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Audio Feature: Hudson Valley Congressional Report

Apr 24, 2022 11:00 pm

Here is this week's Hudson Valley Congressional Report from WGXC, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives of the Hudson Valley in Congress and the candidates who want to replace them. Current Democrat Reps. Antonio Delgado, Paul Tonko, and Sean Maloney vote with the positions of President Joe Biden 100 percent of the time, according to the fivethirtyeight.com website. Republican Elise Stefanik voted with Biden's positions 18 percent of the time. Click here to listen to this report.

Two political prognosticators moved the re-election of Democrat Antonio Delgado to the 19th Congressional District from “Likely Democratic” to “Leans Democratic” on April 20. Both Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report downgraded Delgado’s chances of beating Republican Marc Molinaro, currently the Dutchess County Executive, in November's election. Both analysts said the move was because of a national wave moving towards Republicans, and not about the specifics of the Delgado/Molinaro campaigns. "In a Republican wave scenario, these are the kinds of districts that could get swept up," Sabato's Crystal Ball website said about the five Democrats they were moving from likely winners, to leaning toward predicting a win. "Republicans appear to have credible recruits in these districts that are raising enough money to be competitive." National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesperson Samantha Bullock crowed about the political predictions. “Everyone can see the writing on the wall that this will be Antonio Delgado’s last term in Congress,” she said.

MidHudson News reports that Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro delivered his 2022 State of the County address on April 20 in Pine Plains, with eyes from throughout New York's 19th Congressional District looking in. Molinaro spoke about a Dutchess County future he hopes not to be a part of, as he is currently the Republican candidate for Congress, hoping to replace Democrat Antonio Delgado. “Today we are poised for more growth and prosperity because of our decade-long commitment to smart, fiscally conservative and compassionate government. To continue along this path, we must redouble our efforts to keep Dutchess County safe and affordable, creating opportunities and optimism for every County resident,” Molinaro said. He spoke about expanding mental health services, tackling the opioid crisis, funding first responders, and housing needs in the community. Molinaro previously backed off his plan to give $12.5 million in taxpayer money for a minor league baseball stadium, switching $9.5 million of the stadium money for housing needs. Molinaro plans three public forums to give residents a chance to address the needs of the community. The first is 12:30 p.m. May 3 at Office for the Aging Tri-Town Senior Friendship Center in Pleasant Valley, the second is at 5:30 p.m., May 10 at the Red Hook Community Center, and the last is 5:30 p.m. May 17 at the American Legion Post 427 in Wappingers Falls. Read more about this story at MidHudson News.

Michelle Del Rey reports in the Times Union that Republican candidate Liz Joy raised $146,575 from individuals during the year’s first quarter, while incumbent Democrat Paul Tonko raised just $84,637. Since the beginning of 2021, Joy has raised $457,185 in individual donations, while Tonko raised $409,110. “Our campaign continues to beat expectations and raise more money each quarter. We outraised (Tonko) again in individual contributions for the third quarter in a row, which shows the level of support we have from people who live and work in the 20th district,” read a statement provided by Joy's campaign. The Republican Joy lost to the Democrat Tonko by a 62 percent to 38 percent margin. Redistricting has made the district slightly better for a Republican, but it is still considered a safe seat for Democrats. Tonko's campaign did not comment for the story. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

Inside Radio reports that in the federal budget just passed by Congress, with votes for locally from Democrats Antonio Delgado, Paul Tonko, and Sean Maloney, and a no vote from Republican Elise Stefanik, includes $16 million extra this year for the Federal Communications Commission. That's a 4.3 percent increase from the current year’s $374 million FCC budget. The plan is to hire 15 full-time new employees to address pirate radio enforcement, mainly because of a 2020 law passed by Congress that raised potential pirate radio fines to $2 million. That bill, sponsored by Paul Tonko, was criticized at the time for ridiculous, cartoon fines with no backing, as Congress had repeatedly defunded the FCC's enforcement bureau. Tonko received $7,000 during the 2016 campaign from the National Association of Broadcasters, who support larger fines for pirate radio operators. There has not been a major report of any pirate radio stations in the Hudson Valley in many years. President Joe Biden asked for an increase of $5 million for the Enforcement Bureau to hire the 15 new employees.

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