Yesterday, we posted a note on Facebook alerting people to the fact that it appeared our government was for sale. Members of the Majority party in the Senate were “selling” access to the leadership to various labor, business, and environmental groups.

While this has been done before it had never been more blatant. And as a group that represents taxpayers in New York, we were offended by the letter and the implications.

Yet we also knew it would happen and we’d have to work that much harder to make sure our message of spending cuts and reducing the tax burden – yes, a fiscally conservative view – was heard.

So we asked for your help. We asked you to help us raise $50,000 in 50 days.

Some of you stepped right up and sent in your support. For instance, Frank wrote, “…nothing is going to be done without money. That is just a fact of life. Pony up. Put your money where your mouth is. MEDIA alone costs money. If these guys reduce your tax burden by $200 next year and you chipped in $100 you have $100 profit. A bunch of windbags are not going to make any difference here. Proof? Albany is full of windbags… where did that get you? Yada Yada Yada alone ain’t gonna do it.”

Others were honest and said they didn’t have the money, but would be able to help in other ways. Mark said, “Hey guys, I know how bad things are here too. I’m retired and just barely make it myself. I became a fan of Unshackle Upstate, and posted it to get the word out about them. From some of the comments, I feel like I’M the one asking you to go without food. We don’t have to short ourselves to help. We can pass the word, or check with them about volunteering if we have some free time when we’re not trying to make more money. The thing we ALL agree on is that we need to do some serious changing of our representatives.”

Finally, at least one person wanted to know how we were going to use the money. The answer: We will use it in many ways. Your contributions will go toward our on-going multimedia work to educate taxpayers about their government and why it needs to be changed. It will be spent on growing our Unshackle Army on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others. And it will help us create documents such as our Scorecard on each elected official, a legislative profile on our upstate representatives, and posters on the website that people can download and put up in their break rooms, on community boards and other public locations.

Here is the reality. If you have the means to contribute financially, please do by clicking here.  We need each and every dollar we can raise to beat back the message of those who want more for themselves and say to hell with the rest of us.

We will continue to find ways to do more with less. Yet the reality is that we need to fight this battle in the court of public opinion and that means mainstream media, which we all know isn’t free. And if we don’t or can’t invest in a good, strong battle, you can bet we are going to get more of the same fromr our state government – unsustainable spending and a tax burden that strangles us.

If you have the means to contribute financially, please do so by clicking here. Some can give more, but every $5, $10 or $20 contribution means a great deal.

But if you can’t give now, that’s OK. You can help us by spreading the message of Unshackle Upstate: We need our elected officials to start representing us, the taxpayers and private sector job creators.

Tell your friends and family to get off the couch and get in the game. Give them the links to our website (, tell them to look for us on Facebook ( It is going to take all of us to get this state turned around. But collectively, we can’t be denied.

I’ll close with one of my favorite quotes. It is the essence of Unshackle Upstate:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
— Margaret Mead