Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Night Notes

-Tuesday night primary parties will be at the Italian American Club in Watertown for Matt Doheny and Saranac Lake for Doug Hoffman.
-State Troopers are doing campaign calling for Doug Hoffman, according to a source. Mr. Hoffman's son is a member of State Police.
-Don't look for Patty Ritchie to make the first attack move in the SD48 race. She is said to be pleased with her low key, one on one campaigning and feels it is effective and consistant with who she is.
-But if Pedro Espada wins his Senate primary in the Bronx, look for the GOP to go on the offensive quickly against the Senate leadership. After all every Senator in the caucus voted to make Sen. Espada the majority leader.....The Democratic Party has gone all out in support of Espada's challenger. That's one of those districts where the Democratic primary is the election.
-AG Hopeful Sean Coffey who is popular among NNY Democrats is downplaying a Siena poll placing him in third place.....Certainly supporters of Eric Dinallo and Richard Brodsky should consider picking one of the top three who can win. Its looking more and more like Eric Schneiderman will win despite polling but 4% upstate.
-Look for an endorsement Sunday in the WDT for Matt Doheny as the paper absolutely cannot stand Doug Hoffman.
-An aide to Hoffman today told me he checks this blog at least a dozen times a day....True or not, I like the flattery.
-Former City Cop Ron Cole just came into Petes and saw me typing....Says he is an avid reader.

Siena: Its a Race ! Paladino Pulls Even With Lazio

For NNY Republicans there is more reason to vote than just the Congressional primary....Siena College has a poll showing Rick Lazio and Carl Paladino essentially tied at 43-42.....The surge for Paladino.....if it continues....could propel him to victory....
The race is tugging at GOP members and the high profile party members up here have been reluctant to take sides...Coon says he will support the designee, but his affirmation is less than convincing...Doheny won't say, but I get the feeling he is Lazio, same for Patty Plate who pooh-poohed her Taxpayer party link to Paladino when I ask her yesterday.....My guess is Hoffman would like a Paladino.
If I had to guess with Forsythe, I would say Paladino because they are both mad as Hell.....As for Blankenbush...he strikes me as a Lazio type....I am just guessing, as the bar for accuracy is not as high for a blog as it is for the MSM.
In any event, the gubernatorial race is a close one and Republicans should get out and vote Tuesday.
Siena: AG, GOP Gov Primaries Too Close To Call

Five Way Becoming a Two Way for Democrats...

Looks like the race for the Democratic AG nod is between Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Nassau DA Kathleen Rice...A Siena poll has the two bunched at 25% and 23% with Sean Coffey at 13%....The other two candidates are way behind.
If you look in the cross tabs, Schneiderman is the clear leader in the City and the heavy turnout of two Congressional primaries in Manhattan will help him. Ms. Rice leads in the suburbs....
The most telling is the 4% Schneiderman draws upstate....the worst of the five....
This shows the discrimination of the shorter voting hours upstate and that's just fine for Schneiderman who led the charge to count upstate inmates in the NYC neighborhoods where they committed their crimes.
Coffey, Brodsky and Dinallo voters will have to ponder whether to support Rice or go with the wildly liberal Senator from the Upper East Side.
The WDT today editorialized in favor of Coffey and many local Dems back him including Sean Hennessey, the Jefferson County Chair.

Beats Me What Will Happen on Tuesday

With a frenzied pace of travel, an air war blanketing NNY televisions and all of the media and establishment of his party behind him...Matt Doheny has a lot going for him heading into Tuesday's primary against CPA Doug Hoffman, who is following up on last year's close runner up race that resulted in the election of Rep. Bill Owens.
Yet in an unguarded moment, Doheny insiders say it will be close but they think they will squeak out a win. Doug Hoffman touts his own poll showing him 32 points ahead.
In the absence of other polling, there is the possibility Hoffman is right...We just don't know.
Doheny has come a long way this year...He had zero name recognition and no political network of friends and supporters...He has worked hard to build such a network and with his cash advantage has been able to buy name recognition.
Doug Hoffman had recognition from his nationally publicized third party bid last year that netted 46% of the vote. He entered 2010 as the default choice for the GOP.
Hoffman will depend on Tea Party activists and right to lifers for his core, but he needs more than that....The rank and file Republicans....the shopkeepers, the doctors, the managers, the farmers, the seniors.....all of what makes up Republicanism...They need to break heavily for Doheny for him to win.
Doheny has come a long way in building support from where he started....But I don't think anyone who is following this race has a real idea what will happen when some 20,000 GOP voters cast ballots in their primary.
Doheny could win by ten or 15 and it wouldn't surprise me....He could lose by that and it wouldn't surprise me either...
As the risk of never being invited on to be a talking head again...I honestly don't know what will happen.

McGrath Roasts a Pig...DeDe Roasts the GOP

This development is about as surprising as learning the Sun rises in the east, but its still worth noting....Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava (R-122nd) is supporting Democrat Brian McGrath.
Ms. Scozzafava attended McGrath's pig roast fundraiser in Lowville in what is as clear an endorsement as you can get....
For older Republicans, this scene must be unsettling...This never would have happened when my uncle Ed was county GOP chair.
The commercials with the North Country Republican team sitting around the kitchen table nodding in approval at each other are gone.
Ms. Scozzafava became estranged from the GOP last year when she ran for Congress and was embarrassed when most of the party regulars stampeded to the candidacy of an obscure Lake Placid accountant.
On the Saturday before the election in a meeting at Jumbo's Diner with June O'Neill and Rep. Steve Israel, Scozzafave walked out on the GOP, endorsed Bill Owens and became a defacto Democrat. Her backing of McGrath is a way to remind NNY Republicans of her scorn.
As for McGrath, his event appeared to be a lot of fun, except for the pig.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Patty Plate Surfaces at the Bravo Fest !

There I was greeting folks at the Bravo Italiano Fest at the Arena and who pops into view but Patty Ritchie....The campaign has treated her well....She is tan and like Senator Gillibrand has used politics as a means to fitness and health.
Patty is getting a raw deal from the Democratic equivalent of the Blankenbush ballot denial team of lawyers. Her independent line petition was challenged and she was sued...So even with a favorable Board of Elections ruling she still has to buy a little justice by kicking around State Supreme Court. Just as with the McGrath deal, if she draws a Democratic trial judge, it will take more money to buy a little justice at the appellate division.
I like Darrel Aubertine, but I hate this crap even though I know full well its how the game is played.
Well, Patty, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger (Nietzsche).
Anyway, it was good to see Patty Plate. She is an affable candidate and a hard worker.
She needs to resume calling the HOTLINE.

AG Candidates All Pledge Allegiance to......

What is it with this crazy pledge of loyalty Andrew Cuomo is insisting people sign ? Now the presumptive governor says all the "leading" AG candidates have signed now that Eric Schneiderman has inked (or is it blood) the pledge.
Even the WFP is being asked to sign a pledge not to be Marxist when people are looking.
You get the feeling if you don't sign, your state aid will be cut....
I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of New York....Isn't that enough ?
over the last several weeks

Fulani Hearts Espada

Independence Party founder but now outcast Lenora Fulani has broken with just about everyone and endorsed controversial Senator Pedro Espada in the Democratic Primary next week.
Dr. Fulani says Espada is an independent fighter and that is why the political elite and establishment don't like him.
Of course being the only one to embrace Espada is a guarantee of a headline too.
I got to know Fulani and her crew pretty well during the overthrow of former Indy Chair Jack Essenberg in 1999 and my own Senate run in 2000.
I got along with them all and don't have any hard feelings although everyone else feels obliged to diss her......
She did introduce me to Al Sharpton so now everytime I see the Reverand I can reminisce about what a pompous and arrogant charlatan he is.....
But as for Lenora...Today's endorsement is another episode of that old show "My Favorite Marxist."
The Daily Politics

WDT: Casting the Elderly to the Wind...Dispersal Plan Aired for Mercy

I will just put this story up for comment.....
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Memo: Insider View is Dem Primary is Between Rice and Schneiderman

If the Democratic race is indeed down to Eric Schneiderman and Kathleen Rice, and you like to vote for a winner.....Well, I think I would take Rice among those choices....
Schneiderman is a liberal activist and the preferred candidate of every left wing special interest you can find. Ms. Rice has had a bumpy week but has had a varied legal background including that of DA. Neither dominated the YNN debate.
Of the two, and if I were Ted Ford and able to vote in that primary on Tuesday, I would lean towards Ms. Rice.....I just hope she remembers to vote on Tuesday.
campaign manager sent a memo around declaring that the support had narrowed the race down to him and Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice

Negative Ads To Dominate Airwaves as Primary Campaign Ends With a Wimper

I watched the latest incarnation of the Doheny attack ads against Doug Hoffman...The slo-mo grainy video made my skin crawl and I ran to the bathroom to take a shower...It was so unsettling....Well, that's the intended response.
It may indeed drive down turnout among Hoffman leaners....or it may have the opposite effect in a year when voters are jaded and skeptical......Same is true of the Hoffman ads against Doheny...So much for not mentioning your opponent.
But that's how the campaign ends...On as negative note.

Cap Con: Beer in the Face Began 40 Year Paladino Marriage

Apparently Carl Paladino has always been outspoken.....Even forty years ago when he first met his wife Kathy and after some offensive remarks she threw a beer in his face....That flap passed and the pair have been married ever since.
Paladino is running for Governor in a race punctuated by spicy comments from the Buffalo businessman.
He faces fellow Republican Rick Lazio in a primary on Tuesday.
How Carl met Kathy - Capitol Confidential

WDT: Partridge Berry Reopens and Other News on a Friday

Watertown's dining experience got a little better yet with the opening of the new Partridge Berry Inn on Route 3 east of the city. New owners and a total makeover of the forty year old facility is getting rave reviews so far and with other new restaurants ensures quite a selection of local eateries.
I stopped over at the open house at the new Comfort Inn (formerly Days Inn) and was impressed at the complete makeover. Along with three other hotels planned for the west side of town, the need for rooms is being met. Watertown has developed a shortage of rooms in recent years, with much of it related to activities at Fort Drum.
There continues to be brisk economic activity in many areas, despite recent setbacks with a couple of plant closures and the rocky situation at Mercy Healthcare.
Speaking of Mercy, I am up early to head over to TV 7 for an interview with Jeff about that situation.
Oh and don't forget the Octoberfest in September in downtown Watertown on Saturday....lots of activities including an antique car show.
Watertown Daily Times Owners, chef serve up vision

Thursday, September 9, 2010

With Four Days Left Palin Has Steered Clear of NY23

As we head into the final weekend before the last of the nation's primaries, Sarah Palin has yet to weigh in on the NY23 primary between Matt Doheny and Doug Hoffman.
Today, she took sides in Delaware, backing Christine O'Donnell against establishment Republican candidate Michael Castle in the Senate primary. Ms. O'Donnell is down by six or seven points in a race that most observers felt Castle was a shoo in for the nomination and the seat.
As for NY23.....Last year Palin backed Hoffman but this year, the Doheny campaign has lobbied hard to keep her on the sidelines....Palin would have given Hoffman a fundraising bump and would have energized values voters and Tea party activists.
Palin has backed rebel candidates this year but also has gone with some more traditional choices like Carly Fiorina in CA.
It seems its almost too late for a Palin move in the 23rd....

‘Protest candidate’ Davis steps off - Capitol Confidential

Is it right to run without the intention of winning ? Anti Prohibition Party candidate for Governor Kristen Davis says that's her goal...To get the 50,000 votes needed to establish her party on the NY ballot.
She knows, as do all of us, that Andrew Cuomo will win by a large margin. So, Davis is trying to advance her issues and her agenda with an eye towards influencing public policy in the future...
That's the traditional role of third parties in American politics. Getting voters to help her out won't be easy. Most people fancy themselves voting for a winner, not someone with another goal in mind.
Davis was in Albany Tuesday and appeared on Capital Tonight.
‘Protest candidate’ Davis steps off - Capitol Confidential

Manhattan Madam Endorses ‘Courageous’ Rice

A commenter says I don't like Kathleen Rice because she doesn't say "ubetcha." Well in fairness to the Nassau County DA, Ms. Rice did receive the endorsement today from APP candidate for Governor Kristin Davis....In an interview with Liz, Davis enthusiastically endorsed the sole woman in the five way Democratic AG primary.
I'll have to watch Capital Tonight to see the basis for the endorsement.
Manhattan Madam Endorses ‘Courageous’ Rice

WDT: Patty's On (We think) and Mrs. D. to Get Porch Painted

-Patty Plate appears to have a green light to get her name on the ballot under the Taxpayer Party moniker alongside Carl Paladino who is running on that line for Governor. A review of her nominating petitions puts her over the top....Senator Darrel Aubertine had challenged the petitions but came up short.....Ritchie had sought the independent line after Aubertine got the Independence Party designation.
I don't know if there is concurrent litigation on the matter. If not the matter is resolved in her favor.....

-Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny says he will get his Mom's porch steps painted before winter. Two Hotline callers had criticised Doheny after seeing the peeling paint on the now famous commercial featuring Mrs. Doheny.

-Doug Hoffman supporters are doing a good job at writing letters to the editor and calling talk shows on behalf of their candidate.
Watertown Daily Times Ritchie's independent petition appears valid

Rice: Disillusionment Caused Failure To Vote

OMG...This woman is something else...the other night AG hopeful Kathleen Rice explained her failure to vote in several elections as a mistake she apologized for...That was OK with me...Now she goes on with Liz and carries on that her failure to vote into her 30s was because she was so disillusioned about life and its inequities.....Bad civics and she is a whiner...Just like everybody else who is a victim and not a perpetrator...
Maybe it was the cocaine she has admitted to using....Goodness, she didn't even vote in the 2000 Gore/Bush race.
And she constantly tells us she is "fighting" for victims..."fighting" for women..."fighting" for children.....She's been in more fights than George Foreman.
Senator Schumer passed her over for a recommendation to a US Attorney slot because she was deemed too politically ambitious....Just what we need in the intimidating job as AG...Somebody Chuck Schumer finds too political.
Democrats should pick one of the other four to represent their party.
Rice: Disillusionment Caused Failure To Vote

No More Bullying in Our Schools Due to New Law

New York has another new law to mitigate something bad that might happen....Its called bullying...Remember bullies from school and on the playground.
Now NY has a new law that requires taunting based on race, weight, sexual orientation, or who knows what to be reported to the State Education Department.
Schools have to have at least one staff member trained in anti-bullying techniques and make sure the paperwork is filed.....
Our very sensitive Legislature has done it again....Common sense is supplanted by legislative fiat.
I remember making fun of somebody in fourth grade. I was a jerk and a teacher got in my face over it and I never did it again. What's wrong with that approach ?

Koch Assails Silver as Public Enemy Number One on Reform Issue

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has always been a focus of scorn for NNY pols and he may be again as former NYC Mayor Ed Koch is confronting the Speaker over his reform pledge....Senate conference leader John Sampson has signed Koch' pledge for disclosure of legislator outside income and establishment of an independent redistricting commission.
With Mayor Koch brandishing the label "public enemy number one" at Silver, it shouldn't be hard for local GOP Assembly candidates to have something to latch onto in the contested races in the 118th and 122nd AD's.
"New York Uprising"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WFP Grumbles But Will Bend to Andrews Will

Andrew Cuomo is going to win....He doesn't need the Working Families Party....but the WFP needs him...They need him to take their nomination so they can get enough votes to maintain ballot status for four more years.
The labor based WFP is the me-too party for Democratic candidates and a way for labor to keep a short leash on Democratic lawmakers. In July, the WFP nominated "placeholder" candidates who will vacate the line next week to take a judicial nomination...Its the loophole the minor parties use to not get caught on the wrong side of history and a way to trade judgeships in exchange for their line....Crooked as Hell, but part of the system.
Andrew Cuomo says now he will take the WFP line...but only if the party bends its platform to conform to his...That includes things like a property tax cap that the unions abhor.
Let's cut to the chase....This party and the unions will say and do anything to be on the good side of Andrew Cuomo....They know he keeps score and they want to be close to power. A few hardcores may object but there is too much money and patronage on the line to let the WFP go dark by running unknown candidates.....The party will also arrange for the winner of the AG primary to go on their line.
If the WFP folds, the Indy party would become the defacto "me too" party for Democrats, but its not as good a fit as its members are docile but not as far left as the WFP.....
Internal debate in WFP on Cuomo’s ultimatum - Capitol Confidential

Madam Goes Mainstream

UPDATE-Kristen Davis will be on Fred Dicker's radio show today (Thursday) at 10:30 and will be on Capital Tonight at 8PM on Channel 10 (YNN)
Independent gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis has chatted with TV 7's Jeff Cole and is going to appear on the Noon News on September 22, when she makes a campaign visit to the city.
Davis is known as the Manhattan Madam due to her brief tenure as a procurer of pulchritude for the rich and famous, reportedly including former Governor Eliot Spitzer and Yankee 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez.
Ms. Davis is visiting Watertown as part of her bid to win ballot status for the Anti Prohibition Party. Unlike other candidates for Governor, Ms. Davis is honest in saying Andrew Cuomo will win and her goal is to get 50,000 votes which will ensure her party a spot on the ballot for four years.
Ms Davis also hopes to visit the Watertown Daily Times editorial board and will appear on the Live at 5 program on WATN-AM1240, as well as she hopes to be interviewed by

Northland Electric To Close

A sad economic note as the Northland Electric plant on Bradley Street is closing December 8th, leaving some sixty people jobless. The company sent out a notice today.
The company opened in 1959 as American Process and was later acquired by Scott-Fetzer and after that by Berkshire Hathaway.
In the late 70s the plant peaked at 552 workers producing motors for Shop-Vac among other products. Much of the operation was moved to Mexico and this announcement will send jobs to Tennessee.

Patty Rips Foe as an Albany Clown...Stops Short of Calling Him a Bozo

Calling her a "common sense reformer" the latest direct mail piece in support of Patty Ritchie for Senate obliquely references her opponent as a clown.
At least one assumes the mailer suggests Darrel Aubertine is one of the Albany clowns spending money on balloon festivals, male glee clubs, a Big Apple Circus and a cheese museum.
The mailer says Ritchie will provide "serious leadership", cut pork and lower taxes....She made no claims on eliminating the annual shad fly blight in Ogdensburg.
Her phone number is on the mailer, so we will post it here...Call Patty at 315-608-8335...That's not her personal I don't know who will answer.

WWNY: Nothing New in Latest and Last Debate

Thank God we didn't have eleven of these debates because they have a Groundhog Day quality to them....As John Friot says...'second verse, same as the first..."
Video: Hoffman, Doheny Debate, Round 2 WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News
PS. Those ads must work mailman told me he doesn't like Hoffman and ask me if all politicians line their pockets that way.....

On Voter Empowerment, Candidate Coffey Gets the Gold Star

Attorney General candidate Brodsky is concerned the new voting machines will lead to confusion and disenfranchisement. He may be right as there will be perplexed voters....But Mr. Brodsky disappoints with last night's support of the state's clearest example of disenfranchisement....That is the different primary voting hours upstate and downstate.....Upstaters vote from noon to nine, on the premise an agrarian population can get it done in fewer hours and save some money to boot.....
Rival AG candidate Sean Coffey rightly makes an issue of this. Upstate is largely urbanized and voters should have the full day as their downstate counterparts....In essence this skews voting influence downstate. Spare me the talk of saving the taxpayers money....Skimping on free and fair elections is no economy...
Speaking of anti-upstate bias....AG candidate Eric Schneiderman was crowing last night how he passed the law that requires prison inmates be counted not where they live on April 1, but be counted in the county where they committed their crimes.... Mr. Schneiderman says he empowered the communities that produce criminals by giving them the body count to increase representation.
Brodsky Voices Concern About New Voting System in New York -

WDT: McGrath Campaign Chugs Along

We haven't given the hordes who like to comment on the 122nd a chance to vent lately, so let's take note of Brian McGrath's announcement of three campaign HQs. He is even holding a pig roast...
Opponent Ken Blankenbush, for better or worse, is staying in the news due to his duties as Jefferson County Legislature Chairman....A contentious fight over a phone system was resolved last night with a decision to purchase the million dollar squawk boxes....Chairman Blankenbush has also been front and center on the Mercy issue as the County has advanced the plan that will replace the health care facility.
Being in office in an anti-incumbent year can be a hinderance to running while Mr. McGrath can run without being dogged by a record.
Watertown Daily Times McGrath opening three HQs

WDT: Paladino Came to See Us

GOP Gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino was in Watertown yesterday for an editorial board meeting at the WDT,but I didn't hear of any other appearances or rallies.
He proposed sweeping cuts to the state workforce including the elimination of the APA and NYPA. These agencies are big NNY boondoggles and cutting them surely didn't make the Buffalo Wild Man popular on the second floor at 260 Washington Street. Like most newspapers, the Times will surely endorse Andrew Cuomo in the fall.
The only thing Paladino could have done to spark more rage would have been to propose eliminating Times favorite, the Development Authority of the North Country.
Like many rural areas, the North Country has historically depended on government spending and certainly the Army at Fort Drum leads the way. Walking into the E Board meeting and calling for cutting some NNY sacred cows is a brash move.
Watertown Daily Times Paladino vows to slash state spending

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

City Council Highlights

City Council approved by a three to two vote a $38,000 study of geo thermal heating and air conditioning at city buildings...Councilwoman Macaluso and I voted no.
A discussion of a noise law revealed some common ground and some concerns over the enforceability of such an ordinance.
A zoning change on Burdick street was approved and the production of beer in a light industrial zone was OK'd.....But it has to be light beer.
The Council also discussed Mercy Healthcare and reaffirmed support for the Stone Street complex staying viable.
Lawmakers also heard a proposal for the County to take over dog licensing now that the state is out of it and there is some money on the table...City Clerk Dutton already has all our dog records on computer and city tags ordered. She and her staff can do the jobs and we'll keep the fees in our community.
And lawmakers heard about a strong July in sales tax revenues, although more than one month is needed to draw long term conclusions.
Finally, the Council moved ahead with an eminent domain action to acquire land for a sewer to serve businesses on the city's far west side.

WDT:Lot of Cash in County Coffers

With a $30 million fund balance its no secret the County could buy its way into a nursing home construction scheme that will allow for the long sought closure of the county home known as Whispering Pines. Except we thought that the County's desire to get out of the Pines meant they didn't want to be involved in a business often provided by others, namely nursing homes.
Now its county legislators who serve as president of the Community Assisted Living Corporation, which has long sought to find other people's cash to finance their plans for assisted living quarters.
Are legislators acting as legislators or as officers of a private corporation when they serve these dual roles that co-mingle public funds ?
And if a public purpose is to be realized, why the chomping at the bit to witness the demise of Mercy Healthcare that will decimate a good portion of downtown only a block from where the Legislature holds court ?
This piece by Times scribe Perry White explores the fund balance issue, but I added its clear correlation to the nursing home issue.
What I am saying is not the proscribed "Community" narrative, but I will say what others won't.....Whatever happens in the way of long term care should be played out on the Mercy campus, with phased construction and demolition complementing each other.....
That will likely involve an operator different than the current one, but the fact is Mercy's recent grant application has merit, even though recent events have ensured selection of the County's nursing home plan....Oh wait....didn't they want out of the adult care business ?
Watertown Daily Times Drowning in slush

Lazio: We'll All Kiss and Make Up

Rick Lazio may be predicting post-primary unity, but I don't buy it....Paladino backers and the candidate himself are unlikely to rally behind Lazio, whom they consider a RINO too similar to Andrew Cuomo.....Paladino will remain in the race on the Taxpayers Party and an effort will be afoot to start a successor to the Conservative Party by getting 50,000 votes.
If Paladino wins, Lazio will at best provide perfunctory support.
State of Politics Blog

Hoffman: Doheny Is Desperate...Doheny: Hoffman's a Spoiler

Doheny says Hoffman is a spoiler....Hoffman says Doheny is desperate...and Rep. Bill Owens is raising more money than both of them combined.....
The bitter GOP race for Congress in NY 23 is for Matt Doheny now hinging on the angst he hopes true Republicans have over the possibility of a third party run by Doug Hoffman on the Conservative line....
But Hoffman says there is no evidence that Doheny can even win the September 14 Republican primary and besides, Doheny has not directly repudiated his own second line on the ballot, the Independence Party.
The final days will bring into focus a months long simmering rivalry that has been confined to a few activists and a few bloggers......Now its getting to crunch time and with little difference on issues, the case is all about process and who is the purest conservative.
Next Tuesday's GOP primary will resemble one of those Civil War battlefields with slaughter everywhere and victory a mere claim.
Hoffman: Doheny Is Desperate

TU: Vote for Lazio (Not Really)

Another newspaper that plans to endorse Andrew Cuomo this fall, has endorsed Rick Lazio in the GOP primary because it says if Carl Paladino wins the Republican nod, it will be an embarrass the state....The Albany Times Union issued a tepid endorsement of Lazio,knowing fully their real preference is Mr. Cuomo.
If Carl Paladino wins the primary and somehow wins the general, thats the will of the people expressed through a free and fair election....Its not an embarrassment.....Now that is unlikely to happen and Andrew Cuomo on balance has more of the skills needed to actually get some things done....
These liberal papers need to quit worrying about who will oppose their preferred candidate.
State of Politics Blog

Mercy Staffers Distraught, Angered and Frustrated Over What They See As a Lack of Candor

I had a call from a Mercy staffer to let me know about an informational picket Tuesday to tell the public their story of providing care to nearly 200 nursing home patients and how their lives have been upended when they learned last Thursday via Newzjunky that their lives and livelihoods may in a matter of days be radically changed.
The caller and two other Mercy workers came over to see me late Monday evening and we talked for an hour or so about the current situation and how they got there and what's next...Frankly I don't know what is next.
What struck me is how little they have been told by their employer, their union or the state government that is precipitating a possible quick ending to Mercy's nursing home. Chronic fiscal problems have prompted the state to demand a closure plan, but these workers tell me they feel the move was in part an effort to halt Mercy's efforts to apply for state funds to reorganize the complex.
One of the three scoffed at news accounts saying the state was there to help, as they see it otherwise....They ask me if they should be looking for a new job.
I gave them some advice on telling their story and the names of their elected officials at the state and county level, since those are the ones in on the discussions on Mercy's fate.
They told me a lot of what has gone on from their perspective and I told them I would stop by their picket line which they say will run from 7am to 6pm...Its not a work stoppage but merely a chance to tell their story and I am sure they would appreciate folks stopping by on Stone Street.

Monday, September 6, 2010

West End Eminent Domain Should Allow Further Commercial Development in the City

It's not something used often here in Watertown and it's abuse in some communities has led to controversy.....But City Council will Monday consider a resolution to begin eminent domain proceedings to acquire a private sewer line and adjacent land for the purpose of accessing the line.
The line is owned by the current owners of Stateway Plaza who have not responded to city offers to purchase, and the proceedings were not initiated lightly.
The reason for the eminent domain proceedings is to allow infrastructure to be delivered to lands just east of I-81 that are being developed.....This area of the city has had infrastructure deficiencies as it originally was not a primary commercial area.
The ability to get the sewage from these properties to the pump station on Gaffney Drive is in the public interest.
The property in question is at the far rear of the Stateway property and the owners will be compensated if Council approves the move.
The development of the City's west end is important and the pending construction of three hotels should aid the tax base. Making sure all property owners have access to utilities is important.
The City has also obtained roughly $200K in grants to aid in the project which includes a new pump station.

Senator: "Bums" Code for Blacks

A Democratic State Senator has said this year's "throw the bum's out" mantra is code for throwing the blacks out of power....Sen. Eric Adams made the remark at West Indian Day festivities...The pushing aside of Governor Paterson by the party this year and the exclusion of blacks from the statewide ticket has already prompted formation of the Freedom Party which wants to win ballot status so it can support candidates of color.
Of course, Senator John Sampson is in charge of the Senate Majority and is well respected in Albany.....So its not the purge Senator Adams envisions.....Maybe if his party was not giving the title of Senate Majority Leader to the likes of Pedro Espada, then Senator Sampson could have the title he does the work for......
West Indian Day Parade

Obama Calls for $50 Billion Public Works Plan -

More spending on infrastructure....What happened to all those shovel-ready plans from last year's exercise in spending money we don't have ?
We will send in the applications again because as the saying goes..."if we don't get it someone else will."
$50 Billion isn't really a lot of money if its supposed to keep us all enamored with the federal government....We want something for nothing and we want it now !
Obama Calls for $50 Billion Public Works Plan -

Filling the Void is an Important Part of the News Business

I held up my part of the symbiotic relationship I have with TV 7 on Sundays and holidays...They call me when they are setting up the days news and want to interview me on something in the agenda. Today's topic was Joe Butler's proposed noise ordinance which is still in the discussion stage...
I said I really had nothing to add to the debate, but the reporter insisted my presence on their airwaves was both essential and utilitarian as it filled time in the news hole....."Filling the void" we used to call it. One day at TV 50 we did a whole newscast with previously done interviews and file video...Never left the building...Now that's a good day's work. (John Moore was in on that one)
Getting back on point, I tried my best to discuss the issues of enforceability and constitutionality in 15 seconds or less.
While setting up I was buttoning my collar flaps so holiday casual wouldn't be too much so. Then the reporter from WWNY said "Don't worry, I'm no Liz Benjamin."

Like if I had been interviewed on cable I would have gone home to get a tie....

Cuomo To Labor: Happy Labor Day! (Enjoy It While You Can)

Andrew Cuomo is chiding the unions in public by suggesting sacrifice to right the state's fiscal ship.....And he will push back against them more than past governors, but there is still a lot of wink-wink in all of this as the unions are solidly behind Mr. Cuomo and expect favorable treatment in return....
Its all a matter of degree since Cuomo will have to feel he is extracting some kind of sacrifice, but if past is prologue, very little will change in the foreseeable future.
Cuomo To Labor: Happy Labor Day! (Enjoy It While You Can)

One Person’s Spoiler Is Another’s ‘Principled’ Candidate

With confidence brimming the Doheny for Congress camp thinks they will win the September 14 primary what with all their endorsements and media support and money. They have trouble however understanding the mindset that foe Doug Hoffman or his core supporters won't just come around and back Doheny in the general just because he is the Republican nominee....
The Doheny people truly believe Doug Hoffman is a "spoiler" because Team Doheny think of the race and the World as two camps divided by an aisle...Certainly that is how the Congress is set up.....
Social conservatives and some Tea Party activists who see Hoffman as the embodiment of their values and beliefs are tired of settling for what the GOP offers. They showed that last year when they deserted Diedre Scozzafava in droves and the Hoffman campaign is trying to portray Mr. Doheny as the Second Coming of Dede. Its a bit of stretch since the one debate shows the two just about identical on the issues.
Doug Hoffman will make it an active three way race regardless of what happens on September 14, and significant numbers of supporters will go with him as they see it as a matter of principle. If that number swells into the teens, then Doheny is not electable.
When you are a party leader or operative, you just see that party as the sole means to an end....Fewer people feel that way and could stray from the reservation regardless of all the talk of a unified Republican effort.
If he wins, Doheny has to win over the true believers who think they have been scammed by faux conservatives like those in charge in the last GOP Congress. They are a jaded and skeptical group and with good reason.
One Person’s Spoiler Is Another’s ‘Principled’ Candidate

NY Primary Not Expected to Reveal Too Many Fault Lines in the Electorate

With the primary only eight days away, there are only limited ways New Yorkers will be able to express all this rage we hear about...But how much rage is there ? Nearly 10 percent of people are out of work...but 90% are working, many of them in safe government jobs.
Despite systemic problems with government, we have seen how quickly attention has shifted to a peripheral issue like the Mosque at Ground Zero.
Democrats have one statewide US Senate primary with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand taking on NYC attorney Gail Goode. Goode is relying solely on securing minority voters downstate as she has garnered no attention elsewhere.
The Democratic AG race is interesting because there are five candidates, but Senator Eric Schneiderman looks the favorite, expecially with two hot Congressional primaries in Manhattan that will juice turnout in his back yard. The Rangel race is more about corruption than outrage, and the Maloney race is generational with a younger upstart running.
The Pedro Espada State Senate primary is an interesting show of whether the Democratic Party can police up its image problems with corruption. If Espada wins, add an issue for GOP Senate candidates everywhere.
A measure of anti-incumbency may be in the Buffalo Senate seat of Bill Stachowski, and there are some GOP House and Senate seat primaries as well.
The only real barometer of popular rage is the man who has made it his mantra.....Carl Paladino has a shot at defeating Rick Lazio for the gubernatorial nod in the GOP, but with Andrew Cuomo a near certain winner, there is limited interest and a low turnout is expected. The Conservative Party primary for governor may be a test of Chairman Mike Long's ability to keep that minor party in tow.
For all the talk of voter rage, most who do vote are not that angry and will decide on other criteria ranging from gay marriage to personal like or dislike of a candidate.
In short, the September 14th primaries will not be a window into much of anything.
On primary day, voters get first major chance to respond to Albany's woes The Ithaca Journal

Democrats Plan Political Triage to Retain House -

With large losses expected in the House of Representitives, Democratic leaders are readying to pull the funding plug on some races where their candidates are not making headway...They will focus their resources on those races they can win in enough numbers to maintain their majority.
The question is where does Rep. Bill Owens fit into this equation...Is NY 23 (previously a solid GOP seat) a seat the high command will decide is the best place to put resources ?...Given up to 80 Democratic seats are in danger, the party hasn't the muscle to defend all of them vigorously...So like a MASH unit, a decision will be made which candidates are not worth it.
Rep. Owens has been doing fund raising and is expected to be a formidable candidate but not so much so without national money.
We suspect the primary results in the GOP will be a factor in their decision.
Democrats Plan Political Triage to Retain House -

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Some Thoughts on Labor Day

On this Labor Day, some observations from managers and small business owners.
The husband of a diner owner says the dishwasher didn't show up yesterday on what turned out to be a very busy morning...His excuse....He forgot....
A fellow hired to work as a courier picking up people in Syracuse and driving them back to Watertown quits after one day....He says he is too stressed out.
A manager of a large 24/7 firm says too many employees are members of the Upstate NY Independently Wealthy Club, because they seemingly don't have to work. Few seek or want overtime....They call in sick twice in a week and the next week think its so unfair to work a holiday...People take a job for a couple of weeks just to get unemployment. Oh, and my friend's cat died and I have to be there for her.
They don't realize there are two 8:00 oclocks in each and every day and will show up late or not at all and if fired, just fall back on the social safety net until a new gig comes along. It really is 'all about them."
More than ever before a team player and a traditional work ethic are worth their weight in gold.
Welcome to the world of service industry recruiting and retention...
Against that backdrop, I am pleased to say Diana has logged her fourth consecutive month of tops in sales at my business. In such a competitive industry its hard to stay on top.
So I gave her a Grant and asked her to go to the Kilt this weekend and make a list of all they are doing right and wrong. Its a new business with a strict set of protocols and there is something to learn there....We are going to compare notes this week and come up with a better run Fort Pearl.
So while we are not part of the Labor that gets attention on Labor day, we are still laboring with a specific goal in make a profit and earn a better living than the year before...
Lots of other people share the same goals and get it done everyday....To all of them a happy Labor Day...and if you are working Monday, good for you...because as long as people still want to have a meal...get sick...set their house on fire..commit a crime...or go shopping, somebody has to be there on the job. It's not's just the way life is.

Hooray For Old School Newsmen !

When I heard the newspaper offices in Ogdensburg are closing and the Journal's offices will be in Canton...I knew it meant Chuck Kelly was retiring, because that's not something he could bear to watch....The changes in print are of economic necessity and the way things were are certainly not how they will be.
But like the writer of this OP/ED, I too hope there is a revival of old school community journalism.....The guy who hears an address on the scanner and knows the story is important not for what happened but where it happened...The crusty guy in the slot barking orders to reporters....and making sure their young skills are couched in context...the "every man" editor who is in touch everyday with the lives and lifestyles of those afflicted that need comforting.
Back when I was at TV 7 and Glenn Hall was in charge, he would direct the newscasts and when it was time to tell the anchor to talk, Glenn would bellow "cue the talker !" over the headsets. It was telling the up and coming celebrity journalists that maybe they weren't quite as phenominal as they thought (including me). I like old school, but I won't antagonize my friends in the business by saying we don't have any of that now...We do...but not a lot of bigger than life figures like Chuck.
I am not here to canonize Chuck Kelly...for all I know he may have already cut that deal with the Bishop of the city he has reported on for over half a century....I would like to add my thanks for his career, even though I am not a journalist per se, I play one on the Internet.
When in Ogdensburg, I always enjoyed a stop at the Journal to see what's up and chat with Chuck or Jim Reagen.
Technologies have changed the way news is delivered, but despite all the clutter we have now, there is no substitute for content.....It's what consumers of news want and its what Chuck delivered.
Watertown Daily Times Chuck Kelly a superb community journalist

DN For Saujani To Bring ‘New Blood’ To NY Delegation

While its doubtful Democratic primary voters will oust a doyenne of politics like Rep. Carolyn Maloney, its interesting to see one of NYC's daily papers backing 34 year old upstart Reshma Saujani for the Upper East Side seat in Congress.
Inner city seats actually create more stasis than anywhere, because in a one-party environment, little changes and a Maloney or her neighbor, Rep. Charles Rangel, can go on forever.
Ms. Saujani is assertive, bright and has show an ability to raise the kind of money needed to speak truth to power. Her opponent accuses her of "Karl Rove tactics" in an effort to scare the base.
The Daily News editorial speaks for itself, but like I said....Ms. Maloney is a fixture and of course the NY Times still supports her.
DN For Saujani To Bring ‘New Blood’ To NY Delegation

With All the Fuss in the 122nd, Don't Forget About the 118th

Its good to see a little publicity for the 118th...It was beginning to look like we didn't have an Assembly race...but we do..its between one term lawmaker Addie Russell and St. Lawrence County Legislator David Forsythe.
As you can see in this WDT piece, the limits of power are again evident as the candidates talk about jobs and the economy as if they are a wizard behind the curtain actually controlling such things.
Mr. Forsythe rightly points out the State is often its own worst enemy, not just with taxes but with a punitive and vindictive system of regulation.
In a government where the unelected agencies and bureaucrats can run roughshod over us and the "electeds" are window dressing, it may seem in doesn't matter....Indeed there is no Senator, Assemblyman or Congressman who is going to get you a job.
But we have to start somewhere and its in these campaigns voters can send a message......Keep the candidates focused on the impediments NYS creates and don't let 'em fool you with talk of the jobs they will "create".
In any event, the candidates in the 118th are both good people who are smart enough to grasp the issues at hand....Take a listen to them before you vote...And who knows, one or both of them might call America's Favorite Noontime Talk Show one of these days.
Watertown Daily Times 118th Assembly candidates agree on many talking points

A Governor Finally Says No to Some Spending, and We Hate Him for It

So why do we need a 24 member commission to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 ? What's so wrong with individual communities organizing their own events or existing state agencies like the Education Department or Parks and Recreation helping with the logistics.
We are hearing our local lawmakers pledge to get this overturned but this is likely an economy that can be achieved.
That's not to say there are not many ways the State wastes money everyday...and certainly history is something worth noting...but the creating of a commission was a veto worth sustaining.
Governor says War of 1812 commission should have been funded in the budget