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

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Think of the uncounted, endless benefits this 'new partnership' could have for our northcountry. This picture was taken in Lewis County yesterday.

Four upstaters working together. Assemblywoman Addie Russell, (almost) Congressman Bill Owens, U. S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and State Senator Darrel Aubertine.

Now go out and vote for Bill Owens Tuesday!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Here is a petition for you true believers to sign and send


To: Gov. Tim Kaine, Chair, Democratic National Committee (DNC)
Sen. Bob Menendez, Chair, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC)
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Chair, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)

I write to inform you that I am joining the Democratic Donor Strike against the DNC, DSCC and DCCC, which will last until the Democratic Congress passes - and President Obama signs - healthcare reform with a robust public option:

  • based on Medicare rates, not negotiated rates
  • nation-wide, with no state opt-outs
  • administered by Medicare, not a for-profit insurance company
  • available immediately

Until then, I will only support individual Democrats who support single-payer Medicare for All (the 88 sponsors of HR 676), or (at a minimum) pledge to vote against a bill without a strong public option. I will also support challengers who support Healthcare Not Warfare.

We elected solid Democratic majorities in Congress and a Democratic President to fulfill Democratic promises of progressive change. We did not elect Republican Senator Olympia Snowe to break those promises.

And if a small number of corporate-funded Democrats in the Senate and House stand in the way, it is the job of our leaders - Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and President Obama - to persuade those Democrats to stand with the party that elected them. Even "fiscally conservative" Democrats have absolutely no excuse for voting against a robust public option, because CBO says it will save $110 billion.

So if I receive a fundraising email from the DNC, DSCC or DCCC, I will reply with a link to this petition. If I receive a fundraising call, I will tell the caller about this petition. If I receive a fundraising letter, I will return the envelope with a link to this petition:

We desperately need real health reform, starting with a robust public option. Until you deliver on your promises of change, I will reserve my contributions for individual Democrats who will truly fight for what we all believe.



Mrs. Russell said, "Gertrude Karris has a range of fresh ideas and varied professional experience to enable the Clerk's office to really improve communications and expand existing services. She is committed to reducing wait time and frustration when you visit the DMV. She will bring all the various Clerk operations into a new era with easier access to information for the residents of Jefferson County. I commend Gertrude Karris on her abilities and her achievements. She is exactly the type of leader we need for Jefferson County Clerk. I look forward to working with her from my position in the New York State Assembly."
Here is a repost of Jefferson's Leaning Left this morning,

Doug Hoffman? Are you kidding me? Did you watch him flounder through a political debate with two real live candidates, Dede Scozzafava and Bill Owens? When Hoffman was drilled on current events it was like he had been spending all of his life changing the oil on his antique cars and had been ignoring the local and national news. Last night, Doug was out of it. He acted like a guy on his first date and his mother had picked out his suit.

Who the hell vetted this guy before he became the right wing conservative wacko darling of the right wing conservative wacko politicians and pundits? It appears that the crazies endorsing Doug knew as little about Doug as Doug knows about things like the war in Afganistan, the public option, tax breaks for the rich, and winter navigation and widening the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Last night, like many ultra conservatives who like to pretend they know what is best for our country, Doug Hoffman was flustered, ill-at-ease and appeared upset that he wasn't given the answers to the questions before hand. The guy had no clue.

Can he think on his feet? Hell, he couldn't even think while sitting in a chair.

Who in their right mind could possibly vote for Doug Hoffman after watching him struggle during last night's debate?

Oh, that's right, a Glenn Beck fan.

You can see the 'Doug fumbles' debate by clicking here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Public Option news

This just in from Congressional Quarterly:
In announcing a health care bill with a public option, it sounds like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already lined up the support of Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT).

Said Baucus: "It is time to make our system work better for patients and providers, for small business owners and for our economy. It is time for health care reform. For more than a year, we've been working to meet the goals of reducing the growth of health care costs, improving quality and efficiency and expanding coverage. There are a tremendous number of complicated issues that go into reform and the public option is certainly one of them. I included a public option in the health reform blueprint I released nearly one year ago, and continue to support any provision, including a public option, that will ensure choice and competition and get the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate. Success should be our threshold and I am going to fight hard for the 60 votes we need to meet that goal this year."

Sunday, October 25, 2009






Then Vote Tuesday November 3rd for.......

Our guy on Meet The Press on the public option

Tim Scee in Sackets Harbor wrote the JD blog today. He is proud of this letter he received. You got JD's endorsement too.

October 19, 2009
Dear Friends,
I write to formally endorse Tim Scee in his bid to serve as Hounsfield Town Supervisor. Good government starts with electing good people and Tim’s integrity and honesty make him best suited for the office.
With his extensive record of service to the Town of Hounsfield, as a business owner, and through his leadership of the chamber of commerce, Tim is certainly a pillar of the community.
Tim Scee will put people ahead of politics. His commitment to lead with integrity and dedication is why I am supporting Tim to be Hounsfield’s next Town Supervisor. I hope you will join me in my support.
Darrel J. Aubertine

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just for the heck of it because I know you love this stuff, here is the official White House family portrait

Famed photographer Annie Liebowitz pulled this off

In case you missed the first lady on the Leno show last night--here you go.

The Party Line

Each week the New York State Democrats publish a pretty extensive newsletter. So if you want to know what is in the Dem mainstream click here

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A couple of Perry paragraphs

Perry White is one of JD's favorite local political observers. I think I'm safe in saying he was the first of Jefferson County's political bloggers with his
really missed North County Follies. Now Perry, the City Room Editor at the WDT, is offering his insights on the WDT site.
He wrote these two paragraphs to wrap up a column yesterday. JD thinks he got it right.

It appears that, as a congressional candidate, Dede is a fine assemblywoman. There is a very good possibility that her popularity will fade from first, when the first poll came out, to third on Nov. 3. She could be beaten by both Hoffman and Bill Owens, the Democrat. Owens may win simply because he has been astute enough to keep the campaign blood spatters off him.

Dede is a legitimate candidate. She is smart, she has heretofore always shown principle, she has shown she can be electable. But the difference between being a qualified candidate, and an effective campaigner, is as big as the drive between the two furthest removed points in the 23rd district. No part of her campaign has satisfied her supporters or frustrated her opponents. She is quietly sinking like an autumn leaf in a quiet pond, and she has precious little time to invigorate her campaign and turn this all around.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This tells the public option story quite well

Is Pattie Richey getting ithe fever?

St. Lawrence County Clerk Pattie Richie hustled out a media release today hyping the fact that over 3,200 folks had signed her petition opposed to the $25 new license plate fees that start in April next year. The onetime loser to Darrel Aubertine even promoted her website where you too can sign. That hoopla sounds like a semi-major case of emerging candidateitis to old Jefferson Democrat.
Watertown's Mayor Jeff Graham had been saying for awhile that Pattie is straining at the gate and it looks like hizzoner has it right once again.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Find out what Gert Karris is thinking

Actually she is thinking about you. Just in case you missed the Nancy Madsen piece in the WDT concerning Gert the Clerk
here it is. Clickety-click

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Addie--Helping the disadvantaged

During the budget session in Albany last winter Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell secured some individual initiative items for area food pantries. She said, “The food pantries in our region are important to many families and I am pleased to be able to assist them. It has been my focus to deliver small grants to organizations who deliver vital services directly to people.”

Assemblywoman Russell referred to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study that concluded more than two million New Yorkers, 11% of the population, do not always have enough money to meet their basic nutritional needs.

Mrs. Russell presented a $2,500 check to the LaFargeville Food Pantry. Donna Chatterton, the volunteer administrator, and Gwen Kirkby the founder received the check.

The Assemblywoman delivered a similar check to Elizabeth Lynch, administrator of the Antwerp Pantry. Melinda Gault Executive Director of the Community Action Planning Council and David Garza, Development Director of the Food Bank of Central NY also were present. Mr. Garza stated that, “The three county region of Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties has seen a 25% increase in food bank deliveries this year.” Mrs. Lynch confirmed the increase by stating that she is seeing many new faces at the Antwerp location. Melinda Gault added that some of the pantries in the region have noted 50% increases in usage.

Assemblywoman Russell concluded that, “I’ve always been supportive of food pantries and I’m pleased that I was able to further assist some of them with individual member items.”

Darrel lays it out!

This statement came forth today from Senator Darrel Aubertine concerning fellow Senator Monserrate.

"The court has made its decision to convict Hiram Monserrate of assault and domestic violence, and I believe he should resign immediately. If he chooses not to resign, the Senate must take appropriate action immediately."

“Everyone deserves their day in court and the court found Hiram Monserrate guilty. Domestic violence cannot be tolerated, especially by a body of government charged with making fair and equitable laws for all. For the good of New York State and the Senate, he should step down.”


Strong thoughts on healthcare

Sackets Harbor surgeon and longtime political idealist Dr. Robert Johnson has contributed to JD another very strong piece on healthcare and the public option.

Without the public option, there is no healthcare reform. It is business as usual. What has come out of the Senate Finance committee will not accomplish universal coverage nor will it reduce costs. It is nothing less than political smoke and mirrors: an attempt to create a perception of reform without doing anything of substance

The insurance cooperatives created to cover the uninsured will turn their customers into CINOs – Covered in Name Only. Those joining, or forced to join, a cooperative don’t have the money now to afford conventional insurance. By definition, their premiums will be less and, since they will be a separate insurance pool consisting of relatively few numbers, i.e. about 15% of the total pool available, there will not be sufficient funds for meaningful coverage. If their premiums are less, the cooperative will cover less and insist upon very high deductibles.

Continued on our sister blog

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A grateful Kirsten

A loyal group of you checked out Jefferson Democrat last week:
Page Views

Total ....................... 39,301
Average per Day ................. 72
Average per Visit .............. 1.3
This Week ...................... 503
th-th-th-th-thanks fo-fo-lks

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Real news from Assemblywoman Russell

This statement is directly from the computer of the Assemblywoman:
“I am extremely disappointed in the decision by the governor not to address the transportation infrastructure needs of upstate and the North Country. Making critical repairs to our transportation system and expanding our infrastructure is critical to our economic recovery and growth. The legislature was promised that we would be provided with a plan for funding upstate and North Country transportation infrastructure projects by this month, and the state budget was passed based in part on this promise.

“While we are in difficult economic times, not investing in our transportation system is wrong. We have known for some time now that the state’s fiscal situation was grim, but the agreed upon framework for addressing our infrastructure needs was targeted to communities who were most in need and whose local economy would benefit the most from the upgrades. It is disingenuous to have made such an important agreement with such little effort from the governor to keep his side of the bargain. I expected that funding the plan would be difficult. However, not to support a plan with some funding for our needs over the next several years is a snub to our entire region and will cost us more in the long run.

“We cannot afford to let this inaction continue. I will continue to push vigorously for an agreement that addresses our most urgent transportation needs and demonstrates a vision for future investment to aid in our economic sustainability.”

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Addie and Bill

This afternoon the Rivertown Democrats held a wine tasting at the Bonnie Castle Rec Center. Area wineries presented samplings of their product. It became a wonderful schmoozefest with many candidates and lots of ideas. Assemblywoman Addie Russell introduced NY23 Congressional candidate Bill Owens to the gathering.

And it doesn't attack anybody or call names or demean another candidate. It targets the dairy industry.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Random Thought Department

A friend of the JD blog who chooses to remain anonymous came up with the following quote, "Darrel Aubertine successfully used the phrase 'One of Us'. After I looked at Bill Owens financial disclosure form its pretty obvious Bill can't use that phrase.
Actually he is about fifteen of me."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fellow blogger Grindstone Financial put this photo up.

Four-year-old Paige Bennethum really, really didn't want her daddy to go to Iraq.
So much so, that when Army Reservist Staff Sgt. Brett Bennethum lined up in formation at his deployment this July, she couldn't let go.
No one had the heart to pull her away."

In your heart you know he is right

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Five Hearts for Youth

Jefferson Democrat is truly pleased to report that come spring sports minded kids in the Town of Alexandria will have some improvements to their fields.

During the Albany budget negotiations this past Winter Addie Russell fought for a
five thousand dollar legislative grant for Hearts for Youth. That is an organization dedicated to maintaining viable summer recreation facilities for kids in the Town of Alexandria and the communities of Redwood and Alexandria Bay.

From left to right Martha Millett, of course Addie, Julia Erck, Gayle Hunneyman and Kim Duellman are the driving forces behind the Hearts for Youth project.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Please watch this

Martha gets a little help from her friends

This was the sign that greeted everybody at the Pig Roast Sunday for incumbent Supervisor candidate Martha Millett in the Town of Alexandria.

Some of the good connections stopping by to wish Martha well included Margaret and State Senator Darrel Aubertine.

Of course, both Assemblywoman Addie Russell and County Clerk candidate Gertrude Karris enjoyed the ambiance. Is ambiance the right word to use for a pig roast? Sure, of course it is. Martha has a nice collection of friends all of them enjoyed each others company.

We'll have more about this later on Jefferson Democrat, but the next day (Monday) Addie Russell presented Martha with a check for the 'Hearts for Youth' program in the Town of Alexandria and the communities of Alexandria Bay and Redwood. (Photos courtesy of Jim Cummings from the Abaycircus blog.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Right on James!

Conversation on the national blog Daily Kos about NY 23

In this post Robert Harding divulges Bill Owens positions.
click here for it.

And if you want to think 'mainstream' here is the weekly report from Dem party central.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A strong local comment on healthcare

Dr. Bob Johnson, a Sackets Harbor native and the sole thorasic surgeon in our northcounty, cares deeply about healthcare both locally and nationally. This blog happens to share his point of view. It would be tremendous if each of the three candidates for Congress would take the time to carefully read it.

Unlike abortion or same sex marriage, the solution to the healthcare crisis is not based on a belief system or ideology. Rather, its solution is based on hard fact and common universal goals.

Almost all of us can agree on the goals of healthcare reform. Very few would have the audacity to deny that everyone should be covered: that in the 21st century in the wealthiest nation in the world that everyone should have access to healthcare. Very few would argue that healthcare should not be affordable. These are common goals to which we can agree. Once having agreed on these, the only thing that remains is to design a solution that will provide, in the most efficient way, a roadmap to these goals.
Bob's essay continues here.

After you have read Bob's essay come back and watch this and be prepared to be pissed off.

Next up--President Obama and the weekly report. He too talks about healthcare.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Proud to be a NYS Democrat

Yesterday at the Democratic Party State Committee meeting in Buffalo one of the biggest parties in the union of the USA did absolutely the right thing.
Robert Harding reports on Daily Kos:
The New York State Democratic Committee held their fall business meeting yesterday and today in Buffalo. One of the things that came out of the meeting was the passage of a resolution that expresses support for a strong public option and calling on Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to oppose Senator Max Baucus's health care plan.