Monday, January 29, 2007

In the race for the 7th District State

Newsday REID J. EPSTEIN

The latest and greatest on this wacky special election race.....funny..I thought I spotted the "bat mobile" scooting down the LIE yesterday......if this was a page from "politics for dummies" ........the lesson would be "republicans are out"..never even mention you are a republican and voted with an arch conservative state senate" and whatever you do....allign yourself with Spitzer....you agree with everything he has to say.....except maybe the 3rd rail scenario being played out at the MTA now.........andy

"Maureen O'Connell says she supports stem-cell research and abortion rights, but her voting record indicates otherwise. Craig Johnson calls himself an independent Democrat, but one of his campaign mailings calls him Robin to Gov. Eliot Spitzer's Batman. It's all part of the deluge of campaign propaganda - on television and radio, in the mail and during debates - coming from Johnson, a Democratic Nassau County legislator, and from O'Connell, the county clerk who for eight years served in the state Assembly. The two are fighting to succeed Republican Michael Balboni in the 7th State Senate district in a special election to be held Feb. 6. O'Connell, 55, said during a News 12 debate last Monday that she supports abortion rights and stem-cell research, despite an Albany voting record that was 100 percent in compliance with the New York State Right to Life political committee. In 2004, O'Connell introduced a bill that would have banned human cloning and, with it, most forms of stem-cell research. But as with scores of other Republican bills in the Democratic-dominated state Assembly, it died quietly without any chance of becoming law. In mailings, Johnson has attacked O'Connell for being anti-abortion and opposed to stem-cell research, grouping her photograph with those of Republicans such as President George W. Bush, State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno and even syndicated columnist Ann Coulter. "For years she's had a perfect voting record with us," said Christina Fadden Fitch, legislative director for the New York State Right to Life political committee. "We're shocked with her seemingly sudden support for Roe vs. Wade. It's come out of the blue."O'Connell, while knocking on doors yesterday in Floral Park, refused to acknowledge any change in her position on abortion. "My voting record mirrors Mike Balboni's, that's it," she said. O'Connell said she's not concerned about the topic because voters are only asking her about property taxes. One doesn't have to look far in a Johnson mailing to see a photo of Spitzer. In one, with a photo of the governor on the front, the text reads: "The Lone Ranger had Tonto/Batman had Robin/Mickey Mantle had Roger Maris." Yet Johnson calls himself a fiscal conservative and an independent Democrat - descriptions one might find at odds with the image of being the governor's sidekick. "Tonto and Robin certainly disagreed with Batman and the Lone Ranger sometimes," Johnson said. "I agree with Governor Spitzer on issues of reform. There are going to be times when Governor Spitzer and I disagree."Johnson cited the proposal for the third track of the Long Island Rail Road from Hicksville to Queens Village as an example of disagreeing with Spitzer. "When the governor says 'Jump,' I'm not going to say, 'How high?" Johnson said. "I'm going to say, 'Why?'"Both candidates have made claims that, while technically true, push the limits of credibility. O'Connell's campaign Web site, in touting a program she designed for in-home care for cancer patients, calls the program both "the nation's first" and "one of the nation's first" in different places - a fact eagerly pointed out by the Johnson campaign. O'Connell also pins the 19 percent property tax increase Nassau County enacted in 2002 on Johnson, though he said the tax hike was enacted to save the county from a fiscal disaster he and other Democrats inherited from Republicans. A Johnson mailing, meanwhile, says Johnson "led the fight to defeat a proposed county income tax." In 2002 Johnson publicly broke with some Democrats who spoke of introducing such a tax, but the matter never made it to the Legislature for a vote.Of course, it's often important what the candidates don't say. Johnson never mentions the fact that, as a Democrat, he'd be in the Senate minority - for at least two years - and wouldn't have much immediate impact in Albany. But nowhere in O'Connell's literature does it say that she's a Republican. " and.......if you want to know who is cutting checks for who..then read......Donations race .......".Mayor Bloomberg on Friday cut a $75,000 check to the New York State Senate Republican Campaign Committee, the political action committee that is largely funding Maureen O'Connell's effort to keep the Nassau County seat in the GOP column."........everybody wants a piece of this race.......andy

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