Seneca County New York Democratic Committee

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Welcome to the Seneca County Democratic Committee (SCDC) website! We have created this site to reach out to the community and to get your input into the work of the SCDC. You will find our Mission statement, information about  upcoming events, and timely information that affects our community. We would like to hear from you and we welcome your involvement.

Contact us at

Susan OttenwellerChairperson, Seneca County Democratic Committee

Voting Deadlines are Approaching Fast!

Time to take action to vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary! Your Absentee Ballot Application must be postmarked on or before Tuesday, June 16th if you want to vote by mail. You should have received that application form in the mail a few weeks ago (see illustration) Postage is Free. You can pick up an absentee ballot in person from the Board of Elections until the close of business on Monday, June 22nd.

Starting June 13th, you can vote early in person at the Seneca County Office Building.

Check our Voting Information Page for more details.

Click here for early voting house and more information on absentee ballots.

You may also vote in person on Primary election day, June 23rd at your normal polling site.

For more information visit the Seneca County Board of Elections website or contact them at 315-539-1760.

Democratic Committee Contributes to Area Food Pantries

In an effort to assist community families who have experienced job and income loss during the pandemic, members of the Seneca County Democratic Committee donated personal funds to the county’s seven food pantries. Members contributed $2,338 in whatever amounts they could to this effort.  Treasurer Charlie Brady distributed the funds in equal amounts to the food pantries on May 5. He noted that this fund did not use any of the committee’s resources, which are dedicated to help Democratic candidates run for office.

A Salute to Andrew Cuomo

The Governor has responded to the coronavirus pandemic by listening to science and putting lives ahead of profits. We are grateful for his leadership. And we are not alone.  A poll released on March 30 shows that 87% of New Yorkers approve of the Governor's handling of the crisis.

A group of talented people from Queens have produced a musical salute to the Governor. It made us smile. We hope you enjoy it. 

Candidate Matt Miller interviewed on Inside FLX

Josh Durso recently caught up with Matt Miller, the Democrat who is running to represent the 131st District in the NY State Assembly. The Canandaigua resident is a frontline worker during the pandemic – working at a local wine store – and has maintained his effort to be elected in the 131st.

That district has been controlled by Republicans, namely Assemblyman Brian Kolb for much of the last three decades. Miller is optimistic that his experiences – even through the pandemic – align with the district, and voters who are eager for change.

Watch Matt's interview with Josh here.


Brown to Seek County Clerk Position

Seneca Falls resident Melissa Brown has declared her candidacy for the position of county clerk, joining the growing list of Democrats running for office in Seneca County this year. Brown, 35, is a nine-year veteran of county employment. She graduated from Finger Lakes Community College with concentrations in fine arts, biology and biotechnology and from SUNY Potsdam in studio arts. A member of the Seneca County Democratic Committee and chairwoman of its Fundraising Committee, she currently serves on the Seneca Falls Planning Board and on the Board of Trustees of the Seneca Falls Historical Society.

The county clerk has wide ranging responsibilities as the custodian of the official civil and criminal records on file in the country offices and as the chief recording officer and custodian of the county’s public land records. In practice, this means everything from business certificates and deeds and liens to passport applications, pistol permits, and veterans’ discharges. “I have always enjoyed working on the service end of things,” Brown said, “and this will be a great opportunity to broaden my responsibilities and serve a broader population."


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The early crusaders for the rights of women would have had the sense to wear masks during the Covid-19 pandemic. Seneca Falls Strong! 

Unique Visits


Heather Cox Richardson: Letters from an American

June 22, 2020

Last Wednesday, the new CEO of the US Agency for Global Media, Michael Pack, purged four top officials from the media organizations the U.S. government funds to provide factual, unbiased news to world populations that do not have access to a free and independent press.

The US Agency for Global Media oversees Voice of America, Middle East Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Open Technology Fund. These organizations have a budget of almost a billion dollars, and make up one of the world’s largest media networks. The two women in charge of the fifth organization—Voice of America—had resigned in anticipation of Pack’s arrival.

By law, the news agencies are independent of political influence, with editors calling the shots of what to cover and how to cover it. The law “prohibits interference by any US government official in the objective, independent reporting of news.” The idea is that the US media stations will exhibit the democratic value of a free press in form as well as in function. Listeners will not only hear a wide range of stories, but also see a nation where politicians keep their hands off the information that goes to the people.

Since at least 2014, Republicans have sought to rein in the independence of the US network to make it reflect official policy more closely. After Trump was elected, Republicans consolidated control of the VOA by replacing a bipartisan executive board with a CEO appointed by the president. In 2018, Trump nominated for the position Michael Pack, a documentary filmmaker with close ties to Trump advisor Steve Bannon. Bannon took over Breitbart News after its founder, Andrew Breitbart, died of a sudden heart attack at age 43. Bannon gave what was already a right-wing outlet a hard-right turn.

Senators were in no hurry to confirm Pack, both because of his ties to Bannon and because his film company is under investigation by the Washington, D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office for financial improprieties. But VOA has been critical of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and he got angry enough at the organization that he called VOA the “voice of the Soviet Union” and “communists” at a private lunch with Senate Republicans. The administration ordered staff at the Centers for Disease Control not to speak with any VOA reporters.

Under pressure from Trump, the Senate approved Pack on June 4. On June 15, before his anticipated arrival, the heads of VOA resigned. The day after his arrival, he fired the heads of the other four agencies and replaced them with Trump loyalists. The firing drew criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, for one of the heads had been an aide to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). There is deep concern that, with Pack's help, Trump plans to turn the US Agency for Global Media into the sort of state media he admires in countries run by autocrats.

But, so far, reporters at VOA say nothing much has changed in their daily routine. If it does, and American overseas media outlets become the US version of a Ministry of Information, the USAGM will no longer be a powerful tool of American soft diplomatic power; it will be the opposite. As Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said, the agency might never recover from such a political transformation. “Once the credibility is gone, no one will ever trust a report from Radio Free Europe, Radio Marti, nor trust the tools of the Open Technology Fund.”

Trump's packing of positions at USAGM, and the FBI, and the DOJ, and the State Department—crucial positions all—threatens to destroy our non-partisan civil service, made up of smart, experienced people whose loyalty is to the Constitution and the country rather than to any individual. The administration’s actions recall the worst days of the 1890s, when party loyalty was paramount and corrupt party cronies had the skills to pocket money but not to govern.

But the American people turned against that government, and it increasingly looks as if that sort of rejection is happening now.


You can read and subscribe to all of Heather Cox Richardson's daily newsletters here

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