(Speaking of favorite sons they seem quite fond of Democrat Tom Suozzi over there as well - given the state of affairs amongst Republican Gubernatorial candidates I can understand why they would like a quality Democrat and given the dearth of quality Republican candidates at any high level it becomes easy to understand why they are trying so hard to find likeable qualities in John Sweeney)
As posted here previously Mr. Sweeney's calls for new Republican leadership are nothing more than window dressing. The petition he has been circulating is for no purpose other than to call a meeting. It is not in actuality a petition to call for new leadership just a petition to call for a meeting at which a call for new leadership can be made.
Funny thing is though... such a meeting is already scheduled so the petition serves no practical purpose whatsoever except to get John Sweeney's name in the news. Something he has been doing a lot of recently after not being heard of much (or seen) in his district during his first 6 years in office.
Indeed the AP reports that Sweeney's relationship with the Freshman PAC is of concern to some democrats. What is not reported, that also has been questioned here, is his relations with the recently closed Alexander Strategy Group, the likely to be indicted soon Ed Buckham, Jack Abramoff's former firm Greenberg Traurig, and TYCO International... all of whom he has taken substantial money from... amongst others, many others.
Over 40% of Sweeney's money comes from PAC's and if one fished through his records that number would assuredly jump well over 50% when adding in lobbyists. So questioning who John Sweeney is responsive to is a legitimate question. There is little to no evidence of his being responsive to the constituents of the 20th Congressional District and there is a great deal of evidence that he may be far too beholden to lobbyists and the corporate interests they represent.
Sweeney's "bad boy" reputation goes back much farther than his recent feud with the Governor. He has been known for strong arm tactics since his days as Pataki's henchman at Labor. A reputation only enhanced by his role as Bush's mob leader in Florida in 2000.
And we aren't even talking about his personal reputation here just his political one.
And this quote from Minarik is just priceless:
State GOP chairman Stephen Minarik charged Gillibrand "is nothing more than an out-of-touch New York City trial lawyer whose political patron is one of New York state's best-known lobbyists."
Where do you come up with these guys? One can only assume that Minarik is in fact referring to Kirsten Gillibrand's father. Political patron? George Pataki and Bill Powers were Sweeney's patrons just as Al D'Amato was Pataki's. When Sweeney went to Washington he quickly took action to get the indicted Tom DeLay and then George Bush to adopt him. Those are political patrons. Trying to tar someone because they have a father that supports them is... well... let's just say we hope you guys keep Minarik around for awhile cuz he provides the rest of us with lots of amusement.
Unfortunately our friends at News Copy, New York must have caught a little Minarik fever themselves. They followed Minarik's prime cut of humor with a little obtuseness of their own:
The first explanation we would want from Ms. Gillibrand is why she accepted nearly $80,000 in donations ($79,600) from employees connected with David Boies.
Kirsten Gillibrand is a partner at the firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner. These are her friends and colleagues we are talking about here. It is probably a very good sign that the people she's been working with these last several years think highly enough of her to contribute to her campaign. To imply that this somehow shady is... ummm... reaching... to say the least. To further imply that a bunch of lawyers might not have money of their own to contribute to a friends campaign is... just... plain... silly.
There is one thing Mr. Fois was absolutely correct about though:
Let's not pull any punches.
The political correct and incorrect of the nation are about to go to war in New York's upper Hudson Valley.
John Sweeney is going to have to pull all his dirty tricks out of his bag in order to survive this year. The people of the 20th Congressional District are good people. Good people fed up with Republican run Washington. Republicans, Democrats and independents alike, and they (we) deserve a real representative that looks out for us and not someone that ignores us and yes, jets off to Park City, Utah, rather than doing his skiing and bringing his business here.
What is it his mouthpiece had to say about his Upstate New York district during his first annual Park City ski trip?
"You don't get four feet of powder on the East Coast,"
Way to represent and promote your district John!
I mean really... just what has John Sweeney done for this district in his 4 terms?
Steroids? Puh-leeze. I want them out of pro sports as much as the next guy but my representative needs to be working on jobs and healthcare and lower fuel costs and more funding for schools and help for the needy. As much as I love baseball and football steroids are way down the priority ladder.
Horses? Ok, I like horses and think they should be treated humanely. I'll give him that one (I noticed MaryLou only contributed $250 to poor John though). But again, just where is that on the priority list for the 20th District?
And... uh... ummm... just what has John done for this district?
Needless and poorly run War.
Skyrocketing gas costs.
Unaffordable fuel oil costs.
Cuts to services for the elderly.
A completely screwed up Medicare Drug plan (we're just seeing the start of the trouble on that one).
Deficits through our grandchildren's grandchildren's generation (unless we get fiscally sound Democrats back in charge again).
The list can and does go on. Other than a few rare pork projects (almost all of which are in the one county he seems think his district consists of) the fact of the matter is that John Sweeney spends far more time with his lobbyist friends (that list goes on and on too) and getting cozy with the Tom DeLay's and George Bush's of the world then he does representing the people that sent him to Washington. Gerald Solomon must be rolling over in his grave.
I'd ask "Who does John Sweeney serve?"
But the answer is the same as it has always been... himself.
And that is why this little gem opening the News Copy, New York post:
"... but his constituents know who he is."
... should scare the living daylights out of John Sweeney. Because, yes, we do know who he is.