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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Too Much Schumer

Governor Blazes New Trails

Governor Paterson (while helping other candidates is another on the list of no shows for Aubertine) continues to blaze new trails in management and directing government operations.

Two items that would go a long way to reforming government would be a periodic requirement to do zero based budgeting and a review of provisions for core services.

Government tends to become unwieldy over time and with the passing of several politicians through office who desire to curry favor with various constituencies it morphs into something that is not its original mission.

Governor Paterson has directed every state agency to review its core mission.

Read Here
"Governor Paterson believes that given our current fiscal crisis, we simply cannot continue this kind of budgetary inertia.  As such, he has directed his agencies to help separate the critical functions of state government from those that we can no longer afford."

Keep up the good work Governor, it is healthy for organizations to gain an introspective view of their operations. Local governments should follow the Governor's lead.  

Ogdensburg Journal - "Vote Renzi For Senate"

The Ogdensburg Journal editorial endorsement of Dave Renzi touched on several items that have also been highlighted here during Darrel Aubertine's brief but tumultuous tenure as a Senator.

The editorial highlighted:

Empire Zone - Aubertine voted for an Empire Zone measure that directly contradicted the desires of Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham, Ogdensburg Mayor Bill Nelson and an earlier editorial written in the Ogdensburg Journal. The Senator had to reverse his position and later called for the Governor to veto the bill that he supported.

Wind - contrary to the Attorney General and ethics rulings, Aubertine continues to believe local officials should vote on wind energy projects even if they stand to benefit financially.

Ethics Law - Aubertine hired his sister, which was in direct violation of legislation that he co-sponsored.

From the editorial, "We need an advocate in Albany, not an apologist."

Click on the editorial to the right to read it.

News Release On Wind

The news release was worthy of posting as received and here are some random thoughts that go along with the news release.
  • The Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo has been actively campaigning for Senate Democratic candidates across New York State, but he has not made an appearance for Darrel Aubertine!
  • Why has Aubertine refused full disclosure on his contracts? There should be nothing to hide and if he believes in reform then full disclosure should be the rule. Yes, they are proprietary like he states, but he is an elected official and his contract with the company should not be any different than other landowners who have contracts with the same company. 
As an elected official, he has different obligations than the general public and he has already violate his obligations by voting on wind power legislation in the Assembly, which he should recuse himself from and the letter encouraging others to violate the ethics decision of the county was wrong.  


Guidelines were prompted by reports of corruption involving officials with financial stake

State Senate candidate Dave Renzi today praised state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for his announcement of a new "Wind Industry Ethics Code" designed to stop corruption by requiring greater transparency and disclosure by public officials who have personal stakes in wind turbine projects.

Among the provisions of the Attorney General's Wind Industry Ethics Code is the requirement that public officials disclose dealings with wind companies, including making public the details of contracts by filing them with the local County Clerk.

"Wind power promises to play a major part in our nation's effort to wean us from foreign oil, protect our environment, and help create an entire industry and jobs revolving around green energy," said Renzi. "But sadly this nascent industry has been tainted by scandal and questions of unethical self-dealing involving elected officials across the state."

"We need to hold our government leaders to a higher ethical standard. That's why I am urging my opponent today, in the spirit of this new Code of Ethics, to release the full details of his secret wind energy contracts, so that voters and local residents can judge for themselves if he has acted appropriately and in compliance with the law in his dealings with these companies," said Renzi.

Attorney General Cuomo's Wind Industry Code of Ethics sprung from his investigation into whether companies and public officials may have acted improperly in relation to wind power projects.

Darrel Aubertine has been accused of using his public position to improperly influence local actions involving a wind farm project in his hometown, Cape Vincent. Aubertine holds contracts with at least one wind company—worth as much as $100,000 a year, according to a report in the Syracuse Post-Standard.

But Aubertine repeatedly has refused to release the details of his contracts, or fully explain his dealings with the companies, concerning his secret deal.

The Code prohibits gifts from wind power companies to elected officials, requires companies to publish the names of all public officials with a financial stake in their projects and requires that all leases and easements for wind power be filed with the County Clerk.

Aubertine has filed two "memoranda of leases" with the Jefferson County Clerk for possible wind turbines on his property, but these contain almost no information about his financial stake in the project.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Head Over Heels In Debt

The state is head over heels in debt, so why would anyone expect the campaign funds that drive these people into office to be any different.

The State Senate Democratic committee is borrowing their way into office by tapping a line of credit for $600,000. The loan is personally guaranteed by the members of the Democratic minority. What is your portion of that debt Darrel?

Read the report here

Dick Morris Quote

"The banks have, effectively, been nationalized. How will government use its power over them? This new reality, coupled with Obama’s professed pursuit of “social and political justice” through “redistribution of the wealth,” is enough to send a shiver down the spine of those who embrace the free market as the key to economic growth."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Counties Cashing In On Gasoline

Sales tax collections for the majority of counties across the state were up considerably in the 3rd quarter due to the increase in the price of gasoline. Jefferson County's sales tax for the same period was flat as they do not collect sales tax on gasoline priced above $2.00 a gallon.

Here are some highlights from Press Connects
"Despite the economic downturn, counties in New York averaged a 3.5 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the third quarter of the year, fueled in part by higher gas prices last summer."
"The amount counties collect in sales tax revenue is vital for them to pay for services and programs. Since 1999, taxes collected on sales of goods and services have surpassed the property tax as the largest revenue source for counties."
"State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli earlier this year warned counties that a downturn in sales-tax revenue is likely, and counties said they are preparing their budgets now with lower sales-tax growth projections."
This is not the only source of revenue that is jeopardized by the current economic conditions. state and federal revenues are going to take a hit, not only in 2009, but likely through 2012. Local governments, such as the County and Towns, who are preparing their budgets, would be wise to plan now for what the future might hold for them. 

Gun Owners - Pay Attention - This is HUGE!!!!

Dave Renzi has been speaking of protecting the rights of gun owners and how a Republican majority has steadfastly stood in the way of any infringement of those rights.

Further he has stated rights of gun owners will erode with a Democratic majority in the Senate.


New Yorkers Against Gun Violence and GunFreeKids.org, are both expected to endorse democratic senators Suzi Oppenheimer and Andrea Stewart-Cousins in their re-election campaigns today.

Oppenheimer is running against Larchmont Republican mayor Liz Feld in the state’s 37th district and Stewart Cousins is running against Yonkers Republican councilman John Murtagh in the 35th district.

The anti-gun groups issued a joint statement about the two democratic candidates saying “For almost a decade, the leadership in the State Senate has blocked passage of common sense gun legislation. The success of these two re-election campaigns are a critical component to ensuring the Senate acts to pass important bills in the near future, including, micro-stamping and improved regulations on gun dealers.”

Margin of Error Race

The political races appear to be tightening up and they have moved into the margin of errors.

The report on the 48th Senate race is that the internal polls of the campaigns are within the margin of error. This is serious momentum for the Renzi campaign if in fact the Siena poll was correct when it reported him to be down by double digits.

Meanwhile, the Presidential race has entered into the margin of error territory in the polls. Gallup tracking of most likely voters is at Obama 49% to McCain 47%, while Rasmussen Reports has the race at 50% to 47%.

The Charge Is Back On

It was beginning to look like the campaigns were going to pussy foot their way down the final stretch to the finish line; cordial debate last night and soft commercials, but Renzi charges it up for the final push. There is only one reason opponents do not like hard charging commercials - if they cannot defend them!

New TV and radio spots


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Robo Call

Here is a robo call that might catch you off guard a bit.

See the report here

New Numbers - Roll'em

The New York State budget is like watching a telethon where Jerry Lewis periodically looks at Ed McMahon and says "roll'em." Every time we turn around the Governor is rolling out new deficit numbers.

Today according to his news release, the Governor promised, "There is no segment of this budget that will not be cut." The picture for New York is grim; 160,000 jobs gone, this year's deficit has now approached $1.5 billion while next year's deficit is $12.50 billion and the year following next is $15.8 billion. This is all due to a decrease in revenue and double the rate of inflation SPENDING increases that cannot be sustained while at the same time New York has been managed so fiscally tight that there are no reserves to weather this economic downturn. 


Post Standard Editorial Board Tapes Interviews

Congressman McHugh was successful in securing the endorsement of the Post Standard. Below are the opening remarks from both candidates. It would have been nice to be able to watch the entire interview, but this is a start. The newspapers advocate for transparency, it is counter productive to conduct candidate interviews under the cloak of secrecy.

McHugh (R) vs. Oot (D)

Golisano and Responsible NY Ad

This is an ad produced by Responsible NY, Tom Golisano's grubby paw PAC. It would be safe to say he needs a new creative ad guy.

State Democratic Party Tactics

This was a tactic of the State Democratic Party in a Long Island congressional race. 

It would be interesting to see Ted Ford or Drew Mangione dressed like this promoting Darrel Aubertine's farming background or perhaps Addie Jenne Russell, she is promoting her farming background also.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Political Cartoon

Another cartoon emailed in tonight.

By The Numbers

Senate District 48:  by the numbers post by LoHud

2008: 50,275 vs. 2006: 51,069

2008: 79,500 vs. 2006: 85,049

2008: 36,545 vs. 200: 37,475

Bullshit Meter Tilts

Aubertine held a meet and greet in Alex Bay yesterday and some things he said in the "you tube" clip sent the bullshit meter into tilt territory.

First, he makes light of Renzi's ad, but obviously it is effective and is having an impact and it is dangerous to understimate its impact. 

Second, he states his campaign has stayed focused on the issues and has been not "throwing stones at the other guy." Hard to believe he even uttered those words with a straight face and worse yet maybe the people believed him.

Third, he takes a shot at Senator Wright and implies he was not present in Oswego County while he represented them. Aubertine states it like he is a gift to Oswego County by attending dinners and doing door to door. It would be a safe venture to say Darrel never did door to door in any election unless he was opposed, and you can be assured Wright maintained his presences in Oswego County or he would have ran into opposition in his many years, you do not survive by ignoring your constituents.

Ahhh, political rhetoric at its best. 

See the clip here

The Guns Come Calling

It is crunch time in races around the state and the big guns will be making appearances.

Buffalo area Congressional and State Senate candidates are rolling out Senator Clinton and then Governor David Patterson according to the Buffalo News.

According to Poststar Rudy Giuliani is being rolled out for Sandy Treadwell in the 20th Congressional seat race.

Sen. Chuck Schumer campaigned with Democratic Senate candidate Joe Addabbo and Brian Foley.

The B team of Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli have been out gripping and grinning also.

For those of you who believe all politics is local, this likely does not impress you and for those of you who are star struck by an appearance of Clinton, Schumer, et al. then you will have your cameras and autograph pens ready for an announcement. 

Zogby This Morning

This is a direct lift:

Zogby Double Whammy: Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby National and Battleground States Polls

Breaking News Story #1 - Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby Poll: Obama Lead Holds Steady

Obama 49.9%, McCain 45.1%

UTICA, New York—Democrat Barack Obama’s lead over Republican John McCain is holding steady, the latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby national daily tracking poll shows.

The race now stands at 49.9% to 45.1% in favor of Obama. Obama now leads McCain by 4.8 points, compared to 5.3 points in yesterdays report.

Obama leads among independents by 13 points, those who have already voted by 24 points, new voters by 27 points, Hispanics by 48 points and Catholics by 13 points.

McCain holds a slight 2-point lead among men and has increased his lead among white voters to 13 points.

Breaking News Story #2 - Reuters/Zogby Battleground Surveys: Obama Leads in 6 of 8 States, Most By Very Small Margins

Obama Ahead in FL, MO, NV, NC, OH & VA

UTICA, New York—Reuters/Zogby telephone surveys of eight battleground states show Democrat Barack Obama ahead in six. While his lead over Republican John McCain is less than three points in Florida, Missouri and North Carolina, these results still point out the daunting task McCain faces to reach the 270 Electoral College votes needed for election.

The surveys were conducted from Oct. 23-26. Sample sizes in each state ranged from 600-603, with a margin of error of +/-4.1%.

In addition to the states listed above, Obama also leads in Ohio, Nevada and Virginia. McCain leads in Indiana and West Virginia.

Pollster John Zogby: “McCain is well within striking distance in each of the six  states in which he trails. None of Obama's leads are outside the margin of error. However, unless McCain can take one of the big states won by John Kerry in 2004, such as Pennsylvania, he needs to win these six states. He might be able to survive the loss of Nevada, but probably not any of the others.”

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What's At Stake

This is a lift from The Valley News, written by Vice President Ronald Caravan which pretty much sums up what is at stake here with a Democratic monopoly of state government. He did omit one important item, reapportionment of the Assembly, Senate and Congressional seats. Congress McHugh's seat and representation of the North Country will be at stake in this election as well.
"With a Democrat governor and Democrats perpetually in control of the State Assembly, control of the Senate is definitely the elephant in the room where state-government elections are concerned this year, and the potential consequences of granting the Democrats a monopoly may not be weighing on the minds of voters as much as it should."
"In New York State government, with so much power vested in just three elected officials—the governor, the Assembly speaker, and the Senate majority leader—if the Republicans lose the Senate majority and Democrats possess all three of the power positions, the road will be wide open for an even more leftward tilt in Albany and big-government legislation (higher spending) that favors New York City and downstate interests over upstate."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Renzi Commercial

Great new commercial from the Renzi campaign. It is a sincere message from David Renzi, he speaks with passion.

Don't Follow His Lead

Darrel Aubertine used the people of Fulton and A.L. Lee Memorial hospital for political purposes, trying for a quick attempt at success in Oswego County after he won the special election, but Aubertine did not properly assess the situation and has miserably failed by not dealing with reality and misleading the people of that community.

In June of this year, he announced a deal with Oswego Health to keep Lee Hospital open, although, Oswego Health had no idea of the Senator's announcement. The Senator filmed a "You Tube" clip promoting a pending deal and followed that up with a news release. He has shamefully used the hospital and community in his campaign mailings and TV commercials. He used the situation for political gain instead of doing what needed to be done and assisting the facility for transition.

The Health Department has made numerous remarks to the contrary and today The Valley News online reports according to Health department director of Public Affairs Claudia Hutton, failure to deal in reality has cost the hospital funding.

From The Valley News

Because most hospitals that were mandated to close or change the scope of operations complied within the one-year deadline, those facilities were granted closure/conversion funds earlier, leaving those who did not originally apply with less, she said.

“They are receiving about one-third of what was requested,” Ms. Hutton said. “There’s only so much money.”
Still more evidence that Aubertine simply does not understand the issues and the job, from the article.
State Senator Darrel Aubertine’s recent campaign flyers (sic) have suggested that the hospital will remain open. “Protected 200 jobs at Lee Memorial Hospital by standing up to the government bureaucrats and getting the job done,” the flyer states.

His office did not respond to requests for comment, however, when asked following the recent debate held in Fulton if the campaign material was misleading the community into believing that the hospital would remain open, Aubertine said no.“I saved it,” he said.

Read the entire article here

Lee Memorial awarded funding for closure costs

Independence - Not For Aubertine

Darrel Aubertine accepted $5,000.00 from Tom Golisano and his PAC, Responsible NY, which is under investigation in western New York for possible election violations.

Responsible NY is required by law to remain independent of candidates and have no coordinated effort with campaigns and when a check was discovered that contained the word "consulting" on the memo line the Board of Elections launched an investigation.

Aubertine also received $7,500 from minority leader Malcolm Smith and $210,000 income from State committee. See Aubertine filing here.

Interesting to note Mr. Aubertine does most of his office supply shopping out of the area instead of using local vendors who employ local people, while Mr. Renzi buys local according to his filing. 

Candidates that are up by the margins reported for Aubertine usually contribute to other candidates around the state.


GOP Fall Dinner

They warmed the crowd and prepared them for the next 11 days of what promises to be hard fought battles. The GOP fall dinner was held Friday night at Bonnie Castle and the enthusiastic supporters came out to greet Senate candidate David Renzi, Assembly candidate Bobby Cantwell, Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, State Supreme Court candidate Tom Cerio and Congressman John McHugh.

Dede delivers a wholehearted, full throttle endorsement of the state candidates David Renzi and Bobby Cantwell. Dede even followed the theme Ted Ford used today on Danger Democrat (see "Me Too" here) that Bobby Cantwell can be effective as a Minority member in the New York State Assembly, just like she has been able to (and Ted Ford attested) do for the North Country.

"Bobby Cantwell can make a difference and don't let anyone tell you different," said Scozzafava.

David Renzi approached the podium to a standing ovation and spoke eloquently about what it means for the North Country to maintain a check and balance in New York State government and to have a member of the majority. He spoke of; 2nd Amendment rights, the love of hunting and fishing in the North Country and a very under the radar issue that people need to be aware of - reapportionment of legislative seats including retaining Congressman McHugh's seat.

John McHugh was his usual fluent orator mixing humor, forcefulness and sub stance while speaking about the differences between the candidates from the Pr esidential rac e through to the Assembly races. McHugh has never been at a loss for a little humor s o he brought along a friend and used him for dual purpose prop. First, to poke a little fun at MSM for their fixation on a skeleton that appeared in his campaign ad and secondly, to illustrate what people may resemble after the Democratic Congress gets done picking the meat off the bones.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bobby Lights the Lamp in the 118th

Bobby Cantwell has issued a strong strike at his opponent for her latest campaign commercial, which the ad according to Cantwell displays British medals not U.S.

A service veteran more than likely noticed it during an airing of the commercial and alerted the Cantwell campaign of the alleged mistake.

From the press release.

“Mrs. Russell doesn’t get it that these medals are not just interchangeable campaign props – they represent the love, devotion and courage that our veterans – America’s real heroes – have shown for our great country,” said Kramer.

Golisano Too Involved

Golisano crossed the line and jeopardizes Joe "Baby" Mesi's election. Golisano's PAC Responsible NY may have breached the independent clause that is required by law.

Video from WGRZ, Buffalo, NY, watch Mesi squirm a bit at the end when confronted with the check.

The Light Shines In

It is appropriate to shed a little light on the town lawyer issue and the extremely misleading information being disseminated by Darrel Aubertine.
An article in Talk of the Towns legal experts take issue with the decisions by state officials.  Here are some of the highlights of the article.
"Countless attorneys have accepted part-time municipal employment, at low salaries, in part because would earn credit in the State's retirement system. Many municipalities have knowingly and deliberately, to save (taxpayer) money, employed those part-time attorneys and legally enrolled them in the retirement system"
"If the Attorney General prevails, municipalities could face significant increases in legal fees."
"The initial determination as to whether an individual falls into 'employee' or 'independent contractor' status is left up to the employer."
"Comptroller's Rules and Regulations have historically stated that set hours are not required where employment is obtained by election or appointment. Positions such as part time attorneys physicians, and engineers, generally require appointment by the governing board of a town. Moreover, these positions are normally filled by individuals who also work in private practice."
A local person, who handles the finances of several towns and villages throughout Jefferson County said, "they are nitpicking, it is a widely acceptable practice that knows no partisan lines."

Only as of June 2008 did the Comptroller's office define the Rules and Regulations of the term "employee" and prior to that neither did Retirement and Social Security Law. Since, the Comptroller's office has defined 'employee' and 'independent contractor' and have developed guidelines for local governments to follow in its certification determination.

There is a distinct difference in the two situations facing the candidates.

In the case of David Renzi, there were no laws or guidelines developed and as they are developed, pension credits will be wiped out by the Comptroller for any professional hired by local governments that is outside the guidelines. This is why Aubertine spokesman Cort Ruddy used the term "deferred," it is not and never will be a situation of theft. If the Comptroller's office does their job all pension credits that have been issued before the guidelines were established will be eliminate through the audit process. Mr. Ruddy acknowledged the fact Renzi did nothing wrong when he carefully selected the word he used, "deferred."

On the other hand, Mr. Aubertine's situation there was a law already in place, which he co-sponsored and voted for, therefore he broke a law, which is a huge difference in the two scenarios.

Morning Zogby

Everyday PIV receives an update on the presidential race from Zogby International.

Here is today's version.

Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby Poll: Obama 51.3%, McCain 41.0%

McCain stops his slide

UTICA, New York— Democrat Barack Obama retained a double-digit lead over Republican John McCain, but McCain has stopped his four-day slide, the latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily tracking poll shows.

The poll, a three-day rolling average survey of likely voters nationwide, shows that Obama continues to dominate among independent voters—he leads by a 56% to 30% margin over McCain among those voters—and among those who have already cast their ballots. Those who have already voted now comprise more than 10% of the Zogby sample, and Obama holds a 20-point lead in that category. Among those who are new voters—registering in the last 6 months—the Democrat holds a 69% to 26% edge over McCain.
Obama leads among women, 58% to 38%, and McCain and Obama are tied among male voters. Obama continues to lead among voters of all ages.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Golisano - Money Laundering

Golisano - Money Laundering

The State Board of Elections - both Republican and Democrat
commissioners - are looking into to possible money laundering. They
have launched an investigation.

A Little Humor

Spread the Weatlh, The Democrat's Theme

As of November 5, 2008, when President Obama is officially elected into office, our company will instill a few new policies which are in keeping with his new, inspiring issues of change and fairness:

1. All salespeople will be pooling their sales and bonuses into a common pool that will be divided equally between all of you.  This will serve to give those of you who are underachieving a “fair shake.”

2. All low level workers will be pooling their wages, including overtime, into a common pool, dividing it equally amongst yourselves.  This will help those who are “too busy for overtime” to reap the rewards from those who have more spare time and can work extra hours.

3. All top management will now be referred to as “the government.”  We will not participate in this “pooling” experience because the law doesn't apply to us.

4. The “government” will give eloquent speeches to all employees every week, encouraging it's workers to continue to work hard “for the good of all.”

5. The employees will be thrilled with these new policies because it's “good to spread the wealth.”  Those of you who have underachieved will finally get an opportunity; those of you who have worked hard and had success will feel more “patriotic.”

6. The last few people who were hired should clean out their desks.  Don't feel bad, though, because President Obama will give you free healthcare, free handouts, free oil for heating your home, free food stamps, and he'll let you stay in your home for as long as you want even if you can't pay your mortgage.  If you appeal directly to our democratic congress, you might even get a free flatscreen TV and a coupon for free haircuts (shouldn't all Americans be entitled to nice looking hair?) !!!

If for any reason you are not happy with the new policies,  you may want to rethink your vote on  November 4th.

New Ad - One of us? Really?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Aubertine vs. Ethics AGAIN

Darrel Aubertine's ethical judgment has been a centerpiece of the 48th district Senate race. Again, Aubertine comes toe to toe with ethics and again he comes up on the short side.

A letter to the Town Board of Cape Vincent written personally by Aubertine states; 
"While some may feel that these elected officials should abstain from voting on this matter, my belief is that they should not ... I feel it is ethically proper that in this case all board members should vote on the issue at hand." This is the direct opposite of an opinion by the Jefferson County Board of Ethics.

Even after the Board of Ethics opinion, and in this campaign as recently as last week, Aubertine has consistently said voting on an issue that will provide personal financial benefit to an elected official and voting on a budget that taxes everyone fairly is the same thing. Clearly, he is misguided, one is a conflict while the other is not.

It is the MO of the wind power companies to deal with landowners and get signed contracts prior to working with local governments to establish proper approvals and zoning. It is their intention that the lure of money is enough to blur the lines and set aside your responsibilities as an elected official. The public can decide if that is the right or wrong approach.  

Important to note, Renzi has supported alternative energy sources, such as wind, with a proper process in place. 

Here is the letter. 

Bradley Effect

The Bradley effect may be playing into pre-election polling and certainly has major news outlets concerned about exit polling.

PIV did a post on the Bradley effect in May, see it here

The Bradley effect is a so called tendency of poll respondents to overstate their support for a black candidate thereby skewing the pre-election polling. The Bradley effect is a documented effect on polling in biracial contests that have occurred in previous election contests. It received its tag after a gubernatorial election in California, which Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an African American, was leading in polls just days before the election and lost.

Politico has a story today on over polling with the excerpt below, read it here
Respected polling analyst Mark Blumenthal found that during the Democratic primaries this year, preliminary exit polls overestimated Obama's strength in 18 of 20 states, by an average error of 7 percentage points, based on leaked early results.

Cantwell Launches Ad

The Cantwell campaign has introduced a new TV commercial.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Time Out

It is appropriate for a time out in the Senate race and for the campaigns to recess to their respective offices, take a deep breath and relax for a moment.

The saying; if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around does it make a sound, is applicable here. If the two campaigns keep battling foolish issues back and forth and no one is paying attention, does it matter. NO, so stop already.

Nepotism is a legitimate issue given the circumstances of Darrel Aubertine's vote and the fact that his hiring practices violated the law, as well, A.L Lee Memorial Hospital, the state budget crisis, nuclear and wind power are among valid issues. Darrel Aubertine is an incumbent he has a record, which is susceptible to being questioned and his campaign needs to understand that fact. 

The contracts are legitimate issues, but that was contracts with an "s", plural - contracts. If Aubertine even slightly expects Renzi to release any information regarding his private employment, then Aubertine cannot with a straight face sit there and tell people his wind contracts are proprietary, like he did last week. He has voted on wind power legislation at the state level, which presents a conflict of interest with a big fat "C."

As far as the sign issue goes, get over it both sides and move on! No one give a rat's a.s" about your signs, each of the campaigns have eager workers and sh.t happens. No one did anything wrong by attending an opponent's rally and leaving with signs and material that was given to them, other than use poor judgment.

To each campaign - stay on your own side of the barbed wire fence, play nice and direct the issues at the voters not at each other, no one is in your forest right now listening to trees fall!

Ok For Obama, But Not Bush

VEEP candidate Joe Biden made some unsettling predictions yesterday.
“Mark my words,”
“It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate,” 
“And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you - not financially to help him - we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”
Strange, how Biden is setting the stage for us to stand with Obama, yet the same understanding is not afforded our current President.
Hey Joe, we should stand with our President during an international crisis, not matter who the President is. 

A Couple of New Ads

and and one more

Red Ink

The state government is facing more red ink than originally anticipated, which will make it the second, third or perhaps fourth time the state officials have underestimated the deficit. The budget is just like a good Timex it keeps on ticking, like a bomb.

For the gift the keeps on giving, the oringinal amount the Governor wanted to cut was $600 million and only reached $400 million, then it was predicted the deficit would reach $1 billion, then $1.2 billion and ta da, now it is $2 billion according to the Governor.

This comment by the Governor signals the major portions of the budget, school aid and health care cost, need to be cut. “Obviously, we are going to have to look at our greatest spending areas and try to reduce them,” Paterson said according to the Bloomberg wire service. 

All of this because our state government lives too close to the edge, spends too much and has no ability to embrace a economic downturn. We need people in Albany who understand budgets and finances. 

Monday, October 20, 2008

Hey Darrel You Missed One

NYSUT has reversed their position on endorsements. They "suspended" their endorsements over the tax cap debate, but now they are back into the political fray.

Strangely enough, they endorsed their usual slate of incumbents both Democrats and Republicans and they have always been big supporters of Darrel Aubertine.

Oops not this time the only Democrat left off their list was Aubertine.

*Note to his supporters, do not attempt to tell people it is because he is gaining his independence. He is tied so tight to unions that he bleeds special interest, he takes special interest positions over farming interest.*
Here is the list


Powell Endorsed Obama

Carthage Central School 12 Honors Class Meet and Greet

The 12 Honors Class of Carthage High School will host a Meet and Greet town hall style meeting with Dave Renzi tonight October 20th at 7:00pm, Village of West Carthage Community Room.

Everyone is welcome.

Darrel Aubertine was offered the same opportunity, at first he did not respond, then after prompting his campaign responded but a date has not been set by Aubertine campaign yet.

(Hint Hint: the Election is in two weeks)


This is Darrel Aubertine in June of this year taking political advantage of a dire situation surrounding A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital in Fulton.

Then he features Lee Memorial Hospital again in his campaign TV ad saying he saved jobs, then it is included in a mailer (see below) which proves this is poor posturing for political purposes.

If you read The Valley News article over the weekend on Lee Hospital (see it here) Aubertine has not been effective and there is no pretense here about staying open and he should stop using the hospital as an example.

This is a lift from the article where Claudia Hutton from DOH is commenting.
She added, “The reasons for the Berger mandate have not changed. Fulton’s population continues to shrink. A.L. Lee has low utilization as a hospital and is only 12 miles away from Oswego Hospital, a larger, more modern, and more sophisticated facility than A.L. Lee. Oswego Hospital is also in better financial shape. A.L. Lee has been unable to present the health department with any studies attesting that the community needs it to remain an acute-care hospital.

“We don’t expect A.L. Lee to remain status quo, so we don’t expect that our award to Oswego Hospital will drop in size,” she continued. “This is not cash we’re giving away. It’s funding that will be paid out under a contract Oswego Hospital will sign jointly with the state Health Department to reimburse them for construction and related costs for their emergency-department modernization.”
Someone please define "Still one of us"

From The 20th Congressional Race

The 20th Congressional seat is a hotly contested race between Sandy Treadwell and Kirsten Gillibrand. The campaign has taken a turn toward the issue of big tobacco, who Gillibrand represented while in private practice at the same time the execs were claiming tobacco was not addictive. This weekend the college Republicans got involved and only they are willing to make things interesting in every way.

(side note the student is from Clarkson University in Potsdam)

Here is their presser and pictures received. 

CR's Look Into Gillibrand Tobacco Connections

For Immediate Release
New York College Republican State Committee
September 19, 2008
Contact Austin Cheung: (PIV removed the email address)

Clifton Park, NY: This weekend some New York College Republicans decided to see how easy it would be to get Democrat Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to represent "Big Tobacco".  In a 7-foot tall costume a brave College Republican ventured into enemy territory to "look for some legal help". As much as he tried he was unable to find out how much she charges these days.

Kirsten Gillibrand spent YEARS representing Tobacco Giant Philip Morris while she worked for a Manhattan Law firm for over $300 per hour. As a congressional candidate she has taken over $23,000 from Big Tobacco.

"Gillibrand spent years defending Big Tobacco while they were claiming that nicotine is not addictive. Then as a congressional candidate she takes tens of thousands of dollars from the Tobacco industry. This goes to show that we cannot trust her judgment and the 20th Congressional District Needs new representation," said Josh Caprood a student at Clarkson University and a Glens Falls Resident.

Interesting Comparison

Pull out of Iraq?   Perhaps the U.S. should pull out of Chicago?
Body count: In the last six months:
292 killed (murdered) in Chicago;
221 killed in Iraq.
Chicago.... Who Runs it:
Senators:  Barack Obama & Dick Durbin
Rep:  Jesse Jackson Jr.,
Illinois Gov:  Rod Blogojevich,
Illinois House leader Mike Madigan,
Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan (daughter of Mike),
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley (son of Mayor Richard J.Daley).....our leadership in Illinois.....all Democrats.
Thank you for the combat zone in Chicago.
Of course, they're all blaming each other!

Can't blame Republicans; there aren't any!
State pension fund $44 Billion in debt, worst in country.
Cook County (Chicago) sales tax 10.25% highest in country. (Look 'em up if you want).
Chicago school system rated one of the worst in the country.
This is the political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois.  And he's gonna 'fix' Washington politics for us?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Whoa - They Are Polling Joe the Plumber

Unbelievable. they are polling whether or not people have a favorable opinion of Joe the Plumber.

This is from Rasmussen Reports

On Joe the Plumber 
Forty-four percent (44%) of voters have a favorable opinion of Joe the Plumber, while another 41% have an unfavorable opinion and 15% are not sure. Among those following the story, the numbers for Joe are 58% favorable and 37% unfavorable. 

On  redistribution of wealth
A majority of those who earn less than $40,000 a year agree with Obama about spreading the wealth around, while most of those who earn more than that disagree. Entrepreneurs are strongly opposed while a slight plurality of government employees agree. 

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters under 30 agree with Obama’s statement while 33% disagree. A plurality of those over 30 take the opposite view. 

While Joe the Plumber supporters protest Obama

Sign a petition here to support Joe the Plumber


It would be a fair assumption to think The UpState Good Old Boys blog will be supporting Cantwell.

Read their piece on Addie Jenne Russell here.

Syracuse Post Standard Endorses Renzi

Syracuse Post Standard has endorsed Republican David Renzi for the 48th Senate district seat and Democrat David Valesky for the 49th Senate district seat and their decisions were based on REFORM.

Read the Renzi endorsement here
Here are some lifts:
48th SD
Aubertine says he has always been a reform advocate, never more so than now, when he is a minority member of the Senate and is virtually excluded from legislative decision-making. Yet when he was a member of the Assembly majority, he did not play a major or vocal role in urging more open government.
Aubertine has been dogged by careless maneuvers.
Renzi says he will back reforms to empower rank-and-file lawmakers, strengthen the committee process, establish independent ethics oversight and expand public disclosure. His animus toward the Department of Environmental Conservation for regulating land use is misguided. But his energetic focus on serving his constituents - and his avowed commitment to a more open, effective legislative process - show promise. He deserves the chance to put that energy and commitment to work in Albany. 
Side note, the Post Standard video taped the editorial endorsements

Watertown Daily Times: Shows He Is Not A Reformer

Jude Seymour did a piece today in the Watertown Daily Times on Darrel Aubertine's double talk on reform. Jude did a nice job pointing out what legislation Darrel failed to support that would have reformed New York State government.

Read it here
Here are some important lifts from the article:
But as an assemblyman, Mr. Aubertine opposed four resolutions, introduced last year by the Assembly Republican minority, that bear similarities to a reform package he championed this July as a Senate minority member.
Instead of offering any explanation of why Darrel did not support reform after being a member of the Assembly majority for 5 years, Cort Ruddy instead went on the attack as a diversion
The senator, through his campaign coordinator, Cort M. Ruddy, offered no explanation for why he voted against the four Assembly resolutions.
Mr. Ruddy characterized Mr. Renzi's press release as "a classic game of political gotcha"
Call it what you will Cort, but it is reality!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Renzi Has A Good Proposal

Stumbled across this good proposal while reading the Oswego County newspapers this morning. Perhaps it was a miss if it was printed locally, but this is a great idea by Renzi.

"Golden Parachutes Tax" proposed by Senate candidate Dave Renzi.

The article was in the Pall Times (see it here) where Renzi talks of the state living within the means of the taxpayers of New York and protecting our fair share during the decline in revenue and spending.

Renzi responds to the Wall Street crisis with a good idea that shows creative thinking. If you are mad at Wall Street for your losses you will like this proposal. 

Lift from the article:
The second part of the plan would create a golden parachute tax where New York would impose a high level of taxation on payouts and bonuses. Renzi also wants executives to be held accountable for reporting their earnings and creating a law to make them give back bonuses and extra compensation when they put taxpayers’ investments at risk.

Aubertine Goes Negative

An unusual move for a campaign that boasted about a big lead, it is unusual they would go to the extremes of negative advertising. Can anyone make sense of this move? What do you say Danger D, the manual to the right does not explain the move? You usually run right off the cliff claiming the sky is falling, the sun has set and a campaign is over when it goes negative, what say you now? How about the poll you had on your site about Renzi going negative, do you have one today asking if Darrel is still one of us?

Visit Danger Democrat here early and often he is sure not happy and will weigh in on this political heresy of the Aubertine campaign sometime soon. 

Aubertine ain't no Mr. Clean any longer, he has shown his true political colors from January to now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

(Ir)Responsible NY

Golisano and his self funded PAC is now advertising for help for political campaigns. This is outrageous, if a campaign can not be funded and staffed through its politcal party committee then it should pack its bags.

St. Lawrence County - No Go To Flow Control For DANC

The City of Watertown has refused to entertain flow control, Jefferson County has given it thumbs down and according to one St. Lawrence County Legislator there will be no support for flow control in that county either.

That is the right decision by St Lawrence County.

Government exist to provide services to the public that cannot be otherwise provided by the free market place, but occasionally they stray from their mission and enter into enterprise business activities that are provided in a competitive basis in the market place.

Such is the case with the Rodman Landfill, of the landfills around the state approximately 6 of 28 are privately owned and operated and three landfills are relatively close enough to compete with Rodman. Franklin and Clinton County which are county operated facilities and a privately owned facility in Monroe County are within reach to compete with the quasi-government operated facility locally, therefore, DANC has requested flow control legislation be enacted in order to mandate all local waste be disposed of in their landfill.

Government operations such as the landfill should not attempt to utilize the unbridled power of government in order to create a monopoly and force private haulers to utilize their operations, they produce enough profit to remain competitive and they need to survive in the marketplace by providing that competitive edge.

The City of Watertown, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties need to maintain that thought and St. Lawrence is to be commended for recognizing it and not passing flow control.

Related information 

More On Joe The Plumber

Poor Joe the Plumber only wanted an answer to a question, now the hard left wingers are searching under his pillow to see if the tooth fairy paid him too much in an attempt to discredit an average Joe with an average question.

McCain uses ol' Joe in an ad.


23rd Congressional Race

Mike Oot is a real person, who has a pulse, he stands, walks and talks, so, must be there is a real campaign for the 23rd Congressional seat.

While this blog may joke about the race, do not think for a moment John McHugh does, he takes every opponent serious and he showed up to play ball last night. Any young, up and coming politico out there should show up to watch John McHugh debate, he is an excellent teacher with excellent debating skills assisted by his depth of knowledge on issues. He has a mix of his ideas, his accomplishments and an attack of his opponent's ideas in every response. His eloquence and humility were impressive for the 102 people in attendance.

(Disclaimer - Dan Francis will not agree with anything in this post, that point is recognized)

The candidates sparred over energy prices, health care, the economy, dairy farming, foreign policy, border crossings and budget cuts.

Oot took a very left of center approach on issues including health care with his universal health care approach while McHugh pointed out he does not think government is best to run health care and cited unfunded liabilities of Medicare, underpaid providers and a government that brought the public the compassion of the "IRS." McHugh asked, is this the same government you want responsible for providing health care, "I don't think so!"

Oot version of foreign policy concerns was less than an original answer, "end the war." He made no mention of Iran or the aggressions of Russia or any other policy. McHugh quickly responded that he favored ending the war, but using a different approached so all the work accomplished was not in vain.

There is a campaign for the 23rd Congressional seat and McHugh is ready to defend his solid effort for the people of the North Country, while Oot is struggling to run a campaign.

McHugh clearly was the winner of this debate.

118th Assembly Debate

There was high expectation and talk that debating Addie Jenne Russell's would be her strength and Bobby Cantwell's weakness, neither was proven true last night at the debate held at the Northside Improvement League and hosted American Association of University Women.

Both candidates addressed the issues with cursory answers and Addie Jenne Russell even ventured well beyond local and state issues a couple of times with her answers and began talking about foreign oil issues and buying American made products not exactly answers that would rivet a voter to pull her lever for a State Assembly representative.

Write in candidate Donald Lucas of the Waddington / Massena area provided the levity for the evening by being very candid and stating he lost his speech for his opening remarks and that he would most likely agree with both of the candidates and when asked about top three budget cuts he replied "I can't think of three."

Issues covered included budget cuts, school aid, jobs and lower taxes.

It was interesting to note Addie Jenne Russell's response to the state budget woes and her suggestion of cuts included consolidation of local government and "quasi-government" agencies and she seemed to downplay or flippant about the budget crisis by saying there have been worse times than we currently are in. Addie mentioned in one form or another her version of income redistribution which is toeing the Assembly majority line of raising taxes on higher income individuals.
Bobby Cantwell held his own tonight and stuck to his campaign message that government is spending and taxing too much and cannot tax their way out of problems. He offered up consolidation of state agencies such as the Thruway Authority, DOT and Canal Corporation as an example of reducing government cost.

There was no winner of the debate, which may even be a victory for Cantwell.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Senate Debate - Gouverneur

The Gouverneur debate took a refreshing departure from the other debates, while both sides load up the audiences, decorum prevailed last night, even to the point where the student moderator stood up and requested that people hold their applause.

Congratulations to the student for recognizing it is the candidates and their views and not the audience participating.

The debate also featured very stark ideological differences between the candidates, on issues of minimum wage, gun control, DEC and partisan political influence on voting on issues.

An odd comment came when the candidates answered questions about this being a stepping stone and career politicians. Renzi responded he is not looking to make this a career, while Aubertine agreed, yet Aubertine is a 14 year politician and every other office has been a stepping stone for him. 

Here were the biggies for the night.

Wind Conflict:
Aubertine declined to disclose his contracts and amounts when questioned why he is voting on issues regarding wind power that present a conflict. He refuses to understand voting on an issue where he stands to gain financially being different than voting on a town budget where everyone pays their fair share. Renzi was smart here, when Aubertine attempted to avoid answering the question, Renzi gave up his rebuttal time and requested that Aubertine answer the question.

Aubertine told the audience that he wants to leave education and health care intact while the legislature attempts to resolve the state budget crisis. Financial expert after financial expert say that is impossible.

And, he stated he will not support home rule legislation for county sales tax. This will create a $12-15 million deficit for Jefferson County forcing either massive layoffs, a property tax increase in the area 30% or a combination of both.

The Senator needs to reconcile these thoughts on state and local budgets, he wants it both ways and that cannot be achieved.

New McCain Spokesman - Joe the Plumber

Pay close attention DD and all the redistribution of wealth pirates out there.

Basically the words of this average guy saying I do not mind paying my fair share on a proportional basis, by why increase even more the percentage than it already is on people who work hard to be successful.

If you want to watch the exchange with Joe the Plumber watch below, Obama clearly identifies his believe is wealth redistribution.

And Biden is foolish enough to open his mouth and say Joe is not a real plumber. Read it here.

He Has A Short Memory

Darrel Aubertine has already demonstrated his short memory by voting for the ethics reform legislation and then hiring his sister. He is once again demonstrating his lack of recall on issues.

He has campaigned on reform while this blog has constantly reminded people that he has been in the state legislature for 6 years, 5 of them as a member of the Assembly majority, which has given him amble opportunity to move reform legislation.

So now he wants to become the poster child for legislative reform. But wait one minute, what we have witnessed with Darrel Aubertine is - there is his version and then a real version.

His proposed reform packager:
  • Home Rule Bill Legislation, 
  • Conference Committees, 
  • Bill Sponsorship,
  • Equal Resources.

Here is the real world. The following are copied directly from a press release of Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco dated March 5, 2007.
  • All legislators shall receive equal resources and staff allotments. Currently, Assembly Majority members receives more than twice as much money to pay staff as do their Minority counterparts ($183,373 per Majority member versus $86,092 per Minority member);
  • Require immediate convening of conference committees when bills addressing the same subject have been passed by both chambers;
  • Require bills with Home Rule requests from local municipalities to be considered in committee within four weeks of introduction. Currently these types of bills are jammed through at the end of session and are often used as political bargaining chips;
  • Permit each legislator to have at least one substantive bill discharged from committee and voted on the floor each legislative session;
Whoa! Tedisco's and Darrel's reforms are identical to each other and Tedisco proposed his reform a year and a half ago while Darrel was a majority member of the Assembly. So how did Darrel Aubertine as a majority member of the Assembly respond to the minority leader Tedisco's request for reform then.

He voted NO on all of the measures.

Come on Darrel, do not insult voter's intelligence. This is so disingenuous it is absurd, you are taking voter's intelligence for granted. This is just plain wrong and it speaks to a larger issue of credibility that is plaguing you and perhaps enough for voters to turn you away from office. You had the opportunity to pass reform measure and you failed, do not try to tell voters you support reforming New York State government, because it is only when it serves you.

Trust is everything Darrel and you are losing it rapidly with voters.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Congressional Race

Is there a Congressional race in the 23rd district?

Oh that's right, that Out Oot fella, he announced what seems like a year ago and there has been no sign of him since, but there is a yard sign oot out so his campaign still has a pulse.

We turn our attention to the Sweetland / Maffei & Rangel race in central New York. Maffei has pretty close ties to embattled Charlie Rangel and Sweetland points that out.

Refreshing Reporting

The Albany Times Union did a refreshing report on incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand's ads and claims.

In the political arena there are a lot of claims and counter claims, it is refreshing to see the media sort through the claims and parse the material.

Read the story here

Mickey Mouse Can Vote

ACORN registered Mickey Mouse to vote this year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yet Another Blogger Heard From

Darrel's ethical lapses have been picked up by a Monroe County blogger. Monroerising.com is based to the west of us serving the Rochester / Monroe County region.

Here is their post on Darrel

Its titled -  My BS Detector Redlines When a Politician Talks about Reform

Abortion: An Issue In 56th SD

The abortion issue has become a front and center issue in the Senate race for the 56th district seat. NARAL Pro-Choice NY and the Democrats are teaming up on their theme and piling it on the Republican candidate Joe Robach.

NARAL was a big supporter and player in the 7th District special election that helped Darrel Aubertine's moral caucus partner Craig Johnson win that seat.

NARAL has contributed $11,000.00 to Democratic candidates according to the 32 day pre-general filing. See it here

Darrel, is there something you are not discussing with us about your Democratic conference's social motives, are you hiding their agenda?

An Idea For The Watertown Daily Times

The editorial board of Journal News and LoHud.com will be interviewing the candidates in Senate race for the 37th district seat and they will air the interview live.

See it here

The Watertown Daily Times has been streaming the debates live, they should follow up and stream their editorial interviews with all the candidates live and let everyone hear the concerns of the local paper's Editors.


Are You Ready For Some...

Football Politics!

Hank William Jr. style!

In case you missed it, here it is.

Another Blogger Heard From

Northern New York Follies weighs in on the JCC issue. The post is here.

NNY Follies ruminates on what the possible reasons were for tabling the resolution and the post rejects the idea of not having enough time. 

The reasons the author attributes to the delay by the "JCC 8" includes the constant pressure for an increase in taxpayer funds by the college and possible elimination of Whispering Pines Adult Home.

Ohio Voter Registration, ACORN & The Ohio Sec of State

The voter registration in Ohio appears to be seriously flawed and ACORN is behind the fraud registrations. The audio is WTAM radio of Cleveland host Bob Frantz questioning a spokesperson for the Secretary of State before the spokesperson hangs up during the conversation.

Hmmm, Buffalo News Plows The Upstate / Downstate Issue

The upstate / downstate power debate has been featured in a The Buffalo News (read it here).

Funny, to think that North Country Democrats thought it was just some looney idea that has been floated by North Country Republicans around here.

Here are some highlights from the article:
"If their positions on key issues hold true, the effects of a Senate Democratic takeover could be dramatic — affecting future discussions over state budgets, distribution of school aid, property taxes, business regulations and a series of social policy considerations, from expansion of abortion rights to criminal-justice matters."
"By contrast, there are 26 Senate districts within New York City, and 21 are now held by Democrats, with one vacancy in a Democratic district. The rest of the districts are on Long Island and in northern suburbs. A shift to Democratic control in the Senate, coupled with the concentration of authority in the Assembly among New York City Democrats, would firmly consolidate the legislative power base within the city’s five boroughs."
It would be nice for the local media to request interviews of both Senate Majority leader Dean Skelos and Minority leader Malcolm Smith on their overall views for New York State.
"The Buffalo News requested to interview Smith — who would oust Skelos as majority leader if Democrats win — about the impact a party change would have on the upstate region, along with his policy ideas and priorities. The request was turned down."
"Collins said the Senate GOP has a mixed record in getting upstate-supported measures approved. But it has played a key role, he said, in blocking plans that would harm the region, such as a proposal by Paterson this summer to shift costs onto county budgets."
The conclusion is with a Democratic majority in the Senate the Upstate and North Country would not be better off regardless of who our Senator is, therefore, the balance of power in New York State government should be preserved and the North Country should send a representative there to be a member of the majority.

Live Blogging