This blog is of, by and for the progressive members of our Jefferson County community. Our mission is to provide information about fellow progressives for all to view, to provide a forum for forward looking candidates and to offer other varied items of interest. Your opinion is important to this blog and if you wish to write us an item or send us a picture please email it to THIS BLOG IS NOT AN OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE JEFFERSON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Donkey Business!

Young Chuck moved to Texas and bought a Donkey from a farmer for $100.

The farmer agreed to deliver the Donkey the next day. The next day he drove up and said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died."

Chuck replied, "Well, then just give me my money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that. I went and spent it already."

Chuck said, "Ok, then, just bring me the dead donkey."

The farmer asked, "What ya gonna do with him?"

Chuck said, "I'm going to raffle him off."

The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

Chuck said, "Sure I can. I just won't tell anybody he's dead."

A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, "What happened with
that dead donkey?"

Chuck said, "I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a piece and made profit of $998."

The farmer said, "Didn't anyone complain?"

Chuck said, "Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back."

Chuck now works for Goldman Sachs.


Jude Seymour of the WDT reported today that Assemblymember Addie Russell has put the final touches on her District Office staff.
Click here for the story.

And remember everyone is invited to Addie's ceremonial swearing in Saturday at 3:30 at the 11th floor conference room at the Dulles State Office Building on Washington St.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Experience Counts?

Lately pols and pundits have pontificated that Caroline Kennedy lack the experience to be a U.S. Senator. Here is an in your face retort from Long Island's Newsday that indicates there was a whole lot of unused political tread on four out of five recent NY Senators.

In debating the qualifications of Caroline Kennedy, it is worth noting only one of the last five occupants of the Senate seat to which she aspires held previous elected office: Republican Charles Goodell, who was a Congressman when Gov. Nelson Rockefeller chose him to complete the unfinished term of Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968. Kennedy had been attorney general in his brother President John F. Kennedy’s administration before his election as Senator in 1964. James Buckley, brother of conservative icon William F. Buckley, Jr., was elected in 1970, having been a lawyer who worked in the family oil and gas business and run for Senate two years earlier. Democrat Daniel P. Moynihan was a university professor, U.N. ambassador, and presidential policy adviser before unseating Buckley in 1976. After retiring in 2000, Moynihan was succeeded by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the previous First Lady, who’d never run for office on her own.

Wonderful news from across the border

Don't expect local media to cover this even if it really is very local. Cape Vincent NY is just 15 air miles downwind of the LaFarge Cement plant in Bath Ontario. The cement maker has been fighting tooth and nail to burn used tires as part of its manufacturing process. Those tires contain known carcinogens. It has been a difficult struggle for the environmentalists in Southeastern Ontario to halt the company's progress. But they have won and in the process so have we on this side of the imaginary line.
Here is the story from the Napanee Guide.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Steve Isreal is in it!
By Sean M Hennessey
Jefferson County Democratic Party
I just got off a conference call with Congressman Steve Israel. Congressman
Israel recently returned from his sixth trip to the Middle East.  Congressman Israel
accompanied Governor Paterson and other NYS Electeds to the front line in order to
thank all our brave men and women serving overseas for their selfless committment
to our country.   
He was kind enough to update his friends in the DRC (Democratic Rural Conference) of his
view of the progress in Iraq and Afganistan.  I can tell you that there were over 40 reps.
from across NY State on the call -and Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain division- was the main
topic of discussion.  Congressman Israel was incredibly impressed with all the hard
work our troops are doing abroad and stessed our need to suppot them as they deploy
to Afghanistan.
During the call I expressed my concern for our Military Families and opened an invitation
for the Congressman to visit our region and see first hand the profound impact Fort Drum
has on our whole community.  As we all know, many of our neighbors have seen spouses
 deploy for 1, 2 and 3 tours.  I stressed the burden these long and extended stays have on our military families.
 Congressman Israel concurred that these depolyments have placed serious strain on many in our community and that he
felt our efforts have reached somewhat of a plateau in Iraq.  Congressman Israel also explained that
if Afganistan is not suitably fortified we could see further escalation in militant attacks there.
The Congressman agreed to visit our community in the near future and we will be talking soon to
coordinate his arrival.
Congressman Israel impressed me as someone with great understanding of the complexities
facing our military famlies and a person willing to go the extra yard to further a resolution
to the Iraqi conflict as well as support our troops on the front line of the true war on terror in
Afganistan.  I feel very lucky that Governor Paterson has such a talented slate of candidates
to pick from to replace Senator Clinton and I look forward to hosting Congressman Israel in the
near future. 

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You are invited!

As informal as it is let this post be your invitation to join Addie Russell as she is sworn in as Assemblymember representing the 118th Assembly District.

Day: Saturday January 3rd.
Location: The 11th floor conference room, Dulles State Office Bldg.
Time: 3:30
Food?: You betcha!

Following the swearing in by Judge Martueswicz you are welcome to visit the District Office on floor 2.

Senator Schumer has some tentative good news for the NYS budget

The NYT reported this:
In what would be a major boost to Gov. David A. Paterson’s efforts to close the largest deficit in state history, New York could gain as much as $5 billion in extra Medicaid financing as part of the stimulus package being drawn up by Congressional leaders and President-elect Barack Obama, Senator Charles E. Schumer said on Sunday.Click here for the whole story.


BUFFALO - Figures from monthly sales reports that tobacco wholesalers file with New York state's Department of Taxation and Finance indicate Native American retailers are making millions annually selling tax-free cigarettes.

Citing sales reports released in a lawsuit and distributor estimates, The Buffalo News said the profit margin at Seneca stores is about $7 a carton, the difference between what they pay for brand-name cigarettes and what they charge. A congressional report put the figure at $3.

The newspaper reports Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder, for example, made $5.4 million from 2005 through 2007 selling tax-exempt cigarettes at his Seneca Hawk gas station on the Cattaraugus Reservation.

A new law, signed by Gov. David Paterson this month, is set to take effect in February. It bans manufacturers from selling unstamped tobacco products to wholesalers that would supply Indian-owned stores. Some lawmakers estimate the state is losing $400 million a year from uncollected taxes on sales to non-Indians.

A judge temporarily barred state officials from enforcing the new law.

State Supreme Court Justice Rose Sconiers signed the order this month in Buffalo. A wholesale company and a businessman had sought to block the law until the state takes certain actions, including giving tax-exempt coupons to Native American tribes.

Sconiers scheduled a Jan. 27 hearing for state officials to show why she should not issue a permanent injunction against the law.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Too poor to buy health insurance--but too well off for medicaid

Governor David Paterson has a proposal.

Governor David Paterson wants Medicaid expanded for certain New Yorkers. Paterson's proposal would apply to young adults who are too poor for private insurance and not poor enough for Medicaid.

Click here for News10Now video.

Potsdam 'Film' Fest

Here is a little non-political infomation about a nearby event that may interest you.

POTSDAM -- The North Country Film Society and the Roxy Theater announce the 2nd Annual North Country Film Festival is set to take place Jan. 9 to 11.

A short film competition, geared towards local and student filmmakers, is accepting submissions until Dec. 15.

This year’s festival will feature an expanded lineup after the success of last year’s festival, which saw audiences fill theaters beyond capacity at the Roxy Theater. Highlights include a midnight showing of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” with film screenings of classics like “Nosferatu,” “Le Samoura├»,” and “Singin’ in the Rain.” Several indie features, such as the Amish documentary “First Amendment” and the offbeat comedy “About the Bells” will be presented with a talk back by visiting directors, as well as the short film competition. All screenings are free and open to the public.

Best Short Film at the competition will receive a grand prize of $500, with additional $200prizes for Best Local Film and Best Student Film. Information about sponsoring the Festival is available at the NCFS website.

Films of any genre between under 30 minutes in length and in DVD or mini DV format are welcome. Submissions must be accompanied by an entry form (available at the NCFS website) and a non-refundable cash or check fee of $10. If submitted, a short synopsis of no more than four sentences will be published in the official 2009 North Country Film Festival program if the film is shown. Attendance at the festival is not required to submit a film. Submission does not guarantee exhibition in the festival.

The North Country Film Society is dedicated to fostering the appreciation of "Big Screen" cinema and empowering small, independent filmmakers by providing them with a venue where they may network and screen their projects.
(Northcounty Now)


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Health commissioner:
Obesity tax could be 'win-win'
By Nathan McDonald
The Palladium-Times
One of Gov. David Paterson's more controversial items in his proposed budget is an 18 percent tax on non-diet sodas and juices comprised of less than 70 percent juice. However, both the governor and public health officials believe the tax will be beneficial not only to New Yorkers' health, but their pocketbooks as well.

When he introduced the proposal, Gov. Paterson cited curbing childhood obesity as the catalyst behind the tax. Most health professionals agree that the state and the nation face an obesity epidemic. Read on..

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'Sweet' Caroline's first longish, in studio, interview

Caroline Kennedy sat with Dominic Carter of NY 1 Friday for an extended interview.
Here is part of it.


Addie J. Russell will hold a ceremonial swearing in event on Saturday January 3rd at the Dulles State Office Building in the 11th Floor conference room at 3:30PM. The public is invited. After the ceremony, light refreshments will be served and the public can also visit the Assembly office in room 210 on the second floor.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A few words from the Chairman

Hello everyone,
I hope you all are having a wonderful Holiday Season.  We have a lot to be thankful for here in the North Country.  With Darrel and Addie's historic wins we are poised for a rebirth of the Jefferson County Democratic Committee. With your help, the coming year will be an incredible one. 
We have a number of programs that we have intitiated in the recent past such as "Discover the Meaning" Campaign; where Democrats donate their time and resources for charities and communtiy service. This is a way of keeping in touch with other Democrats and keeping in touch with our ongoing goal of  improving our community.  Our newest program is the Jefferson County Blog (  A core group of our Committee has been hard at work supplying topics that are sometimes overlooked by local media.  The Blog is also just a great way for us to connect as North Country Progressives.  Please take a look at the web site and feel free to email if you have something you'd like to see on the blog.
Finally, I want to thank you for all your help over the last few years, it's been a pleasure working with you.   Many of us have seen truly trying times as North Country Democrats.  For many years it felt like our efforts were sometimes wasted or hopeless. Yet in the words of the great Nelson Mandela "It always seems impossible until it's done".  Well, we've done it!  You can all be very proud of the hard work you have done for our party and for the great contributions you have made to our communitiy.  It's been my honor to work with all of you and I wish you continued success in the year to come. 
All my best,
Sean M Hennessey
Chairman Jefferson County
Democratic Party.
(315) 785-4590  

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Judge throws out Paterson's proposed tax on indian cigarettes

First published: December 26, 2008 at 10:12 am
Last modified: December 26, 2008 at 10:13 am
BUFFALO (AP) - A judge is temporarily barring state officials from enforcing a new law requiring the collection of taxes on cigarettes sold on Indian reservations.

State Supreme Court Justice Rose Sconiers (SKON'-yers) signed the order this week and told government officials to appear in her court next month to show why she shouldn't issue a permanent injunction against the tax collection.

Another Reason to Buy American!!!

American trade and budget deficits have grown worse and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr.,
with President Hu Jintao of China, has not been able to allay the problem.
Look for the label before you can't!!!
"Usually it's the rich country lending to the poor. This time, it's the poor country lending to the rich."
Niall Ferguson
WASHINGTON — In March 2005, a low-key Princeton economist who had become a Federal Reserve governor coined a novel theory to explain the growing tendency of Americans to borrow from foreigners, particularly the Chinese, to finance their heavy spending.
The problem, he said, was not that Americans spend too much, but that foreigners save too much. The Chinese have piled up so much excess savings that they lend money to the United States at low rates, underwriting American consumption. Read on..

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Picture of John J. O'Connor, Vice Chancellor and Secretary of the University President, Research Foundation of the State University of New York
O'Connor takes over as
SUNY leader
By Staff reports
The Palladium-Times

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Pavoratti Domingo Carraras

Joy of the whole holiday season to you

Possibly a little post Christmas Ho Ho Ho

New York State is holding 9 billion bucks in unclaimed payouts.
Here is how to cash in. You could hold one of 23 million unclaimed accounts in New York, which total $9 billion dollars. Here are the directions.
Go to
Click the "Unclaimed Funds" link on the upper left.
Enter your name and the city where you live.
If you have unclaimed funds, your name, address and the source of funds will appear. Click the link associated with the account number, print and fill out the form, and mail it in. A signature and Social Security number will be required.
Got questions? Call the unclaimed funds hotline at (800)-221-9311.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Alright Just one more political piece before starting the holiday
Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith Urges
President-Elect Obama to End Christmas Holiday
for Banks, Protect Homeowners from Foreclosure
(New York, NY)- In a letter to President-elect Barack Obama, Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith urged President-elect Obama to include greater federal protection for homeowners to stem the tide of the subprime mortgage crisis.
In part, Smith stated, "it is outrageous for banks to be given taxpayer money without the precondition of assisting homeowners in foreclosure." Read on..

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After a survey of the regular stops where we usually find political news we found zip, nada, zilch.
Enjoy the season. We'll check tomorrow too but the odds are we won't find much.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Help Wanted

(02:00) Report
Dec 23 - The incoming Obama Administration is pledging to add some 3 million jobs to the economy, fueled by massive spending plans
Hopes are high for the new Administration, maybe too high, with some analysts fearing the housing bubble may be replaced by an "Obama bubble."

Deborah Lutterbeck reports. View on..

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A family of 4 with an an annual income below 56K can now get HEAP

Here is the story from the WDT's Albany correspondent Tom Wanamaker. Really!

Paterson enacts
"Green Initiatives"
for stores
By Erin Place
The Palladium-Times
Oswego, N.Y. -
As of Jan. 1, 2009, all retailers in New York state with more than 10,000 square feet of space will have to provide recycling receptacles to customers as a result of a new law signed by Gov. David Paterson recently.

The law also includes stores that are part of a chain with more than five stores, each consisting of more than 5,000 square feet. Next year, businesses will have to provide bins to collect used plastic carryout bags and then recycle them. They will also have to maintain records for three years noting the amount of plastic bags that were collected and recycled. Read on..

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A union man's union man

Friday, December 19th 2008, 5:27 AM

Richard Magelaner is the President of the NY State Public Employees Federation NYC Chapter. He was photographed in the PEF office at 225 Broadway.

Richard Magelaner's retirement has been anything but retiring.

The former investigator for the state unemployment insurance office retired in 1999.

Then he got busy:


  • He was active in helping local legislators persuade the New York State Department of Health for Veterans to open the 250-bed Veteran's Home in St. Albans, Queens, in 1993.  
  • He's the vice president of the Flushing Democratic Organization's membership committee, the club chaired by City Councilman John Liu.  
  • He's president of the the New York State Public Employees Federation retirees committee, and head of the group's veteran's affairs committee, which concentrates on issues affecting its military veteran members. Read on..


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    Families With Children in City
    Shelters Soar to Record Level
    Published: December 22, 2008
    The number of homeless families with children entering New York City shelters hit a record high last month, climbing more than 40 percent from the same period last year, according to figures released on Monday by the Department of Homeless Services.
    The total number of homeless families living in the municipal shelter system at the end of last month also hit a record high of 9,720, the highest number since the city began reporting such data more than 25 years ago, according to the Coalition for the Homeless, an advocacy group that analyzed the city's monthly report on homeless services. The coalition and city officials attributed the increase to the recession. In November, 1,343 families were accepted into the shelter system, about 43 percent more than the 935 who moved into shelters in November of last year, according to data released by the department and by advocates for the homeless who analyzed city statistics. Read on..

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    Addie Russell Swearing In Ceremony

    Addie J. Russell will hold a ceremonial swearing in event on Saturday January 3rd at the Dulles State Office Building in the 11th Floor conference room at 3:30PM.  The public is invited.  After the ceremony, light refreshments will be served and the public can also visit the Assembly office in room 210 on the second floor. 

    Andrew or Caroline or somebody else

    Liz Benjamin at the DN, the first lady of NYS political blog, piled up all the Senatorial polling pronostigations in this short post today.
    Today's Q poll finds New Yorkers split almost right down the middle - 40-41 - on whether Caroline Kennedy is qualified to replace Hillary Clinton in the US Senate, but they nevertheless believe by a wide margin (48-25) that Gov. David Paterson will choose her.

    That's in keeping with last week's Siena poll, which found that while Cuomo had a slight edge over Kennedy, 30-26, but 31 percent felt Paterson would pick her to succeed Clinton compared to 16 percent for the AG.

    Offered a choice of Caroline Kennedy, AG Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (it's not clear why she was included and not some other congressional hopeful, like, say, Rep. Steve Israel, who is traveling in Iraq with Paterson at the moment) or "someone else," 33 percent of poll respondents went for Kennedy, 29 for Cuomo, 4 for Gillibrand, 24 for some anonymous other and 10 percent said they had no idea.

    Cuomo has a slight edge over Kennedy with upstate voters (31-27), while she has a wide lead in NYC (42-37) and they're neck-and-neck at 30 percent each in the suburbs.

    The AG has a better favorable/unfavorable rating (55-11 with 32 percent saying they haven't heard enough about him to form an opinion) than Kennedy (46-17, 36).

    Republicans prefer Cuomo (33-20), which would bode well for him in a hypothetical general election, but Democrats back Kennedy (41-27), which indicates she would blow him away in a potential primary. He has a slight three percentage-point lead with independents.

    Recall that a Marist poll released earlier this month found New Yorkers deadlocked on the subject of which political dynasty they would prefer to see win out in the battle for Clinton's seat, with 25 percent picking Kennedy and another 25 going for Cuomo.

    Thanks for tuning in Jefferson Democrat

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    Monday, December 22, 2008

    U.S. Troops sickened by vaccinations
    - does it help explain autism?

    David Kirby

    It looks like the CDC may have missed a memo to itself on vaccine safety.

    One very contentious issue in the vaccine-autism debate has been whether a certain subset of genetically susceptible children is unequipped to handle the early and intensive US immunization schedule – including kids like Hannah Poling, who developed autism after receiving nine vaccines at once. Read on..

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    Apollo 8 astronauts remember historic voyage

    Apollo 8 astronauts remember historic voyage

    Forty years ago this week, three men in a tiny spacecraft slipped their earthly bonds and traveled where no one else had before. The Apollo 8 crew circled the moon 10 times and brought back an iconic image of a blue-and-white Earth in the distance, solitary but bound as one against the black vastness beyond. full story

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    Cuomo Says He's Not Frustrated by Kennedy

    ALBANY—Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is still coy on whether he would want to succeed Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate.
    "The conversations I have with the governor are private," Cuomo said on WGDJ Talk 1300 when asked whether he had already expressed interest to Paterson about the seat. "To the extent not talking about a private conversation is a duck, or not presuming on a future conversation is a duck--I don't think it's a duck."
    This is consistent with what Cuomo has had to say publicly about his interest in the seat: that he enjoys being Attorney General, and will respect the choice of Governor David Paterson. Read on...

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    Obama raises job target,

    taps Biden to help workers

    Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:37pm EST
    By Paul Eckert
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Barack Obama unveiled a new task force on Sunday charged with helping struggling working families, as an aide said Obama's economic recovery plan would be expanded to try to save 3 million jobs.
    The White House Task Force on Working Families, to be headed by Vice President-elect Joe Biden, would aim to boost education and training and protect incomes and retirement security of middle-class and working families whose plight Obama had made a central issue of his campaign. Read on..

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    Our Northcountry is beautiful in the Winter too

    (photo courtesy of fellow dem Chris Williams at

    Sunday, December 21, 2008

    Aubertine urges NNYers
    to send cards to military
    See full size image
    SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2008
    State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, encouraged residents to send free holiday postcards through to men and women in the military who cannot be with their families this year.
    "This simple Web site makes it possible for all of us to send a note of appreciation," the senator said in a press release. "This is an easy way to show the men and women spending their holiday overseas that we are thinking about them and that we care about them." Read More...

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    "Nola & her 6 maids a milking"
    Many of you might not know but I do an Irish Radio Show part of the Year on 1240 WATN in Watertown.  Attached you'll find a link
    to on of my favorite Christmas songs.  Its a parady of the "12 Days of Christmas" and is (in my mind) hilarious.  Its Frank Kelly's
    "Christmas Count down ". 

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    Governor Dave is Bagdad bound

    Liz Benjamin of the DN reported this early Sunday morning.
    Gov. David Paterson's press office just revealed he has landed in Baghdad along with Reps. Anthony Weiner and Steve Israel on an unannounced Congressional delegation trip for a holiday visit with US troops.

    The New York Democrats will share meals with service members, visit living quarters and tour American forward operating bases. They will also hold meetings with yet-undisclosed US and Iraqi officials.

    Saturday, December 20, 2008

    Each week this blog has been presenting the short Saturday address to the nation by President-Elect Barack Obama.

    Pew Poll results released yesterday

    America's opinion of Presidents as they left office.



    I want to thank everyone on the committee for coming yesterday, toughing out the weather and supporting the Salvation Army.    It was actually very warming to the soul to meet so many generous people from across the North Country so willing to give.  I have to say that it didn't hit me until I got home of not only the generous nature of our community but also that even though we sometimes think our lives are difficult it could be so much harder. 


    One instance was a young lady who was waiting on a bench for over an hour for her ride.  After the 1st hour Addie and I thought we should ask if she needed some help.  She looked young enough to be waiting for her parents but no.  She mentioned that she was waiting for her friends to pick her up and she wasn't sure where they were.  We asked if we could give her a ride home but she said her daughter was with her ride and she looked fearful since they hadn't shown up yet (remember it snowed hard last night).  After a brief conversation we found out she's an 18yr old single mother that supports herself and her child working at a local fast food restaurant.  Her ride did finally show- but she looked worn out from  a tough life at such a young age.


    It was also very noticeable that the majority of people that donated to our red buckets were soldiers. Many were young men and women that looked single and alone for the holidays.  I wonder if the spare change that they dropped in that bucket gave them a momentary glimpse of Christmases past.  They left their families and traveled North to train and soon ship out to the Middle East and beyond and we all owe them such a tremendous debt of gratitude.

    Next time you find yourself down about the state of your life think of that young lady supporting her child and of the soldier away from their family for the holidays.  In fact next time you're in a Stewart's shop and you see a soldier waiting to get checked out take a couple of bucks out of your wallet and surprise them with a lottery ticket or maybe if you see a young lady with a small child let her have your spot on the check out line.  Little things in life go far in bringing us together as a community.  I feel blessed to have been a part of yesterday's bell-ringing.  Thank you Sandy, for putting it together.


     All my best to you and your family for Christmas and I hope you all have a wonderful New Year.
    Sean M Hennessey


    Jefferson County Democratic Party

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    Friday, December 19, 2008

    The Assemblymember and the Chair

    Its snowin' and blowin' but Addie Russell and Sean Hennessey both are ringing bells at the Super Wal*Mart across from Fort Drum's main gate. Its all part of the JCDC's 'Discover the Meaning' program
    initiated by the Jefferson County Democratic Committee. The bell ringing has been going on all day and will continue until 8 this evening. So come on out--say hi--and drop a buck in the kettle. Captain Evelyn Hopping of the Salvation Army dropped by to say thanks. Actually, we should say thank you to Evelyn and all the good folks at the Salvation Army for all their excellent work.

    Krugman on Wall St.

    The brilliant Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman has written a New York Times opinion piece today indicting most of the investment community for being radically overpaid and outrageously leveraging money trusted to them in Ponzi like schemes. You may find it interesting.

    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    Click on Hillary's letter to the JCDC to see it full screen

    Senator Clinton supports
    "Discover the Meaning" Campaign
    You should too!!
    Ring a Bell for Charity
    Friday at the Leray Wal-Mart
    Call 788-4590 to reserve your spot.

    Senator Clinton praises

    Jefferson County Democratic Committee

    for "Discover the Meaning" Campaign



    "I applaud your efforts to launch the "Discover the Meaning" initiative, an exciting effort that promotes and facilitates community improvement opportunities and charitable giving.  Such efforts are vital to strengthening our communities and helping those in need and are reflective of our party.   I congratulate all of your on this new initiative and I hope your efforts will encourage others in the community to get involved and share in the joy of giving.


    As Democrats you have all done your part to promote and preserve the image and ideals of the Democratic Party in word and Action, and I applaud you.  I commend each of you for your devotion to our party and politics and thank each of you for all you have done and continue to do for New York and our country.


    Please accept my best wishes for a wonderful event and for success with this new initiative."


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    Assemblymember-elect Addie Russell will be joining fellow Jefferson County democrats tomorrow in ringing bells for the Salvation Army outside the Super Walmart at Fort Drum.
    Organizer Sandra Cole said all shifts have been filled but if you would like to stop by and offer your support for the project and maybe ring a bell too you are welcome.

    This is a part of the JCDC's
    new initative of attempting to 'give back' to the community titled Discover the Meaning.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Akwesasne Mohawks react to Governor Paterson's call to collect cigarette sales tax on Indian land

    Northcountry public radio reported that native tribes across New York have vowed to fight the law in court, saying it violates their sovereignty. Jim Ransom, chief of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in Akwesasne, says it also would make the economy worse and deepen an already grave smuggling problem. Ransom told David Sommerstein a loss of cigarette sales would affect 400 to 500 people in and around the reservation between Massena and Malone. for NCPR audio click here.

    Danny and Barb 'give back'

    CANTON – Everyone is invited to join singer/songwriters Barb Heller and Danny Gotham at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton, East Main Street, on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. for another of their popular holiday benefit concerts.

    The suggested donation for this evening of seasonal songs and other favorites is $5 per adult, no charge for children.

    Danny Gotham, a North Country native, is an award-winning guitarist who lives and works in North Carolina, where he performs with the jazz-pop band Cool Shooz and the acoustic ensemble Stringfellows. He’s also fondly remembered as part of a local trio, the Raquette River Rounders, and rock quartet Johnny and the Trumphs.

    Barb Heller is the longtime host of North Country Public Radio’s popular “String Fever” show and has performed all over our region.

    Danny and Barb have released a number of recordings, together and separately, which will be on sale during the concert intermission.

    Proceeds will benefit the CORC Thrift Store in Potsdam. Operated by the Council of Religious Concern, with representatives from 11 area religious institutions, the CORC store has sold quality used clothing and housewares and offered vouchers to those with emergency needs for over 30 years.
    (published in Northcountry Now)

    Caroline goes upstate

    Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg visited Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo today to demonstrate that she is seriously interested in Hillary's senatorial job.
    Here is the video from WSYR in Syracuse.

    A new Siena Poll is out (Cuomo leads Caroline 26% to 23% with 28% wanting someone else)

    New York state voters are divided over who should replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate, though most think Gov. David Paterson will appoint Caroline Kennedy, according to a new poll by the Siena Research Institute.

    Thirty-one percent of registered voters surveyed said Paterson will pick Kennedy, while 16 percent said the governor will choose Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to replace Clinton after she is confirmed as President Barack Obama's secretary of state. However, 26 percent said Cuomo should be appointed, compared to 23 percent who chose Kennedy. U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand was third with the support of seven percent of those surveyed.

    “Voters currently see Andrew Cuomo and Caroline Kennedy, the scions of two of the most prominent political families, as their top choices to be New York‟s next junior senator. Six other candidates combined for the support of 28 percent of voters,” said Steven Greenberg, spokesman for the Siena New York Poll.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Another great day for
    America's working class

    Havi Workers in California Vote for Teamster Representation

    Workers Seek Respect On The Job
    December 12, 2008
    The workers at HFS North America, a Havi Company, voted overwhelmingly on Friday to become members of Teamsters Local 70 in Oakland.
    The 130 workers in Fremont come from India, Mexico, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Overcoming their differences and realizing a common need for respect, they voted to become Teamsters by an 8-to-1 margin. The new members work as drivers, loaders, order pickers and maintenance employees for the restaurant and food service markets, including Starbucks stores, in the Greater Bay Area.  Read on..

    Send e-mail anywhere. No map, no compass. Get your Hotmail® account now.


    Dick Cheney in an ABC interview takes the credit for torture. Really.
    Here it is.

    Jane's giving back

    Former JCDC Chair Jane Jenkins is cookin', literally and figuratively. Current Chair Sean Hennessey took this photo of Jane cooking away for the 'senior citizens' in their center in the Lincoln Building downtown Watertown. She has been cooking there for years. Gratis, of course. That is just one of the ways Jane has found to have fun helping others. For the next few weeks Sean is going to point his camera at
    various democrats helping out others in our community. Its all part of the JCDC's 'Discover the Meaning' initiative which encourages everybody to volunteer and help out.
    Sandra Cole is organizing fellow democrats (and anybody who would like to join in) to ring those Salvation Army bells from 10 to 8 Friday at the Super Walmart by Fort Drum. If you would like to pitch in call HQ at 788-4590.

    NEW Balance Sneakers
    Made in USA
    Many New Balance shoes are made in one of six U.S. factories. We are proud to provide jobs to the U.S. workforce, and proud of our high quality associates who can compete with anyone in the world. Through their hard work, we make many shoes in the U.S. despite competition from lower cost imports.
    We are not able to obtain all materials for shoes in the U.S. Sometimes, supplies are not available or economic and quality factors control the source. However, New Balance remains committed to providing jobs for Americans and supporting U.S. manufacturers and suppliers where possible. Read on..

    Send e-mail faster without improving your typing skills. Get your Hotmail® account.

    And speaking of footwear...after 8 years we finally found out something W. is good at...dodging shoes.


    Governor David Paterson previously indicated that he would bring forth his budget proposal earlier than anticipated. He told legislators it would be forthcoming on December 16th. Here is a preview. You are gonna say, "Ouch!"

    Yes, he dings some of our guys too. Click for it here.


    Many of you read last week of the shenanigans that are happening with the Town of Rutland and the Highway Superintendant.  Below you'll find a letter submitted to the Town Board from the Highway Superintendant.  I, for one, drive the roads of Rutland and it saddens me when it appears that Board members are putting their personal issues with the Highway Superintendant in front of the good of their constituents.  Read on and we'll keep you posted.
    Sean Hennessey


           As you all can see it looks like we are in for a good old fashion North Country winter and my primary concern is for the safest travel conditions as possible.  Outside of the first quarter of 2008 we have truly been blessed with some exceptionally mild winters and it appears that council has molded recent budgets around those mild winters, thus rendering the Town of Rutland financially unprepared to combat a normal or heavy winter. It is my obligation as Highway Superintendent to advise the board of any possible budgetary shortfalls that may occur.   


           My recommendations for Salt, Sand and Fuel needs for 2009, presented during budget deliberations, reflected an eight year purchasing average.  This recommendation for average resources needed for an average season was ultimately cut by over $93,000.00.  I also reported that, in the spirit of salt conservation, additional needs for fuel and labor would be required to increase plow trips and fight hard pack conditions.  The boards answer to this issue was to cut even more fuel and labor dollars at the last minute of the final budget hearing.     


          This type of budgeting produces only two possible outcomes for your highway department.  Insufficient funding for anything less than a normal season is dangerous and forces your highway department ( in the event of a normal or harsh winter ) to either battle the storms knowing there will be budget overruns or ration resources and plow snow only until the rations for that day or week are consumed and then park the trucks.  Either way, improper funding inflicts a non- controllable situation and unsuccessful results on your Highway Department.  


          I urge the board to revisit this issue, recognize the type of season that we are obviously faced with and properly fund the resources needed to provide for safe travel in the town of Rutland.                                                                                                                                               







    Claude F Phelps

    Town of Rutland

    Highway Superintendent   


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    Monday, December 15, 2008

    Its official

    Just like her dad, Caroline wants to be a Senator.

    Reprinted from the Small Town America blog (from Waddington)



    Posted Dec 14, 2008 @ 09:42 PM
    Last update Dec 15, 2008 @ 01:27 AM

    UTICA — Gov. David Paterson will be in Utica today, and several area officials say the focus of his visit will be legislation regarding the collection of cigarette sales tax from Indian nations.

    Paterson’s office issued a press release late Sunday night confirming his 10 a.m. appearance at the Utica State Office Building on Genesee Street, but would not comment on the purpose of the visit.

    Assemblyman David Townsend, R-Sylvan Beach, said the governor's office told him the purpose of the visit is to sign the Indian sales tax legislation passed earlier this year by both the state Senate and the state Assembly.

    The governor has until Dec. 23 to sign the bill for it to become law.

    Read the whole thing here.


    Our next Senator will be challenged to visit St. Lawrence County as often as Hillary did

    Whoever succeeds U. S. Sen. Hillary Clinton will be challenged to pay as much attention to the North Country as the former presidential candidate did.

    Over the years, she made appearances at the St. Lawrence Seaway and Clarkson University, met with local Democrats and worked with County Administrator Karen Hilaire when she was St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce executive director.

    The media and bloggers have been having a field day predicting who Gov. David Paterson will name to replace Clinton, now that she has been nominated by President-Elect Barack Obama to be the next Secretary of State. The “The Fix” blog from the Washington Post has even provided odds of selection for the many potential nominees.

    Know as a hard worker, New York’s junior senator made multiple trips to the sparsely populated North Country most years since she was elected to the Senate. New York’s other U. S. senator, Chuck Schumer, has made far fewer trips north over the years.

    As Clinton’s website points out, she has been actively involved with several issues in our region.

    She has worked to expand broadband access and bring high speed wireless service to underserved rural areas in the North Country, In September 2007, the Senate approved $200,000 for the St. Lawrence County Regional Rural Broadband Expansion, designed to be a catalyst for the region’s entrepreneurial economy.

    Clinton worked with the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and major corporations such as eBay to form the Northern Adirondack Trading Cooperative, which teaches North Country entrepreneurs, artisans, and producers how to utilize the Internet and grow their businesses online.

    She has also been a supporter of regular, affordable air service in the North Country and has been a strong supporter of the Essential Air Service Program. The EAS subsidizes Cape Air service to Albany from the Massena and Ogdensburg airports.

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    Celebration of Change

    It was frankly classy and fun. The Quail Room at the Partridge Berry was filled with some very happy democrats last evening as the Jefferson County Party celebrated both change and the holiday season. Many new faces were mixed in with our large family of regulars. Change really is coming. A new brand new administration in Washington is dedicated to addressing our national problems, a brand new Assemblywoman in the 118th, Addie Russell, is totally dedicated to her task bringing intelligence and enthusiasm and the first democrat full termer in the NYS Senate's 48th District, Darrel Aubertine, will mean we'll have one of us looking out for us. Jane Jenkins demonstrated her prodigious talent for decorating and Barb Hoops was at the keyboard. The cuisine was top notch too

    The MC for the evening was Chairman Sean Hennessey (seen in the picture with long time committee person Leona Cheresnowski.) Both Addie and Darrel thanked the party for their support and mutually pledged to bring all their talents to their jobs for all the people of the region. It looked to this observer as though everyone had a fine time. Incidentally there were six present and former chairmen of the JCDC at the gathering and all of them enjoyed each other with absolutely no ego bruises. That frankly is unique in any political group and is a tribute to the cohesiveness of the organization.