Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Once again Democrats are being treated to a so called Democrat working with and endorsing a Republican instead of a highly qualified member of his own party. This Roy McDonald lawn sign is on the lawn of Democratic Councilman Al Spain. It continues the tradition of family endorsements of Republicans which began when Jeff Spain endorsed the GOP slate for town positions during his brief stint as a Democratic Chairman and continued with a letter sent as a former Democratic Chair to voters endorsing the entire Republican slate for the Rensselaer County Legislature in 2009.
When Republican Roy McDonald first ran for the State Senate, Al Spain publicly endorsed him as you can see here.Seeing this year's lawn sign endorsement is therefore no surprise to those who have followed the spectacle.When people ask why there is a split in the town Democratic Party, this sign tells part of the story. Democrats have a choice of joining those registered in the party who work for and endorse Republicans or they can choose to work for and endorse Democratic candidates and causes. Those in party leadership positions will always have to make that choice of turning the party over to a group of registered Democrats who are fed by the Republicans with jobs and who are loyal to them or choosing not to place Republican lawn signs on their property and around town in favor of Democratic candidates.
It's easy to understand why these "Democrats" are working for the Republicans who are clearly using their Democratic enrollment to attack Democrats and their credibility. Al Spain depends on the Republican administration in Troy for his City job and his brother is the recipient of two GOP appointed jobs, one from the county legislature on a Sewer Board and the other here in town on the Planning Board.
What the Republicans get out it is also clear. The ability of the GOP to use these folks for political endorsements has a certain political value which may explain why they are willing to pay for all this legal work created when Jeff Spain donated the party committee's money in a effort to cripple the Democrats in the town elections. He left the committee with just .45 cents and as the Times Union reports, he donated odd amounts to get the account under a buck. Using party lawyers and resources to defend actions done to benefit the Republicans further ingratiates the clan to the GOP, political IOU's are created and are collected in many forms, including apparently,lawn sign endorsements.
This paradox will not end any time soon but at least the ability of the Republican side to take charge of a Democratic ballot line will end as the Town Democratic Committee has voted unanimously to use the Primary method of candidate selection over the Caucus method. Republicans cannot get on the Democratic ballot without a waiver from the party chairman and that is an unlikely scenario given Party Chairman Tom Wade's well known feelings on such cross endorsements which were clearly pronounced when he pushed the nomination of Judge Patrick McGrath over an effort to cross endorse Republican Anthony Carpinello. Judge McGrath won his party nomination and won the election over his GOP opponent rather convincingly.
Another story making the news today comes from the Times Union which you can read here.Jeff Spain, a Democratic Committee member in ED 3 has the services of two GOP connected lawyers who are appealing his defeat in Rensselaer City Court in which a judge found he had improperly donated away the party treasury after he lost control of the Democratic Committee he briefly chaired. He has been ordered to reimburse the party more than $3,000 which he has refused to do. Once the party attempted to collect the judgment through a garnishment procedure, he called on his Republican connections to appeal the decision.
Who's paying for the appeal and the lawyers you ask? Why we don't know and Spain isn't telling? But it's clear the appeal will in the end cost more than the judgment. Just the transcript of the trial alone could exceed $1,000 and is required for any appeal. The silver lining for the Democratic Committee is the fact that all of the costs the Committee incurs trying to collect the judgment will be added to the judgment itself. The cost of loosing the appeal will therefore mean a much larger payment from Spain than the judgment itself.
Something most people would think about before taking such a step.
Posted by The North Greenbush Pipeline at 11:31 AM