Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Efforts in futility

Politicians are known for their uncanny ability at producing hot air. In fact, were all the local state legislators to line up at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport, they could probably supply the necessary air current to float the entire Adirondack Balloon Festival this September.

Simply put, the minority party in either the Assembly or Senate is wholly unable to effect change unless they have gigantic helping hand from special interest. And if a freshman legislator happens to be in the aforementioned party, he or she isn’t likely to do much other than fetch coffee and crullers for the caucusing minority leaders. Folks, this is Politics 101. Unless your last name happens to be Tedisco, you’re not likely to do much in the Democratic-controlled assembly. Likewise in the Senate with the name Smith, although it should be noted this house appears to be in state of flux that could behoove democrats vying for seats this election season.

But this sad arrangement doesn’t prevent prospective minority legislators from filling their electorate with delusions of grandeur; the ‘if I’m elected’ promises that go only as far as the first Tuesday in November. Unfortunately, many voters aren’t very aware of this pathetic little footnote in state politics. Nor are some news media outlets that cover these blustering. Hence the Saratogian’s recent coverage of 116th Assembly District candidate Tony Jordan.

Jordan, a Republican and the heir-apparent for Assemblyman Roy McDonald’s seat, has recently unveiled a slew of ‘new initiatives’ he plans to bring to the district if he’s elected. Over the past two weeks, he’s inundated the area with news releases pledging a variety of party initiatives. Most newspapers and television stations don’t spot these hackneyed news conferences for what they are: Free campaign ads. As usual, the Saratogian has been a bit slow on the pickup.

Jordan’s campaign staff has managed to slip two articles into the gullible Saratogian totaling roughly 1,000 words of pure, unadulterated propaganda. First, he called for the institution of a “three-pronged financial program” to help New York –cap taxes, cut spending and give state-funded tax credits to lower income families. Now you’re probably saying, ‘sounds good…where do I sign up?’ But wait, there’s more. Jordan is also proposing the elimination of all state gas taxes –a cost measure saving John Q. Public roughly 30 cents per gallon –and $1,000 tax credit for fuel conscious folks who by hybrids.

But wait, there’s even more. Or at least there will be more if you happen to be in the media. See, Jordan’s campaign press secretary happens to be Adam Kramer, the same fellow who helped the ‘Extreme’ candidate George Amedore unseat the once-favored Ed Kosiur from Paul Tonko’s long-occupied seat in the 105th Assembly District in Schenectady and Montgomery counties. ThoughAmedore’s victory is largely attributed to the implosion of the Kosiur campaign following an ill-timed sex-offender legislation he proposed in the Schenectady County Legislature, it’s impossible to overlook a campaign that lead to a sweeping victory by a candidate who had pronounced difficulty in putting two coherent thoughts together in a spoken statement.

In short, Kramer blanketed the media with Amedore news at a rate of roughly one per day until his boss was elected after a special election in July 2007. Mainly, these releases mimicked the futile initiatives being waged by assembly Minority Speaker and rising Republican Pooh-Bah Jim Tedisco. As some might surmise, Tedisco’s power in the assembly is no greater than his voice booming across the cavernous chamber and through area televisions sets when he chooses to stump for a particular issue. In other words, he’s thoroughly ineffective in pushing through any statewide legislation unless Majority Leader Sheldon Silver chucks him a bone his Democrats are done gnawing on.

So it’s an interesting tactic Kramer is taking with Jordan’s campaign and one that might again prove successful given the generally fickle nature of the common voter. They see Jordan, Amedore or any other candidate calling for tax cuts and foolishly believe these candidates will somehow argue this point in the state Legislature. However, absent a highly unlikely Republican coup in the assembly, Jordan will about as effective as Amedore, who was only able to cut ribbons and hold the coattails every time Tedisco wandered through his district over the past year.

This is not to fault either candidate for their visions, if indeed they are their visions. It’s always nice to dream. Who knows? As long as the slumbering behemoth of New York’s electorate remains in a placid slumber, they’ll be able to collect the $79,000 paycheck these shills get for sitting around Albany and nodding their heads for six months.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breaking News, Joanne Yepsen VS Board of Elections - Petition Denied. Joanne Yepsen will not be on the ballot. Although, she can appeal the decision. Yepsen was 25 signatures short. After this lengthy decision and expensive case to appeal, Yepsen gained only 13 more signatures in this case, but still fell 25 signatures short.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nice analysis. It also explains why it would be foolish for voters to send Roy McDonald to the State Senate.

The ancient members of the Republican majority are all being knocked off by Democratic candidates 30 and 40 years younger. After the Dems take over the majority in January they"e going to be in control of the Senate for a long time.

Voters who send a Republican Senator to Albany will find their representative in the same spot as Tedisco in the Assembly - making a lot of noise but accomplishing nothing.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shelly Silver may want a Republican in the Senate House because otherwise he won't be second in command. If both houses are in the Democratic majority they could oust him a lot easier.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess it all comes down to voting for someone who purports to believe the same things you do or one who can bring home the pork. Tough choice.

5:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But, ya gotta love politics :)

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight, you people think the great majority in the assembly is accomplishing a lot for New York -- or Upstate New York? The majority in the senate hasn't been very effective either. But, be careful what you wish for. If the democrats take over the senate, democrats will have no one but themselves to blame for the downfall of the Empire State.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


That's definitely not my point. I frankly think this legislature is the biggest failure since the Titanic. And at least the Titanic sank...

My only point is that if you're a freshman legislator with the minority party, you best get your coffee-fetching shoes on, 'cause that's what you're going to be doing for the first few terms. I just think its a little disingenuous of candidates to be pledging all this statewide legislation when they really have no way of achieving any of it. I'd rather hear what a legislature plans to do for his community, in realistic terms. But I don't suppose that's how you get elected these days.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those readers who have stopped checking comments on "What Goes Around..." Anon 4:43 posted an interesting thought on yesterday's ruling in the Yepsen case. Might be something evryone should read and think about. uhmmmm

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 8:37 What is "What goes around"

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 8:37 never mind , I found it!

3:29 PM  

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