Jan 30, 2006

What does Sen. McCain, Gov. Warner and Angelina Jolie have in common?

C-SPAN showed a four person panel about world economics issues last night within their series "Road to the White House 2008." It had Sen. John McCain (AZ-R), former Gov. Mark Warner (VA-D), Sen. John Sununu (NH-R), and David Gergen presidential advisor to Reagan, G.H.W. Bush (41), and Clinton. They panned the crowd and who do we find but Angelina Jolie pensively listening to the discussion. This is all at the Davos, Switzerland World Economic Forum.

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

Fundraising by Boehlert trails previous years

Opponents say he may not run again

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

where's is DA Arcuri? NY's 24th CD

Spitzer picks Patterson over Eve for Lt. Gov

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.

Burn the village to save the village is back in vogue

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales admits that:
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.

Attorney General Gonzales: It is part of War to spy on the people you are trying to protect

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

A Great Blog for the NY's 24th CD

Update on Utica Area NYS Senate Seat

An update about that Utica area NYS Senate seat mentioned recently. Apparently, Adirondack Bank president Tom Clark has put out feelers about the possibility of his running for the New York State Senate seat held by his fellow Republican Ray Meier, but only if Meier gives up the seat to run for the U.S. House seat currently represented by Sherwood Boehlert. Speculation is that Boehlert is considering retiring. If he does, Meier's made it know that he's interested in running.

-Walter Rath

Jan 16, 2006

As if the NY GOP could be anymore divided

This great





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.