Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Melding of Public Policy and Pop Culture Is an Art These Days

Bristol Palin is going on Dancing with the Stars only weeks after her reunion with Levi Johnston imploded....As for Levi a poll of Alaskans shows him with lower positives than Senator John Edwards.....(Why would you survey the approval of a Levi Johnston ?)
And also in political news, White House gate crasher Michaele Salahi is rumored to be posing for Playboy.......
And you get all this news from the websites that cover politics.....Today's political junkie doesn't have to watch Inside Hollywood to be well informed on the sillier side of life.
News - FIRST PIC: Bristol Palin's Sexy DWTS Costume - Movies, TV & Music -

Who Succeeds Ken ? You Can't Tell Me No One Has Pondered the Question

As an observer of county government, I can't help but wonder who would be the next County Legislature Chair should Ken Blankenbush get elected to the Assembly....I see Ken's prospects as 50-50, maybe a tad better depending on what happens from here on in.
There was a time four or five years ago when Scott Gray would be considered, but as the Legislature's most despised colleague, I don't see that happening.
Seems the one on the fast track is District 8 Legislator James Nabywaniec...He has been the point man on the County's nursing home initiative and seems to be the first among equals during lawmaker gatherings at local watering holes.
Mr. Nabywaniec comes from the district with virtually no voters because it is just about all contained on Fort Drum. He runs the "buy here, pay here" car lot called TimeBuyer...The one with the cute woman getting people to recite their slogan for fifty bucks.
He seems to have the right connections and if he is perceived as successfully closing the county adult home, that will be a talking point and a nexus for moving up the food chain.....

Legislators Mike Behling, Carolyn Fitzpatrick and Phil Reed are also possible contenders for the top slot on the Board.

NY Times Backs Lazio in Primary...Even Though They Want Cuomo as Next Governor

Why is the New York Times endorsing a candidate in the Republican primary for Governor when its fully their intent to back Andrew Cuomo ?
They did anyway, by backing Rick Lazio...a move likely to energize conservative Republican activists likely to vote on September 14. The Times position is that Mr. Lazio will lose in a quiet and dignified manner like John Faso did four years ago.
The Gray Old Lady of journalism contends challenger Carl Paladino is a national embarassment....Like NYS government isn't already ?
The Times is right in judging that Paladino will be ridiculed by MSNBC, The Nation, and Salon Magazine. They will call him a Neanderthal, a racist, a mysoginist....
While newspaper endorsements are part of journalism, I do not agree with endorsing candidates you want to be the loser in November....That's what is going on here.
Times For Lazio, Paladino A GOP ‘National Embarrassment’

Campaign Stuff

Friday I was given a Doheny for Congress hat....It's a nice cap...Very comfortable and doesn't have that cheap plastic adjustment band...Cap just fits well..But since I don't wear hats, I put it on the Danica stand-up located on the back bar.
Its right near the Doheny football...I don't have a Doheny shirt, but that's OK as I don't wear T-shirts and it would just end up like my Aubertine shirt which is now on the bar manequin. I have a red John Burns shirt I don't know what to do with.
I have two Doheny a four by eight foot monster, I really didn't know what to do with and the other is a regular lawn sign.
Dave Forsythe dropped off a sign the other day, but I planted it in a spot out back so as not to offend Ted Ford....I'd like to put an Addie sign out front, but they must not have any. I did see an Aubertine sign the other day, but apparently I don't rank high enough to get one.
I still have a Patty Ritchie fly swatter from 2002....I doubt I will be getting anything else from Patty.
Used to be candidates would hand out fans, emory boards, pencils and combs.
When I first ran for mayor, I had a pocket screwdriver that read "Fix the Screw Ups at City Hall."
I don't use that slogan anymore.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Night Fever

-I was chatting by phone with a GOP operative from the Albany area who is a frequent guest on Cap Tonight....He told me he had written my name in on his absentee for the GOP nomination for Senate to run against Senator Chuck Schumer. I appreciate the gesture but if nominated I will not run and if elected I will not serve.
-High school football games are the Friday night fare for Congressional candidate Matt Doheny who likes to combine his love of sports with some face time with voters.
-I saw Jeff Cole tonight and he said he didn't know his new WPBS show "Public Eye" was the name of the stations public affairs program in the late 70s and early 80s and was hosted by Chuck Plumpton and me. Chuck and I will not sue.
-Had a nice chat with the Army courtesy patrols who visit bars on the weekends...
This week the officer and senior NCO were accompanied by a couple enlisted soldiers in case they need some muscle.
-County Legislator Scott Gray is said to have become the least liked lawmaker among his colleagues.
-The City will use eminent domain to obtain a sewer line to service areas adjacent to Stateway Plaza. This is the first time I recall City use of the seldom used procedure.

WDT: Niagara County committee looks at Lake Ontario wind project

Maybe the folks in Niagara County can replicate the Jefferson County experience....The bitter class warfare...the money grabbing lawyers....the neighbor against neighbor was such a fun time, I don't know why everyone wouldn't want to have a go at it.
Watertown Daily Times Niagara County committee looks at Lake Ontario wind project

The Journal: Lazio Claims He Can Create 1 Million Jobs

Now Rick Lazio says he will "create" one million jobs if elected governor....Good grief..another guy who never ran a business claiming to be able to use the government to create private sector jobs...How Obamaesque.....
There are only two people in the race for governor who can claim to have created private sector jobs...One is Carl Paladino who runs a real estate empire in the Buffalo area. The other is Kristin Davis whose activities a few years back were dubious but still demonstrative of an understanding of how business works.
I am really, really, really tired of the job creationists. To create private sector jobs, you need to shrink the size and scope of government in relative terms. Yet in today's world, any good parent advises their children to get a public job because that sector continues to not recognize the realities of the marketplace. The fact is government at all levels is crowding out the private sector.
Rick Lazio will not create anything. He has no record of doing so in the past. I know thats a brutal assessment, but its true.
The Journal Lazio Claims He Can Create 1 Million Jobs

TV 7: Mercy Talks to Resume Next Week

The latest pronouncements on the future of Mercy call for talks next week with Mercy, Samaritan and the state Health Department....
Presumably all of this will revolve around keeping the facility running with an eye towards a final closing when Samaritan builds a new nursing home in three or four years. So reports TV 7.
Frankly, the notion of casting the residents to the wind to land all around NY State is outrageous....I know that comment is off the reservation as far as the proscribed talking points, but its the way I feel.
It is still my hope Mercy, perhaps in some new incarnation, remains a cog in local health care delivery.
Some reflection over the long weekend is in order, as the current situation cannot continue, yet the state's solution is no solution at all.
Update: Talks On Mercy Future Set For Next Week WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

WDT: Health Department calls for closing of Mercy

There will be a lot of scrambling to delay what state health officials suddenly have decreed to be the inevitable....That is the closing of Mercy Health Care on Stone Street in Watertown.
In a conference call Thursday morning the state announced the financial uncertainties swirling around Mercy create a threat to the health and safety of nursing home patients...Thus they want them moved by September 16...The deadlines may slide but the move to put Mercy down seems certain and supported by a number of key leaders.
There will be considerable pain and angst to patients and families as well as the 200+ employees who have endured years of teetering on the edge.
Nonetheless, I am told a demise, if it happens, will leave a large void in local health care delivery.
For this and other reasons, the City has been supportive of Mercy's efforts to seek state money to allow a restructuring of the Stone Street campus...
As of last week, we were assured that application would be competing alongside a county application to build new homes on different sites.....
Less than a week later, the plug was being pulled after more payroll issues surfaced.
Its time to take a deep breath and consider the impact on the families involved.
Watertown Daily Times Health Department calls for closing of Mercy

Buffalo Style Shock and Awe Unleashed on New Yorkers

The Carl Paladino for Governor campaign of shock and awe has begun in the run-up to the September 14th primary showdown with party designee Rick Lazio. The ads touting New Yorkers who are "mad as hell" is a reference to the classic movie Network, starring Peter Finch as the deranged anchorman urging Americans to stick their head out the window and yell, "I'm mad as Hell and not going to take it anymore..."
The question is, are enough people that mad ?
It will be fun in the fall to see Paladino go after Andrew Cuomo and the ruling class.
Blitzkrieg Begins

Liz' Dad Pens a Book on Albany Beneath the Veil

Can you imagine being a leading political science professor and expert on state government and then having your daughter become the preeminant political reporter in the state ? Professor Gerald Benjamin has co-authored a book on the Legislature called "Tales from the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York State." He is also the proud father of Liz Benjamin who anchors Capital Tonight and writes the enormously popular State of Politics Blog.
Professor Benjamin even got to be interviewed by Liz last night about the book.
The talk at the dinner table on holidays must be a political junky's dream....
State of Politics Blog

D & C: DiNapoli to Workers: Rip Us Off

In New York you don't have to be sneaky to pad your state pension....Tips for doing so are included in the State Comptroller's website ! Manipulation of service credits and jacking final year earnings are the tools Comptroller DiNapoli includes.
The escalating cost of the State's lavish pension system is expected to result in much higher contribution rates to participating counties, town, villages and cities....That means higher property taxes... Look for it to happen over the next three to five years.
Thomas DiNapoli's website offers tips to pad pension Democrat and Chronicle

Significant Overtime for State Police Likely if State Wins Court Fight on Butt Taxes

A showdown is brewing as a spokesman for upstate Indians says they will "defend their territory" if the "aggressors" attempt to enforce the taxation of cigarettes on tribal lands.
JC Seneca told Liz he cannot control what happens and showdowns like those in the 1990s could occur again if the courts do not provide relief.
Meanwhile the collection of taxes are on hold due to a court order.
Of course non-Indian vendors are still dutifully collecting the state's tithe on cigarettes...

Pol Makes a Political Statement by Saying 'I Do' in the Nutmeg State

Here's some shameless exploitation of what should be a personal and joyous occasion....Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer put out a press release to announce his marriage to Elyse Buxbaum...He is holding the legal ceremony in New Haven CT, as a protest against the lack of a same sex marriage law in NYC.....The Stringers will hold a relgious ceremony in NYC this weekend.
How shallow is that ? When Stringer runs for mayor in three years, will gay and lesbian voters really flock his way because of this publicity stunt ?
If he thinks so, his opinion of those voters is low indeed. If Mr. Stringer really wanted to protest the law, he should have married a guy in Connecticut.
But where shall we send the sugar bowl, Scott?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Trying to Get Attention When the End Result is Known

The race for Governor continues to be the longest rope-a-dope in history as Andrew Cuomo labors to run out the clock on a race he is certain to win.....
While Carl Paladino provides an interesting foil to Mr. Cuomo, its clear when you add up the Democratic constituent groups, the unions, the folks attracted to his platform....There is no way that adds up to less than 58%....
Meanwhile the minor party candidates hoping to grab the 50,000 votes needed to establish a party, are busy trying to make an impact...As APP candidate Kristen Davis does in this campaign poster.

Just Because You Like Sarah Palin Doesn't Mean You Have an Amendment Hit List

I was reading a little Dan Francis commentary and he was carrying on about how people like me want to repeal the 14th and 17th Amendments.
The 14th is one of the three post Civil War amendments designed to prevent the inequities that led to the War...Then the 17th is the one that allows direct election of US Senators instead of the previous practice of Senators being chosen by state legislatures....
I don't want to get rid of those things...but the one that gives DC those three electoral votes...That one has to go. And I definately don't want to repeal the 21st Amendment.

Candidates Afraid to Stand Behind a Candidate for Governor...That's Too Bad

One of our commenters keeps ribbing Patty Ritchie on her lack of endorsement in the GOP gubernatorial primary....Now its her business what she does and there is no requirement to weigh in...But it would be interesting to know what Ritchie and Doheny and Hoffman think of their party's candidate for governor...
Carl Paladino and Rick Lazio offer far different views of government and different approaches to governing. Therefore knowing how these down ballot candidates stand would be insightful into their own line of thinking.
I know there is a reluctance to choose...You don't want to annoy the ultimate winner....That's why everybody is endorsing Cuomo since they are keeping score.
Still I would like to know what these candidates think...My guess is Ritchie and Doheny vote for Lazio.....Hoffman likely supports Paladino. But nobody will say for sure....
Time to man up and say who you support.

NPR: TEA Party Boss Says Doug Not Up to the Occasion

This is a kind of shocking article from NPR...The head of the TEA Party group backing Doug Hoffman, openly admitting their man was ill prepared to compete in last nights debate......The Matt Doheny camp is crowing about the statements and is busy distributing the link to this story...Normally I wouldn't bite on such a craven publicity gambit, but when his own people say he is not fit for Prime Time Bill Owens.....Well that is something to raise my eyebrows just a tad.
Last year and this year, the Hoffman campaign has minimized exposure of their candidate to the public....They have been selling a concept, not a person.....Problem is we elect a person.
If I were ambitious I'd drive to Saranac Lake next week to see the next debate...That's a long drive, especially since I can't vote in the primary.
Are Doug Hoffman's tea party backers flirting with Matt Doheny? « The In Box

Poll: Crazy Carl Surges...Has real Chance to Beat Lazio

GOP Gubernatorial designee and all-around dull guy Rick Lazio continues to slip in the polls and the latest from Quinnipiac is that Lazio has a shaky 12 point leader over Buffalo Wild Man Carl Paladino. Its shaky because many Lazio supporters are not firm in their support...
A pending advertising blitzkrieg by Paladino could erase the lead...At that point it comes down to turnout, with the Lazio camp hoping the natural population advantage of a downstate candidate will prevail over an expected Paladino surge in angry western New York.
I wonder about the effect of the Gubernatorial primary on the NY23 race. How is the turnout model skewed by the Paladino surge ? Are Paladino supporters more likely to vote Doheny or Hoffman for Congress ?
The two races could have an effect on one another.
Another part of the Q poll shows the five Democratic candidates for AG are not breaking through to voters. That likely means the liberal machine choice Eric Schneiderman wins.
Q Poll: Lazio’s ‘Shaky’ 12-Point Lead Over Paladino

WDT: Jabs But No Knock Outs at GOP Match

The race for the GOP nomination for Congress comes down to two key issues....Should Doug Hoffman have taken interest on monies loaned to his campaign ? And was Matt Doheny a jerk in the summer of 2004 when he was twice nabbed by the Coast Guard for yachting under the influence ?.....
Eyewitness accounts suggest those were the highlights of a debate last night in Plattsburgh as the two candidates met for the first of two such events prior to the September 14 primary.
My view is that the campaign finance issue has no traction. Being reimbursed for the expenses of a campaign is a prime reason you raise the money from donors. Travel expenses and office expenses are legitimate and no one says what Hoffman did was illegal.The interest on the loan is unusual, but money does have a time value, so you could argue its a good business practice.
As for the 2004 incidents on the St. Lawrence River. Nobody enjoys recounting their actions in these incidents and per the Coast Guard report, Mr. Doheny acted like he he was intoxicated...Not surprising under the circumstances...He has apologized over and over and said he was embarrased. You can either accept it or not....That's up to you.
Other than those kind of jabs, there was no perceived difference between the two last night, leaving it a matter of style. Who can send Rep. Bill Owens back to his Plattsburgh law practice ?....
I think that will depend less on the candidates and more on whether the national GOP surge as evidence by polls will swamp the one term Congressman.....
If its a sixty to eighty seat gain, I think Owens is done....If its a 30 seat gain, I think he stays.
Watertown Daily Times Republican candidates spend debate trading jabs

Candidates Take Jabs Hoping to Influence a Primary Electorate Already Decided

I don't know if there was a spin room after the Doheny-Hoffman debate in Plattsburgh...I followed it like an old time boxing match reading the dispatches from Jude....Or as they say today...the tick-tock of the match.
It looks like they had some prepared zingers. Doheny made sure he stuck in a shot about Hoffman profiteering from his campaign, while Hoffman was more than happy to discuss his opponents nautical skills.
Both sides expressed faux niceties, because as this campaign enters the final fortnight there is no love lost here.
I'll have to wait till the morning summaries from those who were there to find out the mood of the room or the responses from the crowd.
There was the usual debate about debates between the candidates....but as of now there is just one more session, next week in Saranac Lake.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fountain Comes to Life After Paint Job

It was a good feel in the air tonight as City Council and a couple dozen folks from the community gathered in Lachenauer Plaza on Court Street to redidcate the 40 + year old fountain following a paint job by local artist Jeff Rule.
The project by the local Arts Council solicited over a dozen designs for the fountain and City Council chose Mr. Rule's blue and green circles.
There was a ripple of excitement as the water was turned on.....
Finally, Watertown did something avante garde....

Partying Against Espada...They Used to Love Him

They used to love him....He was part of the team....A Latino of accomplishment who helped create the 32 member Democratic majority....Then he became an embarrassment and a talking point for a GOP trying to take back the Senate.....
Now the Dems and the WFP can't wait to throw him under whatever form of public transportation they can find....
Skillfully used, the Espada story and the reflection it casts on the party could be a factor in three or four Upstate seats including the one we live in.....
And if he wins the Dem primary in two weeks, it all continues...Thats why the stops are being pulled out to defeat him....Its not that they mind his company, but he is too toxic for the party in swing districts where his act is not as appreciated as it is in the Bronx.
Partying Against Espada

Paladino’s ‘Blitzkrieg’

Buffalo Wild Man Carl Paladino plans to launch his Panzer Divisions this week in a last minute Blitzkrieg designed to wrest the GOP gubernatorial nomination from party designee Rick Lazio.......
The outspoken Paladino continues to amaze a media used to political correctness and pols who wouldn't say sh-- if their mouth was full of it.
He is seen as too crude by the state's ruling class, but that won't stop Carl from spending his own millions to , as he says, "take down" this government.
Paladino’s ‘Blitzkrieg’

Hey Doug....Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting for an Apology

The two GOP Congressional hopefuls square off in a few hours in Plattsburgh, and reports say Doug Hoffman plans to demand an apology from his rival Matt Doheny....Its all over those new Doheny commercials charging Hoffman with profiteering off his campaign.......
Will there be a game changer tonight ? Doubtful...both sides will be cautious, trying to avoid a mistake.
GOP Hopefuls Face Off In Plattsburgh - News Story - WPTZ Plattsburgh

Campaign Reports Show the Usual...Lots of Outside Cash

That the incumbent Senator is raising more money than the challenger is no surprise.....Spend an evening at the Crown Plaza during peak fundraising season and see the many banquet rooms and the endless supplies of cocktails and hors de ouevres.
Eagle Beverage of Oswego gave Darrel Aubertine $1000....thats the firm we have to buy our Anheuser Busch products from under New York's monopolistic system of beer and liquor distribution.
A bunch of paving and asphalt companies from far away gave money to Patty Ritchie.....They don't know her, its just that those who like to give are given suggestions to whom.
The amounts raised are small in both cases compared to what may be spent if this race is considered marginal.
Let's hope so....I know my boss would like to sell lots of political ads this fall...
The Valley News Online

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Murkowski Exits Race....Palin Backed Candidate Wins Primary

A big win for the Mama Grizzly as her arch rival in AK concedes the GOP Senate primary in what was one of the major upsets of 2010...Fairbanks attorney Joe Miller is now the Republican nominee.
Mr. Miller is a combat veteran, West Point grad, Yale Law School and a former judge....but to the MSM he will be a "Teabagger".
Murkowski concedes GOP Senate race to Miller: 2010 Election

Palin to Make Iowa Appearance..Hmmmmm

Time for a toe in the water for Sarah Palin as she keynotes the Ronald Reagan Dinner this coming month in Iowa.....The Gipper grew up there and for Palin a chance to test her appeal in the state hosting the first caucus in 2012.
Sarah Palin confirms Iowa visit - Andy Barr -

Judge: Not So fast on Those Butt Taxes

The best laid plans of the Empire State to impose onerous taxes was delayed today when a federal judge blocked collection of taxes on cigarettes sold to non-Indians on Indian reservations....It's that pesky word "soveriegn" again...The state had booked $150million in anticipated taxes from the scheme...
Judge bars Indian cigarette tax enforcement - Capitol Confidential

Cynthia Nixon, ‘The Nation’ For Schneiderman

Sex in the City star Cynthia Nixon and the folks at the Nation magazine are all back Sen. Eric Schneiderman for the Democratic AG nomination...They say they its because of his committment to "transformational politics." Phrases like that make me not want to vote for someone.
Cynthia Nixon, ‘The Nation’ For Schneiderman

NY 23 Race Shifts to Debates and Stretch Run

Debate preparations are in the offing as the two GOP Congressional candidates ready to square off tomorrow in Plattsburgh....A later debate is slated for Saranac Lake.
The Matt Doheny campaign is still calling for at least one debate in the western end of the district....Like Watertown, since its the largest city in the 23rd.
There should be one...Not that these debates are all that illuminating, it is still part of the ritual of running for office.
With a more negative turn in the advertising, its clear both sides want to decrease turnout among those inclined to vote for their opponent.
Insiders say Hoffman's strength is in the eastern counties, especially Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton....Doheny figures to clean house in those areas covered by Watertown media which is very favorable to him.
Battleground areas include Oswego and Madison Counties.
Its two weeks till the primary and the action shifts to turnout models and GOTV efforts...
There are no undecided voters...If there are, they are not going to vote in the primary anyway.....
The race is a jump ball at this point....mostly because those of us in the Watertown political/media cabal don't really know what we are talking about half the time.

A Moment of Silence Please

Sometimes things happen that make you want to cry.....I was so bummed today.
While unpacking a case of 1.75 liter bottles of Jagermeister and putting them in the freezer, one bottle fell to the floor.....56 shots of my favorite liquor creeping across the floor....
I am sick.

Letter to Editor: Limit Tobacco Outlets

Terra...I am with you....Lobby for tobacco only to be sold in liquor stores...a decidely adult environment where no other merchandise is allowed to be sold.....Ironically, cigarettes cannot be sold in a liquor store currently.
Watertown Daily Times Limit tobacco outlets

Bloomberg's Indy Cash Still Missing (Well, we know where it is)

How come John Rice never had a Chairman's Account with a bunch of money in it for his personal use ? I guess that's because John was in politics more as a hobby/civic duty and not so much as a business or livelihood....
But before you get outraged over Mayor Bloomberg's former money, realize this is how politics is conducted in most of the state....And when you read the Mayor spent $109 million in personal funds on his reelection, its safe to assume there are lots of bags of cash squirreled away here and there.
If you are going to criminalize politics the way it has been done in the Blago case, there will never be enough of that yellow crime tape to wrap around the Capitol.
Bloomberg Cash Remains Missing -

WDT: State Lawmakers back Both Plans

The competing grant applications from the County and Mercy for state funds to build housing for the elderly got a down the middle approach from state lawmakers who endorsed both the applications.
That's a bitter pill for County lawmakers who have privately said Senator Aubertine will "walk their proposal" through the Department of Health review process.
For all the talk of "community based" plans, this is an ugly process that pits competing interests against one another...Including a touch of class warfare as its clear some want nothing to do with Medicaid patients cluttering up their facility.
Whatever is done should include redevelopment of the downtown Mercy site at some level. Facilities should be concentrated where related services are close by.
The recent discussions by the County aimed at closing Mercy, while ill advised, have at least brought the matter to a head. We will be following events in the coming weeks.
Watertown Daily Times Grant appeals receive support

Gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino: President Obama 'worships himself'

Seems to me this is the best observation yet on the President's spirituality.
I think its stupid to keep asking people if the President is a Muslim or a Christian. He doesn't go to church so we don't easily know, and frankly its none of our buisness.
Equally sad is that the White House feels obliged to insist on telling us about all the advice from preachers the President gets in private.
Gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino: President Obama 'worships himself'

NYP: Candidate Says Albany a"Crime Scene"

One of the five Democratic candidates for AG is calling Albany a "crime scene" because of the culture of corruption in the state capital...Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice says only she has the law enforcement skills to take on the Albany cesspool.
By depicting the Capitol wrapped in yellow crime scene tape in a recent direct mail piece, Ms. Rice ironically is blasting her own party which controls all branches of government in NY. Two of her primary opponents are long time state legislators, icluding Sen. Eric Schneiderman who has been endorsed by a long list of party leaders.
Its a tad slanderous to call people criminals and perhaps Ms. Rice owes voters some more specificity.
Who committed the "crimes" ? The Governor ? The Speaker ? The Senate Leadership ? Bureaucrats ?
Of the candidates for AG, only Ms. Rice and GOP candidate Dan Donovan come out of a prosecutorial background.
Democratic attorney general hopeful slams Albany as a "crime scene" -

Cancel the uprising - Paterson not expecting a violent reaction to cigarette tax collections

One day to go and the Governor is no longer talking in Custer-like terms about his September 1st imposition of the tax on cigarettes shipped to Indian reservations for resale.
That's a switch from a couple days ago when Governor Paterson said State Police had warned him blood would flow over the thorny issue of shaking down cigarette customers for $4.35 a pack both on and off the "res".
The Governor accused the Indians of destroying the Upstate economy as well.
For their part, the Indians have been more temperate in their rhetoric.
As some of our commentors have pointed out, tensions over this issue provide some opportunity for overtime by State Police who will be charged with enforcement of the tax edicts.....Let's just hope nobody uses the issue to produce violence.
Cancel the uprising - Paterson not expecting a violent reaction to cigarette tax collections

Monday, August 30, 2010

Primary Night Blues

To tell the truth I was kind of hoping to land the Doheny Primary Night Party....I know the reasons for choosing the Italian American Club......Politics,ethnicity, location, etc.
I realize an obscure Northside bar is not the best place for a prospective Congressman.....and some of those Republicans might be frightened to be on that side of town after dark.
Having lost the bid, I could try for the Hoffman party....I'd have to stock up on sarsaparilla and cookies instead of pizza and beer.

Out of My Rut, I Tried Something New Tonight

When my server tells me her name is "Asia" I know I am not in Pete's anymore...
On opening day I ventured into the Tilted Kilt...Watertown's newest restaurant....I was greeted by the owners, Doreen and Jody Garrett who were most hospitable....I looked around at an interior that is much larger than the building appears on the outside....There are televisions everywhere and a friendly motif.
I gravitated to the bar and ordered a Coors Light draft from Asia who kept calling me "Sweetie."
Service was good and the salad I ordered was promptly served.....Got a little Mayor business in as I met a big wig at Mercy who thanked me for the letter of support and filled me in on the goings on with these competing HEAL grants...I normally don't want that much detail when there are so many things to observe, but it was helpful in understanding a current issue facing us.
The servers were up to expectations and I found the experience worthy of a repeat.
Maybe I can take the Manhattan Madam to lunch there when she visits Watertown in about three weeks. That is if the Garretts don't mind.
When done I retreated to Petes to chat politics and have one of Cabrina's desserts.

WDT: Hoffman Claims Foul in Doheny Attack Ads

The Doug Hoffman campaign has assumed the victim position after rival Matt Doheny went negative with TV spots seen first by me Saturday on TV 3.
That's to be expected because doing so generates some press for Hoffman and he cannot afford much in the way of paid advertising.
The local MSM won't make much of the flap as don't like to give away publicity for free.
The charge made in the spot is that Hoffman has used his campaign for personal enrichment.
Watertown Daily Times Doheny is throwing mud in new ad, opponent says

WDT: Aubertine Challenges Some Ritchie petitions

While I don't care for these challenges and really think Senator Aubertine should have let it slide....The fact is, its the same tactic the GOP used in the McGrath race....Will the same operatives be on here deriding Ms. Ritchie for not playing by the rules ? Of course not...
This is all about winning...If the lawyers say they can get you across the line by denying voters the franchise thats what you do...Or is it ?
This is why I couldn't be an operative...Couldn't defend this stuff with a straight face.....
Now even if she stays on the Taxpayer line, it will rattle her campaign...divert her attention...suggest improprieties and force a decision on committing resources to a court fight....All the same things McGrath faced...
Watertown Daily Times Aubertine challenges some Ritchie petitions

Newzjunky: Huge Crowd Turns Out for the Sheriff

Its tough to get people to attend a campaign fundraiser, especially when its in those dog days of August....
In this year of alleged anti incumbency, Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns is proving a popular politician, attracting hundreds to his event Sunday at the Italian American Club on Bellew Avenue.
Mr. Burns is opposed by retired federal police officer Charles Ruggiero.
Sheriff Burns Supporters Turn Out for Fundraiser at IACA

'Retirement' sweet for 8 double-dippers in Congress who collect state pensions

The double dip is a specialty in NY....Being retired and collecting a pension while still working.
Even former NNY Congressman John McHugh gets a $30,000 a year pension from his days as a state senator. He is now Secretary of the Army.
Members of the State Legislature who move up to Congress are collecting retirement even though they are not retired.
Lots of lesser known state workers do the same.
Pension fund contributions are a looming problem in NY as escalating contribution rates for municipalities is driving up property taxes.
Now Legislators do work and deserve to participate like anyone...But the topper of all double dippers is when a 62 year old Assemblyman retires this fall after getting reelected and then starts his new term in January as a retiree AND an Assemblyman....Yes, that really happens.
'Retirement' sweet for 8 double-dippers in Congress who collect state pensions

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Outrage Grows Again at NYC Club Scene...But Where Are the Parents ?

Crank up the outrage....a 17 year old going on 30 died after falling 22 stories while attending a Manhattan party....She was also a frequent attendee at a trendy nightclub called Tenjune...and she was the daughter of a Brazilian diplomat.....
The girl had a history of hearty partying and one wonders what her parents were doing in the way of parenting.
This young lady is one of many in the NYC club scene...underage because the law defines them as such....but still dressed to the nines along the rope lines at the clubs that may look the other way in order to get the desirable clientele in their club...Or they may have been fooled by the sophisticated fake IDs available in the city that never sleeps.....
There will be probes launched and charges filed, but little will change...You can go after the licensed clubs, but there are plenty of unlicensed ones...Plenty of people more than happy to have your 17 year old going on 30 at their house party.
It might be good if parents kept their underage kids at home as a complement to licensees living up to the terms of their license.....
For all the programs, task forces and stings, the effort at prohibition for young adults has proved an elusive goal.
Just last night a house party full of drunk teens on my block surged outside to acost some pedestrians....
Scary things happen when there is no supervision. Society defined them as children, but doesn't require anyone to ride herd over them.
Underage drinkers still trying to slip into Tenjune, where teen Nicole John partied before death

Heresy Creeping into Voters as They Stray from the "Line"

With the race for Governor considered a foregone conclusion, lots of people I know are looking at minor party candidates for the state's highest office.
Whether its just to make a statement or to help in the formation of a new party dedicated to their favorite issues, the overwhelming favorite status of Andrew Cuomo is creating a gargantuan yawn among the political class.
One key Democrat tells me he/she is voting for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins because they find Cuomo too conservative and they like Hawkins on the issues...Another Democratic operative tells me he/she is looking at APP candidate Kristin Davis....By looking, I mean considering a vote for her.
I cannot reveal names as June would have to convene a Panel of Inquisition and prepare to unleash the Dogs of Blind Obedience.
There are Republicans who plan to vote the Taxpayer Party line no matter who is on it. I know a GOP lawmaker who can't wait to meet Kristin when she comes here in September.
Average folks just don't feel the love for elephants and donkeys anymore.

Newsday: Rice Ad Misleads

This is why you shouldn't believe anything on television.
Newsday reports that AG Hopeful Kathleen Rice claims in her latest ad that she decreased drug crime by 70%....She didn't tell you that was measured in a six block area in the Town of Hempstead....
Rice TV campaign ad raises questions

AP: "Predominately White"

In the lead paragraph to coverage of the Glenn Beck rally, the Associated Press felt the need to assert that the crowd was "predominately white."
What's that have to do with the event other than the race baiter Sharpton was up the street trying to stir that pot? (By the way, 13% of Americans are black, so isn't any cross section crowd going to be "predominately white ?")
Nation & World Conservatives Palin, Beck lead rally for nation's restoration Seattle Times Newspaper

MSM Falling Over Itself to Get on Andrew's Good Side

There has yet to be a primary or even a campaign and the New York Daily News is endorsing Andrew Cuomo for Governor...All on the premise that both Republican candidates have been so awful, there is no point is going through the exchange of ideas and agendas that is a campaign.
By most traditional standards, Andrew Cuomo's background, agenda and pedigree suggest he not only will win, but should win....BUT....
.....this is not a traditional year and media outlets should at least pretend they are interested in the campaign before they make endorsements.
Andrew Cuomo has yet to discuss his vision for NY in a competitive environment. I heard him speak once at a partisan rally in Watertown and thought his points were well taken....but I certainly want to hear more.
Let's not end the campaign in August.
Cuomo’s First Newspaper Endorsement: The DN

The Hooters Girl: Tilted Kilt Girl

While the MSM is talking about the shepard's pie and the copious selection of draft beers, the core marketing principle behind the Tilted Kilt is....OMG...female pulchritude !
Its routinely referred to as HOOTERS Scottish cousin, replacing the orange shorts with plaid and imposing a strict appearance criteria on its servers. They are recruited through casting calls and are said to be signed to modeling contracts.
The "Kilt" opens officially tomorrow and is owned by a couple of prominent local business scions who get a lot of credit for not hoarding their fortune and are instead investing it in our city.
So I Googled "Hooters,Tilted Kilt" and found there are many comparisons between the two chains...Seems the biggest difference is sophistication of menu and the addition of Celtic culture which allows the Puritans to believe their trip there is cultural and not an erotic experience.
That means its OK to hold a Chamber event there when the same event at a HOOTERS would be something to be met with dropped jaw.
Its good to know there are people who understand the fundamental appeal of cold beer, curly fries and pretty girls.
The Hooters Girl: Tilted Kilt Girl

Gloves Are Off in Race for NY 23....Doheny Goes Negative on Hoffman

Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny has gone negative against primary opponent Doug Hoffman. The gloves came off in a television ad I saw tonight on channel 3 in Syracuse...The spot ran in the break before Saturday Night Live.
In the commercial, Hoffman is depicted in a creepy way with a grainy facial close-up looped to play in slow motion. The copy recites a previous charge that Hoffman has profited from his campaign funds which the Doheny spot says come from special interests.
In particular the spot cites reimbursements for travel expenses charged to the campaign and interest paid to Hoffman on funds lent to the campaign.
The sharp turn to the negative comes in a week when Doheny aides were demanding more debates with their opponent.
Conventional wisdom is you don't go negative unless the need is there and this race may be seen as close or with Hoffman having an edge.
Previous Doheny commercials including one with his mom had been decidely upbeat with no mention of Mr. Hoffman.