Last week, Hugh Reynolds’ column was easy to read but hard to understand:
Apparently county legislature Minority Leader Dave Donaldson didn’t get the memo that last week’s Ulster County organizational meeting was for the purpose of swearing in legislators, not swearing at them.
Are the legislators sworn in at mid-term? I had no idea. What? They are not? Oh, well…
Donaldson, in an anti-Republican rant against legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo, shocked some legislators, amazed others and maybe even disgusted a few. Mostly, they looked uncomfortable.
Donaldson’s speech was not anti-Republican, it was strictly anti-Bernardo. Somebody didn’t pay attention to what he said: “I ask one of you [Republicans] to stand up and offer yourself to serve. Don’t continue to let the tail of an Independence Party oligarchy wag the Republican Dog. I realize the Chairman of your party is beholden to this oligarchy, but don’t let him take you personally down that path. As a lifelong Democrat I never thought I would say that we need a strong Republican Party, but we do.”
Mr. Reynolds went on:
One result of Donaldson’s attack — which might have been calculated — was to render Bernardo’s acceptance speech, where she outlined her legislative agenda for the coming year, pretty much forgettable.
If Hugh Reynolds is right, then Donaldson did Terry Bernardo a huge favor. She does not want that acceptance speech to be remembered. Don’t take my word for it, read the transcript yourself.
Last week I published Terry’s speech, and people left anonymous comments; see if you would like to sign them:
It says little except I am going to make a few subcommittees of handpicked Legislators (1 or 2) who will study things my way and help to make my opinions seem like they are agreed to by others. And we have to band together to get back at that mean man Hein because he is making us look like idiots. Otherwise it was pure oatmeal. (Well sorry to put oatmeal down as oatmeal is healthy for a person and this speech certainly was not.) Said nothing and was a rambling no purpose speech. Bet all those in attendance were riveted to their seats.
Each part of this speech makes me more ill than the last one. She is killing me with dumbness. I think she talks just to hear herself talk. She has no plan, just half-cooked ideas.
What a freaking joke, and I don’t just mean the speech.
I leave you with a few paragraphs from Hugh Reynolds’ this week’s column:
On the table for the legislature’s Law Enforcement and Public Safety Committee was the kind of routine after-the-fact executive request legislative committees had been rubber-stamping for years. The well-publicized and oft-lauded “shared services” exchange between Dutchess and Ulster counties of public-defender lawyers, dealing in cases of conflicts for home-grown attorneys, would in the opinion of both executives save perhaps $200,000 a year.
How could anybody vote against something like that?…
Also by legislative rules, the legislature chairman acts as an ex-officio member of all committees, with voting rights. Her vote proved decisive; had Bernardo not attended the committee meeting, the measure would have passed…
Not that Hein needs any help with the hatchet, but he dragged in on-again-off-again ally Dave Donaldson to remind his “Republican colleagues” that “the failures of Terry Bernardo were not going to get any better with time.” Republican colleagues had all voted for her reelection as chairperson the week before.
“What we have here is another of her glaring mistakes the legislature will have to fix,” Hein quoted Donaldson as saying. Donaldson also reminded his readers that he and Ronk were on the same side on this one.
What a difference a week makes!
– Jon Dogar-Marinesco
Chairwoman Terry Bernardo’s 2013 acceptance speech transcript.
Audio recording below, speech begins at 35:48.