Monday, May 14, 2007

Mondello is a Popular State Chairman... Okay, Not Really.

The NYTimes story today by Danny Hakim 'G.O.P. May Be Losing Patience With State Chairman’s Scarcity' is interesting.
Discontent is rising with Joseph N. Mondello, the state’s Republican Party chairman, ahead of the party’s New York City fund-raiser on Thursday featuring John McCain and Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Several Republican officials privately suggest that Mr. Mondello has worn out his welcome even with his ally Joseph L. Bruno, the Senate majority leader, who is said to want a more forceful partner in his battles with Gov. Eliot Spitzer. And names of possible replacements have been circulating, including those of former State Senator Ray Meier of Utica, who lost a Congressional bid last year, and Edward Lurie, executive director of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee. “The early concern is he has not been upstate, other than Albany,” one upstate Republican senator said. “And those are concerns among county chairmen and elected officials.”

There were denials in the article but the undercurrent is very telling. From the beginning influential members around the state were unhappy with Mondellos ascendency. The Times points out why of course "Certainly Mr. Mondello got off to a bad start, with the party losing a contentious special election in February for a Senate seat in Nassau County, where Mr. Mondello has been the longtime party chairman."
And don't forget losing an Assembly race and a Legislature race within a month of losing the senate seat. The state republicans also see Mondellos loss of the Nassau DA two years ago and inability to win back the legislature or County Executive seat as indicative of his leadership. Add to that the county registration for republicans which was once robust is now anemic.

The article concludes
"Anthony Santino, a spokesman for Mr. Mondello, said the chairman “enjoys the full support of Senator Bruno and the vast majority of the county leaders.”
“Anything else,” he added, “is just Capitol rumor.”

When there is smoke....

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