County Beat
Hugh Reynolds: Bringing home the bacon

Hugh Reynolds: Bringing home the bacon

When a recruit asked a dumb question of a superior back in my Navy days, the answer barked back would be something like, “Is a pig’s ass pork?” Some things are just obvious. In my view, political pork by any other name is still pork. What used to be called “member items” is now called...
Hugh Reynolds: After the primary

Hugh Reynolds: After the primary

The first post-primary Siena Institute poll on the local congressional election in November hasn’t come out yet, but if results from the most recent “only poll that counts” mean anything, my take is that Democrat Zephyr Teachout should be installed as at least a five-point favorite over Republican John Faso. Primaries can’t be compared to...
Hugh Reynolds: Courting controversy

Hugh Reynolds: Courting controversy

The Ulster County Legislature may not be the world’s greatest deliberative body, but it has its moments. And it’s all-local. After limited discussion on the sales tax agreement between the city and the county in May, the major money matter to cross its bow, the solons fell over each other debating bricks and mortar last...
Hugh Reynolds: Primary finish

Hugh Reynolds: Primary finish

If an early June Time Warner News/Siena College poll on the 19th Congressional District primaries holds true, Democrat Zephyr Teachout and Republican John Faso will face each other for all the marbles in the general election Nov. 8. That poll showed Teachout 30 points over Will Yandik and Faso leading Andrew Heaney by 22. Funny...
Hugh Reynolds: Inside the numbers

Hugh Reynolds: Inside the numbers

Democratic congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout was understandably “overwhelmed” when asked about a Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll released last Tuesday that showed her 30 points ahead of her primary opponent, Will Yandik. Taken about a month before the June 28 primary, the poll seemed to give Teachout an insurmountable lead against the underfunded and...
Hugh Reynolds: Orange (jumpsuit) money

Hugh Reynolds: Orange (jumpsuit) money

The elephant in the room at last week’s Ulster County Democratic convention was the specter of an ongoing federal investigation of a money-laundering operation allegedly run through that party committee in 2014. Figures are not yet exact, but published reports indicate some $375,000 from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to elect a Democratic...
Hugh Reynolds: Up the GOP

Hugh Reynolds: Up the GOP

As Ulster County Republican conventions go, the May 26 turnout at La Mirage in Port Ewen was the best in years. Almost three out of every four committee members, middle-aged to elderly, attended, feisty and ready to rumble. There were few surprises — this was a Republican gathering, after all. Esopus town Councilman Kyle Barnett’s...
Hugh Reynolds: Silence on specifics

Hugh Reynolds: Silence on specifics

The Ulster County Legislature’s 18-4 approval of the sales tax agreement between the county and the City of Kingston was a foregone conclusion. Some called it the “Mike Hein sales-tax agreement,” citing the county executive’s influence and avid promotion of the pact among legislators. That Pete Loughran split with fellow city legislators Dave Donaldson and...
Hugh Reynolds: Courthouse update

Hugh Reynolds: Courthouse update

It may be a month late — warp speed by government standards — but it appears the ducks are lined up to put the new Family Courthouse at the Business Resource Center in the Town of Ulster. The state Office of Court Administration, citing overcrowding and safety and privacy issues, has been pushing the county...
Hugh Reynolds: You go, Nyquist

Hugh Reynolds: You go, Nyquist

Up until about a month ago, former New Paltz mayor Tom Nyquist was a familiar, respected elder around his hometown. Thanks to his Kentucky Derby-winning namesake, he’s in the headlines again. Equine Nyquist, named for the Detroit Red Wings hockey player Gustav Nyquist, won the Derby on Saturday, something Tom, the former mayor and county...
Hugh Reynolds: Boys to men

Hugh Reynolds: Boys to men

I want to be fair to Steve Noble, Kingston’s new mayor. But as a Kingston resident I can’t help worrying that the mayor’s team of rookies got outsmarted by County Executive Mike Hein’s squad of cunning veterans. Guile and experience often trump youthful exuberance. Noble brought Corporation Counsel Kevin Bryant and City Comptroller John Tuey...
Hugh Reynolds: Follow the money

Hugh Reynolds: Follow the money

Ulster County is finally on the political map. But not in a good way. Last week it was revealed that upwards of $350,000 was transferred a few weeks prior to the 2014 elections from New York City-based big donors via “Team de Blasio” to the Ulster County Democratic Committee, providing funding for the failed state...