Saturday, November 3, 2012

Final Weekend Trail Mix

   Today I cut audio for a robo-call....Let me apologize, as I know many of you have gotten enough calls...But if you hear my voice, please listen to the message in its entirety.
     I also want you to listen to the HOTLINE Monday as we will have a celebrity (political) call-in guest. It won't be as exciting as Friday's show but it should be a nice addition.
       I wish I could have been in Croghan tonight as Tammy hosted a soire for Matt Doheny as the Wicked Ways Tavern.....Who ever thought there would be   a soire in Croghan.
      I am really glad the JETS have a bye this weekend so politics can have my undivided attention.

The Other Side of the Hurricane

     President Obama last week embraced Hurricane Sandy as his chance to look Presidential. Now as chaos envelopes some of the hard hit areas and hurting citizens are on TV griping, the President is off campaigning, telling voters to vote for him is "the best revenge."   Revenge for what I don't know.
     The sloppy wet kisses between the President and Taft-like governor of the Garden State has given way to odd-even rationing. Mayor Bloomberg issued a shallow and callow endorsement of "The One" right after the storm, but Hizzoner's stock fell quickly with the marathon debacle and the pesky body count on Staten Island.
      It's Governor Romney who is on the trail preaching working together. For President Obama, its just more victimhood and recriminations. (Is the storm Bush's fault too ?)
      Those hoping for more of their President can get their "revenge" on Tuesday.

Campaign Footnotes

     One welcome relief to Metro NYC voters in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is many of the phone bank and robocall operations are on the sidelines due to power issues and the inappropriate nature of pestering people under these circumstances.
     Some of those callers are actually pitching in and working upstate races over the phone including here in NY21.
      In the aftermath of the Siena poll the other day, a straw poll on the WDT website has Matt Doheny up 62-35 over Rep. Bill Owens. Assuming the Times circulation area is in the western end of the district where Mr.. Owens was thought to be strong, those are interesting numbers.
      An on-line poll we were doing here showed Mr. Doheny up by ten.   Most important, the chattering class has changed its tune with Mr. Doheny seeing a sudden uptick in contributions and of resumes from those hoping to hop on a winning bandwagon.

WDT: Mercy will close permanently in February

   The required plant closure notice came this week to my office for Mercy, indicating the 240 or so employees will no longer be working at the Stone Street campus after February 20. That's the official date by which Mercy shuts its doors for good after decades of financial woes that led to Samaritan Medical Center taking over the buildings until a new nursing home is built no outer Washington Street.
Watertown Daily Times | Mercy will close permanently in February

Lack of Luminaries Noted in NY 21 Race

     The Congressional hopefuls are all over the sprawling 21st District this weekend in a frantic effort to eke out a win in what observers now say is a neck and neck race between Rep. Bill Owens and challenger Matt Doheny.
       What has been missing in this race is celebrity star power. Unlike previous races where Bill Clinton or Joe Biden visited, this year the ranking political celebrity has been House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, although there is a rumor of a GOP luminary visiting today.

Matt Doheny With Sen. Betty Little on Friday in Glens Falls
      President Clinton visited the nearby Syracuse CD a couple weeks back. For much of the race, Rep. Owens had been thought to be cruising to reelection, till a recent Siena poll showed the race a tie.
       Democrats huddle tonight in Watertown for a dinner at which Mr. Owens will be joined by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Congressional candidates make final push

Friday, November 2, 2012

Barone: Going out on a limb: Romney beats Obama, handily |

   Those who profess to see a final weekend surge for Mitt Romney include Michael Barone, one of the shrewdest political analysts around.  Mr. Barone is predicting 315-223 in the Electoral College with the GOP grabbing PA.
   That's bold and would definately be the end for Mr. Axelrod's mustache.
Barone: Going out on a limb: Romney beats Obama, handily |

In Shift, Romney Campaign Makes Push in Pennsylvania -

   As long as you have the extra cash, it's worth a shot.  Pennsylvania is now the focus of GOP Super PACs and the Romney campaign in a daring...some say desperate bid to pick off a big state to make up for an likely loss in Ohio.
    The theory is a state like PA has been out of play and there have not been months of anti Romney commercials airing, therefore Mr. Romney's positives are still pretty strong in the Keystone State.

    On Sunday Mr. Romney visits suburban Philly.
    The gambit attracts attention and shakes up the race a little. Besides, one more rally in Ohio isn't going to mean anything.
     At this point the Romney path has to be through better turnout models and a break his way from whatever persuadable souls are left.
     One thing may be clear. The orgy of self congratulation the day after Sandy is a little tarnished by the scenes on Staten Island and the criticism of devastated residents without food, gas or their home.

In Shift, Romney Campaign Makes Push in Pennsylvania -

WDT: Hassig on the Hotline

     Another view on the Hassig appearance on the HOTLINE.
Watertown Daily Times | Hassig on the Hotline

Crow-Hazing Time Nears In Watertown | WWNY TV 7

   We were all asking at City Hall why the annual fascination with the contract for crow hazing ?...It's only $7,800 and it's about as newsworthy by now as the flushing of hydrants....
   That's what I thought when my favorite TV 7 reporter called me today for an interview on the subject. I went along, because I know you have to feed the beast...
Crow-Hazing Time Nears In Watertown | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

NYC Marathon canceled amid criticism

    You can bet this edict came from "The One."   The NYC Marathon is cancelled after intense criticism from NYC residents reeling from Hurricane Sandy.
    People were wondering why all the stops were being pulled out for the Marathon, while bodies were being recovered on Staten Island, the starting spot for the 26 mile run.
    This week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Obama, but the festering over post storm events was starting to build to the point the President could suffer politically.
    It had to stop, and Mayor Bloomberg pulled the plug.
NYC Marathon canceled amid criticism

The Howard Beale of NNY Politics

       During his very heated HOTLINE visit, Green Party Congressional hopeful Donald Hassig caught my attention by a screed against one of the mandarins of local media, calling him a "fracking A-hole." 
     What was there to disagree with ?...but when he started trashing my old friend John Moore, I had to quiet him down.
      Mr. Hassig was outspoken on all topics. He is against immigration, wanting America to be for Americans....He does want to expand the definition of American with what he calls a "friendly takeover" of Canada.
     He railed against billionaires and corporate polluters and even urged his supporters to vote for Democrat Bill Owens if they think the race is close.
    Mr. Hassig made a pitch for a wife, saying he wants to continue his gene line. He also talked about his spartin lifestyle...No TV...No microwave....but he does have a computer at the Colton home where he and his dog live.
    It was an interesting hour and definately good radio.

WDT: Gillibrand coming to Watertown on Monday

 Sure-to-be-reelected US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is in Watertown Monday as a guest of County Democratic Chair Ron Cole. The 11AM appearance is at Shuler's Restaurant on Mill Street. Ms. Gillibrand is running for a full six year term against Republican Wendy Long.
Watertown Daily Times | Gillibrand coming to Watertown on Monday

Burning Gas As Candidates Criss-Cross 12 Counties

    Yesterday the candidates for Congress were miles apart with Matt Doheny in St. Lawrence County and Rep. Bill Owens in far-away Essex County where he spoke to a gathering of veterans.
    Today Mr. Doheny heads east to Plattsburgh and we suspect Mr. Owens will be in Watertown Saturday evening for the Democratic dinner at the Italian American Club.
    Each campaign has vowed to "touch" all thelve counties but with no media tagging along it's a lonely one on one with voters in the hope it will make a difference in a close race.
    Both sides have the skies filled with ads and they are using phone banks and robocalls to get their flocks out.
    Meanwhile, Green candidate Donald Hassig is the guest on the HOTLINE today. He is polling at four percent, which means in the end about eight or nine thousand people will vote for him.

2012 election: Obama, Romney Locked in Dead Heat, Or Are They ?

   As we enter the final weekend of the campaign, the chattering class continues to suggest it's President Obama who has the slight edge in polling and the electoral map.
   Meanwhile supporters of Governor Mitt Romney insist there is a growing wave that will sweep him into the White House.
   The candidates spend the weekend criss-crossing the country while the pall of Hurricane Sandy hangs over the race.
    It's clear this is a turnout election and we won't know till Wednesday who had the best operation.
    2012 election: Obama, Romney back on trail in Sandy wake -

Gasoline Runs Short, Adding Woes to Storm Recovery -

 The euphoria and bi-partisan posturing following the storm is leading to griping, suffering and discord as gas lines grow, Staten Island is in an uproar and big city residents are distraught over lost loved ones, lost homes and lost income.
   These are the dangers of a big storm ripping through a densely populated urban center which also happens to be the media hub of the world. Every inconvenience is magnified and the nation will spend the weekend before the election watching all this while the pundits muse about the effect on the race for the White House.

    Initial thoughts President Obama benefits from the storm by looking Presidential may have to be rethought if the scenes from the the East Coast get more ugly.
     Meanwhile, while Staten Islanders are fishing dead children from the sea, New York's mayor issues a craven endorsement of the President and vows to move ahead with plans for the NYC Marathon on Sunday.

Gasoline Runs Short, Adding Woes to Storm Recovery -

WDT: Watertown High Students Receive Pointers on Debit Card Use

       Is cash still king ? Maybe not, as for the new generation, paying with plastic is more and more a part of their way of living. Schools teach debit card use in conjunction with banks marketing cards to those still years away from being old enough to have a beer. School logos on the cards are part of the marketing.
       Of course a cashless society also allows for tracking of everything you do, which fits into modern life as well.
       I wonder if anyone realizes the massive fee structure in place to support the banks and processing companies dinging both consumers and retailers. They should teach that too, although it's clear greenbacks are less and less a part of life for many.
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown High students benefit from debit card education

WDT:| After Siena poll, hand-wringing

    One bad poll doesn't mean its over. Rep. Bill Owens has phone banks and a flood of late TV spots in support of his effort.
    In this analysis the Times scribe muses that weeks of growing confidence led to a low key....some say lackluster campaign. They didn't pull out their sharpest arrows to dismantle Matt Doheny. They let a guy with resources survive and he has rallied steadily.
     Fact is Mr. Owens had a motivated opponent with resources. That only makes the race a challenge and now it looks like a tight finish in a race many thought would be an eight or ten point race.

Watertown Daily Times | After Siena poll, hand-wringing

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Editorial: Doheny for Congress

      Congressional candidate Matt Doheny could certainly be considered determined, some might say obsessed, with becoming a Member of Congress. His dogged determination stems from his youth in Alexandria Bay when in his middle class home he dreamed of a political career.
     To do that in America, you had better have an education and money. Mr. Doheny set off in life to get both earning a law degree and entering the world of high finance and venture capital. He earned wealth most in the Bay will never know, but he decided to return to the North Country to replant his roots and run for that seat in Congress.
    Armed with a sharp mind and encyclopedic memory, Mr. Doheny is doing battle down to the wire with Rep. Bill Owens, another newcomer to elected office in his second term in DC.
    Mr. Owens has also been successful as a Plattsburgh attorney and has been a statesmanlike figure in trying to represent the sprawling North Country district.
    Mr. Doheny is fairly strident on fiscal issues, but falls in the North Country tradition of not seeking to be a culture warrior while in Congress.
    He has enormous energy and enthusiasm and has studied the vast array of issues facing twelve counties.
     There are not many people who have the skill set and desire to serve in such a challenging office and with so much at stake in the nation, a fresh set of eyes and a person of youth and energy could serve us well. At the risk of sounding provincial, I see merit to our Congressman being from our side of the district.
     In the rough and tumble world of politics, I don't harbor ill will towards Mr. Owens as I respect his willingness to pick up the challenge at a time in life when he was already a successful man and community leader.
    However, in a nation with a money problem, we need a businessperson who understands what needs to be done and has the energy for the battles ahead.
    This humble blog recommends Matt Doheny to represent the 21st District in Congress.

Democrat Dan Maffei's War on Women

     Democrat wanna-get-back-in-Congress Dan Maffei skipped a televised debate with his two female opponents. The YNN session was taped Wednesday and aired tonight on the cable channel. It was hosted by veteran political reporter Bill Carey.
    Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle and Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum showed up and left the Dan Maffei podium emptly.

    The Democrat clearly is troubled by the third party progressive presence of Ms. Rozum who, unlike our NNY Green candidate, is running a legitimate campaign for the Central NY seat.
     The 24th CD has become a raucous race with many negative ads from both major party hopefuls.
      Central New Yorkers might be best to reject the campaigns of the major party candidates and vote for Ms Rozum, regardless of her views.
       Green's in Syracuse are  a force under State Chair Howie Hawkins, a long time CNY activist.GOP jumps at chance to portray Dan Maffei as debate 'chicken' |

Sandy-Starved New Yorkers Dumpster Dive | NBC New York

   The media may be cooing over this President's response to Sandy...but that is of little consolation to New Yorker's now dumpster diving for food...and this is being reported by the City's NBC affiliate, normally a haven for the President.
    Across the river in Jersey, angry motorists are lined up for gas and the Kumbaya moment yesterday is anything but today.
    People are hurting and the narrative "the One" is mitigating their pain is nonsence.
    Sandy-Starved New Yorkers Dumpster Dive | NBC New York#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Sandy-Starved-New-Yorkers-Dumpster-Dive/176839571

Romney in PA....Doheny in SLC.....Who Would Have Thought ?

   Mitt Romney is going to Pennsylvania and Matt Doheny to St. Lawrence County...Both long shots, but an effort to get in the face of their Democratic opponents.
    I think in today's world of national media, going to PA or Michigan is just fine...
Of course, the smug Dems say its desparation....but if  "The One" is doing so fine, why doesn't he take a trip to Nebraska's second CD to see if he can pick that off again.
    As for Doheny, he is confident. I talked to him today and congratulated him on his poll surge. Meanwhile the Owens campaign has suddenly released a poll they had previously only shared with one of my regular callers.  That poll has the Democrat up by seven, while a Siena poll out today has the race tied.
    While the MSM is insisting there be no political opportunism in the wake of Sandy, I see New York City's big-soda opposing mayor has come out for President Obama.
    Hizzoner so wants to be welcome in the salons of the Upper West Side...or is it East Side.
     Meanwhile back here the race in NY 21 is getting testy with the Owens inner circle berating me on the HOTLINE. It's getting intense, but I am trying to hold up under the assault.
     I am looking forward to being parked in front of the TV this weekend to see the end game play out.....After all, its a bye week for the JETS...What else is there to do  ?
Romney to campaign in Pennsylvania on Sunday

Argentina Lowers Voting Age as Fernandez Tries to Regain Footing - Bloomberg

      Here's a thought....when the polling goes poorly, lower the voting age to 16....The folks who lost the Falklands War have done so as Argentina's new Evita tries to stay in office.
     President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner pushed through the measure....Think of the impact here....No school budget would ever fail.

Two Folks Trying to Hang On
    Argentina Lowers Voting Age as Fernandez Tries to Regain Footing - Bloomberg

Radio: Candidates Spurn Local Businesses for Out of Market Media Buys

     While those who run campaigns love to spend money on television, radio has value too, although local candidates are not using the medium. Nationally both Obama and Romney are using radio.
      I haven't heard one spot on the HOTLINE this year for the Congressional candidates, and our audience is 100% real voters.
      There's still time left to support these fine local businesses. Just take a little bit of the money being spent on those Albany TV stations and spend it in the communities you want to represent.
Radio: The other air war - Josh Gerstein -

Siena Poll: Owens 44, Doheny 43

   Word of the one point margin in the Siena poll  leaked out last night and we brought it to you. Funny thing these polls.....Owen's accolytes have been touting the previous Siena poll showing a 13 point margin as evidence their candidate is the inevitable winner, but what do they say now ?
   Well, they will say the results of the new poll are flawed and that the only poll that matters is one on Tuesday.

     That Mr. Owens is polling at 44% is a big problem for him because he only won last time with just shy of 48%. Surely weeks of attack ads have taken the toll intended.
     The other factors (if you believe polls) are Mr. Doheny's relentless campaigning, and the resurgence of Mitt Romney on the national level.
      Also, and it's not nice to say this, the Owens campaign has been lackluster. The candidate has been detached and testy over having to compete in his third dog fight in as many years.
      The recent Taiwan denial commercial was a big tactical mistake, but its not one commercial, one debate or one appearance that led to the results we see this morning.
      The Owens campaign has bought additional ads for the final week and the Doheny campaign can campaign without having to spend their time denying poll results from two months ago.
     When pressed on the air a couple days ago about what the current margin would be, I said Owens by two. Shocking how wrong I was.
       If I was running a local news outlet, I would be so happy about this as I could actually justify covering the tick-tock of the final days, so voters can get a closer look beyond the late flurry of ads we will see.

Siena Poll: Owens 44, Doheny 43 - Hotline On Call

Women: Sen. Bob Menendez paid us for sex in the Dominican Republic | The Daily Caller

   Here's another example of why you should pay your bill. Two Dominican Republic women are claiming New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez didn't pay what he promised when he hired them for sex.  So what do they do ? They go to the media, just like what happened when the Secret Service tried to do it on the cheap in Columbia.
    Senator, sex is not an entitlement. Pay your bill.
Women: Sen. Bob Menendez paid us for sex in the Dominican Republic | The Daily Caller

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WDT: Swing of Watertown Market for Doheny Tomorrow as Poll Lead Suggests Close Race

      A local insider says the Siena poll to be released at 6AM will show Matt Dohney trailing Rep. Bill Owens by just a point.  If true, that is a major shift from the 13 point margin touted by the poll earlier this fall.
    Again, this is a tip from someone not with a campaign but with knowledge....Please wait for your mainstream media to report officially what's up in the AM.
     I am told the media and the campaigns were given the numbers the night before on condition they are embargoed. I've never really liked those kind of cozy arrangements, but in any event I am not a party to it and I assume the person who texted me got it from either the media or a campaign. If it's wrong I guess I'm the goat.

Matt Doheny Hands Out Candy at His Paddock Street Home
      Meanwhile I was at the Doheny crib on Paddock Street this evening where I learned that a local gadfly has been barred from the comment section of the local paper and a flood of trick or treaters showed up and the candidate had no problem handing out free stuff on this fall evening.
      The Doheny effort seems enthused...and is stumping hard in the coming days as the clock runs out.
Watertown Daily Times | Doheny to make Jefferson, St. Lawrence swing tomorrow

Endorsement: MGV Says Ritchie for Senate

             Senator Ritchie Celebrates Endorsement With Family on Halloween     One of the most important parts of representing people is understanding how they live. Knowing their concerns, their frustrations and what government can and cannot do to make their lives better.
    In the race for State Senate in the 48th, we have two candidates who are both well grounded in the lives of the people they seek to represent.
    Democrat Amy Tresidder has St. Lawrence  County roots where her family has been in local politics in the DeKalb area. She is smart and down-to-earth and in her current role,  constituents in a county legislative district in Oswego are likely well served by her.
    However, the choice for Senator is more complicated than just voting for a nice person.
    In Senator Patty Ritchie, we have someone well acquainted with the North Country way of life. As a county clerk, she related to people and made her office consumer friendly.
    Senator Ritchie has quickly learned Albany and her staff if responsive to local needs, even when the local needs are keeping taxes down and some of the local officials don't want that.
    Ms. Ritchie is also a member of the Republican majority in the Senate. We are not served well by a minority senator in a caucus where five of every six members are from the City of New York.
    New York City has its interests represented in the Assembly and on Eagle Street.
    Senator Ritchie has a strong work ethic and is always meeting her constituents. Some say she is too into marketing herself...but to me that means she is the Senator in touch with people.
    The Senator who's there...
     This humble blog enthusiastically urges support for Senator Patty Ritchie.

Opinion: Here comes the landslide

   Maybe there is a move to Mitt Romney...Would seem so if you listen to how combative, testy and insulting the usual lefties on the HOTLINE are getting. Right in may face, even though my analysis is pretty down the middle.
   I drink Kool-Aid from several pitchers on several networks and publications.
   I think its close, but the tenor or talk from my lefty friends is very desparate sounding.
Opinion: Here comes the landslide - The Hill - covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns and Capitol Hill |

WDT: Siena to release poll tomorrow for NY 21

   Siena College is releasing a second poll on NY21, just in time to influence voters before Tuesday.....Is Bill Owens the shoo-in he says or is Matt Doheny running neck and neck as he says ?
    We don't know much about Siena or what motivates their polling or their methodology. Is it just a publicity tool for the college, or is there something else behind it ?
    Tomorrow's results will be gobbled up by media too frugal to pay for their own survey and the campaigns are writing the spin already.
     Before the end of tomorrow someone will utter, "the only poll that matters is the one on Tuesday."
Watertown Daily Times | Siena to release poll tomorrow for Congress race

Scariest Part of Halloween is Pedestrian/Vehicle Encounters

   You didn't need a study to tell you this, but a reminder is good nonetheless. There are lots of kids out tonight for trick or treating. Many of them are wearing costumes that hinder sight and are exciting about their excursion.
    The need to be extra, extra careful is manifest. This is especially so in areas of the City inundated by kids.
     Ground zero seems to be the Holcomb Street corridor.
     Be careful !
'The real danger on Halloween': Kids hit by cars

Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum's TV ads begin airing |

   In Syracuse the Green Party is fielding a true alternative to the two party duopoly in Ursula Rozum, who is going to be airing a television commercial on the final weekend of the nasty race between Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle and former Rep. Dan Maffei.
    While her chances are slim, it's good to see a third alternative in the debates and in race, actually campaigning and offering an alternative message.
    It's decidely to the left, so some of you may want to be seated while viewing.
Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum's TV ads begin airing |

WDT: The Tingle is Gone....We Want Romney

      Four years ago the publisher of the Watertown Daily Times was among those with the tingle over 'hope and change', but now that's changed. 
       Today the paper dumped President Obama and endorsed Governor Mitt Romney for President.

Johnsons Tired of Their Last Choice....Back Romney
       The paper cites a need for change and Mr. Romney's ability to handle the economy as reasons.
        One poll shows 9% of 2008 Obama voters are flipping. That's about 6.3 million people meaning Mr. Obama's 10 million vote popular margin is now about a 2.6million deficit. Of course there are many factors in what makes up the electorate, so its still a neck and neck race.  Locally, our on line straw poll is a reversal of last summer's numbers with Mr. Romney polling 61%.
         This is the third time in a year the Times has turned on an incumbent they previosly endorsed.
Watertown Daily Times | Change needed

21st Congressional District: A closer look at the race for the new New York 21st - YNN, Your News Now

    When it comes to politics, broadcast coverage of major regional races has been largely ceded to YNN, as they have the resources and inclination to cover a district as large as the 21st CD.  We saw that in the recent debate at JCC.
     Here is a summary piece on the Owens-Doheny race by Brian Dwyer.
21st Congressional District: A closer look at the race for the new New York 21st - YNN, Your News Now

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Poll: Americans Fear Zombie Apocolypse....

       We can't find a dependable poll to tell us who will be our Congressman, but polling data is out today showing 62% of Americans have a favorable view of Halloween.
       The same percentage prefer chocolate as their treat followed far behind by candy corn at 11%.
       Thirty seven percent believe in ghosts but its zombies who lead the list of scary horror figures.

        Americans have a pessimistic streak. Only 27% say they could survive a week in the event of a zombie apocolypse.
        Halloween Poll Results - Public Policy Polling

County Budget Includes More Money For Boarding Inmates In Other Jails...As for Me....I am with the Sheriff

     My libertarian side is inclined to think we lock up too many people...I remember the old jail and the new jail was supposed to be OK for the future....
    However, now the jail population is up and future economic unrest will increase the numbers, so let's get real.
   If we want to lock people up, then get behind our Sheriff and build a bigger jail.
   It's not right that inmates are housed all over the state, forcing logistical nonsense carting them around, costing the county a lot of money and forcing inmates to be housed in gulags far away from family and legal counsel.
     Unless we are willing to lock up fewer people....Build a bigger jail..The County of Jefferson has the money.
County Budget Includes More Money For Boarding Inmates In Other Jails | WWNY TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports for | Local News

Sandy Could Be a Game Changer in Race for White House....But Really It Shouldn't

   It's the kind of divine intervention that has the Romney campaign no doubt cringing.
   A natural disaster with ample fresh and compelling pictures of disaster, suffering and a President sending in help and visiting the scene to comfort the afflicted.
    And he will be doing it with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who has described the President's response so far as "outstanding".  Of course, the adults in the room, know that when there is a disaster is the time everyone pulls together. The plainspoken Governor calls 'em as he sees them and sticks up for his constituents.
    Tomorrow's scenes of Mr. Obama and Mr Christie surveying the damage will point out to some the need for more of that spirit without having to suffer through a catastrophe.
     The decision awaiting voters Tuesday is not about how the storm was dealt with but the President's response and demeanor will no doubt help him.
     As for Governor Romney, he can only try to break through the clutter to get his message forward. It will not be easy.
     My advice....don't step on the President as he is doing his job...but Governor Romney needs to do his job too, which is the moment get out there and campaign and present his vision for the future.
    Disasters come and go, but the fundamental issues facing this nation remain.
Obama and Romney compete NOT to gain political advantage from Sandy¿ but President will visit New Jersey tomorrow | Mail Online

Is Our Poll Showing Something in NY21 Race...GOP Thinks So

       Call it giddyness or maybe they know something, but the Doheny inner circle is chirping about winning the race for Congress next Tuesday now that they are armed with a couple of key newspaper endorsements and are airing commercials that actually say something.
         For Rep. Bill Owens this has to be a tough race...The third such battle in as many years. He just wants a comfy seat in Congress like so many in his caucus with non-competitive seats.
        In fact, it was the luck, or unluckyness, of the draw for Mr. Owens.
        He happened to come up with an opponent with the relentless drive and resources to win the office.  After defending the seat in 2010, Mr. Owens surely thought the road would be easier.
       His campaign has been to put it politely, low key.  A recent Facebook post showed him in the parking lot of a Tupper Lake motel owner all alone. There are no rallies or hoopla. Not everthing Team Doheny has done has been brilliant but there is enough going on, it didn't matter.
      The Congressman was in Watertown last week and visited City Hall without asking to meet with the Mayor or other electeds. Two years ago when I also supported Doheny, when the Congressman came to City Hall, we met and I walked him around downtown. That's the way you do it when you check the partisan stuff at the door and put office first.
      Mr. Owens has closer commercials on the air and may indeed win. If he does it won't be because of a well run campaign. It looked flat, like he just didn't want to put up with having a challenger.
     Our on line poll is showing Doheny up by nine, a reversal of a similar survey over the summer.
I think it will be close, but agree the race is a lot more of a race than it was six weeks ago.
       For the record,  my Dem friends  in the know say the Owens campaign says it sees no reason for alarm in the closing days and sees their effort as well ahead.

Hurricane Sandy 2012: Superstorm batters US coast...We Do OK Up Here

   The North Country has seen little of the fury of Sandy and in fact woke up to sunshine today. Good for us, although some rain and wind could be on the way.
   Meanwhile in the NYC Metro area power outages and destruction weigh heavily as residents seek to rebound. While many survived Sandy quite well, those who didn't awoke to the mess that happens when water surges at record levels.
Hurricane Sandy 2012: Superstorm batters US coast, Manhattan goes dark, 7.5m without power, 17 dead | Mail Online

WDT: We Back Matt

   Citing youth, enthusiasm and business acumen, the WDT has joined the Glens Falls Post Star in backing challenger Matt Doheny for Congress. While not a surprise, the backing gives Mr. Doheny some additional street cred in the western end of the district where earlier polling showed him in trouble.
    I hear the other major papers in the district don't do endorsements.
Watertown Daily Times | WDT endorses Doheny

Times Union Looks North and Likes Owens

      A major out-of-district newspaper is not on the give Doheny a chance bandwagon.
      The Albany Times-Union is endorsing Rep. Bill Owens, calling him a bridge builder and lableing the Republican as a partisan with too many sharp elbows under the basket.
      The T-U zeroes in on the Defense of Marriage Act as a tipping point for their cow of an endorsement.
      I follow this stuff every day and never heard the matter come up.
      In fact, despite the required party dogma, I have always thought both candidates were rather live and let live on the social issues.
      Our picks 
for Congress - The Observation Deck - - Albany NY

WDT: Doheny To Tack Positive in Race for the FInish Line

     Rumored for days, the Doheny campaign is finally going positive with a direct to camera appeal taped in Thompson Park with the Watertown skyline behind him. The WDT came up with a photo of the taping.

     A senior GOP pol has been urging Mr. Doheny to change his focus and the late appeal is hoped to close the deal. Months of ads designed to gnaw at Rep. Bill Owens' positives needed at some point to be augmented with a reason to vote for Mr. Doheny.
    With key newspaper endorsements at both ends of the district and a relentless schedule, Mr. Doheny is running slightly ahead in our on line blog poll....A similar survey over the summer favored the Democrat, as did various professional polls.
     The gift Mr Doheny got on October 3 was the stark turnaround in the Romney campaign which is the rising sea on which Mr. Doheny's boat was bobbing about.
     I'll be anxious to see the spot, and whether he cut similar ones in other media markets in the district.
     While Mr. Doheny didn't follow through on a career in law, he surely knows the value of a closing argument.
Watertown Daily Times | With a week to go, Doheny makes final pitch

Monday, October 29, 2012

Polls are Now Officially Full of Malarkey

   Let's see, MSNBC says early voters are overwhelming Obama...Gallup says early voters favor Romney by seven points. Zogby has Romney up a point in the horserace...Gallup says five points....Others say its tied and the poll of battleground states shows Obama up a point there.
      Rasmussen has Romney up by two in Ohio but CNN has him down by four while a newspaper poll says its even in the Buckeye State.
     Gallup says it suspended tracking polls during Sandy. Guess no one is thinking politics till the networks release our attention from guys in slickers doing stand-ups on rain swept streets and beaches.

NNY Damage So Far Just Scattered

       The most onerous aspects of Sandy's march from the sea are easing and so far in our area reports of damage are scattered, including a tree down on Winslow Street in Watertown and a power line halting traffic on  I-81 south of the city.

Tree Down on Winslow Street
       Daylight will reveal considerable damage in New Jersey and other coastal areas. We will see far less damage. 
News from The Associated Press

AUTO BAILOUT BOMBSHELL: Fiat Says Chrysler, Jeep Production May Move to Italy | National Legal and Policy Center

   Oh great...the media here mindlessly repeats the Obama mantra that he saved the auto industry, meanwhile Chrysler/Fiat is pondering moving production to Italy and China.
    Between misreporting the auto industry and tamping down Benghazi details, the Brian Williams crowd is working overtime to save "this President" from retirement.
    AUTO BAILOUT BOMBSHELL: Fiat Says Chrysler, Jeep Production May Move to Italy | National Legal and Policy Center

Privateers on the Town

    Everybody likes to talk about economic spin off of this and that....but tonight at Pete'e I noticed a dozen or so members of the Privateers were in for dinner.
    After a pair of wins over the weekend I couldn't help but buy a round for these guys who are bringing entertainment to Watertown.
     Congrats on being 2-0 and I am glad we were able to arrange for the team to locate here.

Hurricane Sandy Severity Lowered for CNY.....Probably Us Too

    After a Monday when everybody in Watertown was wondering why everything was closing down for a cloudy day, word is coming of lowered expectations of what the remnants of Hurricane Sandy will bring to Central and Northern NY.
    Wind speeds of forty and rain under two inches make what's coming more a rainy day than weather Armegeddon. Caution is always a good idea and at the City we were ready to ramp up as needed. Hopefully the effects will be minimal.
    I was watching CNN today and their reporter was on camera for at least half an hour straight in downtown Atlantic City being buffeted by winds and rain....It was all laid bare at theatrics when three shirtless revelers came by dancing behind the oh-so-serious anchor.  Everybody I watched it with was laughing at this guy.
    Storms are dangerous and the advance warning these days is great....but the hype on TV is incredible....
    Most of all this damn storm is cutting into my politics and talking heads.

Hurricane Sandy severity in Central New York lowered; "we're dodging a bullet" |

WDT: Taipei Times: Politicians seek apology from Doheny

       This is the silly season...the NY21 race has riled up politicians in Taiwan purportedly uspet over the use of Red Chinese flag in a Dohney for Congress commercial about Rep. Bill Owens trip to the island nation.
       Wow. It was just a blog piece for folks in the Watertown media market. How the heck did it make it over there in sufficient quantity for anyone to get upset...Unless the outrage is arranged.
        And by the way, how well read is the Amaral lad ? He scans the Taipai Times !
    Watertown Daily Times | Taipei Times: Politicians seek apology from Doheny

Endorsements from a Blog...What Will They Think of Next ?

    I am going to play publisher this week and do MGV endorsements. My editorial board consists of me. Anyone wishing to meet with me prior can visit the Mayor's Bar any evening this week.
    At my E Board meetings we don't video tape and its off the record, as long as you buy the cocktails.
     New media is a lot more laid back.

Mailbag: Some I Will Save....Most I Will Discard

     In the mailbag today, a $36 rebate from the State Insurance Fund highlighted the postman's visit, followed by a complimentary 2013 calendar from SarahPac. It kind of went downhill from there. A couple of bills, a solicitation from Gary Johnson, and a cookie cutter, 'he's a liar, liar, pants on fire' piece from the Doheny campaign.

For Some, Elections Matter

   For many the fifteen minutes it takes to go vote is just too much time. I mean really, there's work...there's the kids soccer practice....gotta go shopping....besides it doesn't matter...the Electoral College is vote won't count and besides, I don't want to risk jury duty.
    On Sunday I got a phone call from Otis, the HOTLINE caller and only person in Jefferson County to have met Albert Einstein.....Otis has found himself suddenly in Mississippi after his son was hospitalized due to a shooting. Amidst the concern for his son, Otis wanted to know how he could get his vote cast. Otis is of a generation where such things matter.

Otis Richardson (Facebook Photo)
   I initially figured it would be tough to get the application to him, sent back, and the ballot sent to Mississippi by November 5. After doing some checking, I found the application on-line and called Otis back, told him to download, fill it out and FedEx it to Watertown first thing today. If the ballot is mailed out tomorrow, it should be there by the weekend, or he could have someone pick it up and have them overnight it back.
     Overnighting costs about $25 bucks and a customer overhearing all this chirped , "I wouldn't spend that much just to vote."  Hey, that's just a couple days worth of cigarettes, I chirped back.
    Funny thing is I know Otis isn't voting for people I am, so if I were  a loyal partisan, I would have told him 'no way'. However, I want people to vote, especially those for whom it means so much.
     Hope it works out for Otis, and for the rest of you. If you won't be available November 6 or even think you won't be, get down to your Board of Elections today and cast an absentee.
    Tell 'em Otis sent you.  

Hassig Rescheduled to Friday

  Green Party Congressional candidate Donald Hassig has asked his appearance on the HOTLINE be moved due to important meetings on PCBs he wants to attend today. I said that's OK and he is slated for Friday.

Hurricane Sandy STRENGTHENING as it closes in on NYC; Mass transit shut down, millions evacuated -

     Stock markets are closed, schools shuttered and many evacuated from low areas as NYC and the East Coast ready for Sandy.  Despite preparations the sustained nature of the expected winds over several days will cause damage and power outages.
     Hurricane Sandy is overshadowing the Presidential race with rallies cancelled and candidates tempering their message with concern for storm victims.
     Here in NNY, preparations are afoot for remnants of the storm expected here by mid week.
Hurricane Sandy STRENGTHENING as it closes in on NYC; Mass transit shut down, millions evacuated -

WDT:Fairgrounds concession stand scores a hat trick with expanded menu

   It was a successful opening weekend for the Privateers at the Fairgrounds Arena and the beefed up concession stand run by the Recreation Department is seeing increased sales which should tip its fledgling balance sheet to the black.
    Three years ago the stand was run privately but didn't meet health codes and had troubled staying open.
     More important, the fans attending hockey games enjoyed the night out, and the Arena will enjoy even greater utilization in the winter months allowing for further improvements to the popular facility.
Watertown Daily Times | Fairgrounds concession stand scores a hat trick with expanded menu

Sunday, October 28, 2012

JETS Suck Against Miami, But High Command Won't Go Tebow

   After today's dismal 30-9 loss to Miami in the Meadowlands,  we fans were wishing Sandy would sweep in early and end the misery.
   The JETS are totally misusing Tim Tebow. They bring him in for plays that won't succeed and let the guy dumped by the Desparate Housewife continue to lead  the team to the doldrums of the AFC East.
    Dump Sanchez, put Tebow in for the rest of the season as starter and worry about it in the winter.
    The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday.
If Jets aren't going to use Tim Tebow, they should let him go -

Glens Falls Post Star: Doheny deserves a chance

        Polls, cow tipping, island homes and trips to Taiwan aside, the Doheny for Congress campaign got a large and unexpected boost today as the Glens Falls Post Star endorsed the Republican over Rep. Bill Owens.
        It is significant because it was unexpected and because Glens Falls is at the heart of newly added territory in the NNY district.
       The endorsement was tepid and based on a "flip of a coin" over candidates the paper called underwhelming. That's especially hard to hear for an incumbent.
       The thrust of the endorsement is Mr. Doheny deserves a chance.
        He is also expected to receive the endorsement of the Watertown paper next week.
ENDORSEMENT: Doheny deserves a chance

Sandy: Effects Here Not as Great as on Coast...But We Still Must Be Aware and Cautious

      While Watertown is towards the edge of the heavy impact area of the coastal storm called Sandy, we should be prepared for heavy rain, winds, flooding and disruptions to our routine. With other parts of NY State impacted, that also could affect life up here.
       PLEASE keep in touch with local media for information and heed warnings if they are forthcoming.
Sandy: New York City shuts down for Hurricane Sandy: Subway will close tonight as storm is set to be the biggest EVER to hit United States | Mail Online

Will Sandy Nix Trick or Treating ?

 Trick or treating is less and less likely for youngsters as it appears the remnants of Hurricane Sandy will pass right over us Wednesday night and early Thursday.  The practicality of sending kids out in foul weather would likely lead parents to think twice....but not in all cases...Parts of the City have become a candy Mecca for children from around the county and how likely people are to see that opportunity pass due to weather is unknown.
   A look-see will likely come early in the week to see if a formal request to refrain would be appropriate.

Was Liz Playing 'Gotcha' With Cow Tipping Question

     During the lightning round of Thursday's debate, candidates were asked if they ever engaged in 'cow tipping'.  According to Wikipedia, there is no such thing and that the notion of sneaking up on bovines and pushing them over is a rural legend and one of those big cities stereotypes of small town America.

Unless This is What Liz Meant ?
   While the lightning round is meant in part to be fun, it is also fraught with peril. Mr. Doheny answered yes to the cow tipping and Mr. Owens didn't understand a question about some new fangled exercise regimen.
     During a rehearsal the debate hosts joked about asking the Congressman about whether he had read "50 Shades of Gray" but that question never surfaced.

Indy's Take a Pass on POTUS

       New York's Indepedence Party has no slates of electors for President and Vice President, making it the only ballot status party to take a pass on the Nation's top race.

      I noticed the anomaly when checking out the ballot for November 6. The NY race is not very competitive, but you'd think someone would want the line, or maybe leaving it blank was a tactical move to draw attention to the other candidates on the line.

Mayor: Hospital to Partially Reopen

    Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall called today to announce E.J. Noble hospital will be open for some services, including the ER, tomorrow morning at 9.
     The hospital had been closed after the state discovered irregularities in the lab at the hospital.

Why No Lines Here

    What is it about the North Country that we never see lines of people voting like we always see in stories from Ohio or Florida. Not only are there lines on election day, but there are lines for early voting.

                          Voters Stand in Line in Ohio Recently for Early Voting

   Maybe it's the 16,000 precincts across the state. That means this year each one will host three to four hundred voters. There are 18 districts alone in the City of Watertown, and we used to have 3O.  There are fewer voters...7200 in my first run and about 4200 last year.
    But all that aside, there are never lines when I vote, and I don't call three or four people a line.
    Seeing the photos from other states, I can see there is something broken in our election machinery.

Polls are Everywhere, But in NNY, They are Only Here This Week

   With no media or public polling available in this final week of the campaign, the humble on-line polls starting here today are it.  Argue what you want about their accuracy, these straw polls will give a feel for where our diverse audience stands and more important on the relative strengths of candidates in different races.
    The operatives will be trying to fluff up the pillow, but all of that equals out and the results will be interesting.

The Journal | Amy Tresidder can bank on at least a small victory

        The beast wasn't fed sufficiently and the beast explained that to readers this week as the editor of the Ogdensburg Journal detailed why Democrat Amy Tresidder's campaign against Senator Ritchie is about to be crushed.
         Editor Elizabeth Lyons, who holds the post formerly held by Ritchie staffer Jim Reagen, points out Ms. Tresidder is a nice, thoughful woman who has campaigned as a ghost because she didn't work the media enough with press releases and obsequiousness to the political class. The fact the editor of a paper had not met the candidate till only recently certainly means the candidate didn't work the free media, but Ms. Tresidder hasn't fed bloggers like me either and only reluctantly came on as a guest on America's Favorite Noontime Talk Show.

Campaign High Water Mark Was When Snake Photo Hit the Blogs
        When there, she did very well, but campaigns are not just about good intentions. They are about shameless self promotion, fund raising, establishing relationships and hard, hard work the likes of which opponent Ritchie is unmatched.
        (In all fairness, sucking up to a media in a market where many journalists have a disdain for politics is a daunting task)
       In this interview with Ms. Lyons, the candidate pretty much concedes before it is over, sounding surprised about just how difficult such a race is.
        Hopefully, she enjoyed the encounters along the way and takes solace that she did it her way without being nasty and with the best of intentions.
The Journal | Amy Tresidder can bank on at least a small victory

The Register endorsement: Mitt Romney offers a fresh economic vision

   Newspaper endorsements raise eyebrows not when they endorse who they did four years ago , but when they flip.
    The influential Des Moines Register has abandoned hope and change for what they call a fresh economic vision from Mitt Romney.
     The Register's endorsement is a measure of sentiment in the heartland, and frankly the paper has a long history of backing mostly Democrats (although they never backed FDR, even going with Alf Landon in 1936)
       The endorsement itself may not change votes, but the discussion it will provoke in Iowa over coming days could help Mr. Romney.
The Register endorsement: Mitt Romney offers a fresh economic vision | The Des Moines Register |