Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Charlie Sheen is Too Damn High Party

Looks like the Jimmy McMillan phenomenon has not yet run its course.
The Charlie Sheen is Too Damn High Party from FOD Team, billyeichner, and Jimmy McMillan

Bloomberg: Congress "Can't Read"

The man who amended the City Charter and then spent $109 million dollars on a third term reelection so we wouldn't have to go without him, now says Members of Congress are too provincial and "can't read."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg chose foreign soil (China) to rip his own country. Mr. Bloomberg often talks down to the rest of us.
TheDailyPolitics - NY Daily News

Ballot Position Cited as One Factor in Efforts to Win Ballot Status

Since the election, I have gotten a lot of voter and reader comments about how difficult is was to find the candidates who drew the short straw and ended up at the bottom of the ballot.
Among them were gubernatorial candidates Charles Barron and Kristin Davis who were in a separate column because the Governor column was filled with cross endorsements and other candidates. People tell me it was confusing, so it may be more than coincidence the isolated candidates finished last and next to last with about half as many votes as the other candidates.
Another shrewd move that helped a candidate was Jimmy McMillans decision to have no running mate. That meant a single name in the box which stood out more and was more readable. (see comment below, Jimmy may have been more lucky than shrewd)
Of course McMillan's Rent too High schtick at the debate caught the media fancy and made him the publicity darling of the MSM. He became the novelty candidate.
None of the minor candidates had extensive organizations. The Greens and Libertarians do have a framework of organization which helped. Davis had the most sophisticated strategy effort with Roger's help. McMillan had nothing other than the buzz he got by wearing black gloves and barking "the Rents too DAMN High."
Now, I am not suggesting the whole race hinged on ballot position, but there is no doubt it is a factor, and that is why all these groups wanted to win ballot status for the next four years.
Message and candidate matter to be sure, but in the absence of a Golisano-size checkbook to buy your way to 50,000, the little things like position are a big deal.
Also, with fewer than 200,000 people willing to vote for a minor candidate, the five candidate field was crowded.
In the end, the Greens won ballot status. They also had the best ballot position on Tuesday.

Republicans Have Some Victories to Crow About in NY

Republicans are glad there are some ticket splitters in New York State...The GOP has picked up five House seats and is poised to pick up two more with GOP candidates sporting leads in NY1 on Long Island and NY25 in Syracuse.
If that holds the Republicans will have rebounded from a 29-2 deficit in the delegation.
The state senate is still up in the air but it appears it will be 31-31 or 32-30 for the GOP. Light turnout and a blowout race for Governor masked the Republican comeback in House seats, but the change gives the party at least a presence in the Northeast, something lacking after 2006 and 2008.
TheDailyPolitics - NY Daily News

Post Election Boondoggle for State Pols

Maybe I am from too far upstate, but other than warm weather, why do all our state officials have to trek to Puerto Rico for some conference called SOMOS. The Governor-elect, the Comptroller, even Liz.....
I know there are a lot of Puerto Ricans in NYC, but why run to San Juan on our dime ?
Cuomo Has A Change Of Heart On Somos

Friday, November 5, 2010

They Lost But They Are Not "Losers"

I hate having to use the term "loser" after an election......The candidates who didn't win this year are not losers.....I met them all and talked to them all...They didn't win but I wouldn't be quick to call them "losers", although I acknowledge they did indeed lose their election.
Some of the "losers" I voted for and I don't regret it at all.
People like Matt Doheny and and Darrel Aubertine...and yes my new friend Kristin Davis, are all smart, committed people who for whatever reason didn't make their goal this year.....Others I didn't vote for like Dave Forsythe, Brian McGrath and Chuck Ruggiero are all stand-up people who should hold their heads high.
To call any of them "losers" is the ultimate in smugness. I like them all and respect them all. (PS I know Jude was not calling them losers in a perjorative sense, but I was just using the article to make my point.)
Watertown Daily Times Losers upbeat in return to normal life

A View of Mayor Graham

Even in line to See the Geeks, one is subject to a blog post !
the circus: A View of Mayor Graham

Keith Olbermann suspended after donating to Democrats -

FLASH- Keith Olbermann contributes to Democratic candidates....Who else would he contribute to ?
Now he has been suspended without pay for doing so....Apparently he violated written policy at NBC....If it was agreed to policy, then he should be in trouble.....
But really...We all know what his agenda is....He is an opinion maker for the left...So what if contributes to candidates ? As long he is up front about it...I say reinstate Keigh Olbermann and explain what he is...I am sure the public already knows.
Keith Olbermann suspended after donating to Democrats - Simmi Aujla -

What Saved Tom DiNapoli?

One of the surprises of the election was the victory of Comptroller Tom DiNapoli., who bested Republican Harry Wilson...
Wilson spend more and provided the advantage of a GOP check and balance to the new administration. That used to the be the norm in NY politics.
Wilson also had the tacit support of Governor-elect Cuomo....And all newspapers (except the WDT) endorsed Wilson.
DiNapoli had labor support, but it was a low turnout election where the dominant party had a built in advantage.
Also, I never saw Wilson here in Watertown late in the campaign. Wonder if he thought he had it in the bag ?
What Saved Tom DiNapoli?

Maffei To Supporters: ‘Don’t Let Them Steal This’

Oh please....Congressman Maffei, what are you saying, that your neighbors in Central New York are crooked ? Anne Marie Buerkle is ahead and may win the Syracuse seat in Congress. Don't try to make it look like anyone is stealing anything.
Mr. Maffei is a former aide to Rep. Charles Rangel....If anyone has learned the game well, it's you Congressman.
Maffei To Supporters: ‘Don’t Let Them Steal This’

Two Bars and a Blog Deliver Some Votes...There is a Lesson in That

Bad ballot position and the presence of media darling Jimmy McMillan contributed but the principle reason gubernatorial hopefuls like Kristin Davis couldn't transform their issues into a new political party is the reason that all such efforts come up short.
Its takes boots on the bround to deliver votes.
Assuming the candidate has intelligence and some issues to talk about, which she did, it takes more than trying to get interviewed on television and radio show to deliver votes.
In her quest to get to 50,000 votes, Ms Davis drew 23,000 or so...that's 0.54% statewide.....
In spots like Clinton County, she drew only 0.23%.
In Jefferson County the percentage was over five times the state average and twelve times that in Clinton County. The 2.92% was not huge, but more than sufficient to help a fledgling third party tally the votes it needs to get ballot status.
It all happened because a couple tavern owners (Tammy and I) hosted events with her, got her a little local media coverage, and rustled up friends and customers to support her, after she had asked for some assistance in our neck of the woods. A direct mail piece on the final day also helped.
I did some posts here, but this audience is not that large and the radio interviews were restricted as the boss said he wanted equal time rules adhered to strictly.
In short, a modest effort, a good candidate and some issues attracted votes. Thats the way its supposed to work.
Starting a new party seems easy enough...but its not....It takes people to get the job done and you can't get the people unless you already have a party.
Even the Greens barely made 50,000 and they have a known brand name.
Parties like the Indy line got started because one man (Golisano) dropped some serious cash to get attention. Now the party survives by cross endorsing the Spitzers and Cuomos in hopes these landslide winners will attract voters who don't want to vote Democratic.
Anti Prohibition Party candidate Davis says she will still be active as a voice for specific issues. She won't have a boutique party to use as a platform, but if she sticks with it and develops some grass roots organization, there surely will be a need for an advocate for personal and economic freedom in 2014.

Is Democracy Fading or Is It Just That We Are Finally Seeing a Little of It Here

When you are in the tavern business, you talk to a lot of people and its amazing how many people are detached from the "democracy" America touts.
They are forced to follow the raucous campaigns outlined in this OP/ED by the WDT's Perry White....Mr. White correctly ticks off the intellectually vacuous and money driven campaigns the likes of which we all just witnessed.
People will talk to me about the candidates and issues played out before them, and then end the conversation with "oh, I don't vote," as if thats a good thing.
For the first time anyone remembers, we had contested races for all the federal and state offices. The broadcast executives are giddy over the bushel baskets of money, yet again this year, we never saw a live television debate, despite the fact technology makes the process easier than ever.
Operatives hide their candidates. There are no public rallies because no one would show up. Its all an air war with lawn signs, robocalls and mailings. Its a campaign of mutually assured destruction because if the other guy is doing it, then I have to as well.
One could argue the system works. Disatisfaction with Albany defeated a senator.
Maybe it did work. I just think people have been conditioned to expect too much from government, and its easier to tout failure when government is placed on such a pedestal.
Also I think the old paradigm of Republicans and Democrats is less relevant to people now who see their economic and personal freedom under assault by all of government.
I agree with everything Perry said, but don't look for much to change soon...Because what is happening seems to work and a politician running for a big time office has to check their soul at the door in order to access the big money needed to run these campaigns.
Watertown Daily Times God help democracy

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Journal: Governor to Appoint New County Clerk When Ritchie Leaves

Democrats lost a Senate seat but now they pick up the St. Lawrence County Clerk's job....The job now held by Senator Elect Patty Ritchie will be filled through gubernatorial appointment....That means a Democrat gets the nod.
The appointment lasts through 2011 as the new term is elected next November.

Another vacancy to be filled will be that of Jefferson County Legislature Chair Ken Blankenbush. The chairmanship go to either Phil Reed or Carolyn Fitzpatrick. (Carolyn likely has right of first refusal) Then the lawmakers have to fill Mr. B's seat in District 5, which is in the Town of LeRay.
The Journal Gov. To Appoint New County Clerk Cuomo Likely To Name New Clerk After Ritchie Resigns To Takes Over Senate Seat

Carl and Andrew Playing Phone Tag

Concession calls are never easy and you definately want to get them over with...Good manners dictates you make the call and act gracious even though you are crushed...Usually the crush comes the next day, so the call that night is easier done the earlier.
I have had to make a couple...One to Joe I did in person to Bob Nortz...The US Senate race wasn't necessary since I was a minor party candidate, but I still saw Hillary the next day at an airport thank you rally, so I made it a point to do it there. (I was basicly a stalking horse anyway, just a way to keep Lazio from getting the C Line in order to help Hillary. Her operatives had met with me prior to the nominating convention.)
Usually when I have won, I got a call promptly, except one year when it took a week and then it was in writing.
As far as Paladino's call....Mr. Cuomo should return the call and make nice, so Carl doesn't take after him with the orange bat.
The Concession Call That Never Happened -

Few New Avenues for Third Party Voters.

You would think there would be a market for personal and economic freedom even in a blue state like NY.
Whether its marriage equality or lower taxes to stimulate job growth, the notion of freedom seems to escape New Yorkers.
You would think something called the "Libertarian Party" would carve out a niche for that viewpoint...But they came up short in this year's gubernatorial race, failing to garner the 50,000 votes needed for party status. The far left Greens made the hurdle.
The Libertarians have people...they successfully petitioned a guy named Warren Redlich on as candidate for governor......Despite a decent debate performance this guy couldn't carry the water. They likely suffer from what all third parties suffer from....a lack of a cohesive network of like minded people to line up votes across the state. Plus you need more than a candidate with good talking points. People still liked to be entertained and a drab personality doesnt attract votes to a 3rd party hopeful.
Its tough to start a party from scratch...I guess its intended to be tough.
Four of five third party efforts failed to make the grade this year....With only 4.4 million votes cast and less than 200K going to the independent candidates, its a tough road.
Especially when 4oK of the pool is wasted on the incoherent ramblings of a man who claims the rents is too damn high.
Except for the Greens, New Yorkers will have to be content with the existing minor parties that are merely cross endorse vehicles.

WHS Dome Bound Tomorrow

Kudos the Cyclones of Watertown High School who are headed to the Carrier Dome tomorrow for sectionals against Whitesboro;
WWNY: Dome-ward Bound

Senate Update and Ballot Update

Just to update, some astute GOP operatives have commented that the Buffalo area seat in question and at least one other are likely to go Republican, meaning a 32-30 or 33-29 Senate is a good possibility.
One may say efforts to string out the count into the new year, but let's hope not.

Also, it looks like the Independence Party still may hang on to Line D after being ousted by the Conservatives from Line C
It had looked like the WFP may take the D line, although they are said to be 1000 behind the Indy's.

New York's cliffhanger: Who will run the state Senate? |

The most likely scenario in the State Senate may be a 31-31 tie....And according to experts the Lieutenant Governor only can break ties on procedural matters and not on legislation or the budget.
It will be up to lawmakers to make the process work, something they have had problems with or late.
Now one of the remaining close races could flip one way or the other thus giving one party the edge...Most likely the GOP.
New York's cliffhanger: Who will run the state Senate?

Meet Sandra Lee, The Soon-To-Be First Lady Of NY

The kitchen at the Governor's Mansion on Eagle Street in Albany may need some updating as Food Network star Sandra Lee prepares to move in. Ms. Lee is the girlfriend of Governor Elect Andrew Cuomo.
In a sign of the times, Ms. Lee will be the First Lady of NY although she and the Governor are not married. By all accounts she is a talented and charming woman and will serve well in role.
New Yorkers look forward to meeting her.
Meet Sandra Lee, The Soon-To-Be First Girlfriend Of NY « CBS New York – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

Life Goes On

Today there is a meeting of the Watertown Trust and a forum for those interest in the rebuild of the JB Wise parking lot...Just the mundane but important functions of government that continue now that the excitement of a campaign is over.
Remember the majority of people in the community do not even vote in these elections so its good to remember there is a world out there that just chugs along independent of what the chattering class is up to.
Watertown Daily Times Meeting set tonight on J.B. Wise lot project

Did Ritchie run a better 21st century campaign? « The In Box

So much is always said about the tactics and strategies of a campaign. As if a candidate won because of lawn signs or the number ot Twitter posts.
It really comes down to what it always has.
Who do the 15 to 25 percent of voters who are persuadable want ?...Who do they feel is both qualified and capable of representing their interests. This year party label played a larger role as voters looks at what caucus in Albany or Washington was in charge. But party is not the only consideration, as voters stayed with Rep. Bill Owens despite a national wave against Democrats.
The 40% or so of registered voters who regularly vote are serious people who do think about what they are doing.
So while social media, lawn signs, commercials and direct mail all matter in terms of getting a name out there...Much of it is becoming clutter...It still comes down to personal contact with voters and who projects the notion of competance and the political values folks embrace.
In Ms. Ritchie's case, she worked hard meeting people and reassuring voters it was OK to make a change. That's the way it was done a long time before Facebook. ..She appealed to and reassured the middle of the electorate willing to look at change.
It was a good effort and its time for everyone to acknowledge that and move on.
Did Ritchie run a better 21st century campaign? « The In Box

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Third Party ballot shuffle ahead - Capitol Confidential

Preliminary numbers from the election show the Conservative Party...considered on the ropes three months enough votes to take the coveted Line C on the ballot for the next four years...
Meanwhile WFP officials claim they may take Line D, leaving the Independence Party on Line E....
Results are not official, but the Indy Party had put Andrew Cuomo on solely to retain the C line, but apparently it didn't work.
Third Party ballot shuffle ahead - Capitol Confidential

Hoffman Stiffs GOP

Can somebody get this guy off the stage ?
Doug Hoffman sat on his hands and let NY23 stay in the hands of Democrats, even though the rest of the House went overwhelmingly to the GOP.
He lost the GOP primary and was still on the Conservative line...Now if he had decided to contest that vigorously as a three way contest, that was OK....But he choose to suspend his campaign and urged voters to vote for the "Republican nominee" in the 23rd....He didn't mention Matt Doheny by name and he refused to appear with him.
I have spoken well of Mr. Hoffman on several occasions, but his actions showed a level of pique that was a diss to the conservative cause.....Doug Hoffman aided and abetted the election of Rep. Bill Owens.
Let's hope Doug abandons his desire for high office.
Hoffman Sounds Off On Owens Win - News Story - WPTZ Plattsburgh

Kristin Says She is Down But By No Means Out

Despite a setback in her first try at public office, Kristin Davis says she will try again at some point. Her run had successes in terms of getting on the ballot for a statewide race and establishing a presence on issues beyond her previous occupation. The failure to secure 50,000 votes is surely a disappointment, but Tammy and I and the others who met her in Watertown wish her well.
We performed the best of any county in the state I believe at 2.92%. That was just with a couple of visits, some blog posts and a bit of media. If that effort had been organized in other spots, the goal might have been met....But statewide races are dicey propositions if you are not currently a party and just trying to become one.
A little grass roots building and 2014 will be here before she knows it.
I suspect there will still be a need for a minor party committed to the notion of economic sanity and personal freedom.
Facebook (16) Kristin Davis For Governor

Aubertine Not Conceding, Not Gunning For Admin Job

Well he lost anyway...Actually a "concession" has no bearing on who takes office. It is merely a ritual.
If you think you lost and concede and then an error is found that puts you ahead in the certified count, you still won.....So waiting till the results are final is OK, as long as you congratulate the winner then.
Aubertine Not Conceding, Not Gunning For Admin Job

Creating Jobs

Speculation will begin soon on what positions in the Cuomo Administration two soon to be former NNY lawmakers will get.
Obvious chatter is already out there about Senator Darrel Aubertine as Agriculture Secretary. It is a tradition to take care of electeds who performed well for the party but took it on the chin in an election. Mr. Aubertine would seem a good fit for the job.
The other mystery appointment would be Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava, who had backed Mr. Cuomo and other Democrats in a clear break with the GOP of which she is registered.
Ms. Scozzafava is clearly owed consideration for her withdrawal from the 2009 Congressional race which allowed Bill Owens to win. She endorsed Mr. Owens again this year.

Doheny Loss Comes Despite Herculean Effort By Candidate

Nobody likes to lose, especially after spending the last year driving back and forth across an eleven county Congressional district, looking for votes. That's what Matt Doheny did and Tuesday night he came up short, losing his bid to unseat Rep. Bill Owens by two percentage points.
There is always a tendency to think that if only I had more lawn signs and a few more commercials it would make a difference. It usually doesn't. Fact is Bill Owens is a strong candidate. He has political skills and leaves the perception of a moderate man. He worked the district the past year as welll and made friends. He polled 49 percent in each of the past two years, considered strong for a Democrat in this formerly red district.
Both sides attacked each other. Mr. Doheny associating Mr Owens with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mr. Owens tagging Doheny as a shady Wall Street foreign banker who exported jobs overseas. He also made the most of those boating incidents in 2004 and the fact that Doheny owns an island in the St. Lawrence River.
Mr. Doheny's biggest dilemma was the split in the GOP. He barely won a primary against Conservative Doug Hoffman, who remained on the ballot, polling around ten thousand votes.
Worse yet, Hoffman suspended his campaign but gave only a tepid endorsement to Doheny and did not travel the district trying to transfer his popularity. In that sense, Hoffman spoiled the race for the GOP, by giving tacit aid and comfort to Mr. Owens.
Its true many of Hoffman's flock would never vote for Doheny, but an effort by Hoffman would have made a difference.
Even so the race would have been tight and the fact is Bill Owens won in the western areas of the district where Doheny should have mopped up.
It was a close race that somebody had to lose. Second guessing will happen but it won't change anything.

Good Effort That Didn't Pan Out...The Journey for Redemption of Kristin Davis

Let's see...I met some great people including a very smart, talented woman and her strategist who is legendary in politics. Along with friends like Tammy Bramhall and others we tried to give Kristin Davis a hand in getting 50,000 votes in the gubernatorial race and a line on the NY ballot for the next four years.
In the end it didn't work out as Ms. Davis finished with about half the votes needed and 0.6% of the statewide vote...She did get over 700 votes or 2.9% in Jefferson County...a reflection of her effort here.
Rival third party, the Greens (Howie Hawkins) secured ballot status and the Libertarians (Warren Redlich) are at this point a long shot to get the 50,000 threshold. Novelty candidate Jimmy McMillan got about 1.0%. In the end the number of third party votes were split five ways.
Ms. Davis started the race known for her escort business went awry that led to jail time. While she came across well versed in interviews and personal appearances, there was just not enough of that exposure to make the transition from notoriety to a candidate 50,000 people would vote for.
Ms Davis did well with voters she met and was able to relate her issues and intellect to anyone she met in person.....In the end, most never had the chance to meet her as her independent candidacy was not buttressed by boots on the ground. Her strategist Roger Stone helped get her on the ballot, and in the debate but in the end that was not enough.
I talked to Tammy and Kristin a few moments ago. They were mulling it over in a Manhattan restaurant.
My advice was to think about it all and go from there. Not every worthwhile venture works out but I found my involvement in the journey a learning experience and a chance to enjoy time on the trail with some good people.
For sure, any time Kristin visits Watertown she has friends.

Owens is One Democrat Who Beats the Odds...Defeats Doheny With Aid of Hoffman

Rep. Bill Owens swam against the national tide and has apparently held on to the House seat he has held for one year. Mr. Owens leads challenger Matt Doheny by about five thousand votes with virtually all districts reporting. There are nearly 9000 absentees,but Mr. Doheny would have to take 77% of those to have a shot at reversing the race.
Rep. Owens benefited from the presence of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, who while not campaigning and supporting Doheny still garnered some six percent of the vote.
Mr. Owens also launched a sustained series of attack ads towards the end that accused Doheny of being a foreign banker who exported jobs. Owens also made full use of a pair of six year old boat while intoxicated incidents involving Mr. Doheny and the Coast Guard.
For his part, Mr. Doheny savaged Owens record in Congress and invoked the name of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at every turn. Mr. Doheny ran a campaign at breakneck speed driving his 1992 Ford Explorer back and forth across the 11-county district.
Republicans were able to win back House seats in two adjacent districts and nearly took the Syracuse district. The GOP House delegation from NY goes from 2 to seven seats.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ritchie Beats Aubertine Giving the GOP Possible Control of the Senate

St. Lawrence County Clerk Patricia Ritchie was elected State Senator, defeating Senator Darrel Aubertine.
For Aubertine, it had been an interesting three year ride having won in a heavily GOP district...was reelected in 2008....but fell this year because of the hideous behavior of a Democratic Senate Majority rife with corruption and discord.
For Mrs. Ritchie, it was the culmination of months of hard work and a well executed effort that stayed focused not on the likeable Senator, but on the antics of Senators like Pedro Espada and Hiram Montserrate. The recent inspector general report on Senate misdeeds with the Aqueduct racino was the final straw on the camel's back.
Assuming the GOP picks up a Long Island seat they are favored to win, Republicans will have a 32-30 majority.
There is a likely Democratic pickup of a Queens GOP seat, but a Democratic seat in Buffalo is in peril. A 31-31 split is possible.
In other state races, Jefferson County Legislature Chair Ken Blankenbush was elected to the open seat in the 122nd and Assemblywoman Addie Russell won reelection in the 118th over David Forsythe.

Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns was reelected over Charles Ruggiero.

Overload for this Humble Blogger !

Due to other duties I won't be able to update America's Favorite Political Blog as much as I would like.
I will catch up the best I can.
Enjoy Election Night 2010 !

Astronauts Cast Early Ballots From Space - Politics News Story - WKMG Orlando

Isn't it amazing astronauts can vote from Outer Space, but we can't get ballots to soldiers in Kabul. Just a thought.
Astronauts Cast Early Ballots From Space - Politics News Story - WKMG Orlando

Minor Party Hopefuls Vie for the 50,000 and Party Ballot Status

Jimmy McMillan uses a rap video to entertain voters into casting a protest vote for him. Kristin Davis focuses on specifice issues not being dealt with by the major parties like pot law reform and marriage equality.
Charles Barron plays to black nationalism...Howie Hawkins to economic inequity....and Warren Redlich to spending issues.
Mr. McMillan, who has no running mate, is strictly a novelty campaign. He is already hawking products on commercials trying to make his 15 miniutes of fame into something.
Kristin Davis is committed to creation of a third party to push economic revival, lower taxes, and personal freedom.
I actually think Hawkins has had a lifetime committment to his causes as well. Redlich's "Libertarian Party" has never performed well in this state and its not likely to do so this year. Charles Barron wants us all paying reparations...Sorry taxes are high enough, pal.
If you are interested in political reform, personal freedom and lower taxes, Kristin Davis is the only logical choice. Find her name at the bottom of the ballot upstate and at the far right downstate.
McMillan’s Final Plea, The Rap Version

Festive Night After a Long Campaign

If you are reading this blog, you certainly don't need a reminder to go vote...
Tonight in Watertown, Democrats will gather at the Bistro 108 on Court Street for their celebrations, and Republicans will gather at the Italian American Civic Association on Bellew Avenue.
Indepedent supporters of Kristin Davis will be at Fort Pearl Tavern on Pearl Street..
The late night soire for all parties will also be at Fort Pearl.
Tonight I have been invited to do analysis of the election on WWNY-TV 7. It will be my first time in the studio doing a semi official news role since I worked there in 1984. Years of politics I guess qualifies me as a pundit.
Election night parties are fun. Come on out and take part.

WDT: Shoot the Crows !

While Americans were on the eve of a historic election, City Council was deciding to go on a crow shoot....A six thousand dollar crow dispersal program was approved again this year in advance of the annual migration of the birds into the city during cold weather. The sheer numbers of crows causes sanitary problems, and several upstate cities have stuggled with a humane way to get the birds to move along.
This year lawmakers (sans me) voted to add shooting crows to the program on the theory that when the birds see one of their own fall to the ground, it will give them pause. Whether an animal with a brain the size of a raisin thinks it through to that extent will have to be seen.
Council also had a long discussion on its concerns over the expanding use of exemptions by the local Industrial Development Agency. There is a public hearing Wednesday in advance of the adoption of a new policy on Thursday.
I also suggested a post election pow wow on the future of Mercy Healthcare and that the Council design a strategy on the expanding bed tax revenues the city has due to new hotel construction. In particular, lawmakers need to formalize its committment to fixing the aviary at the Thompson Park Zoo.
Watertown Daily Times City might shoot troublesome crows

Cuomo Takes as Victory Lap Across the Empire State

The major party candidates for governor went through the motions Monday in advance of todays expected election of Andrew Cuomo as our next governor. The man who by tonight will be governor-elect was in "Carl Country"...visiing Buffalo before rallying with supporters in his ancestral home of Queens.
Republican Carl Paladino made five upstate stops before heading back to the Queen City.
The excitement statewide is now focused on the election of a comptroller and attorney general.
While a national conservative movement was never able to manifest in the governors race, the opportunity for check and balance may come in these other two races...That and the state senate which is expected to go for Republicans by the same slim 32-30 margin that Democrats now control it by.
Polls are open until 9PM.
Cuomo begins final day of campaigning in "Carl Country" -

Monday, November 1, 2010

Journey Ends. Let's See What Happens

Have to get up early Tuesday and head out to Midtown Towers to vote...Spent time tonight at the Dancing Dog in Alexandria Bay where my candidate for Congress Matt Doheny was celebrating the campaign's end with the people of his hometown....(although I made it clear when he wins by four points, my position will be the Congressman is from Watertown, where he is registered to vote and distributes candy on Halloween.)
The other race I am working hard on with friends is the quest for 50,000 votes for Kristin Davis. I think we will do well here and am inclined to make a wager tomorrow with Roger Stone on where she gets the higher percentage...the City of Watertown or the City of New York, where she lives.
This has been a fun campaign to be involved with and I met some wonderful people, including an extraordinary candidate committed to doing good things.
I've had some involvement in other campaigns, but the Davis and Doheny efforts have been the best.
Its up to the voters now, and I invite all of you to join me in supporting these two. That includes you Middle Class Mike....Surely Andrew can survive without your one vote.
Oh, be sure to watch WWNY TV 7 tomorrow night...They have invited me on for some punditry.

Optimism in the Air at GOP Rally....President Clinton Wow Dems.

With an air of optimism, Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny and his fellow GOP candidates for state office rallied at Watertown's VFW this afternoon.....It was just hours after former President Bill Clinton rallied nearby with Rep. Bill Owens.
Republicans are optimistic and the polls suggest they have reason to be, but the race in NY23 is still considered close, thus Mr. Clinton's visit.
Mr. Doheny said this race is the most pivotal in a generation as there is a need to roll back the taking over by the government of various industries.
Also present were Senate candidate Patty Ritchie, and Assembly hopefules David Forsythe and Ken Blankenbush.

Jefferson County a Special Target for Davis and Stone

While operating on a much smaller budget, the Davis for Governor campaign has chosen Jefferson County to do its only mailing to all households...The pieces are arriving in mailboxes today and certainly stand out against all the other campaign pieces.
Campaign advisor Roger Stone has targeted direct mail elsewhere in the state to reach certain demographics, but he said the campaign was so pleased with support in Jefferson County, they decided to spend extra here.
Although not everyone likes them, the campaign also is planning robo calls.

WDT: My Ties to Davis Campaign Revealed

In case you missed it reading the blog, I have indeed been involved in the Kristin Davis for governor campaign and look forward to her receiving the necessary votes tomorrow to establish her party on the NY ballot, so she can be an effective lobby for libertarian issues.
Her strong interest in Watertown is evidenced by the two visits here and I have had the pleasure of getting to know her and her advisor Roger Stone at various events around the state.
As all of you consider your vote for tomorrow, I ask you consider Ms. Davis. The winner of the race will be Andrew Cuomo by a large margin. New Election law says its the gubernatorial race that establishes parties on the ballot.
Therefore, while your vote for or against Mr. Cuomo will not affect who takes the oath in January, you can cast a strategic vote for a movement and a candidate committed to limited government and personal freedom.
This story by Watertown Times political reporter Jude Seymour captures my efforts, and hopefully he will be posting his video interview with Ms. Davis on his blog. I will link toit when it appears.
Watertown Daily Times Graham assists Davis campaign

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Little Baseball ....Lot of Commercials

Watching the final round of commercials during the World Series, I saw the new Paladino spot which pictured a rested and rational candidate on a couch talking sensibly about what he proposes for the state.
Too bad his campaign took so long to start depicting Paladino that way. Instead he and his campaign allowed others to define him.
On the local front, its attack ads for Congress, but I think Doheny's hit harder as they juxtapose Bill Owens commercials from last year to his record in office...With lots of photos of Speaker Pelosi of course.
A new Aubertine spot rips at Patty Ritchie for all sorts of things I don't think she has anything to do with...Links her to Mr. Paladino...then extolls the virtues of electing one of us.
Less than 48 hours till they end, and the gravy train ends for local broadcasters.

Wegmans Wants WIGS and is Willing to Pay for It

Supermarkets want to sell wine and the rejection of wine in grocery stores (WIGS) this year was a bitter disappointment to the Wegman family.....Now they are taking no chances. The family has pumped $90,000 into the campaign of Andrew Cuomo, so look for WIGS to be brought up quickly in the coming budget cycle.
Wegman family gives $90,000 to Andrew Cuomo's campaign Democrat and Chronicle

New High of 46% of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana

The call for marijuana law reform by Kristin Davis and others is less and less a fringe sentiment...The latest polling shows 46% now favor making weed legal. That's the highest level ever measured.
What I think this means is that there will be more and more public discourse on the topic because unlike crimes like murder or bank robbery, there is no consensus in society on what to do.
Opposition is clustered in the older age groups.
A legalization proposition in California will likely fail on Tuesday in part because of how the law is written.
Despite increasing support, this is still an issue the major party candidates want to stay away from as it places them at odds with the law and order crowd.
It will be up to third party candidates to raise the issue, and frankly I don't know what needs to be done. I do think the current duplicity and hypocrisy towards the substance suggests change will eventually come. After all, its only been illegal for about 80 years anyway...
New High of 46% of Americans Support Legalizing Marijuana

Cuomo ‘Officially Neutral’ In Comptroller’s Race

I wonder if in the privacy of the voting booth Tom DiNapoli will vote for Andrew Cuomo....I doubt it after Mr Cuomo in esssence backed GOP comptroller candidate Harry Wilson. Mr. Cuomo did it by declaring he is neutral in the race....In partisan politics that means you want the guy defeated and the message is likely not lost on Cuomo loyalists.
Cuomo ‘Officially Neutral’ In Comptroller’s Race

The story of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's transformation from obscure and overweight to slim and popular -

With lots of campaign cash, consultants and a 40 pound weight loss, the once obscure and vulnerable Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is now poised to be elected to the jobs Governor Paterson appointed her too.
The media fussing over her new look is kind of awkward, but this is a celebrity society and she is the newest It girl in DC.
Polls have Senator Gillibrand up by at least 15 points.
The story of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's transformation from obscure and overweight to slim and popular -

Poll: Comptroller and AG Races Close

The governors race may be over, but new polling from Siena College shows the Comptroller and Attorney General races are tied......This is a good reason to go vote.
Harry Wilson is a bright, new face who is needed as a fiscal check and balance on the Cuomo Administration. Dan Donovan derserves the AG slot to halt the far..and I mean far...left agenda of Eric Schneiderman...
Remember it was Senator Schneiderman who robbed NNY of census count by insisting the Census Bureau count inmates not where they live, but where they did their crime. That shifts voting power downstate. Mr. Scheniderman has also suggested Rev. Al Sharpton will have a metaphorical office within the AG's office.
NY attorney general, comptroller races now in dead heat: new poll

Gillibrand Keeps Track of Shorties Clientele on a Sunday Morning

I was tracked....I scooted up to Shorties Diner for the visit of Senate candidate Joe DioGuardi and a young man in a polo shirt was lingering around shooting video to take back to the campaign of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand...A tracker they call them.
I assume its in hopes of catching a mucaca moment and to log who was there for future reference and retribution. Anyway I saw my good friend and future Congressman Matt Doheny who told me he will be at his Paddock Street home tonight handing out Swiss chocolates. Assembly candidate Dave Forsythe was there.
By the way, Mr. Doheny and Patty Ritchie both picked up the endorsement of the Watertown Daily Times today.
I didn't stay for the speech, and I left Shorties to file this missive.

My Role in the Davis Campaign Explored in WDT Interview...Looking Forward to Reading It

With Carl Paladino in town yesterday, it got covered in a perfunctory but thorough way, even though everyone knows he has no chance of winning. Lots of media and coverage.
That's fine...the media supports the two party system and profits from the duopoly with massive ad revenue.
The other night when Kristin Davis was in town, the media wasn't so interested but we got Newzjunky and TV 7 to stop by. YNN has an apparent policy against covering the minor party candidates because as interesting as Davis' message is, there is one other minor candidate (Redlich I am told) who pitches a fit with Time Warner management and the newsroom just doesn't want the grief.
I was pleased we were able to prevail upon the candidate to record a 40 minute exclusive video interview with Watertown Daily Times political reporter Jude Seymour. I let him use my office in the basement of Fort Pearl for privacy and insulation from bar noise.
I am sure it was a great interview as Jude said he was very pleased with how it went and I am anxious to see the end result on the WDT blog.
Having had the opportunity to talk at length with this bright and talented candidate, I think viewers would appreciate hearing from her, even if they do not agree on all issues. Kristin told me there was great interest in my role in the campaign.
I will answer that here. I did not go chasing after she approached me after I submitted some petitions to her campaign. A mutual acquaitance from the Indy party named Frank Murano likely filled her in on my involvement in third party politics. By the time they called me they had researched me to the hilt.
She and Roger (Stone) had broached the LG issue and I declined, as I knew little about her other than the media characature as the "Manhattan Madam." Good publicity hook, but a tough image to embrace without knowing more. Also, my current duties precluded that kind of committment. Frankly if I had to make the decision now it would be more difficult but would the same simply due to my responsibilities to the people here.
After researching her and talking to her, I said I would help on advising on any upstate issues and along with my friend Tammy Bramhall, offered to help her in our area. Her views on limited government, lower taxes, support of business and personal freedom were by and large the kind of Barry Goldwater libertarianism I respect.
Having run as a minor party candidate for statewide office, I certainly know any moral support along the way is appreciated, even if its just as simple as showing up at an event like the debate this month in Hempstead.
Over time, we got to appreciate her message and her talents as a candidate and a force for change in third party politics. It was that flush of idealism I have not sensed in a while. The crazy tabloid image was not at all the candidate we have gotten to know. At the rally the other night my mom even talked to her on the phone and she said she is not at all what the media portrays. Trust me, she is as tough a sell as Matt Doheny's mom.
However, here in Watertown, a local talk show host called her a "hooker" and a broadcast executive called her a "stripper" just because that's how her past will be presented for a while to come. That's understandable, but the perjoratives are still still kind of bad manners,especially when you don't know the person. Maybe some success in politics will help put all that in the past as we have all needed done at one time or another.
I am sure she explained my role in her interview with Jude and I look forward to hearing what she had to say.
If the electorate is kind enough to grant her the 50,000 votes to obtain party status for the APP (Anti Prohibition Party), I certainly would anticipate working with Kristin, Tammy, Roger and whomever else wants to.
I am honored to have been able to provide whatever modest help I did.