Dec 26, 2006
Dec 20, 2006
The senator refused to discuss what, exactly, the FBI is looking into. He declined to say whether it has anything to do with Evident Technologies Inc. - the company to which he steered $500,000 via two state grants with no strings attached. Bruno has personal ties to several of Evident's directors, Jared Abbruzzese, one of the company's founders and a former co-chair, and Wayne Barr - both of whom share the senator's interest in horse racing.Abbruzzese is being investigated by the state Lobbying Commission for providing his plane to Bruno for several trips, including a fund-raiser and a tour of several Kentucky horse farms that Barr arranged.One thing you should disregard, though, is Bruno's claim that he is "not a target" of the investigation. Here's why:[Washington attorney Stanley M.] Brand said that distinctions in a federal criminal manual between a "target," someone the Justice Department has decided to seek charges against, and a "subject," someone under investigation who could be upgraded to a target, are largely meaningless in a practical sense. "You can't take these distinctions to the bank, because the Justice Department can change your status whenever it wants to," Brand said.
Brand was talking about Conrad Burns, and you can see how well that bit of verbal legerdemain worked out for old Burnsie. Same, too, with Bob Ney, who claimed he wasn't a "target" almost until he was indicted. He's now going to be sentenced to prison next month.
This story also gives me an opportunity to do something long overdue, which is to tell you about a new SoapBlox blog that's opened up shop right in my political neighborhood. The Albany Project is dedicated to shining a much-needed light on corrupt, obscurantist the New York state legislative apparatus (ranked as the worst out of all 50 by the Brennan Center). The site's already been following this story closely, and it'll be the place to go for continuous coverage of this potentially explosive news.
Nov 27, 2006
Lancman for Assembly – Fresh Meadows, NY March 2006- December 2006
Scheduled candidate’s events and set the candidate’s priorities. Wrote and executed field plan. Was the liaison to labor and political organizations, wrote press releases for local media. Hired, trained and managed paid petitioners. Recruited and managed volunteers and interns.
Mark Peters for Brooklyn DA - Brooklyn, NY April 2005 – September 2005
Hired, trained, and managed 10 paid canvassers/petitioners. Recruited volunteers from personal interactions with the candidate.
Wrote the field plan, with 200,000 targeted primary voters and executed the plan.
Grassroots Campaigns Inc - Tampa, FL January 2005 – March 2005
Mobilized Florida PIRG members to write letters to local media and to their Representatives & Senators in Congress as well as to attend rallies regarding the energy bill.
Organize media events in the Tampa area.
America Coming Together - Newark, OH February 2004 – November 2004
Multi-County Field Director
Hired, trained and supervised a staff of 20 paid canvassers to contact voters in 6 counties of the eastern exurbs of Columbus, OH.
Ensured all employees and volunteers were in compliance with FEC rulings of a 527 non-profit organization.
Responsible for the office's spending and budget.
Finnerty for Town Board Committee – Clifton Park, NY May 2003 – November 2003
Acted as campaign manager, treasurer and field director for campaign of at-large town council seat of town of 33,000 people. Knocked on over 3,500 doors, and had direct contact with 1000 voters.
Chellie Pingree for U. S. Senate – Portland, ME May 2002 – November 2002 Field Organizer
Canvassed door-to-door to persuade targeted voters to support Chellie Pingree
Recruited 11 volunteers to canvass, 17 volunteers to phone bank
Created phone banks for Penobscot, Kennebec, Piscataquis, Hancock, and Aroostook counties
Organized and implemented canvasses of paid staff and volunteers throughout the Greater Bangor area contacting nearly 15,000 voters face-to-face and 25,000 voters by phone
MediaCom – New York, NY May 2001 – May 2002
Assistant Media Buyer
Executed final details of national television ad time with Network and Syndicator Sales department.
Recorded movements of ads within proprietary Netrep computer system with data collected from Nielsen ratings to compare with guaranteed output of ad inventory
Evan Davis Campaign Committee – New York, NY May 1998 – September 1998
Collected and organized petitions for a state -wide Attorney General election.
Shared supervision over thirty paid petitioners.
Maintained a database of constituents.
Education Fordham University, Bronx, NY
B.A. Communications, May 2001
Special Training 21st Century Democratic Field Campaign Training: Intensive training focused on the essentials of running a field campaign including; volunteer recruitment, earned media event planning, analysis of voter files, and letter-to-the-editor campaigning, as well as budgeting time, money, people & other resources.
Skills MS Excel, Word, Access, Voter file analysis, Volunteer recruitment, staff management,
Nov 14, 2006
Dem 2.6 million votes (New Row A)
Independence 146K votes (Maintain Row C)
Working Families Party ~127k votes (Maintian Row E)
Rep 1.1 Million votes (New Row B)
Conservative ~128k votes (Maintain Row D)
Green Party 41k votes (does not receive ballot access)
Nov 7, 2006
Comptroller was the only interesting position I could have voted for and being aware of the Saratoga County Government there was not a snowball chance in hell would I vote Chris Callahan. The question was Hevesi or Green party candidate as a protest vote.
I guess the judges were also necessary votes, but still voting without any real excitement. Remember to go out and vote.
The listing of my representatives produces a very unique overlap and one could probably figure out exactly where I live from it.
Nov 2, 2006
In the 24th State Senate District Mathew Titone beating Citycouncilman Lanza for Senator Marchi's open seat.
In the 2nd State Senate District Brooke Ellison could beat Senator John Flanagan
In the 47th State Senate District John Murad winning the district that Ray Meier is vacating in his run for congress (which he is losing by the account of the public polls and non-partisan Congressional Quarterly's opinion).
In the 11th State Senate District Nora Marino has 3 to 1 Democrats for every Republican registered in her district as she runs against Padavan.
I am sure I've missed a couple of other susceptible districts. The Democrats only need four more seats to win control of the State Senate, and I am sure the next election after the Democrats take control of the senate you will see about a dozen Republican State Senators will retire because they will not want to be in the minority. The Democratic takeover of the state senate will certainly be before the redistricting for the 2012 election which will cause a critical mass of seats change hands to the Democrats. After the 2012 elections the State Seante could very well have 43 seats and look like the state assembly today with veto proof majority.
In the years in between the two marriages John Sweeney had long-term sexual relationship with his district office manager and Member of Saratoga County Board of Supervisor Anita Daly. It did not stop John Sweeney to pursue a relationship with Mrs. Daly even though she was still married. The Congressman's opposition to gay marriage while destroying his and other's marriages is one of many examples of the hypocrisy that John Sweeney is drowning in.
Nov 1, 2006
Posted on TU.com this evening: an article by Brendan Lyons, with work by Elizabeth Benjamin, detailing a domestic incident call last December at the residence of U.S. Rep. John Sweeney.
Sweeney’s wife, Gaia, called 911 to say her husband was “knocking her around the house” and hung up, according to a report on the Dec. 2 incident. Sweeney told a dispatcher who called back that there was no problem, and his wife got on to say she was fine, and drunk, the report states. Police went anyway, which is standard procedure. Gaia Sweeney told the officer they’d had a “verbal arguement that turned a little physical by her being grabbed around the neck and pushed around the house.” The Congressman had scratches on his face, according to the report, and his wife spent the night at a friend’s.
State Police refused for months to release the report, which we finally obtained last week and authenticated by multiple sources. The Sweeney campaign branded it “unauthentic, false and concocted.” The campaign would not address its substance, however.
Oct 31, 2006
This from one the most ardent supporters of Bush's illegal wiretapping, the invasion of privacy Patriot ACT, and opponent of the Roe v Wade decision on the basis that the constitution does not imply there is a right to privacy. Well John if you didn't do anything wrong or illegal, why don't you just come publicly with why the state troopers were coming to your house. What do you have to hide Congressman Sweeney? Were they responses to domestic abuse? Are you running a crystal meth lab up in Clifton Park? or is the truth of the matter that you are running an Al-Queda cell out of your house?
A state official ruled that the New York State Police improperly denied a request for information about police responses to the home of powerful Republican Rep. John Sweeney. The executive director of the state's Committee on Open Government, Robert Freeman, ruled in a July advisory opinion that the police had no right to refuse the request from a producer at WNYT-TV in Albany.
The station requested records indicating the number of times the police had been called to the home of Sweeney, a former executive director of the state Republican Party who represents the Albany area. The state police refused on the grounds that releasing such records would violate privacy.
The rational for allowing Patriot Act, illegal NSA wiretapping, and the Torture Bill (a.k.a. Military Commissions Act of 2006) and every other attempt to rip liberty out of our hands has been that we will die because they want to kill us so we shouldn't question our lost of rights because if we have nothing to hide then we won't be harmed. Except if you are one of the thousand Muslims that have gone missing into the industrial-military complex without a trial. "But Sean" you say "They are a different because their skin color or their religion. Certainly we can trust our government to be fair in their destruction of our rights." Bob Johnson, Congressional candidate from Watertown, NY was held at the airport because his name appeared on the terrorist watch list, the same thing happened to Sen. Ted Kennedy despite the TSA employee in Logan Airport recognizing the Senator he was denied to board a airplane also because his name appeared on the terrorist watch list.
Rep. Sweeney has actually organized terrorism in the past; he organized congressional staffers to go down Broward County Florida during the 2000 presidential recount to scare the Board of Elections to stop the recount despite the majority Republican State Supreme Court ordering it to continue. This act of terrorism is commonly referred to as "The Brooks Brothers Riot" and earned Rep. John Sweeney his Presidentially conferred nickname Congressman Kickass.
Why can't state troopers release their report of their visit to Sweeney's domicile, like they do after everyone else that gets a knock on the door from a State Troopers (ever heard of the police blotter)? Why does dissident-in-chief Sweeney get special treatment? Why is Rep. John Sweeney hide the facts? What did John Sweeney do to deserve a visit from the State Troopers?
Aug 22, 2006
The state should create a uniform differential pay program to accommodate city workers returning from military duty who are now required to pay back as much as $100,000 of their supplemental earnings, a Democratic candidate for State Assembly said last week
"These are people who are literally defending the city against future terrorist attacks," said Rory Lancman, who's running to succeed Queens Assemblyman
Brian M. McLaughlin, who is not seeking a new term. "We are not asking for them to get free money. All we are asking for is that the city calculate the money fairly, so that these guys are not paying more
than they received."
The Bloomberg administration, however, has traditionally opposed legislation that would add to the city's already burgeoning pension and labor costs.
"It's a very small sum in the scheme of things to protect this city," Mr. Lancman countered. "We are not talking about more than a couple of thousand city workers. It's not going to be more than a few million dollars."
State statute requires every locality to continue to pay up to 30 days a year to workers who perform ordinary National Guard and Reserve military service. After
The state Department of Civil Service provides differential pay for state workers called to duty, who must choose between receiving their military or state salaries. The state determines the employee's total military pay, which includes a housing and food allowance, and then adjusts and supplements the worker's periodic paycheck so that the combined pay equals their normal civilian salary.
Staff Must Repay
Kristen Zach, Councilman McMahon's Deputy Chief of Staff, said that her Police Officer husband returned from a year of military service in 2002 but only recently received a letter from DCAS asking for the money to be returned.
"It was a huge surprise," she remarked, noting that they owe $37,000 according to the city's calculations. "Now we have to figure out what to do. A lot of people were lulled into a false sense of hope."
Council Member McMahon has drafted a resolution urging the Bloomberg administration to change the way the city has estimated what employees owe. "It's a way to encourage the Mayor to do the right thing," Ms. Zach said. A mayoral spokesman declined to comment on the proposal, noting that it has not yet been drafted.
According to an internal DCAS memo, there have been 1,624 city workers called to active duty since
Faster to Notify
Agencies have established their repayment plans differently, the document noted. For instance, the Sanitation Department has been notifying employees of their obligation to pay back the money shortly after the workers return from service.
The NYPD, however, has only recently begun sending letters to members telling them about the amounts that they owe, the memo acknowledged. "The first letters went to approximately 100 individuals who returned from military duty from 2001 through September 2002," the DCAS document noted. "The NYPD expects to issue letters at a later point to those individuals who returned from leave in more recent years."Because of the delay, many of the officers have already retired, Mr. Lancman pointed out. Those officers have been ordered to pay the money in full within 30 days. In contrast, current employees are required to give no more than 10 percent of their biweekly civilian salary towards repayment. "When they came back, the city was going to let it slide," the Assembly candidate asserted. "You can't retire, because the day you retire you are going to owe the whole thing."
The DCAS memo also noted the negative media attention the issue had been attracting since the notification letters were mailed. DCAS Director of Communications
But Mr. Lancman is quick to point out that Mr. Alam's own local has refused to endorse him, despite his gaining the backing of DC 37. Mr. Lancman, who political pundits view as the favorite, has been endorsed by many elected officials and has broad labor support, including
that of the United Federation of Teachers and the DC 37 Retirees' Association.
Aug 21, 2006
The American Bangladesh Friendship Association notified the city's Department of Youth and Community Development that it had decided on Jan. 25 to halt a $16,000 contract begun on July 1, 2005, for immigration referral and youth services.
Two days earlier, at 7 p.m., two DYCD officials made an unannounced visit to the program, located in the basement of a private house at 169-08 Grand Central Parkway.
"The visit noted no discernable attendance and/or registration records," Timothy Johnson, DYCD's director of discretionary contracts, wrote in a Feb. 1 memo.
The executive director of American Bangladesh Friendship Association at the time was Morshed Alam, who is running for the Assembly seat vacated by Brian McLaughlin, the labor leader under investigation for allegedly helping rig a city electrical contract.
Alam told The Post that his group has since disbanded because "a lot of people have moved from the neighborhood" and attendance at its programs had diminished.
The city paid the organization $10,000 of the $16,000 due on the contract - including $4,200 in rent to Alam and his wife, the property owners, between July 1, 2005 and Jan. 31, 2006.
That's not allowed.
"That was a misunderstanding," said Alam. "We didn't realize it was a conflict. That was a place we were using for a long, long time. When we had the contract, they didn't say anything."
Last week, Alam said, DYCD officials notified him he would have to return the rent payments.
Aug 4, 2006
Aug 3, 2006
Jul 22, 2006
Rory, on the other hand, had another great week, with UNITE HERE adding its name to the formidable list of unions already backing Rory, including 32BJ, RWDSU, CSEA, DC37 Retirees, DC37 Local 983, UFCW Local 1500, Carpenters Local 45, Mason Tenders, Painters DC9, SEIU Local 74, CWA 1180, 1106 & 1102 (and, of course, the Working Families Party).
Jul 19, 2006
To top it all off The Politicker has reported that one of the few endorsements he claims to have received, hasn't endorsed him.
"I haven't endorsed anybody in that race." said Councilman Comric
"We served on the school board together. He's been calling me and begging me and calling me and asking me and calling me and asking me. I told him I'd try. But I was in the middle of budget process and wasn't thinking about anything else."
So why did this guy say you did?
Jul 14, 2006
Nydia Velazquez-D, W
Vito Fossella-R, C
Stephen Harrison-D, W
Carolyn Maloney-D, W
Charles Rangel-D, W
Jose Serrano-D, W
Allan Jennings Jr-D
Nora Marino-D, W
Frank Padavan-R, I, C
Malcolm Smith-D, W
Serphin Maltese-R, I, C
Toby Ann Stavisky-D, W
Martin Malave Dilan-D, W
Velmanette Montgomery-D, W
John Sampson-D, W
Eric Adams-D, W
Kevin Parker-D, W
Martin Golden-R, C
Diane Savino-D, W
Matthew Titone-D, W
Kenneth Diamondstone-D, W
Liz Krueger-D, W
Jose Serrano-D, W
Agustin Alamo Estrada-C
Thomas Duane-D, W
Bill Perkins-D, W
Ruben Dario Vargas-D
Jolinda Ruth Cogen-R
Eric Schneiderman-D, W
Alba Sanchez-R, C
Efrain Gonzalez Jr-D
Joseph Jay Savino-R,I,C
Ellen Young-D, I
Grace Meng-D, W
Audrey Pheffer-D, W
Stuart Mirsky-R, C
Mark Weprin-D, W
Rory Lancman-D, W
Ann Margaret Carrozza-D, W
Andrew Hevesi-D, W
Dolores Maddis-R, C
William Scarborough-D, W
Michele Titus-D, W
Barbara Clark-D, W
Ivan Lafayette-D, W
Michael Gianaris-D, W
Helene Weinstein-D, W
Karim Camara-D, W
James Brennan-D, W
Yvette Velazquez Bennett-C
Alec Brook-Krasny-D, W
Michele Heitzner-R, C
William Colton-D, W
Phyllis Carbo-R, C
Dov Hikind-D, R
Peter Abbate Jr-D, W
Felix Ortiz-D, W
Washington Artus-R, C
Joan Millman-D, W
Vito Lopez-D, W
Darryl Towns-D, W
William F Boyland Jr-D, W
Hakeem Jeffries-D, W
Nick Perry-D, W
Janele Hyer-Spencer-D, I, W
Anthony Xanthakis-R, C
John Lavelle-D, W
Michael Cusick-D, I, C,W
Sheldon Silver-D, W
Alexander Pete Grannis-D, I
Deboarh Glick-D, W
Linda Rosenthal-D, I
Adam Clayton Powell-D, W
Dean Loren Velasco-R, I
Keith Wright-D, W
Will Brown Jr-R
Herman D Farrell-D
Adriano Espaillat-D, W
Jonathan Bing-D, W
Robert Heim-R, I
Sylvia Friedman-D, W
Richard Gottfried-D, W
Peter Rivera-D, W
Steven Stern-R, C
Anthony Curry-D, C
Kathleen Benjamin Larkins-R
William Sullivan-R, C
Robert Goodman-C declined
Jeffrey Dinowitz-D, W
Mark Goret-R, C
Michael Benedetto-D, W
Raymond Capone-R, C
Carl Heastie-D, W
Johnnie Goff-R, C declined
Harry Almodovar-D, C
Ruben Diaz Jr-D
Jun 9, 2006
|Company||Tom Suozzi for Governor|
|Position:||Regional Field Director|
|Salary:|| / Yearly |
|Summary:|| Hiring experienced Field Staff who have knowledge of all facets of voter contact.|
The Regional field director will manage a staff that will oversee phone banking, canvassing and events.
May 23, 2006
It is my opinion that if there was enough demand from New Yorkers for him to run for State Senate (against James Seward), he might roll his current federal contributions to a state account and have a considerable amount of money to run a viable race against a State Senator who has been involved in lots of corruption centered around railroad exec and cooperstown fundraiser Walter Rich. I urge anyone reading this please ask Les Roberts to throw his hat into the ring and run against James Seward.
May 22, 2006
This morning Rory Lancman was officially endorsed
for the 25th Assembly District by the Queens County Democratic Party
Rory Lancman and Queens Democratic Party Executive Secretary Michael Reich
May 18, 2006
By Tom Grace, The Daily Star
Cooperstown News Bureau
Chenango County Democrat Les Roberts, 44, withdrew Wednesday from the 24th Congressional District race.
Roberts, of German, said it had become clear to him that Oneida County District Attorney Michael Arcuri was better-funded and supported by Democratic leaders in the district.
"Michael Arcuri is a strong candidate, and I came to the realization that my staying in the race would only make it more difficult for him to win in November," Roberts said Wednesday morning. "I think it’s critically important that we elect a Democrat and that Democrats take control of the House of Representatives."
Roberts said, "Republican control of the Congress and White House in recent years has given us the most destructive governance since the Vietnam War." The pre-emptive war against Iraq and record deficits fueled by "tax gifts for the richest few" have left the United States greatly weakened, he said. In recent years, "one-party rule has degraded the Constitution and American civil liberties dramatically," Roberts continued. "We need to do something about that this year." Roberts said he would try to help Arcuri win in November, and later in the morning, Arcuri had kind words for his former opponent. "Although it’s helpful to be the only candidate from my party, I’ll miss Les Roberts on the campaign trail," Arcuri said. "He’s very intelligent, very honest, and I know he brought our campaign up a few notches." Roberts was the third Democrat to leave the race to succeed retiring Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New Hartford. Earlier, former Cortland Mayor Bruce Tytler and Utica attorney Leon Koziol ended their campaigns. Koziol is now running for the New York state Senate. Roberts’ withdrawal leaves four declared candidates in the race: Arcuri and three Republicans: state Sen. Raymond Meier, R-Western; Brad Jones, general manager of ITT Industries-Gould Pumps of Auburn, and Robert "Ken" Camera, an energy consultant from Geneva. In response to Roberts’ comments, Meier said, "You know, the Democrats in this district continually try to make this race about Washington, but it’s not: It’s about who best reflects the desires and aspirations of the people in the district. "They’d like to run against Tom DeLay, but they’re not," he said. "They’re running against me." Meier said he already has been endorsed by Republican committees in Oneida, Cortland and Ontario counties, and by Republican executive committees in Seneca and Herkimer counties. Jones, the first candidate to enter the race, said, "It looks like that leaves us with two lawyers and me in the race. One lawyer is a career politician, and the other one wants to be. Then we have one businessman who’d like to restore some fiscal responsibility to the federal government." Camera said, "I can understand the problems Les encountered because it’s tough to run against big money. In my race, I tell people the Republicans have a choice between a candidate with few ideas and lots of money like Ray Meier, and one with lots of ideas and little money, like me." Typically, GOP leaders have opted for money over ideas, Camera said, but he will stay in the race nonetheless to force a primary, campaigning mostly from his website, http://www.kencamera.us. Roberts, an epidemiologist whose study of deaths in the Iraq War was published in the British medical journal Lancet, said he doesn’t regret his foray into politics in central New York. "I’ve found that the Democratic Party of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and the Republican Party of Dwight Eisenhower are still alive at the grass-roots level, and that’s heartening," he said. "Our local governments are far better and more honestly run than the federal government, and that’s good to see, too." However, Roberts said he also is more convinced that ever that American elections need immediate reform: "I think it’s very important that we take the private money out of elections, so candidates can discuss the issues in depth, and voters can find out who they’re really voting for."
Roberts said, "Republican control of the Congress and White House in recent years has given us the most destructive governance since the Vietnam War."
The pre-emptive war against Iraq and record deficits fueled by "tax gifts for the richest few" have left the United States greatly weakened, he said.
In recent years, "one-party rule has degraded the Constitution and American civil liberties dramatically," Roberts continued. "We need to do something about that this year."
Roberts said he would try to help Arcuri win in November, and later in the morning, Arcuri had kind words for his former opponent. "Although it’s helpful to be the only candidate from my party, I’ll miss Les Roberts on the campaign trail," Arcuri said. "He’s very intelligent, very honest, and I know he brought our campaign up a few notches." Roberts was the third Democrat to leave the race to succeed retiring Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New Hartford. Earlier, former Cortland Mayor Bruce Tytler and Utica attorney Leon Koziol ended their campaigns. Koziol is now running for the New York state Senate. Roberts’ withdrawal leaves four declared candidates in the race: Arcuri and three Republicans: state Sen. Raymond Meier, R-Western; Brad Jones, general manager of ITT Industries-Gould Pumps of Auburn, and Robert "Ken" Camera, an energy consultant from Geneva. In response to Roberts’ comments, Meier said, "You know, the Democrats in this district continually try to make this race about Washington, but it’s not: It’s about who best reflects the desires and aspirations of the people in the district. "They’d like to run against Tom DeLay, but they’re not," he said. "They’re running against me." Meier said he already has been endorsed by Republican committees in Oneida, Cortland and Ontario counties, and by Republican executive committees in Seneca and Herkimer counties. Jones, the first candidate to enter the race, said, "It looks like that leaves us with two lawyers and me in the race. One lawyer is a career politician, and the other one wants to be. Then we have one businessman who’d like to restore some fiscal responsibility to the federal government." Camera said, "I can understand the problems Les encountered because it’s tough to run against big money. In my race, I tell people the Republicans have a choice between a candidate with few ideas and lots of money like Ray Meier, and one with lots of ideas and little money, like me." Typically, GOP leaders have opted for money over ideas, Camera said, but he will stay in the race nonetheless to force a primary, campaigning mostly from his website, http://www.kencamera.us. Roberts, an epidemiologist whose study of deaths in the Iraq War was published in the British medical journal Lancet, said he doesn’t regret his foray into politics in central New York. "I’ve found that the Democratic Party of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and the Republican Party of Dwight Eisenhower are still alive at the grass-roots level, and that’s heartening," he said. "Our local governments are far better and more honestly run than the federal government, and that’s good to see, too." However, Roberts said he also is more convinced that ever that American elections need immediate reform: "I think it’s very important that we take the private money out of elections, so candidates can discuss the issues in depth, and voters can find out who they’re really voting for."
"Although it’s helpful to be the only candidate from my party, I’ll miss Les Roberts on the campaign trail," Arcuri said. "He’s very intelligent, very honest, and I know he brought our campaign up a few notches."
Roberts was the third Democrat to leave the race to succeed retiring Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New Hartford. Earlier, former Cortland Mayor Bruce Tytler and Utica attorney Leon Koziol ended their campaigns. Koziol is now running for the New York state Senate.
Roberts’ withdrawal leaves four declared candidates in the race: Arcuri and three Republicans: state Sen. Raymond Meier, R-Western; Brad Jones, general manager of ITT Industries-Gould Pumps of Auburn, and Robert "Ken" Camera, an energy consultant from Geneva.
In response to Roberts’ comments, Meier said, "You know, the Democrats in this district continually try to make this race about Washington, but it’s not: It’s about who best reflects the desires and aspirations of the people in the district.
"They’d like to run against Tom DeLay, but they’re not," he said. "They’re running against me." Meier said he already has been endorsed by Republican committees in Oneida, Cortland and Ontario counties, and by Republican executive committees in Seneca and Herkimer counties. Jones, the first candidate to enter the race, said, "It looks like that leaves us with two lawyers and me in the race. One lawyer is a career politician, and the other one wants to be. Then we have one businessman who’d like to restore some fiscal responsibility to the federal government." Camera said, "I can understand the problems Les encountered because it’s tough to run against big money. In my race, I tell people the Republicans have a choice between a candidate with few ideas and lots of money like Ray Meier, and one with lots of ideas and little money, like me." Typically, GOP leaders have opted for money over ideas, Camera said, but he will stay in the race nonetheless to force a primary, campaigning mostly from his website, http://www.kencamera.us. Roberts, an epidemiologist whose study of deaths in the Iraq War was published in the British medical journal Lancet, said he doesn’t regret his foray into politics in central New York. "I’ve found that the Democratic Party of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt and the Republican Party of Dwight Eisenhower are still alive at the grass-roots level, and that’s heartening," he said. "Our local governments are far better and more honestly run than the federal government, and that’s good to see, too." However, Roberts said he also is more convinced that ever that American elections need immediate reform: "I think it’s very important that we take the private money out of elections, so candidates can discuss the issues in depth, and voters can find out who they’re really voting for."
May 14, 2006
Eliot Spitzer, as NYS Attorney General, should start the prosecutions of the phone companies under uniquely New York law. This would give even more national prominence to the next Governor of New York, and frame the debate in the best light for Dems. Painting the Bush adminstration, Michael Hayden, the NSA, big Telecom companies, and anyone else who pushes to sell out American Liberties as what they are petty criminals. Every person that states they don't mind if the government tramples on their constitutional rights are spitting on the graves of the people who fought and died for those rights and are cowards that are refusing to stand up for the freedoms endowed to us by our creator.
Apr 28, 2006
So a bunch Union students are just hanging around when what appears to be a super-duper senior on the 15 year degree plan shows up to party with them at their frat house. From all witnesses account of the activities Congressman Sweeney was slurring his speach and generally acting drunk. Hopefully he fired whichever staffer that let him go to the party.
Apr 3, 2006
There are very few interesting races in NYC, with Bloomberg pulling back his blackmail of backing Dem challengers to three Republican State Senators (Maltese, Padavan, Goldin) since he finally got the CFE money from the state. This is an open seat in Eastern Queens with Brian McLaughlin not running for re-election and long time community leader Rory Lancman heir-apparent to the seat.
Mar 19, 2006
Mar 14, 2006
Bush’s 2001 tax cut that came along with a “Tax refund” on 2000 taxes which was simply a advance like any payday loan charged with interest. When will Americans realize that every day we live with public debt it means that working people have to pay taxes on interest and receive less government service, while the wealthiest of the planet profit without any effort or labor of their own? Let oversimplify this W’s Grandfather (Prescott Bush) was born into such extreme wealth that he could live off the interest of his wealth it benefits the whole Bush family and every generation of silver spooned trust fund baby that the longer the national debt running more than $8 trillion the more money they make. Though the uber-wealthy of America do not hold a majority of the debt and since they profit and have the most influence to American policy I’m willing to tag them with the most accountable.
Mar 2, 2006
State Senator Marchi has held his seat for nearly 50 years, even though it is a seat in the capital of liberalism New York City State Sen. Marchi is considered an institution in Staten Island and my prayers for a quick recovery for the State Senator are with him this lenten season.
Mar 1, 2006
Pataki on the other hand was expected to leave the hospital over a week ago and has been under the knife in two different counties (Westchester and New York). Could there be a real shake up in the GOP governor's race? Could George resign due to health reasons? Mary Donahue probably would run if she is running as the incumbent governor and may have Stephen Minarik clear the way since he so disdains primaries (and probably disdains general elections as well).
Both politicians have appearence of leadership among; Sweeney led the Brooks Brother Riot in Florida as part the 2000 recount debacle; Pataki has presidential aspirations and cut-throat ambitions that attracted D'Amato's attention back in 1992 after taking out a GOP incumbent State Senator. With the loss and/or deterioration of either Sweeney or Pataki's capabilities draws the New York State GOP bench of talent to next to nothing.
Feb 28, 2006
* Member of the Assembly in the 8th Assembly District, in the County of Suffolk, caused by the resignation of the Honorable Thomas F. Barraga;
* Member of the Assembly in the 17th Assembly District, in the County of Nassau, caused by the resignation of the Honorable Maureen C. O’Connell;
* Member of the Assembly in the 59th Assembly District, in the County of Kings, caused by the resignation of the Honorable Frank R. Seddio;
* Member of the Assembly in the 67th Assembly District, in the County of New York, caused by the resignation of the Honorable Scott Stringer;
* Member of the Assembly in the 74th Assembly District, in the County of New York, caused by the resignation of the Honorable Steven Sanders;
* Member of the Assembly in the 139th Assembly District, in the Counties of Genesee, Monroe, Niagara and Orleans, caused by the resignation of the Honorable Charles H. Nesbitt;
* Member of the Senate in the 60th Senatorial District, in the Counties of Erie and Niagara, caused by the resignation of the Honorable Byron W. Brown.
Feb 20, 2006
...if he had been in the military, he would have learned gun safety
Feb 6, 2006
Brad Jones is already running, though will force any other Republican to spend more money in the primary he would lose in the general due to how exuberantly conservative he is (he has been heard bragging that he is "10 times more conservative than Bohlert could ever be") and how moderate the district is. There are two state Senators that have mumbled about throwing their hats in the ring State Sen. Ray Meier and State Sen. James Seward. Seward has been linked with Walter Rich scandal and his infamous Cooperstown fundraisers, but may still forge forward leaving two open state senate seats. Any open senate seat while the Spitzer/Clinton Tidal wave occurs is takable seat, along with Spano's seat in Westchester (which is poachable since he won it by 125 votes two years ago) brings the Dems to a tie in the state senate.
Feb 5, 2006
Feb 4, 2006
Feb 2, 2006
Saturday, January 28, 2006
By Michelle Breidenbach
Syracuse Post-Dispatch Staff writer
The state lobbying commission has asked railroad executive Walter Rich to produce records that show who he wined and dined during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekends over the last few years at his Cooperstown mansion.
The New York State Temporary Commission on Lobbying asked Rich in the fall to turn over the names of people who stayed at his home, called Edgewater, and in other guest rooms he reserved around the village during the busy baseball weekend. The commission wanted records as detailed as the names of people who got $11 tickets to the Hall of Fame Museum, said Nathan Fenno, spokesman for the NY Susquehanna & Western Railway.
David Grandeau, executive director of the lobbying commission, said he cannot comment on pending investigations. He said the commission plans to hold a public meeting Feb. 8.
New York state's lobbying laws prohibit a lobbyist or client from offering or giving gifts valued at more than $75 per year, Grandeau said. The commission uses eBay and other methods to put a market value on an item such as an autographed baseball, he said.
The state commission regulates the people who lobby state and local government officials, but not the government officials. That is up to the state ethics commissions for each branch of government.
The maximum penalty for lobbying violations is $50,000 per violation, he said.
For the past two decades, Rich and his wife, Karine, have invited New York's business and political elite to enjoy the induction weekend from their fenced-in lawn, just down the street from the Hall of Fame. Some guests make the mansion their home base for the entire weekend. Others come for just a few hours to attend political fundraisers, staged back-to-back under a tent on the lawn.
The baseball players filter in and out of the parties and sign memorabilia.
Sometimes the politicians pay the players to attend. Sometimes the players just show up.
Last summer, for example, Yogi Berra stopped by at Edgewater on Thursday before the parties really got started, Rich said in a Post-Standard interview in July. Rich asked the former Yankee to sign a jersey that he gave to Gov. George Pataki during a Republican fundraiser two days later on Edgewater's lawn.
State Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, and Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New Hartford, also held fundraisers at Edgewater during the Hall of Fame weekend.
Rich's partyguests were the subject of another state investigation in 2004. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer interviewed party guests as part of his investigation into the state's sale of Erie Canal development rights to a Pataki campaign contributor.
Richard Hutchens, the Buffalo man who got that contract, made his connections with state canal officials during baseball-themed parties at Edgewater. Three former Canal Corp. officials may have violated state ethics laws when they hit up Hutchens for campaign donations and steered the contract to him, but they could not be prosecuted because they left their jobs, Spitzer said.
Rich told Spitzer's investigators that he spends about $100,000 a year on the Hall of Fame weekend. He said in a Post-Standard interview after his 2005 party that he sends an itemized list to the politicians, who must reimburse him for lodging, food and other expenses.
Seward spokesmanDuncan Davie said the senator has reimbursed the railroad company for all of its expenses. Election records filed in January for the Friends of Senator Seward show a $12,586 payment to NY Susquehanna & Western Railroad for the 2005 reception and a $6,000 payment for an outstanding bill from 2004.
Davie said the senator received a letter Friday from the lobbying commission that asks for information about the events in Cooperstown. He would not elaborate on the information requested, but said the senator will comply.
Rich and his railroad companies have reported at least $100,000 in donations to state candidates and committees since 1999, according to records filed at the state board of elections. Rich has retained the firms Ostroff, Hiffa & Assoc. and Marsh & Assoc., records show.
Rich has along history of contributing money to politicians and receiving tax money for his railroads, which include OnTrack, the little-used passenger train that shuttles between Carousel Center and Syracuse University. OnTrack has received more than $8 million in state grants. In recent years, the New York Susquehanna & Western was the recipient of a $3 million state grant that Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, said would be used to run passenger trains daily between Syracuse and Binghamton. Four years after that announcement, there is no such passenger service.
Fenno said the railroad has cooperated with the commission. He said the Riches try to keep within limits for gifts and campaign donations. He said, however, that it is difficult to distinguish between the guests who come to a certain fundraiser and guests who stop in at another point during the weekend.
"We certainly don't think we did (go over the limit) and if we did, it was definitely something unintentional," he said.
Feb 1, 2006
Jan 30, 2006
Last Thursday when John Kerry came back early from the same World Economic Forum, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan joked and laughed that Kerry came off the slopes to organize a filibuster. Just more proof that if McClellan's lips are moving than he must be lying.
Jan 28, 2006
By Tom Grace
Cooperstown News Bureau
Is U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-New Hartford, running for re-election?
Based on the amount of money the congressman has raised, the answer might well be "no."
Boehlert, 69, will make an announcement in March, his spokesman, Sam Marchio, said Friday.
"I think he’ll announce his plans in the third week of March because that’s when Congress will be in recess," Marchio said.
First elected a representative in 1982, Boehlert, a self-styled moderate Republican, has cruised to victory in every general el
ection since then. But in 2002 and 2004, he faced strong primary challenges from conservative candidates in his party.
And in 2004, an underfunded Democratic candidate, Utica College Professor Jeff Miller, managed to win about a third of the vote with a campaign that raised less than $40,000.
In the same election cycle, Boehlert’s campaign spent more than $1.5 million, according to the Center For Responsive Politics.
Boehlert, chairman of the House Science Committee, has consistently raised more money than his opponents over the years. But money has not been pouring in at the usual rate this time. As of Sept. 30, Boehlert’s campaign had $166,220 on hand, according to the CFRP, which obtains its information from the Federal Elections Commission.
Asked why Boehlert, who has three challengers registered with FEC and others professing interest in the race, has not been more aggressively raising money, Marchio said, "I think he’s been more focused on policy than politics."
In about two weeks, the FEC will release figures on money raised in the last quarter of 2005. Marchio said these numbers "probably" will show Boehlert has raised less money at this stage of the 2006 election cycle than in recent elections.
"What you have to remember is he’s shown he can raise the money when he needs to," Marchio said.
But will he need to?
Democrat Les Roberts of German, who announced his candidacy for 24th District seat a few weeks ago, said Friday that the smaller-than-usual size of Boehlert’s war chest does make it appear the incumbent is getting ready to retire.
Also, although Boehlert has often voted with his party on budgets, alienating some liberal voters, he has also broken ranks on other issues, such as drilling for oil in Alaska, alienating some in House leadership, Roberts observed.
With the House dominated by conservative Republicans, Roberts said, Boehlert may not be given another committee chairmanship when his tenure as Science Committee chairman expires this year.
"That might be a reason to retire, too," he said.
Miller, who said Friday that he will announce his election plans Monday, said he, too, thinks the incumbent is getting ready to retire.
The first candidate to challenge Boehlert in this cycle was Republican Brad Jones, general manager of ITT Industries-Gould Pumps in Auburn and the former mayor of Seneca Falls.
Jones, whose campaign has raised nearly $86,000 so far, said he has heard the rumors that Boehlert will step down.
"It won’t really affect my campaign, because I’m running for the office no matter who else is running," Jones said.
Jones said he has heard that state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, and state Sen. Raymond Meier, R-Utica, are considering runs for the 24th congressional district seat.
Duncan Davie, Seward’s spokesman, said Friday that Seward is not considering a run for Congress at present.
"There is no vacancy in that district," Davie said.
However, if Boehlert were to announce his pending retirement this spring, Seward might consider running, Davie said.
In addition to Jones and Roberts, Oneida County District Attorney Michael Arcuri, a Democrat, has registered with the FEC.
Other candidates who have expressed interest include Utica lawyer Leon Koziol and former Cortland Mayor Bruce Tytler, both Democrats.
Jan 24, 2006
By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Writer Mon Jan 23, 7:38 PM ET
ALBANY, N.Y. - Democrat Eliot Spitzer, the leading candidate for governor, has chosen New York's top black legislator as his running mate, a person familiar with the decision said Monday.
State Senate Democratic leader David Paterson, who is legally blind, is credited with narrowing his party's deficit in the Senate, controlled by Republicans since 1965.
Paterson has agreed to run as lieutenant governor with Spitzer, according to the source, who would speak only on condition of anonymity because no official announcement is expected for a few days. Spitzer, the state's attorney general, is known for his crackdown on Wall Street abuses.
A spokesman for Paterson, 51, had no immediate comment. A spokesman for the state Republican chairman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
"He is a legitimate, intelligent and so far effective reformer," former Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo said of Paterson.
Paterson was elected in 1985 at age 31, representing a Manhattan district. He was elected minority leader in 2002 and addressed the Democratic National Convention in 2004.
He has sought to open the budget process and change the workings of the Senate, which provides little power to the minority party.
He lives in Harlem with his wife and two children. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Hofstra University Law School.
His father, Basil Paterson, ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 1970 and later became New York secretary of state.
In October, Basil Paterson endorsed another Democrat running for lieutenant governor, Leecia Eve, according to Eve's Web site.
1.) Hundreds possibly even thousands of American citizens may have been spied upon since Bush authorized domestic spy program.
2.) These powers to break the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) came with the Congressional approval for Military action in Afghanistan, and that spying is simply a incidental action of war.
Put these two together and we can conclude the Bush administration has accepted the reality they are at war with American citizens. If spying is an act that can be done to enemies in at time of war, then spying on Americans is an act of civil war.
JIM LEHRER: Well, as you know, Mr. Attorney General, many present and former leaders of the Congress at that time when that resolution was being negotiated after 9/11 said that never even came up. They didn't in any way suggest or mean to suggest that the president had the right to go around FISA to electronic surveil people.
ALBERTO GONZALES: I would take you to the Supreme Court decision in Hamdi, the 2004 Supreme Court case. There, Mr. Hamdi contested the authority of the president to detain an American citizen in violation of an existing statute.
We argued that the authorization to use military force constituted permission by the Congress to do so. The Supreme Court agreed. And the Supreme Court said it is of no moment that the authorization to use military force does not mention detention. Detention of people captured on the battlefield is a fundamental incident of waging war. The same is true with respect to electronic surveillance.
Jan 23, 2006
Jan 16, 2006
By FREDRIC U. DICKER
AN INFLUENTIAL GOP leader wants a prominent Republican Party consultant fired for allegedly working to help a Democrat defeat an upstate Republican congressman.
The extraordinary demand was made over the weekend by Saratoga County GOP Chairman Jasper Nolan, a prominent upstate GOP leader.
He says consultant Patrick McCarthy, a former executive director of the party and a close political ally of Gov. Pataki, is trying to undermine incumbent Rep. John Sweeney.
Sweeney, a former GOP executive director, has been highly critical of Pataki's leadership.
Sweeney, a Saratoga County resident and close political ally of Mayor Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has told friends he believes that Pataki himself approved of McCarthy's alleged efforts to help his Democratic opponent, Kirsten Gillibrand.
Gillibrand is the daughter of Albany lawyer/lobbyist Doug Rutnik, a longtime fixture at the state GOP headquarters and the significant other of Zenia Mucha, the Walt Disney Company exec who was once one of Pataki's top political advisers.
"Doug Rutnik's daughter is not going to challenge Sweeney without Pataki's OK," said one of the state's most prominent Republicans.
Nolan made his demand over the weekend in a stinging letter to state GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.
"I am deeply concerned to learn a paid consultant for our party was recently spotted having dinner at an Albany restaurant with the announced 2006 Democratic opponent of Congressman John Sweeney," Nolan wrote.
"This is an outrageous development, and I respectfully request that Mr. McCarthy be removed from the Republican Party payroll immediately.
". . . He should be replaced by someone who is committed to defeating Democrats and not to aiding and abetting those who seek to defeat incumbent Republicans like our congressman."
McCarthy, who was once Pataki's chief patronage dispenser and is now a lobbyist with the politically wired Patricia Lynch Associates, is paid $25,000 a year as a part-time consultant to the state GOP.
He told The Post that he'd merely had "a couple of sodas" with Rutnik and his daughter.
"I have nothing to do with that effort at all," he insisted, saying that Rutnik was a longtime family friend and that the meeting was strictly social.
But others familiar with the situation said they believe that McCarthy was an informal adviser to Democrat Gillibrand as part of Pataki's effort to retaliate against Sweeney, who has publicly blamed the governor for a long string of GOP defeats.