Oct 20, 2010 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Senator John A. DeFrancisco has had to fight to keep his 50th District Senate seat before, but opponent Kathleen Joy is offering something different for the 2010 election: “A new perspective.”
Joy, an at-large city common councilor since 2005, announced she’d run against DeFrancisco in May. The “New Perspective” platform she hopes will help her unseat the nine-term Republican senator emphasizes public service over politicking.
“When you lose your focus and it becomes about power politics — real politics with a capital P — you lose focus on the people,” Joy said.
But DeFrancisco believes voters need a leader with more than a willingness to study issues.
“She’s working hard and she’s trying to get a message out… I’m not quite sure what that message is,” he said.
The incumbent, who earned the nickname “pit bull,” for his straightforward style, criticized Joy for what he saw as an unwillingness to commit to a solution.
“The fact of the matter is, there’s no position stated,” DeFrancisco said. “If I’m the average voter, I’d rather have someone advocating for my position, as opposed to just getting along with everyone whether a different philosophy or not and then voting against the philosophy.”
But Joy said she has had experience with conflict on the common council, and prefers to seek a compromise rather than a “my way or the highway” attitude.
“When you start with what you have in common, what’s the end goal and how can we get the job done — that’s an approach that works,” Joy said.
The biggest challenges
Lowering axes, cutting spending, creating jobs: the issues aren’t new, but both candidates agree they are among the biggest challenges the state faces going forward.
While their positions align on several key issues, it may come down to which personality voters are more comfortable with: DeFrancisco’s aggressive style or Joy’s one-on-one public service approach.
DeFrancisco will run on the Republican, Conservative and Independent lines; Joy has secured Democratic and Working Families lines.
To see their debate, broadcast by NewsChannel 9 on Oct. 15, click here.
Here’s where the candidates stand on a variety of issues important to CNY:
DeFrancisco: Voted for a one-year moratorium. “I believe the issue came on the heels of the horrible oil spill and it just seems to be that isn’t just a red light, that you better be careful and do some more review.”
Joy: “I am against high-volume hydrofracking in our water sheds. We have spent too much money and there’s too much invested in our community in our pristine water sources, and that’s one of the assets that we have. We can’t jeopardize that.”
Property tax cap
DeFrancisco: Voted for three cap proposals. ” The only way it works is to have reductions in state spending. There’s got to be reductions in spending to go hand in hand. You have to reprioritize state spending and make sure that state spending is leaving enough money to provide that education dollar.”
Joy: “There’s not an absolute. The tax cap alone sounds great but there’s much more to it than that. If you’re going to have a property tax cap, make it for real… overall property tax caps would be advised but you have to close the loopholes.”
Redistricting legislative districts
DeFrancisco: “If you redistrict and one house is controlled by upstate and one house is controlled by downstate at least there’s going to be some give and take in the redistricting process. If the crew that’s running the Assembly and the Senate right now are going to make that decision it doesn’t bode well for any place above Poughkeepsie.”
Joy: “I think the way that it needs to happen is through a non-partisan commission. I would make sure when it gets to legislature for a vote, its either a yes or no vote – no more tinkering. It should not split counties, it should not split cities or create voting blocks.” Supports an independent commission that would make recommendations based on geography and demographics.
Health care reform
DeFrancisco: “It’s a huge topic, but mostly the federal government is making these changes in health care. I don’t know what the answer is, and I don’t think increasing costs and the government taking control over health care is really the answer.”
Joy: Credits DeFrancisco for pointing out lack of residency requirement on Medicaid benefits. “Maybe we form a consortium of states surrounding NY so that we all have the same set of benefits, and then nobody’s boundary jumping to get a different set of benefits. There’s ways we can explore that to cut funding that’s available but the bottom line is we need to make sure that people have health care who need it, and that nobody’s falling through the cracks.”
DeFrancisco: “Every two years we run, it’s up to the voters what to do. There’s been term limits on the city council for years, all that’s happened is that they change seats.”
Joy: “I’m not a fan of term limits.”