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September 3, 2010 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, Chris Barons, taxation.

Here's a news release sent in today from Democrat Chris Barons, a candidate for state Assembly in the 39th District.

The cost of local government and schools is the fastest growing taxpayer burden. That burden is magnified by basing local taxes on real property value. Property tax is unfair and punitive. It establishes a recurring, non-transactional fee on ownership.

Taxes should be a measure of prosperity. Property ownership is an investment not a benchmark of prosperity. Only 54.4 percent of New Yorkers own homes. Property taxes contribute to neighborhood blight when property owners opt against upkeep to avoid increasing taxable value.

In our fragile economic climate, with as many as 17.5 percent unemployed, millions laid-off, and New York leading the nation in first-time unemployment claims, local governments cannot ignore the fact: property taxes do not adjust for fixed or reduced incomes.

My solution to New York’s tax burden is to scrap property taxes AND sales tax. Replace both with a 4 percent residential flat tax and 3.8 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) for business.

With a state GSP of $1,144,481,000,000 and personal income at $828,443,000,000, the net result would be over $74 billion in tax revenue.

With renters direct-paying local taxes, rent bills that include the cost of property tax must be adjusted. To encourage landlords to reduce rent bills, a Rent Adjustment Credit for landlords who lower rent in lieu of property tax will be built into Form IT-214, Claim for Real Property Tax Credit for Homeowners and Renters.

Value Added Tax is misunderstood by many. Essentially it taxes profits on products or services.

Example: a sump pump company buys castings at $5 apiece, tools and assembles them as a sump pump at a cost of $15. The finished pump is sold to a retailer for $40. The value added is $20, which is taxable. The retailer sells the pump to a customer for $80. The value added is $40, which is taxable.

In the case of service providers, the cost of sending a cleaner to a business for eight hours is $60. The cleaning company charges the business $75. The value added is $15, which is taxable.

For financial institutions, the banks pay a VAT on disposal of mortgaged securities, investment and financial services.

The elimination of property-based taxation would especially benefit farmers -- for whom land ownership is a critical investment.

Besides alleviating the unfair burden placed upon taxpayers, eliminating property taxes would jettison the bureaucracy necessary to administer it. A 4 percent residential tax and 3.8 percent commercial VAT would also generate sufficient revenue to accelerate satisfaction of New York State’s overwhelming debt.

September 1, 2010 - 12:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, business, steve hawley.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley is perfect; at least, according to a group that describes itself as bi-partisan and pro business.

Hawley was only one of two Assembly members to receive a 100 percent score from Unshackle Upstate.

The group scored legislators based on their votes on a series of business and tax bills.

Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate, said in a statement that the scorecard is designed to help voters understand how their legislators are spending their money and whether they support lower taxes and a pro-business environment.

“This is an educational tool,” Sampson said. “We simply can’t blindly vote for the same people we have year after year, or else we’ll get the same government we’ve had for year after year.”

Hawley issued a press release Tuesday touting the perfect score. The text follows the jump:

August 27, 2010 - 5:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, business, steve hawley.

Here's a news release sent today from Assemblyman Steve Hawley's office.

Assemblyman Steve Hawley toured local businesses and met with local business leaders earlier this week to discuss ways to improve economic development in Western New York.

During the 2010 Legislative Session, economic development programs statewide were charged new fees and saw development funding significantly decreased, which Assemblyman Hawley voted against.

“As a local business owner in Western New York, I know firsthand how difficult and unfriendly New York State is for businesses, especially small businesses,” Hawley said. “Over the years, Albany has increased taxes, fees, and regulations to the point that starting or maintaining a business here is almost impossible.

"It is my hope that by working with local business leaders we can create a grassroots movement to tell Albany that it needs to stop its tax-and-overspend policies. We need to start investing in job creation and economic development programs.”

Hawley’s local business tours started earlier this month with a visit to Willow Specialties in Batavia on Aug. 6 to meet with CEO Bernie Skalny. Willow Specialties produces baskets and packing supplies for hotels, restaurants and supermarkets across the country.

On Aug. 17, Hawley met with Jim Lines, president and CEO, and Jeffrey Glajch, CFO, of the Graham Corp. in Batavia, a leading designer and manufacturer of vacuum and heat transfer equipment for energy markets and process industries.

On Aug. 24, Hawley met with Peter Milicia, president of BMP America, Inc., in Medina. BMP America specializes in manufacturing and converting technical non-woven textiles and engineered polyurethane elastomers.

Hawley’s local business tour will continue with planned visits to TREK, Inc., in Medina, Precision Packaging Products in Holley, and Allen’s Canning – Birdseye in Oakfield.

Earlier this month, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) released its 2009-2010 Voting Record, which outlines the voting record of legislators regarding critical economic development and job creating legislation in New York.

While 79 of 150 Assembly members voted against business interests 80 percent of the time during 2009 and 2010, Hawley was rated among the most business-friendly legislators in the state with a pro-business voting record of 91 percent.

August 23, 2010 - 3:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, election, marc coppola.

I met Marc Coppola on Saturday and today he sent along this note, which I thought worth sharing:


Nice running into you at Summer in the City in Batavia this past Saturday. As I mentioned, I thought it was ironic that someone commented on your site that I was anti-gun when in fact I hold and carry permits for my own guns (and have) for almost 19 years now. And, in case anyone should ask, I do support the right to keep and bear arms. I believe that while the approval process for obtaining a pistol permit in NYS could be quicker, we do it right, trying to assure that those who pose a real threat to society or themselves, don't wind up with a dangerous weapon.

On a more current legislative issue, microstamping, I think that the reasoning and idea behind it has merit, but there are two things lacking that would prevent my support: technology and economics.

My understanding is that the technology of microstamping is still in its evolution stage. Given this, I think it is a large step and therefore premature to enact such a law for NYS at this time.

Secondly, since the law would only apply to guns legally purchased in NY state, and data shows that most guns used in the commission of a crime originated from outside NYS, you have to question the true impact of the legislation.

On the economic side of the equation, this may cause just another burden on NYS businesses that sell or deal guns and related equipment. It puts NYS again, in a less competitive position, which could hurt a strong industry, especially in upstate NY.

Sorry if I sound like I'm on the soap box, just something I wanted to clarify since it was mentioned.

Unfortunately our government leaders, well-intentioned at times, take knee-jerk reactions to things without fully exploring and considering the true impacts, both positive and negative. Using guns for hunting and sport is a tradition and culture particularly in upstate, throwing the baby out with the bathwater so to speak is not good policy.

Take care,
Marc Coppola

(Note: He is a Democrat running for state Senate in the 61st District.)

August 4, 2010 - 6:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, Ranzenhofer, coppola.

Here's a news release from Democrat Marc A. Coppola, candidate for New York State Senate’s 61st District.

Marc Coppola claims Senator Mike Ranzenhofer is MIA -- Missing in Action -- in the battle for University of Buffalo 20/20, the largest employer in the 61st District.

Coppola said today that he is very disappointed that the New York State Legislature did not pass the bill that would have given UB certain powers to control its own destiny.

Passing the bill would create a world-class university and economic stimulus that Western New York so desperately needs.

“Failure to pass this legislation, as needed, is just another reason that Western New Yorker’s are frustrated with Albany and have lost confidence in our government," Cappola said. "And Senator Ranzenhofer’s partisan politics didn’t help the situation."

Coppola claims that Ranzenhofer provided no leadership or support, choosing instead to play political blame games and stick with his Albany leaders rather than the residents of the 61st District who elected him.

“Senator Ranzenhofer doesn’t know how to reach across the aisle in order to deliver for his constituents. He would rather put his head in the sand and point fingers than get something accomplished.”

Coppola says he has a track record of working with all parties to deliver for his constituents and he will do the same if given the opportunity to serve the residents of the 61st District.

“If something is good for New Yorkers, especially my district, I will support it. It doesn’t matter to me whose idea it is, as long as it gets done.”

He maintains Ranzenhofer has been so partisan in his more than 20 years as an elected official, that he rarely votes for anything that is sponsored by the other party, even if it’s good for his district, and "this is why he has been so ineffective."

July 30, 2010 - 5:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, Mike Ranzenhofer, marc coppola.

Here's a news release from Democrat Marc Coppola, a candidate for NY State Senate.

New York Senator Mike Ranzenhofer’s comments on the state budget are nothing more than empty rhetoric. This week Ranzenhofer criticized members of the state legislature over the budget process, but failed to point out his own lack of accomplishment.

He and his colleagues provide a lot of criticism and offer little by way of solution.

Coppola said: “There are 62 members in the New York State Senate and it only takes 32 to pass a bill. Even with nine members absent, the remaining 53 are more than enough to get something accomplished. The fact that nothing is getting done is due to senators like Mike Ranzenhofer who would rather accomplish nothing so that they can play partisan blame games."

Ranzenhofer has also been missing in action when it comes to the battle to pass the UB 20/20 legislation. The university is the district’s largest employer and in desperate need of help.

“I challenge the incumbent senator to show some independence and work for the people who elected him, not his party leader. I challenge him to do something for his district and WNY. New York State is in its most difficult financial crisis since the Great Depression. This is no time for partisan politics. It is a time for all members to act like adults and work together for the good of all New Yorkers.”

July 25, 2010 - 4:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, new york, prisons.

Felons can't vote, but they do, it appears, have a tremendous influence on New York State politics.

It turns out, where they live (like in a prison in Upstate New York) has some influence on how legislative districts are proportioned.

Some Downstate interests don't like the fact that NYC criminals housed in Upstate facilities get counted as Upstate residents.

There's a proposal in the State Legislature to change how prisoners are counted for legislative districting purposes.

Newsweek wrote about the issue recently.

Its prospects are good in the Democratic-controlled Assembly, but it may not get through the nearly evenly split State Senate, where seven districts, including those of two Democrats, would need to be redrawn due to insufficient population if they lost their prisoners in redistricting. The state senators from those districts contend that their constituents are absorbing a public need, not just government dollars, because the prisoners exact a toll on the surrounding areas. “Upstate communities accepted prisons for the economic benefit,” says Sen. Joe Griffo, “but there’s also other impacts, both positive and negative. The fire department, police department, and hospitals all have to respond to the prison and the inmates.”


Although the New York proposal, like the new law in Maryland, would affect only legislative redistricting, not state funding for social services, Griffo argues that political power always translates into government funding, so prison-heavy districts upstate have a real financial stake in preserving their claim on prisoners in redistricting. A spokesperson for Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who sponsored the redistricting bill, characterizes that thinking as “the upstate prison-industrial complex,” protecting its own interests.

July 20, 2010 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, localism, Chris Barons.

Here's a news release sent today from Chris Barons, Democratic candidate for the 139th Assembly District.

Key to restoring New York State’s economic vitality is bolstering opportunities for local products and farm produce in local markets. My program to open up local markets to local producers involves a one-two punch.

The two-part program targets both consumers and retailers -- establishing recognition of locally grown foodstuffs and manufactured goods and providing an incentive for retailers to merchandize local-origin products.

Just as branding has defined merchandizing strategies for apparel, fast food and innumerable high-profile products, "Made in New York" and "Grown in New York" will become state-licensed trademarks.

Minimum criteria would be required to qualify for the brands: Made in New York and Grown in New York. Standards would include in-state labor, local source and origin of components and/or goods. Manufactured products and agricultural produce would have to meet such requirements to be labeled with a New York brand.

In 2002, New York retail sales amounted to $178,067,530,000. Overall, U.S. retailing accounts for 8.1 percent of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). To encourage retail participation in marketing and the sale of local products, the flip-side of the plan is to institute a Local Enterprise Credit.

This business credit would be based on the ratio of floor space allotted to local-origin products and produce. To maximize opportunities for local producers, the credit would be graduated -- the more floor space allotted to local products, the larger the credit.

The Local Enterprise Credit incentive and New York branding strategies would boost most retail products and commodities.

New York branding would guide consumers toward selecting New York’s products and produce. Thus, the marketplace would connect New York’s consumers and producers in a mutually profitable alliance, restoring New York business to Main Street, New York.

July 18, 2010 - 2:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, marc coppola, steve ranzenhofer.

Here's a news release from Marc Coppola, state senate candidate for New York’s 61st District.

Senate candidate Marc Coppola is challenging his election opponent "not to associate with corrupt party leaders."

Coppola is calling on incumbent Michael Ranzenhofer, to decline the state’s Independence Party nomination.

“Accepting the support of Independence Party political boss Frank McKay and his upstate colleague, former Democratic Party Chairman Steve Pigeon, sends the wrong message to voters," Coppola said. "Both are under state and federal investigation for alleged money laundering and campaign finance violations.”

Several media outlets around the state have reported that McKay is under investigation by the New York City District Attorney’s office for possible money laundering in connection with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s re-election campaign. Media outlets have also reported that Pigeon is the focus of multiple investigations by state and federal authorities for similar violations in connection with other campaigns.

Board of Elections records show Senator Ranzenhofer filed an acceptance for the Independence Party nomination on July 12. To get the party’s nod, McKay himself must give the authorization.

Ranzenhofer’s acceptance of the Independence Party line, while knowing that Chairman McKay and Pigeon are both under investigation troubles Coppola.

“I can’t say that I am surprised that Senator Ranzenhofer is willing to work with corrupt party bosses for his own political gain,” Coppola said. “To secure the senate majority, Mr. Ranzenhofer voted to make State Senator Pedro Espada President of the Senate.

"It was a move that put Espada in line to potentially be the next governor. It came even after Espada had been fined by the State Board of Elections for campaign finance violations, and while Espada was under criminal investigation by state and federal authorities.

“It is clear that Senator Ranzenhofer is willing engage with corrupt politicians and party bosses if it benefits him politically. When I started this campaign, I called for an end to cross-endorsements and fusion voting for precisely this reason.

"Confidence in government and its leaders is at an all time low in New York State and the corruption of our political system is a major reason why. I choose to take the high road and not ally myself with party leaders who are under criminal investigation. I challenge my opponent, Mr. Ranzenhofer, to do the same.”

It should also be noted that Senator Ranzenhofer is pursuing the Independence Party line even after he called for Steve Pigeon to be investigated in 2008. It came when Pigeon and Rochester billionaire Tom Gollisano supported Ranzenhofer’s opponent Baby Joe Mesi in the last election.

June 28, 2010 - 12:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, politics, Bill Cox.

bill_cox.jpgBatavia City Councilman Bill Cox is planning to bolt from the GOP and join the Conservative Party, WBTA reports this afternoon.

Cox reportedly sent a letter to GOP City Chairman Joe Gerace on Friday and said the local Republicans have no platform and do not stand for anything.

WBTA reports that Cox said he believes the direction of the United States needs to be changed, and that change begins at the local level.

The local GOP is "not doing anything significant to help turn things around," Cox reportedly wrote.

Cox has been a Republican for 47 years.

UPDATE 1:48 p.m.: The Batavian has obtained a copy of the letter.

In it, Cox writes:

Our country is in a mess. The majority party in control of Congress has violated our Constitution and individual rights repeatedly; they make up any rule they want to push through legislation; they make unethical and punitive back room deals; they are bankrupting the country with massive spending, and they refuse to listen to the people.

He says he has already submitted the paperwork to change parties, and adds, "The conservative Party has been at the fore front of trying to counter this along with the Tea Party movement. We need to change things now."

He vows to continue to support Republican causes and candidates who stand for conservative principles.

June 24, 2010 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in politics, kirsten gillibrand, reform.

On Tuesday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced her reform agenda to clean up Washington, and make Congress more accountable and responsible.

Here is her news release:

The centerpiece of Senator Gillibrand’s agenda includes new, bipartisan legislation that would require complete transparency for all federal earmark requests. Senator Gillibrand’s plan will also end automatic pay raises for members of Congress, rein in corporate special interest influence on elections, and once and for all ban all senators from placing obstructive, anonymous holds on important Presidential nominations or legislation in the Senate.

“I haven’t been in Washington long, but it doesn’t take long to know exactly what’s wrong with it,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Everyday people are not being heard because too much business is happening behind closed doors. Too often the system only benefits the special interests that have way too much power. My agenda puts the interests of families before all else by making government more transparent and accountable.

June 12, 2010 - 10:02am
posted by Dave Olsen in politics, Andrew Cuomo, ny, Governor race, Rick Lazio.

 In 2004 private citizens, Andrew Cuomo and Rick Lazio co-hosted a radio show in New Rochelle, NY, where they acted like old pals and complemented each other for their work on making housing affordable when Cuomo was HUD Secretary and Lazio was the House chair of the Housing Opportunity sub-committee. Pretty fascinating stuff (if you're a political nerd like me), about 2 guys out of politics that really want back in.  Anyway here is the audio of the show, it's a hour long and I haven't yet been able to listen to all of it. http://ia331203.us.archive.org/3/items/TheCuomoAndLazioShow/01Track1.mp3


and the Blog that turned me on to it.  http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/archives/2010/05/when_rick_lazio.php


I will try to listen to it tonight, as I have things to do now.

May 24, 2010 - 5:08pm
posted by Dave Olsen in politics, ny, Blogs, Governor race.

 Warren Redlich released this on Sat. May 22,2010. 


Cuomo Plan Falls Short

22 May 2010, 12:28 pm

Release to media today in light of Andrew Cuomo’s announcement:

Andrew Cuomo’s “plan” for New York lacks substance. Cutting spending requires more than vague ideas. It means firing people, cutting pay and reducing benefits. Any candidate should have the decency to say who will get hurt.

Warren Redlich is the only candidate who names specific agencies to eliminate and the only one who proposes to cap pay and pensions for government jobs.

With Warren Redlich, workers know whether or not they’re safe. With Cuomo, Lazio, Levy and Paladino, everyone has to worry.

The Redlich plan eliminates spending on corporate welfare and unnecessary agencies so we can reopen parks, stop teacher layoffs and prevent new taxes.

For more on Warren’s plan for New York, see wredlich.com/ny/issues/

Warren Redlich is the Libertarian nominee for Governor. He is also seeking the Republican nomination.


May 13, 2010 - 2:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, politics, steve hawley, Chris Barons.

Chris Barons, known to readers of The Batavian, as C.M. Barons, and a frequent critic of Assemblyman Steve Hawley, is exploring a possible run against Hawley this fall.

Barons, a Bergen resident and registered Green, met with the Genesee County Democrat Committee this week in Corfu -- a presentation that went well, according to Chairwoman Lorie Longhany.

For his part, Barons said his possible candidacy springs from the fact that people have been asking him to run, but he's not sure how viable a run would be with out Democratic support.

"Let’s just say anybody who was going to make a serious run for that office is going to have to be in one of two conduits and apparently there’s only one available," Barons said.

Barons has yet to meet with Democrats from Orleans County. He said he has also not yet been in contact with Greens.

Longhany said Barons made an impressive showing when he spoke with the Democratic Committee, giving thoughtful answers on a broad range of issues, but whether he will get the backing of the committee is unclear at this time.

He may have to switch parties to gain the backing of Democrats, but Barons said that at least in his first meeting with local Democrats, the subject didn't come up.

Longhany described Barons as a liberal libertarian with a sense of localism.

Barons, who has frequently referred to the incumbent assemblyman as "Hypocrite Hawley" for not doing more to address the serious issues in New York, said it would be a big step for him to enter a political race.

"I work and function as an average citizen and to do anything else obviously is a radical change," Barons said this morning. "But if there is an interest demonstrated in my candidacy I have made the decision to embrace that."

April 16, 2010 - 5:30pm
posted by Bea McManis in politics, Blogs, dccc.

DCCC Chairman Van Hollen’s Statement on the Fraud Charges Filed by the SEC
Posted by Brandon English
Apr 16, 2010

DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen released the following statement on the fraud charges filed today by the Security and Exchange Commission:

"Today’s news that the Security and Exchange Commission is filing fraud charges against a big investment firm is another important reason why we must rein in Wall Street abuses and protect taxpayers. The reckless and irresponsible behavior that caused the financial meltdown and the ensuing loss of millions of jobs was facilitated by years of Bush Administration and Republican policies that favored big banks over consumers and taxpayers.

"Now, instead of working to pass tough new rules that would prevent these sorts of abuses, Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are wooing Wall Street executives’ support with promises that Republicans will oppose any significant Wall Street reform measures.

"During the debate on Wall Street reform, Americans will clearly see whether Washington Republicans will continue to put big banks before what is good for consumers and taxpayers.  Republicans in Congress should do the right thing and work with Democrats to end abuses on Wall Street and reign in big banks."


April 16, 2010 - 8:52am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, steve hawley.


Batavia's Steve Hawley may not yet have a Democrat opponent -- if he ever has one -- in this year's 139th Assembly District election, but it's clear who he's running against.

Hawley, first elected to the Assembly in 2006, did something Thursday -- Tax Day -- he's never done before: Held a rally announcing his candidacy for re-election.

In announcing, Hawley made it clear, downstate interests, Albany Democrats and their leader Sheldon Silver, and legislative members who put party ahead of constituents' interests are his primary opponents.

"I’m going to be traveling as our conference program committee chairman to talk with the media across the state of New York about what it is that we stand for," Hawley said.  "I’m hoping as we tell them what we stand for, that they will read that, listen to that, hear that, and then check to see who their representative is, and whether they’re voting with Sheldon Silver or whether they’re voting for their constituents."

Hawley told the four dozen or so people gathered in the court yard of the Old County Courthouse that the Assembly Republicans have a plan to cut $4 billion to $6 billion in state spending. The plan relies heavily on eliminating fraud in social services payments.

Hawley said it's time that New York become known as a place that creates economic opportunity rather than as a magnet for welfare cases.

"We need people coming to New York for jobs," Hawley said. "We need people coming to New York for their families. We don’t need people coming to New York because of the programs that we offer for those who are not working or don’t want to work. We need to reward competence and hard work, not people who are full of lethargy."

Hawley is a Republican from a Republican district in a blue state. Even so, he said after his speech, that he remains optimistic that he and like-minded individuals can turn New York around.

In a post-speech interview, Hawley spoke more about the need for change in Albany and how he and fellow Republicans are going to try to get a message of change out to the whole state, not just Republican districts.

"We're going to travel across the state, whether it's Democrats or conservatives, incumbent or not, we're going to try and take our message to people across the state," Hawley said. "We're in a fiscal morass here. We're in a horrific position we've never been in before. A $9.2 billion deficit and the inability to say no and cut back.

"Cut backs and no are negative and they are very, very difficult and when people depend upon an elected position as their occupation they'll pretty much have a harder time saying no to somebody than those who do not. In the beginning, elected representation was supposed to be, step away from your full-time job, look at it as an avocation, go to your state capitol, do what your neighbors want you to do and then come back to your job. We've gotten away from that and we have to return to that."

Hawley said the goal isn't necessarily to get Republicans elected, but to change Albany.

"I think it's going to take Democrats, Republicans, independents, tea party members to take the state back," Hawley said. "Make it as central for the people who are going to Albany from their neighborhoods to be able to look at the entire state, as well in Manhattan and the three or four blocks they represent, or in the Adirondacks where it could take five hours to get from one end of the district to the other. Take a look at the 120,000 people you represent and then look at the state as a whole and figure we need to make changes for the state.

"It's not just a district job. It's a state job. If there are members of other parties who have different ideas, say in Manhattan, in Queens, in the Bronx, then they need to challenge an incumbent in a primary. It doesn't matter whether it's a Democrat or a Republican. If it's a Republican, fine. If it's a Democrat, fine. We need new blood. We need people who are not beholden. We need people who can open up the blinders on the sides of their eyes."

In his answer, Hawley mentioned the tea party movement and during his speech, a supporter behind him held up the "Don't Tread On Me" flag, which has become one of the symbols of the tea party movement. We asked Hawley were he stood in relation to the tea party movement.

"I think any group of people who want to participate in the democratic process and their government ought to be encouraged, as long as they're doing it in a way that is respectful of others, in a way that takes others' feelings into mind, and in a way that is non-adversarial in terms of violence," Hawley said. "There has been some indication of brick throwing and everything else -- most of the people I've talked to, and I was with a large group in Albany the other day, tea party people, a big rally, are not those kinds of people.

"They want to take their government back. They want to have a strict interpretation of the Constitution and they want to take government encroachment on everyday lives out of it. These are good people. These are people who want to participate. And this is America and they ought to be able to."

During his speech, Hawley made reference to medical marijuana and he's previously opposed bills attempting to make marijuana use for medicinal purposes legal, so we asked him if he would change his position if a scientific poll showed a majority in his district supported it.

"I represent the constituents viewpoints regardless of my personal belief and I know that overwhelmingly the people of the 139th Assembly District do not support medicinal use of marijuana," Hawley said. "I will represent their interest and vote no."

When asked how he knew that was the position of the people of the district, Hawley said he travels around the district extensively and talks with people about a range of issues.

"I can tell you as a guy who hangs out a little bit, I know how people think around here," Hawley said. "It's never 100 percent, of course. You just hope you're getting 51 percent at least."

Asked if he anticipated a Democratic opponent this election, Hawley said, "I would hope as always that there would be opposition. That's what America is all about and people deserve a choice."

AUDIO: Listen to Hawley's full speech (mp3).


April 13, 2010 - 7:57am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, new york, Carl Paladino.

Carl Paladino wants to be your next governor.

Frankly, I never heard of the guy until he announced his candidacy. 

Let's just say, his first impressions have not been favorable. He made a rather tasteless comment that Obama's health care reform would kill more Americans than the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We also learned that he apparently fathered a child out of wedlock 10 years ago.

Now come revelations by Buffalo blogger Alan Bedenko (his wife works in Batavia), who has exposed racist and pornographic (to put it mildly) e-mails Paladino forwarded to his political and civic associates. Click here, if you must, but keep in mind that even Bedenko's sanitized versions are not appropriate for children.

The images include screen shots (some parts blacked out) of pornographic movies, including one involving an animal, as well as blatantly racist shots at President Obama, such as a video of African tribesmen dancing under the caption "Obama inauguration rehearsal."

Here's what Paladino said about the e-mails, according to the New York Daily News:

"I confess to being human and imperfect, as are all of God's children," he told a Buffalo crowd Monday. "I am proud that I've created hundreds of jobs and opportunity for people of every ethnicity, color and sexual preference."

Paladino said he "didn't originate any of these e-mails" and was "somewhat careless" in forwarding them.

He said he tried to send the e-mails to "a very specific bunch of friends who somewhat enjoy that humor."

Paladino apologized to women for passing along porn -- but not men.

"I say this to the men out there who have never opened a graphic image on the Internet: Don't vote for me. For those who have, I welcome your vote," he said.

Paladino's campaign manager dismisses the revelation of the e-mails as "we think this is a smear campaign authorized by Democrats in Albany," according to the New York Times.

Paladino is running for the GOP nomination. The NY Daily News says he has ties to the Tea Party Movement.

UPDATE: Buffalo News has a pretty complete story on the topic of the e-mails. Apparently, Paladino thought he was being funny:

Paladino said Satalin referred to Bob Lanier, a Paladino friend and All-America center who led the Bonnies to the NCAA Final Four in 1970.

"He takes me to task, and I respond, "Jim, you've lost your humor,'" Paladino said, adding he was trying to explain he sent the items only for the sake of their humor.

UPDATE II: Now the Buffalo News reports that even tea party leaders want nothing to do with Paladino.

And in Albany this morning, the same Tea Party Express group that staged a rally at Erie Canal Harbor on Monday distanced itself from Paladino — who just a day ago was emerging as a key ally of tea party groups.

"You've seen the emails ... so what makes you think we would support him? That's absolutely incompatible with anything we stand for," said Mark Williams, the group's chairman.

"Pornographic, racist e-mails. How do you think that we would ever support something like that?"

April 13, 2010 - 5:52am
posted by Bea McManis in politics, Carl Palidino.

I can't help but wonder how many of his followers are going to excuse this behavior as 'normal' and 'okay'.


March 3, 2010 - 8:21am
posted by jason reese in community, politics.

I wrote about Batavia, NY woes at the ends of 2009. Three months into 2010 the status quo seems to be unfazed.  I being a loyal, democrat and resident of Batavia, now heading into my tenth year can't believe how disappointing this city has turned out.

The City Manager and the City Council plus the Genesee County Legislature seem to be content with their jobs. These people and their familys are finacially stable.  They don't care about anyone or thing except themselves.  They will say they care, they may pose like they care, but look at the results. The City and the County believe handing out welfare checks, Social Security checks and unemployment checks is the staus quo, here in Batavia, NY, rather than creating jobs. Look at how many people who recieve these checks,  have no self asteem or pride, knowing they can do absolutely nothing, and recieve this type of income.  While on the other side, using my own status.  Have been working parttime for ten years, ask for help from the City, County and State and Feds  "We can't help you." Disgraceful, but not surprised.  Batavia, like all other current American flag  Communities, are divided by the haves and have nots. But yet, support the troops, pay your taxes, do the right thing.  Why? Especially if your a have not. Our current State Federal Politicians are flat out clowns. They help out third world nations with my tax money, but yet, I ask for their help and support they say no.  I call them traitors. You may have even Fought for America, you may have been elected into office, you may call yourself a patriot,  you are, in your own megar minds.  That includes all of you current, Fedreal, State, County and Local Politicians, your a bunch of disgraceful yellow back traitors.  You have sold out the United States, to fill your pockets from  Special Interest, and  Foreign goverenments.  Thats not even mentioning,  the corrupt acts you hear and see every day.  The Pharmecutical companies, have doped out the United States so bad, people just sit and let the status quo run Willy Nilly.  Guess what special interest group gets mega dollars from the US Goverenment? Pharmacuticals.  Thinks these Ceo's and others are poor like me, not even close. In a way i'm glad i have nothing to do with giving away the United States, like the Feds are doing today. We'll help Hati, Well help Chile, says the United States goverenment. When are you going to start helping United States Citizens whom need and deserve help, from the goverenment were paying takes to?  This is a reflection of Batavia, New York. The politicians in Batavia, NY are just followers, of their traitors Counterparts.

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