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Fifty-six percent of RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll respondents say they favor Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks for Congress in the newly drawn 25th Congressional District.
Brooks, a Republican who has served as county executive since defeating Rochester Mayor William Johnson Jr. for the job in the 2003 election, is challenging Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Perinton, who is seeking her 14th term in Congress.
A plurality of respondents—46 percent—think the economy and jobs rank as the No. 1 issue that congressional representatives should focus on in Washington. Bipartisanship in Congress and the nation’s debt tied for second, with 19 percent each. Taxes followed with just 3 percent.
In terms of job growth, 57 percent say Brooks is the better candidate.
In an RBJ Snap Poll conducted in March, shortly after Brooks announced her candidacy, 59 percent of respondents favored the county executive versus 41 percent for Slaughter.
Roughly 980 readers who said they are registered to vote in the 25th Congressional District participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted Oct. 22 and 23.
If the election were held today, which candidate would you vote for in the 25th Congressional District?
Maggie Brooks: 56%
Louise Slaughter: 44%
Which candidate do you think would be better at helping to create jobs locally?
Maggie Brooks: 57%
Louise Slaughter: 43%
In your view, which of the following is the No. 1 issue your congressional representative should work on in Washington?
Economy and jobs: 46%
Debt and deficits: 19%
Bipartisanship in Congress: 19%
Financial system reform: 2%
Health care: 2%
Social Security and Medicare: 2%
Ethics in government: 2%
Global warming and other environmental issues: 1%
Income inequality: 1%
What is your political affiliation?
Slaughter should be the poster rep for term limits. More than 25 years, and she can't stand back and let a younger generation step up and deal with today's problems? She IS the problem! And I approve this message!
—Al Kempf, East Rochester
What has Congresswoman Slaughter done over the past two and a half decades that makes anyone believe that she will become a bipartisan leader in the next two years?
Louise seems angry, negative and bitterly partisan. She is forever blaming other people for everything while taking no responsibility for anything herself, other than raising taxes and spending. Maggie speaks in positive tones and is optimistic about our future. I'll go with positive over negative any day.
Why on earth we would send the leader of the most corrupt local government to Washington is beyond me. So she can have access to even more money to skim? Maggie should be in jail, not office!
Louise Slaughter has too long had her focus on areas outside Monroe County, namely Washington, D.C. Outside of a push for a few miles of high-speed rail, I cannot think of one issue recently where Slaughter was at the forefront. I am not sure I have ever heard her hold a local press conference or town hall meeting. We need a representative of this community in Washington, not another Washington-focused politician using this seat to advance a national political agenda.
—Peter Short, J.J. Short Associates Inc.
Slaughter is the more progressive, responsible and frugal of the two candidates running for Congress in the 25th District. Her education, knowledge, integrity and seniority all recommend her as our representative over Brooks, who has a record of mismanagement and scandal.
—Art North, retired
While I have always admired and appreciated Mrs. Slaughter's constituent services work, thus endearing her to individual voters, Ms. Brooks, too, is genuine, responsive and attentive. From personal experience, however, I am convinced that she alone has the capacity to understand the broad array of issues which, taken together, must be addressed to lift our region and our country from its sluggish existence.
—Carol G. McManus
Louise has always been proactive for us and her record speaks for itself. I don't trust Maggie Brooks! Her Republican agenda is scary!
—Rose Marie Carey
Brooks has executive experience that Slaughter lacks. If elected, Brooks would also be part of the majority, so her vote would actually count for something, and her requests would get listened to. And frankly, I think Slaughter has been there way too long!
—George Thomas, Ogden
Maggie is more in tune to the specific needs of Monroe County while Louise has ingrained herself to Washington politics. Maybe Maggie will be that way too—in 27 years! We need fresh ears, eyes and enthusiasm in Washington with a concern for us.
If Maggie Brooks were elected, she would immediately sign the Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes even though a balanced approach (i.e., cut spending and raise taxes) is required. Louise would continue to bring to our area new technology and research proposals, sometimes in the face of resistance from her own party. Maggie would never buck her own party. Her ads and rhetoric sound like she pulled them from the Mitt Romney binder.
Experience weighs in favor of Ms. Slaughter, as does broader regional knowledge, having represented areas including Buffalo as district lines were redrawn. Ms. Brooks is a fine person, but Monroe County is not a very good example of bipartisan cooperation for the common good. The No. 1 issue for Mr. Obama when he was elected was jobs, and he chose to focus on health care. Jobs are still important, but a new Congress needs to act on Social Security and Medicare instead of name-calling and obstruction. The solutions, particularly to Social Security, have already been discussed; it's time for action.
—Wayne Donner, Rush
Without bipartisanship in Congress, nothing else on the list will get accomplished.
—David Belcher, LeRoy
Louise Slaughter. She knows how the game is played. Maggie will be eaten up by the other players! If the Congress does not sincerely agree to work together, none of the other items stands a change.
We need to overhaul Washington. We will never do it by re-electing the same people and thinking we will get anything different (from either party). We need to send Congress a message or quit whining about how bad we have it.
Maggie Brooks will start her term with the understanding of her district's needs and an independence from the dysfunctional political machine that is present in the current Congress. Louise is part of the Democrat leadership that created the economic problems this country is in today. Her blind support of Obama and in particular Pelosi's extreme liberal agenda has not served us, her constituents well and she needs to be retired. She represents a good case for term limits!
—Dave Coriale, Webster
Maggie has her hand on the "pulse" of the business community.
—Frank Gerham Jr., The 401-K Coach
Louise Slaughter wanted to spend billions of dollars (that we would need to borrow or print) on a high-speed rail project. It would be another fiasco like the fast ferry, albeit on a mega scale! Maggie Brooks has kept taxes fairly flat in Monroe County.
—Karen Zilora, Creative Scanning Solutions Inc.
Ms. Slaughter has not played a role in most of our communities for the past several years as her district did not include most of Monroe County and her interests were more aligned Buffalo. Ms. Brooks, meanwhile, has been a strong supporter of local businesses in her role as county executive and knows the players, which Ms. Slaughter does not. Many businesspeople will tell you Sen. Schumer returns phone calls, while Ms. Slaughter does not. Ms. Brooks always returns phone calls.
Maggie has created jobs and kept them here. I used to be on the COMIDA board and have seen firsthand at what Maggie can do. Louise has done nothing in over 15 years. I can't think of one positive accomplishment. Louise killed Renaissance Square that this community wanted for high speed rail that no one wanted. A ghost train to nowhere, I mean really?
—Robert W. Hurlbut, president, Hurlbut Care Communities
Maggie Brooks has been a successful county executive who understands that our taxes are too high and our businesses are over-regulated, which impedes economic recovery. After 26 years as our representative, Louise Slaughter is a senior member of an ineffective Congress that has record low approval ratings. Maggie Brooks has been a successful county executive who understands that our taxes are too high and our businesses are over-regulated, which impedes economic recovery. Accordingly, Maggie Brooks will be a welcomed change for the better in the 25th Congressional District.
—Peter Gregory, Rochester
I cannot forgive Congresswoman Slaughter for stopping the Renaissance Square project with the resulting loss of hundreds of construction jobs when we needed them most.
—Victor Salerno, CEO, O'Connell Electric Co. Inc.
It is time to send people (to) Washington to represent “we the people” and not their party or special interests.
—Bob Rutt, Gates
Maggie Brooks understands job creation. New York State is near or at the bottom in all economic benchmarks. Louise Slaughter is why term limits should be imposed.
—Todd Black, Black's Hardware
Maggie has a better feel for the needs of Monroe County via her service as county executive. She understands the needs of the people. I voted for Louise in the past but her focus ads on body armor prove that she is not in touch with current issues.
With support from our two Democratic Senators she has done it before. Congresswoman Slaughter has extensive personal knowledge about all of Western New York, while Ms. Brooks is pretty much limited to Monroe County. Also, in spite of a Republican majority, Congresswoman Slaughter has significant stature, and committee seniority that allows her to have more influence than a freshman member (Brooks) would have. … Seniority and a track record are crucial to having a representative from our area, in spite of party affiliation. I know that Ms. Brooks would be low member on the pole, and would vote in concert with the most conservative members of the house to gain approval and stature over time. With a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators working against her would diminish the benefits to Western New York. Congresswoman Slaughter has significant seniority, credibility and stature, so even if she is in the minority party, her history in congress will generate a greater voice for us at the national level. I just don't believe that Ms. Brooks has the political experience to function well on a national stage.
—Frank Orienter, Rochester
For many years, Louise was my representative in Congress. I voted for her a few times. However, she now supports much of President Obama's disastrous policies. Many of these policies hurt small businesses like mine. Louise traditionally receives one of the worst report cards from the National Federation of Independent Business, a small business group which I belong to. Maggie on the other hand received NFIB’s endorsement this year. Louise’s policies are bringing down the country in many ways including but not limited to high unemployment, annual trillion dollar deficits, decrease of middle class income, $4 per gallon for gasoline, many higher hidden taxes, unconstitutional appointments to various regulatory boards, Obamacare, the Benghazi debacle, disrespect of Israel, etc. After Louise, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over, both houses of Congress in January, 2007; within eight to nine months, the country went into a recession and later the economic chaos of October 2008. Louise should retire!
—John Rynne, president, Rynne, Murphy & Associates Inc.
Louise Slaughter has worked hard to gain important positions in Congress and has some clout.
Louise Slaughter has had 26 years of not helping Western New York. Why would she start now?
Although the economy/jobs is extremely important, I feel the social issues such as abortion are right up there as well. Asking us to choose the No. 1 issue only overshadows how extremely important the social issues are to the overall well-being of our country. Women will not go backwards and it is a mistake to think this election is based on the economy only.
Louise is a well respected, powerful member of Congress, committed to our community. She is in a position to (and will) do more for her constituents.
— Emily Neece
It is time for a change. Louise has been there long enough and us part of the problem with Congress.
—Robert Zinnecker Penfield,
I have attended Maggie's breakfast and donated additionally even though I cannot vote for her. It is time Louise Slaughter retires. Her ideas are so far left that it is not beneficial to this area at all. Talk about an out-of-touch candidate. Maggie has the ability to bring to this area ideas to grow the economy and handle the day-to-day decisions. She has done an excellent job as Monroe County executive for many years and knows what works and doesn't work to get things done here.
—Ruth Ditch, Delta Square.
Louise Slaughter has the experience and personal commitment to take whatever action is appropriate to help the Greater Rochester Area economy.
10/26/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.