Links of the Day:
– Maggie Brooks is pro-life. The candidate for the 25th district congressional seat did not reveal to the Democrat and Chronicle how she would vote on abortion-related issues (or much else):
“I have not let social issues define my governing ability or style here in Monroe County and that would continue,” she said.
On abortion, Brooks said she has a “personal pro-life position” but that she governs for “everyone” and tries to balance different interests. Asked if she would seek to change access to abortion, Brooks said she wouldn’t talk about “hypotheticals.”
“Until you’re faced with a piece of legislation that has specific language and specific detail, I don’t think it’s fair to sit here and say I would or I wouldn’t,” she said. “Because most often it’s not a yes or no answer.
Meanwhile, Brooks’ opponent, Louise Slaughter, is co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.
Brooks’ position on social issues could factor big into the race. One GOP insider told me “east side Monroe County Republican women” are very moderate and may not go for a pro-lifer. This person thought the abortion issue could bring a lot of outside campaign money into the race on both sides. Although Brooks hasn’t been very specific about her social views, we knew they were conservative after she opposed benefits for the same-sex spouses of county workers legally married in other states. (The county lost in court.)
I couldn’t find a poll about Monroe County voters’ views on abortion. But a recent Voice of the Voter poll showed local voters don’t place a huge premium on social and moral issues.
Could that change in this election?
– The Buffalo News opposes a downtown casino, saying local patrons would create local problems. The paper doubts it will be a tourist destination.
– Some states allow certain companies to keep the state income tax they collect from employees. Say what? Rochester’s own David Cay Johnston breaks it down.
– Should movie theaters charge more for hits and less for flops? Pricing based on demand seems so obvious, doesn’t it?
– Maybe living together before marriage isn’t such a great idea.
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is back in Rochester undergoing rehabilitation at Strong Memorial Hospital. Her office issued this statement Saturday:
“I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back in Rochester,” said Congresswoman Slaughter. “The outpouring of support that I have received has truly been humbling and is a reminder of how fortunate I am to represent the wonderful people of my district. As you are already aware, I took a spill while in New York City and broke my left leg. I am well on the road to recovery and have begun undergoing rehabilitation so that I can continue fighting for the hardworking families of Western New York.”
“We expect an excellent and functional recovery from Congresswoman Slaughter,” said Stephen L. Kates, M.D., professor in the URMC Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. “She is undergoing rehabilitation therapy at Strong Memorial Hospital, and there is an excellent chance she will be discharged within the week. Because the Congresswoman has no other health conditions to contend with, she can focus solely on her broken leg and will quickly be able to return to Washington to deal with the important issues facing our nation.”
“Like all of you, I’m looking forward to spending this holiday weekend with my family,” said Slaughter. “There is a tremendous amount of work to be done both in Washington and here at home, including our work to support American businesses on trade issues, grow our economy and create middle class jobs, and end the overuse of antibiotics in meat and poultry production, which gravely jeopardizes public health. The President’s signing of the STOCK Act, while certainly a proud moment, is just a part of my continued efforts to bring reform to Washington so that our government reflects the principles of integrity and trust that the American people deserve.
“I look forward to the opportunity to speak with all of you in the very near future to discuss how we’ll be moving forward with this and other important initiatives in the weeks and months to come.”
The statement is an attempt to blunt any questions about the 82-year-old’s ability to continue with the campaign against Maggie Brooks. Her doctor pointed out she has no other conditions. That’s important, given the GOP-generated rumors swirling about the congresswoman’s health.
Republicans may harp on Slaughter’s age. Already, it’s a sensitive issue. Viewers – perhaps supporters – are calling TV stations asking that Slaughter’s age not be included in stories that don’t also mention Brooks’ age. Slaughter’s age was relevant in this story, because breaking a leg can be a lot more serious for octogenarians. Furthermore, her office didn’t provide many details about her condition, leaving people to worry and speculate.
Fortunately, it appears Slaughter has a good prognosis.
Proposed 25th District
There’s one major reason Maggie Brooks decided to enter the congressional race: Monroe County.
The newly-created 25th Congressional District encompasses most of the county, a place Brooks has won four countywide races as clerk and executive. She wins big, too.
Check out the refrain she repeated often during her announcement: “Our country can learn a lot from our county.” Sounds like a campaign slogan.
Brooks’ challenger, longtime Democratic incumbent Louise Slaughter, has already sent out a fundraising email blast. Slaughter hasn’t faced a major challenger in years. She will not go down without a big fight.
Slaughter has a long record, which she refers to in her statement responding to Brooks’ entry in to the race. Brooks will now have to spell out where she stands on national issues, which she didn’t do at her press conference, other than to say she “leans conservative” and likes some parts of national health care and dislikes others. The national Democratic committee already sent out a list of questions to ask Brooks on her policy positions. Does she support birth control coverage? How would she have voted on the debt ceiling?
Both women will run on their name recognition and popularity. Slaughter will make this about national issues. But Brooks said today, “All politics is local.”
This is going to be a long campaign. Political analyst Curt Smith said, “Anyone who bet a nickel at this point should be basically assigned to an asylum.”