Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hey Patty...I Am Sticking Up for You on This One

What's all this carping about Patty Ritchie sending campaign emails to county employee mailboxes in Oswego County..? They make it sound like she is doing something wrong...Got to stick up for Patty on this one...
She is not doing anything wrong...Delete it or have the county Net Nanny filter it...Or better yet, let the free flow of information continue and let the intended consumer judge if its important.
The Valley News Online

Cuomo Has New Advisor.....The NY Times

Talk about being in the tank....The NY Times not only endorses Andrew Cuomo (no surprise there) but they also feel obliged to hector the candidate on how to deal with the menacing scourage from Buffalo...challenger Carl Paladino....
The paper took Mr. Cuomo to task for his "rose garden" approach and is recommending how he can better stop Mr. Paladino who is anathema to everything the Times stands for....
The establishment and the elite really consider this guy a barbarian at the gate...That's why the Times issued that incincere endorsement of Rick Lazio prior to the primary...They know Lazio would lose quietly...Not so with the man they have dubbed Crazy Carl.
Times Takes Cuomo To Task

No Party Per se....But Indy's Still Vote and Are Looking at Other Third Party Options

They may not be a constituted committee any longer, but local Independence Party activists are still voters and the groups former leaders want to see if there is a consensus on supporting candidates for governor and other offices.
The Jefferson County group opted not to organize this year after interest in the state party waned due to disputes over endorsements and the decision this year to hand the gubernatorial nod to Andrew Cuomo months before the field of candidates was even clear.
Mr. Cuomo received the line as it was felt he could muster the votes necessary to keep the party on the ballot for four more years. Also, Mr. Cuomo keeps score and party leaders surely wanted to get on what seems by the polls to be the right side of history.
Former vice chair Tammy Bramhall and ex chair John Rice are polling members to see if the nominees of any of the new independent lines are of interest.
Ms. Bramhall this week hosted a reception at her Carthage tavern for Anti-Prohibition Party candidate Kristin Davis, while some party members favor Carl Paladino's new Taxpayers Party.
Any independent candidate for governor who gets 50,000 votes gets that party a ballot line for four years. Ms Davis has openly said that is the goal of her campaign while Paladino likely wants the TXP to be a replacement for the wobbly Conservative Party.
It will be interesting to see what this small group of voters does.

E-Mails One of Those Issues Used By Those Driving a Wedge In Order to Get Elected

The issue we will tire of this season are the "offensive" emails sent by Carl Paladino....Off color jokes he received and forwarded to others...Then they were made public by a recipient and the Democrats have been talking about it for months...
Its a way to play the race and gender card all at once.
Paladino did something without thinking about the political impact. He says it was a mistake...But like everything in politics, such things never end.
Democrats are intent on labling Paladino a racist and are insisting everyone running as a Republican share their feigned outrage by denouncing the top of the ticket.
AG candidate and "social justice" crusader Eric Schneiderman is one of those on that bandwagon. Mr. Schneiderman is just another white politician making a living off race baiting.
I think the jokes we all get on email and text are largely stupid and not worth reading.....much less forwarding...
If Mr. Paladino did so, let him explain it if he wants....but let's not make everyone else answer for his alleged sin.
Besides, can't we just take the approach of Rep. Dan Maffei of Syracuse who was asked why he still supported Rep. Charles Rangel despite many ethical violations ?
Mr. Maffei says we should hate the sin, but love the sinner.....Can't we do that for Carl too ?
Capitol Confidential - A behind-the-scenes look at New York politics

WDT: City Council Questions PILOT policy

Everyday we hear about the hostile business environment in the state...OK, what's the answer....So far the solution is handing out a handful of exemptions for various taxes to a select few businesses, many of whom are chronic users of the system.
One aspect of the system I just frankly disagree with is the assumption of ownership of property, sometimes for as little as one day, for the purpose of avoiding not just property taxes, but also sales tax and the mortgage tax.
This has even been done on refinancing of property. You refinance your home or business, and you pay a mortgage tax of .75 % ....Maybe no such tax should exist,but the policy of obviating the tax for those able to get an IDA to take ownership for a day is not an option you have.
Ditto for sales tax on building materials....When I do renovation projects I pay sales tax.....Those with the means to get an IDA to take title for a finite period of time do not pay.
Its all done under the guise of "economic development."
Further, the agencies abating the taxes charge a fee to do that...thus creating a tax and a stream of revenue not under the realm of the duly elected legislative body.
Some will say we shouldn't let the politicians have control of such senstive matters and over the years these programs have escalated. Fact is,we live in a representitive republic and taxation should occur with representation. The obviation of tax for specific individuals in effect raises the taxes of others.
When this is done by an unelected entity, it is not consistent with the tenets the Nation was founded on.
The proposed new policies on tax abatement advanced by the Jefferson County IDA would normally be something local governments don't bother reviewing or reading......In the current political climate people do read them and have honest questions about what is being done.
The recent wind flap was but one manifestation of these concerns. This policy is another example.
Watertown Daily Times City Council irked at PILOT policy

Friday, September 24, 2010

Where's Patty ?

A couple of political types stopped by Fort Pearl on a Friday evening to tell me they had just been to a Darrel Aubertine fundraiser in Oswego County...A golf tournament in the tradition of the former Senator Jim Wright.
So it took my mind off statewide politics and made me wonder, where's Patty ?
There are commercials on TV from a third party group ripping Aubertine for cutting out some of the free s--- everybody in NY loves. I see signs for both, but here in Watertown there seem to be more Aubertine.
My guess is Patty Ritchie will stay active but low key...door to door...small towns...meeting as many people as possible..She is personable and surely that works for her.
Unlike most challengers, she will not likely be demanding debates. Senator Aubertine has gotten a lot smoother and knows the legislative topics by virtue of being there.
It will be an air war designed to play on disatisfaction with the Democratic Senate.

Who You Callin’ Dirty?

Party loyalty is a great thing...Eliot Spitzer goes on TV and calls Andrew Cuomo the "dirtiest nastiest, political player ever." Then he says he will still vote for him......And you wonder why Albany is like it is....
Who You Callin’ Dirty?

Sarah Stands Up Last Year's BFF

Like the guy waiting at the bar for his date to meet him, Doug Hoffman needs to realize he is being stood up....
Sarah Palin is not going to endorse and unleash the flood of donations and momentum he needs. Last year she did...That was last year....
The Matt Doheny use of friends who have friends who know somebody successfully dissuaded Gov. Palin from weighing in on the 23rd.
They claim to have made the case the race is different this year and Hoffman is not viable against a more conservative GOP rival than Diedre Scozzafava.
As things turned out, the persuading was pivotal...A Palin endorsement might have swung the 51-49 race.
We have all been left sitting there, but there doesn't look like a date with Sarah for Mr. Hoffman.

Edwards Defends His New Running Mate

One positive vestige of the Lazio bid for the GOP nod is LG candidate Greg Edwards who won his primary against Carl Paladino's preferred candidate.
Mr. Edwards is a successful and respected county manager from western New York and is taking on his new running mate with enthusiasm....The two will appear in public for the first time tonight in Olean. Edwards is also the running mate on Lazio's Conservative Party ticket.
Edwards Defends His New Running Mate

Seymour: How Hoffman wins

Like most of us political readers and writers, I have been lost without Jude Seymour in town this week....I sense he is coming back from vacation as in his blog today, he writes he spent yesterday riding on a train thinking about Doug Hoffman....
I hope it was a nice train, because as soon as that happens to me, I know its time to retire to the club car for a couple of stiff drinks.
Hopefully Jude found that car.....
Jude wrote a long column on what the Hoffman campaign must do to win....Everyone up to now dismisses Hoffman as a vain and indulgent, but not so talented candidate who cannot win and is destined to finish a distant third.
Or there may be more to all of this....Surely, Mr. Hoffman cannot be so blind that he doesn't think there is some path to victory.
Anyway its good reading...I'll have to try one of those train rides.
Watertown Daily Times How Hoffman wins

Debates Don't Affect Much, But They are Something to Talk About

A debate about debates...The sniping has begun between the Paladino and Cuomo campaigns over debates....Obviously, with a lead, Mr. Cuomo wants to avoid a confrontation with a man who could provoke an outburst that would derail Mr. Cuomo's long smooth train ride to Eagle Street.
The minor party candidates want in to get some free press and be on the same stage as the big guys.
Some of them, like Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins are good public speakers and Mr. Hawkins is well versed in issues....Freedom Party candidate Charles Barron would prove problematic for Mr. Cuomo because he is a critic of the new non-ethnic look to party leadership.
Mr. Cuomo will likely do one debate and do it late so it won't matter. As for the other candidates, that cuts both ways....It dilutes the opposition and places Paladino with the also-rans.....
However, Mr. Cuomo would be a pinata and may not like the pounding.
Carl Paladino Campaign Claims Andrew Cuomo Lying On Debate Outreach

WDT: SMC Busy on Plan for Mercy

With progress being made on a new receivership agreement and the current operators of Mercy Healthcare supportive of a Samaritan Medical Center takeover, the prospects for patients and employees is better. That is a good thing, as the state health department was engaging in a dubious game of poker that was frightening and unsettling to patients and employees.
If an arrangement is worked out it will provide the breathing room to consider the best and highest use of the Stone Street properties, but more important it will provide comfort to patients and families jolted by the DOH directive in late August.
A new plan will take a lot of work and those who make it happen should be commended.
Watertown Daily Times SMC busy on plan for Mercy

Paladino's Use of "Andy" Is Done For a Reason

Is it disrespectful to call Andrew Cuomo by the more informal name "Andy." Most people I know go with the more colloquial version of their name....
An Andrew becomes an Andy or a Drew...But for the serious, the earnest, and those who insist on a level of respect .....well they insist on Andrew...
How you view a person does depend on how they preferred to be referred to.
Jim vs James, Bob vs Robert, Jeff vs Jeffrey.....Actually the only time I was called Jeffrey was on the leading edge of a tongue lashing.
Obviously Carl Paladino calling Cuomo by "Andy" is part of the continued effort to get under his skin and portray him as an arrogant elitist.
If Carl were short for Carlton and if candidate insisted on the latter, it would change my view of him....I think Mr. Cuomo should loosen up and start going by Andy..........Having to call him Andrew makes me feel like I am being scolded.
Paladino: ‘Nasty’ Andy Should ‘Grow Up’

Bloomberg Praises Donovan, Warns Against An AG With 'A Social Agenda' | The New York Observer

An attorney general has the resources and power to slam people and peddle politics under the guise of the rule of law....Especially when candidates start talking about "social justice" and "progressive" ideas. That's an issue I agree with Mayor Bloomberg on...An AG with a social agenda is a bad idea and that is exactly what Democratic candidate Eric Schneiderman is all about.
Dan Donovan is the best choice for this office, as his opponent is indeed a man with a social agenda...On that Mayor Bloomberg is dead on.
Bloomberg Praises Donovan, Warns Against An AG With 'A Social Agenda' The New York Observer

Thursday, September 23, 2010

NPR: Hoffman Move is Devastating to Doheny

The editorial has already been written blasting Doug Hoffman for continuing to actively campaign for NY23 despite his narrow loss in last weeks GOP primary to Matt Doheny. But for the people who support him, they don't pine over those words.
Hoffman though is merely following in the foot steps of other GOP icons like Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Mike Castle....They thumbed their noses at primary voters too.....
In Hoffman's case at least he is the nominee of a real party and not talking write in candidacies.....
You can't change what has happened. Its a three way race... Republican hegemony is dead in NNY.
Doheny has the means to compete and its a GOP year...A Tsunami some say....If so, and Hoffman is held under 15%, Doheny wins....If Hoffman gets close to 20, its lights out for Matt. I think Rep. Bill Owens gets what he gets regardless.
Another imponderable...With no media polling, the public will never know what the real race is till its over....
Hoffman's 3rd party Conservative bid deals devastating blow to Doheny's GOP candidacy « The In Box

Under attack, the Cuomo campaign shifts into low gear | Capital New York

The nice single dad traveling the state in an RV with his beautiful daughters...the son of a popular governor....Its all gone now as sagging poll numbers have forced Andrew Cuomo and his surrogates to go low and start responding in kind to the attacks from challenger Carl Paladino.
Its easy to stay lofty when you are up by 35 points...Not so easy when you see it slipping away to a barbarian from, of all places, Buffalo.
Andrew.......not Andy or going to find it tough rolling in the gutter...He hasn't had to and may be out of practice.
Under attack, the Cuomo campaign shifts into low gear Capital New York

What's Next for Indy Crowd ? Meanwhile Burto Eyes a Takeover

With the passing of the primary, the constituted committee of the Jefferson County Independence Party expired. The group had been in business a decade but decided not to resonstitute.
West Carthage Mayor Scott Burto says he has had discussions with the state party leaders about forming a committee and taking over the operation. Burto is now a Republican and his brother is an IP member.
The members of the former committee had been at odds with state leadership and there was a general malaise over the direction of the party as a whole.
Key members like John Rice and Tammy Bramhall are said to be weighing their options for the coming season.

Pot Calls Kettle Black....Spitzer Says Cuomo is "Dirty"

With a new TV gig on the horizon, Eliot Spitzer is not averse to publicity....But the man who won a historic mandate for governor four years ago is ripping fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo as the dirtiest, nastiest political player out there...And coming from Mr. Spitzer, that's something....
I think Eliot Spitzer was a fraud and I deeply regret being among the 70% of New Yorkers who bought his hard charging AG, shake up Albany, 'everything changes on Day One' routine.
However, if you believe Mr. Spitzer, anyone who believes that Mr. Cuomo will not do whatever it takes to win is mistaken. Just see the cold shoulder you get if you don't sign his pledge.
This race will be one for the ages, as Mr Cuomo and Carl Paladino fight to the death.
Eliot Spitzer: Everyone Knows Andrew Cuomo's "The Dirtiest, Nastiest Political Player Out There"

PS: Hoffman to Stay in Race after Conceding GOP Primary Today

A flash from our bureau of stating the obvious.....Doug Hoffman is going to concede a race he already lost and plans to continue to run on the Conservative Party line....Mr. Hoffman has made the primary loss to Matt Doheny into a nine day media event with the subtle suggestion that if he really does lose, it was not legit.
The question is how much of a campaign can he mount with little money and the GOP high command and the media all over him like flies on a rib roast.....We will have to wait and see.
Doug Hoffman to concede NY-23 GOP primary, stay in race on Conservative line

Newzjunky: Davis Visit to Carthage Met With Enthusiasm

Last night's visit to Carthage by Kristin Davis was caught on tape by Newzjunky and you get a good feel for the enthusiasm people are not supposed to know anymore about than her stint as Manhattan Madam. There was a real connection as people numbed by television air wars reacted with enthusiasm to her visit.
Thanks to for covering it and posting the video.
YouTube - Davis Visits the North Country

The Journal | Electro 'Shock' Therapy To Be Offered Locally

Nurse Ratchett comes to the NNY.....or is it 'Doc, Don't Taze Me Bro ?"
We can now go to the Maple City to get be shocked , but not necessarily awed
The Journal Electro 'Shock' Therapy To Be Offered Locally

What Does Doug Do and Does it Matter ?

You would think Doug Hoffman is a puppy kicker from the dripping contempt and sarcasm in this latest tome from WDT editor Perry White....Mr White wants Hoffman to end his unwarranted 15 minutes of fame and yield to the "moderate" Republican who beat him narrowly in last week's primary.
I am sure Perry wants Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Mike Castle to do the same, as they are threatening to repudiate GOP primary voters with write-in campaigns.
You can analyze the primary two ways.
One is that newcomer Matt Doheny came from zero name recognition to a win through months of hard, hard work and a studious approach to the issues.
Another spin is that Doheny barely won despite all the GOP poobahs behind him, a huge money edge and a fawning media. On top of that he beat a candidate in Mr. Hoffman who avoided nearly every chance to speak directly to voters through the usual channels.
I think Doheny did work very hard but he was up against a man who was less a candidate, but more of an empty vessel into which people poured their frustrations, outrage and desire for a simpler Ozzie and Harriet style world.
Mr. Hoffman should certainly acknowledge the results, even though the closeness last year and this are not embarrassing as Perry suggests.
He should also state what he intends to do with the Conservative Party nomination.... Compete full nothing and see what happens or publicly repudiate the line and support Doheny. His name remains no matter what.
The deal can be cut to give Hoffman the graceful out....a senior policy advisor spot...picking up Hoffman staffers for the duration....some kind words and attaboys...That doesn't reverse the loss, but its all you get in this situation.
Mr. Hoffman should probably take that deal.

Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

More Polls Show Tighter Races Than Anyone Thought

Another poll is out showing the race for governor is competitive and this one show Senator Kirsten Gillibrand neck and neck with former Rep. Joe DioGuardi in the one for the remaining two years of Hillary's term. In the other Senate race, Chuck Schumer is comfortably ahead.
Mr. Paladino spent yesterday focused on fundraising while Andrew Cuomo was telling people he is mad too...but mad in a good way that will bring NY to a "better place."
SurveyUSA: Andrew Cuomo 49%, Carl Paladino 40%, Kirsten Gillibrand And Joe DioGuardi Tied In Senate Race »

Stretch Run Begins in 2010 Election

After weeks of counting absentees in hope of a miracle, and court fights in hope of winning the easy way....It seems we finally have the ballot in place and can begin the campaign leading to November 2.
Remember the good old days when you didn't have to wait till November to know the winners....It was pre-ordained, pretty much like people in the Bronx or Brooklyn don't need a November election.
Now the elections are competitive...Does anyone really know who will win NY23? I don't, and the 51-49 primary is evidence no one else does either.
The Aubertine-Ritchie race is rated a toss-up by Liz, and I have trouble getting a handle on it as well. Addie Russell seems safe, but you don't really know with today's mood and the Blankenbush-McGrath race is the barn burner that people in those rural areas have never known.
I don't think any of it will lead to higher turnout as while people as madd ah Hell, they also harbor the suspicion their voter doesn't matter and the system is too cumbersome and entrenched to change...
The challenge of 2010 is to convince voters otherwise.
Watertown Daily Times Blankenbush: 'People are mad,' Albany needs change

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Packed House and an Enthusiastic Crowd Greet Kristin Davis in Carthage

Independent gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis walked into a packed Wicked Wench tavern and was greeted with intense enthusiasm on Wednesday night... The crowd was mostly middle aged and included men and women...Average folks in Carthage anxious to meet the candidate who says her goal is to establish her Anti Prohibition Party on the ballot.
Ms Davis took the time to autograph posters for everyone....posed for endless pictures and chatted about everyday issues with the crowd.
Tavern owner Tammy Bramhall, a longtime political activist called Davis "awesome" and thanked her for coming to Carthage to meet the folks.
A series of logistical snafus caused Davis to miss earlier events but she spent nearly three hours at the Wench and left feeling great about a small town that reminded her where she grew up in California.
"I love Carthage and the people....they are real New Yorkers with problems no one listens to," Davis said.
Ms. Davis pledged to return to Jefferson County next month as she tries to break the barriers minor party candidates face.
There was a real connection between her and the crowd...perhaps a craving to have those seeking high office listen to them and not barrage them with commercials.
Later Ms. Davis stopped back in Watertown and met patrons at Fort Pearl...and took advantage of the free Wi-Fi !

WDT: A Good Day for Matt and Patty !

Finally its over....Matt Doheny declared the winner last week's GOP primary....The WDT call is a result of the Doheny lead being in excess of the few remaining absentee ballots.
Now it doesn't matter whether Doug Hoffman "concedes" or not...IT's OVER !
Congratulations to Mr. Doheny and let's see what happens next.
In another matter Senator Darrel Aubertine lost an attempt to deny his opponent a spot on Carl Paladino's Taxpayer Party....I guess she supports him now....Aubertine had contested the independent line petitions but his trip to court came up short.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

Andrew Cuomo Says He Voted For Mike Bloomberg. Cuomo Spokesman Says He Misspoke.

Andrew was so excited to get Mayor Bloomberg's endorsement, he forgot that he is suppose to be a good Democrat....Mr. Cuomo boasted he had voted for Bloomberg who has run as a Republican in NYC mayoral elections...His aide later said Cuomo misspoke......
Gee I remember everybody I voted for.
Andrew Cuomo Says He Voted For Mike Bloomberg. Cuomo Spokesman Says He Misspoke.

Paladino Goes Mainstream

Surging in the polls, its time for gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino to tack to the mainstream and away from being just totally mad as Hell....
Mr. Paladino is recruiting a Pataki operative to head up his campaign so that he can develop the public policy initiatives and fundraising needed to be competitive with Andrew Cuomo.....
Paladino is within six percentage points of Cuomo in a Q-Poll out today.....Compare that to margins in the upper 30s a couple months ago.
So far Mr Cuomo has had little to challenge him as his own party's nomination path was paved for him and the media an pundits have pretty much named him the new governor....So sure is everyone that some Republicans had actually endorsed him.
Now we discover the depth of anger in NY is deeper than expected.
Buckle up...its a wild six weeks ahead.
Paladino Goes Mainstream

Polls Tighten as Carl Surges and Andy Wobbles

The runaway race for governor may be no more...Carl Paladino has narrowed the gap between him and Andrew Cuomo to single digits.
Before last week's primary Cuomo had maintained steady 30+ point leads....
Funny thing about Paladino...The political establishment of both parties express disdain for him...And all the MSM save a couple will endorse Mr. Cuomo....But the people...those pesky people....are madder than anyone thought.
Of course, now it gets really nasty and the Dems will unload on Paladino.....No high road on the horizon.
TheDailyPolitics - NY Daily News

AP: Cuomo Waffles on Debate as "Crazy Carl" Rattles Him

The debate on debates in the Governor's race is on and insurgent Carl Paladino has rattled the Cuomo campaign with ferocious attacks the likes of which Mr. Cuomo is not used to as the long ago annoited next governor.
Look for Paladino to press for debates with all the candidates to provide the maximum assault on the front runner. In particular Paladino advisor Roger Stone will push for his other client Kristin Davis to be included. They also want Freedom candidate Charles Barron in a debate as Mr. Barron is an ardent believer that that the black community is systematically dissed by the Democratic Party establishment.
The tabloids call him "Crazy Carl" and say Cuomo is suffering from "Mad Carl Disease."
Mr.Cuomo is running the traditional three yards and a cloud of dust campaign including high profile endorsements like the one today by self appointed National Centrist and political moneyman Michael Bloomberg.
Mr. Paladino will run every trick play and invent some new ones as he is advised by people not constrained by the political rules of conduct.
The Associated Press: Cuomo undecided on debating NY GOP gov opponent

Wednesday Happenings

Got my first Ken Blankenbush media advisory today....The candidate is holding a town hall meeting tonight in Carthage so those interested in hearing him respond to questions can do so. Its not a debate, but still a chance to take the measure of the man running to replace Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava.
Next week is Sheriff week on the HOTLINE. The incumbent John Burns will be on the show Monday and challenger Charles Ruggiero will be there Thursday.
Voters Tuesday OK'd the demolition of the Butterfield Avenue School in Watertown.
Counting of absentees shows Matt Doheny will indeed win the GOP Congressional primary. Time for Doug Hoffman to concede and announce what kind of campaign he will run as the Conservative nominee.
The NYS GOP is urging Rick Lazio to bail out on running for Governor as a Conservative after he lost the Republican primary.
And the decision the World has been waiting for. NYC Michael Bloomberg will endorse Andrew Cuomo for Governor.....What a shocker !

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Davis Says She Enjoys Upstate Tour and Looks Forward to Visits to Watertown and Carthage

Independent gubernatorial candidate Kristen Davis told me Tuesday night even she is shocked at the nastiness of the race between Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino, but that she doesn't intend to follow suit.
At a press conference at the historic Palace Theater in the Eastwood section of Syracuse, Davis outlined her candidacy to Central NY voters.
Davis seems pleasant, articulate and well informed when you meet her in person, although her previous career as a madam creates a public relations challenge. She openly admits hers is a protest campaign designed to gain ballot status for the Anti Prohibition Party, a creation of her and political operative Roger Stone.
Ms. Davis Comes to Watertown on Wednesday for appearances at the Farmers Market and an evening reception at the Wicked Wench Tavern in West Carthage.
She said she couldn't resist Tammy's bar given the name. The public is invited.

The Bell Tolls for Leaders of Bell CA

All those six figure salaries were great while they lasted...But in Bell CA the hammer came down after outrage grew over what kind of salaries municipal officials awarded themselves.
Bell officials arrested as prosecutors are set to file criminal charges [Updated] L.A. NOW Los Angeles Times

Cuomo: ‘I Am Not Going To Further Degrade This State’

This race is going to be nasty and the Dems will participate alongside the GOP nominee......Andrew Cuomo himself is wise to stay away from the invective, but he is thin skinned and may say something at some point.
As for New York being degraded....Well, it has a bad image now and its up to the next governor to change that. That will be the test of these men and women in the coming weeks.
Its still the Empire State and we want to feel good about living here...Let's see who has the been plan for turning NY around. So far that is not clear.
Cuomo: ‘I Am Not Going To Further Degrade This State’

Farming is the Chosen Profession No One Chooses

I have been to many farms and what always impresses me is what hard work it is....I always say if you can hire someone who used to farm for a living you likely have a worker...Somebody who appreciates hard work and punctuality.
Yet farmers account for only a small percentages of the population.
The imagery of farming is so laden with values and virtue....that candidates can't help themselves.
This morning, I get a piece in the mail from Addie Russell, who is not a farmer...but is a lawyer.
Wouldn't know it from all the tractors, cows and rustic, sepia-toned images of rural America.
Addie in the fields...Addie petting a calf...Addie in bluejeans....
She is not the only one to seize farm optics....Darrel Aubertine was a real farmer and used the backdrop to create his "one of us" motif while running against lawyers....
Bill Owens is doubling as an LL Bean model as he treks accross NNY in jeans and flannel.
Doheny spurns BMWs to drive his aging Ford Explorer named Bessie, which coincidentally is a name often given to cows.
McGrath came home from Manhattan and roasted a pig to establish his rural bonafides.
And tomorrow, Manhattan's Kristen Davis feels obliged to attend the farmers market and talk about growing up in California's central valley.
Everybody wants to be a farmer...but nobody wants to get up early to milk the cows or struggle with the notion of very hard work for not much pay....

Let's Have a Debate About Debates

Wow...When it comes to debates...most of the debate is about the debates....I wrote a post this AM on the topic and quickly got a call from Brian McGrath outlining his desire for debates and his opponents alleged reluctance.
Everybody wants debates on their terms....McGrath wants one in Lewis County...Ken Blankenbush may not....
There is a debate at Clarkson University, which is outside the district and the tape delayed panel discussion on WPBS' Public Eye program...But little else...
The candidates are welcome on the HOTLINE, either separately or together.
Debates up here seldom provide that Perry Mason moment every candidate hopes for, as the audience is largely those who have made up their mind.......
Even a horrible gaffe seldom gets reported like it would in a national debate....
So well debates are a great thing to debate over, they seldom determine the winner.

WDT: Big Wind Lists Who They Are Doing Business With In Local Government

Its tough in small communities to avoid conflicts when something as big and lucrative as a wind farm comes to town...but newly released data shows extensive relationships between those holding local office and the financial benefits of a farm.
When these conflicts occur, there are a couple of ways lawmakers and board members can handle it. One way is immediate disclosure of the relationships as soon as they occur or could occur. Do not wait until some industry disclosure later.
If the financial relationship is direct and significant, it may require recusal......That means more than just saying "I abstain" when a vote comes around.
Recusal means not participating in all discussions and debate on the subject and in fact leaving the room when the subject comes up. This is hard to do with an issue this large.
Usually, disclosure is adequate as it allows the public to judge the context of decisions. In projects like wind, in some communities , outright recusals could leave a board with too few members to act.
Watertown Daily Times Iberdrola lists wind conflicts

WDT: Only TV Debate in a "closed" studio ?

So let me get this straight....There is a debate between the candidates in the 122nd being held in a closed studio, on tape. Does guess that means no media until the public TV station airs the tape ? Public Eye producer Jeff Cole says thats not the case and thats good.
A joint appearance by two candidates is by definition a public event and debates should be aired live and in color.
I praise Jeff Cole and Public TV for attempting some discourse, as these rare forums provide a setting where people can see the two together and need to be covered as news and not the private copyrighted property of one member of media.

I would like coverage of the atmosphere of the event....any off camera banter between the other words the whole package...That's the additional perspective only experienced reporters can add. And I still don't understand the bug-a-boo over doing anything live....I do my show live every day.

Watertown Daily Times Talking Points

Don't Look for Darrel and Patty at This Soire in Carthage

The visit to Jefferson County by Anti Prohibition Party candidate for governor, Kristin Davis is a gut check for whether major party candidates are willing to reach out to independent and libertarian voters.
Wicked Wench Owner Tammy Bramhall was visited often in recent years by those interested in the Indy Party line.....Doheny, Ritchie, Aubertine....and many others....But now that Tammy is hosting a meet and greet for Ms. Davis, will the major party pols stop into her West Carthage tavern ?
Same Tammy....same group of political proteges....but the handlers for the major candidates will be saying, "you can't be seen with her." Heck, for Republicans, they are afraid to be seen with their own gubernatorial candidate.
Everybody is into not making a mistake and being politically correct and Kristen Davis resume scares them...Guess graduating from high school at age 15 as valedictorian bothers them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Harry Reid is Such a Dolt...Calling Our Senator the Body's Hottest

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has put NY's junior Senator in perspective.....Mr. Reid called Kirsten Gillibrand, the Senate's "hottest member."
Senator Gillabrand has lost weight this year and is by most accounts an attractive woman....but how unseemly is it to reduce her to this stereotype ?
Well, its OK to the feminists because the slight came from a prominent Democrat....
Reid calls Gillibrand the 'hottest' member at fundraiser - Maggie Haberman -

Carthage Braces for the Manhattan Madam !

For those who want to meet Kristen Davis, the best place is in front of TV 7 on Arcade Street shortly after 12 noon....She will walk from there assuming good weather around downtown and to the Farmers Market....after that I was planning on taking her and her manager to lunch.
The must see event is at the Wicked Wench in West Carthage at 6:30. Gubernatorial candidates don't much bother with Carthage these days and I suspect Cuomo and Paladino will pass on the Twin Villages.
The good people of Carthage can thank Tammy Bramhall for the privilege of hosting the Manhattan Madam.....

Kristen Davis to Honor Female Business Owners During Watertown Stop

Independent gubernatorial candidate Kristen Davis will recognize women in business with a visit on Wednesday to a pair of local female owned enterprises. Ms. Davis will visit Lish, a downtown Watertown clothing store owned by Alicia Reed. Later, at 6:30, she will host a reception at the Wicked Wench Tavern in West Carthage. The public is invited to the Wench.
Ms. Davis is the nominee of the Anti Prohibition Party and is running to get the 50,000 votes needed to place the party on the ballot for four years.
She is advancing a libertarian platform on social issues as well as traditional conservative stances on taxation.
Ms Davis is confident her new party will promote discussion of issues the two major parties sweep under the rug.
While in NNY, Ms. Davis is also visiting local media, including radio interviews at WCIZ and WATN. She is the guest on 7 News at Noon and will visit the Farmers Market in the early afternoon. She will also be making other stops in the city and have lunch here.
The public is invited to meet her at all these locations and a BIG turnout is expected at the Wench!
Newzjunky - Madam Gov: Mayor Graham Obtained '160 Signatures' for My Campaign

A Post Primary Bounce is Making the Race for Governor Closer Than Andrew Wants

A Rasmussen Poll has the gubernatorial race at 54-38....much close than the 30+ margins Andrew Cuomo has been enjoying...Meanwhile Democrats are getting increasingly outrageous in their choreographed claims that Carl Paladino is a bigot....
Assemblyman Dov Hikind of NYC says Paladino's metaphorical desire to bring a baseball bat to Albany combined with his criticism of Speaker Silver who is Jewish, could be an incitement of violence against Jews. Huh ?
Of course the Dems have already been claiming that Paladino is a racist and whatever else you can imagine....
The more shrill they get, the more they insult people who share the Paladino distaste for spending, taxes and corruption......
Andrew better watch out what his minions are saying....A lot of conservatives and tea partiers are sick of being called bigoted and racist by the Democratic Party. I know I am.
Paladino Gains On Cuomo

Hoffman Fades....Office Shuttered

With absentee votes to be counted tomorrow comes word today that the Watertown campaign office for Doug Hoffman is cleared out...perhaps a sign the campaign is getting ready to fold or at least retreat to their Adirondack redoubt.
Insiders with likely GOP winner Matt Doheny say they are giving Hoffman time to grieve and are hoping for a way to access his supporters.
Doheny is doing standard campaigning in the wake of his apparent 51-49 primary win.
Problematic for Doheny or any Republican is the possible disaster in the statewide offices with only AG candidate Dan Donovan thought to have a chance to break through against ultra left candidate Eric Schneiderman.
Incumbent Rep. Bill Owens is already on the air with folksy ads showing the candidate in blue jeans claiming to be creating jobs.....The optics are good even if the message just isn't true. (You see I scoff at any politician who claims to be creating jobs.)

New York’s No. 2 Calls for Medicaid Overhaul -

We should be very careful this fall not to let something like Medicaid get in the way of talking about the Mosque.
LG Richard Ravitch has been studying the economic calamity these social programs pose for the state and is poised to release a report this fall....
Please release it after the election.....We don't want reality to get in the way of a good campaign.
New York’s No. 2 Calls for Medicaid Overhaul -

Carl: ‘Come Out And Debate Like A Man’

Is it for time for Andrew to 'man up' and debate ?......Carl Paladino thinks so and the Buffalo wild man wants all the minor party candidates in as well...I am sure they like that as well and frankly so should Andrew.
That puts the GOP nominee alongside other people who may actually perform as well as Carl and associates the Republican with so called fringe parties that exist only to advance one or two issues.
Mr. Cuomo can choose not to debate but one or two perfunctory sessions with all the candiates does him little harm and probably some good.
Unless Carl Paladino makes a real move, this race will meander into October with such a large Cuomo lead, that the challenger will have to become more bellicose to get attention, which in turn reenforces the perception he is too erratic to be governor.
Its going to be a fun campaign.
‘Come Out And Debate Like A Man’

If Lazio Helps the Cause of Third Party Politics....Good for Him

The emerging strategy for defeated GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio is to position himself between what one of his supporters says is a "nut and an Albany insider." Mr. Lazio is the candidate of the Conservative Party which is fighting for survival and needs a quasi-viable candidate in order to get the 50,000 votes needed to maintain ballot status.
I think its a sellable position for Lazio to make, but he has to do a much better job on the stump than his primary bid.
Lazio will be seen as merely helping Andrew Cuomo , but for Mike Long's Conservative Party this is a fight to survive and live to fight another day.....
With Cuomo's lead so large at 30+ point in the polls, even Mr. Cuomo's supporters have the option of supporting a minor party candidate without putting his election in peril.
There are several third party hopefuls looking to win ballot status for their cause, and of course there are the cross endorse parties such as the Independence, WFP, and Taxpayer.....
Despite the flaws of the minor party system in NYS, it is a mechanism for raising issues and concerns that will never be discussed by the major parties.
Vote on one of the minor lines this year, whether its Cuomo or Paladino on the IP, WFP or TXP lines, or another candidate on a newly formed line.
Rick Lazio likely to shrug off painful loss to Carl Paladino and remain in race for governor

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Time for Patty and Carl to Embrace

I see from the comments an emerging strategy against Patty Ritchie....Link her to Paladino because she had the tumerity to seek the Taxpayer Party designation after she got a little rug pulling on the Indy line.
While the Dems are in court trying to get her thrown off the line they are also planning on trying to link her to Carl Paladino on the premise that he will scare people who see Patty as benign and friendly....
Patty sought the spot on the ballot next to Paladino...She needs to embrace him and the anger against the system he represents...You don't get elected saying you want to be just like Dean Skelos....If people are mad enough to vote out an incumbent, the ouster needs a message....
Patty should embrace Paladino and his message....Otherwise voters will rightly conclude they should vote for Darrel Aubertine along with Andrew Cuomo.....

Cuomo Hints at GOP Endorsements...But He Wants a Democratic Senate

Andrew Cuomo would not rule out endorsing one or perhaps two Republicans for statewide office.....In accepting the support today of a former GOP state chair, Mr. Cuomo took a "we'll see" stance towards reports he is considering backing GOP Comptroller candidate Harry Wilson and/or AG candidate Dan Donovan....
Serious heresy if he does that, but Mr. Cuomo has been boasting of Republican backing, so he may feel the need to reciprocate....But I doubt it.
Mr. Cuomo did affirm his support for a Democratic Senate, so don't look for him to be embracing Patty Ritchie......Presumably with Pedro Espada on his way out, its safe to support a Democratic Senate.
Cuomo Rolls Out Republican Co-Chair, But Not Republican Endorsements The New York Observer

The Mad Prophet of Politics Telling It Like It Is

Is Carl Paladino the 2010 version of anchorman Howard Beale ? The imagery at his victory rally and his free use of the "Mad as Hell" line from the the move 'Network' allows the drawing of comparisons to the 1976 film.
Is Paladino a man "struggling to accept the social ails and depravity in the world around him" as Beale is described in a Wikipedia bio ?
Certainly the people behind the scenes at the Paladino campaign would find a recreation of Beale in a political context an interesting exercise in political theater.
Of course the end of the movie isn't so good for Beale....but its fun to watch and there is a cathartic value to this kind of spleen venting....

Paladino’s Weak Spot ?

One pretty good analysis of the gubernatorial race is that Carl Paladino's reform yell lacks an understanding of the intracasies of government and that a flat 20% cut in spending can be portrayed as hurting too many people, including those much sought after "working families".
The narrative is that Andrew Cuomo knows all that detail stuff from his years in government and is better able to implement reform than just allowing the bull unfettered access to the china shop.
In other words, the professional pols created the system and only they can fix it.....If that's true (or if that's what 60% of voters believe) then I want Paladino to keep hitting hard on what people outside Albany think of what goes on there. At the very least, Paladino can make sure that Andrew Cuomo is cognizant of the mood of many of those who pay for what goes on in NY.
Of course Paladino could get under Mr. Cuomo's skin and prompt some kind of meltdown, but as long as the polls show a 30 point lead there is no reason for Mr. Cuomo to say anything. He and his family should just stay on that RV tour of upstate and enjoy the fall foliage and avoid any confrontation with Paladino..
For him to do anything else is foolish. A prevent defense and running out the clock is all he has to do.
Paladino’s Weak Spot

New Yorks Latest Tax Debacle....

After a trip to Clayton the other day to buy some legal cigarettes and talking to the wholesaler, I got to thinking a bit more about the latest farce out of the Capital.
If you head on down to Nedrow and visit the tribe, I am told you can still buy brand name cigarettes without the $4.35 state tax per pack...and of course the even less expensive Native American brands are there too.
Despite the assurances of yet another Governor , all the private sector stores can only view the party through the window. A court order....probably a correct one has stayed NYS from leveling the playing field.
Now people go to the "res" and buy for themselves and friends...or have a relative mail 'em in from out of state...All because Albany feeds us this nonsense about how they hate smoking but lust for the revenue...And the higher tax wouldn't be a burden on the convenience stores because by golly this Governor was going to get tough.....
The same crowd in Albany who caved in to Turning Stone and gave them a liquor license to operate in a casino, something no private sector hotel or resort gets to do.
The wizards on the Hudson have created a black market and thousands of tax evaders who used to be taxpaying citizens....The next Governor will again go to the well next year.
I was talking to a retired state worker the other avid Democrat....who buttleggs in his spare time by marking em up ten bucks a carton.
I ask him why as a good Democrat he didn't want to pay this tax.
Those taxes are for other people.....but given the state's reliance on these revenue schemes, even the good Democrats who buttlegg are exposing the system for what it is...Lunacy.