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.