Business Council grades lawmakers
ALBANY Assemblyman Tony Jordan got the highest grade among local legislators from the New York State Business Council in its 2012 Voter’s Guide.
The Washington County Republican’s votes lined up with the council’s position on 12 of 13 bills selected to judge members of the Assembly. This gave Jordan a grade of 92 percent, which put him in a 10-way tie for first in the Assembly, a list composed entirely of Republicans.
The other local Republican Assembly members weren’t far behind. Tied with a grade of 85 percent were Assemblymen George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, Marc Butler, R-Newport, and James Tedisco, R-Glenville. Trailing closely was Assemblyman Peter Lopez, R-Schoharie, with an 83 percent grade.
Assemblyman Bob Reilly, D-Colonie, got a grade of 46 percent, breaking with the council on more than half of the selected bills.
Members of the state Senate were judged on 10 bills, with 30 members of the Republican conference, including all three local senators, voting in step with the business council on nine. State Sens. Hugh Farley, R-Niskayuna, Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, and James Seward, R-Milford, only broke with the business council on one bill. As a result, they tied the vast majority of Senate Republicans with a grade of 90 percent.
Overall, the council was encouraged by the grades in the Assembly and Senate. Council President and CEO Heath Briccetti said the grades reflected positive pro-business momentum that has been building in 2010 and 2011, but he stressed that more needs to be done in the future to regain the state’s economic strength.
“In November, business leaders and all New Yorkers can use the Voters’ Guide to identify and support legislators who are committed to a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda,” Briccetti said in a news release.
At the other end of the political spectrum, the New York State AFL-CIO made its election endorsements on the state and national level this week.
In the race to replace Amedore in the Assembly — he is running for the seat in the newly created 46th state Senate District — Democrat Angelo Santabarbara was endorsed over Republican Thomas Quackenbush. Also, Democrat Carrie Woerner was endorsed in her challenge to Jordan.
On the state Senate side, the labor group didn’t endorse anyone in McDonald or Farley’s re-election races, but Seward received backing in his bid. The group didn’t make an announcement either in the new 46th District, which stretches from Montgomery County to Ulster County.
On the national level, incumbent U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, and Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, and incumbent Senator Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., were endorsed, along with Democrat Julian Schreibman, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook.