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

Thursday, May 31, 2007



This week's Record featured an excellent Talespin, written by Jim Franco.

Primary numbers:
The talk of the town last week centered around which Republicans showed up at Henry Bauer's fund-raiser. Bauer is the Troy City Council president looking to primary the endorsed candidate for District Attorney Greg Cholakis. Word is Mayor Harry Tutunjian was there and so was Deputy Mayor Dan Crawley. So were Councilman Mark McGrath and Chairman of the Rensselaer County Legislature Neil Kelleher. They attended despite some in the party hierarchy, in particular city Chairman Tom Casey, still hoping to avoid a primary and strongly urging fellow Republicans not to attend. Casey was so upset he almost resigned - some say he did but then changed his mind.

You know things are bad when Tom Casey almost stumbles into compliance with the city's ethics rules.

As we mentioned in our May 16, 2007 edition, the invitation to Bauer's fundraiser identified his title (City Council President) but did not specifically identify the office Bauer seeks. If Bauer has left his options open, then Tutunjian and Co.'s presence makes sense. If Bauer was still going full-steam towards a primary with Cholakis, Tutunjian's presence is.....break out your number #2 pencils.

1. You're the mayor of a northeastern city. Police officers are accused of violating the Constitutional Rights of criminal defendants. You...

a) Call a press conference and affirm your committment to justice;

b) Seek the officers dismissal from the force;

c) Refuse to comment when things blow-up;

d) Plow some snow;

e) All of the above

2. You're the mayor of a northeastern city. A local judge is removed from office for violating the Constitutional Rights of defendants. You...

a) Offer him/her a job in the Corporation Counsels Office;

b) Recruit him/her to run for office;

c) Endorse him/her for office;

d) Donate money to his/her campaign for District Attorney;

e) Hope he runs for re-election to the City Council;

f) All of the above

If you finish early, please hand in your papers and quietly leave the room.

Speaking of Harry and the boys:

TROY - Colleen Regan will meet with an Albany County assistant district attorney on Friday to discuss a series of alleged improprieties involving shady electioneering, The Record has learned. Sources say the former employee of the Republican majority of the Rensselaer County Legislature will meet with ADA Steve Stein of the office's Public Integrity Unit.

The information in bold caught our attention. A "series of alleged improprieties..." Curious. Does that mean the Albany County DA's Office wants to hear about certain allegations concerning the 2005 Rensselaer County election? If so, there's something Regan may ask for and if the DA grants it, all hell will break loose. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Which may partially explain this:

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What's the rush, Harry? The election is months away. You don't expect people to start talking about the phone numbers now (especially the Las Vegas numbers). There's plenty of time for that. A bit anxious, are we?

Apparently City Council members are supposed to...what? Thank him for turning over what Council members have a right to receive? It's all about you, Harry, isn't it. As for the second paragraph? Dude, have your dopamine transporters checked out. And while you're at it, grab a CT scan of that premotor cortex.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Not everyone is enjoying the sweet fruits of the Tutunjian Renaissance.* While being treated to daily tales of Troy's economic boom, there remains an untold story. A story of businesses going under, of businesses struggling, of businesses unable to pay their state sales tax.

It's a side of Troy's economy that no one wants to talk about. Indeed, many may not know of the daily struggles that businesses face. While a boarded-up store front can't be hidden, other businesses face grave problems not readily visible.

Since the inability to pay state revenue doesn't directly impact local municipalities, the problem often goes unnoticed by local politicians. Politicians have their faults, but Mayor de' Medici cannot be expected to help fix a problem that hasn't been brought to his attention.

Case in point: Warrant ID# : E-025949477-W001-8. According to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, a business conducted out of 461 Broadway, Troy, NY owes over $10,000 in taxes. The warrant was docketed by the County Clerk on May 11, 2007 and filed with the Department of State on May 21, 2007.

Perhaps the Mayor can sit down with troubled businesses and lend them some of his business expertise. After all, according to his RPI Trustee Bio, he's got business experience to spare.

* "Renaissance" will be the theme of our upcoming Troy branding campaign

Tuesday, May 29, 2007



On Thursday night the Democrats selected their slate of candidates for Troy City Council.


Clem Campana
John Brown
Wayne Foy

District Seats

District 1 - Victor DeBonis
District 2 - Mary Sweeney
District 3 - Pete Ryan
District 4 - Bill Dunne
District 5 - Ken Zalewski
District 6 - Gary Galuski

Marge DerGurahian did not get the nod but was offered the chance to run in District 1. Marge reportedly insisted on an At-Large nomination.

This is a solid slate of candidates. Six out of the nine have run winning campaigns before. Newcomer, John Brown has proved adept at raising serious money for an At-Large race and Gary Galuski knows just about everyone on the East Side. That, and his first name isn't Alan.

According to The Record (Saturday, May 26, p. 5) the GOP is still looking for candidates in Districts 3 & 4 as well as a finalizing their At-Large ticket.


We almost forgot this little gem.

TROY - A judge signed a restraining order prohibiting the city from promoting a police officer from the sergeants' Civil Service list until it is determined whether seven officers were removed from the list legally.On May 3, the three-member Civil Service Commission disqualified seven officers from the list for being in violation of the city residency requirement that says any officer hired after Dec. 22, 1995, has to live within city limits.

The interesting thing about this is that, according to our legal analyst, one of the prerequisites for obtaining a restraining order is establishing a likelihood of success on the merits. Meaning, those removed from the promotion list may very well prevail.


The Republican Majority in the Rensselaer County Legislature feels that adding the voting record of each legislator to the legislature's website is too expensive.

TROY -- An open government initiative pushed by the Rensselaer County Legislature's Democratic minority is seen by the Republican majority as too expensive to undertake.

The Democrats want county legislators' voting records available on the legislature's Web site at in an effort to provide information to county residents.

The reason for tabling Fasoldt's proposal?

"We believe the legislative Web site is already comprehensive and useful," said Legislator Martin Reid, R-West Sand Lake.

"Unfortunately, the minority's changes would result in considerable staff time and expense," Reid said. "This was just another proposal by the minority to add to the size and cost of county government."

Sorry, Flora, but Reid's argument is sound. The legislature's website is comprehensive and useful. The staffers responsible for the website are far too busy with adding Chairman Kelleher's Hudson Valley Community College Commencement speech to the site. Who has time for legislative voting records?

Perhaps Mr. Reid should heed the words of Mr. Kelleher:

I guess what I’m suggesting is that you keep your priorities straight…
Take the time to say “thank you” to those who helped get you here today…

College commencement speechifying is all well and good but perhaps legislative voting records might be a priority for residents. It would be a nice way to say thank you to those who helped get you there.


Before the Democrats announced their slate of candidates, there were rumors that Mike LoPorto wanted to run for an At-Large seat. LoPorto ran and lost in '05. Besides not living in Troy, there were also sales tax issues with Mr. LoPorto's restaurants.

According to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, a sales tax warrant was filed on June 13, 2006 against Loporto's Inc, t/a LoPorto's Restaurant. The amount in the warrant is for $3,576.32. There's no indication if that lien was satisfied or not.

One wonders if this had anything to do with LoPorto not receiving the nod to run (not withstanding the residency issue). Perhaps the lien has been satisfied. We're not sure.

We suppose the real question is whether such a tax problem should preclude LoPorto from running for office, say on the County level ? Is tax delinquency, whether it's state, federal or property, a big deal anymore? Or, do we cut those who operate businesses some slack?

Friday, May 25, 2007


On Tuesday night former North Greenbush Democratic Chair Dan Ashley and Charlie Smith were tried, convicted and expelled from the Rensselaer County Democratic Committee.

The "Hearing" took place at The Grove.

The hearing itself was extra-legal. Even if such a hearing was legal, it's conduct does not past muster.

We did not have a reporter on scene Tuesday night. We've patched together this account from a variety of sources. If we're in error, it's certainly not, unlike the hearing, purposeful error.

Chairman Spain was prosecutor-in-chief. Joshua Sabo handled the defense. Chairman Spain made an opening statement, as did Sabo.

The charges were read. A vote was then called. Smith wanted to read a statement. One of the more judicious committee members moved that Smith be allowed to do so.

The vote was taken. The vote was 9-1, with 6 abstentions, for conviction.

Initially, Chairman Spain was provided an out when someone moved to adjourn the meeting. That was voted down 9-7.

What's wrong with this picture?

1) No record of the meeting was made (no stenographer);

2) No evidence was presented. As everyone who's watched Law & Order knows, opening statements are not evidence;

3) If you don't present evidence, you can't establish the charges. If you can't establish the charges, no one should have voted to expunge Ashley and Smith.

Why have a hearing if it's not a hearing? If you want to get rid of Ashley and Smith so badly we know a guy that knows a guy, metaphorically speaking, of course.

If Spain has a legal advisor (which we doubt) he should dump him or her. There's no way a lawyer would have advised Spain to proceed with Tuesday's meeting. If he doesn't have a legal advisor he should get one. We always said that it would be best if Ashley and Smith faded away. They don't want to and they don't have to. If you want to get rid of Ashley and Smith, you're going to have to go through the proper procedures which means abiding by the County Committee By-Laws.

Or, like was said, we know a guy who knows a guy.
Have a safe and happy weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


The last time "branding" came up it was after a few of us downed a fifth of Tequila followed by a Ketamine chaser (luckily, the fire had died down and we couldn't find the irons).

Until now.

The city, in conjunction with the Troy Redevelopment Foundation, a group of non-profit organizations within the city, retained the River Street branding firm of Smith & Jones to spearhead the campaign. The Redevelopment Foundation will pay $135,000 for the first phase, which should be completed within six months.

Within six months? Around election time? Looks like Harry just added 135k to the campaign coffers all courtesy of not-for-profits. Sweet deal, that.

A brand is a name, logo, slogan, and/or design scheme associated with a product or service. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the use of the product or service and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary. A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to the product and serves to create associations and expectations around it. A brand often includes a logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, and sound, which may be developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality.

The Troy Polloi knows all about branding and we're sad that the Mayor didn't approach us first. Nonetheless, we will be putting together some ideas for branding Troy and they'll be free of charge if the city decides to use those ideas.

For instance:

We're not saying we have to go with that theme. It's just one possibility. More ideas are coming up. Feel free to submit your own.

In other news, one of our favorite Republicans has made the news.

Jim deSeve has an interesting article.

Monday, May 21, 2007


A simple mailer sent out by the North Greenbush Democrats Club for their June 5 fundraiser? Or something more sinister?

At first blush the mailer for the NG Democrats Club seems harmless enough. They want to raise money to support their candidates. To that end they are sponsoring a golf outing. A closer look reveals what can only be characterized as disturbing imagery.

1. Sponsered - The event is not sponsored but "sponsered." A spelling error or an anagram for "red spoons?"

2. The Golfer - A white line just below the golfer's waist makes it appear that his pants are falling down. Is someone's ass going to be left hanging out in the breeze or is it a copier flaw?

3. The golf tee isn't planted in the ground but instead hovers eerily above the ground. Not only that, but the size of the tee and ball is grossly out of proportion to the golfer. Can a club that small drive a ball of that size?

4. The golf ball has a name, Dan, and the golfer is poised to drive the ball (or Dan) to the hole.

5. The green and flag are tiny. Is this intentional or a crude attempt at perspective. And what to make of the ominous crow (or raven) perched on the flag. If the flag and green are small because they are in the distance, the raven (or crow) must be enormous. Does Poe hold the answer? In Norse mythology the raven is a symbol of wisdom. In Native American tradition the raven is the trickster, a cunning, unbeatable foe. In Stephen King's The Stand, the Crow is Randall Flagg, a sort of devil.

6. A fluffy, white cloud floats over the hole. Just beneath it, however, a black cloud! What does this daring juxtaposition tell us? Is a storm on the horizon? Did they run out of white?

7. Who is Mark Primo? Another spelling error or a reference to the gospels (Mark 1). Which verse?

We don't have the answers but something tells us the Freemasons are involved.

Friday, May 18, 2007



Looks like the North Greenbush Democratic Committee has finally opened-up a can of Smith-Away. Mr. Smith and Mr. Ashley may soon get a Section-2 discharge.

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Here the section of the Election law that will be used to oust Smith and Ashley:

§ 2-116. Committee [Committees] [n1]; removal of member

A member or officer of a party committee may be removed by such committee for disloyalty to the party or corruption in office after notice is given and a hearing upon written charges has been had. The hearing shall be held by the committee, or a subcommittee thereof appointed for that purpose, which subcommittee shall report its findings to the full committee.

We know NG politics is rough business but we never thought they'd start removing members. After speaking with a professional, we were informed that the procedure must be done under completely sterile conditions and that most patients make a full recovery going on to lead almost normal lives.

It could very well be that the North Greenbush Party would be better off without Smith and Ashley. However, this probably will not work. Although it's counter-intuitive, one becomes a member of a local committee (in this case NG) by being elected to the county committee. Although the local committees are allowed to run the show in their respective towns, election as a committee person is actually an election to the county committee, not the town committee.

Note, it was the County Executive Committee that appointed Smith and Ashley to the committee. Their districts are in the Town of North Greenbush so therefore, they're on the NG Committee. The town committee has no authority to remove anyone from the county committee.

It may very well be time for Smith and Ashley to exit town politics. This isn't they way. It's open to challenge and that challenge will succeed.


Not as salacious as member removal, sources indicate that County Chair Tom Wade will (or has) circulate a letter declaring that he will not recognize Schodack Chairman Tim Nugent as party chair.

The reason for the shunning? Nugent won't run any candidates. There's probably more here than meets the eye but frankly, who cares?


The GOP finally has their At-Large slate set for Troy City Council.

It looks like (drumroll please)....Vito Ciccarelli, Maria Talerico and Stephen Miner.

Now please, control yourself. No nasty, personal comments. We don't care if one of these people got all tanked-up after a high school football game back in 1985 and puked all over your shoes. Ugly, personal comments will not be published. After all, we're not Republicans.

Although not yet confirmed, the Democratic slate looks like Campana, Brown and Foy. Again, that's not confirmed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007



Last week Mayor Tutunjian gathered the press together for a major announcement. As The Record described it:

"On a bright and sunny Wednesday afternoon outside City Hall, Tutunjian pointed to strides made in placing Troy in its best fiscal condition in decades as the reason for having $4.8 million in reserve to spend, in part, on infrastructure improvements."

That's the official line.

A press conference (which for some inexplicable reason was actually covered by the press) to announce that the city will pave roads? That's like a plumber announcing he snaked a toilet, except you never see the press covering that announcement. Wow, paving roads. How innovative. It's not every municipality that gets paved roads. Now well be able to get the flock to market easier.

We won't repeat what an astute student of local politics pointed out, we'll just steal it:

If we were a bit more cynical we might speculate that the mayor has been saving the money for the last 3 ½ years so he can pave roads, fix up parks and do other stuff voters like in the year they head to the polls to decide if he deserves a second term.We don't mean to bash him for it. Mayor Mark Pattison did the same thing, as did Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings. It's a tried and true technique that probably works even if residents have to dodge potholes for a few years until election time.As one observer said, "it's a good thing the election is every four years and not every 10 years."

You wonder what that CDBG/HUD money, transfer, shell game was all about for the past two years? Wasn't it just a few months ago that Harry was going to have to layoff the entire Water Dept. if he didn't get that utility rate hike?


An interesting phone call received by an alert reader:

Some of the questions:

1) Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of
Joe Bruno, Ken Bruno, Harry Tutunjian, Greg Cholakis, John Aretakis, Hank Bauer,
Patricia DeAngelis?

2) Would you consider it a positive or a negative that John Aretakis would be one of Greg
Cholakis's closest advisors?

3) Would it bother you to find out that Greg Cholakis received the nomination as the result
of a back room political deal?

4) Would the fact that Hank Bauer was removed from the City Court Judgeship because of
the "perception" that he was too hard on crime influence your vote?

If you can't figure out who paid for this poll, read question 4 again. Not only is it a dead giveaway, it's a lie (we're sorry, not a lie, a misrepresentation). Nonetheless, we'd love to see the results.

Bauer does have a fundraiser coming up soon. The interesting part is, although the invite lists his current title (City Council President), there is no mention of which office he seeks. It doesn't say District Attorney and it doesn't say At-Large, Troy City Council.


Does everyone who does something useless now have to pay our County Legislature a royalty?

On the agenda for the next meeting? Rensselaer County to join NATO.

Monday, May 14, 2007


In April, Mayor Tutunjian wrote San Francisco Giants owner Peter Magowan in an attempt to lure the San Francisco Giants back to Troy, NY for a few exhibition games.

"It is a well-known story around the city that when the National League urged Troy to drop out of baseball because of financial reasons, it bestowed upon the city the following respect: That the resignation of the... Troy B.B. Association are hereby accepted, and that the names of said clubs be placed on the roll of honorary League membership. That Troy B.B. Association team, the Haymakers, became the San Francisco Giants," Tutunjian said in his letter.

According to The Record, the Mayor said: "After the National League left Troy after the 1872 season, it promised to make the city an honorary league member and host four exhibition games a year." (May 9, p.7).

This is an intriguing idea, and in the hands of someone who a) knew what they were talking about and b)wasn't motivated by cheap political stunts, it might go somewhere (realistically, even in the hands of a competent person, the idea will go nowhere).

Mayor, we wish you had spoken to us before writing letters and issuing press releases.

If you write to Peter Magowan and/or Bud Selig you may want to know something about baseball history, the history of Mr. Magowan's team and the history of Troy's team.

Magowan owns the San Francisco Giants. As everyone knows, the Giant franchise moved from New York City to California in 1958. In NYC, the franchise was originally nicknamed the Gothams. The Giants franchise has no connection to the Troy Haymakers. None, zero, zilch, nada! The Haymakers played in the National Association for two years (1871-1872), not in the National League. There was no B.B. Association.

The Troy Trojans were an entry in the National League from 1879-1882. When the Trojans folded, several players were signed by the Gothams. You see, New York and Philadelphia were booted from the National League for a few years for not playing by the rules. Since the league couldn't exist for long without teams in two of the largest cities, New York City was granted a franchise in 1883. The two men granted the franchise also owned the New York Metropolitans, an American Association entry. Since the Trojans had folded, New York grabbed a few of the better players from the Trojans. That's the extent of the connection. The Trojans did not move to New York. It was not the same franchise and there was no overlapping ownership interest between the two teams.

The Troy Haymakers do have several claims to fame, one of which may have been of interest to Bud Selig. Professional baseball has become dominated by Latin American players. The Troy Haymakers employed Esteban Bellen, the first (or at least one of the first) Latin American player ever to play professional ball in the United States.

The other claim to fame may not be a selling point.

In 1869 Red Stockings toured the nation, playing games in New York, Boston, Washington, Cleveland, Chicago, and as far west as San Francisco. They played the best local teams they could find and annihilated them all, ending up with a record of 56 wins and one tie. The tie resulted when the Troy Haymakers walked off the field in the sixth inning with the scored tied 17-17 so that gamblers who had laid money on the Troy team could avoid paying off.

Of course, this is all wishful thinking. No professional baseball team is playing exhibition games in Troy, during the Spring. They are not coming here in October, while the World Series is under way. That leaves the regular season, where there's simply no time for a team to travel to Troy or Worcester or Hartford and play an exhibition game or two.

Friday, May 11, 2007


The Troy Civil Service Commission removed seven Troy Police Officers from the sergeant's list because they do not reside in Troy.

More from The Record:

The ruckus over residency continues. During a contentious meeting last week, the Troy Civil Service Commission, for the first time in nearly 12 years, addressed the residency issue. The three-member panel voted unanimously to remove seven police officers from the sergeant's list because they do not live in the city as is required for any officer hired after Dec. 22, 1995.

Throughout the session, commission members looked lost as they were peppered with questions from three of the officers who were removed. Actually, the only person who said anything on the commission's behalf was city Personnel Director Al Spain, and the North Greenbush resident isn't even on the commission.

The residency law has been on the books since 1995 and the Commission finally addresses the issue? What's the rush? They haven't even addressed President Arthur's Pendleton Act yet.

The real questions have yet to be answered. What gives the Civil Service Commission the authority to remove seven officers from the sergeant's list based on nothing but residency? That the question Officer Sean Kittle asked. It's a reasonable question to which there was no answer:

Officer Sean Kittle cited a letter written by Personnel Director Al Spain in which he said the commission was acting under a statute of state Civil Service Law. He read each of the eight subsections and at the end of asked the commission which one applied to them removing him from the list.While the three commissioners remained mainly silent through out the meeting, each time Kittle asked if that was the sub-section, Spain said the rationale is spelled out in the letter.

The letter cites the entire section but does not give a subsection and it appeared nobody on the commission could or wanted to clarify."I went through subsection by subsection and specifically asked which one applies because I don't want you to act outside your authority," Kittle said. "If you are compelled by some outside entity to get you to act, I ask you to look inside your heart to see if that is the kind of people you want to be." - The Record

Officer Kittle should do some research before he questions the Commission. The Commission, like other Troy governmental (or quasi-governmental) entities, receive their authority from the Sacred Tablets of Zuul (Zuul is the minion of Gozer). The tablets are stored in the Shrineatorium in City Hall. Only a select few are allowed to read and interpret the tablets. Any non-Gozerian who questions the interpretation of the tablets will be roasted in the depths of a giant Slor.

Do we really want geography determining who is elevated to a supervisory position? Kittle is a fine officer with a good reputation. He be a good sergeant, no matter where he resides and there are other examples. Captain Furillo lived outside whatever city he worked in and Barney Miller moved to Westchester (although Fish lived in Brooklyn).

The larger point has been missed. Why have these seven officers been singled and punished for violating the residency requirement? Can you violate the residency requirement as long as you don't seek promotion? Is that the new standard? Or, is this part of Tutunjian's war against the TPD? As usual, the Mayor would not comment. His Irrelevancy was busy sending letters to the San Francisco Giants.

How about the city's "leaders." Will the Mayor assure us that everyone in his administration is in compliance with the residency requirements. Especially new hires?

Scrap the requirement. It's silly, simple-minded and Troy got along fine without it until 1995.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007



"déjà vu" (dey-zhah voo, vyoo; Fr) French for "already seen", also called paramnesia, describes the experience of feeling that one has witnessed or experienced getting your ass kicked by the PBA previously.

Troy PBA President Bob Fitzgerald is back on the job and the Administration has now lost another round to the TPD. Since this is a personnel matter we can't discuss the details.

However, it appears that there were allegations that someone threatened to shoot-up Officer Seney's home, not back Seney up on calls as well threats to give him (Seney) a "nasty purple-nurple."

According to the mayor's statement (and they never comment on personnel matters), the threatened officer alleged that Fitzgerald told him "he could be assaulted at work, that his home could be shot at, personal property destroyed and phone calls made to his wife about alleged extramarital affairs."*

Fitzgerald maintains he was only labeled as a witness and was never charged with anything. That may be the case but he sure as hell wasn't treated like a witness. How many witnesses are placed on administrative leave, banned from the police station then let back in but shadowed by a police escort?" If that's a witness then Chris Porco is a 'guest' of New York State.

Anyone out there think we've heard the last of this?


According to the Troy GOP website, Troy Republicans now have candidates in Election District 3 & 4.

In District Four, incumbent Councilman William Dunne will face:

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Dunne's opponent is Yourna me Goeshere (not sure we're pronouncing it properly). Although information is limited, Yourna me Goeshere, enjoys colorful top hats, finger-pointing and having his photo taken by someone who doesn't know how to use the auto-focus button.

Ryan's opponent in ED Three will be:

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The twin brother of Yourna me Goeshere, Sendre sume Today is a newcomer to local politics and not much is known about him.

Both brothers have had their left arm amputated below the elbow.


At the Thursday Night Council meeting, Republican Bob Brignola attacked the Administration's ethics. We're not sure what Brignola was talking about (and never really are). It probably has something to do with Brignola's relationship with the city.

The odd part was, Mayor Tutunjian felt the need to defend the city against the attacks of a man no one takes seriously. Tutunjian can take time to address Brignola's comments but still remains mum on Intimigate, a criminal investigation. Oh, right. He doesn't comment on personnel issues.

* The Record had doubts about the authenticity of the Mayor's press release:

After confirming the statement was indeed authentic, we asked the mayor what makes this internal affairs investigation different than the one involving the three police officers and the suspect who didn't get to talk to an attorney before he confessed to murder. (During and after that one, Tutunjian and others said they could not say a thing because it would violate the officers' civil rights.)"Lots" was his response. Asked how so, Tutunjian said, "I'm not talking," and walked away.

Monday, May 07, 2007


It's May 7, the day Troy residents celebrate Cinco de Mitchell. Activities will include not responding to FOIL requests, wasting the District Attorneys time and an hour-long seminar on "Mediocrity Attacking Excellence, What to do if it happens to you." There will also be a children's hour, where the kids are allowed to write letters and e-mails assaulting the legislative branch for making legitimate inquiries.

When we last left our hero, he had chastised the wicked Councilman from the 3rd ED, Peter Ryan. Mitchell characterized Ryan's behavior (allegedly trying to fix a parking ticket) as reprehensible and replete with official misconduct.

Yes, indeed, Mr. Mitchell. Mr. Ryan is the G. Gordon Liddy of our times.

In a strange twist, the day before the Mitchell-Ryan story appeared in The Record, Mitchell was the only Troy official to stand with Hank Bauer, as the disgraced judge announced he wanted to be the top law enforcement officer in Rensselaer County. Since Bauer couldn't follow the law as a judge, he should make one hell of a DA (with Mitchell as 1st Assistant?).

And wasn't it Mitchell's office that hired disgraced shakedown artist, Tom Spargo?

And isn't it Mitchell (although Buell is the official FOIL officer for the city) that has repeatedly violated the law by refusing to comply with legitimate FOIL requests including, but not limited to, disclosing his own Annual Disclosure?

And we all know about the Mary Kate O'Neil thing and the Brian Owens thing and the Bob Fitzgerald thing.....

Then there's our all-time favorite: Residency. Oh, we know about Lansingburgh (it is in the 'burgh, isn't it) but why the secrecy?

Why, for instance, can't Mitchell provide his address when he forks over donations to his boss? Under the law, all campaign contributions over $99.00 must be itemized and must include an address.

Here are Mitchell's (just click on the thumbnail):

To be fair, the contributor isn't responsible for ensuring his/her address appears on the financial disclosure documents. That's the treasurers responsibility. It just seems that Mitchell may not want to put Steve Pechenik in such a delicate spot.

Then there's the fact that Mitchell is not registered to vote in Rensselaer County. If he lives in Troy, why isn't he registered to vote? Doesn't he want to support the Mayor? Of course, he may live outside Troy, somewhere in Rensselaer County, and who could blame him for not voting. But, to not vote for the GOP Council ticket in '05 and not vote for Harry in 'o7 if you live in Troy? It's a poor way to thank your benefactor.

Thanks, Corp. Counsel, for keeping everyone on the up-and-up.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Welcome to Part I of the David B. Mitchell Super Terrific Happy Fun Hour.* Got your tin foil hats? Good.

Mr. Mitchell hasn't learned that a political scandal is like romance: It has to come naturally, it can't be rushed and it can't be created in a few hours (unless you're paying for it and even then sincerity will cost you extra).

The latest attempt to deflect attention away from Intimigate is the Pete Ryan ticket-fixing scandal or Tix-Fix. When we heard "ticket scandal" we thought it might have something to do with front row tickets to the Asia reunion tour. Nope.

Corporation Counsel David B. Mitchell, flushed with his recent victory over Mary Kate O'Neil and Joe Centanni, has demanded an investigation into two alleged attempts by Councilman Peter Ryan to fix a constituent's parking ticket as well as one of his own tickets.

According to The Record (April 27, 2007) the constituent's ticket involved a car towed after the Valentine's Day snowstorm. The constituent, Brian Morgan, contacted Ryan about a $258 ticket after his car had been towed. Morgan wanted his money refunded and had concerns about the towing policy. Ryan brought those concerns to the Corporation Council's Office, the perky, municipal organ that handles parking tickets.

Information on the second incident is hazy and disturbing, or perhaps our phone connection was bad. It seems that Ryan either (1) asked Deputy Mayor Dan Crawley to "fix" a ticket or (2) Ryan purchased a ticket to have Crawley fixed, in exchange for unlimited long-distance calling. Mr. Mitchell was present and was either (1) appalled at the misconduct or (2) shouted 'Kvatter' and offered to phone the Mohel. Like we said, our information is garbled.

That's the gist of it.

In a letter to Ryan, Mitchell writes:
" light of your recent posture regarding the integrity of public officials and employees, I find your behavior this past week reprehensible, overtly hypocritical, replete with official misconduct and compelling a referral to both the office of the Rensselaer County district attorney and the City of Troy Ethics Board."

Mitchell, a former Ballston Spa village judge who resigned before his term expired, is absolutely correct. Democrat Pete Ryan, is well-known for misusing his considerable influence at City Hall. He does it overtly and repletedly, positively bursting with official misconduct. We suspect that he even threatened to wield that influence and have the Deputy Mayor fired if the ticket wasn't fixed.

The Corporation Council's Office handles parking violations. Ryan brought a constituent concern to that office. The office could review the towing policy, refund the money or not. That's not fixing a ticket. That's an exercise in futility. As for Ryan's own ticket, Crawley has declined comment and according to our City Hall mole, Ryan tried to pay the ticket. Ryan was informed that there is no record of the ticket. So, if there is no record of the ticket, what member of the Corporation Counsel's Office conspired with Ryan in this dastardly deed? Another referral to the Ethics Board?

A referral to the City's Ethics Board is an interesting choice. GOP City Chair Tom Casey sits on the Ethics Board while simultaneously violating two ethics rules. City employees are not allowed to be political officers and political officers are not supposed to sit on the Ethics Board. This is as good a time as any to force that issue. Or perhaps Mitchell can refer that issue to the Ethics Board as well.

It's also odd that Mitchell shows so much faith in a board upon which Mr. Casey sits. Remember this little kerfuffle?

In response to a comment by Ryan's attorney, Rich Hanft, Mr. Mitchell stated, "mediocrity always attacks excellence." Hanft, who has successfully argued before United States Supreme Court, did not respond to the response. Mitchell then had to leave because black helicopters were following him.

The seriousness of Mitchell's allegations can be measured by the person handling those allegations. In this case, First Assistant Joe Ahearn. The Rensselaer County District Attorneys Office refers anything remotely political, or serious, to a Special Prosecutor. That's bad news for Inspector Clouseau. We suspect that Troy's paragon of excellence will soon receive a letter asking him to cease wasting Mr. Ahearn's time.

Where does Tix Fix fit in the hierarchy of recent Democratic misdeeds? Hard to say. Somewhere between Ginny O'Brien asking the DPW to do it's job and Clem Campana calling City Hall?

This was fun but it's time to return to planet Earth. See you next time.

* Warning, this post is being recorded!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


We will return tomorrow with the David B. Mitchell Super Terrific Happy Fun Hour. Right now, we're trying to figure out how to record all incoming phone calls.

The new kid reports that Mayor Tutunjian will have a fundraiser hosted by former GOP State Chair Sandy Treadwell. Tickets will cost $250, ensuring that the average Troy resident will be able to attend.

Proceeds will go to pay Troy's outstanding 911 bill.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Looks like our days of living in sweet, blissful denial are over. It had to end sometime. This came in by way of e-mail. Although the poll results aren't in yet, we think Concerned Democrat might speak for many (most?) Democrats.

“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.