Wednesday, September 28, 2016

DiFalco Replaces Bernardo

Joe DiFalco is apparently the new Ulster County Independence Party Chairman reports Mid Hudson News.

This is major political news and could have major ramifications in next year's local elections.

Here is the article from Mid Hudson News.

DiFalco to chair Ulster County Independence Party committee
KINGSTON – Third party politics in Ulster County will shift direction next week, when Independence Party member Joseph DiFalco assumes control of the interim county committee.

A brief meeting has been scheduled for October 3, at Broadway Lights Diner, where DiFalco hopes to usurp the post from his longstanding rival. The official notices were served at the party’s state convention in mid-September.

DiFalco said he plans a very brief meeting, no longer than 15 minutes, to take over the county chairmanship.  “We’re not ordering any food, just a glass of water with lemon,” he said.

The current interim chairman, Len Bernardo, wielded considerable influence during his tenure, facilitating the election of his wife Terry into the county legislature, then legislative chairwoman. After losing her bid for a second term on the legislature, Mrs. Bernardo ran unsuccessfully against Michael Hein for county executive in 2015.
DiFalco, who leads the Independence Party within the City of Kingston, quietly assumed a position on the state committee this month, and used that opportunity to call a re-organizational meeting for the county committee.
Bernardo, who lives in the Town of Rochester, also sits on the state committee, in a separate senatorial district. He is additionally a member-at-large of the executive committee.

DiFalco, however, holds more weighted votes than Bernardo, and therefore decides local cross-endorsements. For the next two years, DiFalco will apparently be running the show.

Under Independence Party rules, members of the state committee choose who serves as interim county chairman. Ulster County is divided into several state senatorial districts, votes are weighted according to the last gubernatorial vote.

The Independence Party ballot line typically carries several hundred votes per municipality. Any election with a slim margin can be clinched by an Independence Party cross-endorsement.

Until now, that coveted political power was firmly wielded by Len Bernardo – who strongly favored Republican candidates.
DiFalco’s wife Ellen, currently a Democrat, previously served as confidential secretary to Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo; and also was former clerk of the county legislature.

Mr. DiFalco played a key role in unseating Third Ward Kingston Alderman Brad Will in an ethics scandal last year. DiFalco continues to pursue further ethics charges against the mayor and city attorney, while officials scramble to rewrite the law.

A retired New York City Teamster, DiFalco frequents City Hall meetings wearing shorts and a fisherman hat, irking factional Democrats with his abrasive Archie Bunker mannerisms.

Opponents expressed discontent at DiFalco’s ascension."


Andy Champ-Doran said...

Mr. Cahill,

You're right, this could have a big effect on the elections next year.

Until now, the final say over all Ulster County Independence Party endorsements in the county was held by Len Bernardo. Good or bad, that leaves the City of Kingston and the Town of Ulster without proportional representation.

Joe DiFalco has worked tirelessly to get Independence candidates in Kingston on the ballot and elected, even if they were candidates Mr. Bernardo selected over his own. Remember, it's the County Chair that must sign the Wilson-Pakula authorization, even if the contender has more than the signatures needed to get on the ballot.

To have Joe DiFalco and Cynthia Wadnola, the two highest weighted votes in the county, at the top is a good thing for Kingston and Ulster for the Independence voters in the city and the town. I believe it's going to be good for the member in all of Ulster County.

-Andy Champ-Doran

Anonymous said...

Should be an interesting year..snatched power away from well, Joe DiFalco is persistent.!! no love loss between the two of them. How do you think it will affect next years elections?

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

Hard to say. I expect Joe will be fair, but woe to those whom Joe does not like.

City Democrats cannot be happy, though City Republicans are not high on Joe's list either.

It will be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rich, wonder if you can answer my question since you were once a alderman for the city of Kingston. Just read the Noble news weekly update. It appears he is spinning the leasing of the King's Inn.. Property without a bid process. If the city cannot "give away" taxpayer funds (gift of public funds)how is it that this property is being leased for $1 and we are doing the maintenance on the property. Blacktopping and grooming the grounds. We collect a small percentage of proceeds from scheduled events. How come there was no bidding for the use of that property? I can understand the concept that we need to make this corner seemingly a hopping place for action but I question when the Mayor uses the "taxpayer funds" for his convenience to veto a council decision when he wants to deny a bid for a city own parcel to a resident.
How is it different? He claims there was no bidding process for the resident to purchase a city owned house. I would assume the bidder had noticed this house for quite awhile and made inquiries? Isn't it hypocritical or selective enforcement of the law? I am no legal scholar but something doesn't seem fair? At least the house would be on tax rolls as the tent is not. And the price he bid would be instant money in city account. Taxpayer recoups money faster by taxes than the tent can in rental fees. For the record I am a fan of this new movement in the city of Kingston I support the Arts and I am a member of the NRA. Just a shout out to the anti range people who felt the indoor range didn't belong in an Arts neighborhood as it would create a bad image and draw the wrong crowd. but I am also a taxpayer and I am seeing a not so kosher deal regarding these recent leases/purchases. should be fair across the board.

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

If you are looking for consistency of policy, do not look at Kingston. City policy has been poorly run for 20 of the last 24 years.

Anonymous said...

shouldn't they at least follow the rules they put in place...what a joke...guess what you are saying is that nothing really changes at city hall except the faces in the front office. How disheartening. Have to question what is corp counsel's role in this. Aren't they suppose to enforce codes and laws on the book and advise the Mayor. or just look for loopholes and clean up behind the Mayor's selective decisions? Be curious to see if tent owner or his company were a donor to Mayor campaign.

kerfuffle said...

DiFalco is chairing an interim county committee. That is a provisional organization under NYS Independence Party rules, in lieu of a lawfully constituted county committee organized per Election Law. What this means is that the state chairman, Frank MacKay, signs the Wilson-Pikula certificate for cross-endorsements, not Joe DiFalco.

Anonymous said...

That's what's wrong in Kingston. Same tired old blood. DiFalco needs to ride his scooter and do his scratch offs in another town.