I am writing as a teacher who is supporting Senator John Bonacic for re-election. He has consistently fought for more funding for our students, passing a budget with his Senate colleagues to provide record aid to education this past year. He has opposed implementation of the common core curriculum as an unfair standard for students and families, and he has led the charge to get rid of the Gap Elimination Adjustment, which unfairly robbed students of the necessary funding that they deserve. In addition, he supported a $2 billion bond for the smart schools program, to improve classroom technology, and helped secure funding for statewide Pre-K programs.
Not only has Senator Bonacic led the charge for our school children, but he also fights for their educational future. He helped freeze SUNY tuition hikes and voted in favor of increasing funding for the Tuition Assistance Program to help students with financial need who want to pursue higher education.
Educating our children is something I care deeply about. Senator Bonacic has consistently supported the students of this State, and I am glad to support his re-election.
This election season affords the voters of Ulster County the opportunity to choose a judge for Ulster County Surrogate Court. I unequivocally recommend Peter Matera for that position.
I am a licensed clinical social worker and served as a forensic mental heath consultant to the court system. It was in that capacity that I had the opportunity to observe Mr. Matera’s work as an assistant district attorney over a period of several years and witnessed his fairness, honesty and proficiency.
In 2003 Operation SOS was formed. SOS, a 100% volunteer organization, has sent thousands of care packages to deployed American servicemen and women and provides support for friends and family members. When I informed Mr. Matera that Operation SOS was in need of legal assistance to move to a not for profit status, Mr Matera eagerly volunteered his services and saw it through to completion refusing any payment for his services. In addition, he has made himself available for any assistance SOS may need and continues to do so without compensation. His service has aided Operation SOS in its ability to help both deployed members of the military and veterans as well.
I testify that Mr. Matera is a person of reason, thoughtfulness, and the highest integrity. I highly recommend him as the choice for Ulster County Surrogate Court Judge.
Brabanec seeks support
It has been the honor of my life to serve as your state assemblyman. Over the past two years, I have tried my hardest to be fair, open minded on issues and approachable to all residents of the district. I am proud to say that my office has assisted over 1,000 constituents over the past term to solve various state issues.
I have voted 27 times to provide needed tax relief for our taxpayers. I am honored to be a sponsor of the "Blue Lives Matter" bill which will toughen penalties for offenders that harm our brave law enforcement officials and first responders. I have supported various initiatives to cut taxes and regulations for our agriculture community, I have worked hard to repeal Common Core and return curriculum development to local teachers, administrators and parents. I voted for record funding for our local school districts. I sponsored bi-partisan legislation to give Orange County a greater voice about the annexation in Kiryas Joel. Finally, I proudly supported historic Women's Equality and Veterans Equality legislation.
I have been able to accomplish many things in two years but we still have a lot of work to do to make New York the Empire State once again. We need serious property tax reform, term limits on legislative leaders, passage of ethics reform legislation, pension forfeiture for politicians that are convicted of felonies, personal and business tax cuts across the board to promote job development and economic growth, and reduce the size of state government by making unfunded mandates illegal and reducing state spending and over-regulation.
I am committed to making our state a prosperous and affordable place to live again and I promise to fight everyday to get this accomplished for you and the future generation of New Yorkers. I ask for your vote on November 8th so I can continue this journey of improving the quality of life for all of us.
Karl A. Brabenec, MPA
New York State Assemblyman, 98th District
Beacon Bamboozled? Faked-Out? Scammed? Conned? Misled? Flimflammed? Hoodwinked? Deceived? Tricked? Duped? Suckered? Fooled? Taken in?
By nice, warm, wholesome, down-to-earth, homey, folksy, friendly, genial, level headed, unassuming, clean cut, amiable, and affable Actors claiming to be “energy voters”?
In “energy voter” TV ads put out by the American Petroleum Institute, a lobbying arm of the gas industry?
Big Lie #1: “we need more gas (methane) and oil to be “energy secure”. In fact, the United States has an energy glut. Gas and oil are now being exported like crazy. The industry is building pipelines and constructing gas powered electric plants to get rid of their oversupply. (In a November 2015 study, the Attorney General of Massachusetts stated that New England is “unlikely to face electric reliability issues in the next 15 years”.)
Big Lie #2: “We need the jobs the gas and oil sector creates”. We don’t. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates $3.6 trillion ($3,600,000,000,000) is needed to be invested into U.S. infrastructure to raise it to “acceptable” levels. How about jobs that benefit everyone, not just the gas and oil industry? How about investing in renewable energy, the energy of the near future?
Lying is just one weapon in the Oil and Gas Industry’s arsenal. Others include bribery, political pay-offs, threats and intimidation.
I will be voting for candidates who will protect us from leaks and explosions from Bakken Oil (bomb) trains, new gas pipeline construction, and oil barges in my Hudson River.
James W. Larkin
I have been closely following the campaigns between Pramilla Malick and John Bonacic for the state senate race for NY State District 42.
As a community advocate, Pramilla has proven her commitment to the health and well being of the people of NY State by continuing to fight against corruption and the abuse of power within the state political system. For years, she has been an ongoing force against the toxic fracked gas infrastructure being built throughout the state. She supports greater education funding and growing the STEM programs, environmental studies, and vocational skills within public schools. This will offer our children greater opportunities for their futures.
It does not take long to see what sets Pramilla Malick apart from other politicians. She is an independent thinker who will speak out for what is right, rather than following the stance of her party. Her position on the environment and ethics reform in Albany is refreshing, timely and necessary. She is a candidate with integrity and personal conviction, which I truly admire.
For me the choice is clear; I will be voting for Pramilla Malick, Democrat for State Senate on November 8, because she stands strong against corruption, and has repeatedly shown to follow her convictions and make the best choices for our community and ultimately, our state.
Senator Bonacic stands up for Spinal Cord Injury Victims
I am proud to have worked with Senator Bonacic on restoring funding for the New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research Program. This program was created in 1998 and has provided over $70 million in grants for spinal cord injury research through revenue generated by surcharges on speeding tickets and other moving violations.
This program is a key source of funding for cutting-edge medical research, and serves as a catalyst for high-tech jobs in New York. This funding is key to help provide the research needed to improve the lives of those with spinal cord injuries like myself.
The program was regularly funded until 2010 when Governor Paterson and the New York City Democratic leadership eliminated funding for the program and swept all the surcharge revenue to the state general fund.
Senator Bonacic voted against the elimination of this funding and was the leading voice in the fight to restore funding for this program. Over time the funding was restored and in the 2015-16 state budget the program returned to full annual funding of $8.5 million.
I urge all voters of the 42nd Senate District to join me in voting for John Bonacic for State Senate on Tuesday, November 8th.
Ulster County Legislator District 14
In this dismal election season there are a few bright spots on the political horizon. We have the opportunity to elect two political newcomers who are determined to restore balance and fair play to our political process.
In the congressional race, John Faso faces off against Zephyr Teachout. Faso served fifteen years in the state Assembly before losing bids for statewide office in 2002 and again 2006. But Mr. Faso didn’t suffer in defeat. He became a lobbyist—another politician passing through the proverbial revolving door. His opponent, Zephyr Teachout, is both a teacher and a student of the American political process. She understands the high principals that shaped our democratic institutions and the corrosive influences that threaten to undermine them. If Teachout is elected to Congress, she will be in the forefront of renewed efforts to take big money out of politics.
The State Senate race is also study in contrasts. Incumbent John Bonacic has been in Albany for twenty-six years. While he’s seldom had to face an opponent at the ballot box, he’s managed to amass $750,000 in campaign contributions. A lot of that money came from corporations with business before the state. His opponent, Pramilla Malick, is an outspoken opponent of pay-to-play politics and would work to prohibit campaign contributions from corporations seeking state permits and contracts.
The way I figure it, we already have enough lobbyists in Washington, and too many pay-to-play politicians in Albany. I’m voting for Zephyr Teachout and Pramilla Malick on November 8.
While the current political scene in New York is branded by dishonest and ineffective officials, it is refreshing and promising to have the opportunity to elect Colin Schmitt to the 99th Assembly District this November 8th.
Colin Schmitt is a New Windsor resident who has spent his life in our community. He wants to take a stand against the corrupt career politicians who work for their own interests, and is committed to representing our community values in Albany.
He knows that our current state officials are not doing enough to serve New Yorkers, and he wants to change that. He will fight to lower our taxes, to create more jobs in the state, and to stop rampant welfare abuse. He believes in term limits and transparency.
We need to elect representatives that have our true interests at heart.
Colin Schmitt has made it clear that if he becomes our next Assemblyman, he will make it his goal to make our our values heard in Albany. Voting for Colin Schmitt is taking a step towards getting New York to work for the people again.
The TH-Record debate between Senator Bonacic and Pramilla Malick, was illuminating. Bonacic attacked Malick for her assertions about political corruption and her opposition to the Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) power plant. She countered that her focus is on ethics, the cornerstone of a much broader campaign. Malick challenged Bonacic to make his relationship with CPV transparent. Bonacic played the ‘I wasn’t involved and didn’t know’ card, dismissed CPV’s contributions to his campaign war chest, and recited CPV’s marketing talk about the benefits of the plant. Malick didn’t buy it and presented facts that belied the sales pitch. She cited the US Attorney’s corruption case against CPV and Albany insiders that focuses on CPV’s permitting process and illegal dealings to get a state contract that would ensure their investors’ profit.
Malick questioned Bonacic’s connection to his son’s law office, which represents CPV. He denied a connection. He defended his son’s work with CPV as merely his son’s privilege to choose his clients.
In response to questions on insider politics and corruption, Senator Bonacic stated Albany government is less corrupt than the media make it out to be. He accused Ms. Malick of exaggerating Albany corruption. The moderator, however, challenged Bonacic noting the convictions of former NYS Senate and Assembly Majority leaders and others.
Although, these weren’t the only issues that separate the candidates, they are key. Malick supports campaign finance reform, Bonacic doesn’t. My take? It is time for Senator Bonacic to retire. Malick is the change we need in Albany.
"Corruption is as rampant in Albany as in Washington, DC, which is why we need new leadership from top to bottom. I fully support Jack Hayes for Assembly District 103 representative. Jack is a career public servant, from his time in the Navy, through his many years with the State Police, and on to serve as Gardiner town supervisor and Ulster County legislator. Jack fully supports term limits for all public offices and ethics reform that is sorely needed. Please vote for Jack Hayes on row C on November 8.”
I have lived and raised a family in Orange County for many, many years. This Election year I cannot be silent, we must ensure that we elect someone who will truly represent us.
I am writing this letter to show my support and encourage others to support 99th Assembly District Candidate Colin Schmitt.
I have known Colin for many years. Personally he is an outstanding gentleman from a wonderful family who deserves our support. Like me he also serves our community and country in the military and even served in civilian capacity running the state senate Veterans Committee.
We have a lot of issues facing our state. Many that seem impossible to change at times. That is why we need new leadership, with fresh ideas and energy. There is no problem too big or too small for Colin to handle. He is willing to stand with us to start getting New York back on track.
We need a dedicated working class guy to stand with us. Colin is the type of person who will never forget where he came from. He knows our area like the back of his hand and will not rest until we are in a better position than we are now.
Please vote for Colin Schmitt on November 8.
So often we read in the news about corruption and scandal in New York State Government. We are in the middle of a major corruption scandal right here in the area regarding the CPV plant.
Not too often do we have a chance to vote for someone who has fought for and stands for reforming state government.
Colin Schmitt has been willing to take on members of both parties, including powerful members of his own, to advance reforms in New York.
Well before he ran for office Colin lead a reform organization focused heavily on ethics reform.
Colin Schmitt has also committed himself to supporting term limits and fighting for honest and accountable government that all New Yorkers deserve.
Over the next several days and weeks before Election Day we are going to see and hear a lot of political nonsense. Let us remember on November 8 that we have a chance to move past that by voting for Colin Schmitt.
Colin Schmitt has always been a member of this community and he is willing to stand with us each and every day. I hope all we join with me by voting Schmitt for Assembly on November 8th.
Michael De Luca
This week there is much talk of fire safety and preparedness, it sparks in me a curiosity about the leaders representing us in Albany. Particularly those who represent us in the NYS Assembly's 104th district. Listening to the heated debates over the future of our nation, it doesn't take much to decipher we are in a pivotal time as a nation. Candidates promise much, yet what will they do for "We the People"? One candidate who lightens up the scene is Rev. Bill Banuchi. He is a Conservative, who has not only served his country in the US Air force, but extended his capabilities by aiding and rekindling smoldering marriages and families. Bill and his wife Penny host Marriage and Family Savers Institute, in which they have given people the tools and support to strengthen bonds between the most intimate relationships. Strong marriages make up the core of a successful society. Bill's stance as a Constitutional Conservative poses to serve our community as well. Our forefathers worked hard to set us up with the freedoms we all enjoy.With Bill's knowledge and drive to see many of these freedoms preserved it will prove to supply our communities with the leadership for building a promising "Fire Proof" future. Based on Bill's honorable track record I believe we will not be disappointed!
Serino won’t debate?
As State Senator, Sue Serino represents us, her constituents; she just doesn’t want to be around us during election season.
There’s no law against a candidate not campaigning during election season,
but I’m wondering what Sue Serino has against debating, or showing her face in public this fall.
For example, our State Senator has declined to attend a October 10th candidates’ forum hosted by the League of Women voters in Mahopac. You will also NOT see our State Senator at “Town Hall” meeting at the Mid-Hudson Heritage Center on October 12th.
We know she’s not shy—our State Senator is outgoing enough to have very successful real estate business, selling property to all sorts of people.
Is our State Senator hiding something?
Is our State Senator thin skinned?
Maybe our State Senator is just not a good public speaker and has a hard time defending her positions?
Maybe our State Senator feels she can win again without showing her face to the electorate, as she did in 2014?
If you are eager to meet Senator Serino: for $60 to $2,500, you could have had dinner with our State Senator at the Villa Borghese on October 5th. Our State Senator has another dinner coming up at the Grandview on October 17th, where you can enjoy her presence for a mere $75 (cash, check or credit card).
A Pastor’s Recommendation
As a minister of the Gospel in the Newburgh area, I want to write to you personally about a matter of great importance . Given the way things are headed, we need to be represented by more leaders of strong faith at all levels of government. One such man is running for the New York State Assembly’s 104th district, and has earned our respect and support.
Rev. Bill Banuchi and Penny, his wife of forty-eight years, have helped hundreds of troubled families as marriage counselors for twenty years. His life is Bible-based, and he will stand in the Assembly for principles and not just politics. If you know Bill as I do, I am certain you will rejoice that he is offering to serve us. If you do not know Bill, I urge you to seek his website or Facebook page to hear a brief message from him. He understands the huge difference between politics and public service, between “going with the flow” and doing what is righteous.
It is time to put more people of faith into our government! We who agree must vote on November the eighth.
Pastor Herman Hubbard
Please join me in support of Peter Matera.
I would like to ask my fellow Ulster County residents to support Peter Matera for Ulster County Surrogate Court Judge in the upcoming election. I have known Peter Matera for over fifteen years, and have had many dealings with him. Peter Matera is level headed, knowledgeable and fair. I have found him to be a compassionate man, with integrity and a passion for doing the right thing.
I believe Peter Matera is the right person for this position, and he will serve our county with integrity and fairness. Please join me in my support.
Having known Peter Matera for many years as my own attorney, I urge you to endorse and vote for him in the upcoming election for Ulster County Surrogate Court Judge. Peter is honest, straightforward, prudent, knowledgeable, diligent. That is what I expect from someone working in the field of law, and what we need in our judges. So, this year more than any other, put your party affiliations or preferences aside and ask yourself the question: If a good man is a good man, then why should't he be the one I want to fill such an important judgeship for families and other Ulster County citizens? Don't have second thoughts; I didn't.
Sen. Bonacic and CPV
The corruption scandal surrounding the gas-fired power plant in Orange County is turning up the heat on State Senator John Bonacic. Federal investigators allege that Competitive Power Ventures, the project sponsor, bribed state officials in a scheme to obtain a contract that would have cost New York taxpayers a whopping $100 million dollars.
In the wake of recent indictments, Senator Bonacic quickly unloaded the nearly ten thousand dollars of campaign contributions he had accepted from CPV, and joined a chorus of Albany insiders calling for an investigation. (It seems many of our lawmakers were shocked, shocked, to discover they were swimming in a sea of corruption!)
But Senator Bonacic’s CPV problems run deeper than those of most other politicians. He’s been a cheerleader for the project, which is in his district, signing a letter extolling CPV’s “rare brand of professionalism and corporate responsibility.” Given this extravagant praise for the “professionalism and corporate responsibility” of a corrupt company, and the cash he received from this company; voters have a right to know what contact the senator and his office had with the indicted CPV players.
And there’s another question that the senator should answer: has he personally profited from the work that the law firm of Bonacic, Krahulik, Cuddeback, McMahon & Brady, LLP performed for CPV? The senator is seeking re-election this year, and before we cast our ballots, aren’t we entitled to know if our senator personally profited from dealings with a disgraced corporation?
CPV Corruption Scandal
My husband and I moved to Orange County 23 years ago in order to raise our only son in a friendly community full of people who shared common family values. During our time here, we have see politicians come and politicians go. We have seen many positive things done for and in our community as well as scandals that were a blight on not only our county, but our entire state.
The most recent scandal involving the CPV power plant may be the worst I have ever seen. At least nine well connected people have been arrested so far, and who knows what news will come next?
This scandal is centered right here in the 99th Assembly District in the Town of Wawayanda. Our current Assemblyman James Skoufis took campaign contributions from the company behind CPV, the project at the center of this scandal and while he has stated that he made donations to charities equal to these contributions, I would like to see him make available to his constituents any and all information regarding his contact with any individuals involved in this scandal including but not limited to meeting dates, emails, letters, fundraisers, and phone calls.
Since several of those involved in this corruption case tie directly back to CPV and the campaign contributions, I would like to respectfully request that Assemblyman Skoufis release these records and if he refuses, I would like to know why.
As a constituent I have the right to know if and when my elected official met with members of criminal indictment on matters related to that indictment , and if so what occurred during those meetings.
I think it is completely fair to expect our elected officials to be fully transparent on all matters, and also to expect the best possible leadership and for them to maintain an unblemished record of service. Once again, I respectfully request that Assembly Skoufis step up to the plate of transparency and let his constituents know what he knows in regard to this scandal relating to CPV.
People vs. PACs-Your Vote Matters!
In a stunning affirmation of grassroots political power, Democrats in NYS 42nd Senate District have voted to place Pramilla Malick on the Nov. 8th ballot as a Democratic challenger to Republican John Bonacic. For almost two decades, John Bonacic has held this Senate seat virtually unopposed. With a reported campaign fund of $700,000, and a recent citing for larding out $5.2 million in special interest grants, many people believed it was hopeless to try to run against him. But the Sept. 13 write-in vote showed that a motivated electorate can effect political change regardless of the PAC money amassed. Pramilla Malick will fight for good jobs, expanded healthcare, education policies that make sense and promote learning, lower taxes and protection of our environment. Unlike her opponent, Pramilla Malick will also fight to eliminate the pervasive political corruption found in NYS government today. But she will need our help to do it.
Many people don’t vote because they think their vote won’t matter. But as demonstrated on Sept. 13th, elections are decided by people who vote. PAC money and lobbyists can hijack the political process but only if you let them. On Nov. 8th let People Power again best political PACs. Vote Pramilla Malick for Senator in the 42nd District.
I’ve known Pramilla Malick for 4 years through our work to protect the environment, both in her hometown and nationwide. Pramilla always shows us, actually leads us, in how to push harder and further toward our goals of protecting our families and our environment. As a mother of four, Pramilla knows what it’s like to fear for her children’s health and safety. She’s not afraid to stand up to long-established, self-serving interests. She never stops seeking solutions. Pramilla is exactly the kind of person we need representing us in Albany. Pramilla has faced down powerful corporations and entrenched corruption. She’ll stand up for you and won’t give up. Please vote for Pramilla Malick for New York State Senate, District 42, on Nov. 8.
Town of Callicoon
Team Hope Walk-Hudson Valley for Huntington’s Disease
Please join me and many area residents at our region’s first-ever Team Hope Walk-Hudson Valley on Saturday, November 5 to raise awareness and much-needed funds for Huntington’s Disease (HD). The event will take place on the Walkway Over the Hudson in Highland and begins at 9:00 a.m.
HD has been a part of my life since my father’s diagnosis more than 35 years ago. This ruthless disease, often described as a combination of ALS, Alzheimer’s and MS, requires highly specialized care. Because children of parents with this hereditary disease have a 50/50 chance of carrying the gene, the impact on a family is long-lasting.
Until very recently, care for HD has been scarce in New York, with the closest dedicated beds found in New York City at the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center. ArchCare, the Continuing Care Community of the Archdiocese of New York, recently opened the Center for Neurodegenerative Care at ArchCare at Ferncliff, providing specialized HD care for people in the Hudson Valley.
Proceeds from the Team Hope Walk will benefit the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA). HDSA is dedicated to improving the lives of people with HD through family assistance, advocacy and research. Current research and new pilots are very promising, providing hope for the more than 125,000 at-risk Americans. Join me in HOPE that we can wipe out this disease in our lifetime! To walk, volunteer or contribute, head to hdsa.org/thwhudsonvalley.
Kevin Cahill (D) has been the 103rd NYS Assembly district representative since 1999….that’s 17 years. Jack Hayes (C) is challenging Cahill for the seat, and we think it’s about time and overdue. Jack is a big proponent of term limits in most elected offices. The Assembly in NYS has a 2 year term, with no term limits, and Cahill is well past his shelf life. The 103rd district is most of Ulster County (except Saugerties), and includes Red Hook and Rhinebeck on the other side of the river.
Restricting the amount of time one can be in any one office is a way to prevent the amassing of power by politicians, who spend more time focusing on politics versus policies. “Career” politicians spend too much time pandering to constituents to get re-elected, versus working on their behalf. My personal opinion is that 12 years total is the right amount of time for anyone to spend in one office.
Jack Hayes has spent his entire career in public service. However, his service spans the military (Navy), State Police, Gardiner Town Supervisor, Ulster County Legislator, where he served without making a career out of any one office.
Let’s get off our laurels and work to elect someone new, who is not jaded in the office and indifferent to constituents needs. Elect Jack Hayes on row C on November 8. You may learn more about Jack and his ideas at his “Jack Hayes for the People” Facebook page.
I am writing this letter in support of Colin Schmitt of New Windsor who is running for the 99th Assembly District Office.
I have known Colin for several years now. He is a hard worker, a family man and a good man. Colin has pledged to work hard for all of us here in the 99th Assembly District. His focus is to fight the corrupt politicians in Albany, lower the overwhelming taxes that Albany pushes down on us, fight against those who defraud our system of social services, fight for honest and accountable government and take on the career politicians who further their own personal agenda rather than work for the greater good of all New Yorkers.
Colin is a man who represents our Hudson Valley values. He will bring these wholesome, decent and respectable values to the table.
As a member of the United States Army National Guard and former Director of Operations of the New York State Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, Colin has the skills, knowledge and abilities to do the job. Colin will focus on the well-being of our veterans and work hard to secure our communities from those whose intent would be to harm New Yorkers with senseless acts of terrorism.
We in New York need strong leaders, not like those who we see buckle to political correctness and liberal laissez faire leadership styles. A vote for Colin on November 8th is a vote for strength, and leadership with a commitment to uphold our Hudson Valley values.
Gregory T. Gaetano
Thank you from the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce!
(Edited for length)
On September 13th, the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce once again hosted the Annual "Taste of Warwick", celebrating our many restaurants, farms, wineries and breweries. Promoting the sense of community that makes this area special.
During an elegant, candlelit evening under the stars, guests sampled gourmet foods, various wines, brews and drinks while listening to live music by Longchamp & Manzo at the Warwick Valley Winery. All guests were treated to samplings created by our regional chefs that take advantage of local produce to create and promote their specialties. The event was held at Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery on Little York Road off Route 1A.
Once again we were blessed with amazing weather for our 22nd Annual Event. We cannot express enough, how appreciative we are to those who were able to participate in this year’s event.
At this time, we would like to thank our many restaurants, wineries, distilleries and breweries that presented such a magnificent evening.
We would also like to thank the generosity of our Sponsors.
Michael A Johndrow
Executive Director - Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce