Friday, September 30, 2005
We have a budget with a moderate 1.49% tax hike. If it is a solid budget that hasn't overestimated revenue (such as the city's share of the County's sales tax) we applaud the mayor. It's still another Republican tax hike but it sure isn't unduly burdensome. It will take some time to dissect the numbers but there's no doubt this is an election year budget.
If this is a bare-bones budget with nothing further to cut, next year will be the real test. Without more revenue streaming in, it's hard to see how this budget isn't just a gift to the Republican City Council candidates.
In other news, we'd like to take time to thank our readers. The Troy Polloi has passed it's previous all-time high in visitors per month. In August, we had 2,500 visits. This September that number has grown to 3,200. Thanks to all. Whether you like the TP or hate it, thank you for your patronage.
Without the dollars we earn from our subscribers and advertisers, we wouldn't be able to keep this going. Have a fine weekend.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
A split in the GOP has left many scratching their heads about this year's Supreme Court races. This seems to be the only election arena where the local GOP comes off looking like Democrats.
Judge Spain has captured a cross-endorsement and will be on a host of lines. He'll be a shoe-in and will maintain his spot on the Appellate Division. The Democrats have also nominated Judge Egan, an Albany judge. Egan has the Independence line as well. Michael Lynch is an Albany attorney and a former law clerk to Judge Weiss.
Opposing them on the GOP side are three forgettable attorneys, two from Albany County and one from Ulster. One Jill Dunne, is an attorney for the Department of Motor Vehicles. Will the people's love for the all things DMV help her?
Rensselaer County Surrogate's Court Judge Christian Hummel has the Conservative line.
It now appears that the Democrats and Republicans were close to a deal where two Democrats and one Republican would be cross-endorsed. This blew up because the Ulster County and Albany County GOP bosses would not agree on Hummel, easily the most electable of the three GOP candidates. This, despite Joe Bruno's support of Hummel.
Our legal department has helped us to sort this all out. We think we've made sense of it, if sense can be made of area politics.
A seat on the Supreme Court is a great gig. You have a fourteen year term and if you're closing in on 50 years of age or older, it may be the last job you'll ever need. Despite the fact that black robes are very slimming, the lack of any meaningful patronage makes these positions less appealing on a political level. Judges can hire their clerk and their secretary and that's about it. Therefore, these races are never really a major concern for area pols.
Add to that the miserable condition of the State GOP and it's clear where this is going. Unca' Joe is losing his juice. Local county bosses are not yet ready to openly defy him on something important but they know his political days are numbered. So a few of them are stretching their wings.
Area attorneys also have influence in these races. Not enough to swing the balance but enough to help. They have money to donate and they people ask their opinion on these races because many are unfamiliar with the courts. We spoke with an Albany County attorney, a registered Republican, who is voting for Spain, Egan and Hummel. Area attorneys will not throw their weight behind people who they don't know. The local bar knows and respects Spain, Egan and Hummel, regardless of party affiliation. Each has proven they are of judicial caliber and more importantly, to attorneys, that they can work with attorneys. Unfortunately, Hummel can't win.
The bright side for Hummel is that we predict he'll be on the Supreme Court within a year. Spain will win re-election but serve on the Appellate Division so the Supreme Court will be down one judge after this election. Another judge died, one transferred to the First Department and at least two have retired and one (Canfield) will be retiring. Vacancies will be filled by Pataki and we find it hard to believe that Hummel won't be among those selected. Hummel is, and will continue to be, a fine judge.
So we endorse Spain, Egan and Hummel for Supreme Court. We expect the winners will be Spain, Egan and ? Probably Lynch, but you never know.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Some do go beyond the call of duty, no doubt. Those are few and far between.
Now Tax Hike Harry, on the heels of his 6.5% tax hike (plus a 5% water rate increase) wants to raise taxes again. He's calling it a last resort but we all know the penultimate resort is already in the rear view mirror.
How things change.
"Every responsible mayor and county executive that has put forth a tax increase this year has done so only after freezing new hires, proposing layoffs and salary reductions. I would hope our mayor would do the same." - Tax Hike Harry - Troy Record, October 10, 2002
"I didn't achieve the goal I intended, which was a 0 percent tax increase, but like I said before, two is better than 4.5 percent." Tax Hike Harry - Troy Record, November 30, 2001
"Troy taxpayers already pay among the highest taxes in the entire Capital District. The city should not be adding to that burden." - Tax Hike Harry - Troy Record, October 2, 2001
Lets talk salary cuts, Harry.
Jeff Buell, Spokesperson - $39,000
Eliminate the job and let Crawley speak with the press. He doesn't need to be seen doing manual labor for photo ops. Let him earn his keep.
Dave Mitchell, Corporation Counsel - $80,000
How many pay hikes did it take to get this guy up to $80,000? He farms most of the important stuff out to John Bailey anyways. He spends most of his time not responding to FOIL requests. How hard can that be? Knock him down to $50,000.
Dan Crawley, Deputy Mayor - $75,000
At least you only have one Deputy Mayor now. Give him....I'm feeling generous.... $55,000 a year.
Bob Mirch, Commissioner of Public Works, County Legislator, Constituent Relations Expert for Senate Majority Leader - $125,000 ($75,000 as DPW head).
Give him $50,000.
There, saved you over $100,000 without breaking a sweat. And damn, it felt good.
We have nothing against our public officials making a decent wage. However, when the average household income in Troy is under $30,000 and you pass your fiscal irresponsibility on to the tax payers, your people should lead by example instead of feathering their nests.
Keep an eye out to see if Tax Hike Harry tries to use some one shots which may include money from the water settlement. At best such a move is a band-aid and fails to address the revenue issues facing Troy.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Hot on the heels of a sweeping victory in the Troy City Council races, County Democratic Chair of Cities Lynn Mahoney will be in Europe for three weeks, savoring the sweet success of the November results.
The Democrats took five of the contested seats in Troy, giving them a majority for the first time in years. The Democrats also made surprising gains on the County level, winning eight legislative races, the County Court race and......Hold on. Just a minute.......
Never mind. It's only September 27. Our calendar is all screwed up.
Why is the de facto Troy Chair in Europe for three weeks during the height of the election season? Our handy-dandy political abacus tells us that the Democrats have a chance to make gains this fall. True, not many, but the Republicans are scared of Mike LoPorto (At-Large), Clem Campana (At-Large) and Dunne. There may be a few other races closer than expected.
Europe is lovely but what kind of sign does this send to the candidates? Is this a sign that Mahoney believes her days as a party sachem are numbered? The party in Troy needs a strong chair. None of the Co-Chair crap.
A few years back, after being ignored by the County Chair, Troy Democrats took it upon themselves to select Mahoney to fill the vacant position of City Chair. Mahoney then went on to oust that County Chairman. Maybe what goes around comes around.
BALLOT CHALLENGE FAILS
As predicted here, the Republicans withdrew their Ballot challenge to an absentee ballot cast in the Working Families Party At-Large primary. We await Mr. Pascarell's apology to the lady in question. Pascarell called for an investigation into the matter and then they fold without a fight. Bill, take it easy on the Hudson River water.
For those of you who tilt right, you can read about the trials and tribulations of being a College Republican here. We particularly like the photo of the Siena College students protesting Cindy Sheehan with their, "Freedom isn't Free" placards. No, freedom isn't free but homemade posters come very cheap. Haul your asses down to the recruiting office and start paying up.
Monday, September 26, 2005
We would like to thank Albany Eye for the nice write up we received. Albany Eye has some interesting posts about the local media scene and you should check them out.
Wrath of God Hits Hoosick Street, Twice!
Two water main breaks last week shut down Hoosick Street and confirmed our suspicion that God hates Troy. No-Show Bob and his crew did show up and repaired the breaks, toot sweat and we applaud the speedy job they did. After all, that is their job.
Troy, like any other older city, has old pipes. They are going to break. No one is at fault. The cost of implementing a new, updated system has to be astronomical (that means really expensive, Bob). Clearly, beyond the current means of Troy and most cities for that matter. We suggest a long-term study, a master plan and it never hurts to form a committee to explore modernizing the water system. We like long-term plans because that one guy always brings really good donuts to the meetings.
With two more Acts of God, Harry may be rethinking his relationship with the Almighty. Which may explain....
Mike LoPorto and Frank Lamiano, Democratic At-Large Council candidates invited the Angels and Curtis Sliwa back to Troy. Now it looks as if Harry is doing an about-face. We don't know whether to call Harry a flip-flopper or congratulate him on keeping an open mind. It's quite a conundrum. If things work out with the Angels, the people can thank tough-on-crime Democrats Mike LoPorto and Frank Lamiano.
There was a nice story on Robert Jacon in the Times Union. He appears to be a distinguished man, lawyer, former judge, former Air Force Reserve Colonel. Jacon has the background and experience to be County Court Judge. He's also the only real choice. DeAngelis will be a disaster and is wholly unfit for the job. If she does win her rulings will likely keep the Appellate Division busier than Paris Hilton's headboard.
A prediction. Today, Judge Canfield will hold a hearing where the Republicans will challenge the residency of an absentee voter in Working Families Party primary. They will either lose or will withdraw their petition. If they do not withdraw their petition, they will look foolish wasting the court's time.
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Michael E. Rourke candidate for Rensselaer County Legislature from Troy, endorsed by the Democratic and Working Families Party, called upon candidates for the Rensselaer County Legislature to voluntarily disclose all of their employers and those of their spouses.
According to Rourke, with the recent disclosure that the County Legislature's Majority Leader is on three public payrolls, it is time for "all seeking the office of County Legislator to clear the slate and be forthcoming with employment information. The public has the right to know -- before they cast their votes in November."
Rourke has researched disclosure information on file and noted, "A review of the financial disclosure statements filed with the County Clerk does not disclose useful employment information. The county disclosure form is vague and fails to offer useful or substantive information."
Rourke stated that, "the Republican Majority has been very quiet since public disclosure that its Majority Leader earns over $125,000 annually on three public payrolls. With their silence, they condone this official's greed, at taxpayer's expense. That is unacceptable in a city where the median household income is $29,844."
"I would have expected, if they had nothing to hide, that the Republican Majority would have willingly come forward with employment information on the remainder of its members, as a good faith gesture. However, they have failed to do so on their own, so, today, I urge Republicans to join my Democratic running mates in offering our employment information for public scrutiny. It is time for the Republican Majority to break its silence on the matter of public disclosure." "
Voters have the right to know what potential conflicts of interest candidates bring to the offices they seek," noted Rourke. "Voters should know if their representative on the county level has a job that may influence his or her vote."
Sounds good to us! New York State is in dire need of real reform at the local and state level. Spitzer will base his gubinatorial campaign on such reforms and we'll just have to wait to see if he follows through.
It would be nice to see candidates pledge that they will not be employed by more than two municipalities. That's something we'd like to see. Despite "being proud" of his job with the Senate Majority Leader, Mirch's job was a secret. Ultimately, a badly kept secret but a secret. We'd appreciate it if he would make his Senate cell phone number public so all residents of Rensselaer County can enjoy and benefit from his selfless work.
Rourke's proposal can be a starting point for a debate that should have happened years ago. New York lags far behind many other states in the area of open government. Not much has changed since the days of Boss Tweed.
One example is the attitude of Troy's Corporation Counsel, David Mitchell, towards FOIL requests. He's made it clear that no response to a FOIL request is a denial. Why not send a denial letter stating the reason for the denial as well as the time frame for an appeal? There are people, with no axe to grind, who seek information. They don't know the ins and outs of government. They may feel intimidated.
We know why Mitchell does this. He does it because 99 out of 100 people will not jump through hoops to appeal the denial and then go to court if the appeal fails. It's a way to control information and frankly, it's lazy.
Friday, September 23, 2005
Pope Benedict, the day after becoming pope, made his intentions clear and is pushing the Church towards a ban on gay seminarians. This Pope does not want gay seminarians or gay priests regardless of the celibacy vows they take.
Any religion has a right to proscribe behavior they find immoral. Logic does not have to play a part in any religion. We do have the right to criticize however and will do so when appropriate.
We only decided to discuss this issue because of a local connection.
The photograph above shows the body of Father Michael Judge. Judge ministered to the New York City Fire Department. Years before he was affiliated with Siena College. Father Judge died on September 11, 2001. He voluntarily went into the Trade Center with members of his flock when he could have stayed at a safe distance. He was killed by a piece of debris while moving between the Towers through an underground passage.
Father Judge was openly gay. We are hard pressed to find a man worthy to wear the collar of a Catholic Priest if Father Judge is not worthy in the eyes of Pope Benedict.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Mirch attempted to defeat Dunne for the District Four Working Families Party line in two ways. Mirch ran Mr. Gilboe, without Gilboe's consent and he collected signatures for Pascarell on an Opportunity to Ballot petition. Both efforts failed miserably. It's obvious that the recent stories about No-Show Bob have thrown him off his game.
The Opportunity to Ballot petition is the one that raises a potential fraud issue. An Opportunity to Ballot apparently allows a write-in candidacy, in this case, for the WFP line. Sounds like a Hail Mary to us.
First, here is the petition:
Note, the petition doesn't even identify the District Four candidate that people are signing the petition for. Sloppy work Bob. Maybe all your other jobs distracted you.
It's the last signature we're interested in.
Here is the signature card for that alleged voter:
Now lets compare the two signatures:
Funny, the two look nothing alike. Wonder how that happened. The second signature is from the voter card. It looks like a real signature. The 'P' and 'D' are distinctive as is the remainder of the last name.
The signature from the petition looks like a 5th grader, after suffering a debilitating head injury, downed two pints of Wild Turkey, lit up a crack pipe and decided to forge a signature.
Someone from the liberal media should follow this up. We know it's not a "real story". If someone does look into this, here's a friendly bit of advice from a journalistic colleague: don't just call Mirch and take his word for it.
Some other questions:
Does this voter work for the city or county in any capacity?
This deserves a look and one would think an enterprising reporter may find it of interest.
Remember, if Mirch is involved it:
Fair and Balanced! We Report...You Decide!
Monday, September 19, 2005
A portion of the story can be found in The Record.
The real story is much more interesting.
According to sources, the person in question has changed her drivers license, resgistration and everything else to the appropriate address. There is little in the Clifton Park apartment except a bare bones office, for her work.
Furthermore, a Republican henchman claims to have phoned the Clifton Park apartment and to have spoken with the person on Monday, September 12, 2005. The answering machine message for that location indicates it is a business address, not a residence. Why being at work is a big deal we don't know.
Finally, the henchman who did phone could not have spoken with the person in question because that person was on the other side of the State, in Buffalo, NY, attending a comemeration for corrections officers killed in the Attica uprising. Yes, that's right. While she is honoring fallen peace officers the Republicans are lying. So, some questions:
1) Who allegedly spoke to her?
2) Why did that person lie about speaking to her?
3) What evidence do the Republicans have that she resides in Clifton Park other than their allegation (and we all know what that is worth)?
Will The Record follow-up on these GOP lies? Don't hold your breath. Remember, this was the paper that thought the allegations made against Ken Bruno by his ex-wife were not really newsworthy.
Never fear though, Democratus is here. Hopefully, this week, we'll have a real story about potential fraud concerning Pascarell, Mirch and an Opportunity to Ballot petition. You'll never read about that in The Record. Or will we?
Thursday, September 15, 2005
The excitement and pageantry of Primary Day is behind us. What a nailbiter. We love the fact that you can win the Working Families Party line or Independence line 7-6 or 3-2. We also find it amusing that the Independence Party is controlled by the Republicans. Kind of defeats the purpose now, doesn't it.
Dan Doran got crushed and will have one line to Wojcik's three. Dunne survived Mirch's lame attempt to take the WFP line. Absentee ballots have yet to be counted but sources close to the TP tell us that Dunne will win handily. Next time Mirch may want to run someone who wants the job. Perhaps he should concentrate on getting the garage roof at the DPW fixed.
In related news, the TP has heard something very interesting about Mr. Pascarell. According to sources, the Pascarell campaign circulated petitions for the Working Families Party line. Pascarell was able to round-up five signatures. One person had already signed Dunne's petition so that signature was invalid. Two other signatures were determined to be "not authentic".
What the hell does "not authentic" mean? False? Forgeries perhaps? We suppose there are two possible scenerios: 1) Someone claiming to be the signator signed the petition or 2) The person circulating the petition signed someone else's names. In the first scenario you can't really blame the person collecting the petitions (someone signs for their brother perhaps and the petitioner doesn't know either person). In the second scenario, someone should take a look to see who forged names.
Perhaps Mr. Pascarell can help us out here since he's a man of honesty and integrity (and we know he is because we've read his literature). What happened Bill? What campaign workers got bad signatures or forged them? Was it Pascarell? Is this the type of competence we can expect from Councilman Pascarell? Why did Harry fire you? Are you ever going to leave that damn chair in your permanent headquarters? Can we bum a smoke? Someone should look into this and do a story. Hell, maybe we'll do it.
Signs, signs, signs. You know it's Fall when the leaves start to turn and political signs sprout up over night. Extrapolating support from political signs is never a wise move. However, we did notice one thing this year. Rarely, in our experience, do you see a Republican and Democratic candidate sharing the same lawn (that's known as sign-mixing and frowned upon by the more conservative elements of society). We do think it's interesting that a few LoPorto signs have appeared next to Mirch signs or other Republican candidates. Something tells us LoPorto has a real shot. He may not win but we think he'll be much more competitive than expected. If he does win, we hope he'll winter and summer in Troy.
ARMET - TRAITOR?
Finally, what does Bob Armet have against Uncle Sam? At a recent meeting, Armet was less than enthusiastic about giving the Uncle Sam parade $4000. How dare he! Treason? We think so. Where's the outrage? After all, the man did pack meat (and historians now believe that Sam Wilson did wear a shiny, red, white and blue suit).
Excellent piece from Tim O'Brien today.
Next Week - We'll investigate allegations that a sandwich has been named after Dan Crawely
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Found via Talespin
It looks like serial-public sector employee Mirch has a fourth job: putting unsuspecting people on the ballot.
According to newspaper accounts, thanks to Mirch, William Gilboe is a Working Families Party candidate for City Council from the 4th District. He'll be on the ballot today in a primary fight against Bill Dunne, the endorsed candidate.
That's all well and good but Gilboe doesn't want to run and can't get off the ballot. It sounds like a Woody Allen movie. In a state known for archaic election laws many would-be candidates struggle to get on the ballot. Now, someone can't get off the ballot. It's all so Kafkaesque.
This is one small example of why people are disgusted with politics. Its also an example of why third parties, at least the way they're used in New York, should go. They're a joke. They don't run anyone for office locally. They endorse a Republican or a Democrat. They're only function is to make their leaders politically powerful so they can barter votes for influence. They have no ideology. The Conservative Party isn't Conservative, not on the local level. It's all about power. Too bad the rank and file can't see it for what it is. Their masters grow fat on public paychecks while the rank and file talk about a conservative agenda. Quite sad.
It's also apparent that Mirch is scared of Dunne. Why else go after him so hard? We guess the Republicans simply can't stand the fact there is one elected Democrat on the City Council. Where does a man with three jobs find the time to do all this? Does the world spin slower for Mirch? Our prediction, Dunne wins easily.
TAX HIKE HARRY
As for ideology, well see in the next few weeks. Tax Hike Harry has to submit a budget soon and it will likely contain a tax increase. The question is, how much? This would be Harry's third tax hike. One hike occured when he was Council President and had a veto-proof majority. He didn't stop Pattison's tax increase. Then he had his own tax increase last year. This year, there will be another one. Harry is just wild about taxes. Most municipalities have a 60/40 commercial/residential split in their tax base. Troy, as in so many other things, is just the opposite. Hoosick Street = Wolf Road? What a load of Mirch.
The only thing that will save him is moving some of the money around, maybe from the water settlement. That will be a temporary band-aid but that's all. This is what happens when you put the slow kids in charge. Remember, when Democrats raise taxes they're "Tax and Spend liberals." When Republicans do it, they're "Fiscally responsible."
Monday, September 12, 2005
Our favorite piece of legislation is by Council member Collier. Ms. Collier proposed legislation that would make it illegal for people to place their satellite dish on the front of their homes. Collier then withdrew the legislation because gas prices shot through the roof and she didn't want the people burdened by high gas prices and the cost of moving the dish to the rear or side of the house.
We could not agree more with Ms. Collier's initial idea, satellite dishes that are anchored to the front of homes are an eyesore. It's tacky, it's ugly and the practice is certainly not condoned by anyone of proper breeding.
Yet, when it comes to real property, we should always begin with the idea that in general, a person can do what he or she wants with their own property. Of course there are exceptions, especially if acts or omissions may endanger the health or safety of others. Still, we can't understand why "conservatives" want to interfere with private property rights. Mere aesthetics? If that were the case, we'd like to add to the list:
1) Those mechanical Santa's, tacky and annoying;
2) No purple or pink houses;
3) No more trailers, not even double-wides;
4) All facades should be appropriately maintained, no more boarded up buildings;
5) City Hall has to go as do most buildings dating from the 1970's;
There should also be a prohibition against wearing polyester in public.
Collier should concentrate on killing any expansion of the County Jail. Unlike Dunne, we do not believe it is practical to relocate the jail. Stopping the expansion is practical and would help South Troy share in the Golden Age of Tutunjian. If expansion does occur then the jail will be a permanent blight on South Troy's future. Prime waterfront property should not house prisoners. And please, no brownfields arguments. If the land was dangerous would the County let it's C.O.'s work there everyday? If there is a problem with the land, it can be cured.
The Democratic At-Large candidates should make a big push for South Troy votes. It's a neglected area and has been for some time.
What could be done in South Troy?
This City deserves a National Labor Museum. Not just a building with a few old pieces of iron but a full-fledged museum and research center. Troy played a pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution and the organized labor movement. Faux lighthouses are cute, parades honoring symbols are fine, but Troy's real heritage and the contribution it made to this country remain largely unrecognized.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Everyone must know about this issue and we're sure everyone has an opinion. The original story can be found here. It looks as if the reporter who wrote the story is the only one who has an issue with what 5-0 is doing. Record reporter Franco notes:
This paper reported that over the last three years police arrested 274 people for jaywalking, about 274 more than in Schenectady and Albany combined, and arrested 88 people for not having the proper bicycle equipment, again about 88 more than the neighboring cities.
It just so happens 76 percent of the illegal walkers were black or Hispanic, as were 75 percent of the illegal bike riders.
The official word is that there is a zero tolerance policy in areas of the city where street crime is more frequent, and since minorities are majorities in those areas, that is why there is such a high percentage of minorities arrested.
So it may or may not be technically profiling, but if you peel back a layer, it looks more like they are picking up people for the minor violations as an excuse to look into their pockets and check their record to see if there are any outstanding warrants.
One thing that leads me to that conclusion is jaywalking and riding a bike without proper equipment are violations. There is no need to slap cuffs on people and drag them into the station for a violation. In the bike cases they actually confiscate the bikes. If a person is ticketed for running a red light, they are pulled over, given a ticket and sent on their merry way. Not so for a black guy riding a bike without a bell.Police are fishing in the high-crime areas, but the pond is not as well-stocked as one might imagine. Of the 362 arrests for jaywalking and bike violations, there were only 110 instances where other charges were levied and the majority of those were for other minor violations like possessing small quantities of marijuana, littering, loitering or spitting.
We like the "zero-tolerance" policy in high-crime neighborhoods. We would hope there is a "zero-tolerance" policy in every neighborhood. Still, that's beside the point.
Here, the police are not necessarily profiling, they're using minor violations as a pretext to nab people on more serious charges (presumably drugs etc). This may appeal to those with fascist tendencies because those types have always valued efficiency over liberty. However, the practice raises some troubling issues.
The fact that 2/3 of those arrested are minorities is not so troubling. If the high-crime areas are overwhelmingly minority, then yes, more minorities will be arrested. It is the decision to do this and how it is carried out that smells like a whorehouse at low tide.
The offenses are violations, no different than speeding tickets, using a cell phone while driving and a host of other violations. How many of you have been stopped at a checkpoint and found to have an uninspected vehicle? Have you been taking "downtown"? Has bail been set? Were you searched?
Was Mirch taken into custody when he was arrested for two violations? No, an appearance ticket was issued. Would an officer arrest Harry for jaywalking in front of City Hall? I'm sure many would like to but it's never going to happen.
The comparison made to stopping people for DWI (more white people are stopped, so says the authorities) is asinine. First, you stop a driver for DWI because you have a reasonable and articuable suspicion that the driver may be impaired. The driver is pulled over and various tests are performed. An arrest may or may not be made based on the field sobriety tests.
Here, you stop someone for jaywalking because you really want to search them for something else. Furthermore, history plays no small role in the distaste some feel for these types of practices. There's not a long history of whites being oppressed by the police.
Finally, what the hell happened to the Asians? Why aren't more Asians thrown into the mix. If the police want to avoid any allegations of wrong doing, arrest an equal number of whites and black, then salt and pepper that with a few Hispanics and Asians, maybe add an Eskimo. We could all live with that.
Just kidding. Some of my best friends are with the Po-Po.
We would like to congratulate Troy's ERT Team (SWAT Team) for the outstanding work they did in connection with the hostage situation in Albany a week ago Saturday. According to all accounts, they did a great job.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
We said the Troy Polloi would print letters to the editor (if specifically denominated as such) and true to our word, here's another superbly crafted shot at this fine bastion of fair and balanced journalism.
I read somewhere on your website of your willingness to post submission, even if they disagree with you. I respectfully request that you post the following:
Some may think Democratus and the Troy Poloi are doing our city and county a service by criticizing our public officials, making jokes at their expense and making funny pictures of them. Well I don't, and I think this is the kind of thing that should be stopped by the law.
Now, some of you may think that I don't believe in free speech because I think this website should be shut down. But it is not true. Like every true patriot, I believe in freedom of speech - speech that is subject to certain necessary restrictions. The Supreme Court of the United States says that you can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theatre and that you can't lie when advertising.
But what about the dignity of our public officers?
The lack of respect shown by Democratus and those who like his site and others like him undermines our freedom by undermining our respect for our government. Without that respect, we'll feel like nothing but slaves and our public officials our masters. The First Amendment is about ideas, not about attacking public officials.
This website should be shut down and Democratus' anti-American behavior put to end.
And I'm pretty sure many of you agree with me.
Every now and then someone makes you sit back and really think. True Patriot's wise words have shamed us and it's time to bring the Troy Polloi to an end. We never considered the harm we might be causing by our actions, nor the anti-American feelings we might be arousing. Criticizing authority was not the purpose of the First Amendment and we apologize for abusing that Constitutional provision. From now on we're going to straighten-up and fly right. Thank You, True Patriot.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
First out of the box, Council members Wojcik and Judge really blasted the Democrats. Troy Democrats scheduled a fundraiser....outside of Troy! Yes, can you believe it? Wojcik and Judge ask, appropriately so, "why aren't Democrats supporting Troy businesses?" Damn straight! But before that question is answered, lets ask: "Why did Harry take $60,000 out of Troy and hand it to a Scotia insurance Agency?" Sure, Marshall & Sterling ended up splitting it with a Troy firm but the whole $60,000 could have remained in Troy. Hell, that's like two part-time jobs for Mirch! Lets have that question answered first.
Secondly, the Republicans are running two ethically-challenged candidates, Bauer and DeAngelis. Will the Democrats raise that as an issue? We'll see. Somehow we doubt it.
Now, on to some news.
Check out Franco's Talespin (Monday, September 5th). We can't find it on-line or we'd post a link. Unbelievably, we agree with Mr. Franco.
Dredging up the past and/or private lives of candidates is beyond the pale. The North Greenbush case is particularly interesting because the candidate never kept his past a secret. Why the Democrats are going after him is beyond us. In fact, if they push too hard there might be a backlash of sympathy.
A candidate's public record is fair game, as are actions that place his or her interests above that of constituents. Unethical behavior and breaking the law is one thing, private matters that occurred some time ago are quite another.
Even private matters that may have occurred yesterday are generally irrelevant. It's an infantile notion to believe a flawed individual cannot be a good public servant. Can a mayor or governor that cheats on their spouse be a good mayor or governor? Of course. History has proven that to be the case.
Unfortunately, the media doesn't seem to follow-up on stories that do reflect on a public official's public record. Has any area reporter seriously questioned Harry Tutunjian on the Carignan issue? Has any one of them simply asked Harry to verify his claim that switching insurance brokers saved the city $60,000? It's a pretty simple question.
Harry will respond, "I can't comment on pending litigation." Of course, the logical follow-up to that is: why not? Tutunjian will be deposed sometime before March of 2006 by Carignan's lawyer. It's the question Harry will be asked at the deposition, so why not answer it now? This is serious business. A public official lying about a public matter. It's slightly more important than where Democrats hold their fundraisers or who did what in 1972.
Friday, September 02, 2005
"I think she is the best candidate for the new judicial position," said county GOP Chairman Jack Casey. "She has a stellar grasp of the law, which is second to none, and above that I think she is dedicated to the pursuit of justice."
Now that is funny. Lets look at what another lawyer has to say about DeAngelis. This lawyer is a registered Republican and actually does have not only a stellar grasp of the law, but is well-respected by the bench and bar alike.
"That office has enormous power and justice is the obligation, but that responsibility has eluded her," Jones said. "She does not have a balanced view of the role of the DA's office in a high-profile case. There is a lack of mature judgment."He added, "She is vindictive and retributive and sees herself as an avenging angel. In an overly emotional state, she becomes reckless."
That about sums it up!
As for a stellar grasp of the law? Lets take a look at that for a minute. First, she's been overturned at least twice for prosecutorial misconduct, allowing defendants a second bite at the apple. Being overturned for misconduct shows anything but a stellar grasp of the law, the courtroom or respect for the presiding judge. Sorry, we like DA's who get convictions that stick.
Now on to a smaller matter in the grand scheme of things. We're not going to delve into the underlying facts of this case at this time. Instead lets look at a no-brainer.
The Penal Law allows for something called an ACOD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal). Essentially, its a plea bargain for suspects that aren't violent and have no criminal history. An ACOD is not actually a plea. Instead, according to the law, if a person keeps their nose clean for 6 months, the charges will automatically be dropped. During that six month time frame the District Attorney's Office can reinstate the charges at anytime.
The rationale behind an ACOD is fairly obvious to anyone with a less than stellar grasp of the law. Anyone can stay out of trouble for a month, two months or even three months. A real troublemaker will be unable to stay out of trouble for half a year.
Here is an ACOD under DeAngelis' watch:
Another defendant in the same case received another 30 day ACOD. A 30 day ACOD is not sanctioned by the law. ACOD's are for 6 months, that's it (for some marijuana charges there may be a 1 year ACOD). There are no 30 day ACOD's. Not under the law.
According to one source, DeAngelis explained that "She could offer a one day ACOD if she wanted to."
No, Trish, you can't. We have laws and you either don't understand them or you ignore them. We're not sure which is worse. On second thought, ignoring them is worse. Ignorance can be cured.
That's just one example of Trish's stellar grasp of the law. Lets not forget her "personal assistant" Katrine Ellis. Trish's pal got to go to school and collect her $62,000 salary. We understand that Bob Mirch may become DeAngelis' new personal assistant.
Then there's the 14+ defections from the Rensselaer County District Attorney's office. That's fourteen in under three years. That's some leadership ability.
This should not be a partisan issue. There are many qualified Republicans that are mature and balanced enough to dispense justice. DeAngelis isn't one of them. This is a cynical nomination and will only further embarrass Rensselaer County in the legal community.