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.