Democrats in Voter Fraud Scandal Targeted Recent Stroke Victim Because He Would Have "A Hard Time Getting to the Polls"

November 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm (Ballot Fraud, Dan Brown, Ed McDonough, Nadine Lagace, New York, Terrance Conway, Trey Smith, Troy, Voter Fraud, Working Families Party)

Democrat and local school board member, Ed McDonough is on trial in upstate New York for his alleged role in a voter fraud scheme that has already seen numerous colleagues implicated, of which four have already pled guilty.

One of those colleagues, Dan Brown, brother and former campaign manager for Democrat City Councilman John Brown, received immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony.  Monday’s testimony may have revealed new depths to which the Democrats were willing to stoop in order to win elections.

Mind you, we’ve already heard prior testimony that gives insight into just who the Democrats felt were the most vulnerable members of society, those making easy targets for their voter fraud scheme.

For instance:

  • They targeted immigrants who struggled with the English language and had little knowledge of the U.S. election process.
  • They targeted college kids with little money, paying them for their voter registration cards.
  • They targeted people living in low-income housing because there was a sense that poor people were “less likely to ask any questions”.
  • They tricked mentally disabled individuals into signing over their absentee ballots.
Until yesterday, these stood as the worst examples in the upstate New York voter fraud scandal.  Brown’s testimony however revealed that the Democrats were willing to sink to new depths – by targeting a man who had recently suffered a stroke and was undergoing chemotherapy treatments for lung cancer.  Why?  Because “he would have had a hard time getting to the polls”.
Via the Troy Record:

Armed with a clipboard and walk sheet — showing the names, addresses, and other information about the “friendlies” — Brown headed to District 1 with Thomas Aldrich, a WFP operative.

Among those the pair solicited to fill out absentee ballot applications were Nadine Lagace and Terrance Conway, a couple living on Third Avenue. Brown knew they had not been intending to vote because Conway, due to a recent stroke, would have had a hard time getting to the polls.

After convincing Lagace and Conway to sign their absentee ballot applications, Brown set about filling in the excuse field for them, and without their knowledge.

Acting as a voting agent, Brown said he filled in the box indicating “illness” on the application.

Special Prosecutor Trey Smith then showed Lagace a copy of her ballot application which not only had the box for illness indicated, but also stated she would be in Vermont on the day of the primary. He asked her if she had, indeed, been in Vermont on the primary.

“I don’t know how to get to Vermont,” testified Lagace, nor, she said, did she and Conway have the ability to get there as he was undergoing chemotherapy treatments for lung cancer.

The act of having her vote stolen left Lagace scarred, claiming she’ll never vote again.

Voluntarily anyway.

Remember, this was a targeted voter fraud scheme that one Democrat claimed was “commonplace” over multiple decades, “a normal political tactic”, and “an accepted way of winning elections”.

Stroke victim or cancer patients be damned.

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Piece of the World Trade Center Comes to Troy, New York

September 1, 2012 at 11:30 am (James Gordon, Lansingburgh, Memorial Park, New York, September 11th, Troy)

In a city living in the shadow of Albany’s government corruption, a city which itself has dealt with a dark political landscape of voter fraud charges and allegations, and a city which has endured a scourge of recent shootings and homicides, it’s nice to see Troy, New York get a little recognition for a positive story.

The September 11th Memorial Park in Troy, more specifically, Lansingburgh, will finally be able to add a piece of the actual World Trade Center buildings to its memorial.  The piece will be installed just in time for the park’s ceremony being held on September 9th.

After a couple of years’ worth of hard work and anxiety, the Troy September 11th Memorial Committee will finally be able to add a piece of the World Trade Center buildings to its memorial just in time for its Sept. 9 ceremony.

The committee has acquired a 110 lb. steel section of the I-beam from one of the Twin Towers. Coordinating Committee Chairman Jim Gordon said that a welder is working on the piece which will be installed in the memorial on Thursday.

Gordon said it was a long and somewhat stressful wait before the committee received confirmation that it would be getting the steel. A press release was put out more than a year ago soliciting requests for the pieces of steel to be incorporated into memorials worldwide. Gordon said the committee applied right away as there were plans to build a memorial in Troy to honor the various first responders from Rensselaer County who went to ground zero.

The entire project has been funded through private donations and means.  Jim Gordon, Chairman of the Memorial Committee explained, “To date, between in-kind gifts and monetary donations, we’ve had $25,000 to $30,000 donated to us”.

The park broke ground in July of 2011, with a goal of not only honoring the memories of those who were killed on 9/11, but those heroes who responded to the emergency situation we all watched that day.  Gordon explained at the groundbreaking that, “People know the city of Troy as a patriotic city, the home of Uncle Sam.”

And now the city can be known for its dedication to the memory of that September 11th tragedy, an attack on America and an attack on freedom.

“This project, for a lot of us, is three or four years in the making,” Gordon said. “There will always be maintenance that needs to be done and all involved have worked many hours, days and nights raising money and working. Now it’s coming to an end with a very significant exclamation point with this 110 lb. piece of steel.”

And what an exclamation point it is.

Though, with the memories being provided by the park, and the sense of community pride it instills, this is by no means an end to the story.

Many thanks to all those involved in this project, and many congratulations to the people of Troy.

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Breaking: Michael LoPorto Found Not Guilty in Ballot Fraud Trial

July 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm (Ballot Fraud, Bob Mirch, Democrats, John Brown, Michael LoPorto, New York, Rensselaer County, Sara Couch, Trey Smith, Troy, Voter Fraud, WFP, Working Families Party)

Former City Councilman Michael Loporto, has been acquitted on all 22 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, in the upstate New York ballot fraud scandal.  In May, we predicted that this would be the outcome:

“LoPorto was wise in having his trial separated from his colleague (Ed McDonough).  The hard evidence against LoPorto’s knowledge of the scam is limited, and even witness testimony on his side of things was inconsistent.”

When the re-trial got underway, testimony was again inconsistent.  While several people had placed LoPorto at the scene of the ballot forgery, witnesses who testified could not agree on his exact placement.  One witness had placed him in close proximity, about an arm’s length, while another had him a good 20 feet away.


But the real break for LoPorto came in May, when Working Families Party operative Sara Couch, requested to change her original testimony.  The Troy Record reported:

A key witness in the original trial of Democrats Ed McDonough and Michael LoPorto for their suspected roles in the 2009 Working Families Party ballot fraud scandal seeks to add to her original testimony.

Couch plans to add one statement that wasn’t contained in her initial testimony as well as adding some words LoPorto had said to her after she left a meeting with former City Councilman John Brown which took place at LoPorto’s restaurant. Brown, who was later convicted of a felony charge in connection to the case, tried convincing WFP members present at that meeting to put a press release out blaming the scandal on former city DPW Commissioner Bob Mirch. LoPorto was said to have been in the back cooking and not part of the meeting.

The contrasting statements gave two very different impressions.  In her previous testimony, Couch said that LoPorto had told her, ““I never gave you those ballots”, suggesting a cover-up.  In her revised statements, Couch said LoPorto followed her to her car, gave her a hug and said, “Had I known, I would have never handed you those ballots.”

LoPorto had maintained his innocence throughout the scandal.  His legal team has made a good point throughout, which is this – The prosecutor Trey Smith, seems to have given very favorable deals to Democrats in the scandal who stood to be most readily convicted for their part in the fraud, while actively pursuing those who played a minor or unwitting (in this case) role.

The question is, why?

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Witness: Ballot Fraud Part of New York’s Political Culture

July 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm (Anthony DeFiglio, Anthony Renna, Ballot Fraud, Democrats, James Gordon, Michael LoPorto, New York, Republicans, Robert Martiniano, Troy, Voter Fraud, Working Families Party)

A Democrat candidate for City Council in 2009 took the witness stand today in the ballot fraud trial of former City Councilman, Michael LoPorto.  Robert Martiniano testified that forging absentee ballots is a tradition in upstate New York amongst both parties, but that he had no idea it was occurring to his and LoPorto’s benefit in the Working Families Party primary in 2009.

Forging absentee ballots is a tradition in the Collar City and other upstate cities, but a former Democratic candidate testified Thursday that he didn’t know it was occurring in the 2009 Working Families Party primary.

“It’s was something that was just in the culture for both major political parties,” said Robert Martiniano, who was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the City Council’s 2nd District.

Martiniano testified as a prosecution witness in the ballot-fraud trial of former City Councilman Michael LoPorto, whom he identified as a friend.

The fact that anybody could consider stealing somebody’s right to vote as ‘tradition’ notwithstanding, the statement coincides with previous statements made by Anthony Renna and Anthony DeFiglio, two Democrats who were found guilty of forgery and falsifying business records.  In January, the pair told Fox News that “voter fraud is an accepted way of winning elections, and faking absentee ballots was commonplace.”

Republicans at the time denied such accusations.  James Gordon, Chairman of the Troy Republican Committee said, having been a part of the election process for a number of years that he has, “never heard or seen anything resembling these actions.”

He added, “In fact, after the Democrats were caught in 2009 the records at the Board of Elections were searched.  More cases of fraud were found dating back to 2007 or 2008, all attributed to Democrat candidates and operatives.  Nothing from any GOP members.”

It’s unclear how Martiniano could have been aware of the ‘tradition’ of voter fraud – that it was embedded ‘in the culture’ – while simultaneously being unaware that it was used for his and LoPorto’s benefit back in 2009.

LoPorto faces 22 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument for allegedly handling ballots that he knew had been forged in a Democratic plot to steal the 2009 Working Families Party line for City Council.

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Military Veteran Continues to Battle For Sexual Assault Victims

June 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm (Colleen Bushnell, Military, New York, PTSD, Sexual Assault, Troy, Veterans)

In 2006, Air Force Staff Sgt. Colleen Bushnell, retired after a nine-year military career which garnered her multiple job performance awards.  The retirement was prompted by service-related incidents in 2004 and 2005 that led to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The injuries were not the type typically imagined by the general public when reading about military members hurt during their tour of duty – in fact, they weren’t even inflicted by the enemy.

A Times Union report explains:

Bushnell’s wounds resulted not from enemy action, but from sexual assaults she says were perpetrated by senior personnel around Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. An officer raped her in 2004 and a female officer sexually assaulted her the following year, she said.

Post-retirement was an extremely difficult time for Bushnell.   We’ve covered her battle with Fox News’ Liz Trotta here, which reveals some facts surrounding her case, and you can find more details about her personal story in a self-authored blog post here.

But, being a battler by nature, Bushnell has rebounded to become a leading voice for women in the military, veterans, and for those suffering from sexual assaults.

Here is an excerpt from the excellent Times Union report:

Over the past several months, Bushnell has emerged as an advocate for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and victims of military sexual trauma. She’s fighting for changes in how the Pentagon handles sexual assault complaints, which officially totaled 3,192 in 2011. According to the Pentagon, however, most incidents weren’t reported, and the real number was higher than 19,000. More than a third of those assaults involved male victims, who are less likely to report problems, according to reports.

Women account for more than 15 percent of Army ranks and 20 percent of Air Force members. Department of Defense data show 20 percent of all servicewomen experience rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment.

Bushnell uses media skills she learned as an Air Force public affairs specialist to tell others what she went through and to connect victims with information that can help them heal. This summer, she will embark on a national awareness campaign. She is one of five veterans who will participate in the Long Ride Home Project, a cross-country bicycle trip intended to assist returning veterans.

The vets will pedal 4,200 miles from Washington state to Washington, D.C., over 90 days. The riders hope to heal themselves while drawing attention to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are struggling to readjust to civilian life.

Please read the rest here, especially for details on where Bushnell will be speaking in the future and ways you can contribute to the cause…

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Troy Police Officer Arrested In Internet Sex Sting

June 4, 2012 at 8:49 pm (Child, Endangering, New York, New York Police Department, Officer, Police, Sex Sting, Troy, Welfare)

On Friday, a 26-year veteran of the Troy police force was arrested for having sexually suggestive internet chats with an undercover NYPD officer he thought was a 14-year-old girl.  Sgt. Pat Rosney was detained and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, as well as disseminating indecent material to a minor.

The arrest was swift, with the NYPD citing safety concerns for their undercover officers as well as the public.  Rosney had allegedly also arranged to meet the faux 14-year-old in a public place, and those involved in the case had concerns that this particular suspect could and would be armed.

On Saturday, the veteran officer was released on $30,000 bail and is due in court again on June 15th.

Details of the depostion have been provided by the Times Union:

In his deposition, Ryan stated that at 3:35 p.m. on May 15, he received a message from an email address which he later traced to Rosney at his East Greenbush home

“The defendant asked what I looked like,” Ryan stated.

Ryan responded that he was a 14-year-old girl who lived in Queens, and “Within 15 minutes of initiating the instant message conversation, (the defendant) wrote: ‘Ever been with an older guy? LOL …What have you done with guys.’ The defendant wrote that he wanted to meet to have sex.”

The Internet conversations, most of them too lurid for publication in the newspaper, allegedly continued on May 17 when, according to Ryan, Rosney allegedly messaged “wanna look at my cam.”

Five hours later, Ryan stated, he received an image of Rosney.

“I was able to see his face as well as his penis,” Ryan wrote. “He was wearing a ‘Crabby Dicks’ T-shirt (a Delaware seafood restaurant) and blue pajama pants.”

The sexually explicit comments continued, and Rosney then set up a meeting for Tuesday, June 5, according to records. Police have not revealed where that meeting was to take place.

According to the deposition, Rosney’s messages were sent from his private computer.

Seeing a trusted member of the local police can be a shock to the system, and the community of Troy is currently struggling with trust issues involving individuals in authoritarian positions.  There has been the famous voter fraud case, a recent plan in which police officers would be given the power to enter a vehicle if they identify valuable items, and several shootings which have people questioning the power of the police force to provide a reasonable level of safety.

Obviously, Rosney’s actions do not represent the whole of the police unit.  But they are concerning nonetheless.

For a city struggling to find comfort, this adds more apprehension to an already nervous public.

Read more here…

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Nanny City? Troy Police Initiative Allows Officers to Enter Your Vehicle and Lock the Doors

May 14, 2012 at 9:00 am (4th Amendment, Illegal, Initiative, John Tedesco, Lock, Lou Rosamilia, New York, Parked Vehicles, Police, Search, Theft, Troy, Troy Police, Unlocked)

The police force in Troy, New York, has introduced a new initiative aimed at reducing thefts from parked cars – permitting officers to enter your vehicle in the event it is unlocked, and locking the doors for you.

Via the Troy Record:

With a recent spike in thefts from parked cars, the Troy Police Department is looking to roll out some preventive measures it thinks will not only reduce the amount of thefts but also make some residents more aware of what they’re leaving in their cars.
In this effort, if a police officer does notice a valuable item laying out in plain view in a parked car, the officer will then check its plate numbers, and if the address comes back locally, the officer will go to the registered owner’s place of residence and leave a blue card in the entrance way of the building. If the car does not belong to a local address, the officer will then leave the card on its windshield.
If a car is found to be unlocked, according to Police Chief John Tedesco, the officer will lock the vehicle.
Tedesco said the plan was developed over the last several months and has been approved by Mayor Lou Rosamilia.

No word on whether the officers will fill up your gas tank if your fuel level becomes too low, reducing the number of disabled vehicles on city streets, or if they will actually drive people around town in an effort to reduce car accidents as well.

Honestly, we were disappointed that a police officer didn’t personally type up this blog post in an effort to reduce carpal tunnel.

There is a basic comparison here that should immediately identify this action as flat-wrong.  Would any police force in America ever, ever, allow their officers to enter a home if the doors were unlocked, so they could lock them in an effort to deter theft?  A vehicle is private property, and quite frankly people have a right to defend and protect it – even from the well-intentioned police force.

There are clearly defined problems with this new initiative other than common sense, however:

  1. It allows a police officer into your vehicle and creates a slippery slope on what he/she can look around for.  For that matter, what exactly can be defined as valuable?  Does every car with a GPS on the dashboard now contain a ‘valuable’ item, opening it up for police scrutiny?  A custom car stereo?
  2. It essentially puts a sign on one’s vehicle that says “Hey, there are valuable items in here.”  So if a would-be criminal wasn’t thinking about taking any action, he/she will certainly be tempted now that they know the vehicle has an iPod inside.
  3. If something has already been stolen from the vehicle by the time an officer arrives, or if it is stolen after the officer places a blue card on the windshield, you’ve just provided the criminal with reasonable doubt if he/she is charged.  At that point, you have two people who may have been in the car against the owner’s wishes – the thief, and the officer – creating a problem in investigating who may have committed the crime.  The criminal may now claim that perhaps it was the officer who stole the item, and it causes a headache for the officer who may have to prove he didn’t touch anything.
Maggie Thurber writes:

What, exactly, are they trying to accomplish?  Do they think that theives won’t just find something else to steal instead?  If cars are locked and they don’t want to risk breaking a window, will they try door knobs instead?  Won’t that be riskier for the public?  What will they do then – start a door knob checking program?

She adds, “…the ‘unintended consequences’ can be problematic.”

Normally here, we are of the belief that if you’re not doing anything illegal, then you have nothing to worry about.  But the police initiative in Troy is foolish, and quite possibly illegal itself.

In an e-mail conversation with a friend who specializes in Criminal Law, the issue of whether or not this policy is legal was addressed.  He broke it down into two parts, one explaining why looking into a vehicle in a public space is justified, and another explaining that once the door is opened the action constitutes an illegal search under the 4th Amendment.

The issue is two-fold.  Observing items within plain sight albeit within the vehicle is legitimate only if the cop has the right to be in the place from which he observes.  This is why the underlying reason for a traffic stop is so important.  In the situation you pose, the cop has the right to be in a public place – a parking lot – and observe the contents of a stationary vehicle.

Opening the door, however, changes everything.  Opening the door begins a “search” under the 4th Amendment.  The cop cannot do that.  The inside of a vehicle is personal space the same as if it were your home.  The rules are a bit different, but the bottom line is the same – with no evidence of a crime and no owner permission, a vehicle can only be searched with a Warrant.
Being the ever helpful stewards of the community, we have another idea on how to reduce thefts from unlocked vehicles in the city.  Picture this … Multiple stickers and posters placed strategically throughout the city that quite simply read – Lock Your Doors, Dumb***.

Far more effective.  Much safer.  And legal.

It’s what we’re all about here…

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Kevin McGrath is Right About a Smear Campaign – His Own Actions Are Smearing Troy’s Reputation

April 13, 2012 at 11:47 am (Drug Deal, Felony, Free Speech, James Gordon, Kevin McGrath, Lou Rosamilia, Lynn Kopka, New York, Times Union, Troy, Voter Fraud)

Thursday’s edition of Inside Politics saw the Times Union getting up to speed on a story first published here last week, in which Troy City Council Democrats censored James Gordon for having the gall to request a review of a morally challenged convicted felon who is actively serving on the council.  Kevin McGrath, the councilman who currently serves more as a distraction and embarrassment than a viable public servant, is the man in question.

In the Times Union piece, McGrath once again brushes off valid concerns of the citizens of Troy by saying any attention being focused on him is merely “a smear campaign”.

McGrath is right.  The smear campaign has not been conducted by the GOP however, it has been waged by McGrath himself on the City of Troy.

Kevin McGrath’s moral bankrputcy has smeared the City of Troy.

When he ran for public office despite being ‘concerned’ about his history of substance abuse and ‘the fact that he is a convicted felon‘, he smeared the City of Troy.

The City of Troy and the judge in the voter fraud trial were smeared when McGrath’s testimony involved cracking a joke about his lack of drug-peddling business savvy – a comment that forced him to apologize to the judge.

The public was once again smeared when details of McGrath’s drug selling prowess were proven false – he was one of 17 arrested for an open-air drug network that operated at a profit of ‘a few million dollars’.  It was the arrest that earned him the honor of convicted felon.

The people of the City of Troy, along with the integrity of the entire local election process were smeared when McGrath was presented with a stack of forged absentee ballots that defense attorney Brian Premo alleged were handled by the Councilman himself.  While Premo had only made allegations according to the media reports, court transcripts show an exchange in which he asks McGrath if he realizes he “committed crimes in this case”.  To which McGrath responds, “I have been told, yes.”

Perhaps the ultimate smear on the City was this – when presented with forged ballots that the defense attorney said were handled by McGrath personally, he blamed the voters for any confusion about his handling of their ballots.

Indeed, McGrath has been a participant in a disgusting smear campaign – his actions have smeared the City of Troy, and its residents are left cleaning up the trail of slime left in his wake.

That said, two points regarding the Times Union piece yesterday:

First – The article states that Lynn Kopka ruled Gordon out of order for personal attacks.  The way that it is written would make the reader think that she was accurate in that assessment, which she was not.  If citizens are not allowed to cite facts – provable facts at that – when voicing concerns over a sitting Council member, then that is a major problem.  Now, any item that Kopka disagrees with can be gaveled out of order as an alleged personal attack.

Second – The last sentence reads in a manner that gives the impression that McGrath would have to have been charged in order for the Council to take action.  This too, is false.  The charter specifically cites ‘disorderly conduct and malfeasance’ as means to expel a Council member.  McGrath may yet face charges for ballots forged on the Conservative and Independent lines.  He was shown to have admitted in court that he had committed crimes.  He just recently admitted to felony drug charges.  If these things do not constitute disorderly conduct, then I am at a loss.

As for James Gordon’s right to free speech having been violated, I have contacted the Council and the Mayor’s office several times since the video of the meeting surfaced, and have yet to receive a response. 

Mayor Lou Rosamilia and Council President Lynn Kopka can only hide behind their gavels and closed doors for so long – at some point they have to address the expulsion of Kevin McGrath, or continue dodging questions about an election-rigging, convicted felon in their midst. 

I should think the former would be the easiest route.

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City Democrats Dig In Their Heels to Shield Election-Rigging, Convicted Felon

April 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm (City Council, First Amendment, Free Speech, James Gordon, Kevin McGrath, Lou Rosamilia, Lynn Kopka, New York, Troy, Voter Fraud)

Democrats in the city of Troy have already proven to have a complete disregard for the cherished right of a citizen to cast their own vote.  Now it seems they are hell-bent on stifling another fundamental American right – the right to free speech.

At a City Council meeting on Thursday night, First Amendment rights were ushered out the door when Democrat Council President, Lynn Kopka, refused to listen to an opinion that may have dissented from her own.

On the Troy City Council web page, meetings are described as being open to the public, and that citizens will have a forum “where you can address the Council members and briefly speak your mind on any topic pertinent to city government.”

Kopka herself, sports a “likes Freedom of Speech” update on her own Facebook page.

So when Troy Republican Committee Chairman, James Gordon, took to the podium to discuss a ‘topic pertinent to city government’, there should have been a minimal number of complaints.

And initially, no umbrage was taken.  When Gordon started off on an issue in which he actually praised the council – voting against pay raises – nobody spoke up.  But when he turned to the topic of a sitting councilman, who recently accepted a plea deal in the voter fraud case, may yet face future voter fraud charges, and admitted to being a convicted felon, things turned dicey.

Gordon had written a letter in which he requested that Councilman Kevin McGrath step down from his public post, in lieu of the recent embarrassing revelations.  When he started reading his request to the council, Lynn Kopka took the extraordinary step of trampling on his free speech rights, gavelling him out of order and demanding that he simply hand her the letter.

The letter, seen below, contains nothing out of the ordinary.  It gives a clear and concise argument for why McGrath should step down.  In the letter, Gordon sites specific testimony between the defense attorney and McGrath:

Question by Premo: “And you said a few minutes ago that you realize you committed crimes in this case. Is that correct?”
            Answer by McGrath: “I have been told, yes.”

This candid admission according to Gordon, “is in clear violation of the Troy City Charter due to his “disorderly conduct” as outlined in Article VII, subsection C-31.”

That portion of the charter reads:

The City Council shall determine the rules of its proceedings; may compel the attendance of any regular or regularly called special meeting of Council members absent therefrom; may declare the seat of any Council members inexcusably absent from three successive regular meetings to be vacant; and may expel a Council member for disorderly conduct or misfeasance in office. No seat shall be declared vacant and no Council member shall be expelled until the delinquent Council member has had an opportunity to be heard in his/her own defense.

Council President Lynn Kopka(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = ““; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

A taxpaying citizen of the city of Troy making a formal request to remove a council member who is in violation of the city charter seems pertinent to most.  Perhaps more importantly, the concerns voiced by James Gordon are all valid concerns of many residents of Troy, as dozens of community members have contacted him personally to find out why McGrath is still allowed to serve.  There is a demand for answers here whether Kopka or McGrath want to admit it.

Video of the incident can be seen below, with the relevant portion beginning at 28:33.

As Gordon begins reading his letter, McGrath can be seen sitting to the left of the viewer’s point of view, and is seen motioning to Kopka at 30:26 to cut the speaker off.  Kopka dutifully does his bidding, and responds by interrupting Gordon saying, “Jim, I’d like to remind you there’s no personal attacks…”  Gordon responds that, “This is a statement of fact, not a personal attack.”

Facts, as they say, are stubborn things.  More stubborn however was Kopka’s insistence on cutting Gordon off.

At this point, McGrath himself added insult to injury saying, “It’s a little early for the silly season, Jim.”

After some cross-talk, Gordon asks if he can continue and again assures the Council that there are no personal attacks.  One council member is heard asking for Gordon to simply hand over the letter, assuring that the people in attendance would not hear his thoughts and concerns.

Shortly thereafter, Kopka interrupts the speech again with her gavel, and calls the statement “out of order”.  Another person is heard saying that he may have crossed legal boundaries, though it is unclear what legal boundaries can be crossed when exercising one’s right to free speech.

Kopka eventually demands the letter from Gordon and turns off his microphone.

Why any of this came as so offensive that it would have to be censored can only be understood by Kopka herself.  To the casual observer, there can be only one explanation.  Kopka and McGrath do not want the criminal history of a currently serving member and representative of the city as a matter of public record.

At the time of this printing, e-mails to the City Council and Mayor Lou Rosamilia have gone unanswered.  Fellow Councilmember Ken Zalewski however, voiced his opinion on Facebook saying, “At last night’s City Council meeting, Troy residents James Gordon and Jim de Seve were prevented from exercising their free speech rights. I disagree strongly with the Council President’s decision to gavel them out of order, and I offered my own thoughts on this subject.”

Last month, we also called on the immediate resignation of Mr. McGrath based on a newly revealed history of felony drug charges, and more importantly his latest role in the voter fraud scandal.

At the trial, Premo pressed McGrath about his criminal background. He also confronted him with a stack of absentee ballots that were not part of Smith’s case, but showed what Premo suggested were other forged ballots handled personally by McGrath.

Yet McGrath continues to make light of these incidents, calling Gordon out on initiating the ‘silly season’ for wanting to address them publicly.

McGrath for his part, has a propensity to crack jokes in the midst of very serious matters.  During the voter fraud trial, he cracked wise about his inability to turn a profit selling drugs (proven untrue), the same crime for which he had been convicted.  While most would have hung their heads in shame, McGrath laughed it off, prompting an apology from the judge in the case.

But the reality here is that the joke is squarely being played on the residents of the city of Troy.  This joke is not vaguely amusing, it is a practical joke gone horribly awry – the career of Kevin McGrath.

McGrath’s history is too checkered to ignore.  It needs to be addressed by the City Council today.  From drug deals, to plea deals, his record is a blight on Troy politics specifically, and New York politics in general.

Because of this incident, we are also calling on Council President Lynn Kopka to issue a public apology not only to James Gordon, but the entire city of Troy.  Until she takes this necessary and appropriate action, the residents of Troy will always wonder if they can trust their elected officials to hear their voice, and if they too will be censored for the simple act of speaking up.

Video streaming by Ustream

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Why Did Domestic Terrorists Meet With Occupy Albany?

April 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm (Bill Ayers, Brinks Robbery, Naomi Jaffe, New York, Occupy Albany, Occupy Wall Street, San Francisco, Sanctuary For Independent Media, Troy, Weather Underground)

The statement above could certainly be opened up to debate, but a recent gathering titled, The Weather Underground Meets Occupy Wall Street, along with a detailed report of the meeting, should certainly raise eyebrows.  The meeting, held right in the heart of Troy, New York, was being billed as a book event to celebrate U.S. “political prisoner” David Gilbert’s new memoir, Love and Struggle.

But, as revealed in a newly released video, the forum featured characters that were anything but mundane, the list reading like a veritable who’s-who of former Weather Underground activists.  Not simply low-level members, but some of the more notorious radicals in the movement, men and women with ties to the infamous Bill Ayers, individuals with ties to bombing schemes on military servicemen, and of course, convicted cop-killers.
In the video, one of the hosts of the event, Naomi Jaffe, is seen praising Kathy Boudin, a close Ayers associate, who was involved in a bomb plot gone wrong in which three Weather Underground members were killed when an explosive device they had designed to kill military personnel, prematurely detonated.  She was also convicted of felony robbery and murder for her role in the Brinks Robbery of 1981, a plot which resulted in the murder of a security guard and two police officers.
Jaffe continues to speak of the Weather Underground’s past, sharing knowledge of the group’s “resistance to an unjust system,” likening it to the “same injustices that we are seeing the Occupy movement reacting to resisting today.”  She jokes about the murderous Brinks event as being one of several necessary “expropriations”, necessary because “revolutionary work is not funded by government”.  Her radical past infused with today’s radical movement could prove quite dangerous.  Jaffe is very active in the Occupy Albany protests, and routinely downplays violence in the name of stopping oppression, and repeatedly downplays her own violent past.
The report can be read here: 
Highlights include:
·        The meeting was designed to discuss common struggles between the Weather Underground and Occupy Wall Street, and in particular, the shared vision between David Gilbert, another member serving jail time for his role in the Brinks murders, and the Occupy Wall Street movement. 
·         In attendance or serving on the panel were five major players in the domestic terrorism group – Naomi Jaffe, Jeff Jones, Eleanor Stein, Suzanne Ross, and Kathy Boudin.
·         All of the above named have been involved in the more radical elements of the group, including assaults on police officers, bomb plots, and murders.
·         All had been involved with the notorious Bill Ayers, some of which lived in a San Francisco ‘bomb factory’ that several entities have claimed was used in the San Francisco police station bombing that killed Officer Brian McDonnell.
·         A former Weather Underground member turned FBI informant, makes several interesting observations about the meeting, including his assertion that the group hasn’t “changed the color of any of their stripes even after all of these years.”  He also adds, “It makes me sick to watch and listen to this kind of BS, especially when I realize that 100 years ago, or less, these people would all be in prison or shot as traitors.”
Is this really a group that the Occupy movement wants to be associated with?  Are they following through with their threat to become more radical?

Only they know for sure…

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