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Audio Feature: This week in News for Rep. John Faso 20180508

May 04, 2018 10:45 am
Here's the week in the news for Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), the District 19 Congressperson for the WGXC listening area. The Fivethirtyeight.com website currently reports Faso votes with Donald Trump's positions 87.3 percent of the time, the same as last week. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (19:25).

• Congress was out of session this week, with no votes in the House of Representatives.

Dan Freedman is reporting for the Times Union U.S. Rep. John Faso continues to push what he says is a link between food stamps and crime, as part of an effort to impose stricter work requirements on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients. The Kinderhook Republican claims the program is an easy target for fraudsters and drug dealers. Local sheriffs “tell me every drug dealer they arrest has a SNAP card in his pocket,” Faso said at a recent Ulster County GOP brunch in Kingston. Drug dealers aren’t “declaring any income,” Faso said, evoking scattered snickers in the audience. “That’s a lot of what’s going on.” The audio of the Congressman's remarks was captured by an opposition-research tracker for Democratic Super PAC American Bridge, according to Freedman. The comment was offered as an explanation for why he is leading the Republican push on Capitol Hill to strengthen work requirements in a program that subsidizes food purchases for 42.2 million people nationwide and almost three million in New York. Nevin Cohen, a City University of New York health policy professor who studies SNAP, said Faso and other Republicans are perpetuating myths about the program. Among the able-bodied who get SNAP, 75 percent work or are between jobs. The vast majority have children or older relatives at home. "...[T]hey have one or two breadwinners who work in low-wage jobs,” Cohen said. “They are poor.” A report last month by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service said fraud in the program is “rare” and that such cases “represent a relatively small fraction of SNAP overall.” DOWNLOAD or PLAY the full audio of Faso's remarks at the Ulster County Republican Spring Brunch 2018. Read the full story in the Times Union.

Chris McKenna at The Fray outlines the latest kerfuffle between Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Faso voted with all Republicans, 26-20, to move the Farm Bill out of the agricultural committee. The bill makes work requirements for anyone receiving food stamps much more strict. Cuomo said, via press release, that Faso is “resorting to the same divisive rhetoric we hear all too often in Washington today.... Faso’s assault on families in need and his despicable and cheap characterizations may please his party leadership, but they are against everything New York stands for,” Cuomo said, causing a similar, but very different, press release to emerge quickly from the Faso camp. “Cynthia Nixon has caused Andrew Cuomo to become unhinged,” Faso wrote. “His criticism of enhanced work requirements for the SNAP program – while at the same time increasing the ability of a food stamp household to own a safe car and maintain a small savings account – show that this Governor prefers divisive rhetoric over governing.” McKenna guesses that there have been at least four press release wars between Cuomo and Faso this year as we enter month five. In New York more than 2.8 million receive SNAP benefits, or food stamps. And, McKenna concludes, this whole argument is just for show. "The SNAP proposals have little chance of passing in the narrowly divided Senate, where supporters would need all or most Republicans plus some Democrats on board to reach the 60-vote threshold," he writes. Read the full story at The Fray.

Faso for Congress, the re-election campaign of Republican U.S. Rep. John Faso, announced May 2, the endorsement of the first-term Congressman by the New York Conservative Party. “John Faso is a principled leader who is focused on improving the private sector economy and bringing jobs back to Upstate New York,” New York State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long said. “The voters know they can trust John Faso’s word and the Conservative Party is proud to stand with him again.” Faso serves on the Budget, Agriculture and Transportation and Infrastructure committees. He and his wife, Mary Frances, have made Kinderhook their home for more than 30 years.

Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman objections filed last month to the nominating petitions of three candidates in the 19th Congressional District race have been ruled on and are expected to be made official by the state Board of Elections, May 3. The board staff is recommending that petitions filed by Democrat Erin Collier and Green Party candidate Steven Greenfield be ruled valid, but has recommended commissioners reject the petition filed by Chad McEvoy to appear on the Women’s Equality Party line. The objection to Collier’s petition was filed by Barbara Sides, a voting member of the Gardiner Democratic Committee. She claimed Collier's petitions contained “serious multiple errors.” The board staff found that 1,451 of the nearly 2,500 signatures submitted by Collier were valid, 200 more than needed. In the case of Greenfield, 96 signatures out of the 112 submitted were found to be valid, one more than the 95 required to make the ballot. The board determined that McEnvoy fell short of his required six signatures after it was determined one of the signers lived outside of the district. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

Bloomberg reports that actor Diane Neal, for the second time, started her independent Congressional campaign to take the seat of Rep. John Faso. She says her campaign needs to gather 3,500 signatures in the 35 days after June 19, in order to get on the ballot. "I thought running without a party affiliation was the best way to make a statement, and also the best way to win," Neal said. "I'm not going to have access to all these things that the party machine has, but at the same time I don't have to be beholden to anyone but the people in my district." Read the full story at the Bloomberg website.
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