Tuesday, March 31, 2009

End of the line

Somebody put Jim Tedisco on suicide watch. When the numbers finally come down this evening, it’s best that the veteran state legislator is kept away from sharp objects, strong pills and any other implement of destruction with which he could end it all before the stooges running his campaign realized something is awry.

Sure he looks upbeat; cautiously optimistic at the very least. But so do most self-destructive people shortly before they pull the ripcord on life. Tedisco is mere hours away from learning whether his utterly botched campaign for congress miraculously salvaged him a short stint in Washington, or if he lost the seat to a guy that nobody in the 20th district knew two months ago.

Either way, Tedisco theoretically should have won the race in a landslide. The electorate was firmly entrenched in his party’s favor. He has national recognition and nearly three decades of state government service. Simply put, he was a shoo-in 45 days ago. All he needed to do was nothing at all. The only obstacle stopping him from ascending to congress was time.

That all changed at the start of the race. The national and state Democrats came strongly to the aid of Glens Falls businessman Scott Murphy, a fellow who curried a significant amount of political clout in Missouri, but relative anonymity in the northern Adirondack foothills characterizing a good portion of the congressional district. Fresh from their wins in November, the Democrats injected money and punch into Murphy’s campaign, something that surprised Tedisco and many others during the dawning days of the race.

Stung by the emergence of Murphy, the lumbering Republican machine suddenly jolted into action. Run attack ads. Print accusatory mailers. Grab at straws. Say something about AIG. Maybe harp on Wall Street. Take the GOP playbook, tear out all the pages, and throw them up in the air like confetti; hope that at least one goddamn play floats down. But the more they clutched, kicked grabbed and bit at Murphy, the more he seemed to gain traction in the polls. In the end, he surpassed the flailing Tedisco campaign, which remained a solid four points behind.

Tedisco’s desperation was clear weeks earlier when the Republicans summoned the Hatchet. When John Ciampoli gets involved in an election, the GOP might as well announce they’ve taken off the gloves and are now clutching a strand of razor wire in each fist. Ciampoli, who was once the Pataki appointed counsel for the state Board of Elections, is the political equivalent of highly-trained hitman. His modus operandi is quite simple: Find a couple of small party shills, get them to sign a few waivers and then exploit every loophole in election law there is.

Like any hitman, Ciampoli can’t be linked to any specific candidate. And on paper, he’s only loosely affiliated with the GOP. But in actuality, he does the party’s dirty work whenever summoned. Just ask Brian Premo, who went several rounds against the litigator when he brazenly challenged the otherwise unopposed Joe Bruno for state Senate in 2006.

In the case of the 20th district’s special election, Ciampoli targeted state Libertarian Party chairman Eric Sundwall, whose campaign was starting to attract moderate voters rather than the few fringe danglers that typically gravitate to small party politics. But in a special election for a congressional seat that will expire in less than 20 months, some moderate voters on both sides of the bi-partisan isle were starting to consider him as an option; a protest vote to show up the two-party system.

With Sundwall out of the race, Tedisco probably figured he could split the Libertarian vote and again scramble above the election’s high-water mark. At the very least, he probably assumed the shunned freak vote would instead stay at home to stage their protest. So he employed a trio of card-carrying conservatives to challenge Sundwall’s ballots at the last minute, knowing the candidate didn’t have the resources, money or time to battle it out in court.

Among this trio was Don Neddo, the pathetic shill who helped rally support for the war in Iraq seven years ago. For those who don’t recall this sinister denizen, the ruling Republicans put him on a pedestal claiming he was a decorated war veteran that wanted to see the shimmering glow of freedom shine in the Persian Gulf, regardless of the cost. He was the point man for the so-called ‘Patriot Rallies’ that cropped up across the Capital Region. The rallies were fomented by Clear Channel Communications, a company beholden to the neo-conservatives that pounded the drum beat for war just as people were starting to question whether another one was needed. In the end, he was exposed for the fraud he is and sent packing back up into the darkest nether-region of the GOP’s bowels.

That was until he surfaced in favor of Tedisco’s campaign. Remarkably, Tedisco says people like Ciampoli and Neddo have nothing to do with his campaign. He also claims he has no power over the relentless attack ads that are being sent out by his party at the national level. In fact, he seems to claim he has no control over his campaign whatsoever; that his party is running roughshod over the district like a speeding bullet train without breaks. Needless to say, it’s a troubling assertion that doesn’t bode well for his future in politics.

But most pundits realize Tedisco is all bluster. He’s fully aware of what his party is doing and complicit in it. Even the national ads that incomprehensibly link Murphy to the AIG scandal seem to smack of Tedisco, who once claimed he’d swear off Heinze Ketchup to support George W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

Well, this is the end of the line. A loss for Tedisco today will likely spell his doom in future office. There’s a chance he might be recycled for a state senate seat. But aspirations for higher office will be stemmed there. Even if he wins, the outlook isn’t bright for Disco Jim. He’ll need to bring home a lot of bacon in a Democratic congress that will be less than welcoming to a guy who just spent 45 days bashing mules

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, you saved me a trip to the polling place. Glad that the dems have another robot to shill for pelosi.

10:17 AM  
Blogger save the victoria pool society said...

Voter turnout heavier than expected so far-a definite sign of something.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prophet HO

You are indeed out on a limb here with your prediction, and congratulations on your observations. I heartily agree.

Tedisco comes off as an angry man, with a bushy Godfather hairdo. Guys like him who set out to make a living at being a politician, eventually become whores.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

10:17,

I barely made it out myself. Frankly, the best and most reasonable candidate in the race was pulled off the ballot. I'm not a huge fan of the libertarians, but Sundwall spoke more from the heart than either Murphy or Tedisco. This race is a perfect example of how national bi-partisanship can really screw the pooch when it comes down to picking the best candidate for the position.

2:31,

Indeed. Jim is beholden to the Republican glacier that has covered this community for decades. The glacier has receded and left behind a few rocks. Sadly, Tedisco is one of them.

7:18,

Look, I'm all for free speech. In fact, this blog was founded on it. But when you try to post 25 pages of screed -none of which has anything to do with this topic -it ain't getting posted. I'll give readers a little taste of what you wrote, and if you feel like pairing it down, I'll post more. But I simply don't have the time to read all that, nor does anyone really. And the fact that you seem to be cut and pasting it all over the Web gives me all the more reason to nail the 'moderate' button. But I did love the mention of Dr. Phil. He's genius isn't he!

"The vast majority of website operators don't have the guts to allow this post, anything like it, any searchable lines, or links. They have been deleted more than 90% of the time. The vast majority of syndicated talk radio hosts are screening their calls and won't allow this topic. The vast majority of callers don't have a clue. We are in big trouble. The truth is so Earth shattering, that no public figure has the guts to acknowledge it. Very few have the guts to allow a statement anything like this in their forum. The truth is being suppressed. We are in much more serious trouble than we have been told by any public figure. Don't be fooled by fluctuating economic indicators or short term market stability. The entire foundation of our economy is crumbling. Get ready people. Get your affairs in order. Get your households in order. Get your communities in order. Be prepared. This is no 'correction'. This is no ordinary recession. This won't be just another Great Depression. This will be much worse. Save this post now before it gets deleted..."

Sorry, too late. Next time, try keeping your submission to about 16,000 words less than the 17,000 you submitted...

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the Murphy gathering last night at the Gideon.

It was interesting to see how "invisible" both Ron Kim and Val Keehn were. Yes, both were there, but no one paid attention to either one, nor did the two of them have any presence up on the stage or with Murphy's inner circle.

I think Kim might have even left early. If so, it because no one was bothering with him.

Frank and Yepsen seem to be the leadership now. We'll see if this is a temporary breath of reason or not.

Given they both were strong (and early) backers of Murphy, it will play to their futures if he holds on to win the seat.

If not, the nut-wing of the city party will likely start their mischief again.

Of course, they will probably do that no matter what anyways.

Silly season isn't that far off ...

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kim had to leave early to oversee the Gang Wars coming soon to Saratoga. Val was headed to the Racino.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:34 -

"Franck and Yepsen" a "breath of reason"?

Are you kidding?

Oh yeah, I forgot it's April Fools Day.

Franck and Yepsen are Dumb and Dumber.

5:36 PM  

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