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May 3, 2009 - 8:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, Democrats.

This popped up in my Twitter stream this morning: Genesee County Democrats. It doesn't look like the site is quite done. There's some information missing and at least one broken link.

I can't find a site for the GOP on GC, but the City of Batavia GOP does have a Web site.

April 15, 2009 - 8:15am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Democrats, Kirtsen Gillibrand.

Earlier this month, a group of regional Democratic leaders traveled to Buffalo to meet with newly minted U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Steven Israel.

Among the issues raised by GLOW Democrats was the dairy farm crisis, which we covered previously.

The Democrats discussed with Israel possible candidates to run against Congressman Chris Lee in 2010.

The full press release from Judith Hunter after the jump:


April 8, 2009 - 5:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Announcements, politics, Democrats.

Press Release:

The Democratic Rural Conference (DRC) will hold its annual Spring Conference at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga, NY on April 17 and 18, 2009. The theme of this year’s conference is Winning Rural Campaigns and will feature a series of campaign training workshops.  Registration is required.

The DRC Spring Conference has a tradition of bringing top Democratic Leaders to upstate New York.  Confirmed speakers are United States Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor David Patterson, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith. Others are expected.

The DRC is an organization composed of the 42 New York counties with a population less than 250,000.  Its purpose is to represent and promote the interests of rural New Yorkers within the New York State Democratic Party and within the government of the State of New York.

Five Genesee County Democratic committee members will be attending the DRC.  Chairman Lorie Longhany along with state committee members representing the 147th assembly district, Bill and Connie Bruggman and state committee members representing the 139th assembly district, Joe and Dawn Cassidy.

April 5, 2009 - 9:28pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in budget, Democrats, Lorie Longhany.

We've had some discussion on The Batavian about "where are the local Democrats on the state budget." I've made at least one similar statement, and it's also come up in comments.

As part of an e-mail exchange today with Genesee County Democratic Chair Lorie Longhany, I asked Lorie for her statement on the budget.  Below is her statement, but she also said her teaching duties have been pretty full the past week or so.

Here's her statement:

While the budget has been controversial and has been the subject of much criticism, what needs to be considered is the unprecedented fiscal crisis that New York is facing. 

The budget closes the largest spending gap in state history -- 17.7 billion, 12 billion including the stimulus.  It includes 6.5 billion in spending cuts, nearly twice the amount of cuts as any governor from either party has ever proposed.

From the budget itself on the STAR rebate: The Enacted Budget eliminates the STAR rebate program as well as the corresponding enhanced NYC STAR tax credit, producing savings of $1.5 billion in 2009-10. Even after this action, the STAR exemption program and NYC STAR credit will continue to provide $3.3 billion in property tax relief.

Additionally, the Executive Budget proposal to decrease the “floor” reduction – the maximum reduction in STAR benefits that can occur as a result of changes in assessed value or market value –from 18 percent to 11 percent is not included in the Enacted Budget.

Cuts to health care waste and inefficiency, reforming the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the bottle bill and a temporary increase in personal income tax that progressively targets those making over $300,000 + help to reduce the gap.  The increase in spending is the result of stimulus money that will be redistributed throughout the state for infrastructure and job creation.

The budget is painful and not perfect, with some targeted cuts that I personally didn't agree with, but the situation that led us to this place culminated long before Governor Paterson and the newly elected Senate Democrats took over.  Tough times call for shared sacrifice and shared solutions. 

Now is the time for New Yorkers to come together and find viable solutions, not waste time with talk of division and secession.  Bringing high speed rail to fruition and creating a linkage between our upstate agri-businesses and downstate markets can bridge the divide and help both areas of the state to connect and flourish.

March 17, 2009 - 8:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Democrats, Kirtsen Gillibrand.

A group of New York's Democratic congressional members are in a snit over the state Democratic Party sending out promotional materially supporting Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the one-term congresswoman picked by Gov. Paterson to replace Hilary Clinton.

Ten members of Congress, including Eric Massa of Corning, sent party chair June O'Neill a letter urging the party not to openly support Gillibrand because the newly minted senator may face a primary challenge.

"Some of the co-signers of this letter may support Senator Gillibrand. Some are considering running for the seat," the letter, first reported about Monday by the New York Post, states.

"Others remain undecided. However, each of us wants a Democrat to win in a process that is fair, open and inclusive."

(via The Fighting 29th blog)

March 13, 2009 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Democrats, governor Paterson, Lorie Longhany.

Lorie Longhany of LeRoy submitted this photo along with the following information:

Left to right: Genesee County chair Lorie Longhany; Wyoming County chair Hank Bush; Livingston County chair Phil Jones; Governor David Paterson; Orleans County chair Jeanne Crane.

Wednesday night after his town hall meeting in Rochester, Governor Paterson had dinner with the four GLOW Democratic chairs, as well as the chairperson from Yates County. The Governor spent two hours discussing local issues over dinner, along with posing for some pictures.

February 16, 2009 - 3:58pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in Announcements, politics, Democrats, Elections, corfu.

From the Genesee County Democrats:

Two Democrats were unanimously endorsed for the upcoming Village of Corfu election. Todd "Skeeter" Skeets, incumbent mayor, and Al Graham, incumbent trustee, received the endorsements at the Committee's monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 10th. Democratic Committee Chairwoman Lorie Longhany expressed the members impression of the two men. "The Genesee County Democratic Committee proudly endorses Todd Skeets for Mayor of Corfu and Al Graham for Village Trustee.  These gentlemen represent public servants who have dedicated their time and talent for the betterment of the Village of Corfu with the kind of no nonsense approach that is needed in local government."

Committee members were impressed by the considerable resume of accomplishments the two share as public servants and their record of fiscal responsibility. "We reduced the hauling of sludge from at least once a week, but sometimes more often, at a cost of $400 to $800 to not having to haul at all for 18 months." said Mayor Skeets. "In addition, we're working very hard on establishing relations with surrounding municipalities for the use of our sewer plant as well as other shared services."

The Genesee Democratic Committee is looking forward to supporting these outstanding local candidates and many more in upcoming elections.

February 16, 2009 - 10:57am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, genesee county, city council, Democrats, Valentine's Day.

From the Genesee County Democrats:

The Genesee County Democratic Party held their Annual Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance at Sacred Heart Hall on Saturday, February 14th.  Under the Chairmanship of Lew Henning of Batavia, this annual event brought together party faithful and elected officials from across Western New York.  As part of a GLOW County commitment program, Democrats joined from Genesee, Livingston, Wyoming Counties as well as Erie County to celebrate the past successful elections.

“We are very excited about our local, statewide and national elections this past November,” declared Lorie Longhany, Genesee County Democrat Party Chair.  “It is great to be here celebrating with all those that worked hard on that election.  I am also pleased that we are able to share that success with our surrounding Democrat Party leaders and elected officials.”

The Master of Ceremonies for the event was City of Batavia Council President Charles Mallow.  Music and entertainment were provided.  “This year we will be working hard on our local races, including the City of Batavia At-Large Council Seats,”declared Mallow.  “Now is the time to move forward, assess issues and work hard to insure the best possible government for our constituents.”

Democrats are expected to announce their slate of candidates in late spring or early summer.  All County Legislature Seats are up as well as City Council At-Large Seats.

Big winners of the evening were Raymond Yacuzzo of LeRoy, who won the 50/50 Drawing and Margaret Kapperman of Batavia, winner of the Door Prize.

January 29, 2009 - 1:17pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, Democrats, republicans, Chris Lee.

Congressman Chris Lee spoke yesterday against the $819 billion economic stimulus package that passed the House yesterday by a vote of 244-188—not a single Republican voted in favor of the measure, along with eleven Democrats who also disapproved. His office sent us this video of that speech.

From the press release issued by Lee's office:

Congressman Lee supports an economic stimulus plan that works swiftly and effectively while spending Western New Yorkers’ hard-earned tax dollars wisely. That’s why he voted this evening for an alternative measure that includes immediate tax relief for working families, help for America’s small businesses, assistance for the unemployed, stabilization of home values, and no tax increases to pay for spending. Congressman Lee helped craft this alternative measure as part of a working group of Republican lawmakers appointed by House leaders to present ideas to President Obama for inclusion in a bipartisan stimulus plan.

Since being sworn-in to office, Congressman Lee has been gathering information on the stimulus plan, evaluating dozens of proposals, and carefully considering the best ideas for creating jobs in Western New York. He has met with and solicited input from community leaders, economic experts, and constituents. He will discuss his views on the stimulus plan in a live telephone town hall meeting to be held this evening with residents in all seven counties of the 26th district.

Lee calls for more to be done to spur job growth and protect the unemployed. He calls for more tax cuts and less spending. And he claims that not enough is being done to provide tax relief for the middle class. These sound like great points: more jobs, better protection, more relief, fewer burdens—all good stuff.

Yet, confusingly, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims that the current bill does all of those things. Her Web site lists "tax cuts for American families" that would total $185 billion over the next 10 years. Such cuts would include immediate relief "to 95 percent of American workers through a refundable tax credit of up to $500 per worker ($1,000 per couple filing jointly).... These tax cuts would be distributed to millions of families by reducing tax withholding from workers’ paychecks."

Furthermore, she cites "business tax incentives to create jobs and spur investment" that would total $20 billion over the next ten years. "This would allow businesses to write off 90% of losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against taxes assessed over the previous five years." What's more, "this would not be available to companies that have benefited under the TARP."

Of course, there is plenty else mentioned in Pelosi's breakdown that doesn't sound so rosy. If the situation is as dire as we're being told, should we be fronting a $6 billion broadband expansion? What about $650 million for television upgrades? Lee's office sent us this list of other "egregious spending" included in the bill:

• $1 billion for the follow-up to the 2010 Census.
• $600 million to buy new cars for government workers.
• $462 million for equipment, construction, and renovation of facilities at the Centers for Disease Control.
• $335 million for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
• $50 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.
• $44 million for repairs to U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters.

I don't know if all of these count as instances of egregious spending—$50 million for the NEA is nothing compared with $650 to keep people watching television. Furthermore, there's so much money, ludicrous amounts of money, that this bill seeks to release in the name of modernization. Sincerely, at one point, in Pelosi's breakdown, a use given for some of the funds is literally: to "create new modernization ... programs." What!?

For the scrappy among you, you can visit the topics page on the economic stimulus put together by the New York Times. On it, there is a link to the full text of the bill.

Of course, area Democrats were quick to respond to Lee's no vote. They issued the following statement yesterday evening:

Democrats in the GLOW Counties (Genesee, Livingston, Orlean, and Wyoming) reacted this evening to Congressman Chris Lee's (NY 26) vote against the stimulus package that was approved tonight by the House of Representatives.

Phil Jones, the Livingston County Democratic Chair, stated, "We are extremely disappointed that Chris Lee chose to put party discipline over the needs of the people of the 26th District and the entire nation tonight by voting against the recovery plan. We face new layoff announcements in the thousands every day in this economy, but following his party's marching orders seems more important to Mr. Lee than trying to implement constructive solutions." 

Genesee County Democratic Chair Lorie Longhany noted the fact that President Obama and Democrats in Congress had consistently worked to gain Republican support for the stimulus bill, adding additional tax cuts and getting rid of some specific spending to which Republicans objected. "But the Republicans, and regrettably Congressman Lee, decided they would rather oppose all efforts and simply obstruct all good faith attempts to work with them. Things are tough; we don't have time for these games." 

Harold Bush, the Democratic Chair of Wyoming County, pointed out, "President Obama even went to Capitol Hill itself in an attempt to get at least some of the Republicans to work together with him on economic recovery.  It's a shame Chris Lee didn't put the interests of our district ahead of those of his party leadership."

Jeanne Crane, who is Chair of the Orleans County Democratic Committee, agreed. "We have always had representatives in this district who were more concerned with serving their party than serving us. It's a shame that hasn't changed."

January 26, 2009 - 4:24pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, Democrats, kirsten gillibrand, state senate.

From the Democratic committees in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties:

"We congratulate Senator Gillibrand on her appointment as our new Senator, and we commend Governor David Paterson on making sure that the unique interests of upstate New York are reflected at the highest levels of government.  The position of Senator is of special importance to residents of the GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties).  Unfortunately, since almost all of our residents have no representation in the majority of the Assembly, State Senate, or House of Representatives, our federal Senators are our only majority representatives.  Therefore, we are especially pleased that Senator Gillibrand comes from an upstate, rural Congressional district that is similar to our own.  We are delighted to have a Senator so attuned to our issues.

"These are very difficult times for everyone, but the GLOW region faces particular challenges.  We are pleased that Senator Gillibrand has asked to serve on the Agriculture Committee (as she did in Congress) and mentioned 'the dairy farmers of western New York' as the first group she recognized in her remarks upon her appointment.  We invite her to visit us at her earliest possible convenience and are eager to introduce our region and to work with her on its issues.  Many of our leaders were privileged to meet and hear then-Congresswoman Gillibrand at last year's New York Democratic Rural Conference.  We know she will be a strong advocate for the GLOW counties.  Senator Gillibrand has also pledged to continue her policy of accessibility and transparency for which she has been renowned in Congress, so we are confident her "Congress on Our Corners" program will come to our communities soon.  We are pleased that Governor Paterson has appointed someone who will be an upstate leader for New York."

January 22, 2009 - 1:31pm
posted by Daniel Jones in Democrats, republicans, Obama, inauguration, Bush, Cheney.

On a briskly cold day in January at around 5:45 AM, I pulled up to 17th Ave and L Street, which isn't far from Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC.  The atmosphere was serene, almost quiet, yet one could feel the excitement bubbling out from the anticipating crowds making their way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the national mall.  A few minutes later, I received a call from a WBTA (a local radio station) asking for some of my thoughts....at the moment that he called I looked forward and saw a majestic site, I rubbed my eyes and in the twilight, saw the White House.  It all started to hit me then, the history that was being made, the greatness of America, the civility that we possess in this country, where the most powerful among us willingly gives up his power. Despite all that we had been through, there it was, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, ready for its next occupant.

We made our way to the national mall, first passing through the area around the Washington Monument, we ran into some very helpful volunteers, girl scouts, boy scouts (a favorite of mine, given that I'm an Assistant Scoutmaster) and just regular people. Some offered directions, some gave out maps, some cheered on to “fire up” the crowds and others offered a friendly “hello”.  Then came the street vendors, there was absolutely no end to the people selling Obama, well, everything, a person whom I was sharing the experience with referred to the event as “Obama-palooza” partially because of this, Obama buttons (I bought a few), Obama T-Shirts, Obama hoodies, if you can imagine just about anything, it was there with our new President's name on it.  After making our way through the crowds it was still relatively early, we arrived at the spot that we would call home for the next 6 hours or so at around 7AM, it was a good spot, close the National Observatory yet still about a half a mile away from the capitol.  The distance wasn't really relevant, jumbotrons and speakers had been set up throughout the mall and as far back as the Lincoln memorial so everyone could see the event.

This may be the most shocking part of all, the crowd, in addition to being extremley diverse, with every group represented (Young, Old, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Indian etc), all were also extremely polite.  After the event I learned that despite the large attendance there hadn't been one arrest....and I never saw behavior that would warrant an arrest either. I saw nor experienced any pushing, shoving, fighting or even argument, everyone that needed to get by provided a polite “excuse me” and passed through.  That also being said, the excitement was in the air for sure, people were shouting, cheering and even singing in anticipation of the arrival of the President elect, that all being said, it wasn't “crazy” at all.  I received a few text messages asking if the situation was “crazy”, but inact, because of the politeness and almost serenity of the crowd, it really wasn't.  No one got violent or even upset, it was an atmosphere of togetherness, a friend of mine likened it to a “football game where we're all rooting for the same team”.  He had it right on.

As the hours approached, we we're entertained by a replay of the concert broad casted on HBO on the Sunday before, this added to our excitement and almost feeling of community amongst the crowd.  We were standing next to a group of people from Greensboro, North Carolina and we couldn't have asked to have had a better “neighbors” per say for the event.  They were just as excited as we were, not only that Barack Obama had won their home state and that he got elected President but that on this day, the spirit of American renewal was upon us all.

Time continued to pass and soon, the moment was beginning to arrive and the dignitaries began to pour in.  As they appeared on the jumbotron before the crowd, the reactions went from rousing to amusing. Firstly, Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman were soundly booed (so was President Bush, but not as badly), as Cheney was wheeled out onto the stage, all that I could help to think of was Mr. Potter from “It's a Wonderful Life” and Lieberman, well, I can imagine that the crowd was still not too happy about his endorsement of John McCain.  I do wish in many ways that this would not happen, but it gives a clear snapshot of the opinion of the current administration, even a normally unpopular administrations faces wouldn't be booed at an inauguration, but this shows the new low in popularity and the general divisiveness that Bush, Cheney, Lieberman and co. have brought upon this Country.  It also showed the real need for renewal, at that moment I realized that we needed this Presidency.  The time couldn't have come sooner.

The other reactions we're fine, John McCain received nominal cheers, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (being the last Democratic Presidents) were given roaring receptions and even George HW Bush was cheered. During all of this, everyone's favorite celebrity began to appear on the screens.  Everyone from Oprah and Jay-Z to Bruce Springsteen were all present.  I usually loath to get hyped up about celebrities, but in this case we saw a number of high profile people who showed an interest in civics and stood for patriotism, perhaps this is a good example that they can set for years to come.

The big moment came, and it came with force, for the rest of my life I will now be able to say when Barack Obama took the oath of office that I was there, standing among a crowd that Martin Luther King Jr. would be so proud to see, surrounded by “Black Men and White Men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics,”, all people from different walks of life standing together in solidarity, supporting our new President, celebrating the casting off of the old and applying the new.  A professor of mine said that this inauguration was more about the “seeing” than the “hearing”, I can't help but totally agree.  This was the clear moment of change, this is when America renewed itself, this was when Barack Obama, who described himself as a “skinny black kid with a funny name” after a dynamic campaign took the office that he had earned through hard work and determination.

This was when Barack Obama became the President of the United States. Being there for that alone is a privilege itself worth a thousand lifetimes, it is something that I surely will remember with a sense of inspiration, a moment that said above all else embodied the true spirit of this country “With hard work, you can do anything that you try,”.

God bless America.


January 12, 2009 - 1:47pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, politics, Democrats, republicans, Chris Lee.

We received the following statement, issued by the Genesee, Livingston, Wyoming and Orleans Democratic Committee Chairs.

The Democrats of the rural counties of New York's 26th Congressional District (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties, or the GLOW region,) congratulate Chris Lee on being sworn in to represent the district in the 111th Congress.  While he is getting established in Washington, the GLOW county Democratic Committees note that Congressman Lee's plans to open offices in just Monroe and Erie Counties suggest there is a good chance that the rural areas of the district, which comprise a great deal of the 26th, may continue to be overlooked despite there being new representation in Congress.

Mr. Lee has issued a statement announcing that he has been named to the Financial Services Committee, the committee assignment he sought.  Unfortunately, membership on that committee precludes his serving on any of the other important committees in Congress.  (Most members of Congress sit on multiple committees, but members of the Financial Services Committee do not.)  "What our communities really need is a representative on the Agriculture Committee, like the 29th District will have with Eric Massa," says Harold Bush, Chair of the Wyoming County Democratic Committee.  The Genesee County Democratic Committee Chair, Lorie Longhany, says "I am concerned that Congressman Lee is in danger of simply perpetuating a long Washington tradition of being more interested in Wall Street than Main Street.  The fact that two of his very first votes were against closing pay discrimination loopholes -- he voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fairness Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act -- makes me even more on my guard about his commitment to average people."

The other matter of great concern to the GLOW-region Democratic Committees is that Congressman Lee may not be supportive enough of passing the stimulus plan that is the first item on Congress' agenda.  "He never talks about a recovery plan without worrying out loud about 'fiscal responsibility,'" says Phil Jones, Chair of the Livingston County Democratic Committee.  "But 'fiscal responsibility' has become the Republican code phrase for obstructing what we really need in this district, which is jobs.  The Republicans had plenty of chances to be fiscally responsible when they were in control of Congress and the economy wasn't in dire straits.  But economic experts agree that temporary government spending is the only thing that can help turn around our economic situation."  The Orleans County Democratic Chair, Jeanne Crane, notes that public investment in infrastructure and green energy projects could benefit the 26th district for years to come.  "Smart public investments can lead to real, tangible assets for our community, assets that will attract jobs and growth.  We hope Congressman Lee understands that and will support the kind of stimulus package we need."

January 8, 2009 - 8:25am
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, Democrats, governor Paterson, Albany, state.

As most of you are already aware, Gov. David Paterson pronounced his State of the State address from Albany yesterday. One message that came through loud and clear throughout the address and especially at its conclusion was that of sacrifice.

Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle picked up this quote: "We will sacrifice what we want today in order to achieve what we need tomorrow," he told a joint session of the state Legislature. "We will make sacrifices, but they must be shared sacrifices."

Yesterday evening, Democrats from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties issued a joint statement, summing up their thoughts and reflections following the address.

As we enter an era of uncertainty, Governor Paterson calls on all of us to work for the survival of our State with hope, courage and bi-partisan action. Speaking of "one state one future," the Governor recognized the need to revitalize every part of New York, including our region, by focusing on the need to strengthen our health care system, combat childhood obesity, make college affordable for all, improve local government efficiency, rebuild infrastructure, develop 21st century energy efficiency, create bio-tech jobs, increase tourism, and form a consortium on hybrid electric battery manufacturing. This speech was a call to the legislature and, ultimately, the people across the State, to recognize that these are very tough times, our problems need to be solved together, and every New Yorker needs to tighten his or her belt, confident in the hope of a better tomorrow.

We hope to hear more of your reactions to the State of the State throughout the day today.

December 1, 2008 - 7:34pm
posted by Daniel Jones in politics, Democrats, Obama, Hillary, Paterson.

Now that the almost inevitable selection of Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State is official, the already drawn out speculation of who will fill her seat is in full swing and will no doubt dominate news coverage for the next few weeks.  I was thinking today though, what if Governor Paterson had to choose from Genesee County, seeing how close the Democorats are to having a 60 vote majority, the likelihood of him picking a Republican is slim....so popular Republican Assemblyman Steve Hawley, or really any other known Republican would be out of the question.

In this fun hyothetical, or shall I say, localthetical, who would Governor Paterson pick if he had to choose from Genesee County leaders?

Obviously, in terms of name recognition he would start with major Government leaders, so number 1 on the list would probably be Batavia City Council President Charlie Mallow.  Love the guy or hate him (personally I like the guy), he brought the City into the black, worked across the aisle to bring proposed tax increases far down from their original expectations and was the leader of two tickets that led to Democratic control of the City Council, he's also shown that he has the fundraising ability to help large scale fundraising efforts in Batavia and county wide. 

Perhaps Paterson would also consider the straight-shooting Rosemary Christian, with her reputation as a fighter and her popularity with the local ethnic communities, she wouldn't back down to Republican pressure in the US Senate.  Paterson also might be credited for picking a 'maverick' , who sincerley votes with her conciense and puts the interests of working people first. 

The level headed Kathy Briggs may also play a factor in Paterson's mind, she also has shown that she can work well across the aisle and still stands up for what she believes in, her background as a teacher may also be a major bonus, Briggs also has good relations with the local Conservative party, and could possibly pull their support. 

Ed DeJanerio would also be given obvious consideration, he's defined himself locally as a scrappy campaigner who doesn't just beat his opponents, he gives them an electoral thrashing through careful and positive messaging and by hitting every single house in his district.  Ed is a careful and moderate leader in the County Legislature who focuses on constituant services.

Batavia School Board President Pat Burk would cleary be the "education" choice, he's been working with education on the board before I was even a thought in anyone's minds he's lead the district through thick and then and has brought Batavia into respectability state wide, especially with Batavia High School being such a high-performing school.  His selection would also be a bonus because of his work with the State School Boards Association, Burk could act as a representative on education on behalf of President Obama statewide. 

Paterson could also pull a triple whammy by selecting School Board Member Gary Stich, the current President and CEO of Oxbow corporation, thus adding private sector bonfidias along with an obvious interest in education with the know-how and connections to turn around the upstate economy, I'm not entirely sure of his partisan affiliation, so obviously some agreement with him caucusing with the Democrats would have to be worked out (if he isn't already one).

Maybe Paterson would reach into LeRoy for his selection, former party Chair Ray Yaccuzo has been active in environmental issues and has been a community leader outside of politics for most of his life, in addition he has valuable executive experience being the former mayor of LeRoy. 

Speaking of former LeRoy mayors, Jim Delooze would also recieve close attention, he also has good relations with the local Conservative party and really put his heart and soul into Leroy.  Despite his defeat in his last election, it appears that his careful budgeting and smart governing left LeRoy in a pretty good position, and with his energetic campaign style he certainly would be an asset to the Democrats.

There's also possible picks from the surronding towns, such as Barb Kapperman, a former candidate for County Treasurer and who has had much experience working with Government finance, can you say budget balancer?

Now we go back to the reality of Governor Paterson's possible picks, Andrew Cuomo, Brian Higgins, Byron Brown, Nydia Valesquez and Steve Israel, all great possible picks without a question....but just think of all the great choices Governor Paterson would have if he was limited to Genesee County.

October 30, 2008 - 1:28pm

One of our readers this morning turned our attention to an article from the Washington Post, which claims that nationwide "struggles" faced by Sen. John McCain are causing problems for Republicans in Congressional races around the country.

Particularly difficult for Republican prospects is that McCain appears to be trailing badly in several moderate suburban districts across the Midwest and New England, while he is doing worse than President Bush did in rural conservative districts.


Democrats hold a 51 to 49 edge in the Senate when the two independents who caucus with them are factored in, and a 236 to 199 House majority. Rothenberg predicted that Democrats will pick up 27 to 33 House seats, and make gains of six to nine seats in the Senate. The Cook Political Report, another independent political forecaster, suggests that Democrats will net 23 to 28 House seats, and pick up seven to nine Republican-held Senate seats.

Normally, this would be a topic for our Nation & World section, but this article calls out our very own 26th District as a potential upset in a region that many would have considered a GOP stronghold.

In New York's 26th District, internal GOP polls show McCain trailing (Sen. Barack) Obama by a narrow margin, sources said. Bush won the Buffalo-based district by 12 percentage points in 2004. The race to replace retiring Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.) is considered a tossup.

In that race, Democrat Alice Kryzan will square off against Republican Chris Lee, who himself has been criticized for a lack of visibility since getting the Republican nod with little effort earlier this year.

A post on the Albany Project today takes up this same issue. It turns out the Democratic Congressional Compaign Committee recently pumped $475,340 into the race for the 26th, compared with the $27,918 put up by the National Republican Congressional Committee. That same post claims that the race has now been predicted to swing to the Democrats.

What do you think? Could the GOP lose their grip on the 26th District come Tuesday? Does a lead by Obama equate to an advantage for Kryzan? What are the factors that will decide this vote one way or another Tuesday?

October 29, 2008 - 1:05pm
posted by Patrick D. Burk in Democrats, New York State Senate.


You’re Invited
Please Come & Meet
Candidate for the New York State Senate
 Monday, November 3rd
Election Night Eve
5PM to 6PM
Pontillo’s Pizzeria
500 East Main Street - Batavia
Hosted by:
Patrick & E. Jane Burk
Bob & Gail Stevens
Ed & Cathy DeJaneiro
Brian Dieck
Toni & Ron Funke
Sara Jane & Samantha Balbi
Malloryann Burk
October 27, 2008 - 4:30pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, politics, election, Democrats, Jon Powers, Alice Kryzan.

Alice Kryzan and Jon Powers stopped by the headquarters of the Genesee County Democrats this afternoon on their tour through the 26th district. The two Democrats are ramping up support for Kryzan in her bid to win the congressional seat that will be vacated by retiring incumbent Tom Reynolds. She will face Republican Chris Lee in the general election.

Although they were opponents in the primary, Powers has since come out in full support of Kryzan. Today, he proclaimed that endorsement, citing the message that has been repeated (almost ad nauseum) by Democrats, and often even by Republicans, during this campaign year: change. Voters "have a clear choice," he said, to accept "the same failed policies of the last eight years," or to vote for change. Needless to say, Powers held up Kryzan as a candidate of such change.

"I urge the voters of Western New York to vote for Alice," he said.

Genesee County Democratic Committee Chair Lorie Longhany introduced the two at a brief press conference. She spoke of Powers as "very, very dear to me" and said that his "grassroots campaign led a movement that left a mark in this community."

"His coming out ... sends a strong message across the rural community," she said.

For her part, Kryzan repeated the invocation of change, touting her devotion to "green energy" as part of that message. She called Powers "a worthy adversary" whom she is now thankful to have on her side and vowed to "fight for the 26th district" that has "not been well represented in a long time"—a jab, perhaps, at the outgoing Republican, Reynolds. She also said she wanted to "fulfill the role" of job creator.

"If you send me to Congress, I will get up every morning and ask myself with every item on my agenda: Will this benefit the 26th district? If the answer is no, I will take that item off the agenda."

We caught up with Kryzan after the press conference to ask a couple of questions. (Questions in bold. Responses in italics).

In the Democratic primary, a lot was made about the often divisive negative campaigning and your refusal to get involved in the mudslinging. We know that you can't do anything about the current negative ads being run by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee attacking your opponent Chris Lee. So what are you doing to ensure that voters know these commercials don't reflect your style?

There are two answers to that. One, when asked about it, I tell everyone that those ads are not put out by my campaign. Second, I'm trying to run a campaign with positive ads about the issues. I'm getting out and talking about the issues. ... A representative in Congress must be responsible to the voters.

The "Wall Street bailout" remains wildly unpopular with voters. Nor does much seem to be coming of the effort in the way of relief for the average American. In fact, JPMorgan Chase even admitted that it would not loosen credit and instead plans to use its recently acquired $25 billion of taxpayer money for "acquisitions." Initially, you said that you support the bailout. Do you still?

I supported the bailout, but I said that it's not a perfect bill. Its one saving grace is that Congress only released a portion of the money. A new administration can revisit the effort and make sure that taxpayer money is used to serve the interests of taxpayers, not Wall Street bankers. If we get a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress in there, we will get this right.

October 17, 2008 - 10:56am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Democrats, Darien, Le Roy.

Party supporters packed into the Democratic headquarters last night in the Genesee Country Mall. They came for signs. They came for cider. They came to meet their candidates.

I was there to meet some of the candidates, too, though I was mostly hoping to run into Alice Kryzan. Unfortunately, the congressional candidate wasn't expected to arrive until sometime around 6:30pm due to a plane delay—the event started at 5:00pm—and I had to head out before then.

No matter. I had a chance to chat with a couple other candidates.

Larry Stabell is running to keep his seat as judge for the town of Darien. Stabell told me that his work with the department of corrections made him interested in the position and capable of doing it well.

We soon got to talking about what's going on out in Darien. Stabell told me that the town is currently facing a problem with its school districts: it's got four of them, none of which are in Darien. All the school kids are going in different directions, he said. This in a town where the population is maybe 3,200.

Darien used to be a farming community, he said. But it has since become "somewhat of a bedroom community for Rochester and Buffalo." The town has about 10 to 15 new homes going up every year, and is down to maybe eight or nine full-time farmers.

Of course, they've got Darien Lake Theme Park, which means that at any given time, you could have ten times the population of the town packed in there, and those folks "come out to have a good time," he said. That's the prime reason why the judge in Darien never wants for work, in the summer months especially.

I also had a few minutes to chat with Le Roy Councilman Tom Stella, who is also running to keep his seat. Stella told me that things have been pretty quiet in Le Roy over the past few months. Most of the major projects have gone through, including the Walgreen's and the Wal-Mart. What they'll be looking at next is something called the Farmland Protection Program, which would allow landowners—farmers in particular, but not exclusively—to get their land placed on a protection list that would say it could only be used for farming, never for development.

Should be interesting to see how that plays out.

October 10, 2008 - 8:04am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Democrats.

From the Genesee County Democrats:

The Genesee County Democratic Committee announces a "Meet the Candidates" Open House
Please join us at Democratic Headquarters, 10 City Centre (former Genesee County Mall - across from Sunny's) on Thursday, October 16, 2008 from 5 pm to 7 pm. Candidates include:
26th Congressional District candidate- Alice Kryzan
61st State Senate candidate - Joe Mesi
147th State Assembly candidate - Phil Jones
State Supreme Court Justice candidates - John Michalek and Tracey Bannister
Town of Darien Justice candidate - Larry Staebell
Town of LeRoy Council candidate - Tom Stella
This event is open to the public and everyone is welcome. Refreshments will be served.

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