Friday, August 5, 2011

Reverse Midas

In his role as County Democratic Chairman, Joe Morelle's greatest triumph in recent years was this spring's special election for Mayor.   His candidate won with 49% of the vote.   On the Democratic line.   In the City of Rochester.

If that's the bright spot, it's because the bad has been so very bad.   The string of Democratic losses and disappointments in Monroe County since about 2008 speaks for itself.   Morelle's failure in '09 to pick up the one seat his party needed to take the County Legislature is emblematic.

Now comes his Double-Play District Attorney Debacle.

Play 1.   Morelle carefully orchestrates kicking DA Mike Green upstairs to a federal judgeship, expressly to open the seat for Morelle's preferred choice, Judge Frank Geraci.   No small feat, using lots of political capital.

When Morelle can't deliver either the Independence or Conservative lines on the November ballot for Geraci, the judge opts out.   After all that effort and political capital spent, Morelle winds up stuck with the candidate he didn't want in the first place, Sandra Doorley.

Play 2.   Recognizing the handicap to candidate Doorley of having only one line on the ballot, versus Republican Bill Taylor with three (R, C and Independence), Morelle scrambles to secure the Working Families line for Doorley.

Should be easy, right?   The WF Party is a collection of some core Democratic constituencies, formed to give Democratic candidates another ballot position.

Yet the Working Families Party in Monroe County thinks so little of Morelle, and is sufficiently concerned about a late-starting Doorley campaign that it endorses ... Republican Bill Taylor.

A panicked Morelle runs to the State WF Chairman, who orders the party's Monroe County committee to rescind its endorsement of Taylor.   As it then does.   What it won't do, however, is endorse Doorley!

Outcome:   the Working Families line on the November ballot will present no candidate for District Attorney.   Sandra Doorley goes into the election with but a single line on the ballot -- the very issue that caused Geraci to punt on a race for DA.

Nice going.

One might ask why Monroe County Democrats want Morelle as their chairman, but maybe the more salient question is, at this point, why does he want to be?

Surely the Governor can find a well-paying sinecure for the poor guy to end his misery.


Rottenchester said...

Assemblyman for life isn't a sufficient sinecure?

AllanBlockhead said...

You incorrectly spelled "judgeship" in the "Play 1" paragraph. Not like you, so I thought I'd point it out.

Anonymous said...

The story is even worse than you wrote! First, Morelle screws up the entire Gerace mess. Then, he assures Dorley she will have WFP. then he sends notaries to gather petitions, then their committee on vacancies selects Taylor in a 2 to 1 vote. Then Morelle, who never saw Taylor coming, reaches out to the Governor to stop his slaughter! Along the way, he has screwed himself with WFP, lost sight of the allegance between the D's and WFP by trying to steal their line, and worse, mobilizes labor with the agenda of killing Morelle!
There is only one problem here..Republicans want and need him to stay in place! He simply cannot play in the real world of politics! Shelly Silver can protect him in Albany...but not here!

Anonymous said...

A well-stated post.. thumbs up

Anonymous said...

A well written post. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Joe Morelle is the best thing the local republicans could ever ask for. He's incompetent, loses/fails to win political campaigns and his rank and file members and union folks hate his guts.

Let's hope he stays Democratic Party Chairman for a long, long time.