Thursday, September 27, 2012


Rep. Louise Slaughter has a 10 point lead over conservative
Tea Party darling County Executive Maggie Brooks.

Albany, N.Y.-- Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter leads extreme conservative Tea Partier Republican challenger Maggie Brooks by 10 percentage points in a Siena CollegeResearch Institute poll released today.

Slaughter led Brooks 52 percent to 42 percent, in survey of 634 likely voters conducted Monday through Wednesday of this week. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Slaughter is seeking a 14th term in the House in a new 25th Congressional District wholly contained within Monroe County.

Brooks, the Monroe County executive, led Slaughter by six percentage points in the new portions of the district but trailed by 43 percentage points in the areas currently represented by Slaughter.

Siena pollster Steven Greenberg said, “Brooks has the support of three-quarters of Republicans and an 11-point lead with independents, while Slaughter is supported by 86 percent of Democrats.”

Among women, the survey found Slaughter had a 17 percentage point. The Democratic incumbent also led among men, with with a much smaller 4 percentage point edge.

President Barack Obama was favored over former Gov. Mitt Romney by 53 percent to 39 percent in the district. In the city of Rochester, Obama led Romney by 72 percent to 16 percent.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act was supported by 51 percent while 42 percent said they favor repeal of the health insurance reform law.

Here is the Siena College Research Institute Poll:

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Rochester, N.Y.-- The CSEA Monroe County Local 828 Health & Safety Committee has a full slate of meetings and announcements for this fall. Stay tuned to the Voice Reporter Events & Meetings page for up to date information about how you can get involved.

Also, please contact Sue T. by Monday, October 1st if you are coming to the CSEA Monroe County Local 828 Health & Safety meeting on Tuesday, October 2nd at the Satellite Office at Winton Place.  RSVP or at 329-1339.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


USA-- President Obama now holds his largest leads to date in FloridaOhio and Pennsylvania, according to three new CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University polls released early Wednesday. The polls all show Obama easily clearing the critical 50-percent threshold in each state, largely as a result of his commanding advantage among female voters.
Obama leads Republican nominee Mitt Romney by 9 points in Florida, 10 points in Ohio and 12 points in Pennsylvania. The three states together combine to award 67 electoral votes, and no candidate has won the presidency without claiming at least two of them since 1960.
Florida and Ohio in particular are considered must-wins for the Romney campaign. Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., kicked off a two-day bus tour of Ohio on Tuesday, where they told supporters they would win the state in November.
But the new polls suggest that if the election were held today, they would lose these three states, and likely the Electoral College. In fact, slight majorities of likely voters in all three states say they think Obama would do a better job handling the economy than Romney, the polls show. Compared to Quinnipiac polls conducted prior to the two parties' conventions, Obama has improved significantly on this measure in both Florida and Ohio.
The polls also show significant advantages for Democrats in the composition of the electorate. In each state, Democrats outnumber Republicans by margins of at least 9 percentage points -- though only in Pennsylvania is the change from the previous Quinnipiac survey statistically significant. Regardless, the polls seem likely to further ignite the argument over whether public and media surveys contain more respondents who identify as Democrats than will vote on Election Day.
Obama leads Romney, 53 percent to 44 percent, according to the poll. Four percent of likely voters prefer another candidate or are undecided. That is a significant increase from the previous poll, conducted prior to the parties' conventions in August, when Obama led by a slimmer margin, 49 percent to 46 percent.
The Quinnipiac poll shows Obama with a larger lead than other recent, public surveys. Washington Post poll released Monday showed Obama with a 4-point lead, while a Mason-Dixon poll conducted for a number of in-state media outlets released on Sunday showed him leading by just 1 point.
Romney holds a slight edge among male voters, 50 percent to 47 percent. But Obama leads by 19 points among women, 58 percent to 39 percent.
White voters favor Romney, 52 percent to 46 percent, a significant increase for Obama from the previous poll, when he trailed by a 19-point margin among this bloc, 57 percent to 38 percent. Obama wins nearly 90 percent of black voters, while Hispanics also tilt to Obama, 55 percent to 41 percent.
Among white voters with a college degree, the two candidates now run even: 50 percent for Romney, and 48 percent for Obama. A month ago, Romney led by 14 points among this group. Obama has also narrowed the gap among white voters without a degree; Romney now leads, 53 percent to 45 percent, compared to a 20-point lead last month.
The poll also shows significant changes in how likely voters view each candidate. Obama is now viewed favorably by 54 percent of voters, and unfavorably by 42 percent. Last month, 50 percent had a favorable opinion of him, and 45 percent an unfavorable one.
Romney's image has taken a hit in the state. Just 41 percent of likely voters now have a favorable opinion of him, compared to 48 percent who view him unfavorably. A month ago, his image ratings tilted positive: 45 percent favorable and 42 percent unfavorable.
Asked which candidate would do a better job on the economy, Obama enjoys a slight edge, 51 percent to 46 percent. Obama also has the advantage on health care (54 percent to 41 percent), national security (52 percent to 44 percent), Medicare (55 percent to 40 percent), taxes (52 percent to 43 percent) and foreign policy (52 percent to 44 percent). Voters are split on which candidate would do a better job on the budget deficit, 48 percent to 46 percent.
Thirty-six percent of likely voters say they consider themselves Democrats, according to the poll, compared to just 27 percent who are Republicans. That is not statistically different from the 6-point advantage Democrats enjoyed in Quinnipiac's pre-convention poll, but it is larger that the 3-point Democratic edge measured in 2008 by exit pollsters.
One of the reasons why more Democrats are making it through Quinnipiac's likely-voter screen is because the enthusiasm gap between the parties has closed in the Sunshine State, according to the poll. Forty-eight percent of Democrats now say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting this year, compared to 52 percent of Republicans who have more enthusiasm. Before the conventions, only 36 percent of Democrats said they were more enthusiastic, while 53 percent of Republicans said they were.
Obama enjoys a commanding lead in Ohio, 53 percent to 43 percent, with 4 percent undecided or choosing another candidate. That is an increase from his 6-point lead in the previous poll, conducted just before the conventions.
Obama's lead in the new poll is only slightly larger than in other publicly available surveys. Washington Post poll released Monday showed the president with an 8-point advantage in the Buckeye State. Romney aides told reporters on the campaign plane Tuesday that its surveys showed a much closer race.
Romney actually leads Obama by 8 points among male voters, 52 percent to 44 percent, but Obama racks up an overwhelming, 25-point lead among female voters, 60 percent to 35 percent.
Romney continues to suffer from a likability gap in the state. Prior to the conventions, just 39 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of him. That percentage ticked up to 41 percent in the new poll, but the percentage who view him unfavorably also increased, from 45 percent last month to 49 percent now.
Meanwhile, 54 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Obama, and half approve of the way he is handling his job as president. Voters prefer Obama when it comes to handling the economy, 51 percent to 45 percent, a jump from the pre-convention poll, when the two were tied on this issue.
Democrats enjoy a 9-point edge over Republicans when it comes to party identification, roughly equal to the previous poll, which showed Democrats leading on this measure by 8 points. This is also in line with the Post poll, in which Democrats were ahead by 7 points.
The sponsors skipped Pennsylvania in the pre-convention round of polling (subbing in Wisconsin), but the latest poll shows the race is virtually unchanged since the last time Quinnipiac surveyed the state, in late July. Obama now leads Romney 54 percent to 42 percent -- equal to his lead at the end of July, 53 percent to 42 percent.
The Quinnipiac poll is in line with a Muhlenberg College poll conducted for the Morning Call of Allentown, Pa., andPennsylvania_Poll.html#photoNumber=0" target="_blank">a bipartisan poll conducted for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Polls conducted by the Harrisburg-based Republican pollster Susquehanna Polling & Research for the state Republican Party and the conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review have shown a closer race.
The two candidates run even among men -- 49 percent for Romney, 48 percent for Obama -- but female voters favor Obama by a wide margin, 58 percent to 37 percent. That includes an 11-point edge among white women, 53 percent to 42 percent.
Republicans do have an enthusiasm advantage in the Keystone State, however. Forty-five percent of voters identifying as Republicans say they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual, compared to only 28 percent of Democrats who say they are more enthusiastic.
Still, 39 percent of likely voters describe themselves as Democrats, roughly equal to the 38 percent who did in late July. The percentage of respondents identifying as Republicans dropped, however, from 32 percent to July to 28 percent now.
The polls were conducted Sept. 18-24. Quinnipiac surveyed 1,196 likely voters in Florida, 1,162 in Ohio and 1,180 in Pennsylvania. The Florida poll carries a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.8 percentage points, while the Ohio and Pennsylvania polls have margins of error of plus-or-minus 2.9 percentage points.


NYS Capitol Building, Albany, N.Y.
Albany, N.Y.-- CSEA blasted Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed zero-growth budget for further undermining state and local operations and the dedicated employees who are doing very difficult work under often hostile circumstances.

In a letter to state agencies, Cuomo's Budget Director Robert Megna told state agencies to assume zero growth in their budget proposals for the next two years. The letter also indicates that there won't be an increase in state aid to localities for two years.

The spending freeze does not apply to health care and education aid, which Cuomo and the state legislature have already pledged to increase by as much as 4 percent for the coming fiscal year. The state faces a $982 million deficit in the 2013-14 budget.

Monday, September 24, 2012


October 3, 2012
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Topic: Domestic policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: University of Denver in Denver, Colorado (Tickets)
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Moderator: Jim Lehrer (Host of NewsHour on PBS)

The debate will focus on domestic policy and be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on topics to be selected by the moderator and announced several weeks before the debate.

The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the topic.
October 11, 2012
Vice Presidential
Vice President Joe Biden and Paul Ryan
Topic: Foreign and domestic policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Centre College in Danville, Kentucky (Tickets)
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan
Moderator: Martha Raddatz (ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent)

The debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics and be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. The moderator will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the question.
October 16, 2012
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Topic: Town meeting format including foreign and domestic policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York (Tickets)
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Moderator: Candy Crowley (CNN Chief Political Correspondent)

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.
October 22, 2012
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Topic: Foreign policy
Air Time: 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Location: Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida (Tickets)
Sponsor: Commission on Presidential Debates
Participants: President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
Moderator: Bob Schieffer (Host of Face the Nation on CBS)

The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate and will focus on foreign policy.

For the 2011/2012 Republican Primary Debate schedule, click here.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Albany, N.Y. -- Citizen Action of New York, a grassroots membership organization that fights for key issues like fair education funding, quality and affordable health care for all, Fair Elections campaign finance reform, racial justice, and a more progressive tax system, announced their endorsement of Louise Slaughter for re-election to represent New York's 25th Congressional District, and Ted O'Brien for his bid to represent New York's 55th State Senate District.

"We're proud to offer our endorsement to Louise Slaughter and Ted O'Brien to represent the Rochester area in Congress and the State Senate," said Ivette Alfonso, President of Citizen Action of New York. "Our 20,000 members across New York are proud to stand with Louise and Ted as we continue our fight for social, racial, and economic justice."

"I've stood with Citizen Action of New York on campaigns to save Social Security and end the war in Iraq, and I'm so glad they're standing with me in this campaign," said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. "Their record of winning courageous and hard-fought battles to protect the middle class is truly remarkable, and I'm looking forward to fighting many of more of these battles alongside Citizen Action next year in Congress."

"I am committed to raising the minimum wage, closing tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs from New York, and making sure our government works for the people instead of Albany insiders," said Ted O'Brien. "I am excited to work with Citizen Action in standing up to special interests and fighting for the average New Yorker. Together, we can curb the influence of corporate money in politics, protect the middle class, and create a more ethical, responsive government." 


photo: Ove Overmyer
From WNY Region 6 PAC:

Here is a list of days COPE/Rochester Labor Council will be doing walks for Louise Slaughter, Nate Shinigawa, Ted O'Brien and Dan Maffei starting this weekend:

Saturday, September 22nd  (9:00 AM at 776 Stone Road in Greece) 
Louise Slaughter

Saturday, September 29th (10:00 AM  at USW Hall,  100 Civic Center, Plaza in Corning) 
Nate Shinigawa

Saturday, October 6th (9:00 AM at 120 Thurlow Avenue in Rochester
Louise Slaughter & Ted O'Brien

Saturday, October 13th (9:30 AM at Wayne County Democratic HQ, 117 Liberty Lane, Palmyra, N.Y. 
Dan Maffei

For more information about you getting involved, please call Ove at 585.423.9862.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Rochester, N.Y.-- A few thoughts came to mind as I watched Maggie's "Choice" video ad for the first time. Despite what she wants you to believe, Maggie Brooks has already demonstrated that she won't stand with seniors to protect Medicare. She won't stand with women to protect choice. She won't stand with middle-class families against her own Party's draconian budget cuts. And, to think she is claiming to be the one who is going to go to Washington to "turn it around" is absolutely laugh out loud funny. So when she speaks of making a choice in the video ad-- you can bet your sweet bippy that their is only one choice-- and that only choice is voting for Louise Slaughter for Congress.

God forbid if she did win-- Brooks would only add to the dysfunction in the House-- the GOP House of obstruction I might add has not produced one single jobs bill in two years and has tried to roll back reproductive rights to the 19th century. This is her Party of "choice." If Washington is failing us, let's point the bony finger at the real culprits-- 87 Tea Party House freshman who swore to never to compromise.

Furthermore, perhaps you have forgot the fact that the GOP runs the House of Representatives-- and they have a single digit approval rating for good reason. We know Maggie thinks highly of herself, but she has got to be kidding to think that she will make a difference for us in Congress. Far from it. The NY25 congressional district is just one of 435 seats! And to think her campaign's effort to link Louise to the problems of Washington are just ludicrous-- Slaughter is the true power broker here and takes on the fights no one else will. She gets the job done every time.

And, we do know this. Maggie Brooks has one of the worst records for failed policy in the history of Monroe County government. When it's all said and done, history will not be kind to Maggie Brooks. She is standing with billionaire oil moguls who are propping up the radical Tea Party movement and funding efforts to gut social safety net programs to fund tax cuts for the rich. She is quietly taking ad money from the likes of Karl Rove and Ann Coulter-- are you kidding me? Aligning herself with these  folks is extreme as it gets in Washington.

So, even If she did get elected, think about this for a moment. Brooks would just become a pawn in the GOP chess game. If the GOP keeps the House, she will have marching orders from Speaker Boehner and the likes of the Koch Brothers, and will not have the ability to truly represent the honest interests of the moderate NY 25 Congressional District.

I was asked by local media reporters to comment about Speaker Boehner's visit to Rochester when he stopped by at a Maggie fundraiser earlier this summer. No media outlets had the courage to air or print my response. They basically gave me a blank stare when I dropped this observation on them. It went something like this:

John Boehner came to Rochester for two things. One, to tell Maggie Brooks if she gets elected, he owns her vote. Two, her number two job as a Congress person would be to "raise as much money as you can" for the GOP House. That's it. Boehner’s visit was never about raising money for her campaign or speaking directly to the folks who live in Monroe County-- it was about putting Maggie in her place and making sure she knew that he "owns her vote."

It is inconceivable to think that Maggie Brooks could go to Washington and represent the interests of middle class working people here in Monroe County-- far from it. She has taken campaign contributions from the most extreme radical elements of the conservative right wing political machine. So far, she has been incredibly vague about her policy positions too—explaining to anyone who will listen, “you know my record.” In fact, yes-- we do know you record, Maggie. It’s one that has afforded opportunities to your friends and family and those insulated from any financial harm while at the same time, has lowered the standard of living for everyone else here in Monroe County.

Truth be told, Maggie's hands are already bound-- she is totally in debt to these billionaire radical outliers and she has no other options but answer only to them-- she will never be able to vote on any bill that favors the greater good or general welfare of our citizenry. If you think otherwise, you are just living in a fantasy world.

-Ove Overmyer

Louise Slaughter: Taking on the fights no one else will

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Pride At Work, AFL-CIO Holds Triennial “Boots on the Ground” Convention In Cleveland; Bess Watts Named to National Post

Cleveland, Ohio-- Pride At Work, a constituency group of the AFL-CIO, held their 2012 convention on September 12-15. The conference was highlighted by some big keynote speakers from the American Labor Movement, including AFSCME President Lee Saunders and the President of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten.

This year, delegates said goodbye to Co-Presidents, Donna Cartwright and Stan Kiino and ushered in a very ambitious platform for what delegates and new officers call, “the fight of our lifetime.”
Delegates held executive board elections and selected a new slate of members this year, including Bess Watts from the Rochester & Finger Lakes Chapter. Watts was tapped as an executive vice president in charge of organizing.

The new 2012 national officers of Pride at Work, AFL-CIO are Co-Presidents Lori Pelletier (IAM) & Shane Larson (CWA), Co-VPs Gabriel Haaland (SEIU) & Shellea Allen (UNITE-HERE), VP of Organizing Bess Watts (PAW Rochester & Finger Lakes Chapter President & AFSCME), Secretary Tiffany Heath (TNG-CWA) and Treasurer Gregory King (AFSCME). 

At the convention, delegates passed several resolutions submitted by the national executive board. Most of the initiatives passed unanimously, among them a resolution to support DREAMers, a move to push for LGBT inclusive contracts and transgender health insurance plus the Paycheck Fairness Act. In addition to several business meetings and caucuses during the four-day conference, delegates attended social media workshops and networked with other workers from around the country. Besides New York, union members came from public and private sector chapters in Hawaii, Michigan, Illinois, California, Rhode Island and many other states.

On Saturday, Sept. 15, delegates kept their promise and put their “Boots on the Ground.” They flooded local Cleveland suburbs in a voter registration drive, which is seen as critical for a swing state like Ohio. The Buckeye state has experienced oppressive voter suppression laws that have recently passed the state legislature leaving tens of thousands of Ohioans purged from board of election files.

According to Watts, some of the major issues facing Pride At Work and LGBT workers include employment discrimination, obtaining LGBT inclusive contract language in collective bargaining agreements, Immigration and Family reunification efforts and of course, marriage equality for those states who are still trying to get the same basic protections enjoyed by their heterosexual co-workers. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Attention CSEA Monroe County Workers Unit 7400:

There will be two additional informational meetings regarding the Tentative Agreement to be held on:

  • Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ Auditorium B - Monroe Community Hospital 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm

  • Friday, September 14th, 2012 - City Place - 3rd Floor Auditorium – Room 3139 - 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Please print off a copy of the meeting notice here and share with your co-workers. The Unit 7400 negotiations team is recommending a YES vote on the tentative agreement.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Rochester, N.Y.-- The local chapter of the Federation of Social Workers is looking for more nominees for this year's Human Service Awards! Nominees can come from any field that works with people or volunteers. Past honorees have included individuals from:

* education
* healthcare
* law enforcement
* social work
* community groups

Human service comes in many forms and from many different sources. Please take a moment to nominate someone who you know who has made an exceptional contribution as either a professional or a volunteer. They deserve recognition from the community that they serve. 

Please see the attachment or go directly to to download the nomination form. A one page narrative describing what the individual or organization has done to help those in need in the community is all that is required. The documents can then be faxed to the FSW office at 328-2162.


Once again, it's Monroe County vs. the state comptroller


County officials are on the offensive over the latest state Comptroller's Office audit report criticizing the county's use of local development corporations (LDC's).
Late Friday, the county released a draft of the audit report, which specifically targets the county's use of Monroe Security and Safety Systems LDC to contract out upgrades to public-safety communications systems. It also released a statement responding to the audit, which it rightly points out is the third LDC-related audit in the past year.
"Mr. DiNapoli’s unnecessary reviews of successful public private partnerships suggest that he is hostile to utilizing the efficiency and ingenuity of the private sector to protect taxpayers and reduce the size of government," said Scott Adair, the county's chief financial officer. "The LDC model was actually established in law by New York State government to allow local governments to do exactly what Monroe County is doing right now — take on important projects, while achieving savings for taxpayers.”
The audit is highly critical of the county, and says that the process used to procure the contract favored a specific firm: Navitech. It says that the county appears to have had discussions with future beneficiaries of the contract about the used of an LDC as early as 2006. Navitech's chief operating officer is Stephen Gleason, a former finance director for the county. (The state Attorney General's Office is investigating the request for proposals process used to solicit bids and which resulted in Navitech's selection.)
The audit report says that the 20-year, $212 million contract — particularly $30.3 million in administrative and management fees — benefits "individuals with previous ties to the county."
The audit report says that the county will overpay by $39 million over the life of the contract. Adair and other county officials disagree on this point; they say it'll save taxpayers $10 million.
But the audit report makes few striking recommendations. Mainly, it recommends that the county follow accepted bidding and contracting procedures. It also says that the county "should not deliberately structure capital expenditures into long-term contracts as a means of reclassifying these expenses as operating expenditures, thus diminishing legislative oversight and public transparency."
Local Democrats have criticized Republican county administrations for transferring assets — including a parking garage, a power station, and county information technology — to LDC ownership. Their arguments mirror the audit's recommendation.
In its statement, the county says that it is preparing a formal response.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Western Region 6 President Flo Tripi leads a large contingent of marchers in
the 26th Annual Rochester Labor Day Parade on Monday, September 3, 2012.
photo: Ove Overmyer
Monday, September 3, 2012 

(Rochester, N.Y.) -- Thousands of workers from several dozen unions in the Rochester area took part in the 26th Annual Labor Day festivities on Monday, celebrating "Walk With the 99%."

At 10:00 am, The Rochester Labor Council hosted a press conference on the steps of the local Boy Scouts headquarters as area union leaders greeted the media.

Union leaders say this year they were calling for what President Franklin Roosevelt wanted in 1944, a second Bill of Rights. That would give Americans the right to quality education, medical care and retirement security. Most of all, it called for workers to have the right to organize and make a living wage.

Western Region President Flo Tripi gave a sober and stirring speech about voter suppression efforts around the country. She warned that every labor ally must become politically active in order to fight our oppressors in any meaningful way. 

"We are right now in a recession, a depression of consumer demand and consumer spending," explained Jim Bertolone, President of the Rochester & Vicinity Labor Council, AFL-CIO. "Workers need a raise, and they need jobs and that's the only thing that will get the economy going. We need a strong middle class."

An hour later, the Rochester Labor Day Parade began in the East End and made its way through downtown Rochester. CSEA had a large contingent in the Rochester parade, and once again built an award-winning float honoring 19th and 20th century labor and civil rights heroes. 

After the parade, members attended picnics, some did volunteer work and community service, and others visited amusement parks and local beaches with their family and friends.