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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


WH Spokesman Robert Gibbs yesterday when questioned about the Great One's campaign promises for no tax increases, which are retracting faster than a tape measure. Uhmm Robert, you fumbled buddy!

Just in case you forgot his promises lies, here is a flash back.

Party Up

Daily News is reporting Board of Elections commissioners were living large in the Finger Lakes last week, contrary to what Governor Paterson has requested. DN even featured a photo of Jefferson County Democratic Party Chair and Election Commissioner Sean Hennessey.

Her report in part:

Up to 180 elections commissioners and staffers wined, dined and danced under the stars last week at an annual conference in the scenic Finger Lakes.

Commissioners and employees spent four workdays at a conference at the Ramada Geneva Lake Front, which included plenty of eating, boozing, golf and touring.

All this while Gov. Paterson is urging state agencies to limit "nonessential" travel to help close the budget gap.

With Albany In Chaos, Board of Election party in Finger Lakes

Budget gaps are meaningless, right Sean?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dede Is Definitely In!

Dede is in!

Dede Scozzafava is running for the 23rd Congressional seat. News is directly from a phone message from Dede herself.

Congrats Dede

This news comes just ahead of a regional meeting for Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence County Republican committee members scheduled July 14th, 7 PM at the VFW in Gouverneur. Each candidate will have time to give a summary of their abilities to fulfill the job and then receive questions from the committee members present.

Potential Race Constestants

Governor 2010:
Lazio is ready, while Giuliani is thinking about it, which is as close as he has come to indicating whether or not he will run for Governor. GOP political trickster Roger Stone met with former Paterson aide Charles O'Byrne then someone mysteriously is attempting to sidetrack a Cuomo run. And Paterson, well with his numbers, he continues to play the role of a catfish in the tank.

US Senate 2010:
Upper east side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney apparently does not seemed to be fazed by the Great One's attempt to prevent contestants to challenge Senator Gillibrand.

Good for her! But better yet, Maloney is up on Gillibrand in the latest Quinnipiac poll by 4 points without even campaigning yet.

062409 NY GOV + BP                                                                                                                        


Our counterpart over at Niagara Times (here) asked us to post this link. Read their post before signing the petition.

You ask, we oblige!

"Referendum on the Separation of New York" ipetition

The Empire Strikes Back

The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is striking back like they are an innocent bystander in this Albany debacle.

Fact is the Democrats were caught flat footed on the Senate floor and people recognize it, get over it and get on with your work.


Read My Lips....

The Great One might as well have used the "read my lips..." line on the campaign trail for all the times he said there will be no new taxes on people earning less than $250,000.

What he did not say is that every promise he made came with an expiration date on it.

Axelrod was pressed on whether Obama will draw a line in the sand and veto any bill that funds health care reform with tax hikes for people making under $250,000 a year — a pledge Barack Obama made during the 2008 presidential campaign.

“One of the problems we’ve had in this town is that people draw lines in the sand and they stop talking to each other. And you don’t get anything done. That’s not the way the president approaches us. He is very cognizant of protecting people — middle class people, hard-working people who are trying to get along in a very difficult economy. And he will continue to represent them in these talks,” Axelrod said.
“But they’re also dealing with punishing health care costs, and that’s something that we have to deal with.”

What the heck with the cap and trade policy they are in for a penny, might as well be in for a pound. Keep goin' Messiah we love you and fall to our knees hailing your every move - no matter what.

When will we wake up to him?

Sunday, June 28, 2009


A perfect shirt to send to Schumer and Gillibrand. Order here

Friday, June 26, 2009

In & Out - Record Time

The New York State Senate is setting land speed records for mandatory sessions called by the Governor.

The Republicans and Democrats gaveled in and out separately in just under 6 minutes total.

Therefore, they are this week's winner of the Whac-a-mole award. (That may be discrediting the moles too much)

What Has This Come To

The tactics in Albany are turning to sandbox warfare with name calling and childish acts of lashing out at each other.

Senator Parker, who is under indictment for felony assault, said lawmakers don't need a "coke snorting, staff-banging governor to lecture us about behavior in government."

And this guy, Senator Parker, wants the power of the New York State Senate turned back to him and his colleagues.

Senator Parker, you need far more than just a lecture on behavior in government.

Yet, the Democrats, who assume the high moral mantle against Espada, remain silent on this creature. 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Power For Jobs Passed - Really?

Senator Aubertine claims to have passed Power for Jobs legislation:

“With the deadline looming, we needed to come together to protect these jobs and pass a bill as quickly as possible to give businesses in the program the certainty they need to plan,” said State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, chair of the Senate’s Energy and Telecommunications Committee. “I’m pleased that we were able to work out a deal with the Assembly and the Governor to ensure that we extended this program.”

Read: here or here

But his colleague Democratic Senator Jeff Klein has a different version of Tuesday's events in the chamber:

Sen. Jeff Klein then stood and read into the record the Senate Democrats' argument that any measures passed at the single-house extraordinary sessions called by the governor are basically moot because the other house isn't also present to pass same-as bills.

And here is Democratic Senator Eric Schneiderman saying they have not passed Power for Jobs. Watch few minutes in the Capital Tonight video.
Could this just be another misunderstanding by our Senator?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Whopper Of An Ad

Now this is prime for a caption contest, BK's new ad, which pushes the limits. The pornoburger is a super seven incher that will blow your mind.

Caption away!

Off The Mark

Oh Mark Sanford, he was a good man well grounded in his policy positions, but he was also grounded in some other position. Supposedly off hiking where supposedly no one knew for certain where he was, but in fact they did know.

Typically I would say private matters are just that, between he and his wife, which should not effect his ability to serve unless of course he crosses the line and allows his staff to lie as seems to be the case here. 

The only say he might have now is how he wants his politic obituary to read. He might have had a chance to sit on the sidelines for a period of time and then make a comeback, but when you have your staff lying for you to cover up your indiscretions then it makes it nearly impossible to make a comeback.

When political wounds are self-inflicted then you deserve everything you have coming at you.

Is a come back possible for him?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How Could They

This is an interesting article from Lady Liz. The Democrats are attempting to woo Espada back into the conference.

How could they ever explain this after the slash and burn they have been doing to Espada? If this happens it will certainly tattoo the Senate Democrats as hypocrites.

Read Here

Two Gavels - One Session

Bizarre is the only way to describe Albany these days.

Just when you think things cannot get any worse, the loose wires in the New York Senate have touched each other and they are shorting out.

Read here:
NY Daily News
Cap Con
NY Daily News

Bowling for Dollars

The battle for the New York State Senate is merely like bowling. It is all about the continuation of bad government and being a member of the 900 club.

The Democrats promised much needed reform, but have failed to deliver in their brief tenure as majority members to deliver any reform. To be fair about it; the Republicans have failed for much longer, so the sympathy level for them is non-existent.

The budget situation in New York is dismal and the Governor is asking every agency to cut back and scheduling layoffs for thousands, but this did not faze the Democrats when they assumed the controls of the Senate.

The Democrats stellar statistics include:
900 staffers added in 5 months.
5% increase in payroll costs, despite a pledge to cut cost.
6 dozen earning in excess of $100 grand each.
Our Senator was not shy on accepting his share, read March 18th Livin' Well.

The battle for the Senate is not about control of the legislation such as same sex marriage, one New York, rent control or any other spin out there - it is about perks and patronage.

An independent commission should be established to set the rules of operation for the Senate with the goal of creating equal representation for every New Yorker including; member items, staffing Senator's offices, legislation being brought to the floor debated and voted up or down (caucus' should not control what makes it to the floor), remove the items that give power to the majority then the status will not be as important and fought for so hard.

Monday, June 22, 2009

NYS Senate In Days Ahead

Could the New York State Senate resemble what happened in this video in the days ahead if an agreement is not reached?

Deal or No Deal?

Here is a deal for the New York State Senate. It is up to the Democrats who have accepted Monserrate, Espada and Parker, all who have unsettling issues surrounding them. Two of the three in the Democratic conference; Parker and Monserrate, are facing felony charges for slugging a photographer and a girlfriend.

The Democrats, who only see the difference between right and wrong in shades of gray, not black and white, seem to take the moral high ground with these legislators' checkered backgrounds only if these legislators are voting against them, as is the case now between the Democrats and Espada.

So the deal is - both conferences accept the mantle of morality and find a way to suspend all three or at least do not allow them to caucus with their conference or vote in a leadership decision until their issues are decided in a court of law. The Republicans give up Espada and the Democrats give up accused felons Parker and Monserrate; deal?

Monserrate, Espada and Parker

Here Are Your Senate Democrats

The New York Senate Democrats along with a little "street heat from the Rev"Al Sharpton. This is worth the 8 minute watch and you will understand why Northern New York is history under their leadership.

Oh and Monserrate has his "Jesus" moment.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Political Reality

You have heard it mentioned frequently that the GOP is going to throw the race in the 23rd Congressional district. It is not so much throwing the race, that will not happen, national GOP and Republican Congressional Campaign Committee will not let it happen, but here is political reality.

It is widely thought that New York is destine to lose two congressional seats after the next round of redistricting in 2012. Therefore, should a Republican win the 23rd Congressional seat and the Democrats regain control of the New York State Senate then this district is as good as gone. So is a Republican win really a win? It will be a short term venture at best.

Is Aubertine likely to be the next Congressman; sure, that is political reality. He made his move by being elected to the NYS Assembly over Patty Ritchie in a race where parochialism played a larger role than politics in Jefferson County and where ability was never a consideration. Parochialism over all other characteristics will carry the day again in the Congressional race, NNY will want to retain a Representative. Darrel Aubertine will not be the most qualified candidate by any stretch but, Northern New York will retain its Congressman. Aubertine has never been the most qualified to serve, he is not a leader nor a deep thinker, but he is a nice guy and his smile, demeanor and image have masked his weaknesses that is why he continues to win elections.

Of the likely Republican candidates in the field, Dede Scozzafava is capable of being our Representative and she could run and win, but only to be redistricted into newly elected Scott Murphy's 20th Congressional seat. The 20th seat needs more Democrats and they will be looking to expand that district north over the top of NY into St. Lawrence County.

Matt Doheny is also very capable of winning the election and serving as our Representative, only to face Mike Acuri from the 24th district in a runoff after redistricting. The 24th district surrounds Jefferson and Lewis Counties and we will likely end up there with Utica becoming the base of the district with a Republican win.

Will Barclay has the best chance of long term survival as a Congressman, but not as our Representative. Barclay is capable of winning and serving but he will be pushed into Dan Maffei's district, as they look to move Oswego into the 25th district. But then Barclay runs in his base area of Central New York and is capable of beating Maffei and retaining the seat. 

If Aubertine runs and wins, then the Republicans are likely favored to win the 48th Senate seat back. The Democrat's bench is not deep, Addie Russell or John Burns are not ready for the prime time of a Senate race or the responsibilities of the job. Therefore, the GOP is likely to retain their majority status in the NYS Senate which puts them at the table to decide redistricting and the continued balance of power in New York State.

Further, take the perspective of a freshman member of the House of Representatives. A Democrat such as Aubertine will simply be a pimple on the donkey's backside, having little effect on legislation or anything that effects our lives, while McHugh will be watching over our largest asset - Fort Drum. Aubertine will wander aimlessly through the halls of Congress into retirement. A freshman Republican Representative on the other hand will be given a telephone booth for an office, a tin can and string for a telephone and told not to sign a long term lease on an apartment, rent a hotel instead.

It is called political reality.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

One Ringy Dingy, Two...

The Albany disaster is hitting your local phone lines with robo calls.

Listen here or here

Friday, June 19, 2009

Miss Understanding 2009

It is time to crown our new Miss Understanding 2009, and after annual statements of this issue or that issue which must have been a misunderstanding, it is fitting to name our Senator the new Miss Understanding 2009.

Almost one year ago today NYPA was the misunderstanding - here.

And yesterday's Congressional race political stunt with Dean Skelos was a misunderstanding also - here.

It was clear to everyone within the boundaries of New York State except one person that neither side is moving off their positions. The Democrats will not enter the chamber for fear it gives tacit approval to the Monday coup and the Republican's will not give up ground that their vote stands.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Darrel Defection ? You Betcha

Darrel Aubertine defecting to the coalition government?

Albany is abuzz with a rumor that Darrel Aubertine is making moves to join the Republican-led Senate leadership coalition and end the stalemate that’s paralyzed state government.

Capital Tonight was the first to Twitter about the possibility of an Aubertine defection, but the signs have been there for days.

But it may be more than just a rumor.

Aubertine approached GOP leaders earlier today to request that his bill extending the state’s Power for Jobs program be included in the bipartisan list of bills that the coalition had hoped to take up if they could convince even some Democrats to end their boycott and show up for session.

According to a well-placed Albany source, that’s exactly what Aubertine committed to do, enabling the coalition to complete its business and thwarted efforts by his fellow Democrats to continue to disrupt government.
At least that was the plan until Democrat leader John Sampson caught wind of the plan and made who-knows-what threats and/or promises to keep Aubertine on the reservation.

It’s not been clear where Aubertine stands on the new Senate Democrat leadership.

In the wake of last week’s surprise power shift, Aubertine stood directly behind the dethroned Malcolm Smith at a press conference called to denounce the event.

On Thursday, he was insisting that Smith’s leadership was still secure, and that Smith was so confident, he still planned to attend Friday’s Jefferson County Democrat dinner (he didn’t).

Aubertine skipped Friday’s emergency meeting that anointed Sampson as the new leader and was one of only two Democrats who failed to show up at the coronation press conference Monday.
All signs of disapproval of his colleagues maneuvers in the aftermath of their historic defeat?
Twitter link: CapitalTonight

Or Cap Con Blog


High card takes all!

The New York State Senate should follow the example of Cave Creek Arizona. High card becomes the new leader! That is how Cave Creek decided a deadlocked political race.

Sometimes New Yorkers just make life too complicated.

Watch the card draw here.

PHOENIX — The election came down to the high card.
Withthe final Town Council seat in the small Phoenix-area town of CaveCreek on the line, two candidates who tied with 660 votes apiece in aMay runoff cut cards to decide the race.

The winner was 25-year-old Adam Trenk, whose king of hearts beat out former Councilman Thomas McGuire's six of hearts.

An obscure Arizona law dating to 1925 says that election ties in all but the state's five top offices should be broken "by lot."

MayorVincent Francia called Monday's event "pure Cave Creek." As cameracrews and bystanders crammed into the town hall, Francia drew one ofthree decks from a cowboy hat. A judge shuffled and

McGuire drew first.

With Trenk's draw, cheers erupted, and he was immediately sworn into office.

Day 4

Today begins day 4 of the deadlock in Albany with Democrats refusing to show up to the chambers and conclude their business for this year.

Meanwhile, state sales tax revenue continues to plunge this year with May sales tax collection tanking by 36%. This month revenue reporting will be the real tell for the state budget as June is the month in which the first fiscal quarter income tax estimates are due. So while Albany burns, the Democrats continue their temper tantrum.

But one Democrat is courageous enough to step forward and accept blame for the shortcomings of Malcolm Smith and the balance of the Democrats in the Senate. Democrat Senator Liz Krueger penned a letter to her constituents describing their shortcomings this year. Here is some text from her letter.

I think all of us in the Democratic conference have to look critically at what role we played in what went wrong.  I believe that the biggest failure of my conference was that it was not aggressive enough in advancing a reform agenda.  From the day I ran for office I have advocated for reform of the Senate’s rules in order to empower individual members regardless of who was in the majority.

While the Democratic leadership did introduce new rules that improved transparency, made it easier to move bills to the floor, and offered a broader proposal for significant reforms of the committee process, other issues such as equitable distribution of resources were not addressed.  The common sense and “small d” democratic changes I have been fighting for were rejected. I believe that many of my colleagues adopted a “to the victor goes the spoils” model, and while I repeatedly argued against this, in the end, the conference was not willing to go as far down the reform road as they should have.

Of course, this is Albany, so the Democrats, have much to be ashamed of, too. They broke their campaign promises to operate the Senate in a more open and democratic fashion. Instead, they used their narrow majority to vindictively punish Republican senators….

I am hopeful that one of the lessons learned from this whole process will be the need to develop fairer and more equitable rules. Every senator, regardless of party, represents the same number of constituents and should have adequate resources.  I am an optimist and believe that if I persevere we will ultimately be able to make real progress.
There is at least one Democratic Senator in New York that gets it - equal resources.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Sampie Insurgency

The colorful former Supervisor from Alexandria Bay, Sampie Sutton, who was sent by voters to political purgatory in his last election wants to be reelected.

There has been speculation about his return and now the word from a close friend of his in Alex Bay is that Sampie is a go for this election.

Sampie was always controversial on a number of issues ranging from his large pay increases to a major revaluation of real property that sent property taxes along the river soaring to his large fund balance of taxpayer's money. He was even bold enough to make lite of a comptrollers finding that the town fund balance was too high by claiming they had a nickname for the excessive fund balance.

Sampie is not much of one to filter anything before he speaks, so the election season in Alexandria Bay is likely to be a colorful event.

Lights, Cameras, roll'em Sampie - you're on!



The New York State Senate is hopelessly deadlocked at 31-31 which prevents any legislation from moving forward and it even prevents a session from occurring because it takes 32 members to constitute a quorum.

Both sides are claiming victory from yesterday's court ruling that essentially was a non ruling by saying the judicial branch will not interfere in a leadership spat in the legislative branch, now be big boys and girls and work it out. Yet, there is no movement in the stalemate with both sides paralyzed.

The Democrats refuse to return to the chamber, which would be proof that they acquiesce to the leadership vote that resulted in the successful coup last week.

So if the Democrats are claiming victory, why are they considering appealing the decision? If the Democrats never lost control why are displacing their leader, Malcolm Smith? If the coup is invalid why are the Democrats firing the legislative floor lawyers who were caught flat footed?

Both sides should refrain from labeling the other side as just playing politics or as Senator Aubertine called it "a political stunt." This is simply hard ball politics being played by both sides and the Democrats lost in a game of musical chairs. 

The only way out of this mess is negotiations between both sides which should result in a down the center line agreement that provides equity among the members of the Senate; for staff, member items, legislation, etc. They should seize this moment as an opportunity for historical reform that creates equal representation for all New Yorkers regardless of political party representation.

This will most likely take some sort of mediator independent of all the bickering to work out an agreement, none of the Senators have shown the ability to think through to a resolution.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Aubertine Supporters Read This.

This is written by Darrel Aubertine's biggest fan, who usually writes glossy pieces and assigns headlines dripping with fondness for Aubertine, but he is not a fan of the candidate for Congress Darrel Aubertine.

I would agree Aubertine served us well once he got his feet under him in the Assembly, but he has not served us well as Senator where the job demands someone to be more of a leader and thinker.

He may serve us as well as any freshman Congressman can, which will amount to being non-existent in the halls of Congress where seniority is everything.


Memo To Darrel

Monday, June 15, 2009


Democrats who assumed the pedestal of moral high ground last week.
Last week during the GOP coup
Used in an attack on Senator Hiram Monserrate for changing his alliance which allowed the GOP to regain control of the NYS Senate. Democrats unleashed a relentless personal smear campaign on Monserrate. 
7 days later now a love fest by the Democrats for Monserrate.
Monserrate is accused of a felony, he was last Sunday before the coup and the Democrats failed to deal with him, he was Tuesday after the coup and the Republicans did business with him and he still is today while the Democrats do business with him again.

"the ousted Dem leader whose spokesman called Monserrate a "thug" after his defection - Monday called him "important" and "someone who we're happy to have in our conference."

Day Off

Traveling today - no posts

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Power & Gridlock

The New York State Senate is likely headed for a 31-31 split with Monserrate headed back to the Democratic caucus while Malcolm Smith (who was a no show in Watertown and apparently not a man of his word - surprise there) is ousted as leader and Pedro Espada is not likely to ever head back to the Democratic majority after what they have put him through this week. Therefore, if the leadership vote from Monday's coup holds the Republicans retain control and the majority while the vote count forever is 31 a piece.

It was a good move Monday for Republicans to regain control of the Senate and stop the radical agenda of the Democrats, but the Republicans should have thought through the long term relationships needed to move valuable legislation forward. The coup was successful, but governing is the ultimate test of success, time will tell.

Locally another power struggle is on the horizon in the local city council race.

The Mayor sets the stage with his view on issues for the upcoming council race, which includes a discussion on a second sheet of ice for the fairgrounds arena. The mayor is adamantly opposed to a second sheet of ice, therefore his candidate Teresa Macaluso will oppose it while Joe Butler and Jeff Smith's candidate - Steve Bradley - will support it. The deciding vote for either side is running for the open seat.

While the second sheet of ice becomes the centerpiece issue of a bigger balance of power play and the cooing continues over the recent legislation to exempt the YMCA from property taxes, maybe they should have a serious discussion about the Y actually taking over the arena and running that as well. Who is best suited to provide recreational activities to the public - the YMCA or a government entity such as the City?

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

The rumors have been rampant about tension between Assemblywoman Addie Russell and Senator Darrel Aubertine. The rumor was fueled the other day with the Senator's press release on the YMCA legislation in which he simply referred to her as "our Assembly representative" and never referred to her by name or even gave the appearance that he offered to quote her in his release.
 "Now with the help of Senator Aubertine and our Assembly representative we are able to enter into a long-term agreement to provide quality recreational resources for the community."
 Coincidental, perhaps or perhaps not!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Issues Du'jour

Parsing the local media today several issues arise that could give way to lively discussion, so here they are.

Matt Doheny is no longer the phantom candidate for the 23rd Congressional district, he is alive and well and prepared to run for the seat, but the Republicans appear non-committal.

The City of Watertown wants to provide laptops for the council folks. The intent is correct about going paperless where time, money and other equipment that will be saved but not producing paper agendas. But in difficult economic times is it necessary for the city to purchase councilors their own laptops? I thought everyone owned a computer these days.

Michael Docteur announces his re-election bid and has some good thoughts that puts him on the tough to beat list.

YMCA gets their legislation through Albany that allows another piece of property to become tax exempt. Should the YMCA, who competes in an arena (so to speak) where other for profits are trying to make a living be allowed to compete with them tax free?

Eric Dunk unplugged has just been corked by his company Harley Davidson, but this is the not last of Eric Dunk, never has - never will be, he is just being Eric. If you listen to Eric on the Hotline, he is very well spoken.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spot On

Monroerising nails the current state of affairs with the Democrats and the coup.

Read it here: Senate Democrats want Monserrate to be their BFF again.

Coup Is Nothing New

Coups are nothing new to our own Senator Darrel Aubertine that is how Darrel Aubertine became chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Legislature.

Aubertine, who pledged his support to then Legislator Paul Warneck, orchestrated a secret meeting at Legislator Jim St. Croix's house to overthrow the leadership vote at the last minute.

After the November election Paul Warneck decided to seek a consecutive term as Chairman of the board. At that time Warneck had the support of Democrats Aubertine and Martusewicz as well as Republicans Fikes, Converse, Zando, Behling and himself, which left Waite, Longway, Parks, Ward, Adsit, Butler, St. Croix unaccounted for in the vote count.

During the lead up to the leadership vote Darrel Aubertine repeatedly pledged his support for Warneck up until 5 minutes before the meeting when he informed Paul Warneck that he was going to seek the nomination of chair.

The deal was hatched in that secret meeting at Jim St. Croix house on the weekend before meeting.

Even though the Aubertine coup was successful, he only appointed one of his dissent followers as a chair of a committee and three of his followers lost their next election and Butler left on his own accord.

Senator Darrel Aubertine knows how coups work, just ask him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Open Thread - Questions For Malcolm Smith

Failed leader of the Senate and New York State, Malcolm Smith is due in this weekend for the Democratic Party dinner at the Northside Improvement League.

What are the questions a good reporter from the main stream media would ask him? We can only hope they do not get all giddy and throw the usual soft balls.

1. Sens Espada and Monsserate had issues prior to the Monday coup, that are now being exploited by your Democratic colleagues, why did you choose not to deal more strongly with their indiscretions as well as Sen. Parker issues sooner?

2. Do you think New Yorker's were ready for the far left leaning agenda that was being pushed by you and your colleagues in the majority?

3. You were the majority leader when the disastrous farm bill came to be and as majority leader and Darrel Aubertine a member of the majority you had the ability to kill the bill, why did you not stop it? (Please do not accept it had a bipartisan support - that is a red herring)

4. You obviously have a good deal of confidence in Darrel Aubertine, do you think he would make a good Congressional candidate and do you support him running?

5. (Post your own questions)

Say What - A Must Listen

Actual audio of drug dealers celebrating the Rockefeller Drug Law reform passed by the Democrats in Albany.

Audio is offensive. 

The audio was intercepted by law enforcement. The new law (which took effect Monday) allows convicted felons to have their arrest and conviction sealed, putting their out of reach of potential employers during background checks.

Click here to listen

And people wonder why there was a leadership coup in Albany.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Historical Move

It could be said a historical move to gain control of the New York State Senate as it shifted in the mid term to the Republicans.

But, the Democrats want to claim the moral high ground by saying the Republicans are dealing with the devils.

Hold on a minute here, there are three Democrats who have problems:

Pedro Espada
Hiram Monserrate and
Kevin "Sluggo" Parker

All three of them should have been tossed by the Democrats, but they did not have the b@lls to it when their majority was riding on the line. Then two of the three departed their colleagues and now the Democrats cry foul.

Look at the third - he is to the right of Darrel Aubertine in this picture, Kevin "Sluggo" Parker, who should have been benched with the the other two.

Too late folks to claim the moral high ground, and they still are not smart enough, they parade out one of the three who is indicted on felony charges to stand next to the former majority leader.

Keep in mind, there are more Democrats to follow the new coalition government, only 24 of the 32 showed up for the former majority leader's press conference.

Malcolm Smith has bungled this from the start.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bi-Partisan Leadership

Democrat Pedro Espada and Republican Dean Skelos being sworn in today as President Pro Tem and Majority leader.

Here Is The Court Challenge Coming


“This was an illegal and unlawful attempt to gain control of the Senate and reverse the will of the people who voted for a Democratic Majority. Nothing has changed, Senator Malcolm A. Smith remains the duly elected Temporary President and Majority Leader.  The real Senate Majority is anxious to get back to governing, and will take immediate steps to get us back to work.”

Republicans Reclaim Senate Majority

In a controversial vote the Republican's have regained the New York State Senate majority.

Details are scketchy at this time, but it appears there was a vote to rescind Malcolm Smith's leadership position and it passed by 32 votes at that point the remaining Democrats departed the chambers knowing their majority was in troubled waters.

The next vote was for new leadership Dean Skelos Majority leader and Pedro Espada, as President Pro Tem which passed with 34 votes. Subject to a likely court battle, (Democrats will claim they recessed) Republicans have gained the majority status back.

Now the big question is - what does the dog do with the car now that he has caught it.

It is not the Republicans job to hold the majority for the Democrats together, so the coup is the Democrat's own doing. But in terms of governing, the Republican ought to proceed with caution, and hopefully their stomachs are smaller from their leadership hiatus and they are less greedy.

The first order of business should be rules changes to ensure every New Yorker is treated equally.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Are We?

As the Democrats finish their first year of total control in New York State, the question to ask yourself is; are we better off today than we were a year ago?

The answer is a pretty easy - NO!

Or as the Democrat and Chronicle says - Democrats get a "pretty far below passing" grade. They passed a budget, in likely to be one of the worst economic times in this generation, which included a 10% spending increase over last year's budget and billions in new taxes. 

Or the Online Leader writes of more hand me downs from Albany that will cause your property taxes to increase, perhaps by a little or possibly by a lot in a place such as Jefferson County. A move by the state to discontinue paying counties to house parole violators will cause a loss of revenue to the county as well as push the jail population higher, resulting in the county having to spend possibly in the range of $10 million to build onto the jail. Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns has been silent toward the Democrats on this issue, but Steuben County Sheriff had this to say:

Well say, right now, we’ve got 11 parole violators,” (Steuben County Sheriff) Ordway said. “It’s been constant. That’s a 1,000 bucks a day.”

And with no financial incentive to retrieve the prisoners, it is likely the state won’t be in a hurry to take the inmates back, he said.

Read: State drops subsidy for county jails.

And what damage that has not been done yet, they are determined to do before session ends this month in Albany. They will put the final blow to an already ailing agriculture industry. They have raised the electricity rates and now they want to raise the payroll cost all the while farmers are on the brink of disaster.
Read: Dairy farmers face crisis.

Democratic controlled Albany is also soft on crime possibly subjecting our youth or adults seeking increased care or your most critical records and information to the hands of past convicted felons and drug users by allowing sealing of past criminal records.
Read: A bad reform amid the good.

Really, is New York State better off now that the Democrats control the New York State Senate, read and you decide.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Down and Dirty in the 23rd

TAP blog does a fairly good job with the an analytical piece on the 23rd Congressional district race.

Read: Where the race stand in the 23rd.

Here is the PIV short and sweet.

Scozzafava is a player in the race and she is moving forward, whether she can win or not is up in the air, she is likely an underdog. She will run without the Conservative line and likely the Working Families party will endorse a Democrat. The Draft Dede to run as a Democrat is a hoax, that too many intelligent people are biting on. One thing is certain, if she wins it will be short lived. Her residence of St. Lawrence is almost guaranteed to be redistricted into any area which will be very difficult for her to win.

Doheny is appealing not only for his ability to self finance the race, therefore he has the ability to get known to voters quickly and on his terms. As a native and resident of Alexandria Bay, he has a good story of hometown boy made good and a dream for others to do the same. He faces the same redistricting issues in 2012 as Scozzafava.

Barclay is appealing for a number of reasons. He is young, intelligent, good political skills and has the ability to stay around Congress long enough to gain seniority and play an important impact role. He would be a good representative for New York state. He also has the financial ability to run the race. And as far as redistricting, he is likely to be pushed in the Syracuse area where he would fare well in a showdown race.

Griffo, Taub, et al.  whoever is the candidate they could use your assistance, but you are unlikely to be considered or more appropriately put embraced by the locals.

Democrats: Your bench is not as deep, but you have proven to win by just playing your starters.

Aubertine is your best shot, plain and simple. Yet, he has proven to be ineffective in the New York State Senate where he cannot stop this Ag bill among other issues where he has been rolled by his downstate colleagues. He aspires to serve himself by being an opportunist for the next level, follow his moves closely now and compare those to his deliberate moves he made when the Senate seat opened, you will see a strong comparison. I will venture a guess here - Aubertine has already decided and organizations are being formed, while locals are being played for dumb.

And here is a Special Message to Drew Mangione who keeps blaming the ag bill on bipartisan support - here is your favorite term - red herring! YOU ARE IN THE MAJORITY - STOP THE BILL!

Dan French has an impressive background, but is it one that the common person in NNY can relate to? No, and the fact that he was involved in the Public Integrity mess and threatens to sue boaters on the St. Lawrence River (Can you see a "River runs through it" ad against French) because they drive by his elite waterfront mansion will not play well.

It will be a while before decision are made and there is time, which a day in politics can be an enternity, the scenario may change.

Friday, June 5, 2009

From The Archives

Dan French, an interested candidate for the 23rd Congressional race has an impressive bio included being appointed US Attorney by the Clinton Administration and worked for Daniel Patrick Moynihan. But he was appointed to the Public Integrity Commission by Eliot Spitzer that is where his relationship gets a bit sloppy.

This is from the Albany Times Union.

Group: Is A Lobbyist A Public Integrity Commissioner?

Four government reform groups want the new Public Integrity Commission to look into Syracuse lawyer Dan French’s alleged lobbying activities.

French is one of the 13 commissioners of the state commission created last month to oversee ethics and lobbying activities, serving for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

Because he has represented the Cayuga Indian Nation, which has been trying to resolve land claims with two Finger Lakes counties and build a casino in New York, and has been registered as a lobbyist, the groups suspect he may be ineligible for the commission.

French registered so that he could testify before a legislative panel reviewing casino projects in the absence of a Cayuga leader who was taken ill.

His firm is also registered to lobby in Washington, D.C. this year on behalf of the Cayugas. 
The groups asking Commission Chairman John Feerick to investigate are the Citizens Union of New York, League of Women Voters, New York Public Interest Research Group and Common Cause.

They note that French possesses “impressive credentials”, having served as a U.S. Attorney, but news accounts about French’s work for the Cayugas “raised some questions,” said Russ Haven, the attorney for NYPIRG.

“We don’t have independent information on this other than what’s been in the media reports,” he said. “Maybe it could be cleared up. It’s worth a look, particularly since the new commission’s just starting out. It should remove any questions in the air.”

French had no immediate response.

And more evidence of this sloppy relationship between Spitzer, the commission and their poor work is written about here. Troopergate Probe Skepticism Greets New Integrity Panel.

The vetting process for candidates should be squeaky clean.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

NYS Democrats At Your Service (updated)

NY state reformed the Rockefeller drug laws this year and part of that reform will make you mad as hell. Here is a list of felony crimes that can be sealed by a court in connection with a drug crime. How do like - operating a meth lab, using a child as a drug mule or selling drugs on school grounds. Additionally, defendants can ask to have up to three, unrelated prior misdemeanor convictions sealed.

When these convicted drug felons decide they want to be productive in life and work in places like a child care facility, a school, nursing home or some other place that is responsible for taking care of a loved one, their criminal records are sealed and any of these crimes will not be disclosed during a background check. 

Crimes That Will be Hidden From Prospective Employers

Crimes listed in 410.91 of the Criminal procedure law subject to be sealed:
1. Burglary in the 3rd degree
2. Criminal mischief in the 3rd degree
3. Criminal mischief in the 2nd degree
4. Grand larceny in the 4th degree
5. Grand larceny in the 3rd degree
6. Unauthorized use of a vehicle in the 2nd degree
7. Criminal possession of stolen property in the 4th degree
8. Criminal possession of stolen property in the 3rd degree
9. Forgery in the 2nd degree
10. Criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 2nd degree
11. Unlawfully using slugs in the 1st degree
12. An attempt to commit any of the foregoing crimes if the attempt constitutes a felony
13. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 5th, 4th and 3rd degrees
14. Use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense
15. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the 5th, 4th, and 3rd degrees
16 criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds
17. Criminal injection of a narcotic drug
18. Criminally using drug paraphernalia
19. Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances
20. Criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance.
21. Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material
22. Criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine
23. Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine
24. Unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material
25. Criminal possession of marijuana
26. Criminal sale of marijuana

(Updated portion)

S  3.  The  criminal  procedure law is amended by adding a new section 160.58 to read as follows:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thank You John

John McHugh has served the North Country well during the last 19 years in Congress. If you wish to show your gratitude post a comment and thank him for a job well done.

Projects all across Northern New York from small infrastructure upgrades in towns and hamlets to large affordable housing complexes have all resulted in part with John McHugh's assistance. The best team to get something accomplished was Jim Wright at the State level and John McHugh working at the federal level. If your municipality had a project to implement, improve or upgrade, you wanted their assistance.

John McHugh had a dual approach to border issues, safety and accessibility to keep commerce flowing. He was passionate and effective on the backbone of our area - dairy issues.

The economy all across the nation has changed in a variety of ways during the last 19 years. Our local economy could have been extinct along with the departure of the paper industry, but while communities such as Carthage may have morphed into bedroom communities, our overall economics in the area are better than they were 20 years ago (even though NY state is trying hard now to reverse that) in large part due to John McHugh's work. Small locally owned retailers have found a way to co-exist with large national retailers, opportunities for shoppers have expanded greatly, our military base provides thousands of jobs to private citizens and is home to one of the most active divisions in the army.

Overall the north country provides a great quality of life between the water, open land and summer and winter activities. That is why people live here, and John McHugh through his hard work made it a better place to live. Congratulations, thank you and best wishes John.

John McHugh - the 23rd Congressional district is better than what it was when you entered office - mission accomplished - you served us well - THANK YOU! Post a thank you note.

Then we will begin the process of vetting the contenders.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Line 'em Up - Open Thread

Who will run for Representative in Congress from the NY - 23rd.

Short List

Daniel French
Darrel Aubertine

Betty Little
Will Barclay

Name others!

Big Breaking News For McHugh

Congressman John McHugh will be named Secretary of the Army by President Obama.

Read more here: Obama To Name New York Republican
or here NY Times Caucus Blog  

Monday, June 1, 2009

Showdown - What Is He Doing?

Unions vs. Farmers
The Senate Democrats continue to demonstrate their lack of knowledge and regard for upstate's economy and Senator Aubertine as the Senate’s Agriculture Committee does not appear to doing much to change the course.

So far he has failed to stop legislation that farmer's say will devastate agriculture and drive many more of them out of business.

At a press conference in the state office building in Albany, Aubertine said he had received “literally hundreds of letters from farmers and individuals from across the state opposing” two bills that would mandate time off for farm workers and force farmers to pay overtime to their farm hands.

One of Aubertine’s co-founders of the Upstate Democrat Caucus sponsors the bills, and a second, Senator Stachowski, voted for them in Labor committee today, moving the legislation a step closer to becoming law.

But Ag Chairman Aubertine, in response to a reporter’s question, admitted that he had not even talked with Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith to state his opposition to the downstate Democrats who control the fate of the legislation.

“I have not talked to (Democrat leader) Sen. Smith as of yet,” Aubertine said.

Taking careful notes was the head of the NY Farm Bureau, which has labeled the bill’s defeat one of it’s top priorities this year.

Senator Cathy Young, past chair of the Agriculture Committee, didn’t mince words when she leveled a challenge to Aubertine saying Democrats control the agenda and the ability to block the bills even from coming to a vote in the Senate.

“If these bills go through they will cause thousands of jobs to go under and countless jobs at farms, processing plants and farm supply businesses will be lost,” she said.

“Livelihoods will be taken away, and life savings will be depleted. It will be the final nail in the coffin of the Upstate economy.”

“There’s only one way to stop this catastrophe and that is making sure that these bills never see the Senate floor.”

Sheldon Silver, Malcolm Smith and Governor Paterson all appear to be in favor of this legislation and Paterson's father is lobbying for the cause.

Can Aubertine stop this legislation? Does he really want to stop this legislation or just show he does? Why has he not talked to the Majority leader to block this legislation.

History proves he has supported unions before farmers, back in 2003 then Assemblyman Aubertine voted in favor of A02859 which enacts the farm workers fair labor practices act, granting collective bargaining among other things.

Which Way Senator?

Hmmm...interesting dichotomy here!

Democratic majority and special interest unions with a lot campaign cash vs. struggling farmers who are trying to make a living.

Where is Senator Darrel Aubertine, New York State Senate Agriculture Chairman on this issue?

Jefferson County Agricultural News Flash Network
A service of the Jefferson County Agricultural Development Corporation
Local Farmers Fight Labor Bill in Albany
WWNY TV-7 posted a story to their website about local response to NY Senate Bill 5212 which would mandate overtime pay for farm employees if passed. 

Video WWNY TV 7 news story

Need he be reminded he is one of us...not one of them, right Senator?

It Is Not A Game

Addie Jenne Russell has been relatively low key in her performance as Assemblywoman from the 118th district, going along doing her job and nothing flashy, just getting the job done - until recently.

She has come up on the radar quickly and mainly because she is treating legislating like a game of gimmicks and underestimating her constituent's intelligence.

She voted to pass a floor tax as part of legislation included in part of several budget bills, any one of which she could have easily voted NO on much like many of her Democratic colleagues. But, she voted yes and now she deploys gimmicks like a press conference taped for YouTube and states the floor tax mysteriously appeared in the bill.

When asked by a reporter how she proposes to make up the lost revenue of  $1 million revenue or whatever amount she said the tax represents, she callously states the amount is a minor part of a $131 billion dollar budget that will need fixing later this year anyway.

Here is the text of the bill including the floor tax, looks pretty clear to me, if she in fact even read the bill.

In order to subject beer and wines in this state on May 1, 2009 to the increased taxes imposed by section one of this act, a special floor tax is imposed on each wholesaler or retailer (as defined in the alcoholic beverage control law) or other sellers of beer and wine, other than those registered as distributors under article 18 of the tax law, 35 at the rates shown below with respect to all beer and wines in the possession or under the control on May 1, 2009 of those wholesalers, retailers and other sellers of beer and wines for purposes of sale in the state.

Additionally, any person who is a distributor or manufacturer under article 18 of the tax law is subject to this special floor tax on any beer and wines in his or her possession or under his or her control on which the tax under article 18 of the tax law was already imposed.
This is not a reality show, she needs to read and understand legislation before she votes on it and quit playing games, the consquences effect people's lives.  

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