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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Obama's 9 Point Lead - Buh Bye!!!

Early this week a USA Today Gallup poll of "most likely voters" showed McCain had a lead of  49 to 45%, while the Gallup tracking poll of "registered voters showed Obama with a 9 point lead over McCain.

Today, Gallup updated their tracking poll of registered voters and Obama's lead has vanished. Obama and McCain are in a statistical dead heat with Obama at 45% to McCain's 44%.

See for yourself here

Where did the Obama mojo go? 

The Characters Have Been Cast

The characters for this fall's production of Election 2008 have been cast.

The final announcement came today when the Cantwell campaign finally came out with a press release that was something of substance, instead of all those cookie cutter press releases that are short on substance.

The Cantwell campaign announced a well heeled political type as campaign manager. Cary Brick, a well respected retired Chief of Staff for the likes of Congressman McHugh and two of his predecessors. His presence on campaign will overcome one of the weaknesses of the Cantwell campaign: experience.

This announcement finishes the casting for the characters in this fall's election season.

Candidate: Dave Renzi
Manager: John Morgia

Candidate: Darrel Aubertine
Manager: Cathy Calhoun

Candidate: Bobby Cantwell
Manager: Cary Brick

Candidate: Addie Jenne Russell
Manager: Mark Pacilio

A little trivia for you, who is the only candidate with a non local campaign manager? (Hint it is highlighted)

Hey, Danger Democrat, you should concern yourself less about who is paying for a campaign and more on where the base of control exist.

And The Winner Is?

Danger Democrat gets the cry baby of the week award given out by P I V for someone who is whining about the very same thing they are doing and for being wrong on the issue.

Danger Democrat is claiming Dave Renzi is a puppet of Albany for financing his campaign with money from Albany.

So here is the deal D D; P I V and D D will hire an independent local auditor and BOTH campaigns can be financed with only the money raised locally from individuals. The campaigns will not accept money from political action committees, unions or any other special interest group, no state party money, no senate campaign committee money just pure local individual contributions. The finances of both campaigns will be run by the same independent auditor, they will collect the contributions and pay the bills with no involvement from anyone associated with partisan politics.

DEAL OR NO DEAL?

The real fact is Dave Renzi said he will be in control of his own campaign, specifically the decisions.  He never said he would not accept their money, for the record read this news story from News Watch 50: Renzi expects money, not meddling from state GOP. The story was done back in the month of May and it contained this quote from Dave Renzi.
 "I told them that there's going to be local control. That was the caveat that I had before I ran and they respect that. And I'm anticipating their support, despite that," 
You can expect both campaigns to be funded with outside money as well as people from outside the area to assist with work duties that is reality for both of the campaigns. Dave Renzi will control his own campaign but there are many duties that require assistance of several people.

D D is unrealistic to bring this issue up and expect a candidate to handicap themselves while the other candidate is raking in huge sums of money. D D, you are clearly WRONG here and the words from the candidate himself prove it and there is no change in position by Renzi.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More on State Finances: State Officially in a Recession, Unions Crying Foul

The Governor is revealing more data on the state of the finances of New York. The current year's budget is now in a $630 million deficit situation. Earlier in the year Paterson called for a 3.35% cut from state agencies, he is now looking for an additional 7% reduction as a way to balance this budget.

FIRST QUARTER ON THE NEW YORK STATE BUDGET

Allowing budgets that are this close to the vest to pass is fiscally irresponsible, it is not like they did not see this coming. Voters should think long and hard about voting for any incumbent who voted to approve a budget like this and allow a situation to occur, budgeting is one of the main jobs of a legislator and it requires a little insightful planning. 

The Governor has requested a "hard" hiring freeze in the state expected to eliminate 1,000 budgeted positions. The unions are crying foul and digging in against Governor Paterson. This will be enough to scare most state legislators into hiding.


More from the Empire Center's Public Payroll Watch.

"We confront harsh times"

Whenever a New York governor talks about budget deficits--a too frequent occurrence during past 35 years--state workers get the jitters.

In a statewide speech Tuesday, Paterson said he is calling the Legislature to Albany to "an emergency economic session" on August 19.
In the interim, my administration will confront the following issues: addressing the size of the state work force; further cuts to agency spending and generating proposals for public and private partnerships for our State assets.
The expected General Funds deficit of $6.4 billion is roughly equivalent to the personal services portion of the General Fund. The state spends another $3 billion on employee health and pension benefits, putting annual employee costs at $9.4 billion.

State employee unions already complain Paterson wants to balance the budget on the backs of state workers. He can't--unless he intends to layoff the two-thirds of the workforce. A highly improbable scenario.

The Sobering Morning After from the Financial Hangover

The Governor delivered his message of financial reality last night and to read the full context of the message, click here. It was somewhat of a simple message, characterized by some as gloom and doom, but it is better described as reality.  The Governor will call the legislature back into session in August to begin work on restoring financial order in New York State.

Of course, the solutions will be anything but simple or easy. Hopefully, the Governor will lead the way and demonstrate to all at every level in government what needs to be done, CUT SPENDING, do not mask solutions by passing items down to local governments to foot the bill for or raise hidden fees or borrow our way out and go further into debt. The following piece lifted from his five minute speech is some evidence the Governor gets it.
The fact is we confront harsh times. Let me be honest, this situation will get worse before it gets better.
Now government will do what families have done when their incomes have fallen: we will cut spending. Government will learn to do more with less.
It is time for New York and other governments to cut up our credit cards. The era of buy now, pay later and later is over. The faster we address this crisis, the faster and stronger we will emerge from it. That is the path to a better and more prosperous New York.
Reactions from leaders:
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Democrat: “The Governor plans to turn this around. He’s set a course toward financial stability. It’s not an easy course. There will be pain and it will take time. It took us years to get here and it will take us years to get back. Delay only increases the degree of difficulty.”
Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Schenectady: “Now that the Governor has brought this fiscal crisis to the public’s attention, the hard work – and the tough choices – must begin. More than ever, we need this Governor to lead and make the tough choices. If making those choices and standing up to the special interests results in his being a one-term Governor, then he would likely go down in history as the person who righted New York’s ship of state and we would owe him a debt of gratitude.”
E.J McMahon, of New York’s Empire Center,
The state funds portion of the budget has grown about 75 percent in the last 10 years, and by about 45 percent in the last five.
“What we need to do now is undo that (excessive spending), because the $5 billion budget gap that was being projected in May, which the Governor no doubt will announce today is worse, that gap was entirely due, almost entirely due, to projected increases in base-line spending.”
More on McMahon

This process will clearly be a battle of ideology, with people from the left like Silver warning about cuts, the Working Families Party wants to tax more in order to keep spending up and unions such as CSEA called potential cuts in the state workforce "nothing but a shame" while some from the right like McMahon want to address the true problem - cut spending.

Housekeeping and Updates To The Blog

Political IV has a couple of new features hopefully you will enjoy.

First, your input and comments are always appreciated and now a new feature is added and that is a rating for each piece found just below the comments. You can rate from 1 star to 5 stars, 1 being "Hate It" to 5 being "Love It."

Also, if you prefer not to read the blog, just click on the button "Listen Now" and it will play the piece for you.

And Finally the disclaimer,

DISCLAIMER: This blog is written independently of all of the following; 
political campaigns, political party, and elected government bodies.
All comments are posted unless they are repugnant in nature or
specifically name people as authors who are not, this to avoid any libelous situations.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Golisano Crashes Party

Golisano who is funding Responsible New York crashed the Tax Cap Rally held in Monroe County today. He and architect Tom Suozzi got into a heated debate over the merits of the tax cap, which is clearly supported by the majority of the public. Golisano grabbed the microphone to declare the tax cap as baloney.

Read More Here

So if Aubertine supports the tax cap will that effect his potential to be supported by Golisano?   

New Dave Renzi Ad

The style is good, a refreshing approach to a perspective of service.

Keep Up The Good Work DAVE!!




DISCLAIMER: This blog is written independently of all of the following; 
political campaigns, 
political party, and
elected government bodies
All comments are posted unless they are of a repugnant nature or
specifically name people as authors who are not to avoid libelous situations.

McCain Leads In Poll

John leads Barry in the new USA/Gallup poll just released. A month ago, John McCain was down 50% to 44% of most likely voters but, as in the primaries do not count McCain out, he now leads Barry 49-45%.

This could continue as Barry has been elevated to such a high level that he has no place to go but down especially as the election draws near and voters dial in to listen closer for substance and all they hear over and over is empty rhetoric.

McCain took the lead despite the TV anchors polishing Barry's shoes every day on the foreign trip that he just concluded, which the side effect was energizing the Republican base.

This is only one poll, but looking at the balance of the polls  Pollster.com or Real Clear Politics the race has definitely tightened up. The conflict in poll results is that some polls are reporting likely voters while some tracking polls are using registered voters.

A Satirical Presentation of the Messiah Story

If you have not seen this yet from Hannity and Colmes it is worth watching.

Watch Time 6:13

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'll See Your $5 Million and Raise You...

The battle of the bucks is potentially going to get bigger.

The announcement of the Golisano bucket of cash that was presented as "Responsible New York," which is anything but responsible, has received a couple of "I'll call your bet" from other political heavyweights.

First, it was Rudy Giuliani's response and now New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg may call Golisano's bet and even raise him. Bloomberg may accomplish his mission through a 527 group, which is an independent group that will coordinate their own message separate from the candidates.

It will be interesting to see the various messages coming from these multi-billionaires. All are smart business people, although Bloomberg appears to be the most stable of all. He appears to calculate his moves better and he has run New York City successfully as Mayor.
City Comptroller William C. Thompson praised Bloomberg for setting aside surplus resources as a hedge against the deteriorating economy and softening housing market.
Actually preparing for a downturn and positioning to ride the storm out is unique for a politician. Local government officials who rely heavily on sales tax revenue, should take note!

This is a stark contrast to Golisano who is a successful businessman but cannot parlay that into a successful politician. He ran unsuccessfully for Governor 3 times and has helped create a political party, then changed parties and now is supporting yet another party. 

Do Nothing Congressional Leadership

State Looking To Finance Efficiency

The 2008-09 New York State budget includes funding to study and implement changes in how local tax jurisdictions operate. The programs formerly known as Shared Municipal Service Incentive has been rebranded as Local Government Efficiency.

Along with the rebranding comes expanded entities the state will make eligible for funding including counties, cities, towns, villages, special improvement districts, fire districts, library districts, water authorities, sewer authorities, regional planning and development boards and school districts.

The idea of the program is to encourage and support shared services, cooperation among entities and even mergers and dissolutions.

The program has been successful with some local creativity such as;
  • Wyoming County where the dissolution of the Village of Pike will occur leaving the governing to the Town of Pike. 
  • The school districts of Canajoharie, Mayfield, Piseco, and Wells created a central business office. 
  • A combination of Watkins Glen School District, Town of Dix and the Village of Watkins Glen will receive funding for a shared public works facility with a centralized administration the saving taxpayers $2.1 million dollars projected over a 5 year period. 
Those are just some of the more creative examples from across state with room for a lot more creative thinking. Northern New York could stand to examine some initiatives to reduce the amount of government and administration across the North Country.

The state should make this mandatory with the level state aid used as an incentive to reduce and consolidate government operations, costing local taxpayers less as well requiring less state aid over a 5 year period. The state should reduce aid to local taxing entities if they cannot reduce cost of operations or ways to consolidate, that will find elected officials scurrying about to find efficiencies or taxpayers will elect others who have the ability to think of ways to find cost reductions.

More can be done and and has to be done, if government in this sense was run as a business there would be no choice but to act!

Department of State Letter

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why Now?

Darrel Aubertine proposed a package of reform legislation that if you support reform in Albany you would support this legislation.

BUT

There is a one burning question for the Senator - WHY NOW?

He has been a member of the New York State Legislature for 5 1/2 years and now all of sudden he is discovering the dysfunction. He operated and took advantage of this very system for 5 years as a majority member of the Assembly yet, he did not propose such legislation to fix the problems previous to this point.

This will lead even the more casual observer of politics who want reform to realize this is nothing but political grandstanding with a reform facade attached.

The Republican minority of the Assembly has been pushing many of these same reforms for years, well before Aubertine even became a member of the Assembly majority.

Aubertine ran his first campaigns on the very topic of the typical dysfunction that he is now railing against and decries. His first campaigns against Bob Nortz and then Patty Ritchie flaunting this dysfunction by claiming "being a member of majority, I will be able to get more done for the North Country."

If the MSM had done any homework and looked back, they would have asked Aubertine the same question. Why did you not propose this when you were a Assembly majority member? WHY NOW? Sheldon Silver and the Assembly majority of which he was a member operated in the same very dysfunctional way that he nows claims himself a victim and he let it happen.

His inaction previous to this point is the equivalent of saying, I will work in the system instead of changing it.

You can't clean a pig while it is in the mud pit, as fellow blogger DD would say, this is blatant political HOGWASH.

If Darrel Aubertine supported reform then he should have passed reform while he was in the Assembly majority where he "could get more done for the North Country" and if the Senate failed to pass the reform then he would have some standing on this issue and he could present himself as a reformer, but he chose not to and he did not do a thing to reform Albany, therefore, do not try to tell people now that you want to reform the system.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

EZ Reform and The Senator

It is never ending from Senator Aubertine's office, just when you think you have heard it all, Aubertine and spokesperson Drew Mangione pull another rabbit out of their...hat and prove they do not understand their job!

It is just one faux pas after another, followed by spokesperson Drew Mangione offering one lame excuse after another. Drew, as a reporter used to cut through the very same rhetoric that he is now regurgitating.

The Senate passed a bill S8628, which amends the real property tax law specifically regarding Empire Zones to limit their designations strictly to commercial, business or industrial activity, thus excluded housing.

The legislation, which passed with the support of Senator Darrel Aubertine, is waiting for the Governor to sign it into law or veto it. The legislation has received more than it's fair share of local opposition, including Mayor Jeff Graham's letter, to the Governor, which was featured on Newzjunky this week, in the letter Graham states "our economic development efforts will be severely hampered."

An article in yesterday's Watertown Daily Times titled "Paterson urged to veto Empire Zone change" several more opponents including; Watertown City Manager Mary Corrvieau, City Council member Peter Clough, and officials from the town and village of Potsdam as well as others across the North Country came out against the pending legislation as "crippling major efforts to provide affordable housing and economic revitalization throughout the state."

Darrel Aubertine who ran as Mr. Reformer of the Empire Zone during the special election and stated how he understood the legislation then, but, what he failed to understand is how the reformed legislation which has been debated for some time would negatively effect his district's effort to provide affordable housing.

Faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings on a single bound...no, no...not Superman, it is Drew Mangione, spokesperson for Darrel Aubertine in an attempt once again to rescue him from a bad vote, when in fact he just caused more foot in mouth disease.

Drew's excuses this time around!

Darrel voted for the bill hoping someone would slip it in the shredder on the way to the Governor's office. Drew was quoted as saying. "It has not been delivered to the Governor, and we are optimistic it will never be."  

SAY WHAT??

Uh Drew, you should know better and Aubertine, as a legislator for 5.5 years, should definitely have known it is unconstitutional to have a bill passed by both houses and not delivered to the Governor. IT HAS TO - the Governor then either signs it into law or vetoes it. Drew would have been better off using the shredder comment, it is far more intellectual.

There is more, it did not stop there.

Another Drewism or Darrelism, the famous red herring, "The intent of the bill was to stop taxpayer dollars from subsidizing high end housing in places like Long Island,"   that is strange, a quick check yesterday found there are no residential projects within Empire Zones in Long Island!

This is a bad vote by Darrel Aubertine, and yes by Assembly member Scozzafava also, but at least she recognized her bad vote in the paper. The ventriloquist act of D & D - Darrel and Drew, just continue their head spinning rhetoric in an attempt to cover up one "misunderstanding" after another.

So for this week's screw up there is weekend homework and recommended viewing for Darrel and Drew. This short video from Senator Hugh Farley's site on how a bill becomes law is mandatory so next week you will know how to do your job. Watch it here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Ads Unveiled

NYSUT, New York State United Teachers unveiled their new ad taking a shot at the property tax cap proposed by Democratic Governor David Paterson and supported by the Republican Senate Majority conference.

But alas, they are proposing the "circuit breaker" and embedding fear into people about the property tax cap, ahhh the power of union fear mongering persuasion. It clamped onto Darrel Aubertine, the same day the ad appears, Aubertine co-sponsored a bill (that will go no where because support for it is not there) calling for a circuit breaker.





Sandy Treadwell, candidate for Congress in the 20th district has a new ad. I think he has watched the T Boone Picken's plan.


This Lady Does Not Get It

The price of gasoline has risen dramatically under her watch as Speaker of the House, yet she does not grasp that American's are struggling under high energy prices.

The Washington Post highlights her opposition in a No Drilling, No Vote article.
When they took the majority, House Democrats proclaimed that "bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process that grants the Minority the right to offer its alternatives." Why not on drilling?

Democrats Do Not Want To Pay Taxes

While the average American has been struggling under the high prices of gasoline and high taxes attached to the price of gas organizers of the Democratic National Convention have been tanking up - tax free!


Absurd Excuses!

The Denver Post took the Democrats to task for the most shameless spin yet of the election. Democratic Convention organizers actually claimed it needs tax free gas from the state's reserves for security reasons.

Do the Democrats think people are crazy enough to believe this?

Who is gassing up at a local gas station while shuffling some political big wig who is sitting in the back seat smoking a cigar and making deals?

And another excuse used in the Rocky Mountain News was that they used city pumps because it's safer and the gas isn't "tainted."

WOW!

Read the Denver Post Editorial

McHugh One Of Few GOP

Congressman John McHugh was one of only 45 Republicans who supported HR 3221, The American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act.

The specific vote count broken down by party was 227 Democrats and 45 Republicans voting yes while 3 Democrats and 149 Republicans tallied a no vote.

Here are some of the highlights of HR 3221
  • Provides mortgage refinancing assistance to keep at least 400,000 families from losing their homes, to protect neighboring home values, and to help stabilize the housing market at no cost to American taxpayers. 
  • Protects taxpayers by requiring lenders and homeowners to take responsibility.  This is not a bailout; in order to participate, lenders and mortgage investors must take significant losses by reducing the loan principal.  In exchange for an FHA guarantee on the mortgage, borrowers must share any profit from the resale of a refinanced home with the government.
  • Puts a strong independent regulator in place with real teeth, with real responsibilities and powers so that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can safely and soundly work to provide our nation’s families with affordable housing, as Democrats have been calling for since 2004.
  • Raises the GSE (Government Sponsored Entities) loan limits for single family homes to create affordable mortgage loans for moderately priced homes by allowing GSE loans up to 115% of the local area median home price, and to make GSE loans effective in high cost areas by raising the permanent loan limit from $417,000 to $625,500,.
  • Creates a new permanent affordable housing trust fund – financed by the GSEs and not by taxpayers – to fund the construction, maintenance and preservation of affordable rental housing for low and very low-income individuals and families nationwide in both rural and urban areas.
  • Increases VA Home Loan limit, as was done in the stimulus package, for high-cost housing areas so that veterans have more homeownership opportunities.
  • Helps returning soldiers avoid foreclosure and stay in their home by lengthening the time a lender must wait before starting foreclosure, from three months to nine months after a soldier returns from service and providing returning soldiers with one-year relief from increases in mortgage interest rates. 
  • Provides taxpayers that claim the standard deduction with up to an additional $500 ($1,000 for a joint return) standard deduction for property taxes in 2008. 
Further information on the benefits of this legislation can be found here at the House Financial Services Committee website or the online detailed summary here.


In a released statement the Congressman said "Although there are a number of provisions in this bill which I do not support, I believe it was important for Congress to act on this critical issue to stabilize the national housing markets and economy."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Lighter Side of Politics; Jon Stewart and Red State Update



"Core Mission Budgeting"

In an effort to gain control of the State's expenses and its budget, the Governor is moving to a process of budgeting that he calls "Core Mission Budgeting."

It is a self reflecting sort of back to the basics approach that requires every agency to reevaluate the services they are providing and to make sure they are essential to the core mission of the agency. It is a fancy way for making cuts in what is or will be eventually determined as non-essential services.

The Governor is concerned about being able to balance the budget in an orderly fashion and is making preparations to address the continued decreasing revenue, especially from Wall St, facing the State. He is sending the message out through the Division of Budget to brace for some serious budgeting business.

This is not bad a idea for governments to evaluate their services that they provide to the public on a regular basis, not necessarily just when times are tough. The process would be healthy if implemented on a periodically scheduled basis and would always provide a built in correction for government services as some tend to morph over time away from their original intent.

This will not be an easy process and the effort by the Governor is laudable considering he is willing to assume the fiscal responsibility that is long over due in Albany.

Governor Paterson is showing he is up to the task of being Governor in tough times and he has consistently displayed a bipartisan effort that everyone should appreciate, Democrats, Republicans, Independence, Conservatives, et al. should show their support.

UPDATE: This is an excellent article worth the read in the Buffalo News

A Victory For The Lake and River

Six Great Lake states including New York won a lawsuit against the EPA to continue  to prevent the discharge of contaminated ballast water.

“Today’s decision is a huge win in protecting New York State’s Great Lakes from invasive species and pollution that for too long have threatened our local ecosystems, economies and our health,” Cuomo said in a statement.


Short article here

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

McHugh Leads Bipartisan Effort For Relief on Home Heating Cost

Congressman John McHugh has introduced legislation that will provide immediate relief from this winter's anticipated high heating cost. HR 6321 is the Home Energy Affordability Tax Relief Act (HEATR), and he is stepping up the effort to pass this legislation with letters to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader John Boehner urging action.

Here is a brief explanation of the program from a press release.
Congressman McHugh introduced the HEATR Act in June to assist residents with their home heating costs this winter.  The legislation would provide up to a $500 tax credit for individuals and families facing more than $1500 in home heating costs during the winter season, with a maximum of one credit per housing unit.  For homeowners and renters with home heating expenses below $1500, the bill would provide one-third of the total cost of heating in a tax credit.  Individual tax filers making under $50,000 would be eligible for the credit as well as joint filers making under $100,000.  Above those income levels, the credit would phase out at $60,000 and $110,000 respectively.  Additionally, the credit can only be used for fuel costs, which include propane, heating oil, kerosene, wood, and wood pellets, among others. 
The plan returns as much as 1/3 of your heat cost.

McHugh is leading a bipartisan effort to pass this legislation with Democratic members such as Kirsten Gillibrand D-NY, John Hall D-NY, and James McGovern D-MA to name a few.

While this legislation is relief for the short term, McHugh is also supporting longer term solutions for off coast exploration as well as exploration in ANWR.

Pickens Plan

The Pickens Plan, you have heard about, here it is, read here.




Addie Jenne Russell On Job Loss: Pandering or Critical of Others

You would have to assume by the timing of the press release by Addie Jenne Russell that it is driven by the article in the Watertown Daily Times stating Covidien was cutting 40 jobs.

In the article it was stated that she would "proactively address problems of north country businesses before they are forced to cut staff or close," which she is correct, job retention is a important as job creation, and it requires constant contact with local employers.

And further she states; "These companies are critical components of our economy," Mrs. Russell said in a press release. "We cannot stand by while our good-paying jobs disappear, often with little notice. Russell said that early intervention strategies can help save jobs. By being closely engaged, she will be an advocate both in the district and in Albany for assistance."

Yesterday's article quoted IDA Interim Director Donald Alexander as saying "If we can hear about it when these decisions are being discussed, we have a better opportunity to influence them. Once a decision has been made, there's virtually nothing we can do."

Addie Jenne Russell's press release implies people may have been standing around, that if she is elected things will be different by being closely engaged.

Read the full text of her presser here at Danger Democrat, although he did a horrible cut and paste job, it is there. DD gets a pass on the cut and paste, he was in a hurry to get out the door.

Is this a swipe at the current elected State Senator, or perhaps the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency?

As an elected state representative what can she do differently that the IDA or our current elected State Senator did not do?

She is either critical of the current situation or pandering!

Humor But True

Jon Stewart on the media's love affair with Obama

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Republican Senate Majority - So Some Dems Prefer!

The GOP are not the only people who think they should remain in the Majority of the Senate. Prominent Democrats such as Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Governor David Paterson are believed to be supporting a GOP Majority in the Senate as well as Mayor and very smart and savvy businessman Mike Bloomberg.
Bloomberg, who has often railed against partisan gridlock, said he thinks the two-party system is "healthy," whereas single-party control of government is not. He delivered his usual praise of the Senate GOP for helping the city
The left wing liberal blog The Albany Project TAP reports Shelly Silver would prefer a GOP controlled Senate, while Silver is smarted enough never to utter his preference, his actions speak louder than words.
So despite spending all these thousands of dollars on the whole gamut of Democratic politicians, committees, and clubs all around the state, Sheldon Silver has not given a single dime to a Democratic Senate Candidate
Shelly simply does not want the Democrats to take the Senate.  Ever.  
It has long been thought that Governor David Paterson supports a GOP Majority in the Senate for a number of reasons, the least of which is reported animosity between him and Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith. The  Governor raised $3.3 million in the recent filing with the Board of Elections, but it is unlikely he will share his largess with the Senate Democrats, as opposed to his predecessor. Paterson is keeping it for his own campaign, clearly a signal Paterson could care less about the possibility of a Senate Democratic Majority.
The new governor not only failed to contribute anything to the Senate Democrats, but had actively avoided their fund-raising events in an effort to distance himself from Spitzer's now-infamous "steamroller" approach in dealing with the Legislature.
Their attention would be better directed at shoring up and strengthening fund-raising activities in the conference."
As of July 15, the Senate Democrats had $1.5 million on hand, compared with the Senate Republicans' $5.9 million.
These prominent Democrats will always deny these claims publicly, but their actions speak for themselves and they happen to be right on with their thoughts on this topic.

Eliot Must Feel Like Rodney Dangerfield

Client #9 can not get any respect. They left his post card on sale at the State Museum and actually some think it might be a collector's item some day so it is being snapped up. The funny part of this is that his name is spelled incorrectly on the card, they spelled Eliot with two L's, as Elliot.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rudy vs. Tommy

Rudy Giuliani is starting his own campaign fund and make no bones about it, it is to help the Republican party. This is seen largely as a quid pro quo move, he helps now, he wants help later.

According to the New York Post
The sources said the fund will focus on several races around the state, but the main emphasis will be helping Republicans retain a majority in the Senate.
"Everything Rudy does this year is geared toward helping Republicans nationally and statewide, similar to the last three cycles, where he campaigned tirelessly on behalf of many candidates," the source said.
 
At least Rudy is honest about his intentions, unlike Golisano, he does not disguise his intentions.

Live From The Governor's Mansion It's, Three Men In A Room

The newest version of three men in a room met yesterday to hammer out some issues that will have significant impact.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is determined to enact Paterson's property tax cap and says he will be calling the Senate back into session this summer to accomplish it. Democrat Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is as determined, but his determination is to block the property tax cap, that puts the job of finding a compromise in the hands of Paterson.

Also, discussions are taking place about how to further trim the 2008-09 state budget. Paterson already ordered a 3%+ cut from every agency and with waning revenues more needs to be done in order to prevent an epic disaster for 2009-2010 budget.

A move such as cutting spending would make for interesting campaign trail dialogue, incumbents always want to be seen as fiscally responsible but you will never catch them cutting spending around election time and risk creating animosity with unions or any other special interest constituency. They ought to try it once, instead of just talking about it and see how the average taxpayer responds, they may surprise themselves. Then again, Albany is not much for surprises.


Finally, this is a fairly new topic, but they are looking for what possible relief is out their for homeowners as the winter heating season is approaching and home heating oil prices are sky rocketing.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Great Commercial

Congratulations Mr. Renzi your first TV production out of the gate and it gets a solid 5 star rating.

It is a great commercial.




ENCORE ENCORE ENCORE !!!!

Robo-call II

If you did not like those evening prerecorded robo-calls for political candidates, then you will not like the Democrats new mechanism for invading your privacy. 

Danger Democrat unveiled what he thought was "pretty cool and very 21st Century", of course, we disagree. And while a nice guy, DD just does not give you the impression of "pretty cool" and drives, as the hizzoner claims, a "frumpy" car.

The Democrats new gimmick, which is not new at all, is requesting people to sign up on line and obtain a list of neighbors to visit with campaign propaganda, which is essentially door to door campaigning, now that is certainly "21st Century" thinking.

Here is the part to be labeled CAUTION they are asking people to return information about you back to the website (seen here) which will create the nice neat little data bank in which you will be included for future mailing request for money, robo-calls for candidates and a variety of other little beautiful annoyances.

So have fun, sign up and get ready to get the crap bugged out of you at dinner time or during your favorite TV show, but just remember, Danger Democrat thinks it is so cool!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Senate Majority Leader Skelos on Capital Tonight

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos appeared last night on the state news program Capital Tonight.

He was asked the question
"What would the State Senate look like...we talked about the fact that the leaders would come from New York City...what are some of the issues that you believe would rise to the top of their priority list." 
His response focused on state aid for education, which would undoubtedly shift toward New York City and anyone who wanted to debate that to the contrary should look no further than Campaign for Fiscal Equality or CFE. Advocates in New York City resent more funding for upstate schools.
"Meanwhile the state Senate Majority used all their chits to drive a boatload of money to politically well-healed downstate suburban districts.  Sadly many upstate Senators barely lifted a finger to add additional foundation aid for their own districts.”
There is a bit of disappointment in Senator Skelos' answer, time constraints in an interview are difficult, but he did not go far enough in his answer. There is such a difference between the Senate Democratic Minority conference and the Republican conference in governing New York State and there is a real need for a system of check and balance in governing. Pay close attention; read or listen to what the Senate Democrats say such as their leader Malcolm Smith.

A suggestion for Senator Skelos, govern from the center; fiscally conservative, the state needs to go in that direction given the economy and some social moderation is not a bad thing, but buyer beware of a Democratic Majority in the Senate, they will govern New York State way left of center.

Farewell

Former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno is all set to ride off into the sunset today as he announces his retirement.

Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco had this to say about Joe.
“Tomorrow marks the end of an era that has been defined by Joe Bruno’s lifetime of public service and commitment to our Capital District. To say that Joe Bruno will be missed, that his energetic advocacy on behalf of our community was appreciated, that his optimistic, courageous and iconic leadership was one of a kind, are all understatements.  There will only be one Joe Bruno - what he accomplished, the manner in which he shaped state government and his legacy in the State Senate are truly remarkable.  When it counted the most, our Capital District could always count on Joe Bruno. Even when he faced off against a ruthless Chief Executive bent on misusing state government, Joe Bruno stood his ground and never backed down or wavered.  All around our region, from the Rensselaer Rail Station, to SPAC, to the millions in funding he secured for countless community-based non-profit organizations, Joe Bruno’s legacy will forever be remembered, appreciated and respected.  We all wish Joe nothing but the very best as he embarks on the next chapter in an inspirational life that has yielded true dividends for the people of New York State.  I am not alone in saying thank you, Joe Bruno, for your service, friendship and principled leadership.”

Campaign Sections

Our faithful and ever present local news sources have published special sections devoted to the local campaigns in the 48th Senate district and 118th Assembly district. NewZjunky's political site has been out for a while as well as each time during the last several campaigns.

Senate Race

Assembly Race

A hat tip to Newzjunky for top billing for Political IV in the blogs section along with Danger Democrat.

NewZjunky always has slick graphics, their graphics design person is top notch.


The Watertown Daily Times has entered the race for campaign sections.

Senate Race

Assembly Race

Congressional Race


And a hat tip as well for the listing in the blogs section. Although they see the order of political blogs a little different than others. They list their close to the vest blog Northern New York Follies as their top site and they specifically label Political IV as "GOP."

Their graphics are ok, pretty benign.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Submitted Comment As A Guest Post

Who is the senator, Darrel Aubertine or Drew Mangione?

Based on today’s Watertown Daily Times it is Drew!

Nothing but excuses, whether they are from Drew or Darrell the pattern is the same, its always-poor pitiful Darrel and blame the big bad Republicans. 

The bottom line whether you are on the local school board, the United Way, County Legislature, State Legislature or Congress you need relationships to get the job done. You need to be assertive, you need to stand up adamantly for the people you represent, and Darrell Aubertine does not, he is a nice person, who is always relying on others, such as today’s comment in the paper "his conference." We did not elect Malcolm Smith to fight for us; we elected Darrel Aubertine, to work with people like Betty Little, NOT because she is the chair, but because she is a neighboring Senator. Why not call her, visit her office, or talk to her on directly on the floor while in session! 

No - it is easier to blame the Republicans for all the breakdowns that exist. You may fool some of the people some of the time, but the pattern is becoming crystal clear, it is very apparent lately with failure after failure because Darrel Aubertine no longer has the majority staff of the Assembly looking out for him now, he just leaves it to DREW to answer the hard questions.

Y Continued (UPDATED)

UPDATED
There is a formal process for requesting legislation out of committee. In the Assembly, the form used to request bills to move is called a "99," or referred to by a member as "99 a bill." In the Senate, it's Form 63. P IV obtained information from the Senate Chamber Procedure Manual
TO REQUEST A BILL OUT OF COMMITTEE (FORM NO. 63)

To request a bill out of Committee, the Member must complete and sign Form No. 63, which may be obtained from Senate Desk Operations (Rm. 323 Mezz., Cap.). Attached to the form should be a copy of the bill and a copy of the sponsor's memo. Since many of the Standing Committees require two sets of this package, it is suggested that three copies of Form No. 63 be obtained for each bill, with one copy being retained on file in the Member's office.
It seems Senator Aubertine should be able to clear up this controversy pretty easily by either he or Drew producing a copy of the form 63 that is supposed to be retained by his office.

ORIGINAL POST
The controversy over the YMCA legislation, much like other issues before, such as the JCC Capital plan, the NYPA job offer, and several others, continue in a back and forth pattern that seems to swirl around Senator Aubertine.

Today in the Watertown Daily Times and the other day on NPR different versions of the story of the YMCA legislation are being brought forward. The current version is that Senator Aubertine did not put in a standard request to put out the bill in a committee overseen by Senator Betty Little.

Interestingly enough in today's paper Aubertine spokesman Drew Mangione appears to be contradicting his own statements. At one point in the article he claims that Senator Little's version is incorrect.
"To claim that they did not know, or that if Senator Little had known, things would be different, is disingenuous," Mr. Mangione said.
To which Senator Little response is
"He never filled out the request to have the bill put out," Mrs. Little said again. "Other senators do it. We do it. People talk to you all the time about bills they want to get through."
BUT then Mr Mangione brings in an entirely different reasoning.
Mr. Mangione said because the Assembly passed a companion YMCA bill, the Senate version was automatically forwarded to the Senate Rules Committee.
Since the Rules Committee trumps the Local Government Committee, Mr. Mangione said, Mr. Aubertine bypassed the "request out" form to focus his efforts on the more important committee. At the time, Sen. Joseph L. Bruno, R-Brunswick, was the Rules Committee chairman; Sen. Malcolm A. Smith, D-Queens, was its ranking minority member.
The question is, why did Mangione even respond to the Senator Little part if it does not even concern Senator Little's committee? And the Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith is the ranking minority member on the committee where the alleged hold up is occurring, why is the issue not being taken up with Senator Smith, instead of Senator Little?

Senator Aubertine and his staff appear to have a lot of inconsistencies in their issues time and time again. So among just a simple desire for the legislation to be passed for the good of the community, people have to wonder and ask, what is the real reason it did not get through; was because the bill is in Senator Little's committee and Aubertine did not fill out the proper request OR it is in the rules committee and Aubertine did not follow up with his own Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

McLallen Rewarded for her Effort, But Not Francis

Doris Gorham McLallen, former candidate for the Jefferson County Legislature in district 11 who ran against Bob Boice and lost last year, is being rewarded by the Democratic Party for her efforts as a good candidate. She has been appointed by Governor Paterson to the Jefferson Community College Board of Trustees. She will be succeeding immediate past President Richard Howland.
Danny Francis, who was an announced candidate for the 23rd Congressional District but failed to obtain the required number of petitions for ballot access, actually saved taxpayers money, but he was not rewarded by the Democrats for his efforts.

If Danny had been successful in getting on the ballot, he would have forced a primary with fellow Democrat Michael Oot in 11 counties. The new ballot marking devices (voting machines) would have had to be dispatched to their respective polling places, at a considerable cost to the counties for the primary as well as the general election; therefore, by not having a primary Dan Francis actually saved the taxpayers, in several counties, money.

The Democrats must have figured that is as much of a consolation prize as necessary for a good government type like Dan.

Show Me The $

The financial disclosure reports are in for the candidates in the 48th Senate District and 118th Assembly District races and the only engine that appears to be revved up at the starting line is Renzi. The petition process is now closed and the campaigns begin in earnest.

Dave Renzi comes out of the gate with an impressive report. His individual contributors are local people. Renzi's report shows an expenditure for commercial production, which is likely a sign there will be commercials up and running soon.

Darrel Aubertine's report is mundane and not overly impressive for a sitting Senator, and it is worthy to note it is laden with special interest contributions. This will kind of put to the test the definition of who is "one of us."

Addie Jenne Russell's report is pretty lean.

Bobby Cantwell's report appears to be quite active especially with some contributors from the river area.


Here is status of the money so far available for campaigns in the Senate.

The money totals are for Senate Campaign and Housekeeping accounts, and State Party Cash and Housekeeping Accounts .

Democrats    $2,478,321 Total
Republicans $6,551,696 Total

Senate Race Ad

Senate race 7th district candidate Barbara Donno has released another commercial.

Campaign '08

Send a JibJab Sendables® eCard Today!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

North Country Public Radio Has A Different Version of The YMCA Story

The Rejected Covers of the New Yorker

The Georgetown On The Record is claiming they have the rejected covers of The New Yorker, here.

They are making light of the situation with a little help from photoshop. The parody by Georgetown students will probably not humor the already angered.  

Monday, July 14, 2008

Responsible NY - Gimmick or Substance?

It has been less than a week since Golisano announced his multi-candidate, independent political action committee along with the platform and process. At first, it was suspect about his intentions, whether he was throwing his money around to influence state politics and his stunt would be nothing more than another special interest, then he announced a process and platform.

The intentions started to crystallize and it appeared this action was all about honorable intentions, but alas, the first instinct appears to be the correct one. Golisano only appears to be mouthing government reform and not really serious. In less the seven days since he announced the PAC, the platform and candidate questionnaire that needed to filled he has begun picking favorites without a process taking place.

Sadly, he is making announcements for support before candidates have had a chance to address the issues and fill out the questionnaire and some of the candidates he has announced the PAC's support are people whom he has had discussions with, which is potential trouble for him keeping this legal.

Danger Democrat was right, Golisano is wrong headed.

A comment from DD
Hey! How much do you need? Are those really big players with really huge pockets good for our political system? The DD answer is a resounding, "No." Whether its lefty George Soros, righty Ross Perot or lately the power seeking Tom Golisano the tossing of large campaign contributions as bait is a perversion of the system envisioned by the framers.

This appears to be nothing more than a gimmick.

LATER ADD:
An article written by Jay Gallager can be read here and it ask a very good question:
The question for New York now is, can Golisano's money buy a more democratic and responsive state Legislature?

The other question he did not ask; is what does Golisano want if the candidates he supports are elected? This is what voters should ask candidates who receive his support, he obvious is not looking for real reform that is only a masquerade.

Also Common Cause which is a citizen's good government, non-partisan lobbying group  appears to be opposed to Golisano's gimmick.

Susan Lerner, Executive Director had this to say

“Stretching the system to its limits I don’t think is an effective way to advance reform."

The New Yorker

The cover of The New Yorker is creating quite a stir.
Read Here but here is an excerpt

If it was meant to be provocative -- it succeeded. The cover of this week's New Yorker features Baack Obama in Muslim garb, with his gun-toting Afro-ed wife, an American flag burning in the fireplace.

It has already drawn laughs -- while being denounced by the Obama campaign, and by John McCain, and many Obama supporters.

The artists says it was merely meant to make fun of rightwing depictions of Obama and his wife.

More On Schumer's Loose Lips

The Office of Thrift Services is lashing out at Senator Charles Schumer for his continued public involvement in the IndyMac bank failure. It was not good enough for Schumer to raise concerns privately he orchestrated leaks through a release of letters to the media.

Comments from the Office of Thrift Supervision, which regulated IndyMac, said "the immediate cause" of the failure was statements made by Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat. Mr. Schumer in late June publicly raised concerns about the bank's solvency.


"Although this institution was already in distress, I am troubled by any interference in the regulatory process," said OTS Director John Reich.

IndyMac responded to irresponsible leaks by Schumer with this comment included "as a result of Sen. Schumer making his letters public and the resulting press coverage, we did experience elevated customer inquiries and withdrawals in our branch network last Friday and on Saturday of roughly $100 million"

The LA Times reported 

John Reich's comment "Dissemination of incomplete or erroneous information can erode public confidence, mislead depositors and investors, and cause unintended consequences, including depositor runs and panic stock trades. Rumors and innuendo cause damage to financial institutions that might not occur otherwise and these concerns drive our strict policy of privacy."  

John D. Hawke, the U.S. comptroller of the currency (regulator of national banks) from 1998 to 2004, had more pointed words for Schumer in a story in the American Banker newspaper today.

"If Schumer continues to go public with letters raising questions about the condition of individual institutions, he will cause havoc in the banking system," Hawke said.

"Leaking his IndyMac letter to the press was reckless and grossly irresponsible. I don't see how he can be trusted with confidential information in the future. What this incredibly stupid conduct does is put at risk the willingness of regulators to share any information with the [congressional] oversight committees. After this, you'd be crazy to share information with Schumer."


So, as one comment stated in the previous post about Schumer's grand standing, they were concerned P IV was not citing sources other than the Wall Street Journal. Here is continuing coverage of the unrestrained boisterous Senator, for those who want to continue to defend his actions.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: "You're Out of Here"

Blogger antithesis Danger Democrat is a big baseball fan, but, it seems he is as passionate about baseball as he is about politics and he will argue to the point of ejection from the game.

The comical part of this is that he was the announcer! He was not actually part of either team, or so he was not suppose to be, but his bias (same as in politics) came through as he was announcing a Wizards game. He and Saratoga manager Kevin Graber were both ejected and escorted out of the Duffy Dome.

Graber managing a team from Bruno's district, wonder if DD thought he was a Republican?

Is it possible to do the same in blogging, eject him for unsportsmanlike conduct when the real battle begins this fall?

Renzi For Senate

The Renzi web sites are popping up all over the place.

The Dave Renzi campaign site has launched.

See it here

Family Values

Early last week we came across a new blog and later in the week, Jefferson Democrat.org had it posted and now it is on NewZjunky.

It is a good site that demonstrates the deep family values of David and Jessica Renzi. Jessica is blogging their family time on the campaign trail in David's quest for the 48th Senate seat and while discussing the new blog the other day, she said, "I want people to know what life is like on the campaign trail and I want the two boys to have something to look back on later in life."

David and Jessica parents of two young boys have made this campaign about you, the north country values and most importantly about family values and they are demonstrating it. It does not get any better than that.

Nice Job Jessica, she even has it up to date from yesterday events, which is no small task!!!! 
Here is the blog

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Town of Watertown's "Superdome"

Town of Watertown Supervisor Joel Bartlett has proposed building a dome as a venue for various activities. A noble idea indeed, but not financially viable, therein lies the rub. Bartlett expects everyone else to pay for it.
How can a representative who is thinking clearly propose a project under their jurisdiction, such as what the Town of Watertown Supervisor is doing and then say to other entities that they would like help paying for the project?
According to reports in the Watertown Daily Times, operational cost of the project could be $385,000 to $550,000, which in itself is a big range, while the facility is anticipated only to generate $300,000 in revenue, and these figures do not include debt service. What happens if the facility does not meet projected revenues?
If Bartlett is interested in getting into the arena business, then perhaps he could discuss the current facility, the Watertown Ice Arena, with the city officials for possible joint ownership or even complete take over of the facility.
Local officials have been talking for years of expanding the city ice arena and the city was looking at a cash infusion for maintenance at budget time, this would be the perfect place for Bartlett to spend some of the town’s money. The city residents are already paying for one arena, they do not need to pay for another by way of a tax subsidy.
The intended use of the county bed tax revenue is for promotional purposes and not a means for paying for capital projects. If the county were to participate in the Town of Watertown’s project that would open the door for every town to ask the county to tax something for their capital projects, under the guise of a “regional facility.” 
The arena, convention center or dome, whatever it is, is a worthy dream, but a town without any town property tax rate proposing for others to raise taxes to pay for it, is nonsensical. The project on the surface appears to be poorly thought out.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Schumer Comments Fails Bank

IndyMac Bank assets were seized by federal regulators today

And blame for the failure lands to none other than our infamous camera friendly Senator Charles Schumer!

The director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, John Reich, blamed IndyMac's failure on comments made in late June by Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), who sent a letter to the regulator raising concerns about the bank's solvency. In the following 11 days, spooked depositors withdrew a total of $1.3 billion. Mr. Reich said Sen. Schumer gave the bank a "heart attack."
"Would the institution have failed without the deposit run?" Mr. Reich asked reporters. "We'll never know the answer to that question."
And who will pay for Schumer's flippant remarks and his love and quest for face time in front of a camera, the public, the average borrower. The banks will experience increased FDIC insurance rates that will ultimately be passed onto the consumer.
 The failure could be felt across the entire banking industry, as the FDIC will likely have to raise insurance assessments for all banks to build up government reserves. "It takes a big chunk out of the FDIC insurance fund," said Chip MacDonald, a banking lawyer at law firm Jones Day. He said that if the FDIC hikes insurance fees, that will add to already-intense pressure on bank profits.

Tidbits

Oswego County repealed the sales tax cap on gasoline during yesterday's board of legislature meeting.

Darrel Aubertine is complaining about the very same thing the Assembly did while he was a member, holding up legislation of a minority member. Like the ethics law he violated, he probably does not remember how the Assembly worked.

The Governor is on the trail, the snowmobile trail that is, while the state swept $1 million dollars from the trail fund this year, the governor makes good to prevent that from happening again and enhance the revenue as well.

The Town of Watertown wants the City of Watertown to relieve them of property taxes for an arena that will take away business from their own arena and the town wants the the Jefferson County Legislature to raise taxes to pay for it! Joe Barlett sure is creative, lets see how the respective bodies respond.

Now that it looks like Darrel Aubertine or Addie Jenne Russell would not qualify for the Tom Golisano campaign assistance funds because it will run against their base of support from the unions, Danger Democrat takes a swipe a Golisano.

And is this a sign Obama is losing some appeal?

Another Strong Message From Treadwell

Just as the Democratic Congress has entered shut down mode and their approval rating is in the sink hole Congressional candidate Sandy Treadwell introduces a timely commercial.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Obama Is Just More Tax & Spend Policies

A selection of comments and Obama quotes. for the day!

"I do not make a promise that we can reduce it by 2013 because I think it is important for us to make some critical investments right now in America's families," Obama told reporters this week when asked if he'd match McCain's pledge. 

Obama plans to raise $100 billion annually by increasing taxes on Americans making more than $250,000 a year, money that would be used to pay for health care and tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners. He has said ending the Iraq war would generate about $80 billion a year, but he's not using that to pay down the deficit either. Instead, he said that money could help pay for more government programs like health care, education, housing and public safety.

 "The problem there is that the Democrats have been very critical of President Bush for spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the war without paying for it and running up the deficit," Bixby said. "But in effect what Obama is saying is, `I'm going to spend the same amount of money. I'm just going to spend it on something else.'"
 Obama has only been in this election for over a year now and they election is only 4 months away, yet he has not and will not produce a proforma budget until later.

Obama's economic policy director, Jason Furman, said the campaign will release a formal budget later in the year that explains his spending in greater detail. Furman added that "while we would like to balance the budget, we cannot say exactly when that will happen given the need to make important investments and the large amount of uncertainty in the economy."
.

Obama Sweetheart Mortgage?

The Hill is reporting a complaint has been filed on a possible sweetheart mortgage deal from Northern Trust for his $1.65 million house with six bedrooms, four fireplaces, a four-car garage and 5 1/2 baths, including a double steam shower and a marble powder room along with a wine cellar, a music room, a library, a solarium, beveled glass doors and a granite-floored kitchen.


Read it here

The Washington Post has more detailed report here
Obama paid no origination fee or discount points, as some consumers do to reduce their interest rates.

Jesse on Barack Action

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Presidential Politics

John Mc Cain has a new ad, Wesley Clark should open his clap trap, demonstrate his patriotism and try to dispute this ad.



This graphic falls under the category "If the shoe fits"


And this little man, who is posing a large problem to Israel and the US, is willing to meet with Obama anytime, it would be nice for Obama to make good on his word to meet with him without preconditions and do it NOW! That event would be guaranteed to make or break his election.

Goli$sano's Re$pon$ible, NY PAC

Independence Party founder Tom Golisano, announced yesterday his new PAC and is funding it with $5 million in seed money. The political action committee is designed to support any candidate, regardless of party, who in turn support the 8 point platform of the PAC.

(lift cap confidential)
The 8-point platform:
  • Responsible budgets (budget increases limited to the rate of inflation)
  • End to unfunded mandates
  • Property tax reform
  • Campaign and election reform (including redistricting reform)
  • Government employee compensation commensurate with private sector
  • Equitable distribution of economic development resources statewide
  • Government transparency
  • End back door borrowing
Responsible New York Mission Statement

Responsible New York is organized around a core of values, beliefs and principles that are essential to guiding true political reform in the State of New York.  Our quest is to create a political movement to return Albany to its rightful owners. Our pledge is help create an organization with no personal agendas, other than to give a voice to all New Yorkers - Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives and Independences from cities. suburbans and rural areas both upstate and downstate.

Today, more than ever, New York State is at a precipice. This isn’t news to New York families who are struggling to make ends meet, nor is it even news to the legislators in Albany or the special interest that own them.

Responsible New York will endorse candidates in the New York State Senate and Assembly. Candidates will be chosen in a non-partisan manner and only for their commitment and their ability to support Responsible New York,  removing Albany from the grips of special interest and returning our government to the people who support it. And to truly change Albany we will also endorse and support candidates for Congress who will work to put people first.

Responsible New York pledges that we will:
  • Seek to enact economic policies which encourage fiscal responsibility and accountability on the part of both the government and its citizen by creating a modern budgetary process that uses professionally acceptable accounting standards and accrual accounting, avoiding unfunded mandates, understated liabilities, elimination of off-line budgeting and back-door borrowing. And to keep all budget increases limited to the rate of inflation.
  • Support policies to reduce and then eliminate the disproportionate influence narrow special interest currently have on the creation of our laws. We will work to diminish the pervasive and pernicious role of campaign contributions in buying access to legislative decisions.
  • Support and work with candidates who truly want campaign finance and electoral reform including, but not limited to, redistricting and franking privileges.
  • Work toward a more equability and fair real estate property tax program to correct the financial burden that property taxes play on both the homeowner and the New York housing market.
  • Work to correct the imbalance between government employees’ compensation and the private sectors’.
  • Work toward a more fair and equitable distribution of economic development resources with a program to insure accountable to those who receive it.
  • To create a government that is more transparent and understandable to all of the citizens of New York.
Golisano's goals are no doubt admirable and anyone who is reform minded would support this platform, but this will be in direct conflict with special interest and union's support for candidates as well, candidates who have traditionally been in the hip pockets of unions will have a difficult time professing their faith at the Golisano altar.

The other interesting point of the Golisano movement is that a PAC cannot make direct expenditures for candidates, they fund a candidate's campaign and they are limited in the funding that they can provide to a campaign. Golisano is proposing an "independent PAC" removed from any campaign and therefore it can spend any amount they desire in a given race provided there is no coordination with the candidate or the candidate's campaign, which also means after the initial questionnaire is submitted there is no contact with the candidate or their campaign.

Gollisano's difficulty comes in the fact that he has already had contact with some candidates. If this is not executed properly it is sure to have lawsuits swirling around it, and could become nothing more than another special interest, but the initial intent of the PAC is noble!

Golisano, had this to say yesterday for the leadership-driven structure in Albany, saying rank-and-file lawmakers "totally give up their independence" and become reliant on "pork" that is "directly related to how cooperative they are to the speaker."  

WELL SAID!

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