Monday, June 01, 2009

The Green Team

The growing tensions between Rensselaer County Democrat county boss Tom Wade and City Chairman Frank LaPosta finally boiled over this weekend, and both the races for County Legislature and City Council are in play.

Disgusted with a lack of respect for his abilities and leadership, and the poor selection of candidates for County Legislature by Wade, LaPosta announced he will be running a  primary for County Legislature. He is bringing along his ally Dan Doran for the ride, and challenging the group of unknowns picked by Wade to run for Legislature dubbed the Ticket Fillers by one Democrat.

LaPosta's announcement was met with the usual chorus of insults and attacks by Wade, who termed LaPosta and Doran "recyclables"; in honor of their environmentally-friendly ways, we'll call the LaPosta-Doran primary duo the Green Team.

The Green Team of LaPosta and Doran versus the Ticket Fillers of Grimm and five others whose names we can't recall. Give the early edge to LaPosta, who has been patiently waiting for the opportunity to flex his muscle and growing clout in the party. The seeds of the showdown were sown when Wade's attempt earlier this year to hijack the candidate selection process was shot down by LaPosta, with that episode further weakening Wade after his stunning defeat in the primary for the Senate seat now held by Roy McDonald. In that contest, Wade backed Brian Premo, who got beat big time by Mike Russo.

That primary disaster weakened Wade but his stature has been damaged by his inability to attract anyone to run for County Executive or County Clerk, and a failure to attract any big name candidates for County Legislature. Add that to Wade and top Democrat's silence over the stunning and outrageous array of tax increases approved by Democrats who run state government, and you can see the opening for LaPosta's Green Team.

The crack-up over County Legislature candidates was just one of the weekend headaches for Wade and Democrats. Keith Rogers, once considered a Democrat hopeful for County Legislature announced on Saturday he would be running for an At-Large seat on the Republican ticket. Rogers, who was elected previously as a Democrat, said the GOP is on the right track in the city and more aligned with his way of thinking.

The Rogers announcement was accompanied by more sniping between Wade and LaPosta and coupled with the news of the primaries, and the open feuding between party leaders, probably caused only more bad feelings among the badly fractured Democrat party.