Friday, December 31, 2010

They've Taken our Kodachrome Away

An era ends.







Can't I go back there?   Just for a day?   I'll come back.   Honest.




Kodachrome!   Was there anything it couldn't do ...



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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How to Keep the Kids In-State After College

Maybe we could try doing things done by the states where people move to.   Like, say, Texas, the state that just gained four congressional seats, the most of any state, while New York lost two.

"Texas spends less per capita on social services than virtually any state."
Nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Weekender

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

For The Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth ...

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

From all of us at Mustard Street.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Johnson for Mayor

We've been knocking this thought around since last week, and hearing former Mayor Bill Johnson on Bob Smith's WXXI program yesterday solidified the idea.

Johnson represents the best hope for the people of the City to take back their right to pick their next mayor.   A true fusion candidacy, with the former Mayor nominated by the Greens, Republicans, Conservatives and the Independence Party, just might do the trick.

Tom Richards, a capable and otherwise admirable candidate, has tainted his reputation by signing on to Joe Morelle's sleazoid political fix to go around the voters -- and even the majority of Democratic Committee members -- to hand pick the next Mayor.

Bill Johnson would bring back to City Hall not just experience, but an enviable grasp of urban and municipal issues, and a towering intellectual integrity that's inspirational.

He'd be viewed by City voters, we think, as the real Democratic candidate in a Special Election in which the Democratic line on the ballot has been hijacked.

Go for it, Mayor Johnson.

Greens, Republicans, Conservatives and Independence Party Chairs:   you can make this happen.   Reach out to the former Mayor.   Stop Morelle's farce.

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As We Told You ...

Here are the details, in today's newspaper, of the police complaint against a local Assemblyman that we mentioned just before the election last month.

Naughty, naughty.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Double Dipping Duffy: "The System Made Me Do It"

Last week we reported how, in a front-page story on elected officials double-dipping by collecting a public pension and a taxpayer-paid salary, the Democrat and Chronicle, like other media outlets reporting on the matter, never mentioned Rochester's most prominent beneficiary of this practice:   Mayor Duffy.

Since then, one media outlet has mustered the integerity to cover the story: Channel 10.

Hizzoner turned in a defensive, comically unpersuasive performance, basically saying, "It's the system's fault, not mine."

It illustrates at least one downside for a politician like Duffy who lives most of public life in a safe harbor of media protection.   Such politicos often don't develop the skills of effective think-on-your-feet repartee.   On the rare occasions they face actual media scrutiny and must offer an explanation, they sound every bit as lame as Duffy, trying to justify himself in the Channel 10 story.   See it below.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weekender

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Locking Down the Exits

That great photo of Molly Clifford in the D&C captures the essence of the thing -- back to the wall, staring ahead, hands clasped behind.   Ready for the blindfold and cigarette.

Whatever deal Joe Morelle made with Clifford to get her to back off a bid for the Democratic mayoral nomination will unfold in the months ahead.   The significant thing is that it had to be done.

It tells us that Morelle's presser yesterday was staged as a warning shot, to restive Democratic Committees across the City.   They're unhappy about being denied a Democratic primary, and having their candidate chosen for them.   "We're shutting this thing down," Morelle's telling his committees, "You have nowhere to turn."

"Here's your likely alternative and we've just taken it away."

The message from Morelle to unhappy Democratic committees is clear:   No way out.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

And the Vote is In

So we are going to have a special election to choose our next Mayor. While the Editorial staff at the D&C, where I serve on the editorial board, along with many other leaders in Rochester feel this is the best option, I am growing worried.

Within the past year we have watched as the Democratic leadership in the area has worked hard to take away an elected school board and to institute an appointed body. While this may be the best way to proceed to generate success in the City school district, we as the voters of Rochester should be able to choose it as an option through our right to vote.

Tuesday night City Council voted, 5-4, to proceed with a special election to choose our next Mayor.   A party that has enjoyed complete control of government in Rochester for the better part of 30 years has decided to reduce voter influence even further.

We can all see that Rochester’s elections have been decided in the Democratic primary for years. Now they want to take that away. I am not saying that Tom Richards is not the best guy for the job, in fact I can see many reasons why he would be a great choice for Mayor. But let the choice part happen.

If Richards is unwilling to primary it out and work to get elected, then that says to me that maybe he is not the man for the job.   Anyone else wanting to be Mayor would need to walk that path.

What I see is a group of people who have enjoyed a cake walk when it comes to getting their own elected in this city, who now are looking to make it even easier for themselves by reducing voter influence in the process.

If this is ok with you, my guess is that you stand to benefit from it. If this does not sit well with you, no matter what party you belong to, then you had better get ready to vote against the Democratic party come November 2nd 2011. If you continue to pull the “D” lever, Please don’t waste anyone’s time protesting and yelling about how your rights are being buried. 2011 is the time to show everyone in Rochester that we will no longer accept this type of behavior.

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Double Dipping, In the Bubble of Media Protection

How sweet it must be.

Today's Democrat and Chronicle leads with a story about elected officials "double dipping" -- collecting a state pension while simultaneously collecting a public salary.

It even names names -- some names -- such as David Gantt and other "state lawmakers."

Yet the paper never mentions Rochester's most prominent double dipper:   Mayor Bob Duffy.

The soon-to-be Lieutenant Governor under . . . Andrew Cuomo.   The Andrew Cuomo who campaigned, as Attorney General and as candidate for Governor, against double dipping!

According to the Rochester Business Journal's Book of Lists for 2009, Duffy is the second-highest paid elected official in the Rochester area, with salary as Mayor of $127,600.   That's on top of collecting a state pension of $70,255.   But at the Democrat and Chronicle, that's considered just too impolite -- or perhaps uncivil --to mention.

Per standard operating procedure, the D&C months ago did a one-off story on the Duffy double dip.   One media cycle.   That gives the paper a figleaf excuse that it's "covered" it.   More importantly it allows Duffy, as beneficiary of the D&C's protection to the end, to be able to refer ever thereafter to his double dip as "old news."

The gutter press at work.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

While My Speaker Gently Weeps

Am I the only one who's already bored and a little nauseated by incoming House Speaker John Boehner's crying routine?

A bad visual for the side of light and truth:   Pelosi the steely-eyed ice queen versus Boehner the blubbering wimp.   The Saturday Night Live sketches write themselves.

Cut the waterworks, Johnny.   We hired you to clean up a mess.   Get to it, and do your crying in private.   Let your guitar gently weep, not you.

UPDATE -- 12/16/2010:   See what I mean?


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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Bent Logic and Language of Taxation

Brit Hume on Washington's

" . . . unspoken but undeniable premise, that all money earned by American citizens and businesses belongs to the government.   Whatever portion the public is allowed to keep amounts to "spending."   And if you happen to be in an upper-income tax bracket, your untaxed dollars are more than mere spending, they're an outright "gift" from the government.

Such thinking may seem morally and logically upside down to most Americans, but most Americans don't work and live in Washington."
See the whole comment:

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Central Part of Obamacare Ruled Unconstitutional

Judge strikes down the mandate for individuals to buy health insurance.

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Thank You, Mayor Johnson

. . . for explaining clearly and persuasively why the proposed Special Election for Mayor, that would deny City residents a meaningful choice, is a "totally undemocratic scheme."

The D&C sourly countered the former Mayor's essay with yet another editorial about the matter, on the page opposite.   Pushing the Special Election scheme, that would deny City voters a Democratic primary in circumstances where the Democratic primary is the whole election, the paper deploys once more its clumsy lie:

. . . there's precedent for outsiders to win.   Both Duffy and William Johnson weren't endorsed by the party but won anyway.   In a special election, other candidates besides the party's pick and ones from other parties can run.
No ethics and no shame.   Sure, Duffy and Johnson "weren't endorsed by the party but won anyway."   They won in a Democratic primary!

Fat chance either would have made it in the subsequent general election, running as an independent or minor-party candidate against a Democratic nominee.   Which is the snake-oil argument the D&C wants the public to swallow.

And its just such a Democratic Primary that the very top-drawer, oh-so exclusive Committee to Coronate Tom Richards proposes to bypass.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekender

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Friday, December 10, 2010

This is Your Brain on Drugs

"Youth Arts Center a Step
to Tame Trouble"

-- Democrat and Chronicle headline

It was P.J. O'Rourke, I think, who once did a riff on an old public service TV ad discouraging drug use.   "This is drugs," said the announcer over a visual of a hot frying pan.   "This is your brain on drugs," he concludes, cracking an egg in the pan and watching it fry.

P.J. noted the brain was about the last bodily organ an audience of potential drug users would worry about and suggested another analogy to connect with the target group more directly.

I thought of this while reading yesterday's hilarious news report of a planned "Youth Arts Center" for downtown Rochester.   It's proposed as a means of taming stabbings, weapons possession, fights and unspecified "disruptions" associated with "hundreds of . . . teens every morning and afternoon during the school year" at their "loitering spot," the Liberty Pole.

Of course!   (Said I, slapping myself upside the head.)  How better to relieve the "massive daily police effort to quell disturbances" than with an arts center.

Why didn't we think of this before?   The flick-knife armed lion shall lie down with the disruptive lamb:

"Let's not argue with each other.   Let's go do some arts and crafts."

"Why bust a cap up this guy when I can do ceramics?"

"Decisions, decisions:   manslaughter or macramé?"
Let's hope the planned arts center helps enrich the lives of some kids.   More power to its backers for trying.   But it's the kids who aren't causing the problems who will be visiting an arts center.   The good kids, not the bad ones.   Not the stabbers, weapons possessors, fighters or disrupters.

And since the good kids have to be the overwhelming majority of the kids we're talking about, a facility that accomodates only 20 - 25 is off to a modest start.

The important thing is that it is a start, and for a good purpose.   Why its promoters had to taint a worthy project, inviting ridicule by claiming it will reduce crime, is a mystery.

However, for sheer comic extravagance, Rochester Downtown Development Corporation President Heidi Zimmer-Meyer upstaged everybody.
Urban youth are part of downtown’s vitality,” said Zimmer-Meyer, “and their energy helps create the dynamism that has attracted more than $739 million in downtown investment this year."
Of course! (Again slapping myself on the forehead.)   I was blind, but now I see.

That's why the little old ladies from Penfield and all those other places wouldn't go shopping downtown for the past four decades:   there just weren't enough urban youth hanging out on the street!

Just not enough of that vitality to draw them in from the suburbs, or to have kept them from leaving the City in the first place!

It must have been all that "vitality," driving the "massive daily police effort to quell disturbances," that got PaeTec to commit to downtown!   (At least for now.)

Can Ms. Zimmer-Meyer find one downtown business owner who will say that large crowds of kids loitering on the street, fighting and worse, helps his or her business?

Can she identify a single investor who's put money into downtown because of, not in spite of, this problem?   (We'll call it a problem because the people promoting the arts center call it a problem, for which they're furnishing part of a solution.)

Perhaps she can bring out developers of the high-end lofts in the vicinity, to say that crowds of kids on the street are moving those loft sales.

All this from the head of a leading downtown development agency?   How a competent person responsible for her own actions could make such a statement tests one's understanding.   Perhaps a quiet word of counseling is in order.

Watch, Heidi:   "This is drugs . . . "

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Racist Hate Speech

. . . from House Democratic Caucus

Roll Call reports:

The frustration with President Barack Obama over his tax cut compromise was palpable and even profane at Thursday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting.

One unidentified lawmaker went so far as to mutter “f- - - the president” . . .
When will the incivility stop?

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A Progressive Response: Civil Disobedience

Defy the Bush Tax Cuts

On Monday the American Left experienced what Republicans went through in August 1990.   That's when President Bush the First caved in to Democrats and abandoned his "read my lips -- no new taxes" pledge.   It split apart the Reagan coalition, created a primary challenge, gave rise to the Ross Perot candidacy and got Clinton elected in 1992.   Rank-and-file Republicans just had to take it.

Unlike those earlier partisans, today's American Left can fight back boldly.

Hate the Bush tax cuts?   Fight back -- pay your taxes at the pre-Bush rates.

This goes especially for lefty multimillionaires who asked Obama to raise taxes, like Soros, Buffet, Gates, John Kerry, and angry white millionaire liberal pundits like Frank Rich and Paul Krugman.   All the members of the "Let us play with our millions while we prevent you from getting to where we are" club.

Progressives can respond to Obama's cave-in with civil disobedience, and make the ultimate statement of principled progressive dissent:   pay your taxes at the Clinton tax rates.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Deceptive Posturing on the Tax Deal

First:   There's been no income tax "giveaway" to "the wealthy" or to anybody else.

  Obama's Tax Deal doesn't cut any income tax rates.   It just doesn't raise them.

  And you can't "give away" to anybody something that already belongs to them.   Your income is yours, not the government's.   You just have to pay some tax on it.
Secondly:   No.   Avoiding a tax increase doesn't make the deficit worse.
Because if the Left had its way, government would spend the money anyway.

Katrina vanden Heuvel in yesterday's Washington Post:
The $60 billion each year in Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans could pay for universal preschool for America's children, or tuition and board for half of America's college students.
Nice things to do.   But spending in that way the money gained through a big tax hike does nothing to reduce the deficit.

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ECCLESIASTICAL SHOCK: Mainstream Religious Leader, other than Pope, Says Something Sensible

Not only that, but it's the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the totally hip, totally swinging, trendier-than-thou Anglican church.

"The weary annual attempts by right-thinking people in Britain to ban or discourage Nativity plays or public carol-singing out of sensitivity to the supposed tender consciences of other religions fail to notice that most people of other religions and cultures both love the story and respect the message. . . . Christmas is one of the great European exports."

"His remarks come just days after his predecessor, Lord Carey, condemned the attempt to 'airbrush' the Christian faith 'out of the picture' at Christmas."

Full article.
The End Times are truly upon us.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What's Ours is Ours; What's Yours is Up for Grabs -- Latest Chapter

Recently we observed how, when local Democratic-controlled public bodies are empowered to make a decision, no one questions their authority to do so.   However, when Republican-controlled institutions are so empowered, our local chapter of the Democratic-Media Complex insists that such power be shared, or given away.

Now, still stinging from the failure of Democrats to win control of the Monroe County Legislature in 2009, the Democrat and Chronicle has begun the campaign to flip control of the Lej to its side by other means.   Specifically, by tampering with the redistricting process.

Every ten years the County Legislature appoints a District Revision Commission to recommend new County legislative district lines based on the most recent U.S. Census.

Thanksgiving weekend the paper ran pieces on consecutive days, calling on the Legislature's majority Republicans essentially to turn over their authority to appoint the District Revision Comission to "independent" outsiders.   In Saturday's paper the president of the dependably liberal League of Women Voters called on the Legislature's majority to make sure such a panel amply represents all "political communities of interest," among other recommendations that added up to this:   Republicans shouldn't get to decide.

The next day's lead editorial called for outsiders, not lawmakers, to draw new district lines.   Minority Democrats in the County Legislature recently proposed just such a change in the process.

Had local Democrats picked up the one seat they needed to take control of the County Legislature in 2009, they wouldn't be going anywhere near a proposal to change the redistricting process, which would have been in their hands.   Nor would the Democrat and Chronicle, or a dedicatedly liberal group like the League of Women Voters.

It reveals the essential fairness of the current redistricting process that, in 2009, local Democrats were just a single seat away from winning control in that year's election.   After the 2009 election the party split was 15 - 14, as it had been for two years previously.   Except for a core of monolithically Democratic districts in the City, all districts in the County Legislature are competitive.

Contrast that with the New York State Assembly, where Democrats, who control Assembly redistricting, currently hold 107 seats to the Republicans' 42.   Now, there's a place to start redistricting reform.

No majority party in any legislature in America, at any level, voluntarily relinquishes the power to redistrict.   Nor will our County Legislature's majority Republicans.

The Democratic Minority and its collaborators at the D&C know this.   Nevertheless, they'll drumbeat the idea repeatedly between now and next November, when all 29 seats in the County Legislature are up for election.   Their goal is simply to try to put the Legislature's Republicans on the defensive, and to that extent, at least, they'll succeed.

This issue lends itself nicely to several inventive ways for the Republicans to go successfully on the offensive, turning it back around on the opposition and making the legislature's Democrats wish they had never brought up the subject of changing the method of redistricting.

That, of course, won't happen.   Our County Legislature's Republicans are long on public policy smarts, but diffident when it comes to speaking up for their own side.   At least that seems to have been the pattern ever since they remained silent while Democrats walked all over them in the debate over appointment of the Public Defender a few years ago.   In fairness, this approach hasn't hurt them in elections, where they've triumphed resoundingly the last few times out.

But the opposition will try, so we may expect the Democrats and the D&C to get some traction out of this issue over the next eleven months.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Where are the Republicans?

Special election or appointment leading to a general in the fall of Nov 2011 is the elephant (no pun intended) in the room in Rochester right now.

Everywhere I go I hear people ask “Where are the Republicans on this?” “It is about time that the Republicans do something in the city.”   To this I almost always reply, Where are you?

Where are you during campaign season when candidates are out door knocking?   Where are you when it is time to talk to neighbors about what candidates you are supporting?   Are you even bothering to get out and support a candidate?

Most of the time the answers to my questions are met with blank stares.   So my challenge to anyone who cares about what is going on in the city right now is to get involved.   Stop sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone to show up and change the situation.   Get out and make sure that it is happening by getting involved in a campaign or candidate that you feel best represents you.

And to all of the Democrats in the city:   if City Council opts for a Special election and you aren’t happy about it, send a message to your party that you aren’t going to blindly walk in and pull their lever any longer.   If you don’t, please don’t waste everyone’s time jumping up and down and yelling about how your vote was stolen.

So to the question of "where are the Republicans?," I ask again:   Where are you?

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shame on President Seligman

... President of the University of Rochester, for repeating in this morning's newspaper the falsehood-by-half-truth that choosing a Mayor by Special Election will give voters a meaningful chance to vote:

"Is a special election undemocratic?   Far from it.   Every registered voter can vote. Any party can nominate a candidate.   Write in candidates are permissible."
Sure they'll get to vote -- in a meaningless election.

Who gets the Democratic nomination in Rochester wins the election.   So the real election is the Democratic primary -- if there is one.   Which there won't be under the Special Election scenario.

A straightforward reality that can be grasped by any schoolboy, let alone a college President.

Shame on Seligman for promoting this shabby deception.

He should be feeling most un-selig about it.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

The Coward's Way Out

So Tom Richards is willing to serve as Mayor of Rochester -- but only if he's spared the inconvenience of a real election!

His announcement yesterday was cleverly timed to try to interrupt the growing momentum among City Democratic committees toward an appointment now, followed by a General Election in November.   That would permit a Democratic primary in September, in which Democratic voters select their party's nominee.

Richards wants, instead, to go the route of a Special Election in the Spring, which precludes a Democratic primary.   Democratic voters and committees would have no say in choosing their party's nominee.   The nominee would be chosen behind closed doors and presented to them without choice.   In the monolithically Democratic City, the Democratic nomination is tantamount to election.

Not a bad deal for Richards, a guy who only registered as a Democrat a few weeks ago!

We've only ever heard good things about Tom Richards, and up to now have thought of him as a real mensch.   But why is he afraid of the voters?

Richards would be starting off on the wrong foot if he continues to insist on the Special Election.   While claiming his motivation is to avoid "politics," what he's doing is conniving with backroom Democratic elites in order to cut out Democratic voters; asking to be appointed Mayor without campaigning or earning it through the electoral process.

"I am committed to this City," said would-be Mayor Richards yesterday, before he went on to say, in effect, that unless he's handed the office without working for it, he's not so committed after all.

He'll only be mayor, he said, if it's through the Special Election, not if it's through the General Election that gives Democratic voters the say in who's going to be their candidate.

A perfect "Let them eat cake" declaration.

Richards has the Party's elites behind him, including the party's press organ, the Democrat and Chronicle.   On the other side are 7 of the 10 Democratic committees in the City and the Rochester Labor Council.   All support the General Election scenario.

If the Democratic elites bypass their party's voters, who knows?   Maybe the City Republicans will be smart enough to nominate Molly Clifford.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!

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Well, Maybe If You're an Editor at the Democrat and Chronicle ...

North Korea attacks the South ... a tense run-up to Congress's lame-duck session ... a cliffhanger local Congressional election on the verge of resolution ... implications for special session of State Legislature ... controversy over airport body scanners ... there's a scout troop short a child, Krushchev's due at Idlewild   --   and here's November 23rd's top headline in what passes for a newspaper in Rochester.

Quick -- somebody call the Pulitzer Committee!

Update

Thanks to Balloon Juice for the link!   Plenty of comments from readers sounding off about the wretched quality of Gannett.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

TurkeyWeekender

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

City Tickets Drivers for NOT Running Red Lights

"You don't have to go through a red light to get a ticket for running one," gloats the Democrat and Chronicle today.

Even when you stop at the red light, if the nose of your car is past the white intersection line on the road -- the red light cameras get you.   Nothing to do with safety.   It's all about cashflow.   The City Council president let out the dirty secret:   not "We'll have safer streets," but "We're going to make a lot of money."

There's no way to rule innocent men.  . . . [W]hen there aren't enough criminals, one makes them.   One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.   Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens?   What's there in that for anyone?   But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted -- and you create a nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt.

-- Ayn Rand,   Atlas Shrugged
Meanwhile, in the Free States, citizens vote down red light cameras.

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Post-Mortem on Buerkle vs. Maffei

From The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore:

Mr. Maffei got desperate in the final weeks of the campaign and used every trick in the liberal playbook to go after her.   The lines of attack included global warming, stem cell research, Social Security privatization and her Sarah Palin connections. None of it worked. . . . Mr. Maffei thought he would win because the Republican Party had moved "so far to the right."   In the end, Ms. Buerkle won because the Democrats had moved so far to the left.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Does Rochester Really Want You Here?

It seems as though this year has brought about a handful of changes that I don’t believe are helping the concept of getting people downtown or within the city limits.

Earlier this year we learned we were going to get Red Light cameras to "increase safety."   I have not heard a thing that indicates that safety has been assisted in any way, but I have seen headlines indicating the City is making a lot of cash from them.

Second, we heard that the Mortimer Street bus garage was going into an area that not seven years earlier we designated as retail/residential.   People have poured millions of dollars into that area to find out that they have a new neighbor, a bus barn.   This was done in the name of getting the buses off of Main Street, which I agree is needed to start the rebuilding of our city center.

Then we learned that we need to overhaul our “intermodal station” which is not really intermodal with the absence of the RTS bus center.   It would make tons of sense to have all public transportation located in one single center within the city.   Much like just about every other major city is trying to do across the world.

Then today we learn in the news that we have a new way to pay for public parking on the street.   Sounds very handy as you can now use a credit card and take the ticket with you to another location if there is still time remaining.   AWESOME!

What is the catch, you ask?   And you were right, there is a catch.   The cost more than doubled! From $.60 per hour to $1.25 per hour.

What is the message here, City Government?

I can tell you what I am trying to defend to my coworkers who live in Fairport.   They look at me like I am crazy for sticking around the city and I keep telling them it is the best place to live in Monroe County.   You are making my arguments very difficult to defend.   Whatever track you are heading down, please stop.   You are driving people out of the city and making it difficult to attract new folks to come in and enjoy it.

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Leaving the Mess Behind

What a legacy Mayor Duffy leaves.

A new crime rate study ranks Rochester as one of the most dangerous cities in the nation.

A failing school system.

Killing the most promising City improvement in years, Renaissance Square, rather than having to share credit for it.   No matter how it might have improved the City or the quality of life for many of its residents.

Those are the kind of results you get in a non-competitive political environment.   Remember them in the weeks ahead, as the local press that has protected this Mayor for so long, laments the "loss" of his departure and praises the Golden Age of his leadership.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Buerkle in 1st Place at Finish of Vote Tally

With all votes now counted in the 25th Congressional District except for 240 challenged absentee ballots, mostly from Republican voters, Ann Marie Buerkle has finished first, 567 votes ahead of incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei.   Details at the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Maffei has lost unless he demands a manual recount of all ballots and the recount reverses Buerkle's winning margin.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekender

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pants on Fire

It really would be more efficient to note instances where the Democrat and Chronicle doesn't lie to the public, but the whopper on Wednesday's editorial page stands out even by the feeble standards of our newspaper in the form of a comic book.   (Or is it our comic book in the form of a newspaper?)

Editorializing in favor of back-room selection of the new Rochester Mayor, by way of the Special Election option that effectively cuts voters out of the loop, the editorial said:

" . . . no one's right to vote will be violated even though Democratic Party leaders will choose that party's candidate.   That's because other candidates can , and no doubt will, pass petitions to get on the ballot."
A classic example of the D&C seeking to deceive by selectively deploying the truth.

In a situation where whoever gets the Democratic line wins the election -- no matter how many other candidates "pass petitions to get on the ballot"   --   selection of the Democratic candidate is the election.

If voters are cut out from that part of it, as they would be in the Special Election scenario, they are cut out of the election.   Period.

And it won't make any difference who passes petitions to get on "The Rent Is 2 Damn High" party line or any other.   The Democrats can nominate a serial killer, and that person wins the election in the City.

Opting for the Special Election, in which party bosses pick the nominee behind closed doors, gives City voters no role other than choosing between a Democratic candidate not voted onto the ballot by them, or a meaningless small-party or Republican choice with no chance of winning whatsoever.   But the D&C editorialists don't bother talking about that part.

Shameless.   But Standard Operating Procedure at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

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Bye, Bye, New York

Americans are fleeing high tax, union-dominated states and settling in states with lower taxes, right-to-work laws and lower government spending.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Selecting the New Mayor

Thanks to WXXI Radio news, those of us who didn't attend Rochester City Council's kabuki dance last night know that members of the public who spoke in favor of a General Election next November outnumbered those favoring a Special Election by two to one.   Thirty-two speakers versus sixteen.

The General Election route would allow City voters to choose the Democratic nominee.   A Special Election means that Democratic power brokers would choose the nominee behind closed doors.

The Democrat and Chronicle, which favors behind-closed-doors selection for Mayor Duffy's replacement, reported today only that opinion was "divided:" "Noticeable divide for mayoral plan" its headline read.   You'd never have known the divide was 2 - 1 against the position favored by the D&C.

The Special Election favored by the newspaper and by Democratic officialdom would bypass a primary.   The Democratic Committee would choose the nominee.   Understandably, the Committee wants to pick the Mayor itself, without interference from those troublesome voters.

Remember that in 1993 the organization chose County Legislator Kevin Murray for Mayor.   Democratic voters upended that choice and picked Bill Johnson in the primary.   History repeated itself in 2005.   The Democratic organization designated City Councilman Wade Norwood .   Democratic primary voters chose Bob Duffy.

So last night, it was Democratic officialdom that supported the Special Election route, aided and abetted by Democratic fellow travelers like the Rochester Business Alliance led by Democratic shill Sandra Parker, and the "Faith Alliance."

City Council Member Carla Palumbo spoke bravely in favor of letting the voters have a say in the Democratic nomination, in this election in which winning the nomination is tantamount to winning the election, but she sounds like the proverbial voice crying in the wilderness.

It comes down to a vote of City Council and we think the Democratic Committee has enough muscle to get them to go along with the desired result and cut the voters out of the process.

All that would be left, then, would be to see if it's Tom Richards or Molly Clifford who has the most political chits to call in, to win the backing of the City Democratic Committee.

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Slaughter Targeted by Surviving House Democrats

Returning Democratic members of Congress unhappy with Nancy Pelosi are targeting Enemy of the People Louise Slaughter, and other Pelosi cronies, in the process of choosing Democratic leadership positions.

Instead of allowing Pelosi to re-appoint Slaughter as ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, Democratic dissenters want that and other leadership positions decided by a vote of their caucus.

Politico has the story.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Update on Buerkle vs. Maffei Vote Count

As possible pathways to victory for incumbent Representative Dan Maffei dwindle, Maffei now appears to be targeting absentee ballots of senior citizens in Onandaga County, in order to suppress the vote for Ann Marie Buerkle.   Onandaga election officials begin counting absentees on Wednesday.

Friday's count of absentee votes in Monroe and Cayuga Counties increased Buerkle's lead to 729, with the count now at 100,314 for Buerkle to 99,585 for Maffei.

That's not counting the 270 Cayuga and Monroe votes challenged, mostly by Maffei.   As most are ballots from Republican, Conservative and Independence Party voters, it's likely most would go to Buerkle once allowed by the judge.

Wayne County counts absentee votes today.

The Buerkle campaign advises that, district-wide, Republican voters submitted 1,000 more ballots than registered Democrats.   In the largest county in the district, Onandaga, 500 more Republicans than Democrats votes by absentee ballot.

Ann Marie is in Washington today for the orientation for new members of Congress.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekender

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

W - H - Y - ?

The Question the D&C Won't Ask about Chief Moore's Ouster
Since our piece appeared on Monday, local broadcast media have begun to inquire about the reason for Mayor Duffy's summary dismissal of Rochester Police Chief David Moore.   We'll see if they press for answers.

Meanwhile, the Democrat and Chronicle just can't bring itself to confront the glaring central question:   WHY?   What's the real reason?

The paper's tepid editorial yesterday was about as tentative as you can get, focusing on procedure and timing, not the decision itself.   Not, "Why did the Mayor do it?," but "Why so abruptly?"   As if the big issue were one of mere presentation, with the focus on Chief Moore deserving a more dignified exit.   That he did, but acknowledging it doesn't address the core question.

As if they realized "We really have to say something," the paper's editorialists watered down their comment until it was bereft of substance.

Yet if it lacked substance it had purpose:   to come to Mayor Duffy's aid by whitewashing the episode.   To deflect attention to related, but collateral issues.   Communication.   Dignity.   Timing.

But no mention at all of the real timing question:   why right after the election, when it was clearly thought out before?   What was it about this incident that Duffy didn't want discussed before an election in which he was a candidate?

Not even a mention of any of the other questions that would occur immediately to a first-year journalism student.

"Duffy told this page that Moore 'was not fired or demoted'" said the D&C, parroting the Mayor's pallid defense without question or scrutiny.   The "transition" should have been "a lot smoother."

All just a matter of presentation, the D&C subtly tries to convince us, from describing the act in the passive voice -- "So why was the move made so abruptly?" instead of "So why did the Mayor move so abruptly?" -- to its use of the dishonest euphemism "transition."   Nothing to see here folks.   Just move along, now.

All of which highlights the core question even more starkly:
WHY did the Mayor dump Chief Moore?

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Beware the Lame Duck Session!

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Can Maffei Steal What He Couldn't Win?

As grief counselors make the long march through Democratic staff offices in the U.S. Capitol, ethics counselors appear needed in upstate New York.   Democratic tricksters are fanning out across the 25th Congressional District, where Republican Ann Marie Buerkle holds a 684 machine vote lead over incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei.

With absentee ballots yet to be counted, someone is contacting absentee ballot voters in the 25th District, asking for whom they voted, and it's not the Buerkle campaign.   Ann Marie released this statement yesterday:

It has recently come to my attention that there are efforts underway in Upstate New York to contact individuals who cast absentee ballots in the 25th Congressional District and inquire how they may have voted in the recent election. It is regrettable that this action is underway prior to those absentee votes being tabulated by county election officials. While the reasons for this effort are unclear, many agree it could be an attempt by some to identify who each person voted for in an effort to disqualify certain eligible ballots from being counted. I would like the public to know that my campaign is not connected to this current effort. Further, no American – in Upstate New York or anywhere – is in anyway under obligation to provide information to anyone on how he or she voted in any election, including my own.
Maffei has filed legal proceedings against the four county boards of elections claiming "voting irregularities" that no one saw on election day, but that materialized all of a sudden once Maffei found himself losing.   It appears the strategy is to obstruct the absentee vote count with a goal of disenfranchising Buerkle voters.

Help Ann Marie fight back!   Contribute to her Postelection Fund to support her effort in the anticipated recount.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Conservative Party Takes Back Row C

11/9/2010 Update - Answers to Quiz below!
With the third-highest vote total by party in the gubernatorial election, the Conservative Party of New York has retaken Row C on election ballots in the state.   It had held Row C -- the first line after the two major parties -- from the 1960's until about 10 years ago, when the Independence Party displaced it by Tom Golisano's third-place finish for Governor on the Independence line.

Interestingly, it's possible that the Independence Party, now just a sad and pointless remnant of Golisano's vanity races for governor, may have slipped to Row E, with the union-front "Working Families" party outpolling it to take Row D.

Position on the New York ballot is determined by vote total by party in the most recent election for governor.

QUIZ:

1. Who was the candidate for Governor who put the Conservative Party on Row C for the first time?

2. What was the name of the party the Conservatives bumped from Row C that year?

3. What was the year?


4. Bonus Question: What was the famous name of the candidate whose party was bounced from Row C to Row D?
No Googling!   This is a test of your chops as a hardened political junkie.   Answers tomorrow.




Update - 11/9/2010
ANSWERS:

1. Who was the candidate for Governor who put the Conservative Party on Row C for the first time?
Paul Adams, professor of history at Roberts Wesleyan College
2. What was the name of the party the Conservatives bumped from Row C that year?
The Liberal Party
3. What was the year?
1966
4. Bonus Question: What was the famous name of the candidate whose party was bounced from Row C to Row D?
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr.
Congratulations to our winner, whose prize is Philbrick's voice on his home answering machine!

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What's the Real Reason?

.. . . for dumping the Chief of Police?
So two days after the election, Mayor Duffy essentially fires Police Chief David Moore and replaces him effective today.   That's the Mayor Duffy who in seven weeks won't be Mayor any longer.   He assures us it has nothing to do with "wrongdoing," even though nobody asked that question (and in the cocoon of media protection in which Duffy lives political life, no one will).

Here's how Rochester suffers from not having a quality daily newspaper.   And from local broadcast media that won't step up to fill the gap.

Why is no one questioning the timing of the abrupt police chief switch-out?   That it was done right after the election and clearly planned beforehand?

Why wouldn't an outgoing Mayor leave a fundamental change in a key City department to his successor?   To the Mayor who will be working with the police chief?

Is it because the new Mayor's already been chosen, and the process wired for him or her -- and that new Mayor-to-be is on board with the change?

What's the real reason?   Was there a problem?   Was it a concession to the police union in negotiations going on with the City?

Why now?

Yet with no explanation and suspect timing, local media give the episode a free pass, never asking, "What's really going on?"   If a Republican County Executive made an analagous move under the same circumstances, there'd be a full-blown media investigation.

Instead, there's no one other than we citizen bloggers to ask, "What's going on behind closed doors at City Hall?"

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Buerkle Postelection Fund

Help Ann Marie Buerkle get fair treatment in the absentee and military ballot vote count by supporting her postelection fund.

With Buerkle about 700 votes ahead with the full machine count in, national Democrats have already dispatched lawyers from D.C., and incumbent Dan Maffei is soliciting dollars for an even bigger attorney armada.

Support Ann Marie!

Analysis of how Ann Marie pulled it off appeared in today's Syracuse Post-Standard.   Winning Monroe County, it says, was key.

In other New York election news, in Congressional District 1 (eastern Long Island) Republican Randy Altschuler has pulled ahead of incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop by 392 votes.   As with the Buerkle-Maffei race, it now comes down to the absentee and military ballots.

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He's Gonna Catch Dat Scwewy Wabbit

Sore winner Barney Frank gave an election night harangue that a 30-year Frank supporter calls a "road rage acceptance speech," commenting that he benefits from a double standard:   "No female politician could last five minutes as such a condescending, abusive bully."

"He seemed . . . outraged that he had to run a race at all.”   This and further comment on what sounded more like an angry concession speech at Gay Patriot.

Looks like Frank's role in creating the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mess will be investigated by the new Congress.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weekender

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Friday, November 5, 2010

New York's Middle Class Outmigration

That has produced a vicious circle in which the very wealthy, the urban poor, and the public-sector unions who define the Democratic coalition create a high-taxing, heavily regulated polity that drives business and the upwardly mobile to the exits.

. . . [L]ikely to compete for center stage in the next two years:   the split between, on one side, California and New York   -—   two states, deeply in debt, whose wealthy are beneficiaries of the global economy   -—   and, on the other, the solvent states of the American interior that will be asked to bail them out.   This geographic division will also pit the heartland’s middle class and working class against the well-to-do of New York and California and their political allies in the public-sector unions.
Read the whole thing.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Congratulations

... to newly-elected State Assembly Member Harry Bronson.

And while we're on the subject ...

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Give and Take

The election bumps Enemy of the People Louise Slaughter from the Chair of the House Rules Committee.

But with the defeat of the detestable Alan Grayson, Representative from Florida, Slaughter takes back her old spot as the most loathsome Member of Congress.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

To the Editors of the Democrat and Chronicle

Re:   Alesi vs. Wilmot

Eat your hearts out.

Especially after your cheap trick yesterday.

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Le jour de gloire est arrivé!

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Johns Beats Koon in Votes Cast Today

According to Board of Elections, with all districts reporting, Mark Johns beats David Koon 51-49.   Will absentee ballots make the difference?

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Johns vs. Koon

With only 3 precincts not yet reporting, Johns holding 51 - 49 lead over Koon.

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Some Local Returns - 9:58pm

With more than half of districts in:

Mark Johns ahead of David Koon!   51 to 49%

Hanna ahead of Nachbar; 56% to 43%

Alesi ahead of Wilmot; 53% to 47% (about 60% of precincts reporting)

County Court Judge:   Piampiano and DiNolfo winning. Argento a hair's breadth ahead of Wolford.

Family Court Judge:   Gallagher over Jackson; 60% to 40%

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Today We Respond to the Hate: VOTE

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Tea Time Revisited

For eighteen months, liberal commentators, press organs and academics have been struggling to do two things.   The first is to explain the Tea Party phenomenon without undermining the fundamental assumptions that inform the liberal worldview.

The second is related.   Unable to explain the Tea Party movement without calling into question their underlying liberal political philosophy, yet recognizing it as an existential threat, liberals have sought to marginalize and vilify it.

Hence, the ever changing explanations and disparagings.   First they dismissed it as trivial and tried to ignore it.   As the movement grew, it was just "astroturf," not a real grassroots movement.   Then they called Tea Partiers "uncivil."   The same people who considered the antics of Code Pink a virtue during the Bush years suddenly found it uncivil to ask your Congressman if he had read a bill before voting on it.

Then Tea Partiers were described as hateful, violent, even dangerous.   A “small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht,” it was said of the people who subsequently rallied peacefully on the National Mall at the end of August and picked up after themselves, leaving behind not a scrap of litter for the astonished Park Service staff to remove.

The mainstream press repeated stories of physical assaults against people and property, allegedly by Tea Partiers, and none of which were ever proven.   Like the obviously staged "brick in the window" at Monroe Democratic Headquarters last spring.

Then Scott Brown won the Senate race in Massachusetts, of all places.   Panic time on the left.   This thing had traction.   That was about the time liberals resorted to their last redoubt when they're out of arguments on any subject:   the Tea Party is racist.

It's also extremist.   You've seen the ugly face of extremism:   there are people who actually believe the income they earn belongs to them, not the government?   Extremism!   Being impertinent enough to ask "Where are the jobs?" that the trillions in government spending were supposed to create? Extremism!

Then it became a secret plot bankrolled by right-wing billionaires. Then it was all because Americans are stupid.   Spoiled.   Ungrateful.   Acting on fear, not reason or facts or science.   And on and on, ever changing as the inconvenient reality just won't support each successive theory.

Trying to explain the Tea Party movement without disturbing bedrock liberal assumptions is hard work.   Some would say impossible.   Like trying to engineer a space shuttle mission while insisting on the fundamental assumption that the earth is flat.

It can't be done.   There's a reality whose existence is impervious to opinion and assumption.   Its the reality that the public has turned against the Democrats.   Because, despite the Democrats' spending and their claims, the economy hasn't improved, and because the public believes their policies are too liberal and overreaching.   Especially Obamacare.   That's what created the Tea Party movement.

The Left can't accept it, so their explanations of the phenomenon keep shifting over time, since they never fit, and thus the quest continues for any explanation other than the real one.

The Left won't accept that we live in an esentially center-right country.   We do.   When you govern against the grain, the public turns on you.

Mustard Street recognized the import of the Tea Party movement way back when.   We told you that something big was happening when conservatives take to the streets, pack into Town Hall meetings, rally, and carry protest signs.   That had always been the doing of the Left.   Never a part of the conservative playbook.   If the right was doing it now, this was something very new, that could have a major impact.

We had a foretaste of that impact last November in New Jersey and Virginia.   Then early this year, in Massachusetts.   Today we will measure its impact again.

As we all await the results of today's vote, we round out our analysis of the Tea Party phenomenon by reprising below excerpts from several of our original pieces on the subject.




From The Real Tea Party -- published April 18, 2010
Tea party activists ... it turns out, are more educated than the average American, more reflective of mainstream anxieties than any populist movement in memory, and more closely aligned philosophically with the wider electorate than any big-city newsroom in America.
Like we told you.

Read the whole thing.




From Lincoln Was Wrong -- published April 15, 2010

All elements of the Liberal Archipelago, from the media to the universities to the political class, have talked themselves into believing the Tea Party movement is just a few fringe complainers.   Just something "astroturfed" by Sarah Palin or the Republican Party.   They repeat it over and over, maybe hoping if they do, that will make it so.

They're clueless.   As the oldest resident of Mustard Street, let me tell you.   The last time I remember the Liberal-Media Complex so far out of touch with what's going on in the country was during the year before Reagan was elected in 1980.   They never saw it coming, and never believed it could happen.

Then it happened.




Tea Time -- published April 16, 2009

The extraordinary feature of yesterday's Tea Party protests across the country is not the impressive number of participants, but that they happened at all.

Political rallies and street protests traditionally have been the province of the Left.   People in the ordinary mainstream of life and conservatively-minded people are too polite, too reticent, too time-strapped.   Lacking, for the most part, the ideological fervor to overcome inhibitions like self-consciousness, or concern over what the Boss might think.

A conservative friend of humorist P.J. O'Rourke asked "why don't our people do this," as they passed by a streetcorner group of left-wing protesters.

"Our people have jobs," P.J. explained.

That Americans were willing to turn out yesterday in the numbers they did, to protest taxes and government spending, demonstrates a broad and deep feeling across the country.

Whether it will be productively channeled, resulting in policy reform, we will learn in the years ahead.   That it might be is clearly troubling the Left.  They understand, better than anyone, that street organizing and protests are very much outside of the culture of the conservative and the moderate.

The Left understands the import of what it saw yesterday.   Look at the more extreme of the local and national Left-oriented websites and how they tried yesterday, in anticipation, to dismiss and belittle the tea parties.   These efforts carry a whiff of "whistling past the graveyard."   If they really thought the tea parties were meaningless, they'd ignore them rather than give them more publicity by denouncing them in advance, as they have.

The nervousness of the Left is showing.

Tea, anyone?

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Soft Landing for Wolford

It appears that Monroe County Democrats are skittish about the chances of appointed-Judge Kelly Wolford in tomorrow's election.

Wolford worked for the District Attorney's office before her appointment.   From inside the DA's office we learn that District Attorney Mike "Nifong" Green has kept Wolford's old position open for her, in case voters give her the thumbs down tomorrow, as political observers expect.

Badly beaten in both the Conservative and Independence primaries, Wolford appeared until recently to be doing little campaigning beyond billboards -- always a dead giveaway of the political amateur.

Now her campaign has come out with a mailer comparing her Republican opponents, each an elected judge, unfavorably to candidate Wolford.

Material from a sitting judge even as mildly negative as this is unusual and hints at desperation.   Last year County Court Judge Brian McCarthy, like Wolford an appointee seeking election for the first time, went negative against his Republican challenger John DeMarco.   It backfired badly, as DeMarco beat McCarthy handily.

Wolford's record with mailings isn't good.   During the primary, Wolford sent a mailing to enrolled Conservatives, attributing a flattering quote to "Hank Love, Conservative Party Member."   An inquiry to the Board of Elections by Conservative Party Chairman Tom Cook disclosed no one by that name in Monroe County who's registered as a Conservative.

"We have 3 registered voters under that name but they are not enrolled Conservatives, and our records do not show any history of such enrollment,"
wrote Election Commissioners Peter Quinn and Tom Ferrarese, in response to Chairman Cook's inquiry.

No wonder County Democrats are holding open Wolford's old spot in the DA's office.   Looks like she'll be needing it.

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Police Complaint Against Assemblyman

Just in ...

We're told that over the weekend a complaint was filed with police against a sitting Democratic Assemblyman, having to do with an altercation with a campaign worker.

If anyone has additional information, please contact Mustard Street at the e-mail address shown in the right-hand column and at the bottom of this page.

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One More Day

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloweekender

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beware a Newspaper that Deceives

With breathtaking dishonesty the Democrat and Chronicle deployed this morning an editorial ostensibly warning about political candidates who seek to deceive, but whose obvious purpose is to protect one of the deceivers.

Democrat-masquerading-as-Republican Mary Wilmot was found by all the Democrats and all the Republicans on the Fair Election Practices Committee to have lied on a campaign mailing.

Wilmot claimed Senator Jim Alesi owned a company engaged in questionable practices.

New York State corporation records proved that someone else owns the company.  Not Alesi.   Alesi has no ties to it.

You don't need a "Fair Elections Committee" or any other committee to know that Wilmot's mailing was untruthful. She said Alesi owns the company and State records proved that he doesn't.   Mary Wilmot lied.

Yet under the guise of warning about "deceit," this morning's editorial seeks to protect deceitful Mary Wilmot.

Clearly anticipating the Alesi campaign publicizing the verdict of Wilmot's dishonesty, the D&C repeats political transvestite Joe Morelle's lie about the impartiality of the Fair Election Practices Committee.   It does so even though the paper's own story, by reporter Jill Terrieri, recounted that the guilty verdict for Wilmot was unanimous -- like all other decisions of the Fair Campaign Committee this year.   Meaning that all Democrats as well as all Republicans on the panel found Wilmot guilty of lying in her campaign ad!

The D&C editorialists know this full well.   They ignore it, however, in this shabby editorial intended to cause readers to question the fairness of the Fair Campaign Committee's finding about Wilmot.

Expect the D&C to deploy more dirty tricks in the last five days of the campaign.   Deceitful politicians, even as dishonest as Mary Wilmot, are pikers compared to the masters of deceit at the Democrat and Chronicle.

Power corrupts.   That includes the power of the press.

Republican headquarters should have had a press conference by now, pointing out that the unanimous decisions of the Fair Campaign Committee prove the Morelle/D&C claims questioning its impartiality are completely false.   Why haven't they?

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Enemies of Truth

All 2010 Fair Election Practices Committee Decisions have been Unanimous -- its Democratic Members Supported Every Ruling

Democrat-pretending-to-be-Republican Mary Wilmot was found guilty by the Fair Election Practices Committee of lying in a campaign mailing.   She accused Senator Jim Alesi of owning a company that had questionable contracts with a local college.

Alesi doesn't own the company and has no ties to it.   New York State corporation records proved it.

Mary Wilmot lied.
  She broke the Fair Campaign Pledge she signed.   The FEPC called her out.

So Democratic Boss Joe Morelle, like an enraged helicopter parent screaming "Fix!" when his kid loses the spelling bee, says the Fair Election Practices Committee is biased against Democrats.

Right.   That's the same Fair Election Practices Committee created by the League of Women Voters and the Interfaith Alliance, two groups whose impeccable liberal credentials are beyond reproach.

It shows that a seasoned fraud like Morelle still has his game.   How do you knock from the front page an inevitable negative story about Wilmot's dishonesty?   Fake an accusation about the Fair Campaign Committee itself!

No need to mention that all of the Democratic members of the FEPC found Wilmot guilty.   The verdict against her was unanimous.

With a complicit Democrat and Chronicle engaged fully as an arm of the Democratic election campaign, Morelle's diversionary attack on the Fair Campaign Committee throws the story on Wilmot's guilty verdict off the front page.

Desperate local Democrats have resorted this year to dishonest campaign advertising to an extent unusual even for them.    That's why they've lost 4 of the 5 Fair Campaign hearings this year. Hearings in which all Democratic members of the hearing panel supported the outcome!

Morelle's claim to be "pulling out" of the Fair Campaign pledge is mere diversionary posturing.   Candidates can't pull out.

We researched the FEPC during the 2007 elections.   Any candidate who signs the Fair Campaign Pledge is entitled to bring a campaign violation charge against his opponent.   The candidate is entitled to a hearing.   If the accused candidate "pulls out" or refuses to participate, the hearing goes on anyway.

So Morelle knows he can't do what he's claiming to do.   It's just a stunt to divert attention from the Wilmot story.

In a fundamental sense, Mary Wilmot's entire campaign is a lie.   Second only to Morelle himself as this season's most flamboyant political cross-dresser, Democrat Wilmot, who headed the local Senate Democratic office, campaigns as a pretend-reformer and pretend-Republican.   This in order to get elected and prevent Republicans from re-taking the State Senate.   And thereby preventing any chance of real reform in New York.

In campaigning, as in criticizing as "biased" a Fair Campaign Committee whose Democratic members have joined all its rulings, Wilmot joins her mentor Morelle as an enemy of the truth.

Anything goes if they think it can fool the rubes long enough to get them elected.   Anything -- anything -- to make themselves and their campaigns appear to be something other than what they really are.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All In the Family

This just in ... just notified ...

Last year we brought you the story of Margaret Trevett, Democratic candidate for Penfield Supervisor who didn't know when the Town Administration adopts the annual Town budget.

This year it's Ms. Trevett's spouse, Tom Trevett, who's a Democratic candidate for Penfield Town Council.

Today the Fair Election Practices Committee found Mr. Trevett guilty of violating the Fair Campaign Pledge.   The Committee is the creation of the Interfaith Alliance of Rochester and the League of Women Voters.

In an essay published recently in the Democrat and Chronicle, Trevett said of his opponent, Penfield Councilman Rob Quinn, that Quinn "only just completed his education in June."

In fact, Quinn received his Bachelor's degree in 2003 and his Masters in 2007.   Why such a reckless deception by candidate Trevett, when it's so easily found out?

Are the Trevett candidacies the best Penfield's Democrats can do?



Update - Wednesday

It was a unanimous decision, too.   Meaning that all Democratic members of the Fair Elections Committee supported the finding.

So forget Morelle's nonsense about the Committee being stacked against his party's candidates.

-- Philbrick

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One Week

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Monday, October 25, 2010

How About a Fox News Pledge Week

Compounding lies with more lies, National Public Radio now takes the tack that it was right to fire Juan Williams, but it was just done badly.

FOX News should institute a pledge week each spring and fall, to coincide with the NPR pledge weeks.   It would be nice to see how that would affect public radio fundraising.

At least one public radio station has promised contributors that no pledges it receives will go to National Public Radio!

Until NPR explains convincingly why it keeps Nina Totenberg after this, but fired Juan Williams, its stations don't deserve a penny.   NPR won't listen to the public, but will listen to its stations.

No more membership renewal with WXXI for me, unless I see the station publicly demanding an answer to why Williams went but Totenberg stays.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weekender

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Friday, October 22, 2010

No Question: Re-Elect Our Republican State Senators

I started this as a comment to our contributor Steve Zodiac's posting of last night, criticizing my piece on Tuesday about the Democrat and Chronicle's endorsements of state legislative candidates.   However, I think it's expanded to full posting status.

Steve, I think you read more into my posting than I had intended, but reading it again I understand why.   I should have concluded the piece with the reasons why we need to return our Republican State Senators to office in this year's election.   You've now supplied what I left out.

Admittedly, I think the Democrat and Chronicle asked a seriously reform-oriented question, about the Triborough Amendment.   In the view of most advocates of reform, the Senators have been on the wrong side of that issue.   So have all the Democratic incumbents in the Assembly.

Yet there's a gigantic substantive difference between the GOP State Senators whom the newspaper chided for not being sufficiently reform-minded, and the Democratic Assembly members it criticized on the same grounds.   The former have tolerated some bad policies like Triborough, when the circumstances of the time make changing it a practical impossibility; when a serious effort to change it would accomplish nothing other than bringing the state's richest and most powerful special interest, the public employee unions, down on their heads.

Contrast that to the incumbent Democratic Assembly members, who actively promote, instigate, expand, aid and abet, either themselves or through supporting an Assembly leadership headed by Sheldon Silver, the toxic brew of policies that hold the state back and unfairly burden its people.

I couldn't agree more with Steve's statement that "Any hope we have of meaningful change in New York begins with Republicans winning back the State Senate majority."   Even our commenter, Anonymous 10/22 9:40am, who hit the Senators pretty hard, said he's going to vote for his Republican State Senator over his liberal Democratic opponent.

There's a new, healthier, climate in the country and the state, where people finally are paying attention to what's really going on in government.   This makes it possible to consider seriously, for the first time in decades, reforming the policy failures that wreak havoc on New York.   For all the reasons Steve discussed in his piece last night, that's all out the window if the Democrats keep the State Senate.

I'll be voting enthusiastically for my Republican State Senator on election day.

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Double Standard at NPR

National Public Radio correspondent Nina Totenberg said she hoped then-U.S. Senator Jesse Helms would get AIDS, or his grandchildren would.   That was in 1995.   NPR hasn't gotten around to firing her yet.

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