Monday, February 21, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Wisconsin Democratic state senators who fled the state to block Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) union busting said today they have “no plans to return to the state until Walker could reach a reasonable negotiation with state employees.” Republican politicians and conservative commentators have lambasted the state senators all week for their supposed “dereliction of duty.” But those in the Party of Lincoln should look to the 16th president before they criticize the Wisconsin Democrats.
Indeed, 170 years before the Wisconsin Democrats fled Madison to deny a quorum, then-state Rep. Abraham Lincoln was fleeing the capitol in Springfield, IL — via a window, no less — to do the same in an attempt to save the State Bank of Illinois:
[Democrats] agreed to allow [the bank] to suspend its obligation to exchange its paper money for specie, but only for the remainder of the legislative session.
That’s when Lincoln determined to keep the legislature in session in order to buy precious time for the bank to find a way to survive, and that’s how he jumped into the national limelight on December 5, 1840. On that date, the Democrats proposed an early adjournment, knowing this would bring a speedy end to the State Bank. The Whigs tried to counter by leaving the capitol building before the vote, but the doors were locked. That’s when Lincoln made his move. He headed for the second story, opened a window and jumped to the ground!
Lincoln’s efforts failed, sadly, and “the bank was killed.” But as the Wall Street Journal pointed out yesterday, “The tactic of quorum avoidance by simply leaving dates back at least to the days when the U.S. Constitution was being debated”:
Legislators tried to stymie passage [of the Constitution] in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts that way, and some in Pennsylvania had to be dragged out of a tavern to vote. The Constitution passed.
Read more by clicking HERE
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I spoke yesterday about an amendment to HR 1 that would defund health care law. If we truly want to improve health care and cut costs, we need to work together to improve existing law while moving forward with the provisions that benefit millions of patients, physicians, and small businesses.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The materials found at the historical Society include items like: A political pin collection including original pins from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (this was my favorite pin), Signed letters from great historical figures like martin Van buren and Zachery Taylor and much more.
The one thing that struck me about the exhibit was the deep connection that many historical figures had with Jefferson County. Letters to local dignitaries such as the paddock family are proudly displayed with original signatures from George Washington, Abraham Lincoln many others. The below commission, signed by President Andrew Jackson, bestows the title of Captain in the Second Regiment of Infantry to a Jefferson County resident named John Bradley. I'm guessing that this is the same man that current Bradley St. is named after.
these and more historical documents can be found by visiting the Jefferson County Historical Society. We highly suggest you take the time to visit the historical society and take in these truly historic documents. $2 has never brought you so close to history.
Sadly funding cuts are being presented that will put these shows in jeopardy. Cuts to Public Broadcasting stations will certainly put in jeopardy the exceptional programing that we've come to expect from our local PBS stations.
Public Broadcasting plays is a vital part in the education of children and adults alike and it needs to be funded. Please contact Congressman Bill Owens office and thank him for his support of public broadcasting.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
by Timothy W. Scee II
Special to Newzjunky.com
Published February 12, 2011
WATERTOWN, N.Y. — The Jefferson County Historical Society welcomed over 120 guests Friday to its “Save the Presidents” reception, held for the first time since the discovery of nearly 30 documents signed by U.S. Presidents in the organization’s attic.
“The minute we found out we had them we thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we’ve got to share this with the community.’” Roxanne M. Burns, president of the historical society said.
In July 2010, volunteers uncovered the Presidential documents while sifting through a pile of papers in the attic of the organization’s building, the Paddock Mansion, at 228 Washington St.
With each room filled with refreshments, documents and re-enactors from both the colonial and Civil War eras, guests were even able to mingle with those whose ancestors had connections to President Abraham Lincoln, including Honest Abe’s” character, Benjamin P. Coe of Black River.
“We have a lot of history with Lincoln because (Coe’s) great, great grandparents knew Lincoln and they all lived in Springfield,” Coe’s wife, Margaret B., said. ......
To see more on this and other Newzjunky.com stories click HERE
Thursday, February 10, 2011
for Fee Tax Filing Services
Congressman Bill Owens today announced a new section of his website dedicated to promoting free tax filing services for Upstate New Yorkers.
“Correctly filing one’s taxes can be a confusing and stressful process, and very few people know that there are free services available that can help them through these procedures,” said Owens. “During tough economic times, every penny counts and it is important that qualified tax specialists are available to the general public to help them receive the largest refund possible.”
Owens has added outreach to his Congressional website, located at HERE. New features of the website include information on how to file taxes both electronically and by mail.
AARP offers free services, run by certified tax preparers, for low-to-moderate income taxpayers of all ages every year. Upstate New Yorkers can find the nearest tax aide site by visiting Owens’ website or clicking here.
A number of organizations in New York also partner with the IRS to run a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). This free service, staffed by IRS certified tax preparers, is open to taxpayers making $50,000 or less. A full list of VITA sites in New York can be found here.
Tax preparation help from Owens’ website can be linked to directly HERE
The Assemblywoman and Cornell Cooperative Extention joined in presenting information from Richard LeClerc (Extention) and Mitchell Graves (NYSERDA) about the program that will potentially provide up to 75% funding for energy efficient upgrades on electrical and natural gas investments. The program includes a no-charge energy audit up to $1,500 in value and farmers need not have an energy efficiency project in mind to qualify. The types of agricultural enterprises that can qualify are not limited to dairy and beef operations but could also include maple and grain producers.
Assemblywoman Russell said, “The savings to our farm families in the North Country can be very significant. If more information is needed please call 800-732-1399 for a program representative.”
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Nancy D. Brown, Jefferson County Treasurer since 2000, announced her retirement today after 11 years in office, making an emphatic plea for reform—calling attention to the lack of internal controls within county administration and excessive time lost attempting to resolve weakness’s in our system.
“I feel compelled to act now to shake up the system, rather than retire peacefully,” said Brown. “I hope that this will shed some light on the need for reform in how the Legislature and administration handle the county’s fiscal matters. These are my concerns and have been shared by independent auditors.”
“I believe this mismanagement has wasted and risked taxpayer dollars. I’ve never been one to go public with my issues, choosing instead to work within the system in place. However, I’ve seen too little progress and with just a year before I planned to not seek re-election, I believe my only option is to retire now, forgo my final year, and get the public’s attention,” she continues.
“I know that my staff has been with me in this effort and the county is left in very capable hands. My staff has been a source of great friendships and support over the years, as has been the many constituents I’ve been honored to serve. I hope that this abrupt decision will get the attention of the Legislators and administration,” she said.