Monday, November 30, 2009
Likewise, didn't you know all along that Republican opposition to current health care reform is about maintaining the unconscionable monopoly that insurance companies have in the American economy. Why? For the same reason Bush went to war in Iraq, spent money we didn't have, pushed the country into financial ruin and did more to threaten our long term national security than any modern president. The GOP needs contributions. I would never contend that the GOP is alone in this practice. When an administration awards contracts to some supporter, they anticipate more support. But no group, in the history of this country, has ever done this to such an extent. Remember, I am always careful to separate the leadership of any party from its rank and file. So when I level such a charge against "Republicans", I am referring to their leadership on Capitol Hill. But, I think it's safe to say now that the war in Iraq was started to provide U.S. oil companies with the opportunity to develop new oil fields there in return for the massive campaign contributions those oil companies will make to the Republicans in 2010 and, especially, 2012 in their effort to unseat President Obama.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Congressman Dan Lipinski's Town Hall Meeting on November 14th, and the attempt by the Chicago Tea Party Patriots to disrupt the proceedings, including heckling Midge Hough. They don't seem to realize they are merely tools of the Insurance industry, helping the CEOs of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, WellPoint and Humana maintain their Lear Jet lifestyles.
What concerns me is that many call themselves" Christians" but they do not follow the teachings.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus."
Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself."
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has an advisory for people about the ever-popular gift cards. Some have expiration dates, and fees for using them after a period of time and fees to check the remaining balance.
Ever wonder how many turkeys are produced each year in the U.S. to satisfy the annual turkey craze of Americans? Follow this link.
Remember the concerns over the 2009 General Elections? Seems it was mostly just negative "Right Wing Propaganda." Two reports recently shed light on the actual events. Channel 9 News and the Pall-Times Oswego.
Some of the best websites for black Friday Sales. Happy Black Friday
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
For those with memories as spotty as Perino's, President Bush took office on January 20, 2001. On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in the U.S. in terrorist attacks coordinated by al-Qaeda. Five people were killed later that year in the anthrax attacks.
JD disagrees with the Obama administration not signing the international treaty banning land mines. By the way we agree.
OswegoRadio.com reports Oswego County is tied for 4th HIGHEST unemployment rate in New York State out of 62 county's. Looks like the Oswego County Republican Economic Development Plan is working in reverse.
Despite demands from New York Gov. David Paterson, state legislators left Albany on Tuesday and will not return until after the Thanksgiving holiday. State legislators will not return until Nov. 30 to continue negotiating.
was running for a third term - because he kept it under wraps until after the ballots were counted:
• The city budget deficit isn't as bad as he said.
• The NYPD was quietly exempted from the budget cuts at almost every other agency.
• A $60 million tax loss that gave Bloomberg a soap box to rail against the state Senate has magically vanished.
But that's all just numbers. What really drives the point home is the photo of Bloomberg and Sarah Palin hanging around in City Hall.
Bloomberg hosts visiting pols all the time for short meet-and-greets, and nobody knew at the time that, a year later, Palin would become a controversial Republican icon.
The photos might have been inconvenient for Bloomberg while he was running against Democrat Bill Thompson in a heavily Democratic city, but they belong to the taxpayers.
In another potential match-up Senator Gillibrand holds a slight lead over former Governor George Pataki, 43% to 38%. When asked whether first-term Senator Gillibrand deserves another term as Senator from New York, 32% of likely voters say she should, and 43% say that it is time for someone new. Twenty-six percent were not sure. Among likely Republican voters Rudy Giuliani holds a large lead over George Pataki (72% to 28%).
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Also it looks like Hoffman will not challenge the race. It appears he stopped by reality long enough to see the results.
Congressman Owens has picked one of his first staff. It is Stephen M. Hunt II, Gov. Paterson's north country regional director.
|Clinton||10536 (483)||7530 (222)||686 (73)|
|Essex||3718 (245)||3175 (180)||432 (128)|
|Fulton||1969 (84)||2489 (179)||676 (62)|
|Hamilton||888 (60)||1184 (85)||293 (87)|
|Jefferson||10460 (442)||10884 (430)||1179 (341)|
|Lewis||2836 (98)||3399 (131)||360 (100)|
|Madison||8087 (203)||8985 (170)||602 (122)|
|Oneida||2166 (77)||3130 (95)||391 (68)|
|Oswego||11000 (534)||12748 (544)||950 (204)|
|St. Lawrn||13073 (433)||8906 (284)||1,195 (347)|
|% of vote||48.3||46.0||5.7|
Monday, November 23, 2009
The debate over health care reform often takes place in a haze of numbers, cost curves and acronyms. Lamar Alexander lifted the fog for a moment on the Senate floor Saturday evening as the third-ranking Republican lambasted the health care bill for opening up Medicaid to millions more Americans.
The plan, said the Senator from Tennessee, is "arrogant in its dumping of 15 million low-income Americans into a medical ghetto called Medicaid that none of us or any of our families would ever want to be a part of for our health care."
Of course, anybody would take the type of insurance available to a senator and his family over Medicaid. But Medicaid is still better than what's available to millions of Americans: nothing -- except the occasional charity treatment.
To Listen to Interview click here.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Legislators are expected to file disclosures of interest shortly after their terms begin, county Clerk of the Board Susan Crabtree said. If any other potential conflicts arise during their terms, they should then file another disclosure, she said.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
An article in the Gouverneur Times as to the, as of yet uncertified results in the 23rd Congressional District contains numerous false assertions and allegations.
There was no virus in the voting machines on Election Day in the 23rd District or anywhere else. The article is full of inaccurate information and unfortunately quoted a single word from a commissioner who mischaracterized the issue in question.
The State Board has already acknowledged there was a software problem identified during our mandatory pre-election testing regimen prior to Election Day. The problem centered on races which were composed of multi-candidate formats which allow voters to vote for more than one candidate in a given race. For example, in judicial races the voter is often allowed to vote for 3 out of 5 candidates or 2 out of 4, etc., or in a town where there are "at large" districts. The source code did not allow for enough memory in these contests and caused the scanners to freeze during operation. The Counties experiencing the problem were notified prior to Election Day and the voting systems were corrected and re-tested and the corrective action was applied successfully in those areas.
However, the human review of the software problem did not adequately identify every machine that had the problem and, as a result, there were some scanners which did freeze on Election Day. When these scanners froze, the local boards implemented procedures according to state law and Board of Elections regulations. These procedures do not allow for new changes on Election Day, so inoperative scanners were taken out of operation and emergency ballots were cast and counted in those areas according to existing procedures.
This problem was discussed in numerous press reports around the state and was openly discussed at the November 10th State Board of Elections meeting by the Commissioners and the Director of Election Operations.
With regard to the use of USB ports, there is a single USB port on the ImageCast scanner. Pursuant to state Election Law 7-202(t) the port does not permit any "functionality potentially capable of externally transmitting or receiving data via the internet, via radio waves or via other wireless means." The port is sealed, is not accessible and has no capability for any exchange of information. The scanners do not operate like personal computers. Any device, such as a flash drive, placed in the port will not be recognized.
In addition, from the time the pre-election testing is completed until Election Day morning the machines are in the care, custody and control of the local board of elections. The machines as a group are under lock and key. Individually, the critical areas of the machine are covered in tamper-evident seals which are numbered and logged. Any broken seal will be investigated and the machine re-tested prior to any further use. Any broken seal discovered on Election Day will cause the scanner to be taken out of service immediately. The inspectors then follow long-established procedures to go to emergency ballots, until an alternate scanner can be deployed.
Lastly, any reference to a slot that is accessible to voters and poll workers for stuffing the ballot box is inaccurate information. A gap between the scanning device and the ballot box was discovered during functional testing of the ballot marking devices more than a year ago. Every machine in use on Election Day was retrofitted to completely block access to that gap. Prior to completion of the retrofit last year the gap was blocked by a tamper-evident numbered security seal. As stated earlier, any broken seal would cause the removal of a scanner from use immediately.
In addition, from the time they are created up to and including final storage, all election materials paper and machines are secured and tracked in a chain of custody by the local board of elections. All ballots voted, unvoted and spoiled must be accounted for throughout the election process.
Despite the numerous misstatements of fact in the above mentioned article, the results in the 23rd Congressional District, and all other contests in counties which utilized optical scan voting machines, will have been canvassed and audited pursuant to state Election Law, and will be certified in due course. In the end, the new optical scan voting systems guarantee we have ballots as marked by voters ensuring that every vote is counted.
|Clinton||10536 (483)||7530 (222)||686 (73)|
|Essex||3718 (0)||3175 (0)||432 (0)|
|Fulton||1969 (84)||2489 (179)||676 (62)|
|Hamilton||888 (60)||1184 (85)||293 (87)|
|Jefferson||10460 (386)||10884 (380)||1179 (293)|
|Lewis||2836 (98)||3399 (131)||360 (100)|
|Madison||8087 (203)||8985 (170)||602 (122)|
|Oneida||2024 (219)||2779 (446)||362 (97)|
|Oswego||11000 (534)||12748 (544)||950 (204)|
|St. Lawrn||12987 (433)||8748 (284)||1,194 (347)|
|% of vote||48.3||46.1||5.6|
Note: Jefferson and Clinton counties' numbers are incomplete. Jefferson has reported 80 percent of absentees. Clinton has reported 79.3 percent of absentees.
I was stunned yesterday morning when I read in the online version of the Syracuse Post Standard that you had leveled charges of vote tampering in the recent election, and in particular singled out Oswego County. I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I went to your website and read your letter to your supporters. Sure enough, there it was, and I quote:
Also: “ACORN, the unions and (the) Democratic Party were scared, and that's why they tampered with the ballots of voters in NY-23.”
Mr. Hoffman, I have been an Election Inspector for almost 10 years. Most of that time I have served as a “sub”. If you know anything at all about this position you know that both parties send people like me (subs) where ever they need us. I have worked all over Oswego County. I am acquainted with, and in some instances personally know many of these people, both Democrat and Republican. They are honest decent people, Mr. Hoffman; and not the sort of people who would condone or engage in the illegal activity that you have intimated.
Vote tampering, sir, would require the cooperation of Election Inspectors, one or both of our Election Commissioners, as well as Oswego County Board of Elections staff. Over the past 10 years I have also become personally acquainted with these people, Mr. Hoffman; and not in their worst nightmare would they consider actions such as those contained in the charges you have leveled against them.
This is a Republican county, sir. Though I am a lifelong Democrat most of my friends, relatives and the people I am closest to are Republicans. Even they, the people who voted for you do not believe your charges of illegal activity by our election workers and board staff. The Oswego County Republican Chairman is on record in print stating that there was no vote tampering (as well as the Jefferson County Republican Election Inspector).
I respectfully request an apology to me and to all of our Oswego County Election Inspectors, the Oswego County Election Commissioners, and Oswego County Board of Election staff, both Democrat and Republican for making these outrageous charges against us.
Friday, November 20, 2009
(Note there are minor changes as bi-partisan teams of clerks re-check all entered results in the normal re-canvass process.)
Let’s be clear. While no votes were lost due the ability to independently count the paper ballots, a problem did occur that affected certain machines around the state. The issue was a bug in the Dominion source code that caused the machine to hang while creating ballot images for certain vote combinations in multiple candidate elections (the ImageCast, like the other scanner used in New York, the ES&S DS200, creates digital images of each ballot which can be reviewed after the election). So if, for example, a “vote for three candidates out of five” race was voted in a certain way, the scanner would hang. This is one reason why the defect affected some, but not all machines with ballots containing this type of race, because only certain combinations of votes caused the memory problem. But here’s the thing – the problem was discovered before the election.
Bo Lipari developed software for large and small companies throughout a 20 year software engineering career. In 2003, concerned about the rush to use touch screen voting machines, he began traveling, speaking and organizing all over New York State. These efforts alerted New Yorkers to the risks and problems presented by unverifiable electronic voting.
In 2004, Bo founded New Yorkers for Verified Voting (NYVV), a grassroots citizens group working for secure, reliable, accessible, and verifiable standards for voting systems and elections. NYVV led the long and ultimately successful struggle in New York State for verifiable, auditable voting systems which culminated in the selection of hand marked paper ballots, scanners and accessible Ballot Marking Devices. Bo served as NYVV’s Executive Director from its founding in 2004 until 2009.
In May 2006, Bo was appointed as the League of Women Voters of New York State’sCitizen’s Election Modernization Advisory Committee (CEMAC). CEMAC was created by the New York State Legislature to advise and assist the NYS Board of Elections in the examination of voting systems. representative to the NYS
Owens .........................353........... 48........... 42
Scozzafava.................. 178............ 7................ 1
Hoffman...................... 368............ 37............42
New Unofficial totals
(These reflect total paper ballots counted so far.)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
MONTICELLO — Frustrated Sullivan County Democrats say they want voters to decide if the county should create an elected position of county executive.
Party Chairman Steve Wilkinson announced Wednesday a committee will study the feasibility of putting a referendum on next November's ballot.
"Sullivan County voters should decide once and for all if we want to create the position of county executive; this issue should no longer be ignored," Wilkinson said. "There must be an honest and open debate to determine if a county executive position would create more accountability and better leadership for Sullivan County.""The issue is that we are facing layoffs, we are facing a tax increase and we are facing a user fee, which is a hidden tax," said former Legislator Sean Rieber, who has been tapped to lead the committee. "Is somebody pissed off?" Rieber said. "Yeah. Probably 50,000 county residents."
WASHINGTON — Rep. William L. Owens will serve on the House armed services and homeland security committees, the House Democratic leadership announced today.
Mr. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, assumes the Armed Services seat vacated by Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher, D-Calif., and beat out her replacement, also a Democrat, for the slot.
“Fort Drum is the largest employer in our district, and is critical to both our national security and our local economy” Mr. Owens said in a press release. “I will do everything in my power to maintain and strengthen Fort Drum as a Member of Congress, and as a member of the Armed Services Committee I will fight tirelessly for the base, the surrounding community and for our entire district, all who benefit from Fort Drum's presence.”
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Machine- Absentee- Affidavit- Emergency- Total
Owens-- 11,000- 216- 35- 25- 11,276
Hoffman-- 12,748- 271- 24- 20- 13,063
Dede-- 950- 117- 5- 1- 1,073
These are backed up with the WDT numbers. They have counted 69 of 124 Election Districts. There are 55 Election Districts yet to count.
We are told there are 1,145 valid absentee ballots to count. Some news sources have inaccurately overstated the number of valid absentee ballots. They have counted 604 of them leaving 541 to count.
Mr. Hoffman told the conservative commentator that he's within "a little over 2,000 votes" from Democrat Bill Owens. In fact, he was 3,176 votes behind Mr. Owens before absentees were counted and allegedly 2,951 after absentees in three counties he won were counted. (I only say "allegedly" because I haven't had an opportunity to get these numbers myself.)
The candidate then said twice that there were 10,000 absentee votes to be counted - although there were never more than 7,419 absentee ballots returned and, according to the Gouverneur Times, there are 6,123 left.
Read Full Post at Watertown Daily News
|Clinton||10536 (0)||7530 (0)||686 (0)|
|Essex||3718 (0)||3175 (0)||432 (0)|
|Franklin||5,125 (0)||4,589 (0)||247(0)|
|Fulton||1969 (0)||2489 (0)||676 (0)|
|Hamilton||888 (60)||1184 (85)||293 (87)|
|Jefferson||10460 (115)||10884 (113)||1179 (132)|
|Lewis||2169 (0)||2676 (0)||282 (0)|
|Madison||8087 (203)||8985 (170)||602 (122)|
|Oneida||2024 (219)||2779 (446)||362 (97)|
|Oswego||11000 (0)||12748 (0)||950 (0)|
|St. Lawrn||12987 (0)||8748 (0)||1,194 (0)|
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Ignoring substantial parts of her record if not the facts, she depicts herself as a frugal traveler on the taxpayer's dime, a reformer without ties to powerful interests and a politician roguishly indifferent to high ambition.
Palin goes adrift, at times, on more contemporary issues, too. She criticizes President Barack Obama for pushing through a bailout package that actually was achieved by his Republican predecessor George W. Bush – a package she seemed to support at the time.
A look at some of her statements in "Going Rogue," obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its release Tuesday:
PALIN: Says she made frugality a point when traveling on state business as Alaska governor, asking "only" for reasonably priced rooms and not "often" going for the "high-end, robe-and-slippers" hotels.
THE FACTS: Although travel records indicate she usually opted for less-pricey hotels while governor, Palin and daughter Bristol stayed five days and four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House luxury hotel (robes and slippers come standard) overlooking New York City's Central Park for a five-hour women's leadership conference in October 2007. With air fare, the cost to Alaska was well over $3,000. Event organizers said Palin asked if she could bring her daughter. The governor billed her state more than $20,000 for her children's travel, including to events where they had not been invited, and in some cases later amended expense reports to specify that they had been on official business.
Monday, November 16, 2009
In 2002 when the Republican County Legislature need added revenue because of their "tax and spend" budgets and the county reserves were gone. The Republican lead legislature added an additional $10.00 to $20.00 on motor vehicle fees for Oswego County taxpayers. Who lead this effort? George Williams, Oswego County Clerk and Oswego County Republican Chairman.
Now Chairman Williams is fighting against a license plate fee for the stated following reason.
George Williams, Oswego County clerk and a Republican, said when he started his online petition he viewed it as a Republican challenge to a Democratic administration.
Ok...so Chairman/Clerk Williams is using this taxpayer funded office to finance a political campaign against a Democratic Administration. That does not seem quite right, does it?
If reducing fees that drivers pay was his only concern why would he not suggest eliminating the OSWEGO COUNTY MOTOR VEHICLE USE TAX of 2002? This is a unnecessary fee that is a burden to local drivers. In fact the Democratic Caucus of the Oswego County Legislature has suggested this. Republican Majority Leader Shawn Doyle fought to deny this effort from the Democrats.
But this is what Oswego County Chairman of the Legislature Barry Leemann says about additional vehicle fees,
“It is a tax on upstate people, which doesn’t affect downstate people who can use public transportation and might not even have cars,” Leemann said. “It affects everybody up here because you need a vehicle to get around. People out in my rural area, they have at least two vehicles. The husband works, the wife works, the kids most likely have to go someplace, so you might even have more than two cars. And now they have to buy extra plates. I would say if you need them, go for it, but buying something you don’t need is no more than an extra tax and a tax on the people of the upstate area.”It seems strange to us that the Republican leadership of Oswego County would be fighting so hard to eliminate additional fees on Oswego drivers from Albany when they have the power to reduce taxes on us right now. They added this additional tax burden on Oswego drivers and they have remove it.
Also, George Williams said himself, “Oswego County families have had it with Albany’s new taxes on fees, on everything including auto registrations ..."
The above statements looks like they are talking out of both sides of their mouths?
We are starting a online petition to remove this unfair additional tax to Oswego County drivers.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Oswego County's numbers on election night were;
There are 1,145 valid absentees returned according to Watertown Daily News. Over half of Oswego County's absentee's we understand were permanent, which should lean towards Dede, the Republican candidate. But lets just look at this logically.
If the absentees break the same as the voters at the polls this means each could possibly receive the following.
So logically Hoffman could not gain enough from Oswego County to win, in this universe.
Ok...again...why are we discussing this??
Friday, November 13, 2009
A state Board of Elections official gave high marks Tuesday to the digital voting systems that replaced traditional lever machines in 20 counties this Election Day.
Anna E. Svizzero, elections operation director, said the state's pilot program - which also included 28 counties that used a blend of new voting systems and old lever machines - "was very successful.""We did encounter some issues with voting machine failures," she told the state's Board of Commissioners in Albany. "(But) we certainly have more lever machine problems than BMD (ballot marking device) or scanner issues."
RESULTS UNLIKELY TO CHANGE IN 23rd: Recounts, absentee ballot count continue in historic 23rd District election
It's mathematically possible that Douglas L. Hoffman could pass Rep. William L. Owens when all absentee ballots in the 23rd Congressional District race are counted, although the Conservative Party candidate's deficit is likely too large to overcome.
Mr. Owens has garnered 68,963 votes, according to the most recent unofficial results in the 11-county district, and leads Mr. Hoffman by 3,176 votes. There are at least 7,178 absentee ballots districtwide that have been received by elections officials and will be opened Tuesday. That count likely will take at least three days.
A Goldman Sachs analysis of health care legislation has concluded that, as far as the bottom line for insurance companies is concerned, the best thing to do is nothing. A close second would be passing a watered-down version of the Senate Finance Committee's bill.
A study put together by Goldman in mid-October looks at the estimated stock performance of the private insurance industry under four variations of reform legislation. The study focused on the five biggest insurers whose shares are traded on Wall Street: Aetna, UnitedHealth, WellPoint, CIGNA and Humana.
The Senate Finance Committee bill, which Goldman's analysts conclude is the version most likely to survive the legislative process, is described as the "base" scenario. Under that legislation (which did not include a public plan) the earnings per share for the top five insurers would grow an estimated five percent from 2010 through 2019. And yet, the "variance with current valuation" -- essentially, what the value of the stock is on the market -- is projected to drop four percent.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The community center is at 812 county Route 8, in Granby.
“It’s important that we give farmers, agribusiness and stakeholders throughout the agriculture industry a seat at the table in New York state government,” Aubertine said. “Agriculture is New York’s number one industry and must be included in our discussions about rebuilding New York’s economy. Whether milking cows, muck farming or harvesting corn, the fact is that farms of all kinds generate wealth and support hundreds of thousands of jobs across New York State.”
The meeting is just one of many Aubertine has held or participated in throughout the state. He also has been in Liverpool, Morrisville, Ithaca, Copenhagen and Lowville in Central New York.
Aubertine, chair of the state Senate agriculture committee, is seeking input on agriculture issues ranging from the dairy crisis and energy issues to the Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I am a Warrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
A little-known state assemblywoman with moderate Republican views and a mouthful of a surname, Scozzafava's bid for an open seat in New York's 23rd Congressional District drew trash talk from conservative leaders hoping to purge her from the party, mash notes from White House-dispatched Democratic suitors that included Bill Clinton, and the unblinking gaze of political professionals fascinated by her role as the problem child for a dysfunctional Republican Party.
The conservative movement's third-party candidate, Doug Hoffman, expected her support but, she said, the newcomer accountant "had no integrity." Plus, the Democrats were so nice! They called. They sympathized. They made her feel good about tossing her support to Bill Owens, who -- with her help -- became the area's first Democratic representative in more than a century.
Monday, November 9, 2009
The Gouverneur Times: "Owens Breaks 4 Campaign Promises in first hour in Congress." A November 7 article advanced by the Drudge Report in the publication The Gouverneur Times claimed that Owens broke four campaign promises by voting for the Affordable Health Care for America Act. The article stated that "Mr. Owens assured voters that he felt the public option had no place in the health care reform bill. ... Mr. Owens also indicated during his campaign that he was firmly opposed to cutting Medicare benefits, taxing health care benefits, and increased taxes on the middle class in any way."
Washington Times: "NY23's Rep. Bill Owens continues to blow off press questions on health care vote." A November 7 post on The Washington Times' Water Cooler blog linked to The Gouverneur Times report and repeated many of the same claims about Owens' alleged broken campaign promises. The Washington Times reported: "Mr. Owens is being accused by a local newspaper in his district for breaking several campaign promises. H.R. 3962 does have a public option written into the bill. It seems Mr. Owens has been playing flip-flop a few times with his support of the public option in the bill. ... Mr. Owens also said he was opposed to cutting medicare benefits, increased taxes on the middle class, and taxing health care benefits."
But Drudge-hyped article misrepresented both Owens' positions and the House health care bill
Owens had recently endorsed the public option. As Media Matters for America has noted, Owens endorsed the public option in the House's bill during an October 30 debate. The Gouverneur Times initially reported that Owens "assured voters that he felt the public option had no place in the health care reform bill," but later updated its article to include Owens' October 30 endorsement. Despite this, both The Gouverneur Times and the Drudge Report continued to run the false headline that Owens broke four campaign promises in voting for the House health bill, one of which being the claim that he didn't support a public option.
Gouverneur Times misleadingly claims House bill would increase taxes on middle class. While the article did not specify how the legislation would increase taxes on the middle class, as Bloomberg reported, the House bill "would add a surtax on the wealthiest Americans, starting with couples who earn more than $1 million a year." The bill would impose a tax on those who did not buy qualifying health insurance. In order to help individuals and families afford health insurance, the legislation creates caps on premiums and subsidies. According to the Congressional Budget Office, families of four making $90,100 or less will benefit from premium caps, and families making $78,000 or less would receive benefits from both the premium caps in the legislation and from subsidies on cost-sharing, which encompass certain out-of-pocket expenses. Both benefits are offered on a sliding scale, with more significant subsidies for families making less.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
"I believe America is turning the page to a new dawn." ~ Doug Hoffman, Concession Speech
Doug Hoffman lost his election last night. He was supported by a plurality of talk radio entertainers, and a majority of former half-term governors of Alaska, but it wasn't enough. An obscure quirk of constitutional law says you also need votes from voters. This is the same cruel hurdle that tripped up three of his other biggest supporters, Gary Bauer, Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani, all of whom ran for President of the United States, but failed the "getting votes" test, because everyone hates their guts.
With their help, and a million dollars from the Club for Growth, Doug Hoffman lost a part of New York State that had voted Republican since the best way to get from Albany to Buffalo was by canal.
The 220-215 vote cleared the way for the Senate to begin debate on the issue that has come to overshadow all others in Congress.
A triumphant Speaker Nancy Pelosi likened the legislation to the passage of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare 30 years later.
Friday, November 6, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 6, 2009 — Below are the remarks of Congressman Bill Owens as prepared for delivery following today's swearing-in:
"I am honored to be here with you all today, and to join you in our continuing effort to build a better, stronger America. This is a proud day for me and my family but it is also a sad day for our country. The shooting at Fort Hood last night that claimed the lives of 13 fine Americans is a stunning reminder of how quickly the peace we enjoy here at home can turn to violence, and how heavily we rely on our brave men and women to keep us free from harm. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, and with our soldiers to whom we owe our safety and our freedom.
"I'd like to thank my family for being with me, and for standing behind me every step of the way. To my wife, Jane, my three children, Jenna, Tara and Brendan, and my three grandchildren Caroline, Tommy and Tess, I know that I could never have made it without you, and I am grateful for your support and for all the laughs we had along the way.
"I also want to thank the people of New York's Twenty Third Congressional District, whose work I begin today. Conscious of the challenges that face us, I am eager to join my colleagues in finding bipartisan solutions to health care, energy, our farm crisis and our struggling economy.
"My family and I came to Plattsburgh when I transferred to Plattsburgh Air Force Base. When I left the Air Force, we decided to stay and make our home in Upstate New York but I remained committed to serving my country and my community. That's what I have tried to do throughout my life in Upstate New York, and is the reason I ran for Congress.
"I am proud to begin a new chapter of service to my country and remain hopeful that if we continue seeking out bipartisan solutions to the problems that face us, we can build a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. I pledge to work hard each and every day that I am honored to serve to see this come to light.
Reminder: Absentee ballots will be added seven days after the election in accordance with Election Law, which will change these totals. These totals are the machine totals and will be updated as paper ballots are added in accordance with State Board Regulations.
County Election Night Web site.
Unofficial Oswego County Results
1.) News 3 claim. The site was taken down on election night when officials realized that a number of the vote tallies they were showing were incorrect.
The Truth. This statement was not correct. The BOE stopped posting results at 11:46pm as the call center that was receiving results had technical problems. There were 12 call takers, each with specific coded sheets for results from specific machines and poll sites. Each site received a phone number to call into, which had the sheet to take their results. The phone system was to allow ONLY that poll site to call into that specific phone number. At 9:15 sites began to call in, BUT the system started to randomly move calls from the predetermined call takers.
That left call takers to attempt to switch sheets, place calls on hold, and try to figure out who was receiving calls. During this confusion it was determined that the phone system could not be fixed and election supplies were being picked up at poll sites, so the decision was made to stop the call ins. At this point 115 or 124 of election districts HAD CALLED IN. At after MID-NIGHT it was determined it would be better to re-check all results for accuracy.
2.) News 3 claim. The new results posted Thursday changed the victor of a town council race in Parish and altered vote tallies for several others, including the 23rd Congressional District. Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman won Oswego County, but lost the district to democrat Bill Owens.
The Truth. First of all, the Parish Council Race was called in incorrectly and was the ONLY race in the Town of Parish that was. All other races were called in correctly and had nothing to do with the reading of the tape or the new system. If it had, all other town races would have been incorrect also. They were NOT. This is purely a case of human error, much like this News Channel 3 report.
The rest of the post is completely incorrect. NO RACES OUT COME WERE CHANGED from the election night reporting to the recheck. As the reporter was informed, and provided with the original web site information. The reporter was told today that the rest of the 9 election districts would be posted and would change county-wide totals, such as congress. Actually no races were changed but rather only the results were added to sites that could not call in on election night.
Clearly the news reporter and station wanted a story more than they wanted the actual facts. The reporter should study the tapes that were taken with the real facts, instead of using half-trues.
We have just won a seat in Congress in a district that has been held by Republicans for generations. We witnessed a solid life-long Republican drop out of the race and support our candidate, Bill Owens. This is truly stunning.
This campaign became the type that split families, and had life-long friends squabbling with each other. It got very hot very quickly. In the end the outsiders (Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, and all the other pundits and bloggers on both sides) who know nothing about us, but had so much to say about our district didn't matter. The people of our 23rd Congressional District are not ideologue of either conservative or liberal stripe. We are moderates.
Mr. Owens and his team (that's us) had only 5 weeks to campaign in a district that is spread out over 11 counties, had to constantly refute very ugly rhetoric from ideologue, Doug Hoffman, and the big name national figures Mr. Hoffman's team brought into our district. The Owens Team stayed on message, and that message was heard by voters because that message was about us.
In the end, common sense prevailed.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Jonathan Brown asked her for her thoughts on the election, the interparty feud among Republicans and when she first realized this race was under a national microscope.
(You got to listen to this...it is a must!)
"The long-term trends are running steadily and clearly against Republicans in the Northeast," Robert McClure, a political science professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School, said Wednesday, a day after the GOP lost the 23rd Congressional District.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Democrat Bill Owens narrowly beat Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the down-to-the-wire race for New York's 23rd Congressional District — portions of which have been represented by Republicans for more than a century. Hoffman conceded early Wednesday.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The ImageCast is a ballot marking device that allows a voter with disabilities to privately and independently vote on a paper ballot. Audio and tactile interfaces allow voters with sight challenges to complete their ballot. Voters can listen to the selections over headphones, or view an LCD screen with an image of their ballot that can be adjusted for size and contrast. A "Sip-N-Puff" or paddle device may also be used by voters with limited hand dexterity.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Some may think that Scozzafava's exit and subsequent endorsement of Owens will somehow swing the race to the Dems, but it isn't going to happen. Hoffman may be a Christianist carpetbagger, but there is no way in Hell the North Country (as it's called by those who live there) is ever going to swing for a Democrat. Northern NY is very beautiful, very cold, very rural, and slowly crumbling to dust beneath the crushing weight of high state taxes and few opportunities for gainful employment. Industry fled years ago, and the main source of employment is a massive Army base, Fort Drum. Everyone else just kind of scrapes up what they can find...retail work, food service, etc. The dairy farmers up there aren't making it. The only way it stays populated at all is that, in time-honored small town fashion, there are always those who are afraid to leave what they know, even if they suffer for it monetarily. And they do.
Rural Northern Ny-ers are, in general, hardcore rednecks and proud of it. They hunt and fish and have snowmobiles and ATVs that are nicer than their falling down homes. They are clannish, but friendly (yes, Yankees really are pretty friendly). They are...well, a lot like Sarah Palin pretends to be. I'm sure her jumping into the fray made a difference, because she appeals so well to the "us vs. them" mentality that has arisen so violently in response to the growing class divide in this country. It makes me sad to see exactly how far Northern NY been sucked into the delusional vortex of the Christianist Right. But then, I watched the area, and the people who live there, decline even as I was growing up.
So many have nothing. They're working on having even less. Drugs have gotten to be a huge problem, as in so many rural areas. But somehow, it's become easier to fixate on the so-called "culture war" than it might be to start looking at real ways to fix what's killing the area. Though at this point, I'm not sure there's really any fixing it. Industry has gone, and it isn't coming back. If it wasn't for Fort Drum, there would be nothing left at all.
Hoffman will be elected, and he will ignore them. But then, the people of NY-23 haven't elected anyone who gave a damn about them in a very long time (yes, McHugh, I'm looking at you). My mother, who is a die-hard liberal, actually spoke very well of Dede Scozzafava. Figures she'd be the one whose head ended up on a pike, figuratively speaking. I'm an Independent mainly because I think most politicians are pretty loathsome, but man, the Republicans are really starting to freak me out.