Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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January 28th, 2016

2016 Political Season Begins

We just got over the 2015 campaign season and now all eyes are on the 2016 elections.

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at several anticipated hotly contested races – one which might include County Court Judge as incumbent Frank LaBuda  seeks reelection for a term that will be dwindled down to several years instead of ten because of his age. There has been talk that well respected District Attorney Jim Farrell  might make a bid for the County Court Judgeship.

But – First all eyes are on the 19th Congressional District – There are expected to be both Democratic and Republican primaries in June for the seat being vacated by Chris Gibson who is expected to run for Governor in 2018.

The open Congressional seat is considered a tossup for a Democrat or Republican to win.

Gibson who is a moderate Republican won the seat that was formally comprised of Congressional Districts held by Democrats Maurice Hinchey and Kristin Gillibrand.

Last week Democratic and Republican contenders for the Congressional seat visited Sullivan County and those attending the events were impressed with all the candidates.

Two big name contenders who political observers consider the front runners are Democrat Zephyr Teachout and Republican John Fasco.

I am very excited about Zephyr Teachout entering the race. She shook up the Democratic Party establishment two years ago when she swept upstate New York in her run for Governor in a Democratic Primary against Andrew Cuomo. The Democratic chairs from all the counties in the district last week endorsed Teachout’s bid.

I have gotten to know Zephyr over the past several years and I am very excited about her run for Congress. She is caring, honest, and highly intelligent.

We met for coffee last week at the Liberty Diner and she is eager to meet all the residents of Sullivan County and represent our needs in Washington.

Her critics will try to smear her by saying she is a carpetbagger living in the District only a short while and that she does not understand our needs. The truth is that she fell in love with our region while running for Governor as she is from a rural area, and she only decided to enter the race after Ulster County Executive Mike Hein decided not to enter the race.

During the past few days Teachout has said, like many of us have, that there are flaws in SAFE Act. Critics have said she filp-flopped on the issue, but the truth is that she has been consistent on the SAFE Act and has always found flaws with it.

Zephyr is particularly concerned about our need for economic development, our poverty level, and our ranking as one of the unhealthiest counties in New York State. We discussed many issues facing all New Yorkers and our Nation.

Zephyr Teachout is an outspoken advocate for our Developmentally Disabled. When she ran for Governor she made part of her platform passage of Paula’s Law named after my sister Paula Liblick who was raped and sexually assaulted multiple times in her New York State run group home.

Paula’s Law sponsored by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther Chair of the Mental Health Committee, Bill # A01059, and NYS Senate Bill # S03623 introduced by Senator Robert Ortt, Chair of the Mental Health Committee, would mandate that surveillance cameras be installed outside New York State run group homes and day programs.

Teachout said in support of Paula’s Law, “Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families overcome the biggest challenges every day. It is tragic and alarming that this population also confront instances of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, all within the confines of our state run facilities. I believe that cameras are a first step to avoiding and countering this abuse.”

Also seeking the Democratic nomination for the 19th Congressional seat is Will Yandik of Columbia County who is a farmer and deputy supervisor of his municipality, and Ulster County resident Julian Schreibman who lost to Gibson in 2012 is also said to be considering a run.

Yandik is a fourth-generation farmer in New York’s Hudson Valley, is also a journalist and educator and an environmental leader. He serves on the Livingston Town Council in Columbia County and he is the first Democrat to be appointed Deputy Town Supervisor.

It is said that Yandik fits the mold of what the Democratic National Committee wants in a candidate. The DNC has been using the Obama playbook to elect congressional candidates and has been very unsuccessful in the majority of their Congressional campaigns with it.

Schreibman ran a very clean and formidable campaign four years ago against Gibson, but he was staffed with campaign workers from outside New York State, and they could not relate to our needs nor click with local political leaders.

Respected Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach was also considering a run for Congress but he dropped out when Teachout announced her intentions and endorsed her.

On the Republican side, The Sullivan County Republican Committee last week endorsed former Assemblyman John Faso of Kinderhook. Businessman and Dutchess County resident Andrew Heaney and Bob Bishop, who lives in Delaware County are also seeking the Republican nomination.

John Faso served as minority leader of the New York State Assembly from 1998 until 2002. He gave up his seat in the Assembly to run for State Comptroller in 2002, losing to Alan Hevesi. Four years later in 2006, he ran for Governor, but was defeated by Democrat Eliot Spitzer.

Andrew Heaney is a business owner of a heating oil cooperative called Heating Energy Affordable Today (HEAT). He reportedly grew the company into the largest heating oil buying group in the United States, representing tens of thousands of heating oil users in 11 states. He also put himself through Harvard Business School and graduated in the top 10% of his class.

Bob Bishop claims he is not a professional politician or a wealthy business tycoon, but instead a family man and farmer. He says he wants to change the direction of America.

Our Congressional district comprises all of Sullivan, Ulster, Greene, Columbia, Delaware, Schoharie and Otsego counties; most of Dutchess and Resselaer counties, and parts of Montgomery and Broome counties.

Indeed – This race will certainly draw National and Statewide attention.

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

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