Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kiss of death

Seeing Rudy Giuliani waltz through your fire station wasn’t a happy occasion seven years ago. Sometimes it meant a pair of planes did a kamikaze dive into the towering high-rise overhead. Other times it meant half your fire company was dead or missing after the aforementioned high-rise collapsed.

Then it all changed for some reason. The former New York City mayor became synonymous with household jingoes like These Colors Don’t Run, God Bless America, and Remember 9-11. Suddenly, Giuliani couldn’t set his feet on the ground without someone offering to toss a red carpet or rose petals beneath them.

And then it changed again. As the nationalistic fervor died down, it became clear that Giuliani wasn’t going to supplant anyone from the Bush Administration, nor would he have the backing of his party for a run after W’s pending retirement. Though he would later limp through an impotent run in the primaries in 2008, it was clear way earlier on that his best days in politics were basically buried with the rubble of Tower One and Tower Two.

All this hasn’t stop the bumbling New York GOP from trotting Giuliani out anytime they figured a close race was at hand. Most notably was the race for the 20th Congressional District in 2006. Incumbent John Sweeney was facing the ride of his life after six years of sleazing through congress unabated. Suddenly, the district’s electorate awoke to realize the fellow they had in Washington was nothing more than a strong-arm thug that had drank his way to the top and jumped in the sack with every lobbyist along the way.

But the Republicans figured Sweeney could get a bump from Giuliani. They figured district voters would still vividly recall the images of the soot-covered mayor leading crowds of terrified people through the smoke-filled streets of Manhattan. They figured his shimmering status as America’s mayor would add a sheen to Sweeney’s lackluster campaign.

They figured wrong. In fact, Giuliani’s appearance in a Saratoga Springs Fire Station was enough to spur a city Ethics Board investigation. The theory was the station itself was a public building and not intended for political stumping, which is exactly what Giuliani and Sweeney used it for. The board reached the decision that found Giuliani’s appearance was a violation and resulted in disciplinary action against the fire department.

“Officers or employees shall not make use of a city workplace to request, or authorize another to use a city workplace to request that any officer or employee participate in an election campaign, political event, or contribute to a political party or committee,” the ruling stated. “Officers or employees shall not display, distribute or otherwise utilize election campaign literature or materials at a city workplace.”

And we all know how well Sweeney’s campaign turned out. But apparently, this is all ancient history for Sandy Treadwell, who is trying to mop up the pieces left in the wake of the Sweeney Tsunami that washed the Republicans out of a badly gerrymandered GOP-dominated district.

Treadwell, the independently wealthy trust-fund son of a General Electric magnate, was obviously too obsessed with spending through his millions when he decided to ignore the foreboding signs Giuliani offered his predecessor. Instead, he appeared alongside the former mayor at two fire stations Wednesday, brazenly riding Giuliani’s badly tattered coattails from the post-September 11th era.

“My first year, Mayor Bloomberg was elected. And Governor Pataki was elected for the third time,” Treadwell told the Saratogian. “Now I'm the candidate.”

So let’s recap: Treadwell helped elect a mayor who openly shunned his party several years later, re-elected the governor who presided over a one of the most corrupt administrations that personally contributed to the ballooning state debt and is appearing on stage with another New York mayor who was too obsessed with his own contracting business to launch any semblance of a political career outside of shouting ‘nine-eleven’ in crowded fire halls. Now that’s the type of winner you can vote for!

But let’s give Treadwell a bit of credit where credit is due. At least he’s admitting to his abject failure as the state Republican’s number-one booster, albeit in a rosy way that’s sort of like saying that the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima saved lives. However, the fact that he’s out-of-touch enough to think a hack like Giuliani can push ahead the campaign of a hack like himself is unnerving to say the least. Voters should take this message to the polls with them and realize that every Enola Gay needs at least one bombardier.

11 Comments:

Blogger shotinthedark said...

I have to laugh at Sandy Treadwell inviting Mr. 911, the family values creep, Rudy Giuliani, to the West Crescent and West Glens Falls firehouses. I see where they were trying to fill up the firehouse; of course, you had to call first so they could determine proper Party affiliation; after all, these national Republicans are too cowardly to speak to just any voter.

You would have thought that these firemen would have learned by now to stay the hell out of politics, especially with the likes of the greatest husband and father in the world, Rudy Giuliani.

I can still picture our own Saratoga Fireman standing behind the great wife beater and boozer, former congressman John Sweeney, at the Lake Avenue Fire Station grinning from ear to ear looking stupid.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why havent you written about how
both McCain and Obama havent campaigned anywhere in upstate New York. They have ignored everywhere outside NYC completely! Its a glaring omission and no one not even you has mentioned it.

Yes, I know McCain was recently in Buffalo but only for a fundraiser, he did not field questions from reporters at all about the upcoming election. I want to read your thoughts about this snub and snub it is.

Neither major candidate courting voters in upstate new york and voters still have their mccain/obama signs in their yard. why in gods name why?

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"“Officers or employees shall not make use of a city workplace to request, or authorize another to use a city workplace to request that any officer or employee participate in an election campaign, political event, or contribute to a political party or committee,” the ruling stated."

Gee, too bad the Saratoga County Board of supervisors didn't pass something like this- or did they ??....Last week most of the Supervisors stood by the war memorial, on the grounds of the County complex, for a very public endorsement of Treadwell that was covered by the media. Wonder if Wickerham did anything about it.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Treadwell is clueless if he thinks that Giuliani can help him.

The Giuliani 9/11 brand did not help Sweeney two years ago, when the former NYC mayor did several events and a TV commercial for the Miami Mob Leader and fellow sleazeball.

After his pathetic presidential campaign this year, the political value of a Giuliani appearance is even less than it was in 2006.

Gillibrand will win re-election easily this year, and for as long as she wants.

Deservedly so.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO:

You've got it all figured out. Treadwell, Pataki, Sweeney, W, Giuliani, are all disgraceful.

The firefighters in NYC figured it out a long time ago too. They know Giuliani's a rat and refuse to have anything to do with him. How come the firefighters in Saratoga County don't get it? Are they too stupid to notice that Republican politicians only care about millionaires and billionaires? They don't give a damn about firefighters, and the only ones who don't seem to know it are the firefighters in Saratoga County.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

H-

You are razor-sharp about Rudy. As any ex-city dweller who KNOWs the man for the arrogant bully he is, 9/11 was the Finest Hour for a man born with 61 minutes of greatness.

Sweeney was blown away by a Public Servant we can be proud of today and in a hopefully way-distant tomorrow.

But H my friend, you hit a raw nerve with a wide roundhouse that may have been unintentionally thrown uncharacteristically wide or shamefully low.

My Uncle fought the island campaign in the Pacific. From Iwo to Okinawa to the occupation. He kept a wallet from a remarkable Japanese sniper. Killing my Uncle's best friend from was his only mistake after three days of treetop murder fed only by a promise to his Emperor.

Once the war had turned to occupation, my Uncle saw the caches of arms. Not sharp sticks and rocks...but rifles, machine guns and a vast armada of Kamikazes and the fuel to fly them into the slow Liberty Ships loaded with troops.

I know the Liberties were slow because my father oiled their engines in the North Atlantic as they plowed along at 8 knots.

The people of the Home Islands were dedicated and ready to offer their lives...like the mothers who jumped from the cliffs of Okinawa. The homeland was armed and superbly positioned in a defense with depth.

Our losses would have been catastrophic. The lives lost might have included my Uncle. And maybe my father. (Insert "Blowhard" joke here).

Politicians can be fools and again, you've brilliantly skewered a few of the most pathetic.

Hiroshima, like our Civil War, was "Pure Murder." The wallet my Uncle kept all his life was no laughing matter.

-Kyle York

8:18 PM  
Blogger A small "r" republican for fairness said...

I have said it before, and I'll say it again....Sandy Treadwell is an empty shirt. Or in the Texas/Bush vernacular, he is "All Hat and No Cattle."

His ads demonizing Ms. Gillibrand have made me sick-to the point where I have emailed his campaign and asked to be removed from his mailing list. Of course, as a registered Repub, this is nigh impossible.

I think Ms. Gillibrand has done a fine job. She's getting my vote on Tuesday.

Small 'r'

8:53 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Kyle,

I think you're misunderstanding my twisted metaphor a bit. Certainly, the case can be made for the bomb 'saving lives' so to speak, and many experts agree there was little else to do other than fight to the last death on that island. But it doesn't change the shear horror of the aftermath(case in point being the attached picture). I think many who say the bomb saved lives -while speaking the truth for the most part -are glossing over the civilian horror left behind when the mushroom cloud subsided.

In as much, it's easy for Treadwell to point toward Bloomberg, Pataki and Giuliani as successes for his party while he was at the helm. But to think the party is a success in the aftermath of all three politicians is laughable to say the least. I can't remember a time in New York history where the Republicans were any weaker than they are now...Both Giuliani and Pataki will go down in the history books as lukewarm politicians at best; at worst, they're respective legacies will be shamed. Bloomberg was smart and divorced himself from these schmucks. He might still have a chance, but is sure as shit won't be thanks to Sandy Treadwell.

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indite Guilani for 9/11 warcrimes. He is quoted, on video, saying he was informed that the buildings were going to come down and evacuated early from building 7. How the hell would he know that? Way too many unanswered questions regarding that day.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wednesday will not arrive soon enough. H, do you have enough bourbon on hand? Just checking...

Jorge

8:09 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Jorge,

Glad you asked. I've stocked up, but not nearly enough. This one might just take a flagon.

8:20 PM  

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