Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seniors Ask: Where is Patty Ritchie On Our Issues?

While Darrel Aubertine Answered AARP Questions,
Ritchie Again Snubs Voters

Patty Fails to Respond to Voter Education
Guide Important To 80,000 District Voters

After skipping debates, and hiding from media questions about her support of Carl Paladino’s extreme agenda, Patty Ritchie has taken her disdain for the public discussion to a new level, blowing off the AARP’s candidate questionnaire.

“Here was an opportunity for Patty Ritchie to sit down with her downstate handlers and fill out a form, but Patty still didn’t do it,” said Drew Mangione, spokesman for the Aubertine Campaign. “When you look at Carl Paladino’s responses, it becomes clear why she didn’t speak to the AARP. The Patty-Paladino scheme would devastate senior healthcare, laying off more than 2,100 local health care workers, closing hospitals and nursing homes, slashing healthcare services for 1 in 5 vulnerable adults, children and seniors in the region.”

State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, on the other hand, answered the entire questionnaire, and expressed how proud he was to fight for seniors this year to restore funding for the EPIC program and to improve and protect our healthcare services over the past two years. He has fought to protect health care jobs, healthcare for children, seniors and people with disabilities. He secured $34 million to keep Mercy Hospital open and save 300 jobs. He fought to expand EPIC so more Seniors can get low cost prescriptions and is endorsed by the largest local health care group representing over 1,000 central and Northern New York healthcare workers.

The public can view the non-partisan AARP elections voters’ guide with pertinent candidate information for the upcoming elections. The questions were selected based on surveyed concerns of its New York members. The candidates were asked to answer numerous questions and given 125 words to do so.

“This voter guide is a great way for seniors to find out where the candidates stand on critical issues that are important to them,” Darrel said. “I’ll gladly share my record of repeatedly supporting the Senior STAR program, a property tax cap, making prescription drugs more affordable, lowering energy costs for seniors and making long-term care more response.”
Questions were asked regarding candidates positions on Long-term care, Housing, Prescription drugs, energy and transportation issue and had a multiple-choice aspect. The responses, as well as AARP’s position, are posted for all to see: http://vote4.aarp.org/pdf-race/NewYorkSenateDistrict48-200792249.pdf. Mrs. Ritchie failed to respond even after being granted an extension by AARP.

Patty Ritchie’s running mate on two ballot lines, Carl Paladino, did respond and he stated his opposition to five of the AARP’s priorities including expanding the Elderly Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (EPIC) and the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), both of which are programs that thousands of Central and North New Yorkers use.

Voters, non-partisan groups like the League of Women Voters, and even Newspapers outlets, including the Watertown Daily Times, North Country Public Radio have expressed that they do not know where Mrs. Ritchie stands on a whole host of issues. By not filling out the AARP survey, yet another group, the more than 80,000 voters aged 50 and older in the district may never know where she stands on senior issues.

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