Turn 27 Blue Slams Collins for Ethics Issues, as Investigation Is Extended

For immediate release – Turn 27 Blue believes that the breaking news about Rep. Chris Collins’ serious ethics issues makes it absolutely clear that the voters of New York’s 27th district deserve better from their member of Congress. The coalition of grassroots leadership and the eight county Democratic Chairs that make up Turn 27 Blue call on Mr. Collins to leave all corporate boards on which he serves and divest himself of all investments that create potential conflicts of interest and begin immediately to do the job he was elected to do: serve as our congressman and actually represent us rather than his portfolio.

“It has never been more obvious that the term ‘Representative’ is misapplied when it comes to Chris Collins, and the decision released today by the House Ethics Committee to continue its investigation of him reinforces that,” said Judith Hunter, the Livingston County Democratic Chair. “His actions prove that his priorities are his own bottom line and those of his cronies’, not the interests of the hard-working voters of New York 27.”

Jeremy Zellner, the Erie County Democratic Chair, pointed out that, “Just because an investment goes bust doesn’t mean you didn’t try to use your public office for personal gain. Failing doesn’t make it all okay. And Collins continues to this day to pad his own pockets but not deliver for western New York.”

“I wish I were in a position to make laws for my own personal benefit, but I’m not. Chris Collins shouldn’t be, either. And he shouldn’t be trying to ‘make millionaires’ out of his buddies,” said Amber Hainey of GLOW Progressives. “He should be focused on the ordinary people of this district, not just the rich and powerful he sees as his constituency.”

Jeanne Crane, Democratic Chair of Orleans County, noted that Collins’ statements about his ethics troubles have all focused on Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s role in bringing the original complaint, even though ordinary citizens also filed their own complaints. “My part of Orleans County used to be represented by Congresswoman Slaughter, and I know how hard and how long she worked to get the STOCK Act against insider trading by members of the House and Senate passed. No wonder she is furious that a neighboring member of Congress would so recklessly violate the spirit of that law.” Crane continued, “You know, just shrieking the words ‘witch hunt’ over and over again doesn’t change the fact that the Office of Congressional Ethics felt the evidence was serious enough to warrant a full investigation of Mr. Collins, and today the House Ethics Committee agreed.”

Judith Hunter
Chair, Livingston County Democratic Committee

Jeremy Zellner
Chair, Erie County Democratic Committee

Nick Forster
Chair, Niagara County Democratic Committee

Michael Plitt
Chair, Genesee County Democratic Committee

Jeanne Crane
Chair, Orleans County Democratic Committee

Cynthia Appleton
Chair, Wyoming County Democratic Committee

John Hurley
Chair, Ontario County Democratic Committee

Jamie Romeo
Chair, Monroe County Democratic Committee

Michelle Johnston Schoeneman
Citizens Against Collins

Amber Hainey
GLOW Progessives

Thomas White
Sister District for Western New York

Dan Beagley
Indivisible NY 27th

Contact: Judith Hunter
judith.hunter@gmail.com
(585) 615-2986

Current coverage: http://buffalonews.com/2017/10/12/ethics-panel-says-collins-may-broken-federal-law/

Geneseo Town Election this Fall, including Village of Geneseo

Local government matters!

The Geneseo Town Council has three out of five seats up for election this fall. Two of the seats are full four-­year terms, and one of the seats is vacant because of a resignation (the unexpired term of this seat is two years). Local Democrats have nominated the following 3 candidates to run in the November election:

Wesley EbersoleWesley Ebersole

  • Grew up in Livingston County
  • Eagle Scout
  • Student at SUNY-­‐Geneseo Major in Political Science
  • Works as election inspector for Livingston County
  • Interned in Congressional Office
  • Active member of Geneseo Democratic Committee

Leah FletcherLeah Fletcher

  • Geneseo resident since 1993, married with 2 children who attended Geneseo Central School
  • Member and vice president, Geneseo Central School Board (2010‐2014)
  • Geneseo Community Players Board (2008-­2013)
  • Ph.D. in Pathology, UNC-­Chapel Hill
  • Supervised DNA Core Facility at Wyeth

Tony MaculaTony Macula

  • Geneseo resident since 1993, married with 4 children who attended Geneseo Central School
  • Professor of Mathematics, SUNY-­Geneseo
  • Research Scientist at US Air Force Lab
  • American Mathematical Society Congressional Fellow
  • Small business owner (US SBA-­recognized biotech start‐up )
  • Program Officer, National Science Foundation
  • Migrant Center Volunteer (Driver)

We are committed to maintaining and developing evidence‐based policies arrived at through open communication with you, and through cooperation across party lines. We expect to work closely with the county, the village and the college. We will focus on keeping Geneseo vibrant, affordable and welcoming.

Critical town issues include:

  • Disciplined and responsible financial decisions
  • Sound planning and effective zoning
  • Environmental sustainability, clean water and air
  • Respect for the Conesus Lake watershed
  • Protection of open spaces, farmlands, agricultural businesses

A poster version of this is available here.

Annual Livingston County Democratic Picnic

Hello, Democrats!

Please join us Sunday, September 10, for our annual Livingston County Democratic picnic. This is a free event; we provide meats and beverages, you provide a dish to pass. We start at noon in Al Lorenz Park, which is up behind the county’s Murray Hill campus in Mt. Morris. There’s a large, covered pavilion for us, so the picnic is on, rain or shine.

If possible, please RSVP for the event via Facebook.

We also have a little fun with raising funds at our picnic. There will be an auction of baskets donated by the various town committees. We have also developed a tradition of serious competitive bidding on the best pies you’ve ever eaten! It’s all fun, and it all helps support our candidates.

I’m also pleased to report that we will have a guest: Basil Smikel, the Executive Director of the New York State Democratic Committee. You may have seen him on cable television, as he has become a regular talking head for our side on CNN and MSNBC.

September is a busy month for us. Please look for an email about our upcoming County Committee meetings, including one next Wednesday, September 6.

Judith Hunter
Chair
Livingston County Democratic Committee
(585) 615-2986

Press Release: Livingston County Democrats Speak out on Health Care

Geneseo, N.Y. – 09 July, 2017: The Livingston County Democratic Committee is united in its opposition to the health care proposals being pushed by Washington Republicans. “We were determined to make a statement, given the potentially disastrous impact of both the House and Senate bills on Livingston County,” Committee Chair Judith Hunter said. They passed a resolution to that effect unanimously at their July meeting.

The resolution reads: “Resolved: the Livingston County Democratic Committee believes that the federal government should be working on insuring more, not fewer, Americans. We are appalled that current plans are projected by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to take health insurance from well over 20 million people who currently have it. We are especially distressed that the GOP Congress is contemplating legislation that goes out of its way to harm Medicaid patients in New York and that our Representative Chris Collins has played such a large part in crafting these plans. [See the Buffalo News of June 24, 2017 for details.]
Both the House and Senate bills are cruel, but each would also cause significant economic problems for Livingston County. Small rural hospitals like Noyes will be particularly hard hit, as will nursing homes like our Livingston County Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. Both of these institutions are economic anchors for us, besides the importance of the care they provide to our aging population.

Therefore, we thank Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for their strong resistance and leadership in this fight. We call on Representative Chris Collins to reconsider his determination to take health care from so many in order to provide tax cuts to the wealthy. And we urge the voters of Livingston County to remember all of this in 2018.”

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Contact: Judith Hunter (585) 615-2986

Dates for Democratic Town Caucuses for Livingston County, NY

Further information about the other towns will be added when it is available.

Town Date Time Location
 Avon  Tuesday July 25, 2017  7:00 PM  Avon Village Hall
 Caledonia
 Conesus  Thursday July 27, 2017  7:00 PM  Conesus Town Hall
 Geneseo  Wednesday August 16, 2017  7:00 PM  Geneseo Town Office Building
 Groveland  Tuesday August 1,2017  7:00 PM Groveland Town Hall
 Leicester
 Lima  Thursday, September 14, 2017  7:00 PM Lima Town Hall
 Livonia  Thursday August 10, 2017  7:00 PM Livonia Town Hall
 Mt. Morris  Thursday August 3, 2017  7:00 PM Mt. Morris Town Hall
 North Dansville  Saturday September 16, 2017  10:30 AM Miss Natale’s Dance Center
 Nunda  Wednesday July 26, 2017  7:00 PM  Nunda Government Center
 Ossian  Monday August 14, 2017  7:00 PM Ossian Town Hall
 Portage
 Sparta
 Springwater  Thursday July 20, 2017  7:00 PM  Springwater United Methodist Church
 West Sparta  Tuesday August 8, 2017  7:00 PM West Sparta Town Hall
 York  Wednesday August 16, 2017  7:00 PM  York Town Hall

Photos from the 2017 Spring Fundraising Dinner

Photo of Kathy Hochul at the 2017 Spring Fundraising Dinner in Mt. Morris. Photo by Bob Sutor.
Kathy Hochul at the 2017 Spring Fundraising Dinner in Mt. Morris.
Photo of Judith Hunter at the 2017 Spring Fundraising Dinner in Mt. Morris. Photo by Bob Sutor.
Judith Hunter at the 2017 Spring Fundraising Dinner in Mt. Morris.
Photo of Kathy Hochul, William Sutor, and Judith Hunter at the 2017 Spring Fundraising Dinner in Mt. Morris. Photo by Bob Sutor.
Kathy Hochul, William Sutor, and Judith Hunter at the 2017 Spring Fundraising Dinner in Mt. Morris.
Photo of Kathy Hochul, Judith Hunter, and William Sutor at the 2017 Spring Fundraising Dinner in Mt. Morris. Photo by Melissa Bochenski.
Kathy Hochul, Judith Hunter, and William Sutor at the 2017 Spring Fundraising Dinner in Mt. Morris. Photo by Melissa Bochenski.

Turn 27 Blue: Update

For immediate release – The Turn 27 Blue coalition is pleased to report that the coalition’s process for identifying and assisting candidates who would like to run for Congress in 2018 against Chris Collins in New York’s 27th district is exceeding expectations. 10 candidates so far have submitted cover letters describing their intentions and resumes; it is anticipated more candidates will follow.

Democratic county chairs in the district along with several grassroots leaders held a meeting with seven of those candidates last Thursday in Batavia; a second session will be offered for candidates who were unable able to attend the first meeting. Each prospective nominee gave a brief presentation and answered questions from members of the coalition. “This was a really exciting event for us,” said Judith Hunter, Livingston County Democratic Chair and Turn 27 Blue coordinator. “We heard from several people who weren’t just plausible candidates but plausible members of Congress. Every single one of them was motivated by the desire to serve the district and its constituents, rather than by a desire to promote themselves or a party or an ideology.”

“What a refreshing contrast to Representative Chris Collins, who is too busy running to cable televisions studios, fending off an ethics investigation for insider trading, and fundraising from pharmaceutical industry lobbyists to be bothered with actually meeting with his constituents to hear their concerns,” said Michelle Johnston Schoeneman of Citizens Against Collins. “These candidates who met with us truly seemed to aspire to the ideal of public service.”

Jeremy Zellner, Erie County Democratic Chair, noted, “We’re laying the groundwork here for success in November of 2018. Each of these prospective nominees has his or her own timeline for announcing, so we’re going to respect that and keep their names confidential at this point. But they’re serious people who are putting in the work, and we want to help them however we can.”

In addition to the ongoing advice the leaders are providing, they have also set up a NY-27 2018 nominee fund on ActBlue.com as a vehicle for those want to contribute today to defeating Chris Collins next year. “There’s just so much energy out there right now to accomplish this, and we’re making sure ordinary voters in the district can do something constructive right now,” said Cynthia Appleton, the Wyoming County Democratic Chair.

Although the Turn 27 Blue leaders want to emphasize that they are open to hearing from more possible candidates, they would like to stress that getting started as soon as possible increases a campaign’s chance of ultimate success. Those who are interested should email a cover letter and resume to Judith Hunter at chair@livingstondemocrats.org.

Judith Hunter, Livingston County Democratic Chair
Jeremy Zellner, Erie County Democratic Chair
Nick Forster, Niagara County Democratic Chair
Jeanne Crane, Orleans County Democratic Chair
Michael Plitt, Genesee County Democratic Chair
Cynthia Appleton, Wyoming County Democratic Chair
Jamie Romeo, Monroe County Democratic Chair
John Hurley, Ontario County Democratic Chair
Michelle Johnston Shoeneman, Citizens Against Collins
Amber Hainey, GLOW Progressives
Dan Beagley, Indivisible NY 27
Tom White, Sister District of Western New York

Contact: Judith Hunter
chair@livingstondemocrats.org
(585) 615-2986

Turn 27 Blue

The Livingston County Democrats are very happy to announce a district-wide effort in conjunction with grassroots groups and the other county committees of the district to identify and assist our eventual nominee who will run against Chris Collins in 2018 to represent us in Congress. Here’s the press release we put out:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — The Democratic Chairs from the eight counties which comprise New York’s 27th congressional district announce their new initiative “Turn 27 Blue”: a joint effort with grassroots groups to identify and prepare candidates interested in running for Congress. All people interested in becoming candidates for the Democratic nomination for this congressional seat in 2018 are invited to get in touch with them to learn more about the process and what is involved in running for Congress. “There is just so much energy on the ground right now,” said Genesee County Democratic Chair Michael Plitt, “so we want to make sure we can help people navigate all that’s involved.”

Because of unprecedented interest in next year’s congressional election, the leaders of the Democratic party in the 27th district have decided to approach this election cycle differently from previous years. “We are just getting inundated with people saying they want to run against Chris Collins,” said Jeremy Zellner, the Erie County Democratic Chair, who added, “We also want to work closely with the many different grassroots organizations that want to be involved in the 27th District.” Judith Hunter, the Chair of the Livingston County Democratic Committee said, “We decided a systematic approach will help to make the process more accessible to all who might be interested and give our eventual nominee the greatest chance for success. Getting started now helps, too.”

The county committees wish to include new groups that have sprung up organically since the November election, angered by Chris Collins’ pattern of ignoring his constituents. Those groups have done a great deal of work already to educate voters about how little Chris Collins has done to actually represent the people of NY 27, as opposed to his own bottom line or the interests of his party. “From weekly rallies to protests to letter-writing efforts to billboard campaigns, ordinary people in this district are standing up and rejecting what Chris Collins has offered us. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work to help those who are willing to stand up and become candidates. It’s great to be part of this effort,” said Michelle Johnston Schoeneman of Citizens Against Collins.

Interested candidates are urged to send a resume and cover letter to Chair@livingstondemocrats.org, as Hunter will coordinate this effort on behalf of the larger group. “I will take care of sharing all the materials with everyone, and we will decide, based on how many inquiries we get, whether it makes the most sense to meet with potential candidates individually or to hold larger workshops,” she said. “Rep. Collins has just been so unresponsive to his constituents that everyone is eager to get started.”

Judith Hunter, Livingston County Democratic Chair
Jeremy Zellner, Eric County Democratic Chair
Michael Plitt, Genesee County Democratic Chair
Jamie Romeo, Monroe County Democratic Chair
Cindy Appleton, Wyoming County Democratic Chair
Jeanne Crane, Orleans County Democratic Chair
John Hurley, Ontario County Democratic Chair
Nick Forster, Niagara County Democratic Chair
Michelle Johnston Schoeneman, Citizens Against Collins
Amber Hainey, GLOW Progressives
Renee Sutton, Indivisible NY 27th
Thomas White, Sister District for Western New York