Saturday, April 24, 2010

SD-46: Follow-Up on Breslin Non-Endorsement

Earlier this week, I reported here on TAP that the Albany County Democratic Committee's candidate reviewing process lead to a surprising non-endorsement of Senator Neil Breslin. I maintained that this was a big story in the follow-up report on the political fallout for Breslin and the responses of his primary opponents, Luke Martland and Tim Carney. This stance of mine was initially disputed, though, and after all I'm just a blogger...

...but now even the most main of the mainstream press agrees:

The Senate race was this week's dominant local political story, with the Albany County Democratic Committee's candidate review panel turning heads by voting not to endorse Breslin or the two other Democrats running for the seat and instead pushing the decision to the party's executive committee.

With Breslin's camp said to be furious, county Democratic brass moved quickly to patch things up with the Breslins - culminating with party Chairman Dan McCoy personally endorsing the senator Wednesday even before the executive committee met.

Emphasis mine - SP

Looks like I was right on the money. It also looks like there's even more to the story, below the fold...

(Cross-Posted on The Albany Project)

We have two new points to consider. To start, the quick about face by Albany County Dem Chairguy Dan McCoy. The big news that Breslin would not recieve a no-questions-asked endorsement the way he always has was first reported by Times Union staff writer Jordan Carleo-Evangelist as being some big show about how McCoy was going to close the door on, erm, the closed doors of the past. Or was he really just opening the door to leaving the process closed?

It's a moot question at this point. The TU Local Politics blog reported after press time that Breslin did indeed recieve the endorsement of the executive committee:

In related news, the Albany County Democratic Committee’s executive committee unanimously endorsed Breslin last night — ending a six-day saga that began Saturday when the party’s candidate review panel opted to make no endorsement of any of the three Democrats in the race.

So much for McCoy dispelling those notions of closed doors and backroom deals for good. But at least Breslin has found a friend in a fellow flip-flopper.

Again, that's not just some prolific blogger profiling. It's in the papers!

McCoy appears torn between his public commitments to open up the party beyond its traditional circles and one of the most influential Albany Democratic families.
Even Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings -- who at times has clashed with the Breslins, which includes County Executive Michael Breslin and County Judge Thomas Breslin -- attended the senator's campaign launch, albeit arriving after the speeches were over.

Emphasis added - SP

Note the emphasis directly above and that little bit about the Breslin camp being "furious" over the initial non-endorsement. Then put two and two together and you find that in this case it makes three: Three brothers, that is. See, in Albany County, if you tick off Senator Neil, you'll get an earful from Executive Mike, and maybe a scolding from Judge Tom. This formula can be rearranged in many ways. How many exactly I can't say, except that it's enough ways to both escape a guy like me who's better with words than numbers.

Oh, and in more ways than is healthy for Albany County.

To finish things off, the TU blog reports that there's now even speculation about a potential GOP challenger surfacing:

Albany County Republican Chairman John A. Graziano has made no secret of the fact that he's planning to leave his post as GOP elections commissioner July 1 -- assuming the party can find a suitable replacement in time.

But Graziano's impending departure after 10 years overseeing elections in the county has also fueled speculation that he will also be his party's candidate to challenge state Sen. Neil Breslin in the 46th Senate District.

Viewing Breslin as vulnerable because of his ties to the Senate's scandal-plagued Democratic majority, the GOP has vowed to field a candidate. Graziano acknowledged Thursday that he has been asked to be that person even though he views his job as finding candidates, not running for office himself.
All the Democratic intrigue has inspired even more optimism on the part of Republicans, who haven't held the Senate seat since Breslin defeated former County Executive Michael Hoblock in 1996.

Emphasis mine - SP

The only problem with this excerpt is that the last line fails to remind us that Hoblock "held" the seat for a single term, coming to power as part of the 1994 Republican Revolution that unseated a multi-decade-plus Democrat, Howard Nolan. Given the common sense analysis that we're not headed for a repeat of the Year of the Newt (as evidenced by the astroturf tomfoolery of the Tea Party claiming it's imminent return) than we can assume that Republicans are just getting their hopes up, right?

Then again, in politics, if you just assume, you end up making an ass out of "u" and "me." If the GOP plan is to assume that Breslin will roll over his primary opposition, not emerging unscathed, and then take advantage of his scandalous ties and do-nothing record for another two months towards the general election, then Democrats have a problem. Then you might just have the words "Republican Majority" again.

But Albany County is solidly Democratic taken as a whole. See the above history. And take note of some recent history in which former one-term Republican Senator Hoblock couldn't beat the first Democratic Supervisor ever elected in his own home township and there's an argument to made that Albany County is even more Democratically safe.

Provided we can find the right candidate. And this year, giving the Republicans just what they want to run against - a long-time incumbent with lots of big insurance money and a big opposition party family name that throws hissy fits like this weeks (I could go on) - then those who faily to question Breslin today might just be asking themselves "How did this happen!?" in November.

The proper strategy to stop that from happening is more of a counter-strategy: we deny the Republicans the opportunity to run against Neil Breslin by sending him packing first with somebody who is more progressive, but has less of a record to run against. You can take this analysis as sound political advice to serve as a stepping stone to give Tim Carney and Luke Martland a shot...

...or write it off as more rambling from "that blaw-grrr" who's just got it out for the Brothers Breslin. Comments are open. Continue rampant speculation.

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