Politics Open Thread: Your take on Bernie and Hillary and Donald? Stefanik, Funiciello and Derrick?

Candidates for the NY-21 congressional race.

Candidates for the NY-21 congressional race.

The New York primary looms

So it’s closing argument time, at least for New York’s Democratic primary. Hillary Clinton needs a big win here to seal the deal on her nomination. Bernie Sanders needs a win as he tries to chart a viable path to an upset.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump desperately needs a victory Tuesday after a couple of bruising weeks on the campaign trail. He’ll be in Plattsburgh and Watertown wooing voters Friday and Saturday.

A subtext to the Battle for the Empire State is the fact that this is a closed primary. Roughly 1-in-3 registered North Country voters aren’t eligible to cast ballots on Tuesday.

So what do you think? Here’s an open thread for political junkies to sound off through the weekend. Remember to keep it civil.

Previously:  Sanders vs. Clinton

Bernie and Hillary are campaigning in New York ahead of the April 19th primary. Sanders was in the Bronx yesterday and Clinton made a whistle stop at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The latest polls show the Vermont Senator closing the gap, but still trailing by 12 points. Meanwhile, Clinton is rallying old allies to stump for her, including former St. Lawrence County administrator Karen St. Hilaire.

What do you think?  Are you feeling the Bern? Do you share Clinton’s sense that Sanders is taking cheap shots at the Democratic frontrunner?

NY21:  A major fight or a political dud?

We’ll be profiling the three candidates in the weeks ahead. We’ve already dug into Democrat Mike Derrick’s record and career. Click here and here to check out those stories.

So what do you think? I call this a “big” race, but is the House race likely to be truly competitive? In a three-way race in 2014, Republican Elise Stefanik won 53 percent of the vote, topping her closest challenger by nearly 40,000 votes.

The Trump Factor?

Stefanik says she’ll support the Republican presidential candidate, no matter who that is — even Donald Trump, even Ted Cruz. Rep. Richard Hanna, the Republican who represents a small part of the North Country, has gone a different route, saying he won’t support those candidates. “This party used to be the party of common sense conservatism and it’s become ideologically strangled, a victim of its own extremes,” Hanna told WRVO.  “The closet bigotry, and not so closeted bigotry, all of it I’m deeply offended by.”

Hanna isn’t seeking re-election, but his position could put pressure on Stefanik. What do you think? Will the Trump factor matter in NY21?

The Funiciello Factor

In 2014, Matt Funiciello fought his way into double-digits, scoring nearly 11 percent of the total vote. He’s back for another round. What’s your take on his candidacy? A classic spoiler making it impossible for the Democrat to compete? A valiant, principled run by a North Country maverick?

Is there a way for Derrick to woo Funiciello voters? What do you think of Derrick’s argument that a vote for Funiciello is a “wasted” vote?

Is Derrick’s military service an X-factor?

Mike Derrick has the kind of service record that looks great on any political resume. He fought in four land battles during Desert Storm. He’s a West Point grad who has worked for the State Department. In a district that includes Fort Drum, could that real-world military- and foreign-policy expertise give him an edge?

Stefanik has made military and foreign policy issues a cornerstone of her political agenda, serving on the House Armed Services Committee. She championed the end of the ‘sequester’ budget cuts for the military and has visited troops overseas. She also worked for a conservative foreign policy think-tank before running for Congress.
So how does the military-defense issue play? Is it a wash?

Those are my questions as we wade into the campaign season. Feel free to chime in with any thoughts or ideas or questions of your own, but remember to keep it civil. All these politicians and candidates are in the business of public service. They deserve scrutiny and tough questions, but also civility and respect. With that, consider this thread officially open.

49 Comments on “Politics Open Thread: Your take on Bernie and Hillary and Donald? Stefanik, Funiciello and Derrick?”

  1. Brian MOFYC says:

    I wish Brian Mann would stop implying that Funiciello is going to “take votes away” from Derrick exclusively. Let’s leave aside the fact that you can’t take away something from someone that was never theirs in the first place.

    If Mr. Mann were to consult the final 2015 electoral poll that HE HIMSELF REPORTED ON, he would know that in 2014, Funiciello polled more or less evenly amongst Republicans (9%), Democrats (11%) and independents (14%). This is not speculation or “conventional wisdom” or analysis. These are facts. Facts based on the polls that modern day reporters are so enamored with.

    And there’s no reason to believe that this year will be significantly different.

    I realize that most journalists don’t have a clue how to fairly report on smaller party candidates. But Mr. Mann could try basing it on information that he himself has already reported on. If not, then skip the opinionating all together and stick to the issues.

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  2. SESZOO says:

    If it comes to a election between Elise Stefanik and Mike Derrick , will have to go with Mike Derrick only because of his Military expierience and the times our world is entering into with a state of constant war being the new normal , Would like someone who has actually expierienced it to have a hand in decideing the future of our young folks .. Other wise would again Back Matt Funicello because of his background as a small business person and knowing what it takes to survive as a business in the North Country . Elise jumped right on to the national Republican bandwagon too fast and is too much of one of their so-called up and coming rising star and it seems she’s more interested in becoming a carreer politician instead of a representative of the North Country in Washington… Will be voting persons instead of party as the two party system is what has brought us to the point in national politics that we have now have and the quality of candidates we now see ,which borders on the absurb from both parties …

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  3. Brian Mann says:

    Brian MOFYC –

    We’ve discussed this before but I’ll repeat my main points.

    1. Yes, some of Matt’s supporters were Republicans, but many of those Republicans were voters who would have swung to the Democratic column in NY21. We know from long experience that Republican-Democrat labels don’t mean a whole lot in this district. In fact, in order to compete in 2014 Aaron Woolf needed to hoover up a lot of Republican votes. Did Funiciello make that harder? Sure.

    2. The reason I talk about Matt “taking votes away” from the Democrat is that Matt is much, much farther by every metric from gathering a winning majority of votes. If Matt Funiciello were polling at 30-40% and another candidate at 10% was competing for the same pool of voters, then I would be reporting it the other way around – that another politician was taking votes away from the Green candidate.

    3. Matt himself acknowledged that vote-splitting on the left was a factor when he urged the Democrat, Aaron Woolf, to drop out of the race in 2014. Despite the fact that Aaron Woolf was polling much stronger, Matt described Woolf as a spoiler who was muddying the race for voters and urged him to quit. Bernie Sanders has also spoken in detail this year about how third candidates affect political contests.

    So the idea that this kind of vote-splitting isn’t a real factor reshaping the NY21 general election again this year just doesn’t wash.

    -Brian, NCPR

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  4. PirateEdwardLow says:

    1) repeating an opinion, does not make it fact. Unless you interviewed a lot of .. um maybe all… of the voters who voted for Mr. Funiciello, I am not sure how one could say what those Green voters were thinking, but I am pretty sure that without data, you have to say it is a guess, however educated we pretend it to be.

    Mr. Funiciello maybe needed to hoof up some republican votes, but it was a pretty good pony to ride, where as Mr. Woolf only had a donkey to put a saddle on

    2) Only people who can poll 40% should run for office? I am thankful Bernie Sanders didn’t follow that rule. Glad that Obama or Mitt Romney didn’t drop out when their poll numbers were below 30%… for that matter there should only be one republican candidate right now, if you make 30% the golden rule of politics

    You might say in the primaries it is a different story, but then you would have to explain why ted cruz was saying that all the candidates (all below the golden rule of politics) should drop out, because they must be siphoning numbers from him.

    2a) why is choice a bad thing?

    3) you can’t bring up Bernie Sanders, because at one point he was polling under 10% and that means he can’t be in the discussion.

    I believe that Aaron Woolf was not a good choice against the money and structure of the republican party that Ms. Stefanik had behind her. To defeat the status quo (you thought I wouldn’t bring that up ha) you don’t go to their banks, you go to the people.

    Have you consider delving into Mike Derrick’s republican career.. I would think (as does the NRCC https://www.nrcc.org/2015/05/11/whats-republican-turned-unaffiliated-turned-republican-turned-democrat-voter-mike-derrick/) that he could be taking voters from a more conservative constituent that Ms. Stefanik represents.

    My on going point that I have made, but I will repeat: why is choice bad?

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  5. Pete Klein says:

    The two party system is the problem. The country is controlled by political insiders and to a certain extent by media insiders. Put that all together with rich people who support the parties and you end up with what we have.
    What we have is pick candidate A or pick candidate B and convince yourself that you get to pick who you want to represent you.

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  6. Brian Mann says:

    PEL –

    1. No one has suggested that Matt shouldn’t run for office. As I noted, Matt did, in fact, suggest that Aaron Woolf should drop out of the last race. I’ve never suggested that anyone shouldn’t run. The more the merrier.
    2. You suggest that Aaron Woolf was an inferior pony, but he garnered three times as many votes as Matt.
    3. Choice is a good thing. So is information. When two candidates compete for votes on the center-left while only one candidate fights for votes on the center-right, that changes a race (as Sen. Sanders has noted). That’s good information.

    -Brian, NCPR

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  7. Brian MOFYC says:

    Regarding Matt’s call for Woolf to drop out because he was a spoiler, surely you’re sophisticated enough to realize that was a tongue-in-cheek job at the spoiler myth. C’mon Brian, that wasn’t your first rodeo.

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  8. Brian MOFYC says:

    Incidentally, the claim “two candidates compete for votes on the center-left while only one candidate fights for votes on the center-right” is not a fact, it’s a prediction. I’m sure all the candidates will try compete for votes from all sides and will receive them from all sides. Obviously, some will do better in particular places than others.

    There are Republicans who voted for Funiciello last time and will do so this time. There are Democrats who will vote for Stefanik. There will probably be a few Greens who vote for Derrick. The real question is, so what? As a citizen, this fact does not help me cast a more informed vote.

    Maybe journalists and reporters are obsessed with horse race garbage because there is so little discussion of issues. But rather than feeding this crap, journalists would be more responsible to call the pols out on it. This is exactly what has enabled Donald Trump’s rise, a media obsessed with horse race crap and mostly ignoring real issues.

    But in an era where journalism is dying, maybe that’s too much to ask. NCPR is noe of the best outlets out there. Let’s try to keep it that way.

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  9. Brian MOFYC says:

    What’s interesting is that in the last cycle, when your reports actually focused on issues, you did a phenomenal job. Far better than any other outlet. The reports were fair, quoted all three candidates extensively and focused on the issue at hand. Not just a few of them but all of them. Even one that maybe did not reflect the best on my preferred candidate to the electorate, I still thought it was fairly presented. I hope most of your reports will be like that, devoid of spin.

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  10. PirateEdwardLow says:

    Mr. Mann

    1) if we have some nits to pick, “If Matt Funiciello were polling at 30-40% . . ” , that statement could easily been taken to mean that unless you have a chance to win with a high percentage, then you should not be running

    2) I should have said that Mr. Woolf was not a superior candidate for me. It should be added might does not make right. The person who gets the most votes.. is winning in popularity, but that does not make them the best candidate. American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, but I am not going to ask him to pull logs out of the Adirondacks. Or more concretely, you can tell me george w bush won two elections with a popular vote, it will never mean he was a superior president.

    3) We seem to different on choice. If the election had been Woolf/Stefanik, I might have voted for the lesser of two evils, not the person I thought was suited for the job… with choice I often can find the right person, not the moderate person.

    I agree with Brian MOFYC.. when you or someone else suggests they could win if Mr. Funiciello drop out so they can win, it is an amusing response to point out that maybe everyone would have voted for Mr. Funiciello if: a) Mr. Woolf Wasn’t running and b) once Mr. Funiciello has 50% of the vote, more will switch to a winner… i.e. the right guy, not the percentage guy

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  11. MM_Potsdam says:

    I think this is a very interesting match up this year. My understanding is, as some have said in the comments, that Aaron Wolf was not a great choice for various reasons. It seems that many people are so swayed by the two party system that they’ll just go into the polls and check the D or R box. Maybe that’s why Aaron Wolf still had more votes than Matt? Not sure.

    I think it is so crucial for voters to be well-informed about each of the candidates, but I don’t feel like they are. I remember when I was in probably elementary school, we looked at this lovely little chart that compared the idea points of each of the presidential candidates that year (I will not tell you what year! haha…). Of course, I was 10 and wasn’t going to be able to vote, but I think that the media might need to make these kinds of infographics for everyone anyway! How about you, Brian, create a chart for NY21 that shows the top 10 or 20 political ideas and gives a brief explanation of each candidate’s ideas or plans? That way we don’t have to focus on the parties, we can just focus on their ideas and whether their ideas represent our own personal beliefs. I assume this will be a relatively tough project and might leave out details, but I think it could start some conversations for the vast majority of people who won’t read a whole article or biography or ISSUES page on a candidate’s website to get all this information. Lay it all out so a 10 year old can get it.

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  12. Ellen B says:

    A vote for Funicello is a wasted vote, not because it draws from anyone else, but because he is not fit to govern. He has repeatedly stood by his belief that the buildings collapse on 9/11 was not caused by planes flying into the sides of said buildings but by some mysterious other factor. I will never vote for a creationist, a flat-earther, an anti-vaxxer, or a 9/11 truther.

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  13. PirateEdwardLow says:

    Two thoughts:

    Mr. MM_Potsdam: I like the chart idea… it actually would be helpful for even those who have done research — Using myself as an example. During the last election I went Mr. Funiciello’s web page and facebook page (along with articles on him) and analyzed his policy ideas. I did that to some degree for the other two, but since Mr. Funiciello just about perfectly aligned to what I believed.. I didn’t feel the need to look closely at others. Of course maybe if there was an easy chart to look at I might have thought.. well well well, Ms. Stefanik is against giant corporate perks…

    thought two, I appreciate this ability for open comments by Mr. Mann and NCPR, I just worry that maybe it would be better where there was a profile oriented forum that allow ncpr to block crazy posts by the pirate.

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  14. Paul says:

    Wait a minute. Is that they 9-11 conspiracy theory guy? You’re kidding me.

    I thought that I has seen it all with national politics.

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  15. Paul says:

    MM, the league of women voters often puts out info like you are asking for.

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  16. Paul says:

    I looked it up he is the conspiracy theory guy. Wow.

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  17. PirateEdwardLow says:

    I think the conspiracy guy is the guy who has explained that he is going with what congress found…

    But if agreeing with congress makes you bad. who can you vote for…

    mike drop

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  18. pirateedwardlow says:

    http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/31404/20160328/ny21-democrat-mike-derrick-says-rep-stefanik-is-vulnerable#comment-2594216853

    As for my “9/11 trutherism”, Brian was the one to report this “incredible” story. A story so cool that most competent journalists had already read my Times Union blog and saw this as a total non-starter. Because I am not a “truther”, as my blog details, I just happen to agree with the two Democrats who headed up the 9/11 commission (that it needs to be properly re-investigated). And we need to give light to all the information the Bush administration swept under the carpet in order to foment our illegal wars in the Middle East.

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  19. Ellen B says:

    PEL, Funicello has said more than once that he thinks that at least one of the buildings that collapsed was not due to the plane crashes. He hasn’t given any alternative explanation for that view, just the “we need to investigate” dodge. These comments mean that either he is swayed by the Truther conspiracy movement or he is not being honest.

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  20. pirateedwardlow says:

    Ellen B

    I take him at his word

    Which is more crazy to you?

    • Every republican’s stance on Climate Change (including Stefanik, she doesn’t consider it an issue – https://stefanik.house.gov/)

    • Hillary’s response that millions of dollars don’t influence her, nor does she owe them anything

    • Now.. I don’t know how many politicians you agree with 100 %,

    • I like people who are willing to question the status quo, and the status quo way of doing things. ‘we need to investigate’ is not a dodge.

    • Benghazi, I think Hillary is innocent.. know why? you can’ only investigate so many times and find nothing before you can now have trust.

    • I am not sure if you agree 100% of the government version of everything. (Remember the government isn’t checking your phone records.. .well they weren’t until we found out they were.)

    • Or what your deal breaker issues are.. like are you for women’s healthcare as much as Stefanik isn’t? (she is against Affordable Healthcare Act and that is her stance on health care with a ‘dodge’ of we can do better.. can you tell me what her better is, what Mike Derrik’s policy is he has no policy statements on his page http://www.derrickforcongress.com/)

    There are few politicians that are me.. Mr. Funiciello is not on line with each issue I believe in. This one right here doesn’t bother me one bit. Lying about climate change is.

    Now it appears you and anyone who wants to dislike Mr. Funiciello thinks not trusting our government is a problem.. http://www.berniesanders.com thinks we should keep a better eye on our government officials.. is he a truth-er?

    I don’t think Matt Funiciello is perfect… .but acting as an optimist, I would prefer him for what he stands for, over people who don’t stand for much that I agree with.. or worse — in the case of our other two choices.. who knows what they stand for.

    Who is perfect to you.. who do you have no problem with? you have a candidate that you agree with on every issue? Then you are one lucky person and support them, but you don’t need to attack people for willing to let you know who they are…

    Ms. Stefanik hasn’t posted here and indulged in to the conversation, nor has Mr. Derrick.. That doesn’t make them bad people, they might actually be passionate for the North Country.. clearly we know Mr. Funiciello is and is willing to discuss issues with the people he will represent.

    * I would love to see Mr. Derrick and Ms. Stefanik to post here and take a stance… either one can start right now

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  21. pirateedwardlow says:

    http://poststar.com/news/opinion/editorial/endorsement-green-party-candidate-matt-funiciello-will-rattle-washington/article_8a2b724c-6144-11e4-930c-af59ad02c766.html

    “He does not hedge, hesitate or filter his remarks in any way. Some might find that unnerving, perhaps even frightening. We found it largely refreshing.”

    If being right is being wrong, I don’t want to be right.. or better put I don’t want to settle.. It is not easy being green, but like Kermit, it is a viable way to look ahead

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  22. Ellen B says:

    PEL, I am with you on the need to defeat Stefanik. I will support Derrick in his attempt to unseat her. I will not support Funicello. Yes, truherism is a deal-breaker for me.

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  23. pirateedwardlow says:

    the fact that: neither Stefanik nor Derrick have any issues on their web site; what I have heard of both of them does not appeal to me (Derrick a one time republican for one); and that Funiciello falls in line of how I believe our country should be.

    Maybe I could be swayed.. but you would have to produce some hard facts to your believe… since your implication is he is unhinged. There are so many other things that candidates believe in.. or take money for that make it difficult for me to disagree with the Post Star’s analysis

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  24. Dave says:

    The Spoiler Effect, or vote splitting, is an observed, studied, researched, and mathematically defined reality. It predates our nation and you can observe it anywhere votes are cast and there are more than two things being voted for.

    You can say that you don’t care if you spoil the election and hand a win to Stefanik… you can even say that you think our system needs to be changed so that third party spoiling does not have the negative impact it currently does, that we should adopt something like a ranked voting system…

    That is all fine. I’d even agree with the latter.

    But what you can’t say – without running contrary to established facts and observable reality – is that the Spoiler Effect is a “myth.” You might as well question gravity, or deny climate change, or be a 9/11 truther…

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  25. pirateedwardlow says:

    Or you can say you don’t care.

    I care. I want the best choice…

    I am too old to settle for the lesser of two evils. I want to go on in life picking the best choice.

    If you want you accept that

    you can accept either of the two candidates who have nothing about climate change on their web page, or the one who blames Obama for the demise of health care (same one who cares little about health care for her gender)

    You might try to find facts about 9/11.. but to blindly accept the wrong person.. is not the right thing to do.. might as well start eating pork rinds and pretending it is food because no one told you otherwise

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  26. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    I read this post this morning and thought “I put in more than my share of opinion, it would be great to see what other people are thinking.” So now I come back late in the day and find a few posts that aren’t warmed over, re-hashed, microwaved, leftover comments about the whole spoiler thing. A person might think that being called a spoiler is worse than Stefanik voting to allow coal burning in the mid-West. Or maybe worse than Trump wanting to punish women.

    Why would anyone else want to get into this conversation? It’s like walking in late to the keg party and there’s 3 drunks with pee on their shoes pumping the keg full of air complaining that the beer has too much head. Everyone interesting left in search of a better party.

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  27. pirateedwardlow says:

    Mr. KNL.. when you post.. do you ever think you are condescending

    I don’t mean to pee on your shoes or to be the neighbor asking you to turn down the music…maybe if you invited us we would be so much more cool

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  28. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Yeah, I suppose I am sometimes condescending, but don’t feel bad because I made the story about the keg party up. You don’t have to feel bad that you weren’t invited.

    But since we re talking about being condescending don’t you think it is condescending to constantly repeat “Drumf” or “lesser of two evils” ?

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  29. pirateedwardlow says:

    I know I come off as condescending.. . don’t mean to, but since I don’t change my approach.. so maybe I do want to be.

    I have low tolerance for people who deny facts.. that will go to a leader (usually a republican) to validate a selfishness. Those who don’t want climate change to exist, because they want to live a life style. Who will turn ted cruz into the only scientist they need because he says what they want to believe. If I was eight years old I would agree and say things like: carpet bomb the local bully and possibly align myself with the bully who beats up the bully. And those who refuse facts because they want to drive a hummer… Now, an old man, I probably go out of my way to point out the foolishness

    Now being disrespectful to drumpf… sorry I can’t believe your defense of someone who whole shtick is condescending and lies.. Yes I will always dismiss a man like drumpf. And if you want to prop him up and ignore the fact he can not talk for more than 10 minutes with out contradicting himself (punish women for abortion, don’t punish women.. then calls women names) or defend his name… fine.. if you sincerely believe that… I sincerely think you are foolish and wrong, but I don’t (think you think that or I think that.. not sure if I even think)

    warmed over, re-hashed, microwaved, leftover comments about the whole spoiler thing this is where I believe you to be condescending. In a way you are right… it is the same ol’ same ol’ : it is the keg party that attracts the police every Saturday night because those who weren’t invited didn’t like your attitude when you pointed out your keg party was the best, the biggest keg party, the keg party you are going to make us pay for, and will be 30 feet (it grows every day) high… and it will make America grate again, like the best parmesan cheese…

    …and analogies begin with four letters that remind us not to get to wound up into our own rhetoric.

    If you or anyone wants to believe Funiciello is nutso because he thinks 9/11 should be investigated more.. I will admit.. Mr. Funiciello is out there on that one. But, even as an atheist, I believe we all have flaws, with little psycho-idiosyncrasies. That could crumble the frat house we have our kegger at, if it was a brick in the foundation. A symbolism of where all our thinking comes from. With Mr. Funiciello, I don’t believe it is…

    Now as to the lesser of two evils…. I say that to play on the cliché.. I don’t know if they are evil or lesser.. right now I don’t know if they are two. Their web pages and few words they speak show little difference, even they are of two different parties.

    I know a little about Stefanik and she seems to be a toadie for the republican (keg) party and willing to accept vast amounts of money for her campaign (in return.. for what?).. just that.. and that the money in her politics says to me she is dependent, not independent, in her thinking. I of course want money out of politics.

    But neither Derrick or Stefanik have many issues on their web site.. neither has the brass audacity to interact with north country constituents on the ncpr comment section. Maybe that isn’t evil, but it isn’t virtuous.

    And you should not feel bad about your hypothetical keg party… though implying (if I was invited) one of us might pee on your shoes.. or think head is all we think about when drinking beer… while a fair and accurate assessment.. a condescending one, none the less (which is probably more than the lesser of two evils)

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  30. Brian Mann says:

    Hi guys –

    Generally, props to everybody for keeping it civil and trying to work out your own conflicts in a civil way. That’s great.

    Remember – the best way to keep it super civil and super non-conflict-y is to talk about ideas and policies and candidates (or even, God forbid, the media), not each other.

    Remember, too, that we’ll be feeding more facts into the conversation a this all moves along. I hope to spend at least a day with Matt Funiciello next week, then we’ll also do another deep dive on Elise Stefanik.

    So, stay tuned for more substance and have a great weekend,

    Brian, NCPR

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  31. pirateedwardlow says:

    deep dive on…

    woot woot – props for slight of hand wording…

    that is poetry in ocean

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  32. Brian Mann says:

    PEL –

    Huh?

    -Brian, NCPR

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  33. pirateedwardlow says:

    I would respectfully you delete this and previous post of mine

    but:

    then we’ll also do another deep dive on Elise Stefanik.

    is dripping in double entendre

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  34. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Thanks Brian M, right you are. Let’s talk about ideas…and a much wider spectrum of them.

    I am really interested to hear from someone who supports Stefanik and I was waiting for someone to chime in. For a representative who gained 53% of the vote last time there seems to be very little discussion from her supporters. Are there any voters in this district as passionate in her defense as PEL is in defense of Funiciello?

    I am as guilty as anyone of aggressively challenging “right wing” ideas, maybe most guilty, but it seems like we are all divided into like minded groups arguing with each other about increasingly esoteric points of essential agreement while not talking to the other side at all.

    So, personal spoiler alert here: I call myself a liberal but I don’t really know what being “liberal” or “conservative” really means anymore. It seems to me that we are pretty much all extremists, and it was fun being an extremist when everyone wasn’t doing it but now it is just a big mess with no adults in the room. I think being what I call a liberal now is really just being an ultra-PC Conservative. I want money spent in a limited way that isn’t wasteful and does the good it is intended for. I want government limited to only enough to perform the necessary functions that keep people living in peace and harmony – that means we must take care of the poor and elderly, prevent people and business from destroying our environment, prevent crime including fraud, provide for defense…blah blah blah. I could go on…

    But I want to know what people who call themselves conservative think about our current Rep. and her challengers.

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  35. Paul says:

    Knuck, I agree with you one the liberal conservative thing. We all should stop tossing it around so much, who cares. I have followed most of your comments here. You strike me as REASONABLE. You and I come down differently on many issues but you almost always make good sense.

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  36. Paul says:

    In an interview here with Brian M. Matt F. said flat out that he didn’t believe the facts uncovered by the bi-partisan commission on 9-11. He said that he “saw what he saw” that is what matters to him not facts but his own observations. I guess he wants more investigation until the facts match what he already seems to think is the truth. Sounds familiar, we don’t need any more of these kind of people running the show.

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  37. Terry de la Vega says:

    I want to thank Brian for his excellent interview with first time congressional candidate Mike Derrick. I happened to hear Mike Derrick speak this afternoon at the North Country 350 Sustainability Social in Potsdam. He was passionate about service. In response to questions from the audience, he articulated a clear understanding of a broad range of issues, including climate change, campaign finance reform, and the need to reverse privatization of government functions. He discussed ideas about economic development in NY 21, beginning with creating infrastructure projects to fix our crumbling roads and bridges. In contrast to Stefanik, who has never lived in the north country and is bankrolled by outside money and aligns herself outside interests, and Funicelo who barely lives in the district and could garner a maximum of 10-12% of the vote, Derrick is clearly the best choice to represent us in congress.

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  38. Peter Hahn says:

    We should really be talking about Mike Derrick vs Elise Stefanik. Elise Stefanik is a young straight-up Republican leadership wannabe who specializes in misleading talking points. Mike Derrick has lots of experience and seems like a much better representative for the North Country.

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  39. Louis Falzerano says:

    The way NPR, and Ncpr has dismissed or totally under reported Bernie Sanders candidacy is appalling. This morning you are promoting Clinton being in Albany for signing of minimum wage bill. You do not say Sanders has been supporting it for years , While Clinton has dismissed . SHAME
    I am sorry I will not give money to NCPR this cycle. I t will probably take a little time if I ever give again.

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  40. Dale Hobson says:

    Louis–

    NCPR is reporting about Hilllary Clinton today because she had been in the region campaigning Friday and again today for votes in the NY primary. Sen. Sanders and his campaign are currently in Wisconsin and focused on the Wisconsin primary tomorrow. So today, Clinton gets the ink from NCPR.

    Dale Hobson, NCPR

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  41. Louis Falzerano says:

    Do you think Cuomo invited both of them?

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  42. Brian MOFYC says:

    Is NCPR going to do any actual journalism about Funiciello’s candidacy or just call him a “spoiler”?

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  43. Brian MOFYC says:

    Please disregard above comment as I saw this was answered earlier. I look forward to the third choice voters have finally getting some coverage.

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  44. Jeremy Barlow says:

    The only wasted vote is a vote for corruption and any vote for Mike Derrick or Elise Stefanik is a vote for corruption.

    Derrick’s funding is coming from Wall Street law firms and defense contractors in Virginia. Stefanik’s money is coming from Washington lobbying firms and the private equity hedge fund wing of Wall Street.

    The only candidate with integrity is Matt Funiciello. He rejected the DCCC aka the corporate fundraising wing of the Democratic Party’s attempted bribery when they asked him to run as a Democrat. He isn’t taking corporate PAC money. He is raising money from small contributors and doing old fashioned organizing and retail politicking. I’ll take integrity this election please.

    The only thing the Sanders/Clinton contest has demonstrated is that the Democratic Party is completely in the bag for corporate America.

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  45. Brian MOFYC says:

    For voters, it’s also worth noting, in case this doesn’t get reported on here…

    Other media outlets have reported that the Greens will also be running candidates for state Assembly (Robin Barkenhagen in Dan Stec’s district) and state Senate (Steve Ruzbacki in Betty Little’s district).

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  46. Peter Hahn says:

    The guy who gets lots of free coverage is Donald Trump and its not positive coverage. The Greens don’t really deserve much free coverage. Funiciello, for example, is either irrelevant (takes a few votes equally from both the major candidates – the Green propaganda position) or he is a spoiler (what most people think). If the Greens want more coverage they need to do what the big parties do. Go out and campaign

    The one who should be getting lots of serious reporting is Elise Stefanik. She specializes in misleading talking points – she is a professionally trained propagandist. It would help if the reporters would parse her statements and compare her campaign “positions” with her actual voting records/positions. For example, she claims she wants to “save Social Security” which translates (votes) to slashing future Social Security benefits for people under 55. There are other ways to do “save Social Security” that don’t involve cutting benefits. We should be voting on how our representatives will be voting on future solutions to these big problems.

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  47. Mike Derrick is a chameleon. Switching back ‘n forth from party to party is a candidate who doesn’t know who he is. He’s clearly an opportunist. Considering how Derrick is against the TPP does this mean he will cast a vote for Donald Trump who is against this bad trade deal, too? I can see a smaller margin of victory for Stefanik this time around, but she will win.
    As for the Donald Trump campaign, I am unwavering in my support. He is a strong leader who has a vision for this country. He will unleash the power of our industries and entrepreneurs, keeping us secure from our enemies (peace thru strength), will respect our military forces, will “build that wall” so that we have the ability to monitor & control the flow of immigration, will repeal and replace ObamaCare and finally, will protect our constitutional right to bear arms.

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  48. Brian MOFYC says:

    Here we are about six weeks after Mr. Funiciello announced his candidacy and – I apologize if I missed it but I doubt it – not a token “oh by the way” on-air story about his candidacy. I’ve heard a long profile of Rep. Stefanik and two of Mr. Derrick.

    If my facts are wrong, please correct me. If my facts are right, the citizenry is owed an explanation.

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  49. Brian Mann says:

    Citizenry –

    We’ve profiled Derrick. Matt Funiciello is next but my work on that story (or series of stories, not sure what form it’ll take) has been delayed by other projects. We haven’t profiled Elise Stefanik yet – she’ll come last. Obviously, as our sitting congresswoman, she has had regular coverage.

    Once the Democratic and Republican primaries are over in New York, I’ll pivot back to NY21.

    Brian, NCPR

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