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24th Congressional District Election

What you Need to know

PREFACE: So many have mentioned that they hear too much hoopla and not enough about issues. I agree. Elections and Politics are about Issues. 

It is the stand on issues you really want to know about. What a candidate will fight for. Following this column you will see the word “ISSUES.” It is explained how Democrats feel on each. That is what is important.



Unity & Integrity

If you disagree, as I do, strongly with Donald Trump and his cult like following this is your opportunity to step forward. John Katko has misled you. He is not a moderate. No rhetoric, it is simply true, he is a right-wing extremist clearly evidenced by his voting record. He has joined the chorus of paid and afraid leadership and has deserted his charge: The 24th Congressional District. He defied every need we have in our four-county area as he voted for Trumps Tax Bill. This bill is riddled with details that leave average Americans without hope. The entire bill is designed to diminish health care and dismantle “behind your back” programs for seniors, children, and the poor, to take from you and give to the 1%. It is baffling obscenity and glaringly depicts the power of moneyed lobbyists and their influence. Trump and Katko are Pied Pipers. Pied Pipers are people who induce others to follow or imitate them especially by means of deceit and false and extravagant promises.    

This column is a call for unity and respect for each candidate and a call to protect the principles of the Democratic Party that we are all fighting for. It is a call to the people to understand all that has happened in both campaigns is highly honorable. It is understandable that some feel discomfort by Juanita’s late entry. Juanita understands this and appreciates the dedication and the volunteers and the hard work so necessary in these efforts. With heartfelt understanding for those feelings we must see that this is about something much bigger. It is about America. It is about a great land that is off course. And certainly, it is about determining who the best leaders may be to reset direction and course.

Juanita is battle tested, experienced and has high approval ratings and name recognition. She has built a diverse coalition bringing energy and enthusiasm to the campaign. Reputation, support and recognition are built over time. This a vulnerable seat and without this kind of background this seat is in very grave danger of being lost again. Throughout the 24th Congressional District Juanita has earned the vital positive name recognition so necessary to defeat John Katko. 

This was all confirmed in independent research by The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The DCCC is on the people’s side. Their goal is to win. They developed an in-depth research process to determine who the top tier potential candidates (most likely to win) are in each Congressional District. In this research they included vulnerable Republican Candidates such as John Katko. They determined as best as can be done that Katko is vulnerable and the candidate most likely to take back this seat is Juanita Perez Williams. Juanita was one of 33 to be chosen in this elite “Red to Blue” program reserved for those with the highest potential across the land. There were no benefactors or political cronies influencing for Juanita. This was determined with honest unbiased research all too rare in politics. Research pursued for the sole purpose of determining the best way to take back the House. 

This is a call to those that worked hard on another campaign to respect all of these highly

appropriate efforts and allow the primary to proceed with integrity and issues and let the primary, the people, determine who is most likely to gain back this seat so vital to human fairness in America. Then together we will take back this vital seat and play a huge role in America’s future.

I support Juanita because I have witnessed her character and ability. I offer to you she is a rare and highly talented individual driven by her sense of justice and a love for America. Her resume is extraordinary and includes five years in the United States Navy Judge Advocates Program (JAGC) where she handled high profile criminal cases, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Her character was fine-tuned by this experience serving with those that keep us free. 

Upon completion of her military service, Juanita relocated with her family to Upstate New York where she accepted a position with the New York State Department of Education where she worked with Law Enforcement directing investigations in 19 Upstate Counties. In 2001, Juanita accepted a legal position with Syracuse University and soon thereafter was promoted to Associate Dean of Students. Juanita also served as an adjunct professor teaching legal issues in higher education. During this time, Juanita was selected by then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to be a member of the New York State Military Selection Review Board. In 2008, Juanita was appointed by then Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to serve New York State as an Assistant Attorney General. Two years later, Juanita was appointed by the Mayor of Syracuse to serve as Corporation Counsel and lead the city’s legal office. Her legal and prosecutorial experience will be invaluable in this world of legal folly intrinsic to Trump and his strange following. She will insure partisan interference and corrupt activity is addressed and fair process is observed. She will set the standard.    

Here is my take away and why I support Juanita Perez Williams. “Not just locally but in the United States House of Representatives there are few of such caliber, able to influence and reset course. These are rare talents. Juanita has the perseverance, the experience, the fight, the sense for justice, the compassion, the ability to achieve, and the desire to serve that are requisite to the special leadership needed to cause change. When such quality is present in one individual we must recognize the rare window of opportunity. The irony here is that I am not overdoing this. Juanita is made of the “Right Stuff.” A designation designed to show that Astronauts are awesome doers and pioneers.   Congress sank to a 14% approval rating in a new Quinnipiac University poll. Juanita Perez Williams will be a beacon, forging a restoring path, representing how to earn the people’s approval, with the integrities that made this a great land.

I am never sure how these kinds of endings appear to others. I served. Juanita Served. As did so many. And that is important. Those sent into danger that never came home should always be a part of the conversation. Juanita will do the right thing. So here it is, my oft made reference to this poem that defines what we must never forget. Herewith:

When things settle in, and Juanita takes hold in Washington, you may hear a wisp in the air as Flanders Fields rises and crisply salutes, and you may well feel shivers of patriotism as you hear of Juanita’s response to lobbyists that shame their sacrifice. It is just the way she is.   


Please note that each has been failed by John Katko. 

Just look around. This election is about America and our great people and

restoring course. It is all about issues. Each worthy of and seeking worthy Champions in Congress. Trump/Katko and the lobbies believe interests should be devised for the 1%.  Here are a few issues that are being decimated and dismantled by the Omnibus bill that gives a trillion to the 1%.

Gun Safety and the NRA: Now we have Santa Fe, Texas. 10 more dead. NRA control of and prevention of good sense regulation to save the lives of our little ones is perhaps our most glaring example of leadership disgrace. Again, the bottom line is moneyed favor. They gave Trump 21 million. Several senators received millions each and the House also received millions. The price to ignore dead children. The NRA is financed primarily by the Gun Lobby. Their interests are in gun sales, not people. Their members are duped. Just like with tobacco the lives that are lost do not matter. Trump legislation actually undid restrictions aimed at mental illness. Democrats are Pro 2nd Amendment. No one is coming for your guns. Unless you are mentally unstable. No amount of money should allow dying and bleeding little ones scattered all over our schools. John Katko accepts NRA donations and defends the NRA. Juanita Perez Williams will defend the safety and lives of our children.

Medicare: This spring, the House of Representatives passed a budget proposal that would END MEDICARE AS WE KNOW IT and make significant cuts to Medicaid that will leave millions of seniors, children and disabled without access to the care they need. The plan replaces Medicare with a voucher system. Please think about this for a moment. The take-way is that this Republican effort would not exist if it did not take money out of the programs. We all know it is going to the 1%. According to the Congressional Budget Office, seniors would spend three quarters of their income on health care. As a result, 10’s of millions would drop their coverage. Medicare and Medicaid dismantling will crush our most needy and vulnerable. Cruel lonely death among our disabled, young and old will riddle our system. Katko voted for this bill. Juanita Perez Williams will defend our seniors and kids and seek and protect human justice. 

Health Care: The Omnibus bill gravely degrades the Affordable care act. This will limit the availability of the best in health care and often health care itself to those that can afford high priced insurance. The bill itself will cause 10’s of thousands of deaths in the first year. As repeal proceeds deaths will increase to 43,000 to over 100,000 per year. If Trump and Republicans such as John Katko are re-elected this course will reach unspeakable genocidal proportion by the end of the Trump Presidency. All this to give the 1% 1 trillion of the 1.3 trillion omnibus funds. As Trump touts opioids only a fraction of the need is included in this bill and access to that is decimated by removing access to the most in need. Positives alleged are actually harmed in this bill. 

(You are not supposed to digress like this when you write but) I am baffled and overcome with a sense of disappointment in realizing this is all true and yet there is still debate – Is right and justice and love of all others gone in that many Americans? A lot of us are asking these kinds of questions. This needs to end. John Katko votes with Trump 92% of the time. The other 8% he is not present or it is an inconsequential matter. He is not a moderate. That is a vote getting lie. His voting record is extreme right. You cannot get further right than this hideous Omnibus giveaway to the rich and decimate the poor the bill. John Katko signed it.

Financial: Until Citizens United repeal is achieved and measures to end bribery in American Leadership are achieved, we will not have “the best that we can” in Government. Human leadership quality is critical to every urgent issue. The Omnibus Bill is a result of a purchased government. This is a systemic poison which must be acknowledged. Democrats plan to fight for institutional reform that would challenge big banks, raise the minimum wage and overturn Citizens United. Democrats support an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall and breaking up too-big-to-fail financial institutions that pose a systemic risk to the stability of our economy. The Democratic Platform also calls to reform the Federal Reserve so that it is more representative of America as a whole, and to fight to make sure that executives at financial institutions are not allowed to serve on the boards of regional Federal Reserve banks or select its members. A crucial platform element that has been fervently supported by Democrats is an increase in the minimum wage. The 2016 platform reads that “Democrats believe that the current minimum wage is a starvation wage and must be increased to a living wage. No one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty. We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour and have the right to form or join a union.” 

The minimum wage needed to survive, once degrading, is now sought. That is the Republican path to the third world for the vast majority of us. John Katko has voted over and over to widen that path for more of us. The retardation of progress this rich giveaway bill will cause is stunningly inept. With a President like Trump an unread 2,400-page bill is the absolute ultimate epitome of irresponsibility. John Katko voted for this Omnibus American atrocity. 

Criminal justice reform: Nothing is more wrong in humanity than killing the innocent. Our system, has many grave faults and does just that with the death penalty. Some may feel some deserve this, but we are incapable of accurate determination. Democrats support abolishing the death penalty, seeking alternative sentencing, reforming mandatory minimum sentences, and closing private prisons and detention centers.” Few things are as sickening as private for-profit prisons. Private prisons are a lucrative industry, benefiting heartless corporations at great expense and harm to humans that have erred, (they actually lobby against alternative sentencing) municipal governments and impacted communities. We alone incarcerate 22 percent of the worlds prisoners. We are 4.4 percent of the population. China has 1 billion 379 million people. The U.S. has 325 million. We incarcerate 3 ½ times more citizens than China with a billion less people.       

Women’s rights: Equal pay, equal treatment, and equal rights sought for 240 years, equality in the workplace, violence against women, and paid sick and parental and maternity leave are all part of the Equal Rights Amendment that Democrats are fighting for. The bill John Katko just signed decimates a women’s rights to choose and puts this vital decision in his and his friend’s hands. The bill dismantles decades of Women’s Rights efforts in sneaky, disgusting language buried in its 2400 pages.     

Combating climate change: The President does not care beyond his term. He seeks daily accolade and will happily destroy the future to look good now. Trump dismisses science and the rest of the world and refers to Climate Change as a “hoax.” Democrats have marked climate change as one of the crucial topics in this year’s platform. Climate Change listed as an “issue” here may well be “life and death for our grandchildren” with every indication sooner rather than later. The irony is that with intelligent leadership economies can reform and improve in keeping with pursuing a course that will protect the future of humanity.

LGBT Rights: Every American, no matter their race, sex, ethnicity or national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability, is equal, and Democrats are fighting for them. Democrats have a long and proud history of defending civil rights and expanding opportunity for all Americans. From the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 to including marriage equality in the party platform in 2012, Democrats have fought to end discrimination in all forms. No matter who you are, who you love, where you’re from, or how you worship, Democrats are fighting for you. 

Education: Democrats know that every child, no matter who they are, how much their families earn, or where they live, should have access to a high-quality education, from preschool through high school and beyond. Republicans defy this thinking at every turn. John Katko’s and Donald Trump’s tax bill dismantles decades of protections for kids. This unread bill is an American disaster with John Katko’s signature. Democrats believe all children should be able to lead happy, successful lives. Democrats believe that funding, including fair pay for teachers and equality throughout for all children should be reflected in this pursuit.

Infrastructure: Like most of what Trump offers in the Omnibus bill, and what it purports to enhance, is actually degraded. Infrastructure is not funded and what he speculates in tax credits is two trillion short of need. Perhaps the most significant problem in the entire Trump agenda is that lying is just fine to appease and get approval. This should be clear as out of a 1.3 trillion dollar bill, a trillion goes to the 1%. The money needed for infrastructure is not even included. There is nowhere near enough remaining to do the rest. This bill fails dirty water (Flint still does not have clean water) crumbling power grids, roads and potholes and crumbling bridges. Again, Katko voted for this heinous bill.

I leave you with a brief excerpt from the United States Navy Ethos that describes the character of those that serve: “Integrity is the foundation of our conduct; respect for others is fundamental to our character; decisive leadership is crucial to our success. We are patriots, forged by the Navy’s core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. In times of war and peace, our actions reflect our proud heritage and tradition. We defend our Nation and prevail in the face of adversity with strength, determination, and dignity”

Let’s take a big step in bringing America back. Please vote for Juanita Perez Williams.

Bill McClellan