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Woolf sets meeting with economic populists; Hamilton County reaffirms Stefanik support


Glens Falls Post-Star political columnist Maury Thompson says in his latest post that Aaron Woolf, the likely Democratic candidate trying to succeed retiring Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, will meet with a fledgling political group this week in the Plattsburgh area.

Mr. Thompson says Mr. Woolf will meet with representatives of the Economic Populist Coalition. That is the group that made a little splash when it put out a call for people interested to run in the 21st Congressional District on Craig’s List.

The group leans strongly liberal, as the name implies. Mr. Woolf, a documentary film maker whose best known work, “King Corn,” is about America’s farm policies, would at first blush seem to meet the group’s philosophy.

And, in keeping with Mr. Woolf’s decision to keep his privacy sacrosanct until he makes a “formal announcement” in mid-March, the day and location of the meeting is being kept under wraps.

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And, yet another county heard from: Elise Press, the hard-working campaign publicity arm of Elise M. Stefanik’s campaign for the 21st district, put out a release yesterday reiterating Hamilton County Republican Committee’s commitment to her candidacy.

The committee met Wednesday to discuss the endorsement.

“Today’s vote again makes it clear we believe Ms. Stefanik is best suited to represent us in Washington,” Bill Osborne, Hamilton County GOP Chair, was quoted as saying in the Stefanik release.“The vote to endorse her was unanimous the first time and was unanimous again today. Nothing has happened in the interim to change any minds.”

The release quotes four other committee members who praise her dedication over nine months of campaigning, her experience in Washington, her “real-world experience” as an employee of her family’s lumber business and her familiarity with the district.

Hamilton County, with 11 election districts, has a 2012 population of 4,778, down from 5,383 in 2000. That figure represented the county’s highest population in its history.

And Hamilton County is the most Republican county in the state. The only state and national Democrats to win in Hamilton County over the past 92 years were Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012.

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There is a possibility — although with this weather it is no sure thing — that folks in Watertown Thursday saw or will see a large banner that urges the governor to keep fair elections funding in the state budget.

A group of activists calling itself MOP Democracy, for Money Out of Politics - Democracy, is staging a roadside bannering of the state, with a final rally at the end of March in Albany.

This is from a news release announcing the banner’s visit to Watertown: “According to Edge, Governor Cuomo now has $33,323,541.03 in funds for his 2016 run for president and 99.15% of his money this cycle has come from donors of $1,000 or more, 80.97% from donors of $10,000 or more, and 45.06% from those at $40,000.”

Of course, it must be noted that the $33 million is the amount of cash on hand in the Andrew Cuomo 2014 Inc. state Board of Elections filing for the coming gubernatorial race. A search of the Federal Elections Commission database reveals no filing by any Cuomo for federal office in New York. It appears that MOP has made some leaps of faith to project that gubernatorial re-election campaign money as what Mr. Cuomo has for the presidential campaign that he hasn’t filed to enter.

It is very inconvenient when the facts get in the way of a good story.

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