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