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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New York State Party Chair June O’Neil
and Essex County Chairwomen Corey
have moved mountains!

I just got back from the 20th Congressional District with a crew from Jefferson County that are well versed in special election races. I’m excited to report that Chairwomen Sue Montgomery-Corey of Essex County and New York State Democratic Chairwomen June O’Neil have worked with a dedicated group of supporters to turn the 20th Congressional District into a virtual dead heat. Many of you have been following this race and we can now tell you first hand that Scott Murphy has a real shot at winning; he has a 4 point lead in the most recent Siena Poll.
Throughout this election Chairwomen O’Neil has been stressing the importance of winning this race. With all the financial difficulties that our Country and State are facing, the people of the 20th Congressional District need a leader like Scott Murphy. Scott has created over 1000 jobs over the last 15 years and the people of the 20th District understand that his leadership is needed.
Essex County Democratic Chairwomen Corey has proven, as Jefferson has before, that even when the voter enrollment odds are heavily stacked against you- every day people can make a difference.
Monday and Tuesday will be critical in pushing Scott over the top and I’m sure that anyone wanting to make that short trip to the 20th would be welcomed with open arms. Please check Scott’s web site out at
Lastly, I want to thank Chairwomen Corey as well as New York State Chairwomen O’Neil for their dedication to the residents of NY’s 20th Congressional District and New York State. Our Country and State are struggling to overcome an economic downturn of historic proportions and with the guidance of people like Scott Murphy we can turn this ship around and head towards calmer waters.

Thank you,
Sean M Hennessey
Jefferson County
Democratic Party

Friday, March 27, 2009

Economic Alert from Senator Aubertine:
As Senate Works to Pass Fair Budget
Fiscal Conditions Worsen
State revenue drops $3.2 billion in the last year; 39,000 more unemployment claims each week

ALBANY (March 25, 2009)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine and his colleagues in the Senate Majority said today that projected State revenues have declined by $3.2 billion in the last year and new unemployment claims reached 39,000 per week in March 2009, an increase of more than 20,000 compared to one year ago.“As you can see by the numbers that have been released, putting together this budget is really a moving target,” Sen. Aubertine said. “This economic crisis has hit all of New York and especially Central and Northern New York very hard over the last year. These latest numbers show our deficit is now more than $16 billion.”The staggering loss in revenue is due to the increasingly unstable financial services sector and the worsening economic crisis affecting the nation and the State of New York. In February alone, private sector job losses totaled 660,000 and since the beginning of the economic downturn, over 4.5 million private sector jobs have been lost. The Gross Domestic Product has steadily plummeted, showing a steep decline in the fourth quarter of 2008 from -3.8 percent to -6.2 percent. “We’ve said it from day one that this means that difficult decisions have to be made, but I’m still optimistic that we will be able to put together a responsible and timely budget,” Sen. Aubertine said. “We need a budget that will include spending reductions, but also continue to make critical investments in other areas, including education, agriculture and energy. This crisis is an opportunity to move toward real systemic changes that will help us put this state on the right track for recovery and growth.”
Read on..
First Lady: POTUS will create
Native American Affairs Adviser

ABC News' Yunji de Nies, Lisa Chinn and Jen Duck report:
First Lady Michelle Obama visited the Department of Interior, the first time a First Lady has visited the agency in over 12 years. The agency is responsible for millions of acres of parks and public land, protecting endangered species, and managing America's oil and natural gas resources. It is made up of eight bureaus, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That bureau got special attention in Mrs. Obama's speech today, when announced that her husband will create a new position to advise on Native American Affairs.
"Barack has pledged to honor the unique government-to-government relationship between tribes and the federal government," she said. "And he'll soon appoint a policy advisor to his senior White House staff to work with tribes and across the government on these issues such as sovereignty, health care, education -- all central to the well-being of Native American families and the prosperity of tribes all across this country."
On the campaign trail
More on ABC News

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

At the Jefferson County Democratic Committee tonight.....

The JCDC is very pleased that Jefferson County Judge Kim Martueswicz took our venue to announce his candidacy for reelection. In his comments he touched on his history with the JCDC and some very sound reasons for his reelection.

The Jefferson County Committee gave Governor David Paterson a resounding pat on the back. Harold Wiley of Cape Vincent introduced a resolution that commended the Governor for courage and perseverance in his efforts to close the 16 billion dollar shortfall currently facing New York State. That resolution was seconded by Tim Kelly of the Town of Pamelia. There was much discussion but the conclusion was reached that Governor Paterson was asking us all to make sacrifices to get our state to a sound financial footing. Another conclusion reached was that even though the Governor is currently at a low ebb in the popularity polls he is doing what needs to be done and doing it courageously. The resolution passed unanimously.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Senator Aubertine says no to NYPA bonuses

One week left!
Give to Scott today!

ALBANY (March 23, 2009)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine and several of his colleagues spoke out in opposition to rate increases and bonuses proposed by the New York Power Authority. Sen. Aubertine joined the Senate Energy Committee Chair Kevin Parker, Sens. William T. Stachowski, Antoine Thompson, David J. Valesky and Neil D. Breslin to say “No” to NYPA’s proposed bonuses and rate increases.
“Now is not the right time for what NYPA has proposed. It sends the wrong message to the public and to the state,” Sen. Aubertine said. “We cannot afford to increase the cost of living and the cost of doing business in New York State. My colleagues and I in the Senate Majority have been gathering the facts and working with NYPA to show them that these rate increases are not needed and are bad for our families, businesses and the economy. This isn’t about telling them what to do through loud public spectacles, but working with them to achieve real results by showing them a better option.”
Sen. Aubertine later emphasized the need for respect when working with colleagues and state officials.
“Some have confused being loud with leadership,” Sen. Aubertine said. “We want our constituents to know that we are working for their interests, but not by beating our own chests and calling people names. Effective leadership means working with people to achieve real results. We’ve chosen to work with NYPA and we’re confident we will achieve results.”

One New York

Monday, March 23, 2009

Steve Kroft asks Barack Obama about Dick Cheney:

Sinking SUNY

The once proud "SUNY" brand is clearly in severe decline. And this blog thinks thats really a shame.
Jeremiah Harrigan in the Time Herald-Record wrote this:

NEW PALTZ — Today, most people call it "SUNY New Paltz." But the college's name is due for a makeover soon, amid a parade of other changes.
And don't be surprised if the abbreviation "SUNY" drops by the wayside in the college's search for a new, improved identity.
The college has hired a national marketing outfit to help choose a moniker that does what a proper brand is supposed to do — differentiate it from the competition, create customer loyalty and succinctly tell its story in words, pictures and logos.
College President Steve Poskanzer said recently that there was little question that the "SUNY" brand is flawed, at best, providing little useful recognition outside the state.
He also noted that the system's four research universities at Buffalo, Stony Brook, Albany and Binghamton downplay or have even dropped references to SUNY in their names. Stony Brook, for example, now calls itself "Stony Brook University," while the other three relegate SUNY to small print on their logos and recruiting information.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sometimes JD agrees with Big Blog Bob

The hard copy of the WDT today featured some excepts of Managing Editor Bob Gorman's blog Rough Draft. We lifted this one because JD thinks Gorman is right on with this.

And for those worried about how the former GOP senator (Jim Wright) will work in a world full of Democrats, well, everyone might be surprised to find out that we are being served by big boys and girls. Democrat Assemblywoman Addie Russell sent Wright a handwritten note of congratulations, and Wright's replacement in the senate, Darrel Aubertine, was on the phone with Wright soon after, laying the groundwork for future endeavors.

The rich really are different from you and me

You thought the AIG bonus thing was a disgrace right? Thats nuthin'. Check out the greedy bastards retirment schemes.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One of President Barack Obama's top economic advisers said on Sunday that she was "incredibly confident" the president's efforts will turn the U.S. economy around within one year.
Christina Romer, head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said because of the programs Obama was implementing, "We will be seeing signs the economy is turning around ... (it) is growing again."
She told the "Fox News Sunday" program that she was "incredibly confident" that the president's programs will turn around the slumping U.S. economy.
"That's why we're taking them," she said. "We absolutely think they will do the job for the American economy."
The Obama White House is expected this week to roll out a three-pronged bid to cleanse the U.S. financial system of "toxic" assets clogging banks' balance sheets, a source familiar with the plan told Reuters on Saturday.

Bateman interprets Cheney

Tedisco shows his colors

On the last day of this month there will be a big deal Congressional Special election. Jim Tedisco has been poked and prodded for weeks asking how he would have voted on the stimulus. Aha! The truth emerges.

Jim Tedisco has finally admitted he would vote No on President Obama's economic recovery plan, No on 76,000 jobs in Upstate New York, and No to the largest middle class tax cut in history.
The AP reported this yesterday:
“Scott Murphy, the Democrat running for Congress in New York, says he opposes the death penalty, even for terrorists.Speaking on Talk 1300-AM, WGDJ, Murphy tells host Fred Dicker he opposes the death penalty in all cases, including for the Sept. 11 terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center and Washington, D.C.Murphy says the evidence may not be conclusive in many cases and guilt can’t be guaranteed. He says the cost of making a mistake in a death penalty case is too high.Jim Tedisco, the Republican candidate in the March 31 special election in the 20th Congressional District, supports the death penalty.”
Frankly, thats another good reason to vote for Murphy.
© 2009 YouTube, LLC

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Throw (virtual) tomatoes at AIG
The more you throw the more you find out.

The President reflects on lessons from his time spent outside Washington this week, which only reinforced the four core principles in his budget.
© 2009 YouTube, LLC

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

For Immediate Release:
March 17, 2009

“New York held its first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1762 to honor thememory and the good works of the patron saint of Ireland. Today’scelebration serves a dual purpose: honoring the memory of St. Patrickand celebrating the culture and history of the Irish people. “St. Patrick was wrested from his family at a young age and spent sixyears as a slave in Ireland. While held captive, he developed a steelydetermination and an unshakeable faith that would shield him from thehorrors of captivity and inspire him to one day return to Ireland as amissionary. That Irish fortitude flowed in the blood of the immigrantswho centuries later left their homeland for the New World. Like somany who came to our shores before and after, they saw America as anescape from poverty, disease and oppression. “We are fortunate that so many of those Irish immigrants made theirhomes in our State, with more than 420,000 people of Irish ancestryliving in New York City alone at the start of this decade. Each ofthese Irish-Americans wove themselves into the fabric of New York, andNew York as we know it today would not exist without them. “So while I encourage all New Yorkers to enjoy today’s celebration, Iask you to do so with reverence for Irish history, with respect forthe memory of St. Patrick, and with a plateful of corned beef andcabbage. On behalf of the people of New York, I wish allIrish-Americans, even those who are only ‘Irish for a day,’ a happySt. Patrick’s Day.”

Monday, March 16, 2009

US set to invest 'millions' in NI
Tens of millions of US dollars are set to be earmarked for potential investment in Northern Ireland.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is expected to attend the announcement by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Monday.
Mr DiNapoli controls the pension funds of public workers from New York.
Mr McGuinness said that despite recent dissident murders people in the US understood there was opposition to groups derailing the peace process.
"I have to say I am very encouraged by the outcome of our discussions," he said.
"We have been through a difficult week back home and it was very important to see if people were shaken by it here.
"It is clear that they are not."
Mr McGuinness is in America with First Minister Peter Robinson who is due to visit Chicago for talks with US firms that employ people in Northern Ireland.

Senator Darrel Aubertine and Majority Leader Malcolm Smith are taking the 'Stimulus Show' on the road

Here is information on the Syracuse performance March 19th.
Click here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

City of Watertown poverty report

In running around the political blogs today I came across this disturbing report by the Community Action Association of NYS. It was reported in the always scintillating Gotham Gazette. This report is dated March 2009 and sets up 'rankers' among cities reporting poverty numbers. Here are the #s for Watertown. Prepare to be depressed.

Total Population.............................................................. 29,590
# of Individuals in Poverty................................................ 7,043
% of Individuals in Poverty..............................................24.5%
Education & Poverty
% of 25+older with at least High School Degree.............87.2%
% of 25+older with at least Bachelor’s Degree ...............18.0%
% with Only High School Degree in Poverty...................20.4%
% with at least Bachelor’s Degree in Poverty....................4.1%
Employment & Poverty
Median Income............................................................. $33,021

Click here for the whole thing.


This is a tremendous blog. Its well written, funny and expresses a local progressive viewpoint that most of us truly appreciate. Hoo-Ray to Cape Vincent's R. Wiley for turning out this masterpiece that is a brightly colored alternative to the sadly drab, increasingly meanspirited and hopelessly reactionary P-IV.
Click right here.

From the Home Office in Wahoo, Nebraska...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Heeeerrrrres Addie on the Star Rebate, the budget, the green revolution and her optimism for the future

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell on a recent edition of Albany Update

President Obama makes key announcements regarding the safety of our nation's food.

(this video is public domain)
© 2009 YouTube, LLC

Republican Tedisco loses ground

In less than three weeks, there will be a big special election in Upstate New York. This election will fill the House seat left vacant by Secretary Hillary Clinton's successor in the U.S. Senate, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. The choice is clear – Democratic candidate Scott Murphy, who will be a strong ally of President Obama in Congress versus Republican Jim Tedisco, another out-of-touch 'just say no' Republican. In a district with a significant Republican enrollment edge, Democrat Scott Murphy has slashed Tedisco's 21-point lead to just four, 45%-41%.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Library Advocates Rally to Restore Funding
ALBANY, NY (03/10/2009; 1530)(readMedia)-- The New York Library Association (NYLA) today held their annual Library Lobby Day, which brought over 1,000 librarians, trustees and library patrons to Albany to ask the Legislature to restore the Governor's proposed $18 million or 18% cut in Library Aid.
The event started with a Legislative Breakfast Reception for legislators and library leaders. At the Breakfast Reception, 87 legislators had their photos taken for the very popular READ posters, which legislators can send to the libraries in their districts to promote the Statewide Summer Reading program.
Library advocates then met with legislators and their staffs in their offices, where they delivered the message that library funding should be a priority for restoration. "During tough economic times, you should not cut funding for public services that are in the greatest demand or can do the most good, and libraries helping people find jobs, start new careers or access public assistance programs fit into that category," said Michael J. Borges, NYLA Executive Director.
The day culminated with a Library Rally at which State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Assemblymember Amy Paulin, Chair of the Assembly Libraries and Education Technology Committee, and long-time library champion Senator Hugh Farley all spoke in favor of restoring Library Aid. Other special guests addressing the attendees were children's author Charles R. Smith, Jr., State Librarian Bernie Margolis, and Queens Public Library Director Tom Galante.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A more "progressive" income tax in our state

One of this blog's favorite NYS Senators is Liz Kruger. And to make her viewpoint even stronger in my eyes she has some fairness up her sleeve. It involves requiring those who are more able to contribute to the public welfare to actually pay at an increase rate.

She is the Vice-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and Chairwoman of the Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform, and she announced today that the Select Committee will conduct a public hearing on March 12th to discuss restructuring the state’s tax laws to a more progressive model.

The hearing will include a variety of economists representing differing ideas and proposals for legislators to consider during negotiations for this year’s state budget.

You can participate in Liz's hearing too. Krueger is also asking interested members of the public to submit written testimony that will be made available to all 62 members of the Senate.

For years Liz toiled hopelessly burdened and buried in the minority. Now her point of view has bubbled to the surface. Hoo-ray!

"What do you think the highest tax bracket in New York State is?"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Last night on Saturday Night Live Barack turned into 'The Rock' Obama.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A short policy statement

It comes as no surprise to this blog that former Senator James Wright emerged as the Executive Director of the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC). In a previous post we wrote that given the composition of its Board there was little doubt that Jim would emerge at the head of the class.

Now that his rule on the DANC throne is an accomplished fact the JD blog will refrain from imflamatory partisan political commentary and simply cool it until Mr. Wright's first overt partisan political decision and/or action and/or appearance and/or endorsement takes place. If and when that partisanship happens we'll be on him like ugly on an ape.

Frankly we hope we don't have to report anything negative but we'll see if this old leopard can really change his spots. He has the opportunity to bring his strong mind and sophisticated organizational talents to work for all of us. Actually if the truth be known JD is pulling for him. You know this blog isn't above cheering a little too for the man if Jim actually pulls it off.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

You got this one wrong Dede

There is a lot to like about Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava. She takes her job seriously and does it as well as she can though she is hopelessly mired in the
ineffective Assembly minority. She is by nature a pleasant and positive person too. On a lot of issues Dede is clearly in tune with the progressive wings of both the Republican and Democratic Parties. Here comes the 'but.'

But she didn't get it right with her vote supporting and maintaining the
Rockefeller Drug Laws of the 1980s. Dede voted this week to continue to support the rigid sentencing prescribed then that allow judges little or no opportunity to
adjust jail time for convicted offenders. It was a lock em up and throw away the key mentality then. Since the 1980s NYS has demonstrated absolutely and completely that we can't incarcerate our way out of society's drug problems. It hasn't worked. And it won't.

Judges need a variety of sentencing options. For example, couselling and
supervision for non-violent small time offenders should be possible. Don't misunderstand me. There are some bad guys out there that truly need to be whacked, but let judges make that determination after the guilty are convicted. Let judges do what they are supposed to do in our system--judge. Let them have some discretionary opportunites to do what they think is the best thing. Sorry you didn't see that one our way Dede.

Our community's drug problems are just as much a health concern as they are a criminal justice concern. Dede needs to recognize that too.

The reformation of those super harsh 1980s laws passed the Assembly with Addie Russell's support. Now the bill moves to the NYS Senate. Nobody is sure what will happen there. But this blog hopes they get it just as right as the Assembly did.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Addie announces funds flowing north

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Watertown) announced that the state has awarded more than $200,000 for infrastructure improvements to libraries throughout the North Country under the 2008-09 Public Library Grant Award initiative.

“This funding will not only help our libraries improve their services, but it will also help already struggling local governments and taxpayers, who would otherwise have to pick up the tab,” Russell said.

The awards include:

$159,000 to the Hepburn Library of Waddington for restorations, including new electrical and lighting systems; rehabilitation of exterior brick, stone, wood and windows; and installation of insulation and ventilation in the attic;
$23,000 to the Potsdam Public Library for the construction of two wheelchair-accessible bathrooms from one existing bathroom;
$16,000 to the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library of Watertown for the reconstruction of storage space to create a new meeting room and the purchase of new furniture;
$11,600 to the Massena Public Library for the reconstruction of existing space to create new office space in the children’s room and the purchase of new furniture;
$5,000 to the Canton Free Library for the construction of an interior partition to create a new teen area and the purchase of new furniture; and
$3,700 to the Norwood Library for the replacement of front and back doors, sealing off of unused double doors, repositioning of portico lights and installation of light sensor switches in the building’s interior.
Stephen B. Bolton, director of the North Country Library System, said that the money couldn’t come at a better time, noting that visitation and circulation are up in the midst of a crushing recession.

“These state funds will be put to good use by smaller libraries that already know how to spend money wisely,” said Bolton.

“At a time when the nation is tightening its belt and scaling back valued services, it is heartening to see the state maintaining its commitment to our community,” Russell said. “I will continue working to ensure the North Country gets its fair share.”


This has nothing to do with politics. Therefore, if you are a truly committed political junky just pass this right by. If you do want to see a hilarious medical news spoof go ahead and click it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

June out! No way.

Elizabeth Benjamin of the Daily News writes that David Paterson wants to replace our northcountry's June O'Neil as State Democratic Chair. This isn't going to stabilize your very leaky political ship Governor.
Here is Lady Liz's piece.
That makes one state committeeman, the guy writing this post, extremely uptight. June is a productive proven winner with a super strong political pedigree.
Three or four or so posts below this we analogized that David Paterson as a baseball pitcher has pretty obvious control problems. Good God! This one is a goofy, freakin wild pitch.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


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Rush explains why he calls for our President to fail....Jokes about the "castrati" who don't have the testicles to join his viewpoint...and generally disparages anyone with a mildly progressive viewpoint. The scary part is some mindless fans really passionately buy into his overly dramatized, half baked, intellectually bereft tripe.

This blog pasionately hopes our President succeeds.
© 2009 YouTube, LLC

Rahm Emmanuel comments on Rush.