Picks for the polls

(Photo by Alan Carey)

(Photo by Alan Carey)

The latest poll news isn’t so good for Sean Eldridge, but looks quite nice for incumbent congressman, Republican Chris Gibson. Despite an unrelenting barrage of advertisement from Eldridge in the last few weeks, the needle has barely moved from Gibson’s 20 plus point lead, according to a Siena poll out mid-week, less than a week before voting.

Gibson’s been effective, no doubt, in this campaign, touting his moderate credentials, at least down here in the more progressive environs. He’s smart, in control of his efforts, able to artfully craft explanations for the votes that have aroused suspicion on the left.

Eldridge has learned his talking points, performed well in an editorial board meeting here as he pled his case. He parried barbs about his youth, his newness to the area and lack of a record with practiced ease. His st ake in the positions on the left give comfort to those who might wonder about how the excruciating pressure of mainstream Washington could twist one so young and lacking in experience.

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So it comes to this, just what we’ve known it would: Gibson’s record of standing with a clearly obstructionist House of Representatives majority, and the likelihood that it would continue as such. Gibson signed Koch Brothers pledge to oppose climate change actions that would bring any revenue to the government. This means opposition to Cap and Trade policies, a highly effective tool for fighting climate change. He voted to shut the government, voted for the Ryan budget in its first iteration (though he later voted against a later version.) He voted to sue the president, a ridiculous partisan stunt. He still wants to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which, according to The New York Times, “has largely succeeded in delivering on President Obama’s main promises.” There’s no immigration bill, despite bipartisan Senate agreement, in the House. Gibson has voted against funding for Planned Parenthood.

He’s a reasonable, interesting guy, Chris Gibson. But he still stands strongly with the team that has sought to discredit a president by any means, even if it meant denying the country reforms it badly needs. We cannot recommend casting a vote to perpetuate this disgrace, the Republican-led House of Representatives.

So for us, Sean Eldridge is the guy, the one who deserves your vote.

For most of the 40 years I’ve lived here, we’ve been represented in the U.S. House by a Democrat, and in the State Senate by a Republican. There was Democrat Matt McHugh in the House until 1992 when he retired and Maurice Hinchey stepped up. In the Senate, Republican Charlie Cook was the guy through the late 1970s until the 1990s, and Republican John Bonacic took over. Curiously that flipped in the 2012 election, when Chris Gibson became our rep and Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk eked out an 18 vote win over Republican George Amedore.

Tkaczyk and Amedore are again locked in a death grip that could be just as close. But Tkaczyk has now done the job for two years, in a more than credible fashion, especially for one who is consigned to the downtrodden minority in the for sale leadership scandals of the state senate. The district is ridiculous, gerrymandered specifically for Amedore in 2012, and Tkaczyk, a big booster of enhanced educational funding, must score big in these progressive territories to have a chance to retain her seat. So go out and vote for her.

Assemblyman Kevin Cahill would be our choice, easily, for reelection, even if he hadn’t gotten Woodstock $250,000 for its Community Center renovation. He knows his job well, having navigated the pitfalls of the state legislature since returning to it in the late 1990s. You should vote for him.

Then there’s the Governor’s race. As dislikeable as he can be, Andrew Cuomo is the choice, if for no other reason than that he had the guts to push through the SAFE act gun control measure, a mild reaction to heinous events, but more than anyone else could muster and that he’s passed four balanced on time budgets in a row in a state that couldn’t for two previous decades. Astorino is for fracking and repealing the SAFE act, so he’s out. Howie Hawkins, the Green candidate is interesting, but couldn’t he call himself Howard?

Not much to say about the judge races. They all appear qualified. Take your pick.

Proposal No. 1, on the back of the ballot is an absolute crock of crap. It purports to find a bipartisan way to redistrict the legislative and congressional districts in the state, by carefully appointing a commission, two of your guys here, two of mine here until you get to eight, then they all together pick the final two, and they make a plan. And if the state legislature doesn’t like it twice, they take over and we’re back to the same old gerrymandering way. Now, what do you think is going to happen? It’s a sham.

You want honest districts? Put population and geographic data into a computer and let it draw the map. Vote no on this one.

Proposal No. 2 is OK. It cuts down on the paper printing of legislative bills and allows them to be communicated electronically. Vote yes on this one.

Proposal No. 3 is to bond (borrow) for technology in the schools. The argument against it goes that paying off a bond for 30 years is bad because the technology it will buy will be gone in two years. Or three, or four, or however long it takes for an iPad to be obsolete. That kinda makes sense.

That’s it, that’s what we’ve got. Have a good election day.

And Woodstockers who usually vote at the Community Center, remember, this year you vote at the Rescue Squad building on Tinker Street.

There is one comment

  1. GreenGenes

    There is no “Howard” Hawkins. His legal first name is actually Howie. The one can point out a few passable things Cuomo has accomplished, does not make him a passable, let alone good Governor. I’ll be voting for Howie Hawkins who has integrity and an interesting first name as well.

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