Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ted and the Lord Share a Birthday This Week

While on Saturday, many of you will be celebrating the birth of Jesus, take a moment to say happy birthday to one of the really nice people you will meet in politics.
Ezra "Ted" Ford celebrates his 70th birthday !
Ted has been a great friend and political cohort. He was an early and enthusiastic supporter of my first run and has been an advisor ever since.
Ted and his lovely wife Marie raised four daughters and put a happy face on socialism.
Happy Birthday Ted and Merry Christmas as well.

The Run-Up to Christmas Begins Tomorrow

Tomorrow night is the Christmas soire at the Paddock Street home of almost Member of Congress Matt Doheny. I am looking forward to this final holiday party of the season.
Monday night is the gala pre-Christmas Council meeting which hopefully will end early enough to stop at the Crystal for a Tom 'n Jerry.
Because Christmas Eve is on a Friday, I am thinking Wednesday and Thursday will be busy....While Christmas Eve used to be a night out for many, it's less so nowadays.
The week leading to Christmas is always full of good cheer and I hope yours is too !

Senate Nixes Don't Ask, Don't Tell

With the President sure to sign the bill, the Senate has by a vote of 65-31 voted to end the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy which has governed the issue of gays in the military since the Clinton Adminstration.
The historic vote allows the military and President the latitude of implementing the changes.
The notion that sexual orientation was inherently detrimental to order in the ranks has come into question in recent years, as even senior brass was split. Ending the ban on gays in the military was a signature issue for President Obama and its likely the lame duck Congress was his best shot at success.
Opponents had argued this is the wrong time for social engineering, but in the end, the nation's changing views towards such matters prevailed and the ban will end.
Senate votes to overturn military gay ban

December is Heavy on Poker for Our Man in Prague

Man about Europe Larry Goodsight sent a picture today of the site of his latest poker tournament. The former Watertown attorney has given up the courtroom in favor of an eclectic lifestyle travelling Central Europe in search of Texas Hold'em tournaments.
Larry also calls the HOTLINE, giving the popular talk show an international flavor.
Thanks to the INTERNET, people like Larry can keep in touch with America's Favorite Noontime Talk Show !

Off Track Betting Employees Face Life Outside the Womb

Nobody wants to see anybody lose their job....especially during the holidays....But are we supposed to muster up extra angst over the 800 employees of NYC's Off Track Betting Corporation laid off after the closure of betting parlors in the boroughs ?
The State Legislature failed to bail out the OTB and other OTB corporations on Long Island and Upstate are picking up the business, mostly I assume with on line wagering. Technology and competing forms of wagering, including Indian casinos, the Lottery, pull tabs, you name it....leaves the sport of kings not the novelty it once was. Even the addition of video lottery terminals didn't help. There is the big , new "racino" boondoggle at Aqueduct being built...Maybe they can work there...
For now these people have to come to terms with the notion that what they do is no longer sufficiently supported by the marketplace...And that's a very stark realization for such a venerable patronage pit as OTB.
(Canary in the coal mine may have been the closing long ago of NNY OTB outlets in places like Ogdensburg.)
Laid-Off OTB Employees Face a Gloomy Job Market -

New York's Senators Split on Tax Bill...Free Money on the Way !

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was one of 19 US Senators to vote no on the tax compromise signed into law Friday by President Obama. Lawmakers would not lining up to take credit for the law, with Illinois Senator Dick Durbin the ranking legislator to show up for the signing.
Senator Gillibrand is being razzed by the state GOP chair for being too far left, but voters must like it as she had no problem in last month's election.
Senator Chuch Schumer voted for the bill.
One aspect of the legislation is the two percentage point reduction in the FICA tax which funds Social Security. The new rate for employee contributions will be 4.2% instead of 6.2%, which means at the end of 2011 Congress will be facing the prospect of raising taxes on middle class working families. That's the problem with legislation that has sunset provisions just like the so called "Bush tax cuts" which were enacted ten years ago and caused a fuss this year when due to expire.
Anyway, the FICA cut means an extra $20 a week in the pay check for those earning $50,000 a year. I would recommend putting it towards paying for the higher gasoline prices all you "working families" are paying.
Cox: Gillibrand Sided With ‘Radical Left’

WDT: Blankenbush Staffs Offices in Gouverneur and Albany

The two new legislators representing our area in Albany are staffing up their offices with Assemblyman-elect Ken Blankenbush aanouncing the hiring of three women to run his district and capitol offices. Julia Robbins of Old McDonalds Farm fame will run the Gouverneur office for the 122nd AD which covers all or parts of four counties.
Districts will change by 2012 for redistricting but with the adjacent "River District" likely to remain the same to protect the Democratic incumbent, the 122nd shouldn't change much either.
Watertown Daily Times Blankenbush staffing begins; announces 3 hires

Friday, December 17, 2010

WDT: One of Our Employees to Become Patty's Flack

Longtime and respected St. Lawrence County scribe and editor Jim Reagen of the Ogdensburg Journal will become Senator Patty Ritchie's press flack beginning in January.....Not a moment too soon as the affable Reagen will be needed to quash increasing press tee-heeing over the Senator-elect's refusal to do broadcast interviews since her win over Senator Darrel Aubertine seven weeks ago.
With the departure of Mr. Reagen and the recent retirement of longtime news baron Chuck Kelly, the institutional knowledge in the SLC press corp is diminished,with TV 7's John Friot now claiming the title of Dean of Newsmen in the "Big County".
Reagen's longtime employment with the Watertown Daily Times (owners of the Journal) will give him an in there and his cozy relationship with longtime SLC reporters like Friot and John Moore should help ward off bad coverage there.
The 48th Senate District meanders from the Maple City in the North to include all of Oswego County.
This week's refusal to be interviewed on Capital Tonight on YNN may be a good move by NNY standards, but it is curious since the new Senator is the GOP's 32nd vote and therefore very important in Albany politics.
This week, the Senator-elect got bounced around by the NY Daily News for attending a lobbyist-laden soire in Albany.
I always liked Jim, dating back to my days in the news biz years ago....which should give you a good idea of Mr. Reagen's age as well.
Having worked PR in my past, the toughest part is losing that journalistic skepticism and acquiescing in the partisan pablum of life in Albany.....Senator Aubertine's flack Drew Mangione made the transition seemlessly.
Watertown Daily Times Ogdensburg Journal editor will join Ritchie's new staff

Real Estate And Biz Leaders Said to Join Cuomo To Fight Unions

One of the much reported but hard to believe bromides about the incoming administration is that they will seriously take on the public employee unions. Andrew Cuomo and Robert Duffy both were supported by labor and any assault on the Taylor Law, the defined benefit pension plan or other laws and contracts is hard to imagine.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, and these stories about Mr. Cuomo aligning with business groups may be true, but I am just saying it's hard to imaginem any real changes coming other than some nibbling around the edges of the current system.
Real Estate And Biz Leaders Join Cuomo To Fight Unions

Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo set for small, politician free inauguration next month

Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo is doing the right thing by holding a low key swearing in on New Year's Day and skipping the pomp and ceremony of four years ago when Eliot Spitzer began his short reign with a Presidential style ceremony outdoors in the shoadow of the Capitol.
The times we live in don't call for an "on Day One, everything changes" style event.
Only about 200 friends and family will attend events on the second floor of the Capitol, where the Governor's office is. There will be a public reception at the Executive Mansion on Eagle Street in the afternoon. Legislators will not be attending the events and it is unknown if former Governors will even be there.
Mr. Cuomo and his LG, Robert Duffy will hold his first staff meeting on January 1st.
The more dignified ceremony is in keeping with the office and the times and is a good first step for our new chief executive.
Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo set for small, politician free inauguration next month

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Does Talking About It Queer the Deal ?

A political insider I was talking to prior to dinner told me Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava may not have done herself any favors by openly talking about being considered for a post in the Cuomo administration. Ms. Scozzafava told the WDT she had been talked to and I am told these things are best kept on the down low.....
The Assemblywoman is a Republican who has taken to supporting Democrats the past two years, since her campaign for Congress imploded on Halloween, 2009.
Her abandonment of a GOP campaign and endorsement of Bill Owens is widely considered to have cinched the race for him. The deal to do so was brokered by State Dem chair June O'Neill and June knows better than anyone that such an action can cause a spontaneous recognition of talent at a later date....
But the rule is let it happen and don't talk about it.
We will see what happens next.

The Day the Falls Ran Dry

Now this is a neat story....For six months in 1969, Niagara Falls was anything but on the American side....Engineers diverted the iconic flow in order to work on the waterway....Newly discovered photos chronicled the event.
Why do we have to depend on British media for such an interesting story ? I am only kidding MSM.
Niagara Falls ran dry: Photos show moment iconic waterfall came to standstilll Mail Online

Daily News Raps Our Patty for "Wine and Sleaze" Party

Then again downstate MSM chastised Miss Patty for her lobbyist-laden reception hosted by her new leader, Majority Leader-to-be Dean Skelos......
Not that Senator-elect Ritchie needs to worry what the NY Daily News thinks of her, but this editorial did single her out for criticism for attending an "orientation session" that featured Albany lobbyists.
What's so bad about that ? All of us rely on lobbyists to advocate for things of interest to us.....Doctor, lawyers, teachers, bar owners, wine makers, contractors....the list goes on....People who have a stake in the actions of government are going to lobby for their interest....I know we like to call them the "special interests" but so what if Miss Patty meets them.
You gotta get acquainted with the lay of the land....Come February, county lawmakers will be in Albany boards will too...people like me will be there lobbying for matters of interest to cities and villages. I hope Senator Ritchie won't refuse to meet with me because I am a "special interest".
And by the way...the groups represented in the endless Albany cocktail circuit are the ones who paid for much of these multi million dollar campaigns....Don't they deserve something for their money ?
You might as well find out how the system works....It doesn't mean you have to get sucked in by it.
Dean Skelos' party for new GOP state senators and fatcat lobbyists reeked of Albany sleaze

WDT: Dems Cheap Shot Patty a Week Before Christmas.....Real Classy

Wow....They are picking on Patty before she has taken the oath....When you lose, don't be a loser and engage in gratuitous attacks. The reason Darrel Aubertine lost was not because of Mr. Aubertine. It was because of the innappropriate behavior of Senate Democratic leadership. To blast Patty Ritchie a week before Christmas....Just as the dust settles on the Espada wrong.
Now, I am not saying Ms. Ritchie is above criticism, but this kind of attack is just so Albany as usual.
That doesn't change my view that the Senator-elect should accept Liz' offer to be on Capital Tonight. Nobody expects her to know everything about life in the Senate or the many issues to come before the body. They do expect their new Senator to talk about their goals and objectives in an interview with the state's preeminent capital reporter.......oops, sorry Fred, one of the state's preeminent reporters.
Watertown Daily Times Dems hit Ritchie on "wine and sleaze" party

Bill Owens Does a Palin

Congressman Bill Owens is taking a page out of the Sarah Palin playbook by going on social media like Twitter to stay in touch with constituents. The Congressman will likely face another tough reelection battle in 2012 and surely wants to keep his name on the cell phones of voters.
Bill Owens (BillOwensNY) on Twitter

WDT: Fines Levied by State on Outer Coffeen Street Property

The irony of one government paying another government a fine always prompts a chuckle from me....but that aside the land just across route 81 on outer Coffeen Street is an interesting study in environmental extremism. The gas station known as Griff's and the property across the street known as Bomax have something of interest in the ground....Yet the properties have remained vacant and useless for years....Who wants to take the chance of being in the line of title when the DEC is poking around demanding this and that.
These are prime lands for development and it is unfortunate they sit empty. Bomax is a serious blight and the broken out windows probably are a greater hazard to kids or homeless who might try to enter the building than any real or imagined environmental issue.
Ironically, environmental concerns in these cases create blight by preventing anyone from looking at these sites.
Watertown Daily Times County, Simao pay fines to DEC in battle over Griff's storage tanks

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tax Cut Compromise Sails Through Senate, New York Splits Its Vote | The New York Observer

New York's Senators have again split on the tax compromise.....Senator Schumer, as a member of leadership, has to support the President's deal, while Senator Gillibrand is playing to the class warfare crowd, decrying the extension of current tax rates for higher incomes.
It's all so much blather, but for Senator Gillibrand, who faces reelection in 2012, she must be assuming there is no credible GOP opponent who will come along, so she can play to her party's NYC base.
The tax compromise is expected to be passed in the House tomorrow.
Tax Cut Compromise Sails Through Senate, New York Splits Its Vote The New York Observer

WDT: DeDe Interviews with Andrew......Patty Ducks Liz

Couple great tid bits in this Jude Seymour tome.
In the greatest non surprise of 2010, Assemblywoman Diedre Scozzafava has interviewed for a job in the Cuomo administration. DeDe effectively bolted the GOP ,which had been her party while in the Assembly, when she suspended her Congressional campaign in 2009 and endorsed the Democrat, Bill Owens.
Since then while sitting in the GOP caucus in the Assembly, Ms. Scozzafava campaigned for a Democrat to succeed her....again backed Bill Owens and openly backed Andrew Cuomo.
The other foot note that Jude discovered is that Senator-elect Patty Ritchie is ducking an interview with the doyenne of Albany media, Liz Benjamin. Patty says she wants to concentrate on getting her staff organized. Listen...thats spin....The reason is you don't yet feel conversant enough on Albany issues to face off with the person most versed in said issues....Why expose yourself to a potential stumble ?
Needless to say the Capital Tonight host wants to talk with the new Senator who toppled Senator Aubertine and gave control of the body to the GOP.
I really don't think Liz would play "gotcha" in this kind of post election interview. Go ahead Patty...I've been on Cap Tonight three times and they are always nice to me.
Watertown Daily Times Scozzafava interviews with Cuomo team

Poll: D.C. elites down on Sarah Palin - Andy Barr -

Been waiting for this....a poll of Washington "elites".....
Shockingly only 11% say Sarah Palin is qualified to be President and 79% say she is a negative influence on American politics.....Why by golly up at Sally Quinn's house, there's Katrina and the gang at the Nation....there's Eugene Robinson and E.J. Dionne....all pooh poohing Palin as a product of lower middle class trailer trash white folk who spend way too much time prayin' and huntin'......
The results of this poll were predictable....we all know how the elites feel....
But the tingle over Barack Obama may be fading....Less than 40% of the sample think he will be reelected...
Poll: D.C. elites down on Sarah Palin - Andy Barr -

Paterson: Paladino Became A ‘Caricature’

Governor Paterson's exit tour took him to Syracuse's WSYR radio today where he said Carl Paladino lost because he became a "caricature." Governor, did you watch yourself on Saturday Night Live ? All the people with disastrous bids for the governorship should refrain from offering critiques of the other losing efforts.
Mr. Paterson spent months talking about running even after his party's leadership had decided he wasn't their guy and they had to force him out in favor of Andrew Cuomo.
Paladino was a caricature...of an angry guy with no political skills who decided his first run for office would be for that of Governor in a state where the political establishment had long before accepted Mr. Cuomo as their lord and savior.
Governor, if you want to bring that exit tour to WATN radio for the HOTLINE, you are welcome.
Paterson: Paladino Became A ‘Caricature’

Vladimir Putin's 'mistress' on cover of Russian Vogue - Telegraph

Meet Alina Kabayeva, the purported mistress of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin......The 27 year old gymnast is featured on the cover of Russian Vogue (didn't know there was such a thing).
All of this adds to the 'man's man' image of the former KGB oeprative turned politician. Other recent photos have shown Putin shirtless while fishing and bow hunting. He has a softer side having just named his dog, "Buffy".
Mr.Putin may have presided over the rollback of democracy in Mother Russia, but he is a swaggering and imposing figure on the World stage.
Vladimir Putin's 'mistress' on cover of Russian Vogue - Telegraph

What Espada Spent Money On: Mary Poppins, Kenny G and Ne-Yo | Albany Watch

So the indictment says Pedro spent thousands at restaurants, on Broadway shows...even a petting zoo birthday party for his kids.....Would we have ever seen him taken down if he had not offended the political class with his overreaching for the title of Majority Leader, which he finally has been stripped of just days before he leaves office.
If Pedro Espada had just stayed a discreet member of the caucus, would he have been routinely reelected and continue on with his high living ?
Senator Espada attracted too much attention with his pompous ways and the problems he caused his party. That's his crime in the eyes of Albany's political class.
What Espada Spent Money On: Mary Poppins, Kenny G and Ne-Yo Albany Watch

Mark Zuckerberg - Person of the Year 2010 - TIME

TIME has named its person of the year and its FACEBOOK found Mark Zuckerberg. Its hard to say who the most important person of any year is, but certainly Mr. Zuckerberg has changed the culture in ways we cannot imagine with his social networking site.
Facebook is so popular and for some so adicting, it consumes hours of a person's day. It literally sucks up information about people's lives and offers a disturbing false intimacy to many people who place everything about themselves on it.
Nonetheless, it is so amazing that a man in his 20's can dream up something so innovative and with a short period of time, it permeates the culture and the world.
I agree Mr. Zuckerberg deserves recognition.
Mark Zuckerberg - Person of the Year 2010 - TIME

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Espada Going Down.....Finally

Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada.....the man most responsible for the Democrats losing control of the body....was finally indicted for theft and embezzlement.
Senator Espada brokered the deal to turn control of the Senate to the GOP only to switch power back to the Dems in exchange for the largely empty title of majority leader. (John Sampson actually performed the function under another title)
Espada was defeated at the polls and is already facing civil action from the AGs office.
The antics of Espada and other thugs in his caucus were used as a bludgeon in NY48 as Patty Ritchie successfully tied Senator Aubertine to the corrupt and discredited party leadership.
As he became more of a political liability, even his own party turned on him, after years of looking the other way as the Senator's health care clinics in the Bronx that funneled Espada large sums of money.

BREAKING: Pedro Espada, Jr. & Son Indicted On Federal Embezzlement, Theft Charges

Independent Candidates Not Named Golisano Crippled by Lack of Cash

Rent's Too Damn High Party gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan claims he raised no money and spent no money in his bid this year.....The sheer novelty of his debate performance gave him the media juice to garner over 40,000 votes.
Other minor party candidates spent only small amounts....Green candidate Howie Hawkins spent $32K in a successful bid for ballot status. Libertarian Warren Redlich spent $20K and fell short of 50K votes. Kristin Davis spent $78K on her race.
Money matters...Andrew Cuomo by far spent the most and got the intended result.

Local Officials Seek More Control

In a state government dominated by public employee unions, local governments seem willing to accept a property tax cap in exchange for more latitude in dealing with labor and other issues.....The dreaded mandate relief a generation of pols have talked about but not delivered....The Wicks Law....The Taylor Law....there's a string of them.
With everyone in the Legislature always solicitous of union endorsements, it will be tough for the NY Conference of Mayors or the Governor to break the grip labor has on the process.
Look at how coveted the backing of say a Ron McDougall is in NNY....There's a Ron in every AD and Senate district.
Local Officials Seek More Control

Party Leaders Push Back Against 'No Labels' Confab | The New York Observer

There is a conference at Columbia University today to talk about getting rid of the party labels that define life in DC and Albany but increasingly are not relevent to the public.
First of all, two thirds of adults didn't vote last month in NY, so for all of you the decision has been made....It's all nonsense and there is nothing that will change anyway....
For the remaining third, its tough to lose the party labels as those who most promote the notion of the political equivalent of Yankees-BoSox are the media. They like covering a world with just two teams, especially these days with declining reporting resources.
Us against them fits an easy to understand and easy to write about narrative. The politicians contribute too....Look at the vacuous ranting about working families, middle class values, and 'jobs, jobs, jobs'. It's all about simple solutions to vexing personal challenges
The egghead crowd will muse at Columbia today, while three hours to the north, the two parties are plotting their assault on the taxpayers from their well reenforced bunkers in Albany.
Party Leaders Push Back Against 'No Labels' Confab The New York Observer

Old Photo Evokes Misty Memories of Days Gone By

I hate coming across old photos, especially of me....This one is nearly thirty years ago.......Scott Atkinson has always been self deprecating about his looks...He makes up for it in wit and intelligence.
Cathy and Anne haven't changed too much, except Anne lost the Shirley Temple hairdo.
Obviously my modeling days are behind me.
Those were great days...back when we knew the value of a good MVA or barn fire.

WDT: Pamelia cuts highway jobs, cancels county plow contract

The Town of Pamelia continues to live up to its image as a minimalist local government with a decision to spurn payment for plowing county roads and reduce the size of the Town highway department.
Supervisor Larry Longway says doing the work for Jefferson County didn't make economic sense for the town government as the reimbursement did not cover the costs.
However, do residents and motorists really think of roads in terms of town roads..county roads or state roads ?....They are just roads and will be plowed by somebody.
Watertown Daily Times Pamelia cuts highway jobs, cancels county plow contract

Despite a Fuss by Gay Groups, Its Hard to See Marriage Equality Passing in 2010

The politics of same sex marriage will be right alongside the budget and ethics reform as a major issue in the coming year. New York's traditional liberal politics has yet to result in a marriage equality bill becoming law, as the Senate has failed to support it.
Gay rights groups play a significant role in political races, particularly downstate where candidates pay homage to them alongside race and labor groups. However, the LGBT groups play little role in the races of most GOP lawmaker's races upstate and its unlikely there will be much support for the bill among newly elected lawmakers.
Governor-elect Cuomo has vowed to push for enactment, but he will have his hands full with other issues and likely will not queer his own legislative agenda by picking a fight over the issue.
Gay rights take center stage in N.Y. - Ben Smith and Byron Tau -

Final Results Show the Value of a Little Personal Face Time

Final results for the 2010 election show that our buddy Kristin Davis finished in last place among the seven candidates for governor on the ballot....But of the minor party candidates, only Howie Hawkins and the Green Party managed to get the 50,000 votes needed to obtain ballot status.
Kristin finished in third place in three counties....Jefferson, Lewis and Sullivan....Her Jefferson number of 755 was larger than she got in more populous counties like Westchester, Monroe and Onondaga. A visit to the Wench and Fort Pearl helped out. She pulled a fourth place finish in St. Lawrence County behind Cuomo, Paladino and Hawkins.
Among other highlights, the Independence Party dropped from Line C to Line E, as the WFP and Conservatives each moved up a notch.

NY1 Online: GOP Strategist Roger Stone Says Cuomo Has A Real Opening

Pretty good interview in this story with Roger on Andrew Cuomo and on the national picture for 2012. When it comes to analysis, Roger knows his stuff.
NY1 Online: GOP Strategist Roger Stone On "Inside City Hall" 12/7/10 -

Monday, December 13, 2010

Paterson (Finally) Fires His Body Man

This is what I love about working for the State of NY.....Nine months ago, Governor Paterson suspended his "body man" and friend David Johnson for his domestic abuse that led to chasing Paterson from the Democratic nomination. Nine months ago.....Now we hear Johnson has been fired and removed from the state payroll.....
All the time in between he was paid for doing nothing.......
Memo to Andrew Cuomo: Can you please.......if you do nothing else.....stop this kind of abuse of the taxpayer ?
Paterson (Finally) Fires His Body Man

NNY Giants Fans Screwed

Even though ESPN was able to block the FOX telecast of the Giants game in most parts of the country, intrepid fans were able to watch the game on the Internet, proving how porous old media is getting.
Out Watertown FOX affiliate likely enraged the fans when they announced they are unable to carry the game, because ESPN has the rights to football on Monday nights. I tried to explain the concept to a fan at Fort Pearl, who just couldn't accept the subordination of fans to corporate media greed.
The Giants game was slated to be played Sunday in Minnesota, but snow damage to the Metrodome forced moving the game to Detroit. FOX was allowed to broadcast the game to NYC and Minnesota.
Instead NNY fans had to be content with the ESPN game pitting Baltimore against Houston....Big Deal !
Now you know how I feel....All these years channel 7 has bypassed the JETS games to air the Giants or Bills.
Bad News: WNYF Will 'Not' Have Giants Game WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for Watertown, NY Local News

Paterson Admits Dissing Caroline Was Beginning of His End in Albany

Governor Paterson now agrees with the obvious. The end of his chances to run for a full term began with his failure to acquiesce to the "candidacy" of icon Caroline Kennedy to be named to succeed Hillary Clinton in the US Senate. The daughter of the slain President was a media darling....a reminder of Camelot, and while her bid to be chosen to fill the seat was, you know, full of, you know, not very convincing, you know, she was the candidate the MSM wanted.
She was politically the best choice as the dust up she got at the hands of the Governor's aides killed his relations with the press and provided the opening for Andrew Cuomo to begin greasing the skids under the accidental, but at the time popular new governor.
Governor Paterson, at the urging of Chuck Schumer, tried to pick a more unconventional choice in Kirsten Gillibrand, then an upstate, blue dog, Member of Congress. She turned out to be popular enough to easily win election to the remainder of the Clinton term, but the damage to Paterson turned the press against him at the beginning of the budget crisis. The move also created enemies.
Governor Paterson was always a long shot for his own term, but incumbency and the minefield of identity politics meant his foes needed an opening and the Caroline caper provided it.
Gov: I Should Have Fired Aides Who Trashed Caroline Kennedy

Dicker's Winners and Losers for 2010

The list of political winners and losers is pretty obvious this year, although I would add Senator Gillibrand to Fred's list of winners as she got elected by a big margin despite the carping of some about her thin record and newly liberal persona. She kept her head down (and lost a lot of weight) on her way to a pretty much uncontested win over a weak GOP opponent. Remember a year ago there was talk of a primary and the GOP thought she was dead in the water.
Republicans did pick up the Senate and six Congressional seats to restore some presence in state politics, but their failure to mount a credible gubernatorial bid or win any other statewide is a black eye.
Andrew Cuomo is the biggest winner, as he successfully outlasted everyone else to reclaim the Governor's mansion for his family.
2010 winners and losers in New York politics include Cuomo, Paterson -

Sunday, December 12, 2010

JETS Nation Takes a Deep Breath

When my JETS took their 9-2 record into Foxboro last Monday for their 45-3 shellacking at the hands of the Pats, I was hoping it was an anomaly....Then today's lackluster performance in losing to the Dolphins 10-6.
No doubt the Pats have the division and those of us in Gang Green have to hope for the wild card route....
With games against the Steelers and Bears remaining I should worry...But Chicago took a thrashing today and who knows about Big Ben's bum foot.
The wags say the JETS have always sucked and have only now been unmasked.
But who listens to wags.

Law firm Hiscock & Barclay gave Cuomo $45,000 during investigation in pension scandal

Average North Country folk who watch these multimillion dollar campaigns come our way should never lose sight of how they are funded....I don't know anyone other than myself who donated to a statewide candidate and that was only $100....I am sure there are in Watertown....
The bulk of the money comes from those with a keen interest in the process of governing....
Its just the way it is.
Law firm Hiscock & Barclay gave Cuomo $45,000 during investigation in pension scandal

McGrath Sells NYC Apartment.....Cements Local Ties for Future Bid

The second place finisher in the recent Assembly race in the 122nd district held a thank you party for his supporters today at his home near Lowville.
Its always a good gesture to reach out to supporters because its good manners and because you may need their help as little as two years, although I think he needs to work now on establishing some North Country bona fides.
I called him the other day to invite him to Tammy's birthday party, as the Wench owner was never thrilled at Assemblyman-elect Blankenbush' frequent affinity for campaign events across the street at Keddy's.
Mr. McGrath said he couldn't make it as he was in NYC.....I quickly asked if he was there making a living (he was a very successful corporate litigator down there)?
There was a long pause and finally he said he was there closing on the sale of his Manhattan apartment. I didn't intend it to be a gotcha question....
He can live up here and make money there....That's where the money is. Lots of people do that.
Hang a shingle in a few property closings...and spend some time on the road making real money...then come home and enjoy the bucolic Lewis County lifestyle....
He will be back to being a native in no time and won't have to run those U-Haul commercials.
I am glad he abandoned his tongue in cheek HOTLINE declaration of candidacy for Mayor of Watertown....I'd hate to have to start calling him a carpetbagger.

Effects of Storm Limited to Football Inconvenience for NNY Giants Fans

A bruising blizzard in the upper Midwest has left Giants fans with no game today as the Mall of America Dome has collapsed under the weight of 20 inches or more of wind driven snow. They are trying to reschedule for Monday night.
Remember when December games in Minnesota or Green Bay were stoic affairs with players and fans battling the elements?
Meanwhile our weather looks more promising despite the hype. Rain today and snow totals in the one to three inch range by Tuesday.

Paterson Giveth And Taketh Away On Hydrofracking

Governor Paterson has vetoed the Legislature's attempt to ban hydrofracking as a means of mining natural gas in the state's Southern Tier.
Mr. Paterson says a defacto ban is already in effect as the DEC will not issue permits till next July. He also suggests the economic impact must be taken into effect of such mining.
The Legislature had voted a ban on the practice.
Paterson Giveth And Taketh Away On Hydrofracking