Monday, October 17, 2011

Kinderhook Village Square "Jobs Not Cuts" Rally 10/15/2011

Over 70 people braved the rainy, windy, and chilly weather to attend a “Jobs not Cuts” rally in front of Congressman Gibson’s office in the Kinderhook Village Square.

Homemade signs dramatized the frustration that was expressed in the speeches:

The Speakers ranged from SUNY student Devin McConnell, who was the rally leader, to a teacher,  a  businessman, a union member and unemployed.  Mike Lonigro, President of Upper Hudson Central Labor Council said of the rally: “We’ve lost 7 million jobs since 2008.  Congressman Gibson and his colleagues need pass the President’s jobs bill without delay.  Inaction is not an option; we need to put people back to work!”
Blue Carriker of Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, decried Congressman Gibson and the GOP lead House of Representation avoiding and ignoring jobs bills and instead focusing again on limiting women  health choices.
Lee Jamison, a Social Worker from Stuyvesant held up Saturday’s Register Star front page article concerning employment cuts at COARC.  A candidate for Stuyvesant Supervisor, she also held up the following photo showing a “Bridge Closed” in her home town.  There are no plans for repair or replacement.

Andrea Grutza, a teacher and PEF member spoke of the educational benefits in the American Jobs Act.  The American Jobs Act provides for up to 280,000 teacher jobs and construction or fixing 35,000 schools.
Carl Roby spoke as a retired IBEW union worker and the continuing problems with profitable corporations like Verizon insisting upon give backs and reductions in Health Care and Retirement benefits.  His union represents workers with CWA which recently had to strike to get Verizon back to the bargaining table.
A complete press release is as follows:

Devin McConnell, SUNY Albany Student and community organizer for the American Dream Movement at or call 518-336-6190

October 15, 2011


Columbia County NY Residents Join the Nationwide Protests to Support American Jobs

Kinderhook, NY, Representing Small Town America, Demands Freshman Republican Congressman Christopher Gibson Support Jobs Legislation

KINDERHOOK, New York—The small town of Kinderhook New York, home to freshman Republican Congressman Christopher Gibson, and birthplace of Martin VanBuren, 8th president of the United States, added its voice to other protests nationwide by decrying Congress’s failure to pass President Obama’s Jobs legislation this week.
Approximately 100 people from all walks of life gathered on the town green, across from the Congressman’s office with homemade signs supporting not only the Jobs bill, but also government investment in county infrastructure. The rally was led by local resident, American Dream organizer and State University of Albany,  NY student, Devin McConnell. “We are a peaceful gathering of friends and neighbors, many of whom are unemployed or underemployed and all of whom are demanding that Congressman Gibson support his constituents by voting for any and all components of the Jobs bill when they come up for a separate vote in the House.”
Many locals stepped up to the makeshift podium to be heard. Leslie Gabriel, resident of Hillsdale, NY, and another American Dream movement organizer, was the first to speak. Waving a list of closed bridges in Columbia County, Gabriel pointed to the immediate need for safe roadways and called for putting engineers and construction workers to work on the repair and maintenance of the county’s currently closed roads and bridges.
Echoing the urgent need for infrastructure repair and maintenance, Lee Jamison, Stuyvesant Democratic Party leader and social worker said, “Signs throughout the town saying ‘Road Closed’ and ‘Bridge Out’ indicate the hardships to local people whose homes are isolated and less accessible for fire and rescue vehicles. “As a social worker, every day I witness the poverty and devastation caused by Congress’s inaction and neglect of the unemployment problem.”
Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner, currently seeking the Democratic nomination to face Congressman Gibson next November, was also at the event. "I challenge the Congressman to support  the American Jobs Act to strengthen the economy and infrastructure of this district," he said.
McConnell closed the event by saying, “The American Jobs Act is a bipartisan, no brainer piece of legislation that is critically necessary and urgently needed to get America back on its feet.”
Rebutting the charges of “class warfare” being leveled at supporters of the “millionaires’ surtax” designed to pay for the Jobs bill, McConnell said, “Policies that support corporate greed such as the bank bailout, oil subsidies, union busting and free trade agreements are the true weapons of war against the American middle class.”
Before leaving activists at the event all signed a large banner reading "Pass The Bill" as well as individual copies of the bill that will be delivered to Congressman Gibson on Monday, October 17th when his office is open.


Text of Speech given by Devin McConnell, 
American Dream organizer and State University of Albany student at Kinderhook, NY, October 15, 2011
Here we are. Welcome Everyone. We got MoveOn folks here, our friends from labor are here, we got Planned Parenthood here, we got teachers, Joel Tyner's here, Peter Stoll is here, we got local Democrats here, and we even got a Republican or two here somewhere. So what are we here for? What's brought together all these different groups? All these different people? All these different interests?
What brings us here today is the one issue that rises above all else, the one issue that is the intersection of all of our causes. Our economy

Were here because it's hard to afford health care when you don't have a job, it's hard to worry about energy consumption when you can't keep the lights on, it's hard to bring a child into the world with the uncertainly of where you're next paycheck check would come from, it's hard to get a kid to graduate from high school or college when you can't afford the books they need, or if there isn't anyone in the classroom to teach them. It's hard to fight for well paying jobs that can support a family when millions don't have a job at all.

Last month the president addressed congress and the nation with a plan to help our economy, to start putting people back to work, to get the machine going again and start people spending again and working again and start businesses hiring again and that plan is called the American Jobs Act and we are here today to tell our congressman to vote for this plan!

At this point in time our government must act to facilitate spending in our economy. And you know what? That is something that everyone agrees on!
Both progressives and liberals as well as tea party folk and conservatives agree that government should facilitate spending, the disagreement comes over how to do it. Those on the left think that the government should facilitate spending through directly by building infrastructure, ya know roads, bridges, airports and highways. As well as giving states the money to keep teachers in the classroom, keep cops on the beat and keep first responders ready for the dispatch. Meanwhile those on the right advocate the government spending through indirect means, primarily by cutting taxes so that the government puts money back into peoples pockets so that they can spend it. 

The American Jobs Act takes both of these approaches. First off it cuts taxes. It cuts the payroll tax in half for working people, you and I, our paychecks will get bigger and we will have more to spend. It cuts taxes for small businesses, and only SMALL businesses, so they can better afford to hire workers, and expand their operation. It has targeted tax credits specifically for hiring our veterans and for hiring the long term unemployed so businesses will be better incentivized to hire those that really need and deserve a job. And this is good. I'm sure all of you in this crowd know someone who's lost their job in this recession, or know someone currently serving in our armed forces, this plan is for them. So this bill takes the tax cut approach to facilitate spending indirectly.

It also takes the approach of facilitating spending directly. It spends some money fixing up our roads, our bridges, our water systems, and our schools to help put some of the millions of construction workers that have lost their jobs back to work. It also has a fund for states to avoid having to layoff tens of thousands of teachers and police officers.

So the bill takes both approaches, it's splits the difference, its about 50% tax cuts and 50% spending. Thats called compromise. And the thing is both parties have supported both of these approaches in the past. It was President Eisenhower, a republican, who spent the money to build the interstate highway system. And it was President Kennedy, a democrat, who championed tax cuts to grow the economy. And both parties have for decades authorized and reauthorized spending on tax cuts and on infrastructure without a peep. Now it's being seen as some kind of "controversial bill". It's not it's basic economics! Ya know what else? Not only is it supported by all the major labor unions, but it's also supported by the chamber of commerce. Those two can't even agree what color blue is but they're telling us one thing clearly "Build infrastructure!"

Of course there are some that tell us we can't do these things because it's just not proper for government to do, "Big Government!" they call it "watch our for big government!". Well how many of you went to Ichabod crane? Or have kids that went to Ichabod crane? I'm a graduate myself, an you know who else is? Congressman Gibson. And I can tell ya that in the past year or two I've seen the school start to come apart. They've had to close two schools, they've cut back after school activities and busing, they've eliminated classes and they've laid off thirty, forty, fifty teachers, people who taught me, who taught your kids, who teach his kids. It shouldn't be that way, that shouldn't happen, this is America don't tell me we can't put teachers in the classroom, don't tell me it's not the role of government to build our schools, to pave our roads, to fix our bridges, to keep cops on the beat, to build America. That's exactly what we have government for! From our founding fathers who laid the first national roads and founded the first public universities up to today that is what we expect of government and that is what we expect of Congressman Gibson. So he should vote for it!

Now of course their next talking point is gunna be "we can't afford it" "how ya gunna pay for it?" well the answer is simple. Were going to raise the taxes on people that make more than one million dollars by 5%. Back to where it was ten years ago. When we were prosperous and when our tax system was fairer. And of course this is where they scream "class warfare" "ya can't do that it's class warfare!" "your antagonizing the classes". Well it wasn't class warfare when you gutted welfare, it wasn't class warfare when you raided our social security fund to finance your tax cuts, it wasn't class warfare when you gave our tax dollars to subsidize insurance companies and banks and oil companies, it wasn't class warfare when you let wall st off the leash and then took our money to bail them out when they failed, it wasn't class warfare when you held people's unemployment insurance hostage or the FAA or stole from the post office or broke up our unions, or outsourced our jobs with your so called "Free trade agreements" so if it's class warfare to ask for 5% more in taxes from millionaires and billionaires ot put people back to work then hand me a helmet, the 99% is going to war. It's not a war of choice, it's a war of survival

And though the hour may look late, and though hope may be down to a flicker. Never forget the wise words of dr king "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice". And that justice is coming, the sleeping giant is starting to awaken. Look to Egypt where decades of living under the thumb of a dictator who plundered the countries wealth brought a peaceful demonstration that toppled a regime Look to Europe where the people have taken to the streets to protest crippling austerity that sacrifices their futures and livelihoods to pay for the mistakes of the banks that gambled their treasuries and hid their debts with accounting tricks. Look to Wisconsin where tens of thousands of people flooded the capital to protest their right to organize and form unions being stripped away in order to give out corporate tax breaks. And now, as I speak, there are tens of thousands of people across this country occupying cities and standing up to those that crashed our economy and got away even richer, standing up to those that pay no taxes while our tax bills go up, standing up to those that would put profits ahead of people or ahead of the well being of the planet, to those that have rigged the game against us for decades. We're standing up to say ENOUGH! we're standing up to tell our elected officials to put the rest of us ahead of the entrenched interests that paid their way to washington or we'll pull them right out of Washington. After all we've got 99% of the votes, they've only got 1%! so Pass the American Jobs Act! Start putting our people to work, and start repairing this economy. Do what we sent you there to do! 

And so here we are, assembling peacefully, as is written in the constitution, to petition our government for a redress of grievances. But this is not the end of our petitioning, no it's just the beginning, for the list of grievances runs long and the need for redressing is great. So I cannot urge all of you enough to continue to contact congressman Gibson and demand he vote for this bill in its entirety. Call him, write a letter, fax a letter, email,  Facebook, tweet, send a carrier pigeon! Because that is what democracy demands, an active and engaged citizenry. So carry this message with you, talk to your friends, your family, convince your coworkers and your neighbors and tell them to petition our government for a redress of grievances and make them do it. If you'll stand up and demand your representative represent you and vote for this bill then we can help our economy, save the American dream, rebuild America and kick some ass for the middle class!

Thank You

Friday, September 2, 2011

GNYHA - Another RAT

Another RAT:

(This RAT is the symbol of Corporate Greed, recently used by CWA at the Verizon Rallys.)
GNYHA, Greater New York Hospital Association, has now joined Pfizer and Big Pharma as Gibson Supporters.  Pictured below is a GNYHA campaign piece praising Gibson for “making sure our health care is there when we need it.”   In actuality, he signed a letter opposing cuts to NYC teaching hospitals represented by GNYHA.  Like the 60 PLUS front for Big Pharma the campaign piece uses generic photos of people and misleading statements.  The campaign piece like the 60 PLUS piece uses misleading statements like …”making sure healthcare is there when we need it” and pictures two seniors. Were the same photos used throughout NYS?  They sure are not from Kinderhook.
Here is the brochure, mailed by GNYHA from outside our district:

Do you know these people?  They do not look like hospital administrators in plush offices.   By the way, if hospitals get so much money they can engage in Tea Party/GOP politics – reimbursement should be cut. Senator Schumer and Congressman Crowley did not receive campaign pieces for their successful efforts on behalf of NYC teaching hospitals.  Please see attached reference concerning that effort.

 Congressman Gibson voted for the Ryan Plan – which destroys Medicare, put seniors at the mercy of unregulated Health Insurance Companies, and cuts even the amount available for seniors by ½ Trillion Dollars.  The irony is that the 60 PLUS political mailer supporting Gibson falsely claimed that The Affordable Health Care Act cut Medicare by ½ Trillion dollars.  You will recall that 60 PLUS was a front group for Big Pharma, (started by the Pfizer, the BP of the Pharmaceutical Industry)
Congressman Gibson also voted to repeal The Affordable Health Care Act.  That act truly strengthens Medicare and Heath care generally. Admittedly, it focuses on individuals – not providers.  It does not pretend to protect the compensation of Hospital Administrators which is GNYHA’s interest.  Please note that GNYHA uses “generic people” not the wealthy hospital administrators in their plush offices to convey its Tea Party message.
Congressman Gibson has said Medicare and Social Security are on the table for cuts. See prior Blog entry entitled “ Social Security and Medicare on the Chopping block…” at:
Greedy, Lying Corporate structures:
 GNYHA has explained its Gibson campaign piece by referring to a letter concerning supporting money for NYC”s Teaching Hospitals. However, no such campaign piece was given to Senator Schumer when he successfully fought the Bush administration attempts to limit payments to NYC’s Teaching Hospitals.  GNYHA’s CEO joined Senator Schumer and Representative Crowley at that time in this effort.  Please see:
Hospitals, administrators and their organizations have now joined greedy, lying corporations that use pictures of generic seniors and others to hide its true positions.  Their greed and secret hidden positions deserve the designation of RAT.  Like Rats there is no shame.  GNYHA has joined Pfizer’s 60 PLUS,  Verizon and others for the designation of RAT.
Senator Schumer is a true protector of Health Care as seen by the information found at:

Please look at Senator Schumer’s website.  He engages real people in every county. He has real substance and does not need phony, greedy corporate shills like Pfizer, 60 PLUS and now GNYHA.  Do you really think these organizations represent the people in the photos?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Verizon, the RAT and Back to negotiations

Verizon and the Rat(s)
The following shows the effect of demonstrations.  Verizon is now back at the negotiating table.
Aside from the actual strikers/picketers, it was a sight to see so many Democrats and Democratic candidates protesting the union-busting corporate greed of Verizon. Here are some highlights:

Another rat - Symbols of the greed of Verizon.

Remember Verizon was not and is not a GM or corporation in financial trouble.  It recently gave its top executives a quarter of a billion dollars!  It is more profitable than ever.  It is peculiar that its profits are so appreciated by Verizon corporate leadership that it gave many millions to 5 people at the top – as if they were solely responsible for the company’s success.  Ironically, Verizon’s recent advertising campaign featured all the technical people supporting Verizon services – but not its CEO or executive staff.  Working people are good for advertising fodder but not salary and benefits.  Verizon wanted to strip retirement, health insurance, job security and even the Martin Luther King holiday from the people that are at least as responsible ( and whom have been celebrated in its advertising campaigns) for it profits as the top 5 executives.

Proud to be a DEMOCRAT? – It must be especially proud to be a Hudson Democrat.  Its committee not only had the sign but many of its candidates, its leader Victor Mendolia, and many others were in attendance.  There were many Democratic Party members present, including Lee Jamison of Stuyvesant, Carl Roby of Stockport and Deputy CC chair, Cyndy Hall.  Mayoral candidate Nick Haddad was quoted in the Register Star as saying
“ …… It is only typical in America, the way corporate companies treat the very members of our country for corporate profits.

Later, Kinderhook Town Committee members brought coffee and doughnuts to the Verizon picketers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Verizon - poor corporate baby

Verizon …………Poor baby !!!!
Corporations are people too, says Mitt Romney, joined by Rand Paul and Sarah Plain.  
The scary thing is – The US Supreme Court agrees.  Apparently this is a real GOP belief.
Corporations are treated as “super people”.  They have rights people do not.  For example, all corporations have limited liability. In addition, the Constitutional provision providing for bankruptcy has been taken away from many real people but remains in full force for corporations.
In addition, although there have been over 24 violent acts against picketers by Verizon scabs and management, the FBI is investigating “sabotage” by the CWA on the basis of the Verizon complaint.  They are not investigating the instigation of running over picketers even though upper management has condoned being mad at the picketers (for exercising free speech rights).
The media reports have focused upon the Verizon allegation and have ignored picket line violence by Verizon.
Here are some interesting facts:
1.               Verizon’s outgoing CEO, Ivan Seidenberg, earned more than $18 million in total compensation in 2010, roughly $49,000 a day.

2.               Verizon earned $6.9 billion in net income for the first six months of this year.

3.               Verizon reported $10.2 billion in profits in 2010

4.               This enviable record of profitability has been used to justify the $258 million spent on salaries, bonuses, and stock options for just five of the company’s top executives.

5.               Over the past four years, the company earned nearly $20 billion for its shareholders.

6.               The Wall Street Journal noted last month, the telecom giant “isn’t under any financial stress.”

So why is Verizon demanding “give backs” consisting of:

1.     Reduction in retirement benefits
2.     Reduction in Health benefits
3.     Less sick leave
4.     Over 50 other contract changes

The answer is GREED.

What can you do to:


And send a letter to Verizon

Join CWA 1120,  CWA1118 and IBEW
 in a
Solidarity Rally at:
4 PM Wednesday August 17th
62 Fairview Ave, Hudson, NY 12534-1018. 
Verizon Store ?
Follow the link and map it, parking in the rear shopping center.


Speak out on every occasion against the RAT and the corporate pigs.  The solidarity rally will feature “The rat”, which the area unions use to depict union busting people and people/corporations like Wisconsin republicans and Verizon.  I would prefer the rat as a scab and use a pig as the corporate/people, but approve of almost anything that will get the attention of the media and thru the media real human being type people.

2. Huffington Post By DAVID PORTER   08/11/11 07:30 PM ET
5.  Huffington Post 8 10 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Social Security on Chopping block Gibson's Office Drop by August 2,2011

Kinderhook Gibson’s Office Protest Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pictured here is a gathering of protestors at noon on Tuesday August 2, 2011. Addressing the gathering is Shirley Ripullone head of Columbia County Council. She addresses the confidence crisis and fear for Social Security. As can be seen by the signs, the main concern is the effect of the GOP assault upon Social Security. It was pointed out by one speaker that the Register Star reported over the weekend that the Hudson Social Security Office is reducing its hours because of prior budget cuts. Everyone is concerned with what happens next and expressed concern with Congressman Gibson following the GOtP leadership.

Reference was made to the editorial alarm entitled Off the brink but still on edge in the Albany Times Union; it said, in part:

Off the brink but still on edge

Relax a little, America, we’re not going over the cliff, and taking the world with us. But how much can a nation relax when a congress that almost let a radical fringe nearly wreck the economy all over again will still be on the job for another 17 months. That’s plenty of time for the tea party wing of the Republican Party to try to turn what is still the world’s richest nation into a deadbeat country that holds its poor , its sick, its elderly and even its middle and working classes- everyone who is struggling it seems – in contempt.

This editorial together with another one in the same page refers to the followers of Russ Limbaugh as not caring about saving the country, or reference to averting disaster with the debt ceiling,… it was all about Limbaugh’s stated “ I hope he fails”.

If you have not read today’s Times Union, I suggest you read these editorials in full which can be accessed on line at:

Statements and names of participant were given to the cordial staff of Mr. Gibson.

Doug McGivney


Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Gibson Spin - Register Star

Today’s Register Star coverage of the Kinderhook Gibson Office "Drop By".
The following above the fold front page photo was the Register Star’s depiction of the peaceful and civil “drop by” attended by people from Dutchess, Greene and Columbia Counties.
A neighbor on her way to the post office, Diane Welton entered the fray with the assertion that her research indicated that the Obama administration had hidden away in it health care bill secret provisions for an army to serve at the presidents discretion….
The front page article today’s Register Star is a prime example of successful spin by Congressman Gibson.  The article is just beneath the photo of the lone Tea Party person who loudly interrupted the civil and peaceful proceeding.  The article then prints Congressman Gibson’s spin on the protests throughout the district.  Only the photographer attended the gathering.  There was no reporting upon the issues raised by the various speakers.
All participants were invited to speak from a podium and many of the over 40 people did.  The lone Tea Partier just shouted inanities from the middle of the crowd.  The issues were:
1.      Where are the jobs?
2.      Extend the Debt limit
3.      Save Social Security
4.      Save Medicare
5.      Save Medicaid
Many signs repeated these often stated issues. The peaceful nature of the protest is shown here with people patiently waiting to be heard at the make shift podium.  The only lack of civility was the yelling by the Gibson Tea Party supporter.
Mr. Gibson’s purported responses are reported in the Register Star, even though Mr. Gibson was in Washington. Those reported responses were:
1.       Jobs.  Not addressed except to say that: keeping taxes low while spending less will eventually grow the economy…  Since lack of jobs is the immediate need, how long does he think it will take to “eventually grow the economy"?

2.       Debt Limit.  Mr. Gibson claims that the “debt ceiling needs to be raised”.  However, he claims the only bill he voted for was the “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal. Not only was that shear posturing so he and the rest of  the GOP could claim they did something, it like Speaker Boehner’s proposal isn’t consistent with the Ryan Budget, which Congressman Gibson’s also voted for.  The Ryan Budget would be unconstitutional under any of the Balanced Budget Amendment proposals.   In addition the GOP has refused to identify the “cuts”.  Many former GOP leaders have pointed out the craziness of idea. Bill Hoagland, a budget adviser to Republican leaders from 1982 to 2007, called the amendment “a political cheap shot,” while Scott Galupo, a former staffer for Boehner, has called the idea “quite simply, insane.”

Although Mr. Gibson gives lip service to the idea of the increase in the debt ceiling, he is following Speaker Boehner’s and the Tea party mandates right down the line.
3.      Medicare.  Mr. Gibson says in his Register Star that he “concurs “with the protesters concerns.   However the Ryan Budget which he voted for destroys the current Medicare system and substitutes an uncontrolled market based system by which seniors would purchase medical policies.  Under this plan seniors would pay over $ 6,000.00 per year more than they are paying now.  Plus it cuts the amount to be spent on Medicare by $ 500 Billion dollars.
4.      Social Security, he has refused to sign a pledge submitted by local people that he would protect Social Security but has signed the Grover Norquest pledge, which, if followed will destroy Social Security.

5.      Medicaid.  This program which not only helps the poor with their medical care, it is the single biggest supporter of our Nursing Homes.  Without Medicaid – no middle class person could afford Nursing home care.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Congressman Gibson's Office Post Obama Speech 7 26 2011

Congressman Gibson’s Office
Kinderhook NY
July 26, 2011

Many people from Columbia, Greene and Dutchess County appeared at Congressman Gibson’s Kinderhook Office on Tuesday July 26, following Monday night’s Debt Ceiling address by President Obama and the GOP response by Speaker Boehner.  With signs entitled: “Where are the Jobs”; “Save Social Security”, “Preserve Medicare” the speeches were about the debt ceiling hold up.  “ Hold up” war often used words as the issues of Jobs, Social Security, and Medicare are only being discussed by the GOP and Congressman Gibson in the context of limiting them as a price for allowing past debts to be paid.
 Staff at Mr. Gibson’s office was polite, engaging and listed objections and gave reasoned responses. The crowds were also polite, courteous and civil.  The only disturbance was a Tea Party lady who yelled something unintelligible about Obama care and then engaged some saying she didn’t request but got Medicare but didn’t need it.
Photos of the event are below: