Last November when I went to the polls to do my civic duty, I got into the voting booth with my ballot and discovered there was nobody to vote for. Almost every race was run by candidates unopposed. At least this November we are at least assured of one Republican on the ballot.
Last Saturday, the people gathered outside Colvin Avenue waiting; just like the Vatican, it finally came. A white smoke came streaming from the chimney; signaling they had chosen a candidate for the soon to be vacant Assembly seat in the 109th District. The committee chose Frank Commisso Sr. (not to be confused with Frank Commisso Jr. who wants to be mayor.) The reasoning behind their choice was simple: "Frank's longtime dedication to the Democratic Party". You work three decades for the party and you get rewarded with the most desired seat.
I'm sure that it happens elsewhere; lifetime, career politicians who get the office handed to them because they are good soldiers. I have lived in Albany for most of my adult life and I have seen three mayors: Erastus Corning, Tom Whalen and our current Mayor Jennings (Jerry, by the way was not the choice of the party). When I was old enough to vote, I registered as a Democrat. Why? Because my father was one, as was his father. If you lived in the city of Albany and owned property, you registered as a Democrat. In the Corning years they called it the "Machine". A well oiled machine that if loyal, got you a job. Over the years it might have gotten a little bit more sophisticated, but it is still the same.
In May the party will meet at the Polish Club and publicly anoint all of its candidates. This weekend the committee will decide that John McDonald will succeed Ron Canestrari in the 108th District. In the meantime, other candidates not on the approved list will come forth and announce their candidacy for the 108th and 109th Districts. The lists are long and we can expect interesting primaries in both districts. The Republicans will throw to the wolves Mike Byer and Ted Danz for the 108th and 109th respectively. We also can't forget about mayor. Some Common Council members are making noise, and a primary might be in sight for that race. My guess is that in a primary, Jerry wins big. That's because hydrofracking or not, he has done a great job running this city.
One thing remains certain. No matter how things change, they always remain the same. It is still the "Machine".
And that is "The Daily Take"