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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

China Flooding U.S. with Tire Imports --
Senator Gillibrand Urges Immediate
Hearing to Protect New York Jobs
Import Surge Forced Jobs Losses In Tonawanda And Additional Jobs Remain In Jeopardy
April 30, 2009
Washington, D.C. - As China floods the U.S. with tire imports, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today urged the International Trade Commission to immediately hold a hearing on this issue. The United Steelworkers' (USW) has filed a case under Section 421 of U.S. trade laws to address rising imports of tires from China. In Tonawanda, Goodyear Dunlop Tires was forced to offer a buyout package to its 1,110 employees to scale back production due to the increase in imports. Additional jobs remain in jeopardy without government action.
"Over the last four years, tire imports from China have increased by more than 200 percent in volume and close to 300 percent in value. This dramatic increase in imports - close to 46 million tires - has disrupted the market for many of our domestic tire manufacturers, affecting jobs in New York and across the country," said Senator Gillibrand "I hope that the International Trade Commission will provide an expeditious hearing of the United Steelworkers case, and that the Administration upholds its responsibility to fairly enforce our trade agreements."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

President Obama Addresses
the H1N1 Flu Virus, Economic Recovery
and His 1st Hundred Days

Dear Friends,
We have to tackle the big issues in this country. My whole career, I’ve been fighting to get us off foreign oil, create new green jobs and industries, and secure health care for every American. Senator Gillibrand understands that solving all of these challenges is essential to turning our economy around. That’s why I’m supporting her reelection to the Senate seat once held by my father.We have to make sure every voter knows what you and I already do: Kirsten has the intelligence, courage, and experience to stand up to corporate special interests and represent all New Yorkers on the issues that matter most. Getting Kirsten’s message out will be hard. This is a big state and campaigns here are expensive. That’s why she needs your help right now, to meet her April fundraising goal, so that this campaign can stay on track for victory.If we make a strong showing in the days between today and April 30, it will only serve to make any Republican challengers think twice about entering this race. Click here to make an immediate contribution from $48 to $4,800 by April 30th. Kirsten Gillibrand believes strongly in progressive values, and I’m committed to helping her meet her April fundraising goal.We need someone who will support President Barack Obama in these times of national and global peril. We need someone who will help the President get the economy back on track and won’t ignore the environmental crisis our planet is facing. Kirsten has always been an environmental champion. She has long been a leading supporter of producing renewable energy and creating “green jobs” to service the industry. If we’re going to finally get serious about climate change and about rebuilding this country, we need Kirsten to keep her spot on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.Moreover, she holds strong Democratic values. She’s always been 100% pro-choice. The ACLU has awarded her a 100% legislative rating. She’s even come out in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples – because it was the right thing to do.Kirsten is a strong progressive voice in the Senate, and now she needs your help before midnight on Thursday to meet her April fundraising goal. She’s already traveling the state and connecting with voters. Your immediate support right now can give her everything she needs to keep right on going until Election Day. Please make a contribution by midnight on Thursday.Click here to make an immediate contribution from $48 to $4800 by April 30th. Kirsten Gillibrand believes strongly in progressive values, and I’m committed to helping her meet her April fundraising goal.I know that times are tough for everyone. That is why we need a tough, strong leader in Washington to make sure New York stays at the forefront of our national recovery and reconstruction. Kirsten Gillibrand is that leader. I urge you to join me in supporting her.
Sincerely,Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Democrats Fight to Secure our Ports

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today introduced legislation to increase security at the nation's 361 ports. Their bill would, for the first time, create minimum security standards for all containers entering the United States.
"It's been eight years since 9/11 and our ports are still not yet secured. Port security is essential to protect our residents from a possible terrorist attack. This bill would set minimum security standards for every container coming into our country and help ensure port security grants are awarded based on risk. It is vital we take every possible step to make our ports safe," said Sen. Lautenberg. Senator Menendez said: "Securing our ports is essential for the security of our hometowns and our families. We have been told repeatedly, by the 9/11 Commission and by other security experts, that our ports are vulnerable and time is of the essence. We have to work to ensure that this critical legislation gets passed into law and that the provision I sponsored in 2006 mandating 100% cargo scanning remains the goal that we are working toward."
Introducing our newest Congressman
out of New York’s 20th Congressional District
Rep. Scott Murphy

Our Heart felt congratulations to
June O’Neil and the NYS Democratic Party
for making this a reality.
Newly sworn-in Rep. Scott Murphy, D-N.Y., left, is congratulated by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

You can read and comment on our sister blog Political Good Guys

In response to an ACLU lawsuit, the Justice Department released four key memos about the Bush administration's illegal torture program. These memos provide shocking confirmation of high-level involvement in the sadistic interrogation methods the Bush administration authorized the CIA to use on detainees. The memos have led some to believe that it is indefensible to avoid investigating and prosecuting those responsible for these heinous crimes. Click here.

Three ways to protect yourself from the potential Swine flu pandemic

This is simple, straightforward advice even for Republicans.

1. Sanitize -- i.e. Wash Your Hands Frequently. It may sound obvious, but hand-washing with soap and water for around 20 seconds is the single best thing you can do (if you're going to go out into the world and interact with other human beings). The CDC estimates that 80 percent of all infections are spread by hands. If you can't wash your hands regularly, try hand-sanitizers with 60 percent alcohol content.
2. Avoid -- i.e. Engage in Social Distancing." That's the fancy term for staying away from other people if you're sick or if you're concerned that they may be infected. It may not be especially practical when you have to go to, say, work, but experts believe it's worth repeating: Isolation and avoidance reduce your chances of getting infected or infecting others.
(Researchers in the UK - mentioned above and sponsored by a common cold remedy - found that 99 per cent of commuters suffer at least one cold per winter. By contrast, 58 per cent of peole who work from home and 88 per cent of those who walk to work caught a cold last winter).
3. Be Alert -- i.e. Recognize the Symptoms and Get Help. Swine flu symptoms are similar to regular flu: Fever, body aches, sore throat, cough, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If you don't feel well, seek medical attention. So far, it's important to note, this swine flu is treatable (and absolutely survivable). It's resistant to two of four antiviral drugs approved for combating the flu: Symmetrel and Flumadine. But two newer antivirals - Tamiflu and Relenza - appear to work.

(info gleaned from a long post on Huffington Post)
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This week the President reiterates a theme that has been a hallmark of his career, namely that "old habits and stale thinking" will simply not help us solve the new and immense problems our country faces. Listing off several specific changes he intends to bring, he describes his guiding principle: "To help build a new foundation for the 21st century, we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient, more transparent, and more creative."
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Democrat Scott Murphy Wins!!!!!!
Tedisco Concedes
Democrat Scott Murphy, a businessman making his first race, has won the special election (held March 31) in New York's 20th Congressional District to replace now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D). All the votes are apparently in, and Murphy has defeated Jim Tedisco, the former state Senate minority leader, by 401 votes. Tedisco conceded the race this afternoon.
In congratulating his opponent, Tedisco
defended holding out until today:
This was a closely contested election that perhaps lasted a little longer than anyone may have expected or wanted. But it was important for our electoral process and for the hard-working people of Upstate New York that it be resolved fairly and decisively.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, had a message for the GOP:
In trying to win the NY-20 special election, the RNC, NRCC, and their Republican allies went all in on the losing gamble that voters would prefer their 'just say no' approach to President Obama's bold plans to get the economy back on track.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NY Governor Paterson
Helps NY Create Jobs
While Protecting the Enviornment
$276.5 Million Investment to Spur Clean Energy Job
Creation in New YorkFour Clean-Energy Business
"Incubators" to be Established in Brooklyn,
Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse
Governor David A. Paterson today announced a series of initiatives to spur job growth throughout New York State. In advance of Earth Day, the Governor’s initiatives are designed to accelerate economic growth and create clean-energy jobs, while enhancing New York’s renewable and energy efficiency programs. Over a quarter of a billion dollars will be invested to reverse the pattern of ever-increasing energy consumption in New York State. Separately, four small-business “incubators” in New York will begin to provide specialized support for the development of early stage clean-energy technology companies and expand the State’s workforce.The New York State Department of Public Service announced that New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) would begin implementing $276.5 million in new and expanded electric energy efficiency programs through 2011. This funding will build on NYSERDA’s existing energy efficiency funding commitment of $175 million a year through 2011, and will help reduce New York’s energy consumption. Additionally, NYSERDA announced that The University at Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, The Tech Garden in Syracuse and Polytechnic Institute of New York University in Brooklyn have each been selected to receive up to $1.5 million to establish and operate clean-energy incubators.
As part of New York’s commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Governor Paterson continues to demonstrate a clear commitment to clean air, clean water, healthy communities, fighting climate change, and promoting renewable energy policies. He is a vocal advocate for clean water investments and “greening” State government. The Governor’s specific achievements include New York’s historic participation and leadership role in addressing global warming with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and accomplishing what previous Governors could not by getting the Legislature to finally pass the Bigger, Better, Bottle Bill. By adopting an ambitious but achievable 45 by 15 clean energy goal (45 percent of New York's electricity from renewables and efficiency by 2015), Governor Paterson has set New York on a path to become the global leader in the clean energy economy, creating green jobs, boosting the economy and protecting the environment.
Democrats in Congress
Fight to Tame
Greedy Credit Card Co’s

By John Poirier
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Congressional panel is expected to approve legislation on Wednesday that would curb high credit card fees and penalties assessed by many banks that have benefited from the federal government's financial bailout program.
The pro-consumer bill, which would mean sweeping changes for banks that issue cards, is an important test of the political will of Democrats who are pushing for U.S. financial regulation reform.
The bill-writing session by the House Financial Services Committee takes place one day before top executives of big banks and credit card companies meet with President Barack Obama, who campaigned for credit card reforms.
Executives from Bank of America Corp, American Express Co, Citigroup Inc, Wells Fargo & Co, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Capital One Financial Corp, Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc will be among 14 credit card companies expected to attend the Thursday meeting at the White House.
"It's a new era in Washington," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat and chief sponsor of the House bill. "It's taken three years of hard work, but I'm delighted that we're on the brink of real protections for consumers."
Senator Gillibrand..
Fighting Hard for Our Farmers

Posted by Debbie Groom/The Post-Standard April 21, 2009 8:53PM
Washington, DC -- U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand met Tuesday with leaders of New York Farm Bureau to talk about the challenges facing local farmers and how to ensure long-term growth of the state's agricultural economy.
Gillibrand said New York's farms and rural communities have been hit hard during this tough economy and recession. Some of the economic problems have led to family farmers struggling to remain solvent, rural communities lacking access to broadband and some health care services. These problems make it difficult for families and businesses to compete and succeed in rural New York.
Gillibrand discussed with the Farm Bureau officials low dairy prices, buy local programs and other challenges facing New York's farm families. She talked with Farm Bureau President Dean Norton of Batavia, Vice President Eric Oom of Chatham and other leaders about ways to work together to get New York's agricultural economy back on track.
Gillibrand is the first New York senator in nearly 40 years to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee. About one-quarter of New York is made up of farmland and 42 of New York's 62 counties are rural. New York's agriculture sector contributes nearly $4 billion to the state's economy each year.
Senator Aubertine to the USDA..
"Pay our farmers what they are owed..
Plus interest"!

ALBANY (April 21, 2009)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine and the entire New York State Senate are sending a message to the United States Department of Agriculture: Make sure our dairy farmers get what is rightfully theirs.

The Senate unanimously approved a resolution (J.1135) sponsored by Sen. Aubertine calling on the USDA to correct reporting errors in milk prices that short-changed farmers nationwide around $6.4 million over a two month period, investigate how long these errors have gone unchecked, and then pay back the money owed to each farmer with interest as early as possible.
“Reporting the price of nonfat dry milk incorrectly within a complex milk pricing system means our farmers were not getting a fair price for their milk,” said Sen. Aubertine, who is the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “The USDA has already acknowledged the error for two months, but it seems to go back further than that and we need action. These mistakes are partly responsible for sinking milk prices that have made it harder and harder for our dairy farmers to make ends meet.”
USDA Animal Welfare Act

Monday, April 20, 2009

Senate Passes Bill to Bring Farmers Markets
Featuring New York Produce to Urban Areas
April 20, 2009

Albany, N.Y.) The New York State Senate today unanimously passed legislation that will create a program to provide for the planning and development of regional and urban farmers market facilities that will give consumers access to fresh, locally grown New York produce and other goods. This initiative will aid farmers and rural producers by opening up new agriculture markets, while also providing healthier goods at lower costs to communities, particularly urban areas across the state.
“One of our goals as a state must be to put quality New York produce from our farms on the plates of New York consumers,” said sponsor, Senator Darrel J. Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent), a retired dairy farmer who continues to raise livestock and grow crops on his farm in Northern New York. “This legislation is an important step toward achieving that. By giving consumers the opportunity to buy the highest quality and freshest products from New York farmers, we are giving our farmers new opportunities to sell their products, bringing healthy foods to underserved communities, and helping our environment by encouraging people to buy local.”
In conjunction with Senator Aubertine’s leadership as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, the Senate Majority has made a commitment to initiatives such as this one, as a way to mutually benefit both urban and rural residents in “One New York.”

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gay Marriage

The topic last week in the New York State Legislature was Gay Marriage. It is also a topic that has divergent views within our own Democratic Party family locally. Not wishing to shirk the responsibility of writing on the topic our sister blog Political Good Guys collected some diverse opinion on Gay Marriage and now gives you the opportunity to express yours. Click the link.

tfrd321 sent you a video: "4/18/09: Your Weekly Address"

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With the process of going through the budget line by line in full swing, the President uses his Weekly Address to give some examples, big and small, of how the Administration is working to cut costs and eliminate waste. The President also announces two new key appointments, Jeffrey Zients as Chief Performance Officer and Aneesh Chopra as Chief Technology Officer, who will be invaluable in streamlining the way government functions through efficiency and innovation. April 18, 2009. (Public Domain)
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Saturday, April 18, 2009


SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The state's top Democratic lawmakers gathered at the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Conference Center on Friday for the opening night of the two-day annual convention of the state Democratic Rural Conference.Gov. David Paterson addressed the conference for about 15 minutes, telling Democrats who gathered from across the state that in the Democratic Rural Conference, they each had a voice, regardless of where they came from.

"We recognize the talent and abilities in this state exists in all of our 62 counties, in all of our regions and in all of our towns and villages and our cities," Paterson said, recalling how his first travels across the state reminded him of how the people of Harlem, who Paterson had represented in the Senate, felt they had no voice."When I traveled around, I could hear people who looked a little different than my neighbors in Harlem, who may have come from different regions than my friends from my home community, but were saying the same thing. They're tired of being left out. Tired of being a stepchild. Tired of being the afterthought. Thanks to the DRC, you are no longer the stepchild, the afterthought or in any way left out," Paterson said to a crowd of several hundred listeners.

Despite currently gloomy state budget figures, Paterson said he thinks the state could have a bright future."After the budget deficit of nearly $18 billion, the budget deficit projection for 2010-2011 is $2.5 billion. That means with the stimulus money remaining that we will receive next year and with the discipline that the legislature practiced this year, if that remains for a couple of more years we will get past this incredible and historic deficit and move into prosperity and rebuilding New York."
The conference crowd included state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Paul Tonko, of Amsterdam, and U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, among others.As he recognized state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in attendance, Paterson quipped: "Remember there's no 'I' in A.G." to much laughter. The governor also recognized one Democrat not in attendance, by saluting "our Congressman-in-waiting, Scott Murphy."Saratoga County Chairman Larry Bulman addressed the audience and said victory by Scott Murphy is imminent.

Post Star
Ruling Hampers Republican’s
Chances in New York

A court ruling Wednesday on special election absentee ballot challenges dealt another setback to Republican Jim Tedisco.
Tedisco is counting on absentees to eke out a victory over Democrat Scott Murphy in New York’s 20th Congressional District.
A justice in the Dutchess County branch of the Supreme Court ruled that some of the reasons the Tedisco camp has been using for challenging absentee ballots are invalid.
That ruling, paired with fewer Tedisco ballots than expected among absentees counted in his stronghold, Saratoga County, put the trend of the count in Murphy’s favor.
The March 31 race ended up too close to call on election night and has come down to the roughly 6,700 absentee ballots.
The validity of certain categories of those ballots has been the source of partisan bickering during the past week of counting, resulting in more than 1,200 challenges. Challenged ballots have been set aside for further judicial review.
Justice James Brand sided largely with the Murphy campaign Wednesday, saying the counties should count ballots approved by both Republican and Democrat commissioners on the counties’ boards of elections, even if one campaign objected to the ballot.
Tedisco’s campaign had tried to argue that those ballots should be held out of the count.
Brand did say that the ballot envelopes for those contested votes should be preserved for future review with “a notation that an objection has been made but not sustained.”
Brand also ruled that the campaigns cannot access application forms for absentee ballots, limiting their ability to challenge the decisions by counties to grant the absentee ballots in the first place.
That position was supported by Murphy’s attorneys, but opposed by Tedisco’s legal team.
Brand gave the Tedisco campaign more time to provide evidence supporting its argument that was illegal for voters with multiple residences to vote in the special election if they primarily reside outside the upstate district.
Another hearing is set for April 20.
The Tedisco campaign has defended its ballot challenges, with spokesman Tyler Brown saying, “The ballots of hundreds of New York City voters should not be deciding this election.”
“The Dutchess County Supreme Court once again sided with the congressional campaign of Scott Murphy today by casting serious doubt on the legitimacy of the vast majority of challenges launched by the Tedisco campaign,” the Murphy campaign said in statement responding to the ruling.
Murphy led Tedisco by 86 votes as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to an unofficial tally kept by the New York Board of Elections.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brave move on immigration

By Editorial,
Irish Voice
President Obama’s decision to forge ahead with immigration reform in 2009 is a brave decision by a president who has shown he does not shirk a challenge.
It was clear when he hired Cecilia Munoz, former vice president of Latino advocacy group La Raza as head of intergovernmental affairs, that he was contemplating movement on the issue.
Unlike the Bush White House where there was very little real leadership on the issue, Munoz certainly knows the ropes, having spearheaded the La Raza efforts in the past to win legislative change. The near immediate decision of the two major labor unions to join forces in support of Obama is a great start.
That is the good news. The bad news is that in trying economic times the battle may be even fiercer, the hills higher than in previous attempts to change the law.
That will not stop Obama, however, who has already shown a capacity to attack problems others have urged him to leave alone.
He will well remember that many of those same people urged him not to run when he was a freshman senator for the White House, and instead bide his time. He has clearly decided on many policy options that there is no time like the present.
His determination on this issue is very welcome for an Irish community desperate for good news on this front. A recent public meeting held by the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform in Boston was very well attended and further revealed the need for action on this issue in the Irish community and by the Irish government.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 6, 2009
John Warren
Mary Thill
Mark Wilson

Adirondack Almanack Celebrates Four Years Adirondack Almanack ( is celebrating its fourth year with the addition of two new contributors. Begun in the spring of 2005, the Almanack has grown to be the region’s most popular online journal of news and opinion, addressing local politics and culture, history, regional development, outdoor recreation, the environment and other issues. Adirondack Almanack is the longest running blog about life inside the Blue Line and has become a resource for in-the-know Adirondackers and those outside the park who want to stay current on Adirondack news and events. The site attracts about 1,000 readers each day and has been growing steadily. Adirondack Almanack’s content expanded with the February 2009 addition of two contributors who joined founder John Warren in writing daily posts. Mary Thill lives in Saranac Lake and has worked in the Adirondacks since 1990, reporting for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Lake Placid News, Plattsburgh Press-Republican, Adirondack Explorer and Adirondack Life, where she was also an editor from 2001 to 2008. Cartoonist and commentator Mark Wilson’s editorial cartoons — under the pen name MARQUIL — appear in newspapers and online across New York State. He also provides editorial illustrations and occasional commentary for The Sunday Gazette of Schenectady. Mark is based in Saranac Lake. John Warren of Chestertown is a writer, historian and media professional whose work has appeared in a variety of media from PBS, History Channel and Discovery to Adirondack Life, regional and local newspapers, and online. A collection of his historical essays from Adirondack Almanack will be published this summer by The History Press; John is also editor of the popular blog New York History ( In addition to original reporting, illustrations and opinion, the Almanack aggregates daily the most interesting news from around the park as well as articles from outside the Blue Line that affect life here. It's a good jumping-off place on the Web for all things Adirondack. Future plans for Adirondack Almanack include a redesign and additional contributors in departments more closely focused on outdoor sports, environmental policy, history and culture, entertainment and events, and politics in the Adirondack region.

From local blogger "Miniature Rose"

Miniature Rose is a purposely anonymous Fort Drum spouse, Canadian national, professional nurse and excellent writer who has been blogging in our Northcountry longer than just about any of us. Here is her post for Easter. Way to go Rosie.

As I have previously mentioned in these pixellated ramblings, I greatly admire the President and the First Lady. I was especially impressed by Mrs. Obama's initiative in planting a Victory Garden on the South Lawn of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and I was charmed by the fact that the President and the Secretary of State held a meeting at the picnic table adjacent to Sasha and Malia's swing set. What a breath of fresh air, eh?

The other day, as I was blissfully hanging the laundry out to soak up the sun, I mused that it would be awesome if the First Family started using a clothesline as well. Surely, if anyone deserved the God-given luxury of sleeping on line-dried sheets, it's our President and our lovely First Lady.

It appears that I am not the only person who is so obsessed with clotheslines. There is already an online petition to ask the First Family of the United States to dry their clothes on the White House lawn during a one day photo op. This symbolic act will send the message to America and the world that our nation is ready to regain energy independence.

I urge all of my friends to go and sign the petition. Let the fresh breezes continue to blow through this great land.

Click here for the petition.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The weekly presidential message presented through the prism of Passover and Easter

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This is for you math majors--proof that NY is the most inequal of states

The Gini index prooves it. What is the Gini index? Wikipedia says this about that.
The Gini coefficient is a measure of statistical dispersion most prominently used as a measure of inequality of income distribution or inequality of wealth distribution. It is defined as a ratio with values between 0 and 1: A low Gini coefficient indicates more equal income or wealth distribution, while a high Gini coefficient indicates more unequal distribution. 0 corresponds to perfect equality (everyone having exactly the same income) and 1 corresponds to perfect inequality (where one person has all the income, while everyone else has zero income). The Gini coefficient requires that no one have a negative net income or wealth. Worldwide, Gini coefficients range from approximately 0.232 in Denmark to 0.707 in Namibia although not every country has been assessed.

The Gini coefficient was developed by the Italian statistician Corrado Gini and published in his 1912 paper "Variability and Mutability" (Italian: Variabilità e mutabilità).

So the higher number attained as measured from 0 to 1 represents the geographic
area having the biggest spread between the richest and the poorest people. NY of all the 50 states wins that dubious honor.

NY comes is at .5. Therefore, conclusively demonstrating that we have greater extremes of wealth and also poverty than any other state in our union.
Is this not justification for the millionaire's tax?
(Material for this post was liberally lifted from The Albany Project blog.)
Just for the fun of it here is the Gini index for the world.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Budget Brouhaha

Our sister blog, Political Good Guys, has a semi-longish post on the value of the recently passed controversial
NYS budget. And yes indeed you will be able to 'comment' on that blog. Click right here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Yes, they do kinda look alike

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (left) and Assemblywoman Addie Russell (right)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Senator Gillibrand's first visit to Watertown

Jefferson County Democratic Chair Sean Hennessey and Assemblywoman Addie Russell hosted a smallish reception for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this afternoon at
the Carriage House after she toured Fort Drum. Senator Gillibrand offered these remarks.

The Senator promised to return this Summer.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

More Sunlight

Yesterday, in a couple of posts below this one JD discussed political openness and government transparency in New York State as a downright goodthing. When Eliot Spitzer became our Guv he championed and promoted forthrightness (at least about government.) That attitude opened up a flow of website venues where you, Joe and Jane Citizen, can research to your heart's content. Here are three that will get you started.

Andrew Cuomo continued and expanded the openess concept with Project Sunlight and now has more research vehicles too. Check his research options out:

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli did the same with with his Open Book site.

The Empire Center's site is always useful too.
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The President discusses the breadth and depth of the global challenges we face, as well as our potential to address them through renewed international alliances. This week's address was recorded aboard Air Force 1 amidst vital diplomatic stops at the G-20 Summit, a NATO summit, and bilateral meetings.
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dede votes no on her own member items

We understand that 122nd Republican Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava has released her list of 'Member Items' that she was proud to place in the state budget bill. She was even prouder to toot her own horn by telling the media just exactly what they were.
One thing that she may not be too proud of though. It is a fact she voted 'no' on the budget. Ooops!
Inconsistency is common on the minority side of the Assembly Chamber. This blog still appreciates you though Diedre.

Gillibrand opens her website and lets the sun shine in

Originally it was a song from the musical Hair but it has assumed a whole new political meaning.

Our new junior Senator who has promised to visit Watertown next week has created a site that contains her public agenda. She'll let you know who she is meeting with and what she is working on in the U.S. Senate
"The public deserves a government that is open, honest, and transparent," Senator Gillibrand said. "That's what this Web site is about. New Yorkers can log on and see what I'm working on, keep track of the progress we're making to improve their lives, and send me ideas along the way."
"I believe in open and honest government, transparency and accountability not just because it's what New York deserves, but because it produces the best policies and government. In these challenging economic times, we need this now more than ever," Senator Gillibrand added.>Click here for the site.
It also features her earmark requests and her personal financial data.

Actually she was one of the first half dozen Congresscritters to open a Sunlight website when she was in the House. Think John McHugh will too? Ahhhhh?

Would you like to know what 118th Assemblywoman Addie Russell is working on for us?
Here is some sunlight from her website too. We encourage you to check out her prime sponsored legislation and
some of the bills of others that she has chosen to endorse.

Friday, April 3, 2009

20th Congressional District needs you
The race in the 20th Congressional District has gone to paper ballots and we need your immediate help now to make sure every vote is counted!! The recount requires lawyers and staff to review ballots and make sure that every vote is received and counted properly. The recanvass of the voting machines has already started and will continue through next week.
Over the past two months, our dynamic Democratic nominee Scott Murphy ran a remarkable campaign - closing a 21 point deficit against his opponent. Scott's proven record of creating jobs, and his support of President Obama’s economic recovery package, has resonated with voters across NY 20, a heavily Republican district. We know that he will be a great voice in Congress to help President Obama with his agenda.
Your $25, $100, $250 support will help us send Scott to Congress and get us back on the right direction to economic recovery.
Give today!!!!!!!!!
Click Below and Change Tomorrow !!!!!!!!!!

Aubertine and Valesky Speak Out Against Further Increases in Spending
(Albany, NY) Seventeen hostile amendments proposed by Senate Republicans would increase spending and put New York State in an $8 billion hole, all while violating their own proposed constitutional amendment.
The amendments would increase spending by more than $2.2 billion and leave the state short on revenue by close to $6 billion. Simultaneously, the minority conference proposed a constitutional amendment that would implement a spending cap over inflation, which would be violated by their other amendments. In fact, 20 of the last 27 spending plans passed when the Republican majority when they controlled the Senate would also have violated their amendment.
Republican proponents of such spending practices fail to recognize that the State is grappling with more than a $17 billion budget deficit. It was not indicated in any of their 17 hostile amendments how any of these budgetary increases would be paid for and suggestions on the Senate floor have centered on accounts that are unfunded and sections of law that either do not exist or have expired.
“These proposals that Senate Republicans have introduced are irresponsible political posturing. Perhaps they are unaware that we are in the midst of the one of the greatest economic crisis in modern history,” said Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida). “It’s a shame that at this time of necessary fiscal prudence, wherein every dollar spent must have a benefit to the taxpayer, some don’t seem to understand the direness of the time’s were in. We closed a $17 billion dollar budget gap that was growing by the day and are passing a budget that will produce 86,000 new jobs, more than half of which can be Upstate. But instead of joining us to make this budget better, Senate Republicans unanimously worked to make this budget bigger.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Senator Aubertine
"On the Bill"
Senate Session March 31, 2009
Seeking New Start, U.S. and
Russia Press Arms Talks

Published: April 1, 2009

LONDON — President Obama and President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia, in their first meeting, vowed a “fresh start” in relations and announced their intention to cooperate on a variety of issues, beginning with negotiations on a new arms control treaty.

In seeking to recast a relationship that has been teetering on the brink of a new cold war, the two leaders also promised to work together on the war in Afghanistan and efforts to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Appearing after a 70-minute session here, the two struck a warm tone.
“What we’re seeing today is the beginning of new progress in the U.S.-Russian relations,” Mr. Obama said. “And I think that President Medvedev’s leadership is, and has been, critical in allowing that progress to take place.”

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