via David Zincavage at Never Yet Melted
Monday, February 28, 2011
Judge John Ark has dismissed the lawsuit challenging appointment of Carlos Carballada to act as Mayor and challenging City Council's setting a Special Election.
While we've been against a special election all along, favoring instead a general election in the fall, thereby permitting meaningful voter input, we think the judge got it right.
We can't evaluate the legal reasoning, but as a policy outcome it makes sense: somebody needs to be in charge. To have ruled against the Carballada appointment would have left Rochester in a leaderless limbo until the outcome of the special election is known.
And while this is a problem brought on by the feverish political manipulations of County Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle, it's a problem nonetheless, that needed remediation.
Once everything is settled, the City needs to amend its Charter to clean up the ambiguities revealed by the current situation. Pending that, Judge Ark enables the administration of the City's business to proceed in an orderly way.
Posted by Philbrick at 1:34 PM
For what it's worth, here's our take on today's awaited ruling by Judge John Ark, on the lawsuit seeking to invalidate appointment of Carlos Carballada as Rochester's Acting Mayor, and to invalidate City Council's vote for a Special Election in March.
We think the judge will invalidate the appointment of Carballada, because there was no actual emergency of the type contemplated by the City Charter for appointing an "emergency interim successor" to exercise the powers of Mayor. Therefore, Council had no authority to appoint him.
However, we've never understood what that has to do with City Council's ability to set a special election, which they clearly had the power to do.   So we think the Judge will uphold Council on setting a special election.
We'll know by the end of the day!
Posted by Philbrick at 10:24 AM
Friday, February 25, 2011
"Leaders Against Johnson" are Dependent on Gantt and MorelleSo a group of "black leaders line up against Johnson," in the words of today's Democrat and Chronicle story.
Only it wasn't so much a group of "leaders" as a group of elected and appointed political hacks, all in the pocket of either David Gantt or Joe Morelle, the brains and driving forces behind Tom Richards' candidacy for Mayor.
Not "leaders," but followers. Not leaders, but dependents of Gantt and Morelle, each with a personal interest, such as their main source of income, that depends on doing what Gantt or Morelle tell them to do.
One such "leader," Lovely Warren, makes her living as Gantt's legal counsel and Chief of Staff. Warren is widely considered the beneficiary of a backroom deal between Gantt and Morelle to install her as Mayor after a Tom Richards term. To serve as Gantt's proxy in the office of Mayor.
If Rochester had a quality daily newspaper, it would have disclosed how many other of the assembled "leaders" get most or all of their livelihood from organizations whose funds come from State grants made by David Gantt or Joe Morelle, or from appointments controlled by either.
The only real story here, other than Joe Morelle playing the race card for Richards in desperation, is as old as human nature itself: he who pays the piper calls the tune.
As if Tom Richards, resident of Rochester's whitest precinct and multi-million dollar beneficiary of the sale of RG&E to Energy East, said to have cost hundreds of local jobs, has much in common with the concerns of most African-American households in the City.
Posted by Philbrick at 1:49 PM
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
With Wisconsin's Democratic State Senators on the lam, Professor Ann Althouse of the University of Wisconsin Law School speculates about what Republicans in Madison might want to accomplish, "... that will be especially convenient to do without Democrats around to pester them".
The super-quorum requirement needing at least one Democratic member applies only to money bills. A simple majority quorum suffices for everything else.
Althouse suggests "Concealed carry, voter ID, race-blind admissions in the University of Wisconsin system..."
Wow. Dreams really can come true. When Democratic legislators go on strike, wondrous good things can happen!
Here's hoping the Wisconsin State Senators still on the job seize the moment.
Posted by Philbrick at 12:49 PM
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
We've noted before that aristocracies do not cede power voluntarily. We're seeing prime examples of that now, in the pushback and tactics bordering on violence from the public union aristocracy in Wisconsin and elsewhere.
“It’s quite striking the way almost every lie the left ever told about the Tea Party has turned out to be true of the government unionists in Wisconsin and their supporters.”As illustrated by this video:
Posted by Philbrick at 7:33 PM
Forget the insipid and meaningless "Presidents Day." Today's the real deal: Washington's Birthday.
Britain's King George III still felt the sting of losing his colonies to Washington's army, when he heard about Washington voluntarily giving up power by declining to run for a third term as president. Viewed together with Washington resigning his commission and turning his army over to a powerless Congress at the end of the Revolution, when he easily could have siezed power for himself, the King said this placed Washington "in a light the most distinguished of any living man" and made him "the greatest character of the age." Said George III, "If this is true, he is surely the greatest man in the the world."
Nobody's topped him yet.
Posted by Steve Zodiac at 10:03 AM
Friday, February 18, 2011
It's hard, very hard, to respond with anything other scorn and ridicule to the incessant analyzing, speeches, meetings, focus groups, wailing and gnashing of teeth over the farce known as the Rochester City Schools.
A 46% graduation rate and only 5% of graduates ready for college.
All, and we mean all, of the efforts under way purporting to address the problem are every bit as unserious and useless as every prior effort.
It's not rocket science. If the City Schoool District were genuinely serious about turning things around, here's how they'd fix things:
1. Study any urban Catholic school in the country.That, and it would cost a whole lot less.
2. Note its curriculum, teaching methods, administration and rules.
3. Replicate that curriculum, and those teaching methods, administration and rules in Rochester's schools.
4. And then you'll be educating children again, not running a daytime holding pen.
Posted by Philbrick at 10:47 AM
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Should we make it so, in order to induce Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to act on Governor Cuomo's property-tax cap?
Silver, ever the master of evasion, obfuscation and procrastination, now says the tax cap may not be debated until after the budget is passed.
Maybe Egyptian-style protests at the Capitol will persuade him of what the public supports overwhelmingly.
Of course, the formerly mainstream media would never support it. The popular protests in Cairo at least held out the possibility of a change to an anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Western regime. So those protests are good.
But when Americans protest to get the attention of their government, at least when those protests are against Obamacare and government spending, and in favor of limiting taxes ... well. We have a word for those protests: uncivil.
Posted by Philbrick at 9:53 AM
Monday, February 14, 2011
OK, the pattern is clear now and it's pretty simple. Any effective, or even merely heartfelt, expression of a conservative point of view equals incivility.
Hence this morning's Democrat and Chronicle headline "Vile Rhetoric Spares Few at CPAC Event," referring to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Here's a small recap of the Left's idea of "civility." To keep it manageable we'll limit todays listing to death threats only:
■ Palin Death Threats at ‘Unprecedented Level’ -- US News, January 2011
■ White Political Ralliers Call for Lynching of Black Jurist, February 2011
■ Bush was routinely called Hitler, and received innumerable death threats from media figures. Not just criticism, but calling for Bush or someone else deemed "conservative" to die, usually in a nasty way.
■ “I’m waiting for the day when I pick it up, pick up a newspaper or click on the Internet and find out he’s choked to death on his own throat fat . . . or something, you know, whatever. Go away, Rush, you make me sick!” — Mike Malloy on January 4, 2010 Mike Malloy Show.
■ “Rush Limbaugh is beginning to look more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet, but we’ll be there to watch.” — Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Morning Meeting, October 13, 2009.
■ “So, Michele, slit your wrist! Go ahead! [chuckles] I mean, you know, why not? I mean, if you want to — or, you know, do us all a better thing. Move that knife up about two feet. I mean, start right at the collarbone.” — Montel Williams talking about Representative Michele Bachmann on Air America’s Montel Across America, September 2, 2009.
■ “He is an enemy of the country, in my opinion, Dick Cheney is, he is an enemy of the country…. You know, Lord, take him to the Promised Land, will you? See, I don’t even wish the guy goes to Hell, I just want to get him the hell out of here.” — Ed Schultz, The Ed Schultz Show, May 11, 2009.
■ “I hear about Tony Snow and say to myself, well, stand up every day, lie to the American people at the behest of your dictator-esque boss and well, how could a cancer NOT grow in you. Work for Fox News, spinning the truth in to a billion knots and how can your gut not rot?” — San Francisco radio talk show host Charles Karel Bouley in a March 27, 2007 article at The Huffington Post that was later pulled “at the request of the author.”
■ “I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.” — Host Bill Maher on his HBO show Real Time, March 2, 2007, discussing how a few commenters at a left-wing blog were upset that an attempt to kill Vice President Cheney in Afghanistan had failed.
■ “Earlier today, a rental truck carried a half a million ballots from Palm Beach to the Florida Supreme Court there in Tallahassee. CNN had live helicopter coverage from the truck making its way up the Florida highway, and for a few brief moments, America held the hope that O.J. Simpson had murdered Katherine Harris.” — Bill Maher on ABC’s Politically Incorrect, November 30, 2000.
■ Host Tina Gulland: “I don’t think I have any Jesse Helms defenders here. Nina?”
NPR’s Nina Totenberg: “Not me. I think he ought to be worried about what’s going on in the Good Lord’s mind, because if there is retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.” — Exchange on the July 8, 1995 Inside Washington, after Helms said the government spends too much on AIDS.
■ “I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease….He is an absolutely reprehensible person.” — USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux on Justice Clarence Thomas, November 4, 1994, on the PBS show To the Contrary.
■ “Michelle Malkin [is just] a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.” -- Keith Olbermann, October 13, 2009.
Posted by Philbrick at 12:46 PM
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
The almost instantaneous nature of Chris Lee's resignation -- most people learned about the Craigslist story and the resignation simultaneously -- tells us something (we think).
The GOP leaders in the House must have laid down the law: screw up like this and you're out. No discussions, explanations or excuses. You go immediately.
This avoids the typical, dreary pattern of several (at least) days of evasions, meticulously worded, utterly unconvincing canned statements, and the crescendo of media attention accompanying it all.
It all ends the same anyway -- the offender goes -- so just get it out of the way now.
Read Lee's resignation statement. It reads like a generic document, something Speaker Boehner could have prepared in advance and had ready, suitable for any scandal that might pop up.
Smart political strategy.
A modern-day version of the old British Army method of dealing with a disgraced officer, delightfully sent up by Evelyn Waugh in Decline and Fall:
"Now, Grimes, you've got to behave like a gentleman. We don't want a court martial in this regiment. We're going to leave you alone for half an hour. There's your revolver. You know what to do. Good bye, old man," they said quite affectionately."
Posted by Philbrick at 9:23 AM
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
First Massa the tickler, then Alesi's lawsuit, now this!
The married Lee resigns after being caught trolling for women on Craigslist. He didn't let any grass grow: no sooner did the Craigslist item break than he announced his resignation.
Update - 6:22 pm
Rottenchester (see comments) put his finger on it: "If everyone who cheated on their spouse resigned from Congress, DC would be a ghost town."
And it's a woman, and she's over 18, and he resigns?
But here's the thing we really can't figure out. Here's a relatively young, nice-looking guy who's a member of Congress and a multi-millionaire. Forgive a momentary lapse into frat-house speak, but he can be getting laid something rotten down in Washington, without even trying. And he's looking for action on Craigslist?
See, kids, this is where we self-styled political sophisticates who think we understand the workings of the political world and can anticipate behavor and events will always be in the dark.
We never make allowance for the possibility of total, stupefying, stupidity on the part of political figures. We never anticipate or make allowance for the stupidity factor. It's our blind spot. So we're left gobsmacked at news of an Alesi lawsuit, or Lee's Craigslist activity.
Posted by Philbrick at 6:04 PM
The Special Election is going to be something of a needle-threading exercise for former Mayor Bill Johnson. To have a chance of winning, Johnson must make sure his campaign is run by seasoned political operators with a proven track record of winning contested campaigns in this area.
We think highly of Johnson's campaign manager Mitch Rowe, and of another of the former Mayor's campaign advisors, former school board member Tom Brennan, but for reasons other than their experience running contested campaigns. Neither has the background or track record suitable to the task at hand.
Mayor Johnson, what you need are seasoned political campaign directors like the people down at Monroe Republican headquarters who run campaigns for county legislature and county executive. One or two from GOP Chairman Bill Reilich's core group, the ones known in the trade as Hannibal and the A-Team.
These are the people who run detailed campaigns on a day to day basis. The ones who make Joe Morelle face the cameras each Election Night in recent years to explain "what went wrong" for his side in nearly every local election. The ones who held the county legislature for the GOP in 2009, against every expectation that Democrats would get that one extra seat they needed to take it over. The ones who will be running Maggie Brooks's campaign this year.
We doubt that Reilich leases these people out.
But there are a bunch of Minarik/Reilich "A-Team" alumni out there, who have moved on from the Republican organization. They do campaigns as political soldiers of fortune. If you have a campaign . . . if no one else can help . . . maybe . . . if you can find them . . . you can hire . . . the A-Team alumni.
Word is they'd do this one, for you, pro bono, as the lawyers say.
Posted by Philbrick at 6:09 AM
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
So what behind-the-scenes deals and pressure tactics were used to get Saturday's Rochester City Democratic Convention delegates to acquiesce in the predetermined selection of Tom Richards for Mayor?
Who was promised what?
Who was threatened -- maybe with loss of a job, or a relative's job? Or maybe threatened with a terminated political career?
What do you know? If you have information, let us know at:
Posted by Philbrick at 10:05 AM
Monday, February 7, 2011
On goes the debate as to whether we allow gay couples to marry. The debate is often framed “should we allow for gay marriage or not?” To me, the discussion we are having is not what we ought to be discussing.
License definition per Webster’s: “a permission granted by competent authority to engage in a business or occupation or in an activity otherwise unlawful”
New York State is the “competent authority” that authorizes two consenting adults to enter into the “business” of marriage. In the eyes of the State the “marriage license” shows that each of those consenting adults agree to the terms of “marriage” which affords some protections and benefits to said consenting adults.
While taking my real estate course and exam it goes through NYS Civil Rights Law which lays out the numerous reasons one cannot discriminate against another based on race, sex, religion, familial status, disability, marital status, age, national origin, or color.
So if I as a Realtor, someone selling a piece of property, or someone renting an apartment cannot tell someone that they cannot enter into an agreement based on any of the criteria above, how can NY State tell one of said consenting adults that they cannot enter into “business of marriage” based on the criteria above? If the State is telling two men or two women that they cannot enter into the agreement, then one of the two is being discriminated against based solely on their sex which is not allowed.
Something else we hear much of is that of “Civil Unions”. We are told that gays should just go with the Civil Union because it is essentially the same thing as marriage. So here is my thought, If a Civil Union offers the same protections and benefits as marriage to two consenting adults then why isn’t NY State, or any state for that matter, in the business of issuing Civil Union Licenses? Thus, leaving marriage to remain where it should remain, between the two consenting adults and whatever religion they practice?
It just seems to me that maybe we started off on the wrong foot allowing the state to get involved in marriage. As I happily prepare to enter into a marriage this weekend here in the States, and then another ceremony the following week in my fiance’s home country of Thailand it has brought these questions to mind. Here we will be married by a Reverend and in Thailand the ceremony is not really religious at all. So marriage, the act of joining of two consenting adults lives has nothing to do with the state, county, or country at all.
If I wish to gain the benefits and protections in my state I can understand the need for the civil union and am happy to comply.
So let us change the dialogue. Civil Unions for all couples and Marriage can remain between you, your partner, and the God of your choosing. The State should get out of the business of marriage.
Posted by Richard Tyson at 2:31 PM
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Posted by Steve Zodiac at 9:13 PM
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson met last week with County Republican Chairman Bill Reilich.
Will Johnson get the Republican ballot line in the upcoming Special Election if he doesn't win the Democratic nomination, or in addition to it?
We don't think so. Monroe Republicans are in full "play it safe" mode in an election year for the County Executive. They won't run the risk that Tom Richards might win, then do what he can to make life as difficult as possible for Maggie Brooks between now and the election, in order to return the favor of Republicans backing Johnson.
We wish it were otherwise. The maddening thing about the wimp factor in the thinking of local Republicans is that (a) it can be frustrating to the party's base, and (b) experience teaches that it's usually the smarter thing to do politically.
Posted by Philbrick at 5:33 AM