News

Every twenty years New Yorkers have a chance to convene a state Constitutional Convention, or “Con Con” as it’s known in political circles. This is one of those years, and the Delaware County Democratic Committee joins a vast nonpartisan coalition in urging a NO vote on the issue this November.

While those in favor of a convention say it’s a rare chance to enact provisions that lawmakers have been unwilling or unable to legislate, there’s a far greater chance that existing provisions and protections will be weakened or removed. These include a woman’s right to choose, the right to collective bargaining, public pension benefits, anti-discrimination laws, environmental protections and other guarantees currently under assault by well-financed extremist groups from both inside and outside the state.

If voters approve Con Con this November, next year a total of 204 delegates will be elected statewide—3 from each of the 63 senatorial districts, and 15 at-large. These same extremist groups are expected to spend huge sums of money to elect those delegates (historically, sitting lawmakers and career politicians) who can be counted on to further their agenda.

While voters would have the final say on any proposed changes to the constitution, a convention in today’s political climate promises to be contentious, polarizing, costly to taxpayers, and not worth the risk. Don’t be conned by Con Con. Vote NO on a Constitutional Convention this November 7.

NYS Absentee Ballots

Absentees have arrived and will be mailed today to anyone who has submitted an application.

We have sample ballots available in our office. They should be up on our website (www.co.delaware.ny.us/departments/elec) by Friday.

 

Paula Schermerhorn

Democratic Deputy Commissioner

Delaware County Board of Elections

607-832-5321 General Calls

607-832-5483 Direct line

Tri-County Women's Coalition

Activist Events: Otsego/Congressional District 19 –Week 35 October 2-9 
≠≠≠indicates new postings this week

THIS WEEK GUNS, GUNS, GUNS –go to TO DO LIST below

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CitizenActionNY.org Upcoming Events

Program on Proposed Constitutional Convention: Mark Your Calendar—October 18, 5 PM

        The public is invited to an important program on the proposed Constitutional Convention on Wednesday, October 18th from 5 PM-6:30 PM in Le Café, Morris, SUNY Oneonta.

      Program sponsors include UUP Oneonta, SUNY Oneonta Department of Secondary Education and Educational Technology, Hartwick College Education Department, Oneonta Area for Public Education, Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Teachers Association, UUP Cobleskill, Tri-County Women's Coalition, SUNY Oneonta History Department, Sidney Teacher Association, SUNY Oneonta Political Science Department, SUNY Oneonta Department of Africana & Latino Studies, Sherburne-Earlville Teachers Association,  SUNY Oneonta Sociology Department, Sidney Teachers Association, Cobleskill-Richmondville Teachers' Association, Norwich Educators Organization, Morris Teachers Association, and Bainbridge-Guilford Teachers Association.

      The New York State Constitution establishes our fundamental rights as citizens of this state. These include rights to a free public education, health care, collective bargaining, environmental protections, pension security, and many other basic protections.  Come learn about and discuss the rights we currently have, potential threats to those rights, popular issues motivating convention supporters, who is likely to serve as delegates to a NYS Constitutional Convention, and the groups involved in convention lobbying.

       The panel will include New York State Senator James Seward; State UUP President Fred Kowal; Tyra A. Olstad, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, SUNY Oneonta; and Elizabeth Bloom, Chair, Education Department, Hartwick College. UUP Oneonta Chapter President and SUNY Oneonta History Professor Bill Simons will moderate the discussion. A questions-and-answer session will follow the panelists’ remarks.  Admission is free, and the event is open to all. Additional details about the program will follow. 

New York's 19th Congressional District election, 2018

From https://ballotpedia.org

All U.S. congressional districts, including the 19th Congressional District of New York, are holding elections in 2018.

Candidate Filing Deadline

Primary Election

General Election

Pending

Pending

November 6, 2018

Primary: A primary election is an election in which registered voters select a candidate that they believe should be a political party's candidate for elected office to run in the general election. They are also used to choose convention delegates and party leaders. Primaries are state-level elections that take place prior to a general election. New York utilizes a closed primary process, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members.[4][5][6]

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent is John Faso (R), who was first elected in 2016.

New York's 19th Congressional District is located in the eastern portion of the state and includes Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster counties and parts of Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery and Rensselaer counties.[7]

Candidates

Note: Prior to the signature filing deadline, candidates will be added when Ballotpedia writers come across declared candidates. If you notice a missing candidate, please email us the name and we will add it. As the election draws closer, more information will be added to this page. Incumbents are assumed to be running for re-election until they say otherwise.

Primary candidates

 Democrats

Withdrew


 Republicans

 

Race background

New York's 19th District was listed as one of the DCCC's initial targets in 2018.[17]

Incumbent John Faso was included as one of the initial members of the NRCC's Patriot Program in 2018.[18]

District history

2016

See also: New York's 19th Congressional District election, 2016

New York's 19th Congressional District was a battleground district in 2016. Incumbent Chris Gibson (R), who began serving in Congress in 2011, chose not to seek re-election in 2016, leaving the seat open. John Faso (R) defeated Zephyr Teachout (D) in the general election on November 8, 2016. Faso defeated Andrew Heaney in the Republican primary, while Teachout defeated Will Yandik to win the Democratic nomination. The primary elections took place on June 28, 2016.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

[hide]U.S. House, New York District 19 General Election, 2016

Party

Candidate

Vote %

Votes

    

Republican

John Faso

54.1%

166,171

    

Democratic

Zephyr Teachout

45.9%

141,224

Total Votes

307,395

Source: New York Board of Elections

 

[hide]U.S. House, New York, District 19 Democratic Primary, 2016

Candidate

Vote %

Votes

Zephyr Teachout

71.3%

13,801

Will Yandik

28.7%

5,561

Total Votes

19,362

Source: New York State Board of Elections

 

[hide]U.S. House, New York, District 19 Republican Primary, 2016

Candidate

Vote %

Votes

John Faso

67.5%

10,922

Andrew Heaney

32.5%

5,253

Total Votes

16,175

Source: New York State Board of Elections

2014

See also: New York's 19th Congressional District elections, 2014

The 19th Congressional District of New York held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Chris Gibson(R) defeated Sean Eldridge (D) in the general election.

[hide]U.S. House, New York District 19 General Election, 2014

Party

Candidate

Vote %

Votes

    

Republican

Chris Gibson Incumbent

62.6%

131,594

    

Democratic

Sean Eldridge

34.5%

72,470

    

N/A

Blank/Void/Scattering

3%

6,287

Total Votes

210,351

Source: New York State Board of Elections

See also

Footnotes

  1. Jump up↑ Cook Political Report, "2018 House Race Ratings," accessed September 6, 2017
  2. Jump up↑ Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2018 House," accessed September 6, 2017
  3. Jump up↑ Inside Elections, "House Ratings," accessed September 6, 2017
  4. Jump up↑ National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  5. Jump up↑ Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  6. Jump up↑ Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  7. Jump up↑ New York Redistricting Map, "Map," accessed September 25, 2012
  8. Jump up↑ Jeff Beals for Congress, "Home," accessed June 28, 2017
  9. Jump up↑ Steven Brisee for Congress, "Home," accessed April 9, 2017
  10. Jump up↑ HudsonValley.com, "Woodstock attorney, ordained deacon is eighth Democrat to run for Congress in NY-19," June 13, 2017
  11. Jump up↑ Antonio Delgado for Congress, "Home," accessed June 29, 2017
  12. Jump up↑ Brian Flynn for Congress, "Home," accessed April 9, 2017
  13. Jump up↑ Gareth Rhodes for Congress, "Home," accessed June 29, 2017
  14. Jump up↑ Pat Ryan for Congress, "VoteVets endorses Army Veteran, Entrepreneur, Kingston-Native Pat Ryan in New York’s 19th District," June 19, 2017
  15. Jump up↑ Sue Sullivan for Congress, "Home," accessed June 29, 2017
  16. Jump up↑ Timesunion, "Sue Sullivan bows out of Congressional race against Faso," September 25, 2017
  17. Jump up↑ DCCC, "House Democrats Playing Offense," January 30, 2017
  18. Jump up↑ The Washington Post, "Republicans believe these 10 House incumbents will face the toughest campaigns of 2018," February 15, 2017
  19. Jump up↑ Federal Election Commission, "Details for Committee ID: C00580431," accessed July 8, 2015
  20. Jump up↑ Poughkeepsie Journal, "Zephyr Teachout will run in 19th Congressional District," January 25, 2016
  21. Jump up↑ Daily KOS, "Morning Digest: Republican covers up actual straight sex scandal with fake gay sex scandal," August 10, 2015
  22. Jump up↑ Faso for Congress, "About," accessed August 12, 2015
  23. Jump up↑ Daily Freeman, "Assemblyman Pete Lopez drops out of 19th Congressional District race," January 11, 2016
  24. Jump up↑ New York State Board of Elections, "Filings received for the 2016 Primary Election," accessed May 15, 2016
  25. Jump up↑ Politico, "New York House Races Results," June 28, 2016

Full page at https://ballotpedia.org/New_York%27s_19th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

New Paltz Democrats give up caucus in favor of a primary

From hudsonvalleyone.com

New Paltz Democrats give up caucus in favor of a primary

 

 

 

 

This year, the New Paltz Democrats are ending the tradition of caucusing to choose their candidates in favor of a primary, to be held September 12.

Caucuses are a grand political tradition, providing an intimate democratic experience. Candidates make their pitches to anyone who shows up. Votes are cast and tallied. Participation generally requires availability for two or three hours in an evening.

Local Democraic committee members feel that the caucus process disenfranchises voters. With Democratic registration outstripping all others in New Paltz, and most voters following the party line in November, they contend, town elections are decided by a few hundred voters with time on their hands.

 

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NY Counties Mull Shared Services Plans

NY Counties Mull Shared Services Plans

  AUG 4, 2017

Each county outside of New York City was instructed to empower a panel to prepare a plan for sharing responsibilities among local governments contained within that county. Officials were told their plans must demonstrate new recurring property tax savings by eliminating or consolidating duplicative local government services, and they were instructed to hold a minimum of three public hearings.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy has held one public hearing before the August 1st deadline, with two scheduled to be held later this month.   "We want people's input. We've met with BOCES, we met with all the elected officials in a variety of unions to discuss how we can do something working together. We were mandated by the state of New York, I do say it is an unfunded mandate. We are mandated by the state to produce this record by September 15th and have it certified."

Shared services savings for Albany County have been pegged at $6.8 million. The draft plan includes merging the city of Albany’s records clerk positions with the county and consolidating 9-1-1 services.   "We had a short window to keep it movin.' And then when the other argument is 'who certifies it?' Who certifies what the tax break is to every homeowner and business owner in that county? The logistics were just a lot but it has brought up great dialogue. We've talked about stuff that we've consolidated over the few years, the last couple years. And what we continue to work on going forward."

Not every aspect of the plan is welcome. Town of Berne Highway Superintendent Randy Bashwinger says the hilltowns have practiced "shared services" for years without a hitch. He adds he hasn't seen any proof of a claim that a consolidation of Berne’s highway department with the county DPW could save at least $151,000 annually. He believes the county plan is colored with political bias. And he worries changing could have negative impacts.   "Half of our roads are dirt roads. I have 48 dirt roads in the Town of Berne. County roads are all blacktop roads, paved roads. So it's a completely different plow, a completely different materials. We have 10-foot wide roads, we have 12-foot, all the way up to 25-foot roads. County roads are usually 22 feet wide. They have white and yellow lines on them. Our roads don't have any lines on them. Our roads have rocks in the middle of them on some of the dirt roads.  So you can't just throw somebody up there who has never plowed it before. We don't use pure salt. We use a sanding material and we use stone with salt into it. If we used pure salt every road, every dirt road we had would have more potholes than the whole state of New York. It's a completely different situation."

Bashwinger's crew repairs equipment in-house, and he prefers that option rather than sending machinery out to DPW in Voorheesville.

Shared services also include consolidating emergency medical services, a more popular aspect of the plan. EMS Consolidations and collaborations are working out well for several counties, including Albany and Columbia.  Dutchess, Greene and Warren counties have been giving the concept a long look, eyeing savings and increased service availabilities.

Back in Albany, McCoy understands residents of some towns and villages are fearful losing their "identity" but encourages everyone to come together.   "Things can work but you have to be willing. Not only does the elected official have to be willing to give up some stuff, but the people that live in that area."

County plans that are approved must be presented to the public no later than October 15th.

Full article at http://wamc.org/post/ny-counties-mull-shared-services-plans

 

DELHI CANDIDATES FORUM ON YOUTUBE

From seedsofdemocracy.org

For those of you who couldn’t make it, or those who could but would like to review what you heard, a video of the Candidates Forum that was held in Delhi on August 26th is now online. It is in two parts. Part 1 is the candidate statements and moderator questions; Part 2 is the audience Q&A.

Part 1:

 

Part 2:

Full page at seedsofdemocracy.org

Blair Horner: The Fight Over The Constitutional Convention Heats Up

Blair Horner: The Fight Over The Constitutional Convention Heats Up

  JUL 24, 2017

New Yorkers have a big decision to make in three and a half months: A decision whether to overhaul their state constitution. That document requires that every 20 years voters get an opportunity to decide whether they want to rewrite the state’s foundational document. This November, voters will get that vote.

Having such a provision is unusual, but not rare in America. Fourteen other states have similar mechanisms in place to periodically ask voters about convening a convention.

Not surprisingly, since it only occurs once every 20 years, the vast majority of New Yorkers don’t know about the vote. In a recent poll, fully two thirds of New Yorkers were unaware of the upcoming vote to revamp New York’s state constitution.

The decision on whether to convene a convention will likely turn on two questions: (1) How New Yorkers feel about the state of their state; and (2) How concerned they are about provisions of the current constitution that could be put at risk if a convention is convened. If voters are more unhappy with the direction of New York than they are worried about jeopardizing popular constitutional provisions that exist, then they’ll vote yes.

The process for convening a constitutional convention contains four basic steps:

  1. New Yorkers vote on whether they want to convene a convention. That will happen this November. If voters choose no, then the process ends. If voters approve the convention, then …
  2. New Yorkers choose delegates to the convention at the November 2018 election. The constitution says that voters will choose three delegates for each of the state’s 63 senate districts and then vote on 15 statewide fora total of 204 delegates.
  3. Those delegates will convene the convention in the following Spring. The delegates can make whatever changes they want to the constitution, there are no restrictions.
  4. Finally, the changes drafted by the delegates goes to the voters for final approval.

This vote is a contentious one, with organizations lining up to battle over the pros and cons. Under New York law, politicians and interest groups that raise or spend campaign donations must periodically report their activities. Last week, New Yorkers got a peek into the efforts to influence the upcoming question to be put to voters on whether they want to convene a state constitutional convention.

The campaign filings last week showed just how intense the upcoming debate will be. A coalition of groups urging a “no” vote on the constitutional convention, which they call “New Yorkers Against Corruption,” disclosed that it had raised $635,000 so far. Much of that was raised from unions: $50,000 from the teachers’ union and $250,000 from a health-care union.

The strange-bedfellow coalition includes Planned Parenthood, the United Federation of Teachers, the Rifle and Pistol Association, the Conservative Party, and many environmental organizations. It’s not just advocacy groups weighing in: In addition, the majority party leaders of the Senate and Assembly have urged opposition. The Senate Democratic minority leader is opposed, and the governor has expressed concerns.

A competing odd couple coalition which calls itself the Committee for a Constitutional Convention, is urging a “yes” vote and has raised $67,000, mostly from individual donors giving small amounts. In addition, a donor to many liberal causes, Bill Samuels, has spent more than $100,000 to support a “yes” vote. Lastly, the leader of the Republican Assembly minority has urged support for the convention.

Supporters argue that Albany’s a mess – corrupt, operating in secret, costing too much and that the state’s basic document is old, anachronistic, and contains provisions that are now considered unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution. Opponents argue that the current state constitution includes provisions that protect the Adirondack Park, require a sound, basic education for children, require that the poor are protected, and guarantee the pensions of public employees.

At New York’s last referendum for a constitutional convention, in 1997, the issue was voted down. Voters were unwilling to accept the risks.

As the battle over convening a convention heats up, with corruption trails upcoming and with a wobbly administration in Washington, we’ll see if New Yorkers have changed their minds.

Blair Horner is executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors.They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

Full page at http://wamc.org/post/blair-horner-fight-over-constitutional-convention-heats