Lee Kindlon: A fine debate

I’m angrier than a fish on a pole, because we have a live one here in Albany County who wants to remain in office, despite what I feel is misconduct in regards to a bonus check that he approved for himself.  That should be enough to make anyone angry and sick.

It’s election time again and David Soares wants us to forget what he did.  He wants to be the district attorney for a mind-boggling sixth time.  Term limits, anyone?

Yesterday was an important step in Kindlon’s campaign.  Spectrum News 1 hosted a debate between the two candidates, and I can say that it did not go well at all.

For Soares, anyway.  If you want to just jump to that, scroll down.  The rest of you, get nice and comfy, because this is a long and hard one.  Giggity.

In the spirit of full disclosure, he did return the money, but only after he got caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar.

Yesterday, I posted my endorsement of local attorney Lee Kindlon, I want you to know that I rarely to never offer an endorsement, but this election has me doing all kinds of things I swore I’d never do.

In addition to Kindlon, I am endorsing Donald Trump as our 47th president.  The latter is vital, but the former is what needs to be focused on as the election is a couple of weeks away.  It’s also important to note that Kindlon, like Soares,  is a DemocRAT.

Under normal circumstances, I would never, ever cross party lines.  In this instance, however, I have no choice.  But in this matter, I can tolerate a DemocRAT in office, even though I’ll need a puke bucket on Election Day.

I’ve never been so motivated to say something about an election.  But this time, it’s serious.  As for Trump, I’d rather vote for a convicted felon than PFN “Sleepy Joe” Biden.  So motivated am I that I have volunteered my services to the Kindlon campaign.

In this election locally, I’d rather vote in a guy whom I never heard of until the campaign cycle began than a guy who, if re-elected, might see fit to cut himself some more checks.  By his fruits shall ye know him.

Locally, there is a lot of corruption and that will give Kindlon job security if he is voted in.  One scandal is in the County Executive’s office.  Michael McLaughlin, a deputy in the office, was arrested for DUI, and Daniel McCoy, the executive, refused to at least suspend McLaughlin, pending an investigation.

How would Kindlon respond if one of his people did something similar?

Also, I need to disclose the fact that I am a poll worker in Albany County.  That is not a volunteer position.  It is paid.  But for Kindlon, I’ll volunteer, seeking naught but new blood in the district attorney’s office.

Now, I offer my endorsement as an Albany-based blogger as well as a freelance journalist.  I’m also cashing in on my shall we say, infamy on the internet, to effectively endorse someone, especially when that person needs and deserves to be in office.

My endorsement may not yield much power, but I’m doing it anyway.  I’m not the only one throwing his support towards Kindlon.  Our slimeball mayor has endorsed him as well.  This, despite the fact that Soares didn’t file mandatory financial reports until he was exposed in the local media.

Local CBS affiliate and the first television station in the world, dating back to 1928, WRGB, reported this:

“Candidate Lee Kindlon says a simple rule in the election, Soares has not followed since 2021, the bonus incident, along longevity retention problem, and the lack of accountability in the office are just some of the reasons why he’s running.”

“David Soares has not filed any campaign finance disclosure and it’s not just today with less than a month left before the primary election,” said Kindlon.”

If Soares isn’t going to follow election rules, then what the hell will he do if we let him keep his fancy office?

Kindlon wants your vote and he wants one of the most powerful positions in Albany County’s government.  As I stated yesterday, I think he should absolutely take over the DA’s office.

As for the hour-long debate, he two sparred over local and national issues.  One of the most important issues they touched on was crime.  One of the most poignant points that Kindlon raised was, and I quote, “nothing gets better with him as the district attorney.”

Soares took issue with the state’s bail reform law, a law that sees most accused persons walk out of the courthouse on no bail.  Only the worst of the worse have to pay bail.  The reform law is all kinds of crazy.  People who possess child pornography, for example, are let go with a desk appearance ticket.

Kindlon said of the law that people stopped being punished for being poor, a valid point.  I would have liked to see him advocate for a revamping of the law, but no candidate is perfect.

On its website, Spectrum News 1 wrote, “Kindlon said as it stands, judges can set bail and remand people as needed and said bail reform has actually been a benefit to public safety.”  Kindlon did specify that violent felonies should be met with bail or remand.  I agree.  But, for the most part, he said, “bail reform works.”

As someone who was accused of a low-level offense, I would have loved to have that bail reform law available to me.  I was given bail of $2,000, meaning I’d have to come up with $200, something that I was unable to do.  So, I went to jail, where I stayed the night.  I remained there until my wife posted bail.

Had the bail reform law been in effect back then, I would have been caught and released.  I thank Soares for that, and that is one reason why he never had my vote to begin with.

I will be honest here: I don’t support Soares at all, so I’m not going to give him much press here.  I’m not really going to let him have a say here.  Fair?  Probably not, but guess what?  My site, my rules.

That being said, Soares said that judges should be able to consider the safety of the community if an accused person is allowed to walk the streets.

Both Kindlon and Soares discussed “integrity.”  I find Soares thinking that he could effectively address that vital issue laughable. I’m not going to sit here and let Soares pontificate on the subject.

Soares has no place talking about integrity, in my opinion, given that check issue.  That may be a minor point for most voters, but for me, it was a dealbreaker.  The fact that he returned the money is of no consequence to me.

I was going to just write in my own name for the hell of it, but then I came across Kindlon.  I read up on the issues and yesterday, for the first time in my life, I actually watched a debate.

One thing about Kindlon that I didn’t know is that he’s a Marine.  No, he’s not serving now, but once a Marine, always a Marine.   He’s served our country.  As someone who served, albeit briefly, in the Army, I always give preference to people who served.  Did Soares serve?  Nope.

One thing that I did notice about Kindlon is that, when the debate started, he was just a little bit awkward and came across to me as being extremely nervous.  That’s not a dealbreaker for me, but if I’m going to be fair, I need to point that out.

Kindlon, later in the debate. said that “the Bill of Rights is a foundation of our democracy.”  This came after butting heads regarding the sixth amendment.

“How do  you expect law enforcement to have confidence in your ability to fight for the people?” Soares directly asked Kindlon, after taking issue with a teenager who got a gun illegally and then killed someone.  Kindlon defended that suspect.

Kindlon responded thusly: “Let me speak directly to law enforcement.  Let me speak directly to the people of Albany County.”

Kindlon went on to say that he gives everything he does his full attention and abilities.  He appealed to law enforcement officers, saying that they will receive his full attention.

One thing that I learned is that Kindlon and Soares are friends and have been for a while.  I find that troubling and that does give me pause when making the final decision as to whose circle to fill in.  But it’s not enough that I’d withdraw my support for Kindlon.  It’s just suspicious, in my mind.

“Whatever I do, I do it at 100 miles an hour,” Kindlon said, looking into the camera and putting his hand down on the lectern for emphasis.  We need a candidate like that.  Our county deserves someone like that.

Soares took issue with Kindlon saying “100  miles per hour,” and Kindlon had to remind him that it was just a metaphor.  If Kindlon can literally run at 100 miles per hour, then he must have been one hell of a Marine.

In a very wordy and lengthy campaign email that came in while I was writing this article, Kindlon wrote, in part:

“I want to be your District Attorney because I know, together, we can move forward, fight crime and restore integrity and accountability to the office.”

It’s about time to have someone who will hold himself accountable as opposed to someone who, last night, played the blame game and the “poor me” syndrome.

As for the debate, the clear winner was Kindlon.  He comes across as being sincere and truly caring about the issues and the people.  Soares, on the other hand, seems to be more interested in distracting from the issues, hoping that people will just vote him in as opposed to being open-minded enough to consider a new candidate.

Kindlon also wrote thusly: “Do we have a crime problem? Yes. Do we have a gun problem? Yes. Do we have a retail theft problem? Yes.”  Kindlon clearly has his finger on the pulse of the county and it’s clear that he knows what he’ll be up against should he defeat Soares.

Kindlon, if elected, will hold himself accountable.  Soares, on the other hand, whined to WRGB that his being exposed in regards to the check was “a political attack.”  No accountability accepted there.  And that’s a big problem.  If he’d come out and publicly acknowledged what he did and apologized, perhaps I wouldn’t have paid much attention to Kindlon and I would just rubber stamp my vote in favor of Soares.  Looking back on it, he should have resigned.

Look, I’m glad that Soares is a slimeball.  I don’t want someone who not only won’t accept accountability calling efforts to hold him accountable a “political attack.”

I reached out to Kindlon directly yesterday via email and he quickly responded, saying that he was preparing for the debate but that he’d talk to me today.  He did not.  I followed up with another email this morning, giving him eight hours before this article was published, but I was met with crickets.

While I know that he’s busy with the campaign and running his successful law firm, he could have taken just five minutes to talk to a local blogger and freelance reporter.   The fact that he didn’t follow through with a commitment concerns me, but not enough to lose my vote.

Here are the questions I posed via email:

1.) What can you offer Albany County that David Soares can’t?

I can’t answer this for him except to say he offers integrity, something that Soares will never be able to offer.

2.) What can you bring to the table that you learned and did in the Corps?

I’m not psychic, so I won’t answer this one for him other than to say that he brings integrity.  It’s all coming down to integrity.

3.) If you were to receive an allegation that APD officers and county deputies participated in target physical and sexual abuse, would you investigate or do as Soares did, and ignore it?

I have no way of knowing which side he would come down on, but hopefully, he won’t be like Soares.

4.) If one of your ADA’s or staff members were to be arrested on suspicion of DUI, would you immediately suspend or fire that individual, or would you allow that person to continue with their duties with no workplace accountability?

Hopefully, he won’t be like the County Executive.

I also reached out to the mayor’s office to see if her endorsement stands after last night’s debate.  I was likewise met with crickets.

All in all, I feel comfortable filling in my ballot under Kindlon’s name and Albany County voters should likewise feel confident that, if elected, Kindlon will be on our side.



(Photo credit: (1) Spectrum News (2) Lee Kindlon)