“No Mud, No Lotus.” So says beloved Buddhist teacher and writer Thich Nhat Hanh, now 91 years old. The lotus flower has to have mud in which to grow. No mud, no lotus.
In US Congressional District 19, we are deep in the mud with John Faso. He votes with and props up the current President, an open white supremacist. Now Faso has pulled out his own predictable dog whistle.
In fact, the more traction Antonio Delgado—a brilliant, earnest, visionary candidate—gets, the louder Faso’s whistle will be. Decent people cringe that our current congressman is so dirty. That’s what politicians do when their parties are regressive and have no good ideas. They play dirty.
The mud can grow a lotus, however. Each time Faso blows that whistle, donate what you can to Delgado’s campaign. Don’t waste your time arguing with bigots; instead, register voters. Give your time and treasure to a fantastic slate of regional candidates, including Antonio Delgado, Pat Strong and Jen Metzger for State Senate, Juan Figueroa for Sheriff.
Together, we will transform mud into the most beautiful flower: legislatures that look like America and that truly represent people, not corporations. Legislatures that work in concert with citizens to fully realize cherished American ideals and promise—for equality, for opportunity, and for justice.
While national politics and the upcoming congressional elections seem to get all the attention these days, Hudson Valley residents – particularly those in the 39th Senate District – would be wise to not lose sight of things going on closer to home.
If State Senate Democrats pick up just one seat this fall, like the one I’m retiring from, Democrats will control the Senate, Assembly and Governor’s office. As someone who has represented this area for nearly four decades, I can assure you that this scenario – unchecked Democrat control of state government – is not in the best interest of Hudson Valley families.
Let’s look back. In 2009 and 2010 New York City-based Democrats controlled all three parts of state government for the first time in a generation. Total Democrat control resulted in the elimination of STAR rebate checks, $14 billion in new taxes and fees, and the school-crippling Gap Elimination Adjustment, which took billions of dollars away from our public schools. They also enacted the now infamous MTA bailout, which included a job killing payroll tax on employers and an MTA surcharge on vehicle registrations. After just one election cycle, voters returned Republicans to control of the chamber.
That was then. So what about now? State Democrat priorities this year include taxpayer funded political campaigns, higher taxes, single-payer health care, recreational marijuana, late-term abortion, and free college tuition for illegal immigrants. Those may be New York City’s priorities, but they’re not the priorities of families in our area.
With anti-Trump hysteria casting an unshakable, mind-altering spell on Democrats at all levels, to the point where a 28-year-old socialist from New York City is now, according to Democrat National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, “the future” of their party, there is no telling what unchecked Democrats will do to energize their increasingly frenzied base. Granting 35,000 convicted felons on parole the right to vote may be a good indicator of things to come.
There is much at stake in local State Senate races this fall. With only a handful of close contests, voters in the 39th Senate District may ultimately decide which party controls the Senate and, therefore, the direction our state goes in. I urge voters to choose carefully.
State Senator, 39th District
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Westchester County Executive George Latimer have issued statements condemning the inhuman action of separating children from their parents at our border. Robert Kesten and Peter Harckham, both candidates for the democratic nomination for NY State Senate District 40, have issued statements concerning Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement and the threat that poses to reproductive rights.
People are angry. People are in pain. People are scared. Where is Terrence Murphy?
At this point, I fear Mr. Murphy is not simply unwilling, but genuinely incapable of taking a stand on truly complex, challenging issues. Mr. Murphy seems content to allow the diseased agenda coming from the White House to infect us locally in SD40.
He has yet to condemn white supremacy and racism (his office citing the events in Charlottesville as a “federal issue"); he has yet to state a clear position with regards to the Safe Act/gun safety; he opposes the right to choose, yet will not support legislation that would allow for adequate access to contraception. There has been no statement concerning the children that have been stolen from their parents, many of whom are being held here at home in Westchester County.
Mr. Murphy’s silence is deafening. I encourage us all to make our voices heard loud and clear on Election Day, November 6.
I'm voting for Gareth Rhodes in next Tuesday's NY 19 Congressional primary. I agree with what the New York Times Editorial Board said in their endorsement of Gareth Rhodes for the NY 19 race: "Mr. Rhodes stands out as the best candidate to take on — and beat — Mr. Faso in November. He offers the combination of intelligence, enthusiasm and empathy that is desperately needed in Washington today."
I was able to meet Gareth face to face for a more personal chance than the crowded candidate debates offered, to see how he thought and expressed himself. He was the only candidate to visit our small rural town for a meet and greet. He explained that he felt no town should be ignored, and was the only candidate to visit every town in the district. As the candidate explained, "All politics is local."
This is a crucial election this fall, and we need to turn the NY 19 district blue. I think Gareth Rhodes is our best chance to beat John Faso. We need his intelligent, articulate, and committed voice in the House of Representatives. Please vote thoughtfully and responsibly on June 26th.
Seven worthy contenders stepped up to challenge John Faso, one of the 5 original sponsors of the national concealed carry weapons bill, the man who voted to end affordable, accessible health care, for the NY 19 Congressional seat. Each has a unique strength to offer, so where do you cast your Primary Day Vote on Tuesday, June 26th?
Quality of platform and experience in getting legislation passed are my reasons for choosing Brian Flynn.
Brian Flynn worked for over 20 years with others— who had also lost relatives murdered in the second largest terrorist attack on American civilians, the Lockerbie bombing— to get the Iran/Syrian Sanctions bill passed along with legislation tightening air travel security. Brian was thanked from the Congressional floor. He has worked with both parties bringing just legislation into existence.
Further, of the three candidates now identified as the front runners, Brian Flynn is the only one who fights for enhanced Medicare for All. Mr. Delgado and Mr. Ryan have not supported this. Brian Flynn concurs with Bernie Sanders’ bill 1804 which calculates that 15 billion dollars could be saved by instituting such universal care.
Pointing out these differences is not an attack on Mr. Flynn’s opponents, but merely a clarification as to why of all these candidates, especially those three now polling in the lead, Brian Flynn is the best person to fight for the right things and to get those things done.
Vote Win-with-Flynn, Brian Flynn, first name on the ballot.
Make driver licenses available to all
I urge all New Yorkers to support and demand passage of legislation that provides equal access to driver’s licenses for all residents of New York State, regardless of immigration status. It’s a matter of public safety.
Public safety would be improved by: establishing a driver’s identity and driving record to police officers, safer routine traffic stops, better cooperation/relationships with police, and better and safer drivers.
The current bills pending in the NYS Assembly and Senate would create a limited use license that would allow people to drive legally. This license could not to be used to: board an airplane, apply for government benefits, vote, or work in the U.S. legally.
New York should join twelve states and the District of Columbia in passing similar legislation to allow undocumented residents the opportunity to be tested, trained, licensed and insured. New Mexico, Washington and Utah - states with the longest implementation of similar laws - have seen a reduction in accidents that involved unlicensed drivers. Utah has seen undocumented immigrants get insurance almost at the same rate as those with regular licenses. California has seen a significant decrease in hit and run accidents.
Driver’s licenses for all New Yorkers makes all New Yorkers safer.
SJ & Immigration Committee
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