Saturday, June 04, 2011
The race for Kingston Mayor is about to kick in to high gear, there will be a primary between Shayne Gallo and freshman Alderman Hayes Clement in September. Shayne Gallo has already been endorsed by the Working Families party and the Independence party. Hayes Clement received the backing of the Democrats' unofficial designating convention last Monday. It's going to be a long hot summer!
I think Hugh Reynolds said it best in his column this week, I don't have it in front of me but it was something along the lines that this primary is going to be a lot of work and Hayes Clement is not going to win it having little martini parties at his house. It's a street fight!
Reynolds is right. It is very clear that Hayes Clement is an out of touch elitist that practices the politics of political expediency. The first time Hayes voted in Kingston was in 2009, the same year he ran for the office of Ward nine Alderman, even though he claims to have lived here since 2005. I think he has an uphill battle winning against Democrat Shayne Gallo. While party bosses and insiders are with Hayes, the public and buzz is with Gallo. Shayne Gallo is a no nonsense type guy, a reformer and he will not tolerate the good ol' boy, politics as usual climate that exists, specifically with the current Kingston Common council ( with the exception of Bob Senor, Jen Fuentes and Charlie Landi). Insiders know that Gallo is someone they can't get to and they are terrified
A real text book lesson on the meaning of hypocrisy was given by our good friend Frank Dart last Tuesday at the city convention. Dart got up on behalf of Hayes Clement and pleaded that Democrats run a clean campaign. This coming from a guy that ran a smear campaign just two years ago that cost him his seat on the county legislature! However, it gets better, I am standing in the back of the room with Vincent Bradley Jr., while Frank Dart continues with his elegant (gag) speech : "Whatever happens we need to support whomever wins in September both Shayne and Hayes need to support the primary winner, WE DON'T WANT ANOTHER BRADLEY-SENNETT".
Not only is Vince standing in the back of the room while Frank is lecturing us and insulting Vince, (which no offence, I don't need to take advice from Frank Dart, ever!) but Dart was one of the most vocal people that supported Vince Bradley Jr., until the end. How do you spell hypocrite again? D-A-R-T!
The Independence party has officially endorsed Holly Carnright for Ulster County District Attorney. I am disappointed in their endorsement but I respect it, Jonathan Sennett will just have to work a little harder. Sennett has a lot of momentum right now and a passion and desire that wont be beaten. Sennett got a huge boost at the convention when Executive Mike Hein gave a really great nominating speech on his behalf. Minority Leader Jeanette Provanzano did an equally good job when she seconded Sennett's nomination.
While Mike Hein and Jonathan Sennett are in great shape, I am a little worried about Democrats' chances at taking back the County legislature. A lot like the Kingston city Democratic committee, some committee members on the county committee are also out of touch with the rank and file Democrats and they let their personal feelings get in the way of putting forward the most qualified and electable candidate in November.
Rich Parete, here is a guy that gets elected year after year. A legislator that works hard to always do the right thing for his constituents and one of the nicest guy you will ever meet. So, how does Marbletown Democratic committee reward Parete? They find someone to primary him of course!. The background on that is, I hear Shannon Schreibman, the wife of County Chair Julian Schreibman recruited Parete's opponent to get back at him for a number of things, the Schreibman/Parete feud dates back to 2007 when Parete supported Bradley over Schreibman and Sennett for District Attorney. That is the past and some people just can't move on.
Hector Rodriguez the Minority whip of the County Legislature is also facing a primary after being edged out by a former New Paltz Village Board member at the convention. Hector is a friend of mine and a hard working legislator, like Rich, there is no reason to primary the guy. Why is he being primaried? Well, two reasons: one of his fellow legislators helped make it happen and also the New Paltz Chairwoman Corinne Nyquist is upset with him over his support and help in getting Mayor Jason West reelected in New Paltz. You see eight years ago Jason West became Mayor by defeating Mayor Tom Nyquist, Corinne's husband and the Nyquist's are still upset about it to this day.
My point is this: 1. Rich Parete, Hector Rodriguez and Shayne Gallo probably all will win their primaries, the committee's unofficial endorsement is based on inside baseball, not ones qualifications and that is a sad reality. 2. In regards to the county legislature, we now have Democrats fighting with one another instead of focusing our efforts on helping new Dems get elected so we can pick up seats.
I will say this again our goal needs to be to defeat the Republicans, gain the majority, defeat Chairman Wadnola and his allies and elect Chairwoman Jeanette Provanzano. Furthermore, someone like Hector who usually would go out and help his fellow Democrats with their election/reelection, now can't because he is tied up in an unnecessary primary that he will ultimately win anyway. UNREAL!
Posted by Jeremy Blaber at 2:04 AM