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What happens after the elections?

This is what happens after the elections.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Tuesday, November 6, Is Election Day: Here are Our Recommendations

REMEMBER:

If they’re running UNOPPOSED, Don’t Waste a Vote on Them. Don’t give them the numbers!
Unopposed Candidates and their Parties DENY Your Vote, Your Voice, Your Choice!
Protest
by not giving them a vote!!!


As many of our readers know, each election year we study the candidates and make our picks. We share them with you because we have done the research and have asked the questions. When, IF the candidates respond, we let you know what they had to say. Here are our picks and recommendations for November 6, 2018:


First of all, we’d like to start our election choices with a positive:
Peter J. Markou
for
Greene County Treasurer.

Peter Markou is a Five-Star Choice for Greene County Treasurer.
Experience, Integrity, Committed

Peter Markou is a five-star candidate.

Mr Markou is intelligent, a gentleman, honest, and so different from the bottom-feeders that are left on the ballot. Mr Markou has been Greene County Treasurer for several terms and there’s no one who can say anything negative about the man. Vote for Peter Markou for Greene County Treasurer; he’s honest, competent and has proved he can do the job like a real professional, not like a politician.


Greene County Coroners

Go for Bob Gaus (D)

Gaus is really hungry for the Coroner’s office; he hasn’t shut up for a minute and has been as thick as flies on a s**t pile. On the one hand you could get sick of seeing him and even sicker of hearing him but at least he’s working to get elected. We haven’t seen much, if anything, of prima donna Dr J. Lipsman, he apparently wants the position handed to him on a silver platter. NO WAY!!! Joshie!!! If you don’t care enough to campaign, you don’t care enough about getting elected.

and

Paul Seney (R)

As for the second candidate, we’d go with Seney for a couple of reasons: First, he’s experienced and has had the benefit of Richard Vigilio, with whom he’s worked for several years. Second, he’s a funeral diretor and, although we still object to the ethics of a funeral director in the coroner’s position, if we must have a coroner, then the funeral director is intimately familiar not only with death but the paperwork and laws concerning death, and how to best deal compassionately with survivors. So, while we wish Richard Vigilio all the best in his retirement after this election, we think that Paul Seney would be a good man to partner up with Bob Gaus.

Now we’d like to handle the
Real Scoundrels List

 

Let’s be clear: You don’t “elect” an unopposed candidate! “Elect” in the campaign sign is a LIE!

When you see a campaign sign that asks you to “elect” an unopposed candidate in an uncontested election, think

The legal definition of election is a selection process: In an election voters are presented with at least 2 candidates and choose one of them. Candidates may be “endorsed” by one or more parties but for an election or a selection process to take place, you need at least two candidates. One candidate is not a choice and is not an “election.”

It is the duty of the so-called political parties to present voters with a choice. There has been a disturbing recent trend in our so-called American democratic process — a trend that is becoming very conspicuous in Greene County and the Town of New Baltimore — of presenting voters with a single, unopposed candidate in uncontested “elections.” This is not a new trend and has been concealed from voters in at least 38 states for decades and has been permitted by state election laws, laws that deprive voters of their right to choose who governs them.

UNOPPOSED, Denying You Your Right to Choose:

Alan VanWormer

Running UNOPPOSED (Denying Your Voice and Wasting Your Vote)

Click here to learn more about the law regarding unopposed candidates and uncontested elections.

Click here to learn why we think we’re getting screwed by being offered Alan VanWormer for Highway Superintendent.

The Alternative: You don’t have one! VanWormer is unopposed, which means you are being denied your voice, denied your choice. Just don’t cast a vote for VanWormer to show your protest at being denied your voice and denied your choice of who gets into office.


Another “UNOPPOSED” Denying You Your Right to Choose:

Joseph “Joe” Stanzione (R)

Pantywaist or Panty-waste?

Running for re-election to the Office of the Greene County District Attorney

Unaccomplished, Avoids Commitment, Violates his Oath of Office

Joseph “Joe” Stanzione.

Back in we published an open letter to Joe Stanzione. It’s worth a read at Open Letter to Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione. Since then he’s done zilch but now wants to continue doing zilch. No way, José Stanzione! If you weren’t running unopposed, it would be the highway for you, for sure, dude!

The county district attorney is the county’s chief law enforcement officer. So Why? is Greene County nicknamed “Cold Case?” Because so little is being done by the Greene County District Attorney in terms of keeping local government honest and criminals prosecuted. That’s Why!

The Alternative: You don’t have one! Stanzione is unopposed, which means you are being denied your voice, denied your choice. Just don’t cast a vote for Stanzione to show your protest at being denied your voice and denied your choice of who gets into office.

 


Patrick “Pat” Linger (R)

Out of Touch (except in an election year), Doesn’t Care, a Political Fixture/Tool, No Accomplishments, a Wasted Vote.

We have already published an earlier article to Pat Linger and Greene County DA, Joe Stanzione. You can read what we had to say to them at Open Letter to County Legislator Patrick Linger and Greene County DA Joseph Stanzione.

The Alternative: Jim Eckl. Voters in New Baltimore are in a real predicament. You can chose between the Louse (Linger) and the Loser (Eckl).


George Amedore

Republican, Irresponsible, Indifferent, Bullshitter.
You know it’s an election year when you see or hear him.

A pink-eared jackass!

George Amedore shows up every election year to beg for the NYS Senate seat, 46th District, and to appear with his Republican cronies at the New Baltimore Republican Club rally to tell everyone faCiry tales of what he’s done for New Baltimore and his district.

Read our article George Amedore, NY State Senator for 46th District, Needs to do Some Homework to learn more about what we told Amedore about New Baltimore and the New Baltimore Highway Department.

The Alternative: ??? Pat Courtney Strong, another woman-wanting-to-be-a-man from Kingston. OMG! That’s a choice??? (Note: Strong is from Kingston, like Amedore, a businesswoman. Problem: Strong knows about as much as Amedore about what New Baltimore and Greene County needs: both know nothing!)


Joe Vitollo

Candidate for the 19th Congressional District

First of all, Joe Vitollo is nutz, nasty, and nignorant.
Vitollo’s either from NJ or LI, he can’t seem to decide where; he does claim to live in Coeymans, though.
Vitollo says has lived in Coeymans since 1977 but he hasn’t lifted a finger to improve anything in Coeymans!

He ran for the same seat in 2016 and lost. He has no experience at all in government, and he’s already 62 years old; how many good years do you think he has to serve his district before he snuffs it? His entire campaign is a loser’s campaign. No one knows anything about him because there’s nothing to know. His party is running him simply because they want to save face, run a known loser, and hand the election over to the Democraps.


And now for the worst news of the 2018 midterm elections:

Antonio Delgado

REALLY A BAD CHOICE! REAL BAD NEWS !

Democrap, Racist, ex-Rapper, Anti-American.

The Racist Rapper and the Democrat Candidate.
The same face, different outfit.

Is that the best the Democrats can do for Upstate voters? 

Delgado is filth, a racist, ex-rapper whose rapping celebrated sex with porn stars and anti-American, racist lyrics. He might be the hero of give-it-all-away Liberal Democrats. And he might be able to attract votes in mostly minority or Liberal New York City, but he’s a big dirty ball of crappola to Central and Upstate NY. He might be popular with low-class, inner-city minorities and illegal immigrants with a name like Antonio Delgado, but he’s a clear reject when it comes to people with values and morals. His skin color would get him the downstate minority vote but among people who look deeper than skin color when we vote, he’s a total reject.

We’ve already wasted too many words on a loser like Antonio Delgado. If that’s the best the Democrats can offer New Yorkers, we don’t wonder that they are going to hell in barf bag.

The Alternative: John Faso


Back to Backwoods New Baltimore…

James “Jim” Eckl

A multiple-loser but our only alternative to Patrick “Pat” Linger, a louse and a scoundrel.

Well, the New Baltimore Democratic Committee made up of Janet KashEileen VosburghDoreen DavisBeth Schneck. and district committee members Janet Foley,  Richard GuthrieJudith FelstenAnne Walsh MitchellLee Davis (Yes. That’s the former loser town justice! Another Democrat loser scraped up by the New Baltimore and Greene County Dems!), Jim Eckl (Yes. That’s the same Jim Eckl the Dems are running against Patrick Linger). New Baltimore and Greene County Democrats have not only failed to give voters candidates, they can’t even get people to serve on their district committees! So they have to keep running losers from past elections.

James “Jim” Eckl, Democrat, Recycled Goods, Democrats’ Last Resort. Give him a chance to fly or fail. Anything’s better than Linger!

His party handlers, the New Baltimore Democratic Committee, Janet KashEileen VosburghDoreen DavisBeth Schneck., couldn’t tell us why he should get your vote. We found that a bit odd because normally the political party committee members would be over the moon to tell us why their candidate should be elected. Not the New Baltimore Democraps! They didn’t want to say a word about Jim Eckl. Well, there’s not much to say about Jim Eckl, we guess.

The Alternative: Voters in New Baltimore are in a real predicament. You can chose between the Louse (Linger) and the Loser (Eckl).


In the Town of New Baltimore and in Greene County, we don’t have much to work with. We residents, taxpayers and voters have so much garbage being handed to us You’d think we had a recycling plant or a transfer facility in the neighborhood; we get the dregs from the Republicans and the Democrats can’t even dig up a candidate from the many cemeteries in the area.

When a candidate is running unopposed or in an uncontested race, New York Election Law has already “declared him elected,” and your vote is wasted; you have no voice in who gets the position. As in past elections we say don’t give them the numbers. Don’t cast a vote for that candidate (in New Baltimore, for example, that would be Alan VanWormer) because if you don’t cast a vote, you send the political party and the candidate an important message: You are offended by the fact that you were denied a voice in who to put in that office. If you vote for an unopposed candidate, you are wasting your vote; if you refuse to vote for that candidate, he’s already elected but at least he won’t get the numbers and you will have sent an important message to the parties.

DON’T WASTE YOUR VOTE ON AN UNOPPOSED CANDIDATE!


If you’re trying to figure out who is running for what office, and you’re having a hard time getting the information, you’re not alone.

We are pretty good at getting information but when it comes to our fine Board of Elections and our Political Party Committees, you just can’t get anyone to say anything or cough up some names or information. If you are having the same problem, you might want to give your Greene County Board of Elections a call or send them an email. If you’re really lucky and they’re having a good day, you might actually get a response. Here’s the contact information:

Greene County Board of Elections

411 Main Street, Catskill NY, 12414
Telephone: 518-719-3550
Republican Commissioner: Brent Bogardus, bbogardus@discovergreene.com
Democrat Commissioner: Marie Metzler, mmetzler@discovergreene.com

The Golden Turd Award
For Political Excellence

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

The Problem with Alan VanWormer

The Problem with Alan Van Wormer

Actually, it’s a problem in New Baltimore with 5 years of the Dellisanti-Ruso Town Government. 5 years of dancing in the dark and producing smoke and mirrors carnival acts, but no real services to taxpayers and residents of New Baltimore. We just don’t understand that New Baltimore has to pick from the dirty leftovers of the Jordan era to find a Highway Supervisor. Why can’t the Republicans and Democrats at least work together to put someone new and qualified in the Highway Superintendent’s office. The situation of running a current employee of a corrupt and mismanaged Town Department, an individual with no qualifications or training is disgraceful, disrespectful to residents and taxpayers, unethical, and downright shameful.

Did you know that there are two VanWormers in the New Baltimore Highway Department? Yes, they’re brothers Scott and Alan VanWormer. After Denis Jordan was forced to resign, Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso, Deputy Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, and the New Baltimore Town Board appointed Scott vanWormer, Jordan’s former Deputy, to be Acting Highway Superintendent until the November elections (actually until January 2019, when the new Superintendent will take office). But here’s the dirty part: Scott VanWormer’s brother, Alan VanWormer, is running unopposed for the office of Highway Superintendent. He’s already got the job even without an election. Nothing like manipulating an election, is it? No corruption in New Baltimore. Right?

Alan van Wormer. Unopposed for New Baltimore Highway Superintendent. No Qualifications. As you can see he’s got a lot of baggage but it’s not the baggage you can see that’s the problem!
New Baltimore Voters Have No Choice!!!

The FIRST problem we have with Alan VanWormer is the fact that he is running unopposed.  He’s wearing that shit-eatin’ grin because he knows he doesn’t need your vote. He’s grinning because he knows he’s going to be “declared elected.” He’s grinning because he, VanWormer, the New Baltimore Republicans, and the New Baltimore Democrats have cheated you and are denying you your voice and your choice!

You might suggest that that circumstance is not his fault; the Democraps were free to run a candidate against him, and so were all the other political parties. But while that may be true, in the true spirit of honesty and integrity, Mr. VanWormer is aiding and abetting a situation that is benefiting him and disadvantaging the voters of New Baltimore. If Mr. VanWormer had any integrity he would refuse to run unopposed and demand that the voters be given the right to choose between him and another candidate, even if the opposition were hopeless. Voters are entitled to vote for a candidate or not to vote for a candidate but a vote implies an election and election means choice. There is no choice between candidate A and candidate A.

The legal definition of “election” is: The act of choosing or selecting one or more from a greater number of persons, things, courses, or rights. The choice of an alternative. [Slate v. Tucker, 54 Ala.210] The internal, free, and spontaneous separation of one thing from another, without compulsion, consisting in intention and will. [Dyer, 281] The selection of one man from among several candidates to discharge certain duties in a state, corporation, or society.[1] The verb elect goes even further, and means to select from one or more candidates.[2]

So where is Mr. VanWormer’s integrity? Good question but we don’t know. And if he has no integrity Why? would anyone in their right mind put him in a position of responsibility?

And Where? Is the election part of all this? Voters are offered Mr. VanWormer and no one else. That’s not a choice! That’s not an election! That’s North Korea!

The SECOND problem we have with Mr. VanWormer is the fact that he’s not bringing anything new to the table! He had been working almost his entire career under the thumb of corrupt ex-Superintendent of Highways Denis Jordan. Mr. VanWormer knows no different. VanWormer had to do it Jordan’s way or take the highway. Bottom line: VanWormer is merely Jordan’s Mini-me Yes! man. That means he’s just another dose of same-old-same-old.

THIRD, and this goes back to the question of honesty and integrity: while Jordan was doing his thing and raping this community in so many ways, Alan VanWormer and his brother, Scott VanWormer, who was Jordan’s Deputy Superintendent of Highways, as well as the entire bunch in the Highway Department, saw and knew what was going on but said nothing!!! Their silence has cost several residents thousands, tens of thousands of dollars in losses, heartache, and loss of trust in local government but Alan VanWormer and his brother Scott VanWormer kept their mouths shut!!! They aided and abetted everything that Denis Jordan did.

In other words, Alan van Wormer and bro’ Scott van Wormer put their personal interests ahead of the Town’s interest. That’s not the kind of person we want with the responsibility of public safety handling several millions of dollars in taxpayer money. He’s got no education, no training, and no integrity. How good can it get?

New Baltimore (Greene County, NY) Democrat and Republican Committees searching for candidates to run.

The word on the street is that once elected, VanWormer intends to retire and collect a pension after his election.

FOURTH, and AGAIN a question of integrity: Alan VanWormer allegedly is running for the office of Highway Superintendent to fill the vacancy resulting from Denis Jordan’s resignation and the rest of Jordan’s term of office. That’s one year until next November. After that, the word on the street is that VanWormer intends to retire and collect a pension. Now is that fair? He moves up to a higher-paid position only to pad his pockets for a higher pension at New Baltimore taxpayers’ expense.

Both the Supervisor and the Deputy Supervisor of the Town of New Baltimore were never democratically elected.

New Baltimore transplant “Cut-and-Paste” Joan Ross and hubby “Cryptkeeper” Bob Ross may have been right when they coined the term “New Baltimorons” when she described her local neighbors. You have to be an idiot to allow this sort of thing to happen, knowing all along what’s going on! While the world has little to thank the Joan Ross’s of the world for, the term “New Baltimoron” does seem to fit. After all, look at how incumbent New Baltimore Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso got into office: unopposed.  That is, he wasn’t elected democratically. hen he appointed his former boss, Nick Dellisanti to be his so-called deputy, Ruso’s very first official act on taking office, thus keeping the Dellisanti-Ruso mob at the controls. Dellisanti didn’t want to run again and he didn’t have to run again to get back into the Supervisor’s office! Unelected crony Jeff Ruso put him back in the Supervisor’s chair without a so-called election. Both the Supervisor and the Deputy Supervisor of the Town of New Baltimore were never democratically elected.

An unopposed candidate, an uncontested election is a totalitarian tactic, not a democratic process. It also tells us that the people putting these “unopposed” candidates in office are the one’s making the choices for us and depriving us of our protected right to be governed and served by the man or woman we choose, not the choice of the Democratic Party Committee or the Republican Party Committee. That’s how it was done in Nazi GermanyCommunist China, and is being done in North KoreaWashington D.C.,  and African and New Baltimore Third World dictatorships. Unfortunately, Yes! that’s how it’s done in the Town of New Baltimore, New York, USA, Third World U.S.A..

But in reality, it’s may not really be Alan van Wormer’s personal fault, he just doesn’t know any better; he’s a product of small town corrupt politics, and he’s a tool being used by the Republicans and the Democrats (who can’t get anyone to run anyway).

But for the real problem and its solution we have to look to the mainstream political parties locally. Why can’t they come up with a choice for voters? Why can’t New Baltimore comply with the Constitution of the United States and let the people make the choice of the people whom they must by right choose to govern them!

Best thing to do is don’t waste your vote; don’t give him or his corrupt party any numbers. Protest being denied your vote by not voting for the unopposed candidates like Alan van Wormer.

Read more about unopposed candidates and why an uncontested election is no election at all. Click this link, One Person, No Vote!


NOTES

[1] Maynard v. District Canvassers, 84 Mich. 228, 47 N.W. 756, 11 L. R. A. 332; Brown v. Phillips, 71 Wis. 239. 36 N. W. 242; Wickersham v.Brittan, 93 Cal. 34. 28 Pac. 792, 15 L. R. A. 106.

[2] And to elect, (Latin ēlēctus, past participle of ēligō (“to pick out, choose, elect”), from ē- (“from”) + legō (“to pick out, pick from, gather, collect, etc.”): 1. To select a choice from among more than one. An example: choosing one proposal from many for action. 2. In politics, it means, to select someone to hold an office or position from more than 1 candidate. Example Electing a mayor, making a choice by voting. We use elect when a group of people vote. To elect is normally to select by means of voting. We use select to mean choose. Occasionally, in more formal or official situations, elect is used to mean select by vote.

In thirty-six states and the District of Columbia, state laws allow candidates running unopposed for certain offices to be “declared elected” without appearing on the ballot. These “unopposed candidate statutes” come in many varieties, but all deny people the ability to vote for the affected offices.  These unusual laws force us to reconsider our approach to the act of voting, stripped of its ability to affect the outcome of an election.

 

 

New Baltimore Highway Department Reacts: Installs Another Piece of Junk

First of all, it appears that there are a number of “New Baltimores” as reported by our readers. We want to clariify that the New Baltimore we are writing about is the Town of New Baltimore located in Greene County, New York. We apologize for any confusion or anxiety caused to some readers. We hope that this clarification exonerates the other New Baltimores and focuses on the culprit New Baltimore, Greene County, New York. Thank you, readers, for drawing our attention to this fact


A Halloween Nightmare Story

The Demonic Drain

It’s here now, it’s not going away! It’s going to hurt you, make you bleed, kill your car! Your pets and your children will be devoured by it! The ghouls of the Town of New Baltimore and the New Baltimore Highway Department care for it, minister to it, feed it! BEWARE!!!

Contributed by the Town of New Baltimore and the New Baltimore Highway Department
Jeff Ruso, Nick Dellisanti, Scott VanWormer, Alan VanWormer & Minions


This all may sound quite hilarious to some of our readers who don’t have personal experience with this “Demonic Drain,” and other sinister creations by the Town of New Baltimore and the New Baltimore Highway Department but those of us who live here and see what those evil ghouls are capable of doing , it isn’t funny at all. You can’t make this stuff up but even so, it’s unbelievable if you were to hear it told without some proof. That’s why we are so compulsive about documenting and publishing what we have to tell.

The Town of New Baltimore and the New Baltimore Highway Department got a proper Halloween fright when we published our recent article “New Baltimore’s Halloween “Kripple-a-Kid” Program” and our warning to parents and kids in our article “WARNING: New Street In The Hamlet Still A Hazardous Area For Trick-Or-Treaters!” because on October 31, 2018, at least 3 Highway Department employees, a couple of trucks, were hard at work digging, sawing, puttering. What were they doing? Good Question.

Well, for about two years now residents have been asking, pleading that the Highway Department fix damage and botched road work on New Street in the Hamlet. The Town and the Highway Department ignored every request, even though the so-called roadwork was causing more damage and actually created a number of dangerous hazards. The Town and the Highway Department under two supervisors, Town Supervisor Nick Dellisanti and Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso, and two highway superintendents (neither of whom had any education or training) Denis Jordan and Scott VanWormer (his brother, Alan VanWormer is running for Highway Superintendent unopposed this November 6th). But after our two articles the Town and the Highway Department almost woke up.

We also reported on the fact that the Town Board of the Town of New Baltimore voted to send acting Highway Superintendent to the Cornell Highway School in Ithaca, New York, a three-day conference for highway superintendents — real ones, that is — at a cost of about $500.00 plus VanWormer’s usual salary. All expense paid trip for Scott VanWormer in May 2018, at taxpayer expense, to sit through presentations that obviously didn’t sink in. We also questioned why the Town would send an employee in a temporary slot to Ithaca in the first place, since he’d be out of a job in November! But HEY! That’s how the New Baltimore Town Board serves residents and voters.

Back to the Demon Hole: Well, after we published our articles, they were out there making a mess out of things … AGAIN! Here’s some graphic history:

Pictoral History of the Demon Hole
a.k.a. New Baltimore Highway Department’s Idea of a Drain

A” in the illustration above shows the site of the drain in about May-June 2016, when residents demanded that the Highway Department and the Town Board visit the site to see the damage caused by the Highway Department’s failure to maintain the drainage and culvert installations. You can’t see the drain because it is buried under about three (3) inches of soil, and was that way at least since 2000. Scott VanWormer didn’t even know it was there.

B” shows the catchment that was installed under the supervision of disgraced former Highway Superintendent Denis Jordan. It was literally an 18-21″ deep hole, measuring about 30 inches across, and 30 inches long, and had a vertical grate in it with sharp edges. We called it the “Demon Drain” because it was so dangerous, diabolical, and it looked like it would just swallow you up. Actually, the Highway Department left the culvert wide open until residents demanded that they put a grate in it. Fact is, you could fit a child or a dog in the opening; that’s how wide it was. Everything is a fight in New Baltimore if you’re not a party member (this time it’s the Republicans).

Still, the drain was a real hazard after the Highway Department finally put in the grate. At night you couldn’t see it. If you didn’t know it was there during the day, you could destroy a tire and bend a rim. If you fell into it you’d be cut to pieces by the sharp grate edges. So residents asked for a traffic cone while waiting for a proper fix. Traffic cone never materialized; neither did a fix for about 2 years. They finally in a grate level with the road — well, as level as it gets in New Baltimore.

So, on October 31, 2018, more than two years after the Highway Department started to maintain the drains and culverts on New Street after at least 16 years, they finally got to giving the Demon Drain some attention.

C” in the illustration above shows what the New Baltimore Highway Department did with the Demon Drain. It’s still a bit “demonic,” don’t you think?

The Town sent VanWormer to Ithaca for three days to learn something about road and drainage maintenance. He came back just as stupid as when he left. That’s how Jeff Ruso and his “deputy” Nick Dellisanti, and their minions on the New Baltimore Town Board (Shelly VanEtten, Scott Briody, Chuck Irving, and Kelly Downes) serve the best interests of residents and taxpayers in New Baltimore: They don’t. They deserve the nickname the “Newbaltimorons.”

The Typical New Baltimore Town Board Meeting
Public Meeting or Executive Session?
(Left to right: Deputy Supervisor Nick Dellisanti, Supervisor Jeff Ruso, Board Members Shelly VanEtten, Chuck Irving, Kelly Downes, and Scott Briody)

The Six Ps of New Baltimore Town Hall

(Poor Planning Provides Piss Poor Performance)

The illustration below shows what the Town of New Baltimore and the Town of New Baltimore Highway Department are capable of now that Mr VanWormer has been “trained.”


We should note for our readers’ historical knowledge that we demanded production of documents showing the education and training of the Highway Superintendent and Highway Department employees. The Town couldn’t produce a single document showing any training for any of the Highway Department employees or the Superintendent. Mr VanWormer’s attendance at the Cornell conference in May 2018 was the first training ever for the employees of the New Baltimore Highway Department. Even so, State Senator George Amadore was handing over hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars under the CHIPS program to New Baltimore, Greene County Legislator Pat Linger was passing on taxpayer dollars to be wasted in New Baltimore by a bunch of untrained apes, Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione cast a blind eye on the corruption, waste and incompetence in New Baltimore Town Hall and in the New Baltimore Highway Department. Even the employees who privately would admit that something seriously wrong was going on in the Highway Department, employees like Scott VanWormer and his brother, Alan VanWormer, just followed orders with their thumbs up their fat asses and didn’t say a word; Town Board members like Jeff Ruso, Nick Dellisanti, and Shelly VanEtten did nothing.  (See our article “Open Letter to County Legislator Patrick Linger and Greene County DA Joseph Stanzione” and our earlier article, “Open Letter to Greene County District Attorney Joseph Stanzione“)

The all knew what was going on but nobody had the balls to put a stop to it! They thought they could deny any knowledge of what was going on but Smalbany wouldn’t let them deny it and get away with it. We published our exposé in our article, “Open Letter Blasts New Baltimore Supervisor, Town Board over Jordan Affair.”

Now Pat Linger wants New Baltimore voters to re-elect him to the Greene County Legislature but he can’t come up with any good reasons whey they should do that. We can come up with plenty of good reasons why NOT!  Greene County District Attorney Joe Stanzione also want’s you to waste your vote on an unopposed candidate; he’s running unopposed and doesn’t need a single vote to stay in office. Same applies to Alan VanWormer who is running for New Baltimore Highway Superintendent unopposed, after he sat back and let Denis Jordan do as he pleased. (See our article, “The Problem with Alan VanWormer“)

Remember all this on Election Day!

Don’t waste your vote on unopposed candidates who deny you your voice and your choice!

 

Joe Vitollo for Congress? NOT!!! Never in this lifetime in this country!!!

Why is it that so many downstaters move to upstate and then try to run for public office. We see this happen so often. These carpetbaggers seem to think that they can’t make it downstate so they move upstate to manage us upstate hicks because they know better. Nick Dellisanti’s, former Town of New Baltimore Supervisor, mother, put it like this, “Vote for him. We’re from New York [City]. We know how to get things done.” Well, he got himself elected for two terms and got nothing done. Now he’s Supervisor Jeff Ruso’s “deputy” Supervisor. Still getting nothing done.

  • Joe Vitollo is ignorant of the Constitution.
  • Joe Vitollo ignores the Establishment Clause (Separation of Church and State).
  • Joe Vitollo will bring too much of his “religion” into government.
  • Joe Vitollo Claims to be a Christian but Cherry-picks Holy Scripture; He’s a Pharisee hypocrite.
  • Joe Vitollo has a mean and nasty streak; he’s judgmental.
  • Joe Vitollo denies others their First Amendment rights to free expression.
  • Joe Vitollo ran in 2016 and LOST to Paul Tonko; Joe Vitollo is running again and will lose again to Paul Tonko because Tonko has experience and knows how to behave himself.
  • Joe Vitollo lives in Coyemans but hasn’t been able to clean up Coeymans. If he can’t bring change to Coeymans how does he expect to get anything done in Washington.
  • Joe Vitollo doesn’t recognize his limitations and that’s very dangerous in a wannabe politician.
  • Joe Vitollo is a loser and doesn’t belong in government.

 

What? Vote the Bible?
Separation of Church and State dead?
Vitollo Ignores the Constitution!

Joe Vitollo is ignorant of the Constitution. Now we have another downstater who has moved to Coeymans, and now is running for Congress. He’s a downstate Republican transplanted upstate and now wants locals in the 20th Congressional district to put him in a Washington DC office.

Now, anyone who has been reading the Smalbany blog will know that from Day 1, we have not backed any political party. We are not a political blog in the sense of partisan interests. We are a community blog and when we discuss any politician or candidate, we stress character and values. When we talk about character we emphasize honesty, integrity, intelligence, qualifications, competence, and compassion. That’s all. And YES! we do believe that we have to hold our elected officials and public servants to a higher standard than the average American.

This Joe Vitollo character is a bizarre bag of tricks: First of all, he’s not from this area or even from this part of the state. He’s from East Islip, an affluent suburban town of about 15,000 located in the Long Island county of Suffolk. He lives now in the town of Coeymans, which raises a number of questions on its own.

Is this Joe Vitollo on the inside?

Joe Vitollo appears to have a mean, nasty streak. We know this because a reader has referred us to Vitollo’s Facebook page where we read some very bizarre and nasty stuff from Vitollo. What Vitollo writes on his Facebook page is not what we want or expect to hear from a guy who’s running for public office, much less from a guy who claims to be Christian and who will have to represent all of us, not just his Bible-thumping friends.

Joe Vitollo’s Facebook post features an image of the American Flag and the Cross. Let us just repeat that Joe Vitollo is running for the United States Congress, 20th Congressional District, on the Republican ticket. We’d like to emphasize that we do not wish to make any statement on anyone’s religion or faith but we do have to emphasize that we find it grossly inappropriate for a public figure to make the impression that the Christian cross has any special relationship with the Flag of the United States of America!

Furthermore, Mr. Vitollo seems to want to make the impression that Christianity has a preferential place alongside the US Flag; otherwise, wouldn’t he have also featured the Star of David, a Muslim crescent, or one of the other major faith symbols making up the people of the United States? Is Mr. Vitollo discriminatory in his faith preferences? Will Christians be given preferential treatment over Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists? Mr. Vitollow, in that Facebook post is broadcasting a very ominous and dangerous message: He’s an exclusivist. But that’s probably because he’s from affluent East Islip, an exclusive community, better than the rest of us.

What’s even more disturbing about Joe Vitollo is the fact that he posts an image and makes a statement by the fact that the image shows the American flag alongside a cross. Mr. Vitollo is either ignorant of the provisions of the “Establishment Clause” in the Constitution of the United States that prohibits any coziness or overinvolvement of religion in government or vice versa. It’s the law of the land and most people know it as the “separation of church and state” doctrine. Wouldn’t you expect a man running for national office to be aware of that fact? After all, it’s not some hidden clause somewhere, it’s one of the best known provisions of the United States Constitution, perhaps second only to freedom of speech.

Image Posted by Joe Vitollo
Faith Discrimination
Intolerance of other Faiths

Religion and faith are private matters and should not be worn on one’s sleeve or used to promote one’s political ambitions. God is not a registered Republican nor a registered Democrat. God has not confessed to be a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or a Buddhist or an adherent of any other faith or belief tradition. Worship, pray as you like but keep it private. Apparently Mr. Vitollo does not believe that this is the way, even if it is the law of the land.

Vitollo posts the image below with the statement: “God was good to America because America Honored God. In nearly 250 years America sent more Missionaries around the world then the rest of the world’s countries have sent since the Resurrection. Let us Honor God again and return to the tenants that the Founders held so dear.”

If Mr. Vitollo wants to “honor God” and talk about “missionaries” perhaps he should consider a job in ministry and leave the job of law-making to men and women who know something about the Constitution and the laws of this country.

What’s even more troubling when we read Vitollo’s responses to another subscriber. Vitollo’s responses are judgmental, nasty, and demeaning. That reveals something of his personality and character. We don’t need someone with a judgmental attitude, a nasty streak, and a demeaning arrogance in Congress. We have enough of that already and it’s killing the country.

The quote below appeared on Facebook in support of Joe Vitollo. Vitollo’s Facebook posts contradict the lies below:

: “Joe Vitollo is running for Congress in NY State. He’s a Christian that honors God and respects the US Constitution. He was at the prayer meeting we had for our State and Nation tonight. God bless you Joe! See you next week for our next prayer event for the nation! He also has a copy of “How to be Salt and Light; The Christian’s Guide to Voting.” 

If anyone has even a basic knowledge of the Gospels, you’ll probably have already thought of the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (also known as the Pharisee and the Publican) [Luke 18:9-14] but let me just repeat it here:

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray,one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

The Pharisee, Joe Vitollo, is shown to be a hypocrite; the tax collector is shown to be the man of authenticity and true faith. Vitollo wants to broadcast his religiosity like a Pharisee, a hypocrite.

The one subscriber who really brought out the worst in Vitollo writes:

Seriously, have you read what the Founders had to say about religion? Obviously not!!! You might start with James Madison — you DO know who he was, don’t you? — and then the Federalist Papers. You will find that the Colonies, then the “states”, were established by a group of irreligious men. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were drafted by “enlightened” men with the vision of an irreligious republic in mind. While you may comment that the United States is, according to many credible polls, the most religious nation among the industrialized nations today, you cannot possibly want to persuade anyone, at least not in good faith, that the so-called “Founders” meant to honor “God” or that they espoused some kind of “religious” tenets. Get real and read some history!!!

Well, Vitollo obviously didn’t like that and responded, note the attitude of superiority and judgment! Shouldn’t a politician seeking voter approval and election be a little bit gentler, a bit more cautious? Is judgmentalism and arrogance what you want in your representative? Read what Joe Vitollo writes:

Joseph Vitollo: Evidently you have not read American history and you are a cynic and the typical antithesis of the patriot this country was founded for freedom of religion freedom of speech freedom of press because God created all men With and an alienable right To life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Although there were atheistic and godless men as it written in the Founding documents God in his sovereignty intervened in the affairs of men. And the fruit of that was born out with the gospel going to the four corners of the earth and spreading yet today.

Subscriber: Give me a break and stop your exclusionist proselytizing. You obviously know little history and less Scriptural scholarship.

Joseph Vitollo: Actually [name redacted] I have a degree in Biblical theology Greek and Hebrew so let’s be careful about wielding your Liberal haughty high comments of accusation

Joe Vitollo is nothing more than a snotty downstate privileged Long Island brat! If anyone thinks that Vitollo is non-judgmental and tolerant of others’ opinions and beliefs, his statements should persuade you otherwise. Apparently, Mr. Vitollo believes in the right to free speech – HIS OWN – but would curtail free speech in others. Again, Mr. Vitollo appears to be ignorant of some very basic American values.

But Vitollo claims that he has “a degree in Biblical theology Greek and Hebrew” [but not in English grammar]. If Vitollo is not the hypocrite or the buffoon we claim he is, wouldn’t you think he’d be aware of the parable of the Pharasee and the tax collector, and how it could apply to him.

So far, we have exposed Joe Vitollo as a hypocrite and a buffoon with little or no knowledge of the United States Constitution nor of the Bible, a book that he claims to have studied and in which he claims to have a degree. Yes, dear readers, and pigs have wings, too!

Joe Vitollo wants us to believe that pigs have wings., and that he belongs in the US Congress.

But let us remind you that Joe Vitollo is running for national office, for a seat in the United States Congress, one of the houses which in cooperation with the United States Senate makes our laws, presumably laws to serve and protect us. We would expect that Joe Vitollo wants to go to the United States Congress to improve our lives and lifestyles. Wouldn’t that be a fair statement?

Well, as we mentioned above, Mr. Joseph Vitollo, Republican candidate for Congress in the 20th Congressional District in New York state, moved to and lives in the Town of Coeymans. Yes, you heard right, Coeymans. For those of you who might not be familiar with the Town of Coeymans, Albany County, New York, let us just refresh your memories:

  • The Town of Coeymans is economically depressed and has been hemorrhaging businesses for years; there are more boarded up storefronts than there are operating business.
  • The Town of Coeymans has been losing population for decades, and the loss of residents has had a serious impact on the lifestyle and quality of life in Coeymans; it sucks.
  • The Town of Coeymans has had a number of loser Supervisors in the past and it’s not gotten any better: Henry Traver, a former supervisor, burned his own house down, allegedly to collect insurance money, and barely escaped felony charges (he’s now working for the Village of Ravena). The present Town Supervisor is a security guard at a local college and is a former town justice who was disgraced and forced to resign. He later ran for Town Supervisor and won, currently serving in a second term. Crandall is pulling more than $65,000/year in pension from his job with the NYS Dept of Corrections, he’s receiving a salary of $35,000 from the Town of Coeymans as Town Supervisor, and he finds he has to work as a security guard for the College of St Rose in Albany, New York. Talk about greedy!!! But that’s what we have in Coeymans.
  • The Town of Coeymans Police Department has been an embarrassment for years. Several recent law enforcement personnel were forced into retirement for undisclosed but well-known reasons of misconduct and abuse of power, including violation of civil and protected rights. A professional law enforcement officer took over as chief when the former chief, Gregory Darlington, was forced to resign, but got such a hard time from the Town Supervisor, former disgraced town justice, Phil Crandall, that he resigned. That left an acting chief of police who has invited nothing but scandal ever since, Daniel Contento.
  • The Town of Coeymans got negative press a couple of years ago when it renamed itself temporarily as Arbyville for the Arby’s beef sandwich. In return for this stupidity Arbys gave the town several hundred coupons for free sandwiches which disappeared without any record.

SGT Daniel Contento
Acting Chief of Police
Town of Coeymans Police Department

  • The Town of Coeymans got international attention when last year, two Coeymans police officers, one a police investigator, Steven Prokrym, the other a part-time patrolman, harassed, ran over and killed a raccoon in the parking lot of the local shopping mall. They did this while horrified onlookers, some children, witnessed the entire stupidity. Some witnesses videoed the whole gruesome thing and it went viral on YouTube and Facebook, prompting international outrage.
  • Just recently, the New York State Police stopped and ticketed a Coeymans Police Patrolman driving the Coeymans Police SUV. The Coeymans cop was ticketed for speeding and almost hitting a child.

But if we’re wrong about what Vitollo might have done for Coeymans, we’ll be happy to hear from Joe, and we’ll certainly correct any error.

But wait a minute: Doesn’t Joe Vitollo live in the Town of Coeymans? Wouldn’t you expect that living in Coeymans he’d likely have done something to improve the state of affairs there? Well, that would be a reasonable statement and it would be fair to expect that someone who thinks he can contribute to putting an entire country back on track would have at least been able, or at least have tried to do something to get his own town on track.

Well, Joe Vitollo hasn’t done a hell of a lot, in fact he’s done nothing, for the Town of Coeymans. Are we stupid enough to think that this arrogant, nasty, ignorant downstater is going to do much for the 20th Congressional District? Well, if you are gullible enough to believe that one, we have a bridge you might be interested in.

If you believe Vitollo, you might be interested in this bridge. It’s for sale.


Editor’s Note:

If you still think Vitollo is a worthwhile consideration, we really have to say that ‘birds of a feather flock together.” We say that because we were aghast not only at what we read from Vitollo himself but from some of his “friends,” too. Here are some examples from that same Facebook posting:

One friend of Vitollo who came to his defense in the Facebook post was a character calling himself Eric Voellm, who describes himself as employed in sales at GNH Lumber, a former corrections officer at New York State Department of Corrections, Retired. Voelm touts his education as having attended Averill Park High School, Hudson Valley Community College (a 2-year institution) and SUNY Empire State (a bottom-feeder college of the State University of New York). Voelm was particularly nasty and writes:

Eric Voellm; [To the Subscriber}: You suffer from an acute case of invincible ignorance. The prognosis is grim but not hopeless. ” With God all things are possible”. A quote of Jesus from scripture I am quite sure you are unfamiliar with. [The comment continues but isn’t worth repeating.]

Subscriber: [To Eric Voellm] Thank you! There’s not a lot to respond to in that comment, is there. It speaks for itself and its author. Spent time in prison have you? Using your two-year degree?

Eric Voellm; [To the Subscriber}: Your response here can serve as exhibit A in my efforts to confirm my diagnosis of your condition as invincible ignorance. Thank you for your continuing contributions. So I assume you have no familiarity with the scripture I quoted. [Continues idiotically…]

Subscriber:  Facebook is not where I prefer to comment on an ignorant pseudo politician’s silly rants. So you want to be a congressman? Writing such judgemental stupidity as yours is not going to get you far. Probably as far as losing yet another election. More on you later in another well-read forum, a higher level than Facebook.

Another brilliant friend of Joe Vitello who joins Mr. Voellm in “defending” Mr. Vitollo is Mr. Bill Dudek who claims to be from Waterford, NY, and to currently live in Schenectady. He’s obviously a retiree (born in 1949). What struck us as rather comical is Mr. Dudek;s apparent claim to fame is that he is “the author of a devotional Bible” and “teaches a Constitutional class.” He also touts himself to be an expert in English grammar but you’d never know it from his own posts or from his attention to Mr. Vitollo’s terrible English. But despite our extensive research on Mr. Dudek, “devotional Bibles” and “Constitutional classes,” we came up with nothing. Our guess is that Mr. Dudek is as phoney as his “devotional Bible” and his “Constitutional class.” Anyone who claims to be the author of a Bible, devotional or not, has to be a crackpot. As for his teaching a “Constitutional class,” we’re wondering if the class he gives on constitution might not be a class in bowel habits, after all, he doesn’t mention the United States Constution and, as a Bible author up there with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Luke and John, we’d expect him to be a bit more detail oriented.

The best one came from another Vitollo fan who gives Vitollo some advice on how to deal with the subscriber. This fan, Mr. Keith Wiggand, who is such a hero that he doesn’t post any details about himself at all on his Facebook page, suggests to Vitolo, “Joe, whack this troll from your page.”

So there you have it. All you need to know about Joe Vitollo to steer clear from that weirdo and his looney-tune friends. Vitollo has to be crazy to think he’d make it to Congress or at least someone has to be crazy to vote for the fool!


Vitollo supporters sending their candidate’s message to the American voters of 20th Congressional District.

 

 

Unopposed Candidates: The Denial of Your Vote!

“One Person, No Vote.”[1]

This is a republished excerpt. To read or download the entire article, click One person one vote_Article.

If there is any system that the Guarantee Clause forbids, short of a monarchy or dictatorship or other such totalitarian scenario, it is the system that allows unopposed candidates and uncontested elections to run for public office.


Listen up! New Baltimore voters and any other voters who are confronted with unopposed candidates in uncontested elections! You are being denied your right to vote! How Unopposed candidate statutes cut off the few available avenues by which voters in uncontested races can declare whom they want to govern them and how.

Unopposed Candidate Laws — and the Courts Interpreting those Laws — All Deny People The Right To Vote For The Concerned Offices

Our incumbent legislators and judges, the former making the laws and the latter interpreting them, have let the voter down and have avoided the question of denial or dilution of the legal citizen’s right to vote!

In thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia, laws allow candidates running unopposed for certain offices to be “declared elected,” some without even appearing on the ballot. These “unopposed candidate provisions” come in many varieties, but all deny people the right to vote for the concerned offices.

The New York law reads:

“All persons designated for uncontested offices or positions at a primary election shall be deemed nominated or elected thereto, as the case may be, without ballot.” (N.Y. Election Law, ELN § 6-160(2)) [emphasis provided]

So, the bottom line is this: If one party doesn’t have a candidate or chooses not to run a candidate, or by some backroom agreement the parties agree to run only one candidate, New York law denies YOU your right to vote for the candidate of your choice or not to vote for the candidate. That’s sweet little-known fact that you probably didn’t know about. But your legislators do know about it and so do your political party committees do and your board of elections officials!!!

My analysis views the unopposed candidate situation as an opportunity in which to examine several significant approaches to election law:

  1. Whether the purpose of voting is tabulative, that is, does voting answer the Question “How many?
  2. Does voting merely have a rallying purpose, showing solidarity either in political views or simply group-think?
  3. Or is voting expressive or symbolic, that is, a form of speech protected by the First Amendment, and sending a message or expressing an idea, or support for, opposition against, etc. a candidate, a political agenda, or a party.

Most of my readers do not realize that, buried deep within states’ election codes, a number of states accommodate a bizarre little provision of law, which is a very well-kept secret. That secret is that candidates who run unopposed for certain offices are simply “declared electedwithout having to appear on the ballot,[2] and even if they do appear on a ballot as unopposed, are already in office regardless of what voters say. If you find yourself shrugging your shoulders at this little tidbit of revelation, relax: You’re not alone.

For the past two elections the New Baltimore Democratic Party has been unable to produce an electable candidate, much less a competent public servant. This means that the so-called Democraps are so incompetent they can’t get their act together to provide voters with a choice, and fail to challenge Repukelicans with an opponent . So much for democracy. Not only is the New Baltimore Democrap Party and Committee a failure, they remain true to the Democraps’ history: they’re conniving and destructive!

Here’s an example: We recently contacted the New Baltimore Democrap Committee with some questions about candidates or the fact that the Democraps haven’t been able to come up with any candidates. They refused to answer!

But they sure but the “greed” in democracy when they extend an invitation to meet the candidate (Yes, there’s only one, Jim Eckl, a recycled loser from past elections!) for $30 a head (includes appetizers and a cash bar! Wow!) at the Boathouse Grill in New Baltimore. No, Thank you!

Both Republicans And Democrats Play The Same Game, Pointing The Finger At Each Other, While Screwing The Voters.

 

Each Unopposed Candidate “Is Deemed To Have Voted For Himself Or Herself”

Unopposed Candidate Statutes See Elections Only As A Method Of Outcome-Determination

Unopposed candidate statutes significantly affect the way in which people vote (rather, how they think they vote) in the United States, and how candidates can get into public office. People do not vote only when their vote matters, or only because it matters to the ultimate outcome— or so the great propaganda lie goes. All of the evidence suggests that voting is not a “rational” decision for most people, that is, most people don’t think about Why? they vote, they instead vote mainly because they believe they are expressing their beliefs or because it helps them feel like they are part of a larger community (I’m a Republican! I’m an Independent!).

But the unopposed candidate statutes see elections only as a method of outcome-determination, ignoring the main reasons why people actually vote.

The harm these laws doing is diverse and significant but also insidious, because voters are unaware of the damage they’re doing. These laws are treacherous, crafty, and they do their damage in a gradual, subtle way, their harmful effects barely noticeable at any given time. Like undiagnosed cancer.

Thirteen To Sixteen Percent More Voters Cast Blank Ballots In Uncontested Races (“Unopposed Candidate”) Than In Races With Multiple Candidates.

For those who support an unopposed candidate, the statutes deprive them of their right to cast a vote for their chosen representative. For those who find the sole candidate unacceptable, the statutes likewise deprive them of their right not to vote for that person. Voters should take these deprivations seriously. Studies have shown that thirteen to sixteen percent more voters cast blank ballots in uncontested races than in races with multiple candidates. In the 2017 elections in New Baltimore that figure proved true and then some when more than 30% of voters did not cast votes for the unopposed candidates! All of the unopposed candidates were Republicans because the Democrats couldn’t come up with a challenger!


The Example of New Baltimore, New York

In the last elections in New Baltimore, for example, more than 30% of voters who went to the polls abstained from voting for Jeff Ruso, who ran unopposed for Town Supervisor, and the same figure applies to the other unopposed candidates in that election (the exception was Barbara Finke, who ran for reelection as Town Clerk, and whom we supported, even if unopposed). Local figures support the studies and vice versa. (See our Smalbany blog articles: Congratulations, New Baltimore! You did good!; Complacency is a Bad Thing…Especially in Local Government; No Choice! Unopposed Candidates? Here’s the Plan…; New Baltimore Elections: No Choice. The Sequel. (And Coeymans, too!); Today, Tuesday, November 7, 2017: Your To-Do List… )


Unopposed candidate statutes cut off the few available avenues by which voters in uncontested races can declare whom they want to govern them and how.

Unopposed candidate statutes deny individuals the right to vote for their supposedly “elected” officials, which in turn denies those officials the legitimacy conferred by popular election.

Unopposed candidate statutes deny individuals the right to vote for their supposedly “elected” officials, which in turn denies those officials the legitimacy conferred by popular election. And the parties conveniently do not use the campaign to provide voters with information about themselves or their candidate; the political parties fail to inform voters.

Whether unopposed candidate statutes survive or fall under the so-called Burdick test will likely depend on how judges view the character of the harm they impose on voters. And this inquiry itself depends largely on whether judges analyze voting.[3]

That unopposed candidate statutes could impinge on rights provided by Article I, Section 2 and the Seventeenth Amendment; the one person, one vote doctrine; and the Guarantee Clause.

The Supreme Court has declared that the purpose of voting is solely to whittle down the number of candidates until there is a winner

Unopposed candidate statutes throw this debate into stark relief because they translate lack of competition into a complete denial of the right to vote. The laws are uncontroversial because they appear harmless. But the logic underlying them—that we know who the winner will be, so holding an election for the office would be pointless—has potentially disturbing consequences if applied to uncompetitive elections more broadly. Unopposed candidate statutes also pose a challenge for those who would eschew competitiveness in favor of maximizing voter satisfaction, since creating politically homogenous districts could sound the death knell for elections in many instances.

Voting includes an informational and expressive component and that voters should be able to “participat[e] in . . . elections in a meaningful manner.”

What is the purpose of voting? The Supreme Court has declared that the purpose of voting is solely to whittle down the number of candidates until there is a winner.  Voting includes an informational and expressive component and that voters should be able to “participat[e] in . . . elections in a meaningful manner.” If this conception of voting is correct, then unopposed candidate statutes are more troublesome. The laws prevent voters from expressing their preferences, whether through fusion voting, write-in voting, or simply voting for (or refusing to vote for) the candidate. They also prevent the voters and the candidates from gaining valuable information about one another through the ballot box. By studying these statutes, we can gain insight into the state of American election law.

In Thirty-Eight States And The District Of Columbia, Certain Candidates Who Run Unopposed Can Simply Be “Declared Elected.”

These laws have one thing in common: when they apply, the voters have no say.

Unopposed candidate statutes play an important if underappreciated role, since local or municipal races tend to be even less competitive than partisan state or federal races.

States Update Their Election Codes To Further Entrench The Unique Perks Of Running Unopposed

Unopposed candidate statutes are not merely a set of quirky legal oddities, lying staid and dormant, to be safely ignored. These statutes haunt the legal codes of three-quarters of the states, with the potential to affect thousands of elections. Unopposed candidate statutes remain a dynamic part of the law, as states update their election codes to further entrench the unique perks of running unopposed.

Given the general lack of awareness of the harmful effects of unopposed candidate laws, the average voter and even the average local elected official could be almost forgiven for thinking of the laws as quaint products of a colonial town-meeting-style preference for consensus (New Baltimore, NY), or of ruthless machine politics (Albany County, NY).[4]

The courts are always standing ready to complicate a matter, especially if there’s political capital to be gained.

Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear cannot help to admit that there is an obvious adverse effect of the unopposed candidate laws on the fundamental right to vote, and on the freedom to associate with candidates and fellow voters, as protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The Unopposed Candidate Laws Flatly Deny The Constituents Of Unopposed Candidates The Right To Vote For Uncontested Offices

Under the fundamental rights view, we have to focus on the voters whose officials were either directly or indirectly “declared elected,” since those voters would face a disproportionate harm. The unopposed candidate laws flatly deny the constituents of unopposed candidates the right to vote for uncontested offices. The effect is that no voter can cast ballots for anyone but the unopposed candidate(s); they may in some cases not even be able to cast blank ballots, or write in name! In other words, these laws prevent citizens from associating with their preferred candidates and their parties “at the crucial juncture at which the appeal to common principles may be translated into concerted action.” Furthermore, unopposed candidate laws impose significant burdens on voting rights, and states must demonstrate compelling interests to justify the harm. But our legislators, political party puppets that they are, conveniently keep the situation under wraps. They have a vested interest in the survival of unopposed candidate laws, and there are obvious benefits in keeping the voting public ignorant of the harm these laws do.

Let’s now have a look at the so-called “one person, one vote doctrine.”

At the practical level, the Court’s one person, one vote cases are not actually limited to vote dilution. Rather, the Court has said, the doctrine “requires that each qualified voter must be given an equal opportunity to participate in [each] election.”

Unopposed candidate statutes allow the switch of elective office to be turned on and off based on how many people decide to run for election for a given public office.

Unopposed Candidate Statutes Create Officials Who Are Not Accountable To Anyone For Their Positions

The Guarantee Clause[5] is the next desperate attempt if the one person, one vote doctrine is not effective in voiding an unopposed candidate election law. The clause provides that “[t]he United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.”[6]

By almost any definition, a republican form of government includes state and municipal (local) officials who are accountable to the people. But unopposed candidate statutes create officials who are not accountable to anyone for their positions.

I can hopefully simplify an understanding of this scenario by using a fictional example: In the above example of the Florida debacle, over one-third of Florida’s state legislators were not actually elected to their current terms of office. Now, what if, sometime in the future, fifty-one percent of the legislators ran unopposed and were “declared elected?” as is already the reality for the current Louisiana House of Representatives! A majority of the legislature would then hold power without receiving a single vote. What if two-thirds of the legislators were so “elected” (as is already the case for the Arkansas State Legislature)? Seventy-five percent? All of them? At what point do unopposed candidate statutes, by removing voters from the electoral process, transform a state’s government from a republic into something else? Like A NoKo dictatorship or a Stalinist Russia?

As James Madison wrote in Federalist, a republican government requires that “the persons administering it be appointed, either directly or indirectly, by the people.” Founding-era Americans “clearly believed that ‘the right of representing is conferred by the act of electing’” — that “the elected are not representatives in their own right, but [only] by virtue of their election.” The Founding Generation believed that “the process of voting was not incidental to representation but was at the heart of it.”

It quickly becomes clear that democratically elected state officials and local officials are a requirement for republicanism. The Federalist declared accountability to the people to be the very definition of a republic.

“The right of the people to choose their own officers for governmental administration” — so that power “is exercised by representatives elected by them” — is “the distinguishing feature of” the republican form.

 “The right to vote freely for the candidate of one’s choice,” the Court declared, “is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of representative government.”

Put simply, the Guarantee Clause guarantees a government accountable to the people.

Elected officials — even those who are unopposed — ultimately owe their positions to, and are thereby accountable to, the people. Those who are appointed owe their positions to other government actors, who are then accountable for their choices of appointees come Election Day. Those who are “declared elected” thanks to the harmful unopposed candidate laws, on the other hand, are accountable to no one for their offices. If there is any system that the Guarantee Clause forbids, short of a monarchy or other such scenario, it is the system that allows unopposed candidates to run for public office.

Editor’s Afterword

People vote for a number of reasons, some of which traditional psychology would classify as irrational: the desire to participate in the democratic process, the feelings of civic duty and American-ness that voting engenders, and the pleasure of expressing one’s support for or opposition to particular partisan preferences. Voter satisfaction theory, premised on the idea of preexisting, immovable beliefs, denies this reality. Political competition theory, focused on the potential expressive benefits of hard-fought campaigns, ignores it. The Supreme Court’s approach to the electoral process, which limits voting to a winnowing function, rejects it. Regardless of the political and philosophical theories or the opinions of the judges, the act of voting does have meaning independent of the ultimate outcome. It is this fact for which unopposed candidate statutes fail to account—and for which they should be held to account.

If there is any system that the Guarantee Clause forbids, short of a monarchy or dictatorship or other such totalitarian scenario, it is the system that allows unopposed candidates to run for public office.


NOTES

[1] I would like to gratefully acknowledge Mr. Noah B. Lindell, Esq., Law Clerk to the Hon. John D. Bates, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who inspired this article and provided much of the material for it in his own exemplary scholarship evidenced in his 2017 published commentary, “One Person, No Vote.” (Lindell, N.B. “One Person, No Votes: Unopposed Candidate Statutes and the State of Election Law.” Wisconsin Law Review. 2017.5 (2017): 885-954.)

[2] A full list of these laws is as follows can be found in Lidell’s fine article ; I am listing only the NewYork statutes here:; N.Y. Elec. Law § 6-160(2) (McKinney 2017); (See the complete list in Lindell, ibid. fn 1 at 886)

[3] For the sake of simplicity I will simply note that the two approaches are  the fundamental rights strand or the suspect class strand of equal protection.

[4] For example, when Indiana passed an election reform package, into which one legislator slipped a provision that required county clerks to remove unopposed municipal candidates from the ballot, and when state legislative leaders found out about the provision, they raised hell, with the Speaker of the House calling it “terrible public policy.” The sponsor of the law defended it as an efficient measure that would save counties money. Didn’t anyone think of the fact that voters’ rights might have been protected. Of course not. The bottom line was to “save mone

“One Person, No Vote.”[1]

Listen up! New Baltimore voters and any other voters who are confronted with unopposed candidates! You are being denied your right to vote! How Unopposed candidate statutes cut off the few available avenues by which voters in uncontested races can declare whom they want to govern them and how.

Unopposed Candidate Laws — and the Courts Interpreting those Laws — All Deny People The Right To Vote For The Concerned Offices

Our incumbent legislators and judges, the former making the laws and the latter interpreting them, have let the voter down and have avoided the question of denial or dilution of the legal citizen’s right to vote!

In thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia, laws allow candidates running unopposed for certain offices to be “declared elected,” some without even appearing on the ballot. These “unopposed candidate provisions” come in many varieties, but all deny people the right to vote for the concerned offices.

DENIED!!!

The New York law reads:

“All persons designated for uncontested offices or positions at a primary election shall be deemed nominated or elected thereto, as the case may be, without ballot.” (N.Y. Election Law, ELN § 6-160(2)) [emphasis provided]

So, the bottom line is this: If one party doesn’t have a candidate or chooses not to run a candidate, or by some backroom agreement the parties agree to run only one candidate, New York law denies YOU your right to vote for the candidate of your choice or not to vote for the candidate. That’s sweet little-known fact that you probably didn’t know about. But your legislators do know about it and so do your political party committees do and your board of elections officials!!!

My analysis views the unopposed candidate situation as an opportunity in which to examine several significant approaches to election law:

  1. Whether the purpose of voting is tabulative, that is, does voting answer the Question “How many?
  2. Does voting merely have a rallying purpose, showing solidarity either in political views or simply group-think?
  3. Or is voting expressive or symbolic, that is, a form of speech protected by the First Amendment, and sending a message or expressing an idea, or support for, opposition against, etc. a candidate, a political agenda, or a party.

Most of my readers do not realize that, buried deep within states’ election codes, a number of states accommodate a bizarre little provision of law, which is a very well-kept secret. That secret is that candidates who run unopposed for certain offices are simply “declared electedwithout having to appear on the ballot,[2] and even if they do appear on a ballot as unopposed, are already in office regardless of what voters say. If you find yourself shrugging your shoulders at this little tidbit of revelation, relax: You’re not alone.

For the past two elections the New Baltimore Democratic Party has been unable to produce an electable candidate, much less a competent public servant. This means that the so-called Democraps are so incompetent they can’t get their act together to provide voters with a choice, and fail to challenge Repubicans with an opponent . So much for democracy. Not only is the New Baltimore Democrap Party and Committee a failure, they remain true to the Democraps’ history: they’re conniving and destructive!

Here’s an example: We recently contacted the New Baltimore Democrap Committee with some questions about candidates or the fact that the Democraps haven’t been able to come up with any candidates.

But they sure but the “greed” in democracy when they extend an invitation to meet the candidate (Yes, there’s only one, Jim Eckl, a recycled loser from past elections!) for $30 a head (includes appetizers and a cash bar! Wow!) at the Boathouse Grill in New Baltimore. No, Thank you!

Both Republicans And Democrats Play The Same Game, Pointing The Finger At Each Other, While Screwing The Voters.

Each Unopposed Candidate “Is Deemed To Have Voted For Himself Or Herself”

Unopposed Candidate Statutes See Elections Only As A Method Of Outcome-Determination

Unopposed candidate statutes significantly affect the way in which people vote (rather, how they think they vote) in the United States, and how candidates can get into public office. People do not vote only when their vote matters, or only because it matters to the ultimate outcome— or so the great propaganda lie goes. All of the evidence suggests that voting is not a “rational” decision for most people, that is, most people don’t think about Why? they vote, they instead vote mainly because they believe they are expressing their beliefs or because it helps them feel like they are part of a larger community (I’m a Republican! I’m an Independent!).

But the unopposed candidate statutes see elections only as a method of outcome-determination, ignoring the main reasons why people actually vote.

The harm these laws doing is diverse and significant but also insidious, because voters are unaware of the damage they’re doing. These laws are treacherous, crafty, and they do their damage in a gradual, subtle way, their harmful effects barely noticeable at any given time. Like undiagnosed cancer.

Thirteen To Sixteen Percent More Voters Cast Blank Ballots In Uncontested Races (“Unopposed Candidate”) Than In Races With Multiple Candidates.

For those who support an unopposed candidate, the statutes deprive them of their right to cast a vote for their chosen representative. For those who find the sole candidate unacceptable, the statutes likewise deprive them of their right not to vote for that person. Voters should take these deprivations seriously. Studies have shown that thirteen to sixteen percent more voters cast blank ballots in uncontested races than in races with multiple candidates.

In the last elections in New Baltimore, for example, more than 30% of voters who went to the polls abstained from voting for Jeff Ruso, who ran unopposed for Town Supervisor, and the same figure applies to the other unopposed candidates in that election (the exception was Barbara Finke, who ran for reelection as Town Clerk, and whom we supported, even if unopposed). Local figures support the studies and vice versa. (See our Smalbany blog articles: Congratulations, New Baltimore! You did good!; Complacency is a Bad Thing…Especially in Local Government; No Choice! Unopposed Candidates? Here’s the Plan…; New Baltimore Elections: No Choice. The Sequel. (And Coeymans, too!); Today, Tuesday, November 7, 2017: Your To-Do List… )

Unopposed candidate statutes cut off the few available avenues by which voters in uncontested races can declare whom they want to govern them and how.

Unopposed candidate statutes deny individuals the right to vote for their supposedly “elected” officials, which in turn denies those officials the legitimacy conferred by popular election.

Unopposed candidate statutes deny individuals the right to vote for their supposedly “elected” officials, which in turn denies those officials the legitimacy conferred by popular election. And the parties conveniently do not use the campaign to provide voters with information about themselves or their candidate; the political parties fail to inform voters.

Whether unopposed candidate statutes survive or fall under the so-called Burdick test will likely depend on how judges view the character of the harm they impose on voters. And this inquiry itself depends largely on whether judges analyze voting.[3]

That unopposed candidate statutes could impinge on rights provided by Article I, Section 2 and the Seventeenth Amendment; the one person, one vote doctrine; and the Guarantee Clause.

The Supreme Court has declared that the purpose of voting is solely to whittle down the number of candidates until there is a winner

Unopposed candidate statutes throw this debate into stark relief because they translate lack of competition into a complete denial of the right to vote. The laws are uncontroversial because they appear harmless. But the logic underlying them—that we know who the winner will be, so holding an election for the office would be pointless—has potentially disturbing consequences if applied to uncompetitive elections more broadly. Unopposed candidate statutes also pose a challenge for those who would eschew competitiveness in favor of maximizing voter satisfaction, since creating politically homogenous districts could sound the death knell for elections in many instances.

Voting includes an informational and expressive component and that voters should be able to “participat[e] in . . . elections in a meaningful manner.”

What is the purpose of voting? The Supreme Court has declared that the purpose of voting is solely to whittle down the number of candidates until there is a winner.  Voting includes an informational and expressive component and that voters should be able to “participat[e] in . . . elections in a meaningful manner.” If this conception of voting is correct, then unopposed candidate statutes are more troublesome. The laws prevent voters from expressing their preferences, whether through fusion voting, write-in voting, or simply voting for (or refusing to vote for) the candidate. They also prevent the voters and the candidates from gaining valuable information about one another through the ballot box. By studying these statutes, we can gain insight into the state of American election law.

In Thirty-Eight States And The District Of Columbia, Certain Candidates Who Run Unopposed Can Simply Be “Declared Elected.”

These laws have one thing in common: when they apply, the voters have no say.

Unopposed candidate statutes play an important if underappreciated role, since local or municipal races tend to be even less competitive than partisan state or federal races.

States Update Their Election Codes To Further Entrench The Unique Perks Of Running Unopposed

Unopposed candidate statutes are not merely a set of quirky legal oddities, lying staid and dormant, to be safely ignored. These statutes haunt the legal codes of three-quarters of the states, with the potential to affect thousands of elections. Unopposed candidate statutes remain a dynamic part of the law, as states update their election codes to further entrench the unique perks of running unopposed.

Given the general lack of awareness of the harmful effects of unopposed candidate laws, the average voter and even the average local elected official could be almost forgiven for thinking of the laws as quaint products of a colonial town-meeting-style preference for consensus (New Baltimore, NY), or of ruthless machine politics (Albany County, NY).[4]

The courts are always standing ready to complicate a matter, especially if there’s political capital to be gained.

Anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear cannot help to admit that there is an obvious adverse effect of the unopposed candidate laws on the fundamental right to vote, and on the freedom to associate with candidates and fellow voters, as protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The Unopposed Candidate Laws Flatly Deny The Constituents Of Unopposed Candidates The Right To Vote For Uncontested Offices

Under the fundamental rights view, we have to focus on the voters whose officials were either directly or indirectly “declared elected,” since those voters would face a disproportionate harm. The unopposed candidate laws flatly deny the constituents of unopposed candidates the right to vote for uncontested offices. The effect is that no voter can cast ballots for anyone but the unopposed candidate(s); they may in some cases not even be able to cast blank ballots, or write in name! In other words, these laws prevent citizens from associating with their preferred candidates and their parties “at the crucial juncture at which the appeal to common principles may be translated into concerted action.” Furthermore, unopposed candidate laws impose significant burdens on voting rights, and states must demonstrate compelling interests to justify the harm. But our legislators, political party puppets that they are, conveniently keep the situation under wraps. They have a vested interest in the survival of unopposed candidate laws, and there are obvious benefits in keeping the voting public ignorant of the harm these laws do.

Let’s now have a look at the so-called “one person, one vote doctrine.”

At the practical level, the Court’s one person, one vote cases are not actually limited to vote dilution. Rather, the Court has said, the doctrine “requires that each qualified voter must be given an equal opportunity to participate in [each] election.”

Unopposed candidate statutes allow the switch of elective office to be turned on and off based on how many people decide to run for election for a given public office.

Unopposed Candidate Statutes Create Officials Who Are Not Accountable To Anyone For Their Positions

The Guarantee Clause[5] is the next desperate attempt if the one person, one vote doctrine is not effective in voiding an unopposed candidate election law. The clause provides that “[t]he United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.”[6]

By almost any definition, a republican form of government includes state and municipal (local) officials who are accountable to the people. But unopposed candidate statutes create officials who are not accountable to anyone for their positions.

I can hopefully simplify an understanding of this scenario by using a fictional example: In the above example of the Florida debacle, over one-third of Florida’s state legislators were not actually elected to their current terms of office. Now, what if, sometime in the future, fifty-one percent of the legislators ran unopposed and were “declared elected?” as is already the reality for the current Louisiana House of Representatives! A majority of the legislature would then hold power without receiving a single vote. What if two-thirds of the legislators were so “elected” (as is already the case for the Arkansas State Legislature)? Seventy-five percent? All of them? At what point do unopposed candidate statutes, by removing voters from the electoral process, transform a state’s government from a republic into something else? Like A NoKo dictatorship or a Stalinist Russia?

As James Madison wrote in Federalist, a republican government requires that “the persons administering it be appointed, either directly or indirectly, by the people.” Founding-era Americans “clearly believed that ‘the right of representing is conferred by the act of electing’” — that “the elected are not representatives in their own right, but [only] by virtue of their election.” The Founding Generation believed that “the process of voting was not incidental to representation but was at the heart of it.”

It quickly becomes clear that democratically elected state officials and local officials are a requirement for republicanism. The Federalist declared accountability to the people to be the very definition of a republic.

“The right of the people to choose their own officers for governmental administration” — so that power “is exercised by representatives elected by them” — is “the distinguishing feature of” the republican form.

 “The right to vote freely for the candidate of one’s choice,” the Court declared, “is of the essence of a democratic society, and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of representative government.”

Put simply, the Guarantee Clause guarantees a government accountable to the people.

Elected officials — even those who are unopposed — ultimately owe their positions to, and are thereby accountable to, the people. Those who are appointed owe their positions to other government actors, who are then accountable for their choices of appointees come Election Day. Those who are “declared elected” thanks to the harmful unopposed candidate laws, on the other hand, are accountable to no one for their offices. If there is any system that the Guarantee Clause forbids, short of a monarchy or other such scenario, it is the system that allows unopposed candidates to run for public office.

Editor’s Afterword

People vote for a number of reasons, some of which traditional psychology would classify as irrational: the desire to participate in the democratic process, the feelings of civic duty and American-ness that voting engenders, and the pleasure of expressing one’s support for or opposition to particular partisan preferences. Voter satisfaction theory, premised on the idea of preexisting, immovable beliefs, denies this reality. Political competition theory, focused on the potential expressive benefits of hard-fought campaigns, ignores it. The Supreme Court’s approach to the electoral process, which limits voting to a winnowing function, rejects it. Regardless of the political and philosophical theories or the opinions of the judges, the act of voting does have meaning independent of the ultimate outcome. It is this fact for which unopposed candidate statutes fail to account—and for which they should be held to account.

If there is any system that the Guarantee Clause forbids, short of a monarchy or dictatorship or other such totalitarian scenario, it is the system that allows unopposed candidates to run for public office.

This is a republished excerpt.
To read or download a PDF of the  entire article, click One person one vote_Article.


Notes

[1] I would like to gratefully acknowledge Mr. Noah B. Lindell, Esq., Law Clerk to the Hon. John D. Bates, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who inspired this article and provided much of the material for it in his own exemplary scholarship evidenced in his 2017 published commentary, “One Person, No Vote.” (Lindell, N.B. “One Person, No Votes: Unopposed Candidate Statutes and the State of Election Law.” Wisconsin Law Review. 2017.5 (2017): 885-954.)

[2] A full list of these laws is as follows can be found in Lidell’s fine article ; I am listing only the NewYork statutes here:; N.Y. Elec. Law § 6-160(2) (McKinney 2017); (See the complete list in Lindell, ibid. fn 1 at 886)

[3] For the sake of simplicity I will simply note that the two approaches are  the fundamental rights strand or the suspect class strand of equal protection.

[4] For example, when Indiana passed an election reform package, into which one legislator slipped a provision that required county clerks to remove unopposed municipal candidates from the ballot, and when state legislative leaders found out about the provision, they raised hell, with the Speaker of the House calling it “terrible public policy.” The sponsor of the law defended it as an efficient measure that would save counties money. Didn’t anyone think of the fact that voters’ rights might have been protected. Of course not. The bottom line was to “save money.”

[5] For an “interpretation” of the Guarantee Clause see https://constitutionallawreporter.com/guarantee-clause/

[6] A republican form of government has nothing to do with the repugnant Republican party as we know it today. Rather, a republican form of government is understood to be associated with the term “republic,” and commonly means a system of government which derives its power from the people rather than from another source.

y.”

[5] For an “interpretation” of the Guarantee Clause see https://constitutionallawreporter.com/guarantee-clause/

[6] A republican form of government has nothing to do with the repugnant Republican party as we know it today. Rather, a republican form of government is understood to be associated with the term “republic,” and commonly means a system of government which derives its power from the people rather than from another source.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Memorial Service for Riley

In Celebration of the Life of
Riley P. “Jeremiah” Kern

Riley P. “Jeremiah” Kern

A Celebration of Life
and
Memorial Tree Blessing

will be celebrated on
Saturday, October 13, 2018
at
10:30 in the morning

In Feura Bush Village Park
In the Village of Feura Bush
Town of New Scotland, New York

Join Riley’s family, friends on Saturday, October 13th, and show your support for them and for justice for Riley.


 From the Family and Friends (per Facebook announcement):

Join us in celebrating Riley Parker Kern’s life.

The event begins at 10:30am with a small Tree ceremony to pay respects to the tree that was recently planted at Feura Bush Park for Riley.

Following the ceremony there will be:

  • Music, sports, food, drinks and other activities

  • We will also have a tie-dye station with custom shirts for sale.

All proceeds raised from this event will be used to purchase a memorial stone to be placed in front of Riley’s tree.

This is a celebration and we hope everyone comes prepared to have a great time!


Special thanks and an expression of heartfelt gratitude go to the Town of New Scotland and Town Supervisor Douglas LaGrangeNew Scotland Town Clerk Diane Deschenes, the New Scotland Town Board, and particularly Town Highway Superintendent Kenneth Geyer, who worked closely with Riley’s family in support of the memorial. Please join us in extending a big Thank you! to the Town of New Scotland for all for their compassion and generous support, and their efforts to make Riley’s memorial service a reality, and to assist in planting the memorial tree in Feura Bush Village Park. Many local towns and municipalities can learn a lot about community by taking the Town of New Scotland’s example!


Riley was killed in a tragic pickup truck-motorcycle accident just one week before his 20th birthday.

This blog became aware of the accident only after local residents inquired with Smalbany about the accident which was not reported in any media, nor investigated properly by the Coeymans Police Department. Smalbany published a number of articles on the botched investigation and the apparent cover-up, and is continuing the investigation. Our readers can find more information in our Smalbany articles at the links below:

Riley P. Kern Obituary

Smalbany Articles about Riley’s Case

We Are Re-Opening the Case

Riley’s Song: Verse Two

Riley’s Mom Responds: A Mother’s Perspective.

The Editor Chimes in on Riley’s Song: What have you become, America?

Those articles grew out of our interest and concern that a fatal accident on State Route 143 in Coeymans Hollow, practically on the Sycamore Country Club golf course grounds, received absolutely no media coverage and, when readers started asking Smalbany about the accident, Smalbany started asking questions. (See the footnote in our article, Three Articles on New Baltimore Scandals: Pick One or Read All.)

Travis Hagen, the driver of the pickup truck, was a bit too quick in disposing of the slightly damaged pickup truck he was driving when the accident occurred. Hagen picked it up almost immediately  — not even waiting for the insurance adjusters to show up at Burns’ — after it was towed by Burns and Sons Towing (Ravena), and made sure it got to Copart Auctions in Albany, New York. What was the hurry? Answer: Get rid of the evidence! Nice going! Cold-Case Coeymans PD!

The Town of Coeymans, Town of Coeymans Police Department, Albany County are all dragging their feet on this one. Looks like there’s something to hide and we’ll find it. This was a wrongful death and the incompetence, insensitivity, and concealment is a disgrace!

Coeymans Police Department
Or they just don’t collect it!