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

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SD 48: Ogdensburg Debate

It was a night that started well for everyone with members of the Ogdensburg Free Academy Key Club asking the candidates some questions before turning it over to the audience to ask questions.

The debate was held in Ogdensburg where Darrel Aubertine has been serving the area for 6 years and is heavily populated with his base of union supporters therefore, expectations were for this to be his home turf and a good showing. Although, it was anything but that, it was a pure smack down by the audience who took issue with several of Aubertine's positions. David Renzi drew sharp contrast between his positions and Aubertine's positions. If this were a boxing match, it would have been called early in the second round.

The students started the questioning of the candidates in the area of legal drinking age, enhanced driver's license, education and jobs, followed by an open session of questions from the audience and that is when people challenged Aubertine right from the start.

The first question of the night was regarding Aubertine hiring his sister after he passed the ethics law that prohibited it and whether or not he returned the money she earned after it was discovered by others he violated the ethics law. He described the hiring as an "error in judgment" and as soon as he recognized it she tendered her resignation and she did not return the money earned.

Then the lights went out, figuratively speaking. A parent of a special needs student from Carthage attended the debate and pointedly put Aubertine on the spot for his staff scheduling a meeting between the person and Aubertine at Aubertine's office and then Aubertine was a no show. The person was emotional and visibly upset and for the right reason, he was ultimately defending his child. He proceeded to call upon Aubertine's staff to respond when Aubertine had no answer on why he missed the meeting. The person would continue to heckle Aubertine throughout the night before leaving the debate while continuing to express his frustrations at Aubertine on his way out the door for Aubertine's lack of constituent services.

The next hot button issue came when someone asked Aubertine and Renzi if elected officials should be voting for windmills when they will benefit financially. Aubertine unequivocally said they should be allowed to vote just as if they were voting on their local budget. This drew a sharp response from Renzi when he correctly pointed out the difference between certain individual's financial gain and everyone paying taxes.

The standard reform topic hit the runway for the candidates with Darrel Aubertine giving an answer by speaking of non-partisan politics in one sense and then telling people if they want change it needs to be a Democratic controlled Senate. Again, it is necessary to remind people, a Democratically controlled Assembly that he was a member of for 5 years is anything but functioning properly. Renzi again drew a sharp response by saying this is not about political power, special interests or Albany bosses that he was a strong minded individual and for him it is about the people and being effective.     

The real head scratcher for the night came when Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson spoke about the importance of the Empire Zone and the proposal of the Empire Zone reform to eliminate housing and asked for the candidates' positions. Darrel Aubertine cleared danced on this issue and blatantly was not forthright to the public. This is the legislation where not too long ago spokesman Drew Mangione commented about hoping that after it passed both houses (with Aubertine's support) it would not make it to the Governor's desk, like it would disappear on the way or something. In the end, the Governor saved the day and vetoed the legislation.

The night clearly belonged to Renzi.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

For once, Darrel has been forced into a corner and made to answer tough questions about his record. He couldn't handle it.

With more dabets on tap, it's clear Darrel is going to have sharpen his answers -- or start to sharpen his attack on non-incumbent Renzi.

I think Team Aubertine is huddling right now, mixing the mud and prepping the first personal, non-issue attacks of the race, just like in February.

Anonymous said...

He answered the questions and didn't skirt them like Renzi did on the Hotline when asked where his funding was coming from. If Renzi does get elected and the State control goes Democratic then Renzi will be in the same boat as Darrel when it comes to the next election. I assume you will all be voting against Renzi in the next election should that happen, right???

Dan Francis said...

Clearly the night DID NOT belong to Renzi - the issue of raising the minimum wage was weak and out of step with the majority of hard-working people up here and across NYS...

He answer was the standard GOP response: it hurts business...

What businesses: AIG, Merrill-Lynch, Countrywide, Bear Stearns, et al - the list is long - where the top rapes the bottom in income and salary as CEO's rake in millions for losing billions and then EXPECT the public (that same hardworking low-income, parttime public to pick up the tab?)

You even astonish me, IV, with your belief in that issue ...

The GOP will lose on this issue if the DEMS hit them hard on it...

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan,

The night did belong to Renzi. Especially when they got to the EDZ question. Aubertine is weak when forced to answer had question.

Don't get me wrong. Renzi had some issues in his delivery, but in substance he out performed Aubertine

Anonymous said...

Dan Francis should stop commenting on this and any other issue. You sir need to go away. I dare you to actually look up the facts regarding who earns the minimum wage in this country. Naming the Co's you did proves your idiocy. Those jobs are for high school kids and the mentally disabled. One cannot support a family on these monies and isn't expected too. Anyone who tries is on govt support anyway. Have you ever taken a minute to look at the people who are serving you on your frequent trips to McD's? Raising the minimum wage does in fact take those jobs away or moves them under the table and out of our tax system. I don't believe you have ever made a point on this forum that was based on any fact or consensus from people who have working brains. turn your computer off and read a book. the world would be a better place. When you write that stuff some people might actually think you have some idea what you are saying. NO MORE COMMENTING PLEASE. Your ineffectual candidate is 0 for 39 in bills. That is because he has no juice. Other Demos were able to get bills through. Ofer,zero,nada. Cannot do the job. Imagine the horror if the Senate doesn't flip. I hear it is 50-50 at best. Under that circumstance we have a senator who is hated by one side and ignored/laughed at by his own. Mr.Renzi has no enemies(other than loser demos here) on either side and qualified to do the actual work of a senator with his previous work experience/education. If Darrel cared he wouldn't put this circumstance to risk and would drop out of the campaign. There are demo's here who could do this job but not him. Anyone who says I am angry is absolutly correct and they should be too.

Anonymous said...

Dan Francis should stop commenting on this and any other issue. You sir need to go away. I dare you to actually look up the facts regarding who earns the minimum wage in this country. Naming the Co's you did proves your idiocy. Those jobs are for high school kids and the mentally disabled. One cannot support a family on these monies and isn't expected too. Anyone who tries is on govt support anyway. Have you ever taken a minute to look at the people who are serving you on your frequent trips to McD's? Raising the minimum wage does in fact take those jobs away or moves them under the table and out of our tax system. I don't believe you have ever made a point on this forum that was based on any fact or consensus from people who have working brains. turn your computer off and read a book. the world would be a better place. When you write that stuff some people might actually think you have some idea what you are saying. NO MORE COMMENTING PLEASE. Your ineffectual candidate is 0 for 39 in bills. That is because he has no juice. Other Demos were able to get bills through. Ofer,zero,nada. Cannot do the job. Imagine the horror if the Senate doesn't flip. I hear it is 50-50 at best. Under that circumstance we have a senator who is hated by one side and ignored/laughed at by his own. Mr.Renzi has no enemies(other than loser demos here) on either side and qualified to do the actual work of a senator with his previous work experience/education. If Darrel cared he wouldn't put this circumstance to risk and would drop out of the campaign. There are demo's here who could do this job but not him. Anyone who says I am angry is absolutly correct and they should be too.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that the disabled janitor at the companies that idiot mentioned make $12/hour due to the fact that they are based in NYC/Dallas etc. I sir am astonished that you would write this and then put your name to it again! Go anon so at least i don't have to get worked up. I am going to bed and i better not see your mug on any more of this stuff. I have a can of silly string and I am not afraid to use it. sleep well world.

Anonymous said...

This was a TKO for Dave Renzi! I attended this debate and Mr. Aubertine was stunned by each of the hard issues. I liked how Daryl handled the Windmill issue. I did not excuse myself from this vote because it is just like voting on the budget, WRONG the budget effects everyone, the Windmill is a win fall for you and a few others. This is the first time Daryl has had to answer the tough questions, now I see why he avoids them.
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