Party line

Now, really, these are human beings we're talking about.  Can there be such a thing as a disinterested party?

In the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin:

The New York State Attorney General’s Office has launched an ethics inquiry concerning votes by Southern Tier town board members related to natural gas drilling, according to documents obtained by the Press & Sun-Bulletin.
In single-page letters sent in October, Assistant Attorney General Judith Malkin indicated that drilling-related action by town boards earlier in the year raised questions about potential conflicts of interest.
“We have been alerted to concerns about Windsor Town Board members with signed gas leases voting on issues related to hydrofracking,” one of the letters states. “This concern raises possible conflict of interest issues.”
“In that regard,” the letter adds, “would you please send us a copy of the town’s ethics code”...
ITHACA — In the run up to an appeal of Norse Energy v. Town of Dryden, this week New York state Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-125, filed a document supporting the town.
Documents are still being filed in the appeal, which will be heard by the New York state Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department. A date for the trial hasn’t been set.
Lifton said she supports local zoning control over oil and gas development.
If municipalities have the right to zone against oil and gas development is a question that’s central to the case. A lower court ruled in favor of Dryden during the case’s first hearing.
"Based on research into both New York State statute and case law, I believe -- and two Supreme Courts so ruled this past spring -- that the Town of Dryden and municipalities across New York, retain the ability to use their zoning powers to decide to exclude or limit gas drilling within their borders,” Lifton wrote for a public statement. “I am hopeful that the Appellate Division will uphold the two rulings from the lower courts.”
In a post from a year and a half ago (which I suggest you check out—the more things change, the more they stay the same), I had written, "Babs is not your father's (or grandfather's) Democrat.  Her philosophy is much closer to that of Marx—Karl, not Groucho (although you could make a case....)."
And the Democratic Socialists of America, with which Babs is so closely allied, is itself tight with the CPUSA. At Trevor Loudon's New Zeal:

Contrary to popular opinion, the US Democratic Party does not set much of its own policy.

Democrat policy is actually dictated by the labor unions and radical think tanks, such as the Center for American Progress, and the Institute for Policy Studies.

The unions are dominated by the US’s largest Marxist organization Democratic Socialists of America – which also works closely with the C.A.P. and I.P.S...
In case you think this has gotten pretty far afield from the topic of fracking, it hasn't at all.  In fact, it's where we've fallen down repeatedly—we haven't connected the dots even when they were there in plain sight, and we've been too bashful to call a spade a spade out of some misplaced desire to be seen as "taking the high road."
Time to baldly point out that the other side has an agenda of its own, one that many of us are passionately opposed to.
I do get concerned at times when someone says "Well, you’re a landowner so you shouldn’t make decisions on these issues. What town board member in this state is not a landowner?...Who doesn’t have an interest?
Prescisely.  The "interest" may not be quite as tangible as owning land but it's no less real.


Ithaca, Wisconsin, and the DSA


DSA? The Direct Selling Association? The Driving Standards Agency?  Nope, the DSA is the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest Socialist organization in the US, which works closely with the Democratic Progressive Caucus. Although there have only been 26 local chapters of this organization since it was officially formed in 1983, one of them is the Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America.

No surprises there, I guess.  So what's the connection to what's been going on in Wisconsin the last few weeks? From New Zeal:

No State Senator bears more responsibility for the recent events in Madison, Wisconsin than Mark Miller. As Democrat minority leader, Mark Miller led a a boycott of all 14 Democrat State Senators. The group all bailed to neighboring Illinois on February 17, denying Republicans a quorum in the Wisconsin State Senate, so they could not pass Governor Scott Walker's controversial "Budget Repair Bill"....

[....] I have written here,  hereherehereherehere and here on efforts by the U.S.'s largest Marxist organization  Democratic Socialists of America to fan the Wisconsin flames, into a nationwide anti- GOP movement.

D.S.A. has a policy of infiltrating and influencing state legislatures nationwide. DSAers members and sympathizers posing as Democrats,  hold key positions in several state legislatures, including in New York, Michigan, Illinois, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin. These covert socialist supporters are then used to put D.S.A. drafted legislation before their legislatures and agitate and lobby for its passage.

As the most powerful Democrat in the Wisconsin State Senate, Mark Miller would be an obvious target of D.S.A. attention.

Is there any evidence that this has occurred? 

In 2005, Ithaca New York based D.S.A. leader Theresa Alt, wrote a review of D.S.A.'s activities in the 2004 Senate, Congress and state legislature elections, in  Democratic LeftWinter 2004/2005 edition, page 8.

Under the heading "How did our candidates do?", Alt listed D.S.A. successes and failures in several states, including Wisconsin.

Mark Miller, then just elected to his first term in the State Senate, rated a mention.

You can read the rest.
In today's Ithaca Journal is a letter to the editor on the so-called millionaires tax:
The rich can afford higher income tax rate
"How they voted at the Tompkins Legislature" was perhaps the most interesting item in the March 7 Ithaca Journal.
First, note a little history: In the 1980s, the New York state income tax on high incomes was more than 15 percent. The state used to pass this money to local governments and schools. In the 1990s, Albany — first under Mario Cuomo and then under George Pataki — cut these rates in half, and with less state income, less aid went to localities. This shifted the tax burden for schools, police, fire and streets to the local sales and property tax — taxes which are much less fair. Now Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to cut the top tax rate further.
People are starting to catch on. The Tompkins County Legislature unanimously passed the resolution "Supporting the Extension of the Tax Surcharge on Wealthy New Yorkers to Improve Equity in Taxation and Help Close the State's Projected Budget Gap."
Gov. Cuomo should take heed. We should go beyond this bipartisan consensus; the rich could afford to go back to the 15 percent rate.
Signed by none other than
Theresa F. Alt, Ithaca
She merited a page of her own at KeyWiki.
Just sayin'.
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