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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report 20180918

Sep 15, 2018 8:45 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 90.0 percent of the time, with the House of Representatives back in session this week. Fivethirtyeight.com also currently predicts Faso has a 43.4 percent chance of winning re-election, rating Democrat Antonio Delgado at 56.6 percent. Click here to download or play an audio version of this report (6:44).

• Representatives returned to Washington D.C. in early September, after weeks of vacation and campaigning. Faso took up where he left off: in the eight partisan votes this week or last, where Republicans and Democrats largely stuck by their parties, Faso always voted with Republican majorities. Those votes included H.R. 3798/H.R. 5895, the Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act, H.R. 6691, H.R. 1635, and the Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program Authorization Act. Faso also voted with Republican majorities against three bills: Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies appropriations, the DeGette of Colorado Part B Amendment No. 2, and appropriations for the Department of Defense. • The campaign of Antonio Delgado, the Democrat challenging incumbent John Faso for the 19th Congressional District in New York claims his opponent "is refusing to accept debates with two of the largest media outlets in our district." Delgado's campaign says public broadcasting station WMHT and Spectrum News are both attempting to organize televised debates between the two candidates, but Faso won't agree. “Faso will only debate on his own terms, just like he will only hold town halls on his own terms. He forgets that the job is not about him, it’s about the people,” said Delgado. “This is yet another cynical dodge from an absentee congressman who has repeatedly refused to address the issues that are critical to the people in our district. It’s abundantly clear why he is avoiding talking about these issues, because he can’t explain why he voted in favor of gutting healthcare protections for people here with pre-existing conditions, defunding Planned Parenthood after promising not to and increasing out-of-pocket medical costs.” Faso has not held any traditional town hall meetings during his term, only meeting with constituents in public under guarded conditions, or at appearances that are not announced to the public in advance. Chris McKenna reports at The Fray that Faso’s campaign spokesman, Joe Gierut, says Faso will only debate if all candidates are included. “John feels strongly that candidates who are on the ballot have the opportunity to participate,” Gierut said. Green Party candidate Steve Greenfield and independent Luisa Parker of Callicoon will also be on the ballot in November for the Congressional seat. Faso and Delgado will be at two events that also include Greenfield: An Ulster Chamber of Commerce candidates’ forum on Sept. 20; and a WAMC radio debate on Oct. 22. Faso and Delgado both did appear together at an Aug. 29 candidate forum in Callicoon sponsored by the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, the Friends of the Upper Delaware River, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed, and the Delaware Highlands Conservancy. That forum focused on the environment, but was not broadcast.

* WAMC-FM and the campaign of Antonio Delgado gave in to the demands of Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), announcing an Oct. 22 debate between the two major candidates also including a minor third-party nominee. Green Party candidate Steve Greenfield, Rhinebeck-based Democratic Delgado, and Faso will be on a live debate on the radio station from 1 to 2:30 p.m., Oct. 22 at The Linda, WAMC's Performing Arts Studio, in Albany. Previously, Delgado complained, “Faso will only debate on his own terms, just like he will only hold town halls on his own terms.... He forgets that the job is not about him, it’s about the people. This is yet another cynical dodge from an absentee congressman who has repeatedly refused to address the issues that are critical to the people in our district. In almost two years in office, Faso has not held a traditional twon hall meeting, and rarely announces any public appearances he makes. Delgado, meanwhile, held his first of ten town hall meetings Sept. 7 in Cairo in Greene County, planning one in each county in the district. Faso for Congress Communications Director Joe Gierut said in The Daily Freeman that the congressperson has “committed to debates that include all candidates who are on the ballot." But independent Luisa Parker of Callicoon is not appearing at the WAMC debate. Previously, Faso and Delgado were at a environmental-themed candidate forum without the two other candidates.

Rachel Silberstein reports at Capitol Confidential that at least one Republican in Columbia County is voting for Democrat Antonio Delgado this November. John R. Dunne, a former member of the state Senate, endorsed Antonio Delgado for Congress Sept. 10 in New York’s 19th Congressional District. “I am proud to endorse Antonio Delgado for Congress here in NY-19,” Dunne said. “Our district needs a representative who will lead with integrity, listen to the concerns of the people, and put their needs before those of big corporations or special interests." As a Republican, Dunne was Deputy Majority Leader and chair of the judiciary, environmental protection, insurance, and prisons committees in Albany, and was Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. Read the full story in Capitol Confidential.

David Lombardo is reporting for the Times Union U.S. Rep. John Faso and his Democratic challenger Antonio Delgado are now running neck and neck in the 19th Congressional District race, according to a Monmouth University poll released September 12. The Democrat's chances of picking up the seat improve among traditional midterm voters, with Delgado leading Faso by 48 percent to 45 percent. Based on another model that assumes a surge of Democratic voters, Delgado's lead grows to six percentage points. That is still within the poll's margin of error. Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said there is reason to expect turnout for the midterm election will be higher than usual. "This is not a typical year," Murray said. Green Party candidate Steve Greenfield received one percent of the vote, which could be a deciding factor if the race stays tight through Election Day. A poll released by the Siena Research Institute last month found Faso leading Delgado by five percentage points among likely voters, but that survey did not include the Green Party candidate. Read the full story in the Times Union.

Grace Segers at CBS News reports that national Republicans have released an second attack ad against Antonio Delgado, the Democrat running against freshman Republican John Faso in New York's 19th Congressional District. The ad released by the National Republican Campaign Committee Sept. 12 has no narration, but mashes-up statements from Delgado with his 2006 hip hop album. "We owe it to our country to restore the American dream," Delgado says in a clip from one of his campaign ads that is set against Delgado rapping "criticize -- it's what a patriot does." Read the full story at CBS News.
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