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Showing posts with label Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Congress. 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. 

Congressman Gibson to Retire at End of Term

Written By Editor on 1/6/15 | 1/6/15

Just entering into his third term this month, Congressman Chris Gibson has decided to not run for another. Gibson won last month with 65% of the vote over Sean Eldridge. There was no immediate statement why Gibson decided to do so.

Gibson-Authored Bill Against Lyme Disease Passes House

Written By Editor on 9/11/14 | 9/11/14

A bill authored by Schoharie County's Congressman Chris Gibson has made it through half of Congress. The Tick Borne Disease Research and Accountability Act, introduced by Gibson was adopted by voice vote unanimously. It now moves onto the Senate for their approval or denial before going to the President.

The bill supports a widening of research to combat Lyme disease and an effort to consolidate government resources to do so. The bill includes a provision that would require no additional spending and to use existing money already budgeted. Within three years the Secretary of Health and Human Services would introduce a strategic plan to combat the disease.

Read the proposed law here.

Gibson Leads Eldrige in County

Written By Editor on 9/1/14 | 9/1/14

According to the latest Schoharie News poll, incumbent Congressman Chris Gibson has developed a wide lead over his challenger Sean Eldridge.

Gibson (R): 75% - 80
Eldridge (D): 17% - 18
Someone Else: 3 - 3

Don't know: 6 - 6

Gibson spoke at last week's flood remembrance ceremony and was personally thanked by several of the local officials for his assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Schoharie Supervisor Gene Milone thanked him for closing out flood funding issues that plagued the community for several years.

Gibson Holds Large Lead Over Eldridge

Written By Editor on 8/19/14 | 8/19/14

In a recent poll of the NY-19 District, incumbent Congressman Chris Gibson is holding a substantial lead over Democratic challenger Sean Eldridge. Eldridge has been producing slick ads in the district, backed by millions in his family's money. Gibson has been just about everywhere, co-hosting an event in Wright recently.

In the poll conducted in July, Gibson holds a large lead:

Gibson (R) (Inc.) - 56%
Eldridge (D) - 29%
Other/Und - 15%

The poll, conducted by DFM research, also shows Gibson to have among the highest positive rankings of any person in politics in the district. He has a 48% favorable and 16% unfavorable rating, as compared to Governor Cuomo's 41% positive, 51% negative. In the race for Governor in the district, Cuomo leads Republican challenger Rob Astorino 45-37%.

Gibson Focuses on Education in New Ad

Written By Editor on 7/16/14 | 7/16/14

Attempting to capitalize on local parents anger toward common core education standards in public schools, Republican Congressman Chris Gibson's campaign released a new education themed ad Tuesday morning that touted the incumbent's stance of, "Common Sense... Not Common Core."

The ad (included below) features a local mom and Mr. Gibson's wife criticizing the recently implemented standardized testing methods, while touting the Congressman's local ties and opposition to common core in the House of Representatives.

Mr. Gibson's Democratic opponent, Sean Eldridge, has listed on his official website that if elected he would, "strengthen our schools by working to expand early childhood education, make college more affordable, reform high stakes-testing, and ensure that our students are trained for the new economy."

Gibson Questions Bergdahl Release as House Grills Hagel

Written By Editor on 6/12/14 | 6/12/14

Members of the House Armed Services Committee, including local Congressman Chris Gibson, grilled U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Wednesday afternoon on the Obama administration's decision to swap five high-ranking Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay for U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who had been in captivity since 2009.

Congressional concerns centered around the administration's transfer of high-ranking enemy officials and strategists to Qatar, where they will be released within the next year, and the violation of federal law that requires Congress to be notified within thirty days of any prisoners release from the controversial military base in Cuba.

In a statement issued Monday morning by Congressman Gibson's staff, the former Army Colonel told the Schoharie News that although we need to bring every American back from captivity, he does not believe, "that we exhausted  all avenues in seeking the safe return of Bowe Bergdahl before entering into this agreement."

Defense Secretary Hagel told lawmakers in his prepared remarks Wednesday, "As the opportunity to obtain Sergeant Bergdahl’s release became clearer, we grew increasingly concerned that any delay, or any leaks, could derail the deal and further endanger Sergeant Bergdahl."

The Bergdahl exchange has attracted significant backlash from Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Washington, with many sharing our local congressman's concerns that, "this swap could set a dangerous precedent and put more Americans at risk," as there are fears it may encourage future detainment of U.S. personnel for prisoner exchanges.

NY 19 Race Gains National Attention Contrasting Two Candidates

Written By Editor on 4/9/14 | 4/9/14

On the sidebar of Real Clear Politics today there is a link to a Politico article about the contentious NY-19 Congressional race between incumbent Chris Gibson (R) and newcomer Sean Eldridge (D). With both candidates likely to win their parties' primaries, the backgrounds of the candidates is coming under close scrutiny.

Gibson, 49, is a decorated veteran who served multiple tours in Iraq. Eldridge, 27, is funding his effort through a private equity firm he founded with money from his husband's profits from co-founding Facebook.

Photo credit: Politico
Politico tracked both candidates down and found different approaches in their styles and substance:

Regarding Eldridge:
Chartock came away without any real sense of the candidate. 
 Eldridge sounded like “what a young person thinks a politician should sound like,” the radio host said in an interview. “He’s right on all the issues, but what I think people are looking for is a person. He’s extremely bright, has all the assets that you need to run. But it’s cookie cutter.”  
 For a while, Eldridge had his eye on another congressional seat. In 2011, he and Hughes, who had been living together in a SoHo loft, purchased a $5 million estate in Garrison, N.Y, positioning Eldridge to run in the neighboring 18th District. But in November 2012 that district’s Republican congresswoman, Nan Hayworth, lost reelection to a Democrat. So Eldridge looked north to the 19th District, where Gibson had just won a second term.
Regarding Gibson:
On Feb. 24, 2005, during combat in Mosul, Iraq, Gibson suffered shrapnel wounds in his right leg and the right side of his face. A few fragments remain in his leg. In his Washington office, the congressman keeps a piece of the rocket-propelled grenade that hit him.  
Gibson says his modest means helps him identify with voters in the middle-class district. During a daylong car ride through the area’s rural back roads, he said an “empathy factor” would play a prominent role in the race.

National Attention on Gibson Race

Written By Editor on 2/10/14 | 2/10/14

The race between incumbent Congressman Chris Gibson and his likely opponent Sean Eldridge is already making waves. National columnist George Will penned a column last month in the Washington Post regarding the two candidates, especially the 27-year old Eldridge.

 An interesting column, Will discusses both candidates and focuses on the challenger:
Eldridge, 27, is married to Chris Hughes, 30, who bought the New Republic magazine — founded 100 years ago this year as a voice of progressivism — with a portion of the fortune he made as co-founder of Facebook. Eldridge, who wants to bring his own progressivism to Congress by beating Gibson, grew up in Ohio, graduated from Brown University, attended but did not graduate from Columbia Law School, founded a venture capital firm and went looking for a receptive congressional district outside New York City. The first one where he and his husband bought a residence turned out to be politically problematic, so they kept that residence and bought another (supplementing their Manhattan apartment) in the 19th District.

Gibson Calls Shutdown "Unacceptable"

Written By Editor on 10/2/13 | 10/2/13

Schoharie County's Congressman Chris Gibson slammed the government shutdown, calling it 'unnecessary.' Here he is in an interview with WNYT.

 On his Facebook page he also said that the process was 'unacceptable.'
Where we are now is absolutely unacceptable, and all parties need to come together to get things done.

Gibson with New Ad

Written By Editor on 9/25/13 | 9/25/13

EDIT-- Linked wrong video. He'res the latest ad.

NY-19 Race Featured in National Media

Written By Editor on 9/24/13 | 9/24/13

The race for the Congressional District NY-19 may still be over a year away, but it has already heated up. Incumbent Chris Gibson (R) has been challenged by the husband of a co-creator of Facebook, Sean Eldridge.

Now the story has reached RealClearPolitics, after Eldridge was profiled by the New York Times several months ago.

Left-- Gibson (R), Right-- Eldridge (D)

Eldridge and his husband are multi-millionaires and have recently purchased a $5 million mansion in the Hudson Valley. He has built up his resume over the last several years, with his run for Congress an open secret:
And as a senior adviser and spokesperson for Freedom to Marry -- a group that led the successful fight to legalize same-sex marriage in New York -- Eldridge cut his teeth in the grassroots style of campaigning needed to succeed in the largely rural district, while earning media experience as a public face of the group.
This does not impress the Gibson camp, which slammed the 27-year old.
“If you look at this race, it’s really going to test the hypothesis of whether or not a congressional seat can be bought,” Gibson spokesperson Stephanie Valle said of Eldridge. “We certainly don’t have the expectation that we’re going to be able to match the millions of dollars that Mr. Eldridge will be able to put in the race, but we’re confident we’ll have the funds necessary to win.”
Gibson, a colonel and graduate of West Point is a veteran of the Gulf War, Kosovo, and the Afghanistan conflicts.

Gibson Votes to Defund Health Care Law

Written By Editor on 9/23/13 | 9/23/13

Congressman Chris Gibson took a strong position against the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He joined the majority of the House of Representatives in the effort, although a similar measure in the Senate appears destined to fail. He wrote in an email to his supporters:
I've been consistent since first retiring from the Army that the Affordable Care Act is not the direction our country should take in terms of health care reform. Although the goals are the right ones: to drive down health care costs and expand access to quality care - this law has not – and will never - live up to those goals.

Gibson Asks for Opinions on Syria

Written By Editor on 9/4/13 | 9/4/13

Congressman Chris Gibson has sent out an email asking for his constituents to chime in on the issue of Syria. Gibson opposes action in that country. 

 As you know, the President has asked Congress to authorize military action against Syria. I am strongly opposed to this, and will vote no. It is my judgment, as a 29-year veteran of our Armed Forces, that military intervention would make the situation worse and make us responsible for that conflict. You can read my full statement here:
Do you agree with my position? Or do you want the United States to take military action? Click here to take the survey:

Gibson Opposes Syria Action

The Washington Post has Schoharie County's Congressman, Chris Gibson (R-NY19), opposed to authorizing military strikes in the Syrian civil war. What are your thoughts on the impending vote in Congress to authorize U.S. force and Congressman Gibson's stance?

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