2006-08-04 / Columnists

It's My Turn

Pheffer Fails To 'Tell It Like It Is'
By Stu Mirsky Candidate For Assembly

By Stu Mirsky
Candidate For Assembly

STU MIRSKY According toProject Vote Smart, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, who represents the 23rd AD in southern Queens,“repeatedly refused to provide any responses . . .on issues through the 2004National Political Awareness Test," a questionnairethe group uses to collect candidate informationbeforeelections.

The group's website notes that Pheffer actually "refused toprovide this information when asked to do so bymajor news organizations and key national leaders of both political parties"including John McCain, Geraldine Ferraro (a former Democratic Congresswoman), Michael Dukakis (a former Democratic governor), Bill Frenzel (a former Republican Congressman), and Richard Kimball, Project Vote Smart President.

In 2004, the year in which theAssemblywoman refused to provide the requested information, she ran unopposed, although she had raised over $80,000 in campaign funds going into that election, monies she ultimately had no need to spend because of her lack of opposition.

Although the 2006 questionnaire is not yet out, as Pheffer's stated opponent, I have already contacted the organization and requesteda questionnaire from them so that I can be included. The first thing I want to do is tell people where I stand.

So I notified Project Vote Smart as soon as I learned ofthe questionnaire'sexistence.

But, the organization's State Administrator, Ali Stewart, advised meit won'tbeavailableuntil September or early October.

I plan toanswer all its questions when I get it, of course.

How else can voters know where their candidates stand on the crucial issues of the day?

I urge Assemblywoman Pheffer to join with me "inmaking a prompt and clear statement, through Project Vote Smart,"and notignore the groupas she apparently did in 2004.

If you want voters to choose you, come Election Day, you have an obligation to come cleanabout where you stand, Audrey.

My own positions are pretty clear cut including support for a reform agenda to clean up Albany and make New York State governable again. Ourcurrent crop of legislators are guilty of shirking their responsibilities tokeep state government spending, and ourtaxes, down.

I want tochange the way they do business up there and that starts with some fundamental reforms at the legislative and budgetary level.

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