Election is over

I’m sure there is a collective sigh of relief that another election day is over especially for candidates. I watched the results until I couldn’t keep my eyes open and it was surprising at how long posting of results by the Ulster County Board of Elections took. Apparently they had technical difficulties. Nonetheless, I didn’t see many of the results until the next morning.

Surprises for me:

  • how well Bernardo did in the County Exec race, all things considered
  • how tight the race is for Lloyd supervisor with absentee ballots still to be counted
  • vote disparity in City of Kingston Mayor’s race despite enrollment advantage for Democrats (I actually thought Polacco had a shot)

What didn’t surprise me:

  • Rich Parete winning and agreeing to caucus with the Republicans (bet the Dems are hoping he reregisters!)
  • Bobby Lapp defeating Lynn Archer for Legislature District 21 (Archer defeated Bernardo in 2013)

So it will be interesting to watch and should County Executive Mike Hein – soon beginning his third term – decide to leave office for other (not necessarily greener) pastures I’m sure Bernardo will be waiting in the wings to run against the Democrat who steps forward. I will check in now and again so if anything exciting happens please let me know.

My blogging continues, however, on Come to Venice Florida if you’re interested. Good luck to all of my friends in Ulster County.

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Vote Tuesday, November 3rd

Once again another campaign season is winding down. It will be interesting to see the turnout and results for the City of Kingston Mayor’s race where Republican Ron Polacco and Democrat Steven Noble are running to succeed Mayor Shane Gallo, who neglected to get his petitions in on time. With a pretty substantial voter advantage for Noble, it will be interesting to watch the outcome, but I wouldn’t rule out a victory for Polacco. If the past is any indicator, he will outwork anyone and from what I hear he is pounding the pavement and meeting the voters.

And it certainly has been interesting watching the County Executive’s race with challengers Terry Bernardo (R-Accord) and Hunter Downie (Green Party) attempting to oust two-term County Executive Mike Hein (D-Hurley). There is a great disparity between platform issues among the candidates and Hein, more than most incumbents, has a significant track record to back up his claims of good government and sound fiscal policy. As I have said many times in the past – Hein, a Democrat, is the most fiscally conservative elected official in Ulster County, which (you would think) is every Republican’s dream. It’s tough to argue with zero percent tax increase budgets and streamlining of government services, which Hein has succeeded at.

Bernardo and Downie have both made the Catskill Mountain Railroad their main campaign issue and while the issue may be of utmost importance to a small group of people it hardly warrants making it the number one priority.

The debates, which were videotaped and I provided links to on this blog, provide a wealth of information about the caliber of the candidates and in Bernardo’s case also highlights her past record in the Legislature, a seat she held for two terms and then failed to be reelected to.

Read the posts. Look at the videos. Then you be the judge. Get out and vote tomorrow. If I were there, you can bet I’d vote for Hein.

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Times Herald Record backs Hein

The editorial appearing today in the Times Herald Record (THR) sums up what I’ve been saying for months and what voters can see for themselves if they watch the videos from the Daily Freeman and the Times Herald Record (see previous posts for links). After watching Friday’s performance by Bernardo I think the Record’s editorial was fair – actually too fair – because making reference to her overall hostility, unprofessional behavior and general lack of actual knowledge would have been in order, but they declined referencing those things and simply made a comment that sums up the two candidates and the choice facing voters.

From the editorial:

“But there is another, one that voters need to take into account. Bernardo too often attacks Hein with allegations and numbers that she cannot back up. Whether she is talking about employment or industrial development or tourism, she too often uses figures that turn out to be either incomplete, out of date or both.”

And there you have it. Reelect Mike Hein on Tuesday, November 3rd.

If you care to read the complete editorial, the link follows. Have a great day.

Times Herald Record Opinion – 10/26/15

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YIKES! Hein and Bernardo debate – Round 2

Well if you thought the debate held earlier in the week via the Daily Freeman was something, wait until you watch this one that took place at the Times Herald Record yesterday. First, let me warn you that the video runs one hour and sixteen minutes and the first half hour is nothing but Terry Bernardo as County Executive Hein was detained at an event with Governor Cuomo for the newly revamped “I love New York” campaign.

Feel free to observe Bernardo making her pitches without Hein there early in the video, but the really good parts start around 46 minutes in when you can see for yourself that Bernardo has a passionate hatred for Sue Holt, Hein’s staffer in charge of economic development. Bernardo calls her unqualified and goes on about her taking “on the job” classes and basically says Hein made a bad choice putting Holt in that job. It gets really good when Hein fires back and calmly reminds Bernardo about her hiring of Sandy Mathes, a political hack who was fired from Greene County IDA in disgrace. Then at about 47 minutes in she raises her voice and nearly shouts, “that’s a bully tactic.”

When Paul Kirby of the Times Herald Record pressed her for an explanation of the hiring of Mathes, she couldn’t even remember his job title – the job she hired him for – and then went on to proclaim that Mathes had a “fantastic track record!” Au contraire, Terry! The hiring and sudden disappearance of Sandy Mathes was followed closely on this blog. And there never was any explanation provided about where he suddenly went and why. Given that he had such a “fantastic track record” you’d think the Ulster County Legislature wouldn’t want to let him get away. Something is not exactly measuring up with this story.

Another one of  my favorite spots is at around 1:00 (that’s one hour in) when Terry starts talking about the horrible state of mental health services and, of course, she makes no mention of how the State has cut spending on mental health. The truly, really good, don’t-want-to-miss part is at 1:03 (one hour and three minutes) when she states that at least twenty, or maybe thirty, people have called her – yup, it’s on the video – to complain about the state of mental health services in Ulster County. When pressed for more detail by the THR naturally she couldn’t provide any. Now I ask you seriously – why would anyone, no less 20 or 30 people, call Terry Bernardo about mental health services or the lack thereof? After you watch pieces of this you might wonder whether she’s in need of some mental health services. Oh, believe me, it’s scary. And at 1:04 she tells Hein, “you’re such a bully!”

Here’s my piece of advice for anyone considering getting involved in politics – you need thick skin and big shoulders. If you have to call your opponent a bully, then your skin probably isn’t thick enough and your shoulders might be too narrow.

Trying to get a word in as the session is wrapping up at about 1:07 while Hein is discussing his administration’s accomplishments, Bernardo is again fidgeting with her papers and then interrupts – yes, cuts him off – and starts going on about no access to department heads because Hein’s order is the press and the Legislature need to go through the Deputy County Executive. Since all information is foilable and the Charter spells out that all operational duties fall under the direction of the Executive, there really is no reason for twenty-three legislators to be interrupting department heads or county workers because it’s not their job. Terry didn’t get that memo though and she probably didn’t read the Charter. Hein did at one point diplomatically state that Bernardo misunderstood how government functions and boy did she get irate over that one.

Despite many of the false allegations she made, referencing numbers that Hein indicated were incorrect, trying to make a case out of whether or not Hein might run for Congress and having thirty minutes of air time to herself, Bernardo did herself no good at all with this one. You can see the real Bernardo in this video and I think it’s obvious that this campaign and being in way over her head are taking its toll on her.

Hein – Bernardo debate – Times Herald Record 10-23-15

If nothing else, watch the highlights. And guess what? Only ten more days of this nonsense remain. Tick tock.

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Better than the circus

Well, if you missed the long awaited (according to Bernardo) debate between County Executive Mike Hein and challenger Terry Bernardo, fear not…because you can watch the video from the Daily Freeman’s website using the link below.

Hein and Bernardo debate

First, no candidate should ever state the reason for running is “because nobody else did.” Who feels motivated to support someone whose only rationale for running for countywide office is because no one else wanted to run and challenge the incumbent?

If you watch this debate you will see that Bernardo is way out of her league and I’m going to highlight some of the absurd comments she made during this “debate” which was really more of a Q&A forum at the Freeman offices.

A question posed to Bernardo about the budget led to her comments about Flow Control after admitting that she hadn’t really studied the budget

  • Taxpayer money for economic development is not “an original idea” referencing the Ellenville Million plan (NOTE: Bernardo should know about economic development and taxpayer funds because she’s been bilking the taxpayers out of property taxes for her business for years. Yes, big fat tax break to create jobs that she and husband Len never created.)
  • People come from all over the world to ride the train referencing the Catskill Mountain Railroad (The world?)
  • People even had their special plaid pajamas monogrammed to ride the Polar Express (Monogrammed plaid pajamas are a sign of what?)
  • He’s not from here – he moved here from somewhere else referencing Deputy County Executive Ken Crannell (NOTE to BERNARDO – She moved to Ulster County from NYC. Is she disqualified as a candidate because she’s not from “here”?)
  • When asked about the environment – she commented “I love going green” and then there was this one “I absolutely love our environment.” Interesting.

And of course, let’s not forget her “Mary Poppins” approach. Oh yeah, she said that.

She also touted some numbers she pulled from the State’s website saying that Ulster County has the third highest users of DSS in the state, but the numbers she referenced include Golden Hill, which the County doesn’t own anymore.

All in all, it was comical and only confirmed what I’ve known all along. Bernardo is way, way out of her league.

Vote for Mike Hein on November 3rd.

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Break out the tissues

The League of Women Voters held a County Executive and Legislator forum on October 6th in Saugerties. You will recall that Bernardo made a big stink about Hein being unavailable on that particular date, which probably was a good thing because the voters who turned out got a good glimpse of the unqualified nature of these two candidates.

I figure you’re going to need a box of tissues because if you’re like  me you will be wiping away the tears after you watch this video (link is below). You can let me know whether you cry in disbelief or because you find the whole thing so hysterical you’re reduced to tears. For me it was both.

Poor Hunter Downie. I mean that poor guy is in it up to his eyebrows and believe me, it isn’t pretty. Uncertain of his responses, long periods of silence while he gathered his thoughts, stumbled over words, and unrelenting nervousness. Quite frankly, I felt sorry for the guy. Worse was Bernardo sitting next to him with a little smirk on her face while he stumbled. Awful really.

And then there’s Bernardo with her silly expressions, fidgeting hands and note reading who said and I’m paraphrasing:

  • Budgets are just guestimates
  • Sale of Golden Hill didn’t work out well for seniors (umm…she voted for it!)
  • The County Executive should spend more time going to chicken barbecues
  • Calls Flow Control the County Executive’s law even though the County Executive doesn’t make laws, the Legislature does, and also doesn’t mention the many years of fiscal mismanagement of the RRA including the assumption of tremendous debt all of which was done before there was a Charter or a County Executive
  • All the legislators on the other side of the aisle – that would be Hein’s side – support her (this one is among my favorites)

You can judge for yourself, but neither of these two people – Hunter Downie or Terry Bernardo – are qualified or ready to be County Executive.

LWV County Executive & Legislators Forum 10-6-15

Warning: If you watch the video and run out of tissues from either hysterical laughter or uncontrollable crying, it’s not my fault.

On October 22 at 11 AM there will be a debate between Bernardo and Hein at the offices of the Daily Freeman, which will be livestreamed from their website at http://www.dailyfreeman.com.

On Monday, October 26th at 7:15 PM there will be a County Executive Candidate Forum at the George Washington Elementary School, 67 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401. The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters. (You should probably bring some of those pocket tissues to this one just in case.)

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Babbling Bernardo

County Executive Mike Hein released his budget on September 30th (sorry, but I’ve been busy) and it’s another winner for Ulster County despite New York’s fiscal problems. Hein’s budget cuts spending and reduces taxes by 1.1%. Nobody should be complaining, but I bet Terry Bernardo will because history often repeats itself and she voted, as a member of the Legislature, against Hein’s previous budgets that lowered taxes and cut spending.

Meanwhile as Ulster County is lauded by the State Comptroller’s office for its fiscal standing and Hein was busy releasing his budget, Terry Bernardo sent a bizarre email seeking support by asking people if they’ve had enough. No, I’m serious. The subject line of the email is – “Had enough? Let’s fix it.” Here’s a question for Bernardo – had enough of what? Reducing the size of government? Forming public/private partnerships to lower costs to taxpayers? Expanding services while cutting expenses? Reducing taxes? Since she’s a Republican I wonder if she knows what platform she supports. Every registered Republican and Conservative should be dancing in the streets over the Hein administration’s results.

Bernardo’s email stressed the two key reasons why she’s running and they are flimsy, foolish and quite honestly make absolutely no sense to me. The first reason she’s running is so there is a choice. Not because she’s better qualified, more capable or will do a better job. But so there is a choice. And the second reason she is running is because of the plan to rip up the Kingston Plaza railroad track, which Bernardo identifies as a historic treasure. The logic evades me.

Her email also proclaimed that Congressman Chris Gibson endorsed her and I wouldn’t call his comments – at least the ones I heard and read in online news reports – exactly an endorsement. He more or less said that she had a huge task against a strong incumbent and in the days before these comments, Gibson attended another event in Kingston where he publicly commended Hein for his efforts on behalf of Veterans and military service members.

Election Day is November 3rd so thankfully, there are only thirty more days to listen to Bernardo’s babble.

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