"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Monday, March 31, 2008

Blowin' In The Wind

There is money blowing in the wind and all the local taxing entities are jousting for their morsel as if they were waiting for the cookies to come out of the oven.

Make no mistake about this, wind farms have nothing to do with our carbon foot print, or our desire to become an environmental greenie. The only green everyone is looking for here is the cabbage, the beans, the moolah, the wampum, the dough, or whatever else you want to call it. Show me the money!

The wind power companies have dangled the dough in front of the landowners for leasing their land and the local towns for approval of their projects while expecting the towns to deliver the schools and county. At the same time, the power producers are extracting all the tax subsidies they can from the public on the local, state and federal level.

The latest word from the most progressed project in Jefferson County, Horse Creek Wind Farm, is that the town of Clayton is proposing to keep 47.50% of a soon to be proposed PILOT, the schools receive 37.50% and the county would receive 15%. As opposed to a typical tax structure assumed by residents, which is approximately 7% for a town, 36% for the county and 57% for schools, give or take some percentages in various towns depending upon their tax rate, some towns do not have a town tax rate.

The effects of a wind farm and power lines to transport the power produced reach far beyond a specific town in which they are located and residents in a nearby town and the county as a whole should receive some benefit to mitigate these effects. A power producer is no different from any other company locating in the county, they need to pay their fair share, with any special consideration given based on the benefits they bring to the county residents and that fair share distributed according to the system in place.

Residents should ask their supervisors, town board members, school board members and county legislators if the additional revenue will be used to benefit them or will it just be used for increased spending.

Jim Fayle Resigns

Jim Fayle, Executive Director for the Jefferson County Job Development Corp. and the Industry Development Agency is reported to have tendered his resignation to accept a job with Empire State Development Corporation.


Wish him well and speculate on his replacement.

This Deadbeat Is D.O.A.

I'm afraid this deadbeat is dead on arrival. Campaigns, simply put, are a multi-million dollar business and not being able to manage your own or hire people to manage your campaign finances is not a good resume' builder. This simply speaks to her lack of ability to be an chief executive.

Where is my money?

New York State Budget Gimmicks

New York State government has long been known for it fiscal follies in order to balance the budget. They have done almost everything except the one thing they truly need to do, cut spending, or at the very least reduce the increase to somewhere, oh you might say maybe the inflation rate.

The Welfare program cost in New York State is a split between federal, state and local government. The state and local portion of the cost of the program is evenly split between the state and county governments, New York is one of a few states that require counties to match dollar for dollar the cost of the program.

This could change if Paterson has his way with this budget, thus shifting the cost to local property taxpayers, all the while they are singing the song of capping local property taxes.

This year New York State's spending is expected to rise 5%, the Medicaid shift will bring them about $40 million in revenue and this is only one of the cost shifts being proposed. If they just reduced the spending increase to a mere 3% it would reduce their budget by 2.35 billion dollars.

Given the current state of the economy and the fact that 20% of the state's revenue comes from Wall St. this is the opportune time to cut spending. The Spitzer administration, short lived as it was, added 2,000 state employees, local property taxes should not pay that kind of reckless management.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


After multiple reviews of the report issued by District Attorney David Soares, there are many points of interest, many of which have been pointed out in various outlets, mainly blogs.

Various points of interest throughout the report.

Page 5 & 6
The summary of these pages is that Soares is letting his fellow Democrats off from any charges.

Page 6
This all began with the actual inquiry being made about Spitzer's use of state aircraft, specifically regarding a fund raising trip to California. Dopp is quoted,

“a number of reporters were interested in the use of the aircraft for political trips, and that it pointed specifically to his [Spitzer’s] use of the aircraft in connection with a trip that he had taken to California for fund raising purposes.”

Page 8
Everyone heretofore denying knowledge is implicated as part of this scheme.

Page 11 & 12
Dopp portrays Spitzer as a passive sponsor to the scheme and makes him appear more concerned with the "people's business" versus the controversy. Dopp also attempts to continue to make Bruno the problem.

Ultimately, Spitzer makes the call to release the records.

Page 12
Proof this was set up based on a unremarkable review of Bruno's travel records.

Governor commented “that they were unremarkable.”

Page 14
Dopp claims to have discussed the use of State aircraft with Cuomo, yet Cuomo has no recollection of the discussion.

Page 16
Dopp sums up the entire debacle and Spitzer's involvement.

Page 20
Due to Spitzer's resignation and that of his close advisers, who all have abused their power, nothing will be done, this will be soft petaled into history. Had Client #9 not resigned though, he may have found his way out the door by way of a Grand Jury.

Questions that remain

If in fact this started with an inquiry from reporter Jim Odato of the Albany Times Union about Spitzer and turned into a scheme against Bruno, where was the follow up from Odato on Spitzer's use of the State aircraft by other officials? What role ultimately did the paper play in this scheme?

How did Cuomo and Soares miss so much damning information in their initial investigations?

This situation would make even the most trusting political observer wonder why Albany should be left to a single party regardless if its Democrat or Republican.

This is not an endorsement of Bruno, Bruno and the centralized power structure of Albany is a flawed structure and process, but that will be left for another day and another post.

Governor Clinton, The Sequel

That's right!

This is the proposed "consolation" prize for Senator Clinton, through Spitzer and now Paterson, the New York State Governorship is nothing more than a "consolation" prize.

A "very senior" Democrat offered the statehouse as a way to lure Hillary Clinton away from the primary. The theory, it better positions her for a run in 2012.

Wait a minute, will Barack not be running for a second term then?

Hence the theory is flawed and will be nothing more than a implosion of the Democratic party on the national stage.

Following the many Spitzer debacles, Paterson gave his share of public acknowledgments to various activities that have the Democrats believing he is considerably weakened and not a viable candidate in the 2010 election.

Hillary would then seek the statehouse in the 2010 election and launch a presidential race in 2012. This theory assumes McCain wins the presidency this year, which means the Clinton's sit on there hands for this election, further splitting the party more than has already occurred in this primary.

Clinton has played this primary in a distasteful way, consider the attacks on Bill Richardson, Nancy Pelosi, et al., and she has more retribution to dish out to the all Senators who have cut away from her during this bloody primary.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Counterfeit Support

It did not require a high IQ in order to tell the difference between local folks volunteering in the Aubertine campaign and paid staffers here on his behalf. The imported staffers did not even know they were in Carthage, Lacona, Ogdensburg or Dexter, much less ask them to spell the names of the respective locales.

What is the most troubling of this is not the mere fact that a campaign was paid for by New York City deep pockets, staffers were trucked in for every street corner in the three counties to wave signs, and bus loads of people brought in from out of the area for a debate to give the appearance of grass roots support, what is the truly troubling part is the hypocrisy of the issue.

The very same campaign the produced all of the above mentioned, is the same campaign that criticized the opposing campaign because a union endorsing the candidate was paying people to attend the event. The UNION was paying, not the campaign!

It is a fair statement to say the voters of Northern New York got duped, the very people who cried foul of the union move should be outraged.

They got duped into the slick advertisements and co-opted by bunch of out of town hacks.

Hard working Northern New Yorker's should expect and deserve better than this type of action. A campaign got away with it this time, but the next election any campaign from any party attempts these actions, they should be held accountable. Staffers from other senate offices are one thing but picking people off a street corner in Albany or New York City to place them on a street corner with campaign signs or send them to people's door with campaign literature is preposterous.

The public deserves an apology from campaign and the Democratic Chairs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

This Sums Up Blogs

This quote is from James Kotecki on his video blog and it sums up blogging.

"Hey, you know what I love about being in the media? It gives me a chance to speculate widely about possible political scenarios, if they come to pass, I look like a genius, and if they don't, hey, I was just putting it out there."

That statement says it all, those who blog either speculate or offer commentary on what was already reported all in the name of furthering the dialogue.

Tonya Harding Reincarnation

A DNC official referred to Senator Hillary Clinton's possible classy strategy to achieve the party's nomination as the "Tonya Harding" option. The reference appeared in the ABC News Blog Political Punch.

She will have to "break his back," the official said. She will have to destroy Obama, make Obama completely unacceptable.

"Her securing the nomination is certainly possible - but it will require exercising the 'Tonya Harding option.'" the official said. "Is that really what we Democrats want?"

For the political junkies this will be fun, grab the popcorn and have a seat, and for Republican's, have your notebooks out to note every attack and every counter attack.

This primary is one of political history and will be recalled for time to come.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Good Twist On Politico News

If you want a good educated laugh while getting your daily intake of current events, click on the links. I would have been much more interested in current events during my high school days if the presentation was comparable.

Wednesday March 26th

Tuesday March 25th

Monday March 24th

Eaton His Way To The Top

The Republicans are expected to name Jerry Eaton as Commissioner of the Board of Elections while the Democrats are expected to elevate current deputy Sean Hennessey to Commissioner.

Jerry Eaton is a well respected, intelligent, dedicated and dapper dressing individual, a former staffer for H. Robert Nortz and James W. Wright, he is no stranger to the political arena. Jerry is a fairly laid back individual who gets more done by using his intellectual agility.

Sean Hennessey is a well healed, hard charging Irish Catholic Democrat who is no patsy as the Democratic Party Chair or soon to be Commissioner. Sean being displaced by DOT was moved into the deputy commissioner slot in the not too distant past, in his dual role as Commissioner and Chairman, he will answer to himself.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Monopolizing Trash: Flow Control

The Supreme Court ruled United Haulers Association, Inc. v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, allowing local governments to control the flow of waste to publicly owned facilities. Their ruling allows authorities such as the Development Authority of the North Country, DANC, to monopolize the use of the solid waste facility in Rodman by local governments passing flow control legislation directing haulers to dispose of all waste from within the region at Rodman.

Is it wise for governments to control the flow of waste even if they have that option?

Critics may say there are no incentives to run a facility with any efficiency or cost effectiveness driving up the cost of waste disposal, which could ultimately be considered a tax or fee increase given the legislation is passed by local governments. In addition, the current cost of fuel makes the transportation cost for haulers a major concern, and a facility such as DANC operating at a reasonable level of cost effectiveness can more than compete against waste facilities further away from the region.

Proponents of flow control legislation will make the case that facilities' majority of cost are fixed and that a certain amount of waste is required to cover that cost. In the case of Rodman Solid Waste Facility, they have debt to cover, which if not covered is passed through to county governments to pay. An astute hauler, such as Casella or Waste Management, recognizes and leverages their position during negotiations with an Authority for a favorable tipping fee. The proponents will say fixing the amount of waste entering a facility stabilizes their revenue and allows them to operate more efficiently and maintain a stable price for the public. The proponents will also say this is a way to improve recycling. The case was made that flow control benefited public facilities and all haulers are treated equal.

Both sides of the discussion have merit, although flow control displaces competition with regulation thereby creating monopoly control of waste disposal. Through the creation of DANC and the publicly owned Solid Waste Facility local governments are in the position to make policy on solid waste, the Supreme Court handed them one more tool, if they choose to implement flow control.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Say What?


How you word a question may determine what kind of response you will get. Take a look at how E.J McMahon dissects a Quinnipiac Poll question, whether you support the proposed tax increase or not is one thing, but wording the question one way or the other may bring a whole new meaning to the results.


Democratic Train Wreck

Hillary Clinton's supporters are looking for every angle they can in order to swing the super delegates her way, which is her only chance of winning the nomination. Thus unraveling a system of pledged delegates apportioned by congressional districts and super delegates, a system that is designed by one of her closest advisers, Harold Ickes.

The Clinton camp has various measures; they have won the big states that are needed for the general election, seat Florida and Michigan as the vote stands now (against DNC rules), hinting Obama as her running mate and now Senator Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, a Clinton supporter now suggests count the general election electoral votes of the states she has won in the primary. They are getting pretty desperate in the closing days of this race.

Anything less than following the will of the voters will spin the Democrats out of control for years to come. The system was design and touted by Ickes as one where everyone's voice will be heard, the Democratic Party of the people, as opposed to the Republican primary winner take all style, move the losers aside in a deliberate fashion.

Obama will have the pledged delegate lead at convention time and most likely have the popular vote lead, are the Democrats willing to overturn that? If the answer is NO, then why is she still in the race. Danger Democrat must have a reasonable answer for a post.

Meanwhile, while the Democrats are battling each other, McCain has taken the lead in national polls, it is early but the Democrats are handing father time, more time to build his campaign and more battle scares for the Republicans to re-open.

How is that primary voting system working Mr. Ickes?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter or Happy Peter Rabbit?

A little political correctness for the Easter Holiday.

"A Rhode Island public school has decided the Easter bunny is too Christian and renamed him Peter Rabbit, and a state legislator is so hopping mad he has introduced an “Easter Bunny Act” to save the bunny’s good name."


Carville implies Bill Richardson is another Judas

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.


Obama regains the lead after Minister Wright's wrong path.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

It Is All DownHil For Clinton

Stick a fork in her she is done.

She can continue to play her game of dirty politics from here to Denver and it will only hurt the Democrats.

Obama is fresh, the Clinton's tactics are old and tired politics, but she and Bill will continue the play the game until the convention thus continuing to bruise the party.

This is an article worth the read.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Burns Goes Bye Bye

The potential candidate list is growing smaller for both sides. The latest casualty in the 118th Assembly district race is John Burns according to a source inside the Sheriff's department. He is the second front runner to bow out in as many days, following the announcement by Patty Ritchie that she would not run.

That will pretty much finish off the "A" list of candidates and now onto lesser known candidates that have run races in much smaller districts.

Governor Paterson, if you are going to call a special election, hurry, there may not be anyone interested in taking part in what is known as a cesspool of sex and politics tainted only occasionally by a little bit of the people's business, lesser known to many to be our state capital.

GOP Can't Decide

Republican Patty Ritchie, front runner candidate for the 118th Assembly made it official this morning, she is out of the race! It is reported she did well in a phone poll across the district, positioning herself as the candidate of choice and presumed to be a race she could have won.

The candidacy was not to be, and for a couple of reasons that both played into one another. First, when unity was needed some of the Republicans were off the reservation. This included St. Lawrence County chairwoman Janet Kelly, contrary to her comment in the paper this morning, she was not a supporter of Ritchie and did not want her to run. Others off the reservation are the wannabe potential candidates David Button and Phil Reed, who were making noise in the back ground at any candidacy other than theirs. The two of them are reportedly very interested in running, even though they did not finish in the top tier of the poll of the candidates like front runner Ritchie and runners up Tom Nichols and Carolyn Fitzpatrick.

Secondly, Mrs. Ritchie is extremely popular in St. Lawrence County and happy in her job which makes her secure for re-election to that post for the foreseeable future. While, a Republican facing election to the Assembly, not once in a special, but twice in a special and immediately following in a general, is an uphill battle against a well funded Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee.

As mentioned in previous postings a primary election is not a bad thing to happen for both parties and a special election this close to that process is difficult at best. A primary will position the candidates who want to be their parties choice to discuss the issues, organize their efforts and show their commitment through the use of their own money. The primary winner will emerge as a stronger, well known, and vetted candidate and providing there is a party commitment to support the winner, then better positioned to win.

The same recommendation applies to both sides of the aisle. Democrats as well as Republicans can be well served by a primary. Democrats would be well advised to run a primary and vet their candidates such as front runner John Burns or June O'Neill's choice of Greg Pacquin.

The strongest candidate, who is the voter's choice will emerge from both parties. Governor Paterson hold off from a special election and let the announcements begin.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Where are you on this Darrel?

Darrel Aubertine, conservative pro life Democrat, staunch Catholic, 4th Degree Knights of Columbus member (a Catholic organization) and one of us family values man will be quaking in his shoes when this vote arrives on the floor if the Democrats get control of the New York State Senate. He will either have to support this issue or risk being placed into political obscurity by Malcolm Smith and his colleagues. Darrel was one of the 61 that previously voted against this issue in the Assembly, will he remain consistent or buckle?


Here are some tidbits from the article that was posted on newZjunky.com.

"...same-sex marriage equality advocates are considering whether the current round of musical chairs will continue, in time sealing the success of their cause..."

"...When former state Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine, a Democrat from Cape Vincent - a town that straddles the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario - was sworn into his new seat on March 3 after a special election, he nudged the number of Senate Democrats to just one election contest away from parity..."

"...state Senator Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat who is the minority leader, pledged that marriage equality would be at the top of the agenda..."

This is Darrel's colleague who Darrel just joined in the self proclaimed moral caucus
"But Craig Johnson continues to be supportive of marriage equality."

"...Other current Democratic senators oppose the bill. Aubertine, who has taken conservative stances on religious issues, voted against the Assembly bill last year..."

And lastly, this Democrat is available for sale, he is said to be a possibility for switching over to the Republican caucus.

"...Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., a Democrat and a Pentecostal minister from the Bronx, has long been an opponent of same-sex marriage, and said he might not support a Democratic majority leader if same-sex marriage were at stake..."

Constituent $ervices?

The DAILY NEWS is reporting Governor Paterson may have used campaign funds for a hotel hottie. The use of campaign funds for such activities is illegal! This all occurred recently, between 2002 and 2006. His memory is slipping, he did not remember the tryst when interviewed by reporters during the transition and now he did not remember using the campaign cash until his memory was jarred by a reporter. One day he insist he did not use campaign money and the next day - surprise - he remembers. Does he remember the New York State budget deficit from one day to the next? It is no wonder New York has such a difficult time arriving at revenue numbers.

"The hotel tryst was apparently listed as 'constituent services'."

He also listed Lila Kirton, his ex playmate, as "professional services" on two different occasions. Here is one of those occasions reported in the DAILY NEWS

"In July 2002, Paterson's campaign paid Kirton $500 for "professional services." Yesterday, Paterson said he was reimbursing her for a donation she'd made on his behalf to Carl McCall, the Democratic candidate for governor that year."

"There's no record of a Kirton donation to McCall. Besides, it's illegal to make a so-called "pass-through" political donation on behalf of another because it masks the identity of the donor."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Luv Guv: Part II

So, Paterson takes his oath of office and New York State starts anew with the tone of a spirit of cooperation.

Yes, then Paterson makes the decision to come clean to the press. His intention of not hiding anything from anyone is admirable.

There are two schools (actually three, but the third could be considered misguided) of thought on how to handle this type of announcement, which you may think have merit.

A) Take advantage of the positive media coverage; from the oath, the fresh tone and the welcomed leadership change for the moment and announce it at a later date.

B) Announce it immediately, such as Governor Paterson did, and relinquish the entire focus of the coverage on the fresh tone and revert every one's thoughts back to a week ago.

C) Do not announce it, consider it a private matter, take your chances of being ambushed by opponents and possibly the media with a "gotcha" moment. (Not a highly recommended course of action)

What are your thoughts on how he handled his prior extramarital affair announcement?
Why did Paterson not mention it when he was being interviewed by the press during the transition period? Perhaps he could have mentioned it when he was questioned if he ever solicited a prostitute.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Business as Normal

Back and forth on this issue, I would not be surprised if the position on this issue changes again, but here is the latest.

Governor Paterson has apparently told Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco that he wanted government to be viewed as running normally and he would schedule a special election in the 118th Assembly District.

"It was so odd, so weird. ... I don't think there's any great healing or anything like that has to occur," said political scientist Jeffrey Stonecash of Syracuse University. " needs to get on with the business of government."

That was an appropriate comment by Stonecash in Newsday today.

Day One Is Today

Day One, everything was suppose to change. You could say nothing in Albany changed on day one or any day under Spitzer or you could say it did for the worse. What is very clear today, is that line was simply rhetoric from day one. The new Day One is today and lets hope everything does change.

Good Luck to Governor Paterson and hope he understands good government is good politics. Today let this be the State of New York and not the State of Confusion. Governor Paterson needs to govern New York as one diverse state, not through the prism of Democrat and Republican or upstate and downstate. He needs to remember New Yorkers pay some of the highest taxes of all the states. Governor Paterson needs to deliver real value for our money or reduce our tax burden. Expectations for Governor Spitzer were high and dissipated quickly, by many accounts expectations for Paterson are much lower, Paterson is positioned to be successful if he manages it correctly.

Richard M. Bivone of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, invited to the ceremony. "I'm expecting to hear unity, working together ... because when people elect officials to represent them, they want to see things get done."

Paterson has his work cut out for him to put New York State on the right track, he has a lot of work to undo what the last 5 Governors have done to get us where we are today.

p.s. The media can take their foot off Spitzer's neck, enough already, as of noon his situation becomes an issue of private matter between he and his wife.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Watertown to Albany

The decision by the US DOT to contract with Cape Air for air service out of the Watertown Airport is a step backward and a bad decision for residents of Jefferson County both in terms of service and local tax dollars required to operate the airport. The size of Cape Air's plane, 9 seater, and the destination choice of Albany will certainly hinder Jefferson County's goal of reaching of 10,000 enplanements.

Jefferson County reaching 10,000 enplanements was an admirable goal that would have resulted in additional federal funding for the airport and less local dollars, sadly, this most likely will not occur. Riders, if they choose Watertown, will be saddled with Albany as a destination and possibly have to travel through Ogdensburg and Massena before reaching the final destination.

Fort Drum is working on commercial air service for Wheeler Sack Air Field. The General is proposing building a new road direct to the terminal for better commercial passenger access. It has been reported that they are in talks with 3 major carriers for possible destinations such as Atlanta. The goal is to prove to carriers that the need for large aircraft commercial service exist in Jefferson County and Fort Drum. The base will host commercial service until Jefferson County extends their runway to handle a larger aircraft.

The sooner the better General!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Special Election In 118th Unlikely

The vacant seat in the 118th Assembly District is unlikely to be filled via a special election.

Inside sources say one of the fatalities of this week's events could be the special election for the 118th Assembly seat, which is highly unlikely to occur at this point.

This means the process to fill the seat for 118th Assembly District will be wide open for everyone wishing to pitch their candidacy. Candidates will begin enlightening their political parties any time between now and an expected announcement sometime in May. The petition process will begin in June and will run through July and then campaigning onto the primary finish line in September.

The possibilities for candidates on both sides of the aisle will be wide open. People to watch include; Democrats John Burns, Addie Jenne, Gregory Pacquin and Republicans Patty Ritchie, Tom Nichols, Carolyn Fitzpatrick and Phil Reed. Jeff Graham always is a lot of chatter, so who will he and the Independence Party field as a candidate for this event, Jeff Smith or Danny Francis?

A primary and general election will most certainly change the dynamics as compared to a special election. It will be longer campaign period and require a greater time commitment from the candidates involved. This process require a much larger financial commitment from the candidates as their campaigns will be financed both personally and by whatever funds they are capable of raising. The candidates will be required to form campaign organizations and recruit and compete for volunteers to assist them through the primary election. The process will require the candidates to articulate their ideas directly to the public, which will allow them to become known throughout the entire district.

The winners of the primary will be tasked with unifying their respective parties after a potentially bruising primary, which will be a minimum requirement in order to win a general election.

The political parties seem to have been struggling a bit to push a candidate forward for the special election; this will solve their problems. This process will vet the candidate in the most open manor and by the broadest constituency.

The strongest candidate for every party will survive, so the political parties step out of the way, throw the barn doors open and the allow the process to work. The public will find out the difference between those who are just talk and wanting their names tossed around like a football and those who are serious, willing, capable, and knowledgeable enough to address the issues.

Many say the public will win in this process, lets find out.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Is Darrel Aubertine Shivering?

Darrel could be shivering, but not because he has been outside enjoying ice fishing, walking the dog or shoveling the snow like one of us. It is because he is wondering what the heck just happened and facing a fork in the road where either path can be seen as unpalatable.

The opportunity for the Democrats to take control of the Senate is a very real possibility. Although, not completely buying into the theory the Democrats would gain control for a number of reasons; chief among them is money, campaign funds of $113 million for the GOP to $17 for Democrats, a concern for balanced governing, and now, not the least of which is Governor Spitzer's resignation.

The GOP may have learned a key lesson in the last election and if they had paid close attention to their former colleague New York State Senator James Wright, he often said, "all politics is local" in other words it is about the people, not about the power brokering that occurs in Albany. If they maintain this focus, they will remain in the majority (note to Joe Bruno, that was remaining in the majority, I purposely did not use the word power).

One of the roads for Senator Darrel Aubertine is that he may remain in the minority of the Senate, thus he will be far less effective than he was a majority member of the Assembly. He will be unable to sponsor and pass legislation, such as the preservation of power, that will benefit the north country as he did in the Assembly as well as he will be far less effective in assisting local interests with state funds to further their agendas and missions.

The other road for a conservative Democrat such as Darrel Aubertine is the potential for a liberal agenda of the Democrat's if they do gain the majority of the Senate. When you are the only game in town, you are essentially the good, the bad, and the ugly, this would be the case with a total Democrat controlled State Legislature, and Executive Branch, competition is healthy. The real issue for Darrel if the Democrats gain control will most likely be the slim majority and therefore Darrel will not be let off on some votes, which is political speak for giving a member coverage against political fallout in his or her district on any given vote. Darrel will be faced with votes on issues that he has typically opposed like abortion rights, gay marriage and legislative pay raises as well as he will be facing colleagues such as Senator Parker who in the past has demonstrated a total lack of knowledge of New York State as a whole.

Darrel has gained considerable political knowledge and savvy since first going to the Assembly in 2003, he will need every once of it to maneuver these future situations.

Governor to Resign at 11:30

The AP is reporting the Governor is prepared to step down at 11:30 AM today.

Paterson is urging the Governor to make it effective on Monday so he can prepare for the transition over the weekend.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Eliot's Principle #871

Eliot Spitzer violated his own principle on March 10th with his apathetic apology.

"Never talk when you can nod, and never nod when you can wink, and never write an e-mail because it's death," he said. "You're giving prosecutors all the evidence we need."

The least we know, he talked!

Call It What It Is

Affixing labels to people based on perceived social class, race, gender, or lifestyles is never a good practice for anyone to participate. The residents of the 48th Senate district were casual recipients to candidate branding with such terms as “one of us” and “spoiled rich kid” it is a practice that has a tendency to ricochet.

And so the story goes, the man that made his life and built a career out of righting the wrong and the man that carried more labels than possibly prosecutions as Attorney General. Spitzer just added to his list of labels affixed to him by the media and public, labels that no one would admire such as: Client 9, Luv Guv, Naked Emperor, and Spoiled Rich Kid.

The Republican’s are giddy over this, the Democrats do not know what to think, some are in the bunker protecting him with righteous talk and some abandoning him like a dilapidated dangerous building about to collapse.

The Republicans would be well served to proceed with governing, the issue will take care of itself, and the Democrats would be well served to face reality. This is a disaster of Spitzer’s own making; he set himself up by setting his standards and expectation high. There is no protecting him, it appears that he has knowingly broken the law as well as had a serious ethical lapse.

His actions reflect every negative label affixed to him, it is essentially over for him. Governor Spitzer should resign and allow New York State to move forward with the important task of governing.

Sounds Like A 60 Minutes: Point - Counterpoint Session

Do the Democrats really prefer to do all of their deal making in the back room or in this case the kitchen. This is yet another deal engineered by New York State and St. Lawrence County Democratic Chair June O'Neill. I do not rejoice in taking a swipe at her constantly, but as the saying goes, when they throw you a softball you must hit it out of the park.

It was St. Lawrence County Legislator Sallie Brothers, who is doing June's work to settle the troops down, that made the conflicting statements that just jump out at you. Sallie is trying to remove the harshness of the smoke filled back room deals, by having everyone over to her house for cookies and hot chocolate on a snowy Saturday afternoon.

So here are Sallie Brothers' comments. Is this how the St. Lawrence County Democrats work?

Point - secrecy
"There was no reason for it to be discussed until we got our caucus together and talked about it," said Legislator Sallie A. Brothers, D-Norfolk.

Had it stayed quiet, today's meeting might not have led to Mr. Turbett's ouster, but it now seems inevitable.

...it hasn't gone as planned, the Democrats said.

...expected to meet with him today in private to air grievances and, if necessary, forge an amicable way for him to step down.

It got away from them, however, and became public knowledge that the disgruntled Democrats had enlisted the Legislature's five Republicans as an insurance policy to force Mr. Turbett down if he resisted.

Counterpoint - open government
"I'm upset with the characterization of secretness, because it wasn't how it was supposed to be."
said Legislator Sallie A. Brothers, D-Norfolk.

So, Sallie, first of all, point - counterpoint should be played with two people, not yourself. Secondly, tell us how it should have went and tell us your idea of open government. We are interested in knowing, remember we are one happy family in the 118th Assembly District.

Finally this part here, disgruntled Democrats had enlisted the Legislature's five Republicans as an insurance policy to force Mr. Turbett down if he resisted, conjures up the image that you are a nice elderly lady who invited legislators over to your house on a snowy Saturday afternoon for cookies and hot chocolate and you are holding Turbett hostage with a butter knife, telling him to dance or else.

Com'on St. Lawrence County government has to be better than this.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Effing Steamroller Got Crushed, He Needs to Resign

In the end, it was Spitzer's own doing that brought him down.

The man who made a once promising political career out of his defeating corruption on Wall Street, who as Attorney General was coined "Sheriff of Wall Street", named "Crusader of the Year" by TIME magazine and "Eliot Ness" by major tabloids and roared into the Governor's office with an unprecedented mandate for reform is being humbled by his own short comings and lack of self control for the very crime that he sought out and prosecuted (read carefully, presecuted not prostituted) people.

Watching his news conference, he has not lost his ego, but if you listened closely, "I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family." it sounds like he is going to resign.

The Governor would be well advised to step aside, he was marginally effective after the Troop scandal, he will be totally ineffective as Governor going forward from this point.

One of the public appearances Spitzer cancelled today was a speech to the Family Planning Advocates, imagine the possibilities of that speech.

Here is an excerpt from his inaugural speech.
"Every policy, every action and every decision we make in this administration will further two overarching objectives: We must transform our government so that it is as ethical and wise as all of New York, and we must rebuild our economy so that it is ready to compete on the global stage in the next century".

What do you think he got his wife for Valentine's Day, when he returned from that Washington DC trip?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Slán go fóill

This is a little departure from our mission but something of this significance will grace this blog any day and cause a departure from our intended purpose.

It is with sadness that we tell you Coleman's Corner, as we know it, will close in a little more than a year. A landmark establishment in Watertown with good food, spirits and an affable owner Cari Green.

Coleman's Corner is a quaint little pub, rich in heritage with a friendly hometown atmosphere like you would see on TV, it is Watertown's version of our very own CHEERS. It is a place where truly everybody knows your name.

Cari leased the property from landlord Leo Coleman and she gave him a little more than a year notice that she will vacate the premise in May of 2009, a year shy of a 10 year lease she had on the premise.

The future of Coleman's Corner, as we know it, by all accounts will be different. There are conversations occurring on its future which imply it might be torn down and rebuilt into a night club.

In any event, this local establishment will be greatly missed for its lunches and late night snacks after a trip to the mall or movies.

Please lend your memories and accolades for Cari and her staff.

This is not intended on or being used as an opinion on Leo Coleman, he as well as Cari are well respected business people in the community.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Heeeere's Johnny (And There He Goes)

The Democratic democracy is in action with the 118th Assembly District line up of candidates. A couple of posts ago we mentioned that John Burns was the inside favorite with the support of the top pedigree of the party, Schell and Aubertine, but Johnny lacked the support of queen June O'Neill.

You were not lead astray with our knowledge. Today, an inside source very close to John Burns let us know June is wheeling and dealing with John by dangling the offer of a patronage job in Albany if he would be so kind as to step aside for her candidate.

Who is her candidate? Look no further than the turmoil in St. Lawrence County and take a pick. Current St. Lawrence County Legislature Chairman Patrick Turbett has not played well in the sandbox with the union boss hog Ernie LaBaff and since Ernie is June O'Neill's maker then Turbett must follow the same path as former vice chair Tedra Cobb and be gone! Massena legislator Gregory Paquin appears to be emerging from this as June's selection for the 118th candidate, but not before they absolutely go through some incredible gyration in order to just rankle the base by firing Turbett and putting Paquin in as chair of the legislature.

I honestly did not realize that June O'Neill smoked cigars, played cards and cut deals in the back room like she is just one of the good 'ol boys.

The Republicans will be ecstatic over this maneuvering.

This is almost as good as watching Hillary and Obama fight it out, in their civil war which Hillary wishes to overturn the will of the voters. Only the Hill vs Bama war will last longer, until the Denver convention to be exact but the risks are the same, splitting up the base.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

WFP "Robin Hood Plan" Only Has It Part Right.

Robin Hood, much like the Working Families Party, is seen by some as the champion of the people, fighting corruption while others see an arrogant and headstrong rebel.

The Working Families Party is proposing a tax increase on higher income individuals. Proposing a tax increase for any one is their first mistake.

The Working Families Party is proposing a tax increase on higher income individuals. They are proposing this tax increase to spend more money, thus institutionalizing higher cost of government for us and future generations to pay, this is their second mistake.

Here is the part they got right; offer property tax relief, close the budget gap, prevent taxes from going up and reduce the fare hikes and fees on the middle class.

What is amazing is they fail to see the root cause of the problem in New York State which is SPENDING. Reversing a tax cut which through their rhetoric is masked as an abomination is only their way to a spending frenzy.

What New York needs is more disciplined lawmakers who will spend slightly below the means of New Yorker's ability to pay and help us by building some reserves to usher government through the economic bad times and disciplined lawmakers who quit putting us and the next generation into debt by deficit spending.

We need to elect legislators who have demonstrated they are fiscally responsible with their own money, then we know we can trust them with our money.

I urge Darrel, Dede and 118th Assembly person elect to oppose any tax increase and focus on reducing spending.

Dear Mr. Obama

Please get back on message!

This country does not want 24 years of Bush-Clinton, Clinton-Bush, Bush-Clinton rule. We want to show the 20 somethings that we have other people capable of being President of the United States.

Thank You and Good Luck in Wyoming and beyond.

p.s. We did not share with anyone that Hillary is mathematically toast in the pledged delegate category, http://www.slate.com/features/delegatecounter/ she will have to overturn the will of the voters through the superdelegates in order to secure the nomination, unless she (unlikely) buries you in every remaining primary.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Burns Is Bubbling To The Surface.

Late word today from sources is that John Burns is the heir apparent to the 118th.

John is calling in the family chits, using whatever status he has with the Spitzer administration, Darrel Aubertine and Mike Schell and everything else in his bag to become the "choice" candidate.

Who prevails; Burns with the backing of Spitzer, Schell and Aubertine or Wicke with the O'Neill backing? The inside word is Burns.

"A" Team for the 118th

The respective parties over the next week or so will be boiling down all the interested people for the special election in the 118th Assembly. There is a lot of interest from a lot of people but only a few really have the starter kit of jewelry it takes to become part of the A team.

The Donkeys can post up a list of applicants but really face it, only a couple can make the dash. Burns and Cobb have potential, with Cobb as their best choice.

John Burns' fleeting chance is that he has run a county wide race in Jefferson County and will likely secure the many union's support in St. Lawrence County. The downside for Burns is that he has difficulty constructing a single thought, not articulate on the issues facing Northern New York and he cannot manage any type of business affairs as he has evidenced in the past.

Tedra Cobb on the other hand is very articulate, thoughtful and understands the issues facing the residents and will generally run well in St Lawrence County. The downside for Cobb is that she will not run well down in Jefferson County.

Thus, the Democrats have a choice and have to weigh their options carefully coupled with a lot of money to run the race.

The elephants have their own list of luminaries for the chance to regain "their" (self proclaimed) seat, they consist of Reed and Ritchie with Ritchie being the best choice.

Reed can be seen as the person to win the seat in Jefferson County but ultimately he can not gain enough votes in Jefferson County to overcome the deficit that he will face from the St. Lawrence County outcome. Democrats will be faithful to their party candidate while Republicans are faithful to a person based on parochial parameters.

St. Lawrence County has typically registered 2000 to 3000 more votes in the Assembly races. Ritchie will keep the votes "at home" in St. Lawrence County better this time than she did in 2002 and she will run as well in Jefferson County or even better than she did in 2002. Therefore, given that she only lost to candidate Aubertine by 1200+ votes, who was running for a year before she began to run, she stands the best chance to win the seat.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Memo from McKay to Graham

Frank McKay, who endorsed Jeff Graham for Mayor, even made a trip here from Long Island to attend a rally during the hizzoner's campaign, and who now would just as soon gut Jeff just like a fresh slain deer, is making party rule changes as a result of the recent Senate race.

All Independence Party designations in multi-county races will be made at the state level effective March 9, 2008.

This means the designation for the upcoming 118th race will be made at the state level, not by Jeff Graham. In the Senate race the Oswego County IP committee or better ICO trumped the selection of the Jefferson County committee, but in the 118th race Jefferson County would hold the cards for the selection over St. Lawrence County.

This is not particularly good news for the Democrat in this race, as most likely the state selection will fall to the Republican here.

Jenne-Russell will not seek the seat if John Burns is interested, Tedra Cobb has fallen out of favor with the St. Lawrence County Democrats, the rest appear non-starters except June O'Neill is pushing Wicke forward.

Here are a couple of 118th potential matchups:
Patti Richie vs John Wicke (both St Lawrence County candidates) Patti wins
Phil Reed vs John Burns (both Jefferson County candidates) John Wins

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