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Friday, 02 September 2016 14:26
Meet the Candidates: Farley’s Seat Up for Grabs
SARATOGA COUNTY – On Tuesday, September 13, voters will be heading to the polls for a series of primaries. In this issue, we present the two primary candidates for New York State Senate District 49, a seat formerly held by Senator Hugh Farley. For more information about primary races, please visit the Saratoga County Board of Elections at www.saratogacountyny.gov or visit the League of Women Voters of Saratoga County at www.lwvsaratoga.org. Christian Klueg This is Christian Klueg’s first foray into campaigning for elected office. Owner of CMK and Associates, he grew the business out of his Northville home into a thriving six-office, 50-agent real estate and marketing firm in just 8 years. He has also served on the Fulton County Planning Board and the Sacandaga Protection Committee. “I look at the direction the State is going, and I’m concerned,” said Klueg. “I have four kids. What is the State going to look like when they are making the decision to settle down? What is it going to look like when my wife and I get ready to retire? Cost of living is up; New York is going in the wrong direction economically; and it continues to be unfriendly to business.” Klueg has several issues he intends to work on if elected, but top of mind for him are issues surrounding gun rights, corruption in Albany, and getting business regulations under control. “I have concerns for our freedom,” said Klueg, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. “The second amendment is something our state government has been infringing on. The SAFE Act was rammed through illegally in the middle of night, and passed by Republicans, too. We not only have to stand up to Democrats, but also members of our own party who do not share upstate Republican values.” Klueg is also concerned that corruption in Albany has gotten to the point where it is not surprising anymore, and is just accepted. “We can’t even begin to look at these other problems such as the economy and education until we solve corruption.” He also noted that the political establishment makes it difficult for someone who is not an insider to run for office. “The party wants career politicians and Albany insiders,” said Klueg. “Say what you want about Trump, but he’s not a 20 or 30-year politician. I believe we need term limits. I don’t believe our founding fathers designed the system to have the same people in office for decades, and that’s not what voters want.” Klueg stated he intends to limit himself to eight years, if elected. “I’m not a politician, I’m a businessman,” said Klueg. “We will do over 500 real estate transactions this year, with a volume over $80 million. As a small business owner, I deal every day with the insane regulations that NYS has. They push up the cost of living and cost of doing business in the state. We have the highest utility rates in the country, highest insurance rates, and outdated laws like the Scaffold Law. If we want to talk about how to make NYS friendly to business, that’s where we start.” Klueg said that state government practices “stick and carrot” policies, like Start-Up NY. “Philosophically, I am in disagreement with the policy. It’s fundamentally impossible for government to create jobs. It’s just wealth redistribution, which is not effective in real economic development.” Klueg believes a better policy is helping small businesses become bigger businesses, successful and expanding and hiring more. “If we help them, maybe they won’t move out of state,” said Klueg. “The policies from Albany only continue to expedite them leaving.” For more information and a bio about Klueg, visit www.christiankluegforsenate.com. James Tedisco New York State Assembly Member James Tedisco of Glenville has more than three decades of service in the State Legislature, following a decade career in education. He said the top issues he intends to continue working on if elected to the Senate include infrastructure, mandate relief, and public trust, among others. His Safe Water infrastructure Action Program (S.W.A.P.) is for drinking water, storm water, sanitary sewer and gas line infrastructure and is modeled on the popular and successful CHIPS program for local roads and bridges. “We must identify the most depleted sewer, water, and gas lines and make a plan to address them,” said Tedisco. “Unfortunately, some of the sewer lines are 100 years old, some are even made of wood, causing that sink hole that devoured an SUV in Albany, for example. It makes no sense to give this money out every year to rebuild roads and bridges without knowing what’s happening underneath.” Tedisco said that prioritizing infrastructure is not only about safety, but also economic development, so businesses will come to New York or expand here. This is why he is also focusing on regulations, mandate relief, and taxes. “Small businesses create 40 to 50 percent of the new jobs,” said Tedisco, “but they have to jump through too many hoops. Truthfully, they just want to be left alone so they can be successful, but we have overregulation and overtaxing.” When it comes to public trust, Tedisco recalled the words of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, who said the problem with corruption in Albany is unbridled power and lack of oversight. “I have two bills that would take care of that,” said Tedisco. One is the NYS Government Transparency Act, which requires a message of necessity to be an emergency, such as a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, or an impending financial crisis. “The SAFE Act was rushed through as a message of necessity, but it was not an emergency,” said Tedisco. He said too many bills that may be troubling to New Yorkers, like the SAFE Act, are circumventing the scrutiny process that would give legislators time to read and study the bills before voting on them. Additionally, Tedisco said his “Spirit of ‘76” bill would require that bills with a majority of sponsors (76 sponsors in the Assembly and 32 in the Senate) would automatically go to the floor for a vote, helping shift power from leadership to the rank and file members. Tedisco is also calling for his “Truth in Spending” bill, which would provide transparency as to where budget “discretionary” money goes and who’s controlling it. “We also need recall in New York State,” Tedisco added. “The citizens give us the honor to serve them; they should have the ability to take us out of office if they feel we have been derelict in our duty.” For more information about Tedisco’s positions and bio, visit www.jimtedisco.com.