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George Amedore Jr(R) State Assemblyman
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105TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
Laws for sex abusers still debated
Amedore offers statewide plan

BY MICHAEL LAMENDOLA Gazette Reporter

   Republican George Amedore Jr., candidate for the state Assembly from the 105th District, on Friday offered a plan to deal with sex offenders on a statewide basis, hoping to capitalize on a central issue in the hotly contested race.
   Amedore’s plan “would protect children in every community,” he said during a news conference in Amsterdam. Joining Amedore were Amsterdam Mayor Joseph Emanuele III, Montgomery County Sheriff Michael Amato and Rotterdam Supervisor Steven Tommasone, all Republicans.
   Schenectady County’s legislation to restrict where sex offenders may live has emerged as a polarizing issue in the Assembly race. It has pitted town supervisors against the county Legislature, with the town officials saying they were not consulted and that they fear their communities will experience an influx of offenders.
   Amedore, 38, of Rotterdam, faces Democrat Edward Kosiur, 51, of Schenectady, in the contest for the seat vacated by Democrat Paul Tonko. Tonko left the Assembly to head the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The special election is Tuesday.
   Amedore’s plan calls for New York to enact Jessica’s Law, a measure passed in Florida that makes rape of a child under 14 punishable with a sentence of 25 years to life.
   It also calls on the state to increase prison sentences for other sex offenses against children, to allow probation officers to track and monitor sex offenders with GPS ankle bracelets, to equip local facilities where children congregate with sensors that trigger alarms when sex offenders with the GPS bracelets enter them, and to pass “anti-clustering” legislation that limits the number of convicted sex offenders who may live in any area.
   Amedore said Schenectady County’s laws are “a sex offender shuffle, and areas such as Duanesburg, Princetown, Rotterdam and Montgomery County are being dealt the bad hand. I believe, as many do, that the laws will have unintended consequences.”
   Tommasone said Amedore’s plan shows “he listens to all of us. George realizes we need a statewide approach to the problem.”
   Amato said residents in Montgomery County have expressed concerns that the Schenectady County legislation will cause convicted sex offenders to relocate there. “People have talked about it, and I think the people would come here,” he said.
   Montgomery County does not have residency restrictions on convicted sex offenders. The county Board of Supervisors discussed passing residency restrictions earlier this year, but dropped the plan “because the board felt it was a fragmented way to handle it,” Amato said.

KOSIUR RESPONDS
   Kosiur said he does not believe sex offenders will relocate to Montgomery County as a result of his legislation. “We have been tracking sex offenders in Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties, which have residency restrictions, and have found they are moving out of state,” he said.
   Kosiur said he agrees there “needs to be statewide legislation in place to prevent” sex offenders from moving to areas without residency restrictions, something he would push for if elected.
   Schenectady County’s legislation, he said, is a defensive measure until the state enacts consistent restrictions. He said several of Amedore’s proposals are already in place in Schenectady County, such as GPS monitoring on sex offenders on probation and alarms that trigger when these sex offenders move near restricted areas.
   He also said he supports tough legislation to increase sentences for sex offenders and civil confinement, which Amedore also supports.
   Kosiur accused Amedore’s campaign of using the issue for political purposes. “I’m glad my opponent has finally spoken up on importance of legislation that will protect our children and families from sexual predators.”
   He said, “the bottom line is I am the candidate with the proven record of advancing legislation that is tough on these predators and have not ever been afraid to vocalize my beliefs even when it has not been politically advantageous.”
   The Schenectady County Legislature passed the legislation June 12. Sponsored by Kosiur, DSchenectady, the laws make it a misdemeanor for a convicted sex offender to live within 2,000 feet of any facility associated with children. They also give the county the authority to remove any registered sex offender who has not moved out of an excluded area by Oct. 1.
   The Schenectady County town supervisors have asked the county to rescind the law, calling it “ill-advised and ill-conceived.” They also are upset the county passed the legislation without discussing their concerns. County leaders plan to meet with the supervisors and may consider changes to the legislation, said County Attorney Chris Gardner.
   The New York Civil Liberties Union is asking the county not to enforce the legislation and is threatening legal action should it ignore the request.
   The county laws effectively bar levels 1, 2 and 3 sex offenders from living in the city of Schenectady. Town supervisors fear the law will force sex offenders to move into their communities, which are dispersed enough to lack the exclusion zones, or force them underground where they can’t be monitored by law enforcement.
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Shadow
July 28, 2007, 6:52am Report to Moderator
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The sex offender law is non enforceable and unconstitutional so let's avoid the court costs and get it off the books and save the city some money now.
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bumblethru
July 28, 2007, 10:15am Report to Moderator
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Okay....I just got a recorded campaign message from Mr. Guiliani to vote for Mr. Amedore. Perhaps Kosiur could get Obama or perhaps Hillary to do a recorded message too. Actually who could the dems get that are from NYS that are presidential candidates? NONE!

Well perhaps Bloomberg could since he changes party affiliations on a whim!


When the INSANE are running the ASYLUM
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. -- Friedrich Nietzsche


“How fortunate for those in power that people never think.”
Adolph Hitler
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July 28, 2007, 11:06am Report to Moderator
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I got a recorded message from Rudy too and the race goes on.
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z2im
July 31, 2007, 7:11am Report to Moderator
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Happy (Special) Election Day.  Call the neighbors & wake up the kids!  Regardless of for whom you vote, it is a right and a responsibility of all Americans to participate in elections.  Let  your voice be heard.
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July 31, 2007, 8:06am Report to Moderator
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I agree get out and vote it's your civic duty.
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bumblethru
July 31, 2007, 9:44am Report to Moderator
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I voted already for Mr. Amedore.


When the INSANE are running the ASYLUM
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. -- Friedrich Nietzsche


“How fortunate for those in power that people never think.”
Adolph Hitler
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z2im
July 31, 2007, 10:51am Report to Moderator
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Any reports on voter turnout?  Not sure which candidate would benefit from a heavy turnout.
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bumblethru
July 31, 2007, 11:08am Report to Moderator
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I haven't heard anything. I do know that the Amedore election 'celebration' will be tonight at Roman Villa on Duanesburg Road.  When I went to vote this morning, I was the only one there. When I left, many people were walking and driving in. I think that Amedore will benefit if there is a heavy turn out. If there wasn't such a republican push for the seat, I don't believe there would be much of a turn out as it would be assumed Ed Kosiur the winner. But there is so much at stake in this election that will effect us all, that more people are aware and will get out to vote.

And for that reason, both parties are, whatever one we sway toward, really encouraged the 'get out to vote' campaign.


When the INSANE are running the ASYLUM
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. -- Friedrich Nietzsche


“How fortunate for those in power that people never think.”
Adolph Hitler
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July 31, 2007, 1:06pm Report to Moderator
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There were quite a few people when I voted at town hall. I talked to an Amedore supporter who was passing out fliers and he said that there was a pretty good turnout at the district 6 firehouse when he voted too. I sure hope all the rural towns turn out in good numbers too.
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bumblethru
July 31, 2007, 3:05pm Report to Moderator
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I went by Roman Villa a short while ago and it was filling up. And NewsChannel9 was just pullig in. I just think I may drop in about 8 or 9 tonight!


When the INSANE are running the ASYLUM
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. -- Friedrich Nietzsche


“How fortunate for those in power that people never think.”
Adolph Hitler
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senders
July 31, 2007, 8:31pm Report to Moderator
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I hear ya George....congratulations.....dont let 'em take ya.....keep The Faith........I just love fresh air......


...you are a product of your environment, your environment is a product of your priorities, your priorities are a product of you......

The replacement of morality and conscience with law produces a deadly paradox.


STOP BEING GOOD DEMOCRATS---STOP BEING GOOD REPUBLICANS--START BEING GOOD AMERICANS

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JoAnn
July 31, 2007, 9:16pm Report to Moderator
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I attended Mr. Amedore's victory celebration at Roman Villa tonight. He was ahead thoughout the evening. It was a packed house. If anyone had the chance to watch his victory speech on Channelnews9, he was very eloquent, thanked everyone and even threw a few jokes in.

So George Amedore is now the Assemblyman for the 105th District.  
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105TH ASSEMBLY DISTRICT
Amedore wins 105th Republican newcomer pulls upset over Kosiur by more than 2,800 votes

BY MICHAEL LAMENDOLA AND KATHLEEN MOORE
Gazette Reporters

BRUCE SQUIERS/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER George Amedore Jr., right, and Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Schenectady, celebrate Tuesday night after Amedore’s special Assembly election victory.

   Republican George Amedore Jr. pulled off a major upset in Tuesday’s special election to capture the 105th state Assembly District seat, which had
belonged to a Democrat for 24 years.
   Amedore received 2,811 more votes than Democrat candidate Edward Kosiur, 13,666 votes to 10,855 in unofficial results. This was Amedore’s first bid for political offi ce.
It took Amedore 10 minutes to come to grips with winning the election he thought he was going to lose Tuesday. As the last tentative figures came in, he ducked into the kitchen of the J.D. Roman Villa in Rotterdam. Outside, Republicans were celebrating, but the man of the hour wouldn’t show his face. “I wasn’t supposed to be standing here,” he said when he finally emerged. “I had a speech kind of prepared — I can’t even go into it.” It had been a long stretch for Amedore, one that started at 6 a.m. Monday and didn’t end until hours after the polls closed. “I was hunting every vote I could fi nd. We were everywhere we could be,” he said. In the middle of the night, he was talking to nightshift workers during their smoke breaks. He didn’t take any time to sleep. But as his victory began to sink in, he said he’s not taking any time to rest. “As soon as the election is over, it’s time to get to work,” he said. Amedore promised to focus on reducing taxes — a main theme from his campaign, in which he pledged never to vote for any tax increase.
   “It’s not just about cutting programs. We need to look at the waste, the inefficiency,” he said.
   At the same time, he wants to reform state government to bring more jobs to the district, particularly Montgomery County.
   “It’s on the right path. The groundwork is good. It has shovel-ready sites, I realize that,” he said. “But we’re not competitive enough. It’s not just finding shovel-ready sites, it’s finding a government that works with business.”
   He also offered an olive branch to his opponent, saying he would listen to any of Kosuir’s proposals.
   “Ed has some good ideas,” he said. “He truly has the desire to serve the people and I want to thank him for that.”
   Kosiur and Amedore attend the same church in Schenectady.
   “He’s a friend of mine and I hope we can be friends even after this evening,” Amedore said.
   As for the controversial sex offender law that Kosiur proposed and trumpeted during the campaign, Amedore said he didn’t think he owed his win to angry rural residents who are afraid the law would force sex offenders to relocate to their towns.
TAXES KEY
“I know that concerns of the people were about a lot of things: taxes, frustration with government,” he said. “Was [victory] based on the sex offender law? I have no idea. It wasn’t the meat of my campaign.” He said he thought voters chose the person they felt they could trust the most. “It’s my truthfulness. I ran a clean campaign, an honest campaign,” he said. Kosuir did accuse him of distorting his record in advertisements, but Amedore maintains that his ads were factual. Republicans said Amedore won because of his promise to vote against tax raises.
   “This is a clear denunciation of the Democratic majority’s reckless tax and spend policies,” county Legislator Joseph Suhrada said.
   Republican County Committee Chairman Thomas Buchanan agreed.
   “They’re tired of being overtaxed and over-regulated,” he said.
   But Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco agreed with Amedore’s assessment.
   “You can’t fake sincerity. You can’t fake concern,” he said. “He was honest. He was straightforward. When we asked him to run, he said, ‘No one is going to tell me how to vote.’ That’s what the people want.”
   The victory is not likely to be affected by more than 1,000 absentee ballots that remain to be tallied. The ballots will be opened in about a week.
   Kosiur conceded defeat before a crowd at the Ancient Order of Hibernians on State Street. Many in the crowd were unaware he had lost and greeted him with applause when he entered the room.
   “We have gotten beaten,” Kosiur said. “It was close in Schenectady but we got beaten in Montgomery County. I’m declaring Amedore the winner. We waged a good fight and it was a clean campaign.”
   Kosiur vowed to run against Amedore again. Amedore will serve out Tonko’s remaining term and will have to run in November 2008 for a full two-year term.
   Chris Gardner, Schenectady County attorney and former Democratic Committee chairman, blamed Kosiur’s defeat on the Democrats being outspent by Republicans. He added that Kosiur’s county legislation to restrict where convicted sex offenders can live may have also cost him votes.
COSTLY RACE
   Amedore’s victory is also a victory for Tedisco, R-Schenectady, who recruited Amedore. Tedisco orchestrated the victory, helping Republicans increase their seats to 42 of the 150 seats; Democrats hold the heavy majority.
   The term is for two years. Legislators earn a base salary of $79,500, but most get additional stipends for leadership roles.
   The state Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, which ran Amedore’s campaign, spent nearly $200,000 as of July 13 on a massive information blitz of registered voters in the district, according to the state Board of Elections
   “We are all in,” said Phil Oliva, a member of Tedisco’s staff who volunteered for Amedore’s campaign, serving as spokesman. “This is a great victory for Amedore and a great victory for Jim Tedisco and the Assembly Republican Conference. Jim worked 24 hours, 7 days a week on this. He personally made 2,000 live phone calls and knock on doors. This was a good race,” Oliva said.
   The Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee spent $118,000 as of July 15 on its own information blitz, according to the state Board of Elections.
   Tedisco’s Chief of Staff Bill Sherman said he expects the final amount spent by both parties will total nearly $1 million, making this special election Assembly race one of the most expensive in recent history.
   The June 5 special election for the 65th state Assembly District in Manhattan cost less than $200,000 total, paid for mostly by downstate Republicans. The state Republican Assembly Campaign Committee did not contest the race.
   Voter turnout was heavy for the 105th special election, with a total of 24,521 cast from among 83,000 eligible voters, plus the 1,000 absentee ballots. Special elections generally pull about 6 percent to 10 percent turnout.
   Republicans gambled on winning the district, even though Democrats outnumber Republicans by 4,763 enrollments. What made the race unpredictable are the 17,719 voters registered as “blank,” meaning they belong to no major party. They were the swing votes Republicans so heavily courted and counted on to pull off a victory.
   Kosiur’s loss signals a temporary end to his political career. He remains as Schenectady County legislator, representing District 2 of the city. But he chose not to seek a second 4-year term in November in favor of running for state Assembly. He remains the director of teen employment with the Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady.
   Garnder said Kosiur “will be back.”
   Amedore is executive vice president of Amedore Homes, a company started by his father, George Sr.
   Amedore said he would devote full time to the position of assemblyman, even though the position is part time.
   Kosiur’s camp hoped to do well in the city of Schenectady and Amsterdam, both heavily Democratic. He fared poorly in outlying areas. Voters and political observers said he lost votes in the rural areas because of his county legislation to restrict where convicted sex offenders could live.
   The county legislation, passed June 12, makes it a misdemeanor for a convicted sex offender to live within 2,000 feet of any facility associated with children. The laws also give the county the authority to remove any registered sex offender who has not moved out of an excluded area by Oct. 1.
   The law effectively bars levels 1, 2 and 3 sex offenders from living in the city. Town supervisors fear the law will force sex offenders to move into their communities, which are dispersed enough to lack the exclusion zones, or force them underground to avoid registering their residences with the state.
   Prior to the Tuesday’s election, Republican Supervisor Rene J. Merrihew called the legislation polarizing.



  
  
  
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Pair pushed to finish line
Residents, workers surprised by visits

BY MICHAEL LAMENDOLA Gazette Reporter

   When dairy farmer Seymour Vanderveen got up at 4:30 Tuesday morning to milk his cows, Republican state Assembly candidate George Amedore Jr. was waiting to help him.
   When 20 workers at Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp. took a break at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, Amedore was there to say hello.
   When News Channel 10 wanted to interview Amedore at 4 a.m., they found him outside Princetown Dunkin’ Donuts.
   In the final 24 hours leading up to Tuesday’s special election, Amedore mounted a red-eye push to win votes. Between 6 a.m. Monday through late Tuesday, he crisscrossed the sprawling 105th state Assembly District. He visited allnight convenience stores, factory workers, emergency personnel in their station houses and other graveyard-shift workers.
   Democratic candidate Edward Kosiur worked until 11 p.m. Monday in Amsterdam and was up at 5 a.m. Tuesday helping to get out the vote, said Chris Gardner, Schenectady County attorney and former county Democratic Committee chairman.
   Both Republicans and Democrats also focused on get-out-the-vote ef- forts, involving phone calls and lastminute information blitzes. Democrats had a force of 300 volunteers devote one-third of their efforts in the city of Amsterdam and two-thirds of their time in the city of Schenectady, both heavily Democratic.
   The 105th Assembly District encompasses all of Montgomery County and the towns of Princetown, Duanesburg and Rotterdam and half the city of Schenectady.
   The Amedore effort apparently paid off.
   “We wanted to touch every town and community once more,” said Phil Oliva, spokesman for the Amedore campaign and his whirlwind traveling companion.
   “This is a 30-day campaign and George asked: ‘What else can be done? What else can we do? Let’s not stop until it’s done,’ ” Oliva said.
   Amedore launched his final push after a debate on a local radio station in Amsterdam. He then went to his campaign headquarters in the River Front Mall, where he “rallied the workers,” Oliva said.
   From there, Amedore visited senior citizen centers, diners and local stores in Schenectady County. He then traveled to Montgomery County, going to the extreme end of the district in St. Johnsville, some 40 miles from the city of Schenenctady, to “thank members of the St. Johnsville Fire Department for their dedication,” Oliva said.
   In between, he visited the Beech-Nut workers during 2:15 a.m. break. “There was no one on the street but these guys. They were dumbfounded, but they appreciated what he was doing. They cheered him,” Oliva said.
   His 4:30 a.m. stop in Duanesburg was in response to Vanderveen’s plea to remember hard-pressed dairy farmers as an assemblyman in Albany, Oliva said.
   “George met with him a couple of weeks ago and said he won’t forget about the farmers. When Vanderveen woke up, he saw me and George sitting there in our car.”
   Vanderveen, 70, said Amedore’s unexpected visit “surprised me all right. I asked, ‘Who in the world is here?’ and this nice-looking man walked up to me and said ‘I’m George Amedore.’ ”
   Vanderveen was already planning to vote for Amedore, but his visit showed “he’s my kind of man. I can’t stand city-slickers like Kosiur. He knows nothing about us rural folk. He passed that sex offender residency law, and that law hurt him all right.”
   Vanderveen called himself the patriarch of an extended family, and “when I spread that around, that has a lot of impact. I tell them who to vote for and they do so.”
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