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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Assessing Soares as DA...

Assessing Soares as DA...:Back in November, a friend and I agreed to wait three months before forming any thought-out opinion about the new Albany county DA, David Soares. If you recall, Soares defeated incumbent DA Paul Clyne in the Democratic primary, and then won a three way race over Clyne and Republican Roger Cusack in the general election. His victory was seen as a major blow to the continued crumbling of the Albany Democratic machine, as well as a big step toward the continued development of new winning coalition in Albany politics - African Ameiricans in the city and upper-middle class professionals in the suburbs.

Well, it's been four and half months, and what can we say? Well, not much. And in that sense, no news is good news. Without the myriad of high-profile cases that led to the disastrous (albeit sometimes tough) decisions Clyne had to make, Soares has been able to keep a low but effective profile. This is good for him, and good for the city in general. Obviously, Soares will eventually be called on to make some tough calls, but until then, we'll continue to defer judgement.

WTEN has reported that indictments are down 25% under Soares, with the expected commentary that this has made the street less safe. However, Democracy In Albany quickly points out that the crime stats are far more important than the indictment stats. And that is undeniably correct. Using indictments - with no baseline of crimes - gives us exactly zero information about how the DA's office is doing its job.

As I said, I will defer judgement for now. But I am glad that Clyne is not heading the ship anymore. And it's obvious that Soares is competent for the day-to-day job.
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