County Beat
Hugh Reynolds: Center of attention

Hugh Reynolds: Center of attention

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” — Lawrence Peter Berra (1925-1915)  The late great Yankee catcher and manager’s classic malapropism referred to restaurants, but it could have been Kingston’s burgeoning downtown Rondout section. The question before the city planning board is this: Can this once desolate, boarded-up waterfront area of the city, lately thriving...
Hugh Reynolds: Donald who?

Hugh Reynolds: Donald who?

Republican congressional hopeful John Faso probably isn’t the only down-ticket candidate giving Donald Trump wide berth this year. He’s just the only one I could reach by phone. I rang up the former state Assembly minority leader to ask if he’d gotten any lift from the “Trump bump” after last month’s GOP national convention in...
Hugh Reynolds: After the conventions, yuk

Hugh Reynolds: After the conventions, yuk

I’ll confess I was not glued to the tube for every minute of the party conventions last month. As they appeared from my lounger, both went beyond the usual bellowing to the choir, even unto fresh-scrubbed offspring reading teleprompters on the virtues of their parents. Both major-party candidates came out of the conventions with high...
Hugh Reynolds: Hit the road, Jack

Hugh Reynolds: Hit the road, Jack

Owing to a monumental headquarters snafu by county Republicans, Assembly candidate Jack Hayes of Gardiner may lose the GOP designation, all but guaranteeing easy reelection for 10-term Democrat Kevin Cahill of Kingston. Snafu is a World War II acronym by service members for “Situation Normal, All Fouled Up” (to be polite). Under election law in...
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...