Leader Editorial: "Kuhl's Decision Should Damage Him Politically"

Today's Corning Leader editorial [pdf], courtesy of reader Elmer, expresses the Leader's dissatisfaction with Kuhl's rejection of the WETM/Leader debate invitation.

Citing the 2006 debate where Kuhl's response on Katrina received some laughs from the audience, the Leader notes:

The question that has to be asked is, if Kuhl is shaken by a few laughing audience members, how would he react in a true crisis?

It also appears as if Kuhl is afraid to face questions he hasn't prepared for ahead of time.


I must admit, I didn't expect The Leader to take such a determined editorial stand---in this case. I wonder if the final comments about Massa's being partly to blame is setting things up for a "No Endorsement" editorial, decrying everyone's behavior? They've endorsed Randy the last couple of races, haven't they? Or am I wrong? Thanks, fellow reader-bloggers.

I'm not privy to the internal workings of the Corning Leader. All I know is that Randy Kuhl just showed a serious paper some serious disrespect. Don't be led astray by that last little bit about Massa. I would be shocked if the Leader endorses Kuhl after this. 6 months ago, I'd be shocked if it went the other way.

I think the reason the Leader is so upset by this "snub" is that in 2004 when Kuhl ran against Barend and his divorce papers were leaked the papers, most of the Southern Tier Papers refused to print the details, and the Leader seemed to have taken the lead on in in the Southern Tier. Now Randy Kuhl is basically thumbing his nose at them. One would think that Kuhl would have personal relationships with media in the Southern tier, since he has basically been a politician there for the past 30 years, however it seems that his entire world is crashing in on him.

It looks like Massa won't have the numbers to bear Kuhl at the end of the day, but little by little each campaign is causing Randy Kuhl to retreat further from his home and public life. He no longer conducts public meetings, goes in public, or even will debate. One wonders how much he is enjoying this.

Remember, its not like he is coming across as so popular in the last few years by local Republicans, yes he gets their endorsements each time, but no popular Republican is willing to stick out their neck for him, and say, "stop enough", so either they don't like him that much, or they are waiting for him to fall so they can swoop in and run for the seat.

I didn't know that the Leader withheld the divorce papers. They also endorsed him in '04 and '06.

As for whether Massa will have the numbers, I honestly don't have a feeling for that. I do know that turnout in 2004 was almost double 2006. I expect a similar situation in 2008. Massa didn't lose by much in 2006, and bigger turnout generally favors the Democrat.

Of course, I live in Monroe County and see Massa stickers and signs all day every day, so I don't have a feel for what's going on in the Southern Tier.

James, that is a, frankly, poignant and thoughtful post. I hadn't thought about it but yes, you likely are on to something. Randy's seat likely will be combined with another's following the 2010 census, so he may be playing out the clock. But you're right; he very well may not be enjoying this much at all. He aspired to an entirely new, higher level and now----has it.

One thing which IS going on in Steuben is a growing free-for-all general election for Sheriff. Too complicated to detail now but the GOP runnerup has won the nod of the County Conservative Committee, as well as the Independent line, and the third-place finisher in the hotly-contested primary has agreed "to run" with the Conservatsive/Indepndent, serving as Undersheriff in even the Conservative/Independent wins. People over there have STRONG OPINIONS about this race--big-time--and now Demos and all of the voters can jump in. There are small fast-appearing sideshows such as occasional GOP bloggers calling for the County Chairman to resign, etc. A determined GOTV for the GOP campaign of course will help Randy but there probably is going to be A LOT of thoughtful ticket-splitting throughout the county Election Day.

Who'd have thought it. Throw in the snub against "The Leader" and.......something to see!