News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


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President Trump Endorses Tenney Return To Congress

President Trump Endorses

Tenney Return To Congress

Former Congressman Claudia Tenney confers with President Trump when he visited Utica in 2018. (Utica College photo)

NEW HARTFORD – Former and would-be Congresswoman Claudia Tenney today announced her endorsement by President Trump in her campaign against U.S. Anthony Brindisi, D-22st, who voted for Trump’s impeachment.  The 22nd District is directly north of the 19th, which includes Otsego County.

The president tweeted: “Claudia Tenney is a fantastic candidate running in New York, where she was a Great member of Congress. She is Strong on Crime, Borders, Cutting Taxes, your #2A, and she Loves our Military and Vets. Claudia has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

What Was Objectionable In State Of Union Speech?


What Was Objectionable

In State Of Union Speech?

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rips up a text of the State of the Union Address as President Trump was accepting applause at its completion Tuesday, Feb. 4.

By MIKE ZAGATA • Special to

This past week we had an opportunity to observe our President highlight his accomplishments and lay out his agenda for next year.  Every president does this annually in the State of the Union Address.  As is almost always the case, depending on party affiliation, there will be things covered that draw applause and some that draw frowns – and once in a while both sides are supportive.

I watched the address and here’s what I heard the President claim to have done for us: increase wages more for the lower half of wage earners than for the upper tier; reduce unemployment, especially for minorities, to historic lows; stimulate a blue-collar boom; create “Opportunity Zones” in our economically depressed cities (we could use one); re-negotiate trade deals with Mexico, Canada and China that will benefit American workers, including farmers; take steps to assure we are an “inclusive” society; and defend our borders.

Mike Zagata, DEC commissioner in the Pataki Administration and a former environmental executive for Fortune 500 companies, lives in West Davenport.

These actions should not come as a surprise because they were part of the promises he made while campaigning.  When was the last time a candidate you supported actually kept those campaign promises?

The latter half of the Address was devoted to listing the actions he was committed to take, with the support of Congress, on our behalf in the coming year.  The list included things normally supported by Republicans and things normally supported by Democrats.

Some of those things are: Education Freedom Scholarships & Opportunities Act (freedom for students in impoverished school districts to choose the best school); ensure that every high school offers vocational and technical education; permanent funding for historically black colleges and universities; health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions; reduce the cost, not the quality, of healthcare and prescription drugs; ensure that Medicare benefits are secured for our senior citizens and not allowed to be depleted by providing those benefits to illegal aliens; complete the wall along our southern border; further curb the opioid epidemic; increase funding for neo-natal research; end late-term abortion; provide paid family leave via the “Working Families Act”; join the international initiative to plant one trillion trees to restore forests and combat climate change; re-build our infrastructure; provide high-speed internet to rural America; increase support for law enforcement, afford families who lose a loved one due to a criminal protected by a “sanctuary city” the right to sue that city; revise our out-dated immigration laws; defend religious freedom and the second amendment; plant our flag on Mars with the help of the newly created “Space Force”; negotiate peace talks between Israel and Palestine; end the war in Afghanistan; invite Iran to the peace-talks table; and fight terrorism.

It seemed to me the President had addressed traditional Republican-oriented programs and offered several olive branches to the Democrats.  In response, the Democratic Speaker of the House publically tore up the speech reflecting her disdain for its contents and the President.

How much longer are those of us being impacted by this obvious hatred by those Democrats going to allow it to continue?  We are all, Democrats and Republicans alike, suffering as a result of this acrimony and it needs to stop.  Grow up and work together on behalf of the American people who elected you.


Delgado’s Family Farm Bill Signed By President Trump

Delgado’s Family-Farm Bill

Signed By President Trump

Law Widens Bankruptcy Help For Farmers

Congressman Delgado

U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado’s bi-partisan bill to aid family farmers during downturns in the agriculture economy was signed into law Friday by President Trump, the congressman’s office announced.

H.R. 2336, The Family Farmer Relief Act, eases the process of reorganizing debt through Chapter 12 bankruptcy rules, a tool created specifically to help family farmers during tough economic times. Delgado introduced the legislation in April with support from House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and Reps. TJ Cox (D-Calif.), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.). This legislation passed the House on July 26, the Senate on Aug. 2.

Otsego Clerk Asks Trump: Turn Off  ‘Green Light’ Law


Otsego Clerk Asks

Trump: Turn Off

 ‘Green Light Law’

She Also Worries Illegal Immigrants

May Inadvertently Be Allowed To Vote


COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner said yesterday she has joined 30 county clerks in sending a letter to President Trump, asking him to direct the U.S. Justice Department to go to court to block the state’s new “Green Light Law.”

In an interview, Saratoga County Clerk Chris Hayner said, as of yesterday, that number had risen to 35.  He said all were Republicans, except Oneida County Clerk Sandra DePerno, a Utica Democrat.

President In Clear, But Allies Spouted Documented Lies

President In Clear, But Allies

Spouted Documented Lies

To the Editor:

I feel obligated to respond to just a few pearls of wisdom promulgated by Otsego County Republican Chairperson Vince Casale in his recent column, “Was Justice Achieved?”

Does anyone else see the irony of Mr. Casale decrying the horrors of “gotcha politics” while simultaneously extolling the virtues of Roger Stone, his dapper prom date at the most recent Otsego County Republican dinner?

Stone is after all, a self-professed and self-promoted “dirty trickster” so it’s a little hard to generate a whole lot of sympathy for him.

Vince, we may have indicted a ham sandwich as you said, but by the time the justice system is finished with Stone we can only hope that he’s finely ground sausage. For years he’s been emblematic of the type of “gotcha politics” Vince decries, and he deserves nothing less than the book being thrown at him.

I was also interested in Vince’s claim of a “smear campaign” being perpetrated by the Democrats. Last time I checked, we had documented proof of extensive Russian meddling in our election.

1,000s Demonstrate Awaiting Trump Arrival

1,000s Demonstrate

Awaiting Trump Arrival

Awaiting President Trump in downtown Utica, members of “Indivisible Mohawk Valley” speak to a large crowd in the plaza of the State Office Building. The President’s arrival in the city brought out 1,000s of demonstrators, both in support and opposition of to the president. (Parker Fish/



Congresswoman Tenney at earlier meeting with President Trump.

UTICA – For the first time since President Obama appeared at the Hall of Fame in 2014, a president – Donald Trump – is planning a stop in Central New York, in Utica Monday afternoon.

After a stop at Fort Drum in Watertown, Air Force One is due to arrive at 4:05 p.m. at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome for the president to attend a fundraiser for U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, the Utica area Republican, whose 22nd District skirts the Otsego-Oneida county line.

KUZMINSKI: Can GOP, Democrats Compromise?

Column by Adrian Kuzminski on June 29, 2018

Can GOP, Democrats Compromise?

Adrian Kuzminski

About a year ago, a deal was suggested between President Trump and establishment Democrats whereby Trump would support a path to citizenship for at least some illegal aliens while Democrats would support something like The Wall on the southern border.
The deal came very close, after Democrats met with Trump, but fell apart. It’s now back in the news again.
Is such a compromise possible, or even desirable? A Wall is anathema to Democrats. Closing off the southern border with some kind of impenetrable human barrier seems to them a crime against humanity.
Thousands of refugees from Central America in particular are fleeing the violence not only of drug lords, but also – this isn’t so well reported – of authoritarian regimes suppressing dissent, especially in San Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
A case could be made that the American support for these governments has contributed to the violence, and that the U.S. owes it to these people to take them in – but the Democrats aren’t making that argument.
The idealism of some Democrats has reached the point where, in their minds, national borders are an anachronism that should no longer exist. Since all peoples are equal, what could possibly justify any kind of barrier to admission to the United States?
Isn’t everyone really a citizen of the world? Isn’t the United States – as the exceptional society defined by the Constitution, not by ethnicity – the representative of the future, and thereby the natural home of all refugees?
Some Republicans, on the other hand, are alarmed by the loss of national identity and traditional values. They fear cultural dissolution not only from unrestricted immigration, but from the related forces of globalization and secularization.

This week’s controversial Time magazine cover juxtaposes a photo taken last week at the border in McAllen, Texas, with a photo of President Trump.

The certitudes of family, religion, custom, ethics, patriotism – even the rule of law – seem to be eroding away in favor of a disorienting cosmopolitan culture without clear values, where money rules, and traditional roles and behaviors are replaced by consumerism and egotism.
Walls don’t seem very promising. Think of the Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, the Berlin Wall, or the current Israeli West Bank Wall. Border; security only seems to work when there is normal traffic, not a press of desperate refugees or insurgents.
On the other hand, there is arguably no national sovereignty if there is little or no border control at all. That’s long been the case on our southern border, where a blind eye has been turned to illegal immigrants because they provided cheap labor for jobs no one else would do. The result has been an illegal American underclass, estimated at around 11 million people.
In a deal, Trump would get his Wall, or some version of it, which would probably be more effective, if not foolproof, than what we have now. In return for this, the Democrats would get no less than a reasonable path to citizenship for ALL illegal aliens currently in the country, not just the Dreamers. Immigrants would be offered a dignified formal process for citizenship, with families kept together, in place of the police state tactics we have seen.
Some kind of standard of what it means to be an American would be established. Not everyone (criminals, etc.) would qualify, but most presumably would. Think of Ellis Island. The promise of an America for all would be restored, and the underworld of illegal immigration would be drastically reduced, if not eliminated.
Compromise takes courage and vision, now in short supply. The challenge is to figure out a definition of America that lies between the relentless march of a global cosmopolitanism that undermines traditional values, and a desperate reaction to it that doubles down on chauvinism, racism, and religious dogmatism.
The middle ground between these extremes is where a real compromise can be found. It would be the reinvention of a viable American center, something long overdue.

Adrian Kuzminski, retired Hartwick College philosophy professor and Sustainable Otsego moderator, lives in Fly Creek.

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