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Monday, July 14, 2008

Tom Connolly for Congress?

With his fingers in the North Greenbush, Rensselaer County and too many other political pies to count, you can imagine the disbelief when we learned that politico Tom Connolly is running for Congress. Not here in the McNulty seat where Tom lives but, in the 25th CD way out in western NY.

You can read the list of candidates who have filed designating petitions for the various races and parties here from the NYS Board of Elections. Tom's illustrious past is sure to make great reading in Western New York where they don't know him like we do. So for those who may have forgotten, here is a brief review of his credentials:

The first Chapter written on Connolly’s escapades goes back to his days as a Democrat. Tom needed a job and bugged people in the party until he got himself a job in Troy as a Purchasing Agent in 1986, a Civil Service position. He managed to get the job by falsifying a job application checking, YES to the question regarding graduating from a 4 year college when in fact he had not. He stated on the application he had received a B.S. degree from Manhattan College graduating in 1980. The Troy Record reported the story on 3/24/94 and also added that a college official whose father’s name was coincidentally, Tom Connolly, could not remember anyone working at the college by that name as Connolly also claimed to the Record. So Tom managed to get a job he did not qualify for by lying, thereby screwing someone who did qualify out of the job.

Then of course there’s the great Picture Caper from 1988-9 in which Tom “borrowed” a couple of bicentennial prints from City Hall and gave them as gifts to his mother, now a “reformed Democrat” and the sitting County District Attorney. Well who else could you better impress by a gift of stolen property, right?On January 19, 1989, City Comptroller Joseph Mazerello notified Connolly of the disciplinary charges against him for taking the pictures. The penalty included a 30 day unpaid suspension, staggered over 5 months, and restitution by returning the goodies.Connolly signed the form admitting “…I am fully familiar with my rights, …admit to the charges herein and accept the penalty so stated…” This one strikes us as going a bit beyond mere fraud.Then of course there was his final attempt at getting a Democratic job he didn’t deserve over a far more qualified female. That was in 1996 when he nearly got appointed county Commissioner of Jurors. The person who held the deputy commissioner’s job for more than a decade was to stand aside and let Tom take the top spot.

The furor from other Democrats and Republicans alike was loud, causing Times Union Columnist Dan Lynch to investigate in a June 2, 1996 article. Lynch talked to Troy Personnel Director Al Spain, sound familiar? Lynch was trying to confirm Connolly’s birthday because State DMV records showed but one Thomas S. Connolly in their entire state database and he was born in 1958. Spain said he’d get back to Lynch, but when he didn’t call, Lynch did and got stonewalled by Spain. Lynch eventually confirmed the birth date elsewhere and verified Connolly had a drunk driving conviction and no drivers license which was a bit odd since he’d been driving all over the place. Just 4 months later, Connolly got stopped again in Brunswick by State Police for DWAI and was issued a ticket. His license had just been restored in June after the Lynch article ran. He was on probation with the license at the time of the October arrest. He never got the Jury Commissioner appointment. He eventually left the Democrats to join the Republicans and in June of 1999, he landed a job in the State Senate thanks to Senator Joe. From there, he changed parties to Independence and was later installed as the GOP’s Chairman of the taken over Independence Party.

Best of luck Mr. Connolly and to his opponents, many of those documents referred to are pictured here on the North Greenbush Pipeline. Oh, by the way, it should be interesting to see if the family war cry so often uttered when they get into a scrape, hold true after this election. "Nobody beats the Connolly's".

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