AllOTSEGO.com, HOMETOWN ONEONTA,
FREEMAN’S JOURNAL ENDORSEMENTS
The Center Will Hold
– If You Vote Nov. 6
As voters – in Otsego County, the 19th Congressional District and nationally – struggle to make the right decision in the Tuesday, Nov. 6, midterm elections, a study, “The Hidden Tribes of America,” surfaces with a conclusion that has been widely commented on nationally:
“A majority of Americans (61 percent), whom we’ve called the ‘Exhausted Majority,’ are fed up by Americans’ polarization. They know we have more in common than that which divides us: our belief in freedom, equality and the pursuit of the American Dream. They share a deep sense of gratitude that they are citizens of the United States. They want us to move past our differences.”
It the past two years, those of us with that sensibility have been screamed at by two sides that, it turns out, are fringes. On the left, “Progressive Activists,” according to the study, are a mere 8 percent of the citizenry; on the right, “Devoted Conservatives” are only 6 percent.
If you consider yourself a centrist, you may believe your views will be overwhelmed at the ballot box. Not so, “Hidden Tribes” tells us; in effect, it’s the wish of a sizeable majority of Americans to find common ground.
This is by way of preamble to this newspaper’s endorsements, below, which are an effort to make recommendations based on the merits, not through any particular political prism.
Be sure to vote Nov. 6 – polls will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. – and vote your conscience. You may be surprised how much you are in sync with the majority of your
fellow Americans. So vote.
As usual, these endorsement editorials appear 10 days before Election Day, to allow you to agree or disagree in next week’s Letter to the Editor columns.
Send letters by noon Monday,
Oct. 29, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether you agree or not, be of good cheer.
Governor Cuomo’s Programs
Have Been Huge Help Locally
Since Andrew Cuomo’s election eight years ago, classy, well-funded “I Love NY” advertising campaigns have promoted Upstate generally – from Niagara Falls to the
Adirondacks – and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in particular, to great benefit: three of the top five biggest Induction crowds have occurred during the Cuomo Administration.
Throughout, support for tourism promotions and programs
– for the Hall, The Fenimore and Farmers’ museums, Glimmerglass Opera and Otsego Lake generally – have been unstinting.
The governor understands competition, and counties, cities and towns in 10 economic-development districts have had to compete for funding, with state support going to the best ideas. Competition allowed Otsego County to shine.
Similarly, in open competition the City of Oneonta won $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) money in 2016, which since has brought an additional
$4-5 million to the city, and the results promises to be
The governor’s Republican challenger, Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, is a charismatic rising star, but he just hasn’t provided a clear, compelling vision to replace Andrew Cuomo, who has earned a third term.
Faso’s Knowledge, Experience
Makes Him Better Choice In 19th
U.S. Rep. John Faso, the incumbent congressman in Otsego County’s 19th Congressional District, has been in the middle of the state’s decision making almost since his election to the state Assembly 30 years ago.
Soon, he was leading the team that drafted Gov. George Pataki’s first budget. Then, he rose to Assembly minority leader. In 2002, he ran for state comptroller; in 2006, he ran for governor against Democrat Eliot Spitzer. (Guess we voters got that one wrong.)
Elected to succeed Chris Gibson in 2016, he’s followed a sensible playbook, obtaining seats on key committees – Budget, Agriculture and Transportation & Infrastructure.
As the new kid in D.C., he has ingratiated himself with his party’s leadership by playing ball when necessary. Sensible people would consider that prudent if the country weren’t so divided right now.
Plain and simple, Faso’s experience gives him depth
in the full breadth of issues. And he often talks about
bipartisanship, and was listed as18th most bipartisan
Congressman in the Lugar Center Bipartisan Index.
By contrast, who is Antonio Delgado? Simply, some guy from out of town, The Music Man, if you will.
Like Sean Eldridge in 2014, and Zephyr Teachout in 2016, he’s an educated, engaging, ambitious young Democrat, backed by big money, who parachuted into the 19th Congressional District just a couple of years ago for the sole purpose of running for Congress in what’s perceived as an at-play district.
His campaign’s been dogged by lyrics from a short
hip-hop career a dozen years ago; Google “delgado lyrics”
if you want to know more. Questioned about it, at Cooperstown’s Templeton Hall and elsewhere, he glibly answers along the lines, what I was working for then, I’m working for now. Let’s hope not.
That glibness is evident in identifying “greed” as our national sin – really? – and in parroting pre-tested bromides. Maybe he cares for us, but you have to suspect he could just as easily be caring for Ohio’s 1st or Colorado’s 6th, if that’s where the better opportunity had been.
Sir, run for county board
or Assembly, then revisit the 19th seat.
Meanwhile, let’s vote Faso.
Devlin Shuts Door On Problem;
His Rival Promises New Ones
In 2017, Otsego County Richard J. Devlin Jr. faced a searing personal and professional challenge. And he’s resolved it.
He’s handed allegations that his prison-guard son threatened colleagues and the public over to county board Chair David Bliss, ensuring the case will reach an independent and neutral resolution via state Civil Service Law.
Retired state trooper Bob Fernandez has a problem, too – a built-in conflict. And if he were to be elected to succeed Devlin, it wouldn’t be over, but just beginning.
While she was chairman of the county Board of Representatives, Fernandez’ spouse began maneuvering to insinuate him into the sheriff’s job. That heavy-handed lapse in judgment was one of many that led to Kathy Clark’s ouster from the board chairmanship last January, but she continues to serve as a domineering if not dominant rep.
Under the state constitution, the sheriff’s office is
independent of county boards, for good reason – law
enforcement is the last place you want to see political
meddling. Yet, Fernandez’ election would open the door
to just that. And how!
Voters should give Fernandez – by the way, Democrats, he’s a Republican – the well-deserved retirement he has earned.
Everyone In Otsego County
Should Vote For Jim Seward
At base, Otsego County’s state senator, Jim Seward, has been elected every two years since 1986 for one reason: He is focused laser-like on serving his constituency – ALL of us.
The latest case in point: While he arranged meetings between NYSEG President Carl Taylor and local economic developers struggling with the county’s shortage of natural gas and electricity, he has also invited XNG President John Nahill to discuss rerouting the “virtual pipeline” – 160 truck-trips a day through the county – somewhere else. To him, meeting energy needs, which part of his constituency wants, and removing the trucks, which another part wants, are not mutually exclusive – both aims can be served, and he – as always – is striving to do so.
Because of his 30-year tenure, he is one of the state’s most senior senators – and in Albany seniority matters. If Jim Seward wants something for his/our county, he gets it, evident in recent weeks in $1 million each for much-needed upgrades to Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field and Oneonta’s Damaschke Field – and much more.
His Democratic opponent, Joyce St. George, is an energetic and well-spoken state investigator from the farthest reaches of Delaware County. There’s nothing the matter with her, but there’s just no good reason right now to shift.
Bill Magee Earns Appreciation
First elected in 1990, Assemblyman Bill Magee, the Cazenovia-area Democrat, and Seward have been a reliable team – Magee a ranking Democrat from the 121st District in the Democratic House to Republican Seward in the Republican Senate.
Magee has been unwell for years, and yet he nobly soldiers on. His support for farms and public schools has been unstinting. Brookfield Town Supervisor John Salka, running for a third time, would do well; but there’s simply no good strategic reason to send a Republican to the Democratic House.
Chad McEvoy Deserves A Chance
Also, we’re lucky to have a brainy Democrat from Westford, Chad McEvoy, running in the spaghetti-thin 101st that snakes from New Hartford through Springfield, Middlefield, Westford and Maryland locally and all the way to the Town of Montgomery, wherever that is.