Saturday, December 31, 2005

Why isn't Sweeney troubled by the Patriot Act?-- Letter to the Editor at TimesUnion.com

From the Letters to the Editor:: "Why isn't Sweeney troubled by the Patriot Act? First published: Saturday, December 31, 2005

As if to punctuate the Times Union's point that 'the threat to civil liberties' posed by the Patriot Act doesn't seem to trouble Republican Rep. John Sweeney, the Times Union reported on Dec. 17 that the National Security Agency has been spying, without warrants, on American citizens. Will Mr. Sweeney protest? The record suggests otherwise.

Mr. Sweeney has never once criticized Patriot Act provisions allowing the government to search our homes without warrants, secretly demand our library records and read our e-mail. Mr. Sweeney has had years to speak out against President Bush's insistence that he can label any American citizen an 'enemy combatant' and put that citizen in jail forever -- strictly on his say-so. Yet the Clifton Park Republican hasn't uttered a word of criticism.

Traditional conservatives have always opposed the expansion of government power. Mr. Sweeney apparently sees nothing wrong with giving this Republican administration the unrestricted power to intrude into our most intimate private affairs.

Conservatives backed a world war and a cold war to fight 'all power to the state' ideologies. Now President Bush and pliant congressmen like Mr. Sweeney are busy imposing the same thing on Americans.

MICHAEL BLAINE
Jefferson"

Thursday, December 22, 2005

'I respect John Murtha. I just think he's plain wrong,' Sweeney said.

PoughkeepsieJournal.com - Local lawmakers on different sides of fence on redeployment: "Thursday, December 22, 2005 Local lawmakers on different sides of fence on redeployment By John Davis Poughkeepsie Journal He doesn't agree with Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha's calls to start redeploying and bringing home the troops in Iraq, but U.S. Rep. John Sweeney, R-Clifton Park, applauds his colleague across the aisle for raising the issue. 'I think the most beneficial thing that's come out of the John Murtha's statement is it's reopened the debate about Iraq,' Sweeney said. Murtha, a decorated Vietnam War veteran and ex-Marine colonel, voted in October 2002 to give President Bush the authority to attack Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein. Murtha stunned many across the nation when in mid-November he announced the U.S. military mission in Iraq was accomplished and immediate withdrawal of the 160,000 U.S. troops there should begin.

War of words under way

Since then, Republicans in Congress supporting President Bush and Democrats agreeing with Murtha have waged a war of words on just when the troops should come home. 'I respect John Murtha. I just think he's plain wrong,' Sweeney said. Sweeney said the large turnout of 11 million of 15 million voters Wednesday in Iraq's first parliamentary election %u2014 following a Jan. 30 election and Oct. 15 ratification of its constitution %u2014 proves the U.S. is meeting benchmarks in establishing a democracy. 'We are meeting significant milestones,' Sweeney said. 'We don't get elections in this country with 70 percent turnout.' Murtha also ignited a debate on the reasons for going to war in maintaining the intelligence for doing so was wrong. Bush admitted as much Wed-nesday. The president said the intelligence on the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was faulty, but, nevertheless, deposing Saddam Hussein and establishing a democracy justified the U.S. mission there. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, who voted against giving the president authority to attack, welcomed Murtha's bold statements on the prewar intelligence and the need to begin redeploying the troops there. 'His announcement has had a profound impact down here and across the nation,' Hinchey said in Washington last week. 'Jack is a very significant person and very much appreciated.' Hinchey has proposed a resolution to hold Bush accountable for not only relying on faulty intelligence to invade Iraq, but for willingly misleading Congress into supporting the attack. Hinchey's resolution, which is before the House International Relations Committee, would require the Bush administration to turn over to Congress all drafts and documents related to Bush's crafting of his 2003 State of the Union speech. In that speech to Congress, despite warnings by the Central Intelligence Agency that the information was unproven, Bush claimed Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa, Hinchey said. 'It wasn't the information that was faulty, it was how it was manipulated and misused by this administration,' Hinchey said. 'In a democracy, you can't allow the government to lie to the American people.' On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Sue Kelly, R-Katonah, disagrees with calls to withdraw the troops in Iraq. 'I think leaving prematurely is exactly what the terrorists want,' Kelly said. 'Then they would use Iraq to export terrorism all over the world.' Kelly said President Bush did the right thing in deposing Saddam and waging war against the terrorists in Iraq. 'There's no denying it's a far better Iraq than it was under Saddam,' Kelly said. 'We have to stay committed to fighting the terrorists on their own turf. This is a fight to protect America.'

New path suggested

Both of New York's senators in Washington, Democrats Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, voted in 2002 to give the president authority to attack Iraq. Both say it's time for the president to more greatly engage Congress in defining the mission of the 160,000 American troops stationed there. 'I believe the administration has misused the latitude afforded to it to fight the war,' Schumer said Friday. 'Now is the time for the administration to reach out to both supporters and opponents of their Iraq policy to come up with some new ideas and real solutions. We need a path that both stabilizes the security situation in Iraq and provides maximum security for our troops.' In a Nov. 29 letter to her constituents, Clinton stated, 'I believe we are at a critical point with the December 15th elections that should, if successful, allow us to start bringing home our troops in the coming year, while leaving behind a smaller contingent in safer areas with greater intelligence and quick-strike capabilities.' John Davis can be reached at jpdavis@poughkeepsiejournal.com "

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Kirsten Gillibrand for Congress now on line

The link to the website — www.Gillibrand2006.com — is on the bar to the right, but you can also click here.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Attention DCCC: A Potential Goldmine of House Pickups In One State!!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/12/13/132336/73 I am a bit new to DKOS, but I am also a longtime political junkie. This puts me in pretty good company around here, where political junkies are in ample supply. I have been projecting elections since my sophomore year at UCLA (1992--where I picked Clinton to win and hit 49 of 51 states--I blew NC for Clinton, and gave MT to Bush). In 1998, I won a CNN-sponsored contest for election predictions by successfully predicting the Senate would stay status quo (I also missed the House totals by one seat). Now that I have laid out a bit of my history and resume as an uber-political geek in good standing, I want to tell you where I think a potential landslide of House pickups can be found. Six races that I have labelled "races to watch"...and they are all within about 300 miles of each other, in the same state. AND THE WINNER IS...... Upstate New York. As of today, I project the final margins in six different New York districts to be at 10 points or less. They are: NEW YORK 19--Where longtime incumbent Sue Kelly goes from a biennial asswhipping of a novelty candidate to facing a raft of well-organized and (in some cases) well-funded opposition. There are several viable candidates here, from former Republican and attorney Judy Aydelott (who actually led Kelly in 3rd quarter fundraising) to former rock musician John Hall to former Rangel staffer Darren Rigger. NEW YORK 20--Where we find John Sweeney, one of the more partisan and aggressive members of the northeastern Republican delegation. We find him facing his first serious opposition in several cycles in the form of attorney Kirsten Gillibrand, who has already raised more in her bid to unseat Sweeney than his last couple of opponents. NEW YORK 24--Here lies an intriguing one...Sherry Bohelert, a longtime member of the Republican "moderate" coalition, is facing a potential two-pronged attack. On the right, he is looking at a primary challenge. Of course, this is old hat for Boehlert, who has narrowly dispatched conservative David Walrath twice in 2002 and 2004. However, the danger for Boehlert this time is when he panders to conservatives to stave off a right-wing challenger, he then must potentially face a top-tier Democratic challenger in the form of Oneida County DA Michael Arcuri. If Arcuri jumps in (and it sure sounds like it according to recent media articles) this race moves very close to the top of the target list. NEW YORK 25--Here is one that, for me, is a BIG sleeper race. James Walsh is a pretty conservative GOPer in a district that both Gore and Kerry carried. My sleeper pick here is former Hill staffer Dan Maffei. I am going to be quite interested in his FEC report. If he has the resources, I like his chances. Walsh is a guy whose campaign skills might have atrophied somewhat--he has not had a real close race for a decade now. NEW YORK 26--Perhaps one of the biggest 04 surprises was GOP leadership figure Tom Reynolds only getting 56% of the vote in his re-election bid against businessman and trade activist Jack Davis. This despite the fact that Davis got no official Democratic help (a fact which rankled him, according to the Almanac of American Politics). He apparently is back for Round 2, in a much better climate for Democrats than faced him a year ago. NEW YORK 29--Randy Kuhl scored a surprisingly wide victory in 2004 over Samara Barend, as the revelations about Kuhl's divorce apparently were overshadowed by the controversy involving WHERE the leak came from. This time around, he faces a "fighting Dem", Eric Massa, who has already received quite a bit of ink on this site. This could be close. What makes this region potentially fertile ground is how well the Democrats did in this region. When we all did our electoral post-mortem last month, I remember quite a few posts from the upstate New York Kossacks, who gave us a number of encouraging reports. Hopefully, the DCCC sees the potential of making the Northeast in 2006 what the South was for the GOP in 1994--a beachhead in the battle to reclaim the House.

Friday, December 16, 2005

What Planet Do they live on?

Truly amazing nonsense from Troy's Newspaper.
The (Troy) Record - News - 12/16/2005 - Sweeney acts wisely with vote In a bold, possibly risky and we believe wise move, Rep. John Sweeney broke ranks with the Republican Party Wednesday and voted no to the amended, 'improved' Patriot Act. The representative from Clifton Park and its environs has gained the reputation - and clout that goes with it - of being a staunch administration ally.
(If he truly had clout, why did he have zero impact on the whole issue? )
The administration considers the Patriot Act a foundation of the war on terrorism, but opponents believe that it is a very expensive program that never accounts for how it is spending its money. We agree with those who say the Patriot Act costs us a lot in terms of financial resources and personal rights while only marginally improving our safety.
(Very strange way to hide the real problem with the Patriot act. Our rights to be left alone are now simply the price of fight the war on Terra.)
Sweeney voted no, he says, because a practical amendment that he and Westchester County Democrat Nita Lowey crafted disappeared from the version of the bill to renew the Patriot Act that passed in the House Wednesday. That provision would have provided more money to areas highly susceptible to attack - such as New York City - and less to rural areas less likely to be a target of terrorists. It passed the House overwhelmingly when introduced, but disappeared in the Senate/House final draft that had been engineered in closed negotiations. Although Sweeney did not say so, there seems to be an implication that too much Patriot Act money has been turned into pork-barrel grants. It strikes us that the slices of this pie should be served to the hungriest areas rather than spread so generously around. That is something Sweeney tried to accomplish, so he is to be commended for sticking to his guns and voting "no," knowing it could cost him a chunk of political capital. As mentioned, the extension of the 16 Patriot Act provisions due to expire shortly did pass the House, with only 18 Republicans voting against it. The Bush administration is worried about its fate in the Senate, however, where a move is afoot to simply extend the existing Patriot Act intact, with no changes, which would be a defeat for the president. Ideally, the Patriot Act would be scrapped and a new formula for anti-terrorism funds and legal practices worked out, but that is unlikely.
(Umm, what's the rush?)
In the meantime, living with the current Patriot Act is preferable to adding muscle to a program not yet proven to work. And if Congressman Sweeney plays even a small part in that outcome, he is to be commended."
Are they joking?

Times Union gets part of the story right

Editorial on the Times Union: "Not quite, Mr. Sweeney
The congressman's vote against the Patriot Act is based upon some very odd reasoning

First published: Friday, December 16, 2005

This much needs to be said at the start. U.S. Rep. John Sweeney voted against renewing the Patriot Act the other day, and any vote against the collective assault on civil liberties that misleadingly named set of laws represents can't be discounted.

The problem is that Mr. Sweeney's vote needs to be recorded with a rather dubious asterisk. His formal opposition to the Patriot Act on Wednesday was in protest of how the federal government disperses the money to fight terrorism. Mr. Sweeney, a Republican from Clifton Park, happens to be right when he complains so bitterly that such money doesn't get spent in the places that need it the most. That means, more than anywhere, New York.

Still, what odd reasoning and what odd priorities. Mr. Sweeney actually said that the funding of anti-terrorism activities is more important than the provisions for trying to prevent terrorism spelled out in the Patriot Act. The threat to civil liberties doesn't seem to trouble him in the least.

'We've wasted tens of billions of dollars and we cannot continue to do this,' Mr. Sweeney said. 'It's a fundamental issue of the culture of Congress and whether we're willing to be adults.'

Again, there's no reason for anyone to make an issue of Mr. Sweeney's concern about where federal money goes. He's been an unyielding advocate for New York and all the money it needs ever since it was so viciously attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. Only now that Mr. Sweeney has called upon his fellow members of Congress to act more maturely, more is at stake than spending formulas. A Congress comprised of adults would take civil liberties a lot more seriously than Mr. Sweeney does.

Instead it would be full of representatives and senators who would stand up to President Bush when he says, 'The Patriot Act is essential to fighting the war on terror and preventing our enemies from striking America again.' The truth is, some provisions of the Patriot Act are more susceptible to abuses by overzealous law enforcement agents than they are an effective means of hunting down suspected terrorists. Civil liberties don't have to be compromised in the name of security.

There are people, albeit a minority, in Congress -- adults, presumably -- who realize that. Among them is U.S. Rep. Michael McNulty, a Democrat from Green Island. He, too, was among the 174 House members who voted against the renewal of the Patriot Act. Unlike Mr. Sweeney, however, Mr. McNulty did so for the right reasons."

Even a Hearst Paper can tell that there's real trouble with the Patriot Act.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Letter in Times Union Today

Letter to the editor: "Sweeney represents the rich, not working people First published: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 Tom Marusak's letter to the editor (Nov. 29) gives the erroneous impression that New York's 20th Congressional District is well represented by John Sweeney. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth. While it might be true that Sweeney lobbied officials on behalf of the textile industry, it in no way compensates for the poor representation his constituents are receiving. In his feeble attempt to praise Sweeney, Mr. Marusak fails to address the bigger picture. During Sweeney's congressional tenure he has consistently represented moneyed special interests whose demands conflict with the needs of working people. Sweeney has been a staunch supporter of the Bush agenda. On the economic front his support for huge tax giveaways to giant corporations coupled with his votes to slash needed social funding is more typical of a congressperson who represents a big oil district in Texas, rather than a district in our state. In fact, his support for neocon policies has been so predictable that his recent defection regarding the House leaderships' 'deficit-reduction' plan was considered newsworthy. Unfortunately this Draconian plan of a leadership, which Sweeney's presence helps keep in power, passed. Since this leadership doesn't call for a vote until it knows victory is certain, it must have been known that Sweeney's vote was not needed. He can't hide from his record of repeatedly voting for legislation similar to the recent 'deficit-reduction plan.' The fact that he now has had to make a display of his supposed 'independence' is proof of the callousness of his past voting record as well as indicative of the possibility that he will face strong opposition in '06. The shadow of a future congressperson, who will legitimately represent constituents, is hanging over the 20th District. Incredibly, this shadow is already responsible for improving the quality of the district's representation. AL ORMSBY Saratoga Springs"

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

DFA: Columbia County Endorses Gillibrand

From Today's Hudson Register Star:

DFA: COLUMBIA COUNTY ENDORSES GILLIBRAND FOR CONGRESS


The local chapter of Democracy for America has endorsed Kirsten Gillibrand to run against John Sweeney in November's general election.

"We are excited to endorse Kirsten Gillibrand for Congress," said Kinderhook's Jo Anna Giltner, who coordinates the group with her husband, Phil Giltner. "In Democracy for America, we are concerned about the lack of fiscal responsibility and accountability in Washington. Twice in the last year we made appointments to meet John Sweeney and express our concern about Social Security and the War in Iraq. Each time we went to his office with over a dozen people from three counties, and each time he did not respond to our visit or to our petitions. We were very disappointed in this lack of interest in the concerns of his constituents. Kirsten, on the other hand, has taken the time to visit with our group, and showed us that she would be the kind of responsive member of Congress we deserve in the twentieth congressional district."

Democracy for America is a non-partisan group that encourages political participation from all Americans in order to build a healthier democracy and civil society. About a half million people are members of DFA nationwide, and DFA: Columbia County is one of several DFA groups in the 20th Congressional District. Like them, DFA: Columbia County encourages candidates who support fiscally responsible, socially progressive government. In the Twentieth Congressional District alone, DFA has local link-up groups from Essex, Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Columbia, Rensselaer, Dutchess, Otsego and Delaware Counties.

DFA Columbia County has also sought to perform community service, having collected smoke detectors for the Hudson Fire Department to install in homes in Hudson. Membership is open to anyone interested in helping in their efforts and improving our democracy. Interested persons can learn more about DFA: Columbia County at their website: http://www.dfalink.com/ColumbiaCounty or email Phil Giltner

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Sweeney calls for 'Transparency'

You see, transparency is okay for other people. Irony, thy name is Sweeney:
"Local Lawmakers Calling for State D-O-T to be More Open (posted: December 12th, 9:00pm) There are calls from several fronts tonight that the State Department of Transportation be more open about engineering reports connected to the Dunn interchange ramp that shifted last July. D-O-T has been stone-walling attempts by both reporters and the lawyer for the woman who drove over the partial collapse to get all inspection reports related to the ramps and piers that make up the Dunn Interchange. Two local lawmakers are telling D-O-T to cooperate. 'Just saying these internal documents are secret and the public has no right to know when it's public money and the right to know is established...is unexcusable.' said Assemblyman Ron Canestrari, (D) Cohoes. 'I think the more transparency you have the better opportunity you have to ensure that the roadways are indeed safe.' said Republican John Sweeney, (R) Clifton Park. Congressman Sweeney also says since taxpayers are paying for repairs, the process of pinpointing problems should be more transparent."

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Times Union Letter Letter to the Editor.

This appears in today's Times Union

Facts counter Sweeney's claim of independence

First published: Saturday, December 10, 2005 Your Nov. 23 editorial repeats, with apparent disbelief, Rep. John Sweeney's claim to be an independent congressman. His claim is completely laughable. According to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Congressional Quarterly, Mr. Sweeney voted with the Republican leadership of Rep. Tom DeLay 92 percent of the time, hardly a sign of independence. Mr. Sweeney has tied his entire career to Republican leaders with only his personal advancement to show for it. Mr. Sweeney's first chief of staff was the brother of George Bush's chief of staff. It was Mr. Sweeney who gave the order to "shut it down," leading to the mob violence during Bush's 2000 election mess in Florida. Mr. Sweeney's first spokesman became a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign and is the spokesman for the indicted Mr. DeLay. Mr. Sweeney has been a leading voice in defense of Mr. DeLay. He even still claims weapons of mass destruction are in Iraq. Again, hardly signs of independence from the failed leadership of George Bush, Dick Cheney and Mr. DeLay. Similarly, while there are no indications Mr. Sweeney is involved in these scandals, an independent congressman would do well to return the money from Mr. DeLay's political money operation, ARMPAC, and from Greenberg Traurig, one of the firms the indicted Jack Abramoff allegedly used to buy politicians. The facts simply do not support John Sweeney's claims. I guess this is just one more way in which Mr. Sweeney follows Mr. Bush's lead. ANDREW C. WHITE Stephentown The writer is chairman of the Stephentown Democratic Committee.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Gillibrand endorsed by Democrats in Columbia County

So she's got Saratoga & Columbia County's Democratic Committees endorsing her. From the 2 December Register Star. Nicely printed from the piece about Sweeney hammering the GOP in Columbia County.
Gillibrand garners Democratic endorsement for Congressional run in 20th district for 2006 Greenport resident known for her public service Staff report, Register-Star, Friday, December 2, 2005 COLUMBIA COUNTY -- The Columbia County Democratic Committee Thursday unanimously endorsed Kirsten Gillibrand of Greenport as its 2006 choice for candidate for U.S. Congress from the 20th Congressional District. The 20th Congressional District spans 10 counties from Lake Placid to Hyde Park to Cooperstown. Gillibrand is an attorney who, at one time worked for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Additional biographical information about Gillibrand was not available at press time. "We are very excited to endorse one of Columbia County's own for Congress," said committee chairman Ken Dow of Claverack. "Kirsten is a tremendous candidate who will serve the district well," Dow continued. "She has had an impressive career fighting for average Americans, for. safe housing and labor rights. "Kirsten has shown that she will place the concerns of people in Columbia County above the wishes of lobbyists in Washington. Dow is optimistic about the Democrats' prospects in this race. "Citizens look at the direction of the country under George Bush not just the war without a plan, but the Republican effort to undermine Social Security, the reckless accumulation of national debt while giving profligate tax cuts to the very rich, the failure to be prepared for emergencies like Hurricane Katrina, and countless other bad choices that have damaged ordinary citizens, and don't like it. John Sweeney has been a leading accomplice in many of these misguided schemes," he said. Republican response was not available at press time. "Democrats across the 20th district did very well this year. In local elections this year, the Columbia County Democrats picked up 17 new offices, including two town supervisor seats, while they did not lose a single office they held. With such a fine person and quality candidate as Kirsten Gillibrand, we look forward to 2006 and helping to get our country back on the right track," Dow added.
Seems that she's got it lining up nicely.

Tags: Kirsten Gillibrand ( )

Sweeney abuses his GOP 'friends'

Old Sweeney treating his friends so nicely. From the 2 December Register Star:
Sweeney decision labeled as 'punitive' Supporters still laud congressman for job well done By John Mason, Hudson Valley Newspapers, Register-Star, Friday, December 2, 2005 COLUMBIA COUNTY -- Supporters of U.S. Rep. John Sweeney, R-Clifton Park, defended the congressman Wednesday against accusations that he was exacting retribution in removing county Republican Vice-Chairman Kenneth Wilber from his military academy selec tion committee. County Republicans chose Supervisor Angelo Valentino of Copake to replace Tod Grenci as their chairman Sept. 28, over Sweeney's candidate, Paul Kisselbrack. Grenci told the Register-Star Monday that Sweeney was being "punitive" when he informed Wilber a few days later that his services on the committee were no longer required, since Wilber had supported Valentino. Sweeney chose Canaan Supervisor Gary Flaherty to replace Wilber. Columbia County Conservative Party Chairman Matthew Torrey said Grenci's argument didn't make sense, since Flaherty had also voted for Valentino. "You can cover it all you want, but why would they make this move prior to the expiration of his term at the end of the year?" Grenci said. "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." "It's unfortunate these gentlemen haven't gotten over the election for chairman and continue to take cheap shots at John Sweeney," Kisselbrack said Wednesday. "[Sweeney] has done a tremendous amount of work and continues to do a lot for Columbia County. I wish they would get over it." Flaherty said he enjoys the volunteer position. "The thing is a natural for me," Flaherty said. Retired from 23 years in the military, he has been serving on the committee of veterans and retirees that advises Sweeney on legislation, and also, with Wilber and several other people, started the Honor-A-Vet Committee that conducts ceremonies after local veterans die. Flaherty, appointed to the 14-member military academy selection committee in October, said, "When they approached me, my thought was I was filling a vacancy." Flaherty said he and Wilber have been friends for years, and Wilber is his district commander in the VFW. He said he contacted Wilber when he was appointed, and Wilber told him Columbia County needed representation. He's already been conducting interviews in Valatie, Saratoga Springs and Dutchess County. "These kids are absolutely outstanding," he said. "Everyone has been superb. I feel so honored to be part of it. I don't want it to be a political thing where these kids get caught in the middle." Hudson Republican Chairman Daniel J. Grandinetti cast his vote for Kisselbrack, but called Valentino "a man of great integrity. You can't help but be optimistic about the Republican Party's future." "Congressman Sweeney has always been there for Columbia County," Grandinetti said. "Most recently, he delivered a $100,000 grant for the Hudson Police Department and assisted greatly in the city's receiving $400,000 in Small Cities money. "Over the years, he's brought millions of dollars into this county," he said, "and quite frankly, he deserves a heck of a lot better than to be second-guessed by a man of Tod Grenci's caliber. "Although the Columbia County Board of Supervisors managed to accomplish great things over the last several years, we did that despite him," he said. "Politically, Tod Grenci presided over a period of stagnation in the Republican Party where new ideas and innovation [were] deliberately forestalled and targeted for retribution." Kisselbrack said the "old guard" is resistant to allow "energetic and ambitious younger Republicans to be active and participate, myself included. The majority of the old guard doesn't want to embrace change at all. They're very comfortable where they are." Grenci said the only new idea Grandinetti presented to him was that he wanted to be vice-chairman. "Danny doesn't have much substance behind what he's saying," Grenci said. "He's blowing hot air into the wind. There are no new ideas or innovations." Grenci accused Sweeney and his friends of trying to divide the party with "distortions and mistruths. The problem is, if they don't feel you're going to be a puppet for them, they don't like it." As for Kisselbrack, Grenci said his "old guard/new guard" philosophy didn't heal the party's rift in Hillsdale. "If Kisselbrack and that group had such great mediation powers, why couldn't they heal that?" he asked. "It takes work and cooperation. It doesn't fare well to go in heavy-handed. Typically, it's their way or no way."
Now, that's a great way to make friends.

Tags: John Sweeney ( )