May 23, 2014 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
Political pundits see November’s mid-term election as a referendum on Obamacare.
John Katko, the Republican candidate for Congress in our 24th District, thinks the election will be much more than that. He looks at it as a chance for voters to lodge their objections to the overall ineffectiveness of the federal government.
“It’s plain to see that Washington just isn’t working,” Katko has said. “Massive debt and unsustainable spending, gridlock and threatened default [have created an] uncertainty that’s left companies unwilling to hire new employees.”
Katko, a former federal prosecutor who is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei, promises to “get the job done right.” His platform promotes controlled spending, reduced taxes and strengthening the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Appears here May 22
The GOP challenger kicks off his “listening tour” of the 24th District right here in Liverpool when he appears at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 22, at American Legion Post 188 on South Cypress St.
“John will be going throughout the district to discuss the issues and to find out exactly what’s on the minds of its citizens,” said Bill Tassone, the town of Salina GOP chairman. Tassone thinks Katko has a very good chance to defeat Maffei despite the congressman’s bulging campaign treasury.
Maffei has more than 10 times as much money as Katko. In their recent campaign finance filings, Maffei claimed about $1.1 million in cash on hand, as compared to Katko’s $101,000.
Tassone, however, says local voters clearly identify Maffei with President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and, no matter how much money he has, won’t be able to spend enough to alter those voter perceptions. “Chances are very good there will be a big Obamacare backlash,” Tassone said. “People are also upset about the government’s efforts to make $6 billion in cuts to veterans’ benefits.”
Maffei has more money
Katko’s ready to hear what specific issues impact voters’ day-to-day lives. “On this listening tour, I’ll introduce myself to the community and hear directly from the residents,” he said. “The best way to understand and represent the personal concerns of Central New York in Congress is to have an open conversation with the people who live here.”
The challenger’s campaign will soon announce locations and dates of the other public meetings he plans in the district. The 24th District covers all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the western half of Oswego County.
Katko, 51, is a former federal prosecutor in Syracuse making his first run for public office. He has the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines on the ballot.
Maffei, D-Syracuse, is seeking his third term in Congress. He will appear on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines on the November ballot.
Maffei has run for Congress four times, winning during presidential election years 2008 and 2012 but losing in midterm elections 2006 and 2010. He failed to unseat incumbent Republican Congressman Jim Walsh in ’06 before soundly beating Dale Sweetland in 2008. Maffei was narrowly defeated by Anne Marie Buerkle in 2010 before reclaiming his seat from her in 2012.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee paints Katko as a right-wing ideologue willing to carry the Tea Party agenda in the November election. The challenger and his wife, Robin, are raising three sons in Camillus.
Jumpin’ Jazz Jam
The 17th annual Jumpin’ Jazz Jam is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 30, at Liverpool High School Auditorium, 4338 Wetzel Road, in the town of Clay. The concert will feature the LHS Stage Band conducted by Steve Salem and the LHS Jazz Ensemble directed by Jim Dumas. Headliners will be the famed singing group, the New York Voices; $10/students/seniors, $12/adults; 453-1500.
Johnson Park concerts
By the way, the Liverpool is The Place Summer Concert series in Johnson Park starts up with performances by Liverpool Central Schools’ student bands at 7 p.m. Monday, June 2, and the Pale Green Stars playing honky-tonkin’ rock and roll on Wednesday, June 4.