Friday, May 30, 2008

Blaber and Hugh Reynolds' Predictions for the Dem Convention

NOTE: Predictions were made for the Exec race but Mike Berardi has since dropped out of the race for Executive.

Hugh Reynolds : Comptroller race very close, edge Auerbach

Donaldson's waffling between executive and comptroller strikes some as opportunistic, indecisive. He's still the chairman, which for some Democrats is position enough.
Auerbach's hometown fiscal issues will play large if he's the ultimate nominee. Ellenville's fiscal house is in disarray. Republicans will play on that. He has better credentials, having actively managed a (small) unit of government and has extensive business background.. Plus, he's not from Kingston.

Comptroller's a closer call. If Hein romps - better than 2-1 - Donaldson goes down.No love lost there anymore. On the other hand, Demos may want to split their vote. Strategy is important. If Hein vote is held first, edge to Auerbach. A Donaldson vote first would negate some anti-Hein sentiment.
I'd give Auerbach the nod here, but don't rule out a primary. Donaldson has all summer to either play golf or politics. He'll do both.

Blaber Agrees :

I agree with the political dean of the lower Hudson Valley, Auerbach will pull out the win this Monday, in a close but decisive vote. Auerbach seems to be winning over a lot of people and committees, even making inroads in the more Progressive committees--- where Dave was expected to do very well in. I never will count Donaldon out, I think it will be a close vote regardless but I think in the end Auerbach pulls out a big win at the convention.

NOTE : These are simply predictions and do not imply endorsements or favorites on the part of Hugh Reynolds or myself. For full disclosure I do happen to also be supporting Elliott Auerbach...Hugh Reynolds is not supporting any of the candidates.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


(L) Len Bernardo (R) James Quigley

The GOP has backed Len Bernardo to be their candidate for County Executive and James Quigley for County Comptroller. Bernardo, an Independent was appointed unanimously to be the GOP candidate for Executive.

James Quigley, who serves on the board of directors for Montrepose Cemetery, buried his opponent Jean Jacobs by a vote of 111-19 to capture the GOP endorsement for Comptroller.

More sad than Jacobs' crushing defeat, as a Democrat I was pushing for her, is the fact that only 130 people showed up to the Republican convention... by contrast the Democratic convention which takes place on Monday will attract well over double that amount.


Robin Yess, who is running against Cahill largly on the need for property tax reform, has coined the campaign slogan : Cahill no, Robin Yess.... well apparently last year Robin said YES to Assemblyman Kevin Cahill's property tax reform bill.. and gathered more than 300 signatures in support of it....more waffling and flip-flopping on Mrs. Yess' part.

"Highland resident Robin Vaccai-Yess, organizer of the New York Property Tax Reform Coalition [], is advocating for legislation, including the Equity in Education Act, sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston.

She has collected 300 signatures from 14 counties so far in her online petition and hopes to see a statewide grassroots effort in tax reform.

'This is an election year. This is the time to make noise,' said Vaccai-Yess, who works as a certified financial planner."

[from "Reform Unites Residents: Groups Are Formed to Press for Change in Taxation System" by Erikah Haavie-- Poughkeepsie Journal July 30th:]


It's official, Jonathan Sennett announced that he will be running for Chairman of the Ulster County Democratic party!! The announcement came tonight at the Ulster County Democratic executive committee meeting.

John Parete has had a good run and done a lot for our party but it's time for him to retire and move on. I feel that Mr. Parete did not do as much as he could in last years election for our party's nominee and it's hard to forget and move past.

In the end, Sennett lost by less than four thousand votes and despite the way things happened, has stayed active in the County committee and has joined his local New Paltz committee and was elected to serve as Vice-Chairman.

We need a leader in our party that will work hard to get Democrats elected and unite our party, so that the mistakes of last year are never repeated. During last year's D.A.s race, I had the privilege of working very closely with Jon and his family and consider them part of my own family, and would do anything for this is a little personal for me. However, I firmly believe there is no one that will fight harder for our party and bring us together like Jonathan Sennett and I'm proud to support him as chair of our party.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rev. Childs May Win Seat on School Board!!!!!!

The Kingston School Board has rescinded Amato's victory pending a recount. I guess there are some discrepancies with the vote and the margin is very close. Whether Amato won or not, with a three vote margin, a recount should take place. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that Rev. Childs pulls this one out.

Jean Jacobs Announces for County Comptroller

BREAKING NEWS: Jean Jacobs the GOP chair of Kingston announces she will be running for County Comptroller. Ms. Jacobs' candidacy will be over in less than 24 hours, no one will take this seriously. When I was first told, I was in hysterics , Jean is completely out of her league.

The only thing that remotely qualifies Jean to be the County Comptroller was her time as President of the Kingston School Board where she was in charge of a budget of more than 100 million dollars. However, her very short tenure on that board can be summed up in one word : DISASTER! Which is why as the incumbent School Board President she finished dead last in her bid for reelection.

The GOP convention tomorrow will be an embarrassment for Jacobs, Quigley will take over 95% of the exaggeration. WHAT IS JACOBS THINKING? I have to be honest as a partisan Democrat, I'm hoping Jean is the candidate. Best of luck, Jean!

The following is a letter Jean sent to the GOP Committee:

Dear Fellow Republicans: Date: May 28th, 2008

This letter hereby notifies you that I, Jean C. Jacobs, Republican Chairman in the City of Kingston, am officially running for the Ulster County Comptroller position. I am seeking the endorsement of the Republican, Conservative and Independence Parties. I have been a life-long City of Kingston resident and my family has always been true Republicans. I have raised four wonderful and successful children Robin, Daniel, Jared and Jessica.

I have been a community leader and volunteer for over 35 years. It is with great pride that I believe my professional experience and strength of character will give me the opportunity to fulfill my duties and job responsibilities if elected to this position. I have always created a platform of accountability in all of my accomplishments and I am determined and committed to succeed in this challenge. I am asking for your support and endorsement of the Republican Party in my decision to run for this position.

Among many of my qualifications, I have worked in finances as an Administrator in the Medical Health Care Industry and am a Professional Medical Practice Management Consultant, teaching practice management for over 37 years. During my career, I was the Administrative Finance Director of the Mid-Hudson Family Health Services Institute and I administered and managed numerous Federal and State contracts. I believe in the “Total Quality Management” approach to business management and have governed and managed budgets throughout my professional career.

I personally pledge to you that I will make the commitment and the sacrifices to be elected to this position in November. I believe that good government is based on the individual and that each person’s ability, dignity, freedom and responsibility must be honored and recognized. With your support, together we can make a difference and improve the present leadership and business practices within the County of Ulster.

Thank you for your professional time and consideration in this matter.


Jean C. Jacobs

Auerbach is Key to Dems Winning Comptroller Horse Race

The race is now on for County will not be a Democratic cake walk but a horse race to the finish. On the Republican side there is Jim Quigley who has an impressive resume to say the least and very deep pockets and will easily outspend whoever the Democratic candidate happens to be. On the Democratic side there are two candidates David Donaldson and Elliott Auerbach.

I'm glad that Jim Quigley has announced before the Democratic convention, we as Democrats have a clear choice to make to represent our party for the office of Comptroller, Elliott Auerbach or David Donaldson. I like Dave but he will NOT beat Jim Quigley in a general election. Quilgley will tout on his financial background, his private sector experience and the fact that the County needs a change, how we can't put different County people in higher positions and hope for a better result. Elliott is immune from all of those criticisms. Elliott has an impressive record in Ellenville, like Quigley has private sector experience and unlike Quigley has dealt with a governmental budget and the political aspects that are involved. Auerbach is also a candidate that can run circles over Quigley in a debate and will have a better appeal with voters.

Quigley's biggest flaw is the fact that he was the driving force against the County Charter...his response to that criticism if Donaldson is the candidate, will be that his opponent created a job for himself...again Elliott is immune to such criticism.

This race is too important to give up to the Republican party. For the record, while I disagree with Quigley, I like him personally and I know that he's a fighter, this race will be his life between now and November. We need a candidate that will fight just as hard.

In my humble opinion, there is only one candidate running that can go head to head with Quigley on qualification experience and win this November and that's Elliott Auerbach.


James Quigley

Pros- CPA, unlimited resources, extensive background in finance

Cons - Fought against the job he is now running for, never has dealt with the governmental process or a municipal budget, not a people person.

Elliott Auerbach

Pro- Is currently doing the job he is seeking for the Village of Ellenville, private and governmental experience, charismatic candidate that will appeal to voters.

Cons: None I can think of

David Donaldson :

Pros- knowledge of County Government

Cons : Does not have the necessary qualifications for the position, running for a position that he helped create, limited appeal to voters.

Yess Jumping Around

Robin Yess, candidate for the NYS Assembly, apparently has had some enrollment issues. Over the past 10 years she has changed her enrollment more than 3 times. Mrs. Yess was a Conservative in 1999, switched and became a Democrat in 2006 and then became a Republican in 2007.

It's not that big of deal I guess but I want an Assemblyman that knows what he/she believes in and does not jump around like one of those magic jumping beans. Whether you agree or disagree with Assemblyman Cahill, at least we know he's honest and we know where he stands on the issues. If Mrs. Yess can change her enrollment three time what will she change next? What if she's elected to the Assembly and changes her mind on the issues she ran on and promised during the election? I have a hard time trusting information like this.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quigley To Run for Comptroller

BREAKING NEWS : Jim Quigley has announced today that he will be seeking the Republican nomination for County Comptroller.

The following is an excerpt from Quigley's press release :

He( Quigley) has been associated for over 20 years with Rothschild – a company which manages over $1.5 billion in assets, as Chief Financial Officer. His responsibilities have been centered on Financial Reporting, Tax Planning and Compliance and Portfolio Management. During his tenure he has served on the Board of Directors of many of the Companies that the firm has invested in.

The guy deals with figures that are 5 times greater then the County's budget. This race will be tough, Quigley will be a tireless fighter and a worthy opponent. Anyone thinking this is a Democratic Cake Walk is sadly mistaken, the Dems need to put their best foot forward and put forth a candidate that is going to compete and realistically win in November.

Monday, May 26, 2008

March Gallagher Endorses Mike Hein for Executive

Cahill's Tax Reform Bill in the State Assembly... What is Yess Talking About?

Robin Yess' whole campaign is based on property tax reform in NYS, she is running against an Assemblyman that is leading the effort in a bipartisan way to do just that.

For some reason part of the text got cut off to view the bill click here : Cahill Bill

Bill Summary - A04746
Back | New York State Bill Search | Assembly Home
See Bill Text

A04746 Summary:

BILL NO    A04746

SAME AS No same as


COSPNSR Eddington, Peoples, Reilly, Rivera N, Weisenberg

MLTSPNSR Alessi, Benjamin, Boyland, Brennan, Destito, John, Kirwan, Latimer,
Lavine, Molinaro, Robinson, Schroeder, Seminerio

Add Art 71 Title V SS3501 - 3506, amd SS1909, 3601, 3602 & 3651, Ed L; rpld Art
13, add SS467-f & 307-b, amd RPT L, generally; rpld SS1204, 1211, 1212, 1261
sub (e) & 1262 sub (e), amd Tax L, generally

Makes provisions for the state to assume all costs of basic quality education
and for the elimination of real property taxes for the support of education;
requires board of regents to establish a schedule of mandatory basic services
and costs thereof; school districts shall submit an annual basic budget to the
department of education for basic services; increases taxes on personal income
and business; makes special provisions for reduction of tax in certain cities
and for reduction in rent by tenants in such cities; provides for phased in
methods of funding using a "Basic Quality Education" formula; repeals certain
provisions of the tax law and real property tax relating thereto.

A04746 Actions:

BILL NO    A04746

02/06/2007 referred to education
01/09/2008 referred to education

A04746 Votes:

A04746 Memo:


TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the education law, the real property
tax law and the tax law, in relation to abolishing certain school
taxes, providing for alternative taxes and state distribution to
school districts; and repealing certain provisions of the real
property tax law and the tax law relating to certain taxes

PURPOSE : The purpose of this plan is to permit the financing of
public schools in New York State within the context of the following

1) the elimination of the inequitable and regressive real estate tax
as the support of public schools;

2) the retention of present levels of local control by school
districts; and

3) the guarantee of quality and equality of educational opportunity
for all children of the state.


The plan consists of the following basic principles: 1) The state
shall assume all the costs of Basic Quality Education (BQE), including
all general and special education services which the commissioner,
under guidelines established by the legislature, shall define as
necessary. Basic quality education as defined by the commissioner,
shall allow sufficient latitude so that choices may be made by local
districts with respect to their individual needs. "BASIC" shall be
defined in terms of equal services to all pupils regardless of
differences in cost in different districts for those services.

2) The "BASIC" costs shall be borne by increases in statewide business
and individual income taxes in conjunction with the elimination of
school district real estate taxes. New York City, which does not
identify the school portion of its real estate taxes, and also
collects an income tax, shall apply the full amount of the school
portion of its budget toward a reduction in the real estate tax. The
same formula shall apply to the cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse
and Yonkers. Property tax reductions would be passed through to
tenants on a pro-rate basis where lease permits. Where this is
precluded by a lease, tenants will be entitled to tax credits or
rebates on their state income taxes for the duration of the lease.

3) BASIC budgets shall be submitted by local boards of education to
the State Education Department for approval.

4) All monies for BASIC budgets shall be collected by the state
through the business and personal income tax. The "BASIC Education
Tax" shall be levied as a percentage of the business or individual
income tax.

5) Transition period: During the first (seven) years after enactment,
a district may opt to receive as its BASIC BUDGET one of following: a)
budget amount of the school year during which this law shall take
effect (dollar save harmless); b) the district budget of the school
year during which this law shall take effect increased or decreased by
changes in enrollment (pupil save harmless); or c) the amount
resulting from the application of the BQE formula, but not to exceed
the average statewide increase over the prior year, plus 10% growth
ceiling. After five years only option (c) will apply.

JUSTIFICATION : This legislation would eliminate the use of
regressive real estate taxes for the purposes of funding education.
The bill first and foremost ensures that every child has access to the
same quality education regardless of where they live or the level of
their family`s income. By eliminating the school real property tax and
shifting to a more progressive statewide income tax, we will be able
to fund our schools equitably, fairly and more affordably for all New

Grassroots movements in every region of the state, have pushed
education funding reform to the forefront. There are groups fighting
for property tax relief, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity fighting for
more funding for New York City schools and small cities and towns all
across upstate New York struggling to balance their school budgets.

Since 1995, local property tax levies have grown by 60 percent, more
than twice the rate of inflation during that period (28 percent). Most
of this growth occurred in the last 5 years -- when property tax
levies increased by 42 percent, compared to inflation of 13 percent.
The cost of education has been the driving force behind these
destabilizing increases.

The bill requires the definition of a basic quality education be
developed in such a way that school districts retain sufficient
latitude to devise their budgets based on individual needs. In
creating a schedule of mandatory services and authorized costs, the
State Education Department will be directed to take regional cost
differences into account. Perhaps the most critical aspect of this
proposal, as it relates to local control, is that the initiatives and
expenditures that give each individual school district its own
identity -- programs that might not be deemed required to ensure a
basic quality education but are certainly necessary to give our
children the experience of a fully enriched education -- can still be
funded through a locally raised income tax subject to the approval of
the district voters.

The only way we are going to achieve meaningful school financing
reform is to proceed with the core societal value of this being about
our children. Ensuring that each and every child has access to the
same basic quality education regardless of where they live, how high
their family`s income is or how much their property is valued, should
be our top priority. The state has a moral and legal obligation to
ensure equity in our education system statewide.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : Transfer of taxes.

EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the first day of
January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law,
provided, however, that sections two, five, seven, eight and ten
through thirty-one of this act shall take effect on the first day of
January in the 5th year next succeeding such date.

Memorial Day--- A day to reflect

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Margaritas in Millbrook with Assemblyman Molinaro

Please help out our neighboring Assemblyman Marc Molinaro, he's a good guy and is an asset to the NYS Assemby.


Saturday, May 31st 5:00 to 7:00 pm

the Nussbickel Residence (3596 Route 82, Millbrook)

$100 per person - $250 business sponsors (1 admittance & sponsor recognition)

RSVP by completing the enclosed form & sending check to:

MJM for New York P.O. Box 36 ♦ Tivoli, NY 12583

For more information call: Ann at (845) 594-8182

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Auerbach for Comptroller

Auerbach has experience in both the public and private sector from managing a family business in the town where he was born and raised to his current position as the manager of Ellenville, overseeing a multi-Million dollar budget. Elliott has gained the experience to be a watch dog of a governmental agency without having been directly involved in the County. I think that is key, Elliott can go in and do the job unencumbered by favors and longstanding friendships.

When I first heard that Elliott Auerbach was running for Comptroller I was against his candidacy, I was hoping my friend and mentor Bill Reynolds would throw his hat in the race and my second choice was Dave Donaldson, who I like and respect. After Reynolds opted out, I originally signed on to Donaldson because I had questions and concerns with Elliott's support for Vince Bradley in the last election. I knew right away I made a mistake and was supporting Dave for the wrong reasons. Don't get me wrong I have nothing but respect for Donaldson but there is no question that Elliott Auerbach is the most qualified candidate and the most dynamic candidate to represent our party in November and to do the job as our first County Comptroller.

For those reasons Elliott has my full support and I encourage others to join with me, and reach out to Elliott and join his campaign.

Lunch with Reynolds

I got to sit down with Hugh Reynolds at mariner's Harbor for about an hour on Tuesday and we talked about a lot of different things memories from the past and ideas of the future. I expect to see the political dean of the lower Hudson Valley to make a return in some fashion soon. I like many other miss the guy, not so much the column...........

Yess Announces for Assembly

I went to the Robin Yess announcement the other day at T.R. Gallo park and it's pretty clear that Mrs. Yess is in over her head. About 4 people excluding Yess' family were in attendance and the message was clear : PROPERTY TAXES. Ms. Yess is a one issue candidate and those candidates are not successful....except in school board elections. :)

Robin Yess, kind of reminds me off Jenine Pirro who originally was going to run against Hillary for Senate and party leaders talked her out of it and told her to run for AG. Same deal, Yess announces for Exec and Catalano says I think maybe Assembly is better.....doomed from the start.

Cahill has nothing nothing to worry about, his record fighting for the people of the 101st speaks for itself. I predict a 65-35 victory for Kevin.

On a funny side bar : John Morrow lashed out at the Republican committee meeting on Tuesday night because not enough Republicans showed up at Yess' announcement. Even Blaber was there said an angry Morrow to his fellow committee people.... now Morrow will have to spend sometime figuring out who my GOP sources are.

Teetsel Stabs Cahill in the Back

Al Teetsel has come out in the Freeman and claimed that Rich Cahill used some language that was sexually inappropriate when referring to Anne Marie DiBella in a closed Republican Caucus last year when Cahill was Minority Leader. Therefore, Teetsel finds it hypocritical that Cahill is holding protests on sexual harassment that allegedly happened at DPW.

One, I don't doubt that Cahill said what Teetsel is claiming and two, I think the comments are uncalled for and inappropriate. I also strongly disagree with the protesting that has been going on, I think it is nothing more then politcal grandstanding on Cahill's part to attack Mayor Sottile.

With that being said, Teetsel, are you kidding me? Al Teetsel does NOTHING for his Ward and is complaining over some language Cahill used a year ago in a closed meeting? Give me a Break. Al, grow up and do something for your Ward. I think people should protest in front of Fairview Ave. about an absentee Alderman in Ward One that was elected simply because he has an R after his name.

Mike Berardi : I'm Running for Exec

Former County Legislator Mike Berardi announced that he a candidate for the Democratic nomination for County Executive. Everyone has the right to run and I respect Mike Berardi and his decision. Although, I strongly disagree with it. As a party we must get behind Mike Hein, he is the strongest candidate and is in the best position to take on Len Bernardo this November.

Amato Grabs Third Spot on School Board

Rich Amato took the third seat on the Kingston School Board beating out Rev. James Childs. I'm very disappointed to learn this news. Rev. Childs' ideas for the district are much more in line with my vision for the future of the district. Amato's victory and the defeat of the budget, and the candidacy of Childs, Costen, and my own is disturbing on many levels. This shows the low turn out was an anti-district vote.

I like Rich Amato on a personal level but his ideas are wrong for the board. It's easy to pander and talk about taxes being too high and administrators being over paid, it's a whole other story to offer realistic solutions to address these concerns. Nonetheless, Mr. Amato won fair and square and I wish him the best and I just hope he does the right thing.

It's disappointing that in a district as diverse as the Kingston City School District, we now have no representation from the African American community.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Thank You

I didn't win tonight but I did everything I possibly could to move forward my ideas for the district. Congratulations to Maureen Bowers, who is a great asset to the board, I'm glad she won reelection. Rev. Childs is someone I have a tremendous amount of respect for, if I had not run there would be no question he would of been one of the three that I supported. I'm confident in Childs' abilities and know he will do great things. I don't know Pam Boyle but I think her intentions are genuine and I wish her the best of luck.

It was a very low turn out and very anti-district, I'm sorry that the budget failed and that Rev.Coston lost his seat on the board. Obviously people are struggling and simply can't afford the rising costs of fuel and taxes, and this was their way of letting everyone know. I hope that fundamental programs and jobs will not be lost as a result.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Noonan Drops Bid for Exec

BREAKING NEWS : Glenn Noonan dropped his bid for Exec today....I'm very busy but I'll have full details tomorrow.

Sunday, May 18, 2008



Due to the fact this website is listed with the Poughkeepsie Journal, I am not allowed to discuss my own election, the Journal feels it would give me an unfair advantage to the other candidates and I respect that. I can however talk about the District budget, which is up for a vote this Tuesday, May 20th.

I think the budget is fair and has a very moderate increase this year, by far one of the lowest budgets in the Mid Hudson Valley. The budget was originally at 4.9 percent and was lowered to 3.1, after the board took an extra 485k they received in state aid and used it to offset the tax levy.

I know that taxes are on the rise all over, and the way public education is funded in NY through property taxes is a nightmare that effects everyone. The way to fix this is through real property tax reform and keeping this issue on the forefront.

If the budget is not passed it only affects the kids and it's not fair to them. This is a fiscally responsible budget and I urge everyone to go out and vote yes for the kids.

Blaber's News and Commentary Turns Two

As of March 2008, Blaber's News and Commentary has been up and running for two years. I started the website in 2006 and had about 10 visits per day, we are now up to well over a thousand daily visits and growing each day.

I'm in the process of tuning up a few things, making it more mainstream and taking this website to the next level. Expect to see some major changes in the next few weeks. Thank you all for visiting and I hope to be around for at least another two years!

Best Wishes to Senator Kennedy

Senator Ted Kennedy apparently had a seizure this morning at his home and was rushed to the hospital. Originally it was feared that the senior Senator from Massachusetts had suffered from a stroke, which thankfully was not the case. Senator Kennedy is reportedly resting comfortable and expected to make a full recovery. Our thoughts are with him and his family.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Parete Announces Reelection to Elections Post

Below is a letter from John Parete announcing his reelection as elections commissioner. I hear Peter Loughran and another person may be interested in the position as well. I very likely could see myself voting for Parete if he backs Sennett for party chairman.


May 15, 2008

Dear Fellow Democratic Committee Member,

Almost three years ago, when you elected me Commissioner of Elections, I had no idea what a challenging and interesting job it was going to turn out to be. In this short time, I can say, without exaggeration, that there have been more changes in how we run elections here in New York than in the past fifty years. The Help America Vote Act and New York’s election law put the entire responsibility for all aspects of elections in the hands of the Board of Elections (the “BOE”). And this was not the biggest change or challenge that we have successfully implemented.
The most important task that I’ve worked on since you elected me Commissioner has been the implementation (selection, purchase, and deployment) of new voting machines. I am proud to say that, through many hours of studying the pros of optical scan/paper ballot machines versus the cons of the electronic touch screen machines and my unwavering advocacy within the BOE, Ulster County residents will be voting on paper ballots starting in 2009. This is the result that you, as Democratic committee members, asked me to achieve, and I am happy to say that I delivered it.

The new machines are an enormous logistical and educational undertaking, and we are currently developing the programs and materials to make sure that both our elections workers and the voting public are fully educated in the use of these new machines. Nothing could be worse for the county or the Democratic Party than not succeeding in this effort. I am asking you to vote for me at the June convention for another term as Commissioner so that I can see this endeavor through.

My time as Commissioner has also demonstrated to me that we Democrats face a skilled and dedicated adversary in the Republican Commissioner, who will take any advantage he can, within the election law. My two and half years as Commissioner, my almost ten years as Chair of the County Democratic party, and my 15 years as Chair of the Town of Olive Democrats have given me a good grasp of the ins and outs of New York’s quite complex election law so that I can more than hold my own and protect the interests of our Party, as far as the law allows.

It would be remiss of me to talk about my work here at the BOE without giving credit and praise to my hard-working staff. I’ve been very lucky to have been able to recruit an extremely well qualified staff in terms of experience and education. This has enabled us to offer to you, as committee members, and to the Democratic public, what I believe is a high degree of professional service.
I would hope that I can count on you for your support. As always, my door is open to each and every one of you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me about this or any matter at any time.

Sincerely yours,

John Parete

Thursday, May 15, 2008


So, is Jim Quigley running for Comptroller or not? Well if you ask GOP County Executive candidate Glenn Noonan, Quigley is not only running but he's going to be the GOP hopefuls running mate. It seems an overly eager Noonan printed up bumper stickers for the team Noonan -Quigley and was passing them out at a local New Paltz establishment.

Quigley tells a different side of the story, this was done without my consent, I have not announced for anything. Furthermore, I have met with Mr. Noonan and informed him that I would not be supporting him, said Quigley.

Without the support of Quigley, the bank roller of the GOP party, Noonan's bid for the Republican nomination could be in trouble. Only time will tell.

Quigley would not rule out running for Comptroller under a ticket that did not include Noonan.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Edwards Endorses Obama

John Edwards today came out and endorsed Barack Obama. While, I'm behind Hillary 110% this is not a good day for Senator Clinton. The delegate count is not looking good and the super delegates are leaning toward Obama. I have nothing against Obama and will support him if he wins the nomination. I just hope Obama is strong enough to beat McCain in November.


Clinton trounced Obama in West Virginia with 67% of the vote. No Democrat has won the White House since 1916 without winning West Virginia. The Super Delegates must go with Senator Clinton so we can take back the White House.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Kingston Mayor Jim Sottile has filed a libel suit against Clark Richters over comments made on his blog, Ulster County Politics, allegedly reporting that the Mayor was going to be indicted on bid rigging. In the suit Sottile claims to have suffered ridicule, damage to his good name and reputation and is seeking 100 thousand dollars in damages.

Mayor Sottile and his attorney Joe O'Connor, are both friends of mine so I'm not going to comment on the matter. I do feel however, Sottile is trying to make a point with this lawsuit more than anything else. Furthermore, Jim Sottile is a person with a family and just because he is a public official does not give anyone the right to say whatever they want about him.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Exec Race Over, Comptroller Taking Shape

The race for Executive is almost over and it's just early May. Hein may walk into the Democratic convention unopposed and will have his huge campaign fund intact to spread his campaign message forward this November. On the Republican side you have two candidates, Len Bernardo and Glenn Noonan fighting it out. The party leaders want Bernardo, I expect Noonan to fight the hard fight and walk away with the party's nomination in September. Either way it's Hein in a landslide this November.

The race for Comptroller is a little more interesting, David Donaldson, a veteran politician who has a pretty solid track record and Elliott Auerbach, the manager for the Village of Ellenville are facing off in a primary for the Democratic nomination this September. While no GOP challenger has stepped up yet, I expect one will this week. Smart money says Tom Turco or Jim Quigley will be the GOP candidate.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hillary Clinton skewered by SNL as a Sore Loser

I thought it was funny and I'm a Hillary supporter.

Obama's Been To 57 States?

I'm sure Obama knows how many States there are. At least I hope that as a Harvard Law graduate and leading Presidential candidate that he does. This is what a non stop 16 hour campaign day will do to you. It's funny nonetheless.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Hugh Reynolds Let Go by Freeman

BREAKING NEWS : This is the beginning of the end for the Daily Freeman. Their best asset is gone, like or dislike the guy he was a great political editor, I didn't always agree with his opinions but I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and as someone involved in journalism, he was someone I looked up to.

While many people are happy that Hugh Reynolds is gone, remember that the Freeman just ended this guy's career without the proper respect of an employee that dedicated over 30 years to their organization. To Reynolds this was not just a job, you can't do it for as long as he did if it was, this was his passion.

This is the equivalent of an attorney losing his law license. Being the political editor of the Freeman was what he did and what he will be remembered for. I understand that the Freeman is in financial trouble but a proper send off would have been more appropriate then just laying the guy off as if he was some regular employee. When you think of the Freeman you think of Hugh Reynolds, not Ira Fusfeld or anyone else. This move for the Freeman was not a smart one, and I think in the end they will regret it.

When you do something you love you never have to work a day in your life, and I think was true for Hugh Reynolds. I wish him the best in retirement. His departure from the Freeman is probably a good thing, the owner of the franchise just got knocked off the NY Stock exchange and it is now cheaper to buy their stock than to buy a copy of the Freeman. In two years the paper will be history, like their credibility.

Hope to see you around, Reynolds.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Support Senator Clinton in Freeman Poll

The Daily Freeman has a poll out on whether or not Hillary should stay in the presidential race at this point. Please go to their website and vote for her.

Freeman Poll --poll on bottom right hand corner.

Give Carnright the Money

District Attorney Holley Carnright is asking the County legislature for an additional 120k in the 2008 County budget to give his full time staff raises. The current 1.9 million dollar budget Carnright described as bare-bones.

Carnright says these raises are necessary to stay competitive with other Counties. '' I'm afraid we may lose key personal said Carnright.

I agree with D.A. Carnright, you get what you pay for and the County must invest money in the D.A.'s office. You can't expect to attract a talented staff to serve as an A.D.A. for 45k per year, at least not for any lengthy period of time anyway.

I urge the criminal justice committee and the U.C. legislature to approve the request by D.A. Carnright.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Alderman Hoffay takes the oath of office administered by Judge James P. Gilpatric as Council President James Noble looks on.


County Minority Leader Glenn Noonan made it official today and jumped in the race for County Executive. It looks like he may have a challenge from this Bernardo guy but the fact is we don't know this guy. Noonan has the name recognition and as one of his fellow Republican's put it to me today is a true Republican solider.

This is not an endorsement for Noonan, I think his ideas for the County are off the beaten path but with his experience in County government and his fighting for Republican causes, some of which are hard to fight for, makes him worthy of the GOP nod.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Alderman Hoffay's Swearing in Ceremony Tonight

Tom Hoffay, will be sworn in tonight as Kingston's Second Ward Alderman at Kingston City Hall at 7pm by Judge James P. Gilpatric. Hoffay, a former city and County Democratic Chairman will do a great job and we as a community are lucky to have someone of his caliber in the Second Ward.

So came out and show your support for Alderman Hoffay tonight.

ON ANOTHER NOTE: A deal is a deal : Hoffay 102 : Timing is everything. Hoffay told me that Bill Reynolds would NOT run for County Comptroller. I told him if he was right, I would publicly admit that I was wrong on my blog. As usual, Hoffay lives up to his status as the smartest person I know. Tom, I was wrong but it is only a matter of time before the student surpasses the teacher.

Poll Changes

Due to Susan dropping out of the Exec race..I took down the poll between her and Mike. I replaced it with the two announced candidates for Exec...Democrat Mike Hein and Republican Len Bernardo.

Saugerties Committee Backs Bernardo for Exec

Saugerties' gop committee has backed Independence party member Len Bernardo for Exec over Republican Glenn Noonan. Bernardo has the backing of Senator Bonicic who is pushing hard to get Bernardo the nomination so he can take control of the State Independence party....more details on that soon. The scheming of the Republican party never ceases to amaze me. How can they back this Bernardo guy for Bonacic? Noonan is a Republican who goes and takes hits for his party all day long...why hang him out to dry?

Monday, May 05, 2008

What's Next?

Who would of thought that Susan Zimet who many think of as someone that is a polarizing figure and a party divider, now has a unique opportunity to unite the Ulster County Democratic Committee. Yesterday by dropping out of the race she took the first step, she should take a week or so to lick her wounds and endorse Mike Hein for County Executive. We can all go into the June convention as a united party.

Unless Kevin Cahill decides to run a last minute effort for County Executive, which has been rumored, Mike Hein will be the next County Executive. The real race was securing the Democratic nomination and Mike has all but done it. Today was a good day for Democrats and an awful disappointed day for Mario Catalano and company.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Breaking News, Exclusive: Zimet today dropped her bid for Ulster County Executive at the Democratic County Brunch.

The announcement came as a shock to everyone, including Zimet supporters who had absolutely no idea that Susan was dropping her bid for the County's top spot. Zimet said that while she has the support to run and believes she probably is the right person to lead the fight, it was not her fight. Instead she plans to tackle Property tax reform and has not ruled out a run against Bonacic in the 42nd district this November.

I think this is the right move for Susan, she is a tireless fighter and advocate for the issues that she believes in and would be a great State Senator. If she chooses to run she has my full support.

Why I am Supporting Mike Hein for County Executive

How as a Sennett supporter and a progressive yourself can you not support Susan Zimet? Why are you backing Hein, a former Republican?

5:42 PM

I received the above comment on my blog and thought I would take the time to once and for all address why I am supporting Mike Hein for County Executive.

Back in November when Hein announced, I knew and liked Mike but was dead set against him becoming Executive. Mike was a former Republican and to me he seemed like a political opportunist that should not be the leader of this party. So, I launched DRAFT CAHILL, a blog dedicated to getting our Assemblyman, Kevin Cahill to run for Ulster's top spot... before he was appointed to the powerful Energy committee, it looked as if he may be interested in running. (btw- Cahill and Mike until now, had idea I was behind that website.)

It was at the leadership vote for Chairman of the legislature when I changed my mind about Mike Hein. After the vote I was in Sue Ronga's office talking to her and Mike came in and we had a conversation about the county and why he was running. Mike completely blew me away and I walked out of that office thinking this guy is the real deal.

Mike Hein is just a regular guy that's interested in making Ulster County the best place to live and work for his family and thousands of other families across the County. And, there is absolutely no one that can stack up next to him as far as qualifications are concerned. He can do the job because he has done it and has done the job in a successful manner.

As far as the politics are concerned, only the political insiders with their own agenda care that Mike Hein has not been a life long Democrat. There are a lot of committee people that are supporting Susan Zimet only because they hate John Parete. There are some that are only supporting Mike because they hate Sue Zimet. Both of those reasons are flawed and limited within the Democratic committee. We need to move past all of this, the general public couldn't care less about the inside baseball type politics.

I am supporting Mike because he is above the partisan politics that have divided this county for many years on BOTH sides of the aisle. Last year Hein stood up to the EMS, knowing full well that when he ran for Exec this year it would cost him the Independence line because of the unfair way their interview process works. But it was never a matter of looking out for himself or his own political career, like a good leader he did what was best for the people he represented and at the end of the day it was a matter of what was right and what was wrong. Furthermore, Hein is by far the only candidate qualified to lead a 325 million dollar cooperation that oversees two thousand employees. And, again, he can do it because he's done it.

Friday, May 02, 2008


I have new polls up on two potential primaries this September for County Executive. It's just for fun and interesting to see. The poll is NOT scientific. But, as they say, vote early and vote often.