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March 12, 2019 - 7:43am

Speaker calls out Democrats who voted for state's Reproductive Health Act

A frequent contributor to the newspaper “Letters to the Editor” section, Town of Alabama farmer Sam Scarborough took to the spoken word at the Batavia City Council meeting Monday night to express his opposition to the New York Reproductive Health Act.

The RHA, which expands abortion rights in the state, was passed into law in January. Provisions of the measure include permitting abortions after 24 weeks if the fetus is not viable or the health of the mother is at risk. It also allows trained medical professionals, not only doctors, to perform abortions.

The law prompted hundreds of people – mostly pro-life advocates -- to attend recent City Council meetings and sparked an emotional debate on both sides of the abortion issue.

Ultimately, Council members decided against sending a letter drafted by Council Member Rose Mary Christian in opposition to the law to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, instead calling for residents to send individual letters to Albany.

Last night, Scarborough, who said he was unable to make the previous Council meetings, noted that 95 of the state’s 102 Democrats in the Assembly and 38 of 39 Democrats in the Senate voted in favor of the law.

“It is disgusting that one of the first things they did after taking over power was to make sure abortion is legal in this state all the way to birth,” he said. “Aborting after that (24 weeks) is basically killing a baby that would live (on its own).”

Scarborough stated he was a registered Republican who was “proud” of the fact that no members of his party voted for the law. He then wondered aloud if “that is what the vast majority of the Democratic party stands for we need to remove those who voted for this as soon as possible …”

He then quoted II Chronicles 16:9 from the Bible and thanked Christian for taking a stand, to which she replied, “Thank you.”

Council President Eugene Jankowski responded to Scarborough’s comments by mentioning that he spoke with Congressman Chris Collins at a function in Niagara Falls last Saturday and said that Collins “agreed that this is out of control.”

Jankowski said that Collins told him that bills are being introduced to protect the unborn but “they just blow them off.” However, Collins said, they (Republicans) don’t intend to stop.

Collins said that the best way to get a lawmaker to take notice is to show up at his or her office.

“When there’s 50 or 60 people on a bus and they all want to talk to their congressperson, it makes them very nervous,” Jankowski said. “Some of them sneak out the back door. Some of them will speak with the people. That’s how to get their attention.”

Christian reported that a Right to Life march is scheduled for May 1 in Albany, and that she is attempting to organize one for this area.

Sam DiSalvo
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As a foil to Scarborough's attack on Democrats, I want to highlight some bills passed since Democrats gained control of the NYS Senate in January:

S1102 - Allows for 10 days of early voting.
S1048 (in committee, needs referendum) - Allows same-day voter registration.
A776/S1101 - Corporations can no longer donate millions to political campaigns.
S502 - Prohibits gender identity discrimination, including making offenses related to gender identity a hate crime.
S240 - Relating to the Reproductive Health ACt

These are some of bills that have been passed with many others ready to be acted on. Calling out a party you disagree with for one issue they voted on while ignoring the rest of the progress that party has made doesn't help to progress dialogue and is a form of propaganda.

I hope to see future speakers take a more rounded approach to issues and be more mindful in their diction.

John Roach
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Sam, I am more concerned over pending bills the Democrats in Albany are working on. The bill to require overtime pay for farm workers will devastate farms in Genesee County. The bill to require any project that gets any government funding or tax breaks be required to now pay the "Prevailing Wage", will put the City of Batavia downtown redevelopment (DRI) and the Ellicott Station projects in jeopardy. The bill to allow illegal immigrants free college, while legal citizens from out of state (like New Jersey or Ohio) have to pay full tuition is, in my opinion, just wrong. Democrats in Albany are also considering letting illegal immigrants vote in local elections, and again, I think that is wrong. And S1102, which allows the 10 day voting, comes with the unfunded mandate for local taxpayers to pay for it. Since Genesee County had already passed its budget, the money to pay all the poll workers for another extra 9 days means the County will have to take the money from other projects. Next year to pay for it, either other services get cut, or taxes go up to pay for it.

Sam DiSalvo
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Farm Bill (S2721) - "Enacts the farmworkers fair labor practices act: grants collective bargaining rights to farm laborers; requires employers of farm laborers to allow at least 24 consecutive hours of rest each week; provides for an 8 hour work day for farm laborers; requires overtime rate at one and one-half times normal rate; makes provisions of unemployment insurance law applicable to farm laborers; provides sanitary code shall apply to all farm and food processing labor camps intended to house migrant workers, regardless of the number of occupants; provides for eligibility of farm laborers for workers' compensation benefits; requires employers of farm laborers to provide such farm laborers with claim forms for workers' compensation claims under certain conditions; requires reporting of injuries to employers of farmworkers."
These all sound like basic worker rights. It unionizes farm labor essentially. If unionizing farm labor and giving them all these rights as workers will devastate farms, then a different approach to farming needs to be taken by farmers and the government.

"Prevailing Wage" Act (couldn't find the number) - There's already a federal bill enacted in 1931 called the Davis-Bacon Act that sets a prevailing wage for federal projects, and the NYS version would do the same for state grants. Similar to the farm bill, it's another protection for workers so they can't be undercut by entities. It's interesting to note that Davis and Bacon were Republicans protecting workers and now the Democrat-controlled Senate in NY is modeling this bill after theirs. I like seeing that ideological parallel between parties. If protecting workers' wages in state-funded projects is a problem, then how we treat workers and how these funds are allocated, as well as how companies handle their funds, needs to be reconsidered so that both the project can be finished and workers are properly compensated.

Rather than band-aids passed for the endless immigration issues, I'd rather see a complete overhaul of the immigration system so we don't have as many of these immigration issues.

It sounds like they're working out a plan for the early voting. They should have started it next year rather than rush it this year so that funding could be properly allocated. This year will be a struggle but hopefully future years will be better in terms of the funding. It is regardless a victory for voting rights.

Rich Richmond
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Inserting the word "propaganda" in a paragraph with those you disagree is a form of propaganda, and or political speech, regardless of how flowery or reasonable it is presented.

Propaganda: The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause.

Howard B. Owens
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"It unionizes farm labor essentially."

You say that as if that's a good thing.

"If unionizing farm labor and giving them all these rights as workers will devastate farms, then a different approach to farming needs to be taken by farmers and the government."

Yes, more farms will become more automated, meaning fewer jobs, fewer people drawing wages and contributing to the local economy.

It will also mean more family farms can't survive. Those will be your neighbors losing their livelihood. The farms will be bought up by bigger and bigger conglomerates who by virtue of scale can absorb more costs.

At a time when progressives are supposedly worried about the harm big conglomerates to workers, to greater influence on the political process, to prices for consumers, to greater concentration of wealth and more people becoming unequal in pay through the accumulation of paper wealth -- all things I hear progressives complaining about, this bill is a particularly odd bill for progressives to support.

But, ah, well, why worry about unintended consequences? If it feels good, do it.

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Mr DiSalvo.....many of the things you list as democratic accomplishments are the things many of us are decrying as things that make things worse in the state.

Sam DiSalvo
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Rich - Merriam-Webster’s definition of propaganda: 2) the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person 3) ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause. (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propaganda)
I don’t believe I disagreed or agreed with the speaker’s comments, but I offered a collection of other items for him to consider when in fact he had “ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause.” Had I said he was correct or incorrect, I might consider my stance propaganda loosely, but instead there is a list of other items to consider. I am simply pointing out that the speaker picked one thing to talk about-ignoring the rest-specifically calling out a particular party with what seemed like the intent to further his “cause or to damage an opposing cause”. I’ll make sure to not do that with my future posts, Rich, as I don’t think propaganda should ever be utilized.

Howard, protecting laborers is a good thing. As it isn’t being done with the current set-up, unions seem to be the way to protect workers. So yes, to protect the workers, I view it as a good thing.
So essentially you’re saying either we continue to exploit farm labor or we help protect farm labor by giving farm labor more rights. Am I misunderstanding what you’re saying? I am not an expert at how farms work financially, so I won’t argue with your point or concede that it is correct or incorrect. But this is the only solution to that problem that has been proposed. Do you have a solution, Howard? I often hear people shooting down solutions without offering any of their own. Perhaps one could be the government looking into bigger subsidies for farmers.

But, ah, well, why stop exploiting labor? If it feels good, do it.

Rich Richmond
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Left out of this equation is the money-wired sent out of the Country, rather than spent or invested here by migrant workers. Pity the poor mistreated proletariat slaves exploited by the heartless, greedy, and grasping bourgeoisie Capitalist farmers and landowners. So would say Comrade Vladimir Lenin if he were alive today.

https://breakingnews3.com/tag/how-much-money-is-sent-to-mexico-by-illega...

https://immigrationreform.com/2014/10/29/illegal-immigrants-send-home-50...

https://www.truthorfiction.com/did-undocumented-immigrants-send-56-billi...

It is a manufactured solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Nothing more than feel-good Legislation promoted by Penthouse Farmer Legislatures (they have tomato plants in pots next to their pool.

It appears that the present majority in Albany is there to represent the needs of the poor mistreated, “gasp” exploited illegal aliens (see free college) and mistreated and exploited (who come here voluntarily year after year for the same) migrant workers rather the Citizens of New York and our farmers.

david spaulding
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Rich, are you serious? money wired out of the country? How do you know what any one does with their wages? And do you really think it's Any of your business what they do with their wages? If somebody wants to flush their paycheck down the toilet that is their business not yours or anyone else. I can't believe you said that.

david spaulding
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Sam, Right on, exploiting people is wrong. Migrant or not.

John Roach
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Sam's views on what might happen to the local Genesee County and City of Batavia economy is important since he is considering running for Batavia City Council.

david spaulding
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Howard, Conglomerates like Walmart, like Amazon? They suck the life out of local shop owners. Conglomerates sucked the life out of some local dairy farms. To claim a farmer must pay low wages (exploit) or some corporation is going to gobble him up is pretty lame, I know you're smarter than that.

Howard B. Owens
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David, did you not comprehend what I wrote? I think not.

Sam, "So essentially you’re saying either we continue to exploit farm labor."

I'm not buying your faulty premise. Farm labor is not exploited. If they were, they wouldn't seek the work. They certainly wouldn't seek the work with all the associated hardships of coming here to do the work, either by legal means (long waiting lists, high fees, no guarantee of getting into the country) or by illegal means (dangerous crossing, high fees to coyotes.

It's pretty darn clear, farm workers are not exploited.

As more and more people turn away from being private sector union members, union leadership, never the paragon of virtue, is desperately trying to ram through government provisions to bolster their sagging fortunes. This nothing but a money grab by labor unions.

The same can be said of the proposal to require companies getting IDA assistance to pay inflated wages.

An Rich is right, farm workers are able to return a lot of the money they earn to their home countries. They also pay billions in taxes for which they will derive little or no benefit. And they still have money to go to Walmart before they leave to stock up on TVs and other items they can more easily get here than in their home countries.

If they're so exploited, why all these profits from their labor? If they're exploited, shouldn't they just be scraping by, no money to send home, no money to take care of their families, no money for luxury purchases?

The idea that their exploited is plainly contradicted by actual facts.

"Do you have a solution, Howard?"

To need a solution you must first have a problem.

Howard B. Owens
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Over the years, the Ventura County Star (my former employer) has done some great reporting on the issue of migrants sending money home.

https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local/2016/04/29/ventura-county-immigr...

Immigrants sent back nearly $25 billion to Mexico last year in money called remittances, nearly all of it from the United States. Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda, a UCLA public policy professor, calculates about a quarter of the money — more than $6 billion — came from California.

As much as $150 million was sent from Ventura County to Mexico in 2015, he said, basing the calculation on the county's estimated 62,000 undocumented immigrants.

"It's about $2,000 a year per undocumented worker," he said, noting that many people cross the border to support families in their homelands. "That's probably a conservative estimate."

david spaulding
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I don't get it, it's their money and You think you have a right to tell them how to spend it? What you say I tell you how to spend your money?

John Roach
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If you are Liberal Democrat , you think that allowing illegal immigrants to attend college for free, while legal US citizens have to pay full tuition is OK. You think allowing illegal immigrants to vote in local elections and being allowed to have drivers licenses, is a great idea. A Liberal Democrat thinks people in Albany who are from the New York City area know what's best for our Genesee County farms and that they know how to run them better than the people who actually own the farms. And if the farms go under, too bad. Unfunded mandates from Albany are OK, and you think the SAFE ACT is keeping you safe.

Remember this in November when you vote.

Sam DiSalvo
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The bottom line I see in these laws (regarding farming) is that they create a safety net for the labor if it is ever needed to be used. Protection for workers is what I support. As do I support a re-evaluation of a lot of systems that haven't been changed in decades and need to be updated/reworked.

John - Please include that people who are simply Democrats exist, as they are different than a Liberal Democrat, similar to how a Conservative Republican (or Tea Party) and a Republican are also different. I hope people also remember that in November. As November approaches, we'll be talking a lot about what defines a Democrat who isn't a Liberal Democrat and what defines a Republican who isn't a Conservative Republican. I think you and I can agree that is a worthy conversation for people to hear.

Rich Richmond
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Sam, The Oxford English Dictionary defines propaganda as Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.”

PROPAGANDA! See Obama-Care: President Obama’s Number One Political Cause, a point of view and Signature Legislation. I remind you of his words repeated over and over; “You get to keep your Doctor and your health care provider.” Obama is simply a Democrat.

I am willing to concede that simply Democrats passed it, and not one Republican voted for it.

Obama-Care was passed by Democrats, like you, simple as that: 20,000 plus pages of regulations, that nobody who voted for it read, let alone understood, and the harsh unintended consequences that followed.

Nancy Pelosi told the Democrats they would have to pass it to see what’s in it, and that is also the definition of a stool sample.

Democrats like you, passed the New York Safe Act. Democrats like you, believe illegal immigrants should vote in local elections and have drivers licenses.

With a Democrat Governor; a majority of Democrats the New York State Senate; the New York State Assembly; people, simply Democrats, like you, passed these highlight bills that you defend and are proud of; S1102 - Allows for ten days of early voting. S1048 (in committee, needs a referendum) - Allows same-day voter registration. A776/S1101 - Corporations can no longer donate millions to political campaigns. S502 - Prohibits gender identity discrimination, including making offenses related to gender identity a hate crime. S240 - Relating to the Reproductive Health Act.

If you are considering running, or are running for City Council, simply as a Democrat, and are not ready to announce it at this time, we now know you’re aligned and defend Albany Democrat Politics. It is as simple as that.

Howard B. Owens
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"Obama-Care was passed by Democrats"

And it was written by Republicans.

John Roach
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And, some RINO's voted for the SAFE ACT, which of course has kept nobody safe, but hurt legal gun owners.

Thomas Callan
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#15 ho hum, ho hum :(

david spaulding
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John, Not all liberal democrats feel the way you describe. Your rant is Not true. So what does that make you?

John Roach
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David, it makes me pretty damn accurate

Rich Richmond
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Obama-Care authorship in question, as is Shakespeare's?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakespeare_authorship_question

https://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/march/physicist-shakespeare-plays-03...

Who wrote Obama-Care?

https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/re

https://www.centreforpublicimpact.org/case-study/affordable-care-act-us-...

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/21/us/health-care-amendments...

The Republicans did not write Obama-Care. However, it is true the bill did contain some Republican ideas. Republican’s write many bills that never make it out of Republican Committees because of lack of support.

https://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2013/nov/15/ellen-quall...

Did the Democrats plagiarize parts of an earlier Republican Health Care Bill from the ’90s Perhaps? It is contingent on the source, and political spin. Did the Republican's exclusively write Obama-Care? I say no!

The Republican bills did not dramatically expand Medicaid as Obama-care does. Obama-Care was voted for and passed exclusively by Democrats. The Republican bills did have medical malpractice tort reform, which the current Obama-Care law does not, and the Democrats refused to include. Why did they do that?

Fact, not one Republican voted for Obama-Care regardless who allegedly wrote it.

Tim Miller
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Those damn libs/Dems, donchaknow.... Passed the ACA and insured 28 MILLION Americans.

THOSE BAST**DS!!!!

BTW - a survey (not online - by a respectable organization) was done around the time the ACA was passed. The same set of questions was asked concerning health care and what folks would like to see in a health care bill, but to half the survey takers the proposed bill was referred to as "Obamacare" and half "Affordable Care Act". Guess what? When the term "Affordable Care Act" was used, well over 50% of Republicans gave it two thumbs up. However, when the term "Obamacare" was used, that very same act's approval dropped by half among Republicans.

To those who are whining about a law that insured 28 million people, I am sorry you are so bereft of empathy that you cannot appreciate helping your fellow Americans.

Howard B. Owens
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The fact is, as your links support, Richard, the ACA is rooted in conservative, Republican ideas. The fact no Republican voted for it is transparently partisan obstructionism and not based on any sound policy positions. The ACA is a poster child for how our country has gone off the rails where each party is more interested in doing what's right for the party instead of reaching a compromise that is best for the American people. Not only did not Republicans support the ACA, they made no attempt to try and improve it. Instead, they've been obstructionist and have failed to put forward any working alternative.

Rich Richmond
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Republican's attempt to replace Obama-Care: the working alternative. They haven't gone anywhere, although not from lack of trying, and if they did come up with one, it would be dead in the House-see the Border Wall. So much for compromise. Forget the cow farts Congresswoman AOC, the real danger is Congressional flatulence.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/06/house-republican...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/new-details-emerge-on-gop-plans...

david spaulding
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# 25 Tim....Right on ... while my premiums and deductible did sky rocket, it was a start to a program to benefit all Americans. Where are we today? Arguing on a web site along party lines and my premiums and deductibles are still sky high.

Thomas Callan
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The World According to # 22 :( Right On John!!

Tim Miller
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Yeah, Rich - cuz it's not like the GOP didn't control the House, Senate, and Executive for a 2-year period. The Dem's did have control for that long and helped 28 million people. The GOP had control and only generated a self-imposed "emergency" (after being offered $$$ for the physical wall by the Dems), and tried to blow up the 28 millions' health care with nothing to replace it except chaos.

Whine all you want about the "liberal Democrats", but that truly patriotic party got stuff done to help Americans.

John Roach
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Tim, ref #30, you're right. It was new deceased John McCain that killed Obama Care repeal. His one vote killed reform. And after lying to us for years, turned out the Republicans did not have an alternative plan. My premium went way up, but I was lucky and actually got to keep my doctor.

To me, the biggest failure and shame of Obama Care was the failure to allow real competition across State lines for health care. I can do it for house, car and life insurance, but the Federal Government will not allow to shop for the best price for health care.

Howard B. Owens
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The Republicans did not have a suitable replacement for ACA. The ACHA wasn't reform. It was gutting of the current law that would have cost millions their health insurance. It would have been disastrous for us personally (The Batavian would not be in business today if not for the ACA -- we couldn't have survived the way things were going ... ACA has saved us tens of thousands of dollars in health care expenses, all savings that would have been lost under ACHA). We would have lost the option of the marketplace, seen deductibles skyrocket again, and the end-of-year tax credit was too little and would arrive every year too late. It's a brain-dead proposal. McCain didn't vote against reform. He voted against a purely partisan attack on the ACA. Yet, Republicans persist trying to get rid of the ACA with no suitable replacement with a particular vehemence toward taking away coverage from people with pre-existing conditions.

https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20181018/NEWS/181019879/will-re...

Reminder, I'm not partisan -- I dislike both parties equally, but these are just the facts of the case. When partisans act partisan instead of in the best interest of the American people, they should be called out. The issue of health care come up, something I know a bit, and the truth is the truth. Every key provision of the ACA was part of GOP legislation and/or a product of the Heritage Foundation (including the individual mandate, which is necessary if you're going to require coverage of pre-existing conditions). The opposition by Republicans is beyond any shadow a doubt based on partisanship or kowtowing to special interests, and not policy considerations.

Howard B. Owens
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John, a federal mandate allowing health insurance to sell across state lines runs smack into federalism.

Every state has its own regulations regarding health insurance and provisions about how health care is provided. There are also individual markets.

Health insurance is a lot more complicated than home or auto insurance.

Many health insurance companies are national in scope but offer different plans in different states owing to the difference in regulations and markets.

These are the top five companies that sell insurance nationally:

Unitedhealth Group.
Wellpoint Inc. Group.
Kaiser Foundation Group.
Humana Group.
Aetna Group.

You buy a plan in your state, but just like your car insurance, it's portable across the nation (within the terms of your particular policy).

Your choices are limited by various state regulations that discourage companies from offering policies in all states. And the prices are regulated by the states.

But insurance costs are just the surface issue. The underlying costs of healthcare is what drives up the cost of insurance, and no politician is talking seriously about dealing with that issue. That lack of serious policy discussion about health care costs is why I'm dubious about any single-payer/Medicare-fior-All proposal.

John Roach
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As for government run, single payer, health insurance, I would say look at he VA and the health care system run by the government for Native Americans. Neither are that good. Yes, while our local VA is not bad, the over all system is not good at all as news stories have exposed. And the government has had decades to get that right.

Daniel Norstrand
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If farm workers were unionized, you would eventually do away with the immigration problem. Fair wages and working conditions would inspire the "American work ethic."

C. M. Barons
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Single-payer does not equate to government-run. It only adds another revenue stream to the billing process. Equating the VA or tribal clinics to single-payer is apples and oranges.

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