Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Playing the odds

Saratoga Springs is a gambling town. And in gambling towns, people like to know the odds. Sometimes is so they can take their money and throw it on a winner; other times it’s because they’re feeling lucky and want to play the long shot. Were most people true gaming aficionados, they’d probably have a sixth sense of the odds and the local rag wouldn’t need to print the Pink Sheet each summer. But with most normal people lacking this sense, there’s a market for the odds, even if they’re right only half the time.

So imagine the broad-based dismay among the Spa City’s voting public when they reached for the Saratogian this weekend and read Managing Editor Barbara Lombardo’s column about the paper forgoing its endorsements for the election.

“…the publisher and I agreed that The Saratogian could serve readers best by providing news coverage and, as always, making sure the editorial page continues to be a forum for local opinion,” she wrote in the column published Saturday.

Sweet baby Jesus. The Saratogian has decided against foisting its opinion on readers? What’s next? Eliminating the Pink Sheet? Well, the editorial crew at iSaratoga has nowhere near the scruples of Lombardo, her publisher or any of the other lofty-minded news outlets that did provide endorsements in lieu of the odds, which is what people really want to know.

Let’s face it: Were the common voter not lusting to know the spread, John Zogby’s recent appearance at the Canfield Casino last week wouldn’t have made a ripple in the news, the political science majors at Siena College would have a hell of a lot more drinking time on their hands, and newspaper pages would bear vast tracts of empty space where the poll numbers were once printed.

So let’s cut to the chase. Election Day is a gambling addict’s holiday. It’s the one day of the year preceded by all the other days of the year where folks of this ilk can talk game free and unabated by the constraints of the local chapter of Gamblers Anonymous, their spiritual leader or prying family members who simply don’t understand the rush in throwing several hundred thousand dollars down on hand of Texas Hold’em.

So here are the odds at today’s races for those who might just want to bet on…um…vote for the winner. Or perhaps those who want to find a long-shot in the mix.

John McCain vs. Barack Obama
Stakes: A sweet pad in D.C.; the free world
Track condition: Yielding
Odds: Obama 2-to-1

In the race that means the most to voters but the least in the actual day-to-day lives of voters, the senator from Illinois will win it by what some pundits will call a landslide. Any doubts about the pathetic nature of McCain’s plumber-centric campaign were allayed when the frail candidate attempted to parody himself on Saturday Night Live, just one week after his equally pitiful running mate appeared on the show. McCain will lose for many of the same reasons as Sandy Treadwell: You can’t say you want to ‘change’ a system you helped cultivate. This isn’t to say Obama hasn’t done or won’t do the same; just he’s got less of a track record. And when the other horse has a history of losing, sometimes it’s better to go with the unknown.

Sandy Treadwell vs. Kirsten Gillibrand
Stakes: The 20th Congressional District
Track condition: Fast.
Odds: Gillibrand 5-to-4

Late afternoon showers left the track a bit muddy. That hasn’t stopped these well-heeled thoroughbreds from running at a break-neck pace. Yet with a furlong to go, Gillibrand appears to be pulling ahead. In a somewhat desperate move, the independently wealthy Treadwell has been clutching and grabbing in hopes of thwarting the incumbent Democrat, but with little avail. In truth, Treadwell’s history of running beaten favorites will hopefully lead to his campaign getting put out to pasture; maybe even the glue factory. After all, how can the electorate that showed the hopelessly corrupt John Sweeney to the door possibly elect the guy who allowed such a bibulous freak into power in the first place?

Roy McDonald vs. Mike Russo
Stakes: The state’s 43rd Senate District
Track condition: Muddy
Odds: McDonald 4-to-1

Alleged Working Families party candidate Chris Consuello would figure into this race, had he not been hosing down the track for the past week. What was initially a clean race between the highly-favored Republican and Russo abruptly turned muddy when the Republicans sent out a last-minute mailer urging third-party voters to pull the lever for Consuello, who rightfully won a primary but is otherwise known as a GOP plant. Note to Consuello: If you ever do consider a serious run for office, try and learn how to use Photoshop. The whole flap is fairly senseless, seeing as though longtime 43rd sitter Joe Bruno all but anointed McDonald the victor. Russo didn’t do much to attract voters when he claimed the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority had “blah blah blah” somewhere in its official title.

Jim Tedisco vs. Jim Tedisco
Stakes: The state Assembly Majority’s whipping boy
Track condition: Closed
Odds: Tedisco 1-to-1

The sad part about it is that Tedisco is actually running this race. Or at least his supporters have bothered to put out a sign or three. Pathetically, the Democrats or the area’s third party pawns…cough…Working Families…cough…couldn’t find anything or anyone to run against Tedisco, the 26-year-veteran of the assembly who is rapidly becoming the Capital Region’s new Joe Bruno. As many recall, even the Democrats tacitly supported Bruno’s uncontested reign in office by not endorsing their own candidate and even taking great pains to knock potential candidates off the ballot.

Matt Dorsey vs. Jeffrey Wait
Stakes: A decade of arraigning drunks in City Court
Track condition: Dry
Odds: Dorsey 5-to-2

Some would opine that neither candidate is good successor for retiring Republican Douglas Mills. Dorsey, the former city attorney, was endorsed by the city Republican Committee over part-time city court Judge James Doern, who served nine years as Mills’ understudy. And then there’s Wait, who the Democrats for Change did everything in their power to torpedo before he soundly bested Joe Montagnino in September’s primary. They ultimately decided to support Wait as an olive branch to mend the party. But in this case, it’s a dollar short and a day late.

Jim Buhrmaster vs. Paul Tonko
Stakes: The 21st Congressional District
Track condition: Sloppy
Odds: Tonko 3-to-1

Tonko would have to have a real stumble in the final stretch to lose this race. The race started out as a free-for-all for the Democratic nomination, but ended with Tonko soundly securing the nomination; game, set match. The 21st District is occupied by generally beloved Rep. Michael McNulty and is heavily gerrymandered to support the Democratic cause. Couple this with Tonko –the assemblyman that was able to carry a heavily Republican Montgomery County for nearly 25 years –and you have a near vertical challenge for Buhrmaster to overcome at the polls. Buhrmaster is also hampered by the fact that he has next to no recognition as a minority member of the Democrat-dominated Schenectady County Legislature.

Hugh Farley vs. Fred Goodman
Stakes: The state’s 43rd Senate District
Track condition: Slow
Odds: Farley 6-to-1

Voters love an old geezer, and Farley is no exception. The electorate first put Farley into office during the United State Bicentennial, and there’s a good chance they’ll keep re-electing him until the tercentennial. There’s a comfort Farley brings to his constituents that’s reminiscent of the feeling some get when they visit grandpa at the retirement home. But let’s give credit where credit is due: Goodman, a Democrat, and Working Families Party candidate B.K. Keramati are at least running against Father Time, even if neither really has a chance of winning. The only challenger that stands a chance of unseating Farley is senility, and even that would be a neck-and-neck race.

Tony Jordan vs. Ian McGaughey
Stakes: The state’s 112th Assembly District
Track condition: Heavy
Odds: Jordan 6-to-5

Folks, if you’re looking for shaky bet this is your race. The challenge for McDonald’s soon-to-be-vacated seat could go either way. Jordan was quick out of the gate against McGaughey and was being heavily pushed by the Republicans over the summer, when his challenger was basically unknown to about two-thirds of the district. But since then, the Assembly Democrats have been pumping money into McGaughey’s campaign in hopes to reach the diehard Irish electorate and the geriatrics that will mistakenly believe they’re still voting for the immensely popular McDonald. They might be onto something here.

That’s about it for the handicapping on an election many media outleare already terming a “historic election” long before the votes are even tallied. Unfortunately, many of these voters participating in this oddly dubbed contest will crawl back into their hovels and blow off their democratic duties come the local elections. Sadly, as one reporter pointed out, those races start tomorrow.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pretty much agree with you on the outcome.
If there is any upset, I have a feeling it could be Jeff Wait mainly due to the Obama coattails factor.

I was thinking that Sandy Treadwell must have a hellva lot more money than brains. How much of his own money has he pissed away on this election; 5 or 6 million?

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice after the rabid Dems of the city were defeated in their attempt to put women hating carpetbagger Montagnino on the city court bench the tone of the election between Matt Dorsey and Jeffrey Wait improved drastically. I found it refreshing to have a city election devoid of mudslinging and slander. I can only hope that this tone would continue into the city wide election’s next fall. But I am afraid with people like Kim and the resurrected Keehn the level of discourse will once again sink to unfathomable lows.

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your fears are already in motion, my friend.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's Gazette...
Many local Republicans apparently didn’t bother to vote Tuesday, giving the Capital District the dubious distinction of being one of the few areas where voter-turnout actually decreased.

But New York State didn’t break any records Tuesday. While a few more Democrats turned out, more than 400,000 Republicans stayed home, Skidmore College associate professor Bob Turner said.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right the Matt Dorsey vs Jeffrey Wait battle was a throw back to the way city elections used to be. I miss the sense of honor and dignity that was present in past elections. Once the progressives polluted the gene pool with their banal brand of politics and their Nixum inspired hate speech all decency was swept aside. I do take some satisfaction in the fact some of Waits biggest detractors were Kim and Goldberg. I’m sure some of their personal joy in Obama’s win was tempered by the thought of “Pretty Boy” as Goldberg likes to call him sitting on the bench for ten years. Sorry Nancy theirs not a dam thing you can do about it.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It just goes to show that the progressive new Dem Committee got Wait elected. If he was supported by those other losers that formerly were the Dem comm majority Dorsey would have won in a landslide!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:40:

Don't worry about next year's election. As long as the McTygue's, Boyds, and Kuczynski's stay out of it, there won't be any mudslinging on the Democratic side. Of course, campaign dirty tricks have been a Republican specialty for decades, so you can still expect plenty of slime from Little Scotty and company.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Undercover at DFC sures sounds alot like McCain! All he ever said is "Yes, My Friends" This character also does nothing but try to bring up more mud to keep the dems split. If he is not a republican which I feel he is not, he is one of the slime sucking bottom dwelling pond scum that was the dem committee. To be more specific, John "The Stalker" Tighe.

4:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dem roc said: you would've thought that the republicans might of learned the lesson from the dems, but they didn't. a message to all party leaders, when you have someone who is already in the position, maybe a mayor (enter boyd for a primary) or a sitting judge like doern, people get turned off when the party plays politics. both cases saw the respective parties, for some unknown reason, not endorse the incumbent/understudy. had the republicans just put the more experienced doern up instead of having the political party bosses choice, they might of actually won.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dem roc said: you would've thought that the republicans might of learned the lesson from the dems, but they didn't. a message to all party leaders, when you have someone who is already in the position, maybe a mayor (enter boyd for a primary) or a sitting judge like doern, people get turned off when the party plays politics. both cases saw the respective parties, for some unknown reason, not endorse the incumbent/understudy. had the republicans just put the more experienced doern up instead of having the political party bosses choice, they might of actually won.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New political developments
Mrs Keehn, seen with boyfriend at recent city council meeting.

David Keehn
institutionalized at
Waverly, Pa.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Saratogian is under a corporate mandate -- endorse the Republican or endorse no one. Must be they couldn't bring themselves to back McCain.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

19 year old kids thqt live in the city for 8 months and maybe 3 years topps affect local politics forever! what a joke....skidmore students should have to absontee ballot vote where they actually live. U know the address on their drivers license. Throw the skidmore vote out and dorsey wins, simple.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 7:20 pm-

Read your post.
Now read it again.
Consult a dictionary.
Put down the Vodka or Scotch.
Please shut your mouth.
Respect America.
And Americans.
Be brave.
Or not.

-Call me 24/7,
Kyle York

10:24 PM  
Blogger BlueDog said...

Anon 7:20 PM

Hey, why shouldn't Skidmore students be allowed to vote where they live and have some control over officials that could very well affect their lives?

I personally witnessed Judge Mills berate a 20 year old Skidmore student for the crime of having a beer in one of the downtown bars. Old enough to vote, die for your country, pay taxes but not old enough to have a beer???? Then you're dragged into court and publicly humiliated!!! Ridiculous!

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with demroc on this; Doern would have had a better chance of winning.
I also have a sneaking suspicion that the legal community, and there are many, preferred Wait.
Blaming Skidmore is just ignorant sour grapes.
The biggest factor for Wait's upset was the excitement of Obama; his coattails pulled many to victory.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait is a criminal

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shot & dem roc-

I couldn't agree with y'all more. Thanks for the passionate and concise insights.

If I've soiled your reputations, the "insult" is mine alone. But your "Order in the Court" shows priceless political thought.

-Kyle York

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Money talks, and Skidmore students pump a lot of dough into Saratoga's econony in the off season. Politicians are fools who don't campaign directly to them. If you're running for public office, get your ass up there and make yourself relevant.

And city residents who bitch about Skidmore students in general should have their head examined. One of the best liberal arts colleges is located right up the hill... consider yourselves lucky.

4:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait is not a criminal.
He used poor judgment in asking that backstabbing sleazy no-good son-of-a-bitch Ron Kim for a professional courtesy.

By the way, 7:30 PM also falls into that same category of a backstabbing sleazy no-good son-of-a-bitch.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shit in the dark:

After Jeff Wait won the Democratic primary, Ron Kim supported him in the general election, which he won.

How is that sleazy no-good backstabbing? Why not try getting your facts straight before you shit in the dark?

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's time for the Town of Greenfield to take back the land on which the campus is located.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's time for the city of Saratoga Springs to ship back to New Jersey and Long Island all of these carpetbaggers that have turned this town in nothing more than a mirror image of those rat holes.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shot in the dark admitted to helping the nazi cause in world war II.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, anonymous 5:33am, great idea.

Maybe the Skidmore Community should also shop, live, and dine exclusively in Greenfield and Wilton? In fact, maybe any part of Saratoga Springs' population that you don't agree with should be zoned out of the city? I can see you getting a lot of support on these initiatives. Go to it!

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dem roc said: thoughts on skidmore. not that it makes me happy about skidmore voting here in the city, but at what point do you draw the line. any resident following the proper registration procedures should be allowed to vote. now saying that, i would hope that the skidmore student when thinking about this question asks themselves, " at which home do i want to make an impact." a lot of them move to the area after school is over, so shouldn't they be able to shape that future? plus at which point do you draw the line? do you disenfranchise people because, maybe they'll loose their job and not live in the city the year following the election. Make sure that everyone who votes signs a 5 year contract to continue to live in the city?
and i find it incredibly un-american to stop people from voting, in this case because their views are different. especially in this case because it was a presidential election.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:09 You are a moron. They will still shop and eat in Saratoga Springs, idiot, but will have to vote in Greenfield. It is a brilliant idea, i wish I thought of it. You must be spending too much time looking for wondeful dining options in Greenfield to pull your head out of your butt

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dem Roc- I agree with everything you said except that if Skidmore was the reason for Jeff Wait to get elected then that's a travesty! He is a terrible choice for city court judge! Too many back door deals and favors for friends!

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dem Roc- I agree with everything you said except that if Skidmore was the reason for Jeff Wait to get elected then that's a travesty! He is a terrible choice for city court judge! Too many back door deals and favors for friends!

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:46 Then why not let students claim what city they will move to after graduation and allow them to vote there? Hmmm, I'm a student at Skidmore, but might want to move to Boise after I graduate, so I'll vote by absentee there this year.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


Just wanted to apologize for neglecting the blog this week and last. And I realize the election story has got to be getting a bit stale right now. But it's been a bustling world out there, and you've got to make hay whilst the sun's shining. I'll be making a more concerted effort in the coming days to get some new fodder for iSaratoga. Check back Friday and this weekend. I've got a full bottle of Turkey and a hankering to post...

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we've been warned....

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that you mention it, I am getting a little tired of carrying the load.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shit in the dark:

If you're getting tired of carrying the load, then by all means, go ahead and drop it.

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am pretty disappointed, no comment on the Fresh Stink Blog, did you know the nation was built on slavery?

6:10 PM  

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