Saturday, October 17, 2009


We thought this would be a timely repost from a long, long, long time ago. Thought of this post today when I saw a few ads on TV for the New York congressional race scheduled for November 3rd. Before you read the post check out the 2 ads that the DCCC put out attacking Scozzafava on this issue. Here it is -- feel free to comment. - The Upstate Good Old Boys

From a SWVC Shareholder regarding Dede & Tom's role in Seaway Valley Capital...

Over the last several years, I have been following the story of "local boy done good", Tom Scozzafava. For those of you who may not know, Tom is the young CEO of Seaway Valley Capital, the company that merged the Wisebuys and Hacketts stores last year, and is currently completing the process of merging with North Country Hospitality. I was very impressed when I first heard of Tom returning to his roots and his plan for developing a holding company in an area of the state that has typically been economically depressed. I confidently invested a goodly sum of money in him and his vision for the North Country, and have watched him quickly grow the company from nothing.

But now after 9 months, cracks are beginning to appear in the foundation.

It seems in all the whirlwind of the company's recent financial activity, Mr. Scozzafava has forgotten the common know, the only ones that are paying for all his high flyin', wheelin' and dealin'. There are genuine concerns of how all of his acquisitions are going to be paid for, and the methods of financing being used. The market has responded by crushing the price of common shares. Common shareholders, in some cases, have seen the stock price drop by as much as 95% since last fall. The share price today is less than 1/2 a penny, while outstanding shares have increased 600% since July of last year. In my opinion, it appears that the insiders, Mr. Scozzafava, his sister Dede (the State Assemblywoman), and various other family members and friends, are the only ones who stand to make anything on this venture. While protecting their own interests in the firm, IT APPEARS that they are using common shareholders to pay for millions of dollars of debt reduction carried over to Seaway from several earlier unprofitable business arrangements that Mr. Scozzafava had been involved in several years ago. If that wasn't bad enough, Mr. Scozzafava seems to be either unable or unwilling to communicate with anyone who wants a straight answer about where this is all going to end.

Don't get me wrong - what Mr. Scozzafava is doing may be above board, but there are enough unanswered questions to set off more than a few alarms. Even the market bears witness that few think much of Tom's corporate plan; the relentless erosion of the share price has been going on now for 7 months. If Mr. Scozzafava continues to avoid answering the difficult questions, then shareholder lawsuits are certain to surface in the months ahead, and the cloud of uncertainty will spread from Tom to his sister, Dede, who is a minority partner in the firm.

If anyone up there in the beautiful North Country of upstate New York sees Tom, please inform him that he has the fiduciary responsibility to step up to the plate and address shareholder concerns. A shareholder's meeting would be a welcome venue to clear up these issues and restore investor confidence in the company's CEO.


Timothy Mercier

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dede got poached by the Democrats? NO WAY!!!

Okay, now this really disturbs me.  The Jefferson County Republicans think they can take out the seat long held by incumbent Representative John McHugh because they are going to pick off one of our own moderates and run her as one of their own and create mass confusion for the GOP.  

It's never been a secret that Dede Scozzafava is a moderate.  We have said it again and again here. What is even worse about her is that she has some serious ethics questions to answer about her involvement in financial mismanagement and corruption with her brother Thomas Scozzafava, a venture capitalist running Hacketts out of business in the North Country.

But what bothers me is that they are actually pushing the idea as a legitimate possibility within the scope of reason.  They source this new "coalition to draft dede as a democrat" as their path to undercut our party to win the district.  It is wayyy too early to even know who our options even are.  I even got an e-mail from someone at asking if our blog would endorse the effort.  

Well we want to use this post to say in no uncertain terms that NO WE DO NOT ENDORSE  YOUR PLAN.  Take it somewhere else.  Thanks, but no thanks.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny.

You have come to fight as free men -- and free men you are! What will you do without freedom? Will you fight? ... They'll never take our freedom!!!

Protesters Flood Local Tea Parties
St. Lawrence News
Written by Benjamin J. Baker
Wednesday, 15 April 2009 15:38

GOUVERNEUR/CANTON - “Stop the pork!” “Wake up!” “Give me liberty, not debt!” “Congress, you work for us!” “Born free, taxed to death!” Even past the chorus of car horns, conversation, cheering and the deep bellows of tractor trailer rigs you could hear voices rising from signs held high by citizens of St. Lawrence County in Gouverneur and Canton today. The first modern Tea Party's in Northern New York were held along the parks bordering Route 11 in both villages today. Families, students, children and adults came out strong, supported by honk-happy commuters, some of whom pulled over and joined the throng. These Tea Party's, modeled after the nature of the revolutionary Boston Tea Party of 1775, are, at first glance, in protest of current Government spending, including, but not limited to, items such as big bailouts, taxation without representation, economic booster projects and the pork barrel legislation that accompanies these situations. When you look a little deeper you start to find more than just a general malaise concerning the spending, but concerns about the effectiveness of actions taken against those that are considered responsible, in their part, for contributing to the current economic climate. Whether you attended in Gouverneur or in Canton, opinions were similar and the people were hungering to be heard.

Click here to read the rest...

Happy Tax Day & Hacketts/Scozzafava Go Down in Burning Flames!!!

Folks, we wish we could blame this one on taxes but we just can't do it. Unfortunately all fingers point to an all too familiar face in the North Country. Hacketts/Seaway Valley/Wisebuys folks were delinquent to several creditors on large sums of $$$. This is one for the history books.

In other news, the nationwide tea party scheduled for today went off with great success according to all accounts both local and national.

Hacketts facing bankruptcy

Several creditors of Hacketts department stores have moved to force the company into involuntary bankruptcy.

Six creditors filed an involuntary petition Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Utica, seeking the Chapter 7 bankruptcy of Patrick Hackett Hardware Co., Ogdensburg. The creditors claim they are owed a combined $1.6 million.

The creditors' action seeks to have the company's assets liquidated, with distribution of the proceeds going to the creditors.

Hacketts operates nine stores in the north country. A 10th store in Pulaski closed March 28 and the company announced April 7 that it plans to close its Watertown store at 144 Eastern Blvd. by the first week of June. That store is having a going-out-of-business sale.

According to court documents, the creditors forcing the bankruptcy are:

— Columbia Sportswear USA, Portland, Ore., which claims

it is owed $500,707.

— Woolrich Inc., Woolrich, Pa., which claims $260,289.

— The North Face — VF Outdoor Inc., Appleton, Wis., which claims $657,307.

— Skechers USA Inc., Manhattan Beach, Calif., which claims $27,000.

— K-2 Sports, Seattle, Wash., which claims $36,200.

— Deckers Outdoor Corp., Goleta, Calif., which claims $74,477.

Jay R. Indyke, New York City, an attorney representing the creditors in the action, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Thomas W. Scozzafava, chief executive officer of Seaway Valley Capital Corp., Gouverneur, which purchased Hacketts in November 2007, failed to return several calls seeking comment.

In March, Hacketts's then-CEO, Norman Garrelts, told the Times that Wells Fargo Bank was requiring the company to repay a $5 million line of credit secured in January 2008. He said at the time that Hacketts had paid back $3 million over the previous two months, significantly reducing the company's cash flow. He declined comment Tuesday as he is no longer serving as CEO.

Hacketts is one of the nation's oldest retailers, with roots dating back to 1830. It was acquired in 2007 by Seaway Valley, a venture capital and leveraged buyout investment company run by Mr. Scozzafava.

Mr. Scozzafava, along with his sister, Assemblywoman Dierdre K. Scozzafava, and Joseph G. LaChausse, had previously formed WiseBuys Stores Inc. to provide stores to serve communities left without access to basic goods when the Ames chain closed all of its stores.

In October 2007, Seaway Valley acquired all of the capital stock of WiseBuys and a month later it acquired all of the capital stock of Hacketts. All WiseBuys stores subsequently were converted to Hacketts stores.

On Dec. 18, Seaway Valley transferred ownership of Patrick Hackett Hardware Co. to The Americas Learning Centers Inc., Boca Raton, Fla. As part of the transaction, Mr. Scozzafava was appointed CEO and chairman of the board of the company, which was renamed Hacketts Stores Inc. On Dec. 22, Mr. Scozzafava announced that Hacketts Stores would be publicly traded as a stand-alone entity. The company's stock symbol became HCKE.

Seaway Valley also owns Alteri Bakery, Sackets Harbor Brewing Co., Sackets Harbor Brew Pub, Good Fello's Brick Oven Pizza and Wine Bar and 1812 Station House, all of which it acquired when it merged with North Country Hospitality Inc. in June.

As part of the merger, Christopher M. Swartz, who was president and CEO of North Country Hospitality, became vice president and chief operating officer of Seaway Valley. He resigned the positions April 3.

Monday, April 13, 2009

New York is the Tax Capital of the World...

Just in time for Tax Day...

New York state's new name should be the "tax state." Scores of articles both local and national have been laser-focused on New York's growing propensity to tax ANYTHING. Democrats, with no one to blame but themselves, are continuing to dig a hole in the state with a looming budget deficit and the largest tax burden in the nation. See the Wall Street Journal piece out today on this incredible 1000 lb. gorilla. Folks may also be interested in the New York Daily Post piece out titled, "New York State Democrats Cheer as the Rest of Us Grumble."

Here is a short list the Daily News put together:

A 500% hike in the surcharge on utilities, an average of $100 a year.
A $90 increase in the cost of health insurance.
A $1.20-a-month "public safety" tax on cell phones.
Another "public safety" surcharge: $10 a year on car insurance policies.
A 75-cent increase in the fee for a learner's driving permit.
A 24% hike in car registration fees.
A 4% increase in the tax on car service fares.
A 9% increase in the cigar tax.
A 58% increase in the wine tax.
A 27% increase in the beer tax.

The Wall Street Journal
The Tax Capital of the World
States are raising taxes despite the 'stimulus'; New York is No. 1.

Like the old competition to have the world's tallest building, New York can't resist having the nation's highest taxes. So after California raised its top income tax rate to 10.55% last month, Albany's politicians leapt into action to reclaim high-tax honors. Maybe C-Span can make this tax competition a new reality TV series; Carla Bruni, the first lady of France, could host.

They can invite politicians from the at least 10 other states that are also considering major tax hikes, including Oregon, Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, Arizona and New Jersey. One explicit argument for the $787 billion "stimulus" bill was to help states avoid these tax increases that even Keynesians understand are contractionary. Instead, the state politicians are pocketing the federal cash to maintain spending, and raising taxes anyway. Just another spend-and-tax bait and switch.

In New York, Assembly Speaker (and de facto Governor) Sheldon Silver and other Democrats will impose a two percentage point "millionaire tax" on New Yorkers who earn more than $200,000 a year ($300,000 for couples). This will lift the top state tax rate to 8.97% and the New York City rate to 12.62%. Since capital gains and dividends are taxed as ordinary income, New York will impose the nation's highest taxes on investment income -- at a time when Wall Street is in jeopardy of losing its status as the world's financial capital.

But who and where are all these millionaires to pluck? More than any other state, New York has been hurt by the financial meltdown, and its $132 billion budget is now $17.7 billion in deficit. The days of high-roller Wall Street bonuses that finance 20% of the New York budget are long gone. The richest 1% of New Yorkers already pay almost 40% of the income tax, and the top 0.5% pay 30%.

Mr. Silver thinks he can squeeze more from these folks without any economic harm, arguing that recent income tax hikes didn't hurt New Jersey. (Yes, the pols in New York actually hold up New Jersey, whose economy and budget are also in shambles, as their role model.) The tax hike lobby in Albany points to a paper by Princeton researchers reporting that the number of "half-millionaires," those with incomes above $500,000, increased by 60% from 2003-2006 after New Jersey taxes rose (the top rate is now 8.98%). But this was a boom time for the national economy, especially in the financial industry where many New Jerseyites work, or at least used to work.

The better comparison is how New Jersey compared to the rest of the nation. According to the study's own data, over the same period the U.S. saw an increase of 76% in half-millionaire households. E.J. McMahon, a budget expert at the Manhattan Institute, calculates that New Jersey lost more than 4,000 high-income taxpayers after the tax increase.

Mr. Silver says of the coming tax hikes: "We've done it before. There hasn't been a catastrophe." Oh, really? According to Census Bureau data, over the past decade 1.97 million New Yorkers left the state for greener pastures -- the biggest exodus of any state. New York City has lost more than 75,000 jobs since last August, and many industrial areas upstate are as rundown as Detroit. The American Legislative Exchange Council recently said New York had the worst economic outlook of all 50 states, including Michigan. And that analysis was done before these $4 billion in new taxes. How does Mr. Silver define "catastrophe"?

Oh, and it isn't just high earners who get smacked. The new budget raises another $2 billion or so on top of the $4 billion in income taxes with some 100 new taxes, fees, fines, surcharges and penalties to be paid by all New York residents. There are new charges for cell phone usage, fishing permits, health insurance (the "sick tax"), electric bills, and on bottled water, cigars, beer and wine. A New York Post analysis found that a typical family of four with an income below $100,000 would pay more than $800 a year in higher taxes and fees.

This is advertised as a plan of "shared sacrifice," but the group that is most responsible for New York's budget woes, the all-powerful public employee unions, somehow walk out of this with a 3% pay increase. The state is receiving an estimated $10 billion in federal stimulus money, and Democrats are spending every cent while raising the state budget by 9%. Then they insist with a straight face that taxes are the only way to close the budget deficit.

And so Albany is about to make a gigantic gamble on New York's economic future. The gamble is that the state with the highest cost of doing business can raise taxes on everyone who lives, works, breathes, eats or drinks in the state and not pay a heavy price for it. If they're wrong, New York will enhance its reputation as the Empire in Decline State.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This Just In: Farmers vs. Aubertine Round 2

Tom, did you see this one? And I thought the tax on grocery bags was outrageous!

Good ol' Aubertine is at it again, chuggin' away at disowning his own. This guy just doesn't get it. Who is Aubertine looking out for anyways?

Farmers unhappy with budget spending hikes

NY farmers are unhappy about the nearly 10 percent spending increase in the proposed state budget, which also cuts funding for programs to help boost production and improve markets.

“We can't uproot an apple tree or move cows to Mexico or China. The negative impact of higher insurance fees, higher energy costs, and a failure to address overall spending levels will be felt by our farmers for years to come as our members have less money to invest in their farms".

"To spend $10 billion more, and fail to fully fund long standing research, promotion, animal and plant health and economic development programs flies in the face of the reality of what farmers thought were difficult fiscal conditions."

State Sen. Darrel Aubertine, head of the Senate Agriculture Committee, had vowed to protect funding for farm programs in the state budget.


GET READY!!! More Taxes & More $ for Paterson's Staff & Travel

AP: No One Is Safe From NY's Wide Reaching Budget
Proposed $131.8B Tax-And-Spend Plan Has Critics Howling
Mar 31, 2009
Marcia Kramer NEW YORK (CBS) ―

Get ready to pay up.

The budget crisis in New York is so dire lawmakers are planning tax hikes on some of life's necessities, as well as some simple pleasures.

From bottled water, to beer, cigars and electricity, the cost could be going up for all of these and more.

Governor David Paterson said the new state budget is shared sacrifice, but its a tough sell.

If you live in New York City and suburbs there is only one thing you can do in reaction to the new state budget – gasp.

"This is not a happy budget," Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, said.

No kidding. Critics said there are so many taxes and fee hikes the average family of four in our area can expect to shell out an additional $5,000 -- for now.

"I would like to tell you that this budget brings to an end our fiscal crisis, but I can't do that. That would be intellectually dishonest," Paterson said.

The budget puts an added income tax on households earning over $300,000 to raise $4 billion.

"The rich are going to do their fair share in trying to close this budget deficit and now all those that were yelling for them to do it need to do the same," Paterson said.

And they will.

The details of the new budget include:

* Essentially flat state school aid. Aid to public schools would increase about $1.1 billion, according to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and eliminate the $700 million cut Paterson had proposed in December. But that results in almost no increase for schools that have gotten bumps of billions of dollars from lawmakers pressured by school districts back home. School aid will total more than $21 billion, one of the highest per capita levels in the nation. But school advocates expected $1.5 billion more this year, even after Paterson's cut was restored, under a promise by the state following a court decision it lost for not providing a sound basic education for years.

"There are going to be layoffs of teachers and other educators," said Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education, a union-allied advocate for public schools. "There are going to be cutbacks of programs and kids in districts that are already underfunded, the problem is going to continue ... and that's a travesty of justice."

The last time school districts received far less state aid than expected local property taxes were subsequently increased by an average of 10 percent.

* About $3 billion of taxes and fees, from motor vehicle registration charges to public college tuition and other costs that would affect everyday life for most residents.

* No more tax rebate checks to residents, although the STAR exemption program and NYC STAR credit will continue to provide $3.3 billion in property tax relief.

* A bigger bottle bill. A nickel deposit would be required of bottled water, to go along with carbonated drinks. The state will get about $115 million of the unclaimed deposits, with bottlers keeping the rest under a last-minute deal worked out with lobbyists for the Coca-Cola Co.

* Taxing little cigars often called cigarillos at the same 46 percent rate applied to cigarettes, instead of the 37 percent rate now.

Meanwhile, Paterson had proposed more than $1 billion in cuts from health care in his mid-December budget to the Legislature. He sought to force more funding to be moved from traditional and expensive hospital care to more efficient community-based and preventive programs. The Legislature restored about 69 percent of funding to hospitals, 73 percent to pharmacies, 60 percent to home care programs and 43 percent to nursing homes.

The Legislature also restored:

* $340 million of critical funding to New York City, Silver said.

* Funding for teacher training centers and adult literacy and bilingual education programs.

* $125 million more to the State University of New York, for a total of $2.5 billion in funding; and $86 million more to the City University of New York, for a new total of $1.4 billion.

* $49 million in cuts to community colleges.

* Almost $50 million to the Tuition Assistance Program, which provides financial aid to college students.

The Legislature also created a $50 billion program to provide low-interest loans to residents attending college and rejected a proposal for a gas tax.

New Yorkers can't even begin to fathom what they've been hit with.

"You know it's a really difficult situation. There are no clear solutions. It just seems to tax too much," said Upper West Side resident Jamie Kalfus.

Critics, like Senate Minorty Leader Dean Skelos, R-Long Island, slammed the Legislature for secretly negotiating a $10 billion increase in spending at a time of fiscal crisis.

"These numbers are absolutely staggering, and the height of irresponsibility on the part of the Democrat leadership in this state," said Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos (R-L.I.). "The public should be outraged."

But Gov. Paterson vigorously defended the secret negotiations.

"Nobody wants to publicly, other than governors, who are charged to do it, put their issues on the table. That's part of what negotiations are about," Paterson said.

By the way, Paterson has a $20 million budget for his staff and half a million dollars budgeted for travel.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Sky is Falling on Gov. Paterson

The numbers pretty much speak for themselves here. It looks to us like Republicans in NY-20 should have tried to make their race more about Gov. Paterson then Obama. Both leaders are on their way to dwarf Bush's historic all-time-disapproval levels. But Paterson is such an obvious target because pretty soon if you ask 100 people in New York what they think of the Gov, 101 will tell you they hate him.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Aubertine's Taxes: Darrel Aubertine and the State Democrats are secretly plotting a slew of new taxes to replace some of the levies they triumphantly proclaimed dead just a few days ago, including a new one cent tax on plastic grocery bags. Media leaks on some of the proposals—including Thursday’s fleeting agreements on an income tax hike and more bottle deposits—are contributing to even more chaos, as some lawmakers cave to pressure from industry, special interests and constituents and back away from the deals. The budget is due on Tuesday, but lawmakers have left Albany for a long weekend break.

Patterson's Taxes: The Buffalo News hails electric ratepayers’ victory in defeating a NYPA plan to raise rates Upstate, but is appalled by Gov. Paterson’s plan to add a new tax to utility bills that will cost consumers even more. The budget plan is even more galling because New Yorkers pay the highest utility rates in the country for power that’s produced locally in Western and Northern NY, then shipped to other parts of the state.

Enough is enough already! These guys have gone off the DEEP end.


OBAMA: "We could set up systems so that everybody in each house have their own smart meters that, uhh, will tell you when to turn off the lights, when the peak hours are, can help you sell back energy, uh, that you've generated in your home through a solar panel or through, uh, eh, other mechanisms. All this can be done, but it also creates jobs right now. Our biggest problem, we don't have enough electricians to lay all these lines out there."

It's all here in a recent story w/ Rush. Have at it kiddies.

Friday, March 13, 2009

McHugh Supports Union Intimidation & Ending Secret Ballots?

I recently learned that Congressman McHugh is one of only 3 Republicans on the federal level who supports Obama's anti-union, card-check legislation.  All I can say is "WOW!?!?!"  We thought we could give McHugh, the porker, a pass when he was one of only 16 Republicans who voted for the massive Omnibus spending bill in late February (when 20 fiscally conservative Democrats voted against it).

Can anyone tell me what McHugh is thinking here?  Some speculated that maybe McHugh doesn't care what the Republican leadership thinks because he is retiring and he can vote however he likes.  Or perhaps McHugh isn't versed in how the card check law would affect jobs in the North Country.  Here are some of my favorite points, according to the Heritage Foundation, that members of Congress should consider before voting:

1) A recent Zogby poll found that 71% of union members believe that the current private-ballot process is fair. A McLaughlin & Associates poll found that fully 74% of union members favor keeping the current system in place over replacing it with one that provides less privacy.

2) Conservative estimates show that EFCA would reduce employment opportunities by 765,000 potential jobs in the economy over the next seven years. Other studies estimate even greater effects.

3) Instead of mutual consent, the federal government would then impose working conditions on both employers and employees, whether they were workable or not, and these conditions would be binding on the business for two years until the negotiations are reopened.  

That means employees are against the measure, we would lose jobs, and if EFCA goes into effect then these contracts will be run by government bureaucrats (and the contracts will be binding for at least 2 years).  It is simply shocking that McHugh could support such an undemocratic measure.  What is even more interesting about the debate is that at least six proponents of the Employee "No" Free Choice Act are now against it or now on the fence.   

"The legislation is divisive and distracting, said Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln in an interview Monday. The Democratic lawmaker, who was previously seen as a supporter, said the Senate should focus on creating jobs and improving the U.S. economy. 'I have 90,000 Arkansans who need a job, that's my No. 1 priority,' she said. The legislation, she said, would be 'divisive and we don't need that right now. We need to focus on the things that are more important.'

Sen. Lincoln is one of several moderate Democrats expressing doubts about the Employee Free Choice Act. The bill would allow unions to organize workers without a secret ballot, giving employees the power to organize by simply signing cards agreeing to join. A second provision would give federal arbitrators power to impose contract terms on companies that fail to reach negotiated agreements with unions. Both provisions are strongly opposed by business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor are among the Democratic lawmakers who have backed off their previous support."

Here is what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had to say about the matter:

“This legislation goes against the fundamental right of political expression without fear of coercion.  As Americans, we expect to be able to vote on everything from high school class president to the President of the United States in private. Workers expect the same right in union elections.  To put it simply, the Employee ‘No Choice’ Act is undemocratic. To approve it would be to subvert the right to bargain freely over working terms and conditions. It would also strip members of a newly recognized union of their right to accept or reject a contract. In addition, this bill ushers in a new scheme of penalties which are anti-worker and which apply only to employers and not unions.  Even though we have regarded secret ballot elections as a fundamental right for more than a century, some Democrats still seem determined to strip that right away from American workers.  If this weren’t bad enough, a study released last week by economist Dr. Anne Layne-Farrar showed that, if enacted, Card Check legislation could cost 600,000 American jobs each year. At a time when all of us are looking to stimulate the economy and put Americans back to work, we threaten to undermine those efforts with this job-killing bill."

Someone please tell McHugh to stop this nonsense.  Can't he see where New York's economy has been going the past two decades?  Just last week the Watertown Daily Times had a story on Upstate New York's unemployment numbers:

"Lewis County had the highest January unemployment rate at 11.7 percent, up from 9.1 percent in December and from 7.8 percent in January 2008. St. Lawrence County posted an unemployment rate of 11.1 percent for January, up from 8.7 percent in December and from 7.6 percent in January 2008. Jefferson County's unemployment rate for January was 10.3 percent, up from 8.8 percent in December and from 7.5 percent in January 2008."

And as long as we are ending secret ballots for unions, why not end secret ballots for all federal, state, and local elections... would McHugh support that?  The business community and the US Chamber of Commerce have already called the bill, "the devil reincarnate" and "armageddon."

Since when did we become a country that no longer values freedom of association, a free and fair democratic process, and mutually beneficial labor contracts?  It all smells like socialism to me.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Aubertine is losing his street cred with the Agriculture community quicker than Citibank is losing on stocks.  

There has been a "tit-for-tat" between the Aubertine staff, and the NY Farm Bureau and the International Dairy Foods Association, both of whom oppose Aubertine's new MPC bill.   The details can be found in this article published in Valley News Online.  You have to check this out for yourself, but Aubertine gets bloodied up pretty badly for the way he drafted the bill and for not seeking comment from leaders in the dairy industry.  

I don't think folks in the North Country will forget about this one anytime soon.  Of course when we called Aubertine's press secretary for comment we didn't get an answer... he was probrably out gettin' something blazed or trying to spin the unemployment numbers of his member's district.

Who would have thought the fireworks would be happening over Aubertine's farm policy?  One farmer called Darrel's legislation "10 years too late."  That's one Darrel's opponent ought to save for the oppo books.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Gillibrand's Latest Flip-Flop Won't Be Her Last

What's with Kristen Gillibrand and guns?

A few weeks ago she put her foot in her mouth when she noted to the press that she had a few rifles under her bed... then her spokesman said they removed them. Kristen had a record of being pro-gun, but she has quickly been backed into a corner, not only with that recent fumble, but also on a key legislative vote this past week in Washington.

Some liberal reporters have called it a "turnaround," but in a stunning maneuver that would make an olympic gymnast blush, Kirsten Gillibrand has switched her position on gun rights in an effort to redefine her political worldview (and to appease liberals downstate including potential challenger Carolyn McCarthy, a radical opponent of the 2nd Amendment).

In sorting though all the madness this week, I read of Gillibrand's latest flip-flop in The Politico, a Washington, DC based paper. They said it best, "She's not sticking to her guns."

More here:

Gillibrand votes against DC guns

She's not sticking to her guns.

"New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand -- who signed a Supreme Court brief supporting a decision to roll back the District of Columbia gun ban last year -- has voted against a bill that would make it harder to restrict firearms in the district.

The pro-gun measure, which passed 62-to-36 earlier today, would prevent DC's government from imposing tough new restrictions on weapons of all types, including semi-automatic weapons."

And in the comments section of the story we found this gem from an anonymous observer: "Reid and Schumer got ahold of her and now she falls in line like an obedient comrade."

Looking back one has to wonder whether Governor David Paterson regrets that he didn't actually pick a principled leader to represent the state of New York in the US Senate, or did he know all along that Gillibrand would just take orders from the liberal Democratic playbook at the get-go?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bowling for Socialism?

Bowling for Socialism?

Gov. Patterson's latest is right out of the Michael Moore playbook, except this time it's the Democrats who want to tax all the bowlers of New York State. So much for trying to promote economic development in the North Country! Now the Gov. wants to tax us for knocking down the pins. Bowling has always been a favorite past-time for Americans. It is one of the first sports known to man, invented by the ancient Egyptians.

Here is the story in the Daily Gazette titled,Bowlers rallying to battle Paterson “fun tax”

A few quotes from the piece here:

"The already struggling owners of local bowling alleys across the state are warning their businesses are at risk from Gov. Paterson’s plan to start charging sales tax on admissions. The new tax could even jeopardize the state’s ability to attract national competitions for the sport, as New York would become just one of a handful of states charging the tax. (In this region, only Vermont charges tax on bowling fees.)

'Most of the businesses are family-owned and we are an industry already hard-hit by many state mandates, such as the smoking legislation, and by competition with gaming centers,' said Kathy Leitgeb of the NYS Bowling Proprietors Association. 'We have heard many people say they would quit bowling if there was a sales tax on their games.'

The 'fun tax' is one of more than 140 new taxes and fees that Paterson addede to his budget proposal that will cost an average New York family more than $3000 a year."

First the Democrats pass a trillion dollar federal spending bill, now they tax us to death on all things fun in New York. What's next? Why to drive out small family-owned businesses from Upstate New York. Rumor has it that some members of the NYSBPA are considering moving to another state now. That'll sure help put us into further debt and lower our tax base on the state and local levels.

This should for certain count as a STRIKE against New York Democrats!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Reprehensible -- How Could She??? What Would Michael Moore Say?

CR's Look Into Gillibrand Tobacco Connections

For Immediate Release

New York College Republican State Committee

September 19, 2008

Contact Austin Cheung:

Clifton Park, NY: This weekend some New York College Republicans decided to see how easy it would be to get Democrat Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to represent "Big Tobacco". In a 7-foot tall costume a brave College Republican ventured into enemy territory to "look for some legal help". As much as he tried he was unable to find out how much she charges these days.

Kirsten Gillibrand spent YEARS representing Tobacco Giant Philip Morris while she worked for a Manhattan Law firm for over $300 per hour. As a congressional candidate she has taken over $23,000 from Big Tobacco.

"Gillibrand spent years defending Big Tobacco while they were claiming that nicotine is not addictive. Then as a congressional candidate she takes tens of thousands of dollars from the Tobacco industry. This goes to show that we cannot trust her judgment and the 20th Congressional District Needs new representation," said Josh Caprood a student at Clarkson University and a Glens Falls Resident.

Photos Attached


Saturday, October 18, 2008

How can we let a woman with no policy experience go to Albany???

Is Addie really ready to lead? NO.

It's not that she lacks experience... It's not that she isn't running a good campaign. But, to me, it seems that she hasn't got the slightest clue as to how to articulate her policy ideas. I mean, you have to admit that it would be quite funny to see her actually try to draft a bill herself. Don't you agree?

She's essentially a puppet to the labor unions as was evidenced by WDT this week; she is taking $$$ from the same labor unions that want to take away your right to a secret ballot if Barack Obama takes over the White House. So what it comes down to is this -- Addie is a puppet of the labor bosses in UpState New York, whom some have been known to call the bosses the Good Old Boys Network of our towns and communities.

What I am really trying to get at is that Addie talks in the vaguest of terms... notice how she says things like: "I want to lower property taxes. I want affordable health care. I want to help upstate New York." What an insult to our intelligence. It is as if she thinks Republicans don't want the same. What a rich claim - you really want to help UpState New York... no kidding. But the proof is in the pudding... and in the pudding there is no substance. Addie just leaves a bland taste in your mouth when she is done. Let me be clear: we are not judging Addie's sincerity. We are simply questioning her ability to lead and promote substantive policy before the NYS Assembly (which would be her job if she were elected).

What we are talking about in politics today (or what we should be talking about) is how we can make UpState New York a stronger and more economically secure place to live during these challenging times. When running for office a politician should also have details about how to implement their plans, not just the plan itself.

For example, if one were to say, "I want to bring business to upstate New York and create jobs." They could follow it up by at least saying something like, "We do that by lowering our property taxes, convincing our local legislators to rein in local government spending, inviting investment capital into our region with tax incentives, allowing transparency and secret voting in labor unions, and supporting nuclear power in the North Country."

However, it makes me laugh that Addie is so elusive on not just these key policy issues, but also her goals and priorities as a legislator. I see her passion, but I sense her insecurity and her inability to articulate her vision and her policies. Call me crazy, but that's not what we need in Albany. We need someone who has a clear head, a solid vision for the North Country, and the skills to articulate our needs to the leadership in our state's capitol.

How can Addie fight for you and other working families when she doesn't even have a plan? Your guess is as good as mine.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hillary to Fort Drum, Aubertine Looking for Cheap Publicity, and Addie Is No Where to be Found

Democrats in NY have been reaching out to everyone and their brother this week. It appears that ol' Hill is coming to Ft. Drum to beef up her cred back home after losing to the NEW candidate of hope and change... and fairy dust and unicorns.

Not only is Hillary getting into the mix in the North Country, but so is Mr. Aubertine. Mr. Aubertine, always looking for some cheap publicity, is getting a new office in Oswego. It goes without mentioning that Aubertine's talking points on that new office could be found in this weeks Watertown Daily Times (they're almost as bad as the New York Times when it comes to their partisan affiliation and love affair with the Democratic Party). In addition, Mr. Aubertine was seen at the Waddington Homecoming Parade this past weekend. He was in the parade and all by himself. He didn't even get out of his car. Crazy ol' Don Lucas even had a bigger presence if you can believe it.

Then a young gentleman at the parade came over and yelled to Aubertine: "Start drilling for oil you liberal Dem," sparking a laugh from the entire crowd of approximately 700 people. (We assume this young man was referring to the complete lack of control the D nominee for president, Barack Hussein Obama, had this week on the issue of offshore drilling.)

At the same parade, Addie Russell, the D running against Bobby Cantwell was no where in sight. Perhaps she is the least presumptuous of the three liberal amigos to be working the upstate circuit this week. Don Lucas also had a notable presence and a mighty fine fishing boat to show.

Nevertheless, you can bet that we will be back all the rumors, gossip, and gotcha politics we can dig up in the coming weeks before the election. So come on back yall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Addie's Got a Big Hat and No Cattle...

As they say in Texas,"She's got a big hat and no cattle..."

Addie J. Russell, the Democratic nominee for the 118th Assembly District, announced this week her plans to bring economic development to the North Country. The Watertown Daily Times was kind enough to use its print space to tout her plan. The trouble is that her plan is all talk and no action.

No where in the Times article is there any mention of specific policy proposals that would bring about any significant economic growth or job opportunities. She cites the existence of several outstanding universities as hubs for potential growth, but no way to leverage that base of new talent for positions in the North Country.

It is telling that she left out any talk of cuts to taxes, the estate taxes, school taxes, property taxes, gas taxes and all the rest.

Like Obama, Addie is just big hat and no cattle. All talk, no action. Would you expect anything less from a novice from the Democratic Party?

Addie was quoted as saying: "These companies are critical components of our economy," Mrs. Russell said in a press release. "We cannot stand by while our good-paying jobs disappear, often with little notice."

The article goes on to say that "the Theresa resident said she would help resolve issues by working with industrial development agencies and the Empire State Development Corp. She also would talk with the district's largest employers about worldwide developments that threaten local jobs."

It sounds like a rough draft proposal to me. It is pretty self-evident to everyone in the North Country that our economic base is demoralized. It is offensive that she would talk about job loss and poor economic growth in a way that goes "unnoticed." Does she think the people of the North Country are so naive to see first hand that our jobs are going to states with lower tax rates?

But Addie takes it one step further to announce a government-run student loan program to solve our financial woes. How does she propose to pay for this new loan program? Perhaps MORE taxes on the good people of New York! She has it all backwards. As the people in Texas would say, "She ain't got no cattle!"

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Golisano's 5 Point Plan for a Responsible New York

Tom Golisano, the billionaire political guru of Western NY has created a PAC that will be distributing money all throughout NY this cycle based on the following 5 principles:

■ Property tax reform.

■ A responsible budgetary process.

■ Campaign and election reform.

■ Ending unfunded mandates.

■ Government transparency.

This is great news to us... we here at UGOB think that those are fine principles to commit to and build support for. That is why today the UpState Good Old Boys are endorsing Golisano's vision for a Responsible New York, which is also the name of his new PAC.

Too bad for Darrel Aubertine that he doesn't fit the bill on any of these measures.

First off, David Renzi, his opponent, committed himself to a property tax reform publicly while Aubertine stood silent.

As for responsible budgetary processes, we never saw Darrel do much of anything in the Assembly to address the issue, except for doing his part to commit to continuing the unfunded mandates dilemma facing the NY State and the federal government.

Then comes campaign/election reform... here is where Darrel stood silently as the leader of his party, Barack Obama, flip-flopped on his promise to take public financing for the presidential election. We called him to task on that issue several days ago and got no response. Then again why would he respond when the mainstream media fails to ask the tough questions. Darrel, do you support Senator Obama's position to forgo public financing for the general election and ruin any chance of meaningful future election reform? Someone should ask him that flat out. He doesn't have a good answer. Just look at how much money he took from Albany for his special election -- he has been paying those favors back for some time now and will continue to pay them back until he gets called to task.

On the issue of ending unfunded mandates Darrel gets an F (minus). We don't even need to get into the mess he and his party have created for unfunded mandates in state government. He is an accomplice of the worse kind as far as unfunded mandates go in Albany.

Last, we come to government transparency... well Darrel, you hired your sister (illegally) for your government office. That moment really brought out the nepotism in you. Then you lied about being offered the NYPA job by Governor Paterson. Darrel does not past the smell test on any of these issues.

Mr. Golisano, with that said, we endorse your plan and we hope you look straight past Mr. Aubertine with your 5 million plus bankroll if you really hope to fix state government in New York and correct these obvious problems in our government. Thank you for your service and commitment, please don't let us down. The people are counting on you!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Questions Linger Over Aubertine's Lie

Gov. Patterson was asked again whether his administration offered Aubertine the NYPA job... It looks like Patterson is sticking to his story.

There has been a lot of confusion over whether it was Aubertine or Patterson who lied about the NYPA job. Interesting how Aubertine learned to keep his mouth shut when asked about it over the weekend.

Mark this one on your calander folks, because Aubertine is never one to bite his tounge. Aubertine loves the sound of his own voice more than Senator Chuck Schumer.