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Duprey responds to Bisso commentary
October 30, 2012 - Chris Morris
Last week, I posted a commentary by Karen Bisso, the Conservative Party candidate in the race for New York's 115th Assembly District, that criticized the use of state grants, specifically ones that go to private corporations like Pfizer and Bombardier.
"These are financially solvent companies, (many of them foreign), getting cold hard cash for free from American taxpayers, with no repayment required," Bisso wrote. "But instead of calling it what it really is, government has found a new name. Grants."
Bisso also criticized her opponent, incumbent Assemblyman Janet Duprey, R-Peru, for supporting such grant programs, and for accepting campaign donations from companies that received state support.
Duprey has since responded. The following commentary, which has not been edited for content or length, was submitted to the Enterprise as a rebuttal. Give it a read and feel free to share your thoughts.
I’ve had the privilege of serving in the Assembly since 2006 following a career in Clinton County Government. As the first woman elected to the Legislature I served 10 years before being elected Treasurer, a position I held for 21 years until resigning upon election to the Assembly.
My husband I have been married for 45 years, have two successful adult children, 3 wonderful granddaughters and a special grandson. I’ve served on dozens of local volunteer boards supporting senior citizens, health care, veterans, students, disabled children and adults, disadvantaged youth as well as professional organizations.
The Conservative Party candidate criticizes what I consider successes across the North Country. In her literature she states “there can be no middle ground” in government which I believe is the reason our federal government has failed to act in the past two years. On the other hand, NYState passed two on-time, balanced budgets, and eliminated a $13.5 billion deficit while keeping spending under the rate of inflation without new taxes, fees or gimmicks. The middle class tax rate is the lowest it’s been in 58 years. All of these accomplishments are a result of bi-partisan budget negotiations finding the correct middle ground.
The Conservative candidate has also stated state government should not provide funding for private enterprise while she strongly criticizes the North Country Regional Economic Development Council for distributing grant funds to its priority projects. The vast majority of people across this state believe Governor Cuomo’s formation of ten regional councils is one of the top reasons our state is moving forward in economic development. Local volunteers are making the decisions on the viability of projects to assure job creation and/or retention instead of bureaucrats in Albany or NYCity deciding what’s best for our rural region. The money would be spent, and we are now assured a considerable amount of it will come to the North Country. In fact, in 2011 our own NCREDC received $103.2 million in funding, the second highest award in the state. I’m impressed with this year’s projects and expect a repeat of this success.
In the initial round of grants, $2.6 million was awarded to Bombardier to assist with an expansion at the Plattsburgh plant. Bombardier has committed over $25 million to the project to generate at least a billion dollars in contracts assuring the retention of over 400 jobs and probably creating additional positions. I strongly believe this is a good investment of state money.
For many years Senator Little and I worked with St. Lawrence Natural Gas to obtain state funding for the pipeline currently being laid across northern Franklin County. This project will save local businesses, Alice Hyde, schools, prisons and homeowners millions of dollars annually in fuel costs. A main impetus for the pipeline was McCadam Cheese which anticipates saving a million dollars a year in fuel costs assuring a long-term market for over 200 local dairy farms. A good investment of state money? I believe so.
Once the frivolous lawsuit filed by a few extreme environmentalists is finally settled, the Adirondack Club and Resort will construct the year-around resort creating over 500 local jobs, supporting current business and bringing new ones to Tupper Lake. I testified at the adjudicatory hearings, and I will continue to advocate in every possible way to see this project completed.
Millions of dollars in road and bridge construction will encourage economic development, including tourism, while providing dozens of construction jobs for contractors and their employees.
I’ve proven I work effectively with people of all parties, local governments, businesses, non-profit organizations, school districts and labor groups to build our local economy. I will continue to use my position as the Ranking Member on the Government Operations Committee to influence a myriad of proposed bills. My membership on the Higher Education Committee delivers a strong voice for North Country Community College, Clinton Community College, SUNY Plattsburgh and Paul Smiths. I’m also a member of Corrections, Real Property Tax and Ethics Committees.
I am proud of my reputation for working with all people, listening to constituents respectfully, discussing their concerns, studying issues thoroughly and casting my vote for what I truly believe is in the best interest of this Assembly District. With the voters support, I look forward to continuing to represent the North Country.
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