Gallo wins trade union support as primary looms

Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo has won the endorsement of the local chapter of the national trade union organization in his fight to win the Democratic primary next Thursday and the general election in November.

The Rock Tavern-based Upper-Hudson Central Labor Council, part of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization, or AFL-CIO, came out with the endorsement Wednesday. They say he stands with unions.

“Shayne Gallo has proven time and time again that he is for middle class families,” said Terri Kraus, president of the organization. “He has walked picket lines and advocated for the people of Kingston.”

Gallo, who’s facing a tough Democratic primary next week against challenger Steve Noble, has in the last month walked the picket line with Kingston’s Verizon workers and criticized the telecom giant for declining to lay its fiber optic lines down on Broadway. That campaign has been pushed by the AFL-CIO. Verizon has criticized the campaign, saying the union has been calling in favors to politicians as Verizon workers fight for a new contract.

The support from the AFL-CIO comes as another labor organization, the Working Families Party, decided to stay out of the fray and not endorse Gallo this year. Four years ago Gallo was backed by the Working Families Party. They lent his campaign manpower, support and an endorsement. But this year they haven’t endorsed Gallo or Noble as the two duke it out to win in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.

I have a message out to Noble asking for comment that I’ll update if he return it.

Update: Here’s Noble’s response to the endorsement:

As a CSEA member, I know first hand the priorities of those who work each and every day to serve the public.

I believe that the rank and file union members in Kingston know what is at stake in this upcoming election and I believe many feel as though my platform, leadership style, energy and enthusiasm is exactly what is needed in our next mayor and I am prepared to deliver that.

 

Posted in Ulster | Tagged | Leave a comment

Dutchess County heating oil exec files to run for NY-19

A Dutchess County heating oil executive has throw his hat in the ring to run as a Republican for New York’s 19th Congressional District.

Andrew Heaney filed his statement of candidacy this month with the Federal Election Commission.

Rep. Chris Gibson, a retired Army colonel, has said he won’t seek a fourth term in Congress next year. The Republican has said he’s seriously interested in running for governor but won’t make a final decision until after he finished his term next year.

On his campaign website Heaney says he lives with his wife ans three children in the Town of Washington. He says he grew up working at the family business, a heating oil company in College Point, New York, answering phones, installing boilers, doing sales and eventually driving a heating oil truck.

Heaney says at 22 he became the president of Heating Energy Affordable Today, or HEAT, which was a “heating cooperative” and small division of his family’s business. He says he grew the company “into the largest heating oil buying group in the United States” representing “tens of thousands of heating oil users in 11 states.”

He also says “he’s been an active voice representing the interests of residential heating oil and propane consumers in the media, Albany and Washington, D.C.”

According to FEC records Heaney has contributed more than $40,000 to mostly Republican campaign causes since 1999, listing his employer alternatively as Heaney Energy Corp., HEAT USA or Submarine Rock. Recipients include former President George W. Bush, Sen. John McCain, former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani and even $2,300 to President Barack Obama, a Democrat, back in 2007.

Heaney seems to have some powerful family connections. According to a New York Times wedding announcement, Heaney married Leslie Bathgate in 2000. Bathgate’s father, attorney Lawrence E. Bathgate II, was the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee under President George H. W. Bush from 1987 to 2002, according to the announcement. The New Jersey attorney is also a supporter and organizer for presidential candidate Jeb Bush, according to the Washington Post.

Heaney joins a growing field of candidates.

John J. Faso has formed an exploratory committee to potentially run for the seat as well. The Kinderhook Republican was the minority leader of the state Assembly from 1998-2002 and the endorsed Republican gubernatorial nominee against Eliot Spitzer in 2006. Spitzer won by a landslide.

John Patrick Kehoe, a 29-year-old Rochester Democrat, filed his statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on July 2, making his the first to officially declare. Though Rochester isn’t in the 19th Congressional District, Kehoe also says he’s from Woodstock.

Assemblyman Pete Lopez and Sen. Jim Seward, both state Republicans, have also both said they’re interested in running, though neither has filed any paperwork.

In November Gibson won a decisive victory against wealthy venture capitalist Sean Eldridge, D-Shokan, despite being outspent. He took all 11 counties, including Ulster and Sullivan, and won 131,594 to 72,470.

 

Posted in Down in D.C., Sullivan, Ulster, Up in Albany | Leave a comment

Hayworth joins Fiorina camp, rules out 2016 bid for Congress

Former Rep. Nan Hayworth has returned to politics as an advocate for Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, touting the former Hewlett-Packard executive’s experience as a business leader while saying that she herself has no plans to run again for the congressional seat she held for two years.

Fiorina’s campaign announced this month that Hayworth, a Westchester County Republican who represented New York’s 19th District from 2010 to 2012, was one of three people leading Fiorina’s campaign in New York. Joining her are Becki Fleischer, who worked in the administration of George W. Bush, and state Assemblyman Kieran Lalor of Fishkill.

In a phone interview on Thursday, Hayworth said she had met Fiorina last year at a campaign event for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino — the 2014 Republican candidate for governor — and was “absolutely delighted” when Fiorina later asked her to support her presidential bid.

“She’s clear, she’s cogent, she’s forceful and she’s seasoned,” Hayworth said. “And she has the background to bear out what she’s saying.”

Fiorina’s business record proves she “understands how to tame bureacracies,” the former congresswoman added.

Hayworth said she has no plans to run for Congress again in 2016, forgoing what would be her third race against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the Cold Spring Democrat who has held the seat (now the 18th District) since 2013. Hayworth had unseated Democrat John Hall in 2010 and was unseated in turn by Maloney in 2012.

No Republican has stepped forward to challenge Maloney in 2016. Lalor, one of Hayworth’s co-chairmen with the Fiorina campaign, ran unsuccessfully against Hall for that congressional seat in 2008.

Fiorina improved her standing in the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates with a strong performance this month in Fox News’ undercard debate for second-tier candidates. She is now jostling to be included in an upcoming CNN-sponsored debate.

Hayworth predicted that Fiorina’s popularity will rise as she continues to meet and impress voters on the campaign trail. “She’s real,” Hayworth said. “She’s down to earth.”

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Three vie in GOP primary for Monroe Town Board

Coming up soon is the first skirmish in this year’s battle for two Monroe Town Board seats: a three-way Republican primary, scheduled to take place two days after the deadline for the board to make its momentous decision on two petitions to expand Kiryas Joel by 507 acres or 164 acres.

The race features United Monroe candidates Anthony Cardone and Michael McGinn and Councilman Dennis McWatters, who was elected to fill a board vacancy last year with United Monroe’s support — along with that of the Kiryas Joel Alliance, the smaller of Kiryas Joel’s two voting blocs — but is no longer backed by the citizens group. Those three candidates, along with Democratic Councilman Dan Burke, are competing for two, four-year board terms in November.

The Sept. 10 Republican primary will determine which two candidates run on the Republican line on Nov. 3 but won’t winnow the field. The Independence Party endorsed McWatters to run on its ballot line, so he’ll be in the general election regardless of who wins the GOP primary. And Cardone and McGinn will of course be on United Monroe’s independent line in November, so both of them are also certain to remain in the race after Sept. 10.

The Town Board and Kiryas Joel’s Village Board are due to vote on the annexation petitions by Sept. 8, the deadline imposed by a provision in state law that requires municipalities to decide on such requests within 90 days of a public hearing.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Newburgh Councilwoman Gay Lee renews mayoral quest as independent

Newburgh Councilwoman Gay Lee is not ending her mayoral quest.

Lee met the Aug. 18 deadline to file an independent nominating petition after having her signatures for the Democratic, Independence and Green parties ruled invalid by the Orange County Board of Elections.

Lee began collecting the required 135 independent signatures after she failed to meet a deadline to challenge the elections board’s invalidation of 483 of the 660 signatures she submitted on her Democratic petition.

The board had invalidated the petition after a challenge by mayoral candidate Jonathan Jacobson. On Aug. 4 Westchester County Supreme Court Judge Sam Walker ruled that Lee’s challenge was filed July 31 instead of the required July 30.

Lee is seeking the mayor’s seat along with Jacobson, incumbent Judy Kennedy and activist Omari Shakur.

Posted in Orange, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Former Newburgh Mayor Nick Valentine hosts fundraiser for Judy Kennedy

Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy earned an endorsement from former Mayor Nick Valentine, who hosted a fundraiser for Kennedy on Monday morning at 2 Alices Coffee Lounge on Broadway.

Kennedy is running for her second term as mayor and faces a Democratic primary on Sept. 10 against former county Democratic Committee Chairman Jonathan Jacobson and activist Omari Shakur.

Valentine served two terms as Newburgh mayor.

 

Posted in Orange, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Broge asks state to probe Larkin campaign finances

Sen. William Larkin Jr.

Orange County Democratic Chairman Brett Broge is asking a state official to investigate Sen. William Larkin Jr.’s failure to report his campaign contributions and expenditures from January to July, an accounting that he was supposed to file by July 15 and is now more than a month overdue.

In a letter on Thursday to Risa Sugarman, chief enforcement counsel for the state Board of Elections, Broge noted that Larkin set up a new campaign account on July 8 and transferred his money there, but never submitted a semi-annual report itemizing the transactions that occurred before then. He asked Sugarman to investigate both of Larkin’s campaign committees and pointed out that violations of state election law are subject to fines of up to $1,000.

Larkin’s staff hasn’t responded to questions from the Times Herald-Record about when the report will be filed. Its absence appears tied to an ongoing criminal investigation of Larkin’s former campaign treasurer, Carmen Dubaldi, a longtime Republican insider who recently quit his posts as New Windsor Republican chairman and as campaign treasurer for three other politicians. The matter has reportedly been transferred out of Orange County to avoid potential conflicts and referred to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.

The Times Herald-Record reported on Dubaldi’s resignations and the wall of silence surrounding them on July 23.

In a press release accompanying his letter to Sugarman, Broge said that Larkin “is obligated to provide the public an explanation as to why he has not complied with the mandates of the election law.”

“If it has to do with the potential criminal activity of his former campaign treasurer and consultant, Carmen Dubaldi, then he should simply say so and not remain silent, which suggests some type of cover-up,” he said.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Appellate court affirms decision barring Gallo from Indy, Conservative party lines

For Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo, it looks like his campaign for reelection may all come down to the Democratic primary next month.

Judges from state Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department have upheld a lower court decision that barred Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo from the Conservative and Independence Party lines, making the one-term Democrat’s campaign highly contingent on beating back a challenge from fellow Democrat, Steve Noble, or running a successful write-in campaign.

Gallo’s paperwork to accept the Conservative and Independence party lines weren’t received on time by the Ulster County Board of Elections, according to its commissioners. Gallo argued that because the paperwork was deposited in a mailbox in Kingston on July 13, 2015 and contained a postage meter stamp, different than a post mark, bearing July 13, they should be considered on time. The post mark was dated July 14, one day late.

But Appellate judges found that it is “well settled that the time requirements for filing papers set forth in the Election Law are mandatory and the failure to comply with such requirements has been deemed a fatal defect,” noting that “the Judiciary is without authority to fashion exceptions to these requirements regardless of how reasonable those exceptions may appear.”

Gallo’s attorney, Andrew Zweben, said he hadn’t seen the decision yet and had no comment. Without the Conservative and Independence lines, Gallo will hold no other party lines in the November elections if he doesn’t win the Democratic line.

Gallo, 55, who’s running for a second four-year term, is facing a competitive Democratic primary on Sept. 10 from Steve Noble, a 32-year-old city Parks and Recreation Department employee who’s gained the endorsement of the city’s Democratic Committee.

 

Posted in Ulster | Leave a comment

Newburgh mayor candidate’s own tax bill debunks his tax-increase claim

City taxes on Jonathan Jacobson’s Pierces Road condo in Newburgh were $238 less this year than in 2012, but the mayoral candidate has been charging ahead with a not-quite-new and largely untrue claim that the taxes people pay have literally risen 23 percent since incumbent Mayor Judy Kennedy took office.

Now Kennedy is pushing back hard, holding a press conference last Friday and emailing materials to debunk Jacobson’s assertion, which erroneously implies that a property owner’s tax bill will rise at the same percent as the rate increase.

“Mr. Jacobson claims to be experienced. But his experience is that of a party boss who makes deals and runs campaigns,” said Kennedy, who herself is paying $1,166 more in city taxes than she did in 2012 for her primary residence on Grand Street.

“He appears not to know much about running a city – or if he does, he has chosen to get elected by perpetrating a big lie.”

In a letter to voters dated July 29, Jacobson writes that “taxes have risen 23%” since Kennedy was sworn in as mayor in 2012.

Newburgh’s overall tax levy – the total amount of taxes assessed on all the city’s property owners – has remained relatively flat. But because the combined assessed values of all city properties continue to plummet, the city has increased the tax rate by 23 percent just to raise the same amount of money.

Some property owners like Kennedy will still pay more even if their assessments have gone down because the tax rate increase is greater than the assessment decrease. Her Grand Street property is assessed at roughly 4 percent less than it was in 2012, far below the increase in tax rate.

Other property owners will enjoy a smaller bill, but only because their property values have gone down by more than the 23 percent tax-rate increase.

Take Jacobson’s property, for instance.

In 2012 he was billed $2,597.11 in city taxes based on an assessed value of $166,100 and a tax rate of $15.64 for every $1,000 of that value.

Jacobson’s tax bill increased by about 10 percent the next year, when the city’s tax rate rose by 14 percent. But his bill fell in 2014 and 2015, even as the tax rate increased, because the assessed value on his property fell to $122,700, or 26 percent less than then 2012 value.

Still, at a candidates’ forum on Monday, Jacobson confidently re-asserted the claim, drawing jeers from some people in the audience. Asked about the claim on Wednesday, he refused to back off and centered his criticism on the continued erosion of Newburgh’s tax base.

“She’s bragging that our tax base is less and I’ve had to increase the rate,” he said. “I’m saying that tax rate has gone up, therefore taxes have increased.”

In a letter to voters dated July 29, Jacobson writes that “taxes have risen 23%” since Kennedy was sworn in as mayor in 2012.

Newburgh’s overall tax levy – the total amount of taxes assessed on all the city’s property owners – has remained relatively flat. But because the combined assessed values of all city properties continue to plummet, the city has increased the tax rate by 23 percent just to raise the same amount of money.

Some property owners like Kennedy will still pay more even if their assessments have gone down because the tax rate increase is greater than the assessment decrease. Her Grand Street property is assessed at roughly 4 percent less than it was in 2012, far below the increase in tax rate.

Other property owners will enjoy a smaller bill, but only because their property values have gone down by more than the 23 percent tax-rate increase.

Take Jacobson’s property, for instance.

In 2012 he was billed $2,597.11 in city taxes based on an assessed value of $166,100 and a tax rate of $15.64 for every $1,000 of that value.

Jacobson’s tax bill increased by about 10 percent the next year, when the city’s tax rate rose by 14 percent. But his bill fell in 2014 and 2015, even as the tax rate increased, because the assessed value on his property fell to $122,700, or 26 percent less than then 2012 value.

Still, at a candidates’ forum on Monday, Jacobson confidently re-asserted the claim, drawing jeers from some people in the audience. Asked about the claim on Wednesday, he refused to back off and centered his criticism on the continued erosion of Newburgh’s tax base.

“She’s bragging that our tax base is less and I’ve had to increase the rate,” he said. “I’m saying that tax rate has gone up, therefore taxes have increased.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Doles joined Satmar leaders at Catskills powwow

Monroe Supervisor Harley Doles was in attendance when Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul met privately with Kiryas Joel leaders during her recent visit to two Satmar Hasidic camps in the Catskills.

Doles schlepped an hour to the Sullivan County hamlet of South Fallsburg on Aug. 4 to join Kiryas Joel Mayor Abraham Wieder, Kiryas Joel Administrator Gedalye Szegedin and others for their closed-door meeting with Hochul, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emissary. The meeting took place at Camp Bais Rochel, the first of two stops Hochul made at Satmar camps that day. She went afterward to Camp Rav Tov in Kerhonksen, Ulster County.

When asked about his camp trip, Doles explained by email that he joined Kiryas Joel leaders at their meeting with Hochul to ask her to help Monroe create a water district for Orchard Hill Estates, an 86-home neighborhood with longstanding water problems. He said the state Comptroller’s Office has resisted authorizing the district because of ambiguity over who owns the decrepit water system that serves some of the area’s homes and that now needs “$390,000 in emergency repairs.”

He didn’t reply to follow-up questions about what he asked Hochul to do to address the problem and how she responded during her meeting with Satmar leaders.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
  • Blog Authors

    Chris McKenna

    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full

    James Nani

    Covering Kingston and Ulster County Government.Been at the Record since August 2011. Tips: 845-340-4910 jnani@th-record.com Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives