A few political tidbits from around the area:
• A persistent whisper has been circulating in Hudson that a Democratic Alderman with a large weighted vote on the Common Council may be moving to Greenport, and if so would have to relinquish his seat. Given the current composition of the Council, however, it seems unlikely that a more truly democratically-minded replacement would be chosen to fill out the remainder of that term.
• City Attorney Cheryl Roberts circulated an email last week to County Democrats indicating her interest in running for State Assembly in the reconfigured 107th District, and claiming backing by the Columbia County Democratic Committee’s two top officials. Roberts is known locally for her instrumental role in making sure mining and trucking remained dominant at the Hudson Waterfront, and thwarting calls for a more progressive outcome.
To “accomplish” this, Roberts needed to find ways to ignore literally thousands of public comments calling for a more forward-looking plan. She also refused to turn over public documents sought via Freedom of Information Law requests, on privacy grounds that were proved spurious when New York State furnished the same documents without hesitation.
(Assisting with Roberts’ nearly six-year campaign of shunning the public and erasing contrary information was Council President Don Moore, a political ally of Columbia County Democratic Committee 1st vice chair Victor Mendolia. Moore would not allow any comments from a standing-room-only crowd at the culminating vote that pushed the Roberts plan ahead, and at one point even tried to prevent the public from seeing the draft plan at all.)
Roberts’s email not only claims to have secured a large number of pledges (how many of them are from partners in the Republican-dominated lawfirm she joined in the past year, Rapport Meyers?), but also implies backing fom CCDC chair Cyndy Hall and Mendolia. Roberts gushes that “Cyndy, Victor and I met with the state Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee yesterday and they were very impressed” with her fundraising prowess.
An email to Cyndy Hall on Friday inquiring about her position on the matter has not been returned at this time. On Sunday, Victor Mendolia waved sheepishly to me on the street; but when asked forthrightly to explain why he would support Cheryl Roberts for Assembly, Mendolia abruptly turned tail without answering, and hurried off to have lunch with 4th Ward Supervisor Bill Hughes, Jr.
• On the 20th Congressional front, the CCDC has also recently passed over long-serving Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner in favor of an attorney whose resumé includes a stint at the Central Intelligence Agency and prosecuting drug traffickers, Julian Schreibman.
Schreibman apparently was a couple of years behind me at Yale, so I ought to be predisposed to his candidacy... But Tyner has earned his stripes as a truly progressive Democrat of genuine integrity. In doing so, he apparently has earned the enmity of the region’s Democratic establishment, who seem to resent Tyner’s ability to get elected and re-elected in his district—despite party committeemen constantly saying he’s unelectable.
He’s done that by relentlessly pushing liberal issues, in spite of overcautious establishment warnings to “go slow,” “save your powder,” “don’t appear too radical,” etc. Tyner also communicates constantly with his constituents, and has worn out his own shoe leather attending meetings and going door to door. He deserves better than the “he can’t win” derision of party officials with much weaker electoral track records than Joel Tyner.