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Audio Feature: This week in News for Rep. John Faso 20180717

Jul 14, 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 89.4 percent of the time, the same as last week. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (13:21).

William J. Kemble reports in The Daily Freeman that Rep. John Faso doesn't think the election in November will be a wave in either direction. “A lot fewer people are talking about that anymore,” Faso said of Democrats picking up a large number of seats in Congress this fall. “I was sent here (to the House), in my mind, to try to get things done — and regardless of the political consequences, one way or the other.” In 2010, more Republicans turned out in Congressional elections after a Democrat, Barack Obama, was elected, and conventional political wisdom has been that 2018 will see a similar surge from Democrats. The website fivethirtyeight.com reports that on the generic Congressional ballot nationally, Americans support Democrats over Republicans by a 46.8 percent-to-35.5 percent margin. The Cook Political Report lists Faso's 19th Congressional District as a toss-up. New York Magazine also lists the election between Faso and Democrat Antonio Delgado as a toss-up, calling it one of the most competitive districts in the country. And there are indications local Democrats are fired up for the vote. More than twice as many Democrats turned out for the primary election June 26, compared to 2016 when Zephyr Teachout beat Will Yandik. Faso does admit that the president can make things difficult in this election. For instance, Donald Trump's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border is very unpopular. And Faso has been on both sides of that issue, saying on June 20 that immigration agents were just following the law, but then, on the same day, applauding Trump’s decision to stop the separations. Faso says he has only been in the same room with Trump twice and has never spoken to him and, “my advice would be don’t tweet as much, and only tweet on policy matters.” Delgado declined to comment for the article. Read the full story in The Daily Freeman.

Paul Brooks reports in the Times Herald-Record that Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) was in Ulster County July 5, though the appearance was not listed on the Public Schedule page of his website. Faso was at Tillson Lake in Gardiner talking to activists who want to save the lake. The owners, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, wants to drain the lake and tear down the dam that gives the 23-acre lake at the foot of the Shawangunk Ridge water. The Executive Director of the group wrote in a March 28 letter that his agency does not have the money to repair the weakened dam. It is unclear what a Congressperson can do about the state issue, and Faso did not offer any specific remedies. “We need to put our heads together to make sure that this important resource is saved,” Faso said. “We have to try and talk some sense into them.” Tara Lenahan of New Paltz said she swam in the lake five times this week. “It’s my favorite place to go,” she said. “I don’t have to pay to go swimming. I am a local. It’s where we go.” Read the full story in the Times Herald-Record.

Paul Kirby is reporting for the Daily Freeman legislation to name the Saugerties Post Office for the late U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey has been approved by both houses of Congress. Passage was announced July 9, by U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and U.S. Rep. John Faso, who co-sponsored the measure. The legislation must now be signed by President Donald Trump for the post office, at 111 Market St. in Saugerties, to be renamed. Hinchey, who lived most of his life in Saugerties, died last November at age 79 after battling a rare neurological disorder. He served in the House of Representatives from 1993 until his retirement at the end of 2012. He served in the state Assembly from 1975 to 1992. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

• Hudson Valley representatives in Congress, Democrats and a Republican, representing the 18th, 19th, and 20th Congressional Districts, have all signed up to prosecute pirate radio broadcasters with penalties unlike any before. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), and Democrats Sean Patrick Maloney and Paul Tonko, are all co-sponsors of H.R. 5709, or the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act. The PIRATE Act most notably raises the maximum fine for broadcasting without a license from $100,000 to $2 million. (Currently, the Enforcement Bureau estimates the FCC’s collection-rate at 10 percent in anti-pirate actions. The House proposal would also hasten the FCC's enforcement process and mandate twice-a-year sweeps of the reputed top five pirate markets in the country. There has not been a major bust of any pirate radio stations in the Hudson Valley in many years, and the Federal Communication Commission recently cut back its enforcement office. But these three Hudson Valley lawmakers now have a large interest in the issue. Faso has received a $1,000 political donation during the current 2018 campaign from the National Association of Broadcasters. Tonko received $7,000 during the 2016 campaign from the National Association of Broadcasters. and Faso also got $500 from the NAB during the 2016 campaign. At a hearing on June 13, the House’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology approved the PIRATE Act on a voice vote. Next, the proposal heads to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee where it will likely see amendments with minor changes. There is no current similar bill in the U.S. Senate.

Rachel Silberstein in Capitol Confidential rounds up different political opinion about President Donald Trump's nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Both of New York's senators are Democrats, and are opposing the nomination. Kirsten Gillibrand's statement read, in part, "If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed, he would tip the balance of the Supreme Court even more against workers’ rights, civil rights, and women’s rights for decades to come. I do not think he is the right choice for our country, and I am going to vote against him and urge my colleagues to do the same. Chuck Schumer, who is minority leader, wrote on Twitter, "I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same. The stakes are simply too high for anything less.... Judge Kavanaugh’s long track record of partisan politics comes w[ith] a long paper trail. The Senate must be able to access and adequately review all doc[ument]s, emails, and paperwork associated w[ith] Kavanaugh before the process moves forward." Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook) is in the House, and does not have a vote on the nomination. But he left a message on Twitter that read, in part, "President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is an excellent choice. Judge Kavanaugh has compiled an outstanding record on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He has a long record of decisions being upheld by the Supreme Court and is someone who understands that the role of o judge is to interpret our Constitution and laws, and not make law from the bench." Democrat Paul Tonko, who represents Albany County and parts of Rensselaer County, wrote on Twitter, "President Trump’s [Supreme Court] nomination of Brett Kavanaugh extends his push to pack the court with extremists who support his misguided policies and will help insulate him from legal accountability for his past actions. The Senate should fulfill its Constitutional duty and decline."

Paul Brooks in the Times Herald-Record reports that it did not take long for the campaign of Rep. John Faso to go after his Democratic opponent Antonio Delgado for the hip hop album he released more than a decade ago. It took less than two weeks for the attacks over the hip-hop CD “Painfully Free” Delgado released under the name AD the Voice, on the Statik Entertainment label in 2006. “I was shocked and surprised to learn Mr. Delgado authored some very troubling and offensive song lyrics,” Faso said in a released statement. “The tone and tenor of his lyrics, as reported, are not consistent with the views of most people in our district, nor do they represent a true reflection of our nation. Mr. Delgado’s lyrics paint an ugly and false picture of America.” Delgado defended his earlier work. “My decision to pursue a career in hip-hop was consistent with hip-hop’s long and rich history of addressing the social and racial injustices that plague America. ... If you listen to the content of the lyrics, my mission is clear,” he said via email. Then, on the phone July 9, Delgado said Faso's attack was, “right out of the political playbook of the right to play to stereotypes.... Any attempt to turn me into a right-wing caricature of a hip-hop artist is going to fail, because it’s not who I am, and the voters of NY-19 have shown that they know better.” Read the full story in the Times Herald-Record.

Bridget Bowman reports in Roll Call that a Democrat-backed poll has the Democrat slightly leading in the Congressional election. The first poll after Antonio Delgado became the Democrat's nominee against fresh incumbent John Faso (R-Kinderhook) shouldn't be taken all too seriously, but the poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has Delgado with a seven-point advantage, with a 49-42 percent result. In 2016, Faso beat Democrat Zephyr Teachout roughly 54-46 percent in the 19th Congressional District, so that would be quite a swing, but in line with similar Democrat turn out in recent primary and special elections around the country. This Democrat-funded poll, questioned 545 likely general election voters June 27 and 28 through a mix of live cell phone and automated landline phone interviews, with a margin of error 4.2 points. Faso has been attacked by Democrats for two years and has just a 30 percent favorable results in the poll, much lower than Delgado's 45 percent. The National Republican Congressional Committee dismissed the poll from their counterparts in a statement July 11. “Leave it to the DCCC to release a bogus poll just days after Antonio Delgado was exposed for recording disturbing and offensive rap lyrics,” NRCC spokesman Chris Martin said. “They know how painfully out of touch Delgado is with the district, and this is a desperate attempt to convince the media that his campaign is even remotely viable.” Read the full story in Roll Call.
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