Check out more of Steinhafel's campaign contributions here.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
WATERTOWN (July 26, 2010)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine said today that he is honored to have the endorsement of independent voters throughout Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.
“I’m so pleased and honored to have the endorsement of the local independent voters and the Independence Party ballot line this fall,” Sen. Aubertine said. “Representing all of us means putting people ahead of politics and understanding that the best interests of Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties do not fall neatly into one party or another. Working for all of us means working together. I want to thank all nine members of the local Independence Party Committee and all of the local voters who signed petitions for your support and endorsement.”
Sen. Aubertine said it’s important that voters have a choice on Row C and said he will take action where needed to ensure voters are not disenfranchised. Over the past year, more than 50 pieces of legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Sen. Aubertine passed the Senate. All but a handful passed unanimously and not one passed along party lines.
The Senator led the charge to protect jobs in the district especially at the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility and has fought the onerous soda tax. He has stood up for the rights of rural residents to own outdoor wood boilers, ensured small business owners have a voice as strong as the corporate giants and passed numerous pieces of legislation to reduce regulations on agriculture, energy and other industries.
“We’ve supported Darrel right from the beginning through all we faced the first time around,” said John L. Rice, chairman of the Jefferson County Independence Party, which endorsed the Senator locally in both the special and general elections of 2008. “We like what he’s done. He’s stuck up for the working man. The small businesses, the farmers, or anyone that calls him, he listens and gets back to them. It was a unanimous decision of all of the people on our committee to endorse and back Darrel.”
The Senator has established himself as the leading voice for Upstate New York, be it through his role as chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, the Rural Resources Commission, the Upstate Caucus or as vice chair of the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee. Though part of the Senate Majority, the Senator has shown his independence by successfully fighting efforts to pass harmful farm labor legislation, micro-stamping gun legislation, and new taxes.
In early June and before the start of petitioning, Mr. Rice and the only constituted Independence Party Committee in the 48th Senate District delivered its endorsement of Sen. Aubertine to the state Independence Party Committee which has since given the Senator the authorization to run on the Independence Party line. The Senator and his supporters collected nearly twice the required number of signatures from independent voters throughout the three counties to ensure that voters have a choice on Row C.###
WATERTOWN (July 26, 2010)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine said today the signing of legislation last week which he sponsored to cut regulations on new energy storage technology (S.7145) will help to create new jobs, especially Upstate, while addressing the state’s power needs.
“As we continue working toward energy independence to ensure our power needs are met here in New York State long term, new technologies for energy storage must have the opportunity to grow,” said Sen. Aubertine, vice chair and ranking majority member of the New York State Energy & Telecommunications Committee. “By reducing regulations on these growing industries such as flywheel and compressed air, we are giving our State the opportunity to create new jobs in a new economy and meet our needs.”
The energy storage legislation adds kinetic energy storage devices, such as flywheels and compressed air storage, to the alternative energy production facility definition, thereby exempting those projects of less than 80 megawatts capacity from Public Service Commission jurisdiction. This will help to reduce the regulatory burden on these technologies which can allow for the utilization of renewable energy produced during off-peak times and can improve the efficiency of the State's electric system.
Energy storage systems have a role to play in taking off-peak production and supplying peak demand for electricity as a means to reduce stress on the grid and enable existing generation to meet increased demand. One of the leading companies working with this technology is Beacon Power, a company looking to use its flywheel technology in New York.
“We're extremely pleased with the efforts of Sen. Aubertine to move this legislation, which will now better facilitate the use of alternative energy resources like Beacon Power flywheels on New York's power grid," said Bill Capp, Beacon Power president and CEO. “New York has demonstrated a strong commitment to renewable energy sources. Our emissions-free flywheel energy storage systems can support the state's ambitious renewable energy goals, while also helping to reduce electricity costs.”
The Senator has also sponsored legislation (S.8310) which passed the Senate to provide similar benefits to lithium ion battery technology, which also has the potential to spur significant job growth in our Upstate communities.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The 60-39 vote Thursday was a major victory for President Obama and Democratic leaders and marked the second landmark overhaul — the first was healthcare reform — that the administration has pushed through Congress this year.
Obama is expected to sign the financial reform bill next week in an elaborate ceremony touting it as evidence that Democrats are standing up for Main Street against the powerful financial industry and its Republican allies.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
“We’d like to acknowledge the contributions the Senator is making as chair of the Rural Resources Commission and his continued support for both the Center for Rural Schools at Cornell and the Rural Education Advisory Committee,” said Lawrence A. Kiley, executive director of the Rural Schools Association. “It’s all indicative of the support the Senator is showing the small and rural school districts of New York State. Particularly in times like these, our association is appreciative of the fact that we have someone who advocates for and understands rural New York.”
The Appreciation Award is one of three annual awards given by the Association and is intended to honor the work done by an individual, usually an elected official, who has an important role to play in support of rural schools and can influence recognition of the work done in rural schools and help provide the resources schools need. Last year the Association presented this award to Assemblyman Bill Magee.
“Our rural schools are critical to any overall strategy to strengthen the economy of Upstate New York. Providing the necessary quality education our students deserve in these difficult times requires creativity,” Sen. Aubertine said. “I’m honored to receive this award from the Rural Schools Association and will continue to work with the association on behalf of our rural schools. The Rural Education Advisory Committee and the Center for Rural Schools are at the center of our efforts to find creative solutions to meet the needs of our students in the rural areas of New York State.”
The Association announced the award Monday with the winners of the Anne Z. Paulin Distinguished Service Award for a rural school board member and the William Deming Recognition Award for a rural school administrator.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would extend unemployment insurance to about 143,000 New Yorkers. It passed 270-153.
“These benefits are critical to hard-working Upstate New York families as the unemployed in our community continue to search for work during the worst economic climate our nation has seen since the Great Depression,” Mr. Owens said in a statement. “This legislation is urgently needed after weeks of partisan politics have stood in the way of middle-class families who have lost their jobs because of the recession. Upstate New Yorkers are concerned with spending time with their families and putting food on the table, not who scores the most political points in Washington."Mr. Owens's office said the current lapse of benefits, which started in late May, is "unprecedented." Federal lawmakers, they said, have never allowed unemployment benefits to expire when the national unemployment rate is above 7.2 percent until now. The current rate is 9.7 percent
Monday, July 12, 2010
Kenneth D. Blankenbush, the Jefferson County Legislature chairman, acknowledged Tuesday that he used some of the wording given to him by the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee for his "True North" plan. It was discovered after a Republican Assembly candidate downstate used the exact words in his campaign plan.
"Farmers, small business owners and every north country family deserves better than a cut and paste job from political propaganda," said Mr. McGrath in a statement. "People need new ideas and energy to take on the tough work ahead. To think a platform that would work for downstate can also work for the north country is out of touch."
The one-time rebate is being sent to senior citizens who fall into a prescription drug coverage gap. The checks are being sent directly through the federal government - and not by a third party.
“Our seniors need to be aware that in other states there have been reports of people asking for personal information or an upfront fee to expedite these rebate checks,” said Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, who joined the public outreach effort Thursday. “It’s important to remember never to give out bank account information, Social Security numbers or any other personal information.”
Seniors who suspect fraud are urged to call the state Insurance Department’s Consumer Services Bureau at (800) 342-3736.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
The Republican Party again is using county government for their political advancement in Oswego County. The Tie Shirt controversy is the latest in a long list of the use of taxpayer money to support a Republican County Committee endorsed candidates or issues. This week Oswego County Fair workers wore political tie shirts supporting a republican candidate while working at the county fair. What next. Are we to see during the summer months bright orange tee shirts being worn by county highway workers with the slate of endorsed republican candidates on road resurfacing projects???
Here is what I found shocking and somewhat unbelievable from Oswego County Fair Association President Carol Sweeney comments in the Valley News article …
"I was told that there was nothing I could do because they aren't fair association members and that they had the right to express their opinion," she said, adding that she preferred they did not wear the political shirts…"They are paid to park cars," she noted. "I didn't like it but I was told I couldn't tell them to remove them.”
I know after living in Oswego County my entire life this might seem somewhat jaded, but please… they are either hired by you or they are not. Most of us in the real world know if your employer asks you to stop wearing a political tee shirt you do it or get fired. I know if they had a Democrat tee shirt on they would have been let go that minute and escorted out the gate!
What really struck me as a partisan “Republican Cover-up” was Republican County Committee Vice Chair and Republican County Legislator Shawn Doyle’s comments. He actually serves as the building superintendent and he didn’t notice them as he drove in? No conflict there. (??)
The bottom line is the Republican Party got caught again using county government for partisan politics. Clearly just another campaign season in Oswego County where the Republican Party throw out ethics to win elections.
We have had a picture from the county fair emailed to us. Is it a fair worker? We don't know but keep the pictures coming.
Even with the poor quality picture you can see Patty Ritchie for Senate.
All of this leads us to wonder - how low is Tom Libous willing to go in his desperate bid for more campaign cash?
Carl Paladino's campaign crashed and burned when his proclivity for racist, sexist email forwards was revealed. Now he is attempting to keep his candidacy alive by throwing his millions into petitioning efforts across the state. He's even exploring the possibility of using his cash to create a new ballot line -- creatively dubbed the "Taxed Enough Already" (T.E.A.) Party.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Republican rule was characterized by sky-high tax rates, out-of-control spending, and fiscal gimmickry to hide the true costs of their irresponsibility.
Senate Republicans have failed New Yorkers. For over 40 years, they passed tax-hike after tax-hike on the middle class to fund outrageous, unnecessary, and redundant programs.
Republicans had over four decades to lower taxes and bring real relief to New Yorkers. For forty-four years, they failed to deliver on their promises to New Yorkers.
During the final three decades of the Republicans Majority, New York State had the highest state and local tax burden in the nation for 27 out of 30 years. In the other 3 years, New Yorkers shouldered the second highest tax burden. Three New York counties rank in the top ten most taxed in the nation.
Republicans claim to be fiscally conservative, but their record tells a different story. While New Yorkers tightened their belts, Republicans went on a spending spree.
Between 1984 and 2008, state spending increased by almost $100 billion – many times the rate of inflation. Despite promises to rein in spending, Republicans violated their own “spending cap” 24 times in 28 years.
During the Pataki-Bruno era, spending not only rose dramatically, but Republicans proved unable to pass an on-time budget. Ten out of 12 budgets were late for a total of 819 days – the equivalent of nearly three full years.
Thanks to Republicans’ tax-and-spend style of governance, the debt load attributable to every man woman and child in New York soared from $1,774 to $2,675.
Despite a strong economy during the 1990s, Republican spending habits and failure to hold accountable public authorities and corporations resulted in a near doubling of the state debt between 1997 and 2008 from $31billion to $54 billion.
The shocking extent to which Republicans used the government as their personal piggy bank, and doled out favors to each other and to supporters, was revealed in 2008.
A report by the New York Times uncovered how Joe Bruno and senate Republicans spent millions of dollars of taxpayer money on perks like the “Bruno Mobile,” and inappropriately used Senate resources for political purposes.
Decades of unethical behavior by Senate Republicans were epitomized by their obstruction of ethics reform and the trial and conviction of former Majority Leader Joe Bruno, who was found guilty on two counts of felony corruption for using his office to reap a $3.2 million pay day.
Monday, July 5, 2010
This is an open letter to all of the residents of Oswego County. For those of you that know me, this letter probably won’t seem out of place or too different than anything else you’re used to me writing. For those of you that don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I’m Doug Malone; I am the elected Legislator from the 20th Legislative district of Oswego County, and I am a Democrat. I am one of only four Democrats on the entire Oswego County Legislature, which is made up of 25 Legislators. So you can see right there that I am a member of the Minority. However, I think that all of us in this County have some issues that must be dealt with or, in my opinion; we are going down the tubes!
Now here’s the rub. Are you people out there nuts, or what? Republican Legislatures have ruled Oswego County since it started about 160 years ago. I’m not saying that they did too bad back in the old days, but look at the fix we’re in now! We are in the middle of too many businesses going bust, and it seems like the Majority Republican Legislators don’t even care, or are even the least bit concerned about their constituents well being! Does anybody understand that we no longer live in the middle ages? This is a democracy we live in, or so I’ve been told, it is not a feudal system. Wake up Oswego County! We’ve been going downhill economically on the Republican Legislative sleigh ride for a long time! For crying out loud, wake up I tell you!
Now, try as I might, I just can’t get the taste out of my mouth about the NYPA wind power initiative that was proposed to the entire legislature earlier this year. The proposal was voted down by a 21 to 4 vote strictly along part lines. The Democrat Minority felt that it could produce jobs and sustainable employment for our residents of Oswego County. All it would have taken for this county to have the benefit of possible jobs and a move towards a more viable economy, was a simple majority vote to extend our curiosity/knowledge and look into the new technology. We were told by the Republican Majority forces in the Oswego County Legislature that we would have had to “sell our souls”, so much for the Republican Majority’s negotiating skills, to NYPA just to enter into a relationship, a relationship that probably over the long term may have been most beneficial to a large majority of the citizens of this County, so the Republican Majority voted it down. Some of the terrible things that I could envision when the Republican Majority was speaking against the Project were; legions of Kamikaze birds ready to dive bomb the towers for taking up flight space, senseless fish running into the tower foundations and foolishly spawning out in the deepest part of the lake because the towers had made them lose their minds, charter boat captains lost at sea from the adverse effects of the dreaded “windmills” and their out-of-state/area customer’s obituaries taking up an entire section in the Pall-Times, and of course last but by no means least we would have had the western horizon blackened by the infinite numbers of a dearth of whirling-whirring-wanton purveyors of demonic-disgusting-dissatisfying blight on the seascape of our birthright; Lake Ontario.
That pretty much takes care of the birds, fish, captains, fishermen and views. However, who or what will be sympathetic to, or look out for the unemployed citizens of this county? Here’s a CLUE, it won’t be the REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE MAJORITY!!!
While the counties in western New York, and the entire state of Ohio are “chomping at the bit” to accept and develop, and yes exploit the opportunity that wind power MAY represent. Boss Hog on the North Shore of Oneida Lake and The Wizard Of Oz up in Pulaski had their “sheep” lined up to vote against anything beneficial for the majority of citizens of Oswego County. Come on Republican Majority Legislators, don’t any of you have a backbone to do what is right for your constituents? Once again our Republican Majority has sacrificed the benefits of the many for the desires of a few. When are you citizens in this county going to smarten up and hold some Republican Legislators feet to the fire? By the way, I’ve heard that there may be trouble in paradise between Oz and Hog!
This November there are no Legislative seats coming up for vote. However, the Offices of County Clerk, County Sheriff and County Court Judge are coming up for a vote. If you are not registered, please register and VOTE. If you start by changing those three positions to constituent-friendly Democrat Endorsed Candidates, (Susan Sweet, Ellery Terpening and Dave Roman respectively), then voting for constituent-friendly Legislators in the future will be the next step. I would also like to point out that non-home owners (renters) have a huge stake in the outcome of elections because your rent is directly proportional to what your landlords have to charge you for them to stay in business, based on their expenses, including TAXES! It could cost you money-money-money if you choose not to vote!
Well, I actually kind of liked this exercise, and I do intend to write again. Some further issues that should be discussed with the public are; jobs-jobs-jobs, county employment hiring freezes, profits made from taxpayers by our County Clerk’s Office, spending controls in a really poor economy, inefficiency in the Sheriff’s office and many more too numerous to mention now. Also, I may introduce you to the Sheriff Of Nothingham next time. Give me a call; I’m in the book.
While the Senate was under the Republicans control of convicted felon Joe Bruno, DeFrancisco was the “go-to guy for people seeking money” and became accustomed to doling out “tens of millions of dollars of pork.”
Now, with the Democrats in the majority and attempting to clean up the GOP mess, DeFrancisco has taken on another reviled role: that of “GOP pit-bull.”
DeFrancisco may take pride in being a pit-bull, but his constituents need a real representative, not a rabid dog on Dean Skelos' leash. As the GOP pit-bull, and prime spokesperson, DeFrancisco will have to defend numerous questionable activities – such as voting 12 times to shut down state government by opposing recent budget extenders, and masterminding last year’s GOP Senate coup that paralyzed government for over a month.
Most recently, this GOP pit-bull turned into a flat-out playground bully. This week, Derancisco was one of only three senators – to vote against legislation that will protect school students from bullying.
Thankfully, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks, and the residents of Onondaga county may finally get the representation they deserve. This year, DeFrancisco faces his “first serious contender in years” in the form of Democratic candidate and Syracuse Councilor-at-Large Kathleen Joy.
Onondaga County residents need and deserve a leader that will fight to lower taxes and protect their children -- not a GOP attack dog doing the bidding of Dean Skelos, and certainly not a school-yard bully like John DeFrancisco.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I think right now every oil company in the world says, I don’t want to pay $100 million a day to cut corners on drilling a well. And that’s where I believe the market system works. Nobody’s got more to lose in this deal than BP.
Link to full post.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) called on Michael Steele to resign Saturday, significantly raising the pressure on the embattled Republican National Committee chairman whose remarks last week on the war in Afghanistan were assailed by members of his own party.
"Frankly, I find Steele's remarks totally unacceptable," Cole, the former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and ex-chief of staff at the RNC, said in a statement to POLITICO. "He should apologize and resign. He undercut American forces fighting in the field, politicized further a war that two presidents of different parties have deemed in the national interest and embarrassed the party he purports to lead. It is time for him to go — quickly."
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Yet there is still no sign of them.
Voters are STILL waiting to find out exactly how much Lazio made while lobbying for Wall Street.
While Rick keeps on stalling, here's a list of ten things that took less time:10) Napoleon's invasion of and retreat from Russia - 172 days.
9) Two US Presidents complete terms lasted fewer than 202 days (Garfield and Harrison).
The rest of list !!