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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!

Election notes

Election notes: Various thoughts on different races and election-day happenings:

Albany: I was happy to see that Corey Ellis defeated Mike Brown. That was probably the highlight of the day for me. I thought it was a reasonable result that the mayor didn't get his whole slate on the school board. It will force the TanMan to compromise, in theory. One thing that is really funny is the distorted sense of political reality you can get if you spend a lot of time reading blogs. For instance, given how much he posts over at Democracy in Albany, it never dawned on me that Ford McClain would only get 86 votes in the Ward 7 race for city council. Amazing!

Saratoga: I was disappointed to see the Democratic landslide in Saratoga. The assessment issue was certainly going to be problematic for the incumbents this year, but it was a mandated assessment, so it was a hammer that was simply going to fall on whoever was in office in 2004-2005. Overall, the Saratoga Republicans strike me as a better group to lead the city. Of course, to paraphrase the famous saying, Saratoga politics is so contentious precisely because the stakes are so small. As I've mentioned before, politics is truly a game of leisure when you have the wealth, culture, and lack of crime that Saratoga has.

Colonie: No surprises here, at least in terms of winners. But that itself is no surprise. I guess it is interesting how the GOP margins have shrunk significantly in Colonie in the last few decades. That really has had an effect on the fortunes of Democrats in county politics (think Soares) and in state politics (think Dan Lynch and then Bob Reilly). I suppose the day will come when the Democrats capture town hall. Amazing. All of sudden the Republican streets will be last ones plowed in the winter. As I said above about Saratoga, charmed politics.

Also, somebody call the Justice Department. I think I was the victim of attempted voter disenfranchisement. Or at least it was a pain in the ass for me to vote yesterday. First, I went over to Shaker Junior High School, where I should be voting. But BOE didn't get my change of address. So I head over to Southgate Elementary school near my old place. After telling the greeter where I live(d), she sends me to the district 42 line. Of course, when I get to the top of the queue, it turns out i'm in district 43. Oh well, what's another 10 minute wait to vote in a series of blowouts when I've already burned up an hour.

Actually, that's a bit harsh. I really like voting. Especially when I can vote for major party candidates without ever touching the GOP or Democratic levers. That was nice. And I like the people who volunteer for BOE. That's a thankless, but very important, job. And apparently a boring one too. All I know is that the free doughnuts and coffee were long gone at Southgate when I got there at noon yesterday.

Rensselaer: Who wouldn't be happy that DeAngelis lost? Fred LeBrun publishes a column today that practical wrote itself in everyone's head last night.

Propositions: I voted against #1, and I was pleased to see it fail. I voted in favor of #2, but I was basically ambivalent about it. It passed.
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At 12:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

Ellis defeated Michael Brown, not Mark Brown...

Congrats on the WAMC spot...

While I don't know about many of the Saratoga Republicans in the city council, I'm glad Lenz was ousted. If the major issue was the water supply, the candidate who had the right solution won.... That Hudson River plan was horrible.    

At 12:36 PM , Blogger Matt said:

Good point about Brown's first name. I'll correct it.

I agree the Dems were right on the water issue. I think that's what put the Dems over the top for mayor.

However, the lesser races were largely won on the assessment issue. That's fine, except that there's no "policy" to it, so it wasn't like the dems had a better plan - they just reaped the benefits of people being upset about their tax bill. From my perspective, the dems in saratoga are a bit more hackish group, so i'm sorry to see them grab power.

However, like i said in the post, saratoga politics is a charming hobby in a place with few fundamental problems. And despite how they try to make it out, the political parties really aren't that different up their, either.    

At 8:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

I was also surprised by Ford's poor showing. Over all more people came out and voted then I thought would.

If Ford had done better I could have lamented how if it had been a two way race then he could have won but with the results it is clear that what ever stratagy he tried simply failed.

Too much was against him even if his campaign wasnt able to get traction.    

At 10:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

I don't think election workers are volunteers--last I checked it was a very good day's pay for a thankless job. Maybe it's different around here.    

At 9:49 PM , Blogger Citizen McLain said:

Be Careful of Gauging Electoral Success by Blog Postings

"For instance, given how much he posts over at Democracy in Albany, it never dawned on me that Ford McClain would only get 86 votes in the Ward 7 race for city council. Amazing!"

It's more about the ground game, my friend, enough of which I obviously did not have.

No regrets, however. We had a message, we reached out to folk (not enough obviously), and we contributed to the process by giving voters a choice. We kept this election going into November, and until the polls closed, no one knew what my numbers would be. Between me and Brian, the Democrats had to work for their victory this year. And that's good for the process, especially in a one-party town.    

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