Monday, March 23, 2009

Poughkeepsie Journal Gets It All Wrong With James Tedisco

With the special election in the 20th district only eight days away, last minute endorsements are making their way in. The Poughkeepsie Journal came out today in favor of Republican and State Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco. Their reasoning however, is a little off track and while they recognize Jim's failings and Scott Murphy's positives, their connection from the facts to their decision is far from clear.

From The Poughkeepsie Journal:

The district needs someone to jump right in and make a difference, and veteran state lawmaker James Tedisco has those abilities. District voters should give him the opportunity to serve.

Tedisco has considerably more experience than his opponent, Democrat Scott Murphy, who has never sought office before.
Tedisco's experience has shown that he is capable of extending considerable perks to himself and his fellow Republicans that make up the leadership. As Minority Leader he was able to manage the limited budget afforded to his caucus but as for pushing legislation that has been effectively shut off by Sheldon Silver.

In an editorial board meeting with the Poughkeepsie Journal, Murphy made the point he could best serve with fellow congressional Democrats John Hall and Maurice Hinchey for the good of the mid-Hudson Valley. There is something to be said for that - and for being in the political majority in Congress. But there also is something to be said for having candid, dissenting voices in any political body to keep the majority from going astray.
The first two sentences are right on, but that last one has no basis in fact. As for being "candid," Tedisco is anything but and the Journal acknowledges this three paragraphs down:

Tedisco has refused to answer directly whether he would have voted for the massive $787 billion stimulus package approved by Congress. He said there are aspects of the measure - such as helping the unemployed and providing money for infrastructure projects - he likes. But he rightly questions the overall pricetag and says he would have sought amendments to eliminate spending that doesn't directly deal with aiding the economy.
The logic doesn't add up and as for asking questions on the pricetag, the Journal does not adequately understand the scope of our fiscal crisis. Tedisco makes a claim that he would try to eliminate spending that doesn't deal with aiding the economy, but he is not able to define what that spending is.

The only part of this editorial that I agree with is the very last line:

The special election will be March 31, and voters should come out in force with so much on the line.
That is exactly why district residents must elect Scott Murphy as their next Congressman.