Friday, March 13, 2009

Is there anybody out there?

This just in: The race for the 20th Congressional District is still on! Yes folks, rub the winter out of your eyes and take a gander at this gallop as it comes down to the wire! Excitement, fancy, thrills beyond your wildest expectations! Hold onto your seats, because we’re only getting started!

At least, this is the impression most voters would get if they picked up a newspaper these days. But they don’t. And the battle for the 20th has really slipped off the radar for most people after they realized the two candidates vying for office really aren’t that different once the preposterous attack ads on television are tuned out. The main and perhaps only one is that they place different consonants behind their names, which is hardly a difference that rallies up the masses.

So far, the most exciting moment of the race was when the Democrats were trying to lure Stanley Cup winning goaltender Mike Richter into the fray. When they couldn’t land the former Ranger, there was a bit of curiosity over who they would put up against a showboat Jim Tedisco, who might as well pick up the ‘Hollywood’ moniker Joe Bruno used to carry so well.

Since then, this race has been a snoozer. And it’s not a surprise either. Winter is perhaps the worst time to conduct a campaign. Volunteers are sparse, and the few that do turnout hardly feel like tromping around in two feet of snow getting doors slammed in their faces.

So everything comes down to press coverage and sound bites. The charred crater that was once the Republican Congressional Committee has jazzed things up a bit by trying to help Tedisco’s campaign. Yet when this comes in the form of knocking Scott Murphy for an essay he wrote as an undergrad bashing President Eisenhower, it’s a real stretch calling this help at all. In truth, the best campaigning Tedisco could have done is no campaigning at all. Had he continued to be the ceaseless mouth of the state Assembly, he’d undoubtedly be running away with the race today.

Instead, the media is filled with ludicrous attack adds basically making Murphy out to be the second coming of Bernie Madoff. Assuredly, some conservative think-tank in Washington thought it would be a groovy idea to link these two names, thinking the fickle troglodytes of northern New York would surely buy it and wander out of their Adirondack caves to thwart the next big Ponzi scheme.

Unfortunately, these aren’t the people Camp Tedisco needs to win over. Even if they were, they’re a shrinking minority these days, hardly the folks that would sway an election in one direction or another. The 20th District race is all about the centrists, and these aren’t the type of voters that buy into the trip the RCC is shoveling. These are educated, middle-class people populating the city centers in the district. And they see through attack ads like granny’s underwear.

Proof of this lies in the polls, where Tedisco has taken an utter beating recently. He’s still bringing home the Republican vote. However, Murphy is making serious strides toward seizing the independents. Siena College placed Murphy a sparse four points behind Tedisco, who should theoretically be running away with the race. After all, he’s going up against a guy that has no name recognition and has never bothered with politics in New York. When the Democratic Committee announced Murphy would be running, the pundits answered with a as a round chorus of ‘who?!?’

Now, polls are tricky thing that should always be taken with a grain of salt. In fact, the only they really are good for is giving a race the appearance of being close. The print media seems to think they’re also good for selling papers, but this is a misnomer. Polls are all about giving the American public the carrot it needs to get out and vote. But if the polls aren’t close, they’ll probably stay home and watch American Idol or something even more frivolous –say reruns of Baywatch.

These same people will make a concerted effort to cast ballots if they think there’s a bona fide race afoot. Close polls tap an instinct that is learned very early on in life, that makes us thirst for the gut-wrenching feeling of the bottom of the ninth and the bases loaded; the field goal attempt at 50 yards with the game tied; the neck-and-neck race that has darkroom analysts inspecting photos to determine which hair on the horse’s nose crossed the finish line first.

So maybe a close poll is what this race needs to get people charged up. Maybe a narrow margin is the spice to give this otherwise milquetoast campaign some zing. After all, it’s kind of tough to get excited about the whole affair, when the winner will pretty much sit around Washington and stagnate for the next 16 months before starting a re-election campaign in 2010. All the while, voters can regale over how nice it is to burn through nearly $1 million of tax dollars just to throw such a worthless race.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ron Kim should have been the nominee to take on Disco Jimmy.

Because he wasn't, I'm not voting for this Murphy character. After all, what the heck IS a venture capitalist? Does it mean he uses a lot of capital letters when he writes?

Any why is Joanne Yepsen the one doing all the organizing for Murphy locally? Shouldn't that be the job of the Democratic committee? She's not REALLY one of us -- so she needs to just dispappear. She'd better behave if she wants our endorsement, otherwise she'll be running with John you-know-who on the Independence line.

I haven't seen a photo-opp yet of Murphy with Val Keehn. How does he expect to win without being seen with the most popular person in Saratoga?

I'm writing in Ron Kim's name for Congress in this election! Kim for Kongress! What a slogan!

Won't you do the same?

He's the best --- the BEST!

10:54 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Is there some really good weed going around town or something?

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What, no reference to Tedisco's relationship with local blog target David Silipigno? Shocking.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it's just the same guy that whined on disutopia about someone using his name. Sad, seeing he is using Valerie Keehn's name in all his posts. He is one of the wretched you know!

You're right that this campaign is a snoozer. Too bad since I think Scott Murphy could do a great job for us taxpayers. Maybe I should start putting up a couple hundred Murphy for Congress signs at Jefferson Terrace to stir the pot. This will probably take place this weekend so if poster above (10:54) wants to take pictures so frame me up I am sure the Saratogian would be happy!

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're right about Tedisco hurting himself with his own campaign. Gotta laugh at his slogan, "He's one of us." One of who? People who don't live in the 20th Congressional District?

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's a great patch of it growing behind the Rt. 50 Price Chopper. Just don't let the locals catch you raiding their stash.

-Kyle York

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to disappoint you Gerard but you are starting to sound paranoid I’m not (10:54) and contrary to the opinion you would like people to believe I am not the only one who believes the previous administration was a joke. So stop trying to portray the former Mayor as a victim she will be the butt of jokes for generations in this town.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles Foster Kane says.....

To 4:17pm

Yes, I laughed too when I saw his ad claiming to be "one of us" when he clearly has spent an enormous amount of time trying not to be like ANY of us.

Do you folks remember when then Gov. Spitzer told Tedisco to go %$#@ himself? I do, I remember vividly not just because it was comical as hell, but more importantly because Tedisco proceeded NOT to.

If Tedisco couldn't take direction from the Governor, he will never take direction from his constituents.

Side Note: Gov. Spitzer told Tedisco to go %$#@ himself because Tedisco falsely believed he had more power in Albany than he actually had, and regardless of how you feel about Spitzer, the Gov. was right to threaten Tedisco and kick him and his inflated ego to the curb.

I am not a democrat and I will be voting for Scott Murphy, and hey Mr. Tedisco, when someone like the Gov. tells you to go %$#@ yourself, you do it!

See... this voter likes a man that can take direction and because you can't you don't get my vote.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Man, first you sell the idea of crack on Franklin street now weed growing in March? Stay off the booze bud.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gerard I would like to take your comments seriously, but to do so would be an affront to your intelligence.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your blog has great potential, I'm sorry to see that most of the posters who frequent your blog don't take it seriously.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city Democrats are putting a nice face on with this special election, placing their nasty little internal strife on the back burner until after March 31.

Then, I am certain, the Keehniacs will go back into their natural Karl Rove state of action. Target #1 of course, will be Commissioner Frank. I doubt he will get their endorsement because of his lack of loyalty to the twin icons of Val and Ron.

So what does the guy do? Primary? Or just day 'screw it' and run only on the Independence party line?

The person that will be the most interesting to watch here will be Mrs Yepsin. She seems to have positioned herself above the fray here and seems like the only adult in the party.

What does she do? Support Frank, given that he is a fellow incumbent and actually seems to believe in demonstrating job competence (unlike anyone the Keehniacs have ever put up for office)? Doing so will cost her the Keehn votes. The question becomes just how many 'Keehn votes' are actually out there in a gneeral election?

Or does she feel forced to support the committee's choice, even though that committee has been infested with the life-coach cultists? Doing so will certainly cost her Indy votes and possibly her office.

The ultimate winners are the Republicans, for obvious reasons. There lies the part that the cult just doesn't understand.

But what should we expect from weepy eyed old prunes that call each other by their secret names and save up their money for life enhancement workshops?

It will be an interesting year in city politics. Pull up a chair, folks.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it about these morons pushing the independent line? This joke will last no longer than 2 election cycles. This group are the same unmotivated underacheviers that want to be in charge but are not willing to do the hard work it takes to get to that position. John Franck should get the dem nomination and he also should back the other nominees.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


I hate to sound like a broken record here, but I'm not in the business of publishing the tit-for-tat garbage that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. I realize (dis)utopia has taken a harder stance toward anonymous postings, and I frankly don't blame him given some of the comments that have appeared there. I'm simply not going to bother publishing comments that don't make some sort of point that appeals to iSaratoga's general readership. Things have been going fairly well in this department. And most of you have made very cogent points. But to nip things in the proverbial bud here, do realize this isn't the Saratogian's comment section and the cyber-punking/flaming/trolling simply won't make it to the comments section.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well done and appreciated.
Thank you!

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, finally are we getting to a point where these posters at least attach names to comments? Time for the bashing to end. I personally don't care if I get bashed but fair is fair. Eye for an eye. I post once in awhile here revealing my name. Seems everyone should do the same. As far as the numbers, Murphy appears to be close but how accurate are those numbers?

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Actually, we are all amazed that you can even write.

I would bet Murphy is looking even better than the last poll showed. After all, the younger voters aren't reflected in the old fashioned telephone pools. They hvae cell phones, not land lines.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today's TMP..
"There really is no dismissing Rush Limbaugh, is there? Earlier today, in the special election for Kirsten Gillibrand's old House seat, Republican candidate Jim Tedisco declared that "Rush Limbaugh is meaningless to me."

Now, Tedisco's campaign has released a statement clarifying what he meant:

"Jim's comments were in response to a question about what voters are asking him about on the campaign trail. So far, the concerns he has been hearing from voters on the campaign trail have been local in nature, such as his support for lower property taxes, fiscal responsibility, and his opponent's appalling support for the AIG bonus loophole. That was his point and any effort to characterize it otherwise is a distortion of the facts."

What the fuck is a matter with some of these Republicans?
Have they no balls?

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kyle, let's meet just before harvest time and 'celebrate'

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty solid article on the race up on ParcBench. Looks like a Rollingstone, pop-culture type site for the center-right.


5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The father in the new Tedisco ad, He Speaks for Us, doesn't even live in the district. Eric Schreck is working in Orlando, FL and moving his family there. Eric, ran and lost a City Council Race in Saratoga Spring.

2:09 PM  

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