Tuesday, January 30, 2007

BREAKING: O'Connell Refuses to Release Audit of Her Office

A MUST READ from The Albany Project....

BREAKING: Why Is Maureen O'Connell Hiding An Audit Of Her Office?
Tue Jan 30, 2007 at 04:15:00 AM EST
Can you say "coverup"? Good. I knew you could.
It looks like Maureen O'Connell, the Republican candidate for state Senate in the 7th District special election would be a perfect fit for Joe Bruno's caucus. She's already proven adept at
at avoiding the public's scrutiny and now she can add suppression of less than favorable evaluations of her performance to her sad resume'. She can even do so whilst accusing others of "partisanship". No wonder Bruno wants her so bad. They are birds of a feather.
Maureen O'Connell, the Nassau County Clerk, recently received an audit courtesy of Howard Weitzman, the Nassau County Comptroller and current New York Comptroller hopeful. She received this audit, which was many months in the making on January 12th. Her office has yet to respond because the staffer who apparently would do so is conveniently on leave until, ya know, after the election. For more, let's go to Newsday
Audit could cast negative light on Senate hopeful
'With a week left before the special election in the 7th State Senate District, candidate Maureen O'Connell is feuding with Nassau Comptroller Howard Weitzman over the possible release of an audit that is said to shine a negative light on O'Connell's leadership in the county clerk's office.
After many stops and starts over the past year, Weitzman, a Democrat who is vying to become the state comptroller, completed the audit on Jan. 12. Following protocol, Weitzman said he went to O'Connell, a Republican, for a response. He said that she replied that her office would be unable to comment because an employee who is needed to address questions is on family leave through next month.
O'Connell, who is running against Nassau Legis. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington), said Weitzman is motivated by partisanship and noted that he was lobbying state lawmakers to back his bid for state comptroller. Weitzman has remained neutral in the Senate race.
"He'll say and do anything to advance his career," O'Connell said on Friday. "The release of ... any comment from Howard is extremely political.'"

Much more at The Albany Project...

Monday, January 29, 2007

O'Connell Cash

Where is she getting her campaign funds from?
The Albany Project has that covered...
"$110,000 FRIENDS OF BALBONI 01/04/07
$ 35,000 SENATOR MIKE NOZZOLIO 01/19/07
$ 10,000 FRIENDS FOR WINNER 01/19/07
$ 5,000 CATHY YOUNG FOR SENATE 01/19/07
$ 84,400 1199 SEIU PAC 01/18/07
$ 84,400 EMPIRE DENTAL PAC 01/18/07
$ 80,000 RSA 01/17/07
$ 15,000 FINGER LAKES PAC 01/19/07
$ 1,500 1 CHRISTOPHER REALTYLLC 01/17/07
$677,800 TOTAL"

Check out The Albany Project for more...

Friday, January 26, 2007

O'Connell Runs From Debate

The League of Women Voters sponsered a debate in Manhasset for the State Senate special election and only Democrat Craig Johnson showed up.
See Johnson and an empty chair at The Politicker.
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Maureen is just running, running, running.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Run Maureen, Run

When Maureen O'Connell was told to run for the State Senate, she took it seriously.
O'Connell is running from her party name, running from her State Assembly record, running from the other republican State Senators and seemingly running against them.
O'Connell has yet to identify herself as a republican on her signs, in her ads or on her website. Why is she afraid to say she is a republican?
When confronted about her State Assembly record, O'Connell has been less than honest. She has also been caught inflating her own resume and background to make herself more appealing. From the Capitol Confidential
"Meanwhile, Johnson’s campaign is taking issue with the claim on the 1199 TV ad that O’Connell ”designed the first at-home care program in the nation” for cancer patients, noting Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx had a similar program 30 years earlier - something that was footnoted in
an article O’Connell co-authored in 1980.
O’Connell’s Web site says she designed “one of (my boldface added) the nation’s first programs providing comprehensive in-home care” for North Shore University Hospital.

UPDATE: Elsewhere on the site, it says that she “designed the nation’s first program providing in-home care for cancer patients.”

So, it’s a bit unclear which one of these statements is, in fact, true.

Johnson spokesman Alex Navarro said:
“Ms. O’Connell has clearly realized it’s impossible to run on her extreme right-wing record, so she has instead chosen to create a new history for herself. While we agree that this fabrication is far more attractive than her anti-choice, anti-stem cell record, we also believe that campaigns should be run on the facts, and this is not one of them."

And besides running from her republican roots, she is running against the very republicans she wants to serve with in the State Senate. On her website, O'Connell attempts to be an outsider calling for "reform."
Her indictment of the republican-led senate is pretty clear.
O'Connell's site says "Her goal is to bring about a more open, responsive and efficient state government. A government that is accountable to New York State taxpayers."
Hear that Dean Skelos? You didn''t do enough to make yourselves accountable. Maureen says 'shame on you.' She's coming to Albany to clean up your mess.
She even wrote to Governor Spitzer pledging her support for his agenda. I'm pretty sure she didn't support Spitzer's agenda during the election.
O'Connell takes a shot across Dean's bow with "The purpose of state government is to serve the best interests of its people.
Unfortunately, for many years, that principle has not been applied in Albany.
Gee Dean, Maureen is aying you are bad for New York.
" Long Islanders send more to Albany than they receive. An income limit will further shortchange local taxpayers.
Instead of depriving Long Islanders of desperately needed property tax relief, Maureen’s plan will ensure that we receive our fair share."
So what exactly have Skelos (the #2 man in the senate,) Hannon, Fuschillo and Marcellino been doing all this time?
Apparantly a pretty poor job for us Long Islanders. Thank goodness Maureen has a plan as a freshman senator that a decades-long serving Skelos doesn't.
Maureen even takes the sitting Long Island Senators to task and emasculating them with "I'll be that strong voice that holds Albany accountable for every tax dollar they spend"
The truth is, once elected she will do the bidding of Joe Bruno and Dean Skelos, falling in line and once again raising the republican flag she hid during the campaign.

Remember, she's
"Someone who means what she says..."
Yeah, right.

Joe Mondello's Gamble

Mondello the Nassau GOP chairman and now NYS GOP chairman too, finds himself in a tough place with the special election for the state senate. Critics of the choice of Mondello for state chairman didn't want a chairman who was also in charge of a county committee. They felt that the dual role would be problems. Mondello had to prove himself.
The state senate race is an election Mondello has to win. He needs to retain the seat for the republicans and prove he can win races in his own county. The problem Mondello has is that by choosing vote-getter Maureen O'Connell he is putting the only republican held county-wide seat into democratic hands if she wins.
If O'Connell wins, Mondello can claim a victory as state chairman and nassau boss but will lose the County Clerks office. County Clerk might not seem such a big deal but the position does provide a certain amount of patronage and as I said, it's the last county-wide elected position the republicans have in Nassau. O'Connell wins, CE Souzzi picks a Clerk. And it's not going to be a republican.
If (and when in my opinion) O'Connell loses, Mondello gets to keep the clerks job in republican hands but loses a seat in the senate to the democrats.
In any scenario, Mondello stands to lose something.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

File Under: Amusing and Arrogant

Marty Schwartz, the self important little fellow who runs "The Schwartz Report" message board posted a locked message today for O'Connell and Johnson:
"Candidates are encouraged to contact me at xxxxxxx@aol.com to be interviewed."

"The Schwartz Report" for the uninitiated is a message board where political enemies can leave blistering and many times slanderous attacks on each other.
The proprietor Martin H. Schwartz is not a fan of free speech if the attacks are on someone he likes. Posts are frequently deleted and people banned from the site if they cross Marty's line.

The question is why do candidates have to reach out to him to be interviewed?
And why are they "encouraged" to do so?
It's not as though a 10 question interview on Schwartz's website will have any affect on the special election.

Both O'Connell and Johnson have websites with e-mail, phone, fax and address info. If Schwartz wants to interview them he can easily contact them both.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Joe Mondello - Serial Exaggerator

From the WFP blog...

"Joe Mondello Can't Count
Joe Mondello, Chair of the New York state GOP and of the Nassau County GOP, has a lot riding on the Feb 6 special election in the Seventh Senate District. It's the first election under his watch as chair of the state GOP, it's happening in his backyard, and it's a test of how the state GOP will respond to their drubbing in the 2006 Governor's race.So maybe that's why Joe chose to be a little, shall we say, extravagant with the truth. From a
New York Times article on the race:
The campaign is off to a quick start. "We had 500 people going door to door last weekend, and we hope to have 700 this weekend," Mr. Mondello said. Democrats say they have an equally ambitious field operation. Their county chairman, Jay S. Jacobs, said that with an expected 10 to 15 percent voter turnout, "the ground game is the decider."

Yeah right.Now it is right that the ground game is the decider. And the Working Families Party is running an ambitious field operation, that's right too.
But there's no way the state Republicans have 100 people going door to door, much less 500 or 700. The thing about canvassing is, if you're out there canvassing for hours and the other side is out there canvassing for hours then each side's canvassers are going to run into each other. But I asked our 45 canvassers, who are knocking on thousands of doors every night, if they've seen a GOP door knocker.
The word from the Working Families Party canvass is that yesterday is the first day O'Connell had people on the doors, and it was only a handful of people."

Read the rest at http://wfpjournal.blogspot.com/2007/01/joe-mondello-cant-count.html

Newsday Spin Cycle Site Needs Full Disclosure

In a Newsday SpinCylcle piece today about the State Senate special election 'Balboni pick may speed third track' reporter William Murphy writes "Villages along the route oppose the project - and some village officials believe they lost their best chance of stopping it when they lost Balboni.
Those officials also note that Spitzer strongly supports Nassau Legis. Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington) against Nassau County Clerk Maureen O'Connell, a Republican, to succeed Balboni."
Johnson has allied himself with Spitzer's agenda," Mineola Mayor Jack Martins said in an interview. "I want somebody in the legislature who will represent the interests of the villages."
Newsday needs to be a little more clear about who is saying what and why. Even though Martins ran on the "New Line Party" for Mayor, he is a registered republican. And even though you can't tell by looking at her website or signs or commercials, O'Connell is the republican candidate.
Gee, who does Martins support?

Candidate Maureen O'Connell Gets Caught Fibbing About Stem Cells

O'Connell tried to defend herself against Craig Johnson as Newsday reports "Johnson, her opponent, has pounded O'Connell on her voting record, labeling the Nassau County Clerk's anti-abortion views as 'right wing.' In a recent radio ad Democrats continued the anti-abortion charges against O'Connell, which she denied in a statement yesterday.
'As a nurse, I began working with stem cells some 20 years ago so, I know from firsthand experience just how important this line of research is,' O'Connell wrote. 'This plan doesn't go far enough. Why wait a year for reform when we should be investing into a cure today.'

Too bad O'Connell has a record in the Assembly that can be checked.
Our friends over at The Albany Project report on State Senator Krueger recaling O'Connell's record.
Someone's pants are on fire....

Senator Krueger Calls Out Maureen O'Connell On Stem Cell Stance
Senator Liz Kreuger has just released a statement questioning the sincerity of state Senate candidate Maureen O'Connell's evolving stance on stem cell research. It's definitely worth a read.
It was reported today that Maureen O'Connell, Republican Leader Joe Bruno's candidate to fill the Senate vacancy left by former Senator Michael Balboni, said efforts to fund a $1 billion stem-cell research plan do not
"go far enough." Her statement implies that she fully supports the medical promise of stem-cell research.
Maureen O'Connell speaks a good game come campaign time, but she does not have the record to back up her rhetoric.
In 2004, then-Assemblywoman O'Connell sponsored legislation (A10256) that would have banned medical procedures necessary to conduct stem-cell research. In 2003 and again in 2004, she voted against the "Reproductive Cloning Prohibition and Research Protection Act." While serving on the Assembly Health Committee, O'Connell voted against A6300, which would have established a state-funded institute for stem cell research in New York State.
As the lead sponsor of legislation that would advance stem-cell research in our State (S433B), I find it disheartening that Maureen O'Connell is actively misleading the voters of the 7th Senate District. Despite being a registered nurse, O'Connell voted against legislation that is medically accurate, ethically sound, and economically wise."

Read more at http://www.thealbanyproject.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=248

Friday, January 19, 2007

Massapequa Park Village Elections: The Funny Party Name Edition

"Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna, Jr. announced his intention to run for another term, along with fellow Village Board members, Harry Jacobson and Joseph Pinto. The three elected officials have been nominated by the Village Peoples' Rights First Party"

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Shouldn't there have been a little more thought into the name?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Raise New York" Fundraiser for Craig Johnson featuring Governor Spitzer

From The Albany Project...

"We are very, very excited to announce "Raise New York", a "blograiser" for SSD-07 candidate Craig Johnson featuring Governor Eliot Spitzer! And when I say "we", I am referring to, amongst many others, The Daily Gotham, Rochester Turning, Democracy In Albany, onNYTurf, WNYMedia.net, Swing State Project and, of course, us here at TAP.
Raise New York will take place on Thursday, February 1st at
Prey in NYC. The event will also be liveblogged here and at Daily Gotham and DailyKos. There will be photos, audio and video in near real time for those who for whatever reason can't attend in person. It's gonna be a hoot."

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Democrat Craig Johnsons Campaign Commercial

O'Connell was first on the air with an ad but with very little quality.
Here is Craig Johnson's first ad with Governor Eliot Spitzer...
Hat tip to The Albany Project.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dean Skelos Says Dumb Things

For the number 2 guy in the State Senate, Skelos sure says dumb things.
Skelos tells Newsday's Rick Brand in regards to the Democrats who put thier names in the ring to run for Balboni's empty seat "This is just another example of the Democratic dysfunction, like when they could not elect a presiding officer last year. It's embarrassing for the Democratic Party,"
Is Skelos that dumb?
The Democratic Party is "dysfunctional" because more than one qualified candidate wanted the nomination and the Democratic Party considered each one and made thier choice???
Sorry but the Democratic Party isn't like the Nassau GOP where you have to do enough favors and wait your turn quietly until Joe Mondello feels you earned it.
Poor GOP Legislator Nicollelo thought that maybe he would have a shot but wouldn't go the distance to get the nomination. Newsday reported "Nassau Legis. Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), who said Tuesday that he would like to run, would only be the nominee should O'Connell have to drop out, sources said."

Skelos's thought process is so "dysfunctional" he actually compares Democrats interviewing potential candidates and selecting one to a fight for leadership a year ago.
THAT is "embarrassing."
For Skelos.
And he's the next in line to run the Republican-dominated Senate?

Who is the Democratic Candidate for the 7th Senate District?

That's an easy one... Nassau County Legislator Craig Johnson.
Why is that easy?
Because his literature proudly proclaims he is a Democrat.
See for yourself at the Working Families Party blog.

Who is the Republican Candidate for the 7th Senate District?

It might very well be Maureen O'Connell but you'd be hard-pressed to find her party affiliation on her website or in her TV ad.
Usually the Nassau GOP and its candidates make sure you know to "VOTE REPUBLICAN!!!!!" but not this time.
On her 'bio' page, O'Connell lists her past jobs and office but no party. "In 1998, Maureen was overwhelmingly elected to the New York State Assembly. She was the first woman elected to represent the state’s 17th Assembly District.."
"In November 2005, Maureen was elected Nassau County Clerk."
There isn't even a Nassau GOP logo on her site.
It's not even on her "endorsements" page.
Looking at her signs, there's no menion of party either.
What's going on here?
Sure, the Dems have a voter registration advantage in the district but Balboni had no problem winning as an advertised republican.