Political differences between Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R-C-I) and his opponent, Barrie Yochim (D-WF), may be reflected in third-party endorsements that both candidates recently received.
Goodell recently received the endorsements of the Conservative Party with 1,949 enrolled members and the Independence Party with 4,817 enrolled members, while Yochim received the endorsement of the Working Families Party with 454 enrolled members.
Goodell notes that much of the political strength of the Conservative Party is in the more rural upstate counties, while the ultra-liberal Working Families Party is based primarily in the New York City and other urbanized areas.
Both the Conservative Party and the Working Families Party have well-defined positions on many of the most controversial issues, and their positions are almost diametrically opposed. Based on these endorsements, the two assembly candidates likely have significantly different views of many key issues.
The Conservative Party supports lower taxes and smaller government, including lower taxes on individuals and businesses. It believes that New York needs to be more competitive to increase the number of jobs and discourage companies from relocating to other states.
By contrast, Goodell noted, the Working Families Party supports higher taxes on manufacturing companies and wealthy individuals to pay for larger government and more social welfare programs, and it opposed the substantial tax cuts contained in the 2014 state budget.
The Conservative Party opposes using tax dollars to pay for college degrees for prison inmates or college tuition assistance for illegal immigrants, while the Working Families Party supports both programs.
The Working Families Party supported the SAFE Act and opposes any amendments to the SAFE Act, while the Conservative Party opposed the SAFE Act and wants it substantially amended or repealed.
The Working Families Party supports using tax dollars to fund political campaigns, claiming that public funding of campaigns will increase the number and quality of candidates. The Conservative Party opposes raising taxes to pay for personal political campaigns and cites the extensive fraud and abuse related to a similar program in New York City that has resulted in several criminal indictments.
Not surprising, the Conservative Party supports traditional family values, while the Working Families Party leads the fight to allow transgender individuals to use any public bathroom or shower regardless of their physical anatomy.
Likewise, the Working Families Party supports expanding the availability of late term abortions until the baby is actually born, a position opposed by the Conservative Party.
Ironically, both parties have expressed concerns over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, but for opposite reasons. The Conservatives are concerned over the federal government's intrusion into the daily lives of individuals who are now forced to buy health insurance, while the Working Families Party believes that the Affordable Care Act did not go far enough toward implementing "actual socialized medicine."
The Independence Party in Chautauqua County prides itself in endorsing candidates based on their assessment of the ability of the candidates to help Chautauqua County residents and improve New York State, regardless of political affiliation. Historically, the Independence Party has endorsed Republicans and Democrats, depending on the strengths of the candidates.
Assemblyman Goodell said, "I am very pleased to receive the Conservative Party and Independence Party endorsements because they reflect my priorities and my ability to fight for lower taxes for individuals and business, a more business-friendly environment that is key to creating more jobs in Chautauqua County, a stronger educational system, higher local education aid, welfare reform and traditional family values."