's Taxpayer's Party, which can benefit from the millions being spent by the candidate.
Ms. Davis flashy image and history may help her meet the goal.
I don't see anyone else making the hurdle.
With Andrew Cuomo a shoo-in, the minor parties might be able to do better as enough may figure out that it doesn't matter if Andrew wins by 2,000,000 or 1,950,000.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

No-Fault Divorce Becomes Law In NY

Every time I see the folks filing into the City Clerk's office to get hitched...Its a process free of impediments and Mrs. D. and I often speculate on what her rate of recidivism will be next year.
Now, its not only ridiculously easy to get married (formerly a sacrament till government got involved), it's easy to get divorced.
This no-fault divorce law now in effect sounds like divorce on demand...No separation needed, because no reconcilliation is anticipated....
Since government ordained marriage is just a civil union contract designed to access "benefits", it doesn't mean that much anyway....
Marriage should be the domain of churches...I would feel a lot more reluctance to walk away from vows in front of a priest than I would a civil contract issued alongside dog licenses.
No-Fault Divorce Becomes Law In NY

WDT: Doheny's Journey from River Honky Tonk to the Halls of Congress

You have to pay the newsstand price to get the complete story but the second of three in-depth profiles of the Congressional candidates is worth the read. This time its Matt Doheny, who apparently has held a desire to run for Congress for a lifetime and when Rep. John McHugh announced his departure in 2009, the Doheny family leapt into action. We are told of his intensity for sports and politics and the conservative policies he argued over at the family dinner table and while attending Allegheny College and Cornell University Law School.
The Sandra Lee of NY23 gets a mention as the paper identifies the Manhattan lawyer who is his girlfriend...or as they say in the Bay...his "old lady."
Doheny comes accross as sharp, ambitious, successful and obsessed with seeking this particular office.
From his fist bumping in the local Jreck Sub Shop to his 16 hour days of campaigning, to his sports theme (footballs), Doheny is 'one of the guys.' But he is also burdened with mental acumen and family drive that prevent him from settling for the success that most people find satisfactory.
Watertown Daily Times THE DOHENY FILE

WDT: Attorney General Candidate Quietly Visits NNY While Dems Scramble in Primary

Staten Island DA Dan Donovan says he just wants to be NYS Attorney General and not a Governor in waiting. The state's last two AG's have sought the executive job.
Top law enforcement jobs are often used as an avenue towards higher office because a DA or an AG gets a lot of headlines and has the upper hand in using the misfortune of others to advance their own careers.
Hard charging AGs often spend a lot of time with press releases as they can use the power of their office to hammer someone who may or may not be in need of the treatment. AG's and DA's are used to getting their way. Most people who are arrested are guilty of something so conviction rates in the 90s are routine. Its a lot more difficult to be a steamroller when dealing with lawmakers who are not as impressed with your bravado.
The trendy topic these days is public corruption and Mr. Donovan says he wants to initiate probes of local officials even without a request from a local DA. He also wants everybody to release sources of outside income. Everybody wants purity of thought and deed, but politics and public office should not be placed under fire to the point where nobody wants to run.
I don't know the AG candidates. Three are five Democrats seeking that party's nomination. So far what I have read and heard of Mr. Donovan has been that he is a reasonable individual who has a grasp of the office.
One Democrat I have been watching is Richard Brodsky who has been leading the scrutiny not of the politicians...but of the unelected public authorities that are systematically taking the place of elected officials.
As for the AG candidates who have admitted to cocaine use, they should be thankful they never got caught and not be seeking the job as head of that state's legal activities.
Watertown Daily Times Donovan: I have no gubernatorial interests