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Analyzing Kosiur's Defeat
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Poor timing, perception doomed Democrat in 105th race  
By FRED LeBRUN
First published: Friday, August 3, 2007

What was supposed to be a super tight political contest turned out to be a runaway, a first-time Republican candidate prevailing in a special election for veteran Democrat Paul Tonko's seat in the 105th Assembly District.
  
It is, of course, foolish to read too much into this race, as much as we in the media love to do that.

It's not about Gov. Eliot Spitzer's shaky mandate, or Speaker Sheldon Silver's hold on the Assembly, or even Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco's persuasive charms.

In truth, from a statewide perspective, this contest covering all of Montgomery County and about half of Schenectady County is an imperceptible blip on the political landscape. Assembly Democrats maintain a huge majority, regardless.

Still, for 24 years Paul Tonko pulled down 70 to 80 percent voting majorities while handily keeping his seat as a Democrat in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 4,000. So what gives? What happened?

This has to shake up state Democrats a little. Both sides together spent more than $500,000 on this race, but the Republican walked away with it by nearly 3,000 votes. For a special election, turnout was incredibly high, approaching 30 percent. A clear indication the voters were motivated.

It can be just as simple as the voters preferring the likes of a total newcomer with no baggage in home builder George Amedore Jr. A 38-year-old fresh face.

By contrast, 51-year-old Democratic county Legislator Ed Kosiur carried the pluses and minuses of political experience, some of it unpopular, as the city and county of Schenectady have finally gotten economic traction. It's been slow, it's been painful.

Both candidates, oddly enough, belong to the same Assembly of God church. Both are conservatives. Amedore is the high-end builder involved in the local, high-profile "Extreme Makeover" television project. Kosiur is director of teen employment for the Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady.

But what no doubt determined the outcome makes for an interesting study of timing, perceptions and exploitation of those perceptions. The meat of politics.

The 500-pound gorilla on Ed Kosiur's back is a nuclear piece of legislation he sponsored and extensively promoted that passed the County Legislature on June 12. It concerns the potential redistribution of sexual predators in the county.

The law, whose details are still being hammered out to answer the fears of the towns in the county, would make it a misdemeanor for a convicted Level 1, 2 or 3 sexual offender to live within 2,000 feet of any facility associated with children. In addition, the county has the authority to remove any sex offender deemed in violation if the individual hasn't already moved so by Oct. 1.

An absurdly broad law that probably won't pass constitutional muster anyway. But in effect, the law chases all sexual offenders out of the city.

The towns are in an uproar because they fear those offenders will wind up in their municipalities. That's not what the law intends, and the law is undergoing deep revision anyway.

Still, the perception for the past six weeks leading up to the July 31 election is of the Democratic county legislators busing sexual offenders out to the towns. A perception that in a political sense was beautifully controlled and exploited by Tedisco's Republicans running Amedore's campaign to great effect. The towns turned out in droves for the election.
Not that Kosiur didn't help bring this down on his own head. He absolutely wrapped himself around the sexual offender law, which had the effect of painting him with a bull's-eye. Passing that law when they did was about as dumb a political act as the Democrats could have concocted, not to mention that the law is dumb to begin with.

Tonko, who now heads the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, ascribes the results to the celebrity Amedore got from the ridiculous hoopla over the "Extreme Makeover" house rebuilding project, and the towns' sensitivity to the sexual offender law, or perceptions about it.

In politics, reality and perception are virtually the same thing.

Tonko himself was heavily criticized for campaigning vigorously for Kosiur, and even appearing in paid political ads. Although the former assemblyman says it was all on his own time, and cleared by NYSERDA and the Spitzer administration. Obviously, it didn't help his candidate win, although Tedisco stated that Tonko's involvement probably did narrow the gap.

"Our message was complicated and just didn't get out as well, and theirs was more simplistic and did. A simplistic message will win every time," says Tonko philosophically.

Now the trick for Amedore will be keeping his new seat. The next time around, he will no longer be a fresh face, the clean slate. "The secret to keeping any legislative seat is delivering for the needs of the district," says Tonko. As a member of the impoverished minority, that will be a challenge for Amedore.

"On top of that, the 105th is a high needs district, especially out along the western fringes. High numbers of seniors with insufficient health care, poor retirement plans, and so on. Economic development is a huge issue throughout the district. He's got his work cut out," notes Tonko. LeBrun can be reached at 454-5453 or by e-mail at flebrun@timesunion.com.
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Shadow
August 3, 2007, 7:08am Report to Moderator
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That cartoon sums it up pretty well.
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bumblethru
August 6, 2007, 9:59am Report to Moderator
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Just think folks, we get to do this all over again in a few short months!!


When the INSANE are running the ASYLUM
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. -- Friedrich Nietzsche


“How fortunate for those in power that people never think.”
Adolph Hitler
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Shadow
August 6, 2007, 10:41am Report to Moderator
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I can hardly wait.
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senders
August 6, 2007, 6:20pm Report to Moderator
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I'm tingling all over....ooohhhh


...you are a product of your environment, your environment is a product of your priorities, your priorities are a product of you......

The replacement of morality and conscience with law produces a deadly paradox.


STOP BEING GOOD DEMOCRATS---STOP BEING GOOD REPUBLICANS--START BEING GOOD AMERICANS

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BIGK75
August 6, 2007, 8:26pm Report to Moderator
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Can you say "Groundhog's Day?"  I feel like Bill Murray.

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..."
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Admin
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Marv Cermak
Quoted Text
No confidence in Bush
After political heavyweight Hillary Rodham Clinton did a robo call backing Democrat Ed Kosiur in that heated Assembly race, Republicans were in a quandary.

A GOP attempt to counterattack by getting Rudy Guiliani to support George Amedore via a robo call ran into some snags early on.

Republican leaders upset over the potential Guiliani flop couldn't think of another national big name GOPer to do the job. I kiddingly suggested asking President Bush, who has had big poll-rating troubles.

"You've got to be joking," a Republican activist retorted. "Instead, maybe we can get Bush to endorse Kosiur." For obvious reasons, the GOP wise guy didn't want credit for poking Bush.

Reporting on the election, Paul Vandenburgh, outspoken WROW-AM talk show host, apparently inadvertently called Chris Gardner the Schenectady County Democratic chairman.

In reality, Gardner is Schenectady County attorney and the ex-Democratic chairman. However, Vandenburgh's label may have been a Freudian slip. It's no secret that even without the chairman title, Gardner remains the party capo.
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bumblethru
August 7, 2007, 11:16am Report to Moderator
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I have heard that Ed Kosiur will not be returning to the county legilature. There may be an appointed position for that seat. Any body know if there is any truth to that?

It would be a plus to have him gone but WHO will they appoint to take that vacant seat if this is true?


When the INSANE are running the ASYLUM
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. -- Friedrich Nietzsche


“How fortunate for those in power that people never think.”
Adolph Hitler
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BIGK75
August 7, 2007, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
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Well, if not won by election in November, they could always appoint Bob.
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z2im
August 7, 2007, 12:10pm Report to Moderator
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Perhaps he's being appointed to a high paying position with the Spitzer administration
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bumblethru
August 7, 2007, 5:51pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from 38
Perhaps he's being appointed to a high paying position with the Spitzer administration


It actually wouldn't surprise me. Actually nothing surprises me anymore. It is just one big chess game fighting for position and 'we' are the pawns!
I still am utterly amazed that Ed Kosiur has NOT come forward since the election standing firm on his sex offender law. Instead he has jumped ship and the rest of the puppets will fight his battle....hence hurting their political career as well. Although I don't think Judy turn coat Dagostino is going to run again. (happy day ) So she could either save face here and do the right thing by rescinding this stupid sex offender law or continue to be stupid, ignorant, arrogant, self serving, power driven, nasty and mindless and vote for it!



When the INSANE are running the ASYLUM
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. -- Friedrich Nietzsche


“How fortunate for those in power that people never think.”
Adolph Hitler
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senders
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Quoted from 38
Perhaps he's being appointed to a high paying position with the Spitzer administration


The Spitzer Boys and Girls Club I'm sure......


...you are a product of your environment, your environment is a product of your priorities, your priorities are a product of you......

The replacement of morality and conscience with law produces a deadly paradox.


STOP BEING GOOD DEMOCRATS---STOP BEING GOOD REPUBLICANS--START BEING GOOD AMERICANS

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BIGK75
August 7, 2007, 8:06pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from senders


The Spitzer Boys and Girls Club I'm sure......


Imagine the pool and "special entrance" there...
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bumblethru
August 7, 2007, 8:15pm Report to Moderator
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Perhaps they will choose a relative or friend of this bipartisan bunch who caters to Stratton and THAT democratic dysfunctional machine to fill Kosiur's seat!



When the INSANE are running the ASYLUM
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. -- Friedrich Nietzsche


“How fortunate for those in power that people never think.”
Adolph Hitler
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