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

Monday, September 21, 2015

FEELING A BIT SUPRESSED

Following City Council President Rodney Wiltshire's recent primary defeat for the Democratic nomination for mayor, accusations of voter fraud and voter suppression have been lodged (mostly on facebook).

Here's one:


Voter fraud, as we are well aware, and voter suppression are serious allegations. Former Working Families Party operative Sara Couch has said she witnessed "incredible voter suppression and voter fraud to the point I was sickened."

Couch also worked tirelessly for Wiltshire.* We understand that a certain bitterness occurs after a close election. When you're in the echo chamber, surrounded by people who  all support your candidate, you cannot believe it when the candidate loses. There are still hundreds of Harvard alumni who waited for a Dukakis landslide. Remember Presidents Dole and Kerry? We have all been there. Yes, it sucks. However...

If Couch witnessed a sickening** level of fraud and suppression we need to know where and when. Did she collect the names of those suppressed? Did she take the names of those committing fraud? Did Wiltshire have legal counsel on-call to intervene  and move to impound the ballots or take other measures to ensure a fair vote?

What was the nature of the fraud? It is one thing for a few clowns to forge signatures on absentee ballots to win a primary (John Brown et. al) or have all but one absentee ballot returned in your favor (North Greenbush) but what was the fraud at the polling locations? What was the voter suppression? We hate to say it but our polling place did run out of ballots and we had to wait a while to receive more. It happens. It also happened two years ago at a different polling place and we waited once again. One shouldn't jump to sinister conclusions when  mere human error will suffice. Madden, Russo and Ryan supporters would have been equally effected by a lack of ballots.

Of course, Ed McDonough pointed out that when the polling place is a school, it is going to be locked down during the day. And, today, unlike decades ago, just about everyone is walking around with a camera. Did anyone...anyone at all....bother to film any suspicious  irregularities? Just one photograph or video? Perhaps, people trying to get into a building that is locked, people being turned away without the chance to vote.

Furthermore, there was more than one primary on September 10. Pat Russo faced Scott Ryan in the GOP primary for Sheriff. Did Ryan's people report irregularities? In addition, there are poll watchers, Board of Election volunteers (that all seem to have been a few years ahead of Methuselah in high school) and others. Larry Bugbee is involved, as is Ed McDonough.

Then there's the ignorance factor (notice we did not say stupid).  Some people are just...well... fucking ignorant. They may not be registered democrats or registered at all. They just want to vote, figure they're old enough and live in Troy so they'll meander on down and vote.

Point is, its easy to allege voter irregularities, fraud and suppression after a loss. It validates a cause: We would have won but they didn't play fair. So, get time, place and names. Get affidavits. Go to the District Attorney. He'll prosecute non-republicans, we know that.

Sara Couch is an interesting messenger for voter fraud. She was involved, as a witness, in the LoPorto case.  In fact, Couch was at both infamous meetings at LoPorto's.***

At the meeting, "Michael LoPorto, a candidate for Troy City Council whom Ms. Couch knows personally, handed her a newspaper folded in half, which contained approximately 30 absentee ballots, and asked her to deliver them to the Rensselaer County Board of Elections," Ogden said. "Ms. Couch said that she thought it was odd for Mr. LoPorto to make such a request."

The second meeting:

Couch told police other attendees at the restaurant meeting included Caird, John Brown, LoPorto and McDonough. She said McDonough started the meeting by stating: "I don't want to be a (expletive) but I want to make sure that this conversation isn't being recorded. ... This is really bad and needs to go away."

When the meeting ended, Couch told police, LoPorto picked up the tab for their meals and walked her to her car. He gave her a hug and said: "I never gave you those ballots," she told police.

Forgive our naivet√© but, you're handed absentee ballots in a newspaper and you think it odd? McDonough wants to know if a conversation is being recorded (according to Couch) and says things are bad and it needs to go away. Then, LoPorto says he never gave you those ballots.  Did Couch go to anyone with any suspicions? If not, why not?

The cries of voter fraud and suppression feel like a convenient, easy answer to a disappointing loss. Or, is this about the Working Families Party? In the past few election cycles you can subtract the votes received by Democratic candidates on the WFP line and the Democrat still wins. Now, the WFP has an actual candidate on their line that has a track record of getting votes city wide. A candidate that has a following. Is this a last-ditch effort to be relevant? To hold the Democratic Party hostage to the WFP in the future? Or is are the WFP trying to get Rodney to drop out to avoid a Gordon-Tutunjian administration? Surely Madden would be a better candidate to advance WFP goals than Gordon.



* According to Couch Wiltshire the only man who can move Troy forward. The only person in a city of almost 50,000 people? He also turns water into wine at LoPorto's.

** Sickening is greater than nauseating but less than feverish.

*** Try the veal. It's to die for.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Merely mentioning the name Sara Couch says it all.

Anonymous said...

Sara is launching a failed attempt to "gin up" the minority's. Playing to the lowest form of defeat. She will have signs that will say "Black votes matter" by the end of the week. They will have gravy stains on them that's how you'll know they where in her possession.

Nick Germaine said...

Could be. Very hard to say what the motivations are. They may be mixed. Rodney truly believes he can win. Maybe they are using him. Maybe they truly think he can win. Tough to say. They do see their influence waning.

Anonymous said...

The minute I saw Sara couch, I stopped reading. Non relevant !!

Anonymous said...

Now be fair, Democratus. Don't you think Sara Couch and the motley crew know voter irregularities when they see them? They're the experts.

Anonymous said...

Go away Rodney! Go fly your fish.

Anonymous said...

One of the meanest people I have ever encountered in Troy Politice is That Couch person. I was at a fundraiser one time standing near the buffet table and she plowed into me knocking me down. She didn't even say she was sorry. She just filled her plate and walked away. My God!

KMcGrath said...

I don't trust Sara Couch any further than I can throw her !

Phana24JG said...

Demo, I agree this is all BS, but for Rensco politics, and considering many enjoy playing drama queen on social media, I detect some manufactured outrage. I really don’t see many people being influenced by this whining. If the WFP tries to play the race card, they're doomed. The events of the last few weeks rendered that card moot.

Ironically, While I am probably to the right of everyone here, I think Rodney has a chance. I readily concede you guys know far more about the electorate than I, but sometimes when you get so focused on the trees, that forest thingey gets a little blurry.

Anonymous said...

He sure helped move the city forward when he was the council president. Rodney seems a lot more concerned about himself tha the city of Troy.

Pol Watcher said...

Agree. Voter fraud is BS. Rodney probably does have a chance, but its low. It would be a real coup if the WFP actually won something w/o the D line as well.

Jack Germond said...

I don't think, right now, Rodney has much of a chance. I think Gordon has a very good chance because of the WFP running Wiltshire. As we get closer, will Rodney's people decide they'd that Gordon is better than voting Madden?

Anonymous said...

You stopped reading and directly commented.

Anonymous said...

No reason to get personal about Couch. These are serious questions posed by The Troy Polloi. If you are going to throw around accusations, lets get some proof on the table. Otherwise it sounds like childish, sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

Sara Couch? Sour grapes? She hasn't won squat.

Jaime said...

New to the Polloi. First time commenter. I've been going through some back posts. Speaking of voter fraud, Saw this

www.http://troypolitics.blogspot.com/2005/10/friday-fun.html and almost wet myself.

Art Vanderlay said...

The veal is good. I like mine wrapped in newspaper.

Vito said...

Something about this post makes me want to lower a bucket down a well with a chicken bone attached.

Anonymous said...

Wow if KMcGrath said he can't trust Sara Couch I guess we really can't. Let's ask John Brown, Eddie Mac, Difiglio, Renna and Billy Mac if they agree. We could ask the co-conspiring drug dealers he sent up the river who they trust too.

Phana24JG said...

That is an excellent question Jack, but what about independent voters? That is hard to gauge. The reason I think Rodney can win is that he campaigns well. Gordon seems to do well, but Madden, to date, has been unimpressive. If true independents (not people in the bogus party) have a high turnout because of the crime issue, and a number of Democrats either stay home or leave the mayor line blank as a "none of the above" statement, it could be a long night.

Bee Dazzled said...

I just got schooled by Jolene Wiltshire and she really cleared up some questions I had about the race for Mayor! Today she posted on the Wiltshire for Troy FB page:

"Political lesson for today: in the general election you can vote for any candidate in any party, you do not need to vote on the party line in which you are registered. The general election is much different then a primary!

Remember, Rodney is still and has always been a Democrat! If you are a loyal Democrat that only votes on the Democrat line, you are going to want to vote on the Working Families Party (WFP) line in the upcoming election because Rodney will be the only Democrat in the race! "

The primary is different from the general election?!! Gosh, that explains why I couldn't just stroll into a polling place on primary day and demand to vote even though I'm not a registered Democrat. I thought the poll workers were just being suppressive!!!

Rodney is the only Democrat in the race!! Yeah, thanks Jo, that Patrick Madden guy who was endorsed by the Democrats and just won the Democratic primary he's not really real!! Politics is so much fun!! Let's just make it up as we go along!!! Gotta go, headed to LoPorto's for some veal!


Anonymous said...

Be nice. The lady almost drowned in a swimming pool.

Fan Boy said...

Damn, I've missed this shit. Insightful, funny, not mean-spirited, perhaps biting at times, honest commentary. Love it.

Great to have you back. Everyone's talking about the return of the Polloi.

Will it be able to shape public opinion like before? Time will tell.

Fat Boy said...

This blog sucks! I need a cheeseburger.

Anonymous said...

It was all for the kids

Power2theSheeple said...

Wait, he said he WASN'T a politician! I'm so confused... He's an engineer but hates machinery?... He's a real democrat but it's not about parties?... except when it is... I can't wait for lesson number two! There's so much more to learn, I just know it.

Anonymous said...

It would, but it will never happen.

Anonymous said...

Why, you trying to find Harry?

Anonymous said...

It was all for a cheeseburger slushie with an intravenous tube of gravy

Anonymous said...

Go to your wife's restaurant! Oh wait you can't. You ran that into the ground! Did you pay your back taxes yet ?

Anonymous said...

Wrapped in newspaper or not, I'm sure you would have eaten it Harry

Anonymous said...

He's an engineer who installed a pool that just collapsed on his wife and kids. Doesn't inspire confidence.

Troy O'Leary said...

"If you are a loyal Democrat that only votes on the Democrat line, you are going to want to vote on the Working Families Party (WFP) line in the upcoming election because Rodney will be the only Democrat in the race! "

Brilliant! That's what real democrats do, refuse to step back after losing the DEMOCRATIC primary. I have a solution: fill 1 Monument Square with solar panels.

Seymour Hope said...

Another option? Elect Madden for Mayor and let Rodney and Team Troy sit by his pool for the next four years telling sad stories about how they were beaten by the big bad democratic machine. Rodney is an engineer, he should be able to figure a machine out. He is not a victim, he brought this on himself by how he behaved in the Council. You burn bridges, you burn people, they don't endorse you, they don't vote for you in the Primary. It's kind of politics 101.

Vindicated my ass said...

McDonough is at it again. Ed and Wade used this kid to get what they needed and left him with a few felonies. I hope they are proud of themselves.

Phana24JG said...

Seriously? You want to listen to psychobabble for four years? Maybe you folks get to see another side of him, but if I have to listen to that flood of social science babble that Pat constantly dishes out, I might need a vacation at Four Winds.

Anonymous said...

That's an excellent idea. Let us know when they let you out.

Phana24JG said...

So adding some humor to a political discussion rates an ad hominem attack?