Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Bosses Are Back!

For the past decade and a half, the Rensselaer County Democrats seemed to have learned from their mistakes. The kind of mistakes that landed them in federal court, watching as Democrat after Democrat testified about more than $600,000 in insurance commissions extorted by Democrat Boss Ed McDonough. The leadership of the party has been restrained, fairly respectful and usually content to stay back in the shadows.

But not anymore. Since he won election about a year ago, Tom Wade has been center stage, twisting arms, shouting orders and pushing longtime loyal Democrats around. That's one reason he is a target of a grand jury looking into his alleged extortion of campaign contributions from several Democrat employees at the county Board of Elections.

Not to be outdone, Troy City Dem Chair Frank LaPosta was next to publicly flex his supposed muscles. LaPosta was giving orders to members of the Democrat City Council majority right there in the pages of the Troy Record. No hiding in the back rooms, or sending messages by courier; Boss Frank is content to dispense marching orders to his troops right in the pages of Troy's hometown newspaper. Longtime observers said they can't recall the last time a political leader involved himself so blatantly in public affairs. Not a good omen for the incoming Dem council members.