The Rural Patriot

October 20, 2006

Local Coverage of NYS Assembly Race (149th District)

Filed under: Joe Giglio,Linda Witte,New York State — theruralpatriot @ 10:28 am

As we near the November 7 General Election, The Olean Times Herald offers coverage of Joe Giglio’s and Linda Witte’s views regarding their positions.

Giglio wants to lower taxes, aid recovery

Assemblyman Giglio said that reducing property taxes and worker’s compensation reform are keys to easing upstate’s economic development woes. If the state is successful in recovering just 10 percent of the $45 billion it spends on Medicaid, he said, that will mean a lot to counties, which pick up 25 percent of Medicaid costs.

He said it was “unconscionable the counties have to pay any of it,” and he has proposed a bill to have the federal government pay an extra 10 percent and have the state pick up an additional 3 percent a year of the counties’ costs over five years.
Assemblyman Giglio said upstate and specifically the Southern Tier have to have something for people to locate here. Two-year colleges like Jamestown Community College and Alfred State College are “helping to re-create the middle class.”

He discussed the issue of the unfocused State Legislature and believes that the area’ s tourism industry “is one of the things we’re doing well here”. He also believes that our area would benefit from being involved in the biofuels industry.   Regarding the Democratic majority in the NYS Attembly, he states:

“he has the opportunity to say whatever he pleases. As a Republican, he said there is very little “pork” coming to his district.”

and states of his opponent, Linda Witte:

“As a Democrat assembly member, she “will be lost in the crowd and will not have the autonomy” I do. “What are you going to bring back (as a Democrat)? If you bring $100,000 in pork, that’s less than $1 per person in the district.”

The NYS Assembly Republican Campaign Committee is assisting Mr. Giglio with his efforts.


Linda Witte points to her experience

A longtime nurse, she’s looking to reform the health-care system because there are too many people without any form of health insurance. She wants a regional approach to jumpstart the economy and create jobs here so the children of the Southern Tier don’t have to leave. And high taxes are driving businesses and people out of the state.
She said she would fight for rural school districts to get their fair share of state aid to schools, and insisted the extra billions of dollars the courts have ordered the state to raise for greater support for New York City schools should not come at the sacrifice of rural school districts.

She cites the “waste, fraud and duplication of services” in the Medicaid system, and states the case of the 25% that NYS counties must pay in Medicaid costs, which increase county taxes. She wants the state to pick up more of the share of these costs and to do more to control the costs of the program. Her plan for economic development in relation to taxes and energy costs are discussed in the article, and she makes the case of needing more jobs in the area to “keep kids from leaving the area after college”. She also stated her support for area farmers, and that she does not always vote along party lines. She also has this to say about the state of NY government:

The Olean Democrat said the state has to end the status quo of “three men in a room,” meaning the governor, Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker.

Mrs. Witte discussed the numerous campaign mailings we’ve been receiving:

Mrs. Witte dismissed what she called negative campaign material against her that claimed she would vote to raise taxes if she was elected to the Assembly. “People who know my record know this is not true,” she said.
She said the district would benefit from a Democratic member in the Assembly. “You need a stronger voice,” she said, adding that she would not be a rubber stamp for New York City Democrats. “The biggest things are jobs and taxes. And we have to make health care more affordable.”

The NYS Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee is assisting Ms. Witte with her efforts.


The two candidates have similar positions on the Medicare issue in relation to fraud and abuse, which relates to higher local taxes. They both want to boost local economic issues and want to help area farmers. They both have concerns regarding the state government system. One is running a negative campaign, the other is not.

I’m a bit confused, though, with Mr. Giglio’s above statements regarding “pork”. Is he for it, or is he against it? According to the above, little is coming into the area, but then he questions what Mrs. Witte would bring in. (Maybe I’m just a little dense today…)

Do you know someone who isn’t planning on voting? Don’t let that happen! Do your best to motivate them and get them to the polls on November 7!


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