Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report
Here is this week's WGXC Congressional Report, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives and candidates for the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Congressional seats in New York. Current Democrat Rep. Paul Tonko, from the 20th District, votes with the positions of President Joe Biden 100 percent of the time, according to the fivethirtyeight.com website. Republican Elise Stefanik, currently representing the 21st District, votes with Biden's positions 19.3 percent of the time. Democrat Pat Ryan just began representing the 19th District, and has yet to be included in the rankings. Click here to listen to this report.
The Troy Record reports that Rep. Paul Tonko and local environmental groups and advocates recently celebrated at Schodack Island State Park the House passage of his New York-New Jersey Watershed Protection Act. The bill would invest $20 million annually to improve water quality, and increase public access to the rivers. “Our waterways stand as economic drivers while also reflecting and upholding our rich history,” Tonko, a Democrat, said. “The New York-New Jersey Watershed is America’s most populated, driving tourism and serving as a community treasure for millions of visitors and residents alike. Despite this, our Watershed remains underfunded and without key federal assistance, leaving it in greater danger from pollutants and at increased risk for floods that threaten public health, ecosystems, and industries." Tonko failed to pass what was previously called the "Hudson-Mohawk River Basin Act," but at least got the renamed measure through the House of Representatives this year as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. “This legislation is a key part of funding research and scientifically-backed efforts that will make New York’s waterways more resilient to climate change," said Jonathan Kramer, President of the Hudson River Foundation. Tonko faces a rematch with Republican Liz Joy this fall for re-election in the 20th Congressional District. The Troy Record has the full story.
On Sept. 30, Congress took their final votes before representatives headed home to campaign in fall elections. On that final day of voting, local Democrats in Congress, Sean Maloney, Pat Ryan, and Paul Tonko, voted for cheaper insulin with the "Providing for consideration of the Senate amendment to the bill (H.R. 6833) Affordable Insulin Now Act and providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 8987) Fairness for 9/11 Families Act" amendment, while Republican Elise Stefanik voted against lowering the cost of insulin The measure passed 230-to-201. All four local representatives agreed to vote for the "Preventing PFAS Runoff at Airports Act" which passed 381-to-42 on Sept. 29. The same day, only the Democrats voted for the "Mental Health Matters Act," with Stefanik voting with all but one other Republicans against, in a measure that passed 220-to-205.
Zach Hirsch reports for North Country Public Radio that Rep. Elise Stefanik claims she brings $600 million into her 21st Congressional District, but that figure is misleading. Scott Horton, the town supervisor of Caroga in Fulton County, supports Stefanik’s record on agriculture and veterans issues. But he says he applied for federal grants through Stefanik's office to help with the repairs to a fire-damaged town hall and got rejected twice. “It was not supported by the Congresswoman and I think it should have been,” Horton said. Correction officers at the federal prison in Ray Brook say the local prison workers' union has tried to meet with Stefanik to talk about staffing issues, but she has not talked with them. While many supporters quoted in the story praise Stefanik for help winning federal aid, she also takes credit for money she did not help to secure. A recent press release titled “Stefanik Delivers Over $586,000 for NY-21 Fire Departments” but in the fine print, the release acknowledges that Stefanik only helped some of the fire departments. Stefanik also has taken credit for projects she opposes. Last year Stefanik described the American Rescue Plan Covid relief package as “filled with pork projects, special interest giveaways, and the Far-Left’s policy wish list.” But after it passed she sent out a press release celebrating a grant for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe with over $850,000 from the relief package that she voted against. A spokesperson for Stefanik would not directly comment on any of these issues, changing the subject instead. Starting in January, the 21st Congressional District will include Rensselaer County. Read the full story at the North Country Public Radio website.
Patricia R Doxsey reports in the Daily Freeman U.S. Rep. Pat Ryan will sit down by himself for the Daily Freeman on Oct. 21, as Republican Colin Schmitt has refused to participate in the candidate forum the new 18th Congressional District seat. Ryan, a Democrat and former Ulster County executive, currently represents the 19th Congressional district, after defeating Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro in an August special election. Ryan agreed to the Daily Freeman's request to participate, while Taylor Weyeneth, Schmitt’s campaign manager, declined several invitations by the Freeman. “Assemblyman Schmitt is committed to making sure that voters in every county in NY-18 have an opportunity to attend a candidate debate this fall,” Weyeneth said in a Sept. 24 email not accepting the invitation for this opportunity to debate. Schmitt did participate in a similar event with Ryan Sept. 27 sponsored by the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce. Anyone who wants to submit questions for Ryan for the event, should send them to firstname.lastname@example.org before Oct. 19. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.
Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics Democratic congressional candidate Josh Riley holds a 5 point advantage over Republican Marc Molinaro in the 19th Congressional District race, according to a Spectrum News/Siena College poll released October 6. The poll found Riley with 46 percent of the vote compared to Molinaro's 41 percent, within a 5 percentage-point margin of error of a survey of 470 likely district voters from September 25 to 28. The congressional seat includes parts of the Hudson Valley, Southern Tier and Central New York and is among a handful of House districts in New York that could determine control of the chamber in the November midterm elections. The poll showed Riley with more support from independent voters than Molinaro, 46 to 40 percent. A majority of voters have no opinion of or do not know enough about Riley, a first-time candidate. According to the poll, a majority of voters in the district hold an unfavorable view of President Joe Biden and Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat is in a close race against Republican candidate Lee Zeldin. The majority of voters in the district do not like the direction the country is heading. The cost of living and inflation concerns were cited by 52 percent of survey respondents as the top issue in the race, followed by threats to democracy at 31 percent and abortion at 28 percent. “We’re encouraged by today’s poll results, but taking nothing for granted,” said Riley Campaign Manager Coby Eiss. “... Voters are ready for a change from professional politicians like Marc Molinaro, and Josh is running to bring new leadership that puts people over profits.” Molinaro's campaign manager Will Dawson, however, declined to say much other than the campaign was focused on Election Day not polls. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.