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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Monday, November 14, 2005
Tricounty DFA Update: More On Election, Gillibrand, Forum and Governor Dean
Hello Everyone;

In This Update:

1. Local Election Follow Up; the big picture
2. Kirsten Events
3. Election Snafus
4. Forum Coming
5. Dean On MTP; Raising More Money Than Ever
6. A Marine speaks out

1. Local Election Follow Up; the big picture

Shockwaves continue to flow around the state and around the country from the outcomes of last week's election. Here's a sample I received from around the 20th CD:

"Dutchess County went from over a 2 to 1 majority for the Republicans in the County Legislature to Dems now being only one seat down, with three races still too close to call and two leaning in our favor."

"In Columbia County the Dems gained 8 town council seats, three town judgeships, at least two supervisors (including one town supervisor who is the vice chair of the county board of supervisors, who had been in for 24 years), the mayor of Hudson, and Hudson common council, Kinderhook town highway superintendant (the Town of Kinderhook, largest in the county, went Dem on 4 of 5 races: only one GOP, an incumbent, survived). All this without losing a single seat to the GOPs."

"In Delaware County Dennis Valente was successful in ousting the Davenport Town Supervisor, but apparently last evening, the
Davenport Town Board voted to reduce the Supervisor's salary by $1000. Something similar happened two years ago, when the Democratic town justice's salary was reduced by $4500 to $500 after his win." Isn't that typical?

I will argue that the biggest story is still the Saratoga City races, with an unprecedented 7-0 sweep, some by huge margins.

To give a background on this, historically nearby Glens Falls, with it's heavy industries and union power, was a Democratic stronghold. But Saratoga was solidly Republican, although a Democrat could get elected there from time to time, as Raymond Watkins or Ken Klotz did. This shift, in the center of the largest county in the 20th Congressional District, is a portent of more major changes to come. The transformation that Saratoga has seen over the last 30 years is now also being seen in surrounding communities -- Schuylerville, Ballston Spa, Greenfield and probably even eventually towns like Corinth and Moreau in Saratoga County and also to the east in Greenwich and Cambridge in Washington County. Democrats are becoming increasingly competitive all over.

In Ballston Spa Patti Southworth and JD Wood came within 3 or 4 points of upsetting a long established Republican Board. In Greenwich, Lisa Manzi and Suzanne Cohen in a first showing pulled in a fifth of the vote each. The next time around all their chances will be that much higher -- these communities are just a handful of years behind places like Saratoga, that's all.

However, these victories are not just about the next time around; here is a superb message from Pell Kennedy, which from our experience here in Glens Falls I can't second more heartily:

"But let me say this: The voters spoke here in Saratoga Springs last night. And so, it's our responsibility not to stop and say "oh good for us, we got them in there, now let's sit back and watch 'them' fix everything" Our candidate-elects and our incumbants need us now more than ever to support them, show up when they need us, attend those late-in-to-the-night city council meetings, come to city-wide events, shop downtown, stay alert, and stay invigorated.... We're committed, still, to watching your backs as you watch ours."

She's right because the Republicans aren't taking this well. If you doubt that, Hilary McLellan alerted me to this really nasty blog that appeared the day after the election in Saratoga -- "Saratoga Dem Watch" It's boiling with rage. They are clearly going to make it as rough as they can.

2. Kirsten Events

The next race will soon be upon us.

There will be several "meet and greets" or fundraisers for Congressional Candidate Kirsten Gillibrand.

The first is a fundraiser in Hudson, NY on Saturday, November 19th hosted
by Edward and Naomi Bernstein. The event will take place at 360 Warren
Street and will run from 2pm-4pm. The suggested donation is $50, but
contributions at all levels are welcome.

The Second: Sheila and Lee Comar have been kind enough to open up their home in the
Town of Granville to Kirsten on Sunday, November 20th, from 2pm-4pm and
would love to have you join them.

The third is a fundraiser on Monday, November 21st at the Frivolous
Boutique located at 508 Broadway in Saratoga taking place from 6pm-8pm.
The suggested donation is $50, but contributions at all levels are

The fourth upcoming event is a fundraising reception in Slingerlands, NY at
the home of Elizabeth and Douglas Rutnik, Jr. on Tuesday, November 22nd
from 5:30pm - 7:30pm. The suggested donation is $50-$250, but
contributions at all levels are welcome.

To attend or to serve as a co-host for one of these events, please RSVP by
replying to this email or by calling 518-755-4276.

Directions to the Comars:

From Albany: (approximately 1 hour, 30 minutes) I-87 N to Exit 20. Turn left at end of exit ramp at light and proceed north on US-9 (1 mile) to traffic light. Turn right onto Route 149 and travel east about 10 miles to traffic light in Fort Ann and turn left onto Route 4. Travel about 7 miles to next traffic light and turn right onto Route 22 – proceed about 9 miles (go past North Granville) until you come to a blinking light at the intersection with Route 22A. Turn left onto 22A and after ¼ mile turn right onto County Route 24 across a bridge (sign will say Granville 2 miles). Immediately after crossing the bridge take a left onto Depot Street (across from Chapman’s Store). There will be a driveway on the left after the 5th house (blue with black trim) with a Post Star box and #29 on a wooden post. The brick house can be seen after turning into the driveway behind the red barn and sheep pasture.

From the North: Take I-87 N to Exit 20, turn left at the end of the ramp and then left at the traffic light on Rte. 9. Proceed through one light and at the 2nd light turn right onto Route 149 (follow directions above).

Local from south: Take Route 22 North light just outside of Granville. Continue on Route 22 (do not go into the village) for 4 miles to a blinking light at the intersection of Route 22 and 22A turn right onto Route 22A (follow directions above).

3. Election Snafus

I am still getting phone calls on the snafus that occurred on election night in Glens Falls and Warren County, where there were major errors in a total of seven election districts. Four of these districts were in the City of Glens Falls, where the mayoral race between Republican Bud Taylor and Leroy Akins appears to have been flipped. We should know for sure tomorrow when the absentees are counted.

In addition, several races, particularly the seat of Democrat John Strough in Queensbury, that looked perilous, were solid wins.

It is still unclear to me, as a former inspector myself, how any of this could have happened. But there is an extremely clear lesson from this: we need utterly reliable voting technology. Suppose these kinds of problems had occurred with all electronic machines? There would have been no recourse. Here, it was still possible to go back and inspect the actual machine counters. With touchscreen machines, you can't look at the inside of a microchip. In the future we will need reliable paper ballots that can be recounted.

4. Forum Coming

According, Glens Falls DFA is proud to host Bo Lipari of New York Verified Voting in an open, non-partisan, educational forum at the Crandall Library in downtown Glens Falls at 7pm on November 30th.

If you want to help with this, please contact our voting committee chair, Bob Rockwell at or myself.

This may be the most important public forum in our community for some time.

5. Dean On MTP; Raising More Money Than Ever

Governor Dean was on Meet The Press Sunday and gave a superb, tight statement of where Democrats should be;

Contrary to a recent WashPost piece, Dean is doing great on fundraising. One big difference from the past is that when he goes to a state fundraiser, the money stays with the state party. Terry McAuliffe grabbed it all, which made him look great, but starved the state parties, contributing to the Democratic decline.

6. A Marine speaks out

Finally, the NY Times recently had this disturbing quote:

"On the current course we will have two options," I was told by a Marine lieutenant colonel who had recently served in Iraq and who prefers to remain anonymous. "We can lose in Iraq and destroy our army, or we can just lose."

This is the real Bush defense record.

Thanks Everyone!


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