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Hold your nose and vote!
May 22, 2014 - John Stack
The race for the 21st Congressional seat is the worst in forever. I don’t think any of the three viable candidates are horrible, just that why would anyone vote for any of these three? The race is really between Democrat Dave Wolff, and GOP’ers Elise Stefanik and Matt Doheny. None are anything close to actual North Country people. Matt Doheny is a career Wall Streeter, making his money not by growing or creating an actual business, but by shuffling around people’s money. Dave Wolff is a part time resident here, and Elise is hardly even a resident by technicality. Let’s break it down.
Matt Doheny. Two time loser to Bill Owens in the 21st. Wants this job so bad he can taste it. Had no intention of running again until incumbent Bill Owens chose not to run again. Seems to have no idea that is his own. He runs completely on the GOP playbook (or, really, a Party playbook). Attack Obama, call opponents names, play dirty and offer no valid solutions to anything. Start a real business Matt, make it successful, stop acting like this is your birthright, and maybe we’ll listen.
Elise Stefanik. Left home at 18 to make her fortune anywhere but the North Country. Went from Harvard straight to Washington DC. Became the definition of Washington insider, working as a staffer for George Bush, and worked on debate prep for Paul Ryan as well as conservative think tanks. Returned “home” (somewhere in upstate New York) just in time to file to run for Congress in the 21st. She is NOT a small businesswoman, as her website claims. She had n oallusions of actually working and helping out and growing her family’s company when she returned. She is a smart, pretty young woman who the Conservatives are fawning over hoping she becomes the next Kirsten Gillibrand. She is in upstate NY just long enough to run for office. Regardless of the outcome of the race, she will not spend much more of her time ever in NY again.
Aaron Wolff. A relative stealth candidate. A Manhattanite. Part timer in upstate NY. Is a self made man as a filmmaker of some good stories. Served on the Adirondack Council, which like many other issues, is a good enough reason to NOT vote for him (or vote for him). Does not seem to have really come up with any valid standout ideas that would sway someone to vote for him except he’s not a Republican.
To be fair, just because someone is local does not make him or her a good candidate. They may make the rounds at the county fairs and kiss babies here and there, but in today’s political landscape, expecting a good local candidate seems quaint.
Been talking with my political buddy here in town. He is a GOPer but we both share the frustration of our local political landscape. No one seems to want to be a congressman for the right reasons. It should be for US, not for them. Each has about half of their campaign money in loans. We need someone we can get behind. Someone we like. Someone who is either a great public servant or a good local businessman. We do have plenty of those around. I know some good local businessmen, but they would never run. Their commitment to the community and their business is too strong. That makes them great candidates, as well as unlikely candidates. If you own a good local restaurant or other service type business, you have to become hardened against either the Liberals or the Conservatives these days. Good business people are smarter than that. I teased my friend that Mayor Rabideau was going to run. Of the three candidates running (plus the lesser parties) the mayor is probably the best choice.
Off the top of my head – a list of candidates better than who is running - I'm not saying any of these would want to run, has ever spoke to me about running, or has even spoke to me at all, just a list - Mayor Rabideau, Jay Rand, Brian McDonnell, (as well as other local supervisors and county legislators), Cliff donaldson, Ken Fontana. Howard Riley - even Bob Seidenstein!. And…Barb Rice. Well, in two to four years, I think she will run. And win.
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