Saturday, March 6, 2010

Morelle Agonistes

1.   The Mayor's Ball

A few weeks ago, teachers' and other unions forced cancellation of a Democratic fundraiser, to protest the Mayor's school proposal and Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle's support of it.   The unions had threatened to picket the event, and politically active Democrats won't cross union picket lines.   We observed:

Now the biggest Democratic fundraiser of the year is coming up, the Mayor's Ball.   Can we really expect from the public employee unions any different performance?
It turns out that we can't.   Now the teachers' union, some affiliated unions and the Police union are organizing a boycott and picket of the Mayor's Ball on Saturday, March 20.   That's the principal annual fundraiser for the Monroe County Democratic Committee.

A tricky spot for Morelle.   He needs to stay on as Party Chairman to optimize his chance for nomination for County Executive next year, a race he's been planning since at least 2008.   But he can't be viewed as responsible for the failure of the Party's most important fundraiser.   He dare not even hint anything like, "They're upset at the Mayor, not me," because Morelle needs the Mayor more than the Mayor needs Morelle.

Our suggestion:   Democratic supporters should buy their Mayor's Ball tickets -- then give the tickets to their Republican friends, for whom a public employees' picket line is meaningless street theater.   You do have decent food and booze at those Demo events, right?

2.   Anti-Morelle Robo Calls

City News reports that an anti-Morelle robo call is making the rounds:
"Joe Morelle raised our taxes and increased our fees 37 times. That's over $11 billion out of taxpayers' pockets.   Now he wants us to believe he's fighting for lower taxes in Albany?  Give me a break.  Joe Morelle can't help solve the problem; he's part of the problem."
The City Council President blames unions opposed to the Mayor's school plan.   You can hear the phone message at the City News website.

Morelle has responded with delightfully unctuous dissimulation:

"The fact is I voted against last year's State budget specifically because it raised taxes and spent too much.   And again this year, I am in Albany fighting hard to ensure there are no tax increases in the budget ..."
Sure, Joe.   We know about the free pass Shelly gave you to vote against last year's budget, when your vote didn't matter anyway, to position yourself for the County Exec race.   And of course, the same thing will happen this year.   But what about the nineteen previous bloated-spending, high taxing budgets you voted for?

It's a bad time to be Joe Morelle.   He has to contrive for himself a face-saving about-face on the Mayor's school plan.

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