NYS Primary: Candidate Information

voteNew York State’s Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, September 9 from Noon to 9 PM. There will be two state-wide races–the race to see who registered Democrats will choose to be their candidate for Governor, and the race to see who they will chose to be their candidate for Lieutenant  Governor. The winners of those two races will form a team who will run against seven other candidates to determine who will be our next governor. Here is what the ballot looks like in Yates County (and probably other counties):



We need to be clear–only DEMOCRATS will have the opportunity to vote in this Governor/Lt. Governor Race. (Some  States permit voters to “crossover” from one party to another to vote in a Primary Elections, but not New York.)

There are a smattering of  Democratic or Republican county, town, city, or village primary races across the NY 23rd. For Example in Yates County the Town of Jerusalem has two republican candidates running for a spot on their Town Board.  You could check your County’s Board of Elections to get a list of the primary races in your county.


Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo is running on his record of:

  • Putting us on the road to universal pre-K (increasing funding and graduation rates, improving performance)
  • Capping property taxes and reducing the middle income tax rate
  • Protecting our kids (by requiring universal background checks for guns)
  • Bringing mariage equality to same-sex couples
  • Helping businesses (create 480, new private sector jobs since 2011)
  • Raising the minimum wage

In the next four years he plans to:

  • Pass the 10-point Women’s Equality Act
  • Pass a DREAM Act for New York
  • Continue to wok on improving our schools
  • Help New York businesses create more good paying jobs
  • Freeze, then lower property taxes

—-from “We’re making gridlock a thing of the past” flyer

Web site: http://andrewcuomo.com

Link to an earlier NY 23rd article about Andrew Cuomo. There is also another article–“Andrew Cuomo Successes and Disappointments.”


Zephyr Teachout and Timothy Wu

Zephyr Teachout, ho is also running for governor, is a  constitutional law professor at Fordham University, and a political organizer.  On her campaign website she writes, “We will force Governor Cuomo to defend his record of deep education cuts, his tax cuts for banks and billionaires, his refusal to ban fracking and his failure to lead on the Dream Act. He has also failed to deliver on his core campaign promise from four years ago: cleaning up Albany.”

Her website’s “About” section tells more about Teachout’s background and goals. An article, Five Ways in which Zephyr Teachout differs from Andrew Cuomo will also give you ideas about where she stands on the issues. She has been received endorsements from The New York Times, National Organization of Women (NOW) and Gasline Director Josh Fox, among others.

Link to an earlier NY 23rd article about Zephyr Teachout.


Randy Credico

Randy Credico  is a  professional comedian and a political activist. His main focus of activism is fighting the harsh Rockefeller Drug Laws.  In 2013 he ran for the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City and lost. Credico then became the nominee of the Tax Wall Street party for that race. He received 690 votes.

His platform includes: Raise the Minimum Wage to $15. Medicare for all, Legalize Marijuana, Close Indian Point Nuclear Facility and to eliminate Subway, Bridge, and Toll Road fares. Find out more about Credico at his website, which includes view some creative political ads, including ones having Popeye and Lou Lou Grehrig endorse him.

The second race in the state-wide Democratic Primary is that of Lieutenant Governor. Former Erie County Clerk  and Congresswoman Kathy Hochul is the announced “running mate” of Governor Cuomo, and Columbia University Law Professor, Timothy Wu is the announced “running mate” of Zephyr Teachout. Although they are the announced  running mates, the voters choose who will  be the Lt. Governor Democratic Candidate. Hochul and Wu are not officially tethered with any gubernatorial candidate. A vote for Cuomo is not a vote for Hochul.  A vote for Teachout is not a vote for Wu. (Yes, we could have a Cuomo-Wu or a Teachout-Hochul team on the ballot in the November election.)

Randy Credico has no announced running mate.


Kathy Kochul

Kathy Hochul became known outside of Erie County when she won a special Congressional election to be replace Rep. Chris Lee as the representative for the NY 26 district in 2011. She was the first democrat to represent her district in 40 years.

The website GovTrack. us  reported that “Hochul was a centralist Democratic” based on the 51 bills that she co-sponsored. It needs to be noted that Hochul sided with the Republicans by voting to finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress relating to “fast and furious”. Because of that vote, she is one of a few democrats who received a high rating from the NRA. She opposed the free trade agreements that were under consideration, and favored raising taxes on those earning $500,000. She  also favored  offering incentives to develop alternative energy.

In 2012, Hochul lost to Chis Collins, who is considered to be one of the two most conservative representatives from New York.

Tim Wu, presently a Columbia Law Professor teaching classes about Copyrights, Communication Law & Policy, Anti-trust and other courses. He has been the Chairman of the Board of Free Press, the national, nonpartisan media reform organization. He coined the phrase “Net Neutraility”—the idea that the internet should be free from discrimination by network providers. He has academic and popular writings are about the Internet and Modern Communication. He also had been a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

He sees the position of Lt. Governor as “encompassing two main roles: advocacy for the public and policy entrepreneurship.” You can find out more about Mr. Wu from his campaign website, his Columbia University faculty page, or the New York Times endorsement of him.

It is a treat for Democrats in Yates County to be able to vote in a Primary Election. Usually important local races, such as District Attorney, are decided by Republicans during the Primary process. I realize that is not the case in every county in the district. The last Democratic Primary in Yates was between Nate Shinagawa, Leslie Danks Burke, and Melissa Dobson two years ago.

It is widely known that Primary elections do not draw a large number voters–many constituents do not feel that they are  knowledgeable enough about the candidates to make an educated decision. This article was to give some basic information about the candidates with links to find more details about them.  Get informed and vote–and try to get others to vote. It’s the American way.




Posted in Political | 5 Comments

Perhaps we need reeducation

spockA parent writes:

My son was failing under Common Core. I pulled him out of school and home schooled him. He passed his state regents with high scores. I can’t argue with success. Common Core is the worst curriculum I’ve seen in my life.

This relatively simple statement is a logical nightmare. Here are some of the implicit assumptions.

  • The boy was failing because the school used common core standards; it had nothing to do with the student, the teacher, or the school.
  • He passed the regents exams with high scores as a result of home schooling; it had nothing to do with his effort or intelligence.
  • The parent has seen and evaluated more than one comprehensive curriculum, has the expertise to compare them, and reason to conclude that common core is the worst. No basis for comparison is given.

The mistake here is over generalization. One home-schooled student’s lack of success doesn’t imply that particular schools, teachers, or curricula are inadequate.

common coreMy limited experience suggests that rather than teachers or students, it is primarily parents who have trouble with common core lessons; perhaps we need reeducation.

© William Hungerford – August 2014


Posted in Education | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Reed Reelection Campaign


It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.–Mark Twain



How does Tom Reed sell himself to NY-23? Here’s how:

  • Many, many pictures of himself.
  • Say’s Martha is an “extreme Ithaca liberal”
  • Say’s his loving sister Mary supports him.
  • He has an attractive, wholesome family. (but releasing his tax return would embarrass them)
  • Fights for “jobs and the future;” wants to change the status quo.
  • The US Chamber of Congress (right wing lobbyists, not your local business association) supports him.
  • tom with clownEntertainers support Martha, Sha Na Na for example.
  • Martha Robertson called him fat.
  • NFIB (lobbyists for big business) supports him.
  • Martha Robertson owns shares in a mutual fund that invests in Burger King. (So if BK is bad, she is too.)
  • Says Martha Robertson’s ad is inaccurate. (Reed may no longer be a millionaire, who knows?)
  • Says Martha Robertson’s ad is inaccurate (Tom doesn’t necessarily want to raise the retirement age, who knew?)
  • He can iron a shirt for the camera.
  • Claims Martha uses Democratic “talking points.
  • Martha Robertson isn’t cool.
  • He likes to hunt and fish.
  • Peter Yarrow served time in prison.

Reed with dog and gunTom has very little to say about anything he has accomplished for his constituents in nearly four years in office. There is good reason for that.

© William Hungerford – August 2014

Posted in 2014, Congress, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A Deeper Look into Rep. Reed’s Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge is a fund raising activity for ALS (or Lou Gehrig Disease). It has been very successful as a fund raiser,  and for celebrities who like to get their names associated with raising money for such a worth cause. Here are the “official?” rules:

  1. Once you are nominated you have to participate by either donating or dumping ice over your head within 24 hours.
  2. The water must be ½ ice ½ water. Not water alone.
  3. If you choose to go the route of Ice Water, you donate $10 dollars to an ALS charity.
  4. If you choose to forego the ice, you are to donate $100 dollars to an ALS charity.
  5. In one continuous video you mention what you are doing, who you are donating to, who nominated you and who you will nominate.
  6. You are to nominate 3 people.
  7. You must post the video to a social media site.

On August 18, Rep. Tom Reed posted on his “Tom Reed for Congress Facebook” page a 35 second poor quality video of himself taking the  ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The text of that post is:

I accept the #IceBucketChallenge to #StrikeOutALS!

This is such a great cause and the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about ALS in #NY23 (and let Will & Autumn get in on the action!)

I now nominate our local teammates Mayor Rich Negri, Police Chief Sal Trentanelli, City Manager Mark Ryckman, Senator Tom O’Mara & Assemblyman Phil Palmesano!

(and our dog Tuttie)

You have 24 hours…Good luck!

NEW: Click here to view the video.


safe_image.phpIt was generous of Rep. Reed to get an ice-dumping for such a worthy cause. If you watch the video there is no doubt that the water was cold. If he followed the ‘rules’ he donated $10 to “such a great cause”.

But…It has been point out that Rep. Reed, and the others who voted for the “Budget Control Act of 2011″, voted to reduce funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIA) by approximately $1.55 billion, and that caused ALS research to be reduced by $5 million. Other neurological disorders also lost funding.

It can be argued that the Ice Bucket Challenge will bring in more than the $5 million lost by the defunding that Rep. Reed supported. The hole in that argument is that the Ice Bucket Funds do not go to research, they go to the ALS Association for patient care–not the NIH for research. Also, only ALS benefits from the Challenge, not the 400 other  neurological disorders the NIH is researching for cures.

Rep. Reed got his 35 seconds of fame, a posting on his Campaign Facebook page, 11 comments, 131 “likes”, and countless others saw the video through twitter. This stunt worked for him.

He owns his vote that cuts funding for neurological research. We need to remember that when it is our turn to vote in November.

Posted in 2014, Constituents | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The King and the Hockey Star


I think it is about growth, but I think it also is about taxes. Burger King is so visible, it puts the focus on the general behavior of corporate America and, in a sense, the contempt that they feel for the average American, and in fact, the United States of America. — Sen. Bernie Sanders

Is the merger between Tim Hortons and Burger King about taxes or not. One wonders; opinions vary widely.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders believes it is about growth, but also about taxes,”
  • Vauhini Vara, writing for The New Yorker, notes–In 2011, after 3G Capital acquired Burger King, the new owners set out to attract more customers by making the restaurant’s menu more diverse and opening more franchises abroad. To cut costs, the company offloaded restaurants that it had owned onto franchisees. The plan worked.


  • Venessa Wong, writing for Business Week, writes–Unlike Burger King, which relies on franchise royalties and fees and real estate for 80.6 percent of its revenue, Tim Hortons has another important source of revenue: distribution sales. These are sales of products, supplies, and restaurant equipment shipped directly from the company’s warehouses or by third-party distributors to restaurants. 
  • Jeff Stein, writing for The Ithaca Voice, says it isn’t about taxes and quotes Alex Behring, Burger King’s chairman, to prove his point.
  • Amy Miller, writing for Legal Insurrection, quotes Burger King CEO Daniel Schwartz and claims that it is about corporate profits from an “incredibly successful, lucrative corporate brand.” What could be wrong with that?

Martha Robertson reportedly said: “…Burger King is an American company, and it’s downright unpatriotic for them to abandon the country that allowed them to succeed in the first place.” Rep. Tom Reed, Martha’s rival, has so far, perhaps wisely, had no comment.

© William Hungerford – August 2014







Posted in 2014, Congress, Economics, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

“What is the 1973 War Powers Act” — revisited.

Just about a year ago, near the time that the President proposed Air Strikes in Syria, New NY 23rd Contributor, William Hungerfold wrote an article which explains the War Powers Act.

Recent events have brought some readers to this article. It might be worthwhile to review the 1973 War Powers Act. What is Congress’ responsibilities? Will our Congress step-up to the plate when the President’s 60 days run out? Or will they delay any decisions until after the November elections?


What is the 1973 War Powers Act?

The 1973 War Powers Act requires a President to notify Congress within 48 hours of launching military action, limits U.S. armed forces involvement to 60 days without congressional approval, and allows  30 days more for withdrawal.  The law was passed over Presidents Nixon’s veto; every President since has maintained it is unconstitutional. Effectively, the law gives a President a free hand to do what he or she thinks best.

Constitutional or not the law has never been effective in limiting a presidents ability to wage war.  The United States has been involved in many wars since 1973 with or without Congressional approval. The Wikipedia article cited gives a list of past crises involving war powers as well as a discussion of possible conflict with the Constitution.

Some believe that Congress can prevent a president from acting, possibly because:

  • They believe the Constitution or the War Powers Act effectively curbs this.
  • It seems reasonable.

Others, overly partisan, believe that President Obama is the first to claim the right as Commander in Chief to engage in war.

Presidents and Congress like the War Powers Act as Mark Thompson explains in the Time article cited: “Generally speaking, the President likes this, (The War Powers Act) since he doesn’t have to convince Congress of the wisdom of his war, and Congress likes it even more. Under the current system, lawmakers get to wink at the White House by passing an authorization for the use of military force or other purported justification as a fig leaf they can abandon if things go sour. A declaration of war demands more, and Congress is leery of going on the record with such declarations for its own political reasons.”

News reports indicate that British law is different: the approval of parliament is needed, and this provides a brake on any rush to war.



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About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and “like” whatever strikes your fancy.

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8 Responses to What is the 1973 War Powers Act?

  1. You’re absolutely right about how the War Powers Act is being abused. It never was intended to give the President a free hand to start wars at his discretion. It was intended to authorize an immediate response if the United States or its allies were directly attacked, as in the invasion of South Korea by North Korea in 1951. It was not intended to give the President a free hand for 60 days and then present Congress with a fait accompli.

    • whungerford says:

      Law making often involves compromise — give and take may result in a law that purportedly does one thing and in effect does something else. Robert Moses is said to have been an expert in this kind of legislation — most of the text would be irrelevant, the real business would be buried in the fine print.

  2. solodm says:

    Under Appendix I are listed actions taken using the War Powers Act for several presidents, and under Appendix II are actions listed without such a claim.


    • whungerford says:

      Thank you Deb — this CRS article certainly makes clear that this issue is far from simple. Reportedly many Americans believe law or the Constitution requires Congress to vote — how should Congress react to that political reality?

      • Deb Meeker says:

        You’re welcome. The closest scenerio to Syria in the above citation I believe was : “a bombing campaign against Iraq, termed Operation Desert Fox, aimed at destroying Iraqi industrial facilities deemed capable of producing weapons of mass destruction, as well as other Iraqi military and security targets, December 16-23, 1998.”
        If memory serves, this was a unilateral action, however, Syria is not “isolated” in partnerships as Iraq was, which is a whole other ball game. Russia, Iran and China are strong allies of Syria. Russia, has a great deal of petroeum interest in Syria.

        I would agree that Congress should be consulted. If Congress has a consensus either way, it should be documented for history. I believe the President would be making a very poor move to act without Congressional approval on this particular crisis. However, either way he goes now, he can expect to lose credibility.

  3. If you go by the plain meaning of the words, the Constitution gives Congress the right to declare war. If you read the history, you will see that the writers of the Constitution did not want to give the President the powers of a European absolute monarch, including the right in initiate war on their own authority.

    If you go by the plain meaning of the words, the War Powers Act gives the President a little more leeway to respond to attacks on allies, such as North Korea’s attack on South Korea, and other dire emergencies, but not to give the President an unlimited right to initiate war on his own behalf. I am old enough to remember the debate at the time, and this was a reaction to the excesses of the Nixon administration.

    Now it is true that, over time, the Constitution and the War Powers Act have been abused because Congress has failed to exercise its rightful responsibility. I don’t think it is necessary to prove that President Obama is worse than his immediate predecessors in order to argue that he does not have the Constitutional nor the legal right to commit the United States to acts of war on his sole judgment.

  4. pystew says:

    For those who are not following the facebook discussion, there has been two other links you might to look at:



  5. Pingback: Break time « Reality Check (Edit)
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Mitch McConnell (R-KY) explains his plans

“So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what’s called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We’re going to go after them on health care, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board. … All across the federal government, we’re going to go after it,” McConnell said at a private summit hosted by the Koch Brothers.

mcconnellThe “politics of obstruction:” who would benefit if McConnell and the Koch Brothers had their way? It sure wouldn’t be us. A vote for Martha Robertson, against Tom Reed, is a vote against McConnell, the obstructionist “party of the rich,” and Koch.

© William Hungerford – August 2014





Posted in 2014, Congress, Environmental, Health Care, Political | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment