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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report 20181009

Oct 05, 2018 9:45 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 89.2 percent of the time, down one percent from last week. Fivethirtyeight.com also currently predicts Faso has a 47.2 percent chance of winning re-election, rating Democrat Antonio Delgado at 52.8 percent, closer than last week. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (14:58).

Inside Elections moved New York's 19th Congressional election between incumbent Republican John Faso and Democrat Antonio Delgado Sept. 28 from "Toss-Up" to "Tilt Democratic." The Fivethirtyeight.com website gives Delgado a four-in-seven chance of winning, putting his chances specifically at 57.3 percent, with Faso given a three-in-seven chance of winning, or 42.7 percent. Faso himself released his next advertisement this week, again focusing on his wife rather than his own votes in Congress. And the National Republican Congressional Committee released its third ad this week in support of Faso. Previously, the NRCC's ads have been called racist and pulled from one local radio station. This one is called "Can't Afford Delgado."

Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) is in favor of putting Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme Court. He made the statement on a radio show before President Donald Trump ordered an FBI investigation of Kavanaugh's sexual assault history, but after the New York State Bar Association requested an investigation. “I think Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed based on upon his record, based on his writings on the bench, based upon the fact that ... besides this allegation when he was in high school, he has an absolutely sterling reputation,” Faso said. “I believe he should be confirmed and I think that Dr. Ford’s allegations should have been taken seriously and that the country has taken them seriously.” Dr. Christine Blasey Ford recently accused Kavanaugh of attempted rape in the early 1980s, and testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee last week more interested in performing for the cameras then getting to the facts of the matter. “I found her to have credibility in what she was saying at the same time it is very difficult for me to agree that uncorroborated allegations of misconduct 36 years ago when someone was in high should be used to destroy this man’s reputation, career and his family,” Faso said. Several other women have also come forward since Ford's allegation was made public, with similar stories of sexual attacks by Kavanaugh. Antonio Delgado, the Democrat running against Faso in the Nov. 6 election, said on Twitter, "This is another clear example of the stark contrast between myself and Faso. He believes Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed. I do not." Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

• While the National Republican Congressional Committee is flooding local electronic media with ads attempting to tie John Faso's opponent to New York City, the Congressperson will be there Oct. 5 raising money with Vice President Mike Pence. The John Faso Victory Committee, with a Westchester County mailing address, is organizing the event. Faso grew up on Long Island and now lives in Kinderhook. Antonio Delgado, the Democrat running for the 19th Congressional District seat Nov. 6, was born in Schenectady, and now lives in Rhinebeck. The NRCC ads claim the Rhodes Scholar is a "big city liberal." Wikipedia reports, Faso joined the lobbying firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips as a lobbyist/partner in 2002; he then took a leave of absence to run for governor in 2006, then rejoined the firm after he lost. Faso's lobbying firm then, "agreed to a [$550,000] settlement in 2010 in response to a corruption probe in which the firm was investigated for its efforts to serve as a 'placement agent' for public pension funds in New York and California without a state or federal license." According to the Wall Street Journal, some "of Manatt's efforts to secure investments were made by John Faso."

Ryan Santistevan reports in the Poughkeepsie Journal that Democrat Antonio Delgado leads Republican incumbent John Faso among older voters, according to a new poll of people over 50-years-old in New York's 19th Congressional District. The American Association of Retired Persons commissioned the poll from Alan Newman Research, who polled 610 registered voters between Sept. 6-16. Delgado led 43 percent to Faso's 36 percent in the poll. Healthcare costs and the future of Social Security and Medicare were the leading issues among poll respondents. After that, 77 percent of respondents polled were worried about the social and political divisions in the country, according to the results. As for Congress, of the over-50 voters polled here, 61 percent disapprove of Congressional Republicans, 55 percent disapprove of Congressional Democrats, and 54 percent disapprove of President Donald Trump's performance. Read the full story in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Samantha Putterman reports for Politifact that Antonio Delgado's recent advertisement claiming that Republican John Faso, "paved the way for an age tax on seniors," while onscreen text displays that "Faso voted for an age tax on seniors" is "mostly false." Politifact, a nonprofit project operated by the Poynter Institute, calls Delgado's claim an "exaggeration." The Rhinebeck Democrat, who is running to replace Faso in the 19th Congressional District, is correct in saying that Faso voted for the Republican replacement healthcare plan that eventually failed by one vote in the Senate. That bill would have let insurers raise premiums for certain older enrollees by up to five times more than what they would charge younger adults while the current law only allows premium increases up to three times as much. But Delgado's ad failed to mention that the so-called "age tax" did not apply to New Yorkers, or seniors on Medicare, or folks over 50 with medical coverage from large employers. A Delgado spokesperson, Melissa Toufanian, told Politifact that while the age ratings did not apply to New Yorkers, Faso still voted for something that would have had negative consequences for seniors across the country. But Faso did vote for that unpopular Republican healthcare bill, and now is trying to send a different message. Adam Cancryn reports in Politico that this week Faso, who lives in Kinderhook, signed on to back a measure that promises, if Republicans replace the Affordable Care Act, any new bill would have to have lower premiums, lower out-of-pocket costs, and greater accessibility to in-network providers. In their story Politico calls Faso an "endangered moderate," and says signing on to theoretical health care bills is all the rage for Republicans across the country just before the Nov. 6 election to improve their voting records in the eyes of the electorate. The story says the Republicans in swing districts such as New York's 19th Congressional District are weighing, "the delicate balance... to strike between supporting Obamacare’s broadly popular benefits and" their previous votes to do away with the Affordable Care Act.

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