Saturday, October 30, 2010

Redlich Support Growing

Press release from Warren Redlich

Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

From: Warren Redlich <>
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2010 17:11:20 -0400
To: Eric Sundwall<>; Warren Redlich<>
Subject: Redlich Support Growing

Redlich support growing

Two recent polls show support growing for Governor candidate Warren Redlich. A Rochester poll shows Redlich at 7%, well ahead of other third-party candidates.

A poll by public television program New York Now has Redlich at 14%:

Back in March, a Siena poll had Redlich at 3-4%.

Redlich's performance in the 10/18 debate was a significant factor in his improved poll numbers. "We were able to bring our 'Stop Wasting Money' message to a much wider audience," Redlich said.

A number of newspapers and other media mentioned Redlich's debate performance favorably, including the New York Post, Newsday, Daily News, Buffalo News, Auburn Citizen, and the Rochester City Newspaper.

Redlich believes the Rochester poll understates his support: "Our best media coverage has been in other parts of the state, especially in the Albany and Syracuse areas, as well as downstate. Western New York is more difficult because of another candidate's home-court advantage."

The results also suggest Redlich will easily clear the 50,000 vote requirement for Libertarian Party ballot status. With an expected 4.5 million total votes, 50,000 votes is approximately 1.2%.

As Redlich put it: "This is no longer about whether we get a ballot line, but rather about how well we will do. Of course winning is a long shot, but as the Paladino campaign continues to flounder, second place is becoming realistic. That would send a real message - People are sick of insider Republicans and Democrats, and they want government to stop wasting our money."


Warren Redlich, Esq.
255 Washington Ave. Ext. #108
Albany, NY 12205
Fax: 518-862-1551

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What about the other guys?

One week from today we head to the polls to choose – among other things – the next governor of the great state of New York.

Most of you already probably know who you're voting for. Like the vast majority of New Yorkers, you'll be voting for one of the candidates of the two major parties. You knew this before the candidates were announced.

The Democrats will be voting for Andrew Cuomo and the Republicans will be voting for Carl Paladino. There will be some exceptions, of course, but for the most part, that's how it will go down.

There are others out there, though, who aren't sure who to vote for yet. The thought of another Cuomo in office scares you. Maybe this one has actually figured out how to tax the oxygen in your lungs. His father was pretty close to figuring that out. And Paladino makes you nervous, too. He's a bit of a loose canon. What might he do if actually elected?

There's been some clamoring on the internet over the last week, asking for a debate between just Paladino and Cuomo. Ever since the circus that was the only gubernatorial debate, the Paladino camp has pushed for a debate between just himself and Cuomo, claiming that people deserve that debate.

Something tells me that it's the Paladino people clamoring for this format because their guy was outshined during the last debate. They want a chance to siphon votes off of Cuomo, who holds what appears to be an insurmountable lead over their guy.

I feel like I know plenty about Andy Cuomo … and Carl Paladino. The last thing I want is a debate between just the two of them. Then again, I already know that I won't be voting for either one of them. I realize this puts me in the minority.

I'd prefer to see a debate between the five candidates we don't know as much about. Now, maybe you feel like you learned enough about them during the first debate and subsequent media coverage since, but compare that to the media coverage we've gotten about Carl and Andy for the past several months. It's a pittance.

I'd rather hear more from Kristen Davis, the former madam who got Eliot Spitzer in all that hot water. I know she wants to legalize prostitution (which I agree with), but I'd like to hear more.

I'd prefer to hear more from Jimmy McMillan, who thinks the rent is too damn high and says you can marry your shoes. He seemed a bit off, but he deserves to be heard.

I'd like to hear more from Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate who delivers packages by day. How would he lower our taxes?

I should be able to hear more from Charles Barron, the Freedom Party candidate and New York City Councilman. How exactly would slapping the closest white guy to him help our situation?

And of course, I'd like to hear more from my party's candidate, Warren Redlich. We seem to agree on a lot, but if he's such a good Libertarian, why is he actually a registered Republican?

Unfortunately, my five person “also-running” debate is unlikely. So I'll have to do what I always have to do come election time. I'll have to do my own research and come to my own conclusion.

Those of you who aren't yet sure who you're voting for should do the same. And it probably wouldn't hurt those of you who already know who you're voting for, either. The Democrats and Republicans got us into this mess, don't forget.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Gambling on taxes

One of the many ongoing conflicts I enjoy watching is the fight between the State of New York and the Seneca Nation.

I've mentioned before that I think the state is dead wrong in their refusal to ignore the sovereignty of the Senecas and any other Native American tribes doing business on their own lands. My understanding – or belief, at least – is that Native American reservations are unto themselves their own nations and not part of New York. Just as the Vatican is not part of Italy, or the City of Lockport, although fully engulfed by the Town of Lockport is not a part of the town.

This belief in sovereignty that I have leads me to conclude that the state has no more right to impose its will on Native American reservations than it does to impose it's will on Hamilton, Ontario. Sure, the land is within the state boundaries, but again, so is the Vatican surrounded by Italy.

Of course, the problem with this is that the state needs money in order to pay for whatever it is they pay for. I don't think anyone really knows where they money goes. But each year, they need more and more of it. And I have to imagine this makes the folks in Albany say, “Hey, look at those people, spending money on those reservations … we should get some of that.”

The latest turn of events in this public relations fiasco saw four Albany legislators standing firm with the Senecas as that nation said they didn't want to filter their casino payments to “host communities” through New York State anymore. The Senecas say they want to do this to eliminate red tape and get money to the “host communities” faster. I imagine it's really just a shot across the state's bow.

One of those legislators was State Senator George Maziarz. I don't often agree with George, so I kind of like to point out when I do. Kudos, George. We're on the same team for a change.

The state is upset because the Senecas have been withholding the casino payments since the state's more recent declaration they'd be taxing cigarettes and gasoline sold to non-natives on native land. Governor David Paterson and his ilk say the Senecas have broken the casino compact by withholding $200 million in casino payments. The Senecas, meanwhile, say it was the state who broke the compact by allowing competing casinos like the one at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg.

This whole thing could have been avoided if the state had simply made the necessary changes to allow casino gambling in the state. But instead of amending the Constitution, they looked for a loophole and gave the ability to the Senecas in exchange for a percentage of the take.

That “loophole” would seem to me to be an admission by the state that tribal land is not part of the state, which is why they aren't subject to the Constitution … and as a result, not subject to the taxes the state is clamoring for.

I have nothing against gambling, but I don't like the whole loophole bit. I've never understood why gambling is illegal unless it's state sponsored … and a sin unless you're doing it in a church.

If the state would just get its act together and legalize gambling from the top down, I wouldn't have this conundrum of being in agreement with Senator Maziarz.

I'd bet they don't get their act together any time soon, but I don't want to break the law.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I can't escape Carl ...

As I write this week’s column, I sit 800 miles away on a beach on beautiful South Carolina.

First of all, an admission: I’d rather be wandering the beach aimlessly … again. Or sitting poolside with my friends whose wedding I came down here to see. Both of them worked for the Tonawanda News back in the day and my employment there is the reason I met them — and ultimately, the reason I’m down here enjoying this view and the distractions.

But it’s a funny thing to travel that sort of distance, thinking you’re getting away from the problems of New York state, only to talk about them once you get there.

The irony of sitting at a resort in Myrtle Beach talking New York politics to someone from Cambria is mind- numbing … and was frankly somewhat depressing.

Add in the fact that there were people from Colorado, Georgia and Virginia in on the conversation — all about the race for governor here in New York — and it was all a bit mind-blowing.

We’ve got people in New York who couldn’t care less about our governor’s race. There are people whose eyes glossed over the moment this column went from talking about the beach to talking politics. And yet, there are people in other states who know all about Carl Paladino. Not Andrew Cuomo, mind you. No one says the name “Cuomo.”

Just Paladino.

I suppose I could take it as heartening that there are people who pay attention. I suppose I could think it interesting that people from thousands of miles away know about this guy that I know … and they know about him primarily because my friends and colleagues at just keeps hammering away at him and the big boys decided to pay attention.

Instead, I just feel ashamed. Ashamed that these people are talking about New York state in this manner. We’re a laughingstock to the rest of the country. We’re up there with Delaware and their senate candidate Christine O’Donnell.

In other words, these people are talking about us cause they think we’re crazy. Great.

Being a New Yorker is a privilege. And it comes with a certain responsibility.

Just as the world looks to the United States to set a good example, the rest of the United States looks to New York. And just as the United States sometimes falters in setting that example, New York has faltered, too.

Sadly, I’m not sure if there’s anything we can do about it this time around. We could be less of a laughingstock if people elect Cuomo in November, but I’d rather be laughed at than taxed and regulated to death. And I find it hard to believe that Cuomo would do anything other than tax and regulate us to death.

Frankly, I don’t want to think about it any more.

Fortunately for me, I’m on the beach. Unfortunately, I have to come back and face reality some time.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

On the role of media ...

The role of media is to tell the story without becoming part of the story..

This is conventional journalism wisdom and I say sometimes it's hogwash.

Last week, New York Post Editor and talk show host Fredric U. Dicker got into a heated argument with gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino over accusations Paladino made against his opponent Andrew Cuomo. This led to Paladino accusing Dicker of working with Cuomo … and eventually telling Dicker – who refused to back down – that he would “take him out.”

Many learned journalists would say that Dicker had crossed the line and should have backed down from the argument after Paladino refused to answer the question Dicker had asked. Dicker should have been content with going back to his desk and writing, “Paladino refused to answer the question,” they would say.

It is a popular school of thought that as journalists, we are there to record events for posterity sake, but shouldn't interfere with what's going on too much – kind of like Marty McFly in Back to the Future. If we do interfere, it will disrupt the space time continuum and the whole world will instantly turn to dust. Or something like that.

I say as journalists, we are there to get the story. And if we have to get our hands dirty a little and get involved in what's going on to get the story, then so be it.

Investigative reporters – the kind you see on the TV news confronting slumlords and whatnot – couldn't do their job without being part of the story. They knock on the door with the TV cameras behind them, sticking those cameras in the faces of the “alleged” slumlords and start asking some tough questions.

I see it as akin to a lawyer asking a judge if they can treat a witness as hostile. I'm not sure if that ever happens in real life or only on TV shows, but it sure is compelling. People sometimes take the same tone with others when they can't get an answer by asking politely. They berate the answer out of them. It might not be pretty but it works.

Well, it works sometimes. Dicker got thrown out before he could get his answer.

Both Dicker and Paladino are unrepentant about the situation, each claiming the high ground.

“People understand where I'm at," Paladino told the New York Times. "They want someone who will fight for them -- they don't want someone who's going to back down."

Paladino's right. I do want that from my politicians. But I also want it from my media. I want someone who's not going to back down and let the person they're attempting to interview dictate the terms of the story. I don't want “no comment” to be good enough.

No journalist worth their salt would let a source edit their story for them. It's just not intellectually honest. But by running away from someone who doesn't want to answer a question, they're basically allowing them to edit it before it's even written.

I'll be honest. That is what I try to do here, after all. I'm being somewhat hypocritical. I've accepted “no comment” on dozens of occasions. Maybe hundreds. I've gone back to my desk and typed it, feeling defeated with every click of the keypad. But I don't have the kind of gumption to get up in a guys face and demand answers the way Dicker did last week.

That's why we need to respect guys like Fred Dicker. We can't always count on the story “coming out.” Or the other candidate forcing the issue.

The role of media is to tell the story. But in order to tell stories, you need to have answers to questions.