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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Feb 26, 2023 6:03 pm

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. Democrat Pat Ryan is representing the 18th Congressional District, Republican Marc Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District, Democrat Rep. Paul Tonko represents the 20th District, and Republican Elise Stefanik represents the 21st District. Click here to listen to this report.

Mid-Hudson News reports that Marc Molinaro may now represent the 19th Congressional District, but he keeps getting involved in Dutchess County politics in the 18th Congressional District. Molinaro endorsed Chief Assistant District Attorney Matt Weishaupt for district attorney in the fall election as incumbent William Grady is not seeking reelection. Molinaro lives in Dutchess County, out of his Congressional District, and used to be Dutchess County Executive. Molinaro said of Weishaupt, that he “has always put the safety of our community, needs of his fellow prosecutors, well-being of law enforcement and lives of victims first.” Recently, Molinaro also endorsed Sue Serino to take over his old post as executive in Dutchess County. Read the full story at Mid-Hudson News.

The Troy Record reports that Rep. Paul Tonko recently announced $20,403,104 in new federal funding for transit agencies in the Capital Region. The money comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and by Congressional passage of the FY 2023 omnibus spending bill, which Tonko voted for. Tonko said, “Every day in our Capital Region, public transit connects thousands of hardworking people to their jobs, their schools, their hospitals, and their communities as a whole.” The Democrat represents Albany County and much of the rest of the Capital Region in the 20th Congressional District. Read more about this story in the Troy Record.

Andrea Macko reports in Porcupine Soup that Congressperson Marc Molinaro holds a town hall meeting February 23 at 10 a.m. at the Catskill Firehouse at 1 Central Avenue. The meeting was announced with little notice for the public to attend. Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District, and this will be his first local chance for citizens to question him. Read the full story in Porcupine Soup.

Tyler A. McNeil in the Daily Gazette reports that Rep. Paul Tonko wants to ban all electronic and online sports gambling advertising. But since a total ban may not pass Congress, Tonko says, “We’re open to any discussion.... You know, I don’t want to reject any kind of thoughts people would have on this, but our intent is to really address that targeting, the tremendous outlay of advertising, the targeting and the potential damage.” In 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court allowed sports betting in most parts of the country, and in 2019 New York voted to allowed bets and online sports betting began in the state last year. Tonko, who represents Albany County and the rest of the 20th Congressional District, is concerned about sports betting websites targeting gambling addicts. In 2021, the National Gambling Helpline Network experienced a 45 percent annual increase in calls. Where will Tonko get support for his measure. Locally, Democrat Assemblyperson Angelo Santabarbara of Rotterdam, said, “Sports gambling regulation is a state issue and decisions should be made here in New York State and not in Washington.... The State Assembly’s Racing and Wagering Committee worked hard to include many safeguards in the enacting legislation.” Republican Congressperson Elise Stefanik didn’t respond to a request for comment on the issue. The American Gaming Association calls Tonko’s bill unconstitutional. New York State took in $909 million in tax- and licensing fee-based revenue from mobile sports betting in 2022. Read the full story in the Daily Gazette.

Nicholas Fandos reports in The New York Times that the Democrats House Majority PAC this week will unveil a $45 million fund for winning back four seats that Republicans flipped in New York last year. One of the districts they are targeting is the 19th, where Republican Marc Molinaro won last fall. Republicans now hold a slim five-seat majority in the House of Representatives, and many observers have said that is because of the losses in New York. “The path to the majority runs through New York,” Mike Smith, who leads the political action committee, said. “It’s not just us seeing it. It is the Republican Party seeing it. It’s every donor around the country seeing it.” The national money will be helpful, as New York Democrats are still bickering about the losses. Progressives blame the conservative chair of the state party, Jay Jacobs, while he said the Republicans won by focusing on crime in many advertisements. The Democratic PAC spent around $13 million in New York last year, while Republicans’ Congressional Leadership Fund spent at least $21 million. In a sign that Republicans are also taking New York Congressional 2024 elections very seriously, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is planning to make an early fund-raising stop in the state in March. Read more about this story in The New York Times.

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