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Candidates on the issues

Voter's guide to where the candidates stand on various issues

October 30, 2010
By NATHAN BROWN, Enterprise Staff Writer

On Tuesday, voters in Franklin and Clinton counties and the Essex County town of St. Armand will choose between Republican incumbent Janet Duprey, Democrat Rudy Johnson and Conservative David Kimmel to represent New York's 114th Assembly District. Duprey is also on the Independence line.

In the 23rd Congressional District, which includes all of Franklin County and much of Essex County, including St. Armand, Wilmington and Jay, Republican Matt Doheny and Democratic incumbent Bill Owens are running. Doug Hoffman is still on the ballot on the Conservative line, but he has stopped his campaign, telling his supporters to vote for Doheny. Doheny is also on the Independence line and Owens on the Working Families.

In the 20th Congressional District, which includes part of Essex County including North Elba and Jay, voters will choose between incumbent Scott Murphy on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines and Chris Gibson on the Republican and Conservative lines.

Article Photos

From left, Conservative Assembly candidate David Kimmel, Democratic candidate Rudy Johnson, and incumbent Republican and Independence Assemblywoman Janet Duprey debate Oct. 14 at the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise file photo — Mike Lynch)

State Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, whose district includes all of Franklin and Essex counties, is running for re-election unopposed, as is Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, R-Willsboro, whose district includes all of Essex County except for St. Armand.

The candidates in the three competitive races have articulated differing views on many issues throughout the campaign. The following is a comparison of their views on some of the key issues.

State assembly candidates

Conservative Assembly candidate David Kimmel

Democratic candidate Rudy Johnson

Republican and Independence Assemblywoman Janet Duprey

Adirondack Park Agency

Duprey: Has said she thinks the agency has gone too far, but that abolishing it would be impossible. ... Supports a 10-year statute of limitations on agency enforcement actions. ... Has worked with Sayward and Little in the "Adirondack Caucus," a group of Adirondack legislator formed to discuss issues here. So far, it has focused on economic matters such as creating an "Adirondack economic zone."

Johnson: Favors reform, including locally elected commissioners, hearing enforcement cases in local courts and rules changes.

Kimmel: Favors abolishing the APA.


All three candidates oppose further prison closures in the region. ... Duprey co-sponsored a recently passed bill that requires the Empire State Development Corporation to provide reuse plans for any prison slated for closure six months prior to its closing.

Economic development

Duprey: Has supported numerous projects to encourage economic development, including broadband Internet, the St. Lawrence natural gas pipeline, and the Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake.

Johnson: Has come out with a five-point economic plan, including improving infrastructure (including broadband Internet), supporting local businesses and family farms and preserving existing jobs, including state ones. ... Thinks the area's representative should be a "salesman" for the region.

Kimmel: Says cutting taxes and regulation are the key to economic development; opposes government intervention in most cases. ... Does support expanding broadband Internet.

Taxes and spending

Duprey: Favors a property tax cap only if paired with mandate relief for local governments. ... Says property taxes are too high. ... Has voted against the state's budgets while in the Assembly, saying they raised taxes and fees too much and should cut spending.

Johnson: Says high property taxes are a problem, would need to see the details of any proposal.

Kimmel: Says he favors cutting property taxes by addressing factors that lead to increases, such as Medicaid fraud. ... Has made cutting taxes and spending a major part of his platform.

Rooftop highway

Duprey, Johnson: Support.

Kimmel: Opposes.

Saranac Lake city issue

Duprey: Told WNBZ radio she would "look at it very seriously to see what we could do to make it happen" if village residents voted for it in a permissive referendum. Has said she would listen to all sides.

Johnson: Says he sees advantages to becoming a city, but that it should be a local decision. Has said he would listen to all sides.

Kimmel: Strongly supports Saranac Lake becoming a city.

Gay marriage

Duprey, Johnson: Favor gay marriage.

Kimmel: Opposes gay marriage.

School consolidation

Duprey, Johnson: Favor consolidating school districts.

Kimmel: Thinks the solution is to concentrate on strenghtening private sector to stem population declines.

U.S. congressional candidates

Matt Doheny, Watertown - Republican, Independence

Bill Owens, Plattsburgh - Democratic, Working Families

Chris Gibson, Kinderhok - Republican, Conservative

Scott Murphy, Glens Falls - Democratic, Independence, Working Families


Doheny: Has said he thinks younger people should be able to put some of the money they pay into private accounts. ... Opposes privatizing Social Security and wants to guarantee benefits for current retirees and near-retirees. ... Says the country should have an "adult conversation" about the program's future.

Gibson: Opposes privatizing Social Security and wants to guarantee benefits for current retirees and near-retirees. ... Says high spending and no job growth are the biggest threat to Social Security.

Murphy, Owens: Oppose privatizing Social Security or cutting benefits. ... Have said the system may need minor adjustments in the future, but not major ones. ... Say growing the economy and increasing employment will help ensure the program's future.


Doheny: Opposes repeal, but has said he would defer to the opinions of military commanders.

Gibson: Has said he opposes repeal. Recently said he wants to wait for the results of a study on repeal's implementation.

Murphy, Owens: Favor and voted for repeal. ... They said they want to see it happen through the legislative process, not court rulings.


Doheny, Gibson: Favor extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts, which expire at the end of the year. ... Both have said they would consider a flat federal income tax.

Murphy, Owens: Favor extending the tax cuts, but not for individuals making over $200,000 yearly or couples making over $250,000 yearly. Owens proposed a compromise that would extend some of the tax cuts, but this gained no support for the leadership in either party. Owens and Murphy voted with the majority of the rest of the Democrats to adjourn Congress, putting off action until after the election.


All four candidates have said they support the Second Amendment. ... Murphy and Owens have been endorsed by the National Rifle Association. It is the group's policy to endorse the incumbent if the incumbent and challenger are both equally acceptable to the NRA.


Doheny, Gibson: Say the stimulus bill was a mistake, favor spending cuts. ... Say the Democrats have spent too much in general. ... Gibson favors abolishing the departments of Homeland Security, Education and Energy. ... Gibson favors a balanced budget. Doheny has said some borrowing is acceptable, but the deficit is too high and needs to be reduced.

Murphy: Says the stimulus bill, while not perfect, has helped and has funded numerous local projects. ... Favors a balanced budget amendment. ... Has disagreed with the Democratic leadership numerous times on spending issues, including voting against the 2011 budget resolution. ... Is a member of the Blue Dog Democrats. Opposes another stimulus bill. ... Favors PAYGO. ... Voted against raising the national debt limit.

Owens: Says he would have voted for the stimulus bill had he been in Congress at the time. ... Favors PAYGO, voted against raising the national debt limit. ... Introduced the "War on Debt" Act to create savings bonds allowing Americans to buy back a portion of our foreign debt.


Doheny, Gibson: Both favor repealing the health-care bill and replacing it with measures designed to drive down costs, such as tort reform and allowing people to buy insurance across state lines.

Murphy, Owens: Both voted for the health-care bill, but also favor making some changes to it. ... They co-sponsored legislation to eliminate the "1099 provision," a business expense reporting requirement that critics have said will be too burdensome for small businesses.


Doheny: Opposes cap-and-trade. ... Strong supporter of building more nuclear power plants in the district.

Gibson: Opposes cap-and-trade. ... Supports working toward alternate energy sources.

Murphy: Favors, voted for cap-and-trade. ... Favors alternate energy, including nuclear if people in the community support it.

Owens: Has said he would be inclined to support cap-and-trade. ... Favors alternate energy, including nuclear if people in the community support it.


Doheny: Says he supports funding local projects through the normal budget process - i.e., not through earmarks.

Gibson: Says the budget process is a bigger problem than earmarks. Thinks Congress should be more involved in the budget's development, rather than being delivered a budget prepared by the executive branch.

Murphy: Has used earmarks to fund local projects. ... Posts his funding requests on his website.

Owens: Supports, has used and has defended use of earmarks to fund local projects. ... Posts his funding requests on his website.


Gibson, Doheny: Think abortion should be legal in the first trimester. ... Oppose public funding for abortion, and support measures to reduce abortion such as encouraging adoption.

Murphy, Owens: Support abortion rights.



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