This is Hudson's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Hudson's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Hudson
Taghkanic, NY
Hudson Valley troublemaker.
Interests: media, the environment, civic affairs, small-town life, culture and government.
Recent Activity
Image
Today’s Register-Star contains a treacly front-page tribute to George Herbert Walker Bush, a simply awful human being and failed President, who was so unpopular that he received only 37% of the vote in his 1992 re-election bid. The paper’s revisionist paean includes syrupy remembrances from Columbia Economic Development Corporation director Michael Tucker. For a more accurate description of Bush and his record, consider this from Arun Gupta: Having read new material on and re-familiarized myself with the career of George Herbert Walker Bush, I am floored. The amount of criminality, corruption, dictators, death squads, and drug dealing he enabled during his shadowy intrigues in office up to the presidency far outstrips anything Donald Trump has done. This is no exaggeration. Bush set up a secret government with CIA chief William Casey. Bush subverted FBI investigations and independent counsel Lawrence Walsh. He lied to, stonewalled, and withheld evidence from Walsh who... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Briefly, not including absentee ballots which are yet to be counted: * Delgado won for Congress; Faso is out. * Gladd lost to Jordan for State Senate; * O’Connor lost to Tague for the Assembly; * Barrett returns to the Assembly; * Powis leads Marino for Coronor; * Ashby defeated Houghtling for Assembly. Note: The margin is theoretically small enough to be reversed by absentee ballots, but statistically it seems unlikely. Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Briefly, not including absentee ballots which are yet to be counted: * Delgado won for Congress; Faso is out, though he actually won 8 of the 11 counties in NY-19. Delgado’s margin of victory derived entirely from his huge showing in Ulster County. Without Ulster, the Dem loses. Something to be mindful of in future elections: there’s still a lot of work to be done in the region. * Gladd lost to Jordan for State Senate; * O’Connor lost to Tague for the Assembly; * Barrett returns to the Assembly; * Powis leads Marino for Coronor; * Ashby defeated Houghtling for Assembly. Note: The margin is theoretically small enough to be reversed by absentee ballots, but statistically it seems unlikely. Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at SamPratt.com
The State Board’s results as of 9:45 pm show Delgado with a narrow lead in the 19th Congressional District, 7,288 - 6,909 The State Board’s results as of 10 pm show Delgado with a lead in the 19th Congressional District, 19,199 to 17,490. Locally, we have news of only a few precincts and these numbers don’t include absentee counts (which may have to wait as many as a couple weeks)... But Gunnar Wordon and Patti Matheney reported: CHATHAM ELECTION DISTRICT #2 Delgado 336 Faso 167 GHENT ELECTION DISTRICT #1 Delgado 433 Faso 262 GHENT ELECTION DISTRICT #2: Delgado 437 Faso 372 GHENT ELECTION DISTRICT #3: Faso 407 Delgado 316 UPDATES: On Facebook, Zach Feuer reports Delgado winning Livingston #1 by 435 to 366. Also, Dana Colleen Peterson says Delgado narrowly won “both” precincts voting at the Hyde Park firehouse in Dutchess County, 121 to 101 and 317 to 314. Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
Click to enlarge this copy of this voter challenge. (The name of the voter has been redacted.) A Hudson resident (different from the other sources cited in a previous post) provided this document, which she obtained from the Columbia County Board of Elections. It shows a challenge which was made to her registration from former GOP election commissioner Tom Fisher, who was rumored to have filed over 60 such challenges in the past few days. The voter has indeed sold her building in Hudson, but is renting back from the buyer in that same building until finishing renovation of another property. The Republicans evidently didn’t do their homework, and challenged the voter anyway. The voter signed an affidavit affirming her continued residency at that address, and was allowed to vote on the machines. But, as she noted in a conversation this afternoon, “This would be really frightening to a lot... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at SamPratt.com
A source yesterday tipped this site off that a former Republican elections commissioner apparently dropped off a list of voters to be challenged at the polls today to the County Board of Elections. The list, the source claimed, contained the names of registered voters who sold their houses in the past year or so. While this tip could not be immediately verified, a Hudson voter today said that when he went to vote there was a notation by his name saying “CHALLENGE,” and that someone at the polls had a notebook of similar names. The voter said that he was asked to sign a document, and then allowed to vote normally on the machine by inspectors. Asked if he had recently sold his home locally, the voter said that in fact he had—but that he is still living in the same neighborhood. This is not definite confirmation of yesterday’s tip,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
Two married voters in the northern part of Columbia County—let’s call them Jack and Diane—report the following struggle they have had trying to vote locally in this election cycle: The couple have two homes: One in Columbia County, and an apartment in New York City. Some years ago, they say, they chose to vote via their Columbia County residence and not in NYC, as is the well-established right of dual homeowners. This spring, they changed City apartments, and filed the necessary paperwork with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) there for their licenses. (Note: The address on one’s driver’s license does not determine where a dual resident can vote.) In October, the couple caught wind that there was a problem with their registration, and went to the Columbia County Board of Elections to make sure they would be able to vote. After getting barked at for bringing their tiny lapdog... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at SamPratt.com
News is already rolling in of various voting SNAFUs around the County According to a poll watcher in Ghent, a man arrived to vote but was told that he had been marked ineligible — because he is deceased. Not sensing himself to be dead, the man reportedly voted by affidavit ballot. His eligibility (and pulse) will have to be checked by the Board of Elections before his vote can be counted. Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
Above: The way voting used to be. (IMAGE: Wikipedia) What can a voter do if for whatever reason, you encounter difficulty casting your vote today? Below are some suggestions, in order of urgency: (1) First, verify that you’re at the correct polling place. If the election inspectors say your name is not in the poll book, tell them your address and find out whether you are trying to vote in the right place. A common reason for not showing up in a precinct’s book is simply having gone to the wrong place. 2) Second, you can always demand to vote by “affidavit” ballot. Affidavit ballots look a lot like absentee ballots, and essentially just are a version of the ballot you would use on the machines, but on which you swear an oath that you are who you say you are, and that you believe you are entitled to vote.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
“There are two ways to win an election,” according to People for the American Way, the progressive advocacy group founded in 1981 by Norman Lear and Barbara Jordan. “One is to get a majority of voters to support you. The other is to prevent voters who oppose you from casting their votes.” Voter suppression is often associated with the Deep South, with its history of Jim Crow poll taxes and literacy tests aimed at discouraging poor and minority voters from casting ballots. In more modern times, Florida Republicans infamously purged thousands of voters who happened to have the same names as convicted felons in the run-up to the infamous Bush/Gore election debacle. This proved more than enough to tip the scales for “W.” “HAVA” letter sent to many new voters, with personal data redacted [CLICK TO ENLARGE] Northeastern Democrats smugly assume they are on the side of the election angels.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
In the final run-up to Tuesday’s seemingly endless election, both Democratic and Republican partisans are puffing out their chests in a pantomime of strength. The more likely scenario is that at least one of the closely-watched races in our region will be a dead heat, and could drag out for weeks. Columbia County GOP chair Greg Fingar is calling for “100 percent participation from Republicans in this year’s election,” according to The Register-Star. Meanwhile, Democrats traumatized by the election of Trump have been boasting that new Democratic registrations in New York State have wildly outpaced new GOP voters. Locally, Dems are beating Republicans by a factor of more than 11-to-1 — 1,434 to 128 to be exact, according to Charlie Ferrusi of the Columbia County Young Democrats. If both major parties can agree on anything, it’s should be the fervent hope that one of them—either of them—wins decisively on Tuesday.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
It’s truly dismaying to watch so many of my fellow Democrats devolve into pure partisanship, as a way of coping with the trauma of Trumpism. One sees countless Dems suddenly unwilling to hold our own party accountable, uninterested in issues which require more attention than just knee-jerk outrage, and unable to assess media skeptically unless it helps our “team.” The end result is Dems sounding like either Birchers (crying treason) or a liberal version of Birthers (latching onto any piece of negative info about the GOP even if it can’t be supported by evidence). Meanwhile, the Democratic base gets more and more disaffected, as leadership serves donors rather than voters. This is a recipe for failing to retake a chamber of Congress in 2018, and for Trump to be re-elected in 2020. The party needs to stand for something that ordinary Americans actually care about, when they are considering their... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2018 at SamPratt.com
It’s not “debunked” information. The allegations were denied by Ryan; that is not debunking. In fact, it proves he is a liar... Because his 2010-2011 actions are set forth indisputably in his own words, in multiple documents with his name all over it. But I’m guessing you did not read my previous post, which lays out hard evidence that he was an avid, enthusiastic, and in-depth participant in the scheme at Berico/Team Themis. And then he repeated the same type of activity at Dataminr. And then he lied to the voters about it. Corporate spook. Anti-labor, anti-progressive activity. Absolutely fair and accurate descriptions... and, as an activist who was targeted by similar tactics, I take great offense to what he did, and also to people who find excuses for Dems who indulge in this type of greedy and amoral activity: http://www.sampratt.com/sam/2018/06/anybody-but-ryan.html Your other observations are of interest and most welcome.
1 reply
Image
The results of this highly unusual seven-candidate regional primary will take a long time to fully digest, but here are some immediate takeaways: As predicted, the projected winner is in line for victory without a solid mandate. Antonio Delgado as of 11:15 pm on Tuesday is ahead with less than 1/4 (22%) of the votes cast, with some results still rolling in. Looked at one way, this means that 78% of Dem primary voters go to bed disappointed. Gareth Rhodes was in second place as of 11:15 pm. He won Columbia County, with Delgado second. Turnout in Columbia was about 30% among registered Dems; turnout districtwide was more like 26%. About 35,000 participated, much better than the less-contested Teachout-Yandik primary in 2016. But that still means almost 100,000 Dems did not bother to make a choice. Delgado appears to be a candidate virtually all Dems will get behind, especially with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
Email leaked during the HBGary/Berico/Palantir scandal Got a second for a Stop the Plant war story? It will help explain why Patrick Ryan absolutely must not be your choice in Tuesday’s crowded Democratic primary, which will determine who runs against John Faso for Congress next November. * * * * * During the nearly seven-year fight to stop the massive, coal-burning St. Lawrence Cement proposal in Columbia County, I was spied on clumsily by a private investigative firm from the Albany area. This surveillance activity came to light after several ham-handed attempts to dig dirt about me from my neighbors and family. My neighbor Joanne Krasowsky (R.I.P.) was the first to report that a peculiar man was prowling lower Warren Street, asking odd questions about me. A man in a minivan approached Joanne near the corner of 1st and Warren. He claimed that he was from a finance company, and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
Normally, a political party wants its nominee to enter the general election race with a sense of momentum and a mandate from the people. But with seven Democrats vying in the June 26th primary to determine the party’s congressional nominee, it seems likely one of them will win with barely 1/3 of the vote, or even less. When this point was made to a prominent Columbia County Democratic Committee officer, he seemed surprised. But it’s just a matter of simple mathematics. With seven options, there just aren’t enough votes to go around for one to win with more than 33.3%, let alone a majority — unless most of them perform abysmally and one of them truly distinguishes him- or herself from the field. With only a few weeks to go, no clear frontrunner has emerged. So one can reasonably expect the winner to have trouble cracking even 30% unless several... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2018 at SamPratt.com
The New York State Committee on Open Government today issued an Advisory Opinion, disagreeing with a recent contention by Sheena Salvino of the Hudson Development Corporation that HDC is somehow exempt from the requirements of the State’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). A FOIL request was submitted by this writer a month ago regarding HDC’s controversial relationship with the Colarusso company. FOIL requires an agency not only to reply within 5 days, but to either decide on the request in that timeframe, or to give a reason why an additional 20 days are necessary. When only a terse acknowledgement of the request was issued by Salvino, the law’s deadlines were brought to her attention. Salvino then refused to give any firm timeline for responding, adding that based on the advice of “legal council” [sic] she believes HDC “is not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law.” As... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
“We have to prove to our own people that we are cognizant of the qualities that it will require to meet the future years. The courage, the vision, the imagination, the honesty… I know we need a united [Democratic] party, but it cannot be a united party that gives up its principles. I want unity but above everything else, I want a party that will fight for the things that we know are right home and abroad.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, responding to Harry S. Truman at a Dec. 1959 dinner Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2018 at SamPratt.com
“Every stable society imposes on the majority of its members the social and economic attitudes of its beneficiaries. “A corollary to this obvious, but seldom applied, law is that a society is constantly evolving a new language of automatic self-justification. “This language is to be found in its most polished and accomplished form on the leader-pages of all those newspapers which defend the existing social system. ... [It] is by scarcely disguised moral arguments that we are constantly urged to accept the present structure of our society.” – Philip Toynbee (1965), in Encounter magazine, Stephen Spender & Melvin J. Lasky, eds. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
While Democrats put all their energy into checking for Russians under the bed, rather than organizing for the 2018 midterms, right-wingers are busy expanding their social networks. Every day on Twitter, one can find thousands of posts like the above, in which “MAGA Patriots” urge their contacts to follow other Trump fans. The movement is sometimes referred to as the Trump Train. Why should we care? Because today’s election campaigns are less and less focused on traditional persuasion, and more on identifying base supporters, then making sure they turn out to vote. By having one’s own contacts mutually follow like-minded friends (and friends of friends, and even strangers), Tea Partiers and other far-right groups are building a massive turnout engine. It also has other political benefits, such as reinforcing the feedback loop of ideological news, while providing adherents with a built-in network of contacts who will defend their politics and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2018 at SamPratt.com
Image
A couple of times a month, I’ll tune into right-wing radio in the car to hear what they are saying. A singular theme has been constant across the years: The outrage of both hosts and callers at the mere thought that they should ever have to think before opening their mouths. Their repetitive rants about political correctness, or reverse racism, or “having to apologize,” etc., etc., all boil down to this... Not ever feeling compelled to consider the feelings or perspective of anyone else. Not even a little. Facts, analysis, research, sensitivity, decency, even common sense—these are deemed outrageous impediments to the instant gratification of shooting one’s mouth off, based on gut feelings. It goes beyond ordinary anti-intellectualism. There is a more selfish component, the notion that the first thought which jumps first into your head is inherently valid, and must be not just heard, but accepted as unquestioningly as... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2017 at SamPratt.com
Governor Cuomo has appointed Daniel Mackay, the former New Scotland councilman and political director of the Preservation League of New York State, to head up the State Historic Preservation Office, a/k/a SHPO. Mackay, who endeared himself to many Columbia County residents for his smart and principled work on the St. Lawrence Cement controversy last decade, announced the move on his Facebook page. Since leaving the Preservation League, Mackay has been serving as Executive Director of the Connectucut Trust for Historic Preservation. His return to New York is our state’s gain, and the Nutmeg State’s loss. Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at SamPratt.com
Four top officers of the Columbia County Democratic Committee resigned Thursday morning. Chair Peter Bujanow announced by email that he, 1st Vice Chair Debby Mayer, 2nd Vice Chair Mark Leggett, and Secretary Angella Pace would step down effective on Friday. Newly-elected Treasurer Dave Berman, elevated just last week by a new faction on the Committee, will stay in place. With the CCDC being effectively defunct for the past six months, Bujanow was facing a sudden challenge to his leadership, and evidently decided to leave rather than fight. His email resignation alludes to the brewing struggle by saying: “Due to the shift in sentiment among some of the rank and file of the Columbia County Democratic Committee, we, as Officers of CCDC, are of the view that a change in leadership may rejuvenate the Democratic Party within Columbia County.” Bujanow was expected to face an effort to remove him as Chair... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2017 at SamPratt.com
Image
Can social media predict NFL game outcomes? To answer that question, this site collected more than 200 random fan predictions from Twitter over the past few days. The aggregate of those crowdsourced numbers predicts that the Patriots will win Sunday’s Super Bowl 30-27. This is almost exactly in line with Vegas, which posits that New England will win by 3 points, with an over/under of 58.5, 1.5 points higher than the Twitter mean. 61% of posters who included a specific score pick the Patriots to win, against 39% for the Falcons. (Coincidentally, 538.com likewise gives New England a 61% chance of winning, 39% for Atlanta, though this is mixing apples and oranges...) However, that average (mean) score hardly tells the whole story. There are many other ways to break down the numbers. The most commonly predicted combined score is Patriots 27, Falcons 24 (9 times), followed by Patriots 34-Falcons 31... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2017 at SamPratt.com
“The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. “The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. “This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2016 at SamPratt.com