Finished the First Signed Copy of Zephyr's Book

Finished the First Signed Copy of Zephyr's Book
I Think I am Smarter for Reading It

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Derek Jeter, Yankees Sign Three Year Deal for $51M

While my primary sports focus is Monday's Jett-Pats showdown, like most I have followed the Derek Jeter contract saga.....After ten years averaging $18.9M a year, Derek didn't think his .270 average last year meant he should make less....He has inked a three year, $51M deal, so the pay cut is small and he is still making a bundle.
Any of you remember when the minimum salary was like $20K and somebody making $100K...well that was rare or unheard of.
Now we are expected to root for Jeter to get more and more....For Rivera to get the same...and if Cliff Lee signs, well heck...pay him even more.
I thought we were a nation in a recession ?
Derek Jeter, Yankees finalize deal for three years up to $51 million deal - NYPOST.com

Sen. Scott Brown’s ‘seismic’ shift on gays - BostonHerald.com

I was watching a bunch of top brass testifying on the 'don't ask, don't tell' issue....They all felt the policy could be repealed with few ill effects and now Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) says he agrees as well. It's pretty much Sen. John McCain still arguing for thes status quo...Even his wife Cindy disagrees with her husband....With a couple of wars going on, this all seems an odd way to preoccupy the military elite, but its an issue kicking around too long.
I say just repeal the policy and get it over with. Ten years from now nobody will remember the whole debate.
Sen. Scott Brown’s ‘seismic’ shift on gays - BostonHerald.com

GOP a Step Closer to Senate Majority

Will this end it ? The tedious and arduously slow admission that the GOP controls the State Senate by a 32-30 margin....
Democrats need to realize that in this state, they should have had no problem holding the body, but their leadership and thugocracy made them unworthy of the chance to lead again.
As we read this, on Senator is on trial for assault again (Parker) and everyone is counting the days till Pedro Espada leaves......Those who walked the plank for the party were not the perps....they were the upstate and suburban senators from marginal seats. Maybe they should have spoken up louder, but its hard to say anything when its the party that put you there.
GOP Likely To Control State Senate (Updated)

Is Carl Crazy to Attack Liz For His Lousy Showing This Year ?

Wow....the choice of snowbound western New Yorkers for governor has passed on another showdown with Dicker and instead has lambasted Liz Benjamin for being an immature, incompetant, obsequious lap dog to official Albany.
In a letter posted on CapCon, Buffalo attorney and businessman Carl Paladino issues a lengthy treatise on how the Albany press is part of the problem by trading favor with insiders for going easy on the corruption and dysfunction.
He even says Liz will never make it to the big time.....Carl, she is already there.....
It is true, pols seek her favor, and secretly fear her due to her stature as premier blogger and host of Capital Tonight on YNN. It is true most of us wouldn't dare criticizing those funky necklaces she wears on the air for fear of never getting to be a talking head again.
Now I can understand Carl calling her immature as she looks considerably younger than her years.......but seriously she has made state government watchable for the all of us in the real world and doesn't seem easily taken in....
Everyone will give Mr. Cuomo some slack because he is new and why start a fight before he even raises his right hand ?...After all, voters did speak and even the press has to respect that, at least for a couple months.
Mr. Paladino was on Capital Tonight several times and I think got treated fairly. In fact Liz was pretty nice to him.
Carls letter does address the serious issue of government-press collusion, but it is written by the wrong man at the wrong time. It comes off as sour grapes, and while the public likely doesn't mind seeing Dicker given some grief, there is a limited audience for beating up on the bookish, girl-next-door journalist still working at being friends with the Teleprompter.
Clearly when Liz next visits the Queen City, she won't be squired around by Crazy Carl.
Carl Paladino sends Liz B. a nastygram - Capitol Confidential

Council Meeting on Monday.& Other Holiday Stuff

A couple of items on Monday's City Council agenda.
One is a briefing on progress towards jump starting the Creekwood Housing Project located off Mill Street near the city limits. This is a project put on hold by the recession but needed as Watertown tries to do its part to meet an expected housing demand in 2012.
Council will also begin considering a local law to complete annexation on a small parcel of land in the city's southern border. This is a parcel owned by the city already, but on portions outside its corporate limits the city actually has to pay property taxes on it. Even though the amount of $$ is small, that just doesn't make sense.
One of the fun events of the Holidays is the Christmas reception at the LeRay Mansion on Fort Drum. This charming restored home is now used as a guest house for visitors but it is dressed up for receptions attended by various groups from the community.
A labor big wig called me yesterday to tell that all the talk of reforming the process of legislative redistricting is officially dead and that the usual gerrymandering by the parties will be the order of the day.
Assembly Democrats I hear may try to loop newcomer Ken Blankenbush into a a district that includes GOP Assemblyman Will Barclay of Oswego County.
That's the kind of stuff the insiders think about....even during this season of joy and brotherhood.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Michele Bachmann pulled in $13.4 million in 2010 cycle - Alex Isenstadt - POLITICO.com

You think our Congressional race was expensive ?
In Minnesota, Tea Party darling Rep. Michelle Bachmann raised a whopping $13.4 Million this year....Spent over $11 Million and had an opponent who raised over $4 million.
These are Congressional races....There are 435 of them....That's a lotta cash !
Michele Bachmann pulled in $13.4 million in 2010 cycle - Alex Isenstadt - POLITICO.com

Hillary Clinton: Cabinet post will be last public job | syracuse.com

I first saw Hillary Clinton at the 1992 Democratic Convention in NYC. She met with the NY Delegates and was very impressive. I had the pleasure of meeting her during a "listening tour" visit I hosted at the Flower Library. When she ran for US Senate, I worked with her people and became a stalking horse to in part deny Rick Lazio the Independence Party line as I was the only in-party person who could block him at the convention.
It worked and Lazio was left waiting at the altar. That event and the infamous Buffalo debate were turning points in a race Lazio was leading in.
Hillary had previously sworn off seeking the line as she knew she didn't have the support. She used some feigned indignation with Lenora Fulani at a meeting in Buffalo that I remember well.
She was a great Senator and always was very nice when I ran into her. With each passing day, more of my anti-Hill friends have come to the conclusion she would have been by far the better option in 2008.
Now she has apparently decided her time has passed for seeking the brass ring.
Of course, as she knows, in politics things can change. But if it doesn't I wish her well.
Hillary Clinton: Cabinet post will be last public job syracuse.com

WDT: Doheny Drops Over $2 Million of his Own Money

Matt Doheny spent more than two million dollars of his own money on the nearly successful campaign for Congress....In all the three candidates spent over six million dollars on the effort...and that likely does not include all the third party groups weighing in.
Finance reports just out detail the efforts of Mr. Doheny along with Rep. Bill Owens and third party candidate Doug Hoffman.
In all Doheny spent over $3.4 million and came within 1.1 points of beating Rep. Owens.
I don't have a problem with any of it.....Everything is relative.
Watertown Daily Times Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York

A Marginalized Legislature May End Up Worse than What We Have

There is reason to be displeased with the course of government and the seeming dysfunction of legislative bodies. In New York, ours is probably worse than most.
Term limits are advocated by some....some want them paid less or some talk of a part time legislature.
The cautionary tale I would tell is that as government at all levels has grown, there is more and more marginalizing of elected officials in favor of the "professionals".
In an earlier time when the people elected a county board of supervisors, a clerk, a sheriff and a judge...those people ran government...Now there are layers and layers of bureaucrats and unelected managers, including the entire county admnistration. There is the tendency to rail against the electeds for being too "political" while unelected bodies spend money and grant tax exemptions while the electeds get to vote for the tax hikes.
The same is true in Albany. We are in a rage over a Member of Assembly but say nothing of other officials tucked away in the bureacracy or in agencies who are paid two, three and four times as much and literally answer to no one.
When was the last time a new office was put up to the voters ?
I now the Albany lawmakers. It is time consuming and challenging work...Frustrating too as everyone wants lower taxes and more programs.
I am not here to make excuses for them or suggest they all couldn't do better...But its good to remember that we have representitive government and in many cases the lawmakers are merely doing what a demanding public wants.
McDonald Pitches Part-Time Legislature

New York Elections Board Finds 195,000 Uncounted Votes - NYTimes.com

Another 200,000 or so votes not counted on election night have now been tallied up by the NYC Board of Elections, lengthening the margins of the Democrats who won statewide, but not affecting any outcomes.
The votes are mostly the result of poll watchers improperly reporting numbers from canvass sheets on election night. The extra votes discovered a month later are another black eye for the City BOE which has been roundly criticised for problems running smooth elections.
New York Elections Board Finds 195,000 Uncounted Votes - NYTimes.com

Fitzpatrick to Head County Legislature

Jefferson County Legislator Carolyn Fitzpatrick will be the choice to succeed Assemblyman-elect Ken Blankenbush as chair when the latter heads to Albany next month.
That's what I heard yesterday morning from a key GOP insider.
The widely expected move would elevate Ms. Fitzpatrick who is now vice chair of the body. District 3 lawmaker Phil Reed had been talked about for the top spot.
Ms. Fitzpatrick is no stranger to local politics as she was a long time aide to former Assemblyman H. Robert Nortz.

Majority of NY Members Vote to Give Charlie a Pass

Rep. Bill Owens was among 13 New York Members of Congress voting in favor of censure for Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel. Sixteen NY lawmakers voted against the punishment for Mr. Rangel, who has been in the Congress 40 years.
Rep.Rangel continued to deny that his ethics violations were a sign of corruption and said the actions against him were political.
An interesting aside. Defeated Syracuse Rep. Dan Maffei, who once worked for Rangel, voted in favor of censure...Perhaps a sign he will the 25th CD seat again and didn't want to be seen as soft on corruption.
NY Members Votes On Rangel’s Censure

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Big Crowds Enjoy Christmas Time in the City

Several hundred Holiday revelers packed the north side of Public Square tonight to light the City Christmas Tree and enjoy the sounds of the Northern Blend Chorus singing traditional carols.
Santa Claus greeted the children and the crowd cheered as the countdown to lighting the tree took place shortly after 6PM and was televised live on TV 7.
Tree lightings have become a major event since Public Square was renovated and tonights gathering was testimony to a community ready for Christmas !
Happy Holidays to all !

Valesky Raps Dem Colleagues

One of the remaining Senate Democrats is angry over his party's quick endorsement of embattled Senator John Sampson as the leader of their caucus....Senator David Valesky survived the upstate GOP surge and held his central NY seat, but was left in the cold when his caucus voted to back Sampson who is named in the racino scandal at Aqueduct.
Betch Senator Aubertine won't miss this crew.
Senate Back To Albany Tuesday (Updated)

Line C Looks Like a Goner for the Indy's as the WFP Surges

As votes are tallied, it is now apparent the Independence Party will drop from Line C to Line E on the ballot.
Final tallies from the City of New York boosted the Working Families Party enough to surely claim Line D. The Conservatives surged behind Carl Paladino to grab Line C.
The Indy's have had the C line for the past eight years, having claimed it in 2002 with Tom Golisano's all out effort for governor and narrowly holding it four years ago by running Eliot Spitzer. The cross endorse gambit with Andrew Cuomo didn't work so well this year, as the Acorn fell close to the tree.
The drop in ballot position likely weakens somewhat the appeal of the Indy line which has been a sought after nomination. However, there is always a market for a second line as candidates scramble for an edge.
Meanwhile New York has avoided the dubious honor as having the nation's lowest turnout...We are next to last.
Maybe NY Wasn’t Last After All? (Updated)

Gov. Paterson fearful for post-Albany life - NYPOST.com

Transitions are always a challenge and for the nation's only blind governor, it will be a challenge to return to just "being a blind man in New York City" with the legions of staffers to help navigate the daily routine.
Governor David Paterson has taught us a lot about this disability and how to still do a job in spite of it. While a novelty when he took office, most of us didn't think that much about it when Mr. Paterson was leading the charge against a recalcitrant Legislature.
Kudos to the Governor for his efforts and for speaking out against those who made fun of the challenges the blind face.
Gov. Paterson fearful for post-Albany life - NYPOST.com

WDT: Ritchie up in air on Staff and Transition

With dozens of state senators in his municipality, Mayor Bloomberg or the people in the City of New York likely don't have to worry about the office and staff arrangements for a newly elected senator.
But here in the 48th District, where we only have one senator, it's important. As December dawns the location and staffing for the incoming Senator is reportedly still up in the air. In fact outgoing Senator Darrel Aubertine and Senator-elect Patty Ritchie did not even meet this week although both were in Albany.
Smooth transitions are a responsibility of both parties, but especially for those leaving, who have had the chance to serve. They know the ropes and even though losing is no fun, have a higher calling to make sure the public interest is served.
In the election I lost in '99, I made sure to meet with Mayor-elect Butler promptly and did whatever was needed to facilitate the change. In previous partisan office changes for state and federal races, I have been told nothing but the furniture will be left in the office. Files will be taken. A sort of "they can figure it out when they get here" attitude as punishment for voters have the tumerity to ask for change.
With so many issues of interest to people from Oswego to Ogdensburg, citizens deserve a seamless transition. It's what we pay for.
Watertown Daily Times Ritchie up in air on staff funding

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Aide: Blunders, press cost Paladino NY gov race - WSJ.com

Paladino aide Michael Caputo is wrong in thinking Carl Paladino could have won the governor's race, if only he hadn't make some dumb mistakes....
Fact is there was never a race for governor this year. Andrew Cuomo had it all along as a legacy candidate. No one was allowed to challenge him in the Democratic party...witness the kick to the curb for David Paterson.
Republicans never had a chance...Rick Lazio was Cuomo light and Carl Paladino was not acceptable to the MSM.......
Andrew Cuomo had the fix in the moment the media agreed to call him Andrew instead of insisting on Andy.
Mr. Caputo and his candidate did make mistakes...but they were outgunned from the git go.....
Aide: Blunders, press cost Paladino NY gov race - WSJ.com

WDT: Final Numbers Make Doug & June The Congressman's BFFs

With perhaps the lowest winning percentage of any Democratic survivor in this year's election, Rep. Bill Owens can thank two people the most for his win over Matt Doheny...
One is Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman who garnered 6.1% though he said he was not running.....The other person is political svengali June O'Neill, who delivered St. Lawrence County by over 4600 votes and just crushed Doheny in the Chardonney and brie college towns of Canton and Potsdam. St. Lawrence is really Mr. Owens base of power despite living two counties away in Clinton County.
Give labor boss Ron McDougall and bride DeDe Scozzafava a star as well for helping sink Doheny in the western end of NY23.
Doheny did well enough in the no man's land part of the district in Hamilton, Fulton and Madison Counties.
Of course it still comes down to voters and who they choose...But the impact of June on this race cannot be understated.
Hope she doesn't try to do me in. (remember I donated to your Assembly bid before you were a legend)
Watertown Daily Times Owens won 23rd by 1.1 percent

At long last, Grisanti is winner with historic flair - Politics - The Buffalo News

Republicans can thank the most improbable of winners in giving them their narrow 32-30 Senate majority....Despite running in a district with 103,000 Democrats and only 21,000 Republicans, Mark Grisanti bested two term Senator Antoine Thompson by some 500 votes.
That's a major upset. Mr. Grisanti had run in the district before and was a registered Democrat coming into 2010....He has changed parties and has defied enormous odds to tip the balance of power in Albany.
The party disparity is greater than the 72K t to 49 K GOP bulge in our district that Darrel Aubertine twice overcame before falling this year.
At long last, Grisanti is winner with historic flair - Politics - The Buffalo News

Paterson: Albany’s Not What It Used To Be (Updated)

A longing for the good old days from the current and future governor.....Andrew Cuomo has already said politicians in his father's day had more integrity and decorum....
Now Gov. David Paterson is taking a whack at Albany on his way out the door.......He says when he first came to the capital a couple decades ago, the people were better and had more character......
The Governor, who has himself admitted to adultery and cocaine use, has been able to witness much of the decline in his positions as Senate minority leader, LG and Governor.
Paterson: Albany’s Not What It Used To Be (Updated)

Debt Panel to Report in Climate of Spending and Promising

Today the federal debt reduction panel reports. "Bold proposals" are promised...They are sitting down to make their findings known as I write this.
Little will be enacted because of what I call (as of today) the Scarborough Doctrine.
On Morning Joe today I heard the now anxious-to-please-all host parrot the GOP line about no tax hikes in a slow economy and then he blurted out that its no time to be attacking the federal deficit through budget cuts.......Wow, Joe has become an amalgam of the ortodoxy from both sides of the aisle.
Joe is still aflutter over speculation he could be on a national ticket with his show's patron saint Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
We cannot continue to have the old paradigm of "tax cuts" and "stimulus"...If we want to spend at current levels, and keep providing "free sh--" to everyone...we will have to raise taxes dramatically.
There is no appetite for cuts.

"Parker Spitzer" co-host Kathleen Parker furious over "upstaging" Eliot, walked out of show - NYPOST.com

When your wife puts up with what Eliot's has, on could conclude all women are going to stay in their place...That must be what former Governor Spitzer thinks as his CNN co-host Kathleen Parker chafes at her subordinate role on the new Parker-Spitzer Show.
Seems Ms. Parker stormed off the set as the pushy former luv guv dominates the discussion. She is said to blame the show's producer, while others say the Washington Post columnist turned TV star doesn't have the broadcast experience while Mr. Spitzer has turned out to love the camera as much as he used to love high priced escorts.
I still think Eliot crossed a line from just a randy hubby to creepy in his actions and am surprised Ms. Parker would want to be on TV with him. Besides the shows ratings are abysmal...I have never watched it and I don't plan to.
Somebody will have to walk the plank or put up with being in a gig they don't like....and at some point CNN will have to acknowledge the poor ratings as well.
Sorry if I am not a fan, but Eliot Spitzer was such a disappointment as governor at a time when real change was needed. The result of his failed admnistration was four years of mayhem that we now have to hope Andrew Cuomo can clean up.
"Parker Spitzer" co-host Kathleen Parker furious over "upstaging" Eliot, walked out of show - NYPOST.com

Oswego Taxpayer Revolt: Blog to Track Patty

As the thin line between a GOP majority and the mayhem of a 31-31 Senate, Sen.-elect Patty Ritchie already has those looking to her to make the difference between a blubbery, tax-crazy state and some kind of Tea Party heaven.
The blogger linked here is counting down the days to Ms. Ritchie being a senator, and promises to keep an eye on her performance. Ms Ritchie is there because of people like this. People who rightly or wrongly see a Republican majority as the last line of defense against a crazy and corrupt Albany....That's a big responsibility.
It's a tenuous grip the Republicans have...There is still one seat the Democrats won't concede, although in SD 7 it does appear over with...In Buffalo's SD60, the new GOP senator-elect is really a Democrat only re-registering this year, and Senator-elect Grisanti has made it clear he is not an arch-conservative, as he won only because his urban district was offended by the corrupt thugocracy in the Democratic caucus.
Every senator in that 32 member caucus will be in a position to leverage money for their district in exchange for staying in the fold. They will do it because we expect them to.
The differences between the major parties are more about nuance and those who see this election as a taxpayer revolt may be disappointed. That may be, but in this race it was the "revolt" crowd who made the difference. Those people need to keep score, because change elections only happen once in a while.
Oswego Taxpayer Revolt

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cuomo: State Government Failed the People Once Again

On a day when he broke bread with Assembly Democrats and declared a new era of good feeling, Governor Elect Andrew Cuomo again ripped the Legislature for their failure to address a newly developing mid year deficit. Mr. Cuomo says state government has failed the people again.....In 31 Days, Mr. Cuomo is the embodiment of that government...
He projects the image of a man who can change whats happening by the force of his will......We will see.
Cuomo: State government failed the people once again

Day Care at the Y Comes in January

I went over to the ribbon cutting for the new YMCA Day Care Center. Its on Washington Street in the former OB/GYN Building.
Y Director Peter Schmitt says the facility means the local Y now truly serves those of all ages and that up to 80 youngsters from infant to toddler can be taken care of at one time. While the Center will start with just a day shift that may be expanded.
Initially 18 full top equivalent jobs will be filled.
Its an impressive structure and really fills a need for many new to the area.
Mr. Schmitt says many Y's provide the service and he and fundraising chair John Johnson thanked the supporters for their donations.

Mid-Afternoon at City Hall

I am sitting in City Hall listening to the howl of the wind outside punctuated by the cry of the occasional crow.....Its 2PM and I have a meeting in half an hour.
A bit of dead time, as I have checked mail and gone over the schedule of Christmas parties coming up...That all starts tomorrow with the HSBC bash and the Menorah lighting on Public Square.
I have gotten a lot of comments on the return of the Yuengling sign and the consensus is the publicity blitz rendered the object worthless as anywhere it was displayed or sold would elicit comments on its theft. The identity of the perp would have been known too and now that's its over, there will be nothing more said.
The weather looks beastly for the next couple of days....but the heavy rain will turn Faith, Hope and Charity at the Hydro Plant and that's good budget news...All the talk of heavy Canadian shopping over the holiday is good news on the sales tax front.
I am optimistic about 2011.
Well, almost time for my meeting, so I will update later.

Yuengling Sign Returned....Newzjunky Link Seen as Key

The missing commemorative Yuengling sign taken from Fort Pearl last week has been returned. A person left it this morning at the back door to the tavern.
The momento was something I got during a vacation visit to the Pottsville, PA brewery last summer and the theft left me really annoyed.
www.newzjunky.com was nice enough to link to a post about the missing sign and surely led to its return.
Thanks to Newzjunky and I am glad the person realized what they did was wrong.

Rangel back in DC to await D(iscipline)-Day - NYPOST.com

Get this over with. Whether its censure or reprimand, Rep. Charles Rangel is still a Member of Congress representing his Manhattan district..
If he did something wrong and really evaded taxes, let that be handled in the way it would be for all of us.
The election is over and everybody knows what Mr. Rangel is all about. Some love him, others don't....
The theater in the House needs to end.
Rangel back in DC to await D(iscipline)-Day - NYPOST.com

WDT: Mercy Saga Not Readily Apparent

This is certainly a valid observation. The dilemma at Mercy that led to a sudden and unexpected closure order from the State of New York in late August was a surprise only in its urgency as the facility had been the subject of anecdotal tales of woe for months and had been in and out of bankruptcy since the facility ceased to be a hospital two decades ago.
When the last bankruptcy was discharged three or four years ago, the owners were proactive in approaching the City about their plans to correct deficiencies and actually rebuild the facility on site. Visits to City Hall and introductions of new management teams seemed to suggest there was a chance at working out of years of problems. Since its a privately owned building and facility our best course was to hope that their optimism was valid.
As recently as 2009, back tax and water bills were paid. Then the visits and courtesy calls stopped and by this year the rumors were rife again of bouncing checks. Nonetheless as recently as this summer the Mercy owners suggested they could right the ship with an application for state funds.
In the end the state essentially said the current operators were not fit to continue and proposed dispersing the patients and closing the facility in a two week stretch.
It now appears there was a long stretch of poor maintenance and a lack of prudent fiscal management and now the facility is run under a receivership agreement with nearby Samaritan Medical Center. This provides stability in the short term while the future options for the Stone Street site are pondered.
Watertown Daily Times Mercy saga

Paterson a Talker ?

Governor Paterson is filling in as host this week on John Gambling's talk show on WOR radio in NYC. Mr. Paterson had been a frequent guest on the show, often using it as a means of articulating his legislative agenda.
Filling in as guest host is being speculated as a possible audition for a post governor job for the affable politician.
Perhaps the Governor could do a couple HOTLINE programs and maybe a Live at Five. He needs to talk to Samantha and "Prophecy" before he decides if its a career for him.
Audition week for guv?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Patty's Money Comes from All Over

Senator-elect Patty Ritchie, just like the man she replaces, has friends she never heard of.
The folks at Samson Management in Rego Park,NY gave her $9500.....A limited partnership at 211 East 70th Street in NYC gave her $9500. Mohawk Asphalt in Albany chipped in $4000....the good folks at the PCI PAC in Des Plaines, Illinois ponied up $7000......Mike Schmelzer in Great Neck gave $5000....Sean Fieler in Princeton, NY offered up $9500....Frank and Paul Suits of Cortland each gave $4000....ABC Paving in Buffalo, $3000....Tricham Housing on East 74th street, $4000....Ditmar Management in New Hyde Park, $9500....and the list goes on in the latest 27 day post election filing. Other pols gave too including Senator Majority Leader in waiting Dean Skelos who gave $9500.
Yes Matt Doheny gave $9500...John Doldo $500...John Morgia $100....Jim and Carolyn Fitzpatrick $100 and Dave Renzi gave a hundred too..... County Clerk Cheryl Lane gave $100
In all fairness, Senator Darrel Aubertine had lots of out of town names in his three runs for the Senate.....But the fact is these fancy campaigns we enjoy nowadays are almost exclusively funded by people neither you or the candidate ever heard of.
A peak at Addie Russells report shows a litany of unions supporting her including teachers, corrections officers, and electricians. She also had $400 from a guy named Ezra "Ted" Ford.
They give because they are giving to the party and they are told where to send the checks....Its the way it is, but the finance reports on line are fascinating to read.

Nearly All of Paladino Dollars Came from Buffalo Area

True to form, North Country Republicans like to sit on the sidelines when it comes to supporting the party's candidates for high office.
The final 27 day post election filing by gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino shows in the month before the election there was virtually no NNY support with only a $24 and $50 donation from residents of Canton and Massena and a $250 donation from former Senator H.Douglas Barclay of Pulaski.
The vast majority of Mr. Paladino's contributions came from residents of Western New York, where he scored his best vote totals, with some counties in the 60+% range.
A hundred dollar donation of any kind is virtually unknown in the North Country even though high dollar races have come to the region in recent years.
Paladino Owes $6.1 M (Updated)

Reward Offered for the Yuengling Board !

While it may not seem the big deal made of it, I would like the Yuengling commemorative surf (boogie) board back. The kind publicity www.Newzjunky.com gave me didn't do the trick.
I will pay a $100 reward for its return. So you can gain and you don't have to turn in your friend...Just take his stolen treasure away from him and cash in yourself !
What a deal !

The Nation's Most Dysfunctional is Back in Session

The new GOP majority in the Senate met today to confirm Dean Skelos as majority leader. At least they won't have to create a new title because someone like Espada insists on the leader moniker even though no one wants him.
We will see how effective the majority is, and they have the same dilemma as the Dems in that with a 32-30 majority, everyone has to vote the same way. There is no room for getting off the reservation.
Meanwhile lawmakers are back in the capital for the lame duck session. Hang on to your wallets. Members of the Assembly are having dinner with the Governor-elect tomorrow and all of us wait to see if the new boss is the same as the old boss.
State of Politics Blog

It's Monday....Get It in Gear !

An extra Council meeting tonight as we gather in an adjourned session for a couple of items. One is a three year pact with CSEA and the other is with National Grid for a cleanup they are doing on a portion of the JB Wise Parking Lot.
There is also a tabled resolution on water contracts with the Town of Watertown, and whatever else happens to come up.
As for me I have some other meetings this afternoon and of course the HOTLINE returns after a holiday hiatus at noon on AM-1240 WATN.

At wine kiosk, show ID, face camera, swipe card and blow

In Pennsylvania (a state with many antiquated alcohol laws just like NY) they are embarking on a high tech way of selling wine....This leapfrogs the supermarkets and liquor stores which in NY are fighting over the right to sell fortified grape juice.
The vending machines are called wine kiosks and require ID, looking into a camera and blowing into it......No thanks, I'd rather just buy a bottle from John Rice at JRs Discount Liquor where you can retain your dignity and get some conversation as well.
At wine kiosk, show ID, face camera, swipe card and blow

Oh, and by the Way....The Indian Casino Deal is Secret

And speaking of the Indian deal. The Paterson administration refuses to release the text of the agreement, but it is said to include the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe dropping Central NY land claims, in exchange to getting to operate in the Catskills. Is that just to placate the Oneidas at Turning Stone ?
Well it didn't. They have a big pie and are not anxious to to split it with anyone.
Who doesn't have a pie ? The non-Indian resort owners, gas station owners, and cigarette retailers being squeezed out by these deals.
Battle erupts over Indian casino agreement - Capitol Confidential

Patsy Legislature On Verge of Letting a Governor Cut Contrived Indian Casino Deal

The "Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans" ?
Just who are they ? Well, they are somebody Governor David Paterson cooked up to make a deal with to set up an Indian casino in the Catskills. It's an end of term deal designed to top Aqueduct for shady dealing.
Let me say it in the clearest of terms. If gaming is to be OK, the way to accomplish that is to amend the State Constitution to allow it. That means passing a measure in two consecutive terms of the Legislature and then submitting it to public referendum. Little too much democracy there, huh ?
Out attitude towards gaming is like so much else. Moral pangs of guilt, yet we carve out little exemptions if the government or its friends can profit.
Then we fund some advocacy and counseling groups to campaign against what the government is cashing in on. (Note the recent anti-smoking ads aimed at vendors who are being hosed by a license fee up to 50 times greater than it was three years ago.)
A few years ago, Jefferson County businessman Don Cole tried to gin up an Indian reservation near Alexandria Bay. It didn't fly, but the Catskills scheme is no less contrived.
Creating a massive casino in the Catskills run in conjunction with the government is another knife in the back of the privately run hospitality industry.
This crazy plan should be dropped by the new governor.
Catskills casino deal a bad bet - Times Union

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Memo to Albany - It’s Your Job - NYTimes.com

Lawmakers are back in Albany tomorrow...Some are complaining...few want to do anything, preferring to kick the can down the road...Meanwhile those who will be there down the road certainly could care yes.
Yet there are things to be done and action now will mean less on the plate for the new governor and the new Senate majority in January.
The NY Times has a list of things to do thats a starter...Let's see if they can accomplish this modest list as a down payment on real reform next year.
Memo to Albany - It’s Your Job - NYTimes.com

Roller Derby Coming to Watertown....

A great piece of 60s pop culture is taking shape in our area with the formation of a women's roller derby time to compete at the Fairgrounds Arena soon. The Black River Rollers are looking for more ladies who can handle themselves on wheels.
For more information check out www.watertownrollerderby.com .
*Practices* - Black River Rollers

Christmas Parade Kicks Off Holidays for Watertown Families

Thousands lined Washington Street in Watertown today under overcast skies and pleasant temperatures for the annual Christmas Parade. The event had over 40 units and was organized by city DPW worker Stan Zaremba.
There were lots of floats and the children lining the route were enthusiastic.
Assemblywoman Addie Russell, Sheriff John Burns and I marched together greeting the crowds and wishing them a Merry Christmas. Councilman Joe Butler Jr watched from the reviewing stand.
Santa was on the final float and there were lots of animals including a pair of llamas.
The Christmas Tree lighting ceremony is Thursday at 6PM on Public Square.
A good time was had by all !

Mayor Burto Splits With Uncle Kent and Becomes a Democrat

I have been fortunate to live in what I believe is the only city in NYS with non-partisan municipal elections.....My friends Don Coon and Sean Hennesey likely don't think so, as their world is defined by party label...
For Sean, a victory as he now has an additional Democratic mayor...This one in West Carthage as the change of registration filed by Scott Burto became official. I don't know if it makes him a different person than the one I knew prior to his change, but he will be viewed differently by the partisans. For the GOP tired of his dalliances with DeDe and Brian McGraths candidacy, its likely good riddance. Mayor Burto has regularly challenged his party's orthodoxy and has questioned its local institutions like the IDA.
Now with a mere check mark on a form, Scott is in a different paradigm. No more county jobs, but this opens up new horizons with the new administration.
In my life I have been registered as a Republican (when a Nixon fan at age 18) to being a Democrat in the 80s (and a delegate to the 1992 DNC), to third party politics as a member of the Independence Party in 1995. Been there ever since and did not follow Scott and others who changed parties.
I consider the labels largely meaningless, but for others it is the measure of who you are. I think Scott is an independent thinker and I hope the orthodoxy of his new party doesn't change that.
Watertown Daily Times West Carthage mayor officially joins Dems

Christmas Events Dot the Schedule

It's been a pretty quiet Thanksgiving weekend on this side of town, but the holiday season starts in earnest today with the City's Christmas Parade on Washington Street. Looks like the weather will be OK.
City employee Stan Zaremba takes on the challenge of setting up the parade each year and folks owe him a debt of gratitude for the personal initiative he shows in putting such an event together. Its got to be a lot of work to make sure there is enough of interest to keep the kids entertained. It all starts at 1 pm.
A highlight of Christmas in recent years in the tree lighting, which used to be held on the afternoon of the parade and was never attended by anyone. Now its a stand alone event this Thursday and the crowds have been great the last two years.
Don't forget the beginning of Hannukah on Wednesday with a Menorah lighting ceremony at 6PM.
There's a couple Christimas parties I will be attending this week. One at HSBC, one put on by Bernier Carr and a reception next Sunday at Fort Drum's LeRay Mansion. The goal this year is to have fun and not eat anything at these events.
I hope you all have a great Holiday Season !

Will Cuomo address lawmakers on Monday? - Capitol Confidential

With Governor Paterson pretty much on the dustbin of history, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo may as well go to the Capitol on Monday and speak to lawmakers gathered for party caucuses.
Mr. Cuomo needs to set the tone early and his inaugural would be waiting too late, since budget proposals are due shortly after the swearing in. Legislators have to be told what's expected of them, as if real cuts are to happen, it will be a first for many of these people.
I think the budget will be full of one shot wonders like wine in grocery stores license fees, since there is a pledge of no new taxes. A casino deal in the Catskills will likely be front loaded with cash and who knows what other schemes will be devised.
Whatever it is, the new governor needs to take charge and he may choose to do so Monday in Albany. Let's hope so.
Will Cuomo address lawmakers on Monday? - Capitol Confidential