Move underway to bypass U.S. Constitution and kill the Electoral College

As if Obama hasn’t done enough of that already, there is a movement underfoot among Dem states (what a shocker) to bypass the Electoral College and throw their weight behind the popular vote. Why bother doing it the right way like actually trying to amend the U.S. Constitution when all you have to do is a form a band of like-minded brothers? So far ten states, including New York as the most recent joiner, and D.C. have climbed aboard the Constitution Bypass Bus.

These states – California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – have all passed legislation to put all of their electoral votes behind the winner of the national popular vote in the Presidential election thus bypassing the Electoral College and also bypassing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This legislation recently passed both houses of the New York State Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

In these states – Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Oregon ­­– the legislation has already passed one house of the State Legislature.

Now what does this mean? The population centers (America’s cities) will control the presidency and the small states – the very ones that the Electoral College was designed to protect – will no longer be viable. No shock to me that the RINOs in the New York State Legislature jumped on board with this plan, but people elsewhere around the country had better wake up.

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My old pal Cahill gets his tail feathers plucked

I may be moving to Florida, but not this week.

Luckily I still have time to give the Times Herald Record a pat on the back for yesterday’s editorial about Kevin Cahill and his math skills. The sales debacle dubbed appropriately as the Cahill crisis by County Executive Mike Hein cost Ulster County $5.4 million in new math according to the Record yesterday after the final figures for sales tax are all in. It’s pretty simple really and they hit the nail right on the head.

I imagine Cahill’s face is a constant shade of flushed pink at this point and I’m sure his staff is busy crafting press releases to explain his position and why the Record editorial staff is dead wrong. But, numbers don’t lie. Even with Cahill math.

I was having trouble accessing the Record’s website this morning, but you can view the editorial from yesterday’s paper titled Final Cahill Tally is a $5.4 million loss here https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1oIkz9vbUUAUGhiV1o3ZG1WZUE/edit.

Oh, and in advance of the comments soon to be posted here by Cahill’s brother and his staff, don’t bother.

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What do you call that?

You know. When you do the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome? Is it stupidity or insanity? I think it might be both, but no matter.

Apparently some people are a bit taken aback – if not downright insulted – over my announcement that I am moving out of NYS this year, but when you continue to re-elect the same people over and over again or elect more people with the same ideology as the other ones, I call that just plain stupid. Or maybe it is insane. New Yorkers apparently don’t see the correlation between maintaining the status quo with their elected officials and their ever declining personal financial status.

Those who know me know that when my mind is made up, it’s made up. Most don’t know that if the decision had been solely up to me I would have left the Hudson Valley and NYS back in 1996 when I would have willingly and happily departed for the Carolinas as I saw the writing on NY’s wall way back then. Unfortunately, my spouse at the time wouldn’t hear of moving and even more unfortunately, as it turns out I was right back then about New York’s financial future. So now many years later I find myself able to make my own decisions. I have to worry about my own financial future because let’s face it – no one else is going to. Perhaps my loved ones will see the benefits and they, too, will join me in the sunny south. Maybe a few will, if nothing else, become snow birds and if they’re smart from a tax standpoint will declare Florida as their primary residence. We shall see.

So what will happen to this – the Liberty Coalition – blog that I have posted on since December 2011? Well, at this point I’m not sure, but I’m open to suggestions from the readers. We’ve got a few months to figure it out. Let me know what you think.

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Quality of life

In a little over a month, I will celebrate my 50th birthday and as I recently told my daughters, my initiative going forward is all about quality of life. They looked a bit surprised when I told them that I’ve crested the hill and am going down the back side of the mountain as statistics show that I’m probably at or near sixty percent of my life expectancy. A sobering thought although I certainly hope I defy those odds and live to the healthy, ripe old age of ninety or so. The point is that quality of life is my primary goal and that to me is defined as low cost of living, less government intrusion, decent weather and a robust business environment. Sadly, New York doesn’t supply any of that and it probably won’t in my lifetime if it ever does again.

Born and raised in the Mid-Hudson Valley I cannot recall one time that I said – I can’t wait for winter to get here. No, usually what I’m wishing for is spring. Besides the weather I believe that New York, like so many other blue states, is headed down a dangerous path, one that will no doubt feature an implosion. I honestly do not believe that the problems we face – high taxes, too much government, a poor business climate and little personal freedom – will be fixed in my lifetime and if they are, it will be far too late for it to be advantageous to me. What I really worry about is my kids – what future can they possibly have here? What jobs or business opportunities exist? How will they ever afford to buy a house and pay the outrageous taxes? Oh don’t worry. The State Legislature has been “working on” the high property taxes since Hinchey was in the Assembly.

After hearing Travis Brown, of http://www.howmoneywalks.com, speak recently I ordered his book and I’m sure when it arrives it will be the umpteenth resource I have to prove what I already know – high taxes are driving people out of NYS. According to Brown, who pulled all his data from IRS records, between 1992 and 2010 $68.1 billion in AGI (adjusted gross income) left the state of New York. Most of that money went to Florida. What a shocker.

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University identifies New York as the least free (personal and economic) state out of all fifty and here’s what their recent report says, “New York is by far the least free state in the Union. It is therefore no surprise that New York residents have been heading for the exits: 9.0 percent of the state’s 2000 population, on net, left the state for another state between 2000 and 2011, the highest such figure in the nation.”

State credit ratings are another issue for New York. The state is not at the bottom of the rankings, but it’s not at the top either. Fixed with a mid-line AA credit rating according to the Tax Foundation and a fiscal condition rank of 40 (yes, out of 50), things in New York aren’t looking too rosy in the fiscal category either. Florida, by the way, has a credit rating of AAA and a fiscal rank of 4, respectively.

Not that you haven’t heard this before, but NYS consistently has the worst business climate according to the Tax Foundation. So bad in fact that NY continues to hold the prestigious #50 spot. This, despite Cuomo’s nonsensical Start Up NY program where he’s projected to spend $323 million over the next three years according to a report issued from the Governor’s budget office.

And the award for the highest taxes in the nation also goes to NY. What an honor bestowed upon us with 14% of income on average going to taxes and fees.

Strong job growth projections as predicted by numerous research and economic organizations do not include New York either. Top job growth in the states according to Pew Charitable Trusts will be in this order: North Dakota, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. And no shock, New York is projected to remain near the bottom of the list for job growth with only Vermont, Maine, Illinois and DC behind us.
So here is my definition of quality of life:

1) Low taxes and low cost of living to allow me to keep more of what I earn
2) Growing business climate to provide opportunities to make a profit and grow a business
3) Great year round weather to enable me to enjoy leisure time with swimming, walking, biking, playing tennis and probably taking up golf again
4) More freedom and less government intrusion for greater personal liberty

It wouldn’t hurt my feelings any if there were far fewer liberals and far more fiscal conservatives either. With that said and please forgive the longer than usual post, it is my intention to leave New York – the state I have called home for almost fifty years – for greener pastures, a lower cost of living and a much better climate (business and environment) by the fall of this year. Yes, I am heading to the Sunshine State and I will learn to deal with lizards, alligators and hurricanes, which will beat deer ticks, liberals and blizzards any day of the week.

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Government at work?

Now, what might this be? Excuse the blurriness, but yes, it is a flyer that I photographed hanging on the wall in the first floor ladies room in the County Office Building this morning. I guess Chairman Parete is offering up his parking space in some sort of promotional gimmick to a county employee. Is this what your taxpayer dollars are busy doing?

Leg Bathroom photo 20140411_093243 (2)

Yes, Government can be smart
Word on the street is that Governor Cuomo might make an appearance in Rosendale in the near future at the opening of the new shared municipal services building. The building – the former Rosendale Elementary School – will be shared between three municipalities – Rosendale, Marbletown, and Rochester – and the Rondout Valley School District. The idea was brought to fruition by Rosendale Town Supervisor Jeanne Walsh (D-Rosendale) who was first elected in 2011.

I hope before Cuomo makes the trip down that somebody reminds him that while Jeanne Walsh is a registered Democrat, when she first ran for Supervisor in 2011 she was shunned by her own party who instead selected Democratic candidate Jennifer Metzger. Walsh went on to seek the nomination to run from the Rosendale Republicans and Conservatives. Jeanne ran on the Republican and Conservative lines and also on an independent line known as the Liberty Coalition. Metzger appeared on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines. Walsh won and the Democrats – including Cuomo – have the Republicans to thank for this new deal because if Metzger had been elected it’s likely that this revolutionary arrangement – the first of its kind in the state – would never have happened.

These arrangements as the Governor well knows will save the taxpayers significant dollars, which only benefits the taxpayers. The point of all this is that there are Republicans who are big spenders and there are Democrats who are big spenders. Unfortunately we seem to have more big spenders than we do responsible spenders in both parties. There is no doubt that no matter who the elected officials are and no matter what party they are registered in we need more of them like Jeanne Walsh. As she’ll tell you – she’s the Supervisor of the Town of Rosendale representing the people, not any political party. Rosendale is very fortunate to have her and I hope they know it.

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Ulster County voter registration totals

Voter registration totals as of April 1, 2014 per Vic Work at the Ulster County Board of elections. (Note: I asked both Vic and Tom via email and Vic was the first one to respond.)

Take a look at that NOP figure, which is “not enrolled in a party” and look at the big lead the Dems now have. Yup, Florida is looking better and better.

Democrats           38,335

Republicans         28,306

Conservatives       2,610

Working Fam           634

Independence      5,770

NOP                      34,315

Total                    110,726

Men                        51,362

Women                  59,094

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Dirty Laundry

Many months ago I was told that yet again the GOP would be bringing disloyalty charges against one of its own members – a hard working, fiscally conservative Republican – for challenging another Republican (an incumbent) in a run for local office. Judging from the votes this disloyal Republican received, I’d say there was a lot of support, which means a lack of support for the incumbent.

As the GOP is finding out across the country there is a stark difference between the status quo GOP and those of us who self-identify as fiscal conservatives. When a Republican gets elected and immediately speaks of raises for the job they just ran for and when they fail to appropriately account for mandated expenses in their budget, that sort of behavior tends to alienate some Republicans while truly aggravating others.

My favorite part of all of this is when Len Bernardo, Chair of the Un-Party, Faux-Party and Total-Nonsense Party known as the Independence Party chimes in and gives his advice. News flash to all you Republicans – Len Bernardo is not a Republican! He will never be a Republican (he said so himself) and he should not be involved in any Republican Party business. He will support Democrats and support Republicans only when they will be the winner so he has no allegiance to you. If you’ve learned nothing from the last five years, I would hope it is at least that.

So when a certain Republican Town Chair, who was accused of writing a blog that picked on a number of Republicans including several who remain members of the Ulster County Legislature, brings charges against another Republican, there is a serious problem. You can imagine that many Republicans were calling for the blog writer’s head to be served upon a silver platter, but with plenty of other more important things to do in the brief time I was Chair this never happened.

Here’s my question to the GOP and Roger Rascoe – you don’t have enough to do without doing this nonsense? You don’t have Gibson to defend and Amedore to help? Cut the crap and get back to work. And do me a favor (and many others, too) – tell Len Bernardo to mind his own damned business. Hell, he’s got his own “party” to run.

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