Monday, March 06, 2006


New York's 19th Congressional District

Since the 19th District is so large and includes parts of five, count 'em five, counties, I thought it would be a good idea to begin a series of entries about who we are and the issues that concern us. Let's start out slow with a couple of maps.

click on images to enlarge

The first thing one notices about the District is its size, and if you know anything about these counties, you know they are very diverse. From the northern NYC suburbs of Westchester to the rolling countryside of Orange county, the identity of the District is difficult to articulate. As a result, during the coming weeks, this blog will host discussions about issues that impact you and the other members of the NY 19th CD.

Take this opportunity to sign in with a blogger name, tell us where you live and say hello to your neighbors.

Welcome to the 19th!

I'll start.

Hey, all. I live in East Fishkill and have been a NY 19th resident for 17 years. The growth of this area has been unbelievable and Dutchess County is no longer an rural farm area. Now development and clean water seem to be high on the agenda, as well as sprawl and open spaces.


I live in Goshen, only for the last 18 months. Before that in Rockland (since I was 8), first represented by Ben Gilman and then Elliot Engel after Ben got gerrymandered out. Not that Ben was my favorite guy, but he certainly had a more independent mind than Sue!!! Same issues on this side of the Hudson: lots of growth, high school taxes, loss of good-paying jobs. I'm self-employed and I certainly have never seen any of these supposed "benefits" from Miss Sue the Small Biz advocate!
I live in Philipstown, in western Putnam County. Although there are many issues, and I look forward to discussing them here, one thing many people in our town are concerned about is Indian Point.

Recent news stories emanating from Indian Point do nothing to relieve our concerns, whether about the evacuation plan that is more of a fairy tale than a real plan, or about lax security, or about warning sirens that don't work or about failure to report the discovery of radioactive material in the water 100 yards from the Hudson.

And this doesn't even get to concerns about being a possible terrorist target, or the advanced age of the facility, and it goes on and on.

People in the District are getting tired of Sue Kelly "studying" the matter. It is now time for action - action to close the plant and action to find an alternative use that will keep the people of our District employed - another thing that many are concerned about.
You list only the Democrats on the right side of your blog. You neglect to mention Republican challenger Jeff Cook.

I used to live in the Town of Cortlandt, by the way, worked at Lou's Corner Store and Delicatessen (1983-86) and, most importantly, interned in 1986 for the late greate Hamilton Fish, Jr.
I live in Beacon. I have been here since April 05, so I am a NY Newbie. I came here from Houston, TX but grew up in PA and NJ.

I am looking forward to turning NY-19 blue just like we turned the Beacon City Council blue last November.
For folks close to and around Beacon, this Saturday 3/11 at the Howland Cultural Center at 11:30, the 2nd Meet the Candidates Forum features John Hall and Ben Shuldiner!
I'm in Garrison, Putnam County, and have lived here for about 11 years. I started to get politically aware with the 2000 (s)election, and it became an even greater focus with 9/11. Although most of my focus has been on national politics, I am angered that so many in Congress, instead of being independent thinkers, are acting as enablers for BushCo and their failures. Hillandwebster is right, Ben Gilman had a brain and wasn't afraid to use it, even if it meant going against the "party line." Sue came in with Newt and his "Contract with America," and they have not lived up to many of the clauses in the "Contract," including term limits, smaller gov't, and fiscal responsibilty. Let's terminate their employment this November!
Originally from Monroe, NY, I currently live in Queens. My parents have since moved up the Quickway to Goshen. They've been Orange County residents for the last twenty-six years, and remain active Democrats.

Outside of a few small municipalities (namely Middletown and Newburgh--note that these cities have been gerrymandered out of the 19th), Orange County has been a Republican bastion since time immemorial, basically for the last century and a quarter.

Primarily, OC voters are motivated by issues of fairness: they want responsible government, preservation of their excellent schools, and a strong economy with decent job growth. Over the years, I think most voters have been taken in by hucksters claiming to represent the interests of fairness and small government, but who really only answer to real estate developers. However, I also believe many people are beginning to turn round.

When considered, most people in OC find the gluttonous, immoral conduct of the Republican leadership truly repugnant and antithetical to their sensibilities. Furthermore, deteriorating services and rising taxes have been exacerbated by nearly unchecked housing and commercial property development. Although it sticks in the craws of many right-of-center OC voters, lots of people are beginning to realize that property rights aren't everything, and that an economy based entirely around building subdivision is ruinous and short-sighted.

Therefore, in my opinion, these are some exploitable issues regarding Rep. Kelly:

1. Corruption in the GOP, and Sue Kelly's more than tangential connection to it

2. Our weakening economy, its deleterious effects on the region, and Kelly's indifference

3. Sue Kelly's connections to big banks and insurance companies versus her supposed alliance with small business owners

Sub-issue: I believe Kelly has connections to Kiryas Joel-based developers. This is a group that is tremendously unpopular in southern Orange. Her challenger should look into this. Furthermore, she is married to a developer. Her own interests are tied to seeing disastrous development policies continue unabated. Someone might want to look into this more as well.
The Bush twins are not any sort of problem in this election, it is the Bush Clones. There are a few hundred of them and Sue Kelly is one.

They follow sheep like in whatever direction their leader takes. It's time to cull the herd before it tramples everything around it.

A good example is Sue Kelly's vote to defeat an amendment to the Medicare prescription drug benefit that would have allowed re-importation of drugs from Canada.

It lost by only 1 vote. Sue Kelly's vote. Can you think of anything more stupid. The govt. is now both precluded from buying drugs from another country or trying to negotiate a price similar to what Canada gets. So now Medicare part D is projected to cost taxpayers (us) $800 Billion+ over the next 10 years.

Further, the individual American can not order prescription drugs from overseas - and they do confiscate packages. There were numerous safety provisions built into the amendment she voted against (introduced by a far right Republican) and yet Sue decided it was better to let some Washington bureaucrat make the decision on what is better for the American consumer than the consumer him or herself.

And it is not just those under 65 or those who did not sign up under Part D that are effected. Some under Part D will soon reach the edge of the doughnut hole and find it to be a black hole which they will fall into but never get out of.

Also, somewhere in this, Ms. Kelly ignores the obvious risk that some people will stop taking there medications or cut them in half because they cost too much.

Isn't it obviously stupid to cause consumers in your district to pay more for drugs and to cause taxes to go up because the govt. pays more without an off-setting benefit. Oh wait. There is an off-setting benefit. Very rich big Pharma gets more money.

I guess that makes sense if you don't care much about the taxes people in your district pay or how much they spend for drugs - or if you care a lot about how lobbyists are doing and are a Bush Clone and think like a Bush.

Bill D'Avanzo
Cortlandt Manor, NY, since 2000.

Local issues: more public transportation needed; rampant development needs monitoring; water quality needs protecting; poverty needs addressing; immigrants need respect & equal protection under the law; culture & the arts need supporting; that's all I can think of now.

Oh yes; Republican Sue Kelly needs replacing!
I moved to the 19th from out of state almost 20 years ago. I do not have a party affiliation, but I've probably voted something like 70/30 Democrat/Republican in the past.

For example I voted for the first George Bush for president, but not his son. I voted for Kelly prior to 2000 also.

I will not vote for Kelly again. I agree with earlier comments completely, when they say she is little more than a sock puppet for the White House and House Republican leadership, especially (formerly) Tom Delay.

I've written to Kelly many times and have noted that she votes the way that I want nearly zero percent of the time - which is the main reason I think she must go.

Looking back at the issues we have disagreed on, I'd have to say number 1 was her support of the federal government continueing the Terri Schiavo and family torture; the House actually supported a subpeona to bring her and family to Washington to testify. Kelly was right there, ready to continue to interfere in a family tragedy. Outrageous.

The number two issue is the unrelenting tax cuts that are plunging our country deep into debt. Kelly has supported almost every single one. Related to this are the oil industry tax cuts she has supported - hundreds of billions of our dollars - in a year when the industry is reaping record profits.

Finally, her indifference to privacy issues. The goverment has successfully subpoened womens medical records to defend itself from lawsuits - records from parties not even involved in the lawsuits. The administration's stated position, according to the AP, "does not recognize a physician-patient privilege". Calls and notes to Kelly on this, to find her postion, are never answered.

The Schaivo case was despicable, and the actions of the far-right was anything but compassionate...especially after Sue's Daddy, Tom Delay, had chosen the same route for his father. Didn't see Focus on the Family organize protests outside THAT hospital and funeral home...nor did then Governor Bush fly in to insist that Mr. Delay be kept alive.

HYPOCRISY and inhuman...and Sockpuppet was right there along with them.
Sue's behavior on Schiavo was the most despicable of her career.
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