The Carl and Nick show heats up

Thanks to that obscure State Supreme Court Judge in Bath, we are getting ready for August 23rd congressional and state Senate primaries.  You will be reminded about that whenever you turn on the TV.

It appears that Carl Paladino is spending a lot more than Nick Langworthy on TV at the moment, mostly because he has a lot more personal money to spend.  In a previous post I noted that much of the TV money is wasted since it is mostly being seen by people who are not Republican, or do not live in the new 23rd district.

A recent flair-up between the contestants involved Paladino declining the opportunity to debate.  Langworthy wants multiple debates.

Unconfirmed reports from the Paladino camp indicate that he is ahead in internal polls.  Could be.  I’ve never heard of an internal poll that said the candidate sponsoring the poll was behind.  Show us the numbers.

Paladino is dodging debates because he considers himself ahead and sees no need to give free attention to Langworthy.  Also, Langworthy would be better prepared to debate the issues than Carl.

A standard rule in politics is that you seek multiple debates when you are behind, which is as likely as not motivating Langworthy.  There won’t be any debates.

This race is drawing an incredibly low range of public and politico attention. Turnout will be in the 10 to 15 percent range. Signs pop here and there for both, many on vacant corners. Both candidates are undoubtedly visiting events throughout the expansive district, talking to small pre-assembled gatherings of supporters.

Langworthy should be getting some assistance from the party establishment, particularly in Erie County.  What that is worth in real votes is debatable.  (Note the loss of the Erie County Republican Party-endorsed candidate for sheriff in 2021.)  Paladino seems like a natural fit for the small Trumpian base of voters who will actually show up on August 23.

The Trump base and Paladino supporters are, unlike the general population, willing to accept Hitler adoration quotes and the comments tinged with what many would consider racism.  Such things will not deter their votes.

Langworthy is your basic establishment Republican.  That is what many MAGA voters would call a RINO (Republican in Name Only).  He is playing up his connections to Trump, but bottom line, he is a party leader.  He has support from other party leaders who think he will fit in better with the namby-pamby leadership of Kevin McCarthy and company.  He will follow the party line, which leans establishment when it comes to those all-important big dollar contributions.

Paladino, if he is elected, will join the party’s crazy caucus that includes Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Laura Boebert, Jim Jordan, Paul Gosar, maybe Sarah Palin, and others who will have a large voting block of the caucus and thankfully will drive McCarthy crazy too.

Is it too early to bring back a point I made in a previous post that Kevin McCarthy, in one person, lacks all the characteristics that the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow were seeking on their road to Oz?

Paladino appears ahead in the Republican primary, and he is running out the clock. What can Langworthy do to reverse that?

There are a lot more Republicans than Democrats in the district, but there are also nearly 200,000 registered voters not affiliated by party. Perhaps some of them, and the Democrats, and some rational Republicans could assist Max Della Pia in making the race in the 23rd district more interesting after August 23rd.

Thinking of changing your party affiliation?

The quirky legal decision coming from that Judge in Bath creates an interesting situation concerning the August 23rd Republican primary.

The Judge in his infinite wisdom decreed for the August 23, 2022, that primary voters can change their party affiliation right up until the day of the primary.  That means that Democrats and unaffiliated voters (and Conservatives and Working Families voters too) could become Republicans in time to vote in the Paladino/Langworthy race.  And then, of course, they could go back to the party or independent status they had prior to next February.

Such things have been occurring throughout the country.  It is probably not worth the effort in this case, considering the two available candidates, but at least you can have this once-in-a-lifetime option.

Follow me on Twitter @kenkruly

Talking football – how far will the Bills go in 2022?

In the middle of a very hot summer, the Bills’ training camp opened this week.  You can almost feel the fall air.

I’m not going to get into what defensive end is on the bubble or which receiver does not have much of a chance to make the roster.  The Buffalo News sports department has been in overdrive with that sort of stuff for weeks now.

What’s really fascinating for most Bills fans is the heady feeling that something really good might be happening this year.  Years of wide-right, no-goal (ok, that was a hockey game), Tennessee miracle, and 13 seconds have tempered most of us.  Like it or not, fans need for this season to proceed on a game-by-game, week-by-week basis.

That’s not to say that there is not a lot to be excited about.  Josh Allen may be the premier quarterback in the league, and he’s surrounded by a solid crew of stars and significant role players.

The AFC East could bring more competition for the Division title than it did last year.  Miami has some talent and they added more.  Bill Belichick can make a contender out of a high school JV team.

The Conference has a bunch of good young quarterbacks that will make their teams highly competitive.  Patrick Mahomes is still the class of that bunch, but Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert are developing quickly.

So what could make the Bills the cream of the crop besides Allen and the assembled, talented crew?

The NFL Network in the off-season re-plays broadcasts of previous seasons, including what they call the ten best games of 2021.  Included in that series is last January’s Bills-Chiefs divisional round playoff game in Kansas City.  Calling the game one of the best of 2021 does not do justice to it. It is recognized as one of the greatest games ever played in NFL history.

I watched the replay recently.  At the end of the first quarter the game was tied at 7.  They were tied 14-14 at the half.  After three quarters it was KC 23, Buffalo 21.

But then as they did on so many occasions in the past couple years, the Bills showed what they were made of.  They ran a seven-minute, 75-yard drive that put them ahead 29-26 with 1:54 to go in the game.  The Chiefs answered with a touchdown of their own, making it 33-29 Chiefs.

Josh Allen responded with another touchdown drive, moving the score to 36-33 Bills with 13 seconds to go.  What happened then is still hard to understand – a regular kickoff rather than a squib kick.  The Chiefs kicked a field goal, sending the game into overtime.  Twenty-five points were scored in the last one minute, 54 seconds of regulation.

And then, most Bills fans will agree, the game was lost on a coin flip.  KC got the ball and scored a touchdown, ending the game.  The Bills didn’t get to touch the ball in overtime.

The league rules, of course, were changed after that happened, and if the new rule had been in effect the Bills might have won that game.

So how does a loss like that set things up for the new season?  It means the team has something to settle up, to make amends for.  They are good enough to do that.

The opening game of the 2022 season is a great one, with the Bills traveling to Los Angeles to take on the World Champion Rams on the first Thursday night game of 2022.

Last season, as good as it was, could have been much better.  Think about the shoulda/coulda/woulda losses to Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay.  A first-round playoff bye could have been theirs.

Great teams like the Bills learn from the things that could have been.  They will play well with prime opponents this year, but they will not let the easier games slip away.

We can all look at the season scheduled and project what we think might happen.  My view is that the Bills in 2022 will go 13 and 4 in the regular season.  They will win the AFC East, get a first-round bye, and take on the best the NFC has to offer on February 12th in Glendale, Arizona.  This will be the magic season.

Follow me on Twitter @kenkruly