Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mud slinging

Energy is a phenomenal thing, which typically moves from source to sink. When a bolt of light strikes the earth, its electrical surge blasts through the path of least resistance and then dissipates back into the atmosphere. Likewise, when energy is generated by a politician, it moves through the vessel most apt to carry it, namely his or her supporters.

So it’s difficult to imagine how a nearly cult-like group of Internet troglodytes could arbitrarily go forth and spread venomous speech more often reserved for neo-fascists and related ilk without having some sort of source for their energy. In the case of a certain contingent of Keehniacs, it’s hard to imagine this source generating from anywhere other than the top itself.

Since the spring and perhaps even earlier, this group has spread an amazing array of allegations, hearsay, and flat out mud at anyone viewed as an opponent of the “people’s mayor.” The main and obvious target has been Public Works fixture Tom McTygue, Keehn’s nemesis on the City Council and a man with whom she very publically refused to make amends.

Starting with the documented state Department of Environmental Conservation investigation, Keehn’s supporters launched a veritable online rabble to lynch the sitting commissioner for a variety of offense. Some said he abused his wife, others questioned his fidelity. Many accused McTygue of holding office illicitly, despite recent court findings suggesting otherwise.

Then there was Web chatter of McTygue’s bullying; in his department, during council meetings and on the street. They wrote of cover-ups, back-room deals and cooking the department’s books to squander taxpayer money; all without a tattered strand of evidence.

Not surprisingly, the group moved onto mayoral challenger Gordon Boyd once the primaries neared. He was accused of posing with Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove at a Conservative Party rally. Then came the spurious assertions that Boyd would somehow further the war in Iraq, was for slave labor and against universal healthcare; pages upon pages of cyber-chatter accusing a city resident of being the quintessential man in the black cape.

Meanwhile, the patron goddess of this cult, Valerie Keehn herself, rested back on her laurels and enjoyed a cruise primary victory. But even with this mod-squad of Web junkies doing the political dirty work for her, she felt compelled to push the envelope. Cowards, she called her fellow city councilors, wretched she called her opponents and “Rove-like” she called her challenger.

So it came as a bit of surprise Thursday when Keehn denied having any part in one of the most vitriolic election seasons the city has witnessed in recent times. An anonymous poster on a fellow blog forwarded an e-mail allegedly sent by Madame Mayor, herself, in which she denies playing any part in the mudslinging.

“While I refuse to engage in such unproductive discourse, what others do with their time and energy is their own business,” she stated in the correspondence.

Now, it’s highly unlikely the mayor personally slings mud; that’s the sort of thing that can lead to some very uncomfortable press in the mainstream media. Still, the mayor isn’t ignorant enough to ignore the call of some of her most vehement detractors. In other words, someone at the top knows what is being whispered among the flotsam and jetsam of the Spa City’s blog roll. On a side-note, both this scribe and the aforementioned are regularly accessed –sometimes upwards of six times in a few hours –by someone in City Hall.

Given all this, it’s not too hard to imagine Keehn or one of her guard giving marching orders for the online contingent, even if it’s a tacit mention or musing suggestion. Within moments of Keehn’s name turning up on the Internet, a veritable deluge of comments seem to follow; many of these make reference to the allegations one can easily imagine the mayor herself wanting to say.

Even if these minions aren’t driven explicitly by Keehn –or perhaps number-two Eileen Finneran –she could easily rope them in. After all, this is the mayor who wanted each department commissioner to sign decency pledge for council meetings. She could probably call off the dogs with a simple decency pledge for the rest of the campaign. But that would be yielding a certain degree of political capital she’s certainly trying to ride back into the mayor’s office.

An even more interesting proposition is that Keehn is keenly aware of this banter and is moving to foment it. After all, her cohorts at Democracy for America generate a fairly significant amount of their support online. This is the sort of thought that harkens back to a certain president who denied any involvement in campaign wrongdoing right up until he was about to be impeached.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It’s about time someone called these bastards out well done well done.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please read (as I do) all of the comments posted for the last year and see that the majority of them are one-sided. That is OK. Tommy, Gordon, and Val supporters have all jumped on this new medium and have blasted each other. It ain't pretty, but it is what it is. This is your blog and I am a guest, so I commend you for your efforts, but
I feel like the Hatfields and the McCoys are alive and well in Saratoga Springs. I may have to detox myself after Election day as I am an avid reader that may have become a borderline addict.

How about the Yanks vs The Red Sox?

That maybe a nicer debate

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This all coming from a guy who is afraid give his name on this so called bipartisaned blog. Every story you or Ed who does Ben Arnold blog start with is on the attack of the Mayor. I never see you start by going after McTygue! How about Jasper Nolan? Maybe that is your leader who has you do this. Either way it is one sided and you have more than your share of attackers. One in particular is a guy named John Tighe who is on these blogs under various screen names bashing Keehn. And for his good deeds for McT he has been added to the DEM Committee. This was not a legal appointment though but just the same if you do the deeds for Tommy Boy he will reward you! So why then won't you start on someone else? No Nards!

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Albert Camus said, "that a free press can, of course, be good or bad, but most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad." The best we can hope for is the truth. The best we can expect (sometimes) are these blogs. In Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante, 1826:
"Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es." [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are].
On its face, we have to look at what we have at the end of the day. After their primary, the Democrats now ask their entourage to be good; as they prepare for November. For those who remember (and subconsciencely perhaps pine for) the euphoric Nixon (throw in Woodstock, radical and feminist) years, the intoxication of power is a small comfort because its power was eventually its demise. You made a good connection Bro. The mayor is, her own victim.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO: Any comments on the decision announced today by Gordon Boyd, self-appointed Defender of the Jews, to courageously continue his doomed campaign for mayor so he can save Saratoga Springs, and maybe even the entire planet, from the evil anti-semitic Forces of Fulani that are threatening to destroy civilization as we know it?

It's a tough job, but Super Hero Gordon is equal to the task! If anyone can lead the people to the promised land, Gordon can!

The poor, unsuspecting citizens of Saratoga Springs had no idea the evil Forces of Fulani were secretly planning to take over City government. Even now, our ever vigilant Super Hero Gordon is selflessly patroling the Northway to keep the Forces of Fulani from approaching the city gates!

How did we ever get by without Super Hero Gordon to protect us from evil?

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This kind of mud slinging by proxy and noble "ignorance" are familiar games in today's political world. Rumsfeld has "no idea" about the military's torture practices. Bush and FEMA were "unaware" of the magnitude of Katrina when it happened. Rice had "no idea" that planes could be used as weapons. Most apropos to Keehn are the talking points given to people like Rush Limbaugh who vomit a daily ritual of hate mongering lines. Somebody creates and channels BS like that, and luckily it is getting easier to find out who. A word of advice to Valpak: the blame-game/tear-down strategy could easily backfire.

3:23 AM  
Anonymous Milhouse said...

Our Gal Val is quite a piece of work isn't she? Her quote of the day today just sealed my vote for Scott Johnson (unless McCabe pulls an Al Gore and swoops in at the last minute to announce his candidacy).

Invoking the name of Connor LaFrance to gain political points on Boyd is just flat-out wrong. I think it's despicable to try and associate herself with a tragic figure in a political context. And what's with The Saratogian running a photo of her son hugging Connor's dad? Maybe it's just a coincidence, but it's inappropriate.

I just pray Johnson keeps his mouth shut and lets these two Democrat buffoons embarrass themselves.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the way you like to name and criticize Tighe. He must be the holy trinity times 5 to be all these people in all these places at the same time.

As far as the committee goes Val’s cry babies picked up there bat and ball and went home. So now they want to cry they really didn’t want to resign it was all a mistake. How can people like this be taken seriously at all?

Keehn using the death of a young boy was sickening. But unfortunately all to typical.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


i can guarantee you the photographer didn't take that picture with any pretense of political commentary.

(ps-it's not inappropriate to run that picture. it was a real moment at a real news event. i'm no friend of keehn, but should her son stay shut up at home because his mother is running a campaign? should the media stay away from situations where they MAY run into a family member of a politician - 1st cousins all the way up to spouses - in order to maintain the perception of objectivity? seems unreasonable and illogical to me.)

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The LaFrance's and Keehn's are friends! Now we Scott Johnson supporters inon the act denouncing the dead?

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

has anyone ever talked to an employee of DPW to see what it's really like working there and what kind of guy T Mac really is. i guess they are all lyers and he's a saint.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gordon boyd is like the guy you ask to leave the bar, but sneaks back in the side door. what an annoyance

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's funny! Johnson really hasn't said much of anything. Is he really running for Mayor or is he just one of Jasper Nolan's plugin's. They had no real candidate so they grabbed supposedly a hometown boy. For being a home town boy how come no one knows who he is. Could it be he actually lived away from Saratoga more than in Saratoga? We do know that he has millions of dollars and hob knobs with the Developers. He is beholden to the rich developers and this means that it is time to squash him before they do in us!

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that Anon above ("That's funny!...") must be supporting Boyd if he doesnt want to vote for a pro-rich developer candidate.

After all, don't forget Lady Val and her major contributor 'The Little Boy's Daddy.'

Johnson really does not need to say anything. Not when you have Val and her cult followers opening their mouths and letting the slime and incoherent lunacy fall out.

Val's cooked, that's starting to look very obvious.

It truly does not matter which of the other two wins: either one of them is far, far superior to this woman.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make unfounded accusations about McTygue and print them as proof

These are facts about the Keehn administration and her corruption

She went into great detail how she had spent much time coordinating the appointment of Adam Israel to the Special Assessment District with the "young man's" father, Robert Israel then SHE SECURED THE VOTE for ratification before the public meeting. Her admission of this in public (no less), is illegal.

Keehn appointed Rick Fenton to be Ethics Board chair. Rick Fenton and his wife were removed from the State Committee of the Independence Party of New York in June for "corruption in office" because they raised money for a committee controlled by Fulani. Fenton and his wife were removed from the State committee of the Independence part of NY for CORRUPTION IN OFFICE. And this mayor puts him in charge of the Saratoga Springs Ethics board unbelievable.

Keehn has run a coordinated smear campaign out of her office and has helped and abetted in making with her supporters help the most vitriolic and vile lies in the history of Saratoga politics .This has been proven by IP logs that computers in city hall that are constantly viewing and posting on numerous blogs. The fact that another computer in state DEC implicates her husband.

These three facts are proven

Rumors; just like in McTygue’s case there are many, many rumors and innuendoes about Keehn and her family that have not been proven yet.
Unlike her supporters who print every vile lie that they can make up I will not stoop to their level.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Milhouse said...

I have no doubt that the LaFrances and Keehns are friends, and that the photograph in question was of a true moment of grief and consolation. I just think the photographer and the editor probably made a point of using that photograph because of who was in the photograph. Given the highly charged political environment, I don't think it was appropriate to use that photograph, particularly with that prominence.

I think that judgment is vindicated by the fact that Val tried to use Connor's death in a political fashion when denouncing Boyd's statements.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FACTS! Since when are you privey to info on IP logs at city hall? It is a fact that McTygue is under investigation! It is a fact that they tried to cover up oil spills! There are at least a dozen eye witnesses and one has gone public! As for Rick Fenton that is just Gordilocks Boyd again spewing out lies! He tried that and it backfired in the primary. It also is a fact that Boyd is the one that is Toast! His supporters such as his bonehead attorney,"pretty boy Jeff Wait" and his barhopping daughter "miss tipsy" have been yacking none stop after cocktails!

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Denouncing Boyd's Statements? Are you serious? Is Boyd in this to win? A real Democrat would have graciously dropped out. There were at least 8 people who messed up the write in vote or he would have lost the independent line as well!

2:07 PM  
Blogger demroc said...

so i guess the mayor is pulling strings down at the saratogian now. "hey lombardo make sure you run the picture of me on the cover tomorrow." Anything you want val.
and since in another post you admit it wasn't her fault but the saratogians for running the picture, i wonder who's using the funeral for political gain.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

The infinitely wonderful thing about the Internet is the duplicity of the whole thing. See, without at least one user connecting to another, there really IS no Internet. But for arguments sake, let envision a single user connecting to a Web site administered by another. When said user connects to the aforementioned site, his or her computer registers an IP address with the site, which can then be easily logged with each visit. This log is usually very broad in the information it provides and is often only collected for the purpose of detailing site traffic (i.e. the number of “unique” hits and what not). Those users with static IP addresses –I won’t endeavor to explain this right now –can generally be traced back to broad locations –say somewhere in City Hall.

Now, were I “privy” to the IP logs at City Hall, all they would show me would be who from the outside world visited the city’s Web site, which is hardly something that interests me. But with a small program that I can readily administer from my little hovel, I’m able to tell with some degree of accuracy what large industries have been popping in for a visit. This is information I’d rather keep to myself in most cases, as this is a forum for open and generally unfettered community discussion.

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well to be fair you'd have to show all ip addresses for everybody, if you showed one. watchout everyone only val keehn uses the internet

3:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are just to amazing for me! and if you pull my left nut it will play jingle bells!

4:30 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Well, even if it does play jingle bells, we’ll leave that sort of behavior up to the Turkish bathhouses.

As for IP addresses, I fail to see your point. Please re-read my last comment. This is an unfettered forum. The only IP address that has been REFFERED to in this blog has been that of the City Hall –although it could also belong to the City Police. No IP addresses have been listed, nor will they ever.

And “to be fair,” this is my blog. When you produce your own blog, you can list IP addresses to your hearts’ content. But I would caution; most people will probably find a diatribe about local IP addresses fairly mundane. Cheers!

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dpw is in cityhall

2:02 PM  

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