Monday, October 15, 2007

Quid pro quo

In Latin, it means something that is done for something else; a fair exchange. Hypothetically speaking, if the sitting mayor of a certain upstate city wanted to ensure the demised of her political arch-enemy in November, he or she might wave the carrot of better health benefits for the city’s unionized workers in exchange for those workers endorsing her opponent’s challenger.

Of course, this is hypothetically speaking and would never happen in real practice. And this illustration is merely a way to explain such a term to those who might not be well versed in a 2,000-year-old dead language.

In other Spa-centric developments, Union President Joe O’Neill is grand-standing for Skip Scirocco, the Republican candidate vying for the commissioner’s seat now occupied by Tom McTygue. During a news conference last week, O’Neill railed out against McTygue with the bravado usually reserved for a man who just realized his neighbors has made a habit of micturating on his lawn each morning with their coffee.

“We won’t back down,” O’Neill said during the Scirocco rally Wednesday.

O’Neill was also quite candid about the fact that his union doesn’t usually endorse political candidates. But this time, it’s time to send a message about professionalism in the work place, he told The Saratogian. This time, it’s personal.

But perhaps what he meant was that it’s personnel, not personal. See, there are now roughly 300 unionized city workers that are vying for a new contract with the city, The Daily Gazette reported Saturday. City Finance Commissioner Matt McCabe said a main sticking point in these negotiations is working out a health insurance co-payment system like most private-sector businesses do to quell burgeoning costs. Naturally, this idea isn’t popular with anyone now offered full benefits through the city.

So who is negotiating these contracts for the city? Well, oddly enough it’s Mayor Valerie Keehn, according to the Gazette article. When asked about the negotiation, the oft-long winded mayor was quite glib and non-committal.

“We need to look at all of these things when we’re negotiating a contract, including health care,” she said.

So let’s put two and two together for a moment: despite her admissions that say otherwise, the mayor is quite clearly backing Scirocco. Her singular reason to for doing this is to boot McTygue off the council and, more than likely, make another run at changing the city charter. All this information is presented in a ‘by the way’ manner during the mayor’s office negotiations with O’Neill.

In other words, come out and support Scirocco and you’ll sway the favor of the main negotiating force in contract talks. Even more peculiar is the fact that many members of O’Neill’s union didn’t even know they were endorsing a candidate. After all, even O’Neill himself admitted the union hasn’t made a history of getting into local politics until now; strange how the puzzle pieces seem to fit together so snuggly.

Then again, perhaps O’Neill is thinking of himself when throwing support behind Scirocco. It’s well rumored that Pat Design, the DPW deputy in exile, will rise to become Scirocco’s deputy, leaving one very important position open in his cabinet: public works director. After all, no one truly believes Bill McTygue would survive much past the first of next year if his brother is deposed.


Blogger CFGG said...

Skip Sciirocco gained another 2 endorsements today. The Skidmore Democrat & Republican groups today at a news conference endorsed Skip Scirocco for Commissioner of Public Works. This is huge as the school always went Democratic. They said that they now can see the bully tactics that McTygue & his group uses and will not stand for it.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

demroc said: you know i ask my self one question... are all the people who say these things about Tmac lying? it gets to a point where everyone can,t be. he has actually lost a couple of lawsuits for the city because of his retribution on workers. i mean come on. and i love to prove the point his supporters always tell some tale of corruption or scheming from the other person(s). much like the story you heard above. see it simply can't be that he lost their support because of his actions, it's because of the mayor and her very intricate scheme.
also just to make sure, their is a Joe o'niell sr. and jr. the sr. was the one that worked for him before and is now retired. Jr currently works for him and is the union president. now here's what my math tells me. joe jr seen his old man get tortured by the guy, he now currently works for him. Jr is a standup guy and has firsthand knowledge of the situation for many years. he's only been the president for 6 yrs. so this is really only his 2nd election. also sr has thrown his support behind skip .

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm baffled by anonymous #1's dizzying intellect...

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well let me help out with the vertigo. the main page told of a story where two people were folded into one. o'niell the union president and o'niell the former deputy are two different people. not one as suggested by horatio. and simply put, all these other people can't be all lying. it defies common sense.

4:08 PM  
Blogger CFGG said...

Sorry boys about your info on the contract negotiations for DPW being done by the Mayor. That is the way it is supposed to be. The mayor is supposed to review every contract. No, the DPW contracts are negotiated by none other than Billy McTygue. He himself is a beneficiary of these negotiations. See the puzzle starts to get some different angle pieces.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

I wouldn't suggest anyone here is outright lying, just that they’re exaggerating for political reasons and doing a good job of it. Like or leave it, McTygue is an abrasive guy; that’s his personality. Sometimes he comes across as brash even when it’s pretty clear he’s not trying to be. And in 32 years of politics, I’m sure he’s got enough bones in his closet to build a skeleton or two. But even if Tommy is part or most crook, at least he’s the city’s crook; born and bred. More on this later.

What the Keehniacs don’t understand –and what I’ve tried to intimate here –is that Skip Scirocco will have a field day with Madame Mayor when he gets into office, if she’s lucky enough to win re-election. Sure, he’ll be cordial –as cordial as one can be at the helm of a steamroller called the county Republicans as it runs roughshod over the city council. Not to mention, there’s a mighty good chance the mayor, if she does win a new term, will be facing a council with the Volkswagen, Ivens and Wirth, a situation that will have her questioning why she was so hell-bent on booting McTygue from office.

As the later comment about contracts, if that’s indeed true, then perhaps you should get on the horn with the Gazette. I’m sure they’d like to hear about it, or at least run a correction so the rest of us are in the know. Then again, it might look pretty bad for it to come out that the mayor is shirking her supposed duties as chief negotiator.

Regardless, there are some mighty twisted things going on in this election, with more people jumping naked into more foreign beds than I can personally recollect. And when the bedroom lights come on in a few weeks, the only thing sure to come of it all will be a mighty rash of genital warts for everyone involved.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wirth has no chance and Ivens is not even close to a shoe in. Where are you getting this Wirth from?

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like to call them "pleasure nubs" rather than genital warts. Rolls off the tongue a little nicer. If you know what I mean. Gotta go now so I can get ready for the Republican cavalry (and their new bedmates) to save Saratoga from over development. Wait...that already happened! Ha! Pax, Philthyrex

9:30 PM  

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