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Can Popular Bridget Fleming Defeat Incumbent Legend Ken LaValle in State Senate Race?

Some thoughts.

For the last seven years I was paid money to evaluate local races.

I learned quickly which "brands" (a new phrase for elective candidates) were strong and run winning races no matter how the economy of the area weathered. Names like Thiele, Throne-Holst, Nuzzi, Schneiderman and LaValle seemed to be locks on re-elections. So when popular Southampton Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming decided to take on Ken LaValle, many heads turned and said, why?

Ms. Fleming has shown the ability to raise money and connect with voters, due to the efforts of a revitalized Southampton Democratic Party lead by Gordon Herr, Grania Brolin but perhaps rebuilt by the local political genius of Michael Anthony. Phone banks, registration drives, and local appearances have served Ms. Fleming well in what so many considered an uphill battle from the start.

But Bridget Fleming seems to enjoy the good fight for the right reasons. An Obama operative from 2008, the University of Virginia Law School graduate seems to embrace a spirit of tackling impossible tasks and defeating Ken LaValle. However, defeating LaValle just may be that, impossible.

With almost twice as much money in hand, and a seasoned local well oiled ground game in place for more than 30 years, Mr. LaValle has quiet strength. No bells or whistles just a proven track record of getting large numbers of voters to the poles on election day.

He has delivered many dollars and programs to the East End. The Community Preservation Fund, a program both Fred Thiele and Ken LaValle help establish up in Albany has raised over $700 million since it was signed into law in 1999 to purchase open lands in Suffolk County. Mr. LaValle has always been active watching out for the East End. Yet Bridget Fleming wants to replace LaValle because she believes she is poised to represent a new generation of East Enders in Albany. I believe this election cycle across the nation with be a game changer for the next 10 years. The fierce tenor of the pitch of political battle is almost harmful to sensitive political ears, but the prize is the future of our, towns, counties, states, and the nation.  

John F. Kennedy once said, “Politics is the only game for adults.” This election cycle the adults are really going at it.

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T.J. Clemente October 26, 2012 at 11:30 PM
so who wins and why???????
highhatsize October 26, 2012 at 11:57 PM
While Ms. Fleming is aided by the "revitalized" Democratic Party promoting her, her salient advantage in this contests is her looks. The party pros decided that their only chance against LaValle was to paint him as old and tired. Ergo, their candidate had to appear youthful and vigorous. Ms. Fleming was the best candidate in their binder. However, LaValle will win nonetheless because he hasn't done a bad job. The best "issue" that Ms. Fleming could raise was our high electricity rates. While Senator LaValle may bear his share of the collective guilt of all local politicians for the last fifty years in enabling that disaster, his individual responsibility is slight.
T.J. Clemente October 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM
so what's your prediction percentage wise?
highhatsize October 27, 2012 at 03:31 AM
56/44 - LaValle/Fleming I think that it will be closer than most do because LaValle is an unexciting candidate and the effort to conceptualize him as "old" will probably be successful enough to prevent some people from voting for anyone.
T.J. Clemente October 27, 2012 at 03:36 AM
and does Tim Bishop win re-election and does the President get another 4 years???
highhatsize October 27, 2012 at 04:17 PM
They will both be in, Obama by around 3% and 300 electoral college votes. Bishop is a harder call. Probably around 4%.
George Lynch October 27, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Whoa, highhat! You say Ken LaValle's "individual responsibility is slight" for our back-breaking electricity costs?? I have to disagree strongly. Ken LaValle was one of the prime architects of the deal 15 years ago that gave National Grid monopoly power to squeeze LIPA's customers unmercifully, to the point that we now pay twice the national average for electricity, more than anywhere except Hawaii. Now, when this extortionate contract was due to expire next May, Ken Lavalle used his influence to get LIPA to extend the one-sided thing for another 15 years, until 2028! Why? Well, his home school district gets 40% of its revenue from an artificially high tax assessment on the Port Jeff power plant. Also, National Grid and its PACs have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Ken LaValle and other Senate Republicans over the years. You say LaValle "hasn't done a bad job." It might surprise some folks who think Ken LaValle's a moderate to learn that he's anti-choice. Pro-Life Long Island gave him a 100% rating because he voted their way 8 out of 8 times on reproductive issues. In a recent six-month period, Ken LaValle spent more than $510,000 on "office expenses," more than anyone else in either house of the Legislature. Where did he spend over half a million in half a year? A lot of it went for glossy, full-color campaign-style mailers masquerading as constituent updates, political propaganda at taxpayer expense. Doesn't seem like a good job to me.
T.J. Clemente October 27, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Nice to hear from you George, so will LaValle win anyway and I am curious for your predictions of percentages of the Vote, Bridget gets, Bishop gets and why???
George Lynch October 27, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Hi, T.J. With the greatest esteem for you and my friend highhat, I don't do predictions. I don't have the necessary data on which to base a prediction, and even if I did, I'd probably get it wrong, as so many do. Knowing that you are both too responsible to infer any pessimism from my reply, I thank you for asking.
T.J. Clemente October 27, 2012 at 07:02 PM
but george i know you are out in the field, have a feel for the landscape, and have a passion for political matters, and respect the process enough to tell it like it is, from your point of view.
George Lynch October 27, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Bless you, T.J. From my point of view as you put it, we in the Fleming campaign are working as hard as we can. We know our candidate is a proven achiever -- a closer as I like to say -- who gets things done as the only Democrat on the Southampton Town Board, working with two Republicans, an Independent and a Conservative. This board, all five of them, could teach a lot to Congress and the NY State Legislature, and Bridget will bring that across-the-aisle practicality to Albany. Speaking of getting things done, that's where Ken LaValle recently failed us, despite his 36-year seniority and his chairmanship of the Higher Education Committee. This baron of the Republican majority, who spends at the rate of a million dollars a year on his own office expenses, couldn't get $200,000 for a grant for seven East End school districts to study consolidation, improvements and economizing. Where's all that "clout" we keep hearing about, Ken? It's time for a State Senator who's energetic, informed, and ready to give her all for Long Island families -- that's Bridget Fleming. Anyway, thanks for the soapbox, but no predictions.
knowitall October 27, 2012 at 07:58 PM
George, there you go again. Lie for your glamour girl, Did you read the article about the grant? The school districts didn't get it because their application didn't score high enough. lavalle had nothing to do with it. So partisan you lie. Geesh.
George Lynch October 27, 2012 at 09:59 PM
I read the article, and if Ken LaValle had nothing to do with it, he should have. He's our State Senator and he's supposed to be advocating for us. That's his job, and that's my point.
Bob October 27, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Goodnight Ken. Thank you for your service.
North Fork Bob October 28, 2012 at 12:02 AM
What are her measurements?
knowitall November 01, 2012 at 01:13 PM
YOu certainly represent the logo of your party. The power contracts are sealed bids awarded and ultimately awarded by the LIPA trustees. The state legislature, either party, plays no role. To your thinking then, why didn't Bob Sweeney or Steve Englebright do anything? You cant have it both ways,
knowitall November 01, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Yeah, not gonna happen.
knowitall November 02, 2012 at 12:33 AM
TJ what credentials do you possess to "evaluate" local races. What were the races? and have you ever run a campaign(s)? If so whose?
T.J. Clemente November 02, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Well i have some life experiences after graduating from George Washington University with a B.A. in Politcal Science, while there in 1973 as paid intern (age 19) I worked for a Democratic Congressman also a NYC mayorial campaign from the D.C. Congressional office, I hardly ever mention that in 1972 I was involved with the Presidential Election on a high level for my age, so much that on election night I was a few feet away from the Republican President. I finished college working for Ralph Nader's D.C. P.I.R.G....I was sworn in by U.S. Speaker of the House Carl Albert, had a bizarre friendship with Gerold Ford, he liked my gf, met and talked politics with Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush at GWU informal events before they were considered candidates for President. Was a pollster in the 1973 election , that was quite an education right there, and last but not least, like you knowitall I care about the future, because I have wonderful bright children.
T.J. Clemente November 02, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Also in the last seven years I have had the privilege to interview privately, town supervisors from, Riverhead, Southold, East Hampton, South Hampton, and the County Executive too, not to mention every single party leader (both parties) in all the towns east of the canal, and on the county level both parties, and was paid to do that.....other than that knowitall I am just like you, an observer. You can google most of that work.
T.J. Clemente November 02, 2012 at 01:37 AM
But now I am semi retired having just released my first novel , Whistling past the Hottie Graveyard, which is on Amazon.com buy one you will love it. Before that I wrote and was paid for just under 3000 articles on the east end, but that was a downward trending business.
T.J. Clemente November 02, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Yes i know Southampton is one word LOL

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