Saturday, September 4, 2010

Judge Helena Heath-Roland for Surrogate Court - and Matt Baumgartner for Mayor!

Earlier this week I went to drink vodka  an event to support City Court Judge Helena Heath-Roland's bid for a seat on the Albany County Surrogate Court.  You all probably remember that Judge HHR provided me with the letter "J" when I did the DelSo A-Z a couple of weeks ago and, in case you're unaware, she is a smart, compassionate and experienced judge who would do wonderful things on the Surrogate Court. Primary Day is September 14th - don't forget to vote!

Niko was an extremely gracious host.
The fundraiser was co-hosted by Matt Baumgartner and Tess Collins and was held downtown at Matt's amazing home.  There was a great turnout, plentiful and delicious food made by Shy, (the former cook at the Lark Tavern) who will be heading the kitchen at McGeary's, and lots of lovely Stolichnaya.  I had the opportunity to see some old friends, as well as meet some new people, including Albany Jane and Albany John, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Lark Street Hospitality Mavens, Tess & Deb
Matt's home is in an area of Albany that is more well known as a former industrial area  than a residential hub.  For those of you familiar with NYC, if you're wearing your pinkest rose-colored glasses, the sweet little street he lives on could almost be imagined as Albany's very own Washington Mews - it really does have that kind of potential.  As you would expect, Matt's place is filled with warmth and style and art and if he ever needs a dog sitter, I'd like to be considered for the position.  

Now, about my ultimate plan for Matt to be sure would be nice to have a mayor who developed businesses and had more of an interest in improving a place than in leaving a (Convention Center) mark.  Perhaps, if we all encourage Matt, and pool our Valium supply and make it available to him, he'll start taking me more seriously.  Until then, please support your favorite candidates in the upcoming elections.

Yes, please.

Hello, Secret Garden anyone?
Still life

An inspiring candidate
Yellow roses and pick-up trucks - my favs!


  1. Such a great time. And god, who doesn't love Stoli?

  2. Will someone please explain to me what the big deal is about the surrogate court, and why this Judge Helena will be such a good choice? I mean, besides the fact that she has Matt and Tess on her side...

  3. Judge Helena may be a great person but its hard to imagine how anyone can support her when she was found not capable by the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission, I think only the second time ever a candidate was found not qualified.

  4. Actually, Surrogate Court is a very important court that has special rules of law that one just can't "jump" into. Kate Doyle, our current Surrogate (that is what you call a surrogate court justice) has one of the best reputations in the country.

    Now I know that Tess likes Helena, after all Helena would drink (a lot) in the Lark, but that is no reason to install her on the bench.

  5. The Surrogate Court is a very important court that handles such matters as estates and adoptions. The Judicial Election Qualification Commission is a secretive body that gave no reasons for its determinations. Judge Heath-Roland is an experienced jurist who is well qualified for the position by any objective standard. As for Kate Doyle, she is the Judge who was hearing the divorce proceeding of an attorney who former Judge Thomas Spargo (now in prison) was trying to shake down for a contribution to his legal defense fund. Spargo suggested that Doyle would make things uncomfortable for the attorney he was shaking down.

  6. The comment below came in the other day but for some unknown reason didn't show up here. The author is anonymous.

    "To the last poster. Bullshit. If Kate Doyle had done a shakedown she would have been removed from the bench. Any lawyer, which you are not, knows what the "commission" is like - they don't keep bad judges.

    If you read the findings of the commission you would see that they said "Kate Doyle has an unblemished record."

    If you knew what you were talking about you would also know that Judge Doyle was never even accused of breaking any law. Seriously, get your facts straight.

    Furthermore, Judge Roland's mailer today???? Made to look like Murry Carr's - I called his campaign after I got this nasty smear mailer - Mr. Carr's campaign said it was HHR who sent out "anonymous" campaign information - in violation of campaign law.

    And if you were a practicing lawyer in HHR court room you would know that no thinks she is qualified.

    Tell me if she is so great why hasn't Jerry Jennings supported her? Why wasn't he at Matt and Tess 's fundraiser? I hear he was at Doyles on Tuesday night. Just sayin'."

  7. The NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct, who investigated allegations of alleged illegal conduct by Cathryn Doyle (See for specific details), found that Cathryn Doyle was inconsistent, misleading and lacked candor in her answers to questions put forth by the Commission as part of their investigation. These are NOT the characteristics that one would seek for a judge overseeing an important position as someone overseeing the distribution of assets from deceased individuals. As a result of the behavior exhibited by Cathryn Doyle, the NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct Publicly CENSURED her (See

  8. At the last "go around" of elections, I had the unfortunate experience of meeting HHR. She was most definately "politicking" at the poll site. When I called her out on it, she said in a very threatening manner "lets take it outside!!" She sealed the deal for all of us (& herself) voting there at that moment....
    Really??!! Is this appropriate behaviour by a candidate and a judge?! I personally expect my judge to have a high emotional IQ as well as being qualified for the job; which I understand she was found NOT to be qualified....
    How many more times is she going to run for office before she gets the message?!