Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Joe Mesi - one of Golisano's "chosen ones"

A blog on the other side of the state has announced that Joe Mesi will be one of the first politicians to recieve the official endorsement of Tom Golisano's PAC.
Responsible New York, is expected to make its first endorsements within a week, throwing its support and money behind two western New York Democratic Senate candidates: Richard Dollinger and “Baby” Joe Mesi.

The endorsements, aides said, come as Golisano seeks to broaden the committee’s reach by donating $1 million to the Democratic Convention’s host committee and setting up meetings with Barack Obama’s advisors next week in Denver.

Golisano has set aside as much as $5 Million for the PAC and is donating funds to both parties, but is suspected of wanting to switch control in the State Senate to the Dems.

Davis officially files as 3rd Party Candidate

Thanks to Buffalo Pundit for the tip on this.

Jack Davis has filed with the State Board of Elections to run on his own minor party line. Davis filed 890 pages (bottom of page 6) with the board yesterday to run as a "Save Jobs Party" candidate in the 26th. This, of course, in addition to his running in the Democratic Primary against Jon Powers and Alice Kryzan.

Don't forget, I asked Jack back in July whether he was mulling a third party run considering he had his hands full with Powers. Jack showed his hand then, saying "you're a smart guy, Scott."

Voters in an online poll on this blog at the time thought that a three-way race in November would favor Davis.

Capitol South (August 20)


NYS Dems - falling apart?

The news from the last week in state government has been particularly poor for the Democratic Party.

First there was Malcolm Smith getting caught threatening lobbyists ...

Then, Sam Hoyt admits an affair ... and the Assembly is investigating it.

And the spokesman for the Democrats in the State Senate resigns suddenly.

So I have to wonder aloud ... are the wheels coming off the Democratic Party's tricycle in this state?

Reason Show Notes 082008

I start the show with an interview of Win McCormick. Below is a link to his book on Amazon ...

Front Pages for August 20, 2008

TonawandaNews082008 NiagaraGazette082008 LockportUSJ082008

Weekly update ...

News, notes and necessities

items of interest the week of August 18, 2008

an occasional update from me, Scott Leffler

News: Everything is a little late this week. This newsletter usually comes out on Monday ... and it's two days late. The column usually comes out on Tuesday ... and I just got it done this morning. I must be hard at work ... or drinking too much to focus on work. Actually, I'm just trying to spend
some quality time with the fam as summer winds down.

But the column IS up ... and it's about why I think the proposed tax cap is stupid. It is, to a degree, a reply to Bob Confer's column. He likes the tax cap plan.

This morning on Reason, I'm going to talk about Sam Hoyt's new announcement ... that he had an affair with an intern. I'll let you know what I think of the matter ... and you're welcome to let me know by calling the show at (716) 783-9325.

Then over on the brother station, I'll be talking with congressional candidate Alice Kryzan. She'll be in studio in Lockport for the entire hour, answering my questions and yours. The number at WLVL is (716) 433-1433.

The Kryzan interview will re-run on WECK tomorrow.

On Friday, Lockport Mayor Mike Tucker will be in studio at WLVL.

Notes: Yesterday's episode of Dialog has sparked some controversy. After I discussed the book "Montana 1948," required readers for some 11th graders, the Union-Sun & Journal did a story about the topic. And rumor has it Channel 2 may be doing the same.

Last Tuesday's episode of Dialog has also made the rounds, quoted heavily on local blogs. Something tells me sound bites will be used in upcoming commercials. Last Tuesday, of course, Jon Powers was my guest.

Money problems? Cap your own spending!

As I write this, the state Assembly and Senate have been called back to Albany for a special session to try to trim $1 Billion from the state budget ... in an effort to bring our budget deficit down to $5 Billion.

Make sure you read that right. They're trying to bring our deficit down to $5 Billion ... not the budget itself. The budget itself will still be in the $120 Billion area.

And senators and assemblymen from Nassau to Niagara have been sending mailers to their constituents telling them how much they care about their pocket books. So much that they're proposing a tax cap. No, not on their own spending. They want to cap what your local school board spends.

So a group of politicians who are writing in red ink want to dictate what a duly elected school board they have no control over can spend. And they think they're doing you some favor.

No doubt, school districts spend too much money, hire too many people, and create too many new programs. But that's not for my state senator or assemblyman to decide. They've got their own budget snafus to worry about.

State government has a way of creating problems, then asking other people to fix them.

They did this with health care facilitiess, doling out handfuls of cash to every hospital in their district, then complaining that the state was spending too much on hospitals. So they created a committee (the Berger Commission) to then dictate to these privately-run hospitals whether they should remain as-is, close, or merge with a competing privately-run hospital. The simple truth is had they not given money to the hospitals in the first place, the market would have dictated which hospitals would remain open.

Now they're doing it with schools, passing rules and requirements for school aptitude, testing, building requirements, special education, etc. But at the same time, they're complaining that those schools spend too much money. Is there any possibility that the reason those schools spend soo much money is because the state GIVES them money ... with strings attached?

I've been to enough school board meeting to know that the answer is 'yes.' School districts apply for grants or are simply offered cash from Albany, but have to spend "X" amount of local dollars to get that money. And then the school board tells the local taxpayers, "We're only paying 'X.' Albany is paying the rest."

If Albany would stay out of everyone else's business and concentrate on their own problems (I remind you again, we're $6 Billion in the whole), maybe they could actually accomplish something.

Taxpayers, if you want to curtail spending at your school district, run for school board and do it yourself. If you want your state senator or assemblyman to curtail spending at your local school district, you've been duped into believing a) that (s)he cares ... b) that (s)he wasn't the problem in the first place and c) that the state doesn't have it's own problems to worry about.

If they're so good at handling money, how'd they get a $6 billion budget deficit in the first place?