6/21 UPDATE: Also, the Watershed Post published an interview with Julian Schreibman. Most notable - when asked where he stood on fracking, Schreibman does not exactly clarify his stand and instead gives a somewhat vague, measured, political response.
6/19 UPDATE: The Watershed Post summarized a debate between Schreibman and Tyner held 6/18 in New Paltz. The Daily Freeman provided video clips of the debate highlighting key issues such as fracking, health care and the economy . The entire debate is available on YouTube (for those fortunate enough to have access to broadband).
Ah! Summertime in the Catskills - hiking the high peaks to expansive vistas, camping under moonlit and starry skies, angling for brownies in the clear mountain streams, diving into hidden swimming holes on hot, sweaty days, and…heading to your polling station to vote for a congressional candidate?
That’s right, fellow denizens - in less than 2 short weeks, on June 26th, right after the official start of Summer, New York will hold its 2012 Congressional Primary and voting, a care once cast to the summer breeze, joins our list of summer pastimes.
But, not without good reason, at least according to Congress and a federal judge who ordered the election moved from its usual date in September so New York would comply with a federal act passed in 2009 dubbed MOVE (Military Overseas Voter Empowerment). As its name implies, the act helps ensure that our troops are not disenfranchised from their voting rights when deployed overseas. The judge had to step in since our state legislature, in a fine example of how extremely polarized the political climate has become, failed to reach agreement on a new date.
And so, be sure to add ‘research candidates’ to your summer reading list. And there are a few to consider on both sides of our disconcertingly high and seemingly ever rising political fence. Julian Schreibman and Joel Tyner will be duking it out on the Democratic side with hopes of representing us in Congress as part of the 19th District (with the recent redistricting, Denning is now a part of the 19th congressional district along with the rest of Ulster and Sullivan counties, parts of Broome, Montgomery, Rensselaer and Dutchess counties and all of Oswego, Schoharie, Greene, Columbia and Delaware counties). Chris Gibson, the Republican incumbent, will be defending his congressional seat. Republicans, however, will need to decide who of several candidates - Wendy Long, George Maragos, or Bob Turner - will be running against Kirsten Gillibrand for her Senate seat.
And since more than a few of us denizens may be away on that day, don’t forget to apply for your absentee ballot. To do so, your application must be sent to the Ulster County Board of Elections, 284 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401, postmarked no later than June 19th (you can hand in your application in-person up to June 25th). And then, your ballot must be postmarked by June 25th for your vote to be counted.
Who knows? With the Fourth of July just around the corner from our new primary day, perhaps the satisfaction of performing one of the most basic of our patriotic duties, that rush one can’t help but experience when partaking in the democratic process, will make those Independence Day gatherings with friends, family and neighbors seem that much more meaningful, those burgers and dogs taste that much tastier and those fireworks seem to burn that much brighter.