Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Guilderland - Final Days

Less than one week to go until the election -- Guilderland voters will decide who should be on their town board.

Mark Grimm and I are running on a message of ending the secrecy and insider privileges. Mike Ricard and Dave Bosworth are running on, well ... I'm not sure exactly what.

Let's see. They sued me to knock me off the ballot and deprive voters of a choice. That didn't work. They refused to debate us. That sure didn't work for John Sweeney, and it doesn't look good for them on that.

Hmm. Ricard managed to get himself a sweet deal on his tax assessment. His house is bigger than mine, with more than 20 times as much land, an in-ground pool and the biggest shed I've ever seen (2100 square feet) - I don't have a pool or a shed. And his house is assessed more than $40K lower than mine. If that's not bad enough, Mark Grimm's house is smaller than mine, with less land - and again no pool and no shed, and he's assessed even higher.

Oh, and about that pool, Ricard got a variance to put it close to the property line. He couldn't find any other place for it - on 12 acres.

Meanwhile Dave Bosworth has himself a sweet deal with the county. Albany County funds a non-profit he runs to the tune of $1.4 million/year. He's the Albany County Democratic Chair. Two of the non-profit board members are members of the Albany County legislature (Democrats - that's a shocker). The treasurer of the non-profit is a fellow town board member (Democrat). The outside auditor is a contributor to ... wait for it ... the Albany County Democratic Committee (of which Bosworth is chair - but I already mentioned that). And the IRS filings conveniently avoid mentioning these details.

But wait, there's more. Boss Boz and family bring home nearly $200K in reported salary and benefits from this taxpayer-funded non-profit. This does not include the unreported benefits like the loaded Ford Expedition (Eddie Bauer Edition) he's been seen driving, and who knows what else.

But I'm not being fair. They do claim they've lowered taxes. The NYS Comptroller doesn't agree (and he's a Democrat), but they say it nonetheless. My taxes certainly aren't lower.

They claim they've improved the town website. See for yourself - it's nothing special.

They have successfully squashed economic development in the town. But maybe that's not a bragging point.

They claim they've improved Guilderland's Tawasentha Park. I've been doing there for over 30 years and don't see the improvement. The pool is badly outdated. Take a look at the Crossings in Colonie to see what a nice park can be. Lots of Guilderland families go there - including mine.

Time for a change? What do you think? Go to the Guilderland NY website to find out more.

Ron Paul on Leno

Ron Paul appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno just now. I'm sure it will be available on YouTube or other sources any minute.

He really hit it out of the park. He stayed on his message, and he spoke without sounding like canned soundbites. With his fundraising success and all that's going right for him, as he puts it, there really is a risk he might win. :-)

First news story about it appears to be in USA Today

And here's the video:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Speeding tickets: One opinion

Saw this article online about whether it's worth it to fight a speeding ticket:

MSN Money article on speeding tickets

Not sure I agree completely, and also not sure that all the comments apply in New York State. Still, a cautionary tale for those who get a ticket.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Guilderland: Personal attacks in politics

Here they go again. The Mike Ricard and Dave Bosworth team have attacked me personally, along with my running mate Mark Grimm. The latest salvo is in the August 4 edition of the Altamont Enterprise. These are letters to the editor, and do not appear in the online edition. Attributed to Ken Runion, who is running uncontested, and Don Csaposs, who is not an elected official, they are of course really doing this on behalf of Ricard and Bosworth.

Runion has been accusing us of engaging in personal attacks. Wikipedia defines personal attack as follows: Generally, a personal attack is committed when a person substitutes abusive remarks for evidence when examining another person's claims or comments.

I can't deny that we have criticized our opponents, but our criticisms have been focused on relevant issues and supported by evidence. We are not engaging in name-calling or attacking anyone's character.

In sharp contrast, Csaposs refers to us as "the twin peaks of mindless self-promotion," and our views as "the Grimm/Redlich Kool-Aid." Runion calls us "attack dogs," and "very negative individuals."

Gentlemen please ... flattery will get you nowhere. :-)

You can't run for local office without somehow criticizing the incumbents. Maybe at the federal or state level you can run on an issue, like abortion or gun rights. Local politics is mainly about how the local government is managed. If it's run well, you pretty much can't win. It so happens that a number of things are wrong with Guilderland government. They need to be fixed and that's why we're running. Find out more on the Guilderland NY page.

Troubles for new attorneys

I saw another great article in the Wall Street Journal, though it's a couple weeks old now. The law market as a whole has been relatively flat compared to overall growth in the economy. Meanwhile the number of law graduates, and thus, new lawyers, has increased quite a bit.

Many students now graduate from law school with over $100K in debt - I know one who owes $150K. The article details the difficulties many face finding work and making enough to handle the debt load. As one young friend says, he has a mortgage without the house.

They mention one attorney who graduated in 2005, owes $118K, and makes $50K working in Manhattan. Hopefully he lives with his parents.

The public perception is that all lawyers are rich. It's simply not true. I know one lawyer who consolidated his student loans and may still be paying them in his 70s.

I have been fortunate in my career, though the first couple years was a bumpy ride. People should be aware that it isn't easy, and many lawyers struggle.

Follow up on unsolicited attorney mailings

In late July I did a post describing a letter that was mailed to a client of mine. This is known as an unsolicited attorney mailing. I think, but am not sure, that the powers that be in our profession decided there is nothing wrong with such a mailing. Nevertheless, I have no plans to mimic it.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Guilderland NY Update

Our Guilderland NY campaign for Town Board rolls onward. I updated the campaign website with more information and a better layout for the home page. There is a new page detailing Mike Ricard's illegal variance, and another page on Dave Bosworth and his unethical abuse of his nonprofit.

Incumbents Mike Ricard and Dave Bosworth are now bravely refusing to debate us. They are consistent, as the Dems also refused to debate in 2003 and 2005.

Things seem to be going well. Our campaigns are coming together and, in addition to the outreach on the web, we will be able to reach more voters in more traditional campaign avenues. We've also put together a good list of supporters.

An important message -- Please vote. And please tell your friends and family in Guilderland to vote too!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Traffic Court Landmark - 100K pageviews in 30 days

Our traffic court directory website hit a new landmark. As the image below (from Google Analytics) shows*, there were over 100,000 pageviews in the last 30 days. Two other landmarks are getting more than 45,000 visits, and over 40,000 unique visitors. Some visitors visit twice, so there are more visits than unique visitors.

We continue to increase coverage of states. Most of our current growth involves traffic courts in Ohio and also Virginia traffic courts.

I'm not sure how or why, but one of the top keywords bringing visitors to our site is the term court. I don't see it showing up on web searches for that term, but Analytics says that many people come to the site searching for that word.

*This morning as I write this there seems to be a problem with Blogger getting the image to display. This will probably fix itself soon.