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, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Who are these people?

The WDT's Jude Seymour pointed out this public radio discussion piece on the 23rd Congressional District's candidates on his blog. We'll copycat you Jude.
Martha Foley and Brian Mann talk about the dynamics of the personalities in the race. Click here for it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

In case you missed it the NYP reported that Governor Paterson has declared war on the War of 1812. He vetoed the bill sponsored by Senator Aubertine, Assemblywoman Scozzafava and co-sponsored by Assemblywoman Russell creating an unpaid Commission designed to concentrate on promoting the war's bi-centennial. This JD blog thinks that Addie Russell generally summed up the feelings of the three local legislators quite well.

Governor Paterson’s decision to veto legislation I co-sponsored (A.8405) to create a War of 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration Commission will impede the tremendous and singular potential for the North Country to generate millions in heritage tourism dollars for New York State.

“As the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 approaches, we have a great opportunity to draw thousands of interested tourists to our region, which played a critical role in that conflict. This area has deep military roots and could benefit greatly from commemoration-related events.
Canadian provinces, as well as other states have already created official commissions for these activities and for New York to lag behind will hinder our opportunity to benefit from the economic activity created by this event.

“A commission is necessary to promote and coordinate this bi-national effort to observe and celebrate 200 years of peace between the United States and
Canada. The commission would be comprised of committed volunteers, and the costs of operating the commission are minimal when compared to the revenue it could generate. We know that similar historical sites in other parts of the state are lucrative draws for those regions, and there is no reason to believe War of 1812 sites would not do the same during this bicentennial year and even thereafter.

“This veto essentially means we will miss the opportunity to make a minimal investment with potential for significant financial return.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just for the fun of it the President divulged the books he is bringing on vacation.

The Way Home by George Pelecanos, a crime thriller based in Washington, D.C.;
Lush Life by Richard Price, a story of race and class set in New York's Lower East Side;
• Tom Friedman's Hot, Flat, and Crowded, on the benefits to America of an environmental revolution;
John Adams by David McCullough;
Plainsong by Kent Haruf, a drama about the life of eight different characters living in a Colorado prairie community.

I'm guessing he'll like the first two best and skim #3 and #5...and pass over #4. I've ordered #1.

Monday, August 24, 2009

We told you earlier about one local Jefferson County lawyer who is attempting to influence the healthcare debate nationally. The above is the banner for a new website sponsored by him.
Some of us are committed to the project. How about you? Click here for the site.

There is also a 'poll' on the site so that you can express your opinion about medicare for all.

Gillibrand gets it right!

Right now America is fully engaged in a debate about health care reform. But the conversation we're seeing play out in the media has become a debate over the debate. We've lost sight of what truly matters: how we provide affordable, quality coverage to every senior, every family, and every business. I have taken my message on the road, traveling the state, talking to New Yorkers about the need for health care reform. I've also taken the discussion online, with video messages and live blog posts about my ideas. Over eight thousand of you have joined me by signing my petition urging Congress to enact real reform and create a public option that can compete with private insurance companies. As the debate across America heats up, let's not lose sight of the critical need for action that increases competition and lowers costs. It's not too late for you to make a difference.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The 'Public Option' discussion

Here is a youtube 10 minutes on the public option. It boggles my head that some democrats are so
anxious to compromise on this topic which should be philosophic bedrock. By the way there is
a little discussion about the beginnings of a Jefferson County progressive grass roots movement
that has this issue as its central organizational theme.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

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President Obama debunks the myths around health reform, and discusses the public option proposal in which many of them are rooted. But he focuses his address on the stark moral and historical turning point at which we find ourselves. August 22, 2009. (Public Domain)
© 2009 YouTube, LLC
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Governor’s Corner

Statement On The Bigger Better Bottle Bill

Governor David A. Paterson today issued the following statement in response to the federal court ruling to restore the Bigger Better Bottle bill, which he signed into law as part of the 2009-2010 Enacted Budget on April 7, 2009.

“As a committed advocate for the Bigger Better Bottle bill for years, and after fighting to get it into the 2009-2010 Enacted Budget, I am delighted that a federal court has seen fit to issue an order that restores major elements of the newly expanded bottle bill. This is a victory not only for our State's environment, but also for the State’s finances. According to the court, soda and beer companies are required to provide 80 percent of the unclaimed nickel deposits to the State. This will provide millions of dollars to our treasury for the full year, much-needed revenue during our current economic climate. New York consumers can also expect to see five cent minimum deposits on bottled water no later than October 22, 2009, subject to further court proceedings scheduled for that day.”

Enhancing Consumer Protections

Governor David Paterson on August 8, 2009 announced that he has signed a law that will provide consumers with additional information when seeking refunds on purchased items or gifts, updating consumer protections that had not been addressed in 30 years. The law requires retailers to more clearly define and post refund policies, including restocking and other fees, and takes effect on December 1, 2009. The bill was developed by the New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB), and was proposed by the Governor as part of his package of departmental bills, created by the State's executive agencies.

The Clean Energy Economy

Governor David Paterson on August 10, 2009 announced that the New York State Energy Planning Board has prepared a comprehensive draft State Energy Plan, the first step in redefining how the State approaches and satisfies its energy needs. The draft Plan identifies strategies and provides recommendations that once implemented will make energy more reliable, secure and affordable for New Yorkers, address the threat of climate change, and result in a cleaner environment. This will grow New York ’s clean energy economy - a core component of Governor Paterson’s New Economy Jobs Plan -and is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in New York . The State Energy Planning Board is now soliciting public input on the draft Plan that will aid in the development of the final Plan.

Stimulating Home Sales

Governor David Paterson on August 10, 2009 announced that New York will offer a federal income tax credit to first-time homebuyers to encourage home sales in the State. The New York State Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) will enable first-time homebuyers to claim a tax credit equal to 20% of their annual mortgage interest costs, potentially saving the average homebuyer about $1,500 each year. The program will effectively extend, and in some cases improve upon the federal government’s $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Credit enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which expires on November 30th.

Preparing Families for the School Year

Governor David Paterson on August 11, 2009 announced a historic collaboration with George Soros and the Open Society Institute (OSI) that will provide one-time, $200 grants, to more than 800,000 children in low-income families across New York State to help purchase school supplies as they prepare to return to class in September. Families who receive public assistance or food stamps can access this one-time Back-To-School Supplement of $200 per school-aged child (ages 3 through 17) starting today. The Governor was joined by Mr. Soros and other elected officials at P.S. 208 in New York City today to make the announcement.

Protecting Health Benefits

Governor David Paterson on August 13, 2009 announced that New York State is cracking down on companies that sell limited benefit health insurance plans that mislead people to believe they have full health insurance coverage. Some New Yorkers who relied on and tried to use such plans have ended up with unexpected medical bills amounting to thousands of dollars.

Protecting Our Children

Governor David Paterson on August 13, 2009 submitted legislation to increase penalties on those who drive while intoxicated (DWI) with children in the car. The Child Passenger Protection Act, submitted for consideration by the Senate and Assembly during their anticipated return this fall, would make it a felony for individuals to drive while drunk or under the influence of drugs with passengers under the age of 16. Currently, such an offense is considered no more than a misdemeanor and may be treated as a traffic infraction.

· Read more

· Watch the Video

From the Attorney General

Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo on August 13, 2009 announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against New York-based American Modification Agency, Inc. (“Amerimod”), one of the largest foreclosure rescue companies in the country, and its owner Salvatore Pane, Jr. for engaging in a wide variety of deceptive business practices and false advertising to induce beleaguered homeowners on the brink of foreclosure to sign up for their services. Today’s lawsuit is part of Cuomo’s ongoing investigation into foreclosure rescue scams that target New York homeowners.

An Update from Comptroller DiNapoli

At the current rate of spending, New York will have $80 billion in unmet infrastructure needs over the next 20 years unless state, federal and local governments work together to improve multi-year capital planning and better fund infrastructure projects, cautioned State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli in a report he released today in Syracuse. DiNapoli’s report estimates the state’s capital needs for repairing roads, bridges, and water and sewer lines will swell to a quarter trillion dollars over the next 20 years.

Cora has arrived

Its a great day in the Russell household. The family has increased its numbers from 3 to 4.
Jamie, Addie and son Aaron welcomed Cora last evening. She checked in at 6 lbs 1 oz. The report is that everyone is doing great.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Democrats in NYS raising more money than Republicans? Yup. Strange but true.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bill Owens was in Watertown today

We didn't get to personally greet the candidate today, but he was here doing media stuff. We'll feature some of his Watertown appearances produced late today later. But in the meantime here is his profile on Plattsburgh's WPTV-TV.

Here is News10now's piece filed today.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The entire Official Statement released after the Blue Mountain Lake powwow

Blue Mountain Lake, NY – This evening the Democratic County Chairs in the 23rd Congressional District released the following statement after meeting with applicants interested in running for Congress in the upcoming special election. The County Chairs will move forward with their process to nominate a candidate after the seat is officially vacated and Governor Paterson issues a proclamation calling for a special election.

“Tonight, we are proud to declare our support for Bill Owens. While we interviewed many qualified applicants, we believe that Bill Owens best shares the values of the communities across our district, and will be an effective, independent voice for our priorities. Bill Owens has devoted his career to serving our country and helping create jobs in New York, and in Congress he will use his experience to get our economy moving again and create jobs,” said the County Chairs.

“I’ve devoted my career to serving our country and helping create jobs in New York State. I am running for Congress to use my experience to get our local economy moving again and create good paying jobs,” said Bill Owens.
“As a Captain in the United States Air Force, I proudly served at Plattsburgh Air Force Base. My family and I fell in love with the area and decided to stay here. When the base closed, I went to work to create the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation (PARC) to ensure the land was used to create jobs,” said Owens.

“So far, we’ve created more than 500 good jobs and PARC still is growing. We did it by taking advantage of our regional assets – a well motivated workforce, good infrastructure, good schools and colleges, and access to outside investment and markets. We can do the same thing throughout the 23rd District if we work together with total dedication. That’s what I will do in Congress,” said Owens.

Owens has devoted his life to creating jobs, bringing economic development to the region, and serving his country. As a Captain in the United States Air Force, he proudly served at Plattsburgh Air Force Base. When the base was closed he helped create the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation to ensure the land was used to create jobs, and currently there are more than 500 jobs based in the region as a result of his leadership. He has also served his community on the boards of many civic and non-profit organizations. He is currently a Managing Partner at Stafford Owens Piller Murnane & Trombley, PLLC.

Politicker Reports from Blue Mountain Lake

Jimmy Vielkind is a blogger extraordinaire. He reports on how it went at the meeting of the eleven county chairs and why and how Bill Owens emerged at our congressional candidate.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Heeeres Bill Owens

Jimmy Vielkind of NY Politicker took the picture and wrote this:
Nearly 12 hours after they first convened at the Minnowbrook Conference Center on the shore of this Adirondack gem, the 11 county party chairs comprising the 23rd Congressional District picked Bill Owens, a Plattsburgh attorney, as the party's candidate to replace John McHugh in Congress.
He will face Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the Republican designee, and Doug Hoffman, the pick of the Conservative Party.
A special election to replace McHugh has not yet been set, but it is expected to fall on Election Day in November.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shouting down!

The more I read R. Wiley, the sage of Cape Vincent, the more I nod my head in a vertical direction. Here is his latest post on the onesided healthcare debate. (tf)

Steve Benen in the Washington Monthly put the wingnuts into 5 categories.
* The Greedy: There's a fairly small group of people who profit handsomely from the broken status quo. Regular Americans are getting screwed by the system, but The Greedy are getting rich. Reform puts their profits at risk, so they're fighting back to protect their livelihood.
* The Partisans: If President Obama does what many presidents have failed trying to do, it will likely make him more popular and make his presidency successful. The Partisans care more about Republican gains than the national well being, so they're fighting to prevent a major Democratic victory because it would be a major Democratic victory.
* The Tin-Foil Hats: If reform passes, the government will kill their grandparents, create "death panels," lavish benefits on illegal immigrants, and mandate that ACORN volunteers live in your basement. The Tin-Foil Hats have active imaginations, and believe their own ridiculous conspiracy theories. They'll benefit from reform, but the voices in their head discourage them from believing it.
* The Dupes: Probably the largest group in opposition to reform, The Dupes tend to believe what The Greedy, The Partisans, and The Tin-Foil Hats have told them. When confronted with accurate information, The Dupes suspect the media, Democrats, and their lying eyes aren't to be trusted. After all, Sean Hannity wouldn't lie to them, would he? Like The Tin-Foil hats, The Dupes stand to benefit from reform, but are skeptical because they don't know who's telling the truth and who isn't.
* The Wonks: The smallest of the groups, The Wonks are conservatives who actually care about substantive policy details, have read the proposals, and believe there are better ways to improve the system. The Greedy, The Partisans, The Tin-Foil Hats, and The Dupes tend to ignore The Wonks, which is a shame.

The below graphic was stolen from another favorite blogger Adirondack Musing

Saturday, August 8, 2009

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President Barack Obama calls health insurance reform critical to our nations long-term economic strength and dispels the outlandish rumors being promoted by those who are defending the status-quo. August 8, 2009. (Public Domain)
© 2009 YouTube, LLC
901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Darrel the magnificent

Just in case you thought Senator Aubertine might not be effective--think again. Our brother blog, the Oswego Democrat, compiled a list of Aubertine member items that positively affected Oswego County. Each of these items targets a very worthwhile public endeavor. Some of them came as the result of Darrel joining forces with other Senate Democrats and some of them affect counties in addition to Oswego. Impressive huh?

Fulton Public Library $50,000

Town of Constantia $50,000

Young Men's Christian Association of Oswego, New York $40,000

City of Fulton $25,000

Pulaski Day Care Center, Inc. $25,000

Agricultural Society of Oswego County, Inc.. $20,000

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc., Central New York $20,000

ARISE Child and Family Service, Inc. $20,000

Heritage Foundation of Oswego County, Inc. $20,000

New York Agricultural Land Trust $20,000

Onondaga-Oswego Chapter American Red Cross $20,000

Town of Granby $20,000

Town of Scriba $20,000

Town of West Monroe $20,000
Parish Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. $18,000

American Legion Raymond Faulkner Cook Post 858 $10,000

Literacy Volunteers of Oswego County, Inc. $10,000

Mercy Flight Central, Inc. $10,000

Town of Volney $10,000

Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board $5,000

Rural Law Center of New York, Inc. $4,000

Special Olympics Upstate Regions $2,000

Michaud Residential Health Services $100,000

Monday, August 3, 2009

Senator Gillibrand on DON'T ASK DON'T TELL

(Senator Gillibrand is on the left, Assemblywoman Addie Russell on the right.)

The military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is an unjust, outdated, and harmful rule that violates the civil rights of some of our bravest, most heroic men and women.That's why I have been working, along with my colleagues in the Senate and so many of you, to overturn this wasteful and destructive policy.
Today, I have great news: Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has agreed to hold the first Senate hearings on repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this Fall.We have to prepare for these hearings, so I'm launching a nationwide call to action and need the help of everyone at My goal is to get thousands of people to stand with me and show that this country is ready to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.Click here to help end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." I want to show my colleagues that America is ready to do the right thing.
Numerous military leaders are already telling us that this policy should be reversed. Having lost over 13,000 of our best and brightest to this policy, including over 800 in "mission critical" areas such as 10% of our Arabic and Farsi speakers, and wasting nearly $200 million in training and recruitment costs, the time for change is now.We must all join together now and speak up on behalf of the brave men and women who only want to serve their country.
The announcement of hearings this fall is great news and a critical milestone on the road to repeal. But our work is not yet done. Click here to help end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."I need your support right away, but moreover, I need you to share our call to action with your friends and colleagues who want to repeal this policy, too. Earning the broadest support possible is the only way to convey the message this Fall that the American people want to undo this harmful policy.I want to thank for helping to lead the fight to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Together, I am sure that we can make America stronger and bring equality to our Armed Services.
Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senator

R. Wiley over at Jefferson's Leaning left had a very funny picture accompanying his post
on Cash for Clunkers. Its a shot of a dynamic McCain rally. Thanks for letting us share.

Here is his post.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The 'post' that just keeps on keeping on

Jefferson Democrat express no opinion on any of the original material or subsequent 92 comments on the post on the Upstate Good Old Boys blog concerning the various Scozzafava business enterprises. We have no idea of what is true and what isn't but it is interesting reading for a rainy Sunday. It was posted first in May of 2008 and the comments continue pretty much to the present.
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The President discusses the state of the economy amidst positive signs from the GDP. Making clear that this is little comfort to those struggling, he notes that we appear to have averted an even worse disaster and offers hope for the time ahead. August 1, 2009. (Public Domain)
© 2009 YouTube, LLC
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