Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Addie Delivers for the kids

A Great Day for Local Children!

Today, Sherri Wilcox of the Church & Community Organization in Canton accepted the delivery of about 500 childrens' books today.

Its all part of "Addie's Books for Christmas." Generous donors in St. Lawrence County contributed the books. Another 500 or so went to the Toys for Tots program in Ogdensburg.

The Watertown/Jefferson County pickup will be tomorrow with the kids books distributed by the Community Action Planning Council (CAPC). This is the second year of Addie's program with the goal of putting a book in every kids hand during the holidays. Kinney Drugs in Canton and the Salmon Run Mall in Watertown were the two collection points. So stop by and drop off a couple of nice books for those kids that are a little less fortunate this year!

In Support of the Tax Cut Compromise

Like many of my Democratic colleagues, I have long supported making the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class permanent while letting the tax cuts for the ultra wealthy expire. But unlike many in Washington, I have urged leadership of both parties to compromise on this issue. Finally, after months of gridlock and finger-pointing from both parties, President Obama and Republicans in Congress have reached an agreement to do what is best for the American people – prevent a middle class tax increase on January 1 by agreeing to extend tax rates across all income levels for two years.

I support this compromise because job creation is my top priority. Although I do not believe that extending tax cuts for the ultra wealthy will create jobs, and I’m concerned that doing so will unnecessarily add to the debt, I believe a two-year extension is a fair compromise and that the overall agreement contains significant job creation measures. As we continue on the road to recovery, we will be able to revisit the tax rates for the wealthiest Americans when the economy is on stronger footing.

While many of my fellow Democrats believe that this compromise is a giveaway to the rich, nothing could be further from the truth. The bipartisan agreement forged by President Obama and Congressional Republicans delivers several key victories for American families and small businesses in addition to the extension of current tax rates:

• An Employee-Side Payroll Tax Cut: The compromise includes an employee-side payroll tax cut of 2 percent for over 155 million workers – providing additional middle class tax relief of about $112 billion next year.

• Extension of Unemployment Benefits: The compromise extends emergency unemployment benefits for 13 months, preventing an estimated 7 million Americans from losing their benefits over the next year as they continue to search for work.

• 100 Percent Expensing: The compromise includes a proposal, similar to legislation I introduced earlier this year, to allow businesses to expense 100 percent of their equipment investments in 2011, potentially generating more than $50 billion in additional investment, which will inject demand into the economy and fuel job creation.

• Estate Tax Relief: The compromise includes an increase in the estate tax exemption to $5 million per person and $10 million per couple, with a top tax rate of 35%. I have advocated for these levels since coming to Congress, because they will ensure that family farms and small businesses in our region are not subject to the tax. Recent figures show that only 1,379 people were subject to this tax in the entire State of New York when the exemption level was $2 million. I expect that by increasing the joint exemption to $10 million, a small fraction of filers will be affected in New York’s 23rd congressional district.

• Research & Development Tax Credit: The compromise includes a two-year extension of the R&D tax credit and other tax incentives to support business expansion.

Middle-class families and small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. They have been hit hardest by the economic downturn, and provisions in this compromise may be the difference that allows them to make ends meet and ensures the economy continues to recover. That is why I’m urging my colleagues in Congress to not only pass this compromise, but to make it the first of many bipartisan agreements that move our country forward in the coming year.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas in Clayon

Happy Holiday's from
Assemblywoman Russell

Last weekend was a busy one for Democrats across the North Country. From Bell ringing to Christmas parade's in Clayton Democrats were there!

Assemblywoman Addie Russell (118th) took time to stop by the Clayton Christmas Parade. The Assemblywoman has always been a big fan of the Clayton parade and brought her family along to share in the festivities. Below you'll find a few pictures of the event.

Assemblywoman Addie Russell and her son take a moment as the Clayton Parade gets underway.

The crowd greets Addie as the Parade winds down main st. in Clayton. A great day for all!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Democrats Ring Bells and Raise Bucks (Updated)

Jefferson County Democratic Committee
Rings Bells for
needy across the North Country
We just heard from Sandra Cole and she was called by Capt. Hopping from the Salvation Army. The JCDC was successful in raising $555.85 last Saturday. That's incredibly impressive and a testiment to all that helped out. Thank you all so very much for helping and we look forward to our next big event!
Thank you!!Thank you!! Thank you!!!
Assemblywoman Addie Russell, Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns, County Chair Sean M Hennessey, County Secretary Sandra Cole and many others are ringing the Kettle bell at the WalMart in the Town of LeRay as part of their on going "Discover the Meaning" Program.

The County Committee is not only committed to making the North Country a more progressive and inclusive community were also all about giving back to a community that has given so much to us." said Sean M Hennessey, Democratic Chairman. The annual program named by Sandra Cole (pictured Above) is a way for people from across our community to come together, give back and also figure out why we align ourselves with the Democrat party.
There are so many across our County that are going to go without this holiday Season and what better way to show we care then to spend the day raising funds for such a great organization.

The Jefferson County Democratic Committee (JCDC) will be at the Wal-Mart all day today (Saturday December 4th) starting at 10 am and ending at 8pm. Please come by and thank those who have spent the day ringing the bell and drop what you can in the kettle. It's a great way to kick off the holiday season and a great way to help those who are much less fortunate then you and I.

We want to thank everyone who came out and supported this worthy cause today. Ringing today were: Sandra Cole, Sean Hennessey, Assemblywoman Addie Russell, Sheriff John Burns and his son, Susan Dandrow, Doris McLallen, Ezra "Ted" Ford, Michelle Appleby, Mike Flynn and Megan Hinman.
Below are some more pictures of today's volunteers
Pictured are:Sheriff John Burn
s, Johns son and Volunteer Lee Lafave

Lee was adamant that he wanted in on this opportunity to give back to our community. His energy and connections in the community was a real boost the days fundraising efforts.

Pictured is Mike Flynn and a generous young man who told Mike that he has seen hard times before and now that he's on his feet wanted to give back. A incredible moment for Mike and our committee.

Pictured is Michelle Appleby. Even with some physically disabilities Michelle felt strongly about coming out with her children and ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. As Michelle said "It's important that I show my children that Christmas is not about getting but giving."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Anti-earmark Tea Party Caucus takes $1 billion in earmarks

Can This Be True?
Members of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus may tout their commitment to cutting government spending now, but they used the 111th Congress to request hundreds of earmarks that, taken cumulatively, added more than $1 billion to the federal budget.

According to a Hotline review of records compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste, the 52 members of the caucus, which pledges to cut spending and reduce the size of government, requested a total of 764 earmarks valued at $1,049,783,150 during Fiscal Year 2010, the last year for which records are available.

"It's disturbing to see the Tea Party Caucus requested that much in earmarks. This is their time to put up or shut up, to be blunt," said David Williams, vice president for policy at Citizens Against Government Waste. "There's going to be a huge backlash if they continue to request earmarks."

In founding the caucus in July, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said she was giving voice to Americans who were sick of government overspending.

[How do deficit-cutters sell the U.S. on pain?]

"The American people are speaking out loud and clear. They have had enough of the spending, the bureaucracy, and the government-knows-best mentality running rampant today throughout the halls of Congress," Bachmann said in a July 15 statement. The group, she wrote in a letter to House Administration Committee chairman Bob Brady, "will serve as an informal group of Members dedicated to promote Americans' call for fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution, and limited government."

Bachmann and 13 of her Tea Party Caucus colleagues did not request any earmarks in the last Fiscal Year, according to CAGW's annual Congressional Pig Book. But others have requested millions of dollars in special projects.

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), for one, attached his name to 69 earmarks in the last fiscal year, for a total of $78,263,000. The 41 earmarks Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) requested were worth $65,395,000. Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) wanted $63,400,000 for 39 special projects, and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) wanted $93,980,000 set aside for 47 projects.
Read more from Yahoo news HERE

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Old Friends meet at the Cyrstal

Former Chair John Kiechle and Senator Chuck Shumer shake hands at the Chrystal Restaurant during the Senator's recent trip to Watertown. John is a big supporter of the Senator and has been a great friend to the progressive movement in the North Country.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Senator Schumer says "Thank you North Country!"

Senator Schumer's Shows
Strong in Jefferson

Senator Charles Schumer came to the Crystal Restaurant in Watertown today to thank volunteers for the huge numbers that Jefferson County pulled for him in last November 2nd General election. Flanked by Assemblywoman Addie Russell, Sheriff John Burns, County Treasure Nancy Brown and Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham Senator Schumer showed why the people of the North Country said loudly…Chuck’s our guy!

It was a packed house and all there were impressed with chuck and his ability to answer the tough questions of the day. He wasn’t shy in his words and he vowed to work day and night to make sure the North Country is heard in Washington.

It was clear by the end of the meet and greet that Senator Schumer understands what makes the North Country tick. From making sure our military and military families are taken care of to shoring up education and job growth the Senator answered all the all questions and made sure that everyone had a chance to talk with him one on one.

A great time was had and we were so proud to be able to highlight the needs of the North Country in such a historic setting as the Crystal Restaurant.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

News Flash...Don't Sue When Your Ahead!!

Ritchie (through Albany Lawyers) Slows the Count
on election that trends her way! WHY?!
Action Could Cost Thousands to Tax Payers
Action was taken on Sunday for mysterious reasons...read on....

Ritchie Files Lawsuit in 48th District Election

The Valley News
by Carol Thompson

New York State Senator-elect Patricia Ritchie has filed a lawsuit against the election commissioners in the three counties representing the 48th District and Senator Darrel Aubertine.

The lawsuit seeks to preserve Ritchie’s rights under state Election Law to provide for court review of all ballots, including all emergency ballots, absentee ballots, affidavit ballots, special ballots, federal ballots and military ballots, if necessary.

She requested the court designate Oswego County as the venue for the proceedings, if her petition is granted.

The lawsuit is dated Sunday, Nov. 14, and was filed as an “emergency lawsuit,” according to Oswego County Board of Elections Commissioner Dick Atkins.

“This action is being brought outside the ordinary hours of business of the court and specifically the clerk’s office,” the petition states.

Ritchie is represented by Paul DerOhannesian of Albany.
To read more click HERE
First seen on NEWZJUNKY

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Statement from Senator Darrel Aubertine

“I am extremely grateful for the support I’ve received over the years and the opportunities I’ve been given to serve the people of the North Country for eight years and Central New York for the past two and a half years. I am proud of what we’ve accomplished working together across political divisions and I wish Senator-elect Patty Ritchie well in serving the people of Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bill Owens Volunteer Thank You Party

A great time was had tonight at Bistro 108 for the after election thank you party in honor of all the volunteers that worked so hard in getting the Congressman back to Washington. A great cross section of the community was at the Bistro tonight and from what we could tell Congressman Owens has a big following in Jefferson County.

It was a packed house tonight at 108. Chairman Hennessey said “After spending so much time together Knocking doors and making calls during the campaign it’s great to have everyone back together again.”

Congressman Owens expressed during the meet up his thanks for all the hard work and dedication his volunteers gave to the campaign. He noted that without the hard work from all in the room this election could have had a very different outcome.

As he heads back to Washington, Congressman Owens will continue to fight for issues that most effect families across the region. He stated that economic development, border security, education and a host of other issues will be his main focus.

The Jefferson County Democratic Committee would like to thank everyone that worked so hard for the Congressman and our region. The Owens team proved that with hard work and determination great things can happen. That’s just what happened on November 2nd

Thank you!!

If you’d like to find out more on what you can do to help the Congressman Owens as well as the Jefferson County Democratic Committee you can email us HERE, Check out our Face book page HERE or you can call the office in Watertown at (315) 788-4590 and someone will get back to you.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Buying “American” Just got Easier

How many times have you said to yourself “God I wish I could by products made in America.”? We’ll look no further. The North Country Democrat was doing some long needed winter cloths shopping today and found Herb Philipson’s located (click HERE) in the Price Chopper Plaza and “Tractor Supply Co.” (click HERE) in Watertown had products that had the “Made in America” and “Assembled in America” proudly displayed on various items.

I have to say that we were really were impressed with the style’s and the price. You can find various hats that were priced in the $4 to $10 range that were really nice. In fact, there were so many styles that it took some time for the kids to pick which one they liked the most. The Snow boots also came in a number of styles that the kids were drawn to. Price range for the boots ran anywhere from $50 to $65 and were rated to handle the harsh winter that we’re accustomed to here in the North Country.

We ask that you frequent the Watertown Herb Philipson’s and Tractor Supply Co located on Arsenal St. in Watertown. When you please express to the store manager that you like having U.S. made products in the store and that you’ll shop there again for that reason. Buying U.S. made products is very important. The only way to increase the likely hood of having these products in stock is to voice your opinion that this is important to you and your family. It’s is to me and I know it is to you.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Council 82 Gets it!

Council 82 Endorses John Burns
For Jefferson County Sheriff

The New York State Law Enforcement Officers Union, Council 82, AFSCME, AFL-CIO is proud to endorse Sheriff John P. Burn for re-election as the Sheriff of Jefferson County. Council 82 represents over 70 law enforcement locals throughout New York State including the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies, Local 3928, as well as the Jefferson County Correction Officers and Dispatchers, Local 3089, both which have already endorsed John Burns for Sheriff.

Sheriff John Burns has been a member of the Jefferson County’s Sheriffs’ Office for almost 30 years. During the course of his career he has worked in the county jail as a deputy, served on the road patrol, became a detective, and eventually was elected Sheriff in 2002. He has lead the department with an attitude that is firm, fare and consistent and in a manner that has benefited the officers serving under him, as well as the citizens of Jefferson County.

As an officer, Burns served as past president of his member’s union so he understands the needs of the working men and women in uniform which he leads. He is a strong leader and has dealt with the issues facing his department with honor. His working relationship with the members of the law enforcement and the community are second-to-none. He has always maintained an open-mind to the new ideas presented to him and the county is safer because of his service. It is for these reasons, and many others, that Council 82 is proud to endorse, and support John P. Burns for re-election as the Sheriff of Jefferson County.

Council 82 represents Police Officers, County Deputy Sheriffs, County Correction Officers, Dispatchers and Law Enforcement Officers throughout New York State.

Friday, October 29, 2010

President Bill Clinton Comes to Support Congressman Bill Owens!

Yes It's true..He's coming!

President Bill Clinton will travel to the North Country on Monday November 1st to support our very own Congressman Bill Owens. This event will be a historic one so please make plans to attend this once in a lifetime event. Details are as follows:

Who: President Bill Clinton Comes to Watertown NY
When: Doors open at 9:15am (open to the public so get there early!)
Where: Ramada Inn on Arsenal St. Watertown NY

If you'd like more details please come to Bill Owens, Darrel Aubertine, Addie Russell or Brian McGrath's Campaign office on Saturday afternoon. Get info and then hit the streets knocking for our various candidates. If you haven't knocked a door, called or stuffed lit for our great candidates then here's a great opportunity for you to help with the final push. We REALLY need you!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seniors Ask: Where is Patty Ritchie On Our Issues?

While Darrel Aubertine Answered AARP Questions,
Ritchie Again Snubs Voters

Patty Fails to Respond to Voter Education
Guide Important To 80,000 District Voters

After skipping debates, and hiding from media questions about her support of Carl Paladino’s extreme agenda, Patty Ritchie has taken her disdain for the public discussion to a new level, blowing off the AARP’s candidate questionnaire.

“Here was an opportunity for Patty Ritchie to sit down with her downstate handlers and fill out a form, but Patty still didn’t do it,” said Drew Mangione, spokesman for the Aubertine Campaign. “When you look at Carl Paladino’s responses, it becomes clear why she didn’t speak to the AARP. The Patty-Paladino scheme would devastate senior healthcare, laying off more than 2,100 local health care workers, closing hospitals and nursing homes, slashing healthcare services for 1 in 5 vulnerable adults, children and seniors in the region.”

State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, on the other hand, answered the entire questionnaire, and expressed how proud he was to fight for seniors this year to restore funding for the EPIC program and to improve and protect our healthcare services over the past two years. He has fought to protect health care jobs, healthcare for children, seniors and people with disabilities. He secured $34 million to keep Mercy Hospital open and save 300 jobs. He fought to expand EPIC so more Seniors can get low cost prescriptions and is endorsed by the largest local health care group representing over 1,000 central and Northern New York healthcare workers.

The public can view the non-partisan AARP elections voters’ guide with pertinent candidate information for the upcoming elections. The questions were selected based on surveyed concerns of its New York members. The candidates were asked to answer numerous questions and given 125 words to do so.

“This voter guide is a great way for seniors to find out where the candidates stand on critical issues that are important to them,” Darrel said. “I’ll gladly share my record of repeatedly supporting the Senior STAR program, a property tax cap, making prescription drugs more affordable, lowering energy costs for seniors and making long-term care more response.”
Questions were asked regarding candidates positions on Long-term care, Housing, Prescription drugs, energy and transportation issue and had a multiple-choice aspect. The responses, as well as AARP’s position, are posted for all to see: http://vote4.aarp.org/pdf-race/NewYorkSenateDistrict48-200792249.pdf. Mrs. Ritchie failed to respond even after being granted an extension by AARP.

Patty Ritchie’s running mate on two ballot lines, Carl Paladino, did respond and he stated his opposition to five of the AARP’s priorities including expanding the Elderly Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (EPIC) and the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), both of which are programs that thousands of Central and North New Yorkers use.

Voters, non-partisan groups like the League of Women Voters, and even Newspapers outlets, including the Watertown Daily Times, North Country Public Radio have expressed that they do not know where Mrs. Ritchie stands on a whole host of issues. By not filling out the AARP survey, yet another group, the more than 80,000 voters aged 50 and older in the district may never know where she stands on senior issues.

McGrath Announces AFL-CIO, SEIU Local 200United, United Steel Workers Local 420a, 450a and 1988, and Laborers Local 322 Endorsements

“The working people of the North Country
need a fighter in the Assembly.”

122nd Assembly District candidate Brian McGrath (D, I) today announced the backing of a broad coalition of support from organized labor.

“My campaign has been about cutting taxes, reforming government and creating jobs. Keeping the good jobs we have here, and creating a business climate that will invite job growth. I’m honored to have overwhelming support from the labor community in our shared fight to revitalize the North Country economy,” said McGrath.

“The social and economic problems facing our state and nation require strong leadership on the part of our elected representatives and we feel that you will be a strong advocate for the needs of all working men and women throughout the State of New York. We offer you best wishes in your campaign and the support of the members of the New York State AFL-CIO affiliates in your district,” wrote New York State AFL-CIO President, Denis M. Hughes in an endorsement letter to McGrath.

“Brian McGrath has a realistic plan create and keep good jobs in the North Country. He understands the needs of working people, and he'll fight to create opportunities so that our children aren’t forced to leave their families and communities to find work," said Jerry Dennis, President, SEIU Local 200United.

“We don’t need old guard politicians just talking about our problems. We need bright new leaders like Brian McGrath, one of Lowville’s finest, to provide innovative solutions to stop jobs from leaving our area and to work with businesses nationwide to create new jobs here,” said Roger J. Turck, President, USW Local 1988 in Lowville.

McGrath is also endorsed by the Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence County Central Trades and Labor Council of the AFL-CIO and IBEW Local 2032.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Check out Brian McGrath's Interview on PBS

Betty McLean Honored by Community

Betty McLean (former Chairwoman of the Town of Wilna) was honored tonight at the
Town of Wilna American Legion for over 50 yrs of work electing good Democrats to office. Tonight’s event was a who’s who of progressive leaders from across the North Country.

“Betty McLean is someone that will work tirelessly to make sure the Democratic Party is heard and reckoned with.” Said Jefferson County Democratic Chair Sean Hennessey. Her success’s can be seen on at the local level as well as on the National Stage. Betty has seen it all and although I’ll never be able to fill her shoes but I’ll do my best to follow in her footsteps” said Paul Smith Town Supervisor of the Town of Wilna and current chairman of the Town of Wilna Democratic Committee. Brian McGrath expressed his thanks for Betty and her life work and pressed the crowd to give Betty an early Birthday present by electing a Democrat for the first time ever to represent 122nd Assembly district.
In Betty’s speech (in normal fashion) she thanks all the people that have made her success a reality. She especially thanked all in attendance and urged them to continue the fight to make the North Country a more progressive and inclusive community.

Attending tonight event were past and current Chairs of the Jefferson County Democratic Committee, representative’s for Senator Darrel Aubertine and Assemblywoman Addie J Russell, Brian McGrath (Candidate for the NYS Assembly - 122nd District), Sheriff John Burns, County Treasurer Nancy Brown, Town/Village elected officials, Town Chairs from the Jefferson County Democratic Committee and many from the community that wanted to thank Betty for her Service.

Thank you Betty for all you have done and continue to do for our community!!

First She Flips For Paladino, Now Patty Flops As Election Nears

Ritchie on Record for Months
Supporting Paladino’s Disastrous Fiscal Plan,
Now, as Carl Falters,
She Can’t Decide Who or What She Supports

Just 9 days before the election, Patty Ritchie is waffling on her support of the Paladino agenda, despite publicly supporting his agenda for months and collecting more than 4000 signatures to join him on his ballot line.

“Ritchie had no problem running on Paladino’s message of cutting healthcare for struggling families and slashing education, but now as her campaign flounders, she just woke up to realize how bad this reckless plan would be for Central and Northern New Yorkers?” said Aubertine Campaign spokesman Drew Mangione. “Does anyone really believe that? After tying herself to Paladino, promoting his ideas, creating a sham ballot line with him and using his talking points, suddenly she’s ‘uncertain’
of where she stands.”

Patty Ritchie shares two party lines with Carl Paladino and has publically supported his fiscal approach. Now, with just over a week until Election Day, she is questioning his reckless cuts, his fiscal plan and his mental state while offering little in the way of clear statements on what she does support.

“This last minute waffle on the basic premise of her campaign raises so many questions, most notably does she actually know what she wants to do in Albany?” asks Mangione. “And if she no longer supports the disastrous Paladino plan, what exactly does she stand for?”

In the past two years, Darrel Aubertine has saved thousands of jobs while taking a responsible approach to closing the budget deficits. He has voted to hold the line on education funding and to rein in Medicaid costs. He has also approved cuts in spending, while he has rejected onerous tax increases, like the Soda Tax. But the cuts Darrel has supported have allowed health care for struggling families and the elderly and education for our children to still exist, meeting the basic needs of the people of Central and Northern New York.

For months, it has been clear that Carl Paladino’s drastic approach would severely damage education and health care, but while Paladino was moving up in the polls and gaining traction, Ritchie had no problems being aligned with him. Now, as his campaign falters, Ritchie suddenly doesn’t agree with Paladino, raising questions about whether she is another politician willing to do or say anything to get elected.

“With this very high-profile flip-flop, Patty Ritchie is sounding more and more like the Albany politicians that convinced her to run in the first place,” Mangione concludes. “With her support of Paladino hurting her, she is following her Long Island handlers who are instructing her to drop her support for Paladino. Where is her moral compass?”

Post-Standard endorsement - 23rd Congressional District: Bill Owens

Syracuse Post Standare calls Congressman Owens
"An effective advocate for his district,
a voice for moderation and civility in the House,
Owens deserves re-election.

In the 23rd District, which sprawls across the North Country south to Madison County, Republican challenger Matt Doheny, like Buerkle in the 25th, wants to return “certainty” to economic policy-making. Few candidates demonstrate more “certainty” — at least about what’s wrong.
The TARP bank bailout? “Flat-out wrong.” The same with the economic stimulus, health insurance reeform and new financial services regulations. The old earmark process? “Flat-out wrong,” says Doheny.

The energetic Doheny calls for new ideas and straight talk. He says his years working with troubled companies “on the front lines of capitalism” give him the skills needed to deal with economic issues.

Democratic incumbent Bill Owens argues he is a better fit for the district than a man with a “career on Wall Street.” Owens, the first Democratic congressman in the district since the Civil War era, won a tumultuous special election last year that included two Republicans — one of whom dropped out and endorsed Owens. In his short tenure, he has compiled a moderate record — voting for the health care bill, but opposing the financial regulation bill because of concerns it would hurt small banks in his district. Like Doheny, he calls for fresh thinking and is concerned about the federal deficit.
Read more from The Syracuse Post Standard HERE

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New York State PBA Endorses Aubertine For Re-Election

Police Union Credits Aubertine
for His Commitment to Supporting Law

OSWEGO, JEFFERSON & ST. LAWRENCE COUNTIES (October 23, 2010)—State Senator Darrel J. Aubertine has received the support of the New York State Association of Police Benevolent Associations, as the Association decided unanimously to support Darrel in his bid for re-election.

“We are extremely pleased that our Association has unanimously endorsed Sen. Aubertine for re-election as New York State
Senator for the 48th Senatorial District,” said Thomas Willdigg, President of the New York State Association of PBAs. “Our endorsement is based upon his well known, documented positions taken in support of law enforcement, the friendship you have exhibited toward police officers, and the confidence we have in him to be an effective representative.”

“It is an honor to have the support of men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting ours,” Darrel said. “Throughout my time in the Senate, I been sure to make any possible effort to support the endeavors of law enforcement and ensure they have what they need to do their jobs. The better they can perform, the safer we are.”

The New York State Association of PBAs, Inc. is an organization comprised of more than 50 member units and more than 40,000 police officers in New York State.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The battle for the 48th Senate District

Have you knocked a door? If not get out and let our neighbors know how much we appreciate Darrel. Come to the HQ's tomorrow morning, get a packet and let put this in the history books as a win for the North Country!

The fight for the 48th Senate District is one of those hotly contested races. Depending on who wins the seat could mean a shift in power for the Senate.

NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. -- The race for the 48th Senate District has cost both parties a pretty penny. In recent days, Senate Republicans have given Patty Ritchie $330,000 in an attempt to win back the seat and Senate Democrats have dumped $350,000 in to Senator Darrel Aubertine's campaign to defend it.

"I think people pay a lot of attention to races like this in regions of the state like this," Aubertine said.

Even more so in this race, where polls have actually placed Ritchie up three points, but within the margin of error. Defending this seat is a tough task for Democrats, with Republicans outnumbering them by more than 30,000.

"The way you defend a seat like this is you do your job. And you represent everyone. You don't represent one political stripe or another," Aubertinie said.
See more from News10 by clicking HERE

Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Endorse Aubertine

Upstate Construction Families Unite
Behind Aubertine for Re-Election Bid

OSWEGO, JEFFERSON & ST. LAWRENCE COUNTIES (October 22, 2010)—Citing Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine’s voting record, his willingness to maintain dialogue and his interest in carefully considering legislation, the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local Union No. 2 PAC has officially endorsed Darrel in his bid for re-election in the 48th Senate District.

“The construction industry has been devastated by the recession and without the support we received from Senator Aubertine it could have been much worse,” said Bob Mantello, President of Local Union No. 2. “Darrel played a vital roll in the passage of the Construction Industry Fair Play Act and has remained committed to taking up the issues faced by working men and women Upstate. Based on his record and accessibility to hearing all of his constituents, we proudly endorse Darrel as he seeks re-election to continue representing the values of our members.”

“Our construction workers have a very important roll in all of our lives as they literally lay the foundation of our communities. To have the endorsement of these hardworking men and women of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union is an honor as I strive to work hard for all of us,” Darrel said. “Having the support of construction families gives me a great sense of pride and I truly appreciate their decision to endorse me.”

The Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local No. 2 represents more than 1,400 union construction families in Upstate New York, including Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.

Ruggiero: 'I Will Not Apologize' for Facebook Comment

by Timothy W. Scee II
Special to Newzjunky.com
Published October 21, 2010

An anonymous e-mail, accusing Jefferson County Sheriff candidate Charles F. “Chuck” Ruggiero of posting a “racist” comment on the Facebook wall of a sheriff’s deputy, was sent Thursday morning to Newzjunky.com and newspaper reporter David C. Shampine.

The author, whose name is not shown in the address bar, copied and pasted a screen shot of Deputy Sheriff Shaun D. Cuddeback’s Facebook page entitled “Profile Pictures.”

“This is a post about a photo of a current deputy holding a baby,” the author writes.

Although the picture is not included in the e-mail, Cuddeback’s description of it reads, “Found a pic of me and my “little” girl, brought back some memories. (Go ahead, laugh at the beard and glasses, I know you want to.)’”

“Chuck Ruggiero,” at 12:32 p.m., Jan. 21, responds, “Looks like the only things you’re missing are the backpack bomb and the towel on your head!”

To read the full story on Newzjunky click HERE

We're Now on Eastern Time!

The North Country Democrat has finally figured out how to set the time of the blog entries to eastern standard time. We guess it will mean less people congratulating us for posting stories at 5am and more thinking we actually have a life and do things other then post on this site. lol Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Second Time This Week Aubertine Shows and Ritchie Ducks Debate

Darrel Attends Public Forum Expecting
To Talk Issues with the Public and His Opponent –

Public Showed, Moderator was There,
Darrel Was There, Only Problem:
Opponent Didn’t Show

State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine tonight again stood before the people of Northern New York ready to discuss the issues that matter to our families at a candidate forum arranged by the North Side Improvement League.

And for the second time in three days, Patty Ritchie stood up debate organizers and the public by simply not showing up. This was the same Patty Ritchie who failed to show for a planned League of Women Voters debate in Canton – the only planned debate in St. Lawrence County.

“We can’t figure out why Patty Ritchie is hiding, or what exactly she is hiding from,” said Drew Mangione. “Is she aware that Senators have to answer tough questions from the media, speak in public and even defend bills on the floor of the Senate. It’s part of their job. In addition, it’s also their responsibility to be responsive to the people and open to the public.”

The North Side Improvement League received commitments from Sheriff John Burns and his opponent, Senator Aubertine and Patty Ritchie to attend the event, which was simulcast on http://www.steveweedproductions.com/ and http://www.nnynewscow.com/, and attended by local media along with more than 100 in the crowd who supplied the questions.

Sen. Aubertine was asked about healthcare, gun rights, farm labor, and even the gubernatorial race. A common refrain in the questions asked was, “I wish I could have asked Patty this question, but I’ll ask Senator Aubertine…” As always, Senator Aubertine was there, ready and willing to discuss the issues.

“This election is an important election, as every election is,” Darrel said. “I’ve been proud to represent all of you and to work toward achieving our goals and our interests. The number one issue in this race is jobs and strengthening our economy. That’s what I’ve worked to do in protecting jobs and services at Mercy here in Watertown and just up the road at Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. It’s what I’ve worked to do with Power for Jobs, Energize New York and Green Jobs/Green New York. I’ve worked to earn your trust and I’m here today to keep it.”

When asked where Patty Ritchie was tonight, moderator Charlie Bolio said, “She sent us emails today saying that she would be here. I ran into Darrel a few weeks ago and he made the commitment that he would be here tonight, and he followed through on his commitment.”

Members of the audience were also off-put by Mrs. Ritchie’s absence, as Al Drake, County Legislator from Theresa said “This seems like this is a good forum to get your ideas out there, I guess she had something more important to. But this should take priority.”

John O’Driscoll, also of Theresa, said “She was at the same event as a Sherriff candidate earlier today and he made it tonight, I don’t understand why she couldn’t make it here to talk to us.”

This is a must see video. PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Watch a "Candidate Conversation" with Addy J. Russell

Listen to Brian McGrath's debate last night.

Below you'll find the link to Brian McGraths debate last night in Lowville. It's a blockbuster so check it out today by clicking HERE

A Great day in North Country Politics

The North Country Democrat was pleasantly surprised at the turnout at Coleman’s Corner for a fundraiser in support of Senator Aubertine tonight! The food was great and what a reception from the staff. Big thanks to everyone for coming and showing how much we appreciate Darrel and all his efforts in Albany.

Later in the evening a bunch of us went off to phone bank at Congressman Bill Owens Watertown Office. He's a proven advocate for North Country and to be honest a really great guy! The calls are really working and feedback was very strong tonight. If you'd like to help please drop us a email and we'll get in touch. Thanks everyone for all you do!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Aubertine in Canton to Meet with Voters, Ritchie Absent

Senator discusses the Issues
with voters in Canton
without Opponent
who Skipped Opportunity

State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine followed through with his commitment to attend a planned debate here in St. Lawrence County, which had been intended to be a debate with his opponent, however, he was the only one who showed up to talk to voters.

“This was an opportunity to discuss the issues central to this race with the people of St. Lawrence County and I was not going to pass on this chance to talk about the issues,” Darrel J. Aubertine said. “It’s unfortunate my opponent did not take this opportunity to discuss the issues in a public forum, but regardless, I believe it is important to speak directly to the voters and the media to show where we stand to voters in St. Lawrence County.”

The Senator agreed to debate at SUNY Canton with an independent community organization. However, even after his opponent refused to take this opportunity the Senator chose to move ahead with the forum at Room 212-214 at the Campus Center with local media in attendance. Sen. Aubertine in each of his campaigns has never passed up debates in St. Lawrence County.

“This really highlights Patty Ritchie’s refusal to answer the difficult questions from the people of St. Lawrence County,” said Drew Mangione, campaign spokesman. “The people of St. Lawrence County deserve this opportunity and this begs the question: Why would she duck this any chance to talk to people in St. Lawrence County?”

This is Why Darrel Is Our Guy!

Darrel hit it right on the head on why Dean Skelos can not become majority leader of the NYS Senate. Please watch and send it to friends.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Come Join Us for our Fall Dinner!

Cordially Invites You to Join Us at Our
Thursday October 21, 2010
6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The Italian American Civic Club
192 Bellew Ave Watertown NY

Special Guest
Congressman Bill Owens
NYS Senator Darrel Aubertine
NYS Assemblywomen Addie Russell
Sheriff John Burns
Assembly Candidate Brian McGrath
JCDC Chairman Sean M Hennessey
Chairman’s Reception
With Congressman Bill Owens, Senator Aubertine, Assemblywoman Russell,
Sheriff John Burns, Brian McGrath
and guests at 5:30PM
(Chairman’s Club Free, Century Club $30, All others $50/person
for reception only)
Dinner will starts at 6:30 PM
($30/person for dinner only)
To attend both events $75/person.
Please R.S.V.P. and Dinner choice by Oct 15th to:
JCDC Head Quarters at
jeffersondemocrats@gmail.com or
call (315) 788-4590.
All funds raised will go towards development of Local candidates in the
Jefferson County area

Obama: End Tax Breaks To Stop Overseas Hiring

AP Reporter
WASHINGTON — End tax breaks that reward some U.S. companies with overseas subsidiaries and encourage those businesses to create jobs in other countries, President Barack Obama is telling Congress.

Yet it's an idea that has raised concerns even among some lawmakers in the president's own party.

At issue is a bill, now stalled in the Senate, that would do away with some tax credits and deferrals for U.S. companies for operations abroad.

"There is no reason why our tax code should actively reward them for creating jobs overseas," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. "Instead, we should be using our tax dollars to reward companies that create jobs and businesses within our borders."

Though Obama singled out Republican opposition, the bill also failed to get support from some Democrats, including the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. He has expressed concern that the change would put the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage.

The ending of the tax provisions has run into opposition from business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers.

Read more from The Huffington Report HERE

Bill Owens Opponent stops in to say Hello

Today dozens of volunteers took to the doors of Jefferson County to get the word out about our leaders and plan on how to improve things in the North Country. From Adams to Alex Bay and Brownville to Wilna our volunteers did us proud.

The day started with a labor rally at CSEA headquarters in Watertown for Congressman Bill Owens and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

The volunteer's hands were at the ready when the packets went out. Just after the bulk of the team took to the streets, I'm told that Congressman Bill Owens opponent stopped into the CSEA office to see what the commotion was about. We're thinking that Matt was not all that pleased to see all the red (made in America) "I support Bill Owens" shirts in the room.

The North Country Democrat also spotted Sheriff John Burns, Senator Aubertine and Assemblywoman Addie Russell volunteers dropping literature all over the City of Watertown, Brownville, Glenn park, Adams, Black River, and Wilna areas.
The reception was amazing and the volunteers were charged up by the reaction from the community.

The North Country Democrat would like to thank everyone that came out to help with the push. We want to especially thank all in Labor for spending the day with us. We had labor groups from across the region lending support. Groups such as CSEA, SEIU, CWA, Steel workers, Auto Workers, Brick layers and many more.

Don't forget everyone! Phone banks are up in the Jefferson County Democratic Head Quarters and phone calls are critical. The various campaign offices are in need of bodies and there will be a continued effort to take our message to every door in the region.

If you'd like to help knock doors or possibly make phone calls please get in touch with us. Every phone call made and every door knocked gets us one step closer to victory on November 2nd.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blankenbush, McGrath to Debate Monday at Lowville Elks Club

WLLG Radio to Host Assembly Candidates
7 PM Monday, Oct. 18

Media Release
Special to Newzjunky.com
Published October 13, 2010

LOWVILLE, N.Y. — 122nd District Assembly candidates Ken Blankenbush (R, C – LeRay) and Brian McGrath (D, I – Martinsburg) will debate in Lewis County on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 7:00 PM at the Lowville Elks Club located at 5600 Shady Ave. in Lowville. The hour-long forum will be moderated by Brian Best and Bill Flack of WLLG Radio and broadcast live on 99.3 FM. The debate is free and open to the public.

“North Country voters have a choice in this election, and I look forward to a robust and productive discussion about the issues that are most important to our region’s vitality: job creation, tax relief, and cleaning up the cesspool of Albany dysfunction that continues force our loved ones to leave the North Country,” said McGrath
Read more from Newzjunky.com HERE

Ritchie campaign dodges debates

Group says candidate ignored its requests


Patricia A. Ritchie is saying she's "absolutely" open to debating her opponent in the 48th state Senate District, but her campaign team is absolutely avoiding the idea.

Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, challenged Mrs. Ritchie on Friday to debate in each of the district's three counties before the Nov. 2 general election. The two have committed to just one joint appearance: a Friday taping of WPBS-TV's "Public Eye," which is closed to the public and aired at a later date.

Mr. Aubertine committed to an appearance on "Campbell Conversations," a 30-minute forum on public radio station WRVO with Syracuse University political science professor Grant D. Reeher. He also accepted an invitation to an Oct. 18 discussion at SUNY Canton, sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Mr. Reeher said Mark C. Waldczyk, Mrs. Ritchie's deputy campaign manager, told him his candidate wasn't available at any time for an entire week. The professor had offered to host until 7 p.m. any day late this week or early next week and tape on the weekend if necessary.

Kathleen F. Stein, the League's secretary, said she was "severely annoyed" after four phone calls and four e-mails yielded just one noncommittal answer from Mr. Waldczyk. The group has had to cancel the debate.

Read more from the Watertown Daily Times HERE

Friday, October 8, 2010

You are cordually
invited to join

Proudly Serving Oswego,
Jefferson and St. Lawrence

Coleman's Corner Pub
849 Lawrence St.
Watertown NY 13601

Adjacent to the Watertown Fairgrounds
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
For an evening reception in support of Darrel's re-election campaign

Ticket Levels
(includes appetizers courtesy of Coleman's Corner)
$40 - Guest
$100 - Friend of Darrel's
$500 - Co Chair

Please make checks payable to:
Friends of Aubertine
PO Box 582
Watertown NY 13601
For More Information or to RSVP
Please call: 315-755-2440
Or send an email to:

Don't miss the Debate tonight!

Tonight at 9pm Brian McGrath (candidate 122nd Assembly district) will be on with a taped debate that took place a day or so ago. By the sounds of the back and forth it will be a great chance to see Brian and hear some of the issues effecting not just the 122nd Assembly district but the North Country as a whole. Check out he write up and make sure set your DVR to record this one.

Upcoming show: A Series of Political Conversations

This month, Public Eye will spotlight upcoming elections, bringing candidates together to talk about where they stand on issues that affect the North Country. Public Eye will break out of its monthly format by offering 3 programs before election day that are designed to give North Country residents a more in depth discussion of important issues.

AIRS FRIDAY OCT. 8 at 9:00 pm on WPBS-DT
122nd Assembly Race

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Senator Aubertine's Watertown Office is Open

Today Senator Aubertine officially opened his Watertown NY office. It was a packed house and fun was had by all. Check out the days event and don't forget to get involved!

Come Join Us for our Fall Dinner!

Cordially Invites You to Join Us at Our
Thursday October 21, 2010
6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The Italian American Civic Club
192 Bellew Ave Watertown NY

Special Guest
Congressman Bill Owens
NYS Senator Darrel Aubertine
NYS Assemblywomen Addie Russell
Sheriff John Burns
Assembly Candidate Brian McGrath
JCDC Chairman Sean M Hennessey
Chairman’s Reception
With Congressman Bill Owens, Senator Aubertine, Assemblywoman Russell,
Sheriff John Burns, Brian McGrath
and guests at 5:30PM
(Chairman’s Club Free, Century Club $30, All others $50/person
for reception only)
Dinner will starts at 6:30 PM
($30/person for dinner only)
To attend both events $75/person.
Please R.S.V.P. and Dinner choice by Oct 15th to:
JCDC Head Quarters at
jeffersondemocrats@gmail.com or
call (315) 788-4590.
All funds raised will go towards development of Local candidates in the
Jefferson County area

Friday, October 1, 2010

Owens Votes to Grow Jobs, End Currency Manipulation by Foreign Countries

Yesterday, Congressman Bill Owens voted to support the growth of American jobs and to end currency manipulation by foreign countries like China. The Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 2378) will provide additional tools for the U.S. government to impose trade penalties against China for undervaluing its currency and provide meaningful relief to American businesses. H.R. 2378 passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday by a large bipartisan majority of 348-79.

“This legislation will help to level the playing field after decades of manipulation by the Chinese government of its currency, and will assist to create American jobs,” said Owens. “This manipulation has unfairly contributed to the current state of our economy by creating a substantial imbalance of trade in favor of the Chinese, and has shipped jobs overseas.”

The Chinese government has intervened in world markets, causing its currency to be undervalued by as much as 25 to 40 percent. This unfair trade practice translates into a significant subsidy, artificially making Chinese imports into the United States cheaper and American imports to China more expensive. The resulting imbalance jeopardizes efforts to create and preserve manufacturing jobs in America.

“It is very important that we have free and fair trade existing in the world, but when one country artificially deflates its currency to gain leverage on a capitalist world market, there is nothing free nor fair about it,” Owens continued.

H.R. 2378 allows the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports that offset the effect of a fundamentally undervalued currency. The legislation also reverses a current Commerce Department practice that has precluded it from treating foreign currency practices as an export subsidy and directs the department how to measure the subsidy provided to foreign produces through currency undervaluation.

“For decades, Democrats and Republicans have attempted to convince China to play fair in the world markets, but no progress has been made,” Owens added. “With the passage of this bill, we will have more leverage in negotiations with China and any other foreign government that uses these unfair tactics in the future. The legislation takes a ‘big picture’ approach to remedy this situation, and we can do the same on a smaller scale by purchasing more goods produced within our borders. It has never been more critical to buy American.”

H.R. 2378 is supported by the Fair Currency Coalition (a coalition of industry, agriculture, and labor), U.S. Business and Industry Council, AFL-CIO, Coalition of Agricultural Producers (including American Corn Growers & National Farmers Union), United Auto Workers, United Steel Workers, American Iron & Steel Institute, American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, Alliance for American Manufacturing, and National Council of Textile Organizations.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sean Hennessey Re-Elected Chairman

I want to thank the members of the Jefferson County Democratic Committee (JCDC) for their unanimous support as Chairman at last nights bi-annual election of officers. As you know, some of the most important aspects of being a County Chairman are to rally the troops and elect representatives that work for everyone in our community regardless of station in life or party affiliation. I think if those points are what we use to gauge the effectiveness of our efforts then we have hit a home run for our North Country Community.

Day after day, as we walk in into our local grocery stores, libraries and shops we are reminded of why we spend those countless hours volunteering for a Congressman, Senator and Assembly members. It’s for the Sergeant just returning from Afghanistan, the Union member that stands up for safe working environments and the school teacher that nurtures our children’s goals and aspirations. It’s for those less fortunate and for those yet to achieve the American dream.

I have to say that I’m blessed to have a wonderful group of people to work with on the JCDC. I want to thank you all for your limitless support and encouragement throughout the years. It’s been an incredible journey and with your support we’ll continue to move the North Country forward.

Thank you,
Sean M Hennessey
Jefferson County Democratic Committee

Monday, September 27, 2010

Darrel Needs You!

Senator Aubertine invites you
to the opening!

We just got word from Senator Aubertine that he's opening his campaign office
this Saturday, October 2nd and he'd like to invite you to attend. I'm sure you all rember how much fun his openers are so make sure to put this on your

The program will start at 11am and will take place on factory st side of the Mary building (169 Polk St in the City of Watertown). We've attached a google map (click HERE) in case you have issues finding it.

We really want to show Darrel how much we appreciate all his hard work
so please bring your family, friends and neighbors.

Thanks so much for all your help and please feel free to call or email if you have any questions.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Owens Touts New Tax Cuts and Credit for Upstate Small Businesses

Thursday’s vote supported
by U.S. Chamber of Commerce

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congressman Bill Owens voted in favor of The Small Business Jobs Act, H.R. 5297, a bill that provides tax cuts for the middle class and spurs economic development in Upstate New York. The legislation, which is backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, passed the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday by a vote of 237-187.
“As I travel around the 11 counties that make up our district, job creation is always the top concern on everyone’s mind,” Owens said. “This legislation encourages economic growth in the private sector by opening up a wider flow of credit to our small business owners while offering eight new tax incentives that will motivate them to hire and expand.’

The Small Business Jobs Act aims to help America’s 27 million small businesses create new jobs and grow with $12 billion in tax cuts. With these incentives and access to more capital, our nation’s small businesses will be able to put more Americans back to work.

Similar to many bills that Congressman Owens has supported in his first year in office, The Small Business Jobs Act serves to close tax loopholes for companies that ship American jobs overseas. Due to this provision, the legislation is fully paid for and will not add a dime to the deficit.

“Our small business owners are the main engine of the Upstate economy,” Owens added. “The more we work together to support our local entrepreneurs with tax incentives, the faster we will work our way out of the recession. This bill moves New York forward, and it moves America forward.”

Specific provisions of H.R. 5297 include:

· The doubling of small business expensing and extending bonus depreciation

· A 100% exclusion of capital gains on investments in small business

· The doubling of the deduction for start-up expenditures

· A deduction for self-employed taxpayers to deduct health costs for payroll tax purposes

· Leverages up to $300 billion in private sector lending for small businesses, along with state grants for small business lending

· An expansion for small business access to private capital to finance an expansion and hire new workers