NY 23rd Sample Ballots by Counties

vote_imageMy experience as an election inspector, and as a candidate tells me that many voters would like to see the ballot they will be using before they reach the polls.

Most counties post their sample ballots on line. As of today Allegany and Schuyler Counties have not posted them; the other counties have. Follow the links to the County’s website’ Sample Ballots page. Some people will need to add information (Street Address) or find your Town on a chart.

The links to Allegheny and Schuyler Counties are to their Board of Election Website; they may add their sample ballots later. You could ask them where you could see a sample ballot.

Each polling location is suppose to have a sample ballot on display during election day.

Don’t forget that on the back of the ballts will be three State Proposals, the Constitution Convention question and two proposed amendments. Some Towns may have local  proposals. The Town of Barrington (Yates) has three alcohol related proposals on their ballot.

Allegany    Cattaraugus     Chautauqua    Chemung     Ontario    Schuyler

Seneca    Steuben   Tioga    Tompkins  Yates

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Russia has realized that the internet is a marvelous means for spreading propaganda. Releasing fake news is all that is needed. Without having to recruit and pay many agents, an army of helpful trolls sends and resends the message. This may have been decisive in electing Donald Trump. What else might have been influenced?

  • Congressional elections
  • Support for the UN, UNESCO
  • European independence–Scotland, Catalonia
  • Isolationism–America first
  • Obamacare
  • Brexit
  • Islamophobia
  • sex scandals
  • White supremacy

We can’t be sure about these, but the more we learn about Russian propaganda, the more we should be concerned.

Posted in Media | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Proposals on the November 7 Ballot

We will vote on November 7  to help decide who will be on our County Legislatures and Town Boards. We will elect  Town Clerks, Town Justices, and Highway Supervisors and other public officers.

After you vote on the front of the ballot, turn it over; there are three Proposals that you are asked to approve or disapprove. One proposal is a question, two or amendments to the New York State Constitution.

Often voters report that have not heard much about the questions on the Proposals on the ballot. We may have heard about the question of if we should have a constitution convention but don’t know much about the Pros and Cons of it.

The Proposals are listed below in italics as they will appear of the ballot. The “Details” were summarized from the NYS Board of Elections website. You may want to go there to for more unbiased information.

Please remember that in order to be placed on a ballot for us to consider, an amendment to the NYS Constitution needs to be approved by both chambers of our legislature in two consecutive legislative terms.

Fun Fact: Twenty years ago  929,415 voted to hold the Constitutional Convention. 1,579,390 voted not to hold the convention. The convention was not held. What is seldom reported is that 1,693,788 New Yorkers who went to the polls in November, 1997, did not vote either way on the proposal. The fact that more people decided not to vote on the question than for it or against it can not be blamed on they forgot to turn the ballot over. In 1997 we  used the old lever machines. The proposals were at the bottom of the ballot. You can see how your county voted in 1997  here.


Constitutional Convention

Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same?

YES      NO

Trying to find articles that either support or are against a Constitutional Convention without pointing to Special Interests is difficult. For example, some conservation groups are for the convention and some are against it. That can be said for almost any issue. I did find the following:

An unbiased summary of reasons to vote either way.


Allowing the complete or partial forfeiture of a public officer’s pension if he or she is convicted of a certain type of felony

The proposed amendment to section 7 of Article 2 of the State Constitution would allow a court to reduce or revoke the public pension of a public officer who is convicted of a felony that has a direct and actual relationship to the performance of the public officer’s existing duties. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

YES      NO

Details: The purpose of the proposed amendment is to allow a court to reduce or revoke the pension of a public officer who is convicted of a felony that has a direct and actual relationship to the performance of the public officer’s duties. A court would determine, after notice to the public officer and a hearing, if a public officer convicted of such a felony would lose part or all of his or her pension. In reaching this determination, the court must consider the seriousness of the public officer’s crime, the proportionality of a reduction or revocation to the crime, whether forfeiture would result in undue hardship or other inequity to dependent children, spouse, or other dependents, and any other factors required by the Legislature.



Authorizing the Use of Forest Preserve Land for Specified Purposes

The proposed amendment will create a land account with up to 250 acres of forest preserve land eligible for use by towns, villages, and counties that have no viable alternative to using forest preserve land to address specific public health and safety concerns; as a substitute for the land removed from the forest preserve, another 250 acres of land, will be added to the forest preserve, subject to legislative approval. The proposed amendment also will allow bicycle trails and certain public utility lines to be located within the width of specified highways that cross the forest preserve while minimizing removal of trees and vegetation. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

YES      NO

Details: New York State’s Constitution protects the State’s forest preserve as wild forest land and generally prohibits the lease, sale, exchange, or taking of any forest preserve land. The proposed amendment will create two exceptions to this broad protection of the forest preserve to make it easier for municipalities to undertake certain health and safety projects.

First, if passed, the proposed amendment will create a land account of up to 250 acres of forest preserve land. A town, village, or county can apply to the land account if it has no viable alternative to using forest preserve land for certain limited health and safety purposes. Those purposes are (1) to address bridge hazards or safety on county highways and certain town highways; (2) to eliminate the hazards of dangerous curves and grades on county highways and certain town highways; (3) to relocate, reconstruct, and maintain county highways and certain town highways; and (4) for water wells and necessary related accessories located within 530 feet of a state highway, county highway, or certain town highway, where needed to meet drinking water quality standards. The State will acquire 250 acres, subject to approval by the Legislature, to incorporate into the forest preserve to replace the land placed in the health and safety land account.

Second, if passed, the proposed amendment will allow bicycle paths and specified types of public utility lines to be located within the widths of state, county, and certain town highways that traverse forest preserve land. The work on the bicycle paths and utility lines must minimize the removal of trees and vegetation. And, if passed, the proposed amendment will allow a stabilization device (such as a guy wire) for an existing utility pole to be located near the width of a highway when necessary to ensure public health and safety and when no other viable option exists. The proposed amendment expressly will not permit the construction of a new intrastate gas or oil pipeline that did not receive necessary state and local permits and approvals by June 1, 2016.

Feel free to comment about your position on each/any proposal.



Posted in NYS Government | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

What happened to Republican orthodoxy?

political orthodoxy


How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!–Samuel Adams


Opposing war

Before both wars with Germany, Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt waited for attacks to sway public opinion before asking Congress for a declaration of war. Till then, Republicans had demanded neutrality. President Roosevelt branded the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in advance of a declaration of war an infamous “sneak attack.” Today, President Trump threatens a similar attack, and Republicans are largely silent. If the mutually assured destruction doctrine works with more powerful adversaries, China and Russia, why not North Korea? What happened to the GOP?

Working with allies

Since the Second World War at least, our government has put much emphasis on working with allies. The Korean War was ostensibly conducted by the United Nations. President G.H.W.Bush organized a coalition in support of the First Gulf War; President G.W.Bush sought allies, primarily Britain, for the Second Gulf War. Today, President Trump is disdainful of allies, and Republicans are largely silent. What happened to the GOP?

Fiscal conservatism

Formerly Republicans were fiscal conservatives often insisting on a balanced budget. They still may pay lip-service to that idea, but no longer support it. Every subterfuge is used to justify unfunded tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations. What happened to the GOP?





Posted in Congress, Economics, Political, President, Trump, War | Tagged | 38 Comments

Reed on Iran

iran.jpgPresident Obama’s 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran was inherently flawed, dangerous and put American lives at risk. As a result, we have paid Iran tens of billions of dollars in virtually untraceable cash and gold, while Tehran continued to build its nuclear program. Finally, we have a president who is willing to take action against bad foreign actors who abuse human rights and threaten our national security and that of our allies.–Tom Reed (facebook, Oct. 13)

Tom Reed facebook post generated much outrage, yet Tom has consistently opposed agreement with Iran. Rather than simply reflecting support for President Trump, Reed’s statement likely reflects his own long-held view.

Whether Tom’s views are factually correct matters little; this is the age of “alternate facts”–some, even many, may be persuaded to believe. What Tom hasn’t made clear is what policy, other than dogged hostility, he favors.



    … his opposition to the deal the President reached with Iran to ease economic sanctions, saying taking the pressure off Iran brings the country closer to becoming a nuclear power. “I share the …

  2. Reed Opposes Iran Deal

    … Tom Reed reiterated his opposition to President Obama’s Iran Nuclear Agreement calling it dangerous for American national security. … of this proposal by opposing its adoption. “A nuclear Iran is unacceptable to the American people and the world. The Federal …

  3. Reed: Iran Deal Poses Threat to U.S.

    … the following statement on the potential nuclear deal with Iran: “Obama’s Iran deal is politically motivated as the President is seeking a deal for the …

  4. Reed Announces Town Hall Meetings; Solicits Feedback on Iran Nuclear Deal

    … Lakes regions the opportunity to share their opinions on the Iran nuclear agreement, which was recently announced by President Obama. … of all Americans,” said Reed. “That is why I oppose the Iran nuclear deal, which severely threatens our short and long-term national …

  5. Reed Rejects Iran Nuclear Agreement; Demands Senate Record Vote

    … Tom Reed rejected the President’s Nuclear Agreement with Iran, along with the House of Representatives with a formal vote on the deal. … period. “American citizens always must be first. Iran has…raised no confusion as to what its intention is here,” Reed said …

  6. Reed Calls for Stand Against Iran; Urges Senator Gillibrand to Reconsider Stance

    … his opposition to the President’s Nuclear Agreement with Iran and called on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to reconsider her support of the … agreement simply stating, “[t]his unfair agreement puts Iran closer to developing a nuclear weapon,  gives them the technology to …

  7. Statement from Congressman Reed on the Russia, Iran, and North Korea Sanctions Act

    … such aggressions. Additional sanctions against North Korea, Iran and Russia will help discourage such behavior.” 115th …

  8. Reed Defends Victims of Iranian Terror

    … prevent the President from lifting economic sanctions on Iran until they pay court ordered settlements to the families of Iranian terror … families, and this legislation is just one more step to stop Iran from sponsoring terrorism and finally bring some relief to families who …

  9. Reed Keeps Americans Safe

    … we stand firm against the tyranny of dangerous nations like Iran and make sure tax dollars aren’t going to fund the activities that they … in the President’s Iranian Nuclear Agreement by preventing Iran from purchasing commercial aircraft from American companies. This …


    … House Resolution 556, which would condemn the Government of Iran for its continued persecution, imprisonment, and sentencing to death of … release and the release of all who are held in Iran only because of their religious beliefs.” Reed further noted that he …

Posted in Reed's Views, Trump, War | Tagged | 8 Comments

A big change


cover reed children.jpgOctober 11, 2017 cover photo: Tom as the “good shepherd” stands above politics.

cover reed ryan.jpgJanuary 4, 2017 cover photo: Family, flags, GOP Speaker Ryan, fake smiles.

Do these photos reflect a change in campaign strategy? Is Tom Reed distancing himself from Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, and the GOP? One wonders.

Posted in 2018, Congress, Media, Political, Reed's Views, Trump | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Tax Reform Issues

reed 2011The time is now to make real reforms to our broken and dated tax code. I am committed to working in a bipartisan fashion in the House, with the White House, and partners in the Senate to find a consensus on tax reform. Today, we have released a framework of our objectives. Our goal is to create good paying, high-quality jobs while cutting taxes for the middle class. This can be done through incentivizing the manufacturing sector and small business growth, as well as lowering rates on businesses and investments. This path will ensure that hard-working folks of our region, and across America, have more money in their pockets. It is time we in DC think outside the box, no ideas are off the table. We need to make substantial reforms so that we have a simple, fair, and competitive tax code.–Tom Reed, facebook, Sept. 27, 2017

Perry Bacon Jr., writing for FiveThirtyEight, discusses tax reform. Bacon raises three questions:

  • How much does increasing the deficit matter?
  • Is it temporary tax cuts or permanent tax reform?
  • Who gets the cuts?

Bacon writes that these questions divide the Republican factions.  Bacon’s essay is well worth reading.

Tom Reed has long been a deficit hawk as the above illustration reminds us. He is also a Republican stalwart, supporting House misleaders without fail. Here are some additional questions that come to mind?

  • Will Tom Reed support a budget that increases the deficit? If so will he abandon his long-held concerns or dispute projected deficits?
  • Will Tom Reed agree to temporary tax cuts or will he demand permanent reforms? Bacon explains how this matters.
  • Will Tom Reed continue to support tax reform which mostly benefits the wealthy? If so, will his constituents be seriously offended?
  • Will Republicans rely on voodoo economics–tax cuts predicted to increase revenue–to justify their reform plan?
  • Will Republicans seek compromise with Democrats, try to woo a few Democrats, or blow off Democrat’s  as they did with health care?
  • Will Republican deficit hawks demand spending cuts to accompany tax reform?

If the GOP decides on temporary tax cuts instead of comprehensive reforms as Bacon suggests some favor, one can bet they will later demand that the cuts be made permanent–we have experienced that before.


Posted in 2018, Congress, Constituents, Political, Taxes | Tagged , | 15 Comments