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August 26, 2016 - 8:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Diana Kastenbaum, politics, news.

Press release:

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic candidate for NY-27, received a major endorsement this week by New York State’s 2.5-million member AFL-CIO. The endorsement came at the State Federation’s 33rd Constitutional Convention in New York City.

Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, said, “The decisions made in Washington DC impact the lives and economic well-being of all working men and women which is why the Labor Movement will do everything within our power to elect candidates committed to putting the interests of working people first.”

Kastenbaum said, “I am deeply honored and grateful for the endorsement of New York State’s AFL-CIO. My husband and I have been proud members of two unions in the AFL-CIO family. American workers are the backbone of our country and I intend to fight for working families to see that we achieve our goals of growing our economy with more jobs, a livable wage, healthcare and education.”

August 19, 2016 - 1:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in Diana Kastenbaum, news, politics, NY27.

Press release:

After being interviewed by the Western New York Council of the Communications Workers (WNY CWA), Diana Kastenbaum was endorsed by the union on Wednesday, Aug. 17th. She is the Democratic candidate in the NY-27 Congressional District race.

Kastenbaum is an avid supporter of the CWA and marched in solidarity with Local 1133 in a rally at Mercy Hospital in Buffalo earlier this month.

“I am honored to be endorsed by a union that does so much to help working families throughout my district," Kastenbaum says. "I stand with the WNY CWA in their fight for fair contracts, wages, and for bringing jobs back home.”

This is the third union to have endorsed Kastenbaum. She has also been endorsed by NYSUT and the UFCW Local One.

August 15, 2016 - 12:54pm
posted by Billie Owens in Diana Kastenbaum, news, politics, NY27.

Press release:

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic Congressional Candidate for NY-27, has been endorsed by the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union.

The NYSUT announced endorsements in races for Congress and the State Legislature last week. The union backs candidates who have championed public education, health care and workers' rights.

NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said, "candidates earning NYSUT's endorsement this year have shown a willingness to listen to our members in public schools, colleges and hospitals. They value their relationships with our more than 600,000 politically active and energized members and champion their interests.”

Kastenbaum says, “I am honored to be endorsed by NYSUT (New York State United Teachers), as they do tremendous work to help improve our public education system throughout our state! Good teachers instill a love of learning that doesn't end in the classroom, but carry us throughout our entire life. I am proud to say that I am a product of New York State's public school system and my teachers helped shape and guide my life.”

This is the second union to endorse Kastenbaum. The first union to endorse her was the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local One. 

August 1, 2016 - 12:31pm

Press release:

Diana Kastenbaum, the Democratic candidate for NY­27, returned home to Batavia from the Democratic National Convention this past week in Philadelphia.

Kastenbaum attended the convention with her daughter. The mother-­daughter duo were in the City of Brotherly (and Sisterly) Love to witness the historic presidential nomination of Hillary Clinton.

Kastenbaum says, “I have waited my whole life for this and getting to share it with my daughter was very important to me. With a woman nominee on the ticket and several Democratic women in Congressional races, including myself, we are at a tipping point where we will hopefully see more women in office. What is viewed as breaking the glass ceiling now will one day be the norm for our grandchildren.” 

August 1, 2016 - 9:53am

The National Federation of Republican Women are about to embark on a voter registration drive in swing states and the bus tour will stop in Batavia today.

Federation President Carrie Almond is expected at the stop along with federation officers, local elected officials and members of the Genesee County Women's Republican Club.

The purpose of the tour is to convince women in 11 swing states to register Republican and support the Republican's nominee for president, Donald Trump.

The event is at the Old Courthouse from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the public is invited.

July 21, 2016 - 3:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in Adam Tabelski, politics, batavia.
Press release:
 
Batavia City Councilman At-Large Adam Tabelski has announced that he has been endorsed by the Reform Party in his bid to serve out the remainder of an unexpired City Council term.
 
Tabelski was unanimously appointed to the position by City Council in January to fill the vacancy created by John Deleo's election to the County Legislature.
 
"The Reform Party stands for responsible and ethical government. As its name indicates, it is focused on forward-thinking solutions. I am honored to have the party's support in delivering results for Batavia and its taxpayers," Tabelski said.
 
In addition to being on the ballot in November on the Reform Party line, he will also be on the Republican Party and Independence Party lines.
June 18, 2016 - 2:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, heroin epidemic, politics.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) issues comments on the closing of the 2016 Legislative Session:

“The legislature’s bipartisan compromise on an exhaustive package to combat our state’s heroin crisis is promising and will provide more access to recovery services and ease insurance requirements so those who truly need help will be included.

"Pension forfeiture for corrupt lawmakers is a great first step toward cleaning up Albany’s pool of corruption, but more is needed. I will continue fighting for term limits for legislative leaders and increased transparency to root out public officials from abusing the power entrusted in their office.

“While we had some major victories statewide, Upstate was once again left high and dry for the most part. We saw no small business relief to counteract the detrimental minimum wage hike passed in April and little infrastructure funding to repair our roads, bridges and highways that are ravaged annually by harsh winters.

"Creating jobs and improving our business climate will remain a top priority of mine, and I will continue to oppose political gimmicks and irresponsible investments made with tax dollars instead of commonsense tax and regulatory cuts for local businesses.”

June 13, 2016 - 2:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, politics, batavia, news.

City Councilman At-Large Adam Tabelski is pleased to announce that he has received the endorsement of the Independence Party in his campaign to continue serving on the Batavia City Council.

“I’m delighted to have the support of the Independence Party and its members as we work together to create a better Batavia,” Tabelski said. “From revitalizing our downtown to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods, the City is on the right track in meeting its residents’ needs. Of course, there is always more to do.”

Tabelski was appointed to fill a vacant City Council At-Large position in January and now he is running to serve out the remainder of the unexpired term.  He was previously endorsed by the City of Batavia Republican Committee. 

May 4, 2016 - 1:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, sheldon silver, Albany, politics, news.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) issues statement on the sentencing of Sheldon Silver:

“I am glad to finally see Sheldon Silver meet the fate he deserves. I am extremely dismayed to hear that he will be receiving a near six figure taxpayer-funded pension behind bars. No one who purposely betrays the public for decades and denigrates his/her office like Silver should receive any form of taxpayer-funded pension. The Assembly Majority promised us comprehensive ethics reform months ago. Since then they have ignored the desires of New Yorkers in exchange for protecting one of their own. Corruption in Albany should not be business as usual and I will continue to beat the drum for a return to integrity here in the Capitol.”

March 16, 2016 - 1:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, kastenbaum, news.

Press release: 

The Genesee County Democratic Committee met on March 14th at the Polish Falcons in Batavia. The Committee is proud to announce unanimous support for Congressional candidate, Diana Kastenbaum.

County Chair, Lorie Longhany said, “It is with great pride to support not only a candidate who resides here, but is also active in many civic organizations and owns and operates a small manufacturing company right here in Genesee County.”

Party Secretary, Jennifer Keys added, “Diana’s message of inclusion and equality is refreshing and will resonate with the people of the 27th Congressional District.”

The County Committee also voted unanimously to endorse Duane Preston for the City Council At Large seat. Duane gave an overview of his commitment to the City of Batavia, serving on the City Steering Committee and Chair of the Planning and City Development Committee.

Vice Chair, Mike Plitt shared, “Mr. Preston is uniquely qualified to serve the City of Batavia and will bring a wealth of experience and leadership to City government.”

The Genesee County Democrats are accepting candidate inquiries for elected positions across Genesee County to be voted on in November. This includes the following offices; County Judge, County Sheriff, County Treasurer, two Coroner positions. Town positions include; Alabama Town Council, Town of Batavia Justice, Town of Bergen Justice, Town of Byron Justice, Town of Elba Supervisor and Town Council, Town of Oakfield Justice and Town Council and Pembroke Town Council. Ballot access is time sensitive.

Anyone interested in running for office needs to contact Secretary Jennifer Keys at [email protected].

March 10, 2016 - 4:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, politics, news.

Press release:

Albany’s apathy toward Western New York’s needs has gone on far too long. Entrenched career politicians continue to expand social spending and feed New York City’s bottomless hole of infrastructure and Medicaid desires at the expense of hard-working, middle-class families in our community. Year after year, frustration mounts as billions of dollars are funneled Downstate in exchange for political allegiance and Upstate roads and bridges continue to crumble.

Although we have made progress for farmers and successfully courted valuable new businesses, my main focuses this year are restoring parity to infrastructure funding, restoring the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) funds taken from our schools in 2010, and aiding our struggling small businesses.

Infrastructure funding is a matter of life and death. With some predicting that the upstate-downstate infrastructure funding gap will increase to $4 billion this year, a recent Rochester area story exacerbated the issue by demonstrating the desperate state of our community’s roads and bridges. Furthermore, the Lake Ontario Parkway and multitude of canal bridges in my district are in dire condition and cause significant automobile damage and safety concerns. In addition, limited access to this road prevent tourists from accessing Oak Orchard Creek, named the best fishing spot in the United Sttes for Monster NY Brown Trout in 2013. Join me in this fight and tell Gov. Cuomo and Albany’s elite that we are part of New York, too, and deserve our fair share.

An investment in our children is an investment in us all. Unfortunately, New York City politicians do not agree. They slashed billions from the state education budget in 2010 and have since ignored pleas from the education community to return what is rightfully theirs. I have led the charge to restore the GEA and this year is no different. I sponsor multiple bills to end these unfair cuts that limit our students’ opportunities and threaten inspiring teachers and after-school programs. This has to be the year we fully fund our schools.

As a small-business owner for over four decades, I know firsthand what it takes to create jobs and grow New York’s economy. Raising the minimum wage is not the answer. A $15 minimum wage will undoubtedly cause businesses to leave the state and, according to the Empire Center, would ultimately cost the state 200,000 jobs. What we need are large-scale tax and regulatory cuts for businesses instead of pay-to-play scenarios and “buying votes” with these bizarre gimmicks. Cutting business taxes will create jobs and provide greater incentives for business owners to stay in New York and keep profits local. I will fight for the mom-and-pop business owners in this year’s budget because they are the lifeblood of our economy.

July 21, 2015 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in Bernie Sanders, Coffee Culture, events, batavia, politics.
Event Date and Time: 
July 29, 2015 -
7:00pm to 8:00pm

A meeting in support of Bernie Sanders for President will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29, at Coffee Culture. This is just one of many many meetings being held in homes, restaurants, etc., across the country at the same time and date. Coffee Culture is located at 6 Court St. in the City of Batavia.

May 15, 2015 - 3:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics.

Via our news partner, WBTA:

The Genesee County Republican Committee has endorsed its slate of candidates for this Fall’s election. The county committee met last night, Chairman Richard Seibert told WBTA this morning. All incumbent GOP legislators were endorsed for reelection except Legislative District 7 and city wards 1 and 6.

Incumbent Frank Ferrando is retiring and the nod went to Batavia City Councilman-at-large John DeLeo.

DeLeo was challenged for the endorsement by fellow councilman-at-large Eugene Jankowski.

DeLeo won the endorsement.

The republicans have no candidate for District 9, the post held by the legislatures lone Democrat Ed DeJanerio.

The GOP Endorsed Slate: (i) = incumbent
Coroner: (i) Barry Miller
County Attorney (i) Charles Zambito, recommendation
Legislative Districts:
Dist. 1 Alabama and Oakfield: Raymond Ciantrini (i)
Dist. 2 Elba: Robert Bausch (i)
Dist. 3 Pembroke and Darien: Michael Davis (i)
Dist. 4 Batavia and Stafford: Andrew Young (i)
Dist. 5 Le Roy: Rochelle Stein (i)
Dist. 6 Alexander, Bethany and Pavilion: Gregg Torrey (i)
Dist. 7 City Wards 1 & 6: John DeLeo
Dist. 8 City Wards 2 & 3: Marianne Clattenburg (i)
Dist. 9 City Wards 4 & 5 no candidate

April 17, 2015 - 11:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Conservative Party.

The Conservative Party is looking for candidates to run in the upcoming elections throughout Genesee County.

Local Chairman John Roach said there's no "check-off list" of correct issues for potential Conservative candidates, just a general philosophy for candidates to uphold.

"We are just looking for civic-minded people who have the time and desire to serve," Roach said. "Men or women who remember that the money being spent is not theirs; it is the people's and should be spent wisely. People who will do their best to keep the public informed about what is going on."

Those who are interested should send a letter and resume to: 

The Genesee County Conservative Party
P.O. Box 1686
Batavia, NY 14021-1686

March 12, 2015 - 3:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, Darien, republicnas.

Press release:

The Town of Darien Republican Committee is accepting letters of intent for the following endorsements: Town Council, Town Supervisor, and Town Justice.

All interested parties should submit letters of interest no later than May 1st to:

Town of Darien Republican Committee

Jeffery F. Phelps, Chairman

PO Box 295, Alexander NY 14005

October 27, 2014 - 11:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Mike Ranzenhofer.

Perhaps you've seen this campaign mailer attacking Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer. 

The Ranzenhofer campaign issued a statement about it today:

Albany's special interests are at it again. This time, a powerful teachers union is attacking a legislative idea suggested by a group of fourth-grade students and their teacher. It's ironic that the union representing teachers is attacking a legislator for getting a law passed to make yogurt the official state snack when students at Byron-Bergen Elementary School first requested it. What is even more bizarre is that the political mailing is filled with a myriad of spelling errors. It misspells loses ("looses"), Ranzenhofer ("Razenhofer"), the Town of Batavia ("Batvia") and the yogurt manufacturer, Alpina ("Aplina"). If the union handed in this political attack to be graded, it would be returned with red ink all over it with a note to keep practicing spelling. Teachers union candidate Elaine Altman should give it a failing grade.

October 24, 2014 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, Elections, hawley, Conservative Party.

Press release:

The Genesee County Conservative Party has endorsed the reelection of Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

He has shown over and over that he represents the thoughts and wishes of the district. It has been hard for him with the Downstate liberal majority controlling the State. But he has kept on trying and has not gone the path of “go along to get along” that many have taken.

He has been a very strong supporter or the 2nd Amendment and our right to own firearms if we want. He supports the full repeal of the SAFE ACT, which only punishes legal gun owners and does nothing to stop crime. Steve Hawley has been endorsed by the NRA and the local pro 2nd Amendment group, SCOPE.

He is pro-business and has received a 100-percent rating from Unshackle Upstate and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Steve owns his own local business, hiring local people.

This November, we ask you to vote on the Conservative Party line (Row C) and show your support for Steve Hawley.

On Behalf of the Executive Committee,
Dann G Neale
Vice-Chairman Conservative Party of Genesee County

October 16, 2014 - 2:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, politics, GOP.

Press release:

The City of Batavia Republican Committee held its annual Fall Fundraiser at Terry Hills on Tuesday Oct. 14.

Chairman Bob Bialkowski opened the event and made the introductions.

The event was well attended with Congressman Collins, Senator Razenhofer, Assemblyman Hawley, Legislators Cianfrini and Clattenburg and the six city Republican Councilmen.

Congressman Collins gave an update on the present state of affairs in Washington. Assemblyman Hawley spoke about activities and legislation in Albany.

There was a raffle with many prizes given away.

Any Republicans interested in serving on the committee or running for office please contact Chairman Bialkowski at [email protected] or Tel: 343-4471.

August 12, 2014 - 3:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, politics, Rob Astorino, Chris Moss.

Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino was scheduled to be in Batavia today, but he had a family emergency and is unable to make his scheduled campaign appearances.

His running mate Chris Moss will however be at the the GOP Women's meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Batavia Downs, and then he will also speak at the SCOPE meeting at 7 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, 3515 Galloway Road.

The sign placed in front of Batavia Marine on West Main anticipated Astorino being in town today, but then his plans changed.

Astorino, who hopes to unseat Andrew Cuomo, has been crisscrossing the state for several months, but has yet to make an appearance in Genesee County.

CORRECTION: Astornio visited Genesee County two days after announcing his candidacy. He made an appearance at Larry's Steakhouse.

July 4, 2014 - 9:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, politics, kathy hochul.

UPDATE: Kathy Hochul at Picnic in the Park later in the day with Wayne Fuller. Photo sent to us by a third party, but originated with a member of Hochul's staff.

NOTE: You may be wondering why there are no pictures to go with Kathy Hochul's stop at the farmer's market. My camera was still set up for multiple exposures from last night's fireworks at the Muckdogs game. A fact I didn't discover until I got home. This also left me with no usable pictures from the Kiwanis 5K to benefit autism research.  

Genesee County's former congressional representative, Kathy Hochul, now running for Lieutenant Governor, said she's been craving some brownie-stuffed cookies from the Batavia Downs Farmer's Market, so Hochul said she decided to get an early start on her campaign day and drive out to Batavia.

Hochul also bought strawberries and hand-crafted chocolate.

"It's a big state and I've got to go to all four corners, but I love Genesee County and I'll be out here as often as I can," Hochul said.

After terms as Erie County County Clerk and in the House of Representatives, Hochul worked for about 18 months for M&T Bank. It was a job she said she loved and still got her out into the community, but when Gov. Andrew Cuomo called and asked her to replace Robert Duffy on the election ticket, Hochul said she was tugged by the lure of representing people in New York again.

"I realized when the call came, there was a little bit of an emptiness, that I really wanted to get back and serve people in a more direct way, so I could not have been more thrilled than to have received the call and accept this honor and start running," Hochul said.

This, she said, is what she was meant to do.

"It's not something I pushed for at all," Hochul said. "When I think it about it, it just feels right, to be back out there meeting people all over this amazing state. I love my congressional district and I love representing Upstate New York, but the opportunity to go all over the state and meet new people and see them in their environments and businesses, I just feel like this is a calling. I've always thought public service is a calling. I'm so delighted to be back in the game."

As a candidate for reelection to Congress, Hochul had won over pretty much all of the gun rights groups, campaigning as a strong advocate for the Second Amendment. Now she's working for a man who has become the most reviled politician in New York by gun rights advocates. Hochul said she doesn't believe there is a contradiction in her position then or now.

Here's her full response to that question:

I believe there is a middle ground. I know many, many gun owners. I have family members who are marksmen and who are hunters and this is part of a culture up here and people need to understand that. There's no effort to remove guns from legitimate gun owners. I think there is sometimes a hysteria that's created, but people have to understand we respect the Second Amendment, but also there are many people who understand the need for background checks. As a county clerk, I like the fact that there are background checks performed, because there are people you don't want to have guns in their hands. They could do harm to fellow citizens. I believe there is an accommodation and I believe there is a reasonable approach. The extremes on one side or the other aren't going to agree with that, but that's how I've been my entire life in public service. There's a pragmatic middle ground and if people are willing to listen to each other, we'll get to the right answer. That's where I stand.

The stop at a farmer's market reminded her a lot of her term in Congress, she said, especially representing farmers.

"It reminds me so many tours of the farms and the struggles they face, when the weather's bad and there's a flood or a drought or there's army worms," Hochul said. "They're such resilient people and to know that I'll be in a position to promote their work in a new capacity as Lieutenant Governor working with Gov. Cuomo, it's going to be great."

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