In three months, the home town will elect a new mayor, as current mayor Lou Rosamilia decided at the beginning of the year he would not seek a second term.
The Democrats chose Patrick Madden, who is not enrolled in the party, as their candidate. His only claim to fame is on the other side of the aisle, if you will. His sister is Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino, a Republican. The Whiner Squad that calls into The Record's daily Sound Off column has pointed out this disparity enough times, suggesting that local Democratic Party chairman Tom Wade may be doing some back-door dealing, or, in layman's terms, telling Jimino, I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine.
Madden is a political neophyte and a cipher, crossing party lines where the only benefit would be to bring the two sides together on certain city quality of life issues.
However, there are two others vying for the Democratic nod. One is City Council President Rodney Wiltshire, who, if you believe the Whiner Squad, has been ignored by Wade in favor of Madden. Then, there is Ernest Everett, the prodigal son returning home to make a run for City Hall. Wiltshire and Everett are African-American, and have been set against each other in recent days. Twice in as many weeks, there've been challenges to signatures on Everett's petition to be added to the Democratic ballot for the primary next month. In both cases, the trail leads back to Wiltshire, who is denying any and all involvement.
First, a former City Council candidate, Russell Ziemba, filed an objection, which was dismissed in court a week and a half ago. Then, exactly a week later, city businessman Kevin McCashion, who otherwise is a rabble rouser on Twitter, raised the issue anew. Supposedly, some of the signatures were from people who either didn't have their signatures witnessed by Everett or don't live in the city, in violation of the city charter. McCashion, in an article that appeared in The Record on Saturday, claimed to have sources to back up his claims. Being on Twitter doesn't make you an armchair detective or journalist, and McCashion has raised enough political hackles on both sides of the aisle in recent times, such that his credibility can and probably will be called into question.
The Republican candidate is City Councilman Jim Gordon. Surprisingly, the local media has not succumbed to the temptation to make references to his fictional namesake from the comic books and the TV series, Gotham. In any case, Gordon stands to benefit from the divisive infighting among the Democratic candidates. Similarly, Rosamilia locked up the election 4 years ago after the campaign staff of his opponent, Carmella Mantello, resorted to a last minute smear campaign, airing an attack ad four days before the election. Game, set, and match. This year, Mantello is opting to run for City Council, her second attempt in the last three years to return to the Council, but if she's employing the same morons on her campaign staff this time......!
On Saturday, I e-mailed a letter to The Record, challenging McCashion to provide proof of his claims against Everett. I'm waiting to see if 1) the letter is printed, and 2) if word gets back to McCashion, whether or not he'll take the bait. I'm otherwise waiting until November to cast my vote (I registered as an Independent all the way back when I was first eligible to vote), and by then, the Democratic clown car will have been emptied.
If only the GOP one for President was that easily emptied.