Thursday, January 03, 2008

Pass the Kool aid

Sometimes is seems as though more than two decades of immersion in hard news has started to diluted Marv Cermak’s thought process. There really is little other explanation for the Times Union columnist’s recently published notion that ousted Mayor Valerie Keehn and little-known second term Supervisor Joanne Yepsen would stand a spitting chance of stopping the Bruno-Tedisco R-train as it barrels down the tracks in Albany.

In a short excerpt injected into his New Year’s Day column, Cermak portends “Democratic insiders” are touting Yepsen as a challenger to state Sen. Joe Bruno and Valerie Keehn to run against state Assemblyman Jim Tedisco. The only lining of truth in this supposition might come from the dying words of the Keehn administration, when her supporters ominously shrieked about a return to politics as they withered into the autumn cool.

And granted, even a known rumor monger like Cermak makes it quite clear Keehn and Yepsen would be hopeless underdogs. But this would be considered a major understatement in any political circle lying between where the Senate Majority leader’s district begins around Northway Exit 16 and where the Assembly Minority leader’s district extends beyond Thruway Exit 25.

Indeed, these areas include lands quite foreign to a pair of upper-class progressives from the Spa City. In fact, one has to wonder if either of these supposed “challengers” have even traversed the ramshackle waterfront in Rensselaer and seen the gigantic bold-letters reading “BRUNO” on a towering factory overlooking the Hudson. Or if they’ve crossed over to the south bank of the Mohawk, traveled past the slums in Hamilton Hill and into the Bellevue neighborhood where James Tedisco’s modest brick home stands.

This is not to say that either legislator should be arbitrarily handed their next term in office. But the reality of the matter is that their names and faces are firmly entrenched throughout the Capital Region and in places that no level of outsider campaigning could never eclipse. No, it will take much more than a pair of prepubescent Davids armed with a slingshot of futile hopes to slay this collection of GOP Goliaths.

Oddly enough, the weakest link among the Bruno-Tedisco tandem may be Bruno himself. He has sworn enemies among the Times Union’s investigative reporters and editorial staff. They’ve managed to quite handily expose Bruno’s illicit dealings and shady dickering, even though their efforts seemingly back-fired with the so-called “Trooper-gate.” More poignantly, however, is that Bruno is rapidly approaching his 80s. Those familiar with his work at the capital are beginning to notice his age; he sometimes trips over words and often appears as a shadow of the fiery pugilist that took office more than three decades ago.

Update: In contrast to other observations relayed here, an Albany insider vigorously disagreed with the notion that Hollywood Joe has lost even a half-step to his swagger. In fact, the insider noted, the senator bounds up staircases, brandishes a wit that makes most straight razors seem dull and carries himself in conversation better than many other aloof politicians in Albany. Perhaps this is true. But keep in mind, the dude was born before the Great Depression; he’s bound to slow down sometime soon.

Still, Bruno has run unopposed in two consecutive elections and was even aided by the Saratoga County Democrats, who declined to endorse attorney Brian Premo against the senator. This doesn’t bode well for Yepsen, who barely has a voice on the Republican-dominated Board of Supervisors and was boldly castigated as a two-faced coattail rider by fellow Democrat and former Supervisor Cheryl Keyrouze.

And then there’s the other, more preposterous part of Cermak’s rumor-mongering: The candidate to challenge Tedisco will be the Spa City’s one-term mayor who almost single-handedly destroyed the city Democrats and was such a polarizing force that she all but handed the reins of the City Council to the same Republican influences she helped oust from office. Sound the laugh track.

Ask anyone outside of the Spa City about Keehn and the most likely response you’ll get is “who?” True, her hubby has some connections in Albany, but not the type that would sway his party into dumping the money it would need to get word-tripping train wreck of a candidate elected over a smooth-talking mainstay in the headlines known for bringing home the pork.

Tedisco’s challenger –if he even has one –will likely be plucked from the Schenectady County Democrat machine, one which has a lot more momentum than the diminutive, shriveled arm of the Saratoga County Democrats and a knock-kneed chairman that sat on the sidelines as the Saratoga Springs Democrats went supernova.

Yes, the Spa City got a good chortle out of Cermak this week. That is, all of the city except the bone-brained Kool-aid drinking progressive that even mentioned Yepsen and Keehn as potential candidates for state office.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

While Valerie Keehn may be delusional enough to think she could beat Tedisco, Joann Yepsen is too shrewd to take on Joe Bruno.

This kind of conjecturing appears to have more to do with selling newspapers and with coming up with a story during the New Year's lull than anything else.

Damon Runyon was once asked by a friend what he thought of a critical review of a new book he had written that appeared in the newspaper. He is said to have responded:

"Newspapers? Don't they wrap fish in them?"

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know it's funny. yepsin is two faced, no doubt, but come on cheryl, coat tails..... what accomplishments, exactly, would she be coat-tailing.

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Scott is getting off to quite a rocky start...

Every day, Mayor Johnson is looking more and more like your classic Saratoga good ole' boy Republican.

Look at who he just appointed to the planning board? Mary Anne Macica of Stewart's. Phil Klein of Adirondack Trust. Let's just keep on raking in the cash for all those developers! We all know where Phil Klein stands on the county water project.

"Independent" and "bipartisan"? I think not...

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

W'aaaaaaaa! W'aaaaaaa!

You're picking on Val again. Look what happend to Tommy when he did that.

Now, do you want that same kind of grief in your life? Unfounded rumours? Phony charges? Captain Kangaroo and his sidekick Cpl Widestance peeking in your windows?
Stalkers? Shaky and grainy videos of you on the internet? Psychotic bored housewives making incoherent statements on phony blogs about you? Cult members putting curses on your family?

Now, take it back. Or you'll be REAL sorry!

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You reference a "Bruno-Tedisco R-train", yet the picture is clearly one of a D train. What gives?

7:21 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


Good observation. I’d proffer the D-Train as a farcical double entendre; one suggesting the duplicity and futility of speeding campaigns. Or perhaps what a Yepsen-Keehn ticket might look like barreling down the gritty netherworld of the subway system; a blurred epiphany of political aspiration spurred by a few too many pomegranate martinis and a sudden delusion of grandeur. But alas, this would be too thoughtful. Truth be known, I thought the ironic “D” emblazoned on the hurtling car might elude iSaratoga’s loyal readership; or at the very least confuse them.

In truth, the photo seemed the best to use under a suddenly imposed deadline. It was either that or a shitty picture of the Kool Aid man.


You’re not alone. Suddenly, there are a host of very familiar names returning to government and ones that were summarily dismissed by the voting public. I’ll give Scott Johnson his chance to move forward. But my belief toward the inherent nature of politicians gives me a hearty since of doubt toward this administration, as it would with any. Still, only time will tell. I gave Valerie Keehn a solid year in office before criticizing her administration’s failings. I’m going to try and have the same patience with the Johnson Administration.


It’s kind of tough for any of the Saratoga Springs supervisors to do anything unless they have an “R” following their name. Such is the nature of politics. Cheryl Keyrouze seemed to try about as hard as she could to do something with her time in office. In the closing moments of the 2007 campaign, she seemed to lash out against Yepsen as a sort of fence-sitter; someone who was more than willing to take credit, but not one to stick her neck on the line. But as you alluded, it’s difficult to credit either with changing anything too drastic.


True indeed. I’m never really quite sure why this guy thrusts Spa City happenings into his column, which is often devoted to Schenectady County happenings. But Cermak is a fairly knowledgeable fellow and not the type of guy that simply makes things up for a laugh or to sell a few papers. Generally, the guy makes fairly astute observations. So I’m a bit perplexed to this one, unless he’s a personal friend of Roger Wyatt.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 6:52 seems to be the guy who has the child fetish from disutopia blog. He brings up people like captain kangaroo and some corporal widestance person. Not sure who he is Must be some south park character. None thew less he surrounds his comments around kids. Very disturbing.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the fuck? The news says the democratic party is a committee of old run down beaten misfits. Tell me something new. It has always been that way. How long have the McTygue's been involved?

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Einstein 2:33

Kangaroo and Widestance are the ones sharing the role of Joseph Goebbels in your Joan of Keehn sainthood effort.

They also enjoy doing outdoor activities together, like hiding behind bushes at the sewer plant and dump.

Don't worry about responding too quickly--we'll give you plenty of time to go look up who Goebbels is.


Just think, you're probably the smartest one of the whole bunch!

PS: Please tell the Corporal that I saw some peace protestors downtown and that he needs to go spit on them again.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

demroc said: well i had to slip an anon. post by you and you kind of agreed with me. there might be hope for us after all HO. i agree and understand cheryl had to work against the party, and she did work hard but in the end nothing was accomplished. i just think it's funny she had the melt down on disutopia.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meltdown indeed! Cheryl is running around town saying and doing things that only unstable people do. Its very sad, actually. I have never seen a poorer loser.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you never saw a "poorer loser"?

does the name Val Keehn ring a bell?

if you only heard HER meltdown (well, one of them anyways)... on election nite.

7:36 PM  
Blogger A small "r" republican for fairness said...

It is a shame that Keyrouze lost. She did her best and was about as non-partisan as you can be in that post.

She was qualified, she was passionate, and she tirelessly worked for ALL of us-something that can rarely be said about politicians these days.

As far as her accomplishments go, she tried her level best. Given the learning curve of the job, the size of the Board of Supervisors (she was just one voice) and her junior status as that of a freshman, I am sure she would have shined a lot brighter in terms of tangible accomplishments had she been given a deserved second term.

I haven't run into her since the loss, but I'm eager to hear her out-and bummed by her subsequent meltdown.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm a little confused, isn't cpl widestance really just senator Craig, (r) idaho. i hear he has a wide stance.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

having witnessed all the said meltdowns, CK's takes the grand prize. very petty.
and if a democrat can't get us anything at the county why send them down there. (as a democrat that kills me, but i would rather get something then nothing.) which is what we got the last two years. hero to zero

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

demroc: What do you expect from the City's County Supervisor? The previous Republican dance partners brought "very little".
Keep your scorecard out.

Personally, I'd like to see the surrounding towns to help with their truck traffic in and around our city. Several roads classified as 'no trucks' could provide routes from 29 to 87S. Wilton has the potential to do the same. These adjoining towns would like our water bill receipts, our track receipts, our downtown commercial district, and our residential city employees that don't contribute to our city taxes or their own employee benefits, but give us little. CK at least, gave us affordable transportation.

I'd be concerned now that the Saratoga County EOC changes figureheads, that they realize that their responsibility is to a County not just a City -- that's a lot of overhead to adress one community out of all the rest. DB made it seem that this City was his only target area. With buses, and a very large geographic County area, lets hope that the new director can look beyond the Old Bryan Inn and use current data that clearly represents life in the new century.

4:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How did CK give us affordable transportation? Hope you are not talking about CDTA?

Anon 4:27 - DB was one of the best advocates this city or county has ever seen. He is for the average joe. The new director will have her hands full trying to fill his shoes.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:19 – Locally, if all of EOC’s supporters paid their employees a more reasonable wage, throwing in EOC’s 'operating costs', you will see that a large part of EOC's drumroll go silent. Look at their budget. Big shoes to fill indeed.

With a County funded EOC operating budget, EOC should have been advocating for a County affordability program, not a City one. Did anyone ever question why EOC didn’t advocate for living wages for workers instead of tax funded programs? Would it have challenged the handouts from the very hands that feed them? Face it, like the United Way, EOC is another smaller self-propagating "helping" program that absorbs every march of the dollar that comes their way, suggesting that's it's the responsibility of one's fair share. Don’t expect long-term solutions except self-serving promotion and an occasional drumroll that provides little solution to global problems. The only assured goals are overhead and benefits.

County Transportation will move people across this city and this county where there are many affordable options. We’ll never have subways, but the new buses are start in that mass transit direction.

When an organization asks a community to "spend money" question whether or not its being couched as "investment spending" or simply self-promoting personal "revenue enhancement"? Ask to see the finish line and the track record. And that goes for the volunteers – often the mules of an organization – for profit or not.

And yes, there are many good worthwhile organizations out there.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C. Keyrouze did nothing as a supervisor. She was too busy kissing McTygue's ass! She got what she deserved. McTygue was the one that helped bury her for christ's sake. Matt Veitch is a much better option.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well my supervisor scorecard reads like this: woodlawn parking lot $1.2 mil. safety net $100,000. money for openspace, and they got the county to give up some money from the track. and that's without even researching it. JY/CK nothing

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WC Writer 7:06 you should get research assistants. Why not give the elected Supervisors some morning workout time, before you do anymore premature handicapping.

MV ran on "better than the last two" referring to 2005. Hopefully, he won't make the same misjudgments, but we'll have to see who he really represents (The City or the County), now won't we?

We can expect that JY will continue to charm her audience.

Yesterday’s newspaper is … yesterday’s newspaper.

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 7:06 you better get another scorecard, lol! That joke of a "community" parking lot Klein (Adirondack Trust employee) got was for his boss Charlie Wait. Make no mistake about it, that lot was not secured for the constiuents. Klein was able to get our city and county to fund an expensive parking lot that Adirondack Trust would have otherwise! - nice Phil and welcome to the planning board, hang on to your wallets Saratogians!

Yepsen has secured another $250K for open space for 2008 and whats more important has no interest in placing herself in conflicts of interest, very refreshing!

Cheryl worked very hard but in the end accomplished very little.

I wish Matt the best, but he is so busy already my expectations are low.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm not sure how yepsen was able to secure any funding. she has no conflict of interest? well neither do I, thats why we both got the same accomplished down at the county, nothing.
the city needs parking and you got parking. I'm confused as to why the adirondack trust is supposed to build parking for saratoga? if they had i'm sure it wouldn't be free.
and as we found out over the last 2 years it's not that easy to convince a guy from charlton to cough up that money. but it got done and instead of the city paying for it the county did. and lets be honest, phil was a coattail rider as well, much like joanne. this is a woman who on one hand fought the county plan for the hudson river water, but then she took credit for getting the kayderosseras logjam fixed, eventhough the money came from the county plan to tap the hudson.
and this is a guess but isn't the $250,000 secured for the whole county? i know the property we purchased out to the lake was open space monies from the previous supes?

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:29 - "Yepsen has ... no interest in placing herself in conflicts of interest"


1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

doesn't phil klien work for an ins. company, not the bank.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil's insurance firm was bought by Adj Trust. Phil now works for the bank as part of that deal. And he now helps make decisions of the city's future planning, courtesy of our new mayor. Nice thought, huh?

Yepsen seems to be willing to ignore politics and try to make things happen with the Republican on the board. She shows good energy and compassion for her selcted causes, but many of those casues are just window dressing. Whether she "gets" the more important issues is still unknown.

Keyrouze was a very dedicated and tirless fighter for what she saw as the city's interests. For some reason, she and Yepsen never hit it off, and that hurt her a bit in that they couldn't combine their re-election campaign resources. Yepsen's campaign machine could have helped her. And she had the vicious Keehn lunatics against her as well.

Skip was basically the "idiot in the room" when he was on the county board. Rumors are swirling that he was one of Keehn's special ed students, hence the loyalty. He also hates me cus my dog bit him during his dog catcher days.

Veitch will basically run with the same philosophy of his father in law (the Evil Do'er, Roy the Boy McDonald) and continue to rape and pillage the county's quality of life.

We 're f'ed

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh thats too funny... but i think it was idiot keyrouze who raised her hand after a vote and asked what did we just vote on?

3:19 PM  

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