On Election Day in November 2018, voters across New York State voted for a new direction for the 63-member New York State Senate. With some races remaining close and needing to be finalized based on a count of absentee and provisional ballots, it appears that Democrats have elected 40 Senators and Republicans just 23. There is no way to overstate just what a sea change this is for New York State politics.
There is also no way to overstate the questions that this sea change raise for the Adirondack Park, which is cut up into four State Senate districts, each steadfastly represented by a Republican. These four Senators – Betty Little, Joe Griffo, Patti Ritchie and Jim Tedisco – led by Little whose 45th Senate District has the majority of the Adirondack Park, were members in excellent standing in the exclusive club of the Republican Senate Majority. With a membership of around three dozen they unrelentingly, efficiently and ruthlessly wielded power and thoroughly enjoyed their political spoils. » Continue Reading.
Congressional representative Elise Stefanik should invite the new head of the U.S. EPA, Scott Pruitt, to visit her district. She might introduce Mr. Pruitt to the homeowners in Ballston Spa whose homes have been turned upside down thanks to release of some very bad chemicals from a nearby, now closed dry cleaning facility.
In July 2016, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requested that EPA perform an environmental assessment. In August 2016, the EPA collected air samples and detected high levels of chloroform; TCE (trichloroethylene); PCE; vinyl chloride; benzene; and naphthalene. These chemicals are likely in the ground water as well. This winter, EPA is evaluating homes downstream of the dry cleaners for vapor intrusion into those homes. » Continue Reading.
Republican Elise Stefanik has soundly won election to the US House of Representatives. At just 30 years old, she will be the youngest women ever elected to the House, breaking a record set by 31-year-old Elizabeth Holtzman (D – Brooklyn) in 1973.
With 578 of 589 districts reporting it appears that Stefanik’s Democratic challenger Aaron Woolf drew just 32 percent, and the Green Party’s Matt Funiciello, the only candidate who has been truly living in the district, garnered 11 percent. Stefanik’s opponents combined did not poll enough to top her 53 percent which should diminish the effectiveness of Democratic cries of “spoiler”.
This election marks a major step forward for the Green Party locally. Their candidate secured three important newspaper endorsements: from the Glens Falls Post Star and the widely read Chronicle, and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake. In Warren County Funiciello picked up 23.5% of the vote and came close to beating Woolf – falling just 201 votes short of that mark, though Stefanik still won a majority of the votes in Warren County (Stefanik 8,822; Woolf 4,445; and Funiciello 4,245). District-wide, even with all of Funiciello’s votes Woolf still would have been soundly defeated however. » Continue Reading.
Protect the Adirondacks sent a questionnaire to each of the three candidates running for Congress in New York’s 21st Congressional District, which includes the Adirondack Park and northern New York, about their positions on climate change issues.
The questionnaire included seven questions and was sent to Green Party candidate Matt Funicello, Republican Party candidate Elise Stefanik, and Democratic Party candidate Aaron Woolf. The climate change questionnaire was sent to each campaign on September 25th. Woolf and Funicello submitted their answers, while the Stefanik campaign has been unresponsive despite repeated emails and phone calls. » Continue Reading.
In an interview with the Lake George Mirror, as well in interviews with other newspapers and in an op-ed piece published by the Watertown Daily Times in November, Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik stated that she favors the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
She added that she would replace it with, among other things, measures that allow people to purchase health insurance from out of state insurers, purportedly on the grounds that the costs of health care would thereby drop. But anyone familiar with the Affordable Care Act knows that it does permit people to purchase health insurance across state lines. » Continue Reading.
Addressing the concerns of the opponents of the proposed federal constitution, who worried that members of Congress would not be sufficiently representative of the interests and opinions of their districts, the authors of ‘The Federalist Papers’ pointed out that a candidate without local connections would be unlikely to get elected.
They could not win the esteem of their neighbors without having already demonstrated merit and sound judgement. They will be acquainted with local issues, because in all probability they will have served in the state legislature, “where all local information and interests of the state are assembled,” or in some other local office. » Continue Reading.
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