soares enjoys a healthy fund for campaign

Section: Capital Region,  Page: D3

Date: Friday, July 27, 2007

Albany County District Attorney David Soares has more than $35,000 in his re-election war chest, including close to $10,000 from the state's largest health care union, the latest campaign filings show.

The prosecutor, elected to a four-year term in 2004 after he upset incumbent Paul Clyne in the Democratic primary, reeled in $9,747 from the political action fund for the 1199 SEIU, according to the state Board of Elections filings for July. Other noteworthy contributions to Friends of David Soares include $5,000 from the New York State Laborers, $2,500 from the Drug Policy Alliance Network and $1,000 from the New York State Troopers political action committee.

Meanwhile, the top individual contributor was activist Alice Green, executive director of Albany's Center for Law and Justice and a failed 2005 mayoral candidate, who contributed $1,000.

Bright spot for Bellevue

Looking back on the campaign to save Bellevue Woman's Hospital, CEO Anne Saile said there was one bright spot. Gov. Eliot Spitzer never granted Saile a face-to-face meeting, but she did get to see Lt. Gov. David Paterson. She said he listened intently to patients and staff arguing on behalf of the Niskayuna hospital, which was targeted for closure by the Berger Commission.

At the end, Saile recalled, Paterson said this: "Bellevue is an out-of-the-box facility. It sounds like the type of place that should be replicated." For Saile, it was a small victory to hear someone in the Spitzer administration acknowledge Bellevue's value.

Last week, Bellevue and Ellis Hospital in Schenectady announced that Ellis would take over operation of the smaller hospital that specializes in women's health and obstetrics.

Candidates trade jabs Ed Kosiur and George Amedore Jr. have been sharpening their elbows in their battle for the 105th Assembly District seat.

The two challengers to succeed Paul Tonko, who quit to head the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, have sparred on everything from Democrat Kosiur's voting record on taxes in the Schenectady County Legislature to whether a GOP political rookie like Amedore can be effective in a majority-Democratic Assembly.

Amedore has pledged to be tough on crime while Kosiur took both criticism and praise for sexual offender legislation that he vigorously supported.

Kosiur touts his role in economic development projects, including the expansion of Proctor's Theatre, the new Hampton Inn & Suites and the Railex warehouse at Rotterdam Industrial Park.

Amedore countered by unveiling his plan to revive upstate New York and make it more business-friendly, which includes a driver-friendly proposal to get rid of tolls on the section of the Thruway between exits 23 and 29.

This week, Tom Buchanan, the Schenectady County GOP chairman, blasted Kosiur for a campaign mailing that featured a resident of the county's Glendale Nursing Home. Buchanan said the literature indicated that she had been personally assisted by the candidate when in fact the woman was a paid model.

Kosiur said the mailing, which was put out by the 1199 SEIU health care workers union, never said he had specifically helped that individual.

Calsolaro's future Dominick Calsolaro for mayor?

He's been riding high in recent weeks, with his Gun Violence Task Force finally approved after almost five years. Mayor Jerry Jennings agreed to go along after being given six appointments to the panel. (The Common Council will name seven and gets to approve the mayor's choices.) Calsolaro's also been persistent in his questioning of the Albany County Convention Center.

Not that every proposal he has made has been a winner: The council defeated his effort to ban hazardous chemicals from being transported by rail through the city if the firm was not doing business in Albany.

At the end of a meeting with the Times Union's editorial board this week, Calsolaro was asked if he might run for mayor in 2009. He and Jennings are not close, with the mayor describing him on Jennings' radio show last year as being among people ``who sit on the sidelines and criticize.'' The mayor already has said he plans to run again.

Calsolaro, who was first elected in 2001, said he does hear the question often.

``I have a lot of people ask me,'' he said. His answer this time was that he's not considering it, and he's not even sure he'll make another run for council yet. Staff writers Robert Gavin, Cathleen Crowley, Paul Nelson and Tim O'Brien contributed to this week's column.