At a press conference on July 2, Republican Congressional candidate John Katko criticized Democratic opponent Dan Maffei, the incumbent representative for the 24th Congressional District, for his grandiose infrastructure plan as well as his vote against a House measure that encourages oil drilling within the U.S.
According to Katko, H.R. 4899, the Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act, would “expand U.S. energy production by reopening offshore drilling locations previously closed by Obama, eliminating onshore production red-tape, and accessing National Petroleum Reserve deposits in Alaska to provide Central New York families with some relief at the pump.”
Katko said Maffei should have worked to reduce gas prices for his constituents.
“Dan Maffei says he’s for the middle class, but his actions speak otherwise,” Katko said. “Our Member of Congress should refuse to raise the federal gas tax and fight to increase domestic gas production to provide Central New York families and small businesses the relief they need at the gas pump.”
The Camillus Republican, a former U.S. attorney, also criticized Maffei’s infrastructure plan, which called for a high-speed rail, modernizing roads and bridges, airports, ports, high-speed rail systems, water and sewer systems, energy smart grids and high-speed internet. Katko said Maffei hadn’t come up with any suggestions on how to pay for those improvements.
To view Maffei’s plan, visit http://maffei.house.gov/uploads/Maffei%20-%20Infrastructure%20Plan_FINAL.pdf.
Maffei welcomes first child
Meanwhile, Maffei and his wife, Abby, announced the birth of their first child, a girl, at 6:23 p.m. July 3. Maya Elizabeth Maffei weighed seven pounds, 11 ounces and measured 20 inches long. Her birthday comes one day before Maffei’s, which is July 4. According to a release from the congressman, both mother and child are doing well.
“Maya is the biggest little birthday present I could have ever dreamed of,” Maffei wrote, “and we are so delighted to welcome her into the world.”
Kessner won’t challenge Valesky
Last week, Syracuse Common Councilor Jean Kessner decided that she would not pursue a primary challenge against incumbent 53rd District State Sen. David Valesky. Kessner released the following statement on July 1:
“I am no longer seeking nomination for the 53rd State Senate District. I entered this race because women deserve equal treatment under the law, the minimum wage should not be a poverty wage, elections should not be for sale to the highest bidder, and our air and water deserve protection. Sen. Valesky’s decision to support a Democratic majority in the state senate paves the way for a New York we can all be proud to call home. I am thankful for the support I received from friends, families, and community organizations. I look forward to continuing my work on the Common Council and working with Sen. Valesky to pass legislation that benefits CNY in the years to come.”
Valesky, who is part of the five-member Independent Democratic Conference that has been working with Republicans in the State Senate, had called the primary challenge “political extortion.” He is running for reelection on the Democratic ticket.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.