Thursday, December 4, 2008

Committee Recommends Virginia Martin as Next Columbia County Elections Commissioner

Hudson NY - December 3 2008
At a special meeting tonight of the Columbia County Democratic Committee (CCDC), Virginia Martin of Claverack was put forward as the committee's choice for Democratic Election Commissioner in Columbia County. The vote was by acclamation.

The recommendation now goes to the Democratic caucus on the Board of Supervisors and then to the full Board of Supervisors for appointment to the two year term. Approval by the Board of Supervisors is expected.

A graduate of Ichabod Crane Central School, Ms. Martin holds her BA from Skidmore and an MS and PhD from R.P.I. in Communications and Rhetoric. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University at Albany. Among her many activities Ms. Martin is: the Chair of the Issues Committee of the CCDC; was the Hudson Fish and Game Club's 2008 delegate to the Columbia County Sportsmen's Federation; is a member of the Mellenville Grange #1255; and was the Democratic Party and Working Families Party candidate in 2006 for New York State's 103rd Assembly District seat. As a member of the CCDC's Issue's Committee and the Election Law Task Force, Ms. Martin is fully aware of the challenges the Board of Elections will face in the years ahead. She has pledged to spend the time required to fully perform the tasks required to successfully manage the Board.

The committee congratulates Ms. Martin on her endorsement. The committee also expresses its thanks to the other well-qualified candidates who stepped forward during the interviewing process.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Meet Congresswoman Gillibrand Nov 25 at Copake Town Hall

Kirsten Gillibrand

November 25th 5pm
Copake Town Hall

Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand (D-20th) will be coming to Copake Town Hall for a Congress at Your Corner on November 25 at 5 PM. The program is designed to take her office out into the communities she serves in order to hear from constituents so that she may better represent the families of the twentieth district. This is a great opportunity for you to meet and speak to the Congresswoman right here in Copake.

About Congress At Your Corner:
"I believe accountability and accessibility to the families of our district is very important to being an effective Representative and I am committed to both," said Representative Gillibrand. "Instead of asking folks to come to my office I want to go to them and make it convenient for them to see their Member of Congress."

Throughout the year Congresswoman Gillibrand will be scheduling public appearances in communities throughout the district at weekend hot spots such as coffee shops, bookstores, and farmers markets. The Congresswoman will have congressional staff with her and be available to discuss issues that are on the voters' minds, listen to their opinions and even open case files to help them with any problems they may be having with a federal agency.

Copake Town hall is located at 230 Mountain View Road. Copake 12516 Map

Friday, November 14, 2008

Columbia County Democrats ActBlue Appeal Launched

This has been an amazing year.

We Did It!! Barack Obama is our President-elect, Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand was reelected in a landslide and Democrats are at a virtual tie with Republicans in Columbia County.

But all of our gains have left the committee’s treasury empty, so we are asking for your help right now. We understand that the economy has taken a toll on many of us and that most of us have been making contributions all during the election season. We are asking that you make one more.

Please make the largest contribution you are able to today.

2009 is a pivotal year in Columbia County. Democrats need only two more seats on the Board of Supervisors to take control of the Board for the first time in decades. With control of the Board will come fiscal resposibility, the end of cronyism regarding employment and contracts, real environmental responsibility, long-term strategic planning and a renewed focus on ethics.

But in order for us to take the Board of Supervisors we must replenish our coffers. The Republicans know that they are on the ropes. They will be fighting with everything they have. We must be prepared to do the same.

Please make a contribution today.

No amount is too small. If all you can do is $10, please do that. If you are able to make a large contribution, now is the time to do it.

Columbia County Democrats have never been more united or stronger. Your contribution right now, will help us to finally turn Columbia County BLUE!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Register-Star Clears Up Errors Regarding the Vote Tally in Hudson and the 2nd Ward

Want to know where the bluest spot in Columbia County is? Read on.

Democratic Winners in the 2008 Election in Columbia County

Representative in Congress - Kirsten Gillibrand
20th Congressional District

In her sophomore reelection race for her congressional seat, Kirsten Gillibrand improved on her margin of 2 years ago when she unseated John Sweeney. She beat Sandy Treadwell with almost 62% of the vote even though she was tremendously outspent. This was an astounding reelection in a predominately Republican District.
See Also:

Gillibrand’s stature likely to rise after win.

NY-20: Freshman Dem wins a blood-red district in landslide

Assembly Member - Tim Gordon
108th Assembly District

In his reelection bid, Tim Gordon again won on his winning combination of Democrats, Independents and other political party members getting behind a solid candidate with the right ideas for their district.

Judge Patrick McGrath - Supreme Court Justice

In what many thought an impossible race, Judge McGrath won the seat from 14 year incumbent Judge Anthony Carpinello. Carpinello made assertions that a deal had been struck the previous year for the Democrats to endorse the Republican in his reelection bid. In the end, the truth won out and the voters chose Judge McGrath and rejected the old days of Albany back-room politics of the past.

Richard Koweek - Hudson City Judge

Richard Koweek won the seat of retiring Judge Barry Sack in Hudson. In a four way race Mr. Koweek still managed to beat his nearest opponent by a margin of 2 to 1.

More here

Donna Hoyt & Robert Mayhew -
Ancram Town Board
After resignations and shutdown of Ancram Town Government, two Democrats elected to Ancram Town Board.
More here
Background here
Ancram Democrats

David Gordineer - Copake Assesor
Democrat David Gordineer wins Copake Assesor Race

View Election Results here
Background - The Independent
More at Copake Democrats

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama Elected President - Kirsten Gillibrand Scores Big Re-election Win


Democrats swept into power in a huge way in yesterdays election.

Barack Obama was elected President and Kirsten Gillibrand retains her congressional seat scoring a decisive victory over her opponent.

To see the Columbia County results or the results from local city and towns click here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Committee Seeking New Election Commissioner - Open Call for Applicants

The Columbia County Democratic Committee is currently soliciting applicants for Democratic Commissioner of the Columbia County Board of Elections.

The Commissioner's position is part-time. The compensation is approximately $11,000 per year with benefits. The salary and benefits for 2009 will be set by the Board of Supervisors.

In a nutshell the task force is looking for a candidate with the following qualities:

-- good manager of people (experience would be a plus)
-- comfortable with technology
-- committed to working with the county Democratic Committee and Board of Supervisors
-- attention to detail
-- bridge-builder within the party
-- good communicator
-- proven record working within the party
-- knowledge of Columbia County politics

or more information please see the full posting HERE

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Absentee Ballot Deadline Approaching Fast!

Absentee Ballot Deadline Approaching

Voters who wish to vote by absentee ballot must first submit an application postmarked by
Tuesday, October 28.

You can download a PDF version of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form here.

Your completed absentee ballot must be postmarked by November 3.

You can confirm that you are registered to vote here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Massive Campaign Rally at Bard College!

Mon, Nov 3rd
6pm – 8pm

Hudson Valley for Obama

Election Eve
Massive Campaign Rally
at Bard College

Speakers include:

Ken Dow, running for the 41st NYS Senate
Anne Rubin, running for 103rd Assembly
Joan Posner, running for Dutchess Family Court Judge
Robert McKeon, running for Red Hook Town Council

Refreshments, Multi-Media, and straight off of Blue Tsunami, a Live Ska/Reggae/Dub Performance by Hudson's Own - Mother Fletcher

Bard College, Bertelsmann Campus Center - map

Friday, October 24, 2008

Anne Rubin Holding a NYC Benefit in Her Race to Unseat Molinaro

NYS Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell, NYS Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Andrew Sendall, Denise King, Karen Feldman and Christopher A. Nolan III

Invite You to Join Them
In Support Of


Democratic Candidate
for 103rd NYS Assembly
A Voice for Equality in Albany

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Invited Guest:
Christine Quinn - Speaker of NY City Council

Enjoy fine food and drink, progressive politics and new connections.

The Ivy Room
at The Cornell Club
6 East 44th Street NYC

Passed Hors d’oeuvres
Open Beer/Wine/Soda Bar

RSVP on line at: ActBlue

See the invitation here
Learn more about Anne here

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blue Tsunami A Resounding Success

Check out the press coverage from Blue Tsunami - The Rally in the Valley which was sponsored by the Columbia County Democratic Committee at Basilica Industria in Hudson NY on Octover 18th.
See a big selection of the coverage both before and after the event here.
and check out this clip from Capital News 9.

Both New York Senators - Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer Endorse Ken Dow

Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Hillary Clinton both endorse Ken Dow for NY State Senate.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has announced her endorsement of Ken Dow for New York State Senate.

Senator Clinton said:
“Ken Dow possesses the qualities needed to help New York move forward in these changing and challenging times. This is the year for us to elect a new Democratic Majority in the State Senate and put New York back on track. New York State needs the strongest team possible to lead us through the period ahead and that's why I'm supporting Ken Dow for State Senate.”

Senator Charles Schumer has announced his endorsement of Ken Dow, Democratic candidate for the NY State Senate in the 41st District (Dutchess and Columbia Counties).
Senator Schumer said:
“Ken Dow understands the strains facing working families and businesses, and he is prepared to lead New York forward in these difficult and changing times. Ken is committed to the serious steps we need to keep New York moving forward, such as reforming our burdensome tax structure and modernizing our infrastructure and energy systems. Ken Dow is the kind of thoughtful, progressive, and hard-working leader we need in the State Senate, and I am happy to give him my support.”

For more check out:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand Endorses Ken Dow for NY State Senate

Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-20) has announced her endorsement of Ken Dow, Democratic candidate for the NY State Senate in the 41st District (Dutchess and Columbia Counties.)

"Ken Dow has what it takes to be a great representative for middle class families in the State Senate. Upstate New York needs hard-working and innovative leaders, like Ken Dow, who will continue to fight for property tax relief, make health care affordable and create jobs and grow our local economy. I fully support Ken's candidacy, and look forward to partnering with him on advancing the priorities of Columbia and Dutchess residents."

Ken Dow said, “It is an honor to have Congresswoman Gillibrand’s support and
endorsement. She has set an outstanding example of hard work, thoughtful and intelligent leadership, and effective advocacy for her constituents. I am proud that she is my Congresswoman and I look forward to working with her in service to the people of this state.”

Visit Dow for Senate and Gillibrand for Congress

Both Congresswoman Gillibrand and Ken Dow will be guest speakers at Blue Tsunami - Oct 18th in Hudson

Gillibrand Stands Firm -Votes NO on Bail Out - Congress Should Not Give Bush Administration a Blank Check

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, local Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand again stood up to President Bush and her own party's leaders in voting against the banking bailout.

Congress should not give the Bush Administration a blank check – Rep. Gillibrand

Read the full text of Congresswoman Gillibrand's Statement here.

Congresswoman Gillibrand will be one of the guest speakers at Blue Tsunami, next Saturday October 18th.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Congressman Hall Endorses Ken Dow for NY State Senate


Congressman John Hall (NY-19) has announced his endorsement of Ken Dow, Democratic candidate for the NY State Senate in the 41st District (Dutchess and Columbia Counties).

"Ken Dow is known for his thoughtful and fair approach to tough challenges, and has earned the respect of people regardless of party affiliation. He will give us the kind of leadership in Albany that we need to keep New York moving toward a more promising future. Ken is prepared to handle the challenges facing us today, and I look forward to working with him on behalf of our constituents," said Hall.

Ken Dow said, "I am honored to have the endorsement of Congressman Hall. I look forward to representing the Hudson Valley in the State Senate and working for real progress on the important matters that affect so many people across our state."

Please join Congressman Hall in supporting Ken.
Make a contibution: ActBlue

Ken Dow will be one of the guest speakers at Blue Tsunami in Hudson Oct 18th

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Blue Tsunami is About to Hit Hudson

Blue Tsunami
The Rally in the Valley
A Massive Six County Hudson Valley Voter Rally

Sponsored by the Columbia County Democratic Committee
Co-Sposored by the Albany, Dutchess, Greene, Rensselaer & Ulster
Democratic Committees

Blue Tsunami
The Rally in the Valley

October 18th, 2008

4pm – 4am

The latest info is always at:

Appearances by:
Major Elected Officials and Candidates

Performance by:
The Little Death

The Little Death – featuring:
Laura Dawn
 Daron Murphy
 and Aaron Brooks

Also Performing
The Lost Crusaders

Mother Fletcher

Big Sky Ensemble

Late Night
Dancing For Democracy
An All-Night Dance Party

At Basilica Industria
110 South Front Street Hudson, NY 12534
(Opposite the Amtrak Station)

General Admission – $30 ($40 at the door)
All Day Access with In/Out Privileges
Discounted tickets must be purchased through ActBlue

Student General Admission - $20
All Day Access with In/Out Privileges
Tickets can be purchased through ActBlue

VIP Ticket – $150
Ticket with Seating for Shows, Cocktail Reception with Candidates and Elected Officials, All Day Access with In/Out Privileges

Benefactor – $500
2 VIP Tickets with Seating for Shows, Cocktail Reception with Candidates and Elected Officials, All Day Access with In/Out Privileges

Buy Tickets on

The latest info is always at:

Questions? Please email or call (518) 444-0175

NOTE! The funds raised at this event are not going to any federal campaign. All funds raised will go to local Hudson Valley Democratic Committees for their efforts to support local candidates.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Columbia County Democrats Endorse Richard Koweek for Hudson City Judge

At its regular monthly meeting on September 17 the Columbia County Democratic Committee endorsed Richard Koweek for Hudson City Judge. After winning the Democratic primary by a nearly 3 to 1 ratio, and the Independence Party primary by a 2 to 1 margin, Mr Koweek now will face Kevin Colwell who won the Republican and Conservative lines, John Lehman and Brian Herman running on third-party lines in November.

Mr. Koweek is a life-long resident of Hudson. He has also been endorsed by the Hudson City Democratic Committee and by Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera and many others.

For more information visit.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Delegates Who Stand up for Democracy and Choice! Report by Virginia Martin

Delegates Who Stand up for Democracy and Choice!
Report by Virginia Martin

This year, when voters in the seven-county Third Judicial District go to the polls, they'll have a choice between candidates, and we say with some pride that Columbia County Democrats played an important role in that support of democracy.

Republican Anthony Carpinello, the Appellate Division Associate Justice running for re-election, was hoping for a cross-endorsement by the Democrats. In the past, that's often happened, because in many years there's only been one candidate, either a Republican or a Democrat. And so, in many years the other party has cross-endorsed.

This year, however, acting Supreme Court Judge Patrick McGrath, who had a long tenure as Rensselaer County Court Judge and before that as City of Troy Police Court Judge, as well as Assistant Rensselaer County DA, threw his hat in the ring, and Columbia County Democrats responded. After interviewing both Carpinello and McGrath and finding McGrath eminently qualified and a good Dem to boot, the Columbia County Democratic Committee was the first county committee to endorse him (and unanimously, at that).

At Friday's judicial convention, a rather astonishing number of Democrats were siding with the Republican, based, as we understand it, on the dual notions that (1) since he was the incumbent and had discharged his duties well, he deserved a clear shot at re-election, without having to fuss with the inconveniences of a challenger and the voting public, and, more importantly, that (2) there was a "deal" for supporting him that had been cut at the 2007 convention. Fact-checking around the seven counties, though, had revealed no such "deal," and even if there had been one, not only had we delegates not been party to it, but those Democrats who signed our designating petitions this summer didn't do so with the understanding that we'd either honor someone else's so-called deal OR nominate a Republican when we had a positively stellar Democrat ready to hit the campaign trail.

At any rate, our county committee voted solidly for Judge McGrath, and a (slender) majority of the other delegates did, too. Thanks are especially due our chair Chris Nolan, who, with Rensselaer County Democratic Committee Chair Tom Wade, worked to persuade other county chairs that we should be trying to bring to a close the days of polite "back-room" cross-endorsement: When a good Democrat wants to run, the last thing we should do is stand in the way.

It was a squeaker, but we won. And then, in the midst of thunderous jubilant cheers, Kinderhook's Doug McGivney charged forward to move for a nomination by acclamation, so that delegation members would leave united in their support of Judge McGrath - - and Doug's motion was seconded and affirmed unanimously, with cheers and not a single peep of dissent.

Columbia County Democrats are making waves, and this example, of giving the voters a choice, is just one of the ways we're doing that! Thanks to Chris, Doug, State Committee member Rose Aulino, who also worked hard for Judge McGrath, and all the delegates who stood up for democracy and CHOICE!

Read more about the judicial convention at the Times Union
For more info on Judge McGrath go to his website.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Martin Van Buren Dinner. A Huge Success!

Photo By Rose Aulino
The Democratic event of the season was sold out. The 1st Annual Martin Van Buren Testimonial Dinner honored Denise King, Todd Parsons, Libby Helpern, Doug McGivney, Virginia Martin and Victor Mendolia and was a resounding success.

The dinner was attended by a wide range of elected officials, committee members and supporters from throughout Columbia County and beyond.

Photo by Ernie Reis

These Photos by Rose Aulino

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

County Democrats Booth Up and Running at Columbia County Fair

Columbia County Democrats have a strong presence at the just opened Columbia County Fair. Stop by and check it out and support your local and national Democratic candidates. For directions click here.

Monday, August 25, 2008 Political Action Offers FREE Obama/Biden Stickers and More! Political Action is offering FREE Obama/Biden bumper stickers on it's website.

Single stickers are completely free (including shipping) and larger quantities are available inexpensively. Almost 700,000 have been ordered since they were announced early this week. So get yours today by clicking here.

There are also free buttons like this one

or this really cool set of 3 for $2.00

Click here for Buttons

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

1st Annual Columbia County Martin Van Buren Testimonial Dinner

Please join us for the

1st Annual
Columbia County
Martin Van Buren Testimonial Dinner

A very special night honoring some of the individuals whose work and dedication have made the Columbia County Democratic Committee stronger than ever.

Denise King

Doug McGivney, Todd Parsons and Libby Helpern

Virginia Martin and Victor Mendolia

September 13, 2008
At the Columbia Golf and Country Club
295 Rt 217, Claverack

Doors Open at 6pm
Cash Bar

RSVP by ordering your tickets on ActBlue.

Questions? Please call Carol Sacks (518) 697-0612 or email

Monday, August 4, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Columbia County Democrats Unanimously Endorse Anne Rubin for New York's 103rd Assembly District

Columbia County Democrats Unanimously Endorse Anne Rubin for Assembly

At a meeting in Hudson Wednesday evening, July16, Columbia County Democrats unanimously endorsed Anne Rubin for New York's 103rd Assembly District. Columbia County voted for Democrat Virginia Martin in 2006, and Democrats made significant gains across the County in 2007.

While speaking to assembled Democrats, Anne Rubin stated, "As a mother of two, I look around and I see that we can be doing more, and must be doing more, to make sure that our residents, farms, and small businesses, are not paying an unfair amount of their income to property taxes."

The motion was made by Victor Mendolia, Chairman of the Hudson City Democratic Committee, who said afterwards, "We are extremely enthusiastic about Anne. Her great showing with petitions, garnering over 1000 signatures in just over a week, shows that she has a lot of momentum right now. There is tremendous grassroots excitement about her and people really appreciate that she is involved in her community, She is somebody who really understands the issues and cares about the people of the Hudson Valley".

For more information, contact Pat Kelly at 845-325-2659 or
Anne Rubin's Website
Contribute to Anne's campaign on ActBlue

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Facts About Marc Molinaro and Stephen Saland

On Monday 14 July, 2008 the Register-Star published a letter by Hudson City Democratic Committee Chair, Victor Mendolia. Chairman Mendolia points out the facts about the perceptions and reality regarding Marc Molinaro and Stephen Saland's ability to deliver for their districts.

Do Assembly Member Marc Molinaro and State Senator Stephen Saland really deliver for their districts? One would think so by reading this and any number of other local newspapers. Every few days (especially near election time) they seem to be everywhere. There they are delivering a check supporting a fire house or library. Any chance for a photo opportunity they are there. But the reality is something far different.

Being in the minority in the Assembly, Molinaro is receiving crumbs, compared to what a Democrat would get for the district. Like it or not, having a Republican represent the 103rd district means less money for Columbia and Dutchess counties. But even in the State Senate where the Republicans currently maintain a razor thin majority, Saland's member items total is at the bottom of the list. By nearly all accounts, the NY State Senate will be controlled by Democrats after the election this November. Even being in the majority doesn't help Saland bring home the dollars for his district. Now that Joe Bruno and the Republicans are on the run, does anyone actually believe that things will get better with Molinaro and Saland in office? We would receive less from the state and our standing with the leadership in both houses will be meaningless.

As Republican control of New York State government is about to become a fading memory, there is a better choice. Electing Ken Dow for State Senate and Anne Rubin for Assembly will ensure that Columbia and Dutchess Counties finally start getting their fair share. The problems in these districts are many. Ken Dow and Anne Rubin will be in the forefront of this issues that confront us. In addition they will have allies at the top in both houses along with a Governor who has demonstrated his understanding and support for the Hudson Valley.

If you support getting our fair share from state government, if you support real job creation and support for small business, if you support alternative energy and protecting our environment and farms, there are two smart choices for NY State legislature. Vote Ken Dow for State Senate and Anne Rubin for Assembly. Vote your wallet. Vote Democratic.

Victor Mendolia