Thursday, June 04, 2009

Panic Time

Rensselaer County Democrats are growing increasingly desperate about their inability to find candidates, raise money and stop a battle over leadership of the party. In an emergency move, Democrats have decided to postpone their nominating meeting to June 15, moving the meeting back by at least a week.

The meeting move shows the chaos Democrats are now experiencing. The first day for nominating petitions to be circulated is June 9, meaning Democrats will be a week late in collecting signatures.

The panic move in rescheduling and delaying the meeting is seen by Democrats as an attempt by party boss Tom Wade to save face. Wade is still unable to attract any candidates for County Executive or County Clerk, and has fielded a historically weak ticket for County Legislature. The GOP probably has the biggest advantage in fundraising in years over Democrats, who are beginning to view the 2009 elections as a looming disaster. Democrats were also stunned that Keith Rogers, a former councilman who the party was hoping to run this year, is instead running with Republicans for City Council.

Add those problems to the primary battles Democrats will be seeing because of Wade's heavy-handed style of running the party. Former Troy Councilwoman Beth Walsh is readying a primary for Family Court against Wade's pick of Richard Hanft. A third candidate, East Greenbush attorney Geri Pomerantz, may also join the race for the party's nomination for Family Court.

And then there is the primary being waged by city Chairman Frank LaPosta and former Councilman Dan Doran against the six candidates selected by Wade for County Legislature in Troy and dubbed the Ticket Fillers by one leading Democrat. LaPosta was shut out of the process of selecting legislative candidates, and has decided to put his growing clout to use on the campaign trail.

With LaPosta on the outs with Wade, you can expect that LaPosta and his team, and Walsh, will be out in force on June 9. Wade's desire to save face will keep their party opponents off the streets until a week later, which may be a steep price to pay.