Flotsam & Jetsam

The three ex-amigos

Rudy Giuliani may be the bees knees in New Hampshire and elsewhere, but there’s one place where his presidential campaign is having a little trouble gaining traction: New York.

In fact, some big-time Republican pols, namely former U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato and Gov. George Pataki, are already very publicly toying with Giuliani – by not only refusing to endorse him but actually leaning toward backing Sen. John McCain.

Pataki in fact introduced McCain to New York reporters recently when McCain announced he was running — a move that isn’t exactly a bear hug for Giuliani.

And, according to an article in the newspaper Newsday, some of the state’s biggest fund-raisers are already working with McCain.

Why? Quite simply, it’s payback.

First, Giuliani hasn’t had the best of relations with D’Amato and Pataki, who was D’Amato’s hand-picked guy in 1994, when Pataki ran against Mario Cuomo. In that battle, Giuliani, the Republican mayor of New York City, dissed Pataki by endorsing Democrat Cuomo. Ever since, things haven’t been all warm and fuzzy between D’Amato-Pataki and Giuliani since.

Other Republicans are ticked off at Giuliani because in his mayoralty campaigns he accepted the endorsement of New York’s Liberal Party (don’t be completely fooled by the name, however) and not its Conservative Party. He also pretty much snubbed the Conservatives in the run-up to his aborted 2000 Senate campaign against Hillary Clinton.

And, as Mitt Romney well knows know, politicians, whether they’re in Massachusetts or New York, have long memories.

Talking turkey about Tom

As usual, it takes outside media to raise a question that the New Hampshire press never did, at least publicly, about the 2002 state Republicans’ phone-jamming scandal.

This time it’s courtesy of Betsy Devine on the Daily Kos blog, who in her March 10 posting asks – in reference to the recent revelation of the firing of eight Republican U.S. attorneys, many of whom cite an unwillingness to schedule the timing of investigations of Democrats to make them more GOP campaign-friendly. The question: “What about the U.S. Attorneys who didn’t get fired?” And Exhibit No. 1 is none other than New Hampshire’s U.S. Attorney Tom Colantuono, the former Republican state senator.

As Devine sees it, “it took Colantuono’s people more than a year before the FBI questioned their top/only suspect in the NH phone-jamming, a crime by Republicans.

“But in other matters, Colantuono could move fast. Just before the 2004 elections, he moved fast to block Democrats from questioning phone-jamming suspects—and fast again to file corruption charges against a NH Democrat.

“In 2006, right after the Democrats’ landmark electoral victory, Colantuono also moved fast to shut down his phone-jamming enquiries, making a guilty plea deal with the last defendant that gave the Feds nothing and the Republicans everything.”

To sum up, asks Devine: “Does Gonzales give prizes for slow response to Republican dirty tricks?”

The invisible candidate

When Hillary Clinton was in New Hampshire earlier this month at the Democrats’ 100 Club event, she talked about all those “invisible” Americans that she says the Bush administration ignores.

Well it just so happens one of the most invisible people of them all was right there in the Sheraton Nashua ballroom – state Rep. Betty Hall of Brookline, the candidate for chair of the Democratic Party that the party’s hierarchy apparently wanted to remain unseen and unheard.

Hall announced her candidacy shortly after once and future chair-presumptive Ray Buckley withdrew from the race in the wake of Rep. Steve Vaillancourt’s baseless child porn allegations.

Buckley has since re-entered the race and his successor-apparent Jim Craig has left, but Hall remains – on paper at least, since the fix seems well settled in.

Not only did no speaker at the event – from House Speaker Terie Norelli to Gov. John Lynch to Hillary – even acknowledge Hall’s presence in the room, every single one of them congratulated Buckley on his election to the party chairmanship. And the vote won’t even be held until March 24.

To put it in perspective that Democrats might understand: It was sort of like announcing the winner of the 2000 presidential race in Florida two weeks before the votes were cast.

It’s been making the rounds…

• With Jeb Bradley already taking aim at regaining his congressional seat, can former Exec Councilor Peter Spaulding be far behind in trying to reclaim his?

• Sure, state Democrats’ 100 Club event was a record-setter for most tickets sold, but the fannies sure weren’t in those dozens of empty seats.

• They may not admit it publicly, but New Hampshire Dems are more than ever keeping their fingers crossed that Jeanne Shaheen enters the U.S. Senate race.

• How egregious was the behavior of Rep. Steve Vaillancourt? It was so bad that even former Manchester GOP alderman and public access TV host Joe Kelly Levasseur was slightly bothered by it.

• What’s all this talk about Jim Craig receiving a judgeship for his troubles?

• Governor Lynch reversed himself so quickly from his original school-funding proposal that it’s a wonder he didn’t suffer whiplash.

Categories: News