Saturday, October 30, 2010

WDT: Paladino visits Watertown...GOP Candidates Save One Shun Carl

GOP candidate for Governor Carl Paladino made his second visit to the City of Watertown today and the first public appearance....A small crowd on a rainy day as the candidate makes the rounds before Tuesday's expected rout by Andrew Cuomo.
Assembly candidate Dave Forsythe was the only Republican office seeker to attend....Senate candidate Patty Ritchie was absent despite the ready made media scrum.....Democrats have sought to link Ms. Ritchie with the outspoken Paladino.
Meanwhile a new Marist Poll out today shows Mr. Paladino trailing Mr. Cuomo by a whopping 19 points.
Watertown Daily Times Paladino visits Watertown

I Have So Lost Interest in Which Line People Vote for Andrew On

Two of New York's minor parties are busy trying to convince voters to vote for Andrew Cuomo not on the Democratic line but on the Independence Party or Working Families Party lines.
Under New York's fusion voting candidates can run on multiple lines and the vote totals are added together....
Both minor parties salivated to have Mr. Cuomo accept their nod because they feel he will draw enough votes to ensure not only continued ballot status but a position on Line C which is considered a desirable spot.
It doesn't provide voters a choice but that's not the point. It keeps the fiefdoms in place and the power (real or perceived) concentrated in the hands of those who control the line.
When the IP ran Golisano, it was at least a choice.....Four years ago Spitzer...This year Cuomo....
I can't vote the line just to preserve the right to nominate Andrew for reelection in four years, again on the premise he can draw the 180,000 or so needed to stay on Line C.
All three minor parties will stay in business, the only question is what line they end up on.
Mid summer I had come to the conclusion another party is needed to offer choices. I considered the Taxpayer and the Anti-Prohibition lines and settled on the latter after getting to know and working with the candidate and her people.
Rather than play the musical chairs on Lines C,D and E......Just pick one of the others or if you want to vote for Cuomo do it on the Democratic line....That is after all what he is.

WDT: Ritchie Holds a Lead in Only Public Poll in SD 48

Republican Patty Ritchie is holding on to a slim but persistant four point lead in her bid to oust Senator Darrel Aubertine. The 47-43 spread in the latest Siena poll also tallies 10% undecided.
While either side can find signs of encouragment in the poll's internal numbers, the fact is the incumbent is polling well below 50% and that is sign of bad things about to happen for Mr. Aubertine.
Of course the Ritchie lead is within the margin of error and these races are all about who turns out, so its not over....but its safe to say Darrel Aubertine has an anxious weekend ahead.
In another key Senate race, Siena says Democratic State Senator Brian Foley on Long Island appears headed for defeat in SD3......
Democrats currently control a slim the Senate by a 32-30 margin.
Watertown Daily Times Ritchie still holds slim lead in poll

Cuomo: They Give Me $$$ Because They Think I Will Be a Good Governor and Other Saturday AM Blather

-Andrew Cuomo has raised $33 million so far in his bid for the governorship and tells the Times Union all the special interest money from lobbyists, unions, real estate barons and the like is not an effort to buy him....instead the next governor says it is merely a reflection of the fact these people think he will be a good governor. Oh, is that how it works ? And all these years I thought it was about buying access.
-Carl Paladino got into another pointless media kerfuffle by attacking Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as Chuck Schumer's "little girl." This from the candidate who routinely calls female reporters "honey".
-A Harry Wilson press conference in Watertown for Friday was cancelled and in another sign of dismissal for NNY, GOP Senate candidate Joe DioGuardi is visiting Watertown Sunday morning at 9AM for breakfast with the county chair, who I bet isn't too keen at getting up and dressed early on a Sunday for that.
-Privately, Democrats are bracing for the loss of the SD 48 Senate seat they fought so hard to win. For the record they talk about razor thin win, which means they really think their guy is behind. A Siena poll is due out today.
-My mailman says another big load of political stuff is going to hit today. He calls the flood of political junk 'job security.'
Where Cuomo got his cash, and why it didn’t buy him - Capitol Confidential

Friday, October 29, 2010

Last Bit of Politics and We Wait Till Tuesday

Anyway, I stopped at SUNY Oswego to sit in on Kristin Davis last appearance in our area before the election...Small group of students and a reporter from the Palladium Times with a set of questions on local issues which she handled well, except I had to come to the rescue on wind mills and ballast regulations on ships using the Port of Oswego. Good thing I knew enough to get by.
She had some appearance at a 95X concert in Liverpool and a Halloween event at the Palace Theater on James Street...Since content wasn't an issue at those, I passed.
But it was fun to participate in some way in her effort and we will see what Tuesday brings. Met some great people and as I have said, it was good to get outside the box politically.

The Conventional Wisdom Trap

Some voters are frozen in amber due to party loyalty, but among those independent types who are a tough sell are my longtime friends John and Vicki Rice. While we have worked together on campaigns, the Rices and I don't always agree and in this year of Andrew, they were committed to Carl Paladino's "Mad as Hell" campaign. They liked his message but increasingly were shaking their heads at his antics.
When the Rices stopped by to meet Kristin Davis last night it was more of a tip of the hat to me, and Vicki was not enthused about meeting her.
I introduced them and they talked for quite a while before leaving. Today I called John and they are both converts, hanging up signs and pitching their friends.
Same was true of a veteran journalist who I arranged an extended interview with. He thanked me effusively afterward for the opportunity.
There are others who have called me and said they are voting with her but just can't say so...Plus the local pols who I have done endless petitions for but couldn't show up and make an even bigger crowd.....
That's a shame.....Like a lot of my political friends, I had become too cautious...too unwilling to say s--- even if I just stepped in a pile of it....One thing with the Davis candidacy is it gets you thinking outside the box and unconventional.
It's sad when you are so afraid of what the conventional wisdom crowd thinks that you don't get exposed to anything other than .....conventional wisdom...
Some kudos to a long time elected Democrat I know who said he was abandoning the Cuomo candidacy to vote for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins after hearing him on the HOTLINE.
Then there is another spouse of a local GOP icon who told me she is voting for the Libertarian candidate after hearing the debate the press panned.
Seems not everyone is so enamored with the conventional choices.

WDT: Patty Pounds AEG Scandal....Darrel Says 'Look at Me, not Them'

The Republicans have as expected latched onto the NYS Inspector General's report critical of Senate leadership's handling of a video lottery terminal bidding process at Aqueduct Race Track in NYC. Meanwhile Senator Aubertine told a radio audience on the HOTLINE today that he should be judged on his own accomplishments and that the activities of downstate politicians are essentially matters between them and their constituents.
The close race in SD 48 hinges on pinning Senate dysfunction on Mr. Aubertine. In other words making the race one of Patty Ritchie vs Pedro Espada.
Mr. Aubertine accused the GOP of fielding a candidate without the depth of knowledge to function and says Mrs. Ritchie is a facade candidacy.
A Siena College poll on the race will come out Saturday and that will set the tone for the final 72 hours.
unflattering inspector general's report

Stuff Going On

-Is this worth a police report ? Somebody threw custard at the windows of a Paladino HQ in Rochester and used the ice cream-like confection to spell words like "homophobe" and "racist." Apparently not content with having won the election the left is still agitated....
First, if a Tea Party activist does something like this, its hate speech. If a Democrat does it, its fighting for justice. Just hose off the windows, and don't waste the cops time.
-Comptroller candidate Harry Wilson comes to Watertown today for a press conference in the basement of the HSBC building...Boy the local GOP knows stagecraft.
-The WDT endorsed John Burns for Jefferson County Sheriff over Chuck Ruggiero who likely sealed his fate with the paper over his choice of an undersheriff.
-Kristin showed a nice side when she sent get well flowers (from Grays it turns out) to Emily Widrick, the daughter of Tammy Bramhall. Emily was injured in a motorcycle mishap and got the posies yesterday. The candidate was also kind enough to chat on the phone with my mom who is an avid follower of NNY politics. Little things matter in politics as in life.
-Andrew Cuomo drives a 1975 Corvette, one of several cars he has had restored. He needs a cigarette boat to complete the picture. s
Bringing New Meaning To A ‘Smear Campaign’

A Pariah to the Pols....But Not the People

While her issues are intentionally provocative in order to piece together the coalition needed to obtain 50,000 votes, in conversations with numerous supporters Thursday Kristin Davis came across as what she is, a Goldwater style libertarian/conservative.
An advocate of less governement and lower spending is the best way to describe the former hedge fund manager, who on fiscal issues shares a background and philosophy with other candidates I have met and talked to but won't mention here because of the political toxicity surrounding Ms. Davis.
While she openly admits wrongdoing in her past, she has indeed "done the crime and served the time" and no one last night in a crowd that included business people, lawyers, and working folks seemed phased by that.
Its no secret I have worked on the campaign as an advisor on upstate issues and strategies and I have no reservations about my involvement.
Over the years I have helped many candidates, particularly with petitions and ballot access issues. I will say Ms. Davis is one of the few to have the manners to say thank you. She has worked hard and done a good job.
In a gubernatorial race that was never really competitive, she has earned my support for the consolation prize, which is ballot status for her party the next four years.
I think she has the intellect and temperment for the top job too, but that will be won by Andrew Cuomo, whom we all hope can make the changes the fraud Eliot Spitzer promised but didn't deliver.
So on Tuesday, look at the bottom of the list of candidates for governor and fill in the spot for Kristin Davis.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Davis a Hit in Watertown as Supporters Cast Ballots Before Heading to NYC Tuesday for Her Party

Independent Gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis picked up two votes Thursday night at Fort Pearl Tavern in Watertown.
Local supporters Tammy Bramhall and her daughter Emily cast their absentee votes for Ms. Davis, filling the ballots out during the candidate's visit. Ms. Davis was overwhelmed at the spontaneous support and it leaves her just 49,998 votes short of the 50K she needs to get ballot status for the Anti Prohibition Party she has formed.
Ms. Davis thanked the crowd of several dozen.....While the local political class all said they were afraid to be seen with anyone other than Andrew, those present were thrilled and impressed with the candidate who has taken a special liking to Watertown, even mentioning the city in a NY Daily News article yesterday.
"Watertown, I Love It." she said.

Must Have Had the Right Place...Must Have Had the Wrong Time

Normally the scene in Brownville is one incumbents crave....The pending reopening of a long idle mill with the leverage of state hydropower facilitating the move.
Jobs Jobs Jobs....The mantra of the model politician...
Senator Darrel Aubertine was front and center as he was in announcing a half million in state money from a flooded out retaining wall in Pulaski....
Responsive constituent work perhaps, but this seems the year the more you boast about incumbency the more people want something else.
Its just a feel I get lately about this race. Mr. Aubertine is doing all the Jim Wright type things but I don't think it counteracts the brutal images of the Democratic leadership in the Senate.
Mr. Aubertine is on the HOTLINE on Friday....He knows the questions without me telling him. I assume he has the answers.
I am looking forward to hearing him.

WDT; Just When Can You Say You've Been Arrested ?

WDT scribe Jude Seymour opines on when an arrest is an arrest as the Matt Doheny boat-a-palooza incidents from years back are rehashed by the Democrats.
An arrest is when your freedom of mobility is arrested by the actions of a government agent. If you can't keep doing what you were doing you are arrested.....Now charged....arraigned...convicted...those are all other matters.
If your freedom is impaired for anytime longer than a traffic stop, you are arrested....That doesn't mean you did anything wrong...That's a whole other matter....In any event its old news and everybody knows about it....
That's my opinion.
Watertown Daily Times When is an arrest an arrest?

Koch Rails Against Addie in Exclusive HOTLINE Interview

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch says Assemblywoman Addie Russell is an enemy of reform and deserves to be defeated on Tuesday. Mayor Koch was on the HOTLINE today where he talked about New York UpRising, a non-partisan group pushing legislative and redistricting reform.
Hizzoner is supporting Republican David Forsythe.
Mr. Koch declined to call Ms. Russell a "bum" even though his ads do suggest throwing the bums out.
Assemblywoman Russell called and said the former Mayor has a downstate agenda and that she is in fact willing to consider reform measures on an a la carte basis.
Mayor Koch also talked about the 1977 mayoral race where the campaign of then foe Mario Cuomo is said to have circulated the slogan "Vote for Cuomo, not the Homo," a reference to Koch' unmarried status. Mr Koch says he believes son Andrew was not part of the smear, then in a wry way said "but we will never know."
I did ask him "How am I Doin'? and he seemed to enjoy the reference to his favorite slogan.

Source: Bill Clinton in Watertown Monday to Stump for Owens

On a day when a new Siena Poll shows the NY 23 race deadlocked between Rep. Bill Owens and challenger Matt Doheny, a Democratic insider tells me former President Bill Clinton will come to Watertown Monday in an effort to push Mr. Owens across the finish line.
In a sign of the times, members of the current administration are steering clear of marginal races like NY23 in favor of the fond memories of the Clinton years.
The Siena poll also indicates many voters apparently unaware Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman has stopped campaigning and endorsed Mr. Doheny.

Paterson Details Plan For 898 Layoffs

Governor Paterson says the number of pending layoffs is less than expected at some 898.....During his tenure Mr Paterson has presided over an 11,000 person reduction in the payroll under control of the executive branch....
The Governor said today, "I am not proud of that."
Well , you should be. The state needs to cut spending and the only way that happens is through trimming payroll.
I am sure there are a lot more private sector jobs shed every month in New York.
Cutting is needed....We just cannot afford the status quo.
Paterson Details Plan For 898 Layoffs

Beware the Humble Family Phone This Weekend

Get ready to beware your telephone this weekend...Everybody is calling everybody mostly with robo-calls. With the practice so pervasive, I don't know how effective it is. However, consultants have their tool box of ways to spend it all before election day and this is one way to do it.
Direct mail is the other overdone commodity as technology allows for the printing, sorting and mailing of a gazillion pieces to targeted demographics at the blink of an eye.
There will be hand wringing and carping over these tactics but they will end Tuesday. For this year.
Paladino tossing the target list aside? - Maggie Haberman - POLITICO.com

Remember the Summer of '77....."Reggie..Reggie..." and "Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo"

This year's election features the emergence of two men and families on the scene a generation ago in a bitter race for mayor of the City of New York. Congressman Ed Koch was on his way to being mayor while Mario Cuomo (with the help of his son Andrew) were in a bitter fight that included a Cuomo slogan aimed at the unmarried Koch. "Vote for Cuomo, not the homo," was the takeaway line from that campaign and it has led to no love lost between the two men ever since.
This year the younger Cuomo is running for Governor and Ed Koch is out of retirement stumping for political reform. In fact he is due to talk on the HOTLINE today.
Since politics is run by those with a memory and a grudge, in this era of debate over same sex marriage and 'don't ask don't tell' the 1977 Cuomo taunt has been revived by Roger Stone on behalf of his client, independent gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis.
The line in her commercials on behalf of same sex marriage reads "vote homo, not Cuomo". The nuance and subtlety is likely lost on most voters but it was not lost on Liz who dug out this story on the Cuomo's and Mr. Koch.
Home of NY Daily News - special section Bronx is Burning - The New York -NYC- summer of 1977 at nydailynews

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WDT: Stone Praises Watertown for Its Hospitality

Political consultant Roger Stone has kind words for Watertown and Jefferson County in this interview with Jude Seymour. Roger has been a straight shooter and a pleasure to work with as have been other members of the Davis for Governor team. Its an honest protest candidacy designed to establish a third party line to advance personal freedom issues. Pleased to have been involved.
Watertown Daily Times Davis will make return stop to Watertown Thursday

A Shout Out for Watertown from the APP Candidate for Governor

Watertown gets a shout out from Kristin Davis in this Daily News Q & A of the third party candidates....When ask what the northernmost point upstate she had visited was, Kristin responded.....
" Watertown- Loved it ! "
Your Third-Party Gubernatorial Candidates Answer Our Questions -- Daily Intel

Patty as Hamlet Deciding on a HOTLINE Appearance

I ran into Patty Ritchie aka Patty Plate at the Doheny rally today. She said she is considering an appearance on the HOTLINE....Better hurry Patty, running out of time....Sen. Darrel Aubertine is on Friday and that leaves Thursday and Monday.
The conventional wisdom is she is ahead by six to eight points so it doesn't matter one way for the other.
Of course elections are not over till they are over, and the turnout models for Tuesday are unknown....If I were her I would spend that hour visiting a couple dozen homes...At this point there is little to be gained from going on the radio.
But I personally like Patty, so I hope she shows up....I am just saying as an operative, I wouldn't see any plus in it...

There's a Lot to be Said for Being Independent

The most liberating part of being a third party person is I can go endorse a candidate like Matt Doheny and mean it....Not just do it because its the party thing to do....
It was interesting to be in the room with so many Republicans as the MC and introducer of GOP icon Rudy Giuliani. Some of them likely wondered why, but the reason is simple....Independent voters will be the reason if Matt Doheny wins...Same is true if Bill Owens wins...
I like going to these events and am comfortable with the candidates there I am not planning to vote for, and there were some.....
Politics is about finding common ground...and on this day I was pleased to join with my Republican friends in backing Mr. Doheny. Above all, I think there is a common bond in that we all want to try and make a difference...
Why get mad at each other over that ?

Giuliani Swoops in to Back Doheny

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani told a crowd at the Watertown Aipport today that electing Matt Doheny was an essential part of ending the agenda of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Barack Obama.
Mayor Giuliani made stops in Plattsburgh and Watertown on behalf of Doheny who is battling Rep. Bill Owens for NY23.
Doheny told the crowd polls show him up by a little but that this is very much a district where turnout determines the winner.
Mr. Giuliani decried the passing of ObamaCare and said Americans are distraught with the values and agenda being pushed by Washington.
Mr. Giuliani also defended NYC and Wall Street from attacks in commercials.....In the crowd was State Senate hopeful Patty Ritchie who excoriates the City in her adds in an effort to discredit the Senate Democratic majority.
Other candidates were present for the endorsement by Mr. Giuliani and myself.

Q Poll: Double-Digit Leads For Cuomo, Gillibrand, Schumer

The latest polling shows the Democrats poised for a decisive sweep of the top statewide races, with Andrew Cuomo sporting a 20 point lead over Carl Paladino, a number that is remaining steady in various serveys. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand also have big leads.
What do you say ? It's over for these races, but there are many other important races including those for comptroller and attorney general as well as our local races.
And don't forget, the need for strategic voting in the governor's race...Which party line you vote on makes a difference.
Q Poll: Double-Digit Leads For Cuomo, Gillibrand, Schumer

McGrath Seeks to Swim Against the Tide in GOP District

The other under card race is the one for Assembly in the 122nd...A sprawling swath of rural, mountainous land trouching all or part of four counties and stretching from Lake Ontario...into the Adirondacks to the outskirts of Massena.
There is no population center or media center and its the end result of gerrymandering to create the adjacent River District thought winnable by Democrats.
Now Democrat Brian McGrath hopes to win the 122nd and he has the help of the district's current GOP Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava.
Opponent Ken Blankenbush is running a spirited campaign and no one really has a feel for how this race is going....You have to think advantage Blankenbush based on registration and mood this year...But McGrath has been spending and is a hard charger...

WDT: A Mission Taken On...Masonic Temple Slated as Cultural Center

The new owners of the old Masonic Temple in downtown Watertown have a challenge on their hands but the Adirondack Jewish Center wants to give it a try.....That's more than anyone else has been able to with the iconic but decaying building across from the Flower Memorial Library.
With $128,500 invested so far in the purchase the AJC has a stake in success. Let's wish them well.
Watertown Daily Times A TEMPLE NOT JUST FOR JEWS

Race for the River District

The race in AD 118 has been overshadowed by the big money races for Congress and State Senate, but it could be more interesting than originally thought. First term lawmaker Addie Russell has a liberal voting record but has been a very in touch and visible legislator. She was widely thought the favorite for reelection.
Then opponent David Forsythe mounted a late charge funded with tens of thousands of dollars of his own money and a suddenly omnipresent candidate in the Watertown area. Early on most people had thought Mr. Forsythe wasn't mounting a challenge...That has changed and without public polling its mostly a seat of the pants guess on who's ahead. I think Ms. Russell has the edge but I think an upset is possible.
Race for the River District - YNN, Your News Now

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WDT: Doheny's BUIs subject of new DCCC ad

Ahoy....Here's that BUI commercial I mentioned. The spot is the winner of the prestigious Wilbur Mills Award for best attack ad about drinking.
Watertown Daily Times Doheny's BUIs subject of new DCCC ad

The Owens Campaign is Starting to Annoy Even Me

Wow, Bill Owens will say anything to hold that Congressional seat....If anyone doesn't like Doheny's tax status, the IRS has a toll free number and you can play snitch.....I heard tonight its expected Mr. Owens will start in on the boating incidents as well.
This does smack of desparation and may have the opposite effect.
Its no secret I support Mr. Doheny, although I try to be fair on this blog. I have contributed to him and have a 4'x8' Doheny sign on my house.
I think the nonsense about 'foreign' bankers and secret Caymen Island stashes are getting old. This is class warfare against a guy who has been successful.
My view of Mr. Doheny is he is hard working and studious about the issues. He is a free market capitalist but understands people have certain expectations of government. There is nothing shady or sinister I have seen. If you are an Obamanista, then by all means vote against him...But don't vote against him because of the silliness out of his opponent's campaign.
I think the flailing of the Owens campaign goes above and beyond.
Owens accuses Doheny of avoiding taxes » NEW TODAY... » Press-Republican

For Republicans All Politics is Local and the Statewide Candidates are Pariahs

An advance man for GOP US Senate candidate Joe DioGuardi called me of all people tonight because he was looking to set up an event for a planned Sunday morning visit to Watertown....I was at a loss to suggest things to do at that time, and I gave him the cell number of the Republican county chair.
As I told him, the locals have pretty much written off the statewide candidates and are at best interested in their own races....No way a Doheny or a Ritchie is going to stand with a marginal statewide candidate who is almost sure to lose his race.
I don't have a dog in that fight and frankly am sure Kirsten Gillibrand will win the race.....But I did think Mr. DioGuardi did a good job on their recent debate.
Hope he finds something to do Sunday morning.

WFP Shock Troop Smitten By APP Candidate

An operative stopped in Fort Pearl and wanted to buy my Kristin Davis sandwich board sign out front.....I told him no...Its serving the purpose of increasing voter awareness of the candidate prior to Tuesday...
Turns out this guy was a Democrat in town to assist Darrel Aubertine. I told him about Kristin and suggested he vote for her....Ohhhh Noooooo......He made it a point to tell me he is voting for Andrew (who keeps score) Heck I wouldn't have reported him to June....
So I said to him...Andrew is going to win by 1.2 million votes and one more or less doesn't matter....but it would help Kristin get the 50,000 she needs to win ballot status...
The visiting operative from New Paltz said no. he has to vote for Andrew on line E so the Working Families Party can move ahead of the Conservative Party which is not on Line D.
Then he ask me to call him if Kristin is in the area this week so he could meet her....Hell no pal, if you are that addicted to Andrew.
Wonder if his "minders" know he would take a night off from canvassing for Darrel to sneak off to 'cuse to meet the Anti-Prohibition Party candidate.

Davis on HOTLINE: I Am Seeking Redemption for the Past in This Run for Governor

The third of the seven candidates for governor appeared on the HOTLINE today and it was my pleasure to interview Kristin Davis for half an hour. Her segment starts at 14 minutes into the attached link...(it loads slowly at first so be patient)
Kristin is working hard and did well in last week's debate. She hopes to at least get the 50,000 votes needed to establish a new third party and has shown a special interest in Jefferson County.
Take a listen to Kristin and unless you are intent on running up the score for Andrew, please give consideration to her efforts.
Newzjunky: Hotline 1240-WATN Oct. 26, 2010

Journal Backs Ritchie

Patty Ritchie has picked up the endorsement of the Ogdensburg Journal...

Don't Mess With Andrew.....Even If You Are Just a Duck

The Paladino Duck (as in no more debates) was threatened by what are said to be union members supporting Andrew Cuomo for Governor......
Why does the Cuomo campaign feel the need to use such tactics with the race already won...It was like the commercials Cuomo posted rapping Paladino campaign staffers....
This is a guy who takes names and keeps score...
Speaking of score...I guess got ripped off by NYS for another $900 on my smoking permit....The 2009 enacted hike from $100 to $1000 was stayed by a court order and the state (with Mr. Cuomo as its attorney) never told anyone till after the money was sent in...This year they sent out bills for $1,000 and thinking the stay was lifted , I sent it in...
Today the fellow at Grays Wholesale said you only have to send in $100 as the stay is still in effect.
That's the score I keep track of when voting....
State of Politics Blog

NY 23 Listed as One of Politicos To-Watch Races

Politico has listed NY 23 on its list of 35 races to watch on election night...That explains the escalating advertising and hectic campaigning...Republican Matt Doheny is thought to have a good shot at reclaiming the long GOP seat against one year incumbent Rep. Bill Owens.
Doheny is largely self funded and comes from the more populous western end of the district.
When was the last time we had a competitive Congressional race in a regular election cycle ? I don't know as we ever have....Sit back and enjoy the fun !
2010 Complete Election Coverage:

GOP Gaining in NY20 and that May Bode Well for Doheny.

A possible bit of good news for Matt Doheny from the adjacent Congressional district......CD 20 is too our east and southeast and is a Republican area won by Democrat Scott Murphy a couple years back. Now GOP candidate Chris Gibson has turned a 17 point deficit to a 9 point lead in the latest Siena Poll.
The district is similar in makeup and voting history to the 23rd where Doheny seeks to oust another recent Democratic takeover in Rep. Bill Owens.

Dems Seek to Tie Ritchie to Paladino Boogie Man

The latest piece of mail I got backs up the commercials on TV attempting to link Patty Ritchie to GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.
There is some serious extrapolating going on to suggest that all these dire things happen if Paladino is governor.
Patty Ritchie is on Paladino's new independent line called the Taxpayers Party, but since it is not a ballot access party, there is really no formal connection other than both candidates submitted petitions with the same party name on them.
There is no common platform or nominating process.
However, Ms. Ritchie was anxious to pick up on the Paladino summer rage and now that is being turned against her.
The big city liberal composers of this mailer likely think Mr. Paladino's ideas will scare folks up here like they do on the Upper East Side.....I am not sure thats true and don't think the Paladino linking hurts Ritchie in any meaningful way.

WDT: DANC given authority to grant PILOT deals

The decision by the Development Authority to get into the PILOT business is prompted the failure of the county IDA to act on matters related to housing. Given the local economy's dependence on Fort Drum, housing is very important as it drives the whole ability to house troops and their families. The effort by DANC chief Jim Wright to move things along is laudable, but there are some things to remember in this whole arena of obviating taxes for some.
My largest caveat on payment in lieu of tax deals offered by non elected entities is that it skirts the role of taxation through representation. I am particularly concerned with two items.
One are "fees"charged by such agencies which become a de facto tax, with the monies no longer appropriated by an elected body. This is in essence a diversion of the legislative process to others.
My other concern, and I have expressed it related to the so called Uniform Tax Exemption Policies, is sales tax.
When tax incentives were devised some 50 years ago, sales tax did not exist. Now it is the single largest portion of the revenue of municipalities, dwarfing property taxes. Cutting the flow of these dollars has a clear upward push on the only remaining area of discretion for local governments and that is property taxes.
Granting sales tax exemptions on building materials is also a hard to police area. With property taxes, the item being taxed is real and finite. With sales tax, you don't really know what is being bought. Also, sales tax is a broad based tax meant to be paid by all and the abating of it for some in essence shifts this essentially regressive tax even further to the middle and lower income families that pay so much of the sales tax.
Exemptions are an area that need be approached gingerly, as good intentions with our tax code do not always produce the intended results.
Watertown Daily Times DANC given authority to grant PILOT deals

Monday, October 25, 2010

WDT: Clarifying the record: Ritchie on wind power

I was trying to achieve the clarity promised by Ms. Ritchie's clarification of her position on wind development. There is no clarity.
Her notion that the "community" should decide is something we often hear....What is the "community"? Is it people within a geo-political subdivision called the Town of Cape Vincent.....or some other artificial collection termed "community". Is the whole state a "community"? It is on many issues....like speed limits....or the drinking age.....That includes the downstaters, Ms. Ritchie says are not part of the "community" that decides on wind.
I suspect wind development...or any development is a property rights and land use issue....Its your property, and if its a permitted use under zoning, you can do what you want.
Because a town board is deadlocked by conflict, that doesn't mean you call a referendum.....As in 216 people say Joe can have wind....219 say no....So no wind for Joe.
Land use and rights should be matters of law...Not some vague community sentiment that could change by tomorrow.
There is nothing clear about Ms. Ritchies statements....
But I appreciate Jude's valiant effort to provide some where there was none.
Watertown Daily Times Clarifying the record: Ritchie on wind power

We Surprised Fred, but he Was Fine With It

We did a test today on the third floor press hangout in the Capitol.
After the Fred Dicker-Carl Paladino showdown in Bolton's Landing, we wondered if Paladino was right about the veteran scribe, so this afternoon Kristin Davis and I showed up unannounced at Dicker's office.....
He was.........a nice guy...Very cordial to me and respectful to the candidate...
Must be something with the Paladino campaign after all.

Kristin, Tammy and I Tour Albany Press Cave

Gubernatorial candidate Kristin Davis told reporters in Albany today she is on a mission of redemption in her bid to be the first woman governor.
Ms. Davis held a news conference at the Crowne Plaza before she and I prowled the Legislative Correspondents area on the third floor of the Capitol. Among those we talked to was Fred Dicker of New York Post.
Ms. Davis talked about her own past which had led to four months in jail related to her illicit escort service that serviced high end clients including top politicians and athletes.
The candidate said she is proud of her effort to establish a new third party to advocate for libertarian issues and wants to turn a corner in her life.
Davis says she is confident she can garner the 50,000 votes needed to put her Anti Prohibition Party on the ballot.
Davis also stressed the need for lower taxes in New York and says the number one complaint she hears is the lack of jobs in the state.
She criticised lawmakers and their scandals which she says detracts from the interests of average New Yorkers.
I also ran into Ken Lovett of the NY Daily News who when at the WDT covered my first campaign for Mayor.

Tammy and I in Albany for Davis Presser

Just arrived in Albany with Wicked Wench owner Tammy Bramhall for a Kristin Davis press conference at the Crowne Plaza.
Tammy hosted Ms. Davis during a visit to West Carthage last month and is a big supporter. We both have been part of her effort and came down to lend moral support with a week left.
Ms. Davis is seeking to secure the 50,000 + votes to establish a new party line to advance her mostly libertarian agenda.
We will update later.

Zoo Director Sought to Maintain Momentum at Watertown's Showcase in Thompson Park

The Thompson Park Zoo is at a crossroads as its executive director, Dr. John Foster announced his departure to return to a job nearer his family in Indiana.
The successful facility has propsered under Fosters tenure, but as a not for profit trying to maintain an expensive operation, its a continuing challenge to stay afloat.
The Zoo enjoys considerable public goodwill. Everyone likes animals and its a great facility for education and tourism.
A director has to be part facility manager, part fundraiser and be a personable booster of the facility to the public and the local money people, which includes public entities that help fun the Zoo.
The city is on the verge of accepting a bid to re-do the roof on the main building and City Council has pledged to fund rehabilitation of the Aviary built some three decades ago.
These projects need to proceed even though there is no director in place.
Its a tough position to fill, as its a small facility in a small city. There are a limited field of people with the skill set.
Hopefully the Conservancy Board will be successful in quickly filling this important but unique job.

Schumer Talks Record, as Townsend Says Chuck's Been in DC Too Long

Jay Townsend has called the HOTLINE a couple of times this year and seems an affable, common sense guy but last night he surely had his hands full trying to take on Senator Chuck Schumer in their one and only debate.
Townsend took jabs at the Senator , while Mr Schumer concentrated on policy and his record.
With a 67-28 margin in the polls going in, Chuck Schumer, like Andrew Cuomo, just had to keep his cool. He did and the debate likely changes little.
The Republicans had two Senate seats to contest this year, and have been unable to field a viable challenger in either.....A lot of its money. When one guy is sitting on $30K and the other $20 million, its hard to gain traction.
Also, Senator Schumer has such a record of hard work, constituent service and constantly visiting the states 62 counties, its hard to imagine him losing.
With the Senate going to be more Republican in the next two years and possibly in GOP control, New York will still have a hard working advocate in Chuck Schumer.
The only glimmer of a race for Senate is the other seat with Senator Gillibrand leading Joe Dio Guardi. She will likely win but that race is closer.
Townsend spends debate needling Schumer - Capitol Confidential

Carl Paladino Tries His Hand At Another Meeting With Orthodox Leaders: Updated »

Give Carl Paladino credit for trying. Back to Brooklyn Sunday he went to meet with Orthodox Jews in the Williamsburg section. That was the scene of his "sabotaged" visit when he read from remarks provided him by a rabbi and conveniently even the unspoken, crossed out comments about gays were quickly fed to a waiting media.....For Paladino, it was his Gay Gate, and he ended up apologizing for some kinda dumb remarks.
Mr. Paladino was back talking to the Rabbis about every other issue. The socially conservative group likely doesn't amount to many voters and appealing to them so strongly gets the GOP candidate little, but those present praised Paladino and said he did a good job on answering questions.
With only a week to go, its hard to see him averting disaster at the polls.
His next stop might be to see some GOP leaders, who are all afraid to be seen with him.
Carl Paladino Tries His Hand At Another Meeting With Orthodox Leaders: Updated »

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Free Radio Time to Lots of Voters..Some Want it...Some Don't

After days of phone tag and scheduling issues, we have decided on Wednesday for the HOTLINE interview with Brian McGrath....So get your questions ready.
I have a guest for Tuesday so the last chance for Aubertine and Ritchie is to book Thursday or Friday
Patty doesn't need the air time, but I think Darrel could do himself some good, even though his inner circle is dead set against it.
Oh well, their loss.
I am getting lots of comments from friends about the robocalls, the front door visits and the endless commercials....Now that big time competitive races have come to the North Country, its a real trip to watch it all.
By the way, I will be off the HOTLINE on Monday, so my collegue Joe Brosk will be filling in. Give him lots of calls.

Transparency ? Oh , That Can't Happen Till After the Election

The MSM must really hate Carl Paladino...According to this Buffalo News story, we are about to elect a governor who has been kept under wraps and incommunicado for the campaign... Despite the Nixonian cloak of secrecy, the media is falling over itself to gush the most enthusiastic endorsement.
From his official schedule to tax returns, it seems a bit of obfuscation is afoot. With no significant exposure in either live debate or interview formats, Mr. Cuomo pretty much gets a pass on his sojourne to Eagle Street.
As he nears his goal of visiting all 62 counties, Mr. Cuomo can rest assured in just nine days he will be governor-elect and the new administration should have a chance to demonstrate that "transparency" is more than slogan.
Cuomo shies from practice of openness - Politics - The Buffalo News

Buffalo News Scorns Favorite Son Carl to Embrace Andrew

Really, when you think about, what newspaper publisher is going to back Carl Paladino for governor ?.....Even his hometown Buffalo News scorned the favorite son.
First of all publishers like to be thought well of in political and professional circles and Paladino's gruff style isn't for the dainty crowd....And besides, no matter how much you like Paladino's rage against the machine and his proposals for real cuts, there is the lingering feeling that his lack of skill and knowledge would end up making Eliot Spitzer look like an effective governor.
Endorsing Cuomo will be an automatic for all newspapers in the state...
And the publishers and the cities they serve remember what the pols know...Andrew keeps score.
WNY Newspapers Go With Cuomo

Post Standard Likes Bill Owens

The Syracuse Post Standard has bought the argument that Matt Doheny is "too Wall Street". The paper endorsed Democrat Bill Owens in NY23 as a moderate candidate who is a better fit for the North Country. The 23rd touches portions of the Post Standard circulation area.
There will likely be a mix of endorsements in the district.
Whatever, you think of the MSM, I still think reading different endorsements is a good thing to do because the people writing them at least took some time to study the matter.
Yesterday, the Ogdensburg Journal backed Doheny.
Post-Standard endorsement - 23rd Congressional District: Bill Owens syracuse.com

Comptroller: Revenues Climb but Not Enough to Meet Spending Demand

Just in case you forgot the state is broke, the budget enacted this year is already sinking into the red as revenues cannot possibly keep pace with spending. It'll all be better when some of that "streamlining" of state government gets underway.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says revenues must grow 12 percent for budget to remain balanced - NYPOST.com

Running Mates are Good Soldiers and Little More

The running mates garner little attention but Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy and Chautauqua County Executive Gred Edwards are still out there making the case for their bosses.
In Edwards case, he is the calm, rational, policy guy on the ticket juxtaposed to flame-throwing and bombastic Carl Paladino. Mayor Duffy's role is to look the part of the tough cop turned big city mayor and not to say anything too controversial.
Yesterday, Duffy spoke at a Democratic rally held at the Albany HQ of SEIU 1199.....He sidestepped the Aqueduct scandal, saying he and his boss will figure out the Senate when the time comes.
Mr. Edwards was making the case on taxes, which in Rochester and Monroe County are on the high side....
While the GOP LG candidate is very credible and competant, it doesn't matter since the top of the ticket is what is judged. Greg Edwards is being the good soldier. I saw him last Monday sitting next to Mrs Paladino in the audience at the debate....He had to be cringing when Carl couldn't answer those questions on Medicaid, he could have rattled off without missing a beat....Got to be frustrating being number two.
Andrew Cuomo Running Mate Bob Duffy: Take Nothing For Granted

WDT: We Like DiNapoli, Even if No One Else Does

In the opinion game, Republican Harry Wilson had been doing well, garnering the endorsements of all three NYC dailies last week, so I read with interest a contrarian view in this morning's WDT, which backed Democrat Tom DiNapoli.
One basis for backing Wilson had been a long standing, but recently abandoned, practice of governors and comptrollers of opposite parties. A sort of check and balance. What is odd this year is that DiNapoli seems more the check and balance, as presumptive governor Andrew Cuomo has tacitly backed Wilson, as have the folks at the NY Times.
Mr. Wilson brings a private sector view to the job and has pointed out the need to end the folly of funding the pension system through unreasonable assumptions of future return on investment. Wilson also has pointed out the need to move away from the defined benefit system the state has.
Mr. DiNapoli has been viewed as the hack politician put in the slot after Alan Hevesi imploded four years ago.
Because Mr. DiNapoli is not the apparent choice of the next governor, the argument is that he is more independent. That's an interesting point that makes this race tough for voters to decide.
Watertown Daily Times Elect DiNapoli