Sunday, October 30, 2011

D&C Endorses Bill Taylor!

I opened the paper and almost went into cardiac arrest.

Recovering, I could only wonder what happened to Sandra Doorley in her endorsement interview.

Mr. Taylor's outstanding qualifications and leadership tower above most of his contemporaries in political life.   Recently we noted,

When a Republican candidate is overwhelmingly qualified and intelligent, and usually when there's something a little underwhelming about the Dem, then sometimes the RBA under its current leadership and the D&C will endorse the R, after agonizing debate, which they'll often reference when making their announcement.
True to form, this morning's editorial said,   "The board reached this endorsement decision after a vigorous and angst-filled internal discussion."   I'll bet.

We think the same explanation applies to the paper's unexpected endorsement of Maggie Brooks for re-election as County Executive: the overwhelmingly qualified and capable versus the underwhelming opponent.

Credit to the Democrat and Chronicle for accepting the evidence of its own eyes and ears.


Saturday, October 29, 2011



Friday, October 28, 2011

How to Write a Negative Ad Against Yourself

I'm in a cruel mood this morning, so I thought I'd post verbatim most of Sandy Frankel's answer to the following question asked in last night's County Executive debate:

Q.   Tom Adams, Rochester Business Journal:   Sandy, if you are elected, what would you do that is not being done now, in order to create jobs in Monroe County?

A. Sandy Frankel:   I would refocus our efforts in Monroe County to create jobs here for Monroe County residents, with priority of hiring local people in public-sector jobs and encouraging that in private work as well. We need to focus on the specific strengths that we have: optics, infotonics, medical services and medical research technology, environmental sustainability and the cultural initiatives that we have here which are world-class. And we need to partner with businesses, with labor, with communities, with [the] faith community and bring people together, so that we can develop a strategic plan that isn't scattershot.

Right now, COMIDA gives abatements and exemptions to almost everyone who walks in the door. I would reform COMIDA and would put in place policies that not only create jobs by recruiting, retaining and growing jobs here in Monroe County, but I would also focus on young people, on veterans, on displaced workers and make sure that they have the training they neeed, and retraining, theough MCC and other educational outlets, so thaqt they have the skills needed when these new jobs come into our community. We've got some great opportunities, great strengths.
No comment necessary.   And I have to contrast it with the rebuttal from Maggie Brooks:
Maggie Brooks:   What can we do better? There's one thing that drives business from this state and we can't run away from it:   it's high property taxes. Property taxes are 79% above the national average in New York State. We will always lack competitiveness if we can't get to the issue of high property taxes in New York State. That's why we have held the line on property taxes for 8 straight years in Monroe County. We will continue to do so. It's an important commitment for jobs and to bolster the local economy.
You can see the whole debate on Channel 10's website. What I quoted comes about two-thirds of the way through Part I.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

D&C Scrubs Story on Campaign Ad

Tuesday night an online Democrat and Chronicle story quoted from a ruling of the Fair Election Practices Committee.   It said the FEPC found that Democratic candidate for District Attorney Sandra Doorley was in a positon of substantial leadership in the DA's office when the office bungled the Eric Magin case. The same story appeared in yesterday's print edition.

Now, "being in a position of substantial leadership" doesn't make someone responsible for the bungle, not by a long shot.  But the D&C doesn't take chances with its favored party's candidates.  Yesterday the D&C gave the online story a good political scrubbing, purging references critical of Doorley.

Original Story

Of the FEPC's ruling reporter Gary Craig wrote:

Doorley said she had no hand in Magin's earlier release from jail after dismissal of an assault charge.   As first assistant district attorney Doorley was in "a position of substantial leadership" when Magin was released, the committee said ...

Screenshot - Original Story
Scrubbed Story
Doorley said she had no hand in Magin’s earlier release from jail after dismissal of an assault charge. The committee decided that the jail was “partly responsible” when Magin was released on July 22, and that Doorley was in leadership through July 21.

Screenshot - Scrubbed story

Thus disappears the observation that "Doorley was in 'a position of substantial leadership'" of the DA's office, scarcely a controversial comment.

Less than a day before the D&C scrubbed the story, The New York Times chastized Gannett, noting its outlets are "Never a standout in journalism performance ..."

Then in rushes D&C Editor Karen Magnuson and the paper's editorial coven, to scrub the Doorley story and to prove the Times's point.


Monday, October 24, 2011

N.Y. Times Rips Gannett

"If you were looking for bonus excess despite miserable operations, the best recent example I can think of is Gannett ..."
And the story's best comment on Gannett:
"Never a standout in journalism performance ..."
Tell us about it.


The Stifled Voice of the Voter

Some very long faces last week in the news editors' offices at the Democrat and Chronicle, when results arrived from the paper's "Voice of the Voter" poll.

It showed County Executive Maggie Brooks and District Attorney candidate Bill Taylor with substantial leads over the D&C's candidates, Sandy Frankel and Sandra Dorley.

You'd think the first and maybe only public poll in the two highest-profile races this year would be front page material, as in prior years.

Instead Editor, and de facto Political Director of the county Democratic Party, Karen Magnuson buried the poll results deep inside the section, on page 6.

You see, there are lots of voters who will vote for a candidate they think will win, perhaps on the basis that the candidate must be OK if a majority is behind him or her.   And there are plenty of people who have held back on contributing money until they can get on board with the likely winner.

So Magnuson and company buried the story.   As people who exercise power without responsibility can do.

Just a week before, the non-story of the sentencing of the last "robutrad" defendant commanded a front-page story not just about the sentencing, but a complete rehashing of the paper's spin on the robutrad matter.

Which reminds us of another disappointment for the D&C editors in the poll results.   Only 8% of those polled expressed no confidence in Upstate Telecommunications Corporation and 33% "weren't sure."   This despite the paper's month-long bashing of UTC, as the focus of the latest scandal contrived by the D&C/Democratic Party to slime the Republican administration of one of the best-run counties in the state.

Of course we've only seen the beginning of the D&C's anti-Republican campaign.   Gannett doesn't pay those big bonuses for nothing.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

County-Wide Vandalism of Taylor Signs

Apparently word has gone forth from Democratic Headquarters.

Friday we passed along a note from a reader reporting that all lawn signs for District Attorney candidate Bill Taylor had been taken in the night from a main stretch of one Eastside town.

We now learn that in the same time frame it happened all over Monroe County, and is continuing.

No class.




Friday, October 21, 2011

Business Owners Need Not Apply

If you're a candidate and want the endorsement of Sandy Parker's Rochester Business Alliance, holding one occupation could be fatal to your chances:   owner of a business.

Few events better illustrate RBA's decline from business advocacy group to Democratic front organization than three of this year's endorsements.

  • Steve Tucciarello is the incumbent County Legislator for Gates.   He's also owner of Colony Cleaners, a successful drycleaning business on Howard Road.   But Democrats consider Tucciarello's district winnable.   As dreadful as his Democratic opponent may be on business issues, the Parker-dominated interview panel couldn't bring itself to make any endorsement in the race.

    Tucciarello is just the kind of businessman whom the RBA was established to serve.   But RBA in its current incarnation won't endorse Republicans in competitive races a Democrat can win.

    Parker to Tucciarello:   "No soup for you!"
  • Fred Ancello owns Davies Seafood, a popular destination in Greece he's run for 24 years.   He's the GOP challenger to County Legislator Dick Beebe, one of the Democrats' two most endangered incumbents this year.

    Almost unique among Democratic members of the County Legislature, Mr. Beebe is employed in the private sector.   Yet as owner of a small business, Mr. Ancello is the one who grapples daily with the issues at the core of RBA's ostensible mission.

    No way la Parker and company endorse the Republican in a must-win seat for her sidekick Joe Morelle.   Endorsement to Beebe.
  • Dr. Joe Carbone for years has maintained a practice in Irondequoit.   He's run a campaign so formidable it's driven up sales of Depends at the neighborhood grocery for incumbent County Legislator Vincent Esposito.

    Esposito's not merely the Dems' other most vulnerable legislator, but a staffer in the State Assembly, where he serves as Morelle's political bum-boy numero uno.   The Master Plan is for Esposito to inherit the Assembly seat once Morelle gets the state sinecure he's been waiting for.

    Proprietor of a local professional business versus a staffer in the State Assembly -- source and defender of every corrosive policy hostile to business.   Including specific policy abominations that RBA, on paper, opposes.   For today's new RBA, no contest:     endorsement to Esposito, the Assembly staffer.
In competitive races, the RBA's endorsement is off-limits to Republicans.   No matter what kind of business they own.


Running Scared

From an Eastside reader:   "Every sign for Bill Taylor on Main Street in Pittsford village was pulled down last night and taken away."


Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Democrat and Chronicle reporter David Andreatta last week called County Legislature President Jeff Adair an "asshole."

Andreatta is assigned full-time to troll for anything that can be spun into a hatchet job against County Republicans in an election year.

After Tuesday's legislative meeting, the newsman went looking for a comment about Adair's ruling on a bill introduced by a member. Adair offered no comment.   He said he'd release in the morning his letter to the legislator who made the proposal, explaining his ruling.   Adair then went into his office.   That's when the D&C's man exclaimed, "What an asshole," within earshot of bystanders.

Imagine the dressing down the reporter got from his boss, Karen Magnuson, Editor of the D&C and de facto Political Director of the Monroe County Democratic Party, for blowing cover by speaking in public the way D&C editors talk privately among themselves.

The reporter has since apologized to Adair.

Update:   We updated this post to identify David Andreatta as the reporter.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Why I Decline an Interview for Your Endorsement in My Race for City Council

I've Seen Your Bias from the Inside

So there is no confusion in the next few weeks, I want to share my response to the Democrat and Chronicle's request for an endorsement interview.   Here's my e-mail to Jim Lawrence, Editorial Board Editor:

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 10:03 AM
To: Lawrence, James
Cc: Kane, Michael G. (Rochester); Magnuson, Karen
Subject: RE: interview schedule

Hello Jim,

Upon further consideration I do not believe I will be making it in to visit with the Editorial Board.   After spending a year on the Board of Contributors, witnessing the difference in how Republican candidates versus Democrat candidates were questioned and finally reported, I don't feel it is in my best interest.  As I had mentioned to you and Karen both, I find it unfortunate that we have a single paper here in Rochester that just isn't able to not show their bias with regards to politics.

I would be happy to prepare a response now if you like as to why I feel I am not going to be endorsed.   That is, unless that is not permitted for choosing not to come in.  On the off chance that I am endorsed I will only assume it is because the D&C must endorse a few Republicans each year to "prove" the lack of bias.

As I plan to stay a part of City politics, win or lose, I hope that in the future the Editorial Board will prove that it is able to set aside their personal political feelings and start advocating for what is best for this community.   With that said, I do feel that the day of people needing news organizations to explain candidates is coming to a close.   With social networking, websites, and the other avenues that people have today to learn more about someone looking to represent them, I feel that the endorsement of a news organization is outdated.

I wish you a great autumn and hope that the endorsement process goes well for you this year.   There are many races going on so you will certainly have your hands full.   Thank you for reaching out Jim.

Rich Tyson


Saturday, October 15, 2011



Friday, October 14, 2011

Stand Tall, GOP Legislators and Candidates

Today the main cheerleader for the idea that David Gantt should appoint Monroe County's Public Defender editorializes that candidates for county office should state their position on the process.   Thus the D&C serves notice on county legislative candidates that this will be part of their endorsement interviews.

Every Republican County Legislator and candidate should answer: "I will support and apply the law."

You see, the law requires that the PD be appointed by the County Legislature.   That's it.

The Democratic-Media Complex doesn't like Republican bodies making public policy decisions.   That's OK for public bodies run by Democrats.   But Republican bodies are supposed to share decision-making with Democratic constituencies.   "What's ours is ours.   What's yours is up for grabs."

Today the D&C repeats its contemptible lie from 2008, that Republicans overturned the established process for chosing the PD and did something different that year.   A point-for-point inversion of the truth:   in 2008 Republicans made no change in the law governing appointment of the Defender.

What upset the newspaper and Gantt was that, back in the 1970s, the then-legislature acquiesced to an elaborate extra-legal contrivance giving Assemblyman-for-Life Gantt, his hangers-on and self-appointed "community leaders" a substantial influence over the selection.   That was a change to the lawful process.

The PD appointed in the late 70s stayed on until 2008.   That's when the issue came up again, and the legislature rightly insisted on fulfilling its legal responsibility.

It was that insistence on respecting lawful established process that outraged the likes of Gantt,the D&C and other enemies of the people.

Although Republicans got the policy choice right in 2008, they then completely abdicated leadership on the issue.   It represents the most shameful episode in the history of the Republican majority in the County Legislature.

As local media spun a false narrative -- that the GOP was usurping a prescribed method for selecting the PD -- Republicans in the County Legislature remained silent and passive, incurring damaging negative publicity. They had the facts on their side as well as the law. Yet the public only heard from crazies like Gantt and the others who disrupted legislative meetings.   For reasons still unexplained, the Republicans nearly undermined their own cause and the principle of the rule of law, by saying nothing.

Republican Legislators and candidates:   You can atone for the GOP's cowardly performance in 2008.   Stand tall when D&C functionaries bully you in endorsement interviews.

"I will support and apply the law."
Of course you can solicit public input, hold public hearings and ask for the view of law-related organizations.   But they're not charged with responsibility for making the decision.   You are.

Your duty is to do the right thing, even if that brings some controversy.   If you don't see it that way, then what the hell are you doing in public office?

Experience the exhilaration of standing tall in a blizzard of lies, armed with the truth, being in the right and fighting for it.   That's what leadership and integrity in public office are about.



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Smugtown Beacon's Take on RBA Endorsement Fiasco

How did we miss this one until now?

Check out Aaron Wicks's excellent analysis of this subject at Smugtown Beacon.

It's not a left issue or a right issue.   It's anybody with a sense of smell and an honest pen identifying something rotten in Sandy Parker's conduct in the name of the Rochester Business Association.


About Those RBA Endorsements ...

Nice work on the RBA, Philbrick, but you missed a key point.

The RBA is using the same technique as the Democrat and Chronicle in doing endorsements.   In every seriously contested race they endorse the Democrat.   Then they endorse some Republicans who are unopposed or certain to win; that's their fig leaf to "prove" they're not biased.

The RBA endorsed Sandra Doorley (D) for DA.   That's a competitive race and a must-win for Democrats.   They also endorsed County Legislators Dick Beebe (D) and Vinny Esposito (D), the most endangered legislators for re-election, with strong opponents.

Now come the RBA's fig leaf endorsements:   Maggie Brooks, who's certain to win for County Exec.   County Legislators like Dick Yolevich (R), Mike Barker (R), Mike Rockow (R) and Anthony Daniele (R), who have no, or token, opposition.

The RBA can endorse who it wants.   They're entitled to an opinion just like we are.   But we should call out obvious bias of organizations and newspapers that pretend to be impartial, and expose their tricks to uphold the pretense.   Their endorsements are strategically chosen to help Democrats and to provide camouflage to conceal that they're partial, rather than impartial.

Nothing wrong with being partial, either.   But a lot's wrong with being partial and insisting you're not.

Not to say the D&C will endorse all the same people as RBA.   They'll endorse Sandy Frankel (D) for County Exec, for instance.   But basically they'll follow their usual pattern of endorsing competitive Ds and giving fig leaf endorsements to Rs who face no serious contest.   Then they can say, "We're not biased.   We endorsed people in both parties."

There are exceptions.   When a Republican candidate is overwhelmingly qualified and intelligent, and usually when there's something a little underwhelming about the Dem, then sometimes the RBA under its current leadership and the D&C will endorse the R, after agonizing debate, which they'll often reference when making their announcement.   An example would be their endorsement of Republican John DiMarco for County Court Judge a few years ago.   But these are the exceptions.   The basic pattern is clear.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sandy Parker: OK. So I Lied. So What?

Two weeks ago we told you that the motive behind the Rochester Business Alliance's "Vote, Be Heard" campaign has nothing to do with the City School Board elections, as the RBA has claimed.   We noted:

In the City, the Democratic primary is the real election.   Mary Anna Towler of City Newspaper nails it when she asks, "If the RBA ... were really pushing for more voter involvement in school board races, why didn't they do this campaign before the Democratic primary ...?"

Yesterday RBA announced that it's not endorsing candidates for City School Board.   This even though it claims to have been so concerned about turnout in that election that it organized the "Vote, Be Heard" campaign.   Didn't even hold endorsement interviews.   Moreover, RBA President and Joe Morelle crony Sandy Parker admits that Mustard Street's take on "Vote, Be Heard" is correct.

Compare Parker's own words, in the Democrat and Chronicle's online story yesterday, to the excerpt of Mustard Street's own piece, above:
"We really had no intention of endorsing," Parker said. "Whoever won that primary, you're looking at the school board.   That was a done deal...I don't think any of them felt this was an endorsement process."
Someone who so clearly understands the City school board race knows that explaining "Vote, Be Heard" as a means to encourage voting for school board candidates is transparently deceptive.

Sandy Parker blew her cover.

The local Democratic establishment swung into action immediately.   The D&C spiked the quote in its print edition, running instead a bland and circumlocutory "clarification" from Parker.   By mid-day today it had scrubbed its online story as well. (It's great being part of the Democratic-Media Complex.   You get a re-do on quotes to the newspaper!)

The paper also scrubbed from both the print and online stories the line, "The campaign did not kick off until after the primary."

Anticipating this, we got a screen shot of the excerpt of the original story showing the Parker quote.

It also shows that inconvenient line in the original story, that "The campaign did not kick off until after the primary," which followed Parker's quote, "Whoever won the primary, you're looking at the school board.   That was a done deal."

Now seeking cover, RBA and its partner in "Vote, Be Heard," the Faith Community Alliance -- another dead giveaway of a liberal purpose -- say in today's sanitized print story that "the campaign aims to increase voter registration and turnout in all races." Which segues away from the stated purpose of "Vote, Be Heard" that Parker's own words revealed as false, but that confirms exactly the true nature of their campaign, as we described in our recent posting.

The purpose of "Vote, Be Heard" is to increase voter registration and turnout -- but only in the City, where it means increasing Democratic turnout in the county-wide races.

Better for Parker and the County Democratic Committee had they gone through the motions of endorsements for School Board candidates.   They could have kept hiding behind the "school board" pretext.   Before she can be Democratic candidate for Congress, Parker needs more instruction from Joe Morelle in the art of political dissembling.

And people, there's no more certain indicator that "Vote, Be Heard" is organized to help the Democratic county-wide races than this:   the total silence of the Democrat and Chronicle and other constituencies of the local Democratic archipelago over "Vote, Be Heard's" offensive graphics showing black children and adults with their mouths taped shut.

Imagine the commotion if the same graphics appeared in a Republican election effort.   Or in a campaign by a group unlike the RBA -- one that actually promotes the interests of local business.


Sunday, October 9, 2011



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sleeping Watchdog

Democrat and Chronicle editorialists today congratulate Mayor Richards and Police Chief Sheppard for cutting their budgets through steps such as reducing employee cellphone use, leaving vacancies unfilled, reducing travel and similar measures.   Good steps to take.   Well done, Mayor and Chief.

If Rochester had a quality daily newspaper, the editorial might have asked, "What took City government so long?"

The Mayor and the Chief now have done what most towns in Monroe County, and the County government itself, did years ago and continue to do regularly.   The County cut cellphones and cars about the time County Executive Brooks took office, and continued the by then established practice of leaving positions unfilled.   Most towns have done the same.

Yet, apparently the D&C, self-proclaimed "watchdog" of the public interest, lay asleep at its dinner bowl at the time.

We don't recall laudatory editorials about the County government or the towns, back when they cut the same costs, praising "needed changes that must become standard in managing taxpayer dollars" in places like the City.

Even more praiseworthy would have been that the County and most towns implemented these savings in budgets that didn't raise tax rates.   Whereas the City's budget that draws the paper's praise today increases the homestead tax rate by 2.8% and the non-homestead rate by 1.3%.

A noteworthy disparity in watchdog praise.   Explained by the fact that the County and most towns are administered by the party our biased watchdog doesn't much like.   They cut phones and cars and staff and don't raise taxes but get no gushing editorials.   When the City government finally catches up, and raises taxes while doing it, our watchdog wags its tail.

In an especially amusing touch, the paper praises the Police department for "using creative strategies ... to get around rules" in order to preserve a racially discriminatory hiring program.

Were a Republican County government found to be "using creative strategies to get around rules," our watchdog would be baying for investigation by the attorney general.

A sleeping watchdog, and a mangy one.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Giving Senility a Bad Name

Public nuisance Louise Slaughter calls for "retroactive recusal" of Justice Clarence Thomas from Supreme Court decisions he's joined.   She says "We're working on it."

Maybe a judge can recuse himself from a case already decided.   But isn't it something the judge has to do himself?

If whatever mysterious "we" Slaughter claims to be working with thinks they can do it themselves, they're saying they can overturn Supreme Court decisions.   Short of a constitutional amendment, that's something that can't happen.

It's hard to find reports in the formerly mainstream media about this latest ranting of Slaughter's, made on last night's Keith Olbermann show.   Which suggests they recognize this as a symptom of something not good about Slaughter's condition, and are covering up for her.