Tag Archives: Steve Levy

The Race is On

3 Jun

The New York State Republican Committee designated former Congressman Rick Lazio as its candidate for governor. The final vote tally was: Myers Mermel 4.36%, Carl Paladino 7.89%, Steve Levy 28.12%, Lazio 59.6%. If that’s not overwhelming, I don’t know what is. Under normal circumstances, the Republicans would unite behind their designee and march towards November throwing mud at Andrew Cuomo. Instead, it appears that Paladino will run on a third party line – either the Conservative line, held now by Ralph Lorigo, or a newly-minted tea party line. Or both. Paladino may also petition his way onto the Republican primary ballot. Celeste Katz has the complete roll call vote by county regarding the committee’s choice for nominee, and whether Levy should get a Wilson-Pakula (a special authorization whereby the Republicans vote to permit a registered Democrat to run on the Republican line). Erie voted Paladino and split on the Levy issue. Niagara County voted Levy and voted no on Levy getting on the ballot. In the end, although Levy cracked the 25% threshold to get on the ballot, he lost the Wilson-Pakula vote by about 7.5%.

I neither know nor care about Paladino’s chances against Lazio alone in a Republican primary, but if he runs solely on minor party lines, all he’ll do is siphon off Lazio’s votes.

The state Democratic Committee’s response:

“Only a Republican Party headed by a Nixon would select a political hack Wall Street lobbyist to clean up Albany.”

Paladino took to the stage yesterday to spout off a tremendous volume of cliches and platitudes, and pledged to clean Albany up with “a baseball bat“.

Note to Carl: the angry schtick is tired, won’t get you much support outside the world of the tea party, and doesn’t offer any solutions. Baseball bats wielded by the angry may bust heads, but in the end the assailant is jailed, and the victim is injured or dead. I have little tolerance for that kind of rhetoric, and find it frankly disgusting.

Carl Paladino is finished in this campaign. He was finished from the moment WNYMedia.net revealed that he has a sick “sense of humor”. A primary race on the (R) side would at least keep them in the news through the summer, thus building name recognition and support for the ultimate nominee, and also giving Lazio a public vetting. By the time someone like Carl was through with him, Andrew Cuomo would be a piece of cake, and any revelations would already be stale.

But I’m pretty confident today that Andrew Cuomo will be New York State’s governor come January 2011. The Republicans can’t find viable candidates, and even when they do, they can’t get out of their own way. When did they become the Democrats?

(Photo via PolitickerNY)

The Republican Convention

2 Jun

Unfortunately, I was unable to traipse off to Manhattan to enjoy the goings-on at the state Republican convention, but that’s why we have Bob McCarthy, right? Here’s his take on what happened yesterday, and this paragraph stood out:

Levy faces a tough challenge, since party leaders, including Erie County Chairman Nicholas A. Langworthy, say they do not want to support a candidate who in the past has supported the likes of Silver, former Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer and Obama.

Langworthy is the chairman of the Erie County Republican Committee, which is the sole county committee to have endorsed Carl Paladino for Governor going into the convention. If ECGOP didn’t want to support someone who had previously supported Silver and Spitzer, (and while not Obama, he has given to Hillary Clinton), why did they support Carl Paladino?

While Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy hunts around for the nomination of a party to which he doesn’t yet belong, he talks tough, touting his credentials over Rick Lazio’s.

Here is the video that kicked off the state Republican convention:

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Clearly that party’s state designees, such as comptroller candidate Harry Wilson, Senate candidate Gary Berntsen, and AG candidate Daniel Donovan will be running against a caricature of President Obama, whose stimulus law has quite literally kept New York State – run for decades by idiot Democrats and idiot Republicans alike – afloat this past year.

You may recall Ed “don’t call me Mr. Tricia Nixon” Cox touting the openness and non-backroom-dealness of the GOP convention in front of last week’s Democratic confab. In this case, “openness” is merely a euphemism for “dysfunctional clusterf*ck”. The Democratic convention took literally an entire afternoon to manufacture a roll call vote to enable all five AG candidates to appear on the September primary ballot without having to take the time and effort to petition. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates are trying to out-backroom-deal each other to guarantee a slot on that ballot and deny it to others. Seriously, neither side has clean hands when it comes to claiming it’s cleaner than the other, so they should each stop pretending. But here’s some funny video of Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy showing off his Republican bona fides:

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Finally, here’s a brief interview the Daily News’ Celeste Katz held with Buffalo’s own Carl Paladino. It seems a bit disingenuous for him to accuse others of being zebras trying to change their stripes, because “once a zebra, always a zebra” might apply to Mr. Paladino, as well. (Also, what’s with this talk of zebras?) Paladino thinks he has a shot, and that’s just special.

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It will be fascinating to see whom the Republicans designate as their candidate today. (Image HT Marquil at EmpireWire.com)

Electoral Fusion Ruins New York Some More

29 May

New York is one of only a small handful of states that permits electoral fusion – the system whereby minor parties can and do endorse candidates from major parties. Any party that garners 50,000 votes or more on its party line in any gubernatorial election is guaranteed a slot on the ballot until the next gubernatorial election. It is often argued that the existence of these party lines enable die-hard Democrats to vote for a Republican without pulling a lever on the Republican line, and vice-versa for Republicans to vote for Democrats. The Conservative Party = Republicans. The Working Families Party = Democrats. The Independence Party = hacks and opportunists.

The net result of this is that a lot of dealmaking gets done to ensure minor party ballot lines – and in any New York State-based political deal, jobs are on the line. For the most part, all this amounts to is a big patronage factory. (I know that there are exceptions, but they just prove the rule.)

So, in-between the Democratic state convention last week and the Republican state convention next week, the Conservative Party held a convention that culminated in Republican Rick Lazio getting the nomination for that party line. This over the strenuous objection of supporters of Angry® Tea Party candidate and horse porn aficionado Carl Paladino, and Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy.

In fact, two competing slates were up for votes at the Conservative convention yesterday – Rick Lazio and Erie County Conservative Party chairman Ralph Lorigo. Lorigo, however, isn’t running. He put his name in as a placeholder for either Carl Paladino, whom he backs, or Steve Levy – Lorigo struck a deal with Levy supporters to create this placeholder slate.

Because Lazio got just a bit over 50% at the Conservative convention and Lorigo got over 30%, Lorigo’s slate has about a week to decide whether it will mount a primary.

Paladino is threatening to dilute the Conservative Party’s clout in November by launching a Tea Party line, and Paladino is supporting Lorigo’s move and will continue to do so unless Lazio strikes a backroom deal with him to guarantee him 25% of the vote at the Republican convention to guarantee a slot on the Republican primary ballot.

Remember Ed Cox moaning about how inclusive and open the Republican convention would be, as opposed to the Democratic convention where the delegates “conspired” in a “backroom deal” to ensure that all five AG candidates would appear on the September primary ballot? Yeah, what a load of disingenuous bullshit that was.

The only things missing from this story are the words “Steve Pigeon” and “Chris Collins”, who have conspired locally to cripple the Democratic Party.

Mermel!

25 May
Horny horse protest of Carl Paladino
Image by WNYMedia via Flickr

While Carl Paladino celebrates a three-point rise in the polls at least partly at the the expense of NYGOP chair Ed Cox’s favorite, Steve Levy, the real story is that 41% remain undecided or have no opinion. Paladino’s Bushesque 16% support in the polls translates right now into 6.93% of the weighted vote at the Republican nominating convention in a few weeks.

But watch out for Mermelmentum!

Changs and Engs

28 Apr

I wonder how many of the “mad as hell”, mostly local, Paladino supporters are the same people who usually moan about negative campaigning? Because the Paladino campaign sort of inexplicably released this weird Eng-and-Chang photo parody of Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Levy and Assembly Speaker and all-around-bad-guy Sheldon Silver:

The text accompanying the picture reads like this:

Democrat Steve Levy voted with Democratic Assembly Boss Sheldon Silver 98 percent of the time when he was in the New York State Assembly. He even contributed annually to Silver’s political slush fund. Democrat Steve Levy was endorsed for Suffolk County Executive four times by ACORN’s left wing Working Families Party. Levy actively supported Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election. Levy solicited millions in campaign contributions from special interests, even though he was unopposed in his recent re-election. Now, Democrat Steve Levy tells us he wants to be the Republican candidate for Governor.

CAREER POLITICIAN STEVE LEVY – PART OF THE PROBLEM,
NOT THE SOLUTION

Do we really need to re-hash Paladino’s own embrace of Democratic politicians? At least Levy can argue that when he voted with the Democrats he was a Democrat and did so either based on principle or party discipline.

When Paladino donated thousands to Hillary Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, and the exact same Sheldon Silver “slush fund”, he did so out of political expediency.

Remember – Steve Levy donated a mere $650 to Silver’s political slush fund the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee. Carl Paladino and entities under his control donated about $450.

So under Paladino’s argument, maybe he’s just Sheldon Silver’s fraternal twin, rather than an identical or siamese.

Or maybe Levy’s campaign decides to be too cute for its own good and sends this out:

I’m also struck by the linkage between ACORN and the WFP. That is pure Glenn Beck retarded chalkboard paranoia. Attaboy, Carl. You go ahead and read Breitbart and regurgitate that as some sort of campaign strategy to move New York forward.

New York State Gubernatorial race 2010: an embarrassment all around. Seriously.

Thick Skin

18 Apr

Carl Paladino’s going to go to Albany and shake things up. He’s the man to do it because:

Well, “values” have been covered. Literally ad nauseum.

But according to this report from Jim Heaney, which reveals that Paladino earns $10.1 million per year from at least 37 state leases and contracts, and has received at least $12 million in tax breaks since 2003, and this associated blog post, he’s no populist, and his skin is thinner than that of any other contemporary politician, ever.

The report is, to me, most significant in showing that the influence Mr. Paladino had with the Masiello Administration to shape Empire Zone boundaries downtown to his great benefit. Influence like that comes at a price.

“Mad as hell” populist, my ass.

Also, as for “thick skin”, just check out this email string that Heaney posted (.doc). Can you imagine Cuomo, Levy, or Lazio completely shutting out a major newspaper’s reporter because they were butthurt about his factual reporting? I can’t. Usually, campaigns roll with the good stories and bad, and maintain contacts with big media because they recognize that the press and the candidate need each other. I suspect that Mr. Caputo doesn’t have control of his client.

Liberal Elites and Governor 2010

14 Apr

Shock! Horror! Jim Heaney exposes the WNYMedia.net liberal media elite.

For exposing Paladino’s proclivity for racist, misogynist humor with a side of horsefucking, candidates clumsily accuse us of being partisan hacks – part of a media elite. They throw around speculation about who gave us the information, as if that was even remotely relevant at this point.

But we never wrote that Paladino was a racist. Did we? No. We posted what we correctly described as racist emails. We left it up to the reader to extrapolate from that whether Carl is racist or not.

Do you think we’re sitting here with secret information about Andrew Cuomo’s imminent gubernatorial run, ready and willing to post nothing but happy-time posts about him and his prospective candidacy? We’re not. And an informal poll of the three of us who generally run the site reveals that none of us are particularly enthusiastic about any of the gubernatorial choices that have been revealed so far, and that includes Roger Stone’s ex-madam candidate.

I’m not enthusiastic about Andrew Cuomo running for governor because I don’t see him as being as strong an advocate for fundamental and structural change that the state needs so desperately. I don’t know enough about Steve Levy to have an opinion about it. Rick Lazio has made a unicameral legislature part of his campaign platform, so quite frankly I’m leaning towards supporting him at this point – but only as the lesser of three (or four) evils.

Because promising across-the-board tax cuts or spending cuts, plus firing x% of state workers isn’t a solution. It’s happy-talk that wouldn’t even approach bridging a $9 billion budget gap. I can get behind Carl when he proposes reducing the Medicaid program to what California offers, but when he rails against a welfare system that hasn’t existed in over a decade, that’s simply ridiculous.

I can get much more behind this. And Lazio hasn’t been in office for a decade. I don’t see him as beholden to entrenched interests who control Albany.

It’s hard to be a credible politician who will buck the status quo and make unpopular decisions. Of the people running for governor, who can do both?

Is it too late to draft Tom Suozzi?