Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Primo candidates

A lot can happen in two and half years. The Democratic candidate for governor can go from being the great white hope of his party to the shamed black sheep of politics. The Democratic-lead Spa City government can go from having unified ranks to handing the key to City Hall back to the GOP with their infighting. And Saratoga County Democratic Chairman Larry Bulman can go from accidentally leading his party to success to doing an awful lot of forgetting.

One of the events he may try to forget is how his party shunned former state Senate candidate Brian Premo, allowing the heavyweight incumbent Joe Bruno to run unopposed. Premo, who was initially an enrolled Democrat, played musical chairs between parties and landed on a GOP chair when the tunes clipped off. He missed the filing deadline to switch back to the Dems and thus needed permission from both the Saratoga and Rensselaer branches of the party to run in the badly gerrymandered district.

Not only did the Bulman-lead Democrats unanimously vote against endorsing Premo, they also colluded with Bruno’s attorneys to ensure their no-confidence tally wouldn’t be overshadowed by the Rensselaer Dems. But a lot has changed in two and a half years; more specifically, a lot has changed in the last two and a half months.

Initially, word from on high was that the Saratoga Dems were mustering a sort of one-two punch with the recently re-elected Saratoga Springs Supervisor Joanne Yepsen and ousted Mayor Valerie Keehn. The rumor came from “Democratic insiders” who suggested the one of the two might pull off a Gillibrand-esque victory by going up against the last vestiges of the powerful Republican machine that kept a choke hold on upstate for so many years. And theoretically speaking, their candidacy –Keehn’s in particular –might have been the olive branch Bulman was searching for to rally both factions of the badly fragmented party to make another go at things.

Less than three months after this rumor was hatched, the winds of politics have shift. Bulman told the Times Union last week neither Yepsen nor Keehn will run against Bruno, leaving Premo as the sole candidate for taking on Hollywood Joe. It’s an about-face for state and county Democrats alike, especially seeing as though all they seemed to talk about during the winter months was taking back the state Senate. Now, they’ll have Premo as their candidate; a fellow the Saratoga mules stubbornly kicked at two years earlier.

What is most interesting about this development is the timing of it. In January, rumors of the Yepsen-Keehn tandem were being tossed up on all the so-called progressive sites, even though both candidates had faced brutal elections just two months earlier. Then when the roiling of Saratoga politics seemed to reduce to a simmer, Bulman announces that both candidates are no longer considering a run for the crown jewel of senatorial seats. Could it have to do with a certain gubernatorial development in March?

There is no question the politics of Saratoga’s so-called progressive movement closely mimicked those of the recently failed governor. Namely, they copied Eliot Spitzer’s philosophy of gunning for the big game straight from the get-go, instead of dickering with the small guys. The only difference was Spitzer gunned for the opposition party leader, where as Keehn’s progressives selected fellow party leader Tom McTygue –who they argued was no less corrupt than the Republican senator.

While Spitzer was in power, Keehn’s backers frequently alluded to her “close ties” with the governor; a claim that’s a bit specious but somewhat plausible considering her marriage ties with a state litigator. So when Spitzer was replaced by a member of the old guard –and more specifically a good friend of Bruno’s –it’s quite possible the tide in Albany suddenly changed, thereby washing the progressives’ bellowing yawp for change out to sea. Without a mighty strong set of lungs to inflate a pair of political neophytes, Bruno would have redefined the term ‘having a field day’ at the polls against the likes of Keehn or Yepsen.

The alternative is to offer a sacrificial lamb like Premo. He’s not a bad candidate; just not the type to make a serious run at Bruno, even after a number of the majority leader’s misdoings were exposed during Spitzer’s colossal fall from the sky. The most pathetic thing about the whole affair is that the Saratoga Democrats can’t find a compelling candidate to make a run at Bruno. Despite the inroads Democrats have made in Saratoga County over the past two and half years, their failure to offer a challenger to Bruno shows the shallowness of their candidate pool.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Master of the Universe said...

There's one major difference between Yepsen and Keehn: Mrs Yepsen and her people are very good at reading the political waters and moving accordingly, whereas Mrs Keehn and her people are terrible at it.

Case in point was the way in which Mrs Yepsen effectively distanced herself from Mrs Keehn during the last election. With her team composed of both pro and anti-Keehn interests, she wisely kept order internally by not linking herself to the incumbent mayor of her own party.

That internally-driven decision eventually served her well in the public eye. The proof was in her easy re-election, while the mayor went down in some serious flames.

Looking forward, I think means this:

- Yes, Mrs Yepsen has taken a fresh read of the post-Spitzer realities and will certainly conclude that her taking on Uncle Joe makes zero sense.

- Mrs Keehn, on the other hand, will not have that sort of good radar; or good advice. Her backers still think she is truly "the people's choice" and will talk both themselves and her into thinking a comeback is possible.

Whether that reults in a run at Bruno or another run for mayor becomes the only question.

The result would be the same for both scenarios: an embarrasing defeat for both her and the party. That is IF the party backed her.

The Dem party's only therapy for itself, of course, is to treat her as the Invisble Woman, and move forward with a slate of people that had no ties to Mrs Keehn's regime.

That is their only logical path to take. If they do choose this route, it will still take them a couple of election cycles to get back into their pre-Keehn position.

If they don't take this path and for some reason attempt to keep Mrs Keehn and her people actively involved as candidates, they are doomed for a generation.

That's just my read on all this.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bulman has his finger to the wind that will blow the Republicans out of the Senate majority this year.

Premo would only have a chance if he can raise $200K, inspire a few hundred volunteers, and campaign essentially full time.

Given Boss Bruno's local-media status as a political demigod, it's all uphill for any challenger.

But it can be done.

3:49 PM  
Blogger BlueDog said...

I was going to suggest that Val run for dog catcher; then I remembered that in Saratoga Springs that could be a stepping stone for higher office.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Gore rocks! He should run for Bruno's seat.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is not an office that Val is qualified to run for.

Wait a minute, I think I might be mistaken.

How about commissioner of The Blind Leading The Blind?

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Val should be Commissioner of Middle Aged Housewives Who Should At Home With Their Big Yaps Shut.

Too long?

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In hear Cpl. Widestance Bronner is running.

Seriously...

2:39 PM  
Blogger Faulkner said...

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

... and then in the late 70s there was only Good Times.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Masterbater of the universe really tells it like it ain't! Val Keehn didn't get the party to back her like they truly should have. If the party backed her then she is an easy winner. Unfortunately the idiot McFag McT spent all his money and resources to get 5-600 people to vote against her. It was still more than McFag got in his run.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe John Tighe should run for office. Afterall he is the biggest blowhard in Saratoga. He would fit right in!

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Bruno is 79 years of age. He is the leader of a Senate Republican caucus packed with Alzheimers patients who belong in nursing homes.

Whether or not Bruno loses his seat in November, it's obvious that 90-year old Republican Caesar Trunzo is going to lose the 3rd Senate District seat in Long Island, 70-year old Republicans Frank Padavan and Serphin Maltese are going to lose the the llth and 15th Senate District seats in Queens, 60-year old Republican John DeFranciso is going to lose the 50th Senate District seat in Syracuse, and 50-year old Republican youngster Joe Robach is going to lose the 56th Senate District seat in Rochester. On top of that, 60-year old Republican Mary Lou Rath has already announced she's retiring from the 61st Senate District seat in Batavia.

No matter what Brian Premo does, Joe Bruno will be out of power in November. The only question is whether he's going to be home on his horse farm or hanging on as a member of a shrinking, powerless Republican minority in the Senate.

In fact, there's an even more likely place where Bruno will end up. The November elections will also see the removal of Republicans from office in Washington, and that means there will no longer be a Republican Attorney General to prevent the long-awaited federal prosecution of Bruno's influence-peddling, money-laundering conspiracy. By this time next year, Bruno will not only be out of power. He could also be facing the prospect of spending the ninth decade of his life in a federal penitentiary.

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“He could also be facing the prospect of spending the ninth decade of his life in a federal penitentiary.”

Yea and maybe he can share a cell with your buddy Eliot Spitzer


What bullshit you’ve been talking about investigations of Joe Bruno and Tom T for what two fucking years? In the meantime your hero perverts Governor has come and gone.
Bruno will be senator till Bruno doesn’t want to be Senator.

On to your cohort Anon5:44 PM

What the fuck is “the idiot McFag McT” supposed to mean? Its idiots like you that cost Val the election. Once people realized how psychotic her followers were she was toast.

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:44 PM wrote
“idiot McFag McT”

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about Keehn and her toadies was an anti-Semitic and anti gay under current in their prophesizing that just bubbled below the surface. Such rhetoric doesn’t cut it with the people of Saratoga and she was given the trashing she so richly deserved. Her apostles {Roger Wyatt David Bronner Benton & Hawthorne} can’t seem to accept her defeat and now seem to blame it on Jews and homosexuals Hitler would be proud.

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, exceptionally good analysis. Mostly awful respsonses.

"in her easy re-election"- if the GOP ran 2 supervisor candidates, it wouldn't have been "easy" and quite possibly she wouldn't have retained her seat.

She is better than Keehn at reading the political tea leaves, kind of like how a third grade student is better than a second at writing.

6:28 AM  
Anonymous BS Tracker said...

5:44 just proves what a bunch of misguided misfits the Keehn Kamp truly is.

Val did not have any hint of widespread support among the complete city Demo party. She had a core group of very loyal followers that could get her the primary, but she had no wide appeal that would pull fellow Dems, smart Rep's or Indys her way.

Why: These people all knew she is a a nut job.

Plus, the bigger question becomes: why in the world would the city Dem party get behind a group of people that were only focused on a "out way or death to all" mentality?

Now crawl back under your rock.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gerard Gerard Gerard

You silly little man first you get barred from (dis)Utopia for your slanderous comments so now you moved over here. First the only one stalking Val is debt collectors. Pay off you campaign debts Val and they be happy to leave you alone.
Second last I knew the only one who brought any kids into this conversation was you. I really don’t mind because scum like you always sinks to the lowest common denominator. You comments only prove our point

Third perhaps you should run for Mayor a great motto would be

VOTE FOR HAWTHORNE OR I”LL EVICT YOUR MOTHER FROM PUBLIC HOUSING

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 4:19 AM just proves what a sick almost comical group Keehn is. First anyone who opposed Kamp Keehn is a criminal or a pervert.
Second Keehn almost won the election it was all McT fault she lost.

Sorry Val you and your supporters lost the campaign all by yourselves and you have no and I mean 0 credibility left. You only wish you had a stalker but sorry Val nobody really gives a flying fuck about what you do anymore. They only thing behind you is your lonely shadow.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good , BS track. Very accurate and correct.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keehn got 4000 votes. How many was the Democratic endorsed candidate get? Oh yeah! 500. How pathetic is that dem party of yours. Next up ! John Tighe for Mayor! What a Joke! He's a bigger horse's ass than Bronner. At least Bronner is educated. He also served in the military as a high ranking officier. What did Tighe do?

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What did Tighe do?'

Well he had the common sense not to vote for Val. That must make him at least semi-intelligent

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont consider having spent one's life in the military as a great accomplishment of life.

It's kind of like the 25 yo guy that still stays in town, hanging around with the high school kids and living with the parents

11:55 AM  

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