June 20, 2012 —
NINETEENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, NY — In the race for endorsements, Julian Schreibman, a former federal prosecutor, has picked up far more Democratic committees than rival Joel Tyner, a five-time Dutchess County legislator. But Tyner thinks his hard-line stand on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will help him win the day.
Tyner called for a statewide boycott ban on fracking as far back as four years ago and has been very opposed to any use of fracking at all in the state. He goes further and, in fact, is supporting a call for a national moratorium on the practice.
Tyner says on his website, “Science has proven that the practice of ‘fracking’ is unsafe to our water, land and air. This process benefits only an elite few, while posing public health risks. This practice is dangerous unless the government restores measures formerly required under the Clean Air and Safe Drinking Water Acts.” Tyner also quoted his opponent as saying, on an April 17 radio show, “In terms of the impact, I think the jury is still out.”
However, the current message on Schreibman’s website, while not calling for an outright ban, does seriously question the worth of drilling. He writes, “When it comes to hydro-fracking, the evidence all points to serious environmental and economic concerns, without a tangible economic benefit, especially as natural gas prices crater and estimates of shale gas reserves in New York prove to have been inflated. We cannot risk our air and water on an unproven and deeply concerning practice. Nor can we allow the disastrous effects of fracking that residents and communities in other states have faced to happen here in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains.”
Schreibman has been endorsed by outgoing Congressman Maurice Hinchey.
On another matter, Tyner and Schreibman share the same goal when it comes to protecting Medicare and Social Security. On his website, Tyner says that the programs need to be protected, and he goes a step further and endorses the idea of a single-payer plan for healthcare, in which Medicare is expanded to cover all Americans.
In addressing Medicare and Social Security, Schreibman attacks the Republican running for the office, Chris Gibson. Schreibman says, “Congressman Gibson and his friends in Washington have voted repeatedly to end Medicare as we know it. They want to replace the guaranteed benefit for seniors and instead give them coupons that, over time, will get them less and less of the healthcare that they need. Meanwhile, most Republicans in Washington want to endanger Social Security’s future by eliminating the guaranteed benefit and risking our Social Security in the stock market. That’s wrong, and I’ll fight against that.”
The winner of the June 26 primary will face Gibson in the fall. For his part, Gibson says he would “protect Medicare and Social Security benefits for current recipients and ensure future beneficiaries can count on those programs to be there when they need them.” He added, however, “With Medicare projected to be bankrupt within a decade, keeping the status quo ends Medicare.”