Republican Congressmember Michael Grimm, first elected in 2009, is running for a third term in Congress.
The former Marine and former FBI agent believes that, under President Barack Obama, the country is going in the wrong direction. He opposes the Affordable Care Act (aka, “a disaster called Obamacare), contends that the country has been weakened militarily in the last several years, calling Obama a weak commander in chief with “a policy of appeasement,” and says that the United States’ border with Mexico is too porous, contending that the “crisis” there has been worsened by the president’s policies.
He also believes that high taxes and burdensome regulations have made it difficult for companies, including small mom and pop businesses, to thrive in the U.S., and would roll back regulations, as well as drill for oil on federal lands to give American companies the advantage of cheap oil as they seek to compete with companies overseas.
Grimm says he does not support the privatization of Social Security, though he said that, in order to keep it viable for future generations, the formula needs to be changed for younger people, while remaining unchanged for those already retired or those approaching retirement age.
Grimm also says he supports hydrofracking “as long as it is done safely and responsibly,” asserting that it will not only help wean us off foreign sources of energy but also create jobs. In addition, Grimm said he opposes Cap and Trade, which imposes a mandatory cap on industrial emissions while allowing companies a level of flexibility in how they meet the limit.
“We need to focus on rebuilding the country and getting people back to work,” Grimm said, “and energy is the way to do it.”
Grimm is facing a 20-count federal indictment that includes charges of tax evasion and mail and wire fraud, with his trial scheduled to take place shortly.
Democrat Domenic Recchia is running for Congress in the 13th Congressional District, which encompasses Staten Island and portions of southwestern Brooklyn, hoping to unseat the incumbent Congressmember Michael Grimm.
Recchia, a former three-term city councilmember and chair of the City Council’s Finance Committee, contends that the district has suffered under the current incumbent, a situation that, he says, he will be able to reverse.
Among his campaign promises are work to raise the minimum wage, as well as tax breaks for middle class families.
As a member of “the most ineffective Congress in the history of the United States,” Grimm is “part of the problem, not part of the solution,” said Recchia during a recent candidate’s debate. “He says one thing in the district, goes to Washington and votes against the district.”
Among the issues has Recchia pounded was the slowness with which Congress allocated funding after Superstorm Sandy (80 days, compared to 10 days after Hurricane Katrina pounded the southern states).
In contrast, Recchia said, for the 12 years he was in the City Council, he consistently delivered for his district, as well as for areas beyond that had been devastated by Sandy. And, he says, he was part of the team at City Hall that “saved the city” after 9/11, saving jobs for municipal workers and eventually “paying down” the city’s debt.