It’s Hein’s birthday and he’ll fundraise if he wants to

Ulster County Executive Mike Hein is once again holding a birthday party/fundraiser at the Wiltwyck Golf Club this month, with top birthday wish donations clocking in at $5,000 this year.

The handsome cardboard invitations in a light blue color have been circulating for the last few weeks and attendance comes in at $95 per person.

There’s also a cost to signing his birthday card. A top “platinum” wish this year (signing  a 10×8-sized centerfold with 10 guests) will run you $5,000. A better deal if you can stand being regulated to the back side of the card would be signing the 5×8  back cover with 10 guests for the same price, $5,000.

While last year I wrote a piece that showed a top birthday wish cost $2,500, this year the amount of a birthday wish has doubled.

The party’s on July 17 between 5-7 p.m. and wishes/contributions will be going into Hein’s campaign war chest, which stood at  $117,329.16 in January.

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Tenney says NYPIRG legislative analysis is “hit job.”

Update: Tenney and Mahoney had a Twitter-based back-and-forth just after I posted it. I re-Tweeted most of it and you can catch it at @JamesNani845.

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney says a recent study by the good government group pointing out that she missed the third most votes out of all assembly members this year is an ” attempt at a hit job.”

In the New York Public Interest Research Group’s “2014 Session Analysis” report released last week, the report points out that Tenney missed 480 votes, the third most in the state Assembly this past session.

Out of the 18 legislators NYPIRG says missed more than 150 votes this past session, 15 were Democrats and three were Republicans.

In an email response to the the report, Tenney said NYPIRG “is a liberal organization looking to attack Republicans.”

“I missed about 5 days of session all year,” Tenney said “What people don’t know is that we typically do half the bills we pass in an entire year in the last week. Most of them are one house bills and repeats.”

Tenney said the Assembly votes on the same bills every year, some around for 15 years that have never had a Senate sponsor.

“They are passed to help a democratic member look good in their district,” Tenney said. “Until this year, the only time I ever missed a vote was when my son graduated from the Naval Academy in May 2013.”

Tenney also pointed out that she was running in the 22nd Congressional primary this year and that the Dream Act came before the house twice this year even though there were no changes to the bill.

Bill Mah0ney, research coordinator for NYPIRG, disputed that NYPIRG was a liberal organization or the analysis was a hit piece. He said they tally the data and look at all parties equally and that he wasn’t sure if Tenney has read the report.

“I’ve been up here since 2005 and that’s the silliest comment I’ve ever heard from a local official,” Mahoney said.

Tenney, R-New Hartford, lost her challenge to Rep. Richard Hanna in a Republican primary last Tuesday for the 22nd Congressional District. After the loss, Tenney said she’ll run for again 101st Assembly seat again this November. The district nicks the borders of Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties and meanders northward through Delaware, Otsego, Herkimer and Oneida counties.


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Zephyr Teachout to speak in Rosendale

Fordham University law professor and potential gubernatorial challenger Zephyr Teachout will be a guest speaker at a Rosendale Democratic Committee meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Rosendale Recreation Center on Route 32.

Teachout was edged out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for an endorsement by the Working Families Party, 41.3 percent to 58.7 percent, but is looking to challenge him this September in a Democratic primary.

Teachout says her showing during the Working Families Party convention showed “the deep dissatisfaction with the Cuomo administration, and the raw hunger for deep change.”


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Tenney loses in primary for NY’s 22nd Congressional

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, lost her challenge to Rep. Richard Hanna in Republican primary Tuesday.

Tenny, who represents 101st Assembly district, has been attempting to run to the right of Hanna, R-Barnesveld, and received 46.9 percent of the vote to Hanna’s 52.6 percent, according to the state Board of Elections.

Vote-wise,  Hanna captured 15,056 votes while Tenney received 13,442 votes, unofficially.

The win by Hanna pretty much nails the district for Hanna, who wasn’t facing a Democratic challenger.

While the 22nd Congressional District doesn’t represent Ulster, Orange and Sullivan counties, Tenney’s 101st Assembly district nicks the borders of Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties and meanders northward through Delaware, Otsego, Herkimer and Oneida counties.

She’s serving her second term in Albany and the seat is up for reelection this year.

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Hayworth beats Maloney for Independence line

A trickle of Independence Party voters awarded former congresswoman Nan Hayworth their party’s coveted ballot line Tuesday in an opening skirmish in her rematch battle this year against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democrat who unseated her in 2012.

Only 6 percent of the 22,506 active Independence Party voters in New York’s 18th Congressional District went to the polls for the primary, giving the Republican challenger a 732-650 victory over Maloney in unofficial results, which don’t include absentee ballots. The primary took place because party leaders allowed both candidates to compete for the Independence line.

“I am grateful for the support I received throughout the entire district,” Hayworth said in a victory message.  ”The people who supported me have sent a message they want Washington to get out of the way and let us grow jobs and opportunity in the Hudson Valley economy.”

“I thank the voters and realize they want a Representative who will reach across the aisle to provide a genuine voice for the Hudson Valley.  I will continue to be that voice.”

The press release touted Hayworth’s “impressive victory” in the heavily Democratic City of Poughkeepsie, where she collected a grand total of 33 votes to Maloney’s 20.

Maloney congratulated Hayworth on the win.  ”I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning and keep putting points on the board for my hardworking Hudson Valley neighbors,” he said. “The best politics is doing my job and getting results by creating good paying jobs here at home, reducing taxes for middle class families and small businesses, cutting wasteful spending and protecting Medicare and Social Security.”

Maloney won by 381-347 in Orange County, which holds about half of the 18th District’s voters. The nearly 1,000 enrolled Independence voters in bloc-voting Kiryas Joel, who could easily have swayed the election results, appear not to have exerted themselves on behalf of either candidate. Hayworth won the three other counties the district crosses, including Maloney’s adopted home county of Putnam.

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KJ adds Independence voters for upcoming primary

Kiryas Joel leaders have strengthened their village’s clout in Tuesday’s Independence Party primary between Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Nan Hayworth by enrolling 82 newly minted voters in the Independence Party on a single day in April, giving their community almost 1,000 potential voters in what will likely be a low-turnout election.

Board of Elections records show the mass registration of Kiryas Joel 18-year-olds  – 35 of whom are students at the village’s rabbinical college — took place on April 4, about a week before Maloney and Hayworth both filed petitions to seek the Independence line.

Tuesday’s primary, open only to registered Independence Party voters, is the first round in a rematch between Maloney, a freshman Democrat, and Hayworth, the Republican he unseated in 2012 after her one term in office. There are 24,335 Independence voters in the 18th Congressional District, which encompasses all of Orange and Putnam counties and parts of Westchester and Dutchess.

High turnout in bloc-voting Kiryas Joel could almost certainly swing a close primary. The question is which candidate the village’s two blocs will support, which may not be known until voting instructions are distributed next week. The larger bloc representing Kiryas Joel’s majority faction backed Hayworth in 2012, while the smaller one supported Maloney.

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Romney supports Hayworth comeback bid

Nan Hayworth’s campaign released a quote today from Mitt Romney endorsing her bid to win back the congressional seat she lost to Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney in 2012, the same year Romney ran unsuccessfully for president.

“Nan Hayworth’s impressive experiences as a doctor, mother, and businesswoman make her an exceptional candidate to represent the people of the Hudson Valley,” the former Massachusetts governor said in the statement. “Nan is a doctor you can trust to help fix our broken health care system and a compassionate voice for those struggling in this difficult economy. I am proud to support Nan in her campaign to return to Congress.”

Hayworth returned the praise in the same release, saying that Romney’s “exceptional record in the private and public sectors make him a respected and principled leader of the Republican Party, and his endorsement energizes our campaign and its constituents. I am honored to have Governor Romney’s support.”

Democrats immediately and merrily pounced on the endorsement. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shot off a statement accusing Hayworth of “still running like it’s 2012″ and calling Romney’s endorsement “the latest blast from the past on her time warped campaign.” President Obama beat Romney in the 18th District by 51 percent to 47 percent, the DCCC pointed out.

In a separate release, Maloney spokesman Stephanie Formas said, “Mitt Romney and Tea Party Congresswoman Nan Hayworth are two peas in a pod — out-of-touch millionaires who want to replace Medicare benefits with vouchers just to pay for more tax breaks for themselves. Mitt Romney’s statement makes it clear that even her supporters have little to say about Congresswoman Hayworth’s failed Tea Party record.”

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House passes bill to rename Monroe post office for fallen CIA agent

A federal bill renaming the Monroe post office after Gregg Wenzel, a CIA agent and Monroe native who died in Ethiopia at age 33 in 2003, sailed through the House of Representatives Tuesday and awaits a sponsor and action in the Senate.

Sponsored by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, the bill would designate the post office at 787 Route 17M as the “National Clandestine Service of the Central Intelligence Agency NCS Officer Gregg David Wenzel Memorial Post Office.” Maloney paid tribute to Wenzel on Tuesday with a speech on the House floor in support of the bill, saying Wenzel had joined the CIA after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001 to serve his country and “live for a greater purpose than himself.”

“To live for a greater purpose than himself: That is the legacy and expression of service that we can all learn from,” Maloney said.


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Rep. Maloney and partner Randy Florke getting hitched on Saturday

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and his longtime partner, Randy Florke, are getting married on Saturday in Cold Spring, the Putnam County village where they and their children settled after Maloney began his campaign for Congress in 2012.

The ceremony will take place in the evening at the Church of St. Mary-in-the-Highlands, an Episcopal church, and will be officiated by the Rev. Shane Scott-Hamblen, Maloney’s office announced. Maloney’s brother, Mark, will be his best man; Florke’s sister, Renae Malloy, will be matron of honor, according to the couple’s wedding website on  A black-tie reception will be held outdoors at the couple’s home, known as Lower Windwolde.

Maloney and Florke have three adopted children: Reinel, 24; Daley, 13 and Essie, 11.

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Pending bill provides aid for two new Orange villages

Two Orange County villages that formed in 2006 would begin receiving the same type of state aid as other New York municipalities under a bill passed by the Assembly last week and awaiting action in the Senate in the final days of the legislative session.

The bill by Assemblyman James Skoufis, D-Woodbury, would entitle the villages of Woodbury and South Blooming Grove to state funding known as Aid and Incentives for Municipalities, which they hadn’t been getting because of wording in state Finance Law that didn’t anticipate the creation of new municipalities. Two other newly formed villages had been denied aid for the same reason.

In a press release Monday, Skoufis said he helped secured a total of $92,000 for the two villages in his district in the last two state budgets, but proposed amending state Finance Law to make the funding permanent.  The Assembly passed the one-paragraph bill (A.8761-B) in a unanimous vote on Thursday. The Senate version, sponsored by Sen. William Larkin Jr., R-Cornwall-on-Hudson, is under review in the Finance Committee.

“It’s outrageous to have to jump through hoops each year so that Woodbury and South Blooming Grove villages receive the aid they deserve,” Skoufis said in the release. “This state funding adds up year after year, so it is critical that it be made permanent in order to prevent any future losses for village taxpayers.”

Annual funding would be $19,000 for Woodbury and $27,000 for South Blooming Grove, according to Skoufis.

Two grateful mayors are quoted in the release:

“It’s always a relief when state funding, which we rely on, is restored, and I thank Assemblyman Skoufis for his hard work and dedication,” said Woodbury Mayor Michael Queenan. “Every dollar helps, especially when it comes to making sure our village is able to hold the line on taxes.”

“We are very thankful for Assemblyman Skoufis’ dedication and ability to secure this valuable funding for the second year in a row,” said South Blooming Grove Mayor Rob Jeroloman. “Making this permanent would be one less worry for us during our budgeting, and we will certainly do what we can to help make that a reality.”

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