Monday, May 21, 2007

"I've Got Your State Audit RIGHT HERE!"

On Thursday the Democrat and Chronicle editorialized that Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle's "Proposal to disband the Water Authority is premature."

It occurs to us that if Morelle had intended this as a serious policy initiative, he'd have done his homework to show, for example, how abolishing the Monroe County Water Authority might affect the price of water paid by Monroe County consumers. Since the county's water rates are "among the lowest in the Northeast," according to the Democrat and Chronicle, maybe this was too tall an order for Little Joe, at least from his perspective out on the Albany Ponderosa.

So we'll have to take the proposal as undoubtedly it was intended, as a political shrapnel bomb meant to sow confusion, disorder and to deflect attention from the gnawing embarrassment that County Democrats don't have a candidate for County Executive. Hence its release mere hours before the Republican convention to renominate Maggie Brooks.

But that's not the interesting part.

What captured our interest was the rhetorical question the D&C chose to headline the editorial: "Where's the State Audit?" When, it pondered, will we ever see the second State Comptroller's report of its audit of the Water Authority's practices before 2004? The editorial tells us it "was completed months ago but withheld."

Now, here on the Street we like the D&C's editorial page a lot more than its news operation. Yet we wonder: can these people be as obtuse as their question suggests?

They really don't know when the Comptroller will release the second report?

We do. We know exactly when.

It will be released the weekend of November 3 - 4.

See, Election Day is November 6. Releasing it just before the election will allow Monroe County Democrats to carp about the Water Authority (even though it was the Republicans who cleaned it up) without giving Republicans time to respond before the election.

That's the least Comptroller -- and former Democratic Assemblyman -- Tom DiNapoli can do for his old Assembly comrade-in-arms Joe Morelle.

And if that's too difficult for you to figure out, look at the bright side: you have a future writing editorials for our Newspaper of Record.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Then Again, Maybe it's Not Koon

The idea of a David Koon campaign for Monroe County Executive may be fading into oblivion.

Mustard Street's sources tell us that in recent weeks the putative candidate was rebuffed twice, first by Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle when Koon asked for money for a campaign; then by Mayor Bob Duffy when Koon asked for funds to do a poll.

The smart money knows the score.

Word is that the name on the ballot for the Democrats might even be a junior County Legislator. But right now, anything could happen. Anything, that is, besides beating Maggie Brooks in November.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Out of Control

We were ready to comment on developments in Pittsford, but things seem to be spinning out of control over there.   As you"ll see here.


Monday, May 7, 2007

Cognitive Dissonance

ur Newspaper of Record headlines its leader today, "County Tax Measure Derided as Ploy."   (Headlines are especially favored by the D&C's news side as a place to make its political points.)   This accompanied an otherwise straight report about a proposed spending cap for the Monroe County government.   It would limit annual increases to the rate of inflation.

In the same edition, over on the opinion side, an editorial decries school district spending which, despite additional state aid to schools this year, is up "an average of 6 percent, twice the rate of inflation."

If capping government spending is a "ploy" -- can't we get the school districts to perpetrate the same nasty ploy?


Thursday, May 3, 2007

War Against Poverty 101: A How-To Manual

Rarely have we ever seen it stated as brilliantly or succinctly as here.   Read and learn.

And since it applies right here in Rochester as well as any place else, we consider this to be no deviation from our relentlessly local focus.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

What Happens in Albany ...

... may not necessarily stay in Albany much longer.

This, at least, is the speculation of some Republicans about a looming prospect for David Koon that could be more unpleasant than running as his party's sacrificial lamb against Maggie Brooks this year.

East Rochester Republicans have taken a real burn to Koon running his son Jason as Democratic candidate against popular incumbent Mayor David Bonacchi. Apparently Bonacchi delivered a blistering stemwinder at a GOP fundraiser earlier this week, denouncing the elder Koon for asking Bonacchi to help out Jason and introduce him around town when Jason moved to East Rochester last year, which Bonacchi did, only to run him against Bonacchi now.

With the passion of a man who believes himself wronged by someone he considered a friend, Bonacchi, if the recounting of his speech is any indication, appears ready to take the gloves off, and his GOP compatriots in East Rochester seem to be in the same frame of mind.


A Democratic Primary in the 29th

From The Fighting 29th comes today a fine analysis of David Nachbar's challenge to Eric Massa for the 2008 Democratic nomination for Congress in the 29th district, currently held by Randy Kuhl. The piece is especially strong on the background, specifically Louise Slaughter's support of Nachbar.