In this multi-level state election year, a lot of atttention has been paid to the 3rd SD currently represented by Sen. Brian Foley. But there is also a fight brewing in the 1st SD where Sen. Ken LaValle seeks to hold on against anti-incumbent sentiment and help the Republicans regain a majority in the house. Below, Regina Calcaterra, a candidate touted by Democrats as a strong prospect, is in an exchange over taxes with LaValle in which she says he voted 500 times for increased taxes, fees or borrowing.
First, LaValle's mailing:
"I was upset to learn that Senate Democrats placed politically charged robo-calls throughout the First Senate District addressing property taxes.
"The height of hypocrisy is that their robo-call talked about real property tax relief when, in fact, every Senate Democrat voted to eliminate the STAR rebate checks last year. That meant a loss of more than $368 million in property tax relief for Long Island homeowners.
"The Democrats are clearly focused on playing politics and not passing an on-time budget. Not only has a late budget disrupted road and highway projects across the state, it has forced school aid payments to be delayed.
"The Senate Democrats must stop focusing on politics and start working on getting their job done. We should immediately begin negotiations on a budget that cuts spending, does not increase taxes, provides property tax relief, and helps businesses create jobs..."
Calcaterra's campaign responds:
State Sen. Ken LaValle is again running from his record, complaining about a lack of tax relief provided by lawmakers in Albany after voting against $291 million in property tax rebates for seniors.
LaValle today sent out a mass email that accused Senate leaders of doing nothing to pass a state budget. Little more than a week ago, LaValle voted against a proposal that would have provided the much-needed relief for seniors.
"After more than 30 years of voting for late budgets filled with gimmicks, one-shots, more spending and higher taxes and fees, Sen. LaValle is a couple of decades too late with his complaints," said Regina Calcaterra, D-New Suffolk, a candidate for state Senate from the First Senatorial District.
"Sen. Lavalle's Senate record during that time includes voting more than 500 times to increase taxes, fees or borrowing," Calcaterra said. "In fact, during Sen. LaValle's tenure, property taxes in Suffolk County have increased by more than 550 percent.
"For him to accuse others of blocking tax relief would be comical, were his budget votes in Albany for more than 30 years not so detrimental to residents of Eastern Suffolk County and all of New York," Calcaterra said.
"While acknowledging budget proposals so far are not perfect, Calcaterra said these problems are the result of decades of failed legislative leadership on budget issues. She is proposing significant reforms in financial reporting by state agencies and authorities, cuts in wasteful spending and greater efforts to restore fair share to Long Island taxpayers."