Opinion Articles

This page provides a forum for members of the Democratic Party in Orleans County to express their individual opinions on a wide range of topics. These opinion articles do not necessarily reflect the views of any Democratic group. Submissions can be emailed to info@orleansdemocrats.com, we just ask you to be civil, watch your language, and avoid personal attacks.

Al Capurso Editorial

I am truly honored that the Chairman of the Orleans County Conservative Party mentioned me in an editorial (September 9). Mr. Al Lofthouse was putting forth the conservative manifesto that Governor Cuomo is an “egoistical bully” and that “Marxists, Socialists, and Communists” are conspiring to bring trump down (small case “t” on purpose). How convenient it is to accuse your opponents of doing that of which you are guilty. First of all, Mr. Cuomo’s agenda of free college tuition for all, healthcare for all, a push for renewable safe energy, upholding the right to marry who you love, and sensible gun control are exactly where the majority of New Yorkers and US citizens are right now. Conservatives would have you believe that tax dollars should not be spent on the greater good of society. They prefer tax subsidies for the rich. The Republican plan to pay for them is to cut our Social Security and Medicare.

A growing number of citizens are realizing that trump’s troubles are of his own making. His low poll numbers reflect this. Time and time again, his incompetence, amorality, childish rants, defending law-breakers, defending racists, pathological lying and his use of racial slurs have been collaborated by senior staffers, recordings and thorough reporting and extensive interviews by our most professional, unbiased media outlets (Fox doesn’t fit this definition). His own people are trying to protect our country from him. How scary and inappropriate is that? Plain and simple, trump is his own worse enemy. He has done these things to himself.

Mr. Lofthouse, who you voted for in 2016 and will vote for in 2020 is a test of character. Obviously you failed.

Al Capurso

Relevance of the Constitution

With the exception of the Second Amendment, is the Constitution merely an out of date nuisance?

Sections 7 and 8 in Article 1 certainly are problematic for would-be tyrants. To them, clause 1 in each is especially annoying. But what is a demagogue to do?

And what is that Article 2, section 4 impeachment garbage? You mean a President can be effectively indicted by a simple majority of the House of Representatives for “misdemeanors”? I mean I can see treason and bribery being grounds for removing a loser from the Supreme Court or the executive branch.

Where it gets dicey is with the words our fourth president used to define what treason is. In Article 3, section 3, Madison wrote that treason against the United States “. . . consist(s) only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” Not sure what a strict constructionist on the Supreme Court would make of that. But I gave it thoughtful consideration as a student in Dr. Owen S. Ireland’s and Dr. Harold Rakov’s classes back in the 1960’s at S.U.N.Y. Brockport. For one thing, I gathered that, to “comfort” could—in part—be to make someone, or some enemy, feel better! Imagine what Madison may have had in mind when he provided that high officials of the United States might be impeached for “misdemeanors”. What is your definition of a misdemeanor anyway? I leave it to the reader to decide what constitutes “aid” to our enemies. And what defines an enemy?

Then there’s the annoying Bill of Rights, not to mention amendments such as the 14th, 19th and 22nd.

Joe Arpaio might have learned the 4th Amendment “probable clause” protection may apply to non-citizens. Who knows? And the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures” just might apply to all within our borders.

So where will presumptive nominee Brett Kavanaugh come down on something like Amendment 9? When a strict constructionist like Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork was going through unsuccessful hearings, I would have given plenty for someone to ask him what Amendment 9’s meaning was. If it has no meaning, why was it included in the Bill of Rights? Read it and see what you think. While a certain case can be made for it, is this the time to add a Supreme Court justice who may feel the President is above the law?

Some who may have favored Clinton’s impeachment and conviction are all good with overlooking far more numerous and egregious “indiscretions” today.

What fascinates some who take citizenship in a republic seriously is that tearing down institutions such as a free press, the judiciary, free elections, the F.B.I.–and the Constitution itself–are being shrugged off as “fake news”. After all, don’t we all have more important things to concern ourselves with?

Concerned and even alarmed,

Gary Kent
Albion, NY

Al Capurso supports Gov. Cuomo

To the Editor:

On September 13 there will be a Democratic Primary for Governor. If you are a registered Democrat, you can vote.

Permit me to tell you why I am supporting Governor Cuomo. First and foremost he is a proven fighter against the wrecking ball Trump agenda. Mr. Cuomo is pushing for a guaranteed fair minimum wage. He will continue to advance gun safety, defend health care, protect reproductive rights, reunite separated immigrant families, provide tuition-free college, support paid family leave, safeguard the right to union organizing, ensure LGBT equality, stand with Puerto Rico and expand voting rights making it easier for low income, seniors and non drivers to vote.

I encourage you to support our Governor on September 13.

Thank you,
Al Capurso

Politicians and NY-27

Dear Editor:

What to make of Chris Collins? After all, what he got caught doing pales by comparison to what The Donald and his group of insiders are all about. Should it surprise anyone that giving tax breaks to the mega-rich—along with regulation abatement–would ‘juice’ an economy already doing quite well when he took office?

Are all republicans the ‘scumbags’ that Bob Lonsberry labeled Collins? Please.

Do all democrats want to enable deadbeats and abolish I.C.E.? Come on.

We need to differentiate between the Spitzers, Percocos and Silvers and the LaFalces, Hochuls and Slaughters.

We get representatives like Chris Collins because we don’t take our responsibilities as citizens of a republic seriously enough. The price of liberty actually is eternal vigilance. The problem is that today, if we don’t like it, or cannot understand it, we call it “fake news”. Once labeled as such, some of us—in our delusional minds–seem to think we are absolved from dealing with it. After all, it is “fake”.

Paul Lauricella may be a science denier, but he is right on when he calls for more involvement in the political process.

Kelly Gregoire—similar to millions of others—may have succumbed to wishful thinking, even though they are educated and mean well. Kelly may have been taken in by The Donald, as were many good people, but I believe her reasons for running for the republican committee in Murray are pure.

But finding redeeming features in The Donald, as Al Capurso states unequivocally, is challenging. His numerous female accusers aren’t all “liars”. Was the Access Hollywood video “fake news”? The Atlantic City contractors he never paid actually worked on the Taj Mahal resort.

Chris Collins’ biggest fault is not that he used his position to make—and avoid losing—millions of dollars. The thing that makes him a liability his constituents cannot afford is that he is an enabler of The Donald. I might consider voting for someone with ½ the backbone of John McCain, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, Charlie Dent, or several others who understand The Donald is a con man. Rob Ortt seems like a solid, ethical, guy, but if he doesn’t call out The Donald, neither he, nor any republican similarly disposed deserves our votes.

Nate McMurray seems like a person of principle. Electing him would demonstrate that even in the supposedly solid 27th Congressional district (where having an “R” beside your name may be all it takes) people have had enough self-serving conduct and grade-school bully tactics. It’s “time out” time.

Sincerely yours,
Gary Kent
Albion, NY

Response to Jeffrey Atwell

Trump supporter Mr. Jeffrey Atwell (August 15 letter) says it doesn’t matter which politician inspires us. I couldn’t disagree more. Who we choose to inspire us speaks to our character, our integrity, how we view and treat our fellow human beings. It’s also a predictor of future behaviors. He claims he knows me, but then goes on to make erroneous assumptions. He is making a big mistake if he thinks he can defend Trump’s outrageous behaviors by hiding behind Hillary Clinton. Trump and his cronies are under federal investigation (some have been indicted/plead guilty) for collusion (treason), money laundering, obstruction of justice, and lying to the FBI. Hillary Clinton was the most investigated public official in history, resulting in NO indictments. Not one.

I’m glad to learn Trump is making his hats in the U.S. Perhaps he can stop outsourcing the rest of his and his daughter’s line of clothing as well.

In Mr. Atwell’s Trumpian world, the media lies and only Trump can be believed. Good luck with that.

Al Capurso

Response to Kellie Gregoire

To the Editor

I’d like to respond to Kellie Gregoire (August 6) who is running for a committee position in the Murray Republican Party. While I applaud anyone for getting politically involved, I cannot allow her glowing comments about “president“ Trump to go unchallenged. Ms. Gregoire states she has been “very inspired” by Trump, then goes on to quote something his speech writer wrote.

This man is no positive example to the youth of America. His constant lying, bullying, and selfishness are not behaviors I want my children to emulate. The man is a breaker of God’s Commandments. He golfs while young crying children are locked in cages at his command. He trashes our environment so his corporate donors can reap vast profits. He pays lip-service to the value of American products while Chinese slave labor make his MAGA hats. He considers a free press to be our enemy. He has been caught in lie after lie. No wonder he hates those who report facts. There isn’t enough space here to catalog all that is wrong with Trump.

Decent, Godly citizens will not stand by while the Evangelical crowd tries to normalize the behaviors of this hateful, deceitful man. My God didn’t choose Trump to be president, Vladimir Putin did. We will all breathe a sigh of relief when this treasonous nightmare is over. Do me a favor; don’t lecture me about how sinners shouldn’t throw stones. Your man Trump does it all the time.

Al Capurso

Democratic Policies Do Not Hurt The US

Letter to the editor

Democratic Policies Do Not Hurt The US

This is part three in my answer to Paul Lauricella’s rant. He said Mr. Trump is winning. Well he has set some records for sure:
-most days vacationing.
-most games of golf played.
-least amount of bills signed.
-lowest approval rating.
-most cabinet resigniations.
-most criminal indictments.
-deficit increased to $21 trillion dollars.
-alienated importers of US farm goods hurting US farmers.
-giving huge tax cuts to corporations already enjoying record profits. Crumbs to the Middle Class.

Mr. Lauracella talks about building a wall. The only wall America needs is the one between church and state, as our Founding Fathers intended.

Mr. Lauracella bashed Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society policies. That means he is opposed to the Civil Rights Act, the Economic Opportunity Act, Medicare, the Clean Water and Clean Air Act, The Wilderness Protection Act, and numerous more. LBJ established the value system begun by John Kennedy, that the US will not tolerate poverty caused by racial discrimination. A fight that caring Americans are still taking up today.

Therefore I must conclude that Mr. Lauracella favors the conservative Republican agenda of ‘keep ‘em poor, keep ‘em sick, and keep ‘em stupid’. I can’t expect anything more from a climate change denier.

Al Capurso

Setting the Record Straight

To the editor:

Setting The Record Straight

Mr. Paul Lauracella thinks that those who favor compassion and humanity over cruelty to children are “extremists”, hell-bent on destroying American society. Mr. Lauracella, there are thousands of refugee children languishing in cages as Mr. Trump golfs. I guess somehow that’s supposed to make our country great? To say, as you have, that those that seek to enter the US are criminals couldn’t be more wrong. Most are law abiding people as evidenced by FBI statistics.

Mr. Lauracella, you forget it was your hero Ronald Regan who gave corporations and the rich huge tax cuts, beginning the demise of the Middle Class. And now one pay check won’t feed most families. We Democrats make no apologies for advocating equal opportunity and equal pay for women in the workplace. Republicans in Congress have voted against legislation requiring equal pay for women every single time. Every single time. How immoral is that?

Mr. Lauracella, like many two-dimensional thinkers, you go on to confuse ‘pro-choice’ with ‘pro-abortion’. No one favors abortion. However, this difficult decision must be made between a woman and her doctor. Mr. Trump was pro-choice until he needed to pander to the evangelical community. Mr. Lauracella, if men like you could get pregnant, safe and legal abortions would be as easy to get as a drive-thru Big Mac. Stop tying to control women.

Liar In Chief Mr. Trump and followers like you Mr. Lauracella call careful, legitimate, factual news reporting “fake” and reporters the “enemy of the people”. How convenient when you don’t like the truth coming out than to shoot the messenger? Tyrants have done it for years.

There will be more I will be saying later but I’ll end this letter with a quote from Conservative columnist George Will: “The 2018 midterm elections this November won’t be about Democrats vs. Republicans. They will be about moral, decent human beings vs. Trump Supporters. Mr Collins, stop hiding.

Al Capurso

Fact-check on Immigration Letter

To The Editor:

Usually, Paul Lauricella’s ultra-conservative points of view don’t bother me. However, his recent letter of July 2 crosses the line of accuracy and morality. To believe him is to assume all immigrants, undocumented or not, are living high on the hog, milking all kinds of public services at taxpayer expense. As we have learned to do with our current “president”, let us fact-check Mr. Lauricella.

My grandparents didn’t come here from Italy believing the “streets were paved with gold”, as he said. They were ready to work, despite the hardships and privations of being in a strange county and not knowing the language. And work hard they did. My grandmother kept the house and cared for the children so my grandfather could work the stone quarries, build the buildings and pave the streets with sandstone.

Regardless of what people like Mr. Lauricellla and Fox News say, there are very few tax payer services immigrants can qualify for. Since the 1980’s, less than one percent of Medicaid goes to screening and stabilizing emergency patients regardless of citizenship status. Let me restate that; a minuscule amount of money is spent on the emergency health needs of immigrants. Who among us, besides Mr. Lauracelli and Mr. Trump would turn away very sick children? This is not prenatal care or other vital treatment services. Immigrants don’t qualify for that. In this country, we don’t advocate neglecting hungry children or their education. Therefore, Congress has allocated funds for school nutrition programs, WIC nutrition, and Head Start. Mr. Collins, are you listening?  Do you care?

And Mr. Lauricella, undocumented immigrants cannot vote. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits, even though many contribute to the system.

Democrats are not “the enemy, trying to take down America”. Mr. Lauricella sees “leftists and socialists in every nook and cranny, even heads of religious institutions”. We have heard this kind of talk before. Read your history of Nazi Germany and the McCarthy era in 1950’s America. Cynicism designed to divide our country and scapegoat the helpless.

I don’t know any of Mr. Lauricella’s “leftists, communists and socialists”. But I do know the difference between Democrats and Conservatives. The former is the party of “US”. The later is the party of “ME”.

Lies and paranoia will not serve our country well. Christian values of charity, mercy and benevolence will. When you see an immigrant child and their hard working parents, ask yourself a question that Charles Dickens asked; “Are they not of the human race”?

Al Capurso

Village of Albion Election

Dear Editor:

There is still time to register to vote in the March 20th Village of Albion election.  March 9th is the last day for new registrations.

And the residents of the Village have a real choice this year.  It is up to each of them individually to consider whether the Village is moving in a positive direction as inexorably as could be expected.  One party has run the “show” for a long time.

Certainly, the republican field is solid and offers experience.

The democratic candidates—Joyce Riley, Sandra Walter and Jason Dragon—are newcomers who deserve serious consideration.  I know Village Trustee candidates Sandra and Jason pretty well.  I do not know Joyce as well, but Bob Golden, who has a lifetime commitment to improving the local community, assures me that she is very capable.  She and her family have been actively involved in helping where they can for a very long time. Together, Joyce, Sandra and Jason would bring intelligence and a fresh perspective to the many issues facing Village government.

Though I am mindful that the republican field has been trying hard for quite a while, I encourage Village voters to shake things up and vote for a new approach on March 20th. Vote democrat for a change!

Sincerely yours,
Gary Kent
Albion, NY