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

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
By Politicus Ebonus Abyssus

During the last local campaign cycle, Republican city council candidates touted the drop in the City’s crime rate as a reason for continuing to vote Republican. Indeed, they gushed like school girls over Harry’s exemplary leadership. Unbeknownst to Troy voters, the information presented was problematic. As with most politicians in Troy, it is what they were not telling us that was significant.

First, the crime rates were going down all over New York State, all over the country, and in most metropolitan areas, including New York City. What occurred in Troy, at least in the short term, was no different, and surely was not a result of Harry’s leadership. Secondly, crime in Troy was down in 2004 from 2003 but up from 2000. So what is the truth? At best, the statistics are inconsistent, not indicating a true trend.*

So while we are spoon fed only good news on the City’s crime level, which seems to be misleading at best, the City’s administration has been characteristically quiet about bad crime news, more specifically, a rash of burglaries in the Hillside area of Sycaway.**

Dubbed as the Hillside Burglar, an individual has been breaking into houses for a number of months, stealing purses, wallets, and other small items. While this crime spree has been going on for months, the City administration has done nothing to let the citizen’s of the neighborhood understand the extent of the problem. In fact, a private citizen has been going around the neighborhood posting signs, alerting the residents to the problem.

Good or bad, the citizens have a right to know the truth, Harry. Show leadership rather than cowardice, and do the right think, not what is politically expedient.

Remember, if you see this man:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Contact the police, immediately.


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This week's thumbs up goes to The Record's own Jim Franco for christening Congressman Sweeney with a new, more appropriate, nickname. Sweeney will probably win but being able to call him Congressman Candy Ass for the next two years kind of makes it all worthwhile.

* In fact, Fred Dicker of the New York Post, hardly a member of the sinister 'liberal' media, has devoted more than one radio show to the fact that violent crime is on the rise, especially Upstate.

**Sycaway is the Japanese word for the Algonquin word for Sycaway.

Monday, August 28, 2006


A few readers took our Bruno v. Premo election result predictions a bit too seriously. We predicted a huge landslide for Uncle Joe. After all, the man does have his own baseball stadium. When is the last time someone went to The Brian?

The chastisement we received also included a litany of Mr. Premo's prognostication abilities. Apparently, Premo can predict the future. This still leaves unexplained why he couldn't predict the screw-ups that led to the recent court loss. Nor does it explain why he still practices law instead of living off lottery winnings.

Of course, we jest and hope Premo can run against Bruno. After all, this is not just about a candidacy. It is also about sending a representative to the senate. Premo is smart and articulate. We have no doubt he would be a worthy successor to Ucle Joe.

The Bruno folks fought tooth and nail to get Premo off the ballot because Bruno is vulnerable. Premo was (and still may be) a credible candidate and a credible candidate can make life very difficult for the powerful Senator. The GOP is bracing for a Spitzer juggernaut. They know Democrats will flock to the polls this November. Area Republicans also know that Democrats in Rensselaer County are salivating at the thought of all those juicy patronage jobs ripe for the plucking. Turnout will be high and that bodes ill for Bruno.

Of course, Bruno's people claim they had little to do with the election law fight. Like any powerful family, their actions were masked by using 'buffers'. Bruno has a lot of buffers. The Record photo told the story. County chair Tom Wade sat alone while the large GOP contingent looked like carrion waiting to swoop down and gnaw on a carcass.

If the law says that Premo is out then we support that decision. Unlike many in the area, our respect for the legal system doesn't hinge on the political consequences of a judicial decision. However, Joe's decision to use his buffers and eliminate Premo was disappointing. It would have been nice if Joe welcomed the challenge of an opponent; welcomed the debate; welcomed the chance to defend his role in New York's current political cluster@#!*.

Our problem with Premo, if you can call it a problem, is the little issue of party enrollment. Frankly, we're not sure if Premo is a Democrat, Republican or some curious hybrid. Here, however, such chameleon-like qualities are hardly a cardinal sin. In fact, it's more like a rite of passage.

If he can't make the senate run, Premo should set his sights on the DA's race. DeAngelis, if she is able to get the nomination, is as vulnerable as an alter boy at a bishop's convention.

Friday, August 25, 2006


The Appellate Division has overturned Christine Wilhelm's murder conviction and has ordered a new trial. In 2002, Wilhelm drowned her four year-old son, Luke. The Assistant District Attorney that prosecuted the case was.........Patricia "Second Time's a Charm" DeAngelis. Apparently, she screwed up again. Judge McGrath also erred in his ruling.

The reversal hinged upon the testimony of two Child Protective Services witnesses. The two CPS workers testified to admissions made by Wilhelm during the course of interviews for the CPS investigation. However, the District Attorneys Office failed to give notice pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law 710.30 that they intended to offer the admissions at the time of trial. That's the crux of the problem. There are more complicated issues involved and the decision can be read here (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).

Perhaps someone versed in criminal law can tell us whether or not notification of intent to use the admissions (pursuant to CPL 710.30) would have cured the problem. If so, why didn't DA's office do that? Better safe than sorry, after all.

The last paragraph of the decision is interesting. The Court does not reach the issue of (what else?) 'prosecutorial misconduct' but does state that comments made during the prosecutor's summation were within the 'broad latitude' allowed prosecutors when responding to a defense summation. That's not the interesting part.

The interesting part is that while they say they need not address the issue of prosecutorial misconduct because a new trial is ordered on other grounds, they go on to caution the District Attorney. In fact, they provide a laundry list of what a prosecutor is forbidden to do in summation, concluding: "We caution the People to abide by these well-settled principles upon retrial."

We hope this puts the end to anyone's belief that Ms. DeAngelis is a good prosecutor and a good courtroom attorney. That's not to say she's a poor one, either. With a 95% conviction rate, our District Attorneys Office stands toe-to-toe with just about every other DA's office, with the exception of the Bronx and Erie County. Everybody has a high conviction rate. It's just not a big deal. To say that the office has a 95% conviction rate is like a professional ball player bragging about hitting .280. In this day and age, you had better hit .280 just to keep your job.

Mike McDermott prosecuted the Porco case in a calm, cool, systematic manner. He allowed the evidence to be the star of the case, not himself. Passion is well and good but DeAngelis' hysterics have given defendants to many second chances. That's not what got her in the end here but the Appellate Division sure did talk about misconduct even though the issue did not have to be discussed.

Maybe Mike can return to Rensselaer County and take up his old job with the DA's office. They could use someone like him.

Judge Jacon drew a roadmap for anyone that wants to run against DeAngelis in '07. Her opponent would be wise to use that map. Put on the defensive, DeAngelis was thrown off her game and never recovered. That can be done again and the Wilhelm case can now be added to the list of her screw-ups.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Got nothing.

Oh, Premo is out. Now Joe will win by 100% instead of 78%.

Again, we'll presume Hummel, a Republican, followed the law. We like it when judges follow the law. It's neat. We wish Bauer had done that and that Spargo would do that and move to our fair city.

One good thing may come out of all this: the end to the Democratic Co-Chair nonsense. The Democrats decided upon the Co-Chair system (if you can call it that) to save friendships. They should have taken a lesson from the GOP who sacrifice everything, including friendship, family and integrity to win. That's how the game is played here and that's what you have to do to win.

Oh, by the way, there a few new people leaving comments. Keep them clean and try to stay away from personal attacks. If you cannot compose a rational, relevant comment, perhaps it's time to get that GED you've been talking about all these years.

Good luck and God Bless.

Monday, August 21, 2006



Our long nightmare has ended. We finally have a trolley (courtesy of John Hedley). According to Mayor Tutunjian, the trolley will be used for "tourism." All we can say is, 'it's about time!' The city is just far to crowded during tourist season. We might even get a summer home somewhere else and rent out our place for the season.

It was a nice gesture on Hedley's part. The mayor was right about one thing: Hedley has done a lot for Troy. Maybe Hedley should consider running the city for a few years.


Brunswick had it's German Fest this weekend. Now that was crowded (like Troy, 'in season'). In fact, it was so crowded, the German Fest had to invade and occupy the Polish Fest just to handle the overspill.


If you care about this saga, you can read Kate Perry's piece, here. If you really care about this, you can follow Franco's coverage (in chronological order) here, here and here.

Judge Hummel will decide on Tuesday if voters will have an actual choice. Now, we do not know the legal ins-and-outs of this mess. We do know that if the positions were reversed, the Republicans would be screaming that 1) Hummel is a Republican and 2) Hummel is the guy Bruno pushed for the Supreme Court. Conflict anyone?

But, since were not Republicans, will say that Hummel is a judge first and a Republican second and is more than capable of making the fair and right decision.

In fact, Premo may be holding his breath waiting for his candidacy to be derailed, courtesy of Democratic incompetence and in-fighting. That frees Premo up for the race he really wants to undertake, Rensselaer County District Attorney.

City Council President Henry Bauer has also expressed great interest in becoming our next District Attorney. Now that would be interesting. Bauer and Premo share office space and are good friends.


According to reports, Harry may be hiring a new, assistant corporation counsel.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


A Primer for Harry

What is the job of a chief executive? Well, the job of a chief executive, be it the President, the governor or a mayor, is to enforce the law and make sure campaign contributors get lucrative contracts. Yes, that right. To enforce the law (and hand out those contracts). It's not to make us feel good, it's not to tell us what we want to hear, it's not even going to fires. It's to enforce the law.

This is not to be confused with the job of a legislator. A legislator's primary role is to come out strongly against child molestation and violent crime.

So, how seriously can we take an administration that refuses to enforce the residency laws? Not very. As a matter of fact, we can't take them seriously at all. Selective enforcement of the city's laws is worse than no enforcement because opens of a law to be used as a political weapon.

So, here's the challenge. Harry, please let us know if Tom Spargo is in compliance with the residency requirements. It doesn't matter how Spargo's position (Assistant Corporation Counsel) is classified, at the very least he must reside within Rensselaer County.

How about Corporation Counsel David Mitchell? Why hasn't he been punished by being forced to live in Troy? With an $80,000 salary he can certainly afford our outrageous taxes.We think he lives in Ballston Spa, his old stomping grounds. He hasn't voted in Rensselaer County, which is odd. Also, donations to Harry from Mitchell have been by way of two $1,000 money orders. Why? There's no address on money orders and no address shows up when those contributions are listed in the Tutunjian campaign's financial disclosure statements.

In fact, will Harry make a public statement that every member of his administration, whether public officer or not, is in compliance with the residency requirements?

People get very angry when it comes to police not living in Troy. The theory being: if they live here, they'll care more about Troy. Maybe we should start at the top.

Perhaps asking the chief executive of Troy to enforce the law is over the line, but we're kind of picky about stuff like that.

Monday, August 14, 2006


In a blatant, shameless display of partisan politics, area Congressman Mike McNulty has endorsed Kirsten Gillibrand in her bid to unseat Congressman John Sweeney, (R-20th Cong. District).

What could have motivated Mike, a longtime Democrat, to make such a move?

"Representative McNulty is supporting an opponent of Congressman Sweeney's that would have no ability to bring home any dollars to the 20th, or 21st district, for that matter," she said. "Representative McNulty is on the wrong side of this race, and he owes his constituents an explanation as to why he put politics over their interests. Gillibrand and McNulty will make a great team of not returning any of New York's tax dollars." - Sweeney Campaign Spokesperson, Maureen Donovan.

We realize that politicians and their people get a bit crazy during election season, but Ms. Donovan really needs to stop chasing her Flexeril with Wild Turkey.

Ms. Donovan's boss is one of the most partisan hacks to ever sit in Congress. Who can forget his shameless, infantile antics during the Florida recount (stopping election officials from removing sample ballots from the room)? He's unabashedly supported the most uncompromising and incompetent partisan administration in the history of the nation. For anyone from Sweeney's gang to call anyone else partisan is like Donald Trump calling someone else tacky.

We wish the reporter had asked Ms. Donovan how many Democratic Assembly candidates Sweeney has endorsed? After all, it's the Democratic Assembly members that can "bring home the dollars." That appears to be the rationale for Donovan's criticism of McNulty (so much for the 'small government' GOP).

Republicans always pull this horsesh*t. Whether it's Sweeney or Tutunjian, their pat response to anything a Democrat does is, "they're playing partisan politics." They never actually address the issue raised and they're never called on it by anyone in the media.

That Sweeney's people would even comment on this is telling. While we believe Sweeney is relatively safe, his people are following the trends. Since the beginning of the year, the Democrats chances to take back the House have grown. We still think it more likely than not the GOP maintains control of the House, but there is now a real chance for the Democrats.

Wouldn't that be the irony of ironies for Ms. Donovan? McNulty has been a good congressman, doing his best under a GOP majority and President. If the Democrats do win back the House, Mike will have plenty of seniority (he has to be one of the senior members by now) and will have his pick of chairmanships. A McNulty in the majority would be a major asset to the area and a powerful ally in the fight against the Emperor.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


It's been quiet around town. Not much to write about. Feel free to use this as an open line and rant and rave about anything you want.

Rensselaer County Legislator Martin Reid, who is running for New York State Assembly, now has a website. It even has photographs (but no butt shots).

On his page at the County's website, Reid has this to say:

Both my parents helped teach me the importance of listening and being ready to serve their neighbors when needed. I have tried to follow those lessons during my service in the Legislature, said Reid.

We'd like to ask Mr. Reid the following:

Did you vote yes on the $5,000 pay hike for County Legislators? (We know he did)


Did you inform your constituents that there would be a pay hike vote?

If so, did you listen to them on that issue?

Will you sponsor a repeal of the $5,000 pay hike?

Why no butt shots on the website?

We'd like those questions answered, especially the last one. Reid doesn't mention the pay hike on his website, although he admits to the far more embarrassing fact that he worked for John Faso. By all accounts, that pay hike is still on the minds of Rensselaer County residents. If you see Marty, ask him about it and don't be satisfied with some political-speak answer. Or, shoot him an e-mail at Until Reid comes clean on the pay hike, he doesn't deserve to be our Assemblyman.

Next week, we hope to have more information on the Mayor's plan for up to 80 public housing units slated to be built in Lansingburgh.

And Hey! Lets be careful out there.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Municipal contracts are generally quite lucrative. They're good gigs for private firms. How does one get a municipal gig? Well, a firm needs to be the best in the business to secure such work. Politics rarely enters into it (sarcasm alert).

Well, almost never.

For instance, Goldberger & Kremer, the City's attorneys, have contributed $400.00 to Harry. Not a bad investment for the lucrative retainer they receive every month. Goldberger & Kremer are well-known in the Labor field and were supposedly hired to work on contract negotiations, especially negotiations with the police. Word has it that both the city and the police have dispensed with their respective attorneys and the two sides are negotiating directly. We have no problem with that but do wonder why the city needs Goldberger & Kremer at all.

And how about Creighton Manning Engineering? They just landed a nice job as the consultants on the new project for Congress Street. How much did they give to Harry? Over $900.00. Another great investments, seeing as they look to make over $400,000. They also threw Senator Bruno $3,000. That'll grease the skids for you.

Harry's done a good job at raising money for his re-election bid in '07. He's raised about $90,000 and spent about $40,000. Over 20% of what he has raised has come from contributors outside of Troy, many of them contributing $1,000 or more. We guess those companies know they'll get a good rate of return from City Hall.

We're just over a year out from the '07 elections and Harry has raised enough to scare off any potential Democrat. If this is any indication, he won't need half that amount. Oddly, Trish DeAngelis has raised nothing. Makes you wonder if she's seen the handwriting on the wall.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Some Planning Board fun to brighten up your Thursday.

By Politicus Ebonus Abyssus

As many of you know, the Troy Planning Board unanimously voted down the proposed Hudson Mohawk Recovery Center on Congress Street. While the Troy Record reported the vote and some of the background of the meeting, it left out the juicier parts of the meeting. Who would have thought? Lucky for you, the Troy Polloi was there. Lucky for us, Spargo and Ryan were part of the meeting and continue to provide us with fodder.

First, the vote. As the paper reported, the Board voted against the proposal. What the Record did not report was the warm, congenial aftermath of the vote. After the vote, the Board members discussed tabling the motion to work with Hudson Mohawk to find a suitable location. People, you cannot table a motion once you have already voted on that motion. This is basic Robert’s Rules of Order. Once a motion is voted on, it’s over.

This then led to the citizens of Troy, who had already voiced their displeasure over the project, to question vehemently what really occurred at the meeting. Once they were calmed and left the meeting, Deputy Corporation Council Tom 'Shake down" Spargo followed them out to the street. He proceeded to yell at them in front of City Hall for their conduct in the meeting and for not making their monthly bribe payments. Tom, Tom, Tom. Before you go yelling at the citizens of Troy for exercising their civic rights, make sure the Polloi isn't around. By the way, did you advise the Board that they could not table a motion once it is voted on? Or were you just going along to get along (to ensure your pension)? Something for you to think about as you drive back to your home in Albany County. Oh well, I digress.

Where is Matt Ryan in all this? He was at the meeting, obviously protecting his interest, or more importantly to Ryan, his $450,000 payday. Also being circulated at the meeting was a list of the properties that Ryan currently owes tens of thousands of dollars in back property taxes to the City on. After the vote to decline the proposal, Ryan was overheard muttering that he is just going to let his properties go to waste and let the city take them over. How redundant! The City was going to sell several of his properties for being in default a few years ago, but agreed to payment plans once Ryan took them to court. After making a few payments, Ryan stopped making payments and again is in default. If nothing else, Ryan is consistent and entertaining.

And so, like sands in an hour glass, these are the Days of Our Lives.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Democratus is back after a nice, relaxing vacation. After reviewing the comments from last week it looks like everyone stayed on their medication. Bravo!

Jim Franco, of The Record, has been busy writing about the recent moves made by the Democratic Party. However, Franco is missing the big picture.

The Democratic Party has stepped it up and their master plan has now been activated. As best as we can piece things together, the Democratic Party, finally tired of getting it's ass kicked, is lulling the GOP into a false sense of security. By allowing the GOP and it's operatives to take control of the Working Families Party, the Democrats now have the GOP in their sights.

The minor party takeover is merely the penultimate phase of the plan. Ultimately, the Democrats plan on having the GOP take over the Democratic Line. Then, while the GOP is brimming with hubris, the Democrats will strike.

As for the Premo debacle, all this may be the best thing for him. Premo, in all likelihood, really wants the nod to run for District Attorney in '07. If he can't run against Bruno, Premo can't lose. He can't be accused of running a half-hearted campaign. He'll be fresh as a daisy for a run against Trish.

And people say the local Democrats are disorganized, lazy and leaderless.

If you don't believe us, just ask Troy City know....what's his/her name...just ask them, they'll tell ya'.

One item in last Sunday's TU did catch our attention. According to the Legal Notices for Rensselaer County, John Hedley officially transferred ownership to 433 River St LLC (Hedley Place address is 433 River). The properties included Hedley Place, Flanigan Square and the parking lots associated with them. The purchase price, you ask? Most people might say 5,6 7,8 million......As Bob Barker likes to say..."the price is" $88,470. That's right, 88k for all that property. Not a bad deal! Is it a misprint or is it some complex shell game? For a second, we thought DPW workers might have purchased the property in order to sell it to Father Young.