The City of Troy, New York, "Where Henry Hudson Turned Around."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


What scandal, you ask? Why, the

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Details are sketchy right now but it appears the Weed n' Seed Scandal is percolating once again.
Last night, a detachment of Troy Police were all set to do some weedin' when they were called off and told, "No mo' money."

It also appears that the Feds have asked for a five year accounting of money and County officials are having a devil of a time finding the paperwork. Indictments may be on the way.

Perhaps County Republicans can tell us why our Police weren't able to perform their jobs last night. Perhaps someone on the City Council may want to comment on this development. The County has screwed-up funding that was meant to help Troy. Where's the Council, where's the Mayor? Where's Crawley, he's always up for flapping his gums?

Perhaps the City Council could grow a backbone and start asking questions. Ah, forget it. They're not going to criticize or ask any tough questions about this matter. Not when Bob Mirch runs the show in Troy and the County.

In other news, the Republicans have once again raised taxes on Trojans. To date, the tax and spend party has raised taxes 8% under the Tutunjian Administration. Those Republicans love raising taxes, don't they.

Of course, we're told it's a 'bare bones' budget, but we know better, don't we? The optomistic GOP plans on an estimated 15% increase in sales tax revenue. The County estimates the sales tax increase at 5% We'll see what happens. Tighten your belts, ladies and gents, next year's hike will be close to double-digits.

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Dan & Harry celebrate the new tax increase

Monday, November 28, 2005


Please welcome UPSTREAM, a Mohawk Valley Perspective. We've added him to the links on the right. It's an interesting, enjoyable blog, with a bit of everything, history, politics etc. We enjoy these upstate blogs and hope to see more. We enjoy this one in particular because of the history thrown into the mix. Upstate New York, from the Great Lakes Region to Saratoga and Ticonderoga is rich in Colonial history. We wish the area would emphasize that aspect of our great region a bit more.

On a political note, this just in. According to reliable sources, Rensselaer County Republican Chairman Jack Casey will step down from his position in the near future. Not surprising, after his less-than stellar performance. His successor? Probably someone from Joe's backyard. Pat Poleto perhaps?


Here's an article from the New York Times you may find interesting. We posted the article in it's entirety because the Times on-line requires registration.

By Raymond Hernandez New York Times
Published: November 25, 2005

Perhaps no minor party has shaped modern-day politics in New York as profoundly as the state's Conservative Party, sending a little-known candidate to the United States Senate in 1970 and helping orchestrate the defeat of a Democratic star, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo a generation later.

But now, with the steady erosion of its base of power over the last decade, the party faces the grim prospect of going the way of the Brooklyn Dodgers, The New York Herald Tribune and the subway token.

In one of the more intriguing plots of the 2006 political season, the Conservative Party is at risk of losing its place on the statewide ballot next year, political analysts say, and some Republicans are questioning the value of their longtime alliance with Conservatives at a time that tensions between the two parties are high.

Under state law, a party's candidate for governor must draw at least 50,000 votes to ensure that the party has a place on the ballot for the next four years. But political analysts say that it is an open question whether the Conservative Party can do that, given its dwindling enrollment, disenchantment within its ranks and infighting among some of its leaders.

In the 2002 election for governor, for example, the Conservative Party had a remarkably weak showing, drawing 176,848 votes, about one-fifth of the 827,614 votes it collected in 1990, according to results compiled by the State Board of Elections.

"Party leaders have to be very worried about survival," said Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. He recalled the fate of New York's Liberal Party in 2002, when it lost its place on the ballot after a half-century of existence.

Even if the Conservative Party manages to get the 50,000 votes it needs to remain on the ballot, it faces the strong possibility that it will tumble to a lower spot on the ballot if it draws a relatively small number of votes on Election Day 2006 because ballot positions are assigned according to a party's vote totals in the governor's race.

In 1998, for example, the Conservative Party lost the third line on the ballot, Line C, to the upstart Independence Party and has not been able to recover that coveted position since. The third ballot line is the highest spot for a third party, behind the Republicans and Democrats, and so is easier for voters to notice than lower ballot lines.

"I have deep concerns about the longevity and future of the Conservative Party," said Richard Stack, the chairman of the Albany County Conservative Party. "The party might end up on Line G. And you know what G stands for? Gone."

Michael R. Long, the chairman of the Conservative Party, acknowledged a need to rally rank-and-file Conservatives, though he said he did not see the situation as dire as some describe. "The stakes are high," he said. "But I don't necessarily fear us going out of business."

The situation has implications beyond the fate of the Conservative Party. In an apparent effort to mobilize their party's base, leading Conservatives in the state are sharply criticizing Republicans Party leaders, as Republicans try to field a slate of politically moderate candidates to compete next year in heavily Democratic New York.

In particular, Republican leaders are championing Jeanine F. Pirro, the Westchester County district attorney, to run for the Senate and William F. Weld, the former Massachusetts governor, to run for governor.

But their support for abortion rights and gay rights has alienated some conservative leaders, who have indicated that they may run their own candidates for governor and for the Senate if Republicans do not select candidates with more right-leaning ideologies.

Mr. Long said he is far more interested in making an ideological statement that would resonate with his party than he is in simply winning. "We are not just in it to win elections no matter who the candidate is," he said. "We are in it to win elections with like-minded conservative candidates."
If Conservatives break with Republicans in 2006, the implications could be significant, political analysts say.

Minor parties can often provide margins of victory to major-party candidates when races are close. That was the case in the 1994 race for governor, when the Conservative Party line made the difference in George E. Pataki's victory over Mr. Cuomo.

Republicans are outraged at the criticisms being leveled by conservative leaders, including Mr. Long. Many Republicans say the Conservative Party's attempt to influence, if not dictate, the Republican Party's political lineup for 2006 is a classic case of the tail trying to wag the dog.

One high-ranking Republican official, who insisted on anonymity because he did not want to inflame tension between the two parties, said that the Conservative Party's political clout had diminished so greatly that Republican candidates would be better served with the Independence Party line instead.

"The Republican Party doesn't need to be beholden to the Conservative Party anymore," the official said.

Several Republicans have even asserted that Conservative Party leaders would be spiting themselves by running their own candidate for governor and thereby inviting the possibility of failing to get the 50,000 votes needed to keep the party's line on the ballot.

But Conservatives note that there is evidence that their party is better able to excite its supporters when it picks its own candidate. In 1990, for example, Herbert London, running as a Conservative, had nearly as many votes as the Republican nominee for governor, Pierre Rinfret. Mr. Cuomo, then the governor, was re-elected that year with 2.2 million votes on the Democratic and Liberal lines, to about 865,000 for Mr. Rinfret and 828,000 for Mr. London.

In a sense, the Conservative Party has been a victim of its own success since 1994, when it entered into a pivotal alliance with New York Republicans to support Mr. Pataki. Mr. Cuomo had 2.4 million votes on the Democratic and Liberal lines. Mr. Pataki, who had 2.2 million votes on the Republican line, was lifted to victory with the roughly 329,000 votes he received on the Conservative line.

But the Republican-Conservative coalition that was cemented in 1994 eventually became a source of dismay among Conservatives. Even as the Conservative Party endorsed Mr. Pataki in his two subsequent re-elections, in 1998 and 2002, he moved to the left ideologically, adopting Democratic positions in order to remain politically viable in an increasingly Democratic state.
Today, many Conservatives point to the years of support that party leaders provided to Mr. Pataki as one of the main reasons for disaffection in the party ranks.

The party has also lost enrollment in recent years, with 155,000 registered members this month, compared with 173,905 in November 2000, according to the Board of Elections.
James Brewster, vice chairman of the Conservative Party, said one reason the Conservative line on the ballot had such a weak showing in 2002 was that the candidate was none other than Mr. Pataki, who moved toward the middle politically in his later runs for governor.

Mr. Brewster said part of the "grass roots of the Conservative Party didn't go out to vote" because Mr. Pataki was at the top of the ticket.

"And if they did go out to vote, they didn't vote for the governor," he said. "They didn't vote for George Pataki because he moved to the left too far."

Mr. Brewster said it would be a mistake for the party to endorse another liberal-leaning Republican. "We're not going to energize our base with a Weld," he said.

The party's circumstances are a far cry from its standing in 1970, when James Buckley was elected to the United States Senate on the Conservative line with more than two million votes. These days, some in Conservative circles believe that the party must be open to moderate Republican candidates who may differ with Conservatives on some matters but who are viable as candidates in a largely Democratic state.

"They have to learn to compromise a little bit," said Mr. Stack, the Albany Conservative chairman, referring to party leaders. "Their refusal to compromise is leading them to select candidates who are unelectable."

Friday, November 25, 2005


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By Huggybear

Word on the Street is that the Republican led Rensselaer County Legislature will be voting to give themselves a $4k - $7k pay raise. Huggybear doesn't know what to make of this info. Frankly, I can't believe it. If they're going to do this, why wasn't it mentioned during the campaign?

HB doesn't mind the pay raise. After all, they're a good bunch. They lost, hid or stole our Weed n' Seed money, they've raised taxes over 50% in the past few years and how could we forget the Ellis no-show job at the DA's office.

They only thing that bothers me is I usually like to be wined and dined before getting f----d!

HB doesn't believe this rumor. There's as much chance of them voting themselves a pay raise as there is the former FEMA Director starting a disaster preparedness consulting firm. It just ain't going to happen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


The Troy Polloi is excited to welcome a new columnist. Please give a warm round of applause to:

On The (f)Right Side

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The Right Reverend Hawley Smoot

First, I'd like to thank Mr. Democratus for this opportunity. Despite the fact he'll still burn in hell, it was a gracious gesture to allow me to post my thoughts and ideas in this pagan-infested den of iniquity.

The Holiday Season is upon us and with it comes the usual spat of Holiday movies. Parents must tread carefully when they wander into the unholy thicket that is modern culture and the Reverend Smoot is here to help. I'd like to address one particular piece of cinematic 'art': Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

As a disclaimer, I harbor no prejudice against any religious groups. It makes no difference to me (or to God) if you are a Christ-killing Jew, a Papist worshipping the whore of Babylon, a cowardly Quaker or a maniacal Islamist bent on the destruction of all innocent things. If you aren't born-again, you're going straight to hell. I can help your children though and we'll start by keeping them away from 'Harry Potter'.

Now, I haven't actually read the books or viewed the movies but I don't need to spend time in Dante's 8th Circle of Hell to know I don't want to live there.

The Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in a series of books about a young wizard (the aforementioned Harry) and Hogwarts, the 'wizarding' school he attends. The Goblet of Fire, and we're not sure what that is but you can bet it's pagan, is a trap for the unwary.

Wizards and witches are presented as caring, normal people, albeit with magical powers. Non-Magical folk, or Muggles, (read: Christians) are presented as bumbling, mean-spirited folk. Spells and enchantments are taught at Hogwarts. Hogwarts is co-educational and we all know what that can lead to: snogging!One spell, the Magna Viagra spell, sums up what Hogwarts is all about.

In The Goblet of Fire, students from two other wizarding schools come to Hogwarts to compete in a contest of wizarding skills. There is a student from Beauxbatons, an unapologetically French school, and a student named Krum from an Eastern European country (but obviously a country harboring Communist sympathies). One character, Hermione, actually betrays her school by dating Krum.

In another scene, Hogwarts students desecrate a church by smearing house-elf feces all over the church. Underage drinking is rampant when the students go into Hogsmead. Butterbeer is consumed in great quantities. The Head Master, Dumbledore, is unabashedly pro-abortion. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

The purpose of these books is to desensitize your children to the dangers of magic and the dark arts. To make such things appear acceptable. Worst of all, children around the world will line up at midnight just to buy a copy of one of Rowling's works. That's how insidious this new pestilence is, children wanting to read! I don't want to tell you how to raise your children. If you want to consign their souls to everlasting damnation, be my guest. But, if you care about your children the way I care about them, stay home and rent something wholesome and normal such as the Wizard of Oz.

Thanks, Rev. Happy Thankgiving to all. Be good and be safe.


We never thought we'd see it but Congressman John Sweeney seems to have gone soft on juvenile crime.

Sweeney's son, John J. Sweeney recently pled guilty to an August 2004 assault. Sweeney will be sentenced on December 16 and faces 45 days in jail or four months of weekends in the county jail (being forced to listen to his father's speeches was rejected as cruel and inhuman punishment). A pretty stiff sentence. It's not like the kid jay-walked, for crying out loud.

Despite pleading guilty, the Congressman maintains his son's innocence. Which is kind of funny since the kid admitted his guilt. So we guess his father is calling him a perjurer for admitting to something he didn't do.

As young men and women nineteen years and younger continue to die in Iraq, Sweeney had this to say:

"I thought it was important and I think that my son, who ultimately made this decision, was important, that we not lose him at the tender age of 19 to a system that would have put him in jail for years."

We understand John's position as a parent, we really do. But Congressman, please! Are you saying that you'd support a measure that would limit jail time to 45 days (or 4 months of weekends) for first-time, violent offenders, 19 years or younger? Just seeing if we hear you right.

As the Family Values Party is fond of saying, values begin in the home.

Which reminds us:

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Soap on a Rope makes a great Christmas gift.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Another Troy Polloi Election Report Card. We took a look at the At-Large race yesterday using the unofficial numbers. When the final numbers are known, we'll post them and hopefully have a breakdown of the votes received on the minor lines.

On a scale of 1 - 10 we give the Democrats a 7 and the Republicans a 3.

Countywide Races

Out of four contested Countywide races, the Democrats were 4-4. Those are the judicial races, County Court and Supreme Court.

Jacon beat DeAngelis by over 5,000 votes to win the County Court race.

Spain, Egan and Lynch easily won the Supreme Court races. However, it must be remembered that Albany County and as far south as Ulster County voted in that election. In that sense, it's not a true Countywide race.

The Republicans won two uncontested races, Clerk and County Executive. We give uncontested races little weight. Really, isn't it just political masturbation? If Jimino has any ambitions, we imagine she wanted an opponent. She would have beaten that opponent soundly and that would help her in any future bid (Bruno's seat?) According to Talespin, Jimino's name has surfaced for a potential bid against Hevesi for Comptroller. Doubtful, unless she wants to lose statewide.

The downside for the Democrats is that the offices that went uncontested are patronage rich, unlike judicial positions. Further, Jacon, Spain, Egan and Lynch are useless in terms of aiding fellow Democrats unless it's within six months of their election.

Towns, Cities etc

The Democrats showed great strength in East Greenbush and North Greenbush, running the table on the Republicans. The North Greenbush showing was a major blowout.

Evers 2768
Ashe 1508

The rest of the races were almost as lopsided.

East Greenbush was a blowout also.

In Stephentown, Democrats took the town council.

In Rensselaer, they took City Hall and now control just about everything.

Berlin (queue banjo music from Deliverance) remains solidly Republican which is fine by us. It's scary out in them thar parts!

County Legislature

Here's where they came up short. Early returns were promising but somehow they forgot about the absentees. Initially, it looked like a gain of three seats (for a total of seven). Now, it looks like a gain of two. They moved forward but not enough to impact the process.

Overall a good showing. Much better than what many predicted. Still, the Republicans clearly have a strong edge. It'll be a tough nut to crack. Fault lines have appeared and one wonders if Jack Casey will be at the helm of the party next election-cycle.

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Republican Leaders watch the election results on
Tuesday, November 8th

Ultimately, despite its lack of political importance, the DeAngelis - Jacon race for County Court was the showcase race this year. Senator Bruno created a position for DeAngelis, anointed her for the job and she went down to defeat. We surmise that Senator Joe has become "one of those" politicians. He's been around a long time, he's been successful for a long time and now no longer wants to hear bad news. Thus, his people do not tell him things he doesn't want to hear. They know his days are numbered politically. Either he'll retire in the next few years or get ousted. Those of his people in the 30-45 year-old age bracket are now dusting off resumes and worrying more about their own ass than Joe's future.

Monday, November 21, 2005


We added some links over on the right. Albany Eye is particularly good, taking aim at the local media. It can be quite amusing and gets some good, inside dirt.


Some numbers from the At-Large race.

The At-Large race was a bit of a surprise. Many thought that if a Democrat won, it would be LoPorto, despite the fact he lives in Brunswick.* However, even Henry Bauer acknowledged a few weeks before the election that Clem Campana was a good candidate and working hard. Marge's victory was no surprise. She's a popular, likeable lady, at least among the Democrats.

Henry Bauer. Only in Troy (maybe in Albany) could a disgraced judge win the most votes in a six-way race. It says something about Troy residents and their ethical flexibility (not unlike the remarkable dexterity of a Slinky).

The At-Large numbers are interesting. In 2003, all three Republicans won their seats with more than 4,600 votes each:

Dergurahian - 4,806
Armet - 4,738
Messick - 4,689

Damn impressive. This year, the top three Republican vote getters:

Bauer - 4,171
DerGurahian - 4,090
Armet - 3,694

How impressive was Bauer's win? Not very. He won, of course, and got the most votes of any candidate. Turnout was down and there were 4,000 less votes in the 2005 At-Large race as compared to 2003. In fact, Bauer received less votes than John Pattison, the fourth-place finisher in 2003. That makes Bauer's win sound less impressive. But that's not necessarily good news for the Democrats. Campana won his seat with just a few more votes than Rob Gregor won in '03 and Gregor came in last.

Despite the reduced turnout, the percentages changed very little. In 2003, Republicans won 54.6% of the At-Large votes. This year, they won 54% An insignificant difference.

Still, the Democrats offed another incumbent, Bob Armet.

Bob Martiniano went down to defeat. He ran a good race against tough odds, offered some smart ideas and we hope he isn't done with politics. It's quite common for people to lose their first race, especially an At-Large race. Hopefully, Bob will be back.

It was recently pointed out that Collier (District 6) is term-limited. [Correction: As pointed out by a reader, Collier is not yet term-limited]If the Democrats can hold their present council seats, they now have a shot in Districts 5 & 6 for 2007. Who knows what the landscape will look like then but 2007 may be one hell of a brawl.

* An exhaustive review of the charter shows that a candidate for office does have to live within Troy city limits. However, based on past practice, it was our understanding that the charter was more a set of non-binding suggestions rather than actual law.

Friday, November 18, 2005


The Republican Party wants a 'Do-Over' in Districts 1 and 17 because their county legislative candidates lost.

Here's the story from the Times Union.

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"Mr. Attorney General, it's not fair!"

Sad, really, watching them try to salvage something from their election night disasters. Well, we suggest they listen to their own supporters (circa 2000), "Get over it!"

Now they want every vote to count. The fact is, there's problems in many election districts. In fact, At-Large Marge (DerGurahian) may have lost votes because of faulty machines. Those votes may have cost her the City Council Presidency. We don't see them making noise about that. Can't imagine why.

Next, they'll do what they did in Florida in 2000, that is, run to those activist judges for relief (remember folks, it was the Bush camp that went to the courts, not Gore).

Expect more desperate behavior in the year to come. With a Democratic Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller and possibly Senate Majority leader, a lot of panic will set in. Guys, best get to work on those resumes, the free ride is ending.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


For you political junkies, here are some numbers. It doesn't include the absentees and we're too lazy to care.

Troy City Council

As election results rolled in, the Troy Republicans were as jittery as an Aretakis client in a room full of bishops. In the end, they didn't have too much to worry about.

District 1

Wojcik defeated Doran in District 1 without breaking a sweat. Did anyone seriously think Doran would win? The people of District 1 definitely deserve Mark Wojcik. Interestingly, the number of people voting for Wojcik actually fell. So did the number voting for the Democrat. Wojcik increased his margin by 3%.

2003 - Wojcik 1124 (56%), Hunziker-Luce 880 (44%)
2005 - Wojcik 1027 (59%), Doran 703 (41%)

District 2

The Carr-McGrath race was close, 52% - 48%. Too bad Mahoney didn't stay in the game. If a mere 25 votes had switched, Carr would have won. That, despite McGrath having three lines. Again, the vote for the Republican candidate was down from 2003 (Foy, 661) to 639. Unfortunately, for Ms. Carr, the Democratic vote was down from 2003 by more than 100.

District 3

In District 3, Peter Ryan defeated incumbent Art Judge. A major victory for the Democrats. Defeating an incumbent is no small feat. Less than 100 votes separated the two. Judge had a significant drop in support, over 400 less votes than in 2003. Conversely, the Democratic candidate got almost 200 more votes this year than in 2003.

2003 - Judge 1169 (64.8%) - Blakeborough 635 (35.2%)
2005 - Judge 768 (48%) - Ryan 831 (52%)

District 4

Dunne administered an old-fashioned ass-kicking to Pascarell, despite the GOP mounting an ugly, nasty slanderous campaign. Guess that didn't get them very far. Dunne lost a few votes from 2003 but the Republicans lost twice as many. Dunne's margin increased by 3%

2003 - Dunne 483 (58%) - Collington 348 (42%)
2005 - Dunne 457 (61%) - Pascarell 292 (39%)

District 5

Krogh easily defeated Lamiano. Krogh lost over two hundred votes from his previous showing.

2003 - Krogh 1179 (57%) - Lennon 886 (43%)
2005 - Krogh 958 (53.7%) - Lamiano 824 (46.3%)

District 6

Collier trounced newcomer Hockler, running away with the election. Collier didn't seem to gain much support in the last four years. However, given the dismal showing by her opponents, she didn't need it.

2003 - Collier 844 (60.6%) - Leahy 548 (39.4%)
2005 - Collier 867 ( 59.7%) - Hockler 585 (40.3%)


We learned a lot from these numbers. We learned that voter turnout was down, we learned that District 6 was the only District were voter turnout was up and we finally learned what that orange 'M+' button on the calculator is used for.

We give the Republicans a -15. What does that mean? Glad you asked. It means that overall, the Republicans lost 15% points since the last election. The downside is, most of that was in one election, District 3, where Judge took a 16% winning margin and turned it into a 4 point loss. Or maybe not. Who the hell knows, We just made that up.

On a scale of 1 to 10, the Democrats get a 6. They defeated an incumbent in District 3 and a Democrat had the biggest winning margin (Dunne at 61%). In the At-Large race, which we'll discuss in another post, Campana knocked off Armet. A solid showing, a step forward, hence the 6 out of 10.

What does turnout say? It could mean voters were not enthusiatic about the incumbents and didn't go out to vote for them. It could mean, voters thought the incumbents would win easily and didn't go out to vote for them. It could mean some really good reruns were on television.

For Democrats, District 4 is a lock. They have strength in District 3 and are competitive in District 5. District 5 should be a target in '07. Time will tell in District 2.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


The crack staff at the Troy Polloi is currently working on an in-depth analysis of Decision 2005! They have slaved away for at least four minutes on this analysis and will put in another four to five minutes before it's complete. It's exacting work, requiring an abacus and scalpel. Stay tuned.

The future of the Troy Polloi is up in the air. At the very least, we can't continue to post 3-4 times a week. It's a lot of work (at least 15 minutes a day) and things will quiet down on the political front for awhile. Besides, the Warden is cracking down on our computer privileges. We may only post once or twice a week. If you want, we can also post debate threads. Suggestions are welcome (example "Should the City Charter be amended to require all elected officials to wear mutton chops? - Discuss).

We do have a special letter to Upstate Republicans. It's from the big man himself.

Dear Upstate New York Republicans:

I wish to apologize for my part in your dismal performance last Tuesday. Many good candidates lost due to my unpopularitude. Polls show my approval rating at 36% Yes, 36% Do not despair, however. President Buchanan was much less popular than I is. In the next few weeks, I expect my popularity to skyrocket to 38%, bypassing President Franklin Pierce. Then, look out, Herbert Hoover!Like the other problems in my Ministration, I take full responsibility.

The problems I are currently experiencating are problematic and it was with great dismay that I flushed them your way.

Still, my resolve is firmed and I am firmly resolved. The success of Democrats in Ulster County, Saratoga County, Buffalo, Suffolk County, Nassau County and Schenectady County was perpetrated by outside groups that hate freedom. Their increasing success is evidence of just how desperate they are.

I will need all of your help in the upcoming days. The Democrats may try to filibuster Judge Alito, my choice for Supreme Court (Hey, I thought he was Hispanic, turns out he's Italian, who knew?) Judge Alito displayed the full range of his judicial abilities during the O.J. Simpson trial.

Gotta run, Scooter's on line three.

George W. Bush

Presidentiary of the United States

PS Joe, I found another job for Bobby M, call me.

cc. Senator Joe

Say what you want, but that was nice of him.

We finally found the Dan Crawley sandwich. It took some time but it was well worth the wait.

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The Dan Crawley

We had ours with a side order of angioplasty and a stomach pump.*

Finally, we want to condemn all personal attacks on politicians. We call on everyone to end the politics of personal destruction.

* Sorry, Dan, please don't have us arrested

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Time to take a breather and discuss something important: Baseball.

We hope there are some baseball fans amongst our readership. If so, we assume there may be an equal breakdown between Yankees, Red Sox and Mets fans. In the interest of full disclosure, Democratus is a Yankee fan. A Yankee fan that does not hate the Red Sox, if you can believe it.

As you probably know, Alex Rodriguez was named the American League's Most Valuable Player. The Red Sox Designated Hitter, David Ortiz, came in second in the voting. Red Sox fans are appalled and believe Ortiz was robbed of the MVP. With all due respect, not only is Rodriguez a better player, not only did he have a better season, it's not even close.

First, Rodriguez is not a favorite of Democratus. He's the best all-around player today but Yankees like Tino Martinez and Paul O'Neill will always have a special place in Democratus' heart.

First, the numbers (A-Rod's are in bold).

Games 162 - 159
Avg. .321 - .300
Hits 194 - 180
2B 29 - 40
3B 1 - 1
HR 48 - 47
Runs 124 - 119
RBI's 130 - 148
SB's 21 - 1
BB's 91 - 102
K's 139 - 124

Ortiz comes up with more doubles, RBI's and walks. Rodriguez leads in every other category.

Now, lets take a closer look. Oritz grounded into more double plays, 13, as opposed to A-Rod's 8. Ortiz had a phenomenal On Base %, .397. A-Rod's On Base % was .421. Finally, A-Rod created 151 runs while making 428 outs. Ortiz created 146 runs while making 443 outs.*

It's no secret that Fenway Park inflates numbers and Ortiz is no exception. At home, Ortiz hit .322, on the road, .278. At home, his On Base % was .425, on the road, .369.

It's no secret that Yankee Stadium isn't the best hitter's park in baseball. Nonetheless, at home A-Rod hit .351 compared to .291 on the road. At home, A-Rod's On Base % was .448, on the road, .395.

And of course, the big one. Rodriguez is a baseball player while Ortiz is a hitter. There's a big difference. Ortiz is an old-school slugger, hits with power with a lot of walks and strikeouts. That's about all he gives you. A-Rod is a five category player, hitting for average, with power, speed and defense.

On mere principle, a DH should never win the MVP unless he has a tremendous season, and Ortiz's, as great as it was, falls far short.

In short, Rodriguez created more runs while making less outs and played an excellent third base. He can beat the opposition in a variety of ways. Ortiz is a two dimensional player, power and walks.

We hope there's some baseball fans out there and we thought this would be a good break from politics. Feel free to discuss.

*RC - Runs Created - A runs estimator created by Bill James. A runs estimator attempts to quantify the entire contribution of a player's statistics to a team's total runs scored. It typically involves some positive value for things like hits, walks, steals, home runs, etc. and negative values for outs, caught stealing and GIDP. There are 24 different versions of RC depending on the stats you have and I am using the most basic here. (H + BB) * (TB)/ (PA)

Friday, November 11, 2005


On Tuesday, the New York State Republican Party passed quietly in its sleep after a long illness. It left no survivors.

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Too dramatic? We thought so. Accurate? Probably not. Party obituaries are nothing new. The GOP was dead after FDR's landslide victory in '32. It was dead after the Goldwater debacle. The Democratic Party has died an equal number of times.

That said, the GOP got spanked hard last night (and unlike Jimmy Swaggart, they didn't enjoy it), all over New York State. Democrats now control Nassau and Suffolk County, areas traditionally Republican. In Buffalo, Saratoga County, Schenectady and Ulster County, Democrats swept into office.

On a statewide level, things look just as bleak. After the heady days of Bill Powers, the GOP is saddled with Chairman Minarik. Minarik makes Lou Costello look competent. Pirro is off to a abysmal start in her futile attempt to defeat Clinton in next years Senate race. Spitzer is poised to demolish any Republican challenger, even the import from Massachusetts and Cuomo may be our next Attorney General. Like or hate those names (Clinton, Spitzer, Cuomo) that is a formidable ticket.

The GOP has not been a powerhouse for some time but they had been able to field candidates acceptable to many New Yorkers and win despite a 3-1 enrollment disadvantage. Last night, Michael Bloomberg was the only GOP star (and in terms of ideology he's to the left of Clinton) to shine.

By this time next year, the GOP will be on life support and that's too bad. We need balance in our government, at all levels. Do we want to see a great Democratic showing next year? Of course. Do we want to see the GOP all but disappear? No! The minority party must be healthy enough to keep an eye on those in power. We need some balance in our politics or those in power forget who their employers are.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


This will be the first in a series of post-mortems for Election 2005 (insert dramatic music here).

COUNTY COURT JUDGE (also known as "Excuse me Senator, but you have some egg on your face!")

We have listened to a lot of "take" on this race and its outcome. This was the jewel in the Republican Crown. Unfortunately for them, the jewel was less a diamond and more a diamonoid. There must have been some concerned faces at the Best Western when results began to trickle in.

So, the post election discussion centers on "why did DeAngelis lose?" Did Bruno overplay his hand? Did the voters bristle at the idea DeAngelis was the anointed one? Was Trish's message ineffectual? Did negative media play a role? All these things are being discussed. All these things may have played a part. But....

This reminds us of a story about General Pickett. Years after the Civil War, a reporter asked Pickett why the Confederacy had lost Gettysburg. Was it Lee's fault? Was it Longstreet's fault? Pickett looked at the reporter and said, "son, I believe the Union Army had something to do with it."

Well, we believe Robert Jacon had something to do with his landslide upset over DeAngelis.*

First, Jacon brought credibility to the race. He is well respected, had judicial experience and "acted like a judge." That is, his temperament seemed straight out of central casting for the role of judge.

Secondly, he believed the race worthy enough to spend money and get his message out. We've been told that Jacon spent in the area of $90,000 on the race. That's a significant gamble. It's also a significant commitment. He worked hard going door to door.

Third, Jacon's strategy was simple but so often overlooked by politicians. He stayed on message, touting his experience and at the same time he kept DeAngelis on the defensive. DeAngelis never seemed to find her footing** in this race and credit for that goes to Jacon and his people.

Jacon kept DeAngelis on the defensive by attacking her record. These weren't cheap shots. He didn't attack her hair, her voice, her looks or her father. He attacked her record and was quite effective. His mailing that depicted the negative DeAngelis headlines was one of the best pieces we have ever seen.

So, when you talk about what happened on Tuesday, remember, Bob Jacon had a little something to do with it.

* Traditionally, a 10 point spread is considered a landslide; 20 points is an ass-kicking.

** According to sources, a poll conducted four or five weeks before the election showed the race at DeAngelis 43%, Jacon 27%. If relatively accurate, the poll shows little to no movement for DeAngelis for a month.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


We know this is a local blog, but there will be two big stories tomorrow: Saratoga and Bob Jacon. The Democrats did extremely well in Saratoga Springs and the county.

As for Jacon, the last count, with 99% reporting was Jacon 57%, DeAngelis 43%.

Troy City Council. it looks like the Democrats picked up a seat, but they should wait for the absentees. Not sure how many there are out there but it looks like Clem Campana will join the Council. Troy took a big step today. Clem's a good man.

Dunne easily defeated Pascarell.

It looks like Ryan beat Art Judge.

Mike LoPorto lost. But....he may run in Brunswick some day.

Henry Bauer will be the Council President, with a very strong showing. Good luck, Henry. If you do the job you're capable of doing, Troy will benefit.

The Democrats won in Stephentown and North Greenbush. Congratulations on a job well done.

Rensselaer City Hall is back in Democratic hands. A bit of a surprise, that one.

The Democrats swept the Supreme Court races, trouncing their opposition. Congrats, Judge Spain, Judge Egan and Judge Lynch. All three will serve us well. Why do we get the feeling that Uncle Joe is smiling at that sweep?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Feel free to gloat here, but keep it civil, please, especially you Republicans.


You can place your predictions here. I expect you all to act like ladies and gentlemen. If not, we'll turn this blog around right now and go home.

Have at it.

Later, we'll put up a gloat thread for your gloating pleasure.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Tom Casey that is, not Jack. Casey is the Republican Chair in Troy. After a barrage of slanderous, anonymous phone calls, Casey's response was to blame a blog. We're not sure which blog he's referring to but if there's a blog out there making personal attacks, we condemn such behavior.

We like Casey's "They started it," defense. Looks like we have another Third Grader here.

For fun though, lets look at how Casey treats a female, senior citizen in an e-mail. Just to show you what type of man we're dealing with.

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Great e-mail "GOP Caseman." Lets dissect it a bit.

First, way to go, berating an old woman. Must make you feel real good. Secondly, exposing her to her fellow tenants? As what, Tom? A Democrat. Sorry, Caseman, people can be Democrats, at least for now. Hey, Tom, you don't send your candidates to a forum, don't blame other people.

Finally, lets talk about "running Troy like a business." That's our favorite, Tom. Enron, maybe.

As far as we know, Harry used to run a business. He didn't hire Dan Crawley or Dave Mitchell or Bob Mirch for his business. No, he hired them for Troy because they supported him. Most businesses hire the best qualified people, not political hacks.

If Troy is a business, then we believe the taxpayers are the shareholders. Generally, shareholders don't see their dividends shrink. Here, however, the Republicans have continually raised taxes, thereby shrinking the shareholder dividends. Not only that, you give pay raises to top officials while you raise taxes. Funny way to run a business, Tom.

Good businesses also follow the rules, Tom. Since you are a public employee, you are ineligible to be a party chair. Basically, you're breaking the law. Maybe it is more like Enron than we first thought. We understand you're merely a figurehead and Bruno calls the shots. Still, you shouldn't be breaking the law. What will we tell the children, Tom.

Point is Tom, government isn't a business.

Tom, stick to berating old ladies, you're perfect for the job.

If you want to express your displeasure with Tom, feel free to e-mail him at and tell him Democratus sent you.

The more power the GOP has, the nastier they get.


Why is the PBA attacking Art Judge?

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Odd, isn't it? Now here's a surprise, we'd like to defend Art Judge (you there, in the back, stop laughing).

The PBA hasn't singled out any other race like it has the 3rd District. Sure, we endorsed Ryan, but what did Judge do to deserve this attack? Judge is a decent fellow and a rather conventional councilman. We find it hard to believe he wouldn't have worked with Fitzgerald so Fitzgerald could "get involved" in the District.

Something smells here. Are the Republican big wigs upset with Judge? Maybe Fitzgerald should focus on all those jay walkers and stop attacking a decent man.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


DeAngelis Loses Endorsement Primary

The three major papers in the region (Times Union, The Record, The Troy Polloi) have endorsed Robert Jacon for County Court Judge. No one can argue with their reasoning but we'll have to see what the voters think.

In other DeAngelis news, the Appellate Division Third Department has announced they will be adding another judge if DeAngelis wins in order to handle the expected case load that will be coming their way.

Overheard at the DeAngelis fundraiser: A DeAngelis neighbor has placed a Jacon sign on their front lawn. "Doesn't she know I live nextdoor," said a mystified DeAngelis. Uhm....She probably does, Trish and she probably waited in line for the sign. Last we heard, you can do that type of thing in America.

The Harry & Mike Show

Today is the third day in which Harry has run an ad attacking his Uncle-in-Law, Michael LoPorto. The ad hints at supporting all nine Republican candidates for City Council but is really just an immature tirade against a family member. You can tell a lot about a man that puts politics above family.

Lets suppose the ad is 100% correct. Why run the ad? Why not let it go? It's a small, petty move. Something a bush-leaguer would do. This isn't the Third Grade. Or is it?**

Harry, spend your time helping the Bucks. After all, you did promise to help them.


All of you are waiting for the Troy Polloi's election predications. We just know you are. Unfortunately, there's no Cassandra here, but we'll dust off our prognostication skills and do our best.

Best Case Scenario

The best case scenario for the Democrats is victory in five races: Jacon for County Court Judge, Carr (District 2), Ryan (District 3), Dunne (District 4), LoPorto (At-Large). That's best case. Realistically, Dunne and one other, take your pick.

The best case scenario for the Republicans? It's not often you can say this about a political party but there is a potential for them to win everything, from the County Court race, the county legislative races, right through the city races. They're really not that far away from that now. It would be the ultimate in control and a terrible thing for the residents. But remember, by definition, half of the population is of below average intelligence, so it could happen.

In any event, we suspect a good night for the Republicans which means more material for us.

* still the same low price
** I saw Mike in gym class and he said he's going to meet Harry after school and kick his %$#@

Friday, November 04, 2005


Not much going on. The calm before the storm.

The election season is almost over. Every sane person must be breathing a sigh of relief. We, of course, love the entire political season and are sorry to see it wind up.

In the interest of professional courtesy, we extend the following stories to the Times Union and The Record for the next go-around. No need to re-invent the wheel.

Fill in the Blanks

_____________, candidate for District ___ in Troy, has alleged that ____________ has stolen _____ of his/her signs. __________ denies the allegation, calling ________ a _______ __________.

__________, candidate for District ___ in Troy, wants to see safer, cleaner neighborhoods and pledges to be a more effective councilperson than _______________.

Absentee Landlords

One issue that everyone is talking about is absentee landlords. Dunne started this conversation and gets no credit. The Council was supposed to implement Mahoney's absentee landlord legislation but, like just about everything else, dropped the ball.

Absentee landlords are the target. We understand the point. People take better care of a property if it's their residence. Fine. We get it. However, last we heard, this was America and you are allowed to purchase as much property as you want. Owning things is good. Not all absentee landlords are bad. Could we please say something like negligent landlords or irresponsible landlords. Candidates shouldn't paint with such a broad brush. And no, in the interest of full disclosure, Democratus is not a landlord. God forbid.

If You Aren't Busy, Go Vote

Lets see, Tim O'Brien says don't vote if you don't want to.

Franco says every vote counts.

We take the middle view. Your vote counts, just not that much. Don't get any big ideas about participating in the democratic process. Not in New York State.

The problem in New York State are the minor lines. The Independence Party is a joke and its leaders should be sued for false advertising. It's not independent. It's a client party, currently, of the Republican Party. Same with the Conservative Party. It's a joke.

If they were real parties, the Conservative Party and Independence Party would do what most parties do, run candidates. Instead, they endorse the candidates of the party that offers the biggest payoff. Those payoffs come in the form of jobs for the party leaders and their family members. It's a huge shakedown racket and nothing more.

Franco and Talespin have pointed out that these minor lines can sometimes be worth upwards of 14% of the vote. Basically, idiots will vote for candidate A on line C but not for candidate A on line A. Essentially, it's the same mentality that finds Nascar and wrestling entertaining.

A democracy can't work when the 5% or 8% or 14% that decide elections are up for sale. If Harry looks weak for 2007, Mirch will shop the Conservative endorsement around to the frontrunner. Why? So he and his family can leach off the public some more and build up a nice pension. Wake up folks. He's laughing all the way to the bank and you don't get it.

All in the Family

Wow! We guess LoPorto won't be going to Harry's place for the Holidays. Few politicians take out full page ads (today's Record) attacking their wife's uncle but hey, we're in Troy. A lot of familys have issues. True, most don't revolve around political races and Frear Park restaurants.

Harry claims that LoPorto is pissed at him because he, LoPorto, didn't get the Frear Park restaurant deal. Well, LoPorto should be pissed. Why should Mike be the only one to suffer from Harry's "ethics".

We take that back. The Carignan Agency has suffered, and so have the Bucks, from Harry's fine ethics. So, LoPorto is in good company.

As for outsiders, we suppose Dave Mitchell will be leaving Corporation Counsel's Office sometime soon.

And what does he have against Brunswick. By all accounts it's a well-run town. He's actually a Brunswicker (Brunswickian?), born and raised. Hell, he votes in Brunswick. Trojans go to Brunswick for all their needs, Wal-Mart, Price Chopper etc. Perhaps they should have a say on the City Council.

All in all, we respect Harry. Because when a grown man is really pissed off, he did what all grown men do, took out an ad in a newspaper.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


How many of you have critically analyzed the issues and who will get your vote? How many of you have taken the time to read all you can about the candidates up for election? How many of you believe stepping into a voting both is almost as sacred as stepping into a confessional? Me neither. Still, here's our picks.

District 1

We choose Daniel Doran over Mark Wojcik for two reasons. Wojcik believes that Lansingburgh will become a 'Destination'. Therefore, we can't really take him too seriously (although if he really believes that, we want a dime bag of whatever he's smoking). Secondly, the Democrats may need ready access to funeral supplies and services. Therefore, Dan's the man.

District 2

Carr or McGrath? We're torn. It be nice to have a minority on the Council. On the other hand, McGrath represents a minority of sorts. He looks like every woman's first husband. They should have representation also. In the end, we don't care. Neither is slinging mud and both care about the city. District 2 can't lose.

District 3

Art Judge or Peter Ryan. Ryan all the way. He may even win. He appears to be well respected in his neighborhood, intelligent and articulate. Ryan could be a surprise here. He probably won't run from a budget vote. The minor lines will probably kill him.

District 4

Dunne. We like a guy who can take all the lies and garbage that the Republican bosses ooze and still fight back. Besides, Bruno all but endorsed Dunne and his jail plan. Also, Dunne doesn't carry the added expense of a booster seat that comes with a Pascarell win. In the end, it's a character issue and we cannot endorse a man that has been arrested or a man that lies on campaign literature.

District 5

We're going with Bob Krogh. The follicle-challenged are a growing minority in the city and their voice should be heard. Bob's a decent sort and they need someone who doesn't get down in the gutter with the rest of the Republicans.

District 6

Collier or Hockler? Another tough one. Collier does add some testosterone to the council. Hockler seems like a decent man. We have to go with Collier. She'll be great for the future of the Troy Polloi.


Wow, so many choices. It's like a Chinese menu. Armet is an empty suit, blowhard. The tribe should vote him off the island. He can always get a job as Harry's faux-lighthouse keeper. Campana and Martiniano are our guys here, respected, responsible and they won't be a rubber stamp for the mayor. They may actually act like a legislative branch of government. So we need a third for our menage. Marge or LoPorto? We like Marge, don't get us wrong, but LoPorto will bring an out-of-town perspective. It's a toss-up. Oops, we forgot about the disgraced Judge, Henry Bauer. We simply cannot endorse him this round and frankly, we don't believe the Republicans are going to want him on the council. The other Republicans are not of the same caliber as Bauer and he'll easily outshine them.

Marge or Mike

County Court Judge

We've written a lot about this so lets cut to the chase.

The one thing DeAngelis has going for her are all those innovative programs she started. Our favorite, "Let Us Pay You To Go To School Full Time" (or LUPYTGTSFT). We want that grant. Sign us up.

Robert Jacon is the only serious choice. If you can't grasp that there's no reasoning with you.

County Legislature

All the Democrats. We're tired of all the tax hikes, we're tired of the scandals, we're tired of the party that let Mary Beth Anslow go home early because she was Jack Casey's client. Throw 'em out. You won't, but you should. Someday you'll tire of being vassels.

That said, we predict a big night for the Republicans. Maybe a clean sweep in the county and 7 out of the 9 City Council seats.

This election brings us to an important fork in the road. One road leads to incompetence, the other to corruption. Make the right choice.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


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By Huggybear

*** Disclaimer - Huggybear is an independent contractor and not an employee of the Troy Polloi. If he is stopped and detained for any pedestrian violations while in the City of Troy we are not responsible and will disavow all knowledge of his activities ***

Word on the Street is that Republicans plan an election night celebration at Positively Fourth Street. The way things look, they'll be partying into the wee hours. Knowing that crowd, we hope 5-0 has the breathalyzer polished and calibrated.

Word on the Street is that the Democrats are planning for a post-election gathering also. Calling hours will be from 8:30 - 11:30 at Bryce Funeral Home.

Word on the Street is that Miss Trish's October 30 fundraiser was a total flop, worse than the Milli Vanilli comeback tour. Huggybear's friend was on the scene. He saw twenty or thirty people, mostly family, salt-and-peppered with a few deputies from the Sheriff's Office. A lame scene. Ellis, Sober and most of the DA's office was nowhere to be seen.

Word on the Street is that Miss Trish was on WGY last week. Girlfriend was complaining that her bad PR was because.....she's a woman! Unbelievable. Right on, Trish. Female DA's get no respect in this state. Nope, they don't become Lieutenant Governor, they don't get to run for United States Senate. Times is tough, Trish. Disgraceful too, seeing that Rosa Parks died last week. Rosa puts your whining ass to shame.

Word on the Street is that some pretty interesting stuff goes on in Pascarell's HQ on Sunday nights. Sounds like a wild time but we're never invited.

Word on the Street is that Senator Bruno has pledged to leave New York for good if the Dems take over the Senate and Spitzer is elected governor. The statement is in a New York Sun interview given on October 25, 2005 to Alec Magnet. "I would move any place other than New York State," he said. "You wouldn't be able to live here." Any place else, Joe? Really? Well Joe, we got you a one way ticket to the Sudan all ready for you. Just give us a call in 2006.