Monday, March 30, 2009

Auerbach Throwback

I know he will hate me for this but it's too funny to pass up. Look at Comptroller Auerbach in the white coat with a full head of hair...I love it!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Schreibman At It Again....

Rich Parete leads the ticket by far with one ballot line..instead of pushing him away, Schriebman should be embracing Rich and asking for his help and advice.

Julian Schreibman the chair of the Ulster County Democratic Committee is at it again, this time he is preparing to get candidates to primary incumbent Democratic legislators this fall. Are you kidding me??? The Democrats still have not secured a candidate for clerk or for all the 33 seats in the county leg and Julian wants to focus his time and energy in to taking out good fellow Democrats... where is the leadership and united party that Julian promised when he was elected just a few months ago?

The fact of the matter is that Julian is playing the same games that he accused his predecessor of playing...going after his political enemies out of spite. The difference is John Parete knew how to win elections and didn't spend 90% of his time living in NYC.

According to Stuart Fraiser Julian is looking to primary Rich Parete, besides the fact that Julian should have courted Rich for clerk, it is crazy to think that Rich will be beaten in a primary, he leads the ticket every single year. Also, when you primary and at large seat, you primary the entire district so Rob Parete and Roy Hochberg will also face a primary as a result of Julian's challenge. Which means in all reality it will be newcomer, Roy Hochberg that would lose in a primary.

I also will tell you that I will work every weekend and spare second I have to go to Ulster County and work for Rich...Rich is a friend and a great legislator. One thing Julian can't do is out work me, we beat him for the DA nod, and we beat his chosen candidate for Comptroller back at the convention. I know he won the chairmanship but that was because we ad only a week to promote a candidate that was widely unknown.

In the end Julian needs to stop the infighting and certainly stop causing the fighting and get a candidate to run for Clerk and make sure all the seats in the legislature will be competitive, places like Saugerties and Marlboro, where there are blanks every year. Also while you're at Julian, how bout raising some money so we don't have to move our headquarters yet again!


Do we not have the best Comptroller or what?

Ulster County Comptroller Elliot Auerbach Wednesday recommended that the county legislature adopt a whistleblower law to promote “a systematic approach to communicating suspected improprieties while protecting the complainant from retaliation.

Auerbach’s recommendation is part of his Internal Controls Baseline Report, which is based on a survey of departments with the goal of establishing a baseline of internal control measures against which future progress can be gauged.Auerbach said he has already received comments from county employees that may warrant a look-see.
“Informally we’ve had several folks come to us and we feel that it does warrant a firm whistleblower policy for the legislature to adopt.”

Among the other recommendations of Auerbach’s baseline report are individuals in leadership positions should focus on creating a culture of internal control; that the county executive develop a continuing education program for staff designed to disseminate information essential to understanding internal control and engage participants in continuous improvement of international control implementation; and to provide an orientation on the scope and implementation of the internal controls with the state comptroller.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Donaldson For County Clerk

After talking with a few people in Ulster County today, I have learned that the chairman of the legislature Dave Donaldson is interested in running for Ulster County Clerk.

Dave Donaldson, a long term legislator and former Alderman has been involved in public service for many years. Under the old form of government, as chairman of the legislature was essentially the C.E.O of Ulster County and it's 325 million dollar budget, which more than qualifies him to be the next clerk of Ulster County.

Dave Donaldson, is a progressive Democrat, someone that we can always count on and a true Blue Democrat that represents the values of our party. Dave also is someone that is independent and shows his INDEPENDENCE, by doing what is right for the people of Ulster County regardless of ones party affiliation or what last name you have. Chairman Donaldson's philosophy has always been people first, party second.

We as Democrats need to get behind a candidate that can bring back the office of the county clerk to the Dems for the first time in living memory and Dave Donaldson is the man that fits the bill.

We need Chairman Donaldson to step up to the plate and make the run for Ulster County Clerk and I stand behind him in his efforts 110% and ask my fellow Democrats to the same.


It's great to see President Obama has come out and endorsed Scott Murphy the next Congressman of the 20th district. I will be leaving NYC and heading to Albany tomorrow, through the 31st to stump for Scott and look forward to his victory on the 31st!!!!!

This morning, President Barack Obama endorsed Scott Murphy for Congress, highlighting Scott’s real world experience helping create jobs and growing businesses as the basis for his endorsement.

“Scott Murphy is the right candidate for Upstate New York to turn the economy around and create jobs,” said President Barack Obama.

“Scott has the right experience, with a record of creating real, high-paying jobs in Upstate New York. Now he’s ready to go to Washington to continue that work alongside me and Democrats and Republicans in Congress. He has shown he’s willing to take a stand for the people in his district by supporting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to get Upstate New York’s economy moving again.”

“Not only will Scott Murphy be a strong ally in creating jobs and stabilizing the economy, he also shares my commitment to improving health care, bringing our schools into the 21st century, and pushing for openness in government and responsible budgeting.”

“Scott Murphy will follow in the footsteps of Kirsten Gillibrand by delivering for Upstate New York, and I look forward to working with him in Congress.”

“I could not be more honored and humbled to have the President’s support,” said local businessman Scott Murphy. “I look forward to working with the President as well as Democrats and Republicans in Washington to implement his recovery package, help create jobs Upstate, and ultimately get our economy back on track.”

Sunday, March 22, 2009


It now looks as if there will be no candidate on the Democratic line for the office of the county clerk in 2009. I know I talked about this last week but at that point, I had hopes of a specific candidate running but that is all but dead now. Is anyone else as outraged as I am, that the majority party in the county can't come up with a candidate to run????

Come on Mr. Schreibman, you ran on a platform of openness and bringing forth good quality candidates to run for public office on the Democratic side. It is Julian and the Democrats' duty and responsibility to make sure that the office of the county clerk is a competitive one this year. The excuse that we can't beat Mrs. Postupack is so absurd that it is almost funny. What about Nina makes her invincible? This is a person that has never ran a competitive race in her life and was the deputy to one of the most ethically challenged politicians in our county's history.

The only reason that Mrs. Postupack is looking at another free ride is because her mentor is laying down the law in Ulster County as he has done for more than three decades. Maybe someone should remind Mr. Spada that he is 78 years old and no longer important in the Ulster county scene.

The problem is political insiders are so ingrained with Uncle Al and his tactics that they don't realize that the Al Spada of 20 years ago is not the same as the Al Spada that currently exists today. We as Democrats no longer need to take a backseat for anybody. We have the numbers and many qualified candidates that can and should run. ( List of candidates that could win below)

And even if Mrs. Postupack is as popular as everyone in Kingston says she is and wins what? Since when as Democrats have we been afraid to lose? We run on our morals, values and qualifications and if nothing else the people have a choice this year.

Furthermore, leaving the race blank hurts Brian Cahill in retaining control of the legislature and it also hurts Ms. Davenport, the likely nominee for County Court Judge. How much are we willing to sacrifice for the politics of fear and intimidation?

People need to put pressure on the leaders of the Ulster County Democratic party : Mike Hein, Julian Schriebman and Elliott Auerbach to come up with a candidate for the clerk race this year.


Rich Parete ********best choice***** would walk away with it

Brian Cahill - Majority Leader County Leg

Bill Reynolds --Majority Leader city of Kingston --would cut into Nina's base

Gilda Riccardi ----this is the office Ms. Riccardi should be running for, not Judge. An attorney is a great candidate to run for that office.

Mike Berardi --popular Dem and former legislator..ideal candidate would get a lot of gop support

Brittany Turner -- a young woman that is a former village clerk of New Paltz and has a Master's in public administration

Terry Bernardo --- call me crazy but Terry would be a good candidate if the Dems do not have a Dem to run. Sign the Wilson Pakula and let her run..she is bright and well qualified. There is also no question in my mind she would bring us home a W.

There are a million more..this really is just what come to the top of my head...point being, no reason why Nina should have a free ride.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I am in Albany this week for work and I was invited to the NYS Assembly, by Assemblyman Molinaro and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill. I got to go on the floor and meet members of the assembly. At the very start of session, Assemblyman Cahill had the assembly recognized me and spoke about my involvement in the local political scene and mentioned this blog. Probably one of the best political speeches of Kevin's career :) In my humble opinion of course! In all seriousness, it was honor to even be there, Assemblyman Cahill's comments and support are appreciated and the feeling is mutual.

I also got an opportunity to meet and chat with Fred Dicker, the political columnist for the NY Post, a great guy and someone that I have always admired, although, I certainly disagree with his politics.

Below are a few pictures and the Assembly session will be aired on ch. 159 check for more details....

Me and the great political columnist Fred Dicker of the NY Post..Dicker pulls no punches below is an example of his work at a press conference with Spitzer :
The future three men in a room: Majority Leader Molinaro, Governor Blaber and Speaker Cahill
me and President Pro Temp Greene
This is in Fred Dicker's office, it refers to Eliot Spitzer not to be confused with our Comptroller, Eliott Auerbach
Assembly Minority's Budget Countdown
A picture of the Assembly in session

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer Slams AIG, Geithner and AG Cuomo

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer this morning granted to WNYC"s Brian Lehrer what I believe was his first extended MSM interview since the prostitution scandal that forced him from office a year ago this week.
Spitzer did give an interview to Mark Green not too long ago, and has spoken to a few print reporters when he runs into them at events, but this is - I think - the first time he voluntarily has been questioned at length, although the topic was a safe one: The economic crisis.

During the 20 minutes he spoke to Spitzer, Lehrer only briefly - and a bit obliquely - brought up the subject of the Ashley Dupre fiasco, asking the ex-governor how it feels to be on the sidelines at a time when a company he once targeted, AIG, is once again in the crosshairs.

"I am obviously dispapointed in what led to that," Spitzer said. "I've apologized and in my view have acted in the past year the way I should have, which is to say I will remain quiet and others will step in and hopefully pursue these issues, whether it's the MTA refinancing or AIG investigations and continue to move forward."

I, like others, also am disappointed at what I have seen in terms of public policy in these domains and, as you've suggested, there was a number, there was a period when as attorney general of New York I was pursuing issues that nobody else wanted to pursue and we pursued AIG and Wall Street's structural failures in a way that others shied away from because it was politically unpalatable for them to address those issues.

"Now it is the flavor of the month; everybody is jumping up and down, serving subpoenas and beating their chest trying to be tougher than the next person and that's wonderful."
And who is it, exactly, who is bringing said subpoenas? That's right, Spitzer's successor in the AG's office, and a man who was once viewed as a potential primary threat to the erstwhile governor, Andrew Cuomo.
That wasn't the only subtle swipe Spitzer took at Cuomo.
He also said the whole bonus issue is more or less a red herring, saying every time the word "bonus" appears in a headline "somebody gets a subpoena two minutes later," adding: "To a certain extent, this is typical political screaming and shouting and missing the larger issue."
The larger issue, according to Spitzer, (as he also expressed in his latest Slate column) is the passing on of bailout cash by AIG to its counterparties - in other words, the very same financial institutions that have already received TARP funds.
In an aside, Spitzer told Lehrer that the Dick Grasso NYSE compensation case "should have been pursued." It was Cuomo who decided not to appeal the court's decision to side with Grasso back in July 2008.
Spitzer also teed off on Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, saying he, his predecessor Hank Paulson, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke have to explain why they didn't get the right to exercise more control over the banks back when they negotiated the TARP deal.
And as for the Wall Street Journal, which blamed Spitzer for going after former AIG head Hank Greenberg, weakening the firm and, in the eyes of the paper's editorial board, laying the groundwork for its current troubles, the former governor said:
"You know , the Journal editorial page has been wrong on, I would say, just about every issue out there. I hope nobody relies upon them to make important life decisions."
"That's akin to blaming the doctor who discovers the cancer and saying: If you hadn't looked, it wouldn't have been there. When we looked at the books (of AIG), as I've told you, they were a mess, and the board of extremely wise individuals...looked at Hank Greenberg and said, 'No, this is not a way to run a company.'"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Coming Thursday Night....

I will heading onto the floor of the NYS Assembly on Thursday, courtesy of Assemblyman Marc Molinaro....I will have coverage and pictures. I also have been playing phone tag with Kevin and hope to meet up with him as well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Auerbach issues report on improving internal control of county under charter

As Ulster County’s first comptroller Elliot Auerbach becomes more acclimated to his new job, he issued a white paper Monday on “Improving Internal Control in Ulster County’s New Charter Form of Government.”

The report explains that Auerbach will establish new internal controls to examine all areas of county government.

“It will allow us to take a non-judgmental, professional observation of every department in the county and every agency and authority that the county does business with,” he said. “We are really focused in on risk assessment as we approach the beginnings of operating under the new charter, looking to insure that county money is being spent prudently and wisely and most importantly to insure that there is no waste and fraud in county government.”

Auerbach said the county is at a “watershed period” in its history, “and we have enormous opportunity to build on what has worked well in the past, but more importantly, recast the dye on what has not worked well.”

Scott Murphy For Congress

Friday, March 13, 2009


Blaber News and Commentary is back and we will be covering a variety of issues from NYC politics, my adventures as a community organizer with the Working Families Party and of course Ulster County Politics.

We will start tonight with some local stuff:


I have thought long and hard about Ms.Postupack's candidacy and simply can't get behind it and I do not know how any fair minded Democrat could. Nina is a Conservative Republican that was trained by Al Spada and the principals and ethics or lack there of that he practiced during his tenure. I do not think for one second that Nina is anything but an honest person who I actually like but philosophically I simply can't support.

Very simply, we need a clerk that is unencumbered by politcal favors and the Ulster political machine, someone that will bring fresh ideas to the office and someone that shares our progressive values. The pressure that certain potential candidates are getting for even thinking about running for this post is very disturbing. Anyone that doubts this is happening just ask yourselves why the Democratic party, which is the majority party in this county, have not had a single candidate announce?? I can tell you it is not because we do not have qualified candidates.

The people of Ulster County deserve a choice not a coronation of Ms. Postupack. Nina was given a free ride four years ago and has served a full term, it's now time for her record to be brought before voters and judged in a competitive race and many Republicans feel the same way...kudos to them.

I also remind potential candidates that no longer does the Kingston insiders club run the county. Everyone is so Kingston centered to the point that they think certain candidates are untouchable. That simply is not the case, any candidate is beatable and Nina is extremely vulnerable having never run a contested race in her life.

There is a strong candidate who's name keeps popping up and while I am not sure if he is interested in running, I hope that he runs,he has strong name recognition and would make the race a horse race that brings home the office of the county clerk to the Dems.


We think Kossover has the inside track to the Democratic nomination and that is a good thing. Kossover is a seasoned trial attorney that will bring his many years of experience to the bench with him. Other candidates that have thrown their name out are Wendy Ricks, Gilda Riccardi and a few others but we think Kossover will clinch the nod in a walk.

On the GOP side Kavanagh Jr., Petro and a few other names have been thrown around and we think this race will be one the Dems will win but it will be very competitive.


The Dems will retain the legislature and we will go into more detail at a later date. At least three Dems and two Republicans are going to retire and a lot of new faces will be joining the UC Legislature in 2010

Town Of Ulster Supervisor Race:

Nick Woerner has announced for reelection and is in no trouble of losing his seat unless the candidate is Jim Quigley. If Quigley runs for Supervisor than it will be the most watched Supervisor race in the county. Neither candidate can be taken lightly and each will spend over 100k on their race. It will likely get nasty and personal and in the end all I can say is I am glad I am two hours away.

Kingston Common Council:

Ward 1 - Al Teetsil if he runs will probably win and I really do not think it's appropriate to go to far into this race at this point.

Ward 2 - Tom Hoffay works hard for the ward and is practically a full time Alderman, he should and will win in a walk. His support for Nina is disturbing though.

Ward 3- Charlie Landi has a lock on the ward and I do not see any serious challenges

Ward 4 Shirley Whitlock is another candidate that is really great. Her work to bring serious issues effecting Midtown to the forefront are important. Shirley may have an opponent but will have no issue with reelection.

Ward 5 - Anne Marie DiBella could be in a tough fight but not if the candidate is Jean Jacobs, nothing against Jean but the people have spoken twice.

Ward 6 Pon Polocco will defiantly face a challenge in his bid for reelection. We like Ron but see this race as one of the most competitive.

Ward 7 Bill Reynolds will defiantly have an opponent but whats the point? The veteran lawmaker is top notch and will coast to an 8th term, tying my Uncle Tony as the longest serving Alderman in Kingston's history..ironically also an Alderman from the great Seventh ward.

Ward 8- Come January 1st 2010 the eighth ward will have a new Alderman. We support Rob Kinnin for this post but recognize any candidate can take out Robby Sottile.

Ward 9 Mike Madsen faces a primary challenge from political newcomer Mark Halwick and will easily fend off that challenge and go on to win reelection in the heavily Democratic 9th ward.

Enough for now much more later.................................


1. Jonathan Sennett --DA run or maybe our new public defender if all goes well for Andy?

2. Len Bernardo
-- In his new role as Independence Party Chair makes him a force for Dems and Repubs

3. Elliott Auerbach
- Will be making big reform in Ulster County and use the office of the Comptroller to hold everyone accountable as he has since Jan 1st

4. Jim Quigley
- if he wins the Supervisor's race than his political capital moves up significantly.

5. Mike Hein -
has great potential as Exec to make great changes in Ulster County.