Bernardo’s “press not invited plan” works!

Well for once I can say that Terry Bernardo has come up with a successful plan. Yup. You read it right. Her campaign’s plan of “not inviting the press to fundraising events” has worked even better than she imagined. Not only are there no stories appearing anywhere about her fundraising events, but there are no stories appearing anywhere about anything involving Bernardo. No press, no mentions, no news briefs. I mean you really couldn’t have asked for a plan to come together any better.

So the self-proclaimed candidate is treading water, if not in full mayday mode. No money, no news and a hijacked website. Let’s not forget about

Being self-proclaimed is a given in the Bernardo family. I mean husband Len became the Independence Party Chair, not by election as is the case with other real parties, but by appointment. Sort of like that three men in a room deal New York is known for only it might have been only two men in a room. Ah, two, three, what’s the difference? And Terry became the self-proclaimed candidate for County Executive and then the Republicans, after locking her out of their own convention (how embarrassing is that?), begrudgingly carried petitions. With a start like that – the writing on the wall was pretty clear at the convention – who in their right mind continues?

So here she is many months later running for County Executive because “the county deserves better.” Her words according to her new campaign website located at (In fairness I have to provide the link to the real site.) Team Terry (there might be five of them) and some disgruntled railroad people might want to Google search Mike Hein just to catch up on the many accomplishments he’s achieved. There’s barely a day that goes by that Hein isn’t mentioned in some publication, online news source or the subject of a Google alert, which is a benefit of the incumbency I’ll admit, but the fact that real accomplishments are actually behind the news mentions might send a message to the Terry for Ulster clan.

Bernardo herself might want to learn a few tips about political campaigns. The first and most important is – you don’t run against a well-funded incumbent who has accomplished much of what your party is supposed to stand for. That’s probably enough of a lesson for today.

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How to court the Media

By Terry Bernardo

Okay, so this post isn’t by Terry Bernardo. It’s by me, but the Bernardo camp (no point calling it a campaign when there really isn’t one) has an interesting new strategy to develop meaningful relationships with the press. Rather than trying to get your name in the paper, on blogs, TV, radio, etc., the new strategy per Kelly Myers, former Town of Saugerties Supervisor and apparent Bernardo supporter, is that the press is not allowed. You read it right. They’re not allowed. I don’t know, but I think this could be right out of the Clinton campaign playbook. But of course, there are a few major differences. First, Clinton has name recognition and money. Bernardo doesn’t.

If you want to court the media, you invite them. What you don’t do is put out idiotic statements about attendees being uncomfortable around the press because that’s just malarkey. The real reason the press isn’t invited is because no one is showing up at Bernardo’s events and who wants press coverage of a failed fundraiser? You can see the headline now – Crowd of twelve flocks to Bernardo event.

So what would a smart campaign strategy be? Host an event with a suggested donation and invite your friends to attend for free just to fill up the room. The press is none the wiser and it looks like you have a room full of supporters. At the very least you have some voters to talk to. And if you can’t get anybody to attend for free, pack up the RV and head west.

Press: Do Not Enter!

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Once a buffoon, always a buffoon

There certainly is no one like Kevin Cahill. A career politician drawing a big fat paycheck and accruing those nice juicy tax-exempt pension benefits (wake up New Yorkers!). Years in the planning Ulster County has the opportunity to have a connected Rail Trail that would eventually span from the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park up to the Ashokan Reservoir. If you’ve been too busy watching reality TV shows, you missed that County Executive Mike Hein worked, negotiated and actually received a commitment in the form of a signed agreement with the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) the entity charged with protecting NYC’s water supply to not only authorize the installation of a Rail Trail, but to contribute $2.5 million to the cause.

Now even I cannot believe that Cahill had the nerve to go to DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd as well as members of Mayor Deblasio’s team, by Cahill’s own admission, to ask them to “reconsider” the DEP’s position aka contribution. Think about that for a moment.

And so Mr.-stayed-past-his-expiration-date Cahill continues with his anti-Hein, phony nonsense about his concern over the dangers of the trail. Let’s just ask Cahill who has been a fixture in Albany for many years now – if this train was such an important – oh hold on so I can recall his words – “a tremendous asset” to the region, why the heck haven’t you been lobbying to save the train and give them more money over all these years? You know, during the many years that they had a lease with Ulster County that they were failing to meet. Why? I’ll tell you why. It’s only an issue because Hein, not Cahill, made the deal with the ever powerful DEP.

In typical Cahill fashion, he’s called for a new partnership (sort of sounds like the hospital merger that ended in one of them broke after spending nearly $5 million, doesn’t it?) or a new study (the election year answer to getting to the bottom of why property taxes are so high), which translates to – don’t do anything other than study it. Just stall. I get my name in the paper, which makes me look good, and I still get paid.

I hope you New Yorkers start paying attention to the fact that these clowns get paid $79,500 per year plus stipends for a part-time job that they never leave because why would they? Try visiting the National Council on State Legislatures for an eye opening experience. What a shock that NY has the 3rd highest State Legislator pay in the country. State Legislator Pay

Meanwhile the train saga continues and the Catskill Mountain Railroad lease with Ulster County expires in May 2016. Well, Cahill will have something to talk about until then. Just in time for next year’s reelection campaign.

And when all of you finally get sick of the taxes and Cahill’s rhetoric, come to Venice, Florida and I’ll help you find your dream home.

Cahill: I like whatever Hein doesn’t!

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Oh that tangled web

Just another day having fun with people we don't know!

Just another day having fun with people we don’t know!

Well, the Bernardo plan backfired again. Fred Rasmussen’s petitions have been tossed for the Working Families Party line after a ruling by Judge Cahill. In dispute were the signatures, the validity of which – no surprise – were challenged by the two Election Commissioners. Democratic Commissioner Vic Work had Rasmussen coming up short signatures while Republican Commissioner Tom Turco gave him just enough to force a primary for the WFP line between Rasmussen and Hein. No such luck said Judge Cahill who credited Rasmussen with only twenty-five of the thirty-six signatures he needed. So long Rasmussen whose sudden interest in running for County Executive surprised few in political circles given that his signature mysteriously and erroneously showed up on a designating petition for none other than Terry Bernardo. Problem was that Rasmussen signed the petition as a member of the Independence Party even though he wasn’t one. Par for the course in Bernardo’s petition world.

Bernardo Independence p8 Rasmussen Signature

The not so well hidden plan of trying to steal votes away from Hein on the WFP and Green Party lines, which Bernardo has denied, isn’t working out too well. The plan of forcing a Working Families Party primary thus forcing Hein off the ballot in the general election failed miserably. And of course, Bernardo denies any such plan or tactic.

How strange though that two, not just one, relatively unknown candidates for County Executive just happen to be showing up in the vicinity of the Bernardos. Isn’t this a cute recent photo of Len Bernardo and Hunter Downie – another sudden County-Executive-Wannabe who happens to be one of the Bernardo’s associates? It has nothing to do with helping the people of Ulster County, and everything to do with the train.

But no worries, Bernardo is raising lots of cash to oust Hein – the tax-cutting, government streamlining Democrat she despises. Oh hold on. Correction! The cash cow remains at a near record standstill…$820 toward the $100,000 goal. I bet it’s awful having a mouthful of cobwebs.

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Who is a fiscal Conservative?

In a recent post I made a comment about how absurd it is that the Conservative Party of Ulster County nominated and endorsed Terry Bernardo to run for County Executive. Well, if it wasn’t for the fact that Chairman Ed Gaddy is friends with Bernardo, this never would have happened. Why? Because Conservatives first and foremost are interested in fiscal conservatism and Terry has proven by her past actions that she is not a fiscal conservative.

Once again there are no principles, but rather favors and friendships. If the Conservatives need another reminder about the waste of taxpayer money that Bernardo was responsible for how about this? Holding a special session of the Legislature at UPAC (approximate cost $1,500) to host a public gripe session about the Safe Act, drafted and passed by the State Legislature. Since Ulster County and its residents had absolutely zero control over this law – whether an idiotic one or not – it was a dog and pony show and waste of taxpayer money.

And don’t get me started on their taxpayer subsidized business via tax credits through the IDA. Anybody want to buy a skating rink?

Or how about her votes against Hein’s budgets that cut taxes? She voted against Hein’s budget, but not once did the Legislature under her direction take Hein’s budget and cut more. At best all they did was move money from budget line to budget line. So who is the fiscal Conservative? I’ll give you a hint. Initials are MH.

Go ahead and read it. This is from March 2012 when she first took over as Legislature Chairwoman.

Bernardo Math Made Easy


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Share my laughter

Well, the story finally broke in the Daily Freeman by Patricia Doxsey that – OMG, you’re kidding – the WFP candidate for County Executive Fred Rasmussen has problems with some documents he signed. Namely the Independence Party designating petition for none other than…wait for it…Terry Bernardo. It would appear that not only was Rasmussen not a member of the Independence Party when he signed Bernardo’s petition to get her name on the IND ballot line, but he wasn’t even registered to vote. Oh boy. Bernardo then signed the petition as a notary because she is not a registered member of the Independence Party. Ah well, just another technicality I guess.

So Rasmussen is yet another disgruntled Catskill Mountain Railroad supporter who is having a tantrum about Hein’s plan for a rail trail that interferes or mostly eliminates the railroad. More important is you’d think someone who aspires to being County Executive would at least be a registered voter who has participated in the process. Well, one would think anyway.

Matt Masterson, Bernardo’s campaign manager who was paid $3,500 out of her whopping campaign coffers ($6,250 according to the July filing), apparently had no response to Doxsey’s inquiries about the IND petition, Rasmussen’s non-eligible voter status or Bernardo’s witnessing.

And the money continues to pour in for Bernardo whose fundraising account called Terry for Ulster on has increased by $100 to a grand total of $620. In politics, money talks. Reality is you cannot run a campaign without money.

And the last laugh goes to the former illustrator of this blog, Jon Dogar Marinesco, who had the insight (if not the dark humor I appreciate) to purchase the domain name thus preventing her from using it. Even funnier is that it links to his blog when you type it in! Hilarious.

UPDATE 7/26/15: Well someone has a sense of humor, but it is apparently not Jon as I mentioned above. He has posted a disclaimer that he was not responsible for the domain purchase or pointing to his blog so my apologies. Whoever did it – I wish I’d thought of it first!

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Too close to call

Big news is that Terry Bernardo for County Executive has raised a whopping $520 toward a $100,000 goal in her online fundraising efforts. Well that’s pretty good considering it was at zero yesterday. Hey, that $520 is nothing to sneeze at since it came from eleven of her supporters. If this keeps up she’ll be at $5,000 in no time flat while she dreams of a too close to call race.

More interesting is a tip I got last week that Bernardo and Company were out getting Working Families Party signatures. The story unfolded this week as a “phony” candidate for County Executive – guy by the name of Rasmussen – was circulating petitions on the WFP line. Word is that Bernardo and her team (count ’em on one hand) were assisting. Claims that Bernardo put Rasmussen up to his run for exec have been denied by Rasmussen according to The Fray (Times Herald Record blog).

In Bernardo’s deepest REM sleep affording wild and crazy dreams, picking off WFP votes by way of Rasmussen still doesn’t get her 15% of the total votes cast. Wait and see.

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