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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Showing posts with label 2016 election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2016 election. Show all posts

Faso, Teachout Unveil Plans for Heroin Abuse, Gun Control

Written By Editor on 9/15/16 | 9/15/16

Congressional candidates Democrat Zephyr Teachout and Republican John Faso unveiled their plans for some of the most controversial topics affecting the region.

"I've laid out a plan, a strategy of education and enforcement." A topic where Republicans and Democrats can work together. He said that he's met many people affected by heroin, an "extraordinarily important" issue for the 19th District.

She stated that the "heroin crisis is devastated." She cited speaking to one father from Kingston that had a son that needed help kicking heroin. The father was unable to get insurance coverage for treatment and later overdosed. She said that she would work to reform insurance rules in order to expand coverage.

John Faso said that he supported the Second Amendment and would support people on terrorism watchlists from being unable to purchase guns only if there was a due process provision. He would not support universal background checks but instead supports stronger punishments for individuals that use guns in crimes. He said that the federal government should enforce existing laws rather than increasing gun control laws. Teachout stated that she supported universal background checks and banning individuals on the terror watchlist from buying firearms.

Faso-Teachout Congressional Debate Erupts in Fireworks

The scheduled debate between Republican John Faso and Democrat Zephyr Teachout was an interesting affair. Teachout spoke first, having won the coin toss.

The first question asked Teachout if her fundraising from billionaire special interest groups were in conflict with her pledge to get money out of politics. Teachout described the current campaign finance atmosphere as a, "Crisis of corruption" where "big corporations spend unlimited money in campaigns." She highlighted two contributions of $500,000 to John Faso's campaign from New York City. She said that one of the contributors, supported Common Core. She said she would "clean up Congress."

Faso stated that Teachout is raising "big money from all sorts of people connected to Super PACs." He also said that his opponent recently arrived in the district from Brooklyn in order to run for Congress. Faso said his roots in the Hudson Valley were deep, including his wife's role as a school nurse. He stated that Congress was a House of Representatives, not a House of Adventurers. Faso also said that he supported campaign finance reform. He criticized heavy spending to influence politics from George Soros, who is also donating to Teachout.

The next question discussed climate change. Faso said that "unfortunately this issues has been politicized." He said that climate change is real and must be mitigated. He cited a 20-25% reduction in greenhouse gases accomplished in New York. Faso stated that the country should begin an "all of the above" approach to energy. He claimed that his proposed policy would help small businesses.

Photo credit: WAMC
Teachout went next. She said that there is a "real difference" between her and her opponent. She cited her support of the fracking ban in New York state. She said that Faso is a supporter of the practice and has operated as a lobbyist for pipeline companies. She said she would "protect our water from the big polluters" in Congress.

Both candidates were questioned about term limits and if they would limit their service. Teachout stated that she supported limits and would serve five terms. She said she would focus on small businesses, stating "the real job creators have suffered." Teachout said she is against the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership, in common with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Like Trump, she also recommended renegotiating NAFTA. Teachout highlighted her experience in co-founding an organization to break up the big banks.

Faso also stated that he supports term limits. He also pledged to serve only five terms. He said he supports term limits for the state. He said that he has never been a lobbyist, although he did work as a consultant for Williams oil company in support of the Constitution pipeline. He opposes the Tennessee pipeline. He highlighted his endorsement from a national small business association. He supports a small business tax credit for capital expenses.

The next question was about the presidential level. Faso was asked why he did not endorse Donald Trump. He replied that he will keep his pledge to support the GOP's nominee but disagrees with Trump on multiple policies. He said he's running in the "model of Chris work across party lines." He followed, "A million people have left New York State in the last ten years." He supports a streamlining of New York law to have the state pick up Medicaid costs instead of the counties. He believes that this would reduce the local property tax burden. He said he had the experience to do so.

Zephyr Teachout replied by saying, "First of all I support Hillary Clinton for President." She said that she's always willing to be independent to succeed. She cited her 2014 independent campaign against Andrew Cuomo for governor. She said that she will "listen only to the people...and not big corporations." She also said that she felt local property taxes were too high. She said that when Faso was an Assemblyman, he supported tax increases 135 times. She said that he also missed 1,700 votes. "He's already had a chance to show what he'll do when he's paid to represent... he cashed out and became a lobbyist."

Teachout was asked about her recent move to the Capital Region. She said that she grew up locally in Windsor County, Vermont. She said that many of the issues are similar between the two. Teachout said that she feared that there would be a representative that would not represent the district. She said that she wanted to help parents opt-out of Common Core.

Faso denied having missed 1,700 votes. He said that he had a 97% legislative record. He said he missed some votes because he was at his wife's bedside while she was being treated for cancer. He said that Teachout's accusation was "below the belt." He cited that Teachout missed her own vote for her local school board election.

Faso bristled at Teachout describing him as a lobbyist, saying that one group that he lobbied for was the non-profit Autism Speaks, where he urged lawmakers to assist families with autistic children. "I have a serious plan to build the small business economy." He said that he would work against overregulation. He criticized Teachout's support of Black Lives Matter, saying that she called them "thoughtful."

Faso also attacked Teachout's alleged support of the Boycott Divest Israel movement. Teachout later said she was against the movement and was a supporter of Israel. She said that she was worried that North Korea could get a nuclear weapon. North Korea has had nuclear weapons for over a decade. She said that the U.S. had done enough to stop Iran from getting nuclear technology, and that the country should step up efforts to keep North Korea from getting nuclear weapons, an assertion which she reiterated. North Korea detonated a test nuclear weapon last week.

Teachout rebutted by citing Faso's opposition to same sex marriage in 2006. She said she supports "civil rights for all Americans." She also stated that she supported abortion rights and Planned Parenthood. She said she supports Zika funding and stated that Faso wouldn't.

Moderators were Dr. Alan Chartock of WAMC, WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne, State Editor for Albany Times Union Casey Seiler, and Newschannel 13's Benita Zahn.

Hear the whole thing on WAMC.

Lopez "Seriously Considering" Run for Congress

Written By Cicero on 4/28/15 | 4/28/15

New York State Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R-Schoharie) is at the center of recent rumors concerning a possible congressional bid to replace outgoing Congressman Chris Gibson, but as of Friday evening the lifelong Schoharie resident has yet to make a final decision. 

Explaining that "Ultimately it boils down to my family," Mr. Lopez told The Schoharie News that he is seriously considering a campaign, but that he is weighing several factors before jumping into the race. 

Citing a "sense of urgency in the community" concerning flood recovery, common core, and the unpopular SAFE Act, the five-term representative said that he would not run unless he could "remain focused on my job as an Assemblyman, because that's my highest priority." 

The Catskill based Daily Mail set off a firestorm on Wednesday, April 15th when they inaccurately reported that Lopez had officially announced a run for Congress, while the Oneonta Daily Star wrote an article the same day disputing the Mail's story. 

In addition to the Schoharie native, who is seen as a hometown son by many in the county, State Senator Jim Seward, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, and former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso have also been mentioned as potential Republican candidates. 

Calling himself fortunate to be able to serve in six of eleven counties with the congressman, Mr. Lopez praised Gibson as an "intelligent, thoughtful man who works hard for his community." 

Although surprised by Gibson's decision to retire after having just won re-election handily in November over Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge, the assemblyman believed that he was just being honest with his constituency. 

Driving over one thousand miles per week across the 102nd Assembly District, Lopez said that "folks are fragile these days," and that they are facing questions every day on whether they have a job, a roof over their head, or a education for their children. 

Still, despite the long hours and hard work, Lopez considers his position in the assembly to be a privilege; one that he approaches with a sense of urgency as one-third of the calls his office receives still concern flood recovery, even as the fourth anniversary of Irene nears. 

Mixed Reports: Lopez to Announce Run for Congress

Written By Cicero on 4/16/15 | 4/16/15

Local news outlets are reporting mixed information concerning a potential congressional bid by New York State Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R-Schoharie), who has been rumored to have interest in the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Chris Gibson.

Writing that "Assemblyman Pete Lopez, R-Schoharie, announced Tuesday he plans to run for the upstate New York House seat in succession of incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson of Kinderhook," The Daily Mail set off a political firestorm yesterday. 

Later quoting Congressman Gibson as stating Lopez would be among a number of worthy potential successors, the Catskill based Mail ran the story in yesterday morning's edition of the Columbia-Greene subsidiary

Assemblyman Pete Lopez
The Mail's story was called into question, however by the Oneonta Daily Star, which quoted sources close to Lopez as stating, "the decision is still weeks away." The Assemblyman is said to be conferring with family members on the matter.

Lopez remained conspicuously silent as the conflicting media reports circulated across the 19th Congressional District, which is larger than the neighboring state of Connecticut. 

Phone calls to the Assemblyman's Schoharie office by The Schoharie News were not returned as of publication.

In addition to the Schoharie native, who has often been touted as a hometown son, State Senator Jim Seward and former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso have also been mentioned as potential GOP candidates. No prominent Democrats have signaled interest thus far. 

Working as a lobbyist for Constitution Pipeline, Mr. Faso has been characterized as being out of touch by Schoharie County residents, while Seward has received flak for supporting the 2015 budget proposed by Governor Cuomo. 

Stay tuned to The Schoharie News as we provide further updates to this evolving story. 

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