“Bring Back the Generation We’re Losing”
Mahopac, NY/ October 10, 2016 — Upstairs at the Mahopac Public Library, the Putnam County League of Women Voters hosted its first Public Candidates Forum this year. The room was filled with people throughout Putnam and Westchester Counties who wanted to learn more about the candidates.
In the race for New York’s 94th Assembly District Race, the audience was able to witness two first-time candidates debate the issues. Kevin Byrne (R, C, I, Ref) and Brian Higbie (D, WF) presented their positions and reasons for seeking elected office.
Byrne opened by focusing on his strong roots in the community, and how as a life-long resident of the 94th Assembly District, he has seen far too many of his friends, family, and former classmates be forced to leave their home state of New York.
“We are losing an entire generation due to the high taxes and corrupt government in Albany”, said Byrne. He explained he supports proposals that will ease the tax burden on New Yorkers, reduce spending, and work to make New York State more affordable so that we can bring back the generation we’re losing.
Although Byrne’s opponent agreed that too many people are fleeing the state of New York, the “solutions” he proposed during the forum were in stark contrast and offered nothing to ease the tax burden or help the local economy in the 94th Assembly District.
When asked about energy and environmental policies regarding the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, Byrne’s opponent said “we should close it down.”
Byrne explained that he is running for State Assembly and is aware there are a lot of rules and regulations on the federal level that oversee the safety of the plant. He said he will advocate for accountability, but also noted that doing something so irresponsible as shutting down Indian Point would not only eliminate the region’s largest source of carbon-free energy, it would drastically increase utility rates, cause taxes to sky-rocket, lay-off thousands of workers, and would leave a massive energy deficit in the NYC Metro Area.
Byrne said, “I’m in favor of a comprehensive energy plan that supports all forms of energy; including nuclear, natural gas, wind, hydro and solar… We need to make sure everything is on the table.”
Byrne’s opponent provided no realistic alternative to replace the missing 2,000 megawatts that Indian Point provides, should the plant be shut down. Shortly after the debate, Byrne continued by saying “shutting down the plant would be devastating to our local economy. This is one more reason why I am running for office. My opponent’s positions on this issue, although perhaps well-intentioned, are typical talking points that will do nothing to bring back the generation we’re losing. In fact, my opponent’s proposals will force more people to move away.”
Another area of concern was public corruption in Albany. Byrne outlined his platform calling for term-limits, pension forfeiture for corrupt politicians, a ban on exemptions allowing Albany legislators to pension double dip, a ban on the use of campaign funds for personal expenses, full disclosure of outside income from Albany legislatures, and independent re-districting. By contrast, his opponent said the way to weed out corruption is by public financing of campaigns.
After the debate, Byrne stated he strongly opposes public financing of political campaigns, calling it “welfare for politicians.” He further explained, “We already get far too many mailers, robo- calls, TV, and online ads. Our state spends more money on welfare programs than almost any other state in the Nation and our residents have been crushed under the burden of New York State taxes. Do we want tax dollars to now pay for some politician’s campaign ads too? No. I don’t think so.”
Byrne closed by saying “Work hard and earn the support of the voters. That’s how you should run a campaign.”
About Kevin Byrne: A first-time candidate for public office, Kevin Byrne (R, C, I, Ref) Candidate for State Assembly- has a lifetime of experience from a diverse background including having served as a member of the Putnam Valley Town Planning Board; deputy district director to former Congresswoman Nan Hayworth; a regional director for the American Heart Association; president of his local volunteer fire department; and an assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America. Kevin, a local graduate of Carmel High School, also graduated from the University of Scranton and received a MPA from Marist College. He and his wife, Briana, live in Mahopac with their rescued coonhound, Tracker. To learn more about Kevin visit his website at www.byrne4putnam.com