Fisher Comments on Congressman Tonko's Driving


Statement by NY20 Congressional District Candidate, Jim Fischer (R/C - Ballston) on Tonko's erratic driving caught on camera

Ballston, NY - While all of us,at times, exceed the posted speed limits, the recent video showing Congressman Paul Tonko reportedly driving 93 miles per hour on the New York State Thruway, weaving through traffic, tailgating and hitting the "rumble strip" on the shoulder multiple times, indicates a profound lack of judgment and concern for the safety of other motorists and their passengers, while raising serious questions as to whether he feels he is subject to the same laws as the rest of us.

While the Congressman acknowledges the incident, we demand answers as to why he felt he had the right to drive so unsafely, erratically and break the law.  

This incident, combined with "The New York Times" article about Governor Cuomo's alleged corruption of "The Moreland Commission", is a double dose of abuse of power by elected officials who seem to think they are a law unto themselves.

This is exactly the kind of arrogant behavior that breeds cynicism in voters and undermines any belief that there is integrity in government. The voters of the Capital Region deserve better than this type of behavior from those whom we have put into positions of power. An acknowledgment and apology is simply not enough. We deserve an explanation for this extremely dangerous and potentially deadly act on the Congressman's part.

ACC Always Delivers Entertainmnet

On Monday night, I attended the Albany Common Council meeting in which the main public commentary was directed at the red light issue. If you haven’t heard, there is some discussion to install cameras which snap a picture of your license when you run a red light. Also for discussion was more limits to tobacco sales…ya know, the regular ill-informed stuff that has nothing to do with the business of the evening. Still, there was zero attendance press conference on the front steps of City Hall and the “citizens” and sleepy-eyed council members got to listen to the “advocates” drone on for more than an hour.

I kind of worried about two of the advocates in opposition to the Red Camera Lights when they were unable to figure out how to traverse the chamber to get the four feet from their seat to the microphone…and then discovered that, not a one of the three advocates lived in Albany County. While I much agree with some of the points, the validity of their arguments grew laughable as they stated the red light cameras would cause stress to the roadways as “breaking” would be heavier and, with the mentioning of possible blindness or recurrence of PTSD in response to the “flashing” cameras.

Read more: ACC Always Delivers Entertainmnet

And More Come Silently Down

Last week, the City of Albany came out with some some” great news” after the “tumbling down” of the “historic” structure at 162 Clinton Avenue. That news was, the County’s going to pay for the demolition…what  they didn’t tell you was to expect more buildings to come tumbling down….with not a peep from Historic Albany Foundation.

In what would be criticized as a Friday night “Jennings demo” in years past was not be categorized as a Sheehan Friday night demo. Over the weekend, there were at least three buildings, from what I’ve heard from eyewitnesses, removed from out Vacant Building List…the hard way. One was on Lexington, in Mark Robinson territory, one was on Emmet Street,  the street of Mayor Jennings youth, and a Third Street building which was owned by Mr. Robinson’s sister, Jackie.

Read more: And More Come Silently Down

Update: Veteran's Lobby For Their Lives And Get A Win


Tonight I’m being hosted by the Albany County Legislature….along with a whole b unh of Veterans wh are supporting Mr. McCoy’s “Soldier On” project (which is rumored to be tabled as a slap at McCoy.) With over a hundred Vets, the Dems left the Chamber for a hurried caucus…probably trying to figure out how to get out of the building alive.


With the Dems in a super secret caucus in a Chamber void of the majority, the Vets rose and sang “God Bless America,” which didn’t draw the Dems out of hiding. (I’m looking for the back door exit.) Andrew Joyce is up first and, as a Veteran, states that he will be extremely disappointed in the Dems should this Soldier On project be tabled. Morse states that any thought about this body (ACL) was never opposed to Soldier On. Sign one that this will be tabled.


Domalewitz is up next and states that we’ve done enough talking, all the questions have been answered and we need to get the shovel in the Soldier On ground….rousing the already “roused” crowd. Gary calls for an emergency Finance meeting to get this project going. A guy from Soldier On is up next and he reminds folks that tonight’s vote is just to take the first step…this is not to approve housing for 172 housing units at the old Ann Lee home.


John Downing, president and CEO is up next and the crowd surrounding me silently walks to the front of the room. Downing says that, because there is no housing for Veterans in Albany, he is housing nearly 73 of Albany’s Veterans in Massachusetts. Downing states that the VA in Albany contacted Soldier On because they can’t even get emergency beds in Albany….Downing took in our Vets for us.


Ms. Lockhart asks how many homeless Vets there are in Albany County….Downing states the official count is 75, but there are actually 6 to 700. He notes also that a huge percentage of those that are not homeless are below the poverty level. And, the 37 Vets each take to the microphone….I want to give them all a home…I think I have enough room!


The first guy was an Army medic and alcoholic whose life was saved by Soldier On…which gave him hope for his future. (Morse takes note…”I gotta figure out how deliver that sincerity.”) The next speaker is a Marine….always. Mr. Kelly is next and he is from downstate NY and came to Albany for assistance….he needs the Soldier On project. The next Vet states, “it’s a long road to find help, and I showed up, and Soldier On, saved my life.”


The next Veteran is up, and he reminds the Legislature that the last time they came to ask for support for Soldier On, it was tabled. “If you look at how your Vets are being treated, it shameful, people are dying. If we had another World War, what would you do if we wouldn’t fight?” he asks in response to the Legislature inaction. “Our Vets are dying because of this government.”


I am saddened with every Veteran who states that they “respect the legislative process,” as if this is a legislative process and not a Majority political power play. I should point out here, there is money available to house these Veterans at Albany’s Soldier On…this wouldn’t cost our County a dime. 


Speaker points out that every day 22 Veterans commit suicide, a month’s delay means the life of many Veterans. The next speaker glows as he speaks about the programs that saved his life and asks that there is no more stalling because behind him, “there are thousands more.” One of the Soldier On Veterans is sobbing behind me as the others comfort him. A Veteran with a Yankees cap states that he is happy to live at Soldier On at Leeds. The next speaker emotionally states how Soldier On gave his life value. Tom is up next with four years in the US Navy, he is homeless…and the next Veteran makes a plea…and states “Go Red Socks!”


The next speaker is from Schenectady and he states that he ould be anywhere tonight but he is here in support of Soldier On and he prays that the County supports it. And with that, the Soldier On group leaves us in silence to make the long trek back to Massachusetts where our New York Veterans are living.


The next speaker is the Commander of the Watervliet VFW and points out that Ann Lee didn’t pick and choose who could seek respite at her house, it was a refuge and she knows that “Ann Lee is looking down on this Legislature to do the right thing.”

Read more: Update: Veteran's Lobby For Their Lives And Get A Win

And They All Came Tumbling Down

And now, the rest of the story.

On Monday night, “Mayor” Sheehan begged the Albany Common Council to let her appoint a Director of the Building and Codes Department….immediately. In her words, she was at the end of her rope. I believe that each and every council member believed that she was “at the end of her rope” because of the Clinton Avenue building that had cascaded down hill over the weekend leaving the Robinson family homeless.

Well, perhaps the neighborhood wasn’t her real concern. While it’s still in Ron Bailey’s ward, the next building to cascade into the densely populated Sheridan Hollow is, potentially, a lot more damaging than that wood structure on Clinton.

The newest “endangered” building is City Hall’s neighbor, One Columbia Place. This historic brick beauty sits in the shadow of both the Capital and City Hall, hovering over Sheridan Hollow and threatening the lives that live below it. The City has erected some pretty serious looking barricades around it and warned that no one should enter the building (which was “powered” when I discovered it.)

Now, this building may be perched over Sheridan Hollow and teetering on cascading into the hood below but this isn’t an abandoned wooden structure, this building is assessed at $727,000 and owned by an impressive sounding “Albany Empire Group.”  If, no, when this building crumbles into the sleepy Sheridan Hollow area, there’s going to be more than just embarrassment for “Mayor” Sheehan.

And, to make matters worse, this office building, with only a string of wobbly DGS barricades keeping it from cascading onto the citizens in the Hollow sits in the shadow of the Capitol building, within shouting distance from City Hall and right beside the County Parking Garage… everyone single one of those responsible for the well-being of the citizenry walk by the crumbling structure daily.

If Sheehan thought she was at the end of her rope when 162 Sheridan caused her embarrassment, that rope may turn into a noose when, not if, One Columbia Park tumbles down onto the residents of Sheridan Hollow.

And they all fell down!


Corner of brick wall that's about to topple.

























Warning that the building is about to tumble.

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