October 23, 2007

I call em as I see em...

First a few things. One, there's another meet the candidates opportunity coming up, this one at SU Thursday, Room 132 Lyman Hall (google map college pl, Syracuse NY, and you should just about be pointing at Lyman)

Next, saw a Joanie commercial today. I know what it's supposed to do is stay on her campaign message of Bill's been around forever, and it does a good job of sticking to message. She also, manages in person to slip in little shots when talking on any subject, and any good candidate should stick to message. But the commercial states we have the opportunity ("for the first time in a while") to vote for real change in this county. By voting in another Republican when there's never been a Democrat? I know what she means, but this kind of wording made more sense against Dale then it does against Bill.

Speaking of voting for change, let's talk about the Post-Standard endorsements. Trying to be as polite as I can, they are endorsing way too many incumbents. 5 out of 6 so far. If this community was doing all sorts of vibrant and exciting things, if our economy were 10 shades of wonderful, if our property taxes were a nice low percentage of income, if the consolidation everyone talks about was well on its way, then yes, by all means endorse the incumbents. But since that isn't the case, here's my counter list of endorsements:

1st district: Write-in. Yes that's right, and I live in the 1st district. Neither incumbent Richard Lesniak nor challenger Jim Borchik get my vote. The incumbent's answers to the post-standard questions suffer from a case of being too happy with the status quo. Jim Borchik on the other hand, started off his answer on the job question (in my opinion the most important one) with "I don't have the answer to that yet." Then he said he was going to ask the elderly. When this community is losing young folk left and right, don't you think maybe we should be asking the young people and find out why they're leaving? If you live in this district and want my support as a write in, feel free to answer the post standard questions (or my own that were previously answered by Tom Buckel and Deb Moynihan) and send them to me.

2nd district: Don MacLaughlin. Post-standard got this one right. Bernie Kraft has been the floor leader for the majority for 12 years now. A majority which doesn't need a minority vote to pass anything. Have you felt us moving in the right direction?

3rd district: Brad Ward. This was a close one. I almost didn't even pick. Meyer certainly has impressive qualifications, and his answers were quite good. However, the Post-Standard writes "Ward's top issues are jobs and investment in the county." Me too. What does Meyer list for top issues? His website has a section entitled political issues, but apparently he forgot to post more than one. Everything is about cutting taxes, which I agree is important, but I think it's a little more complex then that. Also, he starts off with calling for NYS to give back any surplus taxes, which I believe at the county level was already called for by one Ed Ryan.

4th district: Dave Stott. One of Dave's main supporters is a registered Republican who feels Jim Ferrell didn't go to bat for her when Bloody Creek was overflowing. Also, Dave is one of those candidates I've personally met and worked with, and I can see that he'll fight hard for the rights of his constituents.

5th district: Still deciding. Phil Drury's answers at the Standard are kind of short, but I've talked with him a bit and we seem to agree on things. Rapp gives a good jobs answer, particularly where she starts off talking about how her kids ended up moving out of the area, so she's in the same boat as the rest of us. However, with regard to the part of the jobs answer where she states her daughter's friend told her we have everything Boston has but so much easier... what exactly was your daughter's friend smoking? I mean I like CNY, but just look at the sheer number of young people in Boston. There's a reason they're there and not here. We can (and hopefully will) get there, but we ain't yet.

6th district: James Rhinehart. Whaha! I finally found an incumbent I think I can endorse. And a Republican at that. Karen Hanford has some interesting ideas regarding trying to keep our college students here, but I wonder about effectiveness vs. cost. Jim was mayor and village trustee in Skaneateles and they're one community in this area that's doing quite well. He voted no to a legislator's pay raise, is for term limits, worked on bills for tax credits for emergency service volunteers and increased allowances for indigent burials, and because of his membership on environmental boards, is for "going green" and working with ESF.

More to come as the Post Standard lists theirs. Feel free to list your own arguments.

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