Five days after being elected chairman of the Onondaga County Republican Committee, Tom Dadey found himself in a particularly sour political pickle.
On Oct. 1, the former state Senate candidate had prevailed over Salina GOP leader Bill Tassone at the DoubleTree Hotel in DeWitt to take over the county GOP from Tassone's pal, incumbent chairman John DeSpirito.
Then on Oct. 6 Dadey's benefactor, County Executive Joanie Mahoney - a renegade Republican who had backed Dadey's campaign for the chairmanship - unexpectedly endorsed Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo.
What would Dadey do?
The county's top elected official, a Republican, had refused to back Carl Paladino, a fellow Upstater and the GOP's primary victor in the campaign for governor. Not only did Mahoney reject her party's candidate, she publicly embraced Cuomo, a prominent downstate Democrat and a liberal to boot.
What could Dadey do?
He did what politicians usually do. He called a press conference.
With a "Paladino for the People" poster gracing the podium, Dadey insisted that Mahoney's decision to cross party lines "in no way reflects the spirit of the Republican Party, nor does it signal that our party will just stand by and let another Cuomo assume the governor's mansion."
Now her critics are calling Mahoney a "RINO" - Republican In Name Only.
Some of those name-callers are in the County Legislature's Republican majority which remains at odds with Mahoney over her proposed 2011 county budget. In fact, they're boiling mad!
To curtail anticipated tax hikes, the Legislature's Ways & Means Committee recommended $46 million in changes to Mahoney's $1.2 billion budget, including a $12 million infusion of fund balance bucks. Money for the sheriff's Air One helicopter, libraries and arts groups will also end up eliminated.
Mahoney claims that, with their $46 million adjustment, Republican legislators are "pretending" to have money they don't by falsely estimating projected property tax revenues, for instance. Tax collectors know there's a percentage of property owners who will neglect to pay their taxes, Mahoney said, but legislators are counting every tax bill as though they're already in the bank.