Friday, November 19, 2010

Greene Goes Red

To the shellacking inflicted on Democratic candidates for office around the country on November 2, GreeneLand voters contributed generously.They helped in no small measure to replace, in the multi-county 20th Congressional District, a freshman Democratic U.S. Representative, Scott Murphy, with a Republican, Christopher Gibson, who had just retired from the U.S. Army.(Mr Gibson received 8772 GreeneLand votes, to Mr Murphy’s 5773).In addition, a northern sub-set of GreeneLand voters, residing in a slice of the 108th State Assembly District, helped to replace a one-term, independent but pro-Democratic incumbent, Timothy Gordon, with Republican nominee Steve McLaughlin. Substantial majorities of GreeneLand voters, moreover, supported two Republican candidates for State-wide office—Dan Donovan for Attorney General, Harry Wilson for Comptroller--who were unsuccessful elsewhere.Substantial majorities also put the Republican candidates for county judge and for county treasurer, Charles Tailleur and Peter Markou, in office.On the other hand, majorities of GreeneLand voters supported, by narrow margins, the Democratic candidates for Governor and for the two U.S. Senate seats.

Those results attest to strong Republican leanings on the part of GreeneLand voters.Those and other results also attest to limits, among pro-Democratic as well as pro-Republican voters, on blind partisanship.

On the eve of the recent balloting, GreeneLand’s voter registration rolls contained 28,914 names.Among the people bearing those names, 12,197 declared a Republican affiliation, 7007 aligned with the Democratic Party, 6912 declined to affirm a party affiliation, and 2898 claimed adherence to the Independence, the Conservative, or another one of 32 political brands.

Out of this population, actual voting on November 2 was done by 14,662 registrants, and absentee ballots were filed by 1077.  (The vote tallies cited here do not include absentees).

Listed on the ballot papers that were given to those voters were candidates for 11 Federal, State and County offices, along with, in various municipalities, candidates for some local offices, such as town councilman, town supervisor, town justice, superintendent of highways, and/or collector of taxes (plus, in Hunter, a substantive resolution).

In three of the eleven non-local cases—State Senator, State Assemblyman for the 127th District, County Coroners—only one candidate’s name was offered for election.Consequently, State Senator James Seward was returned to office without a contest, as were Assemblyman Peter Lopez and County Coroners Hassan Basagic III and John Gulino.

In the eight contested GreeneLand-wide elections, vote totals for winning candidates ranged from 7111 (for Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate) to 8736 (for Mr Tailleur, Republican nominee for county judge).Losers in GreeneLand in those contested elections received as few as 4963 votes (Thomas DiNapoli, the incumbent comptroller and a Democrat), or as many as 6867 (for Carl Paladino, the Republican gubernatorial candidate).

As between the Republican candidates in the various contested elections, electoral support figures ranged from 6619 (for Joseph DioGuardi, against Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand) up to 8772 (for Mr Gibson, against Mr Murphy).Those figures serve to indicate that some Republican partisans supported some Democratic candidates.Other figures provide further evidence.Although Republican registrations far out-number Democratic registrations, and although several Republican candidates won their contests by lop-sided margins, three Republican candidates were out-polled here by their Democratic rivals.Thus, Mr Paladino’s 6867 votes for Governor fell short of Mr Cuomo’s total of 7111; Republican nominee Jay Townsend’s 6810 votes for U.S. Senator trailed Democratic incumbent Charles Schumer’s 7229; and, in the other U.S. Senate contest, Republican challenger DioGuardi’s 6619 votes left him well behind the incumbent Democrat, Senator Gillibrand, who garnered 7512 GreeneLander votes.Those results depended on Republican cross-overs.

(Still, a lot of GreeneLand Republicans evidently could not bring themselves to desert their party’s bellicose, bungling gubernatorial nominee.While being swamped in the State-wide vote, where he picked up only 34 per cent of the votes, Mr Paladino in GreeneLand achieved a 46 per cent share).

Pro-Democratic voters in GreeneLand also showed a taste for selectivity.That disposition was evidenced most clearly in the contest for State Comptroller.While the Democratic candidates for governor and for two U.S. Senate seats won majorities in GreeneLand (slender ones), the Democratic candidate for Comptroller, Mr DiNapoli, received an electoral drubbing.Although he was victorious when all New York ballots were tallied, Mr DiNapoli picked up only 4961 votes in GreeneLand, while his Republican foe, Mr Wilson, received 8508 (or about 64 per cent).Mr Wilson evidently attracted support from local Democrats (and non-aligned voters) as well as from regular Republicans.


> Bonus. Directors of Greene County Bancorp Inc., governing parent of the Bank of Greene County, bestowed upon stockholders a special dividend, of 20 cents per share, on top of the regular quarterly dividend, of 17.5 cents a share. Their announcement may well have triggered the recent jump in the market price of GCBC shares, ahead of the November 12 ownership deadline. By way of explaining the bonus, the directors cited “strong earnings performance over the last several quarters” plus the coming increase in Federal tax rate on dividends. Consequently, a dividend paid by the end of this year is worth more than the same amount paid in 2011.

> Scam. A Louise Balderas, 50, of Catskill, may have been charged by State police with fraud, grand larceny, and filing false instruments. According to a Daily Freeman report (11/16), investigators say that, by concealing some income, she evidently collected $2309 fraudulently from the Department of Social Services. According to a Daily Mail report (11/17), however, the alleged chiseler is Louis Balderas, 50, of Westkill. And according to the GreeneLand District Attorney’s office, the suspect is Louise Balderas, who dwells in Westkill.

>Foreclosure. A house property at 1 Cottontail Lane, Catskill, formerly owned by former Village Trustee Evan Ulsht and his wife Christine, passed into the hands of Citimortgage Inc. on Monday (11/15) by way of auction in the basement of the county courthouse.

>Hot Prospect. Local biomass resources--wood chips and pellets, grasses and shrubs—could supply 45 per cent of the energy that presently comes from fuel oil and electricity in GreeneLand, says Dan Conable of Cato Analytics (per Daily Mail, 11/2). And utilizing those resources would generate jobs, which would fuel local spending.

>Other Greenes. According to The Paragould Daily Press, needy adults in Greene County, Arkansas, can now avail themselves of the services of a new branch of The Literacy League…. The chief deputy sheriff of Greene County, Georgia, according to The Caboose Chronicle, was shot and killed by a felon who then killed himself…. The legislators of Greene County, Tennessee, have asked the State government to abolish the elective office of road commissioner…. Market Metrics LLC, a consulting firm, foresees growth in the supply of owner-occupied homes, within five years, of 1800 units, in Greene County, Ohio…. The Internal Revenue Service, according to a News-Leader report, owes $101,152 to 79 residents of Greene County, Missouri…. Andrea Alltop has resigned from the office of Environmental Specialist of Greene County, Indiana. She had occupied the post since 2007 by way of appointment from the county’s Health Officer, her father….

>Piety. A bakery called LOAF is about to open in Hudson (at Third & Warren Streets, where LICK dispenses ice cream during warm months). On Saturday, tastings of fresh-baked pie will be dispensed to visitors. That event, as correspondent Ellen Thurston points out, is the shop’s soft opening.