Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dumb and Dumber

Running political campaigns can be a hit-or-miss business. Some things never really gain traction with voters, while others can really attract their undivided attention. The question City Court judge candidate Jim Montagnino should be asking himself this week is exactly whose attention is he trying to attract?

If the answer is members of a cultish splinter-cell of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee that helped doom the reelection hopes of the least-successful city mayor in recent memory, then he's scored a hole in one. And if this is the case, he’s probably better off packing in his campaign now instead of drawing it out until November. At this rate, it’s not likely to go much farther than the trash receptacles that will soon be lined with the mailers his election committee sent out this week to registered Democrats.

In what will undoubtedly go down as one of the most perplexing campaign moves in the city’s political history, Montagnino decided to print a campaign mailer featuring the praise and profile of failed former mayor Valerie Keehn. The bizarre, three-paragraph missive attributed to Keehn waxes on about how Montagnino –a referee and court attorney in Rensselaer County’s state Supreme Court –will dispense justice across the city like vittles from a drop-in pantry.

“He is beholden to no one,” Keehn states in the mailer. “[H]e is not connected with the ‘old boy network’ and owes no political favors to anybody. There is only one kind of justice he will dispense, and that’s even handed justice, whether Jim is working with attorneys or with self-represented litigants.”

The mailer also alludes to Montagnino as one of the so-called Democrats For Change –the aforementioned splinter – just in case anyone needed any clarification on the issue. But instead of being a ‘democrat for change,’ he’s “experience for a change,” a quizzical phrasing that at face value seems to suggest that the soon-to-be retired Judge Douglas Mills doesn’t have much of a track record behind the bench. Cue the laugh track.

More glaringly peculiar is that Montagnino would bother to associate himself Keehn, who is the reigning poster-child for the city’s politics of failure. In just one short term, she managed to turn a sweeping democratic mandate in city government to bitter, back-biting defeat.

For many politically active democrats not associated with her splinter, Keehn’s mere visage is emblematic of politics at its absolute worse. For many other independent-minded voters her image is a reminder how some politicians care more about the game than the people they proclaim to serve.

Even from an apolitical and pragmatic stance, it makes no sense for Montagnino to align himself with the failed mayor. Most candidates seeking any political office try to distance themselves from any former politician with a recent electoral loss hovering over their head. It’s just common sense: Voters don’t want to elect a loser; they want to elect a winner. This is especially the case in Saratoga Springs, where the visceral feelings evoked during the 2007 election are not yet forgotten.

You would think these concepts would be readily apparent for a fellow virtually flaunting his experience and legal acumen. You would also expect a fellow of Montagnino’s ilk –a fellow with his own political storm cloud –would be trying to attract as many voters as possible in the general election instead of casting his allegiances early on in a primary.

But this is the politics of Keehn. Throw everything in the wind in September, and then bank on the fact that any victory will carry into November. This foolish and specious reasoning came about when Keehn was the underdog in 2005 and came back to defeat and relatively unpopular Republican incumbent during a year when voters were quite disgruntled with the GOP. Keehn’s bewilderingly ignorant campaign applied this same logic with their ‘burn all bridges’ tactics in the 2007 election, which proved once and for all that the people’s mayor really didn’t have many people behind her in the first place.

Perhaps these are things Montagnino can contemplate over the next decade after his inevitable loss to either primary challenger Jeffrey Wait or the Republican-endorsed Matt Dorsey in the general election. For his sake, it’s a shame his campaign can’t print a retraction. Maybe he should publicly decry the mailer as a fabrication by his opponents. Either that or start praying the voters are as blind as lady Justice.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's more perplexing to me is this ... Keehn is aligned with Tulin, so is Thompson. I read an article in the Gazette, in fact I just reread it. They testified against the deadbeat in a trial, now they support him. I thought that's what I'd read, and it's been playing in the back of my mind, like, hey, couldn't be, SOMEONE else would have noticed this and brought it to light. So, Montagnino, the woman-hater, is aligned with a woman who supports deadbeats, a party leader who supports deadbeats, and is running for judge HERE, possibly only Saratoga dumb-ass, SELF-proclaimed "intellects" (laugh, laugh more)would run a man who was "transferred" due to a real ethical dilemma someplace else.

It bemused me to see Bulman support this faction, I always saw him as more Republican-lite than cult leader. However, I read that he was the failed supreme court justice's CAMPAIGN MANAGER. Yikes, why did no one catch that? So, who DO we look to in the democratic party for real leadership, not bullshit. They have a nice set of ideals ... that no on in their party really lives up to.

Judge. Anyone can run ... what was once an esteemed position in our society is a joke. And, it's up to many of us who are sick of this crap to fix it. There's got to be someone somewhere in there ... national? Who would set this straight. How the hell can half the democratic party support one person publicly and the rest someone else?

Why is anyone considering voting or supporting any candidate for anything that is giving money to Raniere ... the guy made questionable figure on the front of Forbes ... OMG ... I think they were trying to get the word out on this guy ... but here, in Saratoga, where wannabees and see-mes rule the day, we're forced to have community leaders in the financial sack with a ... NATIONALLY known cult leader.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would rather be having a conversation on national politics in a coffee shop. Intelligent conversation is always worthwhile, it's a waste of time to talk of someone else's stupidity, especially, when you know they won't amount to anything.
Here is the intelligence that the GOP is afraid of:

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I almost choked when I got this in the mail today. What a joke. My favorite line was "Jim is the ONLY candidate who brings real judicial experience to the table..." Really? What are the others? Taxi drivers? She backed that right up with the fact that "he lives on Roberts Lane." Well I'm sold. Anybody who lives on Roberts Lane gets my vote. I must have skipped right by the part that said she's known him for "this past year." Well that's the icing on the cake. As Tom Durkin says, " ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH."

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Saratoga Truth Squad said...

News Flash

Mr and Mrs Keehn are separated -- as in living in different addresses.

Something about a disagreement over one's membership in a certain human potential organization?

You heard it right here first, folks.

The Saratoga Truth Squad

"Manning thr Kool Aid concession at the next DFC rally."

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you expect us to back a scum like Jeff Wait? He was looking for political favors from the judge because his daughter had thousands in fines racked up! DWI's she had squashed before her father got her off the hook. We are supposed to buy the idea that he will be a fair judge? BULLSHIT!
He is the worst choice ever!

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"f em all" and vote Dorsey! It'll be like betting on Curlin; you won't get much back but you'll feel like a winner.
I moved here from a southern state and registered as a Democrat. However, the party here is a JOKE. I am embarrassed to be a Democrat in this town. Everyone here is too busy calling each other names to have a substantive debate on the issues. And by the way our candidates are 90% unelectable!
I'm voting straight ticket Republican in local elections until my party gets its act together.
In the meantime, backbiting libelous weirdos, have fun with your historical arguments about Keehn/McTygue (or Wait/Montagnino). Nothing says "progress" like in-fighting about the merits of last years losers!

9:40 PM  
Blogger A small "r" republican for fairness said...


Very succinctly and well put....

Small 'r'

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Jonny Hytige said...

Stalker? Molester? Stay married to a Hooker? I still haven't made up my mind what to be when I get older.

4:03 AM  
Anonymous A Salty Dog said...

Pretty Wait is a disgrace. Trying to scam the judge into reducing his drunkin' daughter's 1000 fines over the last few years. By the way she is trying to get on the DEM Committee. Talk about your big jokes! The Let's Make a Deal Network, as someone on this blog already pointed out is really pushing the taxpayer.

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Harvey Horndog said...

Now that Val is single, I think I'll start handin around the nxivm HQ a bit myself!

5:11 AM  
Anonymous One asshole to another said...

Sounds like Harvey Horndog is letting the little head do the talking for the bighead.
(I'll start handin around) What?

THis is none other than John Tighe posing as yet another fake name. Funny he picked this one(harvey Horndog) Getting a little antsy John? Wifey not putting out?

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think her personal life is anyone's business.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


I agree. Keehn was a miserable mayor and a bad politician, but politics aside, she's still a person. And one who is just as entitled to her privacy, with regards to her personal life. If in fact the Keehns have separated, I wish them the best of luck.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous I Need A Life Coach said...

"Dont't cry for me, Saratoga!"

- Val (Eva) Keehn, on announcing that her divorce settlement will go to Vanguard.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Captain Kangaroo is Hiding in My Back Yard! said...

Hey Dave Keehn:

You might want to take a look out your bedroom window at night.

Word is the Mrs has hired Bronner and Wyatt to hide in your bushes with their little $40 camera.

You might think about setting some traps out there. Just use a bottle of gin for bait.

Watch your back.

6:48 AM  
Anonymous mamie said...


You keep posting all the crap about the Keehn's I see. I guess don't have much credibility.

4:31 AM  
Anonymous mamie said...

We all know it's John Tighe posting that crap! Why won't you let us continue to post the stuff about his wife? Fair is Fair!

4:33 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


I'm struggling with the last sentence of your post. I think what you meant to say was "I guess [I] don't have much credibility." In which case, I agree. You have ZERO credibility. Anytime anyone has seriously questioned your libelous tripe, you clam up and then start posting more of it under the 'anonymous' moniker. I've even wondered whether 'mamie' is in fact one reader. It's not like you've registered with blogger like some of the other regulars here, which means you really don't stand even slightly behind anything you write.

The bottom line is I love having cogent perspectives disagreeing with my entries and will readily post them. Unfortunately, you lack either the desire or the ability to form such thoughts, so therefore all you add is a foul mouth to the mix, hellbent on doing anything and everything to insult one of a handful of city residents. Thus, you are often censored along with the rest of the brats who can't figure this out.

And for the record, I wasn't going to post the aforementioned comment. But then something tickled me about the thought of Bronner and Wyatt fumbling around in the bushes together for a gin bottle tied to a string. Fucking hilarious.

5:05 AM  
Anonymous Mamie said...

As I find Tighe's wife standing on the corner in her high hells with an overnite bag. I could see her "Hooking" for sure.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI What you don't understand is how the Court System in New York State works. James Montagnino was removed from his position in Westchester, but went kicking and screaming. He has remained in close contact with certain court employees in Westchester who keep him informed on what is going on because he wants to come back.
Don't think that if he does get elected, he will stay a City Court Judge for 10 years. In NYS there is a position which they call "Acting Supreme Court Justice". This is a position where any person who is a judge anywhere in the state can get appointed to this position. This is his plan. Once he gets his foot in the door, he will leave Saratoga in the dust.
If you want to learn about what really goes on in the Court System in New York, go to the website for "Expose Corrupt Courts." It covers all of NYS and has posts by insiders of the Court System as well as from litigants.
I never would have believed what is posted there except I have learned the hard way that it's all true.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get it. Keehn is a politician who is possibly heading for a divorce. James Montagnino is a wannabe judge who needs political support and "presided" over matrimonial cases in Westchester. Montagnino is giving her the inside info on how to play the system.
No wonder she is supporting him. Do you know how much lawyers make in contested divorces? She is saving a fortune.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

how bout some predictions?:

since i did so well on my football card this weekend, let's parlay these plays for 1 unit each:

- Wait over Montagnino.
- Southworth over Thompson
- BEST BET: Russo wins big, i extra unit on a +5% margin
- LONGSHOT: Mausert wins county fam court judge

i base this on the same handicapping skills which save left me teetering on either side of the poverty line since high school ie: zero, but it's fun to play and put your self out on the edge...

What's on your card?

8:11 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


I'd love to make some predictions, but I'm really on the fence here. I think the no-brainer is that Russo will get the nod over Premo, even though after hearing Mike on Skidmore radio the other day, I have doubts over whether he's the best bet for the job.

As for the other races, I fear deeply the DFC will take home a victory. They might get a small majority in the city committee, but nothing as sweeping as they're hoping. I predict the re-election of Thompson and the nomination of Montagnino by slim majorities.

But here's one you can take to the bank: Montagnino and Russo(or Wait and Premo for that matter) will get crushed in the general election. I have no doubts about that.

Mind you, these are predictions, not necessarily what I'd prefer to see happen.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Vegas Oddsmaker said...

I'd be willing to wager on Premo, for this reason:

- Though we are a bit parochial up here at The Spaaaaaaaa (Tom Durkin imitation), we must remember that the 43rd District also includes Rensselaer county.

There, Mr Premo seems to be enjoying widespread, unfied support for his effort. That, combined with a strong Get Out the Vote grassroots organization, has me thinking the gentleman (if a practicing attorney can be called such a thing) has a chance.

Not to mention the fact that the aforementioned Russo radio clip is part of the sudden realization among many that this guy is an absolute clueless idiot.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


That's an interesting take. I'm fairly divorced from Rensselaer politics, so that might be a difference maker in the race. I guess my question to you would be if Premo has more support down there than McDonald.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Vegas Oddsmaker said...

No; the old Bruno Rensselaer Republicans will kick into overdrive and get the juice flowing to Bruno Lite (aka Roy McDonald).

11:01 AM  

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