Sunday, July 13, 2008

NYS Independence Party Screws Assemlyman Cahill

"We have no control over this, our local committee backed Kevin Cahill. They
( NYS Ind.) don't care what we think."
- Ulster County Independence Party Official

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill was screwed out of the Independence line yesterday after the state committee ignored the Ulster County Independence party's endorsement of Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.

"We have completely no control over this, we backed Kevin Cahill" said a member of the County Independence party in a phone conversation with me this afternoon. The party official continued by saying that a recent change in the state bylaws makes local committees powerless. "We can make a recommendation but they can and have ignored us."

It's become increasingly apparent that the State Independence party is becoming an extended arm of the GOP as of late. Thanks to John Bonacic and Langdon Chapman, the GOP has invaded the Independence party especially in the Hudson Valley. They have done so by taking advantage of committee vacancies, and filling them with Bonacic cronies.

Perfectly legal, but extremely unethical. I guess for Senator Bonacic and his chief of Staff Langdon Chapman, the Independence party was becoming a little too independent for their taste.

How can anyone justify what they have done to Assemblyman Cahill. Kevin got the endorsement by the local committee and it was stolen for him by the state committee. If I were Robin Yess, I would reject their endorsement. it is tainted and the party now has no credibility at all.

The only fair way to resolve this is to issue a Wilson Pakula for Kevin Cahill and Robin Yess and let them battle it out. I'm willing to bet that Yess will never agree to this because she knows that she would be crushed by the powerful incumbent Assemblyman.

Don't rule out Cahill doing an opportunity to ballot, they are extremely hard to win but the rank and file Independence party members, like the local Independence committee, support Cahill.


Democratic Party Power Broker said...

You worry too much, Jeremy

1) Cahill DOES NOT need a second minor party line to win.

2)In this instance, Wilson-Pakulas waivers are issued by the State Independence Party. It is irrelevant whether Robin Yess agrees with it or not.

3)'opportunity to ballot' a/k/a "Write-ins" primaries are quite difficult, if not impossible, to win. It is far advantageous to concentrate resources in the General Election.

Anonymous said...

"We have no control over this, our local committee backed Kevin Cahill. They don't care what we think." If this is a quote from Dietrich Werner, UC Independance Party Chair, I have a hard time believing it. He's a serious part of the problem here in UC.

Imre Beke, Jr. said...

Well, Mr. Blaber, calling yourself "fair and balanced" while stating that Assemblyman Cahill was "screwed" out of an endorsement and framing your poll in terms of "shady backroom dealing" is a complete misnomer of what your blog is.

The fact is, the same people who chose Robin Yess this time chose Assemblyman Cahill five times previously. Apparently, the Assemblyman has not lived up to their expectations. I personally know many Independence Party members who supported the Assemblyman in the past and are reticent to do so this year.

Whether this impression is true or not, the Assemblyman is being seen by many as someone who is ready to move on to another office. There was talk of him running for County Executive before Mike Hein announced. Some have speculated a run for the State Senate. A few have even mentioned him running for Congressman Hinchey's seat sometime in the future.

While the only ones who really know the Assemblyman's intentions are himself and perhaps a few trusted friends and advisors, we all know that in politics, perception IS reality.

Add to that the fact that the Assemblyman has been singularly unsuccessful in achieving results on such important issues as property tax reform and it is unsurprising that many of his previous backers are perhaps disillusioned with him.

Remember, this is not the first time the Assemblyman has disappointed the people of his District. He was once defeated and had to fight a comeback to regain his seat.

However, what I find most disturbing about your post is your assertion that the Assemblyman was somehow denied something which is his by right. No one has any proprietary right to the endorsement of any Party. That endorsment comes by way of the elected leadership, chosen democratically, to represent the people of the Party. Certainly, candidates have the right to go over the leadership's head to the rank and file, the people who truly ARE the party. However, to state that someone was "screwed" by the Party leadership is simply wrongheaded and belies a misunderstanding of the nature of the democratic process.

I am quite certain that the Assemblyman would be the first to distance himself from such negative rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

It must be frustrating for Assemblyman Cahill to have the state leadership of the Independence Party act with independence. It's frustrating, perhaps, but it's not even a surprise: the state Indy Party is deep in the pocket of the state GOP and has been for some time.

You have to give credit to Sen. Bonacic, here. In a presidential election year in blue state NY, the Republican party gets delt a pretty bad hand. It looks like Bonacic has placed his GOP candidates in the best possible position with every possible ballot opportunity. Its hard to say any one of them can actually win in this election cycle, and its unlikely any GOP could unseat an incumbent Democrat but they can make the race more competitive. Who knows? With enough campaign money, maybe they even have a fair shot.

Even so, its hard to feel any sympathy for Cahill.

Anonymous said...

I wish Mr. Cahill would run for Ulster County Executive.

Anonymous said...

Funny... when WFP does the same thing in favor of Democrat candidates, no one seems to mind.

Anonymous said...

Dietrich Werner backed Yess, not Cahill. You just found an irate member who still backs Cahill.

Jeremy Blaber said...

Mr. Beke:

You are so off, I don't even know where to start.

1. If Kevin wanted to move up he would have run for Exec and he would have won, period, end of story.

2. The Independence committee is not made up of the same people that where on 2 months ago, let alone two years ago. They also changed the bylaws making the local committees powerless.

You tell me how it's fair that the local committee that knows Kevin and Robin back Cahill and the State committee say we don't care what you think...after all they're just his constituents.

3. Assemblyman Cahill has been right out in front on property tax reform, in fact his opponent collected 500 signatures in favor of Kevin's bill when she was a Democrat two years ago. The fact is that it is tough to pass property tax reform in NYS because of down state lawmakers that fund education differently then we do.

And, finally, I'm sure you are right, Kevin would probably take a different approach than I have. He is an absolute professional and gentleman.

In a way I'm happy this has happened. Yess, Bernardo, Quigley all have 3 lines so there should be no excuses this November when they lose.

Jeremy Blaber said...

3:41 PM: That is NOT true. Mr. Warner and his committee backed Kevin Cahill. There is no question about it.

Anonymous said...

what possibly makes anyone think that the independence and/or working families line has any real impact on the election. Where are the statistics to back that up?

What does it say when you assume that the electorate votes based on how many times a candidate's name appears in the booth. Voters are really not that dumb.

The only issue here is Cahill v. Robin Yess. Kevin wipes the floor on every front. Experience, clout, understanding of issues, skills, etc.

Has anyone ever heard Ms. Yess speak in public? Does anyone think she can go toe to toe with Cahill on any issue, ranging from tax reform to the color of the carpet in the room.

While Kevin likes to hear himself speak a little too much and he cannot answer a simple question in less than five minutes (maybe 20) he is an experienced orator, campaigner and public speaker. Ms. Yess may be a nice woman. Not much more.

Cahill will nto complain about the added lines because he knows that they will mean nothing in November.

Anonymous said...

I agree but it's just upsetting the way they have messed with Cahill. Ms. Yess could have 6 lines and it will not take away Assemblyman Cahill's great record in the 101st. Cahill will win big this November, it's not even a race.

Imre Beke, Jr. said...

Mr. Blaber:

Please re-read my comment. I did not say that Assemblyman Cahill wanted to move up. I wrote that many have had that impression of him and that - in politics -perception is reality.

As for who would have won the Executive's race had Assemblyman Cahill chosen to run, it seems you have a great deal to learn about politics. The only absolute is that there are no absolutes. There is never a "Period," nor an "End of Story" until the last ballots are counted and the election certified.

With regards to who chose Ms. Yess over the Assemblyman, I said "the same people," the people being the Party, not the Committee. The various committees are, as I stated, simply the representatives of all the members of a given Party. Unless the people overrule their Party leaders, Ms. Yess is their choice as Assemblyman Cahill was previously. So, yes, the same people who chose Ms. Yess in 2008 chose Assemblyman Cahill in prior elections.

In reference to the choices of the local constituents, you seem to lose sight of the fact that Assemblyman Cahill's District extends beyond Ulster County and the needs of the entire District must be take into account. Thus, no single County Committee should have the final say in who gets the endorsement.

Assemblyman Cahill has enjoyed the benefits of the irrational gerrymandering which gave him pieces of Dutchess County while removing the Republican leaning Towns of Denning, Hardenburgh and Rochester from his District. Now, like it or not, he has to deal with the less pleasant aspects of the situation.

Your assumption about the losses of various candidates this November is rather naive. Anyone looking at the respective qualifications of Messrs. Bernardo and Quigley vis-a-vis Messrs. Hein and Auerbach in any objective manner cannot seriously assert that the Democratic candidates are better qualified on any single front with the exception of "government experience" which means simply that they have watched others do things wrong. Add to that the fact that the collective enrollments of the republican, Conservative and Independence Parties are greater than those of the Democrat and Working Families Parties and Messrs. Hein and Auerbach are, in fact, the underdogs in this race.

The Presidential race is still far too close to call nationally, but in NY, Sen. Obama is all but assured victory, meaning many NY Democrats may stay home, especially those who have registered to vote upstate while actually residing in NYC. So, those coattails are unlikely.

Given these facts, a Bernardo-Quigley victory is rather likely and their own coattails, as well as Ms. Yess' qualification, could spell trouble for Assemblyman Cahill.

Again, try not to phrase things in terms of absolutes. There are too many variables in this game to guarantee anyone a victory and stating your opinions so stringently is only likely to leave you with egg on your face.

Anonymous said...

The Independence Party is a joke. Locally it has always been a half dozen folks around the kitchen table making decisions. Now the state party is pulling all the strings.

Local Democratic candidates constantly try to infiltrate the IP with relatives and friends with the hope of getting the line. It's time to say screw you, we're tired of the tail wagging the dog.

It should be made clear that most who sign on to the IP think they are indicating their independence. That should be made clear to the public. Go after the non-enrolled independent voters...the true independents.

Going the Opportunity to Ballot route is a waste of time. A Wilson/Pakula will not be granted by the IP.

Work should be done to build up the Working Families Party, a home for those who feel the Democrats are not progressive enough.

Kevin will still win in a landslide.

Anonymous said...

Werner made a deal with the Republicans and backed Yess.

Anonymous said...

Werner made no deal with the Republicans. The Ulster County Independence Party backed Kevin Cahill period, end of story. The state party ignored home rule and took the Republican.

The Independence party is no longer independent. It has been infiltrated by Republicans. Hopefully those who are registered understand what has happened and become non affiliated voters.

Beke doesn't mind how this happened because it is the exact way that the County Conservative Party operates. The few town committees that do select candidates are ignored unless they happen to agree with Bonnie Hewitt.

Cahill got jobbed. It is time for the Democrats to rally around Cahill and show Bonicac that even with his back room dealings, the Democrats still rule Ulster County.

Anonymous said...

From my experience, I can tell you about half of the voters enrolled in the Independence Party are merely independent "non-enrolled" voters who thought they were not registering in any political party.

Brittany Turner said...

This is incredibly hypocritical.

When the regional chapter of the WFP makes an endorsement of someone other than a favorite Democrat, every wannabe power broker lobbies the NYS WFP attempting to have the decision overturned (and are frequently successful). This isn't the end of it, either. These same individuals also threaten OTBs, legal challenges, physical harm and other bizzare actions as an extension of their sour grapes when the WFP unwraps itself from the Democrats' little finger. So much for valuing the decision of the local chapter!

Now we have the same Democrats decry this behavior when it is used against them with regard to the Independence line. Unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that major party candidates have a sense of entitlement for the cross-endorsement of other parties (Indy, Conservative, WFP) and then act all miffed if they don't get it?

On a national and state-wide level, the GOP owns the Conservative party (and as far as I am concerned, they can have it.) There was a time, of course, when the state GOP owned the Liberal Party (Rockefeller, Javits, Lindsay) but that's so long ago nobody can een remember it. Recently, its become clear the GOP obviously owns the Indy party. They even changed the rules so thay can dominate the process by which local indy committees can get nominees a wilson pakula. At this point, almost no Democrat worth a vote for elective office should take an Indy endorsement. (Tell that to Maurice Hinchey and let's see what he says.)

As a member of WFP, it bothers me that Democrats have a sense of entitlement to our cross-endorsement of their candidates. Brittany Turner is right - they are hypocrits about it. I think we ought to be somewhat more selective and independent about who we endorse and who we tell "sorry."

Anonymous said...

I hope people aren't pushing Blabers comments over to Cahill. Cahill hasn't said a word, Blaber has.

I am 00% sure Kevin Cahill believes in the democratic process. While I am sure he would much rather have this endorsement, he will abide by it and win on the lines he has. Has anyone asked him?

Jeremy Blaber said...

That is a good point my comments are my own and have no reflection on Assemblyman Cahill. I do not know how he feels and have not discussed this with him at all.

Anonymous said...

Blaber, I'm going to have to agree with Brittney. Sorry, she is a lot hotter than you are. Damn is she beautiful.

Brittany Turner said...

5:15, I'd take it a step further and say that this problem is of special concern in NYS, where our fusion system helps promote the sense of entitlement that major party candidates feel about our lines. We need an electoral system that allows minor parties to thrive in the own right without essentially requiring that we ride on the coattails of Dems or Repubs in order to obtain ballot access and party status.

12:56, thanks, but it's Brittany, not Brittney. :)