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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Robert Harding at the TAP blog reports Gillibrand is ringing up endorsements

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand seen here on the left with Assemblywoman Addie Russell has received more support as she looks to 2010 and hopes to continue on as New York's junior senator.
Gillibrand was endorsed Friday by H. Carl McCall, "I am proud to endorse Kirsten Gillibrand for Senate," McCall said. "Families across New York have been through a lot in these tough economic times. But Kirsten has the vision, the commitment and the ability we need to turn this economy around and make it work for hardworking families in every corner of New York. She has what it takes to help chart a new direction for our state and our families, and I'm proud to stand with her."
Gillibrand also received endorsements from the following elected officials: Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, Assemblyman Karim Camara, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples, Assemblyman Mark Schroeder and Assemblyman Darryl Towns.
In endorsing Gillibrand, Towns praised her work in the Senate that has helped his district.
"Kirsten has shown she is a true champion for Brooklyn families, laying out a legislative agenda that addresses the challenges my constituents are facing from the economy to the safety of our neighborhoods," Towns said. "She stood with President Obama to reauthorize the CHIP program to deliver health care for our children, and is working tirelessly to provide new opportunities to give our kids the education and bright future they deserve."
Senator Hassell-Thompson said that in the few months that Gillibrand has served in the U.S. Senate, she has proven herself as a "true leader."
"Kirsten is dedicated to improving the lives of all New Yorkers, and in such a short time has proven herself as a true leader," Hassell-Thompson said. "New York needs strong representation in Washington, and I am confident that Kirsten will continue to provide the excellent leadership our State deserves. I am proud to endorse her for the U.S. Senate."
The rest of Gillibrand's endorsements include:
Over the last several days, Senator Gillibrand has earned endorsements from labor groups, progressive advocates, and numerous elected officials from across the state.
* Representatives Nita Lowey, Yvette Clarke, Mike McMahon, Brian Higgins, Maurice Hinchey, John Hall, Mike Acuri, and Scott Murphy; * Leading progressives, including the Women's Campaign Forum, Emily's List, and NARAL: Pro Choice New York; * State leaders, such as Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and Assemblyman Peter Rivera; * Democratic County Chairpeople from around the state, including Len Lenihan of Erie County and Jay Jacobs of Nassau; * Labor unions, including UFCW Local 1500, the largest grocery workers union in the state, 35,000 Machinists, and the National Federation of Federal Employees have all endorsed Kirsten.
There are those who argue that this is "top-down" politics. But if you look at the list of people who have backed Gillibrand and the groups that have supported her, these aren't top-down groups. In some cases these are grassroots groups who believe that Kirsten Gillibrand will be the best option in 2010.
Gillibrand has a lot of support early in the game and if this continues, it will make it difficult for any primary challenger to defeat her. She is a proven fundraiser and has proven that she can garner the support of many leaders throughout the state.
YouTube help center e-mail options report spam

The President discusses the breadth and depth of experience held by his nominee for the Supreme Court. In the course of a life that began in a housing project in the South Bronx and brought her to the pinnacle of her profession, Judge Sonia Sotomayor accumulated more experience on the federal bench than any incoming Supreme Court Justice in the past 100 years, touching nearly every aspect of our legal system. May 30, 2009. (Public Domain)
© 2009 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

Friday, May 29, 2009

Addie fights an unjust tax

YouTube help center e-mail options report spam

Assemblywoman Addie Russell
introduces legislation to repeal the
'floor tax' which forced wholesalers, distributors and redtailers to ante up more cash on product that had already been taxed.
© 2009 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

Aubertine: Power for Jobs should be extended at least a year for certainty, Coninuity

ALBANY (May 27, 2009)—As Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine joined the state leader’s meeting today to discuss energy policy, including an extender for the state’s Power for Jobs program.

“It is extremely important we give businesses a climate of certainty and the continuity they are looking for by extending the Power for Jobs program,” Sen. Aubertine said. “This program helps support close to 400,000 jobs across the state, many of which are in Central and Northern New York. The businesses that benefit from this program to sustain and create jobs need to know it will be in place as they plan for the future.”

The leader’s meeting, which is an open forum featuring the Governor, the Assembly Speaker, the Senate Majority Leader, and the Assembly and Senate Minority Leaders, discussed energy policy as it relates to jobs and economic development, the state’s renewable portfolio, conservation, establishing a comprehensive energy policy, extending and creating a long term Power for Jobs program, and power plant siting.

“We covered many topics in the meeting and I think there was a lot of agreement about what the state’s priorities should be moving forward,” Sen. Aubertine said. “I know that for the Senate Majority, our highest priority is the Power for Jobs program. We need to extend the program for at least a year and use that time to put together a long term proposal to make this already successful program even better.”

Read on..

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce $445,000
for Medical Reasearch, Treatment in the North Country

Federal Dollars Will Advance Research, Treatment to Fight Influenza

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $445,000 in federal dollars from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to advance research and treatment to fight influenza at Trudeau Institute, Inc. The federal investment for this North Country institute is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Senators Schumer and Gillibrand helped pass earlier this year.

“Federal funding for medical research and training is needed now more than ever,” said Schumer. “In these difficult economic times, it is critical that we continue to invest in cutting-edge medical research to push the boundaries of medicine and promote long-term economic growth. I will continue to fight for federal funds that will advance the Trudeau Institute, Inc as a world-class research institution.”

“It is critical that we invest in the life-saving research at our world class medical facilities in the North Country,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Federal funding for this cutting edge research and treatment will help improve lives while supporting economic growth in the North Country. I will continue to work with Senator Schumer to ensure that New York receives its fair share of federal dollars and improved healthcare initiatives.”

Trudeau Institute, Inc. in Saranac Lake will receive $445,000 in federal dollars to advance research and treatment of influenza by studying how memory T cells are generated to fight re-infection, which could lead to new vaccines against pathogens that continually mutate.

Senators Schumer and Gillibrand are strong supporters of President Obama’s economic plan. The investment will help create or save more than 200,000 jobs in New York, while laying the foundation of future economic growth with critical investments in health care technology and research, education, infrastructure and renewable energy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Addie proposes a repeal of an unfair tax

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) is circulating a petition with the aim of repealing a costly one-time “floor tax” imposed on wholesalers, retailers, restaurants and other store owners who sell beer and wine. The tax requires business owners to pay an additional 11 cents per gallon of wine and 3 cents per gallon of beer on their inventory stocked on May 1^st and have only until July 20^th to pay. This comes on top of a new increase in the state’s excise tax.“This new floor tax will amount to thousands of dollars in extra taxes for small business owners. It will be unmanageable for many of them, especially in light of the increased excise tax,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “We need to do what we can to help, and not hurt, small businesses, especially during this economic crisis. Small businesses account for 80 percent of new jobs created in New York, and by imposing more taxes on them, we are crippling them and compromising our economic recovery efforts.”“The effect of this new excise tax is that small businesses that sell wine and beer are being taxed twice on their inventories,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “According to local business owners, the floor tax has driven recent sales down, as much as 20 percent in some cases, because businesses are being forced to cut their inventories in order to be able to afford the floor tax. Unlike the excise tax, the floor tax must be paid to the state in one lump sum, forcing businesses to come up with hundreds or thousands of dollars on the spot – a difficult task for small businesses that already operate on tight budgets.”“To revive New York’s economy, it is absolutely essential that we support small businesses,” Assemblywoman Russell said. “I am starting this petition to bring attention to and highlight just how unfair this new tax is for small businesses.”Petitions are being circulated at local restaurants, breweries, wineries and liquor stores, and may be signed by customers on site. Those interested in making their voice heard on this subject may also sign the petition at one of Assemblywoman Russell’s two district offices: Dulles State Office Building, 317 Washington St., Suite 210, Watertown, NY 13601 or 70 Main St., Suite One, Canton, NY 13617. If you would like a petition mailed to you, please call (315) 786-0284.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

YouTube help center e-mail options report spam

President Barack Obama calls on the American people to join him in paying tribute to Americas veterans, servicemen and women particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice - and their families. (Public Domain)
© 2009 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Assemblywoman Russell fighting for repeal of ‘floor tax’ on wine and beer
Businesses say being taxed twice is wrong

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) is fighting a one-time special “floor tax” on wine and beer that charges wholesalers, retailers, restaurant and other store owners an extra 11 cents per gallon of wine and 3 cents per gallon of beer inventory – on top of the new increase in the state’s excise tax.

“The floor tax simply needs to be repealed. It does much more harm as opposed to generating any significant revenue for the State.” Assemblywoman Russell said. “I have begun working with assistance from small businesses here in my district and I am hopeful we can repeal this tax. In these tough times, we must act to help small businesses, not hurt them. After all, these businesses will be the ones helping our state grow out of this current deficit – a challenge only accomplished by providing jobs and boosting revenue.”

Thousand Islands Winery Owner Steve Conaway said small businesses are already feeling the pinch.

“In the last couple of weeks of April, our winery sales plummeted 20 percent because few retail outlets wanted the product on-premises – because they would have to pay the floor tax,” Conaway said. “To make up that loss of volume, not only did I have to pay the 11 cents a gallon on inventory – which amounted to about $2,000 – but I had to reduce the product price to get sales resuscitated.”

In addition, those who have to pay the tax were given little notice, had to perform an April 30th inventory, and no long term payment options. Unlike the excise tax, the floor tax would be paid in one lump sum to the state, and businesses would be forced to come up with hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the spot – a difficult task for small businesses that already operate on tight budgets.

“The wineries, breweries, restaurants, liquor stores, and wholesalers are being forced to pay tax on the inventory already on the floor or in their warehouses and stockrooms, which means being taxed twice,” Russell said.

John Rice, Owner of JR Liquors said; “There is a great unawareness of the floor tax among business owners. What is going to happen when a bar owner doesn’t have even a clue that they were supposed to do an inventory on April 30th and then gets a bill next Fall for the principal, interest and penalty?”

Russell added that small businesses account for 80 percent of new job creation and that the State should be helping these businesses, which will spur additional economic growth for the North Country and other regions.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cordially Invites You to Join Us at Our
With a Special Salute to our Newly Formed
“Jefferson County Young Democrats” Committee
Friday June 12, 2009
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The North Side Improvement League
633 Mill St. Watertown NY

Special Guest
NYS Senate Majority Leader
Malcolm Smith
NYS Senator Darrel Aubertine
NYS Assemblywoman Addie Russell
NYS Democratic Chair June O’Neill
JCDC Chairman Sean M Hennessey

Chairmans Club Reception
With the Senate Majority Leader and guests at 5:30PM
(Century Club $20. All others $50/person)
Dinner will starts at 7PM

Please R.S.V.P. and Dinner choice by June 5th to: JCDC Head Quarters
call (315) 788-4590.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why Gillibrand will be hard to beat

(The picture is Jefferson Chair Sean Hennessey and Senator Gillibrand. The commentary is by Dan Jacoby originally posted on The Albany Project blog)

There has been a lot of talk, and some action, regarding attempts to unseat Senator Gillibrand. Several people, on both sides of the political aisle, have been mentioned as possible contenders, and a couple of them have gone so far as to form exploratory committees.
They all have one serious problem -- Kirsten Gillibrand is an extremely bright, politically savvy person who can raise an enormous amount of money. She comes from a politically active family, and has shown the rare ability to rise above her early indoctrination (her father was a Republican lobbyist, and her first political job was as an intern for Al D'Amato).

Since becoming a Senator, her views on guns and gays have "evolved," to use the popular buzz word. She has spoken publicly in support of universal healthcare coverage, including a public option. These positions will win her downstate votes. They may cost her something upstate, but not much.

The main reason for assuming continued strength upstate is that none of her potential challengers comes from anywhere farther north than Peekskill, and all but one of them hail from NYC or Long Island. Senator Gillibrand is positioning herself brilliantly, both on issues and geographically.

In a primary, she will win upstate handily, and between her evolution on issues and the support of Senator Schumer she will gain plenty of downstate votes to win. In a general election she will do even better, earning a lot of upstate Republican votes as well as virtually every Democratic vote in the state (can you see a Democrat voting for George Pataki or Peter King?).

Even Rep. Israel would have been at a serious disadvantage. For every upstate vote he gets, he loses two or three from NYC. If he tries to focus on NYC/Long Island, he loses by such an enormous margin upstate that there is no way he makes up for it.

As for Gillibrand's potential primary challengers:
Steve Israel is out.

Scott Stringer is not a threat.

Carolyn McCarthy's only obvious issue with Gillibrand is guns. It may have won her the House seat she still holds (and it didn't help that she had been a Republican prior to the tragedy that led to her new career), but it's not nearly enough to mount a Senate campaign.

Carolyn Maloney may have the fundraising ability to mount a competitive race. In addition, when the "credit card bill of rights" becomes law, she will have a huge bipartisan achievement to tout on the campaign trail. (The House passed the bill 357-70; even Republicans voted 105-69 in favor of it.) After seeing President Obama call Rep. Israel, Maloney would do well to stay in the race until she gets the call as well; her best move may be to make a deal at that point.

In the general election, there's really very little hope for any Republican to unseat Gillibrand, even if she has to fend off a primary challenge. George Pataki's numbers can't be very good, and Gillibrand can lay a lot of the blame for NY's current fiscal woes at his feet (and help Paterson if he runs next year). Peter King is too closely associated with George W. Bush. Rick Lazio couldn't dent Hillary Clinton when she was carpetbagging; putting him up against another woman will only mean showing his disastrous debate performance in 2000 over and over again.

In short, unless Kirsten Gillibrand makes about as many missteps as David Paterson has, she's pretty much guaranteed election to a full term as our junior senator.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Why We Should All Love Spitzer (or hate him and get behind him anyway)

Psuedononymus diarist 'Muleskinner' penned a post that a lot of us Democrats can and maybe should endorse. Check it out.

All public school salaries of teachers and administrators right here!

A searchable online database including salaries of 255,959 teachers and administrators employed by New York State’s public schools and colleges during the 2007-08 school year was posted today at, the government transparency website sponsored by the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

The weekly Obama Address

YouTube help center e-mail options report spam
© 2009 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

JoAnn remembered

I'm one of those old, long time, local Democrats. One of those many faithful that carried petitions every four years for JoAnn Wilder for a number of election cycles. I'm one of those D's who supported the lady in each of her County Clerk contests. Actually there are quite a few of us loyalists still alive and kicking. Loyalty is generally a two way street. This D is quite surprised by JoAnn's calculated party switching insult.
Not a whole lot of folks are openly choosing the Party of Rush Limbaugh lately. But, in any event, good luck to you in Texas JoAnn. Many personal regards. Over the years we had a lot of fun helping you win. Bye-bye. And don't let that door get you on the backside on your way out.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Congrats to Senator Aubertine
and The Citizens of the
48th Senate District!!!!!!!!!
ALBANY (May 11, 2009)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine today was selected by Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith to serve as acting Chair of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Energy and Telecommunications.
“Certainly, this assignment fits well with my background, interests and experience,” said Sen. Aubertine, who is also Chair of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Agriculture. “Energy issues are central to the interests of the 48th District, whether we are talking about the three nuclear reactors at Nine Mile Point and other generating facilities in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, or the development of alternative sources, including biofuels. Like agriculture, energy is a critical component of our region’s economy and statewide and with the future of renewable energy sources, the two are intertwined.”
Sen. Aubertine, who served in the Assembly from 2003-2008 on the Energy Committee, had been a member of the Senate Energy Committee working closely with the former Chair.
“Senator Aubertine has shown great leadership within our conference,” Majority Leader Smith said. “Drawing on the skills and expertise he has demonstrated, I am confident he will handle these additional responsibilities thoroughly.”
Environmental Advocates of New York weighed in on the announcement with a statement commending Senator Aubertine’s record on energy and the environment.
“As an Assemblyman, Darrel Aubertine has a record of supporting measures designed to move the state to a sustainable energy future while reducing New York’s share of global warming pollution, including legislation that would ensure revenue from the auction of pollution permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative supports energy efficiency and clean energy projects,” said Robert Moore, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York. “Last year, State Senator Aubertine voted to reform New York’s net metering law so that more state residents could sell the clean energy they generate themselves back to utilities; he also supported tax credits for solar power and grants to build green. Based on his voting record, Senator Aubertine is likely to help restore New York State’s leadership in the fields of renewable energy and climate change.”

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Addie is the constant northcountry booster

The Assembly of the State of NY wasn't in session Thursday and Friday of last week so our 118th Assemblywoman hatched a promotion plan. Addie Russell invited fellow Assemblywoman Manhattanite Deborah Glick to join her in a two day tour of JCC, SUNY Canton, SLU, SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson.
Why? Because Ms. Glick is the Chair of the Assembly's Higher Education Committee and potential funding has to pass her post. Each of our local institutions were invited by Addie to put on their best face (not just gripe about the shortage of dollars.) And they put on a spectacular show for Glick. New programs, innovative cirricula and community outreach were detailed for her at each stop.
Martha Ellen reported this Glick quote in Friday's WDT. "I'm always energized from visiting different colleges. I feel I'd get so much more out of college if I went now. Higher education is going to be the vehicle for which we reinvigorate our economy all over the state, particularly upstate."
Addie's mission was a clear success. The Assembly Higher Education Chair won't forget her visit to the Jefferson and St. Lawrence campuses. Way to go Addie!

Can David Paterson Save Himself?

Steve Kornacki of has an interesting analysis. Click for it.

A very funny President last night

YouTube help center e-mail options report spam

Video created by firedoglake:
© 2009 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

A much more serious President earlier in the day

YouTube help center e-mail options report spam

This week the President recaps a busy week, from strides on fiscal discipline, to financial stability, to cracking down on tax havens and tax breaks for shifting jobs overseas. For his next big step, he calls for a credit card reform bill: "Americans know that they have a responsibility to live within their means and pay what they owe. But they also have a right to not get ripped off by the sudden rate hikes, unfair penalties, and hidden fees that have become all-too common in our credit card industry."
© 2009 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Senate Democrats Protect Renters
in These Trying Times
Senate Passes Kerry-Gillibrand Amendment to Protect Renters in Foreclosure Crisis
Will Protect More Than 30,000 Renters Across New York
May 6, 2009
Washington, D.C. - An amendment by Senators John Kerry and Kirsten Gillibrand to protect renters from being thrown out of their homes after a foreclosure passed the Senate today as part of the larger housing bill, the Help Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 (S. 896.) S. Amdt. 1036, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, ensures that tenants and families nationwide have at least 90 days to find their next home if they are renting in a building that is foreclosed upon.
"More than 30,000 renters across New York, who dutifully pay their rent on time each month, may face eviction because they live in a building that is about to be foreclosed," said Sen. Gillibrand. "These tenants have almost no rights when a bank seizes their home. Families without the means to find temporary housing or move into another unit can be kicked onto the streets, because their landlord failed to meet his or her obligation to pay. This is wrong and I am proud to partner with my colleagues to pass new protections for these families."
"Renters are blameless victims in the housing crisis," said Sen. Kerry, who has previously introduced legislation to protect military families facing foreclosure. "Tenants who do no wrong shouldn't be evicted without notice and without the necessary time to make alternative living arrangements. This victory will prevent a spike in vacant properties in our communities and give families who don't have the means to find another place a chance to plan."
Renters often have no idea their home is about to be foreclosed upon. Depending on state law, renters in foreclosed properties may be evicted with limited notice, forcing families to move quickly and increasing the number of vacant properties in neighborhoods. Low-income renters who live in properties subject to foreclosure are lack the resources necessary to easily relocate.
Shame on the "Gang of 24"

A bill designed to protect tenants in good standing from getting tossed out of their residence as a result of a foreclosure of the property they rent passed through the state Senate yesterday by a fairly comfortable 38-to-24 margin.
But the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee wants everyone to know the bill passed without the help of a gang of 24 Republicans, which includes Long Island state Sens. John Flanagan, Charles Fuschillo, Owen Johnson,Kenneth LaValle, Carl Marcellino and Minority Leader Dean Skelos.
From a DSCC:
This bill provides better notification and increased protections for tenants in good standing who are facing an eviction as a result of the foreclosure of the property they rent.
Currently, lenders only notify property owners of foreclosure, leaving many tenants with as little as a few days’ notice to move by way of a marshal’s eviction warning.
This legislation protects renters, including those who pay on time, by requiring lenders of homes in foreclosure to notify all occupying tenants with 90 days’ notice so that the tenants may have enough time to make alternate living arrangements instead of suddenly becoming homeless.
On Long Island, foreclosures in the first quarter of 2009 spiked 77 percent over the same period last year. On average, about half of foreclosures in New York State affect renters.
Six Republicans joined Democrats in support of the bill, which now should pass the Assembly.
Read on..
NY State Senate Democratic Majority
Releases new State Senate Web site
Bringing government to the people: The State Senate has an amazing new Web site courtesy of its new Democratic majority. It engages the public in an interactive and bipartisan way that competes to be the most open and advanced in the country. The old site, constructed and controlled by the Senate's former Republican majority, blocked access to the best features by Democratic senators and was barely interactive.
Senator Aubertine
Delivers Yet Again
For The North Country

$2m back on track for work at plant

ADAMS — State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine has recaptured a $2 million commitment to Great Lakes Cheese that was promised two years ago but subsequently lost in the exchange of power in Albany.
The state funds originally were procured for the company, which is in the midst of an $86 million expansion, in July 2007 by then-Sen. James W. Wright, Mr. Aubertine's Republican predecessor. The legislative grant was funded by the Senate majority, which then was controlled by the Republican party.
Mr. Wright resigned his seat the following January, and his party lost the Senate majority in last November's election.
When Great Lakes Cheese still hadn't seen the money, it sent a letter April 25 to Mr. Aubertine to find out what went wrong.
"It was complicated in that we had to identify the funds, go back and essentially start over again," said Mr. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent. "But once we were contacted by Great Lakes Cheese of their concern about the $2 million, we turned all our efforts to getting this money turned around as quickly as we could."
The senator said his staff researched the issue with colleagues in the office of Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith.
Ten days after Great Lakes requested Mr. Aubertine's aid, the Senate majority asked the state Dormitory Authority to release the cash it had been holding for the plant.
WDT Read More

Friday, May 8, 2009

Senator Aubertine,
Assemblywomen Russell
Governor Paterson
Partner in bring much needed
Funding to
Regional Blueprint Fund

ALBANY (May 6, 2009)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine and the Upstate Democratic Caucus applauded Gov. David A. Paterson for responding today to their call to release the $120 million Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund available this summer for job creation in Upstate New York.
“Now more than ever we need to see serious investment in the Upstate economy and making these funds available is an important start,” said Sen. Aubertine, chair of the Senate caucus. “This fund was designed as part of the 2008-09 budget for Upstate New York, but up until now has not been used to address the region’s overwhelming needs. We called on the Governor to act and I think we can all be pleased by today’s announcement. I’m anxious to work with ESDC to address the critical needs in all of Upstate New York.”
Due to the delay, Senator Aubertine and his colleagues in the Upstate Democratic Caucus—Sens. David J. Valesky, Antoine Thompson, William Stachowski, and Neil Breslin—along with Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith called on the Governor to open up this funding for projects in Upstate New York in a letter dated April 10, 2009.
“I am pleased that the Governor has listened to the recommendation of the Upstate Senate Democratic Caucus and released the $120 million Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund,” said Sen. Valesky, the Senate’s Vice President Pro-Tempore. “The availability of these funds will provide an additional stimulus to our Upstate urban cores in the form of new jobs, investment in infrastructure and the creation of a more business-friendly environment.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

DeKalb Junction Man
Honored by
New York State Senate

Floyd “Duff” Powell recognized with 2009 Outstanding Contribution by a Senior Citizen award
ALBANY (May 6, 2009)—The New York State Senate honored 48th Senate District resident Floyd “Duff” Powell with a resolution recognizing him with the 2009 Outstanding Contribution by a Senior Citizen award.
“At 81, Duff, as he’s known, is not only active, but his community depends on him for a great deal,” state Senator Darrel J. Aubertine said. “Active in his church as a lay minister, in the food pantry he helped to open, and seemingly available for just about anything he’s asked to do, his service to his community has long been recognized by the many who call him friend. This recognition from the State of New York only formalizes what everyone he’s helped already knows.”
Mr. Powell, who traveled to Albany with his daughter, friends and neighbors, met with Senator Aubertine in the morning before the Senate took up the resolution honoring him in session just after 11 a.m. The honored senior was next treated to a lunch in the Capitol with his friends, Senator Aubertine and Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz, chair of the Senate Aging Committee.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Blue Tide Advances
May 4, 2009
With an eye toward 2010 and Round II in the fight over control of the Senate, the DSCC is touting enrollment numbers from the state Board of Elections that shows Democrats far outpacing Republicans in nine key Senate districts when it comes to attracting new members over the past year.
All nine of the districts in question are currently represented by veteran Republican lawmakers.
In many cases, these senators holding on to their respective seats in spite of the changing electorate due to a combination of incumbent power, personality, familiarity to voters and constituent servce.
Not to mention cash - both in the form of member items and campaign contributions - which they are going to have trouble with now that they've lost the majority.
A handy spreadsheet shows Republicans losing enrollment in six districts (6th, 38th, 39th, 20th, 41st, and 42nd) and growing in three (4th, 11th, and 55th), but more slowly than the Democrats. The Democrats lost enrollment in just one district - the 42nd - and gained the most in the Long Island district of GOP Sen. Owen Johnson, where the party picked up 8,446 new members (+14.6 percent) compared to the Republicans' 1,148 (+1.8 percent).
The second district when Democrats saw their biggest gain was the 55th in Monroe County, currently represented by GOP Sen. James Alesi. Democrats saw their enrollment rolls swell by 7,544 members between March 2008 and April 2009, compared to the Republicans' 950 (which might explain why Alesi appears poised to come out in favor of same-sex marriage).
"The writing's on the wall for Republicans running for office all over New York, and the ink is an ever-deepening shade of blue, said DSCC spokesman Shams Tarek.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Republican Talking Points

Andrew gets some strong weekend press

The blog TPM Muckraker floated Andrew Cuomo's name as a potential Supreme Court justice. JD thinks thats not likely but its fun imagining a big burr under Scalia's saddle.

And the NY AG is expanding his public pension investigation into financial firms that quietly hired lobbyists and political consultants to win investments through the state's massive pension fund. Cuomo said his office issued more than 100 subpoenas to investment firms and their agents, many of whom have deep political ties, to determine if they hired lobbyists and political operatives rather than licensed brokers to curry favors. Click for the Muckraker.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


All throughout our empire state various geo-political bits and pieces think the current mini-emperors-in-charge should split off their fiefdoms.
The ill-logic goes that the City is being screwed by Upstate or the reverse. Most voting Staten Islanders think they should be allowed to drop out of the City. Some political Long Islanders want to be free from what they perceive as the big sucking hose of Albany. The stinko economy is poking the pot of secessionist discontent even more virulently.
The NYT reports in a well written piece.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

H1N1 Virus hit Lewis County
Too Close for Comfort!
May 1, 2009 - 5:44 PM
Marci Natale
(Albany, N.Y.) There are currently 78-positive or pending cases of H1N1 in New York State. Governor Paterson and State Health Commissioner, Doctor Richard Daines, held another briefing on the virus. Daines pointed out that the H1N1 virus, which is still highly concentrated, in New York City is now starting to hit very rural areas, like Lewis County. Lewis County is north of Watertown with a population of about 27,000. Daines says, this is a sign that the virus will likely hit all regions of the state. After testing on Thursday, new cases also popped up in Orange, Westchester, and Nassau Counties. Daines added," I think for me, one of the most important parts of the story is of the 15 specimens we completed testing on yesterday were positive for..

Friday, May 1, 2009

Brings Total Federal Stimulus Funding to
$27 Million for Projects
Governor David A. Paterson today announced he has recently certified an additional $7 million for transportation projects in the North Country through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This critical funding will go toward much-needed highway and road repair, bridge span work and other long-term improvements to the region’s infrastructure and will create an estimated 168 jobs.Governor Paterson’s most recent $7 million certification, a requirement under ARRA provisions to ensure accountability and transparency of federal economic-recovery expenditures, brings to $27 million the total ARRA funding so far obligated for the North Country.“I want to thank President Obama and the entire New York State Congressional Delegation for their work to secure this crucial funding,” Governor Paterson said. “In funding these infrastructure projects we create jobs and make lasting improvements to roadways and bridges. These investments will get New York back on the road to economic recovery and headed toward a safer, more efficient future.”New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) Executive Deputy Commissioner Stanley Gee said: “These additional federal funds for highway and bridge improvements and preventative maintenance projects will help enhance safety and extend the useful life of the North Country’s transportation infrastructure. Governor Paterson is dedicated to using these key federal funds to create and maintain jobs that are essential to strengthening New York State’s economy.”Governor Paterson has recently certified $7 million in ARRA funding for projects in the North Country. Specifically, the projects include:
$3.6 million of ARRA funding for a project to clean and repaint nine state highway bridges in order to extend their useful service life. The project includes bridges carrying State Routes 22, 37, 37 C, 420 and 458 and U.S. Route 11 in Franklin, Clinton and St. Lawrence counties. The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2010.
$560,000 in ARRA funding for a project to reconstruct 1.5 miles of sidewalks and approximately 100 sidewalk ramps to bring them into compliance with federal Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. Construction will focus on sidewalks and ramps in the Village of Massena and Hamlet of Madrid, St. Lawrence County, Village of Lowville, Lewis County, and Hamlet of Pierrepont Manor, Jefferson County. The project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2010.
$2.8 million in ARRA funding for a project to construct two new traffic lanes and enhance shoulders on Interstate 81 on Wellesley Island in the Town of Orleans, Jefferson County. The improvements will help expedite border crossing movements and enhance security at the Thousand Islands Bridge. The project is scheduled to be completed late 2009.
Earlier this month, Governor Paterson announced that in addition to the ARRA funding, the DOT will award $25 million in highway and bridge contracts this fiscal year and the North Country will also receive approximately $23 million in Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funding, which the recovery funds enabled us to restore to this level in the State budget. In total, the North Country will receive $82 million in highway and bridge funding in State Fiscal Year 2009-10.New York is expected to receive approximately $26.7 billion in ARRA funding over two years, which the White House estimates will create or retain 215,000 jobs. The economic recovery funds coming to New York for transportation projects must follow the same process required for distributing all federal transportation funds. The funds are allocated to projects that are selected by the 13 regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s) across the State, which are comprised of local elected officials, local transit operators and members of the Department of Transportation. MPO’s vote unanimously on projects for their Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and economic recovery funds will be directed to projects on those lists. Similarly, regions of New York without MPO’s are served by the State Department of Transportation, which consults with local elected officials and selects projects for the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program. The Department is working with local officials and the Governor’s Economic Recovery Cabinet to identify priority shovel-ready projects eligible for recovery funds.