Tuesday, December 30, 2008


For personal and professional reasons I am shutting down this blog. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to have done the first political blog in Ulster County, which lasted for more than three years!

I enjoyed doing this blog and had a lot of fun with it. I hope that many of my loyal readers enjoyed it as well, even if you did not always agree with my views! I would like to thank Bill Reynolds, Hugh Reynolds, Rich Parete, Roger Rosenbaum, Josh Sommers, Elliott Auerbach, Jon and MariAnn Sennett, as well as everyone else that inspired this blog and encouraged it's existence as a place for current political news.

Maybe someday in the not so near future it will make a comeback in some fashion. Below are some of the campaigns that I covered and participated in that really made the blog worth it.

Thanks for reading!!!

-Jeremy Blaber


Eliott's victory is something I am very proud of. The guy put his heart and soul in that race and it was by no means a sure thing. Elliott had to fight for his life for the Dem nomination and than go up against the good ol' boys in the general election. At the end of the day Elliott was outspent like 7:1. Elliott ran a true grass roots campaign and never once went negative or jeopardized his integrity. His victory proves that the voters are not as stupid as we think... (credit my Uncle Alderman Crespino for famously coining that quote) and that all the money his opponent threw into the race could not buy Elliott's experience, qualifications or integrity.

The night Elliott won the Dem convention!!!!
The best campaign slogan ever!
Anything for a vote!
Elliott and Judy with dignitaries from Ireland


This is another race that I am very proud of..while Jon was not successful this time he will be in 2011. The guy put in everything he had and without bringing up bad memories we all know why he is not DA. I went into that race thinking I knew all there was to know about Ulster County politics and finished realizing how little I did know. It was the best learning experience and by far the greatest campaign I ever participated in.
Harry Tuman said if you want a friend in politics get a dog, it's so true but Jon is def an exception to that saying, I met Jon at his first fundraiser in New Paltz and learned so much from him, not just about politics but about life. Jon became my best friend and role model, I love him and his family and I am so grateful for everything he has done for me and taught me.

After Jon won the convention

Sennett with Eliot Spitzer during better times for the former Gov
How can I forget putting in those stakes in the frozen ground with Madsen all over the county
Jon at the fair

Holley takes a rare moment to campaign last year

2011 is only a few years away my friend!


Jim Sottile's campaign in 2007 was really a cake walk..I am glad he won.

Sottile takes the oath with our new full time Dem Judge Gilpatric!!!!


Paul Van Blarcum's campaign was really what set the ground work for Dems to get elected county wide in Ulster. Paul ran a flawless campaign from start to finish and beat his opponent 2:1 despite being outspent by the same margin. Sheriff Van Blarcum has went on to become a great Sheriff and makes this county proud every day!

Our great Sheriff!
Van Blarcum with than Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, again during better times

A Few Quick Predictions For the Road

While I have been focusing heavily on county stuff the past year in a half, my heart has always remained in Kingston politics where I got my start. Here are a few predictions for the common council in 09

Ward 1 - For the first time in living memory, this ward will go Democratic. Alderman Teetsel has lost his way with the party and failed to be a voice for Ward 1. If Linda Provanzano runs it's over before it starts but either way this ward goes blue.

Ward 2- The GOP finally wise up and run a candidate other then Phil but it's not enough, Hoffay is strong and will coast to a second term

Ward 3- Landi in a landslide

Ward 4- Shirley Whitlock is untouchable

Ward 5- If DiBella runs she wins but we see this ward as up for grabs

Ward 6- Ron Pollocco has nothing to worry about, he will coast to a second term and then run for Mayor

Ward 7 Majority Leader Reynolds is the Teflon Alderman

Ward 8- Alderman Senor loses his bid for reelection :(

Ward 9- Alderman Madsen pulls out an easy victory

Common Council goes 6-3 Dems

I also see Jim Sottile recovering from the missteps of 2008, the guy has a lot of heart and has taken some unfair criticism from members of his own party. Those fences need to be mended, once that is done Hiz Honor will have no trouble in 2011.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Elliott Auerbach and Mike Hein Swearing In, Jan 1st


Elliott Auerbach

Monday, December 22, 2008

Molinaro Stands Up for Greenway Community Council

State Assemblyman Marc Molinaro has told Governor David Paterson that he opposes a proposal to eliminate the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council and Hudson River Valley Greenway Heritage Conservancy.

Under the governor’s budget proposal – in which he wants to eradicate the $15.4 billion state deficit – he called for the transfer of the two agencies’ liabilities, assets, and responsibilities to the Department of State.

“For more than a decade, as Village of Tivoli mayor and Dutchess County legislator, I saw firsthand the tremendous benefits these relationships have had on the residents of the entire Hudson Valley,” Molinaro said in a letter to the governor.

“The Greenway’s success in spurring inter-municipal cooperation and regional planning is a model for cost savings and consolidation at the local level,” Molinaro said.

“The bottom line,” said the Republican assemblyman, is that, “I do not believe that a savings of less than $100,000 (assuming the loss of federal revenues for the management of the National Heritage Area and re-assignment of Greenway staff) is sufficient reason for elimination of these highly functional and successful organizations shifting the responsibility to the Department of State.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blaber News Person of the Year : Assemblyman Kevin Cahill

2nd Year running, Kevin Cahill named Blaber News Person of the Year.

Full write up to follow

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blaber News' Third Annual and FINAL Person of the Year VOTE NOW

I am once again asking for your help in selecting Blaber News' third annual and final person of the year. Blaber News' person of the year must be an active member of the community that has made significant contributions to making Ulster County a better place to live work and raise a family.

Voting will go on for a week and the winner will receive the Blaber News Person of the Year plaque, and a full page write up on Jeremyblaber.com

Vote on the right side of the blog and feel free to use the comment section to write in a nominee that may not be on the list.

Full descriptions of the nominees will be done in the next day or so but for now here are the nominees and the specific reason to why they were nominated:

Mayor Jim Sottile- For his unwavering support of the long dormant Kirkland Hotel, even when it was an unpopular idea that hurt him with labor in his 2007 election. The Kirkland had it's grand opening April 11th of this year.

Comptroller elect Elliott Auerbach- Elliott Auerbach was elected Ulster County's first Comptroller in the closest election in Ulster County's history. Auerbach ran a true grass roots campaign being outspent by his opponent more than 5:1, despite this, Elliott never went negative or jeopardized his integrity or the integrity of the office that he was seeking. His election is truly historic.

Executive elect Mike Hein- Mike Hein was elected to be the first Executive of Ulster County in a landslide, running a well organized campaign and focusing on his great successes as county administrator. Hudson Valley Business magazine stated that " Mike Hein has delivered more reform in his two years as administrator than the previous 29 combined."

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill-
- Kevin Cahill who was the 2007 Blaber News Person of the Year, was recently reelected to another term in the state assembly winning almost 70% of the vote. Cahill is a tireless advocate for Ulster County and is the new chair of the Assembly's energy committee.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Comptroller Elect

Auerbach Wins Comptroller Race!!!!

The people of Ulster County have elected Elliott Auerbach to be their first County Comptroller. I can't tell you how happy I am, Elliott is going to be an excellent Comptroller and will make this county proud!

I also think that a tremendous amount of credit should be given to Jim Quigley, who ran a great campaign and is a true gentleman. We had our disagreements but I have the utmost respect for the guy.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Focus Media Nets Townsend As New C.O.O.

Jay Townsend

Conngrats to Josh Sommers on his new hire, it's disappointing to see that Josh will no longer be working on political campaigns. I had the opportunity to get to know and work with Josh and he is one of the best in the business here locally. I recommend Focus media to anyone or buisness looking to get their message out. Below is the story from the Record.

MONTICELLO — Focus Media, the public relations and marketing firm that has made a reputation with campaigns getting Democrats elected to office, has hired Republican strategist Jay Townsend.

Townsend will become the company's chief operating officer on Dec. 1, said Focus Media President and CEO Josh Sommers.

"He brings a world of experience to our firm, and he's going to be able to open a lot of doors," Sommers said.

For the past few years, Sommers has redirected his firm's focus away from politics and onto building a portfolio of corporate clients such as Real Estate Solutions, Walden Savings Bank and Monticello Gaming & Raceway.

Firm taking on national clients

Townsend, a Cornwall-on-Hudson resident who owns the political strategy firm The Townsend Group, helped engineer major campaign victories for Republicans. He's credited with helping Patrick Buchanan win the New Hampshire presidential primary.

Sommers said Townsend's political savvy will translate well as the firm takes on larger, national clients.

"There is a methodology to political work" that will translate well to corporate clients, Townsend said. "You start with a certain market share, and your job at the get-go is to secure your base and then invade the base and turf of the other candidate."

Townsend said the economic downturn means corporate America will see "a tremendous period of upheaval," with many weaker companies not surviving. He added that companies that don't advertise to protect their market share might not survive the downturn.

Focus Media is opening an office in Goshen. Townsend will oversee business operations at that office and its existing office in Monticello. The firm employs eight people, up from three less than two years ago.

With the exception of one outstanding commitment, Focus Media will no longer accept political clients. Townsend said he will operate his strategy firm separately from Focus Media.



For the first time in almost 8 years, we are going to have a President and an administration that we can be proud of!!!!

Now the fight for Hillary's Senate seat begins...I'm pulling for Suozzi but it's a long shot. Smart money says Cuomo or Gillibrand.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bob Porter Elected Dem Boss in Ulster

Former Kingston Alderman and Ulster resident Bob Porter was elected unanimously to serve as the new chair of the town of Ulster Democratic Committee. Mike Berardi, who was also nominated, declined to run saying that Bob Porter was a person that had the skills and ability to do the job effectively.

Mr. Porter's first order of business was to schedule a holiday party at the Reservoir Inn, to start fundraising for town board races that will take place next year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Elliott Auerbach has taken the lead in the race for Ulster County Comptroller. Elliott is leading Quigley by 74 votes with 5 districts left to be counted. Keep thinking positive my friends, the worm has turned!!

Monday, November 24, 2008


167 votes separate Elliott Auerbach from becoming Ulster County's first Comptroller. Good thoughts and optimism are desperately needed my friends!!

MONDAY 11.24.08

We started the day behind by 366

Today narrowed the gap as we continue to open up both absentee and affidavit ballots.


Here is what helped us today:

Town of Rochester +62

Town of Rosendale +47

Town of Shandaken +48

Remainder of City of Kingston +33

First 4 Districts in Saugerties +8

Here is what we have left:

321 Shawangunk

394 Woodstock

500 Saugerties

200+ Set aside and objected to ballots


First, I offer my early congrats on Hillary Clinton becoming our Secretary of State, it could not go to a better more qualified person. As you know I supported Hillary Clinton for President and I think she will be great as our top Diplomat.

Someone else I supported in early 2006 was a guy named Tom Suozzi who was running for Governor in a primary against Eliot Spitzer. I supported Tom early on and I switched to Spitzer because I met Governor Spitzer and he was clearly the guy for the job.

While I don't regret my support for the former Governor, I think NY would be in better shape in if in 06 we had elected Tom Suozzi, a guy that reformed Nassau County and has fought hard against corruption on every level and someone that has been a leader in fighting for property tax reform in this state.

We need a guy like Tom Suozzi fighting for us in the Senate, a voice that will not be silenced, a leader and someone that will be an advocate for NY, like Senator Clinton has been.

I hope that Governor Patterson sends Tom Suozzi to Washington, I don't think any of us will be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stevens Out, Quigley Next

Today Senator Ted Stevens lost his bid for reelection to his Democratic challenger after all the absentee ballots where counted.... One down, one to go.