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......


Anonymous said...

You are right. Time for Kevin to go.

Anonymous said...

Kevin is a disgrace. I have to laugh at all of the comments on Freeman web site from Tom Hoffay (FactChecker or some other nomme guerre).

Hiring Hoffay tells me all I need to know about Kevin Cahill. He should step down or get voted out next time.

Anonymous said...

ditto to 3:55 pm response. A big AMEN!

Anonymous said...

People/taxpayers should have outrage over statements from Senor and Hoffay. They are leaving the council and what do they care. It seems to be their one more parting shot at the current administration. They can't leave soon enough for me. Anything that Hoffay votes for concerning this crisis should be suspect as he is employed by Kevin Cahill. Being chairman of Finance &Economics,got to see how Hoffay will spin this when the budget process starts and deep cuts begin. Cannot blame Gallo.

REALKingstonTruth said...

Not at all. Cahill is absolutely right on this one--and the others are all grandstanding, including Hein(who has done nothing BUT grandstand since taking office and has only gotten worse since doing so).
If you wanted to choose areas where Cahill was wrong and retain credibility you had plenty of opportunity but you missed it. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Hinchey's word was not "unquestioningly obeyed by Democrats" as you assert. You reveal your abject ignorance on this matter by stating such, and the details of that will come out over the next year or so in the litigation.
Hein needed to be beaten back on something by someone, and there happened to be no better issue than this one to do it. Please try to pick your picayuneness more judiciously in the future.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...


Give us an example of the county dems not following Hinchey.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

8:14 (likely Hoffay),

Kevin is all wet on this. He is also a hypocrite.

He proclaims himself a fighter against mandates. Yet, he voted to pass down 71% of the state's costs down to the counties!!

So, it thus appears that Kevin is okay with the State passing down costs, but not the county doing so.

The reason?? If the county passes it down and people complain, the county could point to Kevin's vote as the source.

So, Kevin opposes the county doing so in order to protect his political butt. Then, he falsely proclaims himself as a spending cutter when in fact he supports wild spending even greater than the Hinchey levels when he was in the Assembly.

Kevin is a hypocrite and is wrong.

Anonymous said...

I offered to have you become a part of my lawsuit but evidently you were not all that interested to put that money where your mouth was so to say, so I cannot and will not NOW give you an example of what you seek--only the assurance that it is out there and one day it *will* come out. Be patient--all good things come to those who are.