Friday, October 29, 2004

He Who Laughs Last

On June 3 at 2:07 p.m., Soares told his boss that he was going to run against him. Clyne laughed. Then, at 2:14 p.m., Clyne fired him.

On October 29th at 11:00 A.M. Soares returned the favor.

Mayor Jennings- No gangs, just graffiti

In case you missed the Mayor's radio show this week. Just like last week two separate callers expressed concern over the gang signs showing up around town. Here was the response:

“they are not organized gang members…they are just grafitti artists”

“this is just kids misbehaving”

To which a caller named Sue responded “grafitti is graffiti..this looks like gang stuff”

To which the Mayor said “sue, kids copy and mimic and they want to be something they aren’t….there is no formalized gang involved in this….its a group of kids” and “if its gang activity I’ll be the first one to admit it”.

After Sue hung up the Mayor addressed the issue this way:

“all right kids, knock it off”

I'm not sure that is going to do the trick.

Clyne Calls it Quits

So 2 days ago Clyne said the Soares campaign was "oozing desperation". Today he quits. I guess our D.A. initially had trouble figuring out the difference between desperation and confidence. And after denying he was coordinating attacks on Soares with the Cusick campaign, he now is supporting the Cusick campaign. Surprised?

So now Cusick can waste more money in the next few days and join Clyne in the loser column. And the only real question left if will the Mayor endorse Cusick and what will the Times Union say. Everyone wants to support a winner....

Wellington Hotel - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

So the city wants Sebba Rockaway, owner of the Wellington Hotel, to fix the building that has 17 outstanding code violations. Sebba wants to "fix" the building by tearing it down. Won't State Street be lovely with a large vacant lot on it? Right in front of the Capital building, too? Of course the owner of the building won't be bother because he lives in England and will never see the vacant lot. So in a court ruling the judge gave the city and Sebba a week to negotiate a solution. The Mayor says he wants to save "as least some part of the hotel". In the past he has said the building would be demolished (August 21st, Daily Gazette). The mayor doesn't sound very motivated to keep the Wellington. What possible interest could he have in getting it removed? Well its a "a site that is now being considered for a proposed convention center and hotel complex" as you can read about here. And the city seems to want to tear it down. But did they turn to structural engineers for the buildings assessement? First the fire chief: "I'm not sure it will sustain additional snow loads." The fire chief is good at finding code violations but let us be clear. He isn't a structural engineer. And code violations don't mean the building is going to fall down. So, in addition to the fire chief, who has weighed in on the matter? The city's Assistant Attorney, Terrence Gorman stating that the work done to secure the building in the past month was not actually securing the building, "The work was a Band-Aid approach to immediate danger". If you have your lawyer making structural assessments of buildings, something is wrong. How come the city doesn't hire an experienced engineer to make these assessments?


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Unavailable For Comment

On page B7 of the Times Union on Wednesday October 27th there is an odd occurence. Two articles about the Albany County District Attorney's race, both written by the same reporter, right next to each other. This in itself isn't so odd. The odd part is that in one article the reporter reports how Paul Clyne was found guilty of violating his Fair Campaign Practices pledge 3 times. He lied in his ads on three separate occasions. That is correct, our sitting D.A. lies on a regular basis. When contacted by the reporter on the story Clyne was "unavailable for comment". What's the problem Paul, couldn't think up another lie fast enough? But here is the odd part. The same reporter that couldn't get a comment about Clyne's lies had absolutely no problem getting a comment from Clyne in the nice profile she wrote about him that is on the same page in the paper. He sure seemed available for comment to me. Here are some choice comments ON THE SAME PAGE of the paper in an article written by THE SAME REPORTER.

"The knock on me is that I lack compassion" Paul Clyne, Page B7, Times Union

And this gem from someone claiming David Soares doesn't have enough experience to be D.A.

"I was fortunate enough to work in a field where I was given lots of responsibility in a very short time...I argued a case in the Court of Appeals 10 months after I was licensed to practice law" Paul Clyne, Page B7, Times Union

"I would never be characterized as warm and fuzzy" Paul Clyne, Page B7, Times Union

There are more quotes here if you want to read them. There are no quotes here because Clyne was unavailable for comment. Ah, The Clyne's Union....

Also, notice in this article how Soares is accused of "lying" and "complaining" but the other two candidates were found guilty of "misrepresenting the facts". Huh, misrepresenting the facts doesn't sound so bad, unless of course you call it what it is, which is "lying".

Paul Clyne has lied repeatedly in his campaign ads. The D.A. is a liar. I could care less if he was "warm and fuzzy". But I would prefer he tell the truth.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

CoyneWatch

So, Coyne gets out of jail and starts going to bars. Can’t fault the man for a second on that one. Drinking jailhouse wine isn’t a bad way to pass the time in the Big House but it does not compare to the real thing. And then, while drinking in a bar, Mayor Jennings recommends that Coyne buy the Washington Armory. Hell, if someone, especially the Mayor, told me to buy the Armory while I was drinking in a bar, I’d probably think it was a grand idea. And so did Coyne. And he proceeded to put together the funding needed to pull it off. How much is such a massive, historic building worth? Apparently much less than even a small house in the area. If you are Jim Coyne. $100K for the armory. On a square footage basis that is cheaper than buying land in southern Iraq. But there is a catch! If Coyne fixes the roof within 120 days from the time of purchase…he gets his money back. Yup, the building is free of charge if he fixes the roof. No need for him to tap into his pension money at all. (Sorry, there was only one Armory available and this offer is no longer valid for anyone else.)

Everyone enjoys a comeback story. Ex-con Makes Good. Restores Landmark Building! And thus the news ate this story up. Two days after the sale News 9 reported, “Jim Coyne has just closed the deal on the $100,000 Washington Avenue Armory, and he's already got his guys hard at work”. Sounds like a win-win scenario. Except it is not true. Have you been by the Armory recently? Seen any “guys” doing “work” on the roof? I didn’t think so. 30 days into the deal and despite the optimistic reports in the media nothing has been done. And thus we start CoyneWatch. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

any objections?

I don't make this shit up, the guy's name was Zumbo:

Zumbo deposited the check into his law office's general operating account. On July 9, 1986, Zumbo gave Coyne a $30,000 check written on the general operating account. On or about July 9, Coyne deposited $30,000 into his personal bank account. The checks, the records of Crozier Associates, and Coyne's deposit in his checking account were the sole contemporaneous documents evidencing the transaction. Neither Crozier nor Coyne listed the $30,000 as an asset or liability on any financial statements. Zumbo's trial testimony that the transaction was a loan was contradicted by his earlier grand jury testimony that Crozier "wasn't sure whether he was ever going to get paid back and it didn't really matter [to him]."

Would the Witness Please Stand...

http://www.tourolaw.edu/2ndCircuit/Pre95/92-1688.html

A little more detail on what Mr. Coyne did before he started collecting his pension and getting free buildings....

James Coyne - Steals from you - Collects from you

James Coyne

• James Coyne: former Albany County executive. Spent four years in prison after his 1992 conviction on corruption charges related to the construction of the Pepsi Arena in downtown Albany. Annual pension: $37,207.

Let's see...Mr. Coin has been out of prison collecting his pension for several years...I wonder what he had been up to....

More fun facts to follow...

Fine-ally - Wellington Fine Enforcement

It took a while but the city is finally enforcing code violations on the Wellington and the owner now faces fines of up to $17,000 a day. This could've been done years ago but at least it is being done now. It will be very interesting to see what happens. Will the owner pay? If not, what will happen? With those fines adding up it shouldn't take long to get some action from someone. That is roughly $500,000 a month. The building is assessed for a lot less than that.

Stay tuned.

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=298577&category=ALBANY&BCCode=&newsdate=10/26/2004

Dirtiest...Vulgar...Embarassing....Thanks, Mr. Clyne

Albany Law School Ethics professor Vincent Bonventre comments on Paul Clyne's attacks on David Soares character.

"It seems like a big to-do about nothing that is, frankly, embarassing".

This is politics. These days you expect it to get nasty from at least one side. So it isn't suprising that Stephen Downs, the retired Chief Counsel to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct calls the race for D.A. the "dirtiest and most vulgar campaign in memory". Sure, we should expect more of our sitting District Attorney. Honesty and ethics would seem to be a big part of his job. But he is about to lose his job and he is desperate and is showing his true colors. But when an Ethics professor calls your behavior, "embarassing" perhaps you've crossed a line you might not have wanted to. Can Paul Clyne survive this race with even a shred of respect and dignity left? Doesn't seem likely. And he certainly wasn't a gracious loser the first time, we can only wonder how he will take it the second time.

Read the details here:

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=298575&category=ALBANY&BCCode=&newsdate=10/26/2004

Or here:

And notice how everyone agrees the race is getting dirtier and the ones making it so are Clyne and Cusick.

http://www.wten.com/Global/story.asp?S=2478294


Monday, October 25, 2004

Mayor Jennings Says Gangs Not a Problem

In case you missed Mayor Jennings radio show last Friday:

A caller mentioned that she was worried about the "gang signs" being spraypainted in her neighborhood. The Mayor said they would clean them up and that they had arrested the two people involved. The Mayor claimed that they were "graffiti artists" and not real gang members. He then said there was an upcoming conference in Florida on gangs and cities that he might attend but he might not because it was 2 or 3 days of his time and he was really busy. He told another caller that we have no specific "anti-gang" police unit. He does not see it as a potential problem. Meanwhile, last week in Schenectady two 15 year olds shot someone while trying to rob them during a botched drug deal. If you've got 15 year olds shooting people in the streets in upstate New York, you can be confident that we may have a gang problem. http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=297515&category=REGION&newsdate=10/22/2004

When David Soares talks about being "pro-active" on crime this is the type of thing he means. Albany needs to address the growing gang problem now and not wait until kids start shooting people.

In February of 2003 we had a detective in Albany admitting there was a problem but also saying no one would talk about it (taken from Gangwar.com)

"But while the gang problem in some upstate New York communities could be worse, some people deny the problem exists at all, Albany Police detective Dan Stevens said. Albany's most recent gang problem started in the mid-1990s.

"They say, 'We don't have a gang problem,' " he said. "That really fuels it."

Police sometimes don't say much about the topic because they don't want to give gangs credibility, Nawojczyk said.

"It's a dangerous thing to do because the community tends to not be involved ... because they don't think there's a problem," he said.

"Politicians often fear they'll be blamed for the problem. (Citizens) have to make it clear to the leadership, 'We don't blame you for this. But we will blame you for this if you don't do something about it.' "

You can read it all here: http://www.gangwar.com/items19.htm


If the politicians aren't going to address this, I guess its up to the citizens. Electing David Soares is a good first step. Electing other officials that will address this head on is what really is required. Dismissing gang signs as "graffitti" and gang members as "graffitti artists" is not the pro-active approach required.

Soares Leads in Poll, People Want Reform

It looks like all the negative ads by Cusick and Clyne haven't had their desired affect. Although Clyne is pulling support from the Republicans so perhaps the ads are having some affect. Either way the most telling thing is that 66% of the undecided voters says that Reform of the drug laws is "important". If I were funding Cusick or Clyne and saw that number I think I'd stop writing checks. Soares crushed Clyne in the primary, he has a huge lead in the polls, he is offering what the majority of decided and undecided voters want, and he is the Democratic candidate. And this is Albany. Hopefully other politicians will take note of this "surprising victory" after Nov 2nd and we will actually get the Rockerfeller Drug laws reformed. It's what the majority of the people want.

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=298067&category=REGION&newsdate=10/24/2004

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Clyne Hires Criminals

So if Clyne keeps turning up crimes that David Soares has committed, and he hired David Soares and the rest of the assistant DA's, doesn't that beg the question of, if you are the District Attorney and you can't hire people whose records you can't defend, doesn't that make you a piss poor District Attorney? Yes, it does. OK, Clyne, 44, either you are tough on crime and hiring good lawyers to enforce the law or you ain't. If David Soares isn't qualified to be D.A. then I'm pretty certain the guy that employed him as assistant D.A. for 4 years isn't even coming close to being qualified to be the boss. What's that Clyne, you don't like it? Too quote you, "too bad". Do you remember losing the primary and saying that it proved the democratic machine no longer worked? One of the few times you were right.

Uh oh, Soares has the democratic line on the ticket. D, Kerry....D, Soares.........D....done. Welcome to Albany. You'll be a great lobbyist.




Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Paul Clyne Spreads a Little Sunshine

Paul Clyne recently said, "sunlight is the best detergent. [Soares] doesn't like the exposure? That's just too bad." Now I'm just as fond of sunlight as Mr. Clyne, but I'll get to that later. Let's talk about what Clyne is "exposing". He is exposing that David Soares got arrested when he was 19 for driving with a suspending license. Personally that doesn't bother me. I did stuff when i was 19 that I wouldn't put on my resume (I didn't snort coke or get 2 DWI's like the current President, but i did do some underage drinking). But who hasn't done something in their teens that they couldn't chalk up to the bad judgement of youth? Start casting your stones, people. I'm sure Paul Clyne was a model citizen until he was 19. Its what he is doing at the age of 44 that is a problem. So let's shine a little sunshine on Mr. Clyne and see what he's been up to.

1) Called a group of people asking him to investigate voter fraud in Albany "rabble rousers". Still no investigation despite saying he would investigate at his first debate with David Soares when he was questioned on the issue. So if you say you will investigate, but you don't, aren't you a liar?
2) Joined the Republican party in a lawsuit against the Working Families Party.
3) Is running ads that are so negative and false that he won't even put his name on them. If its the truth Paul, why not take responsibility?
4) Investigating Soares to try to dig up dirt like what he did when he as 19 but also about the landlord of the building where the Soares campaign is headquartered.
5) Accused the Soares campaign of calling up people and "spreading lies about me" while failing to say what those lies were. Regardless his defense of why he was running such a negative and dishonest attack ad was, "but he lied first". Shouldn't the D.A. be expected be held to a little higher standard than "its ok for me to do it because someone else did it already"? And take a look at the David Soares ads on TV. Are they spreading lies about Paul Clyne? No.

Paul Clyne got crushed in the democratic primary despite outspending David Soares. They both ran on thier records and the results were pretty clear. Paul Clyne can't run on his record. So now he is doing what the president has been doing for the same reason. If you can't run on your record your only hope is to run the most dishonest attack ad you can think up. That is all Clyne has left. And Cusick never had anything to begin with other than Republican money. Which he will waste on ads and then after he loses regret that he could've given that money to George Bush's campaign instead. It might've made the difference.....

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=296660&category=ALBANY&BCCode=&newsdate=10/20/2004

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Eliot Spitzer Endorses Soares, Clyne Endorses Bad Politics

Ok. So now the current D.A. is accusing one of the people running against him of what? That is right...I think..huh? District Attorney Paul Clyne is accusing David Soares of "something" by having rented a building that is owned by someone that once sold drugs in the seventh degree. Huh? My landlord doesn't believe in God, does that mean John Ashcroft is going to hold me responsible?! Paul Clyne really must know how to prosecute if he is willing to accuse not only people "accused" of selling drugs but anyone they know, or rent property to. Keep us safe Mr. Clyne. Lock everyone up. And what is selling drugs "in the seventh degree"?

Oh, yeah. Elliot Spitzer has endorsed David Soares for D.A. You know Elliot Spitzer, right? Well you better get to know him because he will be your next Governor once Pataki fails fantastically at running for president and goes back to being a farmer.

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?category=STATEOTHER&storyID=295548&BCCode=CAPITOL&newsdate=10/16/2004

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Clyne's Union

So after an interesting article yesterday written by Brian Nearing that actually talked about the positions of the candidates for DA, M.M. Bolton returns with another classic bit of work. The headline is encouraging. "Cusick, Soares win key endorsements". The first two paragraphs are some background filler. And then, enter Paul Clyne, 44. But wait, this doesn't seem to be what the headline said the article was about. Clyne gets the first mention in the article but then Bolton really outdoes herself. Does she report that "Clyne is running an attack ad"? No. She decides to turn her article into an ad by directly quoting Clyne's attack ad. She says Clyne is "running an ad that paints Soares as incompetent, unqualified and dishonest". Its ironic that Bolton chose to highlight these words because they come really close to describing the quality of her work on this campaign.



Read Brian Nearings article here and notice how he actually reports on issues that we might want to know about if we were going to make an informed vote:

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=294093&category=REGION&newsdate=10/12/2004

Read Bolton's Clyne Campaign literature here:
http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=294466&category=ALBANY&BCCode=&newsdate=10/13/2004

Friday, October 01, 2004

All Aboard For Drug Reform

This just in. Roger Cusick, hoping to challenge David Soares in the election for Albany County District Attorney has decided that if he is going to win he needs to agree with David Soares, the current leading candidate. Not a bad idea. Apparently he's trying to say he's the "Older, republican, white David Soares". Put that on a flyer. So, today he offers us a "drug-reform plan"

And M.M. Bolton at the Times Union loves it. She goes so far as to publish campaign literature in her article when she writes the following:

"The result? Nearly 80 percent of New York's drug offencers sentenced to prison annually would be eligible for a shorter sentence, Cusick Said".

First off, is Cusick going to let 80 percent of people out of prison? The prison lobbyists aren't going to like that.

And.....Do reporters start paragraphs with the phrase "the result?". Not good ones. That is the stuff of campaign literature. What result? Nothing has happened. Some guy coming out of retirement has said something. There are no results. The proper way to report on that would be "Cusick claims the results would be...".

Yes the people want reform. No we don't want our reporters telling us what the result will be of some politicians statement. Just report the facts, please.

And it is importantant to know the following. According to Cusick, "all nonviolent Class A-1 drug offenders could apply for re-sentencing". What does that mean? Sounds like if your ass gets locked up for 15 years for a non violent drug offence under the Rockerfeller Drug Laws that Mr. Cusick thinks you should be allowed to be "re-sentenced"". Let me ask you this? Have you ever been in "the system"? Have you ever asked a judge to "re-sentence" you because the law is unfair? Yippee! Let's let criminals have the right to ask for the laws to be change. Why let the DA be the one to ask for changes to the Rockerfeller Drug Laws when we have unhappy non-violent drug offenders that can raise their voices?

Thanks, Cusick, but i prefer my elected officials to "ask" for changes in law instead of convicted criminals? Perhaps we could lock you up and you'd be an effective person for getting people "re-sentenced".

oh. he also promises to be tough on crime. Really? And you want to be DA? Novel concept.

for all the words and pictures
http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=290782&category=ALBANY&BCCode=&newsdate=10/1/2004