Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Elizabeth Holtzman Calls for More Focus on Issues in New York Senate Seat Coverage

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a statement today, former New York Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman stressed the importance of focusing on specific policy agendas and the key issues facing New Yorkers in the short time remaining before Governor Paterson must appoint a candidate to fill Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat.

A candidate for consideration of the appointment herself, she wrote in Sunday's New York Daily News ( tor_needs_to_help_reb.html) that whoever is appointed will have the urgent tasks of turning around New York's economic and infrastructure decline, securing significant federal funds for New York from stimulus, infrastructure and other national initiatives, boosting upstate New York's economy and agricultural base and strengthening New York education and the SUNY system, among other key agenda items.

She said today, "We are fortunate to have a field of several well-qualified candidates for the Senate seat. The pertinent question is, which one of us is going to do the best for New York amid this historic crisis we're in? How specifically does each of us propose to address New York's biggest needs? Those needs are the paramount thing. Many New Yorkers are losing their jobs, their homes, or choosing between food and medicine. Ordinary New Yorkers are at the epicenter of this crisis and suffering acutely from it, yet they have gotten nothing concrete from this year's trillion-dollar bailouts. Since they can't vote on this Senate seat for another two years, we have an obligation to make sure whoever fills it now will represent New Yorkers' concerns most effectively. Who is best able from their first day on the job to get onto the Senate floor and into the cloakroom and fight for the federal resources we need to help us rebuild New York's economy and infrastructure, create jobs, resolve our very tough budget issues, reduce our Medicaid burden, meet our education needs, and generally be New Yorkers' advocate in Washington? This is what the Governor will weigh in making the appointment, and what media coverage should focus on, like a laser beam. It took a year and a half of primaries and many debates to choose the best presidential candidate. We have just a few weeks to choose the best person for this Senate seat; we must use them to focus relentlessly on the issues."

Former Rep. Holtzman spoke to Governor Paterson about her interest in serving in the U.S. Senate in early December. Her record in elective office includes leadership on civil rights as Brooklyn District Attorney, steering New York City through a fiscal crisis as City Comptroller, and eight years in Congress where she championed infrastructure spending on the House Budget Committee, stood up for the Constitution and the rule of law during the Watergate crisis on the House Judiciary Committee and co-founded the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues.

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