Councilwoman Erin Sullivan-Teta peeled away from her two Democratic colleagues on Monday’s vote to issue subpoenas in the investigation into controversial demolition projects in the city.
I’ve never met Sullivan-Teta, but a week ago she stood by Councilwoman Lynn Kopka, D-At Large, and Councilman Gary Galuski, D-District 6, as Mayor Lou Rosamilia decried the investigation as a “witch hunt.”
Her change of heart is telling.
For starters, it reinforces what everyone involved Capital Region politics already knows – her brother, Mike Sullivan, is no dummy.
Sullivan worked for former U.S. Rep. Mike McNulty for years and is now across the river working for Gov. Andrew Cuomo somewhere. He is a behind the scenes kind of guy but he knows the game as well as anyone – he learned from one of the best, Tom Matthews, after all - and I’ll be my house his consult was one reason his sister changed her mind.
Since Mike Sullivan, known as Sully, is no dummy, he must see the writing on the wall when it comes to Rosamilia. By that I mean the mayor is in such a weak spot on so many different levels that there is no way he runs again.
And if it’s not the mayor, then who from the camp of Chairman Tom Wade is left?
Kopka considered running when the nod went to Clement “Chappy” Campana more than two years ago and she is the next logical choice. But, she isn’t doing herself any favors by opposing the Council investigation into what is widely seen as a couple pretty big screw ups by members of the administration.
Then there is President Rodney Wiltshire. It’s no secret he has political ambitions and is thus far looking pretty good in what is a dicey situation. Thing is, he alienated the Wade crew by taking the Independence Party line from the Republicans and that helped knock Kopka, a Wade loyalist, out of the presidency last year.
So long as Wade is around, I don’t see Wiltshire getting the nod without a primary and he’s said he won’t primary Rosamilia. That was a while ago and things could change. If it comes down to a primary between Kopka and Wiltshire, the early money is on Wiltshire. Obstructing a Council investigation into what has been the most ineffective borderline corrupt administration in nearly two decades is not something to put on a palm card.
And then what happens to Wade?
I guess there are other Democrats who would made decent candidates like Legislator Peter Grimm, Legislator Cindy Doran, a registered Conservative, or even someone from a while ago like former Deputy Mayor Jim Conroy.
But, Troy voters, the majority of which are Democrats, have proven they will toss entire slates of either party if they don’t like what’s going on and I don’t see how anyone could like what’s going on right now. There are no less than three federal agencies and a state agency snooping around the Collar City.
At this point he only thing the Democrats have going for them is the Republican Party. They have nobody, and there are some who would just as soon cross endorse Wiltshire instead of taking a pounding at the polls in November 2015.
Anyway, the vote to issue subpoenas passed by a 7-2 count and the method of issuing them passed 6-3 with Councilman Bob Doherty, D-District 4, voting against. Doherty may have a point in that a document signed by the majority of Council members as opposed to a formal public vote might not hold up to legal scrutiny. I honestly don’t know, and I don’t think anyone does until a judge rules, or if it will even goes that far. While I applaud Wiltshire for doing what he is doing, he is making it more complicated than it has to be. That said, he is plugging along.