A day in the life of the campaigns, less than two weeks out

Over a period of time I have found my way on to the email lists of a variety of national political candidates and their committees.  Being a Democrat, emails from that side of the aisle come naturally.  On the Republican side I trace the contacts to my travels around South Carolina during the Republican presidential primary in 2016.  At that time the process was to request tickets for an event, so I got on the email lists of the Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Bush and Kasich campaigns.  Many campaigns have a habit of loaning or selling their lists, so over time the contacts spread far and wide.

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Trump and McConnell don’t have any interest in helping local taxpayers

Two weeks to go.  The Republican Party and their fearless leader seem confused, disoriented and running low on cash.  Perhaps the hydroxychloroquine is having an effect.

With the real possibility that the Party may lose power on November 3 you might think that that threat would help focus their attention on pandemic-related issues, but no, they’re too busy trying to pack the Supreme Court with another appointment squeezed in before the election.  After all, they got away with ignoring Merrick Garland to pack Neil Gorsuch onto the Court in 2017.

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SUNY Erie’s financial issues come to a fork in the road

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Yogi Berra

As regular readers of this blog know, I have over the past several years written many posts detailing the financial problems facing SUNY Erie, aka Erie Community College or ECC. The problems have been long-term and very serious.

SUNY Erie is not unique among colleges in facing money problems. Most institutions are heavily dependent on growing or at least maintaining steady enrollment since in one form or another enrollment determines most of the financial resources of the schools. In New York State and elsewhere enrollment has been declining for several years. The pandemic has made matters worse. Continue reading

Republicans want to take away health care protections

For many, many reasons Americans in October 2020 are focused on the pandemic and health care issues. The election is upon us. So let’s look at the record.

For the last ten years the Republican Party has promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka, ACA or Obamacare). For the past four years Trump has promised the same. The Republican Party has failed. Continue reading

Crunch time in local budget preparations as federal relief legislation stalls

As the leaves turn and the weather gets colder local governments in New York State shift into high gear in preparations for their 2021 budgets.  The leaves on the trees will look a lot nicer than those budgets.

Reduced business activity continues to cut substantially into local sales tax revenues, a major part of local budget funding.  Some government fee collections will also be affected as well as the payment of property taxes.  Things are better than they were in April and May, but pandemic restrictions on business activities make it likely that the situation will not improve a whole lot over the next several months, into 2021.

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Losers and suckers …

By Steve Banko

Originally published in the Buffalo News

Losers and suckers …

I can’t say this is the first time I’ve been classified thusly.  It is, though, the first time I’ve heard those terms in a while. The first time was on my first trip home from Vietnam. Two bullets had shattered my knee and I was making my way through the Greyhound station in Boston in 1969 when a young girl spit at me and said the VC should have finished me off.

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