After the Merritt Rahn verdict, there was District Attorney Mike Green right there behind the prosecutor, First Assistant DA Sandra Doorley, on every media outlet.
What a contrast to when our Nifonging District Attorney was handed humiliation by the Judge, in the Andrew Moore political prosecution, and by the jury, in the James Smith political show trial. Hapless Assistant DA William Gargan was left to talk to the press alone.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Posted by Steve Zodiac at 2:28 PM
Thursday, April 29, 2010
On route to dinner in East Rochester tonight, I saw about 20 people in front of the Pittsford Colony shopping plaza on Monroe Avenue, at about 6:15. Many carrying signs criticizing Joe Morelle and the Mayor's school proposal.
Learned later that Morelle was holding a $500 per head fundraiser at the Brio restaurant there. That's what brought out the protesters.
Posted by Lucy at 9:53 PM
... Mayor Duffy has to be right.
Not that the Mayor's proposal to take responsibility for the City schools needs more arguments in its favor. Duffy's right. The only real alternative is the status quo.
But if you knew nothing else about the merits of the Mayor's proposal, you'd know he's right by knowing his opponents. The public employees' unions, of course. As we've mentioned before, the surest sign of merit in a policy proposal in New York is that the public employee unions oppose it
A recent essay by Aaron Wicks in Smugtown Beacon discloses other oppponents of Mayoral control. A Who's Who of some of the most notorious enemies of progress on the Rochester scene:
Metro Justice, Declaration of Peace, Rochester IndyMedia, Social Welfare Action Alliance, Green Party of Monroe County, Alliance for Quality Education, Students for a Democratic Society, International Socialists Organization, Rochester Police Accountability Coalition, Center for the Study of Civil and Human Rights Laws, Activists Against Racism Movement and the obligatory smattering of trendier-than-thou lefty religious groups.All opposed to a courageous Mayor's effort to turn a third-rate day-care operation into a system that educates.
Posted by Philbrick at 2:18 PM
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Two feet of snow fell on northern New York, Vermont and New Hampshire last night.
For tonight, the Weather Service has issued a frost advisory for Chautauqua and Erie counties, and a freeze advisory for the counties of Cortland, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Rensselaer, Ulster, Madison, Montgomery, Saratoga, Washington, Onondaga, Orange, Putnam, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Warren, Cayuga, Fulton, Herkimer, Oneida, Steuben, Tompkins, Schenectady and Yates.
Posted by Lucy at 9:14 PM
We were dismissive at first about the suit brought by GOP County Chairmen in the 29th Congressional District to force the Governor to call a special election. After all, State law places the decision within the Governor's discretion.
Our legal consultant, Algonquin DeVere, Esq., of the venerable old Mustard Street law firm Eaton, Beaton & Blone LLP, tells us, "Don't rush to judgment."
Apparently a judicial decision in Ohio a few years ago ruled that state law on this subject may be superceded by the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of representation. So maybe this lawsuit is more than tilting at windmills and ginning up publicity.
GOP candidate Tom Reed seems highly likely to win in November, so it would be Republicans nationally who probably stand the most to gain from an earlier win in a special election, which would be seen as momentum for the GOP going into the fall elections.
In Matthew Zeller, Democrats have followed Rahm Emanuel's playbook from 2006, running military veterans against Republicans in marginal House seats. In addition to prevailing political conditions favoring the GOP, and the Republican registration advantage in the 29th CD, Zeller is disadvantaged by being virtually unkown in the district. He only moved back from Washington earlier this month, to live in the district at the home of his aunt and uncle.
If the GOP Chairs win their suit, Zeller at least will have a dress rehearsal for the November election.
Posted by Philbrick at 11:55 AM
Monday, April 26, 2010
It's a reliable convention of print journalism that stories about wrongdoing by Republican politicians mention the party affiliation right up front. For example, the Democrat and Chronicle's story on the conviction of über-sleazebag Joe Bruno began:
Former Senate Republican Leader Joseph Bruno was found guilty in federal court this afternoon . . .A different story, of course, when the wrongdoer belongs to the media's party. We were reminded of this by last week's Democrat and Chronicle piece on über-sleazebag Pedro Espada's most recent difficulties. It began,
State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada and 19 current or former executives of his Bronx nonprofit health care company were accused Tuesday of allegedly "siphoning" more than $14 million from the clinic where he serves as president . . .You had to read well into the story -- beyond the front page in the print edition -- to find reference to Espada's political affiliation. In its original form, the story made no mention of party affiliation at all.
Rule of thumb: When you have to guess, because the story doesn't tell you, or if you have to look long and hard -- it's a Democrat.
And speaking of our totally independent, totally impartially hard-hitting local newspaper, you can listen to Gannett Corporation's recent quarterly investor conference call at the company's website.
Posted by Philbrick at 11:56 AM
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Sean Hanna, former Regional Director of the State Department of Environmental Conservation and former Monroe County Legislator, has emerged as the prohibitive favorite for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring Assemblyman Joe Errigo. The 130th Assembly District includes Mendon, Henrietta and Pittsford in Monroe County, and much of Livingston and Ontario counties.
Posted by Philbrick at 8:48 PM
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Unfortunately, we're talking about New Jersey's Governor, not New York's. But the story encourages the possibility, even in New York, of ... hope and change!
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urged voters in his state to defeat school budgets if teachers in their schools, or their school boards -- so often a captive interest of the teachers' union -- did not agree to one-year wage freezes. Yesterday, New Jersey voters heeded their Guv's call and defeated 54% of school budgets across the state. Normally, N.J. voters approve 70% or more of school budgets.
Posted by Philbrick at 11:58 AM
Monday, April 19, 2010
A reader contacted us with the following:
Attached please find 4 photos submitted as evidence that Monroe County Assistant District Attorney William Gargan has violated New York State law, more specifically a statute in the very legal system he has sworn to uphold.Let's take a look.
The photos were taken on Thursday, April 15th, at approximately 6:00 p.m., while Mr. Gargan's vehicle was stopped at a red light at the corner of S. Plymouth Avenue and W. Broad Street in downtown Rochester.
The photos ... demonstrate that Mr. Gargan was speaking on a cell phone while operating his vehicle on a public road - a practice banned by law in New York State.
OK. There's someone in a car talking on a cellphone. Let's zoom in.
Does that look like our boy? Kind of. Click the above photo to enlarge it. Are those round wire rim eyeglasses? Have we seen those before? --
Our correspondent continues:
The remaining photos show Mr. Gargan's vehicle ...We've blurred the license plate in the car picture, because we don't know if showing the number would violate something-or-other, but here's our reader's photo of the car:
Our reader sums up:
I haven't brought this to your attention to show Gargan breaking a minor law that is often ignored by the general public. New York State's ban on cell phone use while driving is a largely useless form of regulation; another fee (tax) Albany uses ... .Our correspondent is confident about the identity of the scofflaw. Maybe we could take it further, by going to Motor Vehicles to see if they would identify the owner from the license number. But the picture of the car will let those closest to the situation size it up for themselves.
However, the photos do demonstrate Gargan's blatant hypocrisy following his initiation and furtherance of two recent political witch-hunt trials against local GOP leaders who, he alleged, did not follow the exact letter of the law.
And, in fairness, it lets Mr. Gargan, if he's been wrongly identified, stand up and say: "That wasn't me. It's not my car."
Well, Mr. G?
Posted by Lucy at 9:03 PM
Assemblyman Joe Errigo today went public with what we told you three weeks ago. He's not running for re-election.
David Nachbar will be the Democratic nominee this fall in Errigo's 130th Assembly District.
Top contenders for Republican nomination: former State DEC Regional Director Sean Hanna, of Mendon, lawyer and radio talk show host Bill Nojay, of Pittsford, and former county legislator Robert Zinck, of Henrietta.
Posted by Philbrick at 4:58 PM
Sunday, 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.
Posted by Steve Zodiac at 7:23 PM
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Tax Day, April 15. The High Holy Day of the American Left. The day the government points a gun at its citizens and says, "Pay, or else."
In his "House Divided" speech, Lincoln said the nation could not survive "half-slave and half-free." But that's what the nation has become and, so far, is surviving that way. Not very well, but surviving.
Half the people pay federal income taxes. The other half don't. The half who pay work nearly half the year for the government.
The Slave Revolt of 2010 is coming. It's scheduled for Tuesday, November 2. 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.
Posted by Steve Zodiac at 2:20 PM
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Last week I pointed out Carl Paladino's fundraiser invitation as an example of how businessmen seem to make poor politicians, more often than not.
Now, from Paladino again, there's a less benign example: these sophomoric e-mails he's been forwarding around. Thinking he can be a serious candidate after sending around e-mails like this shows he's totally unsuited to run for office. What kind of political advisors wouldn't have checked for something like this, and then told him that it's hopeless because of it. A liberal/Democratic candidate would have media protection, but a Republican/conservative who's done this can't be a viable candidate.
The fact Paladino doesn't know this, or have advisors who do, shows he's politically clueless.
Posted by Lucy at 11:15 AM
Monday, April 12, 2010
It's probably a good idea that Brockport and a few other villages vote to dissolve, as examples to voters elsewhere. Citizens looking for big cost savings are in for a big disappointment instead. Under the law allowing village dissolution, all of the most expensive functions, like a police force, sewer districts, etc, all just get shifted into other entities either existing, or required to be created for the purpose.
The form of government changes; nearly all the expense to taxpayers continues.
And citizens lose one of the only functional forms of government still surviving in the State of New York.
We noted this last November:
It's yet another poignant, maddening irony of the farce passing for government in this state that the levels of government that citizens actually have power to change are the levels that work best. (Maybe that's why they work best.)Want a real cost-saving consolidation? Dissolve the Rochester City government. There's already a body that represents citizens of the City, and for which City residents vote: the Monroe County government. The County can take over the functions currently performed by the City, and in this kind of consolidation you really would see some massive cost-saving through personnel reductions.
Those levels of government that cry out to be changed -- the State government and that 80% of County government functions dictated by the State -- citizens can't touch.
In New York, it's the town and village governments that work best, irrespective of party control. They're the most responsive to citizens, and the most fiscally responsible. Surely the very worst town government in the state looks exemplary compared to the Albany regime.
Naturally the laws of New York don't allow for it. Because it would make sense, and because all the office-holders losing taxpayer-paid jobs would come from the wrong party.
Posted by Philbrick at 3:12 PM
Friday, April 9, 2010
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is an exception, and there are others. But so many captains of industry, or finance, or what have you, who get the political bug end up faring poorly, or looking foolish or clueless, or both. Golisano. Before him, Ross Perot. Many candidates for other offices, like congress.
The name Carl Paladino was completely new to me. Another one who made his bundle and decided that now it's time to go out and save the world. Already making embarrassing gaffes and mistakes.
His campaign sent out an invitation to a political reception that doesn't tell you either who Carl Paladino is or what he's running for.
Why do businessmen who never made a wrong move in business seem to stumble when it comes to politics? I think maybe because business and politics each require totally different skill sets and types of leadership. Also a different knowledge base.
It seems to me that businesswomen who go into politics handle themselves much better. I'm thinking of Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman.
Posted by Lucy at 10:11 AM
Thursday, April 8, 2010
"Nearly half of US households will pay no federal income taxes this year."
And what's all the nonsense about "tax cuts for the rich?" From the same article: "The top 10 percent of earners -- households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 -- paid about 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government."
Posted by Lucy at 7:14 AM
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
We told you what would happen. If the brick-throwing at Monroe Democratic headquarters could be linked to a Tea Partier or a Republican, it would be all over the news. If not -- especially if it turned out to be a hoax staged to help Democrats -- the media would be silent, after the initial story.
So far, just silence.
No note attached, Democratic officials first told the press. The incident came hours after a massive street protest by unions against the Democratic Mayor's school plan, which the Democratic Chairman endorsed. Chairman Morelle himself told the media that the brick might have been related to that.
Then, a day later, a note miraculously appeared. With a quote from a conservative icon, no less! It contains an obvious misspelling, making it look suspiciously like work of the crew at Democratic Headquarters.
And it looks in good shape for a piece of paper supposedly slammed through a plate-glass window on a brick.
This all occurred at the point when the Democratic-Media Complex started pushing the theme that Tea Partiers and their supporters are violent extremists.
Since then, despite all the available video and audio, no one can find any Tea Partiers screaming racial epithets at Congressmen the day of the health care vote. No one can find anyone spitting at a Congressman. No one has claimed the $10,000 reward offered for proof that either of these things really happened. The same with the other claims of "extremist" acts blamed on citizens protesting government overreaching. Which must be why, suddenly, after a week or two, the media has generally dropped the theme.
The American Left can't figure out the Tea Party. For the first time in their lives, they're seeing public protests by the other side. We've noted before that given the practical, cultural and temperamental disinclination of conservatives to do street protests, the Tea Party phenomenon is a much bigger deal than even the size of its crowds suggests.
The Left falls back to its default mode, smearing the protesters with the tired old chestnuts of extremism, racism, etc. It's in for a very nasty awakening.
When the revolution comes -- hasten the day -- it won't be about screamers or spitters or rock-throwers. There's a revolution of sorts brewing, we believe, and when it comes it's going to be the Peaceable Revolution. Wouldn't be worth having if it weren't.
When the Left in all its redoubts -- the current government, the media, the universities, some of the old-line churches and elsewhere -- awakens to this reality, they'll become more shrilly hysterical than ever. Because it will mystify them even more. For now, they've wrapped themselves in the comforting fiction that the Tea Party's nothing more than knuckle-draggers, extremists, racists, etc.
Right now they haven't a clue. Thick as a brick, you might say.
Posted by Philbrick at 3:39 PM
He should, of course, and maybe actually does. A month ago our own Philbrick explained why holding a special election to fill the 29th Congressional District seat makes no sense for Democrats. Last week came word from the Guv: no special election.
Such influence. Who knew?
Posted by Steve Zodiac at 10:47 AM
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
"I've got so much yet to do in Albany." That was Assemblyman David Koon's hilarious explanation for dropping out of the 29th district congressional race, now that there will be no election until November.
OK, OK. We know he can't help it and doesn't know better. But Koon got our attention Saturday for providing that particular comic counterpoint to the grave business of recent days.
Until it became clear last week that there won't be a special election this Spring, Mr. Koon ran in hot pursuit of that same congressional seat, boisterously uninhibited by any commitment to future accomplishment in Albany.
The difference, of course, is that Koon's assembly seat isn't at risk if he runs in a special election now. If he lost, he could still run for re-election to the Assembly in November. But to run for Congress in November, rather than now, he'd have to forgo a bid for re-election to the Assembly.
And as no one knows better than David Koon, that Assembly seat is the very best gig he's ever likely to land. Without it, we expect he'd be sweeping up somewhere.
The Assembly seat keeps such grim private-sector prospects at bay. There's to be no election until November. Therefore, suddenly -- after 12 years! -- there's "much to do in Albany."
With so much to do in Albany, why is it that with every opportunity to run for a different office, Koon puts his name out there? County Executive in 2007. State Senator the same year. Congress in 2008. Now Congress in 2010. His own party rejects him each time.
The Democratic Party tolerates David Koon as someone who can milk a sympathy vote to hold that seat in the Assembly. He can spin his wheels there and do no harm. But that's it.
For Saturday's story the press asked Koon, will he be going through the next round of interviews as the Party's selects a nominee? What next round?, he responded.
Mr. Koon's party is sending him a message. We wonder if he's heard it yet.
Posted by Philbrick at 11:05 AM
Monday, April 5, 2010
Our thanks to Tom Cook, Conservative Party Leader, former Assistant District Attorney and attorney with 35-years' experience practicing law, for the following analysis of the recent political prosecutions by the Monroe County District Attorney's Office under DA Michael Green.
TWO PARTISAN POLITICAL PROSECUTIONS
First the Duke lacrosse rape case. Now the People of the State of New York vs. Andrew Moore and the People of the State of New York vs. James Smith. Those three cases were absurd, politically motivated, criminal prosecutions!
The Duke prosecutor was up for election. Therefore, he indicted obviously innocent student athletes in order to get publicity and win his election. The Democrats in Monroe County in 2009 very much wanted to discredit the Brooks Administration and win the crucial Monroe County Legislature elections. Therefore, this led to the Moore and Smith alleged criminal cases.
There is a saying that a prosecutor could "indict a ham sandwich". The District Attorney, in secret, has complete control of the facts and of the law in a Grand Jury proceeding. His power is awesome. The District Attorney's Office, tightly controlled by D.A. Michael Green, originally indicted Mr. Moore for the Felony of Rewarding Official Misconduct, two counts of Official Misconduct and one count of Coercion. He was handcuffed and dragged out of Republican Headquarters. Those who reviewed the indictment were surprised and mystified by the charges since all Mr. Moore did was write a letter. The prosecuting attorney, A.D.A. William Gargan was forced to withdraw the Felony charge for lack of evidence. Mr. Gargan blamed that on the same Grand Jury that he supervised and controlled.
Then on March 9, 2010 County Court Judge Richard Keenan, after reviewing the Grand Jury minutes, dismissed all the remaining charges against Andrew Moore. Judge Keenan is an enrolled Democrat. In his decision, Judge Keenan used the following terms to describe the Grand Jury proof: "insufficient evidence", "remote and speculative", "lack of proof', "no credible evidence", "innuendo", and "preposterous allegations". His ruling strongly criticized the District Attorney's Office.
Weeks before the 2009 elections, Deputy County Executive James Smith was indicted on six misdemeanor counts of Official Misconduct. The District Attorney's Office did not like the timing or the scope of Smith's investigation into the Robutrad matter. That was it. Nothing else. The D.A.'s office wanted to micro-manage Monroe County Government? No; they really wanted, with the help of Gannett, an inflammatory political campaign issue.
During Mr. Smith's trial, Democratic Judge Frank Geraci, asked A.D.A. William Gargan if there's anything in the law or in the county charter which required Mr. Smith to do a more timely or a different Robutrad investigation. Incredibly, the prosecutor had to say "no". On March 31, 2010, the 12-member jury predictably found James Smith not guilty on all six charges.
Andrew Moore is a good guy. He has a wonderful family. The partisan political prosecution ruined his personal life, his job, and his political career. Mr. Moore's only character flaw apparently was that he was Chief of Staff for the Monroe County Republican Legislature Majority and the Executive Director of the Republican Party? Nothing else!
James Smith is a great guy. He is hardworking, charming, and loyal. Mr. Smith has spent the last six months caring for his ill mother. The criminal charges devastated his life. Mr. Smith's only character flaws apparently were that he was the Deputy County Executive and active in the Republican Party. Nothing else!
After what the Democrat and Chronicle and the District Attorney's Office did to Mr. Moore and Mr. Smith they could appropriately ask: Where do I go to get my reputation back? Who is going to pay my very expensive legal bills? Mr. Gargan? Mr. Green?
The Duke prosecutor was convicted of "malicious prosecution". He spent time in jail. William Gargan, an enrolled Democrat who wanted a Rochester City Court Judgeship, should be ashamed of himself. He should apologize to Mr. Moore, Mr. Smith, their families, and to the citizens of Monroe County for his absurd politically motivated prosecutions. The District Attorney's Office attempted to pervert the criminal justice system to help the Democrats.
Mr. Michael Green, the District Attorney, should resign due to the outrageous politically motivated official misconduct of his office. Mr. Gargan should also resign from his position as an Assistant District Attorney. With fair judges, an honest jury, good attorneys and their own courage, Andrew Moore and James Smith were able to defeat these out-of-control partisan political prosecutions.
Posted by Philbrick at 12:24 PM
Friday, April 2, 2010
With the excitement of political show trials behind them, our local media need fresh news fodder for selling advertising time and newspapers. Something to leaven their sprightly fare of shootings and lethal road accidents. If they can overcome their political inhibitions, here are some current issues, just begging for investigation, that would sell lots of papers:
• Why was Mayor Duffy so keen on appointing as Fire Commissioner Mollie Clifford, whose only apparent qualification is that she knows how to light a match?
Is it related to the reason why unions would taunt the Mayor with a protest sign asking "Mollie Clifford for Superintendent?" when they picketed his fundraiser two weeks ago? Duffy's insistence is the bigger question behind the pattern of deception and covering-up involved in this appointment. Front-page stuff for months if a Republican had done it.
• Why did the the Monroe County Bar Association suppress the release of its own "Qualified - Not Qualified" ratings for Democratic candidates for Supreme Court Justice last year?
Do they plan to do it again?
• And of course: What's behind the story that's all over legal circles, about how District Attorney Mike "Nifong" Green blew it for the Federal judgeship?
Those are our suggestions. What are yours?
Posted by Philbrick at 8:06 AM
Thursday, April 1, 2010
From Mr. Peabody at Monroe Rising, an excellent statement of the reasons for a committee of the the County Legislature to investigate District Attorney Mike Green's abuse of office for political gain.
At minimum, investigate how much taxpayer money Green and his assistant William Gargan squandered in the political prosecutions of James Smith and Andrew Moore. Both based on charges so flimsy and evidence so "preposterous" (Judge's Opinion, p. 8) that they reek with the stench of contrivance.
And while they're at it -- is the FBI's background check of Green for that Federal judgeship FOIL-able?
Posted by Philbrick at 8:43 AM