Thursday, May 24, 2012

If YOU Don't Know, the Answer is "No"

On Tuesday of this week I received a request to connect on Linkedin with someone I had not previously met.   Now, this does happen from time to time as people are looking to network more and more.   Especially with people like myself in the "Sales World".

This time I was a bit surprised to see that it was former Assemblyman David Koon.   I don't know David and have never met him.   I accepted the request and wrote a quick note asking why he reached out.   This is typically my response to those who I haven't met prior to connecting on Linkedin.

His response was "Just asking people if I should run for my old Assembly seat.   What do you think?"

As a former candidate I knew more than anything that I was going to run, no matter what anyone else had to say about it (other than my wife).   Especially someone I had never met from an opposing party that doesn't live in my district.

David, if you don't know, then the answer is probably "No."   But you don't have to take it from me.   I live in Morelle's district.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We Told You So!

"Don't be surprised to see now-County Court Judge Geraci, who is widely respected among lawyers and judges, as our next federal judge."

-- Mustard Street,   January 3, 2012

"The president announced Monday that he had nominated Monroe County Judge Frank Paul Geraci Jr. for the federal bench for the Western District of New York."

-- Wall Street Journal,   May 15, 2012

Our piece on the story behind it all is bumped, below.


One Last Kiss-Off

Bumped from January 3, 2012

Last Spring, then-DA Mike Green antagonized the Democratic hierarchy by refusing to step down from office, to permit Chairman Joe Morelle's choice for DA, Judge Frank Geraci, to be apppointed to the vacancy and run in November as an incumbent.

For the Party the story ended happily.   Candidate Sandra Doorley won big and does not appear motivated to create political problems for Chairman Morelle and Party HQ.

Then came payback, with Morelle pulling the rug from under Green's nomination for federal judge.   It wasn't for the sake of vindictiveness alone.   Although public discussion has focused on City Court Judge Theresa Johnson as replacement nominee, an alternate possibility now being discussed is ... Judge Frank Geraci.   It would be one final kiss-off from Chairman Morelle to Green.

A cosmic, nearly mathematical, symmetry.   Green blocked Geraci from getting the DA job Morelle wanted Geraci to have.   Now Geraci would get what Green described as his "dream job."   Green loses the judgship and Chairman Morelle can advance the career of Geraci, something Green prevented last year.

Don't be surprised to see now-County Court Judge Geraci, who is widely respected among lawyers and judges, as our next federal judge.

One does not defy Chairman Morelle with impunity.


Friday, May 11, 2012

No, it Wasn't, Rachel

One of the best local blogs is Rachel Barnhart's.   It's been on our blogroll since its first days.   A quality product from a smart and talented person.

It doesn't diminish our admiration to note that she got it profoundly wrong in saying "It Was Same-Sex Marriage" that brought down Sen. Jim Alesi; specifically, that Alesi's key role in enacting same-sex marriage in New York cost him the support of the local Republican Party.

Alesi lost local Republican support -- and just about every other source of support -- six months before he backed the marriage bill.   He lost it over his stupid and cowardly lawsuit against two constituents early in 2011.   He broke his leg while trespassing on their property.   He sued just days after the statute of limitations blocked them from filing any counter-suit, which is why we describe Alesi's conduct as cowardly.

The lawsuit represented at the time the most extreme, and most recent, example of inexplicably odd behavior by Sen. Alesi, as we noted.

As writers of generally conservative bent, let us at Mustard Street remind all of you, including Ms. Barnhart, of our comments contemporaneous with the news of Alesi's lawsuit:

"Alesi just signaled he's never running for anything again."   In Does Jim Alesi Have a Brain Tumor? -- January 22, 2011

Six months later, when news broke about Alesi backing same-sex marriage, we observed:

"Following the furor over Alesi's sleazy lawsuit earlier this year, everyone in the Monroe County political world except Alesi and the remaining members of his staff wrote him off for re-election. There no longer exists any relationship between the Senator and the Monroe County GOP."
Most of us who write for Mustard Street spend our fair share of time around people in, or in some way plugged into, local Republican circles.   In January 2011 opinion among them was uniform:   Alesi's done.

That was the point where local Republican Committees in the Senate district determined they wouldn't support him for renomination and wouldn't carry nominating petitions for him.   And it's not as if there were a debate about it, not even in Alesi's home committee in East Rochester.   Committee by committee, the consensus was uniform; this was months before Alesi stated his position on the marriage bill in June 2011.

In spite of it, Monroe County Republican Chairman Bill Reilich was willing to give Alesi a fair chance.   Within recent months, Reilich agreed that party headquarters would poll, to see if Alesi could compete in a general election.   If it showed him able to win, the County GOP organization would use the poll to try to bring its local committees back behind Alesi.

The poll result?   Maybe Alesi could beat Charles Manson in a general election this fall.   Maybe.

The poll revealed Alesi as politically dead, as dead and written off as proclaimed by every Republican committee member in the district in January 2011.

Half a year before Alesi backed same sex marriage.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Senate & Assembly Candidates

Assemblyman Sean Hanna will be the Republican candidate for the State Senate seat being vacated by incumbent Republican Jim Alesi.

Radio host and lawyer Bill Nojay will be the Republican candidate for the Assembly seat currently held by Hanna.

It has been reported that County Legislator Ted O'Brien will run as Democratic candidate for the Senate seat.

No announcement yet by the County Democratic Comittee as to its candidate for the Assembly seat currently held by Sean Hanna.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Obama Comes Clean on Gay Marriage

Today, in an interview with ABC News.

Gutsy.   Didn't expect it until post-election -- win or lose.

Some hedging about "supporting the concept of states deciding the issue on their own."   I bet that part's still evolving until after the election.

Some silliness about finding wisdom on the subject through talks with "college Republicans."   Still, even though forced into it by his own side, he could have held out and kept up the deceit until after November.   Whatever you think about the issue, credit to him for coming clean now.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Whitewashing Slaughter's Attendance Record

On Thursday we noted a New York Times story of that date on Rep. Louise Slaughter .   In the third paragraph of the original print and online versions, the Times noted that Slaughter "... had one of the worst attendance records in the House last year. . .”

By the next day, that line had magically vanished from the online version. (We'll post a screen shot of the original print article shortly.  See Update below.)

Last October, back before Slaughter had a credible opponent, the New York Times observed also that Slaughter had one of the worst attendance records in the House.   She was one of only 18 members to miss more than 10% of votes – meaning she missed more votes than about 95% of her House colleagues.

And last December the Buffalo News ran a story highlighting that Slaughter had missed, “. . . more than 2 1/2 times as many as the Buffalo area's three other House members missed combined.”

Just compare the Buffalo News story, which bore the headline, "In missed House votes, Slaughter tops area peers" , with the Rochester D&C's clumsy attempt over the weekend to camouflage Slaughter's neglect of her responsibilities.   Jill Terreri's May 5th story on Slaughter's election prospects buried the attendance information, and then only reported the raw data, without context or comparison.

Contrast with the lead sentence in the Buffalo News report: "Rep. Louise M. Slaughter has missed 83 votes on the floor of the House this year -- more than 2 1/2 times as many as the Buffalo area's three other House members missed combined."   Just as the D&C would report the story if Slaughter were a Republican.



The political censors at the New York Times scrubbed their original online story, but not their Archive search.   Search the NYT with the terms "slaughter attendance" and you get this abstract (our screenshot), showing the original line, even though the link takes you to the scrubbed story.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

"One of the worst attendance records in the House last year"

That's today's New York Times, on Rep. Louise Slaughter.

Too bad Rochester doesn't have a local watchdog newspaper, to report news like this.   Instead we depend on an out-of-town paper.

So much for the hype about "giving it to us local."