Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ulster County's Liberty Coalition

I just received this e-mail from Robin Yess, former Ulster County Republican Committee chair.  The Town of Olive has proposed a town plan that seems to have been ICLEI-inspired, but no one can trace the reasons why the particular consultant who wrote the plan was hired.  In any case, Olive is so corrupt that there is little chance of the plan not being pushed through.  It is good that Robin Yess is pushing for some pro-freedom candidates. Let us hope and pray that she is successful.  Given New York's moral and economic deterioration literally over more than a century, it does not seem likely.   With deteriorating real estate prices, by the time I retire a move to a southwestern state will probably be easy to accomplish.  Why on earth would anyone want to live in New York? 
TO: Friends and Supporters of Republican Party Principles


Three months ago I resigned my post as Ulster County Republican Committee Chair after deciding that fighting a battle with people who don’t support the same principles I do is a battle not worth fighting. After four years, I realized there are too many RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) among us, who make it difficult to make any headway.

Two core principles of the Republican Party are smaller government and lower taxes. When a handful of elected Republican Legislators are supporting policy that goes against these two core principles they are not Republicans, but are RINOs.  When Republican Town Chairmen support continuation or expansion of government (aka build a new Golden Hill Health Care Center), they are RINOs. When an elected Republican Legislator stands in front of the County Office Building carrying a CSEA sign in support of “building new,” there are RINOs among us. When an elected Republican Legislator speaks at a local Tea Party meeting in favor of building new, but fails to disclose that his mother-in-law is a current resident at Golden Hill, we have a RINO on our team. When two Town Boards – one with Republicans in the majority – pass memorializing resolutions in support of keeping a County-run nursing home, we are surrounded by RINOs and are about to get the horn.

I have asked numerous “build new” supporters to show me the numbers. Nothing makes things more painfully clear than a nice Excel spreadsheet. Show me that it’s not going to increase our tax liability, raise our debt burden or require more of a county subsidy and if they can show me that, then I’m on board. No surprise that no one has provided me with those numbers yet. Besides the numbers, there is just no reason for any government to be in the nursing home business. Period.


The Liberty Coalition was formed several months ago as a means to help candidates running for elected office at the local, county and state levels who are solid supporters of core Republican principles. While there have been many rumors about this group, we all believe that any Republican who supports continuing a County-run nursing home has lost sight of the Republican philosophy of smaller government and lower/lesser taxes. In the coming months, the Liberty Coalition will register as a PAC (political action committee) to help candidates win and, in some cases, help their opponents lose. We will provide candidates assistance with the help of our experienced team, financial support and volunteers for door-to-door and other efforts. This year we will have a presence in a number of countywide races.

The Liberty Coalition’s advisory team consists of David VanBenschoten, Jon Dogar Marinesco, Pam Odell, Vivian Wadlin, Mitchell Langbert and Robin Vaccai Yess. We hope you will join us and if you would like to, please reply to this email.


The rumor that Roger Rascoe, new Republican County Chairman, pushed a deal to support longtime Legislator Rich Parete (Democrat) to run on the Republican line in Marbletown is true. Rich, who plays cards with Independence Party Chair Len Bernardo and who will no doubt support Len’s wife Terry Bernardo to become the next Chair of the Legislature (also heard on the street), won the support of his Party and will run on both the Democrat and Republican lines because of Roger’s deal. (Call the Board of Elections to confirm. I did.) I have nothing against Rich Parete personally, but what do the Republicans stand for when they make a deal to support a long-time Democrat legislator whose father (also running for Legislature) is the former Democrat Party County Chairman?

Haven’t we learned that holding the Republican Majority doesn’t mean anything when the elected Republicans don’t behave or vote like Republicans?

The Bernardos, who failed, but worked diligently behind the scenes to oust current Legislature Chairman Fred Wadnola at the beginning of this year, have already been working the angles to secure the votes for Legislature Chair for Terry, a first-time Legislator who – two years ago – won in a fixed election that she was guaranteed to win. No shock that this didn’t sit well with many residents of the Towns of Rochester and Wawarsing, many of whom have not forgotten this infringement on their rights to choose and elect their Legislators. But let’s not start counting votes for Chair just yet. It’s no secret that Terry has a challenger for her Legislative seat and now after being bumped off the Conservative line, she must first win in the primary election. Manuela Michailescu, finishing her first four-year term as Town of Rochester Councilwoman, is also running for County Legislature in District 2.

In 2009, Manuela was the highest vote-getter in the Town of Rochester in the Republican Primary for Legislature. In the general election she won the Republican line by 415 votes, winning in all 18 local districts of the former Ulster County District 1 (Rochester, Wawarsing and Marbletown). This year without a rigged race, the voters will decide and may the best candidate win.


There will be Republican primaries for County Legislature in at least three Legislative Districts. This is a good thing.

Legislative District 1 (Saugerties) – Terrence Valk and Mary Wawro
Legislative District 2 (Saugerties) – Walter Frey against Bob Aiello
Legislative District 21 (Rochester) – Manuela Michailescu against Terry Bernardo

In these races, the Liberty Coalition supports Walter Frey in District 2 and Manuela Michaeilescu in District 21. We currently have no position in the District 1 race.

Legislator Frey, serving in his first-time, serves at the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee.

NOTE: Legislator Belfiglio filed an objection to Legislator Laura Petit’s Republican petitions for District 8. I guess Belfiglio thinks that writing in a PO Box in addition to an already printed registered address (as recorded with the Board of Elections) on a Designating Petition is cause enough to have Petit’s petition signatures to run on the Republican line tossed out. Or could it be that Belfiglio realizes he will lose? An appeal on this matter is pending. The Liberty Coalition supports Laura Petit in District 8.


The Independence Party in Ulster County has approximately 5,000 voters registered in their Party. Unfortunately, approximately one-third of them think they are not registered in any Party. The small size of the Independence Party, when considering the total County population of approximately 185,000, does not stop Party leaders from exerting undue influence over elections and candidates. It is no secret that appointed Chair Len Bernardo (not elected by the Party) threatens to withhold Independence Party support from any candidate or incumbent who doesn’t do as he asks. I am told that at a recent meeting of the Saugerties Republican Committee Bernardo strongly encouraged the committee to support a certain Legislator and suggested if they didn’t that no Town candidate would receive the IND line. I doubt the Independence Party members are aware of this.

There will be more to come in the weeks and months ahead and please feel free to forward this email to anyone you think is interested. My email list is blind for obvious reasons, but I assure you it’s large. Soon we will be launching the Liberty Coalition website and a self-subscribe email list. Stay tuned.

Robin Vaccai Yess for:

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