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December 12, 2012

FORMER NYS PARLIAMENTARIAN CRIES FOWL ON SENATE COALITION

Filed under: Author,Features,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 2:54 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

Former NYS Parliamentarian Cries Fowl on Senate Coalition

Author Jack Casey Says State Politicians Putting Personal Power Before Public Good

TROY, NY (Dec. 12, 2012) — When Troy attorney Jack Casey published his satirical political novel “A Parliament of Fowls” (StoneGate Ink, Sept. 2012), he hoped that statehouse shenanigans described in the book would never repeat themselves.

A Parliament of Fowls Cover“It’s déjà vu all over again,” Casey said of the recent formation of a “bipartisan governing coalition” in the New York State Senate. Under the power-sharing plan, a block of five swing vote Democrat senators will prevent their own party from taking control in spite of the Democrats appearing to have won the majority during the recent election.

“This is nearly the same thing that happened during the 2009 New York State Senate ‘coup’, except it’s not done secretly and it’s happening at the beginning at the session,” Casey said. “Looks like budget negotiations will now be conducted by ‘Four Men In A Room.’”

As a real-life participant, Casey knows first-hand about the 2009 senate “coup,” which was the inspiration for his latest novel. The former senate parliamentarian (1996-2008, 2011-2012), was tapped in June ’09 to write the parliamentary script to return majority control to the Republican party as two Democrat senators switched party allegiance.

Eventually, the “coup,” as it was called, effectively shut down state government with an unbreakable 31-31 tie between Democrats and Republican senators after one of the swing Democrats returned to his party.

The correction — creating a 63rd seat so there never will be a tie — apparently hasn’t worked, Casey noted, because party affiliates will still switch sides. While today’s “bipartisan” coalition might not paralyze state government, it does subvert the political process by placing an undue power into the hands of very few, Casey observed.

Customarily, there are two parties in the legislative bodies of New York, and whichever party is in the majority controls the house. But under the newly formed senate coalition, five maverick Dems have agreed to align with the GOP in exchange for a hefty share of power. Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, (R-Long Island), has agreed to share authority over the chamber with Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, (D-Bronx), leader of the five maverick Dems. Klein, who represents 5 senators, will have co-equal status with Senator Skelos (who represents 31, or possibly 32, senators) because he holds sway with the swing votes of four other members.

“Here you have five minor characters with a tremendous amount of influence on the destiny of New York, simply because they’re willing to broker their votes for power,” Casey said. “Legislative politics is all about compromise, but these five disgruntled Democrats who can’t get along with their own party will wield disproportionate power by siding with the ‘enemy.’”

Because of the breakdown of votes by party line, this block of five swing voters will determine which legislation gets reported to the chamber and passed by the body, Casey explained. If the coalition votes with the Democrats, then the Democrats will pass their legislation. If they go with Republicans, then the Republicans pass their bills, he said.

Ultimately, Casey says the maverick Dems will be accountable to the people who voted them into office. But they’re in office now, and he wonders how solid their commitment to Republican values will be — especially on contentious issues like minimum wage, abortion, tuition payments to illegal immigrants and women’s rights. If their commitment to Republican values is total, Casey wonders why they don’t just switch their enrollment and become Republicans.

“In my novel, I used the term ‘Wildcard.’ These five Dems want to be the wildcard in the poker hand,” Casey said. “They’re neither fish nor fowl. They want to be all things to all people.”

“When public officials concentrate more on their own power and aggrandizement than on the public good, they’re not fulfilling their oaths of office,” Casey said. “And that’s how the august New York State Senate, long known for its decorum and debate, degenerated into a parliament of squawking fowls in ’09 and it looks like we’re in for Round 2.”

“A Parliament of Fowls” is available in paperback through independent booksellers and online at Amazon. It is also available as an ebook on Kindle, Nook and other e-readers.

For information, visit: http://JackCasey.com

To request a review copy of “Parliament” or schedule an interview with Jack Casey, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723

Publicity images: http://DuncanCrary.com/clients/JackCasey

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December 10, 2012

“DATE AUCTION” PUTS ALBANY RUGBY PLAYERS ON THE BLOCK – DEC 20

Filed under: Events,Features,Troy NY — duncan @ 1:01 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Caitlin Casey, 518-573-9058 (media only)

“Date Auction” Puts Albany Rugby Players On the Block – Dec. 20

Albany Knickerbockers Rugby Football Club Raising Funds to Support D1 Classification

TROY, NY (11/27/12) — This December, the Albany Knickerbockers Rugby Football Club will be auctioning dates with 30 of their hottest players. The auction will raise funds to help with the added expenses of competing in their club, including their recently achieved Women’s Division I status.

Knickerbocker Rugby Club Date Auction Poster“D1 teams are usually only in bigger cities like New York or Boston,” said Director of Club Fundraising Caitlin Casey, 28, of Troy. “We’re putting Albany on the map because we’re doing so well.”

But success comes with a price. Casey says her club’s new level of professionalism requires them to travel farther afield to compete. “Before, our women used to travel to New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine to compete,” she said. “Now we’re going to places like Atlanta. Everything is more expensive — the travel, the union dues and equipment. A lot of our players are young professionals and college students, but they’re all dedicated athletes.”

Established in 1973, “The Knicks” are governed by the New England Rugby Union and USA Rugby. Currently, the club is comprised of a Men’s Division II (ages 18- 34), an active Old Boys’ side (ages 35 and up) and a Women’s Division I side (age 18 and up). In 2010, the women won the Division II National Championship Title and have since moved up to play competitively in Division I.

THE AUCTION

What: Date Auction with Albany Rugby Players (men and women)
Where: Brown’s Revolution Hall, Troy
When: Dec. 20, 2012, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: $5 Entry, Cash Bar
Ages: 21 and up

The Auction is just one of many ways the club will be reaching out to the community for support. But while their goal may be serious, Ruggers are notorious for having a good time and this auction promises to be a wild night of fun.

Dates with 10 women’s players, 15 men, and 5 “Old Boys” will be on the auction block. Each player comes with a gift certificate-for-two from a local business, including dining, pottery classes and kayak rentals — all great to use for a date, Casey pointed out.

Some high bidders may just be interested in the gift certificate, said Auction Master of Ceremonies Erin Putnam, 28, of Troy. But they may find the rugger of their dreams.

“It’s better than finding dates of Craigslist,” Putnam said of the date auction, noting that Pure Elements of Western Ave. in Albany is donating makeovers for all female players and Men’s Wearhouse will be donating the evening’s attire for the men. “You’re gonna like they way they look.”

Sponsors include: Brown’s Brewing Co.; Men’s Wearhouse; Pure Elements; and DJ Jared Kingsley, who will be spinning the best beats of the 1980s, 90s and today during the evening. The auction costs $5 to enter for ages 21 and up. There will be a cash bar.

RUGBY MANIA COMING TO U.S.

Now that Rugby has been approved as an Olympic Sport for 2016 Casey expects a lot more enthusiasm for the game in the U.S.

“Everybody is going to want to play,” she said. “We’re one of the most successful rugby clubs in the Northeast. We are the Albany area club. And we need the community’s support to keep it up.”

PUBLICITY IMAGES

To download a high resolution publicity poster and images of select players, visit: http://duncancrary.com/clients/AlbanyKnicks.html

For information, visit: http://www.albanyknicks.org

Contact: Caitlin Casey, 518-573-9058 (media only)

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