Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Burning stumps

Elect Rudy Giuliani for supreme leader, John Sweeney is awesome and Jim Tedisco, well he’s a swell guy.

That’s about all that can be drawn from The Saratogian’s trademark pandering article about a visit by the Big Apple’s former mayor to stump for U.S. Congressman Sweeney, who’s facing a contentious re-election bid this fall. Lord knows what Tedisco has to do with any of this, but his name was included in the article for good measure.

America’s mayor is again out towing the Bush Administration's line and burning up the stump for any fellow party members facing tough election battles. Rudy, a sort of political Wizard of Oz, sent a message to his fellow countryman Monday at the Saratoga Springs Fire House, just prior to a $1,000-per-plate fundraiser: ignore all those men standing behind the curtain and support the cause of freedom with your vote in November.

This time, he’s standing behind New York’s incumbent 20th district congressman, a somewhat sketchy fellow who’s broadly known for eating out of the palm of special interest. In fact, it’s been widely publicized that Sweeney has taken more campaign contributions from special interests than any other of New York's 29 Representatives and is seventh among the largest recipient of contributions out of all 435 house seats. Can someone say let’s go skiing?

Who really cares though, seeing as though all those bastards are on the take, right? More than likely true, but Sweeney seems to go a bit above and beyond his fellow pork-gobbling friends when it comes to accepting and expecting special treatment.

Some upstaters might recall the congressman’s fender-bender near Willard Mountain in 2000, when he crashed through a utility pole, cut out power in the area for eight hours and stranded skiers on a lift at the tail-end of a night-skiing session. State police never reported the accident, nor did they give Sweeney a breathalyzer, despite being in a bar just prior to the crash and having “one or two glasses of wine." As expected, the incident was left out of The Saratogian.

“One or two glasses of wine” sounds a lot like recent story about the tippling Sweeney, who was reportedly hammered at a Union College fraternity party earlier this year. Sweeney supporters said the congressman wasn’t drunk, but had taken some medication that mixed poorly with his half-glass of wine, leading to the all-important question: what happened to the other half-glass of vino?

Another skeleton in closet of the representative George W. Bush dubbed “Congressman Kickass” is his ass-kicking son, John Sweeney Jr., who was arrested, indicted and eventually admitted guilt after beating another young man within an inch of his life. Of course, a visiting Republican judge from Fulton County saw it fit to pardon Junior from having a felonious record, instead sentencing him to community service and sealing his record as a “youthful offender.” He was 17 at the time of the beating. In their glib wrap-up of the case, The Saratogian chose not to afiliate Junior with his father.

Appearing with the teflon Giuliani helps voters forget about all this nastiness, or the nastiness being bantered back and forth between Camp Sweeney and democratic challenger Kirsten Gillabrand, who running a campaign that's far from angelic.

Then again, wipe away the rose-tint from Rudy’s veneer and he doesn’t exactly appear as such a glimmering example of leadership that so manymake him out to be. Recently, Wayne Barrett, a Village Voice editor and former Giuliani-advocate-turned-staunch-critic, penned a book called the Grand Illusion, which chastises "America’s mayor" for a number of Ground Zero failures that may have compounded the tragedy.

Barrett is critical of Giuliani’s decision to locate the city's command center on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center over the objections of police and fire brass –the bunker went unused and 6,000 gallons of fuel stored in it may have helped level the building. He also asks why the lauded champion of fire fighters and cops failed to upgrade FDNY's famously obsolete radios. Those radios are thought to have doomed many of the firefighters who charged into the towers. And apparently, there are a few people out there who agree with Barrett's findings.

But these are not things many people care to consider about the hero politician of 9-11. They're certainly things to leave out of ingratiating articles aimed at drumming up support for both candidates –even though Rudy still hasn’t admitted publicly to running for President in 2008. It’s also a good idea to omit amention of all these men has done for the 20th District, because neither of them have done anything for the region or Saratoga Springs. That's unless you consider Giuliani's work for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what was it exactly that leveled building number 7 of the World Trade Center? It certainly wasn't from fire, because there were only two very small fires in this building when it fell. The building fell at free fall speed directly into its own footprint, indicating controlled demolition. The elephant in the room is starting to get pissed.

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Stumps and the Saratogian, why is it that our fine newspaper will print a swansong article singing praises of outgoing CEO of Saratoga Hospital, David Anderson, on Page A1 of 8/7/06, but won't put their byline on a single column inch when it comes to investigating the alleged illegal logging operation on city property directly across the street from his for-sale home in Wilton (advertised as "lakefront" and affording a "lake view")? Leave it to the Saratoga County Edition of the Schenectady Gazette (8/18/06) to do that. All the Saratogian printed was an anonymous Sound Off--ironically on the same day as the glowing article on Mr. Anderson--and a Letter to the Editor (8/21/06) from a concerned neighbor. Where is the investigative reporting when you need it? Woodward and Bernstein RIP; make room for Anne Coulter, Thomas Friedman, and Cal Thomas who are more interested in showing how their position is the "right" one, than they are in discovering the truth!

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not submit this (or excerpts thereof) as an op-ed piece, or even a letter to the editor--at the Saratogian AND the Post Star AND other papers in the region...and then note and publish which outlets published it. It looks like a great piece of investigative journalism. We need more of it!

9:27 AM  

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