Saturday, January 17, 2009

Is Anyone Surprised?

Rochester Turning brings to our attention an Olean Times-Herald report that Rep. Eric Massa has failed to win appointment to the House Transportation Committee.

Apparently that first trip to Washington convinced Pelosi the new Rep's talents are best deployed .  .  .  elsewhere.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Guv Gets It Right

"I cannot think of a criminal justice strategy that has been more unsuccessful than the Rockefeller drug laws."
-- Gov. Paterson
What we've come to like best about this Governor is his determined objectivity in assessing so many of the state's problems and policies. He talks about what works, and about what doesn't, with a candor rare anywhere in politics, but especially in New York.

Now that Democrats control the State Senate, we may hope that the Rockefeller drug laws, shown by experience, so abundantly, to have been a ludicrous and malignant mistake, will be repealed.

Our citizenry probably isn't ready for the step that really makes sense, which is to cut the heart out of crime, and the cost of fighting it, by legalizing and regulating narcotic drugs. (Yet in a social and political context where gay marriage is even debatable, does legalizing drugs seem so far out?)

At least repealing the Rockefeller drug laws offers improvement across the board.

We'd have liked Paterson's State of the State speech if for nothing else than his literate augmentation of the official text.

We'll discuss the good sense of so many of his fiscal proposals in future posts. For now we'll say that if David Paterson, against all odds (meaning the predispositions of nearly every member of the state legislature and the determination of the unions that bought them) can translate his principles into policy changes, there's a chance to move this -- the most reactionary of states -- in the right direction


Who'd Have Believed It? -- Newspaper Criticizes Duffy!

Here on Mustard Street we're high on Mayor Duffy.   Our beef isn't with him but with the Democrat and Chronicle in giving the Mayor, as it does to all Democratic officeholders in the City, a free pass.  You never see the critical, sustained, scrutiny to which the D&C subjects suburban Republicans.

So who'd have thought we'd see criticism of the Mayor, even as mild as this, in a piece on presumptive Senator Caroline Kennedy:

Robert Duffy, the mayor of Rochester, complained that when the would-be senator visited the Democratic headquarters there recently, she did not respond to pictures in a conference room of her father, mother, brother and herself as a little girl.   Isn’t it creepy to expect her to emote on cue?
No, no no.   Not in the Democrat and Chronicle.   We said newspaper.  

It's from Maureen Dowd's column in this morning's New York Times.


Monday, January 5, 2009

A Paterson - Duffy Ticket?

There are rumblings that Mayor Duffy may rank prominently among possible running mates for Governor Paterson next year.  Some are speculating that this may explain Duffy's unusual (for a mayor) support for the Guv's budget proposals, even though they reduce state funds to cities, including Rochester.

If that's the only factor driving this speculation, then we think it's wrong.  Our take on the Mayor is that he's too much of a straight shooter to be posturing that way if he doesn't really believe the Governor's proposals represent the necessary, if harsh, medicine necessary to cure an out-of-control state budget.

However, from Paterson's perspective there's much -- including the geography of it all, the Mayor's high popularity in the region as well as the city, and a fawning and uncritical local press -- to recommend Duffy as a most plausible candidate for Lieutenant Governor.


Garretson Still Running

Our Greece correspondent says that Democrat David Garretson, who lost his 2008 bid for State Assembly to incumbent Bill Reilich by a whopping 27%, is likely to challenge incumbent John Auberger this year for the Supervisor's post in Greece.   Garretson apparently never stopped running for office after the November election, continuing to appear at public functions, Town Board meetings and other visible venues that candidates like.

Somehow we don't think Supervisor Auberger, one of the best and brightest on the Monroe County political scene, will lose sleep over competing with this: