Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dems accuse GOP Legislature hopeful of skirting election laws

NORTH GREENBUSH -- A Thursday fundraiser for the Rensselaer County Legislature campaign of North Greenbush Councilman Lou Desso has drawn the ire of town Democrats, who claim the candidate has run afoul of state election laws.
"Friends of Lou Desso," which is putting on the $40-a-head event at Paolo Lombardi's in Wynantskill, has not been registered with either the state or Rensselaer County Boards of Elections.
Campaign law states a PAC must be registered, with a treasurer named, before it can "recieve any receipt, transfer or contribution, or make any expenditure or incur any liability."
Only donations of $100 or higher will actually have to be reported to the BOE in regular filings (the next of which is in July), however, meaning that purchasers of tickets for the event will not be reported.
North Greenbush Democratic committeeman C.B. Smith, who accused Desso and other Town Board candidates of doing the same thing last year, said the Conservative Party member running on the GOP line should have learned last time.
"We all have to play by certain rules, and one of them is: Where's the money?" said Smith, noting that without registering, future contributions exceeding $100 will not be available to the public.
"Unless he files those reports, we'll never know," he said.
Desso, a target of the firebrand Smith and town Democratic Chair Dan Ashley for not the first time, said he's new to the election game and has been too busy selling over 250 tickets to the event in recent months to research what needs to be filed.
"A lot of my time and energy has been devoted the last month or so into making this a success," he said. "And then I'll take a look at what paperwork has to be done, and whatever has to be done will be done."
The four seats for which Desso could run are all currently held by Democrats. One of them, minority leader and proven vote-getter Ginny O'Brien, has announced she will not seek re-election.
All 19 Legislature seats will be on the ballot in November.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ryan is out

TROY — Councilman Peter Ryan, D-District 3, will not run for a third term on the City Council this November.
“I work for a small office supply company and things are tough so I have to devote more time to the business,” said Ryan, who works for Superior Business Products in Schenectady. “It’s tough to blend business and politics. Sometimes you put yourself in a position you really don’t want to be in.
“With the economy the way it is I have to devote more time to the business.”
Also, the born and raised Trojan said he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren and will still be involved with the community.
“I didn’t do this to get a retirement or for a job, I did it because I love the city and I am going to miss it and miss the guys but in Troy it can be a challenge,” he said, of the rough and tumble nature of Collar City politics.
Ryan defeated two-term incumbent Arthur Judge in 2005 and was considered nearly unbeatable should he have decided to run again in the Sycaway area of the city.
“It’s a big loss for the city,” said party Chairman Frank LaPosta. “I’m disappointed, naturally. When you lose a good candidate you’re always disappointed but he’s a friend of mine and I wish him well but I understand why he decided not to run again.”
LaPosta said he has been in contact with the district leader and will be interviewing everyone who is interested in running.
“We’ll find a good, competent candidate,” LaPosta said. “It wouldn’t be fair to Peter if we didn’t.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Waterford GOP announce its slate

By Danielle Sanzone
The Record

WATERFORD – The town’s Republican Committee announced their slate which included all incumbents for the fall elections.
They were Jack Lawler for supervisor, Laurie Marble for councilman, James Boudreau for councilman, and David Fusco for town justice. The committee also endorsed incumbent District Attorney James Murphy and Saratoga County Sheriff James Bowen in their bids for re-election.
Lawler, who has held the town’s supervisor position for more than a decade, said he looked forward to the continued fight for the health, welfare, and safety of town residents.
“The fight to keep Waterford’s public water supply safe during the impending EPA dredging project to remove PCB from the Hudson River and make continued improvements in Waterford’s quality of life are our highest priority,” he added.
Marble, first elected to her position in 2003, serves as the emergency services liaison. Boudreau started the position last year after the sudden death of former Councilman L. Scott Cuomo.
The town’s Democratic Committee said they will announce their slate in the coming weeks.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Wilcox plans to challenge Ceresia

By Dave Canfield
The Record

TROY - Andrew Ceresia has yet to actually sit in the Rensselaer County Court judge seat Gov. David Paterson appointed him to in March, but already an opponent is likely stepping forward to challenge him for that seat in November.
Former Rensselaer County District Attorney Charles J. Wilcox, a Republican, is expect¬ed on Tuesday to announce his intention to run against Ceresia, according to Republican sources.
Currently a North Greenbush town justice, Ceresia is still awaiting confirmation from the state Senate before he can take the seat vacated by Patrick McGrath, who won election to the state Supreme Court in November.
Ceresia has been in his job as town justice for six years, and will be required to run in a November election after taking his seat on County Court.
Wilcox, currently a private practice attorney with The Wilcox Firm on River Street, served as Rensselaer County district attorney during much of the 1970s and 80s, eventually losing a re-election bid in 1985. His name had been floated as a possible GOP pick for County Court judge some two decades ago in 1988.
Wilcox’s announcement will come at 11 a.m. Tuesday on the steps of the County Courthouse at Congress and Second streets, according to a press release he issued over the weekend.
A County Court judge, who hears criminal cases, makes an annual salary of $119,800. The winner of November’s election will serve a full 10-year term alongside Judge Robert Jacon, a Democrat, whose term expires in 2015.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Rogers says shrink the council

TROY — Former City Councilman Keith Rogers, who announced his candidacy for an At-Large position in February, said Wednesday that the number of council members should be reduced from nine to five.A similar proposal to reduce the council was proposed by Mayor Harry Tutunjian’s City Charter review commission last fall, however, the proposal at that time was to reduce the council to seven members by eliminating two At-Large positions and having individuals run directly for council president.Rogers suggested that the city’s six districts could be combined into three areas with two At-Large representatives to save nearly $80,000 per year between salaries and benefits.Council President Clement Campana, D-At Large, said that he believed city taxpayers needed as much representation as possible and that residents were satisfied with the current setup of the council considering the defeat of the mayor's charter proposal at the polls in November.Rogers also believed that the city’s spending per capita was larger than other comparable municipalities, which he felt was one of the biggest issues which needed to be addressed.“We need to take a hard look at where we are headed and streamlining city government and more specifically reducing the size of the City Council, would be a great start,” said Rogers. “Leadership needs to start at the top and I look forward to discussing these important issues directly with the people of Troy during this campaign and hearing what they feel about this approach.”The entire council is up for re-election this November.

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Welcome to Campaign Notebook

A staple for years in The Record’s print edition, Campaign Notebook is going digital, and it will have a touch of another long-time print staple, Talespin.
This is going to be a fun election year to say the least:
- County Executive Kathy Jimino is up for re-election as is County Clerk Frank Merola, both Republicans.
- All 19 members of the Rensselaer County Legislature and nine seats of the Troy City Council are all up for grabs too.
- There is a family court judge seat on the ballot as well as a seat for county court judge in Rensselaer County.
- We’re pretty sure there will be a battle in North Greenbush. Actually, we’d be surprised if there wasn’t a battle in North Greenbush.
- There is what appears to be shaping up as the most serious challenge to Mayor Jerry Jennings has faced over in Albany.
- We will also keep you up to date on a number of other elections in towns and cities in Rensselaer, Albany and Saratoga counties.
The Silly Season is just getting going but one thing we can guarantee it will get a lot busier and a lot more fun.