Updated 03/25/2009 06:20 AM
Murphy and Tedisco debate as election date challenged
MENANDS, N.Y. -- Republican Jim Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy met face to face on Tuesday. The two sat down for a 20th Congressional District discussion at WNYT's studios in Menands. And it didn't take long for the first shots to be fired over the stimulus package.
"Jim keeps saying there's $300 billion of pork," said Murphy. "The total of all the earmarks in the bill add up to about 6 billion. What's the pork he is talking about?"
"Let me just give you a couple of them - $5 million to create snow in Michigan, $145 million to create Little Leagues in Puerto Rico," said Tedisco.
A clause in the stimulus, found after the plan passed, allowed for AIG bonuses. Tedisco repeatedly questioned Murphy if he read the plan before he supported it.
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Tedisco said, "He hasn't answered the question yet, Scott, I got to ask you, did you read that legislation, those 1,100 pages?"
Murphy wouldn't say, but he did say he remains firmly behind the plan, that he says will cut taxes and create jobs.
"My opponent couldn't tell us what he thought for 30 days. I don't know if he was waiting for a poll to tell him if he was in favor of it," said Murphy.
This campaign, now, might last a little longer. A Department of Justice lawsuit says the state didn't give enough time for military and overseas absentee voters to vote. On March 11, the governor officially set March 31st as election day. The suit says you need a 30- to 45-day window. Both candidates, though, wouldn't mind a delay.
"I'd rather have an election not proceed than people be disenfranchised from the process of voting," said Tedisco.
"Every voter, whether they are overseas or serving in our military, desperately needs to be allowed to vote," said Murphy.
No court date has been set in this matter.