ROCKLAND COUNTY, NY and WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — January 29, 2020 — I saw this Letter to the Editor previously published that had some serious factual problems (Letter to the Editor Regarding the Congressional Race to Represent NY-17 By ROB ABBOT (https://www.yonkerstribune.com/2020/01/letter-to-the-editor-regarding-the-congressional-race-to-represent-ny17-by-rob-abbot). I’ve written this Letter to the Editor in response, below:
In a time when misinformation runs rampant, facts still matter. A “Letter to the Editor Regarding the Congressional Race to Represent NY17” by Mr. Rob Abbot published on January 24th, 2020, made a factually inaccurate claim that led to an unsupported conclusion. The thesis of the piece was that NY Senator David Carlucci “has to be considered the frontrunner” in the race to succeed Congresswoman Nita Lowey. Why? Because Carlucci represents part of Rockland County in the State Senate, while other candidates in the race like NY Assemblyman David Buchwald don’t “represent more than a few hundred voters in NY17.”
This is wrong. Buchwald has a substantial base of roughly 115,000 voters: he currently represents more than 85,000 voters who also live in NY17 as a State Assemblyman and previously represented an additional 30,000 voters as a White Plains Common Council member. You can see the numbers for yourself here from the Daily Kos: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/7/30/1848730/-How-do-counties-House-districts-and-legislative-districts-all-overlap-These-new-tools-show-you.
The whole premise of Abbot’s argument is that Carlucci is the front runner because he’s the only candidate in the race with a base. Not only does Buchwald already have a strong base of support, but he also has something Carlucci doesn’t: a record of passing statewide progressive legislation. Carlucci spent years killing bold progressive legislation in exchange for personal perks (https://makenytrueblue.org/cuomo-backed-idcf-failures/bills-killed/) as a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, while Buchwald has always been a proud progressive.
Buchwald co-sponsored the NY SAFE Act, the strongest gun safety bill enacted in the U.S. He earned a perfect environmental voting record and wrote the law going after Trump’s tax returns — a law the President of the United States is currently fighting in court. Democratic primary voters have noticed the difference between Buchwald and Carlucci. All six Democratic Committees that have made endorsements in this Congressional race have backed Buchwald.
Congresswoman Lowey is leaving big shoes to fill and we need to have a serious debate about who’s the right person to fill them. We must use real facts to inform that debate.
/s/ Maureen Cohen