Monday, November 3, 2008

Last gasps

Yes, all my friends are biting their nails, wondering how the Republicans will manage to steal the election this time. As for me, I've managed to kick the worrying habit. If nefarious plots are in progress, there's nothing I can do to stop them, so I'll just wait and see.

Here in New York, nobody has any doubt which candidate will get our electoral votes. If everybody I know voted for McCain tomorrow, it wouldn't make a damned bit of difference. On the other hand, it turns out that I live in a pivotal State Senate district -- and that is turning out to be increasingly amusing.

For as long as I can remember, the State Senate has been Republican and the Assembly has been Democratic -- and I remember back to the Averell Harriman administration. (I was at Ten Mile River Boy Scout Camp the year Rockefeller was elected. He came to visit, and we greeted him by singing "H... A... double R I... MAN spells Harriman..." We were city boys.)

So, now, the Republican control of the State Senate is endangered, and one of the danger spots is where I live, in eastern Suffolk County here on Long Island. Our Republican State Senator, Caesar Trunzo, has been credibly challenged by Brookhaven Town Supervisor Brian X. Foley.

Forget Obama and McCain. Out here in the Far East, we know which contest really counts. Nary a cent has been spent on the presidential election, but I've had glossy, full color mail every day from Trunzo and Foley. Sometimes I glance at it, sometimes I just put it straight into the recycling bin.

Foley's mail says how he cleaned up "Crookhaven." (The Dems didn't make that up -- my home town was widely known as "Crookhaven," and was a Republican patronage mill, from well before I moved here in the early 70s.) Foley's election didn't exactly create a revolution, but it helped.

Trunzo's mail screams, "Foley raised your taxes!" Hell, everybody raised our taxes out here, regardless of political party. (Even I raised our taxes, back when I was a local political operative for the teacher's union.)

I'm pretty sure the vast majority of the expensive, full color mailers wound up either in the recycling bins or the regular trash without anybody bothering to look at them. I'm pretty sure most people hung up on the recent robo-calls too, but I listened to a few.

I got two today. One was from Bill Clinton, asking me to vote for Brian Foley. When a former president gets involved in local politics, you know the party thinks it's important. The other wound up on my answering machine, so the whole first part probably was missing. The part I got asked me to vote for Barack Obama and Caesar Trunzo -- a split ticket. Maybe it was from the Trunzo people, trying to associate themselves with the sure winner. More likely, though, it was from the teacher's union. My old union started out making no endorsement in the race for State Senate. Then the gutless wonders got cold feet when it started to look like Trunzo would win. (They've always been pussies.)

My favorite robo-call came yesterday. It purported to be from a Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered group endorsing Foley because of his support for same-sex marriage. It was so clearly a Republican dirty trick, I had to laugh out loud.

I've met both Trunzo and Foley quite a few times over the years, and I'll vote for Foley over Trunzo, despite Trunzo's proven ability to bring home the pork since he was first elected during the Nixon administration. If the state Democrats are depending on my district to take over the State Senate, though, they'll probably be disappointed.

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