Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Notes From the Candidates' Debate

Eight of the contenders to go up against Rep. Stefanik in November met on Sunday in South Glens Falls. These were the Democrats. Russ Finley (R) was missing due to a medical emergency that involved his mother. Steve Schibbe (R) has not been seen in action, to my knowledge, since announcing he was running. Chris Schmidt (Libertarian) hasn't been seen much either. I assume he was invited. The two Green candidates promised by Green Party boss, Matt Funiciello, have yet to be named or spotted.

After eight congressional candidates, hoping to unseat U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, responded to questions for nearly three hours during the NY-21 Congressional Candidates Forum in South Glens Falls on Sunday, Democrat Tedra Cobb emerged as the frontrunner from a straw poll of 176 attendees.

The event at the Moreau Community Center drew nearly 200 who, by a show of hands, indicated they were there to learn more about the candidates and their platforms.

It was indeed a packed house. I'm really impressed that so many turned out on a Sunday when there are football playoffs on and it was freaking cold. The straw poll that was taken allowed attendees to vote for 3 candidates. the results shook out as:

Of those hoping to compete in the Democratic Primary:

Tedra Cobb, 23 %
Patrick Nelson, 17%
Emily Martz, 14 %
Tanya Boone, 12 %
Ronald Kim, 10%
Don Boyajian, 9%
Katie Wilson, 7%
Sara Idleman  7%

I'm pretty happy with that order of finish. Had a hard time narrowing my choices down from 5 to 3. First, I'll say there were no candidates that I wouldn't be happy to support in November. Ron Kim, Don Boyajian and Sara Idleman were the 3 that I eliminated just for the reason that they didn't excite me in any way. Sara just entered the race in the last week or so and I don't understand why with 7 very good people running already. 

Patrick is the flip side. I believe he's been running since the day after the election last November. He's a great speaker and very bright and knowledgeable. I'd have a hard time choosing between him and Tedra because all those factors apply to her as well. Emily was my favorite going in and I still like her a lot. If I was ordering that list I'd move Katie Wilson up to fifth. Tanya Boone was also well spoken and impressive. 

Really any of the top four finishers would be a wonderful candidate. I'm looking forward to maybe making it to another forum or two. It's unfortunate that the 21st district encompasses most of northern NY. It would be great to get the number of folks running whittled down to a more reasonable number. It's great that there is such interest in running, tho. 

One thing that thrills me is that they are all very legit residents of the district and have been for eons. In 2014, Bill Owens who was the Democratic rep for our district did a late dropout and left Dems scrambling. Aaron Woolf was recruited to run and had loose ties to the area. This was Stefanik's first race and she had loose ties as well. She grew up in Westport, left at 18 and never looked back until she wanted to run for Congress. (Well, what about Hillary?) Sorry, I just always expect to hear that. Anyway, the Dems ran Mike Derrick in 2016 and he was career military so not having ties to the 21st could be excused. In any case, he was not a scintillating candidate. Tedra Cobb is. 

Here's an article from the Wash Po about the interest in running nationwide. It could be worse. According to the article, there are 17 Dems registered to compete for the right to take on Scott Walker. Here was some really great news from it. There are also what sound like some high quality folks wanting to take on John Faso in the district below mine. 

“No party has ever lost an election because of too much energy or too much momentum,” said Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), who leads the House Democratic election effort. “It’s a challenge, but it’s a challenge that we welcome.”

In other races, the crowds are notable not just for their size, but for the résumés and fundraising of the contenders. Democrats are arguing less about policy than about who has the strongest biography to present against the incumbent.

In New York’s 19th District, a competitive slice of the Hudson Valley held by Rep. John Faso (R-N.Y.), six Democrats are running, including two graduates of Harvard Law School, an Iraq War veteran who graduated from Georgetown and the U.S. Military Academy, a former CIA officer who became a schoolteacher, and a wealthy businessman who has loaned his campaign $500,000.

Three of them boast of supporting Medicare for All on their campaign websites; two have raised more money than the incumbent.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A Happy New Year LTTE

Actually, it had nothing to do with New Year's Day. Didn't have a good title. Out of practice. Maybe it's Happy New year to Elise. It'll be a very happy one if she's on her way out of office come the next one. 

I'd like to express a bravo and a boo for Rep. Stefanik. Thumbs up for the vote against the tax heist bill. Some cynics have suggested she might've gotten a hall pass because there were more than enough votes to pass it. In the spirit of the season, I'll concede that her concern over the state and local deductions was genuine. It would've been nice if she had been similarly disturbed by the damage being done to the ACA by the elimination of the individual mandate. I suppose that's a little boo for the sin of omission.

The bigger boo is for her vote against transparency back in March. The Democrats were pushing a bill to force the release of President Trump's taxes. He has said this tax bill will cost him "a fortune." From what I've read, there are many sweet perks in it that seem almost designed for him and his business. It would be nice to know for sure and not have to take his word for it.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hometown Christians and Editorial Cartoons

This could be part of a series after the Michelangelo cartoon awhile back. Anyway, here tis:

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Roy Moore

And my LTTE:

     I'm writing to question the folks outraged by the use of the creche in the editorial cartoon. It's fine to upset, but doesn't the inspiration for it bother you? No one mentions that. The cartoon doesn't exist in a vacuum. "Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus" (Jim Ziegler, Alabama State Auditor). That's the Holy Family used to defend the candidacy of an alleged sexual predator. I'd hope you're not cool with a moral equivalence between Joseph of Nazareth and Roy Moore. As a regular parishioner, my greater concern is being linked to Christian supporters of Moore.

     I've been told, thankfully not by anyone in my church, that liberals cannot be Christians. That's a stereotype that made me reluctant to return to worship. Luckily, our Judge is not on Earth. In a few weeks, there'll be many attending service that don't normally. There are Christians, thankfully not in my church, who vocally back the policies of Donald Trump and Roy Moore. There are also many who consider the brand of moral justice espoused by Jesus to be opposed to the views of men such as these and want to work toward that. Don't be put off by the loud minority. Come and celebrate His birth. Then come back. "All that the Father giveth  me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."

I'll see if that gets me crosswise with anyone. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Loose Lips Trump

This is a great account of Trump's spilling the beans to the two Russians in the Oval Office. It's too long to take extracts from. Read. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Everybody Must Get Stoned

I put this up on Facebook, so I'll just link to it on my poor neglected blog, too. Milbank has a great collection of Bible passages that at least the sane among us would not follow literally or any other way. I'd like to think they never were.

Cutting off the hand of a woman if she grabs the penis of a man who is fighting with her husband (Deuteronomy 25:11-12).

Can't imagine that being a big issue. Think we could find a verse justifying cutting off something on Roy Moore if we look hard enough. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ode to Hannity

An ode to Sean Hannity.
by John Cleese

Aping urbanity,
Oozing with vanity,
Plump as a manatee,
Faking humanity,
Journalistic calamity,
Intellectual inanity,
Fox News insanity,
You're a profanity, Hannity.