Archive for March, 2009

Statement from NYSDC Chair June O’Neill congratulating Mark Lesko

March 31, 2009
New York State Democratic Committee Chair June O’Neill issued the following statement congratulating Mark Lesko on his win in today’s special election:

“Today voters came out to support Mark Lesko because they know that he has the right experience and leadership skills to serve as Brookhaven Town Supervisor. Like Brian Foley before him, Mark will continue to fight for needed change and reform.

On behalf of the New York State Democratic Committee I would like to congratulate Mark on his election. We look forward to working with him as he assumes his new role.”

 

NY Dems Call on Tedisco to Cancel Fundraiser with RNC Chairman Michael Steele

March 12, 2009

Dems to Tedisco: Limbaugh and Steele want the President to fail. Do you?

Later today Republican Jim Tedisco is set to attend a fundraiser with RNC Chairman Michael Steele. Over the past few days, Steele has made it clear that he agrees with Rush Limbaugh, a driving force behind the Republican Party, and his desire to see the President’s plans for country fail.

The Republican Party Chairman apologized to Limbaugh for calling his rhetoric “ugly” and “incendiary,” and said “I went back at that tape and I realized words that I said weren’t what I was thinking.” [Politico, 3/3/09]

“While the country struggles through this economic crisis, RNC Chairman Michael Steele is busy defending a man who has been publicly rooting for the President, and our country, to fail,” said June O’Neill, New York State Democratic Committee Chair. “If Jim Tedisco wants what’s in the best interest for New York – and our country – he should call off his fundraiser with Michael Steele.  We need leaders who will stand up for us, not for Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh’s brand of politics-as-usual.”

Tedisco and Giuliani: Out on the Trail and Out of Touch With Upstate New York

March 12, 2009

For over two weeks, Republican Jim Tedisco has refused to tell voters how he would’ve voted on President Obama’s recovery package. Today, he’s out on the campaign trail with Rudy Giuliani who believes that Wall Street fat cats should receive their $18 billion in bonuses, despite the fact that hard-earned tax payer dollars are keeping their businesses afloat [NY Daily News, 1/30/09].

 

“This out-of-touch duo needs to take a good, hard look around the 20th Congressional District. Thousands of Upstate residents have lost their jobs. People are struggling to pay their bills,” said June O’Neill, New York State Democratic Committee Chair. “We still don’t know how Jim Tedisco would’ve voted on the recovery package and his campaign companion seems set on paying out billions of dollars to people whose gross irresponsibility contributed to the current crisis. That is not leadership that fights for middle class and working families. Upstate New Yorkers need a leader who will stand up for them.”

 

The Facts:

 

While Rudy Giuliani was calling for billions of dollars in bonuses to be paid out…

 

President Obama admonished corporate America after the New York comptroller reported that Wall Street bankers received $18.4 billion in bonuses in 2008. “This is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful,” the president said.  These are the same institutions “teetering on collapse” and asking taxpayers to bail them out while taxpayers are dealing with their own tumultuous finances, he said. [CNN, 1/30/09]

 

FACT: 1,700 Upstate New Yorkers lost their jobs between November and December 2008. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic Release on Civilian Labor Force and Unemployment, 2/04/09]

FACT: The unemployment rate in Upstate New York rose from 5.78% to 6.67% between November and December 2008. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic Release on Civilian Labor Force and Unemployment, 2/04/09]

FACT: Recovery Package Will Save or Create 76,100 Upstate New York Jobs

 

According to Christina Roemer, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, and Jared Bernstein, the Chief Economist for the Vice President, the current Obama American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will save or create 76,100 jobs in Upstate New York.

 

The 20th Congressional District will benefit the most of any upstate New York congressional district from the recovery package. [Romer, Christina and Jared Bernstein. “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.”

January 9, 2009. Available at:

http://otrans.3cdn.net/45593e8ecbd339d074_l3m6bt1te.pdf]

 

Jim Tedisco’s Job Creation Record Doesn’t Check Out

March 12, 2009

WRGB CBS 6 Fact Check Finds Tedisco’s Job Creation Claim Manipulates Facts

Yesterday, WRGB CBS 6 TV in Albany fact-checked Congressional candidates Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy’s first TV ads; while both ads discuss job creation, WRGB found that only one of the candidates, Democrat Scott Murphy, actually had a real role in growing businesses and fostering job growth.

 

“Career politician Jim Tedisco will say or do whatever it takes to win a vote – including manipulating the facts about his role in creating jobs,” said June O’Neill, New York State Democratic Committee Chair. “First, he refuses to tell voters why he won’t support President Obama’s recovery package which will put thousands of Upstate residents back to work. Now, he’s taking credit for creating jobs that he ‘didn’t really have a lot to do with.’ Its seems that the more voters in the 20th Congressional District get to know Jim Tedisco, the less they can trust him.”

 

Watch the clip here: 

http://www.cbs6albany.com/video/?bcpid=1137806146&bclid=1143371293&bctid=14155718001

 

Read the transcript:

 

Greg Floyd: Both Republican Jim Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy are running introductory commercials, long on sentimentality and short on specifics, but one thing they both talk about is there role in the creation of jobs. Take a listen.

Tedisco Commercial With Voice Over: Securing jobs, protecting our children.  Jim Tedisco for Congress.

Murphy Commercial With Voice Over: My company invests in upstate businesses.  I’ve helped create over 1,000 jobs.

Greg Floyd: We start our fact check with Jim Tedisco.  The fine print under those 3,000 jobs that he takes credit for helping to create.  Well S 6.863A and S.7721B, its state legislation that he voted for that created and later strengthened the Metroplex Authority.  That brings new business to Schenectady County, three thousand is the total number of jobs Metroplex says it has created, I checked on that.  But in talking to both sides, Democrats and Republicans who were there at the beginning they all agree that Tedisco didn’t really have a lot to do with the actual creation of Metroplex.  It was a project spearheaded by city, county and business leaders.  The Tedisco campaign counters that Tedisco was and still is one of Metroplex’s strongest supporters.

Greg Floyd: Now on to Scott Murphy.  He says he helped create more than 1,000 jobs.  Unlike Tedisco he gives no on-screen footnote to back up the claim so I asked the Murphy campaign for a breakdown of those jobs.  They provided me with dozens of documents that showed New York State companies that show Murphy, and his company Advantage Capital provided capital to, to get up off the ground and running.  Kionix, in Ithaca, 119 jobs created.  PECO Pallet in Yonkers, 47 jobs created.  Just a couple of examples.  Murphy’s signature is there on official State documents.  Many of the investments were done through a state program called CAPCO to help small businesses in financially distressed areas.  Now I also went one step further and I checked with some of those companies.  One of them is the Golden Goal Lacrosse Park in Fort Anne, a corporate headquarters in New Jersey, they were indeed very familiar with Scott Murphy and immediately confirmed for me that he has helped them create jobs.  I got the same story when I called that company Kionix in Ithaca.  And I can tell you though, that Murphy’s TV ad talks mostly about creating jobs here in our area, of course.  But the vast majority of those thousand jobs that he cites, well they were outside the 20th District.  Outside the Capital Region.  And of course as more ads come out you’ll get more fact checking, right here.

In Their Own Words: How Upstate New York Benefits from the Recovery Package

March 12, 2009

Last night, President Obama reiterated the importance of the economic recovery package. He spoke of the clear impact the bill would have on our nation’s economy – providing tax relief, creating new jobs, and providing necessary funding for health care and education initiatives. Across the 20th Congressional District, voters are praising the package and the positive impact it will have on their communities.

 

However, another day has passed and Republican Jim Tedisco is still refusing to tell voters why he won’t support the bill. Mr. Tedisco has called the situation a “hypothetical,” but the funding going to shovel-ready projects, education, health care, and other initiatives is very real.

 

“Across the 20th Congressional District, community leaders are talking about the positive impact the recovery package will have,” said June O’Neill, New York State Democratic Committee Chair. “While Jim Tedisco refuses to tell us why he won’t support the bill, aid from the package will put Upstate New Yorkers back to work. During this serious financial crisis, voters need a leader they can trust to stand up for them – not some one who continues to avoid answering questions.”

 

The facts:

 

FACT: Upstate New York counties and schools will receive $1.6 billion from the proposed economic stimulus package that’s aimed to boost the economy and keep people employed. [Post-Star, 1/29/09]

 

FACT: A strong majority — 75 percent — of surveyed New Yorkers support the stimulus package signed into law yesterday by President Obama, though many worry about the size and spending included in the measure. [Albany Times Union, 2/18/09]

 

Real Relief – Voices from the 20th CD:

 

“What the stimulus package does, it allows us to do is accelerate that process and cause the construction to occur and complete it and in a time frame that is much shorter than what would have ordinarily been expected,” Bradley Birge, Saratoga Springs Office of Planning and Economic Development  [Capital 9 News, 2/18/09]

 

“That will give relief to the counties in New York that pay for a good portion of Medicaid program, to get through a difficult time.”  Kathy Jimino, Rensselaer County Executive]. [News 10 Now, 2/18/09]

 

“Looking at the unemployment rate in Dutchess County, which is 6.2 percent, if we have 10,000 people in our town, then 620 of them have lost their jobs in the past two years,” he said. “It’s important to get people back to work. They have families to feed and mortgages to pay. Everyone is saying we have to get going on this and get on line with every other town and state in the country .” Dover Councilman Christopher Galayda [Harlem Valley News, 2/6/09]

 

David Wickerham, the Saratoga County administrator, said the money could be as much as $8 million, which will depend on the county’s level of unemployment. Whatever the total, it will help a county that takes pride in having the lowest property taxes in the state, he said…”If it happens, it certainly will make everybody’s life easier in the county in terms of reducing that burden to the taxpayer,” he said. [Post-Star, 1/29/09]

NY Dems to Tedisco: There’s Nothing “Hypothetical” About the Relief the Stimulus Bill Provides NYers

March 12, 2009

As Upstate New Yorkers continue to struggle with the impact of the economic crisis, career politician Republican Jim Tedisco refuses to explain why he won’t support President Obama’s economic recovery plan.  Mr. Tedisco has called the situation a “hypothetical,” but the relief the Upstate residents will receive from the package, which President Obama signed into law last week, is very real. 

 

“There’s nothing hypothetical about it – we are in the middle of a real economic crisis and Upstate New York needs the real support provided by President Obama’s recovery plan,” said June O’Neill, New York State Democratic Committee Chair. “How can Upstate residents trust Jim Tedisco to represent their best interests in Washington when he refuses to answer this critical question?”

 

THE FACTS:

FACT: 1,700 Upstate New Yorkers lost their jobs between November and December 2008. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic Release on Civilian Labor Force and Unemployment, 2/04/09]

FACT: The unemployment rate in Upstate New York rose from 5.78% to 6.67% between November and December 2008. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic Release on Civilian Labor Force and Unemployment, 2/04/09]

FACT: Recovery Package Will Save or Create 76,100 Upstate New York Jobs

 

According to Christina Roemer, the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, and Jared Bernstein, the Chief Economist for the Vice President, the current Obama American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will save or create 76,100 jobs in Upstate New York.

 

The 20th Congressional District will benefit the most of any upstate New York congressional district from the recovery package. [Romer, Christina and Jared Bernstein. “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.” January 9, 2009. Available at: http://otrans.3cdn.net/45593e8ecbd339d074_l3m6bt1te.pdf]

 

FACT: 20th District Local Governments “Shovel-Ready” for Recovery Projects

 

According to the Albany Times-Union, a number of areas across the 20th District local governments have already outlined the projects they will begin immediately upon passage of the Obama Recovery Plan and are “shovel-ready.”

 

These projects in the 20th District include:

 

$5.5 million in Saratoga County sewer line improvements.

 

$1.4 million for the Saratoga County Airport.

 

$684,000 for accessibility at Rensselaer County office, senior center buildings.

 

$1 million for emergency communications center for Rensselaer County.

 

$7.6 million in sewer pump station improvements, Rensselaer County. [Albany Times-Union, 2/7/09]

FACT: Capital Region Counties Will See $108 Million in Budget Relief to Hold Down Property Taxes

The Obama Recovery Plan will provide approximately $108 million in budget relief through Medicare to capital region counties over the next nine quarters.

This is money that can be used to hold down property taxes. [Senator Schumer Release, 2/12/09]

Jim Tedisco: Putting Politics Before the Best Interests of New Yorkers

March 12, 2009

Republican is too busy campaigning to show up for work

 

Republican Jim Tedisco seems to be too busy campaigning to do his job as Assembly Minority Leader. In recent weeks, Tedisco has opted to vote remotely so he could campaign, had campaign staff answer government-related questions, and refused to commit to attending leadership meetings about the budget. 

 

“It appears that Jim Tedisco has decided that campaigning is more important than showing up for work,” said June O’Neill, New York State Democratic Committee Chair. “During this exceedingly difficult economic period, Upstate New Yorkers need someone they can trust in Washington – not someone like Jim Tedisco who’s too busy playing political games to do the job he’s being paid for with hard-earned tax payer dollars.”

 

Today, the Times Union reported that:

  • “He wasn’t on the floor even as government reform bills that he sponsored came up for a vote — choosing instead to vote remotely as he accepted the GOP line for the congressional race.”

And…

  • “…as state leaders grapple with an estimated $14.2 billion budget deficit, Tedisco has not committed to attending all leaders’ meetings that may be called on the budget.”

There’s also concern that…

  • “This has caused a bit of confusion between the government side and the campaign side of Tedisco’s operation. Calls to the Assembly minority office earlier this week on government business (questions ranging from the use of Assembly pool cars to staff members taking leaves of absences) were forwarded to the staffers working on the campaign.”

Read the whole story here:

http://blogs.timesunion.com/capitol/archives/11754/assembly-minority-loses-staff-to-tediscos-campaign

 

NY Dems to Tedisco: Will You Take a Position on the Recovery Package at Today’s Debate?

March 12, 2009

It’s been over two weeks and still Republican Jim Tedisco still refuses to take a position on President Obama’s economic recovery package. Today, as the candidates for the 20th Congressional District seat head into their first debate, the New York State Democratic Committee is once again calling on Jim Tedisco to tell Upstate residents how he would have voted on the bill.

“Jim Tedisco has repeatedly avoided answering the toughest questions in this race,” said June O’Neill, New York State Democrat Committee. “We cannot afford to send someone to Washington who doesn’t represent the best interests of Upstate New York. This is a time for real answers and real leadership. Take a position Jim – yes or no on the recovery package.”  

NY Dems: Jim Tedisco Should Finally Condemn Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh’s Reprehensible Remarks

March 12, 2009

Glens Falls, NY – After days of ducking questions, this morning the New York State Democratic Committee repeated their call for career politician Jim Tedisco to finally condemn Michael Steele and the de facto Republican Party leader Rush Limbaugh for his reprehensible remarks.

 

“If Jim Tedisco is at all serious about bipartisanship, he needs to finally condemn Rush Limbaugh and his reprehensible remarks,” said June O’Neill, NYSDC Chair.  “The fact that Jim Tedisco is accepting money from someone who defended Limbaugh’s desire to see our country fail clearly shows that Tedisco puts politics ahead of what’s best for our country.”

 

TIMELINE: 

*   JAN 16: Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_011609/content/01125113.guest.html 

[RushLimbaugh.com, 1/16/09] 

 

*   FEB 28: At a speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference, Rush Limbaugh “doubled down” on earlier remarks that he wanted President Barack Obama to fail. [The Glens Falls Post Star, 3/5/09]

 

*   FEB 28: RNC Chairman Michael Steele called Rush Limbaugh’s comments that he hopes President Obama fails “incendiary” and “ugly.” [The Glens Falls Post Star, 3/5/09] 

 

*   MARCH 1: Two days later, Steele begged Limbaugh for forgiveness. “My intent was not to go after Rush — I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh,” he said Monday. “I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. … There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.” [The Glens Falls Post Star, 3/5/09]

 

*   MARCH 2: “Political chatterers left and right were electric Tuesday over Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s apology to Rush Limbaugh — the third Republican leader in weeks to very publicly back away from a disagreement with the talk-show host.” [The Glens Falls Post Star, 3/5/09] 

 

*   March 4: RNC Chairman Michael Steele holds high-dollar fundraiser for Jim Tedisco. [The Hill<http://thehill.com/campaign-2008/gop-pins-hopes-on-n.y.-house-race-2009-02-25.html&gt;, 2/25/09]