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


Anonymous said...

Peter Lougrhan? No way, no how.

Anonymous said...

Backing someone if they vote for your guy is not healthy for the Democratics. Vote for the person if you feel they have done a good job or will do a good job. Is this how your decisions on the school board will be determined?

Anonymous said...

Hey the republicans are the ropes so lets all play nice

Anonymous said...

Well you just outed yourself as a committee member who can be bought for a price....we democrats can be proud of your unbiased evaluation of prospective candidates.

Anonymous said...

Contact you at any time? How about all last summer when you turned your back on the Democratic candidate for DA?

Then you told the public you know nothing about computer-based results AND that the party was broke.

If that is leadership, I'd hate to see what incompetence looks like.

Jeremy Blaber said...

8:01 PM :

I simply will not support John Parete for both positions. Nothing more. I am only one vote.


Anonymous said...

Peter Loughran has at least one thing that Parete hasn't got: integrity.

Anonymous said...

Donaldson supports you for school board and you support his choice for BOE or Chair. Nice trade. Donaldson is a snake. Just like when is was on the council, he is always trying to pull back room deals. So now you are joining that club Blaber?

Jeremy Blaber said...

Donaldson is a good guy and is one of many supporting me for school board including his opponent, Elliott Auerbach who is also a good guy.

What deals are you talking about? Where did you see that I was supporting Lourgran for the job. As for Chairman, my support for Sennett has nothing to do with Donaldson. To be honest I don't know of any office I wouldn't support Jon for.

Anonymous said...

Parete has two things Peter Loghran has never had, a business and a job. Pete lives with his mother and has never held a fulltime job. He's spent his entire life looking for a job. His only income is county money, mom pays for everyhting else.

Anonymous said...

Those of you who have the gall to trash John Parete must have Alzheimer's!

Have you forgotten the dismal decades of GOP control?

Do you forget that before Mr. Parete, the U.C. Legislature enjoyed majorities like 28-5?

Do you really think that with a 28-5 GOP controlled Legislature, we would ever have a county charter revision?

We owe a lot to John Parete. It's a shame that some of my fellow Democrats want to toss the Captain overboard.

Abe Greenstein

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I bet if Peter Loughran had a job he would pay his taxes... can the same be said of John Parete?

Parete embarassed the Democratic Party by failing to pay his property taxes a couple years back.

Anonymous said...

I have never written on here about this but I think it is time we look at an issue from an entirely different perspective. In regard to Parete, Vince Bradley Jr. and Judge Bradley.

How can any Democrat forget the ruling after ruling that Judge Bradley, rightfully so, made for the Ulster County Democrats with redistricting and single member districts?

Could it be possible that Chairman Parete felt a sense of loyalty and debt to a man who was a very big part of the Democrats success in Ulster County? Without Judge Bradleys rulings, Ulster County would still have those ridiculous Republican drawn districts that had as many 7 Legislators in one district spread over 3 or 4 towns.

It was Judge Bradley who ruled that Ulster County must realign the districts into more realistic and FAIR boundaries that would allow the voters to choose Legislators on a more equitable balance in relation to enrollment.
John Parete brought the case.

Did Parete bend over backwards to give Bradley Jr. a chance? Yes he did. Was it to honor what Judge Bradley had done for the Democrats? Who knows, but I certainly hope that the thought entered into Parete's decision. It is loyalty that keeps any organization strong and I think Parete demonstrated extreme loyalty to a man who had since passed away.

I respect Jon Sennett and the guts and hard work he showed during his campaign, but I also respect John Parete for the guts and Democratic Party loyalty he has shown for many, many years.

Anonymous said...


Can you explain what qualifications Sennett has to be the chair of the party. Aside from the election last year, he has no background in county politics, has not been a committee member for more than six months and never attended the convention as a member of the committee or participated in the process of choosing between candidates.

He ran his own campaign, and under the circumstances, he did fairly well. That is far from experience for the job as chairman.

Has he ever circulated a petition for anyone other than himself? Before last year, has he done any work on voter registration? Any work on campaign financing? Ever sat on any public board or held any public office? Has he ever chaired any kind of public meeting?

Didn't think so.

He's a good man, a good lawyer and he has a bright future, but let's not force a round peg into a square hole.

Anonymous said...

The rest of the people here are to busy trying to get their pogo badge.

Anonymous said...

Siding with Bradley over the wishes of the party majority was shoving a square peg into a round hole. Regardless of loyalty to his family, he should have known better than to actively work to throw an election. Party members and committeepeople need to remember that the voters' will is more important than their own. Without voters you have nothing. Just a club for losers. Jon Sennett is the most recently approved vote getter in this county and thereby is the most qualified leader. I think that means more than the wishes of party insiders. Staying on top of what the constituency demands is a skill that was sorely lacking this past election and needs to be corrected before the party loses again.

Anonymous said...

"You simply will not support Parete for both positions" have already made clear you are not supporting him for does that mean you are supporting him for BOE? Why would it matter who he supported for chairman..himself or someone else...he is either the best candidate for BOE or he isn't. That is all you should be concerning yourself with. The fact that you have acknowledged you can be bought has just cost you me and my family's votes for school board. That is the last thing that this school board needs...we have enough people on there who will sell their votes for the right price. This school board needs some independent voices and it would now appear that you are not that.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy, you are unfair. You will not post anything in the least bit negative about this guy Sennett. I wrote and said, "the only support he has for Chairman of the Democratic party are those followers who want all Democratic committee members who supported Bradley last year, out of the party. Sennett's support from the convention was nonbinding. Democratic committee members were allowed to vote for who they felt was the best candidate. He cannot bring party members together because of the "destroy them" mentality of Sennett supporters. Come on Jeremy,print this or I'll post on the other blog.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the worst of it all was how Parete said he supported Sennett 100 percent and then worked against him in every way possible.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Nasty Is A Nasty Little Devil?

Anonymous said...

No wonder Jeremy didn't post 4:00 p.m.'s commments - they're asinine. Jon Seneett couldn't throw out the committee members who didn't support him even if wanted to. Dem committeemembers can vote for whomever they choose; no one has said otherwise. But as a committeemember, you have been elected to get Democrats elected, not Conservative candidates. As a committeemember, you are disloyal for working against the nominee. There is a huge difference between not voting for someone and working against that person. You're so small-minded you're unable to understand this. Where do you get the notion that Sennett supportes have a "destroy them" attitude? You're paranoid - the only place where Sennett supporters wanted to - and did - destroy anyone was at the voting booth, where Jon destroyed Jr. Because your boy lost big time, you're afraid that Jon Sennett is coming after you to destroy you...hide under your bed (or do you prefer the closet?); the bogey man is after you. The Committee Chair's job is to get Democrats elected - the reason why Parete must go is because he didn't do that this time around - not because he couldn't, but because he wouldn't. He put his personal loyalty ahead of the party, and he did nothing to help District 8. He lost the top spot and allowed the Dem majority to dwindle - time to send him out to pasture.

Anonymous said...

"Destroy them mentality" ?? A little defensive are we? Throwing an election is just beneath contempt and those that chose that path have made their own beds. Live with the consequences of treason and either learn from it or get lost. I think most reasonable Democrats realize in hindsight that working for a party failure wasn't a constructive activity. You can chose to divide and destroy the party out of vindictive animosity or you can get on board with the majority. The Kingston/Hurley "mafia" isn't in control anymore.

Anonymous said...

I ask once again, what experience does Sennett have to replace Parete?

I have yet to hear any answer.

Setting aside last year, no real party experience. No previous elected office. No experience serving on any local community board or organization. No experience with voter registration, fund raising, or choosing candidates.

While I agree with many of the complaints about Parete, it comes down to if not him, than who?

Still no real answer on that question either. . .

Anonymous said...

Though Sennett's involvement politically is admittedly minimal, he has served his community in New Paltz on various boards. But, people in Kingston think that everything outside of Kingston is the Hinterlands - you know, outhouses, party lines, dial-up, etc. Please remember that experience doesn't guarantee success (Bush was experienced as a chief executive, too). The biggest challenge any party chair faces is finding qualified candidates to run for office. I think he'll do fine if the Bradley supporters stop trying to keep the party divided. Comments like "the 'destroy them' mentality" perpetuate the divide.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:31 is on target. This is how I see it:

The Democrats remain divided in two camps. Camp One: Middle-to-conservative "status quo" Dems (Kingston centered - led by
Parete(s), Cahill, Hinchey, Sottile, Delbella, Provenzano and the Bradley minority) and Camp Two: the more progressive change & reform Dems (more decentralized - led by folks like Donaldson, Madsen, Hoffay, Blaber, Rosendale's McDonough, Marbletown's Martello, Marlborough's Lanzetta(s), among others - and Jon Sennett.)

The problem is that these divisions among the Dems reduce chances that Dems will can get elected. (exhibit #1 - Holley Carnwright)

This ongoing situation reminds me of the impulse some progressive New Paltz Dems had to diminish and disenfranchise the progressive Green party after Gore lost to Bush and Nyquist lost to West- rather than to assimiliate their energy, embrace their success, and work with them achieve mutual policy objectives. (I note this is something we see playing out to some extent on the national scene between Clinton and Obama, too.)

The lesson we can learn is that when the struggle to preserve your public office, personal prestige or power-base is more inportant to you than working for justice, good government or advancing a progressive agenda to benefit the community, maybe its time for you to take up a hobby and move on with your life. It appears to be a very hard thing for establishment Dems to do- to work with to build a bridge with new Dem leaders and grow the Dem party.

Anonymous said...

9:47-your an AH. Mafia comment is way out of line. Your the reason Sennett isn't going anywhere soon. Note--Susan Zimit failure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You can not help but draw sides can you? Has it ever occurred to let the past be just that, the past and move forward?

The so called sides you have drawn up are so far from reality it is a wonder you even live in Ulster County. You are basing EVERYTHING on one race over the course of 6 months. Where is the historical influence to your "sides"? It is this type of rhetoric that will keep people from even listening to you.

These so called new Dem leaders are not recognized as such by anyone but people who post on blogs. I defy you to get even one of those names you say are the "new Dem Leaders" aside from maybe Donaldson to be recognized as a Dem leader, new or old, by anyone on the street.

Give it a rest and try building the party instead of trying to tear it apart.

Anonymous said...

4:58, Dear...

I didn't draw sides - I merely pointed out how the sides are drawn. Has it ever occurred to you that if "we don't learn from the past, we are condemned to repeat it?"

Reality check: Ulster Democrats LOST the DA race because of you and those of your ilk. You know and and I know it.

Future Democratic candidates would be better off if you old guard Dems help to build the party by sharing political influence and power with the new Dem leadership I indetified. To move ahead, old guard Dems will need to embrace and assimiliate the new breed of progressive reform Dems.

Anonymous said...

to 4:58. Are you sure you know what you are talking about?

Marginal, trouble making, divisive factions are not "assimilated", they are ostracized as they should be.

See Sue Zimet, who could not muster enough support to fill a phone booth.
The Queen Mother of the so called Progressives failed and failed miserably.

Anonymous said...

As a progressive, I hate being lumped in with Zimet. We agree that she got all the support she deserved for her candidacy to be county exec - which was nearly none.

In any case, Dems need to figure out how to assimilate progressives or expect to lose them to Greens or other political parties.

Brittany Turner said...

12:13, you're 100% correct and I appreciate the New Paltz correlation. Thanks for your assessment of the situation.