Peoples Column

Mitrano focuses on district, not donors


Tracy Mitrano is my choice to represent our Congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. I support her not because I agree with each and every detail of her platform, but because she is a careful listener who hears and understands the needs of our district. At town halls, she genuinely engages with her audience — even those who disagree with her.

Mitrano’s stance on corporate PAC money exemplifies her commitment to voters of this district. This fall, she pledged not to accept any campaign donations from corporate PACs. “I am not running to serve special interests, and I am certainly not running to represent the occupants of corporate boardrooms who donate under the cloak of a PAC or super PAC,” she said. “I’m running to represent the people of the 23rd district.”

This is very different from the stance taken by her opponent, Rep. Tom Reed, who does accept corporate PAC money — and rather a lot of it. According to Open Secrets and Your NY 23rd, 56 percent of Reed’s contributions in 2017-18 came from large PACs, many of which represent big pharma, big finance, and oil and gas industry interests. Forty-six percent of his total funding came from outside our district. Small contributions from individual donors accounted for just 2.4 percent of his campaign coffers.

Unfortunately, it seems that these donations determine Reed’s votes. Less than one year ago, our current congressman voted for a massive tax overhaul that benefits the wealthiest while adding what the Congressional Budget Office projects will be more than $1 trillion to our federal budget deficit by 2020. The overhaul gave enormous tax breaks to big earners and relatively small ones for middle-class and working-class families, even though such people make up the vast majority of NY-23, where average yearly income is roughly $65,000.

In contrast, Mitrano supports tax reductions for businesses and middle-income families but opposes tax breaks that single-out the very wealthy at the cost of the rest of us.

Reed now claims rising deficits make the current level of benefits to seniors unaffordable. Providing generous tax cuts to the wealthiest while advocating cuts to programs like Meals on Wheels, Social Security and Medicare should be concerning to everyone in the district. Mitrano promises to support actions that better ensure the health of these programs-which also means ensuring the health of all of us-now and in the future.

District 23 deserves the best! Please vote for Tracy Mitrano on Nov. 6!