Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mayor's Ball a Hit Again this Year

Several hundred folks attended the annual Mayor's Ball held at Jefferson Community College to benefit the College Foundation and the local Red Cross.
The event featured great entertainment and wonderful food prepared by Hospitality and Tourism students at the college.
Also in attendance were members of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum.
I certainly greeted many people tonight and could see a good time was in the offing. Without sounding like a wallflower I went home about 1030 just as the tempo was picking up.
Congrats to all who organized the gala.

Dead Animal Show and Tell....

Everybody likes to show off a new car or a spiffy new outfit.....But dead animals ?
Ubetcha ! This is the time of the year for Dead Animal Show and Tell.
Moments ago I got a text photo from a former city councilman showing me the deer he just killed.....There is a special section on http://www.newzjunky.com/deer.htm touting the deer of the day as locals squat down to hoist the antlers as the animal's tongue hangs longingly from a blood stained mouth.
When I was at Caprara's a Saturday in the fall wasn't complete unless a pick-up pulled in and all the guys gathered around to coo over the carcas sprawled in the back.
With new technology, that still warm animal can go global in seconds.
It's a ritual that tugs at our base emotions....our desire to hunt and forage and be the provider...and to get credit for the kill.
I wonder if Junky will soon have a crow of the day feature for current councilmen to submit photos to.

Survey: Inflation is Coming !

Stable prices may be giving way to inflation according to a Walmart study of commonly bought items...No surprise there as more and more dollars are chasing a finite number of products and services. Time to dust off the "Misery Index."
The crazy economics of stimulus will come to bite the persons most susceptible to inflation...the poor and the elderly....Great job all you creators of jobs and wealth in Washington and Albany !
CNBC's Fast Money: Secret Walmart Survey Shows Inflation Already Here - CNBC

Liz Takes a Break...Combines Tanning and Blogging

By posting a photo of a vacationing Liz Benjamin updating her YNN blog while "relaxing" on a Florida beach, the veteran political scribe shows how today's technology allows those obsessed with politics to never be separated from their love.
Enjoy your well deserved vacation Liz......

Bed Bugs Come North

Wow, this year's national media sensation has come to the North Country. We have bed bugs !....What started out getting covered because it was in NYC hotel rooms, now has reached the State University of NY at Canton.
I thought these kind of insects just happened like getting ants if you leave food out.....Little bug spray and more attention to cleaning and they are gone...Not so...and these simple insects are as fascinating to the MSM as a shark attack.
Home - Roos Newz

WDT: Tammy Hearts Davis in Letter to Editor

My long time friend and former employee Tammy Bramhall sent a letter to the editor to the WDT about her involvement with the campaign of Kristin Davis for Governor. Tammy says she had a good time and appreciates having met Ms. Davis.
Watertown Daily Times Enjoyed working on Davis campaign

Friday, November 12, 2010

Things I Went to On a Friday Night

The financially troubled Northside Improvement League is hoping local businessman Joe Parker can lead the civic club back to solvency in time for its 100th anniversary next year. Mr. Parker was elected President at a meeting Friday night.
Mr. Parker owns Northern Transmission and his wife Brenda was also elected as an officer of the club.
The League faced loss of the building for taxes earlier this year, but a local benefactor donated the funds. A dinner is slated for Saturday November 20 to try and raise money and the club also holds bingo on Monday nights.

Meanwhile the Black River Valley Club is moving its billiards tables out of its first floor pool room to make way for the Lyric Theater to perform there. This weekend the Club is having a final weekend of pool at five bucks a head.

Residents of tiny Riggs Avenue were so happy at their reconstructed street they held a cookout and block party tonight to thank the construction workers who did the job. The street is off Hamilton Street and needed new infrastructure as well as pavement and sidewalks.

State Senate Update: Republican Edition

The Republicans have their spin on the remaining Senate races and it favors the GOP...In the absence of official decree , pick your favorite spin and go with it !
State Senate Update: Republican Edition

Senate Cliffhangers Update, Democratic Version

I just don't know who to believe...Nearly two weeks after the election and the fate of close races is still cloaked in doubt and secrecy and all we have are the partisan accounts of the counting process.......Most people say the Republicans are headed for a majority but you would never know that from reading this Dem memo.
Senate Cliffhangers Update, Democratic Version

Rev. Al Sharpton Meddles in New Administration

If he is annoying the Rev. Al Sharpton, then Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo is doing the right thing....This tail has been wagging the Democratic Party for too long with his race baiting and victim politics.
I am not one to pine about the past as I do believe in redemption, but that Tawana Brawley incident is a hard one to overlook. Of course the media feeds Sharpton by making him the go-to interview for all things black.....I am not sure that's a service to black Americans, but I understand every newsman has a Rolodex and the Reverand is filed under "Black issues."
If Mr. Cuomo wants to appoint Carl McCall to a commission that's fine. The former Comptroller is certainly distinguished in his service. However, he shouldn't feel compelled to appoint a respected person of color just to fend off the charges from the Reverand Al.
Besides that, Rev. Sharpton didn't support Mr Cuomo. That means while he can extend the new governor best wishes as many of us did, you don't assume you are his advisor and confidant.
Appoint whomever you want Mr. Cuomo. You won and New Yorkers respect that outcome.
Rev. Al Sharpton

2012 Likely a Quieter Year on the Local Front

For Watertown area residents the recent election was historic in that I doubt there was ever a time (certainly not in my memory) when there were full bore contests for Congress, State Senate, and both local Assembly seats.
Now that NNY is home to competitive elections, will it happen again in 2012 ?
My guess is the Congressional seat will be a rematch between Bill Owens and Matt Doheny, depending on where redistricting puts all of us. The race was close this time and the presence of Doug Hoffman so changed the dynamics of the race, Mr. Doheny has to be considered competitive in a straight two way race. The hitch will be that Rep. Owens will be that much more established in two years.
The State Senate seat will likely be an easy reelection for Patty Ritchie, as there is no second Darrel Aubertine to throw at her and frankly if Governor Cuomo makes progress in concert with a GOP Senate, voters will see no need to change that.
Darrel Aubertine will likely either retire or take a job in the new administration and conclude the rigors of running are not worth it. If he does run, it will only be because there is reason to think Ms. Ritchie is vulnerable. However, even if she stumbles, which I doubt, will voters want to flip the Senate again ? My guess is no.
As for the new Senator, she likely lays low, learns the trade and hopes that events in Albany favor her position.
The only wild card would be if Assemblywoman Addie Russell ran for Senate and I don't see that happening as I don't think she could defeat a freshman senator who is still on probation with voters.
As for the Assembly seats, Dave Forsythe came on strong at the end and may go again. He seemed to enjoy campaigning once he got on track, although I don't know if he wants to dip into his own wallet for another $50K or more to run. Its still a long shot trying to make up those last ten points to beat Assemblywoman Addie Russell.
In the 122nd, Ken Blankenbush likely faces no challenge as I do not believe Brian McGrath will be back so soon.
In short, 2012 will not be the advertising bonanza local television saw this time, but there is still more money to made compared to the good old days of GOP hegemony.

Newzjunky - Community Leaders Discuss Mercy Building's Future

An interesting discussion was held Thursday in the studios of WPBS on the topic of Mercy Health Care and the developments of the past year that will likely lead to the vacating of the Stone Street facility in two to three years. Samaritan CEO Thomas Carman, County Legislator James Nabywaniec and I were quizzed by Jeff Cole for the Public Eye program.
While some issues are just a matter of "agree to disagree" it was agreed upon the building's current owners need to be engaged on the issue of their intentions as it relates to taxes and utility bills. While Samaritan is now running the facility, the building is leased under a two year deal, according to Mr. Carman.
Its my second time on the show. First one was for wind power.
The Public Eye can be seen tonight (Friday) at 9:30pm and Sunday morning at 7:30 on WPBS. Excerpts will be shown on the TV 7 news.
Newzjunky - Community Leaders Discuss Mercy Building's Future

Mike Long Makes Nice With Andrew Cuomo | The New York Observer

Conservative Chair Mike Long is in such a good mood over his party grabbing Line C, he took time to make a congratulatory phone call to the Governor-elect, even though Mr. Long did not support Andrew Cuomo.
Its good to see good will towards the new governor as we all have a stake in having him succeed on the key issues of streamlining government and halting the upward movement of taxes.
Mr. Cuomo ran on some issues that Mike Long can support and there will be an era of good feeling until the Legislature balks at the changes that will be proposed...It is naive to think any governor can correct all the perceived shortcomings, but its good to see so many New Yorkers realizing that this new administration is our best chance to get the state moving again.
Mike Long Makes Nice With Andrew Cuomo The New York Observer

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last Month's Favorites Head to the Garage for a Cold Winter

Its a wistful and melancholy time after an election when the posters, stickers and flyers are pulled from the walls at Fort Pearl and what was a candidate shrine is now just dumpster fodder. Meanwhile the more durable hardware, the lawn signs go through their own triage.
The good ones are saved as souvenirs or to use in the future....Those too ravaged by the elements meet a different fate.
My 4'x8' Matt Doheny sign has no date on it....So its poised for 2012. I have a Roxy sign suitable for next year. Others may or may not see the light of day again.
As the owner of what is likely the sole Kristin Davis sidewalk sign, I know I have a real collectible. More important to me, the campaign with her and Tammy, Roger, Andrew, Claudia and others was more fun than we should have had in what was a pretty boring set of statewide races. Sentimental value I guess.
Campaigns are kinda like decorating for Christmas...Fun when you do it, but when its over , you can't wait to get the campaigns out of sight. I seldom make it to December 26, and I have to take that stuff down.
So today, I ask my bartender in chief Diana to take Kristin to the garage to hang out with the other candidates.
I asked Ms. Davis if the sign should be saved, and the answer was "definately." Consider it saved for 2014.

Once you've had your face on a lawn sign, it's hard to just walk away from politics.

Cuomo Takes to the Airwaves to Rally the Mad as Hell Public to His Side

Governor-elect Cuomo has an infomercial on TV tonight and was on radio this morning calling for a functional State Senate, which means he wants his own party to stand down and accept minority status. In short, Mr. Cuomo reads the papers and doesn't want to deal with the nonsense that plagued the Senate the past two years.
Mr. Cuomo is against the KSM trial in Manhattan...No point getting into that fight...He is reserving judgment on hydra-fracking upstate....and he clearly plans on mustering the public to rally to his causes.
The election was never really an election as Mr. Cuomo's ascension was known for months. That's why there was no need for more debates or anything more than the victory laps Mr. Cuomo took in his RV.
Now Andrew Cuomo will try to implement the high minded rhetoric we heard. He will do that without depending solely on the Legislature and MSM for support.
TheDailyPolitics - NY Daily News

Cigarette-tax hike stubbing out sales - NYPOST.com

A good lesson in economics and how private sector retail works as the sale of taxed cigarettes in NYS has fallen 27% since the latest and largest round of taxes were put on the nasty product.
Sales have shifted to other states, Indian reservations or other outside the loop means of selling to the smoking public.
You see in economics there is a point where the consumer will either not buy or seek another source for the product, even if the other source is illicit or risky. It would be unfair to expect career lawmakers to grasp this concept as they have never had to depend on the buying public walking in their door in order to make a living.
With taxation of Indian cigarettes mired in the courts, the Paterson tax isn't the fiscal windfall Albany had hoped for.
Cigarette-tax hike stubbing out sales - NYPOST.com

Andrew Cuomo Visits Sing Sing and a Psychiatric Center - NYTimes.com

"The answer can't be we are going to employ state workers who simply have no function."
Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo made the statement as he toured a prison and psychiatric center in what is clearly a signal that such facilities will be on the block as he tries to tame and streamline state government and bridge an expected budget shortfall of $9 billion next year.
Read into that another budget run at facilities like Ogdensburg where there is both a prison and a psychiatric center. Mr. Cuomo says he understands the impact of state jobs, but that the state cannot just employ people for the sake of employing them, if they have no function.
Radical ? No, just necessary.
I think you will see some mothballing of state facilities as Mr. Cuomo has more traction than Governor Paterson in making changes.
Andrew Cuomo Visits Sing Sing and a Psychiatric Center - NYTimes.com

Altmar votes yes on dissolution

A small village in Oswego County has voted to be no more. By a vote of 80 to 74 , residents of Altmar opted for dissolution of the village. State law makes it easier now for that to happen and the historic Village of Seneca Falls voted itself out of business earlier this year.
The idea is to save money on the layers of political subdivisions in New York, and often a small village provides little more than the surrounding unincorporated areas.
To the best of my knowledge there has been no discussion involving the smaller villages in Jefferson County, although ones like Herrings, Deferiet or Glen Park are the most likely candidates if the trend spreads to here.
Altmar votes yes on dissolution - YNN, Your News Now

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day 2010...or Armistice Day if you prefer. I will join local vets at the VFW this morning as I do every November 11 and Memorial Day.
Take time out today to honor those who served !

And while its technically a government holiday, other things don't stop. I will be participating in the taping of an episode of the Public Eye with Jeff Cole at the studios of WPBS. The topic is Mercy Healthcare and its aftermath.
For the City the real topic is the plan to abandon the Stone Street facility in two to three years in favor of a new nursing home on Washington Street next to the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse. That site is topographically challenged and would require additional land purchased. We have respectfully ask that redevelopment on the Stone Street parcels be considered, although control of the property is an issue.
There is also the matter of the accruing taxes and water bills, which we feel will not be paid as the current owners know we cannot cut them off and the loss of the property through tax sale would coincide when they want out anyway.
I look forward to the discussion.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Board of Elections blames old state law for tiny type on midterm election ballot

Why is it the system has an excuse for every time our electoral system comes up short ?. You would think after over 200 years, it would be flawless....Far from it.
Board of Elections blames old state law for tiny type on midterm election ballot#ixzz14vR1cQMF#ixzz14vR1cQMF#ixzz14vR1cQMF

GOP: Paper Count Points to Slim Majority for Republicans

The recanvassing and counting of paper ballots continues to favor the GOP in two Senate seats now held by Democrats. If the remaining absentees follow the trend so far, Republicans will have a 32-30 majority. That appears the likely scenario.
Senate Update, Compliments Of The GOP

Carolyn for Chair !

With Jefferson County Legislature Chair Ken Blankenbush headed to Albany, the County Leg has to make a decision on who will be chair for the coming year.
I believe District 12 lawmaker Carolyn Fitzpatrick should be the choice.
Ms Fitzpatrick is the current vice chair, so lawmakers have already shown confidence in her. She is also a veteran legislator who knows how to build consensus and keep the factions in check.
Ms. Fitzpatrick understands the legislative process and has learned the value of not being a partisan, but instead can work with folks of all backgrounds.
I recommend the County Leg select Ms. Fitzpatrick to fill out the remainder of Chairman Blankenbush' term.

Tea Partier Chides Bloomberg’s Nonadult Comments

NYC Mayor Michael Bloombergs swipe from China that new members of Congress (aka Tea Party Republicans) can't read and have no worldly sophistication may sit well with the Big Apple elite media....but for newcomers to Congress from the Heartland, the words are an insult.
Rep-elect Kristi Noem of South Dakota is one of those new comers not enthralled by the insult.
Tea Partier Chides Bloomberg’s Nonadult Comments

Just 10% of contributions in the race for NY-23 came from NY-23?

Great analysis....
Just 10% of contributions in the race for NY-23 came from NY-23?

Woolworth Building a Legacy in Need of TLC

A group of us took a tour of the historic but beleaguered Woolworth Building in downtown Watertown. The journey was designed to give us a feel for the challenge ahead in renovating the building.
There is a tentative plan for a hotel and some state funds are committed but there are many questions yet to be answered before developer Michael Trainor moves forward. Issues like financing and parking.
The building is sructurally sound, but otherwise in rough shape. Age, vandals, lack of heat all have combined to take their toll.
This is still a priority project for all involved but it is also obvious this is one of those 'Rome wasn't built in a day' scenarios.

Cuomo Begins Transition and Hiring of New Staff

The transition process to a new administration in Albany is proceeding methodically as Governor-elect Cuomo tries to fulfill a no new tax promise and bridge an expected $9Billion budget gap.
He says he will do it by restructuring government to eliminate waste and fraud.
It would be easy to be cynical if the stakes were not so high. Mr. Cuomo's plans need to be decisive.....dare I say radical in some cases to make the changes necessary not just to get through 2011, but to set the state straight for years to come.
It will not be easy.
Cuomo will tour state, set up committee (w/video) - Capitol Confidential

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cuomo Shows Spine With Silver and Thats a Good Sign

The way Andrew Cuomo slapped Speaker Silver into line on taxes this past weekend may be a measure of how far the new governor will go to start addressing real issues.
Mr. Cuomo is capable of hard ball politics and he knows how state government works and what the problems are.
He also likely has ambitions beyond Eagle Street.
All of this means this governor may indeed make some meaningful changes, and he may have the political skills to make others bend to his will.
Everybody knew his election was as certain as the sunrise, so the question is will he do anything. I am optimistic and supportive.
For the sake of this troubled state, all New Yorkers need be as well.

In Case You Don't Have Enough Reasons to Think me Aberrant

Since I surely have annoyed somebody by helping out Kristin this year, I need to remind those not familiar with my history, I have come under criticism before for supporting alternative candidates who had little chance of winning.
As a registered Democrat in 1992, I was a Jerry Brown delegate to the Democratic National Convention in NYC. I even stood by the curb and witnessed one of those Gay Pride Parades that Carl Paladino found so offensive.
I am glad he got elected Governor of California again.
This is a little know fact often left out of the littany of political offenses some find fascinating. Next time, I want it included.

No More Drug Testing for Kristin Davis, Not That She Cares -- Daily Intel

I've never been on probation, but it must be a pain in the neck....I have a friend who is a parole officer and has filled me in on the system...It is quite the trip. But the idea is to make the smart people think twice about getting on the criminal justice treadmill again...the stupid people don't care and gladly hop back on.
Anyway, she learned her lesson and is a better person for it.
Bottom line, we have all made mistakes...its just a matter of degree and frankly a matter of whether what we did was perceived as bad and acted upon by society. It isn't always.
No More Drug Testing for Kristin Davis, Not That She Cares -- Daily Intel
Wow, I got a second invite to be on Jeff Cole's Public Eye program on WPBS-TV.This Thursday I tape a discussion about Mercy Health Care with fellow guests Tom Carman and James Nabywaniec.I am looking forward to the appearance.

Also chatted today with the new WDT City Hall reporter Craig Fox. Seems like a nice guy and he comes from working as a scribe in Geneva, NY.

Today's HOTLINE was a good show and continued thanx to Newzjunky for linking to the stream and for posting the recorded program.

Tomorrow morning its a tour of the Woolworth Building with Advantage Watertown

Judge Ends Davis Probation Three Years Early

In a development sure to aid in her stated desire to move on and away from her past, a judge in Manhattan has granted Kristin Davis' motion to be released from probation related to her 2008 conviction on a charge of promoting prostitution. She had been facing five years probation but is free of that three years early. Probation had entailed everything from random chemical tests to attending classes with registered sex offenders.
Davis came up short in her bid for governor, earning about half the votes needed to create a new political party on the NY ballot. While her notoriety came from her multi-million dollar escort service, thus the moniker 'Manhattan Madam', she has since written that the media caricature is not who she is.
While her run for governor started as an adjunct of her previous occupation, by campaign's end she told friends she really wanted to move on, as she stressed issues other than prostitution.
Her final campaign efforts featured flyers touting "Redemption" and billing Kristin as a feminist and "advocate for personal and economic freedom." She had proclaimed her political mentor to be the late Senator Barry Goldwater, and by all accounts had ended the life that led to some pretty saucy headlines.
"There is a huge disparity between Kristin Davis and the Manhattan Madam..Please don't assume that because you have seen me on the cover of a paper or on TV that you know me. At the end of the day, I am just a normal girl," Davis said in a Facebook post.
That is very true for those who have met her, but there is still a challenge in living down the past and the reflexive reaction some have to her is going to continue for some time, as is evidenced by Liz' headline seen below.
Congrats Kristin.
Manhattan Madam Off Probation

Dems Whining About Apparent Loss in Senate

Democrats in the State Senate are telling anyone who will listen that their majority is being stolen by GOP election law lawyers massaging the results of a handful of close races. That's why Senator Aubertine has not formally conceded. It's part of the narrative.
It looks like the GOP is going to take control by the thinnest of margins, but enough to provent death by redistricting for the party of Lincoln.
All of this may explain why only a third of voting age New Yorkers bother. They feel the results are predetermined or if it is close, the fix is in as well.
These races are likely not really in doubt...They are just close...Like winning a football game 21-20 instead of 45-7....No amount of carping about bad calls or dropped passes changes the result.
Get it over with. The Democratic leadership didn't distinguish itself last time so maybe they need some time in the wilderness to ponder how to govern.
Dems concerned about GOP in recount battle: 'We can't let New York in 2010 become Florida in 2000'

Results Clinch Lines D and E for Andrew in 2014.

It's the winter of 2014......An icy breeze wafts through the caverns of the Capitol and the parties occupying lines D & E on the ballot are thinking of their quadrennial rite of survival....Getting a candidate on their line who can draw 50,000 votes...or better yet the 150K to 200 K needed to have a chance at grabbing Line C till 2018.
Its also a matter of money. You want a candidate who can shuffle dollars through your party for their interests and yours.
The choice is simple. There are no Golisano's, Trumps or Paladino's looking to spend a bundle on the sisyphean task of running outside the womb of the Democratic or Republican parties.
Cross-endorsing is their only hope and its worked in the past. Spitzer and Cuomo delivered the spill-over votes and the only question was order of finish, not whether they finish.
So with the certainty of a pundit, I introduce the nominee of the Independence and Working Families Parties for 2014, the Hon. Andrew Cuomo. (or Bob Duffy if by chance Mr. Cuomo ascends to the White House sooner than anticipated)
The excitement and independent thought are mind boggling.

Andrew Cuomo pocketed millions from powerbrokers, including MSG's James Dolan & Pepsi's Indra Nooyi

In politics, its often assumed that to do the right thing, you have to do some wrong things along the path getting there....Soaking up millions in special interest money is what ensured Andrew Cuomo's ascendency. After all, you were not giving him those millions...I wasn't....The only way to run the multi million dollar campaigns is to go to where the money is.
All the rest of us can do is hope that the influence paid for is mitigated by some underlying sense of right and wrong. Sometimes that happens...often it does not.
Its not only Mr. Cuomo's conundrum....Bill Owens and....Patty Ritchie (or Aubertine before her) face the same dilemmas....They ran multi million dollar campaigns to get there, with virtually none of the dollars coming from the people they are elected to serve.
Andrew Cuomo pocketed millions from powerbrokers, including MSG's James Dolan & Pepsi's Indra Nooyi

Unions Beg Cuomo....To No Avail

Governor-elect Cuomo is doing the right thing in not cutting deals or meeting with unions before he actually is governor. Mr. Cuomo is going to have to bridge another huge budget gap next year and just like in the private sector their will have to be job cuts...or as they are called in government, RIFs (reductions in force).
Mr. Cuomo is going to be a strident player in giving the state its medicine. He cannot listen to pleas for mercy, but just has to do what needs to be done.
Too many of the rest of us have had to deal with being let go for economic reasons, or had to cope with a challenge in their small business. The 2008 recession left many people I know out of work or suddenly making less. Meanwhile the State of NY chugged along, whistling past the graveyard.
The Governor-elect has committed to no new taxes next year and gotten Speaker Silver to agree to it. That's a good start, but it means the layoffs initiated by Governor Paterson will not be reversed. Its what you have to do sometimes when you are in charge.
Memo: PEF reaching out to Cuomo on layoffs x3 - The State Worker

Monday, November 8, 2010

This Is How Bill and Hillary Discuss Dinner Options -- Daily Intel

For all that's happens the Clintons are still together...sort of....and they are more popular than ever....Good for them.
This Is How Bill and Hillary Discuss Dinner Options -- Daily Intel

Koch Says Schumer Fails the Reformer Test | The New York Observer

With the fight over redistricting looming, reformer Ed Koch has concluded that Senator Chuck Schumer places party over reform....Hizzoner is stating the obvious. A man of Senator Schumer's stature is obviously interested more in party politics than some abstract notion of reform.
While some states have adopted non-partisan panels to draw lines, NY will stick with the old fashioned "draw the other party into extinction" approach......That will be more difficult with a likely GOP senate...Now the Senate and Assembly will trade off protection for their caucuses and who knows what happens with the Congressional delegation with two seats on the chopping block.
But really, Mayor Koch, you weren't really looking to Chuck Schumer to be the man for reform of redistricting. Its not in his DNA.
Koch Says Schumer Fails the Reformer Test The New York Observer

Congressman Baldwin? A Bishop Loss Might Provide The Opportunity | Capitol Hill Blue

Democrats must be assuming their guy in NY-1 will lose, because with the absentees not even counted, actor Alec Baldwin is being touted as the challenger for Randy Altschuler in two years. Mr. Baldwin is a noted liberal and stars in the NBC show "30 Rock." I think co-star Tina Fey should run as the Tea Party candidate.
Congressman Baldwin? A Bishop Loss Might Provide The Opportunity Capitol Hill Blue

Jefferson Voters Give Indy Line a Boost, But Statewide the IP May Be Dropping to Line E

The Working Families Party is cautiously optimistic about its prospects for grabbing Line D on the ballot for the next four years....The Conservatives have already won Line C....With absentees still to count the WFP is about 2,000 ahead the Indy Party.
The current Line C dwellers, the Independence Party, along with the WFP both nominated Andrew Cuomo in the hope he could draw them enough votes to stay in business. He did, but Dem insiders likely were told to vote WFP to keep the party propped up.
In Jefferson County, the Indy line did well versus the WFP. Mr. Cuomo drew 1,210 votes on Line C compared to 455 on Line E.......That was pretty good as former Indy activitsts mostly stayed away from the line in supporting independent candidate Kristin Davis, who polled 733 votes despite absolutely horrible ballot position. Conservatives drew 986 locally and the Taxpayer line drew only 127, and only about 25,000 statewide.
One irony...Ms Davis best election district was Town of Orleans, District One, were she garnered 20 votes.....Orleans 1 is the home of our favorite Democrat Ted Ford.
WFP Hopeful On Row D

Stone: Why Isn’t Eliot Spitzer in Prison?

Granted, my friend Roger Stone doesn't like Eliot Spitzer one iota, but this piece does raise the continuing question of why there was no sanction for his hijynx.....I don't think he even had to go to "john school" which is the token punishment johns get in the rare instances they are prosecuted. Roger suggests a more severe punishment.
I still think being condemned to doing a soon to fail commentary show on CNN is a form of punishment, but some want a more tangible pound of flesh.
If the Spitzer Doctrine is that patronizing a prostitute is a personal choice issue for men, then why isn't the same true for the other participant in the transaction ? That was one of the reasons Kristin Davis raised the inequity in her campaign. I don't really think it was the expectation of legalization as much as a desire to point out the dichotomy between the system's treatment of the sexes for the same offense.
It's one of those things that makes you scratch your head and say, 'gee I never looked at it that way before.'
Why Isn’t Eliot Spitzer in Prison? NewsReal Blog

Dicker: Silver Pledges to Toe the Line on Cuomo Budget Plans...That Means Real Cuts

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is reportedly assuring the Governor-elect that he will cooperate in cutting state spending in order to hold the line on taxes next year. If so, that may remove any talk of a coup, as Andrew Cuomo could use a budget ally like Speaker Silver.
However well intentioned Mr. Silver may be, it will be difficult for him to buck his constituencies which include the powerful public employee unions.
As governor, Mr. Cuomo is expected to be tough on spending, or so he has said. After losing seats in his caucus, the Speaker may be feeling chastened and a little fearful of Mr. Cuomo, who is thought to be considerably more capable of playing hardball than the current governor.
Of course cutting state spending will require getting rid of programs, agencies and enacting meaningful pension reform....All daunting tasks in a state where demand for "free s---" far exceeds the supply...and this year Washington will not be slathering another puddle of stimulus money on the states to pay for operating costs.
2011 will be an interesting year.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he is ready to hold the line on state spending and rule out new taxes - NYPOST.com

Roland Burris will serve in November

Politics as usual in DC as Democrats will immediately seat West Virginia and Deleware Democrats elected Tuesday to fill out terms, while an Illinois Republican elected to fill out a vacancy will have to wait until his state certifies the results of Tuesday's election. Senators-elect Mansion and Coons get in two weeks ahead of Senator-Elect Kirk of Illinois. That means the Land of Lincoln gets another two weeks of Sen. Roland Burris, the choice of then Governor Blago to replace Senator Obama, who of course was elected President.
Just a parlor game to maintain the 59-41 edge a little longer.
Roland Burris will serve in November - Meredith Shiner - POLITICO.com

Remember the Gouverneur Times ? Last Year's New Entry Still There But Seldom Read

While it doesn't seem to have caught on in the marketplace, I took a look at that Gouverneur Times website today for the first time in a while. The layout is just like a newspaper and its easy to follow. You look around the page and choose the story you like and click on it. Its a melding of old and new formatting that creates the transition from the way it was to the way it is.
I am surprised more traditional dailies don't gravitate to this type format as some of the ones they are using are hard to follow.
While the Gouverneur Times has not secured the place in the news business it had hoped for, it is an interesting example of packaging.
Ultimately, it's all about content and that is why an upstart like Newzjunky has been able to make such an impact.
Of course I may be waxing nostalgic over whether electronic format actually looks like a piece of paper, as the new generation could likely care less.
Chilean miner crosses finish line at NYC Marathon

Olbermann's Brief Exile Ends Tuesday

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann will be back on his "Countdown"show on Tuesday after a brief two day suspension for breaking a network rule on news people contributing to political campaigns.
Always quick to make a point for their side, NBC's Rachel Maddow says the suspension shows how ethical NBC is compared to rival FOX News. Maddow says NBC is a news operation and that FOX is a political operation.
Olbermann is the once talented sports commentator on ESPN turned political shill for the left. His show is the centerpiece of the MSNBC lineup of talk shows meant to counter Hannity and O'Reilly on FOX.
Actually, the political contributions didn't bother me as Mr. Olbermann's views are well known.. As long as he discloses the contributions, which he did not do right away.
Increasingly the news business is really rival sources that advocate for one side or the other. Kind of like the old penny press of Revolutionary days....As long as you realize you are being fed a combination of news, opinion and entertainment all at once, the thoughtful viewer can judge accordingly.
Olbermann back on the air Tuesday - Keach Hagey - POLITICO.com

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blogger: The Dark Prince Returns

As you can see in this post, those who choose to question the coming regime prefer to do so anonymously......The notion of Andrew Cuomo as a dark and forboding character may be premature. This blogger thinks the writing is already on the wall
The Dark Prince Returneth « NT2: Nec Temere, Nec Timide

Whigs Are Among Us

So you want a different party and are somewhat nostalgic....Seems the Modern Whig Party is out there...And they claim to stand for fiscal responsibility, strong national defense, and social progressive policies. Wow that sounds pretty good...
Of course the original Whigs fell apart in the early 1850s and in part were replaced by the nativist-based "Know Nothing Party." Supporters of the anti immigration, anti Irish and anti Catholic party got their name because when asked what party they were, members answered "I Know Nothing."
To a later generation that would be known as the "Sgt. Schultz Party."
I could see being a Whig....but I don't want to publicly proclaim, "I know nothing."
Know Nothing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roger Stone: The Stone Zone

Those interested in some good reading on libertarian and conservative issues may want to add Roger Stone's "Stone Zone" to their favorites. This week he has an insightful story on one of the great intellects of modern American politics, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. The late Senator Moynihan was part of the Nixon White House but also was a Democrat and a sensibly liberal US Senator from NY for 24 years.
His second story is a look at the plight of the so called Libertarian Party of New York, which despite a need to advocate for personal and economic freedom, the group again couldn't achieve ballot status, while the far left, big government Greens did.
Add Roger's site to your favorites.
Roger Stone: The Stone Zone

To run or not to run: Will Cuomo seek presidency? - WSJ.com

The same thing has already happened to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie...Get elected and suddenly the chattering class has you running for President.
Now the Associated Press has brought its weighty presence on the side of speculating about Andrew Cuomo running for the top job....Even though he has yet to solve one of New York's problems, Mr. Cuomo is being touted....
Really, let's insist our new Governor put four years of good performance in the can before thinking he is Presidential. He may well be, but we just don't know yet.
To run or not to run: Will Cuomo seek presidency? - WSJ.com

Defeated Likely Ponder Whether There's a Second Act in Politics for Them

I think those who took a shot this year but came up short, may try again....Attached is a statement from Kristin Davis pledging to keep working perhaps towards a 2014 effort to establish a new party. I think Matt Doheny tries again in two years. He has worked the district and with a campaign not unsettled and rattled by an internecine fight with Doug Hoffman, he might have a good shot at it. Mr. Doheny spent the weekend attending sectional football games at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
I think a Darrel Aubertine might consider a run, although there's easier ways to earn a living than trying to win that seat back.
Dave Forsythe and Brian McGrath certainly ran good efforts and may be back.
Facebook (14) Kristin Davis For Governor

Coup Rumors Swirl in Assembly

With a smaller caucus after election losses, but still with a solid majority, one wouldn't think Speaker Sheldon Silver would have to fear a coup....But Albany insiders are suggesting there is such talk. It may be just a story to fill a news hole and stir the pot...But the Speaker did face a failed coup attempt a decade ago at the hands of former majority leader Michael Bragman of Syracuse.
It is also known, Governor-elect Cuomo would prefer Mr. Silver gone.
Palace intrigue is always good for speculation, but who would step forward and risk the very public decimation doled out to Mr. Bragman when the coup fizzled.....
What would Addie do if such a scenario develops ?
Speaker Sheldon Silver faces coup rumors in New York Assembly - NYPOST.com

Dems Plan Senate Rope-a-Dope in January

How about that Liz ?...Even while hanging out in Puerto Rico on expense account, she still files stories on Sunday morning.. Liz tells us that Senator Malcolm Smith aka "Smiling Malcolm" says the Dems are willing to "share power" in the Senate until the election results are determined some time early next year....
Nice try Malcolm....Most people think the elections are over, except for the armies of election law attornies parachuting into as many districts as are able to generate billable hours.
Most experts think it ends up 32-30 Republican, but the clear strategy is to use court fights to delay the seating of incoming GOP senators....If that's done and its 30-30 in January, we will see more of same in the Capital.
Let's just respect the will of the voters. Oh, wait I forgot, that's not what its all about...Silly me.
Smith: Power-Sharing Is Possible

Paladino Wins the West, but the Rest of the "Free Sh-- " Crowd Votes Cuomo

Despite the overwhelming win by Andrew Cuomo, not all New Yorkers reject Carl Paladino......While only 11% of Manhattan elites voted for the man their local media dubbed "crazy Carl", Mr. Paladino's margins in western NY counties ranged as high as 68% in Wyoming and 65% in Niagara County. Even normally Democratic Erie County voted 58% Paladino. For a guy who was panned by the chattering class, his numbers in Bills Country were astounding.
Western NY is the part of the state where Perot did best and there is a strong independent streak there.
What the vote shows is more than just affinity for the hometown ticket. There is a split in NY between those content with the status quo and those who resent even the reform agenda Mr. Cuomo purports to advance.
As one local candidate who didn't win told me, politics and winning is all about "free s---." People want stuff from government and that largely is how you win. 94% of incumbents were reelected in NY this year.
To suggest the bulk of New Yorkers have changed is to misread the results.
Paladino won 12 counties, lost big in boroughs - Capitol Confidential

Saturday Night

Last night I attended the Hospice 25th anniversary dinner and auction held at the former Dealmaker Dodge store on Arsenal Street. The ex-showroom was a nice venue for the well-attended event. Food and company were good.
When I left there I scooted up to the Wicked Wench to see Tammy and get a full debriefing on her Tuesday trip to NYC. Its good to see Tammy's interest in politics rekindled to the point where she is a political tourist.
As you recall Tammy was part of the Davis for Governor effort, which we both conclude was a lot of fun. I know, before you say it, elections are the serious business of selecting society's leaders and to be a political hobbyist is a defamation of democracy.
The truth is some people do find politics to be in essence a hobby. Doesn't mean they don't care about issues and policy, it just means they like game, even to the point of enjoying the extra mail they get in October.
The conclusion both of us reached after talking about the $750 bottle of Grey Goose at the Taj is that we don't charge enough for drinks.
After chatting with some of West Carthage leading citizens who were at the Wench on a Saturday night, I went home and dozed off before SNL came on.