Slaughter And Assini Preparing For Rematch

Gates Town Supervisor Mark Assini is already campaigning for New York’s 25th Congressional District. Assini said he’s been going door-to-door, fundraising, and has scheduled his first fundraising event for March 1st.

“We’re going to win and we’re going to win convincingly. That’s what I’m hearing out there and you can take that to the bank,” Assini said.

That’s a bold prediction for a candidate who’s running against Louise Slaughter, one of the longest serving members in Congress. By the way, he lost to her two years ago during a non-presidential election cycle.

But Assini believes he’s earned the right for media and politicos to take him seriously. In 2014, not many people gave Assini much of a chance although he kept saying he had one.

On election night the race was too close to call. After counting absentee ballots, Slaughter claimed victory by less than a thousand votes.

Two years ago Slaughter outspent Assini by about 3-1. According to the most recent Federal Election Commission filings, he has about $12,578 cash on hand.

Assini said he’s not going to tip his hand but people will be surprised when the next filing period comes around. He said he’s clearly outperforming the 2014 fundraising.

One place he doesn’t expect much money to come from is the Republican National Congressional Committee. Assini said he sat down with the RNCC but doesn’t believe the committee will make his district a priority during a presidential year.

The congresswoman, meanwhile, had $784,136 cash on hand at the end of the year. Her campaign said that’s an indicator of how seriously she take takes every election.

As for Assini’s prediction, Slaughter’s campaign rebuked it by pointing to her ability in the past to pull Republican votes, particularly women in the GOP.

Planned Parenthood Praises Hanna And Katko Votes

Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York praised on Wednesday votes by two Republican House members from upstate New York who did not back a measure aimed at restricting access to health centers.

The organization in a statement feted the votes by GOP Reps. Richard Hanna and John Katko, which rejected legislation Planned Parenthood said would have impacted low-income people.

“Congressman Richard Hanna has been a proven leader when it comes to preserving the ability of thousands in New York State to access critical care at Planned Parenthood. We appreciate Congressman John Katko for looking at the facts and rejecting efforts to defund Planned Parenthood,” the group said in a statement. “Both Congressmen Hanna and Katko are standing up for the women, men, and young people who come through Planned Parenthood’s doors every day.”

Hanna is due to retire at the end of the year from his central New York House district that he was first elected to in 2010.

Katko, a freshman lawmaker who represents the Syracuse area, is facing a potential challenge from several Democrats, including a former aide to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Colleen Deacon, Steve Williams and Eric Kingson.

Paladino: “Collision Courses Are Good In Government”

Carl Paladino didn’t waste a chance to take a dig at one of his potential competitors, if he’s serious about another run for Governor in 2018.

“I’m always in campaign season. I’m the same way now that I’ll be two years from now when we’re actually running,” Paladino said.

On Bill Samuels Effective Radio show Sunday Paladino accused Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Rockville Center, of having “Washinton-itis.” He elaborated Monday saying he’s been disappointed with how Gibson has voted, particularly on budget bills.

“I told him privately that I was very upset with what he had done. I wrote him a note and I told him that,” he said.

Gibson’s office declined to comment on the criticism. Paladino said he’s not done speaking his mind about the congressman and he encouraged him to return the favor.

“Collision courses are good in government, okay. We should have a lot more of them. They should stop trying to dance together and start being adversaries as to properly vet out what they’re doing,” Paladino said.






NY-22: Brindisi Not Running For Congress

Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi on Thursday announced he would not run for Congress in the 22nd House district.

The district is being vacated at the end of the year by Republican Rep. Richard Hanna, a moderate-to-liberal lawmaker who was being challenged in a GOP primary by Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney.

“Being a member of Congress would be a great honor,” Brindisi said in a statement. “However, as I have been weighing this decision, I have decided that the best way I can continue to help the Mohawk Valley move forward is to remain a member of the State Assembly.”

The Utica-area lawmaker said he wanted to continue pushing issues in the Legislature such as health care, education and infrastructure, as well as quality-of-life concerns for the Mohawk Valley district.

At the same time, Brindisi said he hoped Hanna’s replacement in Congress will be someone who can have bipartisan appeal.

“As the race for Congress moves forward, it is my hope that we elect a representative of good moral character,” he said. “We deserve someone who is willing to work across the aisle to break the partisan gridlock that grips Washington. We need someone who will work to solve the problems facing our nation, not someone whose only solution is to say no to the ideas presented by others.”

Heaney, Faso Campaigns Trade Barbs Over Teachout

zephyrAs Zephyr Teachout — the Democrat who challenged Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the party’s nomination in 2014 — publicly mulls getting into the race for the 19th congressional district, her ruminations have set off a squabble between the Republican candidates in the race.

The first shot was fired by Andrew Heaney, a businessman from Millbrook is one of five GOP candidates who have filed to run in the Hudson Valley district.

In a statement, Heaney said Teachout’s resume — an advocate for reform, a political outsider, namely — stands in contrast to fellow Republican John Faso, a former state Assembly minority leader-turned-lobbyist.

“While I disagree with Zephyr on almost every single issue of substance, I do agree with her that for real change to occur we must end the culture of corruption that pervades politics today. As a career politician, registered lobbyist, Superpac employee and perennial candidate for office my opponent, John Faso, will simply not be able to stand up to Zephyr’s message of change,” Heaney said. “In a race against Zephyr Teachout, important issues like tax policy, growing small businesses, keeping us safe in the war on terror and preserving our second amendment rights, will all take a back seat to a debate of Faso’s lifetime pursuit of higher office, influence, political power and ethical lapses.”

Heaney even indicated that Teachout could be a formidable Democratic opponent in the race, saying her candidacy would be different than the failed bid by Sean Eldridge in 2014, a wealthy businessman who had moved to the district before running for Congress. More >

Hoyer Backs Dem In NY-1

One of the top House Democrats on Thursday endorsed Democratic congressional hopeful Anna Throne-Holst in New York’s 1st district in Suffolk County.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, a Maryland lawmaker and Democratic minority whip, is one of the more high-profile endorsements in the race for Throne-Holst as Democrats eagerly eye taking on Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.

Zeldin, a former state senator elected in 2014 to Congress, represents a swing district in eastern Long Island, and defeated incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop.

“Anna Throne-Holst is a tested problem-solver who has real experience fixing Republican mismanagement,” Hoyer said. “I look forward to working with her in Congress to create jobs, improve educational opportunities, and invest in our infrastructure. I am proud to endorse her for Congress.”

Throne-Holst does face a potential primary with fellow Democrat Dave Calone in June. But Long Island Democrats, along with one upstate lawmaker, are backing her bid.

Outgoing Rep. Steve Israel, along with Rep. Joe Crowley, Rep. Kathleen Rice, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Paul Tonko and former Rep. Carolyn McCarthy have endorsed Throne-Holst.

Heaney Pre-Emptively Knocks Obama’s Gun Control Orders

As President Obama moves to enact new executive action aimed at expanding background checks for gun purchases, Republican congressional candidate Andrew Heaney is knocking the move.

Heaeny is one of a half dozen Republicans running for the GOP nomination in the 19th congressional district, a Hudson Valley seat that’s being vacated by Rep. Chris Gibson later this year.

In a statement, Heaney knocked the state-level gun control package known as the SAFE Act and criticized one of his main rivals for the GOP nomination, former Assemblyman John Faso.

“Like most Americans, I am deeply concerned by the threat of executive action by President Obama to restrict our Second Amendment rights,” Heaney said in a statement. “We need look no further than right here in New York State and the passage of the so-called “Safe Act”, when Governor Cuomo trampled the law, the process and the Constitution in a rush to cram new restrictions on law-abiding gun owners. The Second Amendment is not a political bargaining chip.

“If the President wants more gun control, he needs to take it up with Congress. As your representative, I will always stand up for the Second Amendment and for law-abiding gun owners and unlike my opponent, John Faso, will never bow to the political whims of the day.”

Obama is expected to unveil the executive action on gun control measures after a lack of traction on the issue in Congress, where Republicans hold majorities in both the House and Senate. Obama this week also plans a town hall forum to be television on CNN concerning gun control.

Report: NY Could Lose Another House Seat

As New York’s population continues to be outpaced by other states, the state is in line to lose yet another seat in the House of Representatives in the next round of redistricting following the 2020 U.S. Census.

A report from Election Data Services, which was amplified by attorney Jeff Wice on his election law website, found New York is among the nine states that could lose at least one seat in Washington D.C., and with it clout in the federal government.

With New York’s population not growing as quickly as the rest of the country, New York’s congressional district number could decline to 26.

Still, the data remains relatively preliminary overall, given the decade is only half over and population could still shift again.

But the trend has been for the state to lose seats in Congress over the last several decades.

New York currently has 27 House districts, having lost two during the 2012 round of redistricting and reapportionment, with seats squeezed out of upstate and New York City. State lawmakers drew the 213 state legislative districts in the Assembly and Senate (adding a district in the Assembly based on a complicated formula in the state Constitution), while a federal judge drew the congressional district lines, creating several battleground districts in the process in upstate New York and the metropolitan suburbs.

A Siena College 2016 “predictions” poll released on Wednesday found 22 percent of those surveyed planned to move out of New York next year.

Tonko Endorses In Long Island’s NY-1

Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko of the Capital Region on Tuesday gave his nod to Anna Throne-Holst, who is running in the 1st congressional district on eastern Long Island.

Trone-Holst is seeking the seat held by freshman Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin, a former state senator who defeated Democratic incumbent Tim Bishop last year.

“Anna Throne-Holst is a fighter for the middle class and those struggling to enter it,” Tonko said in a statement. “As a public servant, she has a proven track record of obtaining results for the people she serves. The halls of Congress could use more people like Anna. Whether in Upstate New York or Eastern Long Island, we both know that federal investments are required to protect our seniors, clean up our environment and create jobs. I look forward to working with Anna in the United States House of Representatives and give her my full endorsement.”

The Suffolk County House seat has been considered a swing district for several election cycles and has been eyed by Democrats as a potential flip next year, given the presidential election at the top of the ticket. Democrat Dave Calone is also seeking the Democratic nomination.

“I am grateful for Congressman Tonko’s support in our campaign. Congressman Tonko has been a great leader in fighting for the middle class,” Throne-Holst said in a statement. “I am excited to work with him to get things done for the people of New York. Everyday it is clear our campaign is continuing to gain momentum, and our message of putting the people of Suffolk County ahead of politics is resonating.”

Throne-Holst was previously endorsed by Democrats Rep. Steve Israel, Rep. Joe Crowley, Rep. Kathleen Rice, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and former Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.

2016 House Picture Shifts For NY GOP

From the Morning Memo:

The announcement this weekend that Rep. Richard Hanna, one of the few moderate Republicans left in the House, won’t seek re-election in 2016 caught many people – including several potential candidates to succeed him – by surprise, though this move had been speculated for some time.

In an exclusive interview with the Syracuse Post-Standard, Hanna, 64, said his decision was motivated by a desire to spend more time with his young children and wife. He insisted he was not pushed out by the increasingly polarizing – and conservative-dominated – situation in the GOP conference.

Hanna also said a re-match launched by his conservative 2014 GOP primary opponent, Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, did not factor into his thinking. (For the record, Tenney said she wasn’t surprised by Hanna’s decision to depart, saying he hadn’t been “acting like a candidate”).

Oneida County Executive Tony Picente has been mentioned as another potential Republican candidate for Hanna’s seat, along with Cortland County’s Catherine Bertini, former executive director of the UN’s world food program, and Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus.

On the Democratic side, no one has stepped up yet. Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi has been floated for weeks now as a potential challenger to Tenney, though he wasn’t expected to run if Hanna was in the race.

Given the congressman’s moderate stance – particularly his support for Planned Parenthood and abortion rights – and his willingness to buck his own party’s leaders, it might have a been a tough haul for any Democrat to challenge him; he didn’t face a general election opponent in 2014 when he won re-elected to a third two-year term.

Hanna is the second moderate New York Republican congressman to announce he will be forgoing re-election next fall. Rep. Chris Gibson made it clear months ago that he won’t be running, though he is eyeing a potential statewide run – likely for governor in 2018.

The congressman’s departure in a presidential election year that is expected to boost turnout in this Democrat dominated state could complicate things for the state GOP, though this disappointment may have been offset by another unexpected announcement late last week.

Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, the leading Democratic contender mentioned in the race for the NY-19 seat that Gibson will vacated, released a statement saying that he had decided to forgo the race and remain in the local post to which he just won re-election to a second full four-year term.

Without Hein in the mix, John Patrick Kehoe, of Ulster County, is the lone Democrat to so far file paperwork to run in NY-19.

The Republicans, meanwhile, have four candidates: Assemblyman Pete Lopez, former Assembly Minority Leader and onetime gubernatorial candidate John Faso, businessman Andrew Heaney, and Robert Bishop of Delaware County.