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Audio Feature: This week in News for Rep. John Faso 20180522

May 18, 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 87.8 percent of the time, slightly higher than last week. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (6:30).

• On May 17, Rep. John Faso voted for the the Agriculture and Nutrition Act, which passed 228-188 strictly on party lines. The bill is part of a package leading to a vote on the Farm Bill, which adds more work requirements for recipients of food stamps, which spurred protests at Faso's Kingston office May 3, after he voted for it in the Agriculture Committee. Faso also voted May 16 for the Protect and Serve Act of 2018, which would heighten criminal punishments for attacks on police. That bill passed 382 to 35.

David Lombardo reports in Capitol Confidential that a political group started by former-U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords is targeting John Faso (R-Kinderhook), and 11 other Republican candidates to try and defeat in November. Gun violence is the major issue for Giffords, who was injured by a shooter at a political event. “John Faso has taken $8,950 of campaign contributions from the NRA,” says an advertisement Giffords' group has made to attack Faso. “How does he vote? You guessed it, just like the NRA tells him.” Tom Szymanksi, Faso’s campaign manager, said in a statement, “John will always defend the rights of law-abiding gun owners to own firearms, but he supports common-sense measures like tightening background checks and banning bump stocks.... John Faso has also been one of the leading voices in a bipartisan effort to improve mental health care and ensure those struggling with mental health issues receive the quality health care and interventions they need.” Read the full story in Capitol Confidential.

Roger Hannigan Gilson at The Other Hudson Valley.com reports that roughly two-thirds of Democrat Congressional candidate Erin Collier’s Twitter followers may be fake. Thousands of Collier’s followers on Twitter lack a bio, or any followers themselves, and have never tweeted anything. "A random sampling of 100 of these profiles shows every single one was created in the last six weeks — since the beginning of April," Gilson writes, and then tests Collier’s account at the website Twitter Audit. That app shows that 69 percent, or 3,693 of Colliers’ 5,376 followers are not real as of May 10. By comparison, we put WGXC's account into Twitter Audit, and it claimed 99 percent of WGXC followers are the actual Twitter accounts of real human beings, with 20 fakes. The Collier campaign did not take Gilson up on an opportunity to comment. Collier is among seven Democrats trying to take over the District 19 Congressional seat now held by Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook). Read the full story at The Other Hudson Valley.com.

New York State of Politics is reporting Democrat Anthony Delgado May 10, received the endorsement of Citizen Action of New York in his 19th Congressional District primary bid.  “Antonio has laid out a strong progressive vision for the region. We feel he will be a powerful advocate for struggling families and communities of color," said Quintin Cross, the lead organizer for Citizen Action of New York Hudson Valley Chapter. Also May 10, Delgado said some of President Donald Trump's actions could be grounds for impeachment hearings and removal from office. William J. Kemble is reporting for the Daily Freeman, Delgado made the remarks following a forum in Kingston featuring all seven Democratic candidates in the June Democratic primary. “We’ve heard a lot of things that certainly raise suspicion and deep, deep profound concern,” Delgado said. The Rhinebeck Democrat said his suspicions about the basis for an impeachment hearing must be validated by the investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller. None of the other six Democratic candidates would comment on whether they had heard enough to believe there are grounds to consider impeachment. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

Keith Whitcomb in the Troy Record reports that Rep. John Faso took questions May 14 at a luncheon hosted by the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce. Faso has not held a traditional town hall meeting since being elected in 2016, and rarely appears in public. He did not announce this appearance before it happened. Asked if the President has made it difficult for Congressional Republicans in swing districts, he said, “(Trump) is very unconventional, let’s face it.... I have real disagreements with the president on how he’s approached trade issues, NAFTA in particular. Six-hundred thousand jobs in New York State alone depend on U.S.-Canada trade, and yet much of the focus, even in New York State, is on U.S.-Mexico.” He downplayed the importance of the United States leaving the Iran nuclear deal and Paris Accord. “These aren’t treaties, and if they were submitted as treaties to the U.S. Senate they would never pass,” he said. “This is the issue with what President Obama did, in my mind, with the Iran deal, which was an agreement among six nations." He also said he wants to change the Affordable Care Act, so that it is only mandated for businesses with 500 employees, rather than 50. And he said he supports the U.S. moving its embassy to Jerusalem. Read the full story in the Troy Record.

Rachel Bade at Politico reports that national political interests continue to work on New York's 19th Congressional District race. This week, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super political action committee aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan, is opening an office in the area to support Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook). The PAC is funded by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, and already has 34 offices running mini-campaigns for vulnerable Republicans across the country. It means local commercial broadcasters will be airing many political ads from now until November, and registered voters should expect many calls, as Faso's re-election campaign will be among the most-watched in the country. Indeed, this week Rolling Stone political journalist Matt Taibbi launched the first of a series of reports focusing on the 19th Congressional District election. Read the full story at Politico.
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