D&C Caught Red-Handed, Again

Over at Mustard Street, Rich Tyson has some screenshots of redacted D&C comments showing the inability of D&C management to deal effectively with criticism, as well as their naïveté about the Internet.

To make a long story short, Rich added a comment to a story about property tax scofflaws that pointed out that Jim Lawrence, the D&C editorial page editor, also had a property tax judgment against him. Lawrence reacted by huffing and puffing about a personal attack. Then, D&C editor Karen Magnusen (who has a track record of being touchy) got into the comments and defended Lawrence, as well as announcing her intent have the comments stricken, which they were (today, the story has no comments at all).

The smart move for Lawrence would have been to calmly tell readers that his $1,500 obligation was satisfied long ago, and to point out that there’s a hell of a difference between one small oversight and the multi-million-dollar scofflaw behavior described in the story. Magnusen’s smart move would have been to back Lawrence, and to defend her paper’s credibility by pointing out that Lawrence had nothing to do with the story, since it was news and not an editorial.

Instead, we have another demonstration of the D&C’s mistaken belief that they can flush Internet unpleasantness down a memory hole.

Primary Day

I like to vote and don’t miss many elections, but I’ll be missing the New York primary today, since there’s absolutely nothing interesting going on. The same is true for NY-25 at this point. Both Maggie Brooks and Louise Slaughter are doing their day jobs (or their rehab, in Louise’s case) and raising money. When something happens, I’ll report on that, but until then, this race is a bit like today’s primary – not worthy of mention.

More Liberal D&C Bias

Is it anything but their inherent commie-pinko third-column leftism that caused the D&C to write a story about a 92 year-old postal worker right after Louise Slaughter broke her leg? He’s ten years older than Louise and still going strong.

Seriously, though, the story is worth a read. This guy’s energy is amazing.

Unions Never Learn

Perhaps the most interesting donation on Maggie Brooks’ campaign finance report is $10,000 from the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union, the maximum allowed by law. I assume the reason for the donation was Brooks’ generally good relationship with local unions and perhaps her relationship with Union President Eugene Caccamise, who serves on the COMIDA board.

In general, the relationship between New York politicians and unions at the county and state level is good, but unions don’t seem to understand that it all changes when a Republican goes to Congress. The current Republican Congress so hostile to unions that they changed the name of the House Education and Labor Committee to the “House Education and the Workforce Committee”. Republicans also opposed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and have blocked appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

Speaking of the EFCA, when one AFL-CIO union supported his opponent in the 2006 race, Randy Kuhl in NY-29 withdrew as a sponsor of that bill 6 days after the election, and then voted against it, even though other unions had contributed to his 2006 campaign. I wonder why the Bricklayers think Brooks will be any different.

Louise Slaughter has raised over $100K from unions so far this cycle, so it’s pretty clear who unions think has their best interests in mind. Does the Bricklayers’ Union really think their contribution is going to matter if Brooks finds it politically expedient to throw unions under the bus?

Maggie’s “Victories” All Need an Asterisk

Maggie Brooks’ campaign has posted a press release claiming victory over Louise Slaughter because Brooks raised more money, collected more petition signatures and won a Rochester Business Journal poll.

The most reasonable of these claims is the fundraising one. Brooks did outraise Slaughter, but it’s more than a little ironic that a campaign aide is making that claim on a shiny new professional website when Brooks didn’t own up that she’s paid either staff salaries or website developers in her latest filing. If Brooks had acknowledged her expenses, as Slaughter did, her net would have been closer to Slaughter’s total. Never mind that Slaughter has double the cash on hand, which is the number that matters.

The other two “victories” are laughable. Presumably, like almost every other campaign in New York, Brooks or the GOP used paid petition gatherers, so the number of signatures she bought is a pointless metric. And the only way that an unscientific straw poll of Rochester businesspeople would be news is if it hadn’t picked Brooks.

The fact that a campaign press release is a bunch of meaningless puffery isn’t usually worth a remark, but I think it merits some scrutiny in the context of Brooks’ poor performance in her D&C interview this weekend. Instead of writing press releases like these, her campaign should be working on the issues page of her site, which at the moment mentions not one word about the kinds of issues Brooks would be voting on if she were elected to Congress.

Making Lemonade

Louise Slaughter gave one of her usual gee-whiz, aw-shucks performances at her news conference today, as documented by 13-WHAM’s Sean Carroll.

“I had my first campaign poster made,” Rep. Slaughter joked at Tuesday’s media availability.  “It says cast your vote for Louise Slaughter; a leg up on the competition.”

The only real news out of the event was that Louise plans to be back at work at the beginning of May, and that she’s receiving experimental treatment at Strong Hospital, using a drug approved for osteoporosis that also may speed healing of fractures in older people.

Slaughter Has $530K, Brooks $250K

The FEC hasn’t posted the fundraising reports yet, but the D&C is reporting that Maggie Brooks raised about $250K and has that amount on hand, and Louise Slaughter raised $205K and has about $530K on hand. Brooks’ report will merit a lot of scrutiny because she claims to have only spent $234 to raise that money, even though she has a professionally-produced website which she used to gather some of that cash. What probably happened is that her campaign consultants withheld their bills until after the first fundraising report to make her total more impressive. Slaughter reported $38K in expenses, by comparison.