Faso Says Kavanaugh Should Be Confirmed

Rep. John Faso in a radio interview on Friday said Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed amid sexual assault allegations that have roiled the U.S. Senate and the nation as a whole.

Faso, speaking with Fred Dicker on his Talk-1300 show Focus on the State Capitol, said he found Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony that Kavanaugh in the 1980s at a party held her down on a bed and groped her “credible.”

“At the same time, it’s very difficult for me to agree that uncorroborated allegations of misconduct from when someone was in high school should be used to destroy this man’s reputation, career and family,” Faso said.

Faso added, “I believe that he should be confirmed. I think that Dr. Ford’s allegations should have been taken seriously and I think the country has taken them seriously.”

Kavanaugh and Ford both testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday over an eight-hour day.

Faso said that aside from the Ford allegation, Kavanaugh has “an absolutely sterling reputation” and pointed to his record and writings as a federal judge.

Kavanaugh has also been accused of misconduct by two other women that date back to the 1980s: Deborah Ramirez has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her; Julie Swetnick has said she observed Kavanaugh engaged in inappropriate behavior at high school parties and has said she was raped at one of them.

Faso is running for a second term to a Hudson Valley seat that is considered one of the most competitive races in the country. He faces Democrat Antonio Delgado.

Democrats in New York, meanwhile, have called for a further background investigation by the FBI of Kavanaugh.

“If they won’t take these steps, Republicans are telling women how little they value them,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “A woman’s testimony is worth as much as a man’s. That shouldn’t be a controversial proposition. Dr. Ford came forward at great personal cost, and we owe it to her and to all survivors of abuse to fully investigate prior to a vote for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.”

Spectrum News/Siena College Poll: Faso Holds 5-Point Lead Over Delgado

Republican Rep. John Faso holds a 5-percentage point lead over his Democratic challenger Antonio Delgado, according to an exclusive Spectrum News/Siena College released Thursday evening.

The poll found Faso leading Delgado 45 percent to 40 percent, with 13 percent of voters either without an opinion or undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points.

Voters are split on their views of Faso, a first-term incumbent running for re-election in what has been a hotly contested swing district for the last several election cycles. The district was vacated in 2016 by Republican Rep. Chris Gibson, a popular incumbent who had considered a run for governor before pulling the plug on the nascent campaign.

Delgado was the winner of a crowded Democratic primary in June.

Faso holds a 38 percent favorable rating, with 37 percent giving him an unfavorable rating. Thirty-four percent of voters have a favorable view of Delgado, compared to 22 percent of voters who do not. A plurality of voters, 44 percent, do not have opinion.

Voters are largely split along party lines in the district: Delgado’s election is backed by 81 percent of Democrats. Similarly, 76 percent of Republicans want to see Faso re-elected. Faso has an edge with independent voters are split: 44 percent back the incumbent, versus 38 percent for Delgado.

Voters by a narrow margin also back Republicans keeping control of the House of Representatives, 48 percent to 43 percent. But by an even smaller margin, 47 percent disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president, with 45 percent approving.

The poll of 501 likely voters was conducted from Aug. 20 to Aug. 26.

“As Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said, Faso has a ‘real race on his hands.’ Great to learn that ten weeks from Election Day the incumbent here has only been able to secure a minor five point lead in a poll with a margin of error of 4.8%,” Delgado said in a statement.

“I am not surprised by these results as I hear all across our district from people who feel John Faso does not represent them, especially on healthcare. Faso voted in favor of gutting protections for people here with pre-existing conditions, cruelly stripping away funding for Medicaid, and increasing out-of-pocket costs. That’s not something folks forget.”

CD190818 Crosstabs by Nick Reisman on Scribd

NY-19: Enck Endorses Delgado

Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck endorsed Democratic congressional candidate Antonio Delgado on Thursday, calling him best positioned to oppose President Donald Trump’s environmental policies.

“Our clean air and clean water are being threatened by our own federal government, like never before. We need every member of Congress to fight hard against the anti-environmental agenda, in the White House and in Congress. That is why I am honored to support Antonio Delgado for Congress in New York’s 19th District,” she said in a statement.

“I live in Antonio’s district and I have spent my entire career working for clean air, clean water and a restored environment that protects our health, particularly the health of our children. I am enthusiastically supporting Antonio Delgado because he presents a new vision for the future that embraces renewable energy, green job growth, sustainable development and recognizes how crucial it is to pass legislation that not only aims to mitigate the factors contributing to climate change but also builds our resiliency. I am confident he will work hard for the people of NY19 in Washington and protect our interests.”

Delgado is running against first-term Republican Rep. John Faso in the 19th House district in the Hudson Valley.

Enck, well respected in environmental advocacy circles, has also been a prominent supporter of Cynthia Nixon’s campaign for governor.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of Judith Enck, an environmental leader in our district,” Delgado said.

“Judith understands the leadership role our federal government can play in protecting our environment and has spoken with me at length about how government policy can incentivize and promote renewable energy, counteract the impacts of climate change, create green jobs, conserve our region’s land and waterways, reduce plastics waste and fight for protections like the Clean Water Rule and funding for the EPA. I look forward to working with Judith, along with others in our district who are dedicated to protecting and improving our environment.”

NY-19: Teamsters For Faso

The Teamsters Local 294 on Monday endorsed the re-election of Republican Rep. John Faso.

“Since taking office, Congressman Faso has been a dedicated supporter of efforts to guarantee solvency of the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension & Retirement Fund,” said John Bulgaro, the local’s president. “We thank him for his efforts and look forward to continue working with him to ensure our members’ retirement money is safe and accessible in the future.”

Faso is seeking a second term to his battleground Hudson Valley House district. He faces Democrat Antonio Delgado this fall.

“It is a privilege to work with Local 294 on issues important to its members and their families,” said Faso. “I’m pleased to have earned their support in this election. I will continue to fight for our commercial vehicle operators, who have been and will continue to be a linchpin in America’s economic engine.”

NY-19: Faso Asks, Delgado Answers

The battle over the future of ICE has come to NY-19.

Republican Rep. John Faso’s campaign manager Tom Szymanski posted a statement earlier this week on Faso’s Facebook page asking if the congressman’s Democratic challenger, Antonio Delgado, supports the call by his fellow Democrats for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to be abolished.

Several high profile New York Democrats have already jumped on board calling for the agency’s end, most recently, Queens Democrat Sen. Mike Gianaris.

The Republicans, led by President Donald Trump, have leapt to ICE’s defense, with some predicting that this issue will help the GOP preserve its control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections.

“The service that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement provides in keeping our communities safe is invaluable, and it is disturbing to hear elected Democrats and Democratic candidates for office calling to abolish ICE,” Szymanski wrote.

Szymanski singled out a number of prominent Democrats, including NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, and recently victorious NY-14 candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as “other fellow-Progressives on the loony left by wishing to abolish ICE,” adding: “Voters deserve to know whether Mr. Delgado will work to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

This morning, Delgado responded with a statement of his own, and suggested that in the future, Faso contact him directly and not resort to using an intermediary to handle his inquiries.

“Congressman Faso should feel free to contact me directly with his inquiries about my positions,” Delgado said. “I would be happy to exchange cell phone numbers so that he does not need his staffer to send out statements written by (House Speaker) Paul Ryan. I am eager to discuss our country’s immigration policies and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with the Congressman.”

He added: “Spoiler alert: I do not support abolishing ICE.”

Delgado also took the opportunity to criticize Faso’s voting record on healthcare, and noted his relationship with Ryan, who is not seeking re-election this fall.

Faso has received fundraising assistance from the Congressional Leadership Fund. Protecting the freshman congressman in the battle for NY-19, which has changed political hands several times in recent election cycles, is of particular interest to Republicans as they try to maintain their majority.

Ryan has also appeared at past fundraisers in support of Faso, who is seeking a second term.

NY-19: In Ad, Ryan Highlights Gun Control Push

Democratic congressional candidate Pat Ryan on Tuesday released his first TV ad of his campaign, highlighting his support for gun control.

The spot also highlights his background as a veteran and his technology company.

The Kingston native is competing for the Democratic nomination in the 19th congressional district in the Hudson Valley, vying to take on Republican incumbent John Faso, who is seeking a second term.

Flynn Lands 1st Labor Endorsement in NY-19 Dem Race

From the Morning Memo:

Brian Flynn, one of seven Democrats vying for the right to challenge freshman Republican Rep. John Faso in NY-19, is poised to announce he has landed the first labor endorsement of the primary battle.

Flynn, a businessman from Hunter, is being backed by the Transport Workers Union, a national labor organization, whose international president, John Samuelsen, (also FORMER president of TWU Local 100 here in New York), said in a statement to be released by Flynn’s campaign that the candidate is “a leader who understands that the economic security of families must be the highest priority of Congress, and that unions are a necessary partner in that mission.”

“From his advocacy to strengthen airport/airline security after his personal loss in the Lockerbie bombing, to his complete grasp of labor struggles, including the expected impact of Janus, Brian Flynn is the ally the entire TWU membership needs in Washington,” added Angelo Cucuzza, chairman of the New York TWU Conference, comprised of locals across the state.

The TWU represents more than 140,000 men and women in the airline, railroad, transit, service, utility and gaming industries across the U.S., and 43,000 of them are members of Local 100 in New York City.

Flynn has a long-standing and very personal tie to this union. One of its founders and first president, Michael Quill, was Flynn’s great uncle. He successfully organized New York City subway workers in the 1930s, and then secured contracts for them that – for the first time – granted them weekends off, pensions and health care coverage.

“To be the first and only candidate endorsed by labor in this race, particularly by an organization that holds such a deep and personal legacy for my family, is a profound honor,” Flynn said. “Unions are a powerful weapon in the fight against inequality, wage stagnation and a system that doesn’t represent the needs of a large majority of American workers.”

“They work to tackle racial and gender inequality by raising wages of women, black and Hispanic workers. I believe in an America That Works For All of Us. That’s why reinvigorating unions is a major tenet of my Plan For the American Worker. At the end of the day, this is about economic justice.”

Flynn is the only candidate in this race – actually, the only candidate in the entire state – whose campaign staffers have unionized, which, apparently is something of a mini-movement at a handful of congressional campaigns (all Democratic candidates) across the country.

So, TWU in New York is, as mentioned, pretty much a downstate entity. But in a Democratic field this crowded, any small leg up – via organizing, or independent expenditures, or phone-banking, or what have you – could make a difference leading up to the June primary.

NY-19: Dutchess County Dems Back Delgado

Democratic congressional candidate Antonio Delgado racked up the endorsement of the Dutchess County Democratic Committee, his campaign on Friday announced.

Delgado is among the crowded field of Democrats vying for the nomination in the 19th congressional district to take on Republican Rep. John Faso.

“I’m honored to have received the Dutchess County Democratic Committee endorsement, and humbled by the strong grassroots support I have received,” Delgado said.

“Democrats across Dutchess County and across the Hudson Valley and Catskills are uniting behind my campaign to bring universal, affordable healthcare to all, create good-paying jobs, reform our broken education system, repeal the Trump tax scam, and preserve our environment. With the support of the Dutchess County Democrats and thousands of others, I’m ready to take on John Faso and flip this district.”

The Hudson Valley House race is considered one of the key battleground contests in New York this fall. Faso was elected in 2016, a hold for Republicans following the departure of Rep. Chris Gibson.

Faso Says He’d Back Increasing Age For Gun Purchases

Republican Rep. John Faso in a radio interview on Friday said he would support legislation that would increase the age to purchase a firearm to 21 in the wake of a high school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people.

At the same time, Faso said in the interview on “Focus On The State Capitol” with Fred Dicker that he would support bolstering background checks and “hardening” schools to provide more security.

“Nothing here is perfect, but I do think given the emotional immaturity of many young men in particular at that point in their lives, 18, 19, 20, that that is a reasonable response to this,” Faso said. “I think we should make sure whatever we do is done with careful deliberation so that we understand the rights and liberties of individuals with public safety.”

It is illegal to sell a handgun to someone under the age of 21, but those over age 18 can purchase shotguns and rifles. The shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Highschool is 19.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, backed a proposal on Friday to increase the age of firearm purchases to 21 as well as school security measures and increased safeguards on background checks to bar mentally ill people from buying a gun.

Raising the age of firearm purchases is not a guarantee as some gun-rights supporters would raise questions over whether it’s fair to do so given the minimum age to serve in the military is 18. Republicans, who control the White House and both houses of Congress, have been traditionally opposed to gun control legislation.

Nevertheless, the outcry after the Florida shooting has pushed some GOP lawmakers to be open to new legislation. Faso, a freshman elected in 2016, is seeking re-election in the competitive 19th congressional district in the Hudson Valley.

In the interview, Faso was skeptical outright bans on certain weapons would not work.

“There was already a ban on so-called assault weapons,” he said. “It was tried and was shown to not have been effective.”

NY-19: Neal Says She’s In ‘Unique Position’ To Run

Independent candidate for Congress Diane Neal moved to Hurley in Ulster County a few years ago after an uninsured driver, she said, broke her back in a crash.

The injury gave her a lot of time to read.

“I have parts of me that are a little bit of everything — kind of like most people in the country,” Neal said in an interview during a visit to the Capitol in Albany. “I don’t think anyone is one thing or this or that. We’re so partisan at the moment, so incredibly tribal and maybe if we can get to together and listen to each other without these labels I think we can make a difference.”

Neal, an actress who has appeared on shows like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Suits” has launched a bid for the 19th congressional district in the Hudson Valley. The district is expected to be one of those most competitive House races in the country and a host of Democrats have lined up to run against incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso.

Neal says she is yet to make up her mind on which party she would caucus with if elected, saying it would be great to be “in the middle” and have either side wanting her to join.

“How amazing would that be for the district? You would be able to get a lot of stuff,” she said, adding she would want to work with “honorable people, you could work with them.”

Still, Neal is supportive of a single-payer health care system — which has been a key plank for the national Democratic Party in recent years.

“A single payer health care system would be one of the biggest benefits to the economy,” she said. “It’s an infusion of cash.”

The 19th district has been the site of several high stakes House races in recent election cycles, several of which featured candidates whose ties to the district had been criticized for being relatively new.

Neal said she’s different.

“That’s my home. I’m there 24 hours a day. I know everyone in my local Stewart’s,” she said. “I haven’t been fantasizing about being president of the United States and I want to live there my entire life.”