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, 2011Most 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.
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."
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.