Thursday, March 12, 2015

Scandal in the City Democratic Committee?? -- attempts being made to fix the nomination??

Joe Donaldson, the City Democrat Chairman, is supporting Steve Noble for Mayor.  This is no secret.  He supports Noble because he hates Gallo.  What is not known (according to several party insiders) is that Donaldson is trying to secretly fix the election for the party nomination.

How is he doing this?  There are two things he is doing.

First, he has appointed his son and several people from Rosendale to the committee simply because they will be anti-Gallo.  This is legal, but unethical.  By law, one must only live in the Assembly district to be a  committeeman.  However, allowing non-Kingstonians to select the Democratic candidate for Kingston is simply wrong.  He also has appointed those from Kingston to vacant spots who are decidedly anti-Gallo.

Second, and more egregiously, he has moved the committeemen around to garner more votes for Noble.  Some political parties use a weighted voting system.  The Democrats do.  A committeeman who is assigned to a district that garnered more votes on the Democrat line for Governor gets a higher weighted vote.  In other words, one committeeman's vote is worth more than another's vote.

In theory, one could get less than a majority of the 54 committeeman, but still win the nomination based solely on the weighted vote so long as the people who support that candidate are in the strongest Democrat voting districts.

I have been informed by several people in the Democrat committee that Chairman Donaldson has been moving the anti-Gallo committeemen into the districts with the larger weighted vote.  It has been told to me that Chairman Donaldson's son is in the district with the largest weighted vote.  Sound fair to you?  If this is true, I consider it reprehensible.

Here's an idea.  Stop the political backroom maneuvering and let the committeemen decide who they want to be their candidate.  I wonder what the enrolled Democrats in the city who will vote in the likely primary would think of this political underhandedness.  If Noble beats Gallo for the nomination in a fair fight, so be it.  That's the process.  But, to move the players around for the sole purpose of influencing the vote is just plain wrong.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Anti-Gallocrats get Noble to run for Mayor, but not the one they wanted.

The portion of the Democrats I refer to as Anti-Gallocrats were hoping that Jim Noble would run for Mayor.  They will have a candidate named Noble, but not the one they wanted.  Steve Noble, the city zookeeper (with a title of Environmental Educator or some PC name like that) announced earlier tonight that he is running for Mayor.

The Democrats who support Gallo must be very happy that Uncle Jim decided not to run.  Though Gallo would have beaten him in the primary, the elder Noble likely would have taken the nomination first much like Hayes Clement did almost 4 years ago.

There are a few questions that now remain.

First, will Uncle Jim run as his nephew's running mate?  This in and of itself creates questions.  Would a Noble-Noble ticket confuse some voters and thus cost votes?  Would some people think that having two family members on the same ticket to be wrong?  Would Jim Noble, as the more experienced and frankly stronger candidate over shadow his young nephew?  As of now, Jim Noble has not stated his intentions.

Second, other than being anti-Gallo, what else is Steve Noble running on? What is his plan?  Environmentalism is all well and good, but more is required to run this city.

Third, how will Steve Noble and his campaign deal with the numerous political liabilities that will no doubt involve themselves in his campaign simply because they hate Shayne Gallo?  There is no question that these individuals (and we all know who they are) will try to insert themselves into the campaign.  Noble has to find away to keep them away.  Will he be able to do so without create a public fiasco?  Others have been unable to avoid these political blood suckers.

Fourth, (and I have asked this already), who will be Shayne Gallo's running mate?  I have been suggesting Jeanette Provenzano.  Now, rumbles are beginning to surface that she might consider it under certain circumstances, i.e. if Jim Noble does not run.  This may mean that despite the potential perils of 2 people with the same name on the ticket, Steve may ask Uncle Jim to keep Jeanette out of the race.

Fifth and finally, what answer will Steve give when reporters and/or citizens ask about him being his spouse's boss?  If Steve were to win, he would be his wife's boss.  Obviously, this creates political and personal issues.

As I have said before, 2015 will be a very interesting year.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Another Mayoral Candidate?

Rumors are floating around the political circuit that Steve Noble may not run for Mayor, but that his uncle, Alderman-at-Large, Jim Noble, is considering a run.  Admittedly, I have not gotten confirmation of this, though the rumors are everywhere.

What would this mean?

Well, certainly Jim Noble would be a much stronger candidate.  He would have a chance of getting the nomination from the City Committee.  The resulting primary would be competitive, though Gallo would still likely win.  Jim's candidacy is much more of a threat though than Steve.

Next question -- will he run?  I personally doubt it.  I have known Jim Noble since I was a young boy.  Jim and my Dad were friends and both played on the Hibernian softball team known as the lean, mean, green, Irish machine.  I consider Jim Noble to be a good man.

All of that being said, I think Jim would hate being Mayor.  The day to day budget grind, the constant pressure, and 24/7 schedule would be something I think he would despise.  Being Alderman-at-Large requires responsibility and character, but the position is truly part-time.  Being Mayor never stops.

I could be completely off base, but my thought is that Jim is at a point in his life where he enjoys being Alderman-at-Large and being involved in politics part-time. I would be frankly surprised if he opts to jump in full-time.

Only time will tell.  All I know is that 2015 may turn out to be a fascinating political year.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

More News on 2015 Elections

To the latest news and rumors ....

Ron Polacco confirmed to me personally that he is running for Mayor.

Bill Reynolds will not be running for Mayor.  This is not a surprise as Bill has a very good job and frankly I understand why he might not be willing to give that up. Whether Bill might run for a different position like Alderman or Alderman-at-Large is not yet confirmed.

Several Alderman are contemplating a run for Alderman-at-Large.  Look for Alderman Dunn to be Steve Noble's running mate.

On the Republican side, Tony Sinagra has no candidate.  He has met with Ron Polacco and does not want to endorse him.  He has no other options yet, though look for him to brag that he has 2 or 3 possible candidates.  That is his usual "M.O."

No Republican Alderman-at-Large candidates yet.  Alderwoman Brown would be formidable, though it is not clear if she would run with Polacco.  I know of NO animosity between them, but Sinagra's animosity toward Polacco could be problematic.

Finally, Mayor Gallo has not made a final chose for his running mate though he has quite a few options.  I still think the best choice for him would be Jeanette Provenzano.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

More Democratic Mayoral Candidates??

Rumors abound that 2 more Democrats are looking to run for mayor.  Though no names have been confirmed, talk is that the 2 people consist of one man and one woman.

Any thoughts who who they might be?

Also, with Jim Noble talking about not seeking re-election, who might step up to run from either side of the aisle?

Always fun to engage in some political speculation.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Polacco to Run for Mayor in 2015

I have received confirmation from an impeccable source that Ron Polacco intends to give it another shot and will run for Mayor this year.  This has been speculated for some time, but this source was actually verbally told by Polacco himself that he will run.

This creates a fascinating dynamic within the Republican City Committee.

Everyone knows about the controversy between newly re-elected Republican City Chair Tony Sinagra and myself.  His betrayal of me is well known in city politics.  However, the animosity between Ron Polacco and Tony Sinagra, though perhaps not as well known, is much deeper.

Let us go back in time for a moment to reflect.  It is January 2010 and Polacco and Andi Turco-Levin, the 2 Republican Aldermen, each want to be Minority Leader.  So, the tie was broken by Chairman Sinagra.  Instead of just breaking the tie, Sinagra decided foolishly to go on the attack against Polacco and said Polacco was "too close with the Democrats".  In political circles, saying someone is "too close" with the other side is tantamount to calling him a traitor.

From that day on, Polacco and Sinagra have flat out hated each others' guts.  That hatred played no small role in Polacco's decision to run a primary in the 2011 Mayoral contest, a primary that he ended up winning.  I must point out that in 2005, Polacco had expressed interest in running for 6th Ward Alderman, but stepped aside because the party was backing someone else -- me.  In 2011, however, Polacco did not step aside and many (including myself) felt that Sinagra's mishandling of the minority leader issue was a big reason why.  It is no surprise that Sinagra's bungling of the entire 2011 election resulted in his resignation shortly thereafter.

Now, back to the present ...

City Republicans have no candidate for Mayor. Andi Turco-Levin has told anyone who will listen that she is not interested in running again.  Honestly, I cannot say I blame her.  She and I both took the brunt of Sinagra's political misplays in 2011.  She never really got the opportunity to test her political strength city-wide.  With Polacco winning the Republican line and me winning the Conservative line, she had no ballot line.  Had the entire matter been handled better by Sinagra, Ron and I might have gotten out of the race and Andi would have had her opportunity.

Nevertheless, with no party candidate, the Republican line is Polacco's for the taking in 2015.  Sinagra cannot stop him without a candidate.  Moreover, since Ron has proven that he can win a primary over the objections of the City Chair, what candidate is really going to come forward?

So, Chairman Sinagra, by his own doing, has placed himself between a rock and a hard place.  He either finds some patsy to take the line at the convention only to get destroyed in a primary OR he swallows his pride and a great deal of crow and backs Polacco.  He will try to put spin on it, but everyone will know it to be a shotgun wedding at best.  Basically, Sinagra has put himself in a position usually only seen in the Kama Sutra.

Is this Kharma or what??

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2015 Races

Some have asked what seats are up in 2015.  Another question being asked is whether the Conservative Party line for these positions will be filled by the county or city committees.

Well, here are the answers.  The following positions are up for election in 2015 on the ballot for the City of Kingston:  County Executive, District Attorney, One of the 3 Family Court seats; 3 County Legislator positions; City Judge; Mayor; Alderman-at-Large; and, 9 Alderman seats.

As for who will be deciding the initial Conservative Party endorsements, the County Committee will decide County Executive, District Attorney, and the Family Court seat.

The City Committee will be deciding 3 County Legislator positions; City Judge; Mayor; Alderman-at-Large; and 9 Alderman seats.  One might wonder why the city committee handles the county legislator positions.  The reason is that all 3 of the County Legislator positions for the City of Kingston have districts entirely within the city limits.  If they had portions of another municipality, then it would be different.

In the next few months, announcements will be made concerning interview schedules for city candidates to appear before the City Executive Committee.  Any Chairman or Vice Chairman from other parties are also welcome to contact me or my Vice Chairmen, Don Ryan and Bob Boughton, to discuss candidates.  Any party chairs who try to do go directly to the County Chair or County Committee will be rebuked and referred to the City Committee (as one city chair recently found out).

My Vice Chairmen and I are willing to discuss candidacies with leaders of ANY of the other parties or with candidates or their campaign managers.


******

UPDATE

******

After receiving a comment asking whether the City Judge race is in 2015 or 2016, I did some research.  There has long been questions about the current term for Judge Kirschner.  This had to do with the several changes in positions and whether certain people had new terms or were completing former terms.  The position went rather quickly from Gilpatric to Ball to Kirschner.\

On top of that, the original term was four years.  Then, it was increased to six.  Questions lingered about whether an old term was extended and so forth.

However, after looking into it, it appears the issue was resolved with a finding that the term of Judge Kirschner expires at the end of 2016 which means the election for the next term takes place in November 2016, not 2015.