It is common knowledge that subprime mortgages enabled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, became the weapons of mass destruction which brought down the big financial institutions and created the current recession. So who are the people who controlled Fannie and Freddie as they took the world down the path of financial destruction and what are they up to now? In something so big, so consequential, it is difficult to single out one person or one group but the chief culprits stand out clearly.
For starters there is Andrew Cuomo. Yes, Andrew Cuomo, the very same person who now conceals his major role in the worldwide financial trainwreck in hopes an uninformed electorate will make him governor of New York. Between 1997 and 2003, Andrew Cuomo was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Clinton. He had no background in housing or banking and his appointment was strictly a reward for political loyalty. During his tenure Cuomo led Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into ruinously loose lending standards backed by an implicit guarantee of taxpayer bailouts. Borrowers with no prospect of being able to repay got mortgages, often with no money down. Of course Andrew Cuomo didn’t act alone; the impetus for his actions came from Democrats in Congress who promoted, championed and excused the actions. People like Maurice Hinchey, Barnie Frank, Maxine Waters, Charles Schumer, Barack Obama (yes, he was then Senator Obama) … politicians whose re-election strategy is to buy votes via political give-aways.
Thus was built a financial house of cards. It took five additional years for this house of cards to finally collapse, but collapse it did with catastrophic effects in which we are still immersed.
So why would anyone want Andrew Cuomo, the engineer of financial collapse, to be governor of New York? And why would anyone vote for a political hack like Maurice Hinchey, the prototypical left wing opportunist who contributed mightily to the financial collapse and who has made a comfortable career for himself by buying votes and paying for them with other people’s money? Wouldn’t it be far better to vote this crowd out?
THANK YOU NOTE FROM SLAM
Saugerties Saving Library, Arts and Music committee (SLAM) would like thank everyone involved in making Saugerties SLAM JAM Twilight Concert at Opus 40 on August 28 a huge success. We raised approximately $15,000 which is double the amount we were hoping for. We had over 500 people attend and we are grateful for those that support us and our efforts.
We are so blessed to have artists of such high caliber that came out and performed for us. In particular we would like to thank the following people who made this event so successful: John Medeski and Chris Wood with Ben Perowsky on drums, David Sancious and Joe Bonadio, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams with Amy Helm and Byron Isaacs, and a special guest singer Connor Kennedy of Saugerties. They all played wonderfully and we were all captivated by their talents. It is so wonderful, and rare, to be living among such gifted people who are so generous with their time and talents. This event could not have taken place without them.
We were very pleased to have a prelude to the concert from M&M Rock-N-Jazz Ensemble directed by Bernhardt Spirig. The band included Noah Barbaro, Kaleb Friedman, Max Grandstaff, Lily Haig, Nicole Joers, Jacob Johansen, Ava Mateo, Alec Myer, Miles O’Brien, Madison Perri, Dan Sachar, Julian Spirig and Billy Voerg. They are a group of fifth and sixth grade instrumental students from Mt. Marion and Morse elementary schools. The instrumental program has been eliminated from our district. It is SLAM’s #1 priority to reinstate this program. These students are proving their dedication by continuing to practice and play at events during the summer.
We were delighted and honored to have Maurice Hinchey speak on behalf of library, art and music education in our schools. He has opened a dialogue with a group of concerned parents from SLAM and we look forward to working on this with him in the future.
In June before we even had our first meeting as Saugerties SLAM, we spoke to Pat and Tad Richards the owners of Opus 40 about having a concert to try to raise money for the students of Saugerties and they offered this incredible venue to help our students. Over the years Pat and Tad have held numerous events for the students of Saugerties including art shows. They immediately set in motion the effort to get Opus 40’s board approval. Their energy, guidance and the incredible donation of Opus 40 made a beautiful and memorable venue for such a glorious day. Saugerties SLAM cannot thank you enough for all that you did in running this concert and opening your home so that the artists had a private green room before and during the concert. We are so honored to have been able to work with you.
We were very grateful to have had the generosity of our Sponsors to cover our costs for the concert and raise money for reinstatement of programs. They are: Opus 40, Radio Woodstock 100.1 WDST, Ins & Outs- Raymond Shillke, Blue Mountain Bistro- To-Go, Kiwanis Club of Saugerties, Music Works, Westwood Metes & Bounds Realty, the Humphrey Family, Ulster Publishing, the law office of John J. Greco, the Averill Family, the Bolitzer Family, Saugerties PBA, Saugerties Town Police, Ulster County Sheriff’s Department, Smith Hardware, Kosco Oil, Saugerties Central Schools, Positive Feedback LCC., Saugerties Electric Inc., Saugerties Democratic Committee, George W. Redder attorney at Law, Bob Karcy- Arkadia Records, Carol Spirig- Realtor, Hudson Valley Prenatal, H. Renate Crisp, Betty Jorgensen, H.Haller Financial, Mid-Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rag and Bone, Lucky Chocolates, Platte Clove Naturals Granola, Boice’s Farm Stand, Sauer Farm, Boices’s Dairy, Diaz Ambulance, John Keal Music Company, Greg Helsmoortal, Saugerties Inquiring Minds,and Catskill Art and Office Supply.
A special thanks to our 40-plus volunteers which included students, parents, grandparents, community members, teachers, a school nurse and the Superintendent of Saugerties Central Schools who emceed the event, for volunteering for the day. You all worked very hard and pulled off a huge task.
The concert committee worked diligently to create this premiere event for SLAM. It took 2 1/2 months to organize and hours upon hours of work. We had early disappointments and delays and last minute cancellations yet everyone persevered and continued to pull off this day successfully. Our concert committee included co-chairs Carl Mateo and Carol Spirig, organizers Pat and Tad Richards, Trish Agar, Rich and Diane Brandes, Charles Griffiths, Danette Kadlic, Bob Karcy, Jessica Riozzi, Victor Sachar, Heidi Sorenson, Bernhardt Spirig, Josh Tyler, Kelli Weber and myself. It was a real honor to have worked on this project with you.
Thank you all for helping keep library, arts and music alive in Saugerties Central Schools.
Saugerties SLAM Committee Chair
RICKS FOR TOWN JUSTICE
We are a multi-political family that is united in our support of Wendy Ricks. Her endeavor is to be re-elected to the position of town justice. We admire her integrity, her experience and commitment to our town. Good luck, Wendy.
Howie & Pat Wittenbecher
We are writing to let you know that we have enthusiastically endorsed Eric Schneiderman for New York State Attorney General. This was an easy decision for us to make because, as a lifelong progressive reformer, Eric has fought as an attorney, activist and lawmaker to deliver equal justice for all New Yorkers. Eric has the deepest, broadest and most diverse grassroots coalition in this race — it’s a coalition that only a candidate devoted to fighting for equality and justice can build. Eric has been a strong leader for the interests of New York’s hard working families from increasing the minimum wage, to championing the right to organize, to improving the worker’s compensation system, to bringing good-paying green jobs to our state.
Eric will fight against corporate corruption on behalf of New Yorkers who have been victimized by big corporations, big banks, insurance companies and other special interests that don’t play by the rules. He’s been a leader in fighting corruption and abuse in state government. He authored the most sweeping ethics reforms in decades and led the charge to expel corrupt Sen. Hiram Monserrate after he was convicted of a domestic violence crime.
Schneiderman lead the fight to end the draconian Rockefeller Drug laws that wasted taxpayer dollars and devastated NY communities for decades.
Named one of the greenest senators in the state by EPL/Environmental Advocates, Eric is an unwavering supporter of environmental justice. He believes that every New Yorker has the right to clean air, safe drinking water and healthy communities to raise their children. Eric also believes that environmental protection and job creation must go hand in hand.
As The New York Times wrote in its endorsement, “We endorse Senator Schneiderman in the Democratic primary because of his sound judgment, legal expertise, political independence and long history of fighting for government reform.”
Guy Kempe, Jennifer Fuentes, Brian Shapiro, Jim Mays
Mid Hudson Valley Working Families Party