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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Smith: Fighting Heroin Goal of DA Candidacy

Written By Editor on 3/26/17 | 3/26/17

Blenheim Supervisor Shawn Smith announced his candidacy for Schoharie County District attorney at a bipartisan event held on March 25th.

Smith said that he had a variety of life experiences growing up in Schoharie County, including as a logger, mechanic, student, attorney, and Supervisor. He serves as municipal attorney to several Towns and Villages across the County. He served as public defender over the last

Photo Credit: Warren Burton
"What drives me to run for District Attorney is my experience as a criminal defense attorney. It gives me a unique insight into the criminal justice system," he said. He serves as a Public Defender in Delaware County.

Smith then spoke next about the "heroin epidemic in the area," stating that it would be the number one issue law enforcement deals with in Schoharie County.

"Some of my colleagues both as attorneys and fellow legislatives say that the problem is out of control and too big for us to control as a county," Smith said, "We have a lot of resources here in the County, in the DA's office, the Sheriff's Office, the Village of Cobleskill Police... the State Troopers. If everyone works together we have a lot of resources we can put in and hopefully reverse the trend and reverse it and turn it around."

The candidate gave several examples of clients he defended over the years. One was a young woman accused of petit larceny. He said that it wasn't obvious that she had a drug problem, but she explained that she had a problem with prescription pills. "That's what drives people to heroin," he said. The young woman stole to pay for drugs. Smith said many people can't reverse the trend without help. She was thinking about enrolling in college, she said.

Because she wasn't charged with a drug crime, there were no immediate resources open for treatment at the time. Smith pursued options for her. In the meantime, he was asked to represent her in a family court matter after she was beaten up by her boyfriend, an alleged heroin dealer. She sought and received a temporary order of protection against the boyfriend. Smith called around for treatment options for her in the meantime and called her mother several days later. "It was one of the toughest phone calls I ever had," he said. The young woman died of a heroin overdose.

"It made a big impression on me. It's weighed on me a lot," he said. Even worse, the boyfriend is still on the streets, even though he was arrested and released. "In a way, he's responsible for her death."

Smith spoke of another client that requested supervision of his children before the mother died of a heroin overdose.

The candidate called for a three-pronged approach to fighting the local heroin. "We can make a big difference in this," he said. "It keeps getting worse and worse. That's why I'm dedicated to running for District Attorney."

Smith's plan included a plan to assist first time users. "They need help, they need treatment," he said, citing successful programs in other counties. "There's things we can do without spending a lot of money." He said that in cases where defendants have charges that likely drug related, any plea deals will require drug treatment options. He said there are cases where some users are unrepentant and think it's a "victimless crime." He cited broken families and that these types of users are "part of the problem" and would be dealt with harshly.


Smith said of the 16 towns of the county, none are spared drug issues. He said that drug dealers and pushers should be cracked down on. "retribution is swift and severe. It has to be severe enough that they'll think twice or decide that it's totally unworth it to sell drugs." He promised the "stiffest punishment possible."

Thirdly, Smith said the District Attorney's office can work with early intervention programs. He said that the DA's job is a 24-7 job and requires the office holder to be "active in the community."

Smith closed by saying that he wants to open a dialogue with everyone, whether they supported him or not. "I encourage you to talk to me about it. It's a problem we're all dealing with."

Smith's campaign page can be found here.

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DA Race Kicks Off at Bipartisan Event

Schoharie's Quality Inn Hotel was packed with 140 people for the launch of Blenheim Supervisor Shawn Smith's candidacy for District Attorney.
A litany of public officials were present for the event, sponsored by the Democratic Party Chair Clifford Hay and Ten Pin Catering of Middleburgh.

Smith's campaign launched emphasized a non-partisan approach to local law enforcement issues, with a particular focus on eradicating heroin use in the County. Officials from a variety of communities were there. Present were the Democratic Supervisors of Fulton and Sharon, Phil Skowfoe and Sandra Manko, respectively. Republicans, Sheriff Tony Desmond and Supervisor Dave Simkins of Broome were there. Republican Supervisors Leo McAllister of Cobleskill and Pete Coppolo of Middleburgh both intended to go, but had other obligations, Smith said. Mayor of Cobleskill Linda Holmes and former Middleburgh Supervisor Jim Buzon were also there.

The event included several speakers before Smith's campaign launch speech.

First was Sheriff Anthony Desmond, who spoke to Smith's commitment to law enforcement. "He's a good supporter of the Sheriff's Office," he said. "Shawn, like I said, is a great guy. You can talk to him. He'll listen to what you have to say. He comes up with a solution we can both live with.


Retired State Trooper Butch Ostrander spoke after the Sheriff. He told a personal story of watching the Supervisor grow up. Ostrander said he first met the candidate while Smith was working as a mechanic with his father. Smith, he said, spent his younger days logging and working on cars.

Sharon Supervisor Sandra Manko spoke next, explaining that Smith is a hard working member of the County Board and told a story of his early days in practice.

He decided to leave high school to become a mechanic full time. Ostrander said it's easy to drop out and chase an "easy buck" but that Smith then attended SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Albany, and finally Albany Law School.

Schoharie Town Attorney Michelle Storm spoke last. She was a classmate of Smith's at Albany Law and saw him as an energetic and skilled attorney who excelled at his coursework.

Last, Supervisor Smith spoke to the assembled crowd, as seen in our next article on the race. He emphasized that local efforts can reduce the rate of heroin addiction in Schoharie County. His campaign page can be found here.


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Activists Plan Voter Registration, Faso Town Hall Signatures

Written By Editor on 3/8/17 | 3/8/17

Resistance activists across New York’s 19t​h​ Congressional District are holding a mass canvass action on Sunday, March 12t​h​ from 11am-5pm. Volunteers will go door to door garnering petition signatures demanding Rep. John Faso hold public town halls and registering new voters.

Resistance Voter Registration (RVR) is the first all volunteer mass canvass action being held in a congressional swing district as a part of Resistance efforts. Participants include local Indivisible, #Resistance, Women's March NY groups, Citizen Action and long standing activists as well as local Democratic and Working Families Party committees.

RVR has 12 launch locations where volunteers will meet for canvass trainings from 11am-12:15pm, and then volunteers will knock on doors from 12:15 until as late as 5pm.

With an estimated 200+ volunteers  canvassing 20 months before the 2018 elections, RVR attests to how serious and committed the #Resistance efforts are in NY CD-19.

WHAT: Resistance Voter Registration

WHO: Local Indivisible, #Resistance, Women's March NY and activist groups, local Democratic and Working Families Party committees

WHEN: Sunday March 12t​h​, 11am-5pm.

WHERE:

●  Elks Lodge #2556, 665 Brunswick Road, Brunswick NY, 12180

●  Hudson Area Library Community Room, 51 N 5th Street, Hudson NY 12534

●  Citizen Action, 7 Grand Street, Kingston, NY 12401

●  Boiceville Inn, Rte. 28, Boiceville NY, 12412

●  Gardiner Town Hall, 2340 US-44, Gardiner, NY 12525

●  Family of Ellenville, 221 Canal Street, Ellenville NY, 12428

●  Ted Stroebele Recreation Center, 10 Jefferson Street, Monticello, NY 12701

●  Middleburgh Library, 323 Main Street, Middleburgh, NY 12122

●  The Senior Center: 207 Market Street, Saugerties, NY 12477

●  Elks Lodge #2022: 7711 Albany Post Road, Red Hook, NY 12571

●  Village Hall, 25 Plattekill Ave, New Paltz, NY 12561

●  Oneonta (TBD)

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Blenheim Supervisor Smith Announces Bid for District Attorney

Written By Editor on 2/18/17 | 2/18/17

Blenheim Supervisor Shawn Smith announced Saturday that he is running for Schoharie County District Attorney. He set up a Facebook page to support his candidacy.

Mr. Smith, an attorney, is in his second term as town supervisor. He is a Democrat and is also planning to seek the Conservative and Independence lines.

The seat is currently held by James Sacket, a Republican, who is retiring this year.

Mr. Smith was born and raised in the Town of Jefferson and later moved to the Town of Blenheim, where he currently lives.



“I have always had an interest in criminal law, both prosecution and defense, and that has been the focus of my legal career,” Mr. Smith said.

His first legal job was at the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office. While working there part time though law school (2010-2012) he was granted a practice order by the Third Department of the Appellate Division Supreme Court.

“In that time I had the great pleasure of working with some well renowned prosecutors. During the time that I worked in that office I learned enough to jump start my career. I was able to work with seasoned trial attorneys," he said.

He was there for two years and experienced working in Schenectady City Court, various town courts, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and even second seated Felony trials. He worked on several appeals which included low level felonies all the way up to homicide cases.

“When I returned home and opened my own office in Schoharie I immediately was able to handle a wide range of issues for my clients.”

While in practice he has handled nearly every type of criminal case from speeding tickets and disorderly conduct, to felonies based on serious drug charges, assaults, weapons possession cases and basically everything in between. He also practices family law and has represented many clients that were the victims of domestic abuse and seeking protection from their abusive spouse. While doing that he has prosecuted numerous family offense petitions and successfully represented his clients that were the victims of offenses such as disorderly conduct, menacing in the second or third degree, harassment in the first or second degree, reckless endangerment, aggravated harassment in the second degree, stalking, assault in the second or third degree, attempted assault, criminal mischief, sexual misconduct, sexual abuse in the second or third degree, forcible touching, strangulation, criminal obstruction of breathing, grand larceny in third or fourth degree, and coercion in second degree.

“Since opening my office in Schoharie in the beginning of 2013 I have had dozens upon dozens of trials and pretrial hearings in various courts. I have successfully represented clients in Greene, Delaware, Otsego, Schenectady, Albany and Schoharie Counties. I have tried cases in all different types of courts- sometimes conducting multiple trials in one week.”

In addition to continually doing that type of work in Court, he said he has also dedicated a large part of his career to public service. He serves as legal counsel to multiple municipalities throughout the county and in 2013 he was elected as Town Supervisor of the Town of Blenheim and was re-elected to that post in 2015. He continues to serve as Town Supervisor and a member of the County Board of Supervisors. While in that capacity he has served on several county committees including the county Law Enforcement Committee and the Alternatives to Incarceration Committee. He is a member of the Delaware County Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and President of the Schoharie County Bar Association.

Smith is also an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman as well as a gun collector. In his spare time, Smith enjoys camping, canoeing and hiking with his family. “Hunting, fishing, canoeing and hiking are the best ways to escape from the stresses that come with being a busy attorney” Smith said.

“I would like to bring my successful public service and private practice careers together for the benefit of the people of Schoharie County,” he said.

“The Office of District Attorney is the perfect opportunity for me to be able to do that. I plan to campaign all around the county from now until November in an attempt to earn the trust and support of all our residents. I would be honored and humbled to serve the residents of Schoharie County as their District Attorney.”



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Trump Leading in Newest Schoharie News Poll

Written By Editor on 10/29/16 | 10/29/16

The Schoharie News' latest poll places Donald Trump significantly in the lead of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The non-scientific poll, which ran for three weeks on our website, collected 129 votes. Of these, 66, or 51% sided with Trump. Clinton gained 31, or 24%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein taking 8% and 3%, respectively. Another 14% stated that they would either vote for another candidate or none of the above.

If the undecided individuals were removed from the equation, the situation would look slightly different. Clinton would improve to 28%, Trump to 59%, Johnson to 9%, and Stein to 4%. While this poll was conducted online, the Schoharie News' polling before the 2014 Governor's race was close to the actual results. Take a look online for our newest poll, regarding the Congressional race.

Faso, Teachout Unveil Plans for Heroin Abuse, Gun Control

Written By Editor on 9/15/16 | 9/15/16

Congressional candidates Democrat Zephyr Teachout and Republican John Faso unveiled their plans for some of the most controversial topics affecting the region.

"I've laid out a plan, a strategy of education and enforcement." A topic where Republicans and Democrats can work together. He said that he's met many people affected by heroin, an "extraordinarily important" issue for the 19th District.

She stated that the "heroin crisis is devastated." She cited speaking to one father from Kingston that had a son that needed help kicking heroin. The father was unable to get insurance coverage for treatment and later overdosed. She said that she would work to reform insurance rules in order to expand coverage.

John Faso said that he supported the Second Amendment and would support people on terrorism watchlists from being unable to purchase guns only if there was a due process provision. He would not support universal background checks but instead supports stronger punishments for individuals that use guns in crimes. He said that the federal government should enforce existing laws rather than increasing gun control laws. Teachout stated that she supported universal background checks and banning individuals on the terror watchlist from buying firearms.

Faso-Teachout Congressional Debate Erupts in Fireworks

The scheduled debate between Republican John Faso and Democrat Zephyr Teachout was an interesting affair. Teachout spoke first, having won the coin toss.

The first question asked Teachout if her fundraising from billionaire special interest groups were in conflict with her pledge to get money out of politics. Teachout described the current campaign finance atmosphere as a, "Crisis of corruption" where "big corporations spend unlimited money in campaigns." She highlighted two contributions of $500,000 to John Faso's campaign from New York City. She said that one of the contributors, supported Common Core. She said she would "clean up Congress."

Faso stated that Teachout is raising "big money from all sorts of people connected to Super PACs." He also said that his opponent recently arrived in the district from Brooklyn in order to run for Congress. Faso said his roots in the Hudson Valley were deep, including his wife's role as a school nurse. He stated that Congress was a House of Representatives, not a House of Adventurers. Faso also said that he supported campaign finance reform. He criticized heavy spending to influence politics from George Soros, who is also donating to Teachout.

The next question discussed climate change. Faso said that "unfortunately this issues has been politicized." He said that climate change is real and must be mitigated. He cited a 20-25% reduction in greenhouse gases accomplished in New York. Faso stated that the country should begin an "all of the above" approach to energy. He claimed that his proposed policy would help small businesses.

Photo credit: WAMC
Teachout went next. She said that there is a "real difference" between her and her opponent. She cited her support of the fracking ban in New York state. She said that Faso is a supporter of the practice and has operated as a lobbyist for pipeline companies. She said she would "protect our water from the big polluters" in Congress.

Both candidates were questioned about term limits and if they would limit their service. Teachout stated that she supported limits and would serve five terms. She said she would focus on small businesses, stating "the real job creators have suffered." Teachout said she is against the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership, in common with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Like Trump, she also recommended renegotiating NAFTA. Teachout highlighted her experience in co-founding an organization to break up the big banks.

Faso also stated that he supports term limits. He also pledged to serve only five terms. He said he supports term limits for the state. He said that he has never been a lobbyist, although he did work as a consultant for Williams oil company in support of the Constitution pipeline. He opposes the Tennessee pipeline. He highlighted his endorsement from a national small business association. He supports a small business tax credit for capital expenses.

The next question was about the presidential level. Faso was asked why he did not endorse Donald Trump. He replied that he will keep his pledge to support the GOP's nominee but disagrees with Trump on multiple policies. He said he's running in the "model of Chris Gibson...to work across party lines." He followed, "A million people have left New York State in the last ten years." He supports a streamlining of New York law to have the state pick up Medicaid costs instead of the counties. He believes that this would reduce the local property tax burden. He said he had the experience to do so.

Zephyr Teachout replied by saying, "First of all I support Hillary Clinton for President." She said that she's always willing to be independent to succeed. She cited her 2014 independent campaign against Andrew Cuomo for governor. She said that she will "listen only to the people...and not big corporations." She also said that she felt local property taxes were too high. She said that when Faso was an Assemblyman, he supported tax increases 135 times. She said that he also missed 1,700 votes. "He's already had a chance to show what he'll do when he's paid to represent... he cashed out and became a lobbyist."

Teachout was asked about her recent move to the Capital Region. She said that she grew up locally in Windsor County, Vermont. She said that many of the issues are similar between the two. Teachout said that she feared that there would be a representative that would not represent the district. She said that she wanted to help parents opt-out of Common Core.

Faso denied having missed 1,700 votes. He said that he had a 97% legislative record. He said he missed some votes because he was at his wife's bedside while she was being treated for cancer. He said that Teachout's accusation was "below the belt." He cited that Teachout missed her own vote for her local school board election.

Faso bristled at Teachout describing him as a lobbyist, saying that one group that he lobbied for was the non-profit Autism Speaks, where he urged lawmakers to assist families with autistic children. "I have a serious plan to build the small business economy." He said that he would work against overregulation. He criticized Teachout's support of Black Lives Matter, saying that she called them "thoughtful."

Faso also attacked Teachout's alleged support of the Boycott Divest Israel movement. Teachout later said she was against the movement and was a supporter of Israel. She said that she was worried that North Korea could get a nuclear weapon. North Korea has had nuclear weapons for over a decade. She said that the U.S. had done enough to stop Iran from getting nuclear technology, and that the country should step up efforts to keep North Korea from getting nuclear weapons, an assertion which she reiterated. North Korea detonated a test nuclear weapon last week.

Teachout rebutted by citing Faso's opposition to same sex marriage in 2006. She said she supports "civil rights for all Americans." She also stated that she supported abortion rights and Planned Parenthood. She said she supports Zika funding and stated that Faso wouldn't.

Moderators were Dr. Alan Chartock of WAMC, WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne, State Editor for Albany Times Union Casey Seiler, and Newschannel 13's Benita Zahn.

Hear the whole thing on WAMC.

VanGlad Retiring as County Board Chair

Written By Editor on 12/30/14 | 12/30/14

County Board Chair Tony VanGlad has held the position for a little less than a year. Now, with the word that he is stepping down the County may have its fifth Board Chairman in recent years. The announcement came after VanGlad's personal commitments were weighed.

The County Board will hold a meeting next Monday, January 5th to decide who will become the Chair and Vice Chair. Potential front runners have been keeping cards close to their chest, but it appears that former Board Chairs will not be selected, according to sources.

Poll: Readers Support a New Party

Written By Cicero on 12/7/14 | 12/7/14

Schoharie News readers are not pleased with the direction of local politics. Most readers that voted in the most recent poll state that they wish there was a third party available for choice. A strong minority back the local Republican Party with a smaller proportion believing that both parties are about equally right.

How Would You Describe Current Politics in Schoharie County?

- The local Republicans are usually right 25% - 26 
- The local Democrats are usually right 6% - 6 
- The two parties are about equally right 18% - 19 
- I wish there was a local third party 51% - 54 
 105 total

Cuomo Wins Bruising Primary Challenge Statewide, Loses Schoharie in Landslide

Written By Editor on 9/10/14 | 9/10/14

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who recently polled a 16% approval rating in Schoharie County, warded off a serious challenge in Tuesday's Democratic Party primary against Zephyr Teachout, who ran an inexpensive insurgent campaign.

With almost 95% of the ballots counted, it was:

Cuomo (inc.): 61.8%
Teachout: 34.5%
Credico: 3.7%

In Schoharie County, Teachout won in a landslide:

Teachout: 71.1% - 361
Cuomo: 24.6% - 125
Credico: 4.3% - 22

Teachout's percentage was third-highest in Schoharie County, trailing only Columbia County's 77.9% and Otsego County's 72.7%.

Republican candidate Rob Astorino won the primary, running unopposed.

Gibson Leads Eldrige in County

Written By Editor on 9/1/14 | 9/1/14

According to the latest Schoharie News poll, incumbent Congressman Chris Gibson has developed a wide lead over his challenger Sean Eldridge.

Gibson (R): 75% - 80
Eldridge (D): 17% - 18
Someone Else: 3 - 3

Don't know: 6 - 6

Gibson spoke at last week's flood remembrance ceremony and was personally thanked by several of the local officials for his assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Schoharie Supervisor Gene Milone thanked him for closing out flood funding issues that plagued the community for several years.

McAllister, Milone, and Smith Seen As Most Effective

Written By Editor on 8/25/14 | 8/25/14

The results were not overwhelming, but three supervisors are the most effective members of the County Board, according to Schoharie News readers. The poll included must dissatisfaction, with a full 26% stating that no member was the most effective-- more than any supervisor.

Newcomers Sean Smith of Blenheim and Leo McAllister were among the top three, with McAllister seen as a pragmatist and Smith successfully winning funding for the rebuilding of the Blenheim Bridge. Second term Schoharie Supervisor Gene Milone has won tax abatements at a county level and has led on many issues.

Make sure to vote in our new poll on the sidebar: who will you vote for Congress?

Barbic, Seward 1%  
Buzon, Middleburgh 5%  
Milone, Schoharie 15% 27  
Bleau, Wright 1%  
VanWormer, Esperance 3%  
Jordan, Jefferson 1% 1
 Smith, Blenheim 13% 22  
Smith, Broome 0%  
Skowfoe, Fulton 3% 
Lape, Richmondville 1%  
Manko, Sharon 2%  
Vroman, Summit 2%
Bradt, Carlisle 2%  
VanGlad, Gilboa 3%  
Federice, Conesville 6% 11  
McAllister, Cobleskill 16% 29  
Too early to say/None 26% 46   176 total - 

Gibson Holds Large Lead Over Eldridge

Written By Editor on 8/19/14 | 8/19/14

In a recent poll of the NY-19 District, incumbent Congressman Chris Gibson is holding a substantial lead over Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge. Eldridge has been producing slick ads in the district, backed by millions in his family's money. Gibson has been just about everywhere, co-hosting an event in Wright recently.

In the poll conducted in July, Gibson holds a large lead:

Gibson (R) (Inc.) - 56%
Eldridge (D) - 29%
Other/Und - 15%

The poll, conducted by DFM research, also shows Gibson to have among the highest positive rankings of any person in politics in the district. He has a 48% favorable and 16% unfavorable rating, as compared to Governor Cuomo's 41% positive, 51% negative. In the race for Governor in the district, Cuomo leads Republican challenger Rob Astorino 45-37%.

Wright Republicans to Host Gibson August 10th

Written By Editor on 8/1/14 | 8/1/14


Town of Wright Republican Club has announced that they are hosting a Chicken BBQ on Sunday, August 10th, during which Republican Congressman Chris Gibson is scheduled to address the crowd.

The club has reserved the Gallupville School House, located on School Street in Gallupville, to host the day's festivities which will include take out dinners starting at 4:00 p.m. and a sit-down dinner at 5:00 p.m until they exhaust their food. Gibson is scheduled to speak at 6:00 p.m. 

Dinners are $10 and 1/2 Chicken only is $7. Pre-sale tickets are available at the Gallupville Corner Store or George Karlewicz at 518 872-1261 or George@KarlewiczAssociates.com or Lynn Herzog at 518 895-9078 or LynnHerzog68@gmail.com

Former Mayor Plays Prominently in Cuomo TV Ad

Written By Editor on 6/11/14 | 6/11/14

Andrew Cuomo may likely be headed for an easy re-election across the whole state, but is calling in for local support in Schoharie County. Cuomo has unveiled a series of new ads statewide, including a prominent former official. Former Middleburgh Mayor William Ansel-McCabe is seen with the Governor in the new ad touting the Governor's record over the last four years.


In 2012, Ansel-McCabe emphasized his tight relationship with the Governor, saying that he was a close political ally. If the ad is any indication, the former Mayor could help bring about a local boost for the chief proponent of policies that have affected Upstate-- from the tax cap to Common Core to the SAFE Act.

The ad can be seen here.

County GOP Backs Lopez, Seward

Written By Editor on 6/5/14 | 6/5/14


The Schoharie County Republican Committee voted unanimously Wednesday night to nominate Assemblyman Peter Lopez and State Senator James Seward for re-election in their respective campaigns. There was no opposition and the nominations were confirmed by voice vote. 

Town of Middleburgh Councilwoman Sue Makely nominated Mr. Lopez, while former Town of Cobleskill Councilman Ryan McAllister nominated Mr. Seward. Both nominations were quickly seconded and the Secretary was instructed to close the polls and make one vote for the nominees. 

Schoharie County Vice-Chairman Chris Tague oversaw the proceedings in Chairman Lewis Wilson's place. Both Mr. Lopez and Mr. Seward stressed the importance of this fall's statewide elections, while Mr. Tague reminded committee members that there will be a handful of local elections as well. 

Sacket Honored by Schoharie County GOP

Written By Editor on 5/2/14 | 5/2/14


Schoharie County District Attorney James Sacket was honored by the Schoharie County Republican Party as the 2014 Republican Man of the Year award recipient in their 67th annual Lincoln Day Dinner Thursday evening at the Caverns Palace. 

The annual event hosted over one hundred Republican faithful and featured several guest speakers, including Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors Tony VanGlad, Assemblyman Pete Lopez, State Senator Jim Seward, and Congressman Chris Gibson.

Mr. Sacket was introduced by 2013 Republican Man of the Year Judge Dan Lamont, who described the five-term District Attorney as a fair practitioner of the law and deserving of the GOP's recognition.  

Shortly after Mr. Sacket was named, his wife Rhonda was announced as the 2014 Women's Republican of the Year award honoree by Gilboa Town Councilwoman and 2013 recipient of the award Dottie Pickett. 

The couple, who have been married since 1994, were joined by their two children at the event.

NY 19 Race Gains National Attention Contrasting Two Candidates

Written By Editor on 4/9/14 | 4/9/14

On the sidebar of Real Clear Politics today there is a link to a Politico article about the contentious NY-19 Congressional race between incumbent Chris Gibson (R) and newcomer Sean Eldridge (D). With both candidates likely to win their parties' primaries, the backgrounds of the candidates is coming under close scrutiny.

Gibson, 49, is a decorated veteran who served multiple tours in Iraq. Eldridge, 27, is funding his effort through a private equity firm he founded with money from his husband's profits from co-founding Facebook.

Photo credit: Politico
Politico tracked both candidates down and found different approaches in their styles and substance:

Regarding Eldridge:
Chartock came away without any real sense of the candidate. 
 Eldridge sounded like “what a young person thinks a politician should sound like,” the radio host said in an interview. “He’s right on all the issues, but what I think people are looking for is a person. He’s extremely bright, has all the assets that you need to run. But it’s cookie cutter.”  
 .....
 For a while, Eldridge had his eye on another congressional seat. In 2011, he and Hughes, who had been living together in a SoHo loft, purchased a $5 million estate in Garrison, N.Y, positioning Eldridge to run in the neighboring 18th District. But in November 2012 that district’s Republican congresswoman, Nan Hayworth, lost reelection to a Democrat. So Eldridge looked north to the 19th District, where Gibson had just won a second term.
Regarding Gibson:
On Feb. 24, 2005, during combat in Mosul, Iraq, Gibson suffered shrapnel wounds in his right leg and the right side of his face. A few fragments remain in his leg. In his Washington office, the congressman keeps a piece of the rocket-propelled grenade that hit him.  
Gibson says his modest means helps him identify with voters in the middle-class district. During a daylong car ride through the area’s rural back roads, he said an “empathy factor” would play a prominent role in the race.

Local Republican, Democratic Party Finances in Rough Shape

Written By Editor on 3/10/14 | 3/10/14


In an all-out effort to capture a majority on the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors last November, the Schoharie County Republican Committee spent over $8,200 in campaign and post-election funds to support their candidates up and down the ballot, according to disclosure reports filed by the Republican committee to the New York State Board of Elections. 

Although the end result has Republicans occupying ten of sixteen seats on the county legislature, the GOP's treasury has been left almost non-existent with little more then $550 in funds left in their campaign coffers; a familiar situation for both parties after local elections. Republicans had roughly $900 on hand after the 2011 campaign, and even less the year before. 

The financial situation isn't much better across the aisle. After spending an unprecedented $14,000 in defense of their legislative majority and against incumbent Republicans, the County Democrats are sitting on slightly less than $1,100 in cash, but with no significant electoral achievements to show for their campaign spending spree.  

Both committees are expected to fundraise heavily through out 2014 and into next year as political insiders expect several contentious rematches to spring up across the county electoral landscape. National and state elections rarely cost local parties more than a few thousand dollars, as their focus is inherently closer to home, but they offer good fundraising opportunities. 

As Schoharie County Considers Administrator Proposal, Montgomery County Welcomes First Executive

Written By Editor on 1/10/14 | 1/10/14


Town of Schoharie Supervisor Gene Milone's proposed County Administrator position has set off a countywide conversation on a issue that has jumped on and off again the Board of Supervisors radar the past two decades, in a debate that mirrors neighboring Montgomery County's recently reviewed and voter approved change in government.  
 
After operating under a governing system that closely resembles that of Mr. Milone's proposal for approximately twenty five years, where a County Board of Supervisors of fifteen members (10 Town and 5 City of Amsterdam) and an appointed administrator handled public business, Town of Glen Supervisor Larry Coddington successfully initiated efforts that led to the establishment of the County Government Study Committee in early 2012. They were tasked with conducting research into altering the county's form of government.
 
The Committee's findings led to the subsequent creation of the Montgomery County Charter Commission that over three months found that the previous system failed due to the, "personality conflicts and differences of styles between the County Board of Supervisors (legislators) and the County Administrator." 
 
Commission members subsequently drafted and proposed a new form of county government. One that replaced the existing Board of Supervisors with a nine-member legislative body, put in place an elected County Executive and received both Board of Supervisors approval and slightly over 60% of the public's support in November, 2012.
 
Matthew Ossenfort, who previously worked in Assemblyman George Amedore's office as Chief of Staff and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration, was elected to serve as Montgomery County Executive this past November. Voters also elected nine district level legislators to replace the outgoing Board of Supervisors.  
 
The issue of County Administrator is expected to be discussed at the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors monthly board meeting on Friday, January 24th at 9 am. Lawmakers are not expected to take immediate action on the proposal, but the choices that Montgomery County made may weigh heavily on their own decision making.

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