Local elections are less than two weeks away, on November 5th, and we need to focus on what we can do to help Democrats.  But important national news continues to break daily.  Last night it was reported that the Department of Justice under William Barr has started a criminal investigation of its own Russia investigation.  It’s been a conspiracy theory among the radical right-wing since the beginning of the Russia probe that the genesis of the probe was somehow illegitimate, was somehow a “deep state” conspiracy to hurt Trump, and that Russia never hacked or undermined our election.  In fact, AG Barr has been flying around the world talking to intelligence agencies of various allies looking for dirt on the Mueller probe.  This fact alone confirms that Barr is a corrupt partisan serving Trump rather than an official of justice for the nation.  But the news of an investigation into the Russia investigators reeks of partisan payback directed by Trump himself.

Barr has become a profoundly dangerous man.  The fair administration of justice is the backbone of Democracy, and while our justice system isn’t perfect, it’s still the most important institution upon which everything else depends.  When it’s corrupted, when the authorities persecute citizens not based on facts or evidence but to settle grudges and gain political advantage, our republic is at grave risk.  It’s bad enough that Barr lied to the American people in his dishonest summary of the Mueller probe and lied to Congress during sworn testimony.  It’s even worse that he didn’t recuse himself from the Russia probe.  That he might not recuse himself from the Ukraine scandal is enough to get him disbarred in New York, according to the New York Bar Association.  But to place public servants in legal jeopardy for doing their jobs just to mollify the rage of a corrupt president is scandalous and yet another reason that Barr is unfit to serve as the Attorney General and deserves to be impeached.

It’s anyone’s guess what Barr and the DOJ are contemplating in this criminal probe, and it might be merely a fig leaf to temporarily distract from the mushrooming Ukraine scandal, leading nowhere.  But it might also drag our nation down an ugly path.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Dutchess County features one of the most high-profile election contests in New York State this year, the race for County Executive between Republican incumbent Marc Molinaro and Democratic challenger Joe Ruggiero.  While Molinaro is considered by some to be a moderate, his voting record while in the State Assembly paints a picture of an extreme right-wing conservative.  The New York State Democratic Committee has seized upon this fact with a new ad running during prime-time TV.  Here’s the text of the ad:

Donald Trump is attacking New York rights, our values, and our economy.  And now Trump is running his puppet Marc Molinaro for county executive of Dutchess County.  Molinaro is anti choice and as an Albany assemblyman he voted five times against equal pay, voted against an assault weapons ban, voted against access to affordable healthcare, voted against marriage equality, and Molinaro even supported Trump’s tax plan that raises New York State property and income taxes as much as thirty percent.  A Trump mini-me for Dutchess County?  No way, no how.

It’s clear that Molinaro doesn’t reflect the views or values of a majority of the residents of Dutchess County.  So it’s important that we try to replace him with a better representative, Joe Ruggiero.

Joe is holding a telethon event this Saturday, details below.

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On Monday the 29th there will also be a fundraiser in Wappingers Falls, details below.

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There is still time for volunteers and activists to have a big impact on this race.  With a historically unpopular president causing chaos and scandal in Washington, the sense of frustration and outrage among independent and left-leaning voters is at an all-time high.  We need to harness that frustration and anxiety to elect better leaders and we can start with this coming local election.  It’s never been more important.

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office,” if he isn’t removed first.

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