It is hard to talk about the February 23 Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee’s endorsement meeting without venturing into psychological analysis or farce.
A group, which I guess one could call “insurgents”, tied up the first two hours of the eight hour, marathon meeting in a hopeless fight to deny an endorsement for the three incumbents, Mayor Kelly, Commissioner of Finance Madigan, and Commissioner of Accounts Franck. This bizarre event may seem incredible but I managed to get a copy of a paper that Bill McTygue circulated among a select group of members of the Committee before their meeting that lays out this strategy. I do not know who the actual author(s) was/were because the document is unsigned.
Here is a fragment from the document:
“…in order to avoid further fractionalization of the Democratic Committee in its choice for Party candidates, we are encouraging a consensus policy by the Democratic Committee: NO ENDORSEMENTS” [their emphasis].
So these people actually thought that by denying the Democratic incumbents the Committee endorsement, this would unite the party and that committee members would miss the fact that the real agenda was simply to deny the people they see as (there is no other way of putting it) ”the enemy” from receiving an endorsement.
This was made obvious by their support later in the document for a yes vote to endorse incumbent Tara Gaston. If this were not enough, in arguing for the endorsement of the non-incumbents they listed Dillon Moran and Kendall Hicks but left out Eileen Finneran. For those of us familiar with the “insurgents”, this is because they support Mr. Hicks not Ms. Finneran.
Having presented their “altruistic” goal to unite the party, the paper goes on to a bill of indictment of Mayor Kelly and Commissioners Madigan, and Franck.
They assert that Madigan and Republican Skip Scirocco entered into a pact years ago which ensures that neither of them will face an opponent from the other political party in general elections.
So, one might ask, how does Michele Madigan deliver on her side of this alleged deal? Are we to believe that she has the authority and power to intimidate would-be candidates to keep them from running against Scirocco? Does she hold some secret power over the current chair, Courtney DeLeonardis, and the past chair Charlie Brown, along with a majority of the committee? This kind of thing does not survive the most casual scrutiny. Yet a significant minority in the Democratic Committee embraces this. It doesn’t make any sense but neither does the energy and conflict that these folks appear to thrive on as evidenced by the eight hour plus meeting.
One of their other indictments is a claim that Kelly, Franck, and Madigan support a group called the “Saratoga Conservative Chicks” and voted to oppose “the local School Board’s policy restricting guns on School property.” The only Council resolution I can find that they seem to be referring to was introduced by Commissioner of Public Safety Peter Martin not Meg Kelly as their document claims. The School Board voted last fall not to continue to arm school monitors (who were primarily retired police officers) but did not vote to discontinue the School Resource Officer who is an armed active duty police officer who has had at least 40 hours of additional training. (In fact the School Board recently voted to hire an additional SRO) The council resolution supports “trained, educated, experienced and certified individuals, namely law enforcement personnel” (SROs )and offers to work with the school district to develop an appropriate plan which doesn’t seem to me to be in opposition to the School Board’s policy as the document claims.
I have scoured the Saratoga Conservative Chicks web pages and not only can I find no reference that would link the group to Kelly/Madigan/Franck but I cannot find any reference to the issue of arming school staff. Now it is possible that I missed it but I don’t think so.
It’s hard to know if the group that produced this document is simply sloppy or if they intentionally misrepresent the facts.
I could go on but instead I will simply publish below the document and allow the readers to draw their own conclusions.