Morning News and Notes

A couple of area blogs (Rochesterturning, Albany Project) are wondering if Randy Kuhl is going to retire.  Kuhl's story has been the same for the last few months:  he won't say if he's decided to run yet.  I would have thought that it's far past the time to announce retirements in competitive House districts, but this week's Walsh retirement, and yesterday's announcement by Dave Weldon (R-FL-15), have people wondering.  Kuhl's current position is consistent with his strategy last cycle, which was to delay his announcement in order to keep from engaging Eric Massa directly in campaign mode.  I think he's doing the same thing this year, and that there's little chance he won't run again.

Update:  See Elmer's comment below.  Someone's polling Kuhl alternatives in the Southern Tier, and it sounds like a Republican organization.  The plot thickens.

In other retirement-related news, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) announced yesterday that Dan Maffei, the Democrat who challenged Jim Walsh in 2006 and is running again, has been added to their "Red to Blue" fundraising program.  This announcement comes before any other Democrat has an opportunity to even decide to run in the NY-25 primary.  That's an interesting change in the DCCC's position on primaries.  Last year, when Massa faced a primary challenge, the DCCC was the Switzerland of political committees, scrupulously neutral.  This is still more evidence that Eric Massa is not the candidate of the Democratic establishment.

Finally, Randy Kuhl made the news decrying the new border regulations.  The story on Rochester channel 13 began with Louise Slaughter (NY-28), who says that Chertoff is "absolutely breaking the law".  I assume that Louise will do what Congressional Democrats consistently do when faced with lawbreaking -- assume a fetal position and ignore it.  Unless, of course, it's lawbreaking in baseball, which gets some serious consideration.  The story ended with the claim that the identification law is necessary "to help avoid another 9/11 tragedy."   I wonder how long 9/11 will be trotted out to justify loss of liberty and convenience in return for a very questionable increase in safety.   As I've argued elsewhere, identity does not disclose intent.


I don't think that Randy will retire either. I'm guessing that he's thinking that once he disposes of Massa he'll be able to cruise into retirement many years from now. I understand that others Republican Congesspeople who have been around for a while see the fun coming to an end, but for him it's just starting. In the feudal southern tier he gets to call a lot of shots because of his status and connections in Rochester, I doubt that he wants to give that up.

Speaking of retirement, how about the way the stimulus package excludes the majority of retirees on Social Security who don't make enough money from investments or other sources to qualify? They still pay taxes on their benefits, don't they? One argument I just read (Newark Star Ledger) is that they wouldn't spend the money because they are too unsure about their future, so they would just save it!

Every stimulus package becomes a way for politicians to reward valued constituencies, rather than a way to actually goose the economy. I guess that group just doesn't count enough.

So we've gone from timely, targeted and temporary to untimely, targeted at the wrong people, and temporary. Still 1/3 by my count.

Just got off the phone with a pollster. Listed all the neat things Randy did and all the bad ideas Eric has. So I assume the poll was commissioned by someone on the right.

The interesting thing is she asked me who I would vote for in a contest with Eric Massa - Kuhl, George Winner, Tom Santulli or some Tom guy I have never heard of. Maybe there is some truth to the rumor.

Very interesting - I've always assumed Winner was the heir apparent.

What about the fellow from (was it?) Gates, the conservative Republican who ran against Randy for the nomination when the seat first became open? And wouldn't there be other Monroe/Ontario GOP talent lining up to run in event there is a retirement (which I seriously doubt).