Monday, September 20, 2010

Didi Barrett Hits the Radio, Papers and Blogs

Didi Barrett's campaign for State Senate had a whirlwind media week.  She was interviewed by Alan Chartock on WAMC. The debate with her opponent at the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce was covered on WAMC and in the Poughkeepsie Journal, and her supporters at Big Gay Hudson Valley turned out to show their support.

Hear Alan's interview here
Hear WAMC's coverage of the debate here.
Read the Poughkeepsie Journal coverage here.
See Big Gay Hudson Valley's Coverage here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Columbia County Primary Results

Results are in for the Attorney General race in Columbia County. 

The preliminary results are:
Brodsky - 241
Schneiderman - 747
Coffey - 344
Dinallo - 79
Rice - 602

In the Senate race for the two unexpired years of Secretary Clinton's term.
Gillibrand - 1764
Goode -185

Statewide, it appears that Eric Schneiderman will be the winner in the Attorney General race. With 95% of the vote in, Schneiderman is leading Kathleen Rice 34% to 32%, a virtually impossible lead to overcome.  
Read more in NY Times.

Statewide, Senator Gillibrand has easily won her primary by a nearly 3 to 1 margin.
Read more LoHud.

Monday, September 6, 2010

County Dems Call on County Clerk to Stop Issuing Special License Plates

Do Special Plates
Equal Special Privileges?

Columbia County Democrats
call for an end to the issuance of
"special license plates"
by the
Columbia County Clerk

With great fanfare, the Columbia County Clerk’s office issued a press release touting the availability of a special series of license plates. The special license plates begin with the letters HT- (for Holly Tanner, the current Columbia County Clerk).

The Columbia County Democratic Committee seeks an end to the issuance of these special plates. 

The license plates in question are not “Vanity Plates” which individual motorists order. The plates include those beginning with HT- as mentioned above, but also CC- and 1CC- for Columbia County, HD- for Hudson, along with DT- plates. The initials DT are the initials for former County Clerk Don Tkacy.

Clearly there is a long history of Columbia County Clerks issuing these types of special license plates. But New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (15 NYCRR §16.1 et seq.) does not allow the County Clerk to issue plates that make it look as if the owner of a vehicle is operating in an official capacity or for a governmental organization.

County Clerk Tanner
That the current County Clerk is issuing these plates with her own initials as a sitting elected official, or with letters signifying Columbia County or the City of Hudson, makes the chance far too great that the drivers of these cars may, mistakenly or not, be seen not as a civilian driver but rather someone who is on official business, or is “connected”. The fact that we have discovered that many of the holders of these special plates include Republican operatives, government employees, and other well-connected individuals makes the situation of even greater concern.

The Committee calls on the County Clerk to immediately end the issuance of any license plates that might be construed as “official”.

With the economic situation taking a major toll on local municipal budgets, many believe that traffic enforcement has been increased, in order to make up for some of the budget shortfalls. If that is indeed the case, any increase in enforcement needs to be applied equally and justly. These license plates could be seen as potentially offering a level of protection not afforded to ordinary people. For that reason alone, the practice should be stopped.

There is a long history in Columbia County of cronyism and favoritism toward members of the ruling party and their relatives and friends. Those days must end. We support equal protection and equal opportunity for all, regardless of political affiliation or connections.

Committee Chair Christopher Nolan said,
“Whether or not these plates actually convey special privileges or protection is difficult to say. But even the appearance of favoritism or cronyism should be condemned and not be tolerated."
The Columbia County Democratic Committee believes that license plates purposely bearing the initials of elected officials, should be forbidden and that any other municipal signifiers should be banned unless issued for official purposes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

In Democratic Primary - Vote Schneiderman for Attorney General

On Tuesday September 14th Democrats will head to the polls for primary day. This year's biggest primary is the five way race for Attorney General.

In the Attorney General race we urge all Democrats to vote for
Eric Schneiderman

Senator Schneiderman was overwhelmingly endorsed for Attorney General by the 
Columbia County Democratic Committee and the Hudson City Democratic Committee

But that was only the start of the endorsements!

In the NY Times Endorsement of Mr. Schneiderman the Times editorial board said:
 ...Mr. Schneiderman has courage, a strong voice and a deep commitment to ethical government. During his 12 years in the Senate, he championed important laws protecting women’s rights and repealing the overly harsh Rockefeller-era drug laws, and he challenged his party’s leaders when they chose expedience over conviction...
Thanks to him, New York now has laws that will make it easier to prosecute fraud in government contracts and end the cynical practice of prison gerrymandering. Other efforts — promoting transparency in Albany and curbing the power of dirty money — have been blocked by political leaders eager to protect the sleazy status quo. His willingness to keep pushing is crucial.

This year, he again bucked his own party leadership, and demonstrated his legal skills, by crafting and pressing the case to expel Hiram Monserrate from the State Senate after the Queens politician was convicted of domestic abuse...
Mr. Schneiderman has the backing of many of the state’s unions, which too often have resisted reforms. He also has bucked these unions — for example, supporting a less-costly pension plan for new state employees...
But he also scored major victories with union endorsements and the ground operations that they bring with them. He has received the endorsements of United Federation of Teachers, 1199, SEIU  and 32BJ, the Hotel Trades Council (HTC), the United Food and Commercial Workers and even the Freelancers Union. With the endorsements of HTC, 1199, and 32BJ, Schneiderman has assembled the support of the three most highly coveted field operations in New York.

In addition to the New York Times endorsement, he has won the Albany Times-Union endorsement, and even in The Nation. He has been endorsed by scores of elected officials and other public leaders. He also won the endorsement of the good government group, Citizens Union and is also supported by the largest LGBT rights group in New York State, the Empire State Pride Agenda.

View this campaign ad to see the diversity and strength of the coalition supporting Eric Schneiderman.

We urge everyone to make sure
that they get to the polls.

Tuesday, September 14th
  and take the first step in electing

Eric Schneiderman
New York's next Attorney General.