Brindisi touts vote against relief bill; Tenney says he’s empty-handed

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Congressman Anthony Brindisi, D-22, Utica, opposed the latest COVID relief bill passed in the Democrat-controlled House Thursday, joining 17 party members who said it was just for show. The measure passed Thursday, 214-207, and contains $2.2 trillion in spending, according to The Washington Post. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin continued to negotiate an agreement on Friday.

Brindisi announced he opposed it.

“You sent me to Washington to deliver on a bipartisan agenda,” Brindisi said in a statement issued Friday. “This latest relief package might make some in my party feel good but it won’t actually do good, in part because it totally lacked Republican input. As someone who knows what it takes to get President Trump to sign legislation, my vote urges both sides to stop the dithering and to focus on real relief for people and small businesses. That’s the plan I presented with other colleagues across the aisle. And with gridlock in the Senate, thanks to the same Washington playbook and Mitch McConnell—who is no friend to our area--Congress is broken. Simply put, we need to unite not divide. That’s what I’ll keep fighting for, and I’m confident most people agree”

His rematch opponent, New Hartford Republican and former Congresswoman Claudia Tenney, issued a statement saying Brindisi returned to his district empty-handed.

“Brindisi did nothing to get the second round of vital COVID relief delivered for middle-class families, suffering workers, and struggling small businesses,” Tenney said. “Brindisi is part of the most dysfunctional, least productive Congress in history and voted to defund our police, release violent criminals, and hand out $1,200 stimulus checks to illegal immigrants. Brindisi and his left-wing priorities are the problem, not the solution for Upstate New York.”

Brindisi termed
best bipartisan, gets
anti-addiction endorsement

Congressman Anthony Brindisi, a Democrat seeking re-election in a district where his party is outnumbered in registration 171,000 to 144,000, is being recognized as the highest ranking elected official in Congress for his efforts to promote bipartisanship and common ground in divided government according to a national group called the Common Ground Committee.

The group says its Common Ground Scorecard measures the degree to which U.S. elected officials embody the spirit and practice of someone who seeks points of agreement and solutions on policy issues through listening and productive conversation.

The scorecard does not assess issue positions or ideology.

“We can never hope to solve the numerous issues facing our nation if we don’t put aside partisanship,” said Erik Olsen, co-founder of Common Ground Committee. “Congressman Brindisi’s score shows that, despite all that divides us, there are still champions for common ground solutions in Washington. We hope that other lawmakers will follow his lead.”

Meanwhile, Voices for Non-Opioid Choices awarded Brindisi its annual Voice for Non-Opioid Choices Award for work to stop the opioid epidemic.

Brindisi introduced the bipartisan Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act, which seeks to equalize Medicare payments for non-opioid pain treatments with opioid drugs.

Brindisi and Congressman Ted Budd, R-North Carolina, also introduced a bipartisan resolution officially recognizing addiction as a treatable disease.

Chris Fox, executive director of Voices for Non-Opioid Choices, said: “With drug overdose deaths on the rise over the past two years, we need to do everything we can to prevent opioid addiction in the United States. The NOPAIN Act is a needed piece of federal legislation that will promote the utilization of non-opioid pain management approaches and, in the process, rid our communities of unused, unnecessary opioid pills. We look forward to continue working with Representative Brindisi and his colleagues to enact this legislation.”

Zielinski seeks debate
with Buttenschon
for Assembly seat

Republican candidate for state Assembly John Zielinski challenged first-term incumbent Marianne Buttenschon to a series of three debates prior, suggesting major news organizations host them.

“The public deserves to know where the candidates stand before casting their ballots in this year’s critical elections,” said Zielinski. “Considering the challenging circumstances of campaigning during the months-long lockdown in this public health situation, highly publicized debates hosted and covered by our local news media organizations are the best way for voters to be informed.”

Zielinski specifically suggested that the Observer-Dispatch, Rome Sentinel, WKTV, WUTR, WFXV, Spectrum News CNY, Talk 100.7, WKAL 1450 or WIBX 950 AM would be ideal platforms for debates. He implored that these media outlets schedule debates as soon as possible and committed to attend regardless of date, time or location.

“Many voters will begin casting their votes as early as this week when the Board of Elections mails out thousands and thousands of Absentee Ballots,” added Zielinski.

Buttenschon backed
by carpenters

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners endorsed first-term incumbent Marianne Buttenschon of Marcy for re-election to Assembly from District 119.

In a letter confirming the Union Carpenter’s support, David Haines, Carpenters Regional Manager, wrote:

“Our Council represents over 28,000 members who are dedicated to their craft and who set the highest standards for skills in the construction industry. We believe in developing and maintaining intelligent labor laws that can serve honest workers and honest employers. Our council will always work to ensure and preserve fair labor standards and fight for sustainable capital construction programs which can create jobs and stimulate the economy. Buttenschon is the right candidate and we stand with her in the coming election.”

DiNapoli backs Buttermann

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has endorsed fellow Democrat Dan Buttermann, candidate for the 121st Assembly District seat that includes all of Madison County.

“Dan shares my drive and excitement for serving New York,” DiNapoli said in a statement. “I have known Dan for years, and each time we meet I am impressed with the work he is doing, from serving on the school board and the community action agency to delivering needed food to families with the United Way. Dan has the knowledge and the experience to be a great fit for the Assembly. I know he will work to ensure the financial health of our state by working with all stakeholders to nurture our upstate economy and protect our communities. He is already a trusted leader and we can all count on him being an outstanding advocate for the 121st.I fully endorse Dan Buttermann for the New York State Assembly.”

The district includes all of Madison County, Sherrill, Vernon, Augusta, Marshall, Sangerfield, Bridgewater, and most of Otsego County. Butterman faces first-term Republican John Salka, Libertarian Jacob Cornell and Corey Mosher, whom Butterman defeated in a Democratic primary, on the Working Families Party line.

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