Thursday, August 23, 2007

Respectfully yours

Larry Bulman finally put down his morning paper, stood up from his pleather La-Z-Boy and promptly threw himself in front of the hurtling train wreck that has become the Democratic Party in Saratoga Springs. The Saratoga County Democratic Party leader decided that he’d offer an olive branch into ongoing and increasingly vitriolic pre-primary fracas between incumbent Mayor Valerie Keehn and challenger Gordon Boyd.

“The only way we’re going to be successful is to be respectful,” Bulman told the Post Star Wednesday, as the city Dems continue to implode. “The biggest turnoff to the electorate is being negative. It’s something the voters will not tolerate.”

Well, it’s a bit late for respectful, Larry; in fact, even the term civil seems like a bit of a stretch these days. At this point, it will be a modern-day miracle if Keehn and Boyd don’t shred each other to pieces before the election like a pair of rabid wolverines chained together at the neck.

First there was the ugly “walk out” in June, when a dozen or so Keehniacs attempted to thwart the city Dems nomination of Boyd, then publically blasted the party for doing so without them in the room. Then in July, there was Boyd’s ludicrous attempt to bring up his connection to the anti-charter revisionists by accepting a nomination from the largely defunct group, SUCCESS.

There seemed to be a cooling of tensions in early August, where political blood didn’t fly for a few hours. But cooling tensions wasn’t on the agenda for Keehn. She very publically gave her fellow Democrats on the council the proverbial middle finger by calling them cowards for not rubber stamping her nomination of a developer’s 26-year-old son to the city’s Special Assessment District.

Then there was Keehn’s “wrath of the wretched” comment heard ‘round the world, thanks to a certain shaky film maker. With two golden opportunities to bash Keehn, Boyd cracked open the propaganda chest and fired off a damning advertisement in The Saratogian calling the mayor out on her statement. At the same time, the self-appointed mayor of the “peoples’ republic of Saratoga” issued a flyer castigating Boyd for a third-party endorsement she ludicrously claims as proof he wants to further the war in Iraq, repeal minimum wage laws and re-establish school prayer.

Yes, the water is bloody enough now that the sharks have caught scent and are beginning to circle. And those sharks are called the city Republicans; more specifically, their candidate, Scott Johnson. While Keehn and Boyd trash each other with unprecedented vigor, the retired lawyer has pulled up a mint julep on his front porch to watch, listen and wait. By the time the primaries are done, he’ll have enough ammo to sink any Democratic ship that comes drifting down the pike.

As for Bulman, perhaps this will be a horrible lesson learned. You can’t let the kids fight all summer and then expect them to play nice once the fall foliage turns. The time for him to step in was back in June, when this petty bickering began; or better yet, when Keehn and Public Works fixture Tom McTygue began brawling at the beginning of the year.

See, when McTygue was absent from a front row with the other three council members at the Mayor’s state-of-the-city address, it was an ominous and foreboding sign of the tensions that continue to erupt today. Bulman’s efforts now, however, are a dollar short and a day late. It’s something that he’ll realize even more when he sees the results of November’s election.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pimps and hustlers have a fine instinct for politics."

Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Larry Bulman has been demonstrating his incompetence for a long time.

8:24 AM  

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