• Brittaney Wells is Elected Chairwoman of the Monroe County Democratic Party

    Brittaney Wells accepted the nomination to become Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party after receiving an overwhelming vote by city and town Democratic committee members at their meeting on October 3, 2018. Wells is the first African-American to hold this position locally.  

    In her acceptance, she said Monroe County Democrats must embrace a spirit of unity in order take full advantage of the opportunity Democrats have next year “to win the County’s Executive’s race.” “Tonight I accept your nomination and I am humbled by the trust you placed in me,” Wells said, adding that, “I want our efforts, this year and the next, to be a warning to the Republicans here, in Albany, and in Washington. Starting this year, the focus for the party is to win a congressional seat, the legislative and judicial races, and more.”

    Wells defined the Democratic principles that have guided her from early on as a member and officer of the Democratic Party and thanked party leaders who were present, including Mayor Lovely A. Warren, Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, Assemblyman David Gantt, County Clerk Adam Bello, and Sheriff Todd Baxter.  She stated that her agenda is to continue building bridges and said that in the past there was the impression of intra-party differences.  “This is a new day in the Monroe County Democratic Committee,” she said.

    Wells recalled the values that attracted her to vote and become a member of the Democratic Party.  “Whether it is respect for diversity, equal rights, immigration rights, health care access, LGBTQ protection, environmental protection, economic development and more, as Democrats, standing up to Republicans and defeating their
    dangerous policies is our job,” she said.

    In her closing remarks, Wells honored President John F. Kennedy by paraphrasing his answer to the question of what it is to be liberal: “If by a Democrat they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties – someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a Democrat, then I’m proud to say I’m a Democrat.”

  • Download Your Proxy Form for the Upcoming Special Election for Congress Here

    Here is the form to use for the proxy vote if you are unable to attend the Nominating Convention for the Special Election for the 25th Congressional District of the Monroe County Democratic Committee to be held on Monday, August 27th, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.

    ==> click here.

    This form can also be found on the 2018 Candidates page.

  • Congressional Challenger Nate McMurray Speaks Out against Rep. Chris Collins

    North Tonawanda native and Grand Island Town Supervisor, Nate McMurray, is running for congress in the 27th Congressional District, a deep red district currently represented by Republican Congressman Chris Collins.  Upon first hearing of the Congressman’s indictments for insider trading, Mr. McMurray thought it best to stay quiet until the dust settled. Then he heard Rep. Collins’ statement Wednesday evening, Aug. 8, denying any wrongdoing and Mr. McMurray knew he needed to say something. The opportunity to do so came the next morning at the New York State United Teachers building in downtown Rochester. Surrounded by campaign workers, elected officials, and the media, Mr. McMurray pledged to speak out against the corruption in Washington, DC. and give his constituency a congressman they could be proud of.

    “It’s time for him [Rep. Collins]to go,” McMurray stated. “It’s time for new leadership. We’re not talking about progressive versus Republican. Left versus right. We’re talking about right versus wrong. This is an argument about who is honest and dishonest. Who is going to serve our community and represent our community.”

    “We have this idea right now that America is so divided; I bet your dinner table is divided. We have people in all different parties, and ideas, and beliefs. This idea that those people are over here and we’re over there; that might be good for talk radio but it’s not good for America. And that’s not the type of leader I’m going to be. I’m going to represent all of NY27.”

    When asked if he thought a Democrat could win in this district he nodded and said,”We’re going to win. But this would be a win not just for Democrats. This would be a win for NY27.”

    If you are interested in getting involved or donating you can do so at Mr. McMurray’s campaign website, votemcmurray.com.

     

  • Upcoming U.S. Senate Races to Watch

    FiveThirtyEight has some good news regarding the 2018 elections in an article entitled “The Democrats’ Wave Could Turn Into A Flood.”  The gist: a new CNN/SSRS survey puts Democrats ahead of Republicans by 18% in a generic congressional contest among registered voters.  And while the CNN survey’s lead is a bit above that of other polls, FiveThirtyEight’s own survey, at 12%, has some dire meaning for Republicans:

    That average, like the CNN poll, also shows Republicans in worse shape right now than any other majority party at this point in the midterm cycle since at least the 1938 election.

    Continue Reading

  • What happened when North Carolina and Kansas Cut Taxes Like the GOP Did for the Country?

    “Research suggests the package did not stimulate the economy, certainly not enough to pay for the tax cut. This year, legislators passed a bill to largely rescind the law, saying it had not worked as intended.” – The NY Times, October 10th, 2017, referring to the outcome of Kansas tax reform

    It is interesting to learn that this scheme of giving tax breaks to the rich with the hopes of bolstering the economy has been tried recently in a couple of Red states. New York Times’ reporter Jim Tankersley wrote an October 10th story on the economic effect that this type of tax reform had on the state beginning in 2013. We also find another case clearly described by Washington Post reporter Todd Frankel in a December 3rd article on how this worked out for North Carolina who had tried a similar reform. Here is an excerpt from the Washington Post article recounting the experiences of Burglington, N.C., t-shirt factory owner, Eric Henry:

    “Conservative groups have hailed North Carolina as a model of a tax overhaul since it began slashing state corporate and individual tax rates four years ago. And one of the effort’s main architects, Thom Tillis, is now in the U.S. Senate, where early Saturday he joined 50 other Republican senators in voting for a $1.5 trillion federal tax overhaul — a plan that employs many of the same tactics already in use here [in N.C.].

    “But as Henry drove through the conservative, rural county he’s called home all his life, he had trouble seeing many benefits of the tax cut. Business was good, but it wasn’t good enough that he could give his 20 workers significant raises.

    “And there were growing worries that the lost tax revenue — estimated at $3.5 billion this year alone — was beginning to significantly hurt core public services such as schools.

    ‘I don’t know the people who this benefits,’ Henry said of the North Carolina tax cut.

    “Changing the national tax code is much different from changing a state’s code. But what’s happening today in North Carolina offers potential clues about the grand experiment with tax cuts the entire nation is close to embarking on, with Republicans appearing confident they can send final legislation to President Trump by year’s end.

    “The tax changes in North Carolina haven’t produced the fiscal calamity that led Republican legislators in Kansas this year to reverse dramatic cuts they passed a few years earlier, but nor have they produced the kind of win-for-all economic prosperity national Republicans say their effort will spur.

    “Instead, North Carolina has enjoyed the same steady growth as much of the country, making it challenging to estimate the impact of the tax cut compared with the many other factors shaping the state’s economy.”

    What has been noticed is the state’s increasing debt and the impact it’s had on schools, infrastructure, and other state-funded programs (emphasis added to some of the quotes below):

    “While North Carolina’s economy has chugged along, signs of strain on state spending have increased. The state budget has not kept pace with a growing population, said Alexandra Sirota, director of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, a left-leaning nonprofit.

    “’Pretty soon, we’re not going to have enough money,’ Sirota said.

    “The state legislature’s Fiscal Research Division agrees. It projects budget shortfalls of at least $1.2 billion starting in 2019.

    “The squeeze has already hit public schools.

    “In North Carolina, the state government provides the bulk of public education funding. And while the overall contribution is up, per-pupil spending, adjusted for inflation, is down. Plus, there are about 10,000 fewer public school teachers in the state, despite growing enrollment, said Mark Jewell of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

    “The school system serving Burlington is struggling, said Alamance-Burlington Schools superintendent Bill Harrison.

    Anyone claiming schools are better off after the tax cuts is ‘using smoke and mirrors,’ Harrison said.

    “Harrison rattled off a string of numbers to make his point. Funding for school supplies has dropped 20 percent, he said. His schools get 33 percent less money for textbooks now than a decade ago.

    “’I heard it every year: Why doesn’t my child have a textbook?’ Harrison said.

    “Henry’s wife, Lisa, taught preschool for children with disabilities for almost three decades. She retired in 2015 after watching several years in which state lawmakers made cuts to public schools, including by underfunding teacher pay raises.

    “’It just felt like a huge slap in the face,’ Lisa Henry said.

    “As the sun started to set, Henry drove back to his company. Just a few employees were still around. None of them said they’d noticed the state tax cuts.

    “’Other than the roads not getting taken care of,’ said Eric Michel, 33, chief logistics officer.

    And no one in the office has gotten a big pay raise since the tax cut, either.'”

    Results in the state of Kansas were even worse after its legislature voted to repeal all corporate pass-through taxes in 2012. Here is an excerpt from an October 17th, 2017 story by the New York Times:

    “The tax package reduced state revenue by nearly $700 million a year, a drop of about 8 percent, from 2013 through 2016, according to the Kansas Legislative Research Department, forcing officials to shorten school calendars, delay highway repairs and reduce aid to the poor. Research suggests the package did not stimulate the economy, certainly not enough to pay for the tax cut. This year, legislators passed a bill to largely rescind the law, saying it had not worked as intended.

    “’It caused a lot of budget instability,’ said State Senator Jim Denning, a Republican who led the effort to repeal the pass-through exemption this year. Mr. Denning, who earns pass-through income from his interest in a commercial real estate firm, said he had personally benefited from the exemption, but the state’s economy had not.

    “The pass-through exemption was responsible for $200 million to $300 million of that annual shortfall, according to budget researchers at the Tax Foundation in Washington.”

    It is difficult if not impossible to find data that will show that corporate tax cuts such as those enacted in North Carolina and now passed for the country will do anything but mirror the results found here and in Kansas. Will our politicians in Congress ultimately come to this same conclusion and vote to repeal this ill-conceived tax cut?

    For the complete story written by Washington Post contributor Todd C. Frankel, go here.