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Linda LeTendre's Waging Peace
by Linda LeTendre

Waging Peace

A Daily Gazette community blog
Linda LeTendre fights for a peaceful world.

Tedisco still not a peace candidate or honorable

I got some interesting comments on my Tedisco blog. It will never cease to amaze me how far people will go to defend their candidate, how much they'll overlook, make excuses for and contort the facts – Democrat or Republican (just a reminder – I'm neither).

Before I get into this blog – a few “housekeeping” details. Thank you to “Really” & “JuneBug” for your comments about women supporting Tedesco. Apparently other candidates, including McCain and Obama, have had “Women for...” contingents. You two have certainly broadened my horizons (no pun intended).

I'll note up front that no one commented on my observation that Tedisco is not a peace candidate. So far as I know, Scott Murphy is not either. I always appreciate a grasp of the obvious.

Let me also say that I am away and have been for the past week. I am sending this blog from afar and have not seen a Capital District newspaper for the better part of six days, so both Tedisco and Murphy may have changed their positions on the peace issue.

And now for the blog entry:

Maybe the key to having a peace candidate is demanding better candidates from all of our political parties, be they Republican, Democrat, Independent or Green.

Tedisco, Spitzer and Hevesi (he ran for state comptroller in 2006 and I refused to vote for him too) are each a case in point for the above comments.

I stand by my observations of Tedisco's (non) response to the Sweeney affair. One comment from “June Bug” noted that Tedisco called for Spitzer's resignation because he committed a Federal crime (I did note that in a comment that BOTH Spitzer and Sweeney committed a crime). My question for her: Does it have to rise to the level of FEDERAL crime for Tedisco to call for a resignation? A misdemeanor isn't good enough?

“Really” stated: “But please try to remember how things really happened. When the news was released about Sweeney hitting his wife, not everyone believed it because of the timing of the release, many thought it was campaign rhetoric. Sweeney denied it and his wife even went on TV, on record denying it. (EVEN STILL, PLEASE NOTE THAT JIM – FROM THAT POINT FORWARD – NEVER STOOD NEXT TO SWEENEY FOR ENDORSEMENTS, RALLIES, ETC. AGAIN!)”

Who does “Really” think Tedisco voted for in that election?

“Really” & “JuneBug” need to go back and look at the press reports for the timing on both events involving Spitzer and Sweeney. Gillibrand came out right away BEFORE the good Governor admitted anything and said that IF the reports were true he should resign.

In the Sweeney case, Tedisco kept silent. He could have used the same “if” clause as Gillibrand did, whether he believed the reports or not – same as Gillibrand. And despite the short turnaround time – he still had plenty of time to take a moral stand – same as Gillibrand.

“Really” noted that after the allegation against Sweeney, the honorable Tedisco did not appear with Sweeney at rallies or otherwise endorse him. Big Whoop. That's not a statement against violence or what Sweeney did (and was doing) – that's watching your butt and hedging your bets. It is the same behavior that the Times Union called Tedisco on regarding the bailout; not taking a stand one way or the other, not taking risks, playing it safe and hoping no one notices.

Let me play Devil's advocate for a moment. If in fact Tedisco did not think he had enough time during the “October Surprise,” as one person called it, to address the situation – he still had a couple of great options. He could have demanded an investigation and that if the allegations proved true, and Sweeney were re-elected, he resign immediately (under threat of impeachment). No matter who won, Tedisco could have (and should have) offered an apology to the woman of the 20th Congressional district for not vetting Sweeney properly and supporting a “...a proven misogynistic, women-hating pig!” as “Really,” one of the “Women for Tedisco,” called Mr. Sweeney.

As for the allegations against Sweeney being “campaign rhetoric” – the first clue should have been when he failed to release the promised police report of the incident. His lawyer advised him against it as then he would have been caught offering a “sanitized document” so to speak. That in and of itself is worthy of an apology.

And by the way – it was an open secret about Sweeney's treatment of women (trust me “Really” you're not the only one who noticed) and was tolerated by a group that claims moral high ground for "family values". Most of the big boys of the Republican Party knew it and those that weren't sure were pretty damned suspicious. Sweeney's first marriage came to its demise over the very same issue. As women I think we deserve better. Much better. We're all owed an apology by the Republican Party for that little faux pas.

Just like we're owed an apology from the Democrats for Alan Hevesi. The Democrats should have asked him to step out of the race or demanded (with the same threat of impeachment) that if he was elected he immediately resign. And they should have issued an apology at the end of it all regardless.

And it goes without saying that an apology from said Democrats for Spitzer would be nice.

I'm not holding my breath for any of them.

As for the qualifications of Mr. Tedisco and the issue of choosing "the best person for the job under these circumstances" (by which I think the commenter means that there is so little time until the election) and not falling pressure to pick a woman – Betty Little would have been a much better choice. John Fasso would have been a better choice (I voted for him for Governor). I was sorely disappointed that neither of them was chosen.

The Republican Party certainly didn't fall to pressure to pick a woman and mores the pity – if they had we'd have had a better candidate. A well connected Republican (who has also held elected office) tells me that Tedisco was picked because the party thought he could WIN. Tedisco has the name recognition and the ability to raise money. He was not chosen because they thought he was the best person for the job. Among the Republicans I know he has a dismal reputation as someone who does nothing of any real substance – well earned as far as I can see. So they just fell to a different pressure.

It's like having the choice between Bush and McCain and choosing Bush. “It's deja vu all over again,” as Yogi Berra once so aptly put it.

To be fair and even handed here – the Democrats chose their candidate based on how much money he could raise, etc.

I'm not sure that we got a slate of the two best qualified candidates from which to make a choice. In fact I know we didn't.

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March 4, 2009
10:18 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

John Faso is a man of integrity, and I say this as a woman, a democrat and a lifelong proud feminist.
He and I hardly agree on an issue but he's shown himself to be a true public servant in the care and attention he's shown to members of my family from Columbia County. Among other things, when our ancestral home burned down, he was the one who picked up the phone and called to delliver the bad news.
I was in Manhattan at the time and my Mother was in Schoharie County so we had no way of knowing.

He represented my Cousin Jean when she was old and essentially without family in a County home in Hudson. When we asked for a bill , as he is an attorney in private practice, he refused, saying simply that she was a constituent. That never occurred to us as we were not in his district and fully expected to pay him for his work.

We're not Republicans, nor are we contributors or connected in any way. My Mother is quite elderly so would be unable to offer even her time for campaigning.

John takes the time to take care of people because it's the right thing to do and expects nothing in return. That is too rare now a days.

I hope the seat goes blue, but the people of the 20th missed out in not being represented by John Faso.

March 5, 2009
7:15 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Amen sister (or brother)! I'm with you.

John Fasso has been the only candidate for governor in my recent memory to intelligently address the tax burden in this state.

I didn't know about the traits you have enumerated. I feel even more cheated now!

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