Sunday, December 29, 2013

Scheduled Appearance

I am now scheduled to give a lecture on the Lindbergh kidnapping and have a book signing at the Falmouth Historical Society in Cape Cod on March 15th at 3pm.

As more appearances are scheduled, they will be posted at

Friday, November 22, 2013

New Web Site

A new web site is now up and running.  The site -- WWW.HAUPTMANNSLADDER.COM -- will offer information as it becomes available about my book.  You can also offer comments or ask questions about the book or the case.  My answers must be limited until the release date of March 1, 2014 though.

You can pre-order the book from this site, and soon I will be listing book signings and other events.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Direct access

This site can now be accessed directly at

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Book is now available for Pre-Order

My book, Hauptmann's Ladder, will be released on March 1, 2014.  However, you can pre-order the book by clicking HERE.

Here is a copy of the book description from the Kent State University Press web site.

Hauptmann’s Ladder

A Step-by-Step Analysis of the Lindbergh Kidnapping

True Crime History 

Richard T. Cahill Jr.

In 1936, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr. Almost all of America believed Hauptmann guilty; only a few magazines and tabloids published articles questioning his conviction. In the ensuing decades, many books about the Lindbergh case have been published.  Some have declared Hauptmann the victim of a police conspiracy and frame-up, and one posited that Lindbergh actually killed his own son and fabricated the entire kidnapping to mask the deed.Because books about the crime have been used as a means to advance personal theories, the truth has often been sacrificed and readers misinformed.
Hauptmann’s Ladder is a testament to the truth that counters the revisionist histories all too common in the true crime genre. Author Richard T. Cahill Jr. puts the “true” back in “true crime,” providing credible information and undistorted evidence that enables readers to form their own opinions and reach their own conclusions.
Cahill presents conclusions based upon facts and documentary evidence uncovered in his twenty years of research. Using primary sources and painstakingly presenting a chronological reconstruction of the crime and its aftermath, he debunks false claims and explodes outrageous theories, while presenting evidence that has never before been revealed.  Hauptmann’s Ladder is a meticulously researched examination of the Lindbergh kidnapping that restores and preserves the truth of the crime of the century.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ulster County Needs Nina Postupack to Run for State Senator

Within the last few days, some of my sources in Albany informed me that the Republicans either have or will be approaching Nina Postupack in an attempt to convince her to run for State Senator against Cecelia  Tkaczyk.  In fact, it is my understanding that polling has confirmed that even at this very early stage, Nina leads Tkaczyk by a considerable margin.  She would more likely than not win the seat.

Local politicos I have spoken with do not believe that Nina will run.  They usually cite her love of her current job or say something like, "She's County Clerk for as long as she wants.  Why leave?"

I have thought about this for a while now and I think Nina should run.  In fact, I think she owes it to Ulster County to run for State Senate.  Let me tell you why.

Every reasonable political prognosticator knows that control of the State Senate will be decided by whether or not Senator Tkaczyk gets reelected.  Last time, she lost almost everywhere except Ulster County.  In Ulster County, she won by a considerable margin.  Ulster County and Greene County together make up half of the voting district.  Thus, anyone running strongly in Ulster County is likely to win.

If Nina were to run and win, Republicans would likely regain control of the Senate without relying upon 4 disenfranchised Democrats.  To keep the seat thereafter, you can bet your last dollar that Ulster County would be the recipient of numerous political and legislative things of value.  It is simply the way that Politics work.  I am not advocating it, but it is the way of the political world, particularly in New York.  Thus, Ulster County would tremendously benefit from a Nina Postupack senatorial victory.

Now, the second question -- Could Nina win?  This is a no-brainer.  She would win quite easily.  Look at her numbers in the 2013 election.  Nina got 39,318 votes pending the counting of absentees and affidavits.  Of those, 18,482 votes came on the Democrat line.  That is just shy of half her entire total.  The Republican and Conservative lines combined were only 17,709.  This shows tremendous cross party support.

Nina has the popularity of the late Senator Arthur Wicks, if not even more so.  Art Wicks was our State Senator and later Lieutenant Governor.  Ask anyone who remembers and they will tell you of all the positive things and good paying jobs that he brought to Ulster County.  Without Wicks, the Thruway would have been on the east side of the Hudson.

There is little question that Nina would run extremely well in Ulster County and would become State Senator.  This leads to the final question.  Will she or rather should she run?  I cannot answer whether she will.  That is up to Nina and her family.  I can answer, however, that she most certainly should.

I was active with the Republican party in the city and county for over 20 years.  I am currently active with the city and county Conservative committees.  As such, I have heard Nina speak and seen her campaign many times.  One of the things that voters really like about Nina is the humility she expresses when she speaks and campaigns.  She always thanks the people of Ulster County and tells them how much they have done for her over the years.  She always expresses her wish that there was even more she could do to give back to them.

Here is the opportunity.  Ulster County has become the forgotten county in New York.  The district was created for someone from Rotterdam and the wishes of Ulster County (and their candidates) were ignored.  If Nina runs and wins, Ulster County gets placed back on the political map.  As the likely deciding district for control of the State Senate, the people of Ulster County would regain their prominence and would be the recipient of various state government opportunities.  Back in the day, there were quite a few state employees assigned to work in this county.  Not so much anymore.  Imagine the opportunity for the people of Ulster County if good paying state jobs were again stationed here.  Ulster needs jobs more desperately than I can express.  This would create such an opportunity.

Nina's local popularity and the current political opportunity together would result in great economic benefits for Ulster County.  We certainly need them.

In summary, I am very hopeful that Nina Postupack will decide to run for State Senate.  It would give her the chance to give back to the people of Ulster County in an absolutely monumental way.  It could bring jobs and economic development back to our county.

I call upon the politicos in this county from the Republican, Conservative, and Independence parties to start a Draft Nina movement.  I hope the people of this county who have repeatedly placed their support behind Nina will let her know how good a State Senator she would be and how much they would like her to run.  Let the word go forth.  We want Nina for State Senate!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Response to Feedback

I have received an email and some comments questioning my assertion about the lack of formal Republican support for Joe Corcoran.  I have decided to add a further and more detailed comment to clarify my remarks.  My initial comment was one line without detail.  Allow me to elaborate.

There were a handful of longtime party loyalists who helped Joe.  There have always been 3 to 4 people in the City GOP committee who have worked their tails off no matter how high the odds.  I did not intend to disrespect them.  If I did, I apologize.

My comments are focused on the lack of any true GOP party machine in the City of Kingston.  My comments also are focused on the decline of the City GOP since 2011.  If Joe had the backing of the type of party GOP machine that existed prior to the 2011 debacle, he would have won.

Unfortunately, the City GOP has never recovered from the 2011 election debacle.  To recap, the party split completely over the 2011 mayoral election.  The candidate's committee selected me as the candidate.  The City Chair at that time was to endorse the candidate chosen by that committee, but failed to do so.  Instead, despite promising me support (which he now denies ever doing), he chose to back a different candidate thus resulting in Andi Turco-Levin with the GOP line and myself with the Conservative line.

To make matters worse, a third GOP candidate (Ron Polacco) won the GOP primary.  Without the party splitting between myself and Andi Turco-Levin, Ron would never have won the primary.  He would have gotten his 40% in the primary, but either Andi or myself running without the other would have won.  So, you had Andi knocked out of the race with her supporters being angry because she did not get any real chance to win.  You had me on the Conservative line with my GOP supporters angry because of outright betrayal.  You had Ron on the GOP line with a split ticket and a fractured party.  Gallo went on to win easily.  I will not claim that I or Andi would have beaten Gallo in a 1 on 1 race.  I will say that the race would have been substantially closer and --win or lose-- the party would not have fallen apart as it did subsequently.

The long and short of it is that I left the committee and joined the Conservatives.  The GOP Chair (Tony Sinagra) stepped down as Chair shortly thereafter.  Ron left the committee.  In the time since then, the party has been hopelessly fractured.

By example, look at the complete lack of candidates in 2011.  Wards 1, 2, 5, 7 were blank.  In wards 3 and 8, the candidates endorsed sought the Dem line which angered GOP loyalists.  I am not going to roast any particular people, but the fact remains that the City GOP committee has still not recovered from 2011.

Joe Corcoran came very close.  The race is still in recount though Ball has a clear advantage.  My frustration is seeing the decline of the City GOP, an entity I supported and for which I worked hard for over 20 years.  The GOP could have won 3 or 4 seats on the Council this year.  They could have potentially walked away with wards 9, 6, 3, and 1.  Instead, only 1 ward has a GOP lead and Dems have total and dominant control.

Again, if I offended my old friends in the City GOP, I offer my apology.  I do not apologize, however, for my belief and my statements that a better organized City Committee of the type that existed prior to 2011 would have a made a substantial difference in 2013.  That is just an absolute fact.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

City Election Results

The Democrats have taken at least 6 of 9 seats and could get more.  Three wards will have recounts.

Wards 1, 2, 5, and 7 had no Republican opposition.  That is a shame because at least 2 could have been defeated.  In Ward 4, Democrat Nina Dawson was victorious.  In Ward 8, Steve Schabot defeated Ms. Bruck.

Wards 3, 6, and 9 will have recounts.  In ward 3, the unofficial total has:  Will 329, Champ-Doran 290, and Kelder at 30.  There were 142 absentees sent out and thus far approximately 87 have been returned.  Thus, assuming those numbers, Champ-Doran would need 64 out of 87 to win.  (74%).

In ward 6, Ball leads Corcoran unofficially 288-266 with 75 potential absentees.  Thus far, 51 have been received.  They lean Republican (+8).  To win, Corcoran needs 37 of 51 (72.5%).  In reality, this race is separated by 1 vote.  Ball won the Conservative primary by 1 vote.  If Corcoran had won that line (or if he had any help at all from the Republicans at any time during the campaign), he would have won this race.

In ward 9, Debbie Brown leads Johnson by 13 votes with 57 possible absentees (38 received thus far).  The ballots received are Dem +13 which evens it out.  This race will be very close.  To win, Brown needs 13 out of 38 to clinch  (34.2%).  Johnson needs 26 of 38 (68.4%).

These numbers all assume no further ballots received.  As more come in, the numbers change.  Also, this assumes no errors were made tabulating the machine totals.

As more information becomes available on the recounts, I will advise.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Kevin May Have Opposition After All

The latest political rumblings are that Kevin Cahill has 2 possible challengers, a Republican and a Democrat.  The potential primary opponent is someone who has run county-wide before with very positive results.  Of great importance, this opponent cannot be effectively threatened by Shelly Silver on Kevin's behalf.  She could be formidable in the primary.

The Republican is a former County Legislator who might have a chance if Kevin and his fellow Democrat create a 3-way race.

Let the intrigue for 2014 begin.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hauptmann's Ladder

I have just learned that the release date for my book, "Hauptmann's Ladder: A Step By Step Analysis of the Lindbergh Kidnapping", is set for March 1, 2014.

I am very excited and very pleased about the release date, as March 1, 2014 will be the 82nd anniversary of the Lindbergh Kidnapping.

This has been a long road and a tremendous amount of work.  I think the only way it could be any better is if Dad were here to share it with me.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Latest Squirming of Kevin

In an attempt to prevent his political suicide, Kevin Cahill is trying to meet with Mike Hein and also get the Assembly back in session in order to pass the necessary bill and prevent layoffs.

I would not be surprised if Shelly Silver does Kevin a favor and fixes the problem.  After all, Kevin has been kissing up to him for years.

As for opponents, only 2 have surfaced, but neither are strong enough candidates to win.  One (Woerner) was just defeated in a ward primary.  The other ( Andi Turco-Levin) will never get the support of the conservative party.  She is also too liberal to present an alternative to Kevin.

More seasoned politicos are waiting to see whether Shelly Silver bails Kevin out.  If that happens, Kevin takes a hit but survives.  It is only if the matter really blows up and causes layoffs that Kevin becomes extremely vulnerable.  Then, a truly conservative candidate with the ability to speak and debate well can defeat Kevin.  A liberal Rino, someone with substantial baggage, or someone who cannot get the Rep, Ind, and Con lines has NO chance to win.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Man Without a Municipality

Normally, I do not write a post about a political rumor.  However, this one is so good that I decided to make an exception.

Rumor has it that, fresh off his crushing defeat in yesterday's primary, Nick Woerner may seek the Democrat line in the upcoming Town of Ulster caucus for the position of Town Supervisor.

No word yet on where in the town Nick would live.

Personally, I am not buying this rumor.  Any attempt to do so would cause uproarious laughter throughout the county.

The odds are that Quigley would trounce Woerner even for the democrat line unless someone of considerable influence got involved such as Maurice Hinchey or Mike Hein.  Why either of them would do so is unclear.  There would be no benefit to it for them.

I guess we will just have to wait and see.  Will Woerner drive his Lincoln Town Car off into the political sunset or will he head for the Town of Ulster.

Like sands through the hour glass ...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Woerner and Blaber lose BIG

Hear are the unofficial results.

In Ward 9, Lynn Johnson won the Independence, Working Families, and Democrat primaries tonight.  The margin in the Democrat primary was perhaps the most lopsided result in recent memory (126 to 27).  Thus, in November, Debbie Brown will have Rep and Con with Johnson having Dem, Ind, and WF.  It should be a hell of a race.  Blaber is eliminated.

In Ward 4, Nick Woerner has defeated handily by Nina Dawson.  The results were Dawson 73, Woerner 45 Shabazz 14).  I must admit how shocked I am (albeit pleased) to see such a strong loss despite having Mr. Shabazz splitting the challenger vote.  Nina Dawson also won the Working Families primary.  So, in November, Dawson will have Dem, Ind, and WF, while Steve Ladin will have Rep, Con, and Red Dog.  Woerner is eliminated.

In Ward 8, Lisa Bruck appears to have won the Conservative line.  However, Steve Schabot won the Democrat line 65 to 30.  So, that race will be Schabot with Dem and WF and Bruck with Rep, Con, and Ind.

In Ward 3, Champ-Doran held on to the Independence line, but did not win the Democrat primary.  In an upset, Brad Will won the Democrat line with 79 votes.  Champ-Doran came in second with 45 and Richard Kelder had 43.  This sets up a 3-way race in November.  Champ-Doran will have Rep and Ind, Will has the Dem, and Kelder has WF.

In ward 6, Elisa Ball appears to have held the Conservative line by a vote of 6-5.  I do not know if there absentees.  Corcoran needs 2 votes because a tie will be broken by the City Chairman and you can bet your last dollar he will vote for Ball, the nominated candidate.  Ball also took the Independence Line away from Corcoran with a 8-2 victory.  In November, Ball has Dem, Ind, and likely Con.  Corcoran will have Rep only.

In the two biggest races, John Quigley appears to have handed Dave Donaldson his first electoral loss in nearly 30 years.  He last lost to Bernie Sims in the old 13th ward.  Quigley leads 18 to 12, though 9 absentee votes remain.  (Through the grapevine, I hear at least 4 of them are for Quigley).  So, in November, Quigley will have Rep, Con, and Ind, while Donaldson will have Dem and WF.  This could be the sleeper race of the year.

In the top race, there are no numbers out of the Bernardo Dawson race, though I am getting word that Bernardo won the 2 reported districts quite handily.  We will know more later.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Letter On Woerner's Record

A letter has been circulated throughout Ward 4 concerning the record of Nick Woerner as Town Superviser.  The letter is signed by Cris Hendrick, A Town of Ulster Councilwoman, and Renno Budziak, a former Chairman of the Town of Ulster Planning Board and a former committeeman for the Town of Ulster Democrats.

Basically, the letter sets forth clear and unassailable facts proving that Nick Woerner bankrupted the Town of Ulster while serving as Town Supervisor.

I was going to simply post the copy of the letter, but the quality of the copy sent to me does not look particularly good.  So, I decided to simply re-type the letter word for word (minus the date of September 2, 2013 and a few grammatical changes).  Here it is ...

"Dear Fourth Ward Resident                                           

Not long ago, a young ambitious man aspired to become Supervisor of the Town of Ulster, encompassing a population of over 12,000 people with a municipal operating budget of over $13 million.  Voters gave NIck Woerner the opportunity to exercise an agenda of positive change and to execute associated quality of life initiatives, but the voters' hopes and expectations were soon dashed by Mr. Woerner's failed governance, affinity to special interest groups, failed leadership, lack of transparency, and gross fiscal mismanagement and consequently he was unceremoniously booted out of office for his demonstrated ineptness.

While Mr. Woerner's political career has hopefully come to a permanent close in the Town of Ulster, he has now reappeared as a potential political candidate in the City of Kingston.  His recent baseless and misdirected criticism of Mayor Gallo contains no substance and is a cheap political ploy intended to play to the emotions of the voters of district 4and is reflective of his contentious and divisive nature.  His recent publicized pronouncements regarding his previous experiences and qualifications as a short term Supervisor of the Town of Ulster are exaggerated and overstated.  It is recognized that the election in the City of Kingston is an internal issue.  However, the neighboring communities of the Town of Ulster and City of Kingston have many common and independent issues whose disposition and associated cause and effect relationships have direct impact upon the welfare of the of the respective municipalities and thus related outcomes are indeed of mutual interest and concern.  Since Mr. Woerner and his failed performance history may be unknown factors in the City of Kingston, disclosure of unfiltered facts is being made in the spirit of providing its constituency the opportunity to make informed decisions regarding the selection of a candidate best suited to represent its best interest in the forthcoming elections.

Additionally, recent revelations of Mr. Woerner's troubled personal financial status should be of no surprise since this historical problem is symptomatic of his inability to responsibly manage financial matters.  The following are problematic fiscal facts associated with Mr. Woerner's tenure:

*  June 1, 2006 Fund Balance at beginning of his tenure: $5,890.657.

*  Dec 31, 2009 Fund Balance at the end of his tenure: $297,176.

*  Spent $5.5 million of the fund balance in 4 years.

*  Submitted a preliminary budget to increase taxes in 2009 by 32% but, after public uproar, 
   was reduced to a still staggering 20%.

*  Secured a grant for a Senior Center for $300K, but overspent by by an additional $388K.

*  Increased Town department by $14.2 million leaving Town liabilities exceeding its assets
   by $9,334,694.

*  Overspent the Town 2009 budget by $1,244,982 and took a Bond Anticipation Loan of
   $1,348,500 to cover overspending.

*  At the end of his term, the Town was left with a $9,368,000 debt.

Unless the City of Kingston is looking for over taxation and wasteful and reckless spending, we don't believe that Mr. Woerner is worthy of governance in the City of Kingston.  The City of Kingston can do better and certainly deserves better than Nick Woerner.


Cris Hendrick
Current Town of Ulster Councilwoman
Current Chairwoman, Town of Ulster Conservative Party.

Renno Budziak
Former Chairman, Town of Ulster Planning Board
Former Town of Ulster Democratic Party Committeeman"

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Primary Talk

Next Tuesday (9/10) is Primary Day.  In Kingston, there are 11 primaries.  It may be a record number.  I thought I would take a moment to outline the primaries and discuss the likely results.  

First, there is one primary for county legislator.  John Quigley was endorsed by the Independence Party.  Dave Donaldson has filed an Opportunity to Ballot challenge.  Interestingly, the democrats have filed 6 OTB challenges to the Independence line for County Legislator seats)

(For those who do not know, an Opportunity to Ballot (OTB) primary is where the endorsed candidate is on the ballot, but people may write in anyone they wish to determine the line.  It was created to allow a candidate to run when the party chooses none, but has been abused in recent years as an alternative to a primary.)

As for the legislative primary, this is a toss up.  Normally, the candidate with his name on the ballot wins, but the Independence Party voters in Kingston tend to trend democrat.  This one could go either way.

The rest of the primaries in Kingston concern the Aldermanic seats.

In ward 3, there is an OTB primary for the Independence Party.  The endorsed candidate is Andrew Champ-Doran.  There is a 3-way primary for the Democrat line between Andrew Champ-Doran, Richard Kelder, and Brad Will.  Of great interest is the fact that the City Democrats have not formally endorsed any of the three.  

This is a tough one to call, but I think Kelder has the advantage since he is guaranteed a ballot spot with the Working Families Party.  Champ-Doran could pull the upset depending on how strongly Mr. Will runs.  I expect the order of finish to be Kelder, Champ-Doran, and Will.  On the independence primary, look for Champ-Doran to win.

In Ward 4, there are 2 primaries.  There is an OTB for the Working Families Line.  The party endorsed Christina "Nina" Dawson.  There is also a 3-way Democrat primary between Dawson, Ismail Shabazz, and Nick Woerner.  Woerner is the endorsed candidate.

Look for Dawson to win the WF primary.  As for the Democrats, I must unfortunately conclude that Woerner will be carried to victory by the Democrat machine despite his poor status as a candidate.  If the race were one on one, Dawson would beat Woerner handily.  However, with Shabazz in the race, he takes votes mostly from Dawson.  With Dawson weakened, the party machine carries Woerner over the line in a squeaker.

The good news is that the likely results end up with Woerner having one line, Dawson having 2 lines, and Ladin having 2 lines (his red dog party gets combined with the Conservative line).  Thus, if Dawson stays in, Woerner loses in November.

In ward 6, there is a Conservative OTB with Elisa Ball being the endorsed candidate.  I believe Joe Corcoran wins this.  Corcoran has the support of a large family of enrolled Conservatives.  He should get 4 or 5 votes just from them.  With only 36 conservatives in the ward and primary turnouts being 10% to 15%, the usual turnout would be 4 to 6.  A 4 or 5 vote cushion is a large lead in such a race.

If this is the result, then Ball will have the Democrat line with Corcoran having the Rep, Con, and Ind lines in November.

In ward 8, there are 2 primaries.  Lisa Bruck (endorsed by party) is being challenge by Steve Schabot for the Democrat line.  This will be close as both candidates and very likable and very qualified.  The difference may be that Bruck also has the Republican line.  Some Democrats may reject her for that reason and thus give Schabot a squeaker win.

The really interesting primary is the Conservative OTB.  There is no endorsed candidate so no names will appear on the ballot.  This is what an OTB is supposed to be used for.  Anyone could get this line including Clark Richters who is running on the Kingston Lighthouse Party.  No way to call this one.

No matter how the primaries go, all 3 candidates will appear on the November ballot.

Finally, there is ward 9 which has 3 primaries.  Lynn Johnson is the endorsed Democrat candidate and is being challenged by Jeremy Blaber.  This is the one primary that is not difficult to call.  Look for Lynn Johnson to win comfortably.  Ward 9 has always been the heart of Gallo country.  Shayne and T.R. Gallo grew up in this ward and their mother is a highly respected citizen.  Blaber's battles with Mayor Gallo will hurt him tremendously in this race.

The second primary is a Working Families OTB with Ms. Johnson appearing on the ballot.  Johnson should win this one as well.

The third primary is an Independence Party OTB with no endorsed candidate.  It is a true write-in.  Although this is Blaber's best chance, look for Debbie Brown to win this one and have 3 lines in November.  If Blaber pulls an upset in any of the 3 primaries, expect Debbie Brown to win in November quite easily.  In a one on one race with Johnson, it will be a close race with the advantage toward Debbie Brown.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Below is the exact text of an editorial that came out today in the Times Herald Record.  I particularly liked the line that I bolded.
The Ulster County sales tax dispute of 2013 appears to be a local issue, a clash between the county executive and the county's most prominent legislator, with neither willing to give in.
Actually, it is much more than that because while a local standoff is always educational, the underlying cause is located well north of Kingston, in the chambers of the New York State Assembly and Senate and in the antiquated rules that members follow without regard for their detrimental effects.
Those rules need to be changed.
Albany needs to stop giving extraordinary powers to individuals who have done little more than faithfully follow the orders of their political bosses, no matter how disreputable those bosses may be. It needs to adjust its procedures to keep important legislation from having to withstand repeated tests where political clout is more important than public policy.
Because he unilaterally forced Ulster County to lower its sales tax rate, Kevin Cahill, a veteran Assembly Democrat, is now surrounded by critics of both parties. Yet if those critics, especially state Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, are serious, they must do more than ask Cahill for something that is well beyond his power — bringing the Assembly back into session for a new vote on the tax — and work instead to change the rules that allowed this to happen in the first place.
Chances are they will not do much because they, like Cahill, want to hold on to these extraordinary and undeserved powers. The only reason they are ganging up on Cahill this time is because, for once, things did not turn out the way they expected.
This all started when Cahill blocked consideration of a bill allowing Ulster County to keep collecting a sales tax at its current level, above the state-mandated percentage for such local taxes.
He said that this was consistent with his fundamental principle that sales taxes are regressive, harming those with the least ability to pay. So far this year, the governor has signed 36 pieces of legislation approving either an increase in the local sales tax or permission to keep a local sales tax above the state minimum. In all 36 cases, Cahill voted no, consistent with his principles.
But in the 37th case, the bill sponsored by another member of the Assembly and a member of the Senate representing parts of Ulster County, Cahill did more than vote no. He used his power as an entrenched member of the Assembly Democratic majority to keep the bill from coming to a vote.
When the legislation concerned 36 other governments, including the neighboring counties of Sullivan and Orange, where many of Cahill's constituents shop, he was content to confine his actions to a vote. Only when it affected his home county did he flex his political muscles, leaving Ulster County to face layoffs, job elimination, curtailment of services and increases in other taxes to make up for the missing sales taxes.
The only principle involved was the one that it is now clear he adheres to most strongly, the principle that those who have the power in Albany get to wield it as they see fit.

Smearing? With the Truth?

In response to the article I published on this blog about the lawsuit filed against Nick Woener, there is now an article on the front page of the Daily Freeman.  In that article, Nick Woerner claimed that I am trying to "smear him".

It speaks volumes about one's credibility if one can be "smeared" by the truth.

What I published was true.  I said it would have an impact on the primary election and that it would be reported by the Freeman.  It will and it was.

I will add one thing more.  I hope the voters of Ward 4 understand exactly what Nick Woerner is trying to do.  Nick was elected Town Supervisor in Ulster after a battle between the conservative and republican parties resulted in a split of support for Woerner's opponent.  Nick ran the town very poorly and nearly bankrupted the town.  He was defeated severely and overwhelmingly by Jim Quigley.

Now, Nick has decided to move to Kingston in the hope of taking advantage of the strong democrat political machine in this city.  He is running in a ward he has never lived in.  He chose the ward because of the overwhelming democrat enrollment advantage.

As a born and bred Kingstonian, I resent failed politicos coming to Kingston to try to resurrect a political career at the expense of city residents.  Nick Woerner does not give a damn about the residents of Ward 4.  They are stepping stones to his goal of being elected Alderman and running for Mayor in 2015.

The City Democrats are the power of politics in the City of Kingston.  That has been the case since the 1960's and has been the will of a majority of city residents.  That's fine.  That's the process.  However, that being said, I see no reason for Kingston to be a place where democrat politicos come after they fail in another municipality.  Kingston should not be the city of misfit democrats.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Breaking News -- 4th Ward Alderman Candidate Being Sued

There has been a development in the race for the Fourth Ward Alderman, especially in the Democrat Primary.

Apparently, a lawsuit has been filed in Ulster County Supreme Court (Index No. 13-2825) against Nick Woerner seeking $18,727.97 along with 6.25% interest for a debt going back to 2006, along with attorneys' fees, court costs, etc.

I expect the Freeman and Kingston Times will be covering this story shortly.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Talk About Unprofessional

Recently, Mayor Gallo and Corporation Counsel Zweben suggested that Alderman Hoffay has a conflict of interest between serving as Chairman of the Finance Committee and working directly for Kevin Cahill.

I admit it is an interesting question.  Maybe it's my training as an attorney, but I see both sides of this point.

What was Hoffay's response?  Well, he said, "I think he's an idiot.  You can quote me on that!"

His response was extremely unprofessional, but not entirely surprising given Hoffay's political and personal history.  Is this really the level of discourse we can expect in city politics from now on?  Yikes.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Who Should be the Candidate?

Over the last few weeks, it has been said repeatedly that Kevin Cahill (no relation) needs to be defeated in 2014.  Such a thing would be music to my ears.  The question then becomes by whom should he be defeated?

I would be interested to hear some suggestions.  Perhaps a Republican/Conservative challenger?  Perhaps a Democrat in a primary?  Let's hear some suggestions.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Dawson 1 -- Woerner 0

Nina Dawson made Nicky Woerner look like a petulant child in today's paper.  I was very impressed with the way she handled him.  She sounded like a mother lecturing a child right before the deserved spanking.

Here's the background information.

Woerner is upset because Dawson requested to have a block party and the city granted the request.  Woerner claims that Mayor Gallo is secretly helping Dawson because he issued an Executive Order regarding the closure of the street.

It seems Mr. Woerner needs some education about how these matters work.  Almost every request that comes in for a block party or other event requiring closure of a city street results in an Executive Order because of the substantial time required for the Common Council to do it.  For the Council, it would require a committee meeting with a favorable report followed by a favorable vote at a meeting of the entire Council.  Thus, Executive Orders are used to expedite the process.

Additionally, Mr. Woerner made no such request for a block party.  Instead, he held an event at a politician's home.  This shows you the difference between Dawson and Woerner.  Dawson has an event that is out in the open and that benefits the entire ward.  Woerner has an event hosted by a politician.

Regardless, the real entertainment in the story was the response to the criticisms of Woerner by Nina Dawson.  Dawson said that Woerner "sounds like a child who says, 'Mommy, she isn't playing fair in the sandbox.' ".  That is the line of the campaign thus far.  Dawson 1 -- Woerner 0.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Sad Spectacle

Once again, Nicky Woerner is attacking Mayor Gallo in a desperate attempt to remain relevant.  To understand why he is doing this, one must understand why Nicky is running for 4th Ward Alderman in the first place.

After Nicky was destroyed by Jim Quigley and lost his town supervisor seat, he decided to move to the City of Kingston.  The Kingston Democrats dominate city politics and Woerner thought he could rejuvenate his political career.

He tried to run for 5th Ward Alderman, but got bulldozed by Mr. Carey.  So, Nick took aim at Ward 4 after Shirley Whitlock announced her retirement.  The fourth ward is heavily Democrat and generally has low turnouts for local elections.

Nick's plan is to get an Alderman seat and then challenge Shayne Gallo in a primary for Mayor.  It is a sad plan, except for the fact that there are quite a few members of the Democrat committee who are actually foolish enough to support Woerner against Gallo.

What Woerner did not count on was Ismail Shabazz and Nina Dawson, two actual residents of the ward who understand the true needs of the district.  Nick has never lived in Ward 4 and has no comprehension of the ward's true needs.  He has people telling him the issues and he is doing research.  However, since he has never lived in the ward, he has no true understanding or appreciation for the ward.

So, Nick is creating controversy and making weak allegations against Gallo in a desperate attempt to con the residents into thinking he actually gives a damn about them.  He is trying to create a political narrative that he cares for the people and their needs.  The truth is that he only cares for their votes and his political dreams.

His latest attempt is a false attack against Gallo because the Queen's Galley had to move their fundraiser.  The real reason for the move was the law, not Gallo or the city.  The lease holder of the property in question has accepted full responsibility, but Woerner made the attack anyway.

Mayor Gallo accused Woerner of not knowing the facts.  In reality, Nicky knew the facts.  He just did not care about them.  Facts just got in the way of his intended narrative.

I hope the people of Ward 4 reject Woerner's obvious attempts at political delusion.  He is the last thing Kingston needs right now.  For those who do not know, Woerner is being funded by a developer who wants back at the table in Kingston after being dismissed by Gallo and rejected by Quigley in Ulster.  How else can one explain Woerner's paying for a brand new and obviously expensive web site from a campaign fund that has had less than $40.00 for over two years?  He will say he held a fundraiser, but the web site was up and running prior to his fundraiser.  Where did the money come from?

Expect more of these sad and desperate press releases.  Other than his not so secret financial backer, he really has nothing else to rely upon.  Hopefully, it all ends in about a month.  Hopefully, the people of ward 4 send Woerner packing.  Then, he can start picking what ward to move into next to seek a seat at the table.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Court Denies Donaldson a Free Ride

Dave Donaldson has been a County Legislator for 20 years.  Although he wishes to remain a legislator, he apparently no longer wishes to have the trouble of actually competing for it.

Donaldson is being challenged by John Quigley, who has been endorsed by the Republican, Conservative, and Independence lines.  Rather than have an election, Donaldson went to court in an attempt to throw Quigley off the Republican and Conservative lines.  It is unknown why no such attempt has been made for the Independence lines.  Maybe it is because Donaldson is running a write-in primary for that line.

Donaldson claimed in court that Quigley was not a resident of the district.  However, after hearing testimony from numerous witnesses, the State Supreme Court Judge threw out the case.  John Quigley is indeed a resident of Orchard Street and may thus run for office.

One must wonder why a 20 year incumbent is trying to deny the voters a choice.  Donaldson proudly calls himself "pro choice".  I guess that is true only on the abortion issue as it is certainly not the case when it comes to elections.

I suspect residents of the 9th ward (who are part of this district) will remember the efforts of Mr. Halwick trying desperately to get Mrs. Brown off the ballot.  The voters responded by voting Mrs. Brown in overwhelmingly.  Could history repeat itself?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Time To Set The Record Straight

As most of you already know, I left the Republican Party in November 2012 and joined the Conservative Party.  In the last few months, I have Democrats and Republicans spreading false rumors about my intentions and trying to use me to gain an advantage.  I am sick to death of it.

First, both Democrats and Republicans told anyone who would listen that I was intending to challenge the Conservative City Chairman for his position.  I thus declared publicly and privately that John Burridge (current City Chair) is my friend and has my support for Chairman.  I have not and will not challenge him for City Chair.  If he resigns or retires, I would consider the position.  I will NOT challenge him for it.

Second, I no sooner cleared that bologna up when the second load of bull came out.  Several Democrats (who I have now identified) told Alderwoman Ball that I was secretly planning to run on the Conservative line to prevent her from getting the line.  I had to call and/or e-mail the County and City Conservative Chairs to inform them that this rumor was also bologna.  I even posted on this blog that I am not running for anything on any line in 2013.

Third, Republicans and Democrats began saying that I was secretly plotting against County Chair Ed Gaddy.  This is absolute b.s., as Ed is a close friend and I support him completely.

Fourth, and most recently, I was driving back from a four day weekend in Boston when I received a phone call informing me that the Conservative Party was up in arms over something I supposedly did.  When I asked what it was, I learned for the first time that my name had been placed on an OTB petition as a member of the Committee to Receive Notices without my consent or knowledge.

I knew the Republicans were planning to file an OTB challenge.  I told them I would not get involved with it one way or the other.  If a primary occurred, I would vote my conscience as Elisa Ball and Joe Corcoran are both my friends.  I would not put up signs and would not discuss the matter.  I also gave my word to Chairman Gaddy that I would not sign a petition for either candidate.

After all of that, I return home to find out that my name was added to the petition without me even being asked.  I am extremely unhappy with this to say the least.

The Conservatives may very well challenge the OTB petition.  One of the grounds could be that my name was used without my permission.  I have told them I do not want to be involved in this.  If I am subpoenaed, I will --as an officer of the Court-- appear in response to the subpoena and testify to the truth.  I would rather not be involved, however.

When the time comes to vote, I will vote my conscience.   No signs will be on my lawn this year at all.  I will vote for the most conservative candidate in the primary and in the general elections.  I wish both of my friends the best of luck.

With all of that aside, I want to serve notice on both the Republicans and the Democrats.  I am an enrolled Conservative and I intend to work with and for the Conservative Party of Kingston and Ulster County.  To the Republicans, do not assume that because I was a Republican for over 20 years that I am just going to support Republicans as a Conservative.  To the Democrats, do not assume that because I left the Republicans that I am going to support Democrats out of spite or some foolish idea of revenge.  I will support the candidates that I feel are the most conservative and best able to support Kingston and Ulster County.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Just Go Away

First, disgraced former Congressman Wiener announced his candidacy for Mayor of New York City.  This prompted more "Wiener" jokes than anyone should ever have to hear.  I thought it could not get any worse.  Well . . .

Now, disgraced former Governor Elliott Spitzer is going to run for New York City Comptroller.  Expect the hooker jokes to start back up.

Are there any more Democrats in New York under the tarnish of a sex scandal of some kind ready to run for New York City office??  Is it possible?

Do not get me wrong, there are sex scandals that have caused Republicans to resign from office.  They are not immune.  It just seems that New York City is attracting democrats with significant sex scandals to run for office.  Obviously, the thinking is that people in New York City will vote Democrat no matter how terrible the candidate may be.  Is the party line so important that people will vote for a fool rather than not vote Democrat?

Just like I called for it in the City of Kingston, I guess I must call for it in New York City as well.  Will the Democrat party and primary voters of the Democrat party please put these fools out to pasture once and for all?  Let's see some better candidates.

While I am at it, perhaps the State Republicans can find someone (not a weak pathetic moderate) to challenge Comrade Cuomo for Governor.  Maybe I am asking for a little too much there, but at least let's see Wiener and Spitzer out of politics and public life.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

March of the Carpetbaggers

It seems that people believe that Kingston will elect Democrats no matter who they are or what they have done.  I say this because people seem to think they can move into the city or move into any ward they want and expect to be elected Alderman.

First, Nick Woerner moves from the Town of Ulster after being completely destroyed in his effort to be reelected Town Supervisor.  He eventually moved into Ward 5 and decided to run for Alderman immediately.  He lost badly.  Now, he has announced his intention to run for Ward 4 Alderman and will be moving soon into that Ward, apparently on to Van Deusen Street, if he has not done so already.

Now comes Jeremy Blaber.  He lived in Ward 7 for many years.  Then, he moved to New York City.  He returned and was living in Ward 2.  He moved within the last few months to ward 5.  Then, within the last 30 days, he announces residency on Brewster Street.  Now, he announces he is running for Ward 9 Alderman.

A few questions remain.  Does he have his own place or is he couch surfing?  It is rumored that he is temporarily living with Mike Madsen.  Is that true?  I frankly do not know.  The people of Ward 9 have a right to know though.  Jeremy is seemingly the Jason West of Kingston.

Either way, as a lifelong city resident (except for 2 years out of law school), I am offended by this carpetbagger mentality.  You cannot move from ward to ward and honestly expect to understand the issues that are important to the neighborhood.  The position of Alderman is important.  People have real problems that need addressing.

Woerner and Blaber simply want to hold public office anywhere they can.  If they have to move and change loyalties, so be it.  In Blaber's case, this is an attempt by him to gain office and then get even with Mayor Gallo.  It is clear and obvious.  In Woerner's case, it is an attempt to gain credibility so he can primary Gallo in 2015.

The real test will be the September primaries.  Will Democrats block these 2 carpetbaggers?  Or will they allowed themselves to be used once again?  Then, should Democrats reward these two, what will the general population do in November?  Will Kingston become the Island of Misfit Democrats?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hypocrisy and a Huge Conflict of Interest

Concerning the "Kevin crisis", Mayor Gallo announced that he intends to submit a memorializing resolution for the Common Council that basically condemns the actions of Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and asks the Legislature to essentially override him.

Alderman Senor has now announced his support for Kevin Cahill on this issue.  It must be of great comfort to Kevin that his only 2 allies in this fight are Tom Hoffay and Bob Senor.  That's kind of like going into battle with F Troop as your only support.

The real hypocrisy and conflict of interest involves Alderman Hoffay.  He was quoted in the Freeman as saying that the Council should not vote on the resolution because it has no legal effect.  Now, I do not like memorializing resolutions.  I have said this repeatedly.  Tom Hoffay, however, has submitted numerous memorializing resolutions and pressed for a vote.  When he was Democrat County Chair, he pressed for many memorializing resolutions from the County Legislature.  Now, when the resolution is something he does not like, he decides that the Council should not vote because the vote would have no real legal effect.  That is called hypocrisy.  But, it gets even worse.

In actuality, Hoffay should not even be commenting on this resolution and most certainly should abstain from voting on it.  Hoffay is employed by Kevin Cahill.  Hoffay has a clear financial motive to see Kevin thrive politically.  If Kevin gets weakened politically and loses his seat, Hoffay is out of yet another job.

Under the City Code (section 49), E. Disclosure of interest in legislation. To the extent that he knows thereof, a member of the Common Council and any officer or employee of the City of Kingston, whether paid or unpaid, who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Common Council on any legislation before the Common Council, shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he has in such legislation.

Moreover, under the rules of Common Council, no member (Alderman) may vote on an issue if he or she has a conflict of interest directly or indirectly.  For example, when I was an Alderman, I had to abstain on any votes concerning selection of or payment for the workers' compensation carrier for the city.  The firm that employs me represents the current carrier.  Alderman Senor had to abstain when work was done for the city by his employer.  It is well known that Alderman have to abstain on certain votes.  It is a small city after all.

Since Hoffay is employed by Kevin Cahill and thus has a direct financial interest, he must abstain from any vote and should not be commenting in the Daily Freeman about it.  Yet, there he is in black and white commenting away.

Should Hoffay continue to offer comments on this matter and then actually cast a vote or take steps to prevent a vote, I urge members of the Common Council to then file an ethics complaint against Hoffay.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hein vs. Kevin

For many years, whether you loved him or hated him, Maurice Hinchey was the clear king of Ulster County Democrats.  His word was unquestionably obeyed by Democrats.  However, with his retirement, the question of the heir apparent and new king was unleashed.

Those who follow politics closely mostly concluded that County Executive Mike Hein was the new king of the hill.  Following in second place was Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (no relation in blood or politics).  Based upon recent developments, it appears that Kevin does not like the view as second fiddle and is trying to knock off the newly crowned king.

For those who do not know, Kevin decided to hold the 1% sales tax extension hostage to several conditions, all of which were costs passed down by the State of New York to Ulster County, who of course passed them down to the municipalities.  Apparently, Kevin has no problem with the State passing on the costs, but objects to the county doing the same thing.

Now, despite his denials and claims to the contrary, Kevin used his Albany power (obtained almost entirely by sucking up to Shelly Silver) to stop passage of the sales tax extension.  This means the County of Ulster either has to substantially cut spending or raise property taxes.  The county will not cut spending by the amount needed and will do the usual dance of threatening to cut the Sheriff's patrol, SUNY Ulster, mental health, etc.  In the end, we are looking at a large property tax increase which will really hurt the people of the county.  For those of us who live in the City of Kingston, we will take an extra hit due to heavy reliance on that sales tax money.  City residents will likely get socked with a city tax increase to add to the misery.

After being lambasted by Mike Hein, numerous Democrats, and numerous Republicans, Kevin held a press conference while one of his aides flooded the Daily Freeman comment boards with false praise for his boss.

At the press conference, Kevin had the nerve to not even mention the issue for 20 to 25 minutes.  Only after people started asking questions did he address the elephant in the room.  He made comments that the County Executive should have come to him to negotiate.  Put another way, county leaders should come to him on their hands and knees to kiss his ring and perhaps something else.  Quite frankly, the press conference was an essay in arrogance and being out of touch.

From my point of view, the actions of Kevin were a pure attempt at establishing himself as the political king of the hill.  The victims of this were not Mike Hein, County Democrats, or County Republicans.  The victims were the taxpayers and residents of Ulster County, who have become pawns sacrificed in a sick political gambit.

If Kevin wanted to have ANY credibility on this issue, he should have pushed the State of New York to absorb the costs and end the unfunded mandates.  He did not do so because that would have been viewed negatively by Speaker Silver whom Kevin supports to the hilt.  In fact, when the Vito Lopez scandals broke, Kevin spent copious amounts of time on Kingston Community Radio defending Silver and condemning those who dared to speak ill of the Speaker.

To go after the County of Ulster for unfunded mandates without going after the State of New York for doing the same thing, albeit on a much grander level, is prima facie proof of the political and insincere nature of the act.

The bottom line is that Kevin Cahill is making a political power move at the potential expense of the people of Ulster County.  I have not always agreed with Mike Hein, but he is right on this one.  I do take umbrage, however, at him calling this "The Cahill crisis".  I would prefer "The Kevin Crisis".  Please do not besmirch my family's name and honor because of Kevin's behavior.  We are not related to him and should not bear his disgrace.

Finally, lets us look at some final questions.  Is all the controversy just talk and fluff?  Or will Mike Hein and other County Democrats try to do something about this and run a primary candidate against Kevin who can seek the Working Families and Green party lines?  Will the County Republicans run someone against Kevin or give him another free ride?  Will my phone stop ringing with people asking me for a Cahill vs. Cahill race in 2014?  It is an interesting idea though.  

Well, you just never know......

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

False Rumor

Apparently, for reasons unknown, several democrats approached Elisa Ball and told her that I was running for 6th Ward Alderman in an attempt to block her from getting the Conservative line.

Allow me to set the record straight.

I am not, nor have I been, nor will I be a candidate for Alderman or any other office in 2013.

It has also gotten back to me that these same Democrats have been spreading false rumors about Republicans running primaries against certain legislators.  Those rumors are also untrue.  It would seem attempts are being made to sew discord amongst Republicans and Conservatives.  It is childish and should stop.

I do intend to find out exactly which person or persons started this false rumor about me.  When/If  I determine the guilty party, I intend to confront he or she and demand an explanation.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Best Laid Plans

Two plans went thud yesterday.  In both cases, it was the law that forced the action.

First, the IDA realized that they were subject to a large potential lawsuit for breach of contract,  So, they change their prior action against the Accord rolling rink owned by the Bernardos.  As noted by the Daily Freeman, "Agency Chairman Michael Horodyski said the board on Wednesday voted to reverse a previous decision to cancel payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements with the businesses following a state Court of Appeals decision involving a similar action by the state Empire Zone.

In a 5-1 ruling, the Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that the Empire Zone couldn’t enact new rules then try to recover tax breaks from companies that had been receiving those benefits before the new rules were enacted."

Although this was a decision based upon law, look for those who live only to hate the Bernardos, ie. Robin and her feathers, to claim some grand conspiracy.  In their minds, it cannot be that the law favored the Bernardos.  Instead, it must be a conspiracy.

Second, Jeremy Blaber's plan to have a hearing before an independent arbitrator and to get his job back also crashed and burned.  It seems that Mr. Blaber lied on his original job application.  As such, he was stripped of his union status and will not get a hearing.  

Blaber admits the lie but says, "It was not an intentional lie".  For those wondering, he denied having any pending criminal charges when in fact he did.  Blaber claims the City knew about his record, though Corporation Counsel Zweben denies that.  In actuality, it does not matter if the City did know.  If one lies on their application, they suffer the legal consequences.

Blaber will not give up.  He made a huge tactical mistake releasing his recorded conversation to the media.  With no chance of getting a hearing, he will no doubt look to find something else to release to the media either for leverage or revenge.  At this point though, his bridges have been burned.



I understand that Jeremy Blaber is telling anyone who will listen that he has a saved voicemail that he plans to release.  Looks like my prediction was on the money.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Primary: Dawson versus Woerner

Apparently, some residents in ward 4 do not like the fact that the Democrat party nominated a candidate who has never lived in the ward.  This is includes long time resident Nina Dawson who has announced that she will run a primary against Nick Woerner for the Democrat line.

To add to the drama, Mayor Gallo has announced that he is supporting Ms. Dawson and will campaign for her.

Woerner responded by announcing that he is is getting an apartment in the ward soon.  He also said he grew up in Kingston.  He did not mention that he never lived in the ward at any time, though he said he has lived near the ward for two years.

For those who want to know why Gallo is supporting Dawson, allow me to fill in the gaps.  Woerner's poorly kept secret plan is to be elected Alderman this year and run a primary for Mayor in 2015.  His campaign and plan is being backed by an extremely rich man who enjoyed special insider status for many years, but was told by Mayor Gallo upon his election that such would no longer be the case.  The backer is none other than Steve Aaron.

If the Democrats want to stop Aaron / Woerner in their quest to become Mayor, then they should vote for Ms. Dawson.  If you want to know what a Woerner/ Aaron administration would be like in Kingston, ask Supervisor Quigley about the financial mess that was left for him in the Town of Ulster.  We do not need that here in Kingston.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Traitor or a Patriot??

Edward Snowden is the man who leaked the existence of the Prism program to the world.  Basically, he let the world know that the United States government was engaging in unconstitutional surveillance of its own citizens on a scale that is almost too big to comprehend.

Now, President Obama, Speaker Boehner, and others from BOTH sides of the aisle are calling this man a traitor.  I must challenge this assertion because I believe that Mr. Snowden is a patriot standing up for the Constitution, which is probably now considered extremist behavior by this government.

Snowden was making about $200,000.00 a year and had a very comfortable life.  He gave it all up for a cause.  He felt that the surveillance program was unconstitutional and a violation of the basic liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.  So, under a code name, he released the existence of the program to a prominent newspaper.  He then came forward and allowed his identity to be revealed.

I personally see this man as one who stood up to tyranny much as our ancestors did when they stood up to the tyranny of King George.

I am curious as to what you, my readers, have to say.  Is this man a traitor?  Is he the Julius Rosenberg of 2013?  Or is he a patriot?  Is he a "founding father" of 2013?

What say you?

How would you characterize Edward Snowden? free polls 

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Council Races

For the Kingston Common Council, here are the races and candidates by ward.

Ward 1:  Incumbent Democrat Matt Dunn is unopposed

Ward 2:  Former Alderman Seche (D) is unopposed

Ward 3:  Democrat Andrew Champ-Doran (running as a Republican) will face either Brad Will or Richard Kelder (the Democrats could not decide).  It is also possible that Champ-Doran might seek the line since he is an enrolled Democrat.  Finally, a fourth candidate (an enrolled Republican) may enter the race as well.

Ward 4:  Steve Laden, the former Red Dog candidate for Mayor, is running on the Republican line.  The Democrats nominated Nick Woerner who does not even live in the ward.  He lives in ward 5 and ran for that Aldermanic seat two years ago and lost in a primary.

Ward 5:  Democrat Carey is unopposed.

Ward 6:  In what is clearly the best race in the city, Democrat Elisa Ball faces off against Republican Joe Corcoran.  The real battle will be for the Conservative line.  The City Conservative Chair backs Ball but the First Vice Chair does not.  Should be interesting and may force an actual Conservative Party convention.

Ward 7:  Democrat Mills is unopposed.

Ward 8:  Lisa Bruck for the Democrats with a possible primary from Steve Schabot.  No candidate nominated for the Republicans, but word is they now have one.

Ward 9:  Incumbent Republican Brown versus Democrat Lynn Johnson

Still More Bias

Let's do a comparison.  For the Republican County Convention, there was one article by the Freeman.  It focused on Terry Bernardo not being nominated and only had her picture.  The article contained a passing reference to the candidates nominated in the City of Kingston.

For the Democrats, there was first an article announcing their convention.  Then, there were two articles printed after the Democrat convention.  The first dealt with the county candidates.  Then, the second article was all about the candidates in the City of Kingston with three pictures of the Democrat candidates for Alderman, including Nick Woerner who does not even live in the ward for which he was nominated.  That fact was not mentioned in the article.

Perhaps the Freeman should change its name to the Daily Democrat or the Daily Liberal.  The bias is so apparent and frankly annoying.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

City Democrats Retain Common Council Without a Fight

The City Republicans only nominated 4 candidates for Common Council last night.  Thus, so long as the Democrats nominate candidates in wards 1, 2, 5, 7, and 8 (and they have candidates for these wards already), the Democrats retain the Common Council.  Worse, the public does not even get a chance to decide the matter.

The best the Republicans can do is get 4 Alderman??  The majority cannot possibly change. What really irks me is that 2 of the seats left vacant last night are open seats meaning no incumbents.  This is a real disappointment.

Anti-Republican Bias of Freeman Resurfaces Yet Again

Last night, there was a major surprise at the Ulster County Republican Convention.  Whereas most political pundits were predicting a cross endorsement or no candidate at all for County Comptroller, the Ulster County Republicans instead nominated Jim Quigley for County Comptroller.  This sets up the big rematch from 2008.  It is big news.

The Kingston Times put forth a story on their web page entitled "Quigley Gets GOP Nod for County Comptroller".  However, as of the typing of this article, the Freeman has not put a story on their web site about this shocking turn of events.  Instead, the Freeman has run an article putting the GOP in a negative light.  Their headline talks about Terry Bernardo not being nominated for re-election and excludes any mention of Quigley.  They will mention it later to save face, but their take from this very positive convention is of course a negative one.

Now, one may say that the Chair of the Legislature being denied nomination is news.  The problem is that it was already reported.  Several days ago, it was reported that Rochester Chairman O'Halloran used his influence to deny Terry Bernardo the nod for reelection.  However, the new article from the Freeman leaves the false impression that the entire County GOP Committee has abandoned Bernardo when this is simply not true.  Seven members of the Rochester Committee blocked Bernardo due to personal animosity between Terry's husband and Chairman O'Halloran.  The remaining members of the County Committee were without power to do anything about it.  Yet, the big news of a substantial race for Comptroller is set aside so the Freeman can report exaggerated news about Bernardo not getting the nomination.

To be fair, I told people at the convention that this was going to happen.  I knew that the Freeman would lead with the Bernardo angle because it would serve to weaken any potential benefit from the County Convention.  I also wish Chairman O'Halloran had used his head instead of simply seeking revenge.  He has hurt the top of the ticket which is otherwise very strong.  His personal beefs with the Bernardos are his business, but Judge Mizel, Nina Postupack, and Jim Quigley should not have been collateral damage.

Nevertheless, I tip my hat to the Kingston Times for getting the real story out of the convention and sigh with frustration over the Daily Freeman choosing the most negative angle to depict the GOP County Convention.  A few years ago, the Freeman would not have done this.  However, in the last 2-3 years, the Freeman has taken a decidedly solid jump to the far left of center.  In fact, it is not even truly disguised, though it is always denied publicly.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Quigley for County Comptroller

In the big surprise of the night, Town of Ulster Supervisor, Jim Quigley, announced his candidacy for County Comptroller.  He obviously was endorsed by the County Committee.

This sets up the rematch county residents have been waiting for since 2008.  This will be the race of the year.  The top of the ticket now has Mizel for Family Court, and Quigley for Comptroller.  This is an impressive ticket indeed.

A Big Announcement ??

I am at the Ulster County Republican Convention albeit as an observer only.

I understand ... well I know .... that a significant surprise is about to take place tonight.  Stay tuned for more information.

Friday, May 24, 2013

So It Begins

Not long ago, when it became clear that three candidates would be seeking the County Legislative seat currently help by Terry Bernardo, I predicted that Mr. Dawson would win the Republican line, Mrs. Bernardo would win the Conservative and Independence Party lines, and Mrs. Bernardo would win the primary for the Republican line possibly with less than 50% of the total vote.

The first step has happened.  Mr. Dawson won the weighted voting of the Rochester Town Republicans over Terry Bernardo.  The only surprise was the that the third candidate received no votes at all, especially since she is on the committee.  For reasons unknown, she chose not to cast a vote -- which is her right of course.  Some speculate that she did not know she could vote for herself.  Others speculate that the reason is a frequently used though rarely successful strategy to foster a claim that she never sought support of the committeemen and instead is going directly to the voters.  I neither know nor really care why personally.

Now, we wait for the other party lines, and then the primaries begin.  Let's see if my predictions bear fruit.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Question of Priority

Based upon the comments on the Freeman website, it seems people were not happy with the front page story on this past Sunday's edition.  The Mother's Day edition had a front page story about Jeremy Blaber and his life.

The comments suggest a feeling that this story was not appropriate.  I think the story was fine.  Since Blaber has generated tremendous controversy with the release of his surreptitious recording, many readers might be asking, "Who is this guy anyway?"

Though the story is fair and has a purpose, I question placing it on the front page.  Buried in the second section was one of the biggest potential stories of the year.  The IRS admitted to the world that they targeted conservative groups and anti-Obama groups for auditing during the last presidential campaign.  This type of stuff has been rumored for years from prior Democrat and Republican administrations, but to get an admission from the IRS is astounding and staggering.  THAT IS A HUGE STORY!!

I think that should have been front page news, not the Blaber article, even though I am sure there were more hits on the Blaber story via the Internet.  Am I off base?  I admit I am not a journalist.  I am an attorney, a blogger, and soon to be a published author (a story soon to be posted).  Am I missing something?  I agree the story on Blaber made some sense as a background piece to explain the prior headlines.  Some speculate that the intent was to make Blaber a more compelling victim to strengthen the prior Gallo stories, but I will give the Freeman the benefit of the doubt on that one.

I welcome comments.  Am I wrong?  Do the number of "hits" justify the decision?  Or was perhaps the placement of the story responsible for the number of hits?  (Every single comment was anti-Freeman.)  Should the IRS story have been on the front page?

What say all of you?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Freeman Shows Its Bias

First, the Freeman writes a story that is not a story.  The headline is that Blaber claims that he put his cell phone recorder on the Mayor's desk instead of hiding it on his person.  Neither Gallo nor Zweben knew they were being recorded.

Why is this even a story?  It has already been reported that Blaber used his cell phone to record the meeting where he was fired.  Who cares if the recorder was quietly placed on the Mayor's desk or was in Blaber's ear?  It is not a story.

To make matter's worse, this non-story is on the front page while two more important stories are pushed further back in the paper.  Those two stories discuss people supporting Mayor Gallo at the Common Council meeting and the State Committee on Open Government ruling that Tom Hoffay's meeting violated the Open Government law.

Basically, two stories that favor Gallo (and that really were stories) were taken off the front page so a non-story that simply repeats all of the anti-Gallo stuff already reported could be placed front and center.  In my opinion, the Freeman has shown itself to be extremely biased.  It has shown itself to be actively looking to slam Mayor Gallo even at the cost of pushing back more important stories.

I think it is time for the Freeman to move on.  People know what happened between Gallo and Blaber.  The story has been told.  Move on and report real news.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

State Agency Says Hoffay and Company Broke the Law

Camille Jobin-Davis, the Assistant Director of the State Committee on Open Government, has advised the City of Kingston and the local media that Tom Hoffay and company violated the Open Meetings Law with their super double secret meeting concerning Mayor Gallo's firing of Jeremy Blaber.

Hoffay denies doing anything wrong.  Ironically, he attempts to place the blame on Corporation Counsel Zweben.  I guess Tom thinks he is credible if it saves his hide, but is not credible if it helps the Mayor.

Can this get any more comical?  Four Aldermen are driving this whole crazy train.  One has significant issues (as detailed on this blog), while one and possibly two do not even live in the wards they represent.  Now, they have violated the State Open Meetings Law in an attempt to discuss the misdeeds of another elected official.

It begins to read like a script for a bad sitcom.

To the Aldermen, I repeat .... CUT THE CRAP AND GET BACK TO WORK

Now Bob Senor Lectures on Ethics and Civility??

In a case of truth being stranger than fiction, Alderman Bob Senor now wants to lecture Mayor Gallo on civility and ethics.

Keep in mind that this is the same man who criticized Alderman-at-Large Jim Noble for canceling a meeting. The reason the meeting was canceled was because Noble's father passed away.

This is the same man who showed incredible civility when he called then Alderman-at-Large Sottile "Hitler".

This is the same man who does not even live in his district and should be thrown off the Common Council.

Yet, this man is going to lecture Mayor Gallo on civility??  It just keeps getting sillier and sillier.

Here's a clue for the Common Council.  Quit playing politics and get back to work.  Kingston needs work, not more hot air.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hoffay Still At It

Alderman Hoffay said Mayor Gallo should apologize.  He did.  But, that is not enough.  Hoffay wants this story to continue so he arranged a meeting behind closed doors to discuss the matter.

Look for Hoffay to push the Council to attack Mayor Gallo in any way it can.

What he should do is let it go.  The city needs to focus on important issues.  Gallo lost his temper, said things he should not have, and apologized.  If he does it again, it's fair game.  For now, however, cut the political crap and get back to work.

There was no council action when Mayor Sottile threw a drink in a woman's face.  There is no need for council action now.  Cut the silly grandstanding and get back to work.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tom Hoffay Has Some Nerve

According to the Daily Freeman, Alderman Tom Hoffay is demanding that Mayor Gallo apologize or resign as Mayor.  I say, given Mr. Hoffay's extremely questionable background, he has no business questioning anyone's sense of decency.

Mr. Hoffay happens to be a defrocked priest.

When Mr. Hoffay was Chairman of the Democratic Party, there were young committeemen assigned to pick him up at local establishments after he got smashed or high.  The stories they have told me are incredible.

He has been fired from jobs for reasons that he really does not want made public.

I could go on and on with things that are far far worse.  Just his adventures near the old Park Diner are enough to curl the hair in your nose.

Quite frankly, for Tom Hoffay to try to play holier than thou is astounding.  It is also the height of hypocrisy.

Mr. Hoffay should do two things.  First, he should stop taking advantage of the Blaber-Gallo dust up for cheap political points.  Second, he should remember an old adage.  People in glass houses should not throw stones.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

History Repeats Itself

In 2010, the Supervisor of the Town of Ulster, Jim Quigley woke up to see a story in the Daily Freeman.  It seems that after working with a young man named Jeremy Blaber and trying to help him out, the two men had a falling out.  Jim ended up leaving him a voice mail wherein he used profanity and expressed a great deal of anger and frustration toward Blaber.

Blaber leaked the voice mail to the Daily Freeman and thus there was a story.  Click HERE to read that story.

Fast forward to 2013.  Mayor Shayne Gallo, Corporation Counsel Zweben, and Jeremy Blaber had a conversation in the Mayor's Office.  The conversation turned heated and both men swore at each other.  Unbeknownst to the other two men, Blaber taped the conversation and again leaked it to the Freeman.

Now, yet another story appears in the Freeman.  Click HERE to read that story.

First, there is an interesting additional part of the story with Mayor Gallo.  Mayor Gallo says that the tape given to the Freeman has been edited and does not contain the comments from Blaber that really got things heated.  The Freeman reports:

“During the course of the tape, he conveniently left out that he told me to go f--- myself,” Gallo said. “He conveniently edited out that he denied using drugs and admitted his drug use. He conveniently edited out that he has been driving a car without a license upon his return to duty,” Gallo said.

Second, I must ask a question.  Considering the current story involving Gallo and Blaber and the story a few years ago with Quigley and Blaber, does anyone begin to see a pattern developing?

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Latest Political Rumblings

As the 2013 election season slowly approaches, the 2 hotspots appear to be Ulster and Rochester.  Let's take a look.

In Ulster, there are real questions about the entire ticket.  Town Councilwoman Hendrick, an enrolled conservative and Town Conservative Chair, has consistently agitated the Town Supervisor and numerous members of the Republican Committee.  Now, there are real questions of a divide between the two parties.

Hendrick best be careful.  The last time there was a divide between the Republicans and Conservatives, Nick Woerner got elected.  Is that really what they want?  There are rumors he wants to return an seek his old job.  Beware those who fail to learn from history.

Now, to the hottest part of Ulster County (at least politically), the Town of Rochester.

The battle for the legislative seat currently held by Terry Bernardo now has three candidates.  Manuela Michailesku is once again seeking the seat.  Considering how badly she was defeated previously and considering how many people her husband has infuriated with his blog comments, her chances are poor.  That does not mean, however, that she will not have a substantial impact on the race.  She will, but not in the way she thinks.

A man named Dawson has stepped forward to run.  He is perceived rightly or wrongly as the candidate presented by Dave O'Halloran to go after Terry Bernardo.

Terry Bernardo has already made it clear that she is seeking election.

So, how will this go?  Well, it is clear to me that the Conservatives and the Independence Party will endorse Terry Bernardo.  There will be attempts at Opportunity to Ballot primaries, but these will fail either in court or at the ballot box.  Expect Terry Bernardo to be on the ballot in November on the Conservative and Independence Party lines.

What about the Republican line?  This is more interesting.  Considering the current make up of the Rochester Committee, expect Mr. Dawson to receive the initial endorsement.  It appears he has the votes.  Bernardo will come in second and Manuela will come in third.

There will then be a 3-way primary for the Republican line.  It is in this primary that Manuela will have the most influence.  She will not win.  In fact, she will come in a distant third.  However, the votes she will take (20% at most) will not come from the Bernardo camp.  They will come from potential Dawson voters and from the support she has on her own.  In the end, Bernardo will win the primary, but could do it with less than 50% of the vote.  Expect the vote to be 45% for Bernardo, 35% to 40% for Dawson, and the balance (15% to 20%) for Manuela.

For Dawson to win, he cannot just run against Terry and Len Bernardo.  He has to run on his own.  Unfortunately, with Manuela in the race, that will not be possible.  The anti-Bernardo venom will overwhelm the primary, doom Dawson, and likely give Terry the win.

In this district, the entire race will be pro-Bernardo versus anti-Bernardo.  Dawson and Manuela will split the anti-Bernardo vote.  Thus, Manuela could have the biggest role of all -- spoiler.  Ironically, she could be the one who guarantees Terry Bernardo another term in the Legislature.

In the weeks to come, expect vicious attacks and commentary between the Manuela camp and David O'Halloran, the one who is believed to be behind the Dawson campaign (rightly or wrongly).  Ironically, this plays right into the hands of the Bernardos who must be laughing up their sleeves more and more.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Time for Knife Control??

At least 14 people were wounded at a Texas college campus when a deranged individual went from building to building with either a knife or some other sharp implement and randomly stabbed people.

This is a terrible event and I wish nothing but good health and a speedy recovery to the victims.  I hope the person responsible is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

However, if we follow the liberal line of thinking to its logical conclusion, should knives and other sharp implements be banned?  Should there be national and state legislation on knife control?  Will Governor Cuomo ram through such legislation through the Assembly and Senate in the middle of the night?

Just curious.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Latest Political Rumblings

The Republicans are currently searching for a candidate for Comptroller against Elliott Auerbach.  Although Auerbach is very beatable, no candidates have come forward thus far.  Jim Quigley has been repeatedly approached, but seems uninterested at this time.

Now, some Democrats (likely realizing how beatable Auerbach is this year) are pressing Republicans to cross endorse the incumbent Comptroller in exchange for a Democrat endorsement of County Clerk Postupack. 

I truly hope that Republicans reject this offer and come up with a solid candidate for Comptroller.  Nina Postupack was overwhelmingly reelected County Clerk the last time out and has no clear competition.  She has been a strong County Clerk and is exceedingly popular.  With her and Family Court Judge Mizel at the top of the ballot, the Republicans could present a very solid ticket.  By adding a good candidate for Comptroller, the Republicans could start a strong wave of votes that would likely keep the Legislature Majority and maybe even pick up a seat or two.

If the Republicans fail to present a solid candidate for Comptroller and cross endorse the Democrat incumbent, any momentum from the top of the ticket evaporates.  The odds are that --under such a scenario-- the turnout would be very low and the Democrats would retake the Majority of the Legislature.

Imagine a scenario with a really strong candidate for Comptroller such as John Guerin.  The top of the ticket would be Mizel-Postupak-Guerin and be the start of great excitement for Republican voters.  In such a scenario, the Republicans win all 3 of these elections and use that momentum to keep and strengthen the Legislature Majority.  Moreover, the victorious candidate for Comptroller (in this case Guerin) would be considered the next most likely County Executive after Mike Hein. 

Time will tell if the Republicans take advantage of this opportunity or squander it with a political deal.


Rumors have started surfacing regarding Terry Bernardo and her legislative seat.  Most are untrue.  Allow me to explain.

First, the rumor that Terry Bernardo has resigned is patently false.  She continues to serve as County Legislator and Chair of the Legislature.

Second, the rumor that Troy Dunn is planning to run against Terry Bernardo is also false.  My understanding is that Mr. Dunn (a very strong candidate in his own right) is considering a run for the seat in 2015 if Terry Bernardo chooses not to run.  There is not going to be a Republican Primary between those two.

Third, no Democratic candidate has announced his or her candidacy.  The only candidate who has announced for the seat is the enrolled Republican who challenged Legislator Bernardo in the 2011 Republican Primary and the 2009 and 2011 General Elections.  Considering that Terry Bernardo won the 2011 primary with 71.8% of the vote (268-105) and the 2011 General Election with 76.4% of the vote (943-292), it is unlikely that Terry Bernardo will lose to this candidate.  {The 2009 general election is not a fair comparison of the vote as this was during the time of multi-member districts.  The count though was 3605 to 1719}


As more political rumblings start to surface, I will address them.  These are the only ones of note right now.  To be fair, it is VERY early in the political year , but I will keep my ear to the ground.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Win Against the Nanny State

I was very pleased that Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling tossed out the soda ban passed by the New York City Health Department.  It is about time someone put the brakes on out of control government.

Tingling wrote in his opinion that the rules are "arbitrary and capricious," applying to only certain beverages and only certain stores.  "The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of this rule," he wrote, complaining of "uneven enforcement even within a particular City block, much less the City as a whole." 

Basically, using constitutional language, the Judge found that there was no rational basis for this legislation.  He also ruled that such legislation should be considered by the City Council and not a Board made up of people handpicked by Mayor Bloomberg.

Bloomberg has of course announced that the City will appeal claiming the decision was "clearly an error".  Since Mr. Bloomberg is not an attorney, he has little basis for his comment.  Truth be told, he is used to getting his way and is angry that the Constitution got in his way.  When you are worth $27 billion dollars, you usually get your own way.

Regardless, I am thrilled that overly intrusive government was dealt a set back.  I hope the Appellate Division affirms the decision.  One way or the other, the ruling of Judge Tingling is a victory for freedom and a strong stand against dictatorial government seeking to trample the Constitution.