Hugh Reynolds: Amedore vs. Tkaczyk Part 2

State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk; ex-assemblyman George Amedore. (Photos: Dan Barton)

State Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk; ex-assemblyman George Amedore. (Photos: Dan Barton)

The widely expected rematch between Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk and Republican George Amedore for state senate was officially launched at a pizza parlor in midtown Catskill Monday morning. The race is not official until the incumbent officially announces. She will, probably right after the legislature adjourns in mid-June. Attack-dog surrogates will serve up the politics for now, with anchovies and extra cheese.

That Amedore chose Catskill for his one and only announcement is a curious strategy. Amedore has no plans to make any official announcements of his candidacy anywhere else in the district, his spokesman said.


As Catskill goes, apparently, so goes the senatorial district. Catskill may be the geographic center for a district that stretches over 100 miles from Tkaczyk’s home in Duanesburg to the Rosendale border, but it is still, after all, Catskill.

Ulster County was crucial in the 2012 election, and it will be in 2014. Why didn’t Amedore announce in several places?

Tkaczyk will be announcing in about two months, probably on the Kingston courthouse steps. And, I’ll wager, in the other four counties in the district.

Democrats went after Amedore hammer and tongs the day before the official announcement, there being few secrets in politics. Before Amedore could say, “I’ll have pepperoni on mine,” Dems were lambasting him for being a woman-bashing Neanderthal right-wing nutcase during his three terms in the Assembly. Some even called him anti-business, which is hilarious.

Should the opposition succeed in thus defining him, Amedore might just as well go back to building houses around the Capital District.

The shrill tone of the Democratic knee-jerk reaction to Amedore’s candidacy indicates they consider him a serious threat. For the Democrats, losing this seat would have far-reaching consequences. Currently, Democrats hold a 32-30 numerical majority in the senate, but a coalition of five downstate Democrats joined with Republicans to form a Republican majority after the 2012 elections. If Republicans can pick off first-termers Terry Gipson in Dutchess and Tkaczyk, they regain absolute control of the upper house. They will invest heavily in those efforts.

Fallonious assault

Saugerties residents were all aflutter at Sunday’s monthly breakfast at the Glasco firehouse over an April Fool’s spoof in last week’s Saugerties Times purporting to rename the town after Tonight Show host and former Sawyer Jimmy Fallon.

Times editor and writer Will Dendis offered the name “Fallonville,” with clever graphics and numerous comments from sometimes barely credible sources. “Fallonia” might have worked, too. High praise to my creative colleague.

Mike Catalinotto, a savvy old pol and former town Republican chairman, was one of many surprised at the virulent response to the obvious joke. “I think it says something about how some people feel about our town board,” he said. “How could anybody believe our town board would meet in the dead of night [as ‘reported’ in the ‘story’] and enact something like this?”

Part of that, I thought, had the ring of truth. Politicians are forever doing do-do in the dark. Why should April Fool’s Day be any different?

Meanwhile, it should be interesting if Fallon, who moved out of town to pursue his career, mentions the latest news from a town called Saugerties (for now) on his hit TV show.

Expunging Gaetana

In other Saugerties news, there seems to be a movement afoot among disgruntled Republicans to oust rebellious Republican Gaetana Ciarlante from their ranks. Ciarlante, after losing the Republican nomination to Kelly Myers last year, ran on the Conservative ticket against Myers and the eventual winner, Democrat Greg Helsmoortel. Helsmoortel prevailed by about 400 votes, but Ciarlante polled close to 1,200 in what Republican leaders apparently see as a spoiler role that cost their candidate the election.

Is the response to run Ciarlante out of the party a wise thing to do? In this country we are free to choose our affiliations. Nobody is returning phone calls.

The better answer is: see you at next year’s Republican town caucus. For sure, Ciarlante, who racked up a remarkable total for a third-party candidate, will be there. Maybe Myers and Helsmoortel, too.

Electric slide

A lot of people seem to like Republican Congressman Chris Gibson‘s bipartisan approach to politics, but some wonder if teaming up with Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney of Putnam at this late date to oppose significant increases in electric bills on the backs of already beleaguered constituents will have any real effect. At issue is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s decision to create new capacity zones on May 1 which would have most consumers in the Hudson Valley paying higher New York City rates.

“That is unacceptable,” Gibson declared on his Facebook page. Is introducing a bill the answer to this rapidly approaching deadline? In Congress, bills take months to process, sometimes years, and right now Reddy Kilowatt is breathing down our necks.

Senator Chuck Schumer‘s direct pressure on FERC through personal contact with senior administrators, no doubt in league with upriver congressmen, is the shrewder move. But then the ever-political senior senator has different issues than our congressmen.  Spreading electric bills upriver can only benefit Gotham, and that’s where the votes are.

Not to wax pessimistic here, but when the Big Apple takes on small potatoes the outcome is usually predictable.

Here and there

For those who wondered what happened to Catskill Resort at Belleayre developer Dean Gitter, he and his band will be performing at the Emerson on April 27 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., celebrating the release of their latest album “Old Folkies Never Die,” according to an Emerson press release. Given Gitter’s tempestuous relationship with locals over building a mega-resort atop Belleayre, a work in progress since 1998, the name of the band, Uncommon Ground, is fitting. Gitter, one of those self-described old folkies now approaching 80, is seldom seen in the mountains these days, preferring Maryland’s shores. For old friends and old foes, April 27 represents a chance to pick up on some new vibes.

I erred in a recent report on New Paltz Supervisor Sue Zimet‘s last run for office. Official election figures confirm that Democrat Zimet defeated Republican Randall Leverett last year 1,508-1,310. It was still a close election. Had 100 votes switched, Leverett would be the supervisor today.

There are 2 comments

  1. Woodstocker for life

    Since Ms.Zimet only won by 192 votes in heavily Democratic New Paltz, why would she take on our great Democratic Assemblyman Kevin Cahill? She would be wise to sit this one out and avoid the embarrassment of losing badly not only in her own hometown, but the rest of the county as well.

  2. Lanimilbus

    Author: I didn’t know the Syracuse was “downstate”. Check a district map and you’ll see that Valesky’s district certainly doesn’t qualify as “downstate”.

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