“Recipe for Disaster”
By Concerned Democrat
The seasons have changed, gone are the short days and long cold nights of winter. Spring has sprung and with that comes the annual ritual of candidates announcing they are running for office in the fall. We’ve all seen this on the Discovery Channel: The studs line up, check each other out and spar for position, trying to curry the favor of potential mates. Not a pretty visual picture: Big Jim Conroy doing a mating dance in front of Frank Laposta, or demure Hank Bauer cooing with Jack Casey, but that is the process.
This season is no different, but it has offered a number of surprises. Take Hank (I can hear the Dangerfield impressions already “take Hank, take him anywhere but here!): He performed the ritual for Casey and his committee, thought he had the endorsement for DA, and then found out he didn’t have the plumage to impress the flock. To Hank’s credit, he's running (mating) anyway. The only problem is that when you mate by yourself its masturbation?
Anyhow, the reason I’m writing this is because the bigger problem rests with we Dem’s and our potential candidate for mayor. Big Jim Conroy announced he wants to be the next mayor of Troy. According to published reports, he has the full support of our city chairman. In our opinion this is a recipe for disaster for those of us who call themselves Democrats.
In case anyone has lived under a rock for the past 10 years, Big Jim came to Troy in 1996 with then newly elected mayor Mark Pattison as Pattison’s Deputy Mayor. Big Jim who does have roots in Troy, lived in Schenectady prior to becoming Deputy Mayor. In Schenectady, he ran for mayor against Jersey Al Jurcinski and got trounced. Not only did he lose against the GOP’s Jersey AL, Big Jim was the only Democrat in Schenectady to lose that year. While in Schenectady he sat on a committee that proposed raising the mayor’s salary to $108k (nearly double!). Sound familiar to anyone?
On to Troy. There’s the infamous mid-year tax increase in ‘96 and the epic flood where a dozen or so city owned vehicles under City Hall were swept away by the mighty Hudson. Where was Big Jim? Nestled snug as a bug in his house in Schenectady. Oh, did we fail to mention that it took Big Jim a couple of years to finally move to Troy?
Which brings us to our most compelling topic. Seems that Big Jim had a problem with moving to Troy, so a respected elected official after warning him a number of times finally had it with Big Jim and threatened to pull the plug on him if he didn’t move. She was pretty good back then. Well, seems the only way Big Jim was going to be able to move was to sell his house in Schenectady to buy one in Troy. Those damn words equity and down payment kept coming up. Ahh, there was some family property in Troy he owned with his brother, that if played right, would get rid of all the problems. So he used a little known program he administered through the city using fed funds and HUD gate was born. A loan was issued for over 27k and the word down payment went away. When some (a lot) of people cried foul, they sold the property (at twice the value, which always intrigued us) and paid back the loan with a courteous “Oh, I didn’t know I couldn’t do that, but I paid it back and all is well now, so lets move on” mentality. Not a very ennobling defense there. A couple more things lest we forget, are
Treasurergate and Marriagegate. Upwards of $400k missing from city coffers during the period, and hopefully, all those folks he married either got divorced or remarried since then. The point here isn’t to give the opposition ammunition. They have all this stuff and will use it during the campaign. The point is that given the momentum of the Democratic Party this year statewide, and the impending implosion of the GOP locally in both the city and county (pay raises, Intimigate, Brunogate etc) why on earth would we run, at best, a tainted candidate for the most important job in the city? I can picture the average voter walking into the booth in November, looking at their choices and saying, “my God, I can’t vote for either of these people”, or worse yet not even show up to vote at all. This hurts everyone on the ticket and plays right into the hands of the GOP. That’s why a Conroy candidacy is nothing short of a recipe for disaster this fall.
Another point is that LaPosta seems to have endorsed Conroy. It's inappropriate for the chair to endorse anyone at this point. After all, someone may force a primary.
Frank, find another candidate. Jim, stop being selfish and reconsider your decision. Looks like we picked a bad day to stop sniffing glue.
On the other hand, we're pleased to announce a successful March and April, in terms of visitors and revenue.