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Majority favors Brooks in race for Congress

The majority of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say they favor Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, who announced Monday that she intends to run for Congress against Rep. Louise Slaughter in the newly drawn 25th Congressional District.

Of the 84 percent of readers who say they currently are registered to vote in the redrawn district, 58 percent say they would vote for Brooks, compared with 42 percent who favor incumbent Slaughter. Among all poll participants, the results were nearly identical.

Slaughter, a member of the House Democratic leadership, is serving her 13th two-year term in Congress. Brooks, a Republican, has served as county executive since defeating William Johnson Jr., then Rochester mayor, in the 2003 election.

Roughly 1,200 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted March 19 and 20.

If the election were held today with Republican Maggie Brooks and Democrat Louise Slaughter as the candidates for Congress, whom would you support?

Maggie Brooks: 59%
Louise Slaughter: 41%

Are you currently registered to vote in the newly drawn 25th Congressional District?
Yes: 84%
No: 16%

Of the 84 percent registered to vote in the 25th District:
Maggie Brooks: 58%
Louise Slaughter: 42%

What is your political affiliation?
Republican: 37%
Non-affiliated: 31%
Democrat: 27%
Other: 5%


Maggie is a party clone and will never do anything other than fill a seat. Louise has done a tremendous amount for Monroe County. Results are what counts!
—Hal Gaffin, Honeoye Falls

Maggie Brooks has always approached issues honestly. She is conservative, highly motivated and always strives for the best outcome. Maggie has all the credentials to be a strong congresswoman.
—Joan Walton

Our community will be much better served by a political veteran who has substantial seniority and thus import in the decision-making of Congress. Louise has been a model of political propriety in her openness, while the same can certainly not be said for Maggie.
—Alan Ziegler, Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation

I believe Maggie Brooks would do a great job. She is fiscally conservative, a trait desperately needed now in Washington. As a county manager she has had to deal with the impact of Washington’s unfunded mandates and edicts at the local level. That alone distinguishes her from the competition. Maggie is young enough to serve this community well into the future. Thanks for your service, Louise, and enjoy a well-deserved retirement!
—George Thomas, Ogden

Louise has served her constituents well during her long political career, relying on three words—spend, spend, spend. It’s time for a change to someone who knows fiscal responsibility in times when government spending is out of control.
—Rich Mileo

Very disappointing that Maggie just ran for county executive and now is trying to bolt for a bigger job only a few months later. She’s done a fair amount of good here in Monroe County; however, her judgment is suspect based on several ethics issues in her tenure.
—Dave Vanable, Honeoye Falls

I believe Maggie will be vulnerable on the issue of cronyism in Monroe County. She’ll have a hard sell that she “can straighten out” Washington based on her record.
—Craig Epperson

Almost anyone but Maggie Brooks would be a good choice. Besides, Louise Slaughter has done much for Rochester over her terms in office. She is honest and hardworking!
—Sandy Johnson, Delaney Educational

Twenty years is enough for any politician.
—Jeff Luellen

The whole and sole purpose of a congressperson is to bring home the bacon to their district. That said, Louise has been lackluster at best. She’s too busy flying here and there on the coattails of her BFF Nancy Pelosi. It’s time for some real representation for the 25th district.
—Jim Duke, Victor

Slaughter is one of the most powerful and experienced legislators in the entire House of Representatives; we’d be foolish to send her packing now, especially in favor of an iron-fisted administrator with limited legislative experience. That said, I’m tempted to vote for Brooks anyway just for the possibility of getting her out of county government. But it would have to depend on who her replacement would be.
—Matthew D. Wilson

I thought we just elected Maggie Brooks to office? I should have voted for Sandy Frankel.
—Antonino Barbagallo, Foto-AB inc.

The biggest problems facing this country are high taxes, too much regulation and huge deficits. The economy won’t recover until we drastically shrink government at all levels. Louise Slaughter has never seen a new spending project or new regulation that she wouldn’t vote for or actively push. She is a true believer that the there is an endless supply of money in the American taxpayer’s pocket, and her job is to get as much as she can. In other words, Louise Slaughter is part of the problem. Maggie Brooks can be part of the solution. She seems to understand that there is a limit to what the government should do. Maggie has been a prudent manager of Monroe County and its resources. We need this kind of logical manager we need at the federal level.
—Dennis Ditch, Delta Square Inc.

We need improved honesty and integrity in government in Washington. Louise has been fighting for that for 20 years. We don’t need to take export Maggie’s scandals (Robutrad, Cigargate, Airport DWI, etc.) to Washington!
—Paul Haney

Louise is a gem for Rochester. She is the new Susan B. Anthony—case on point her fight to keep congresspeople from insider trading. We need to keep this critical woman supporting our district.
—Jo Eaton

Maggie has driven businesses out of Monroe, enriched her friends’ pockets, and further divided the County. Why on earth would we want her in DC (other than to get rid of her locally)?
—Scott Ireland

They say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it." Well, Congress is broken, so let’s fix it!
—Pau Lattimore

Louise is past her prime by 20-plus years. She was a fine rep for our area, but over time has become a fine rep for the left. This is one of those "no-brainers.” It’s Maggie! She is smart, articulate, tough and one hell of a leader!
—Bob Miglioratti

Louise has been an embarrassment to our area with her pro-abortion, pro-Obama politics and absentee representation. It has amazed me that she has been re-elected as many times as she has. Now is the right time for her to retire.
—Dave Coriale, Webster

Every time I hear Maggie Brooks spew about how she has lowered taxes, I dislike her more and more because it is completely misleading. Keeping the tax rate the same while increasing the assessments upon which the levy is based is NOT lowering taxes. I understand budget constraints and mandates. I’d have more respect for her if she would tell the truth.
—Judy Palmieri, Rochester

I’m happy to report that we are back in Louise Slaughter’s district again, the thought of having Maggie Brooks’ for our representative is demoralizing to say the least. Can you imagine the scandals she can create while in Congress. Say what you will about Louise but I don’t recall any scandals she been associated with. For those of you who don’t know, Louise is one of two co-signers, the other a Republican, to create a law to stop Congressional insider trading. Louise has my vote and my support.
—Peter Bonenfant

Louise Slaughter wants to waste billions on high-speed rail, and tried to bend the rules to ram the health care bill through Congress. She needs to be replaced!
—Karen Zilora, Creative Scanning Solutions, Inc.

Louise Slaughter is the most liberal member of Congress, according to the National Journal. That fact has been hidden from Rochester voters, who know she’s a liberal Democrat but not more liberal than even Nancy Pelosi or Bernie Sanders, the socialist Congressman (self-described) from Vermont. She’s way too anti-business and pro-big government to be representing Monroe County. Maggie Brooks has proven to be pro-business and fiscally responsible. We could use a few more like her in Washington.
—Bob Sarbane

Glad that the new district makes some geographic sense instead of the gerrymandered joke we had before.
—Jon LaRue, JP Morgan

It’s time for a change and Maggie would be great!
—Laurie Sagona, Sundance Marketing

It would be a shame to lose Maggie Brooks as a very sharp and capable leader for the county. However Slaughter is a worthless relic, totally out of touch with the real world whose time should have passed decades ago!
—Jim Weisbeck

Neither, Brooks thinks she has lowered taxes, but Monroe County is one of the highest taxed counties per capital in New York and the entire country. Her administration has been plagued by scandals yet we keep voting her in. Louise needs to retire. She has served her term and fought well for our area but she really needs to let new blood in to take up the fight. Personally I am Voting: None of the above.
—Michael Knox 

It is time for Mrs. Slaughter to go. She has been a liberal stalwart for her 26 years in Congress, supporting every opportunity to increase big government and spread the entitlement culture. She now needs to take the time to sit back and reflect on her accomplishments.
—Bob Worden, Penn Yan

Louise has significant seniority and leadership roles in congress. That influence has benefitted our region for many years. Although Maggie is experienced, she will have to start as a freshman in Washington and there is much to learn for her to have even a small amount of influence. Then there is the question of who will replace her as county executive should she win. Maggie says she could do more in Washington to help our county, maybe, but she’d be a much smaller fish in a much bigger pond full of sharks and it’s doubtful that she could deliver anything in the near term.
—Frank Orienter, Rochester

Louise is a strong voice for fairness. I will vote for her.
—Cathy Chin

Louise has done a great job but she needs to step down. Time for new blood.
—S. Stookey

Even disregarding the scandals in this administration, there are problems with the record. Property taxes have gone up regularly via reassessments of property values even though housing values have generally gone down. Though Maggie has been fair to union and other contractors in public works projects, her record with county workers is horrible. Nearly four years without a contract while the high-paid bosses get double-digit increases, without advance notice or debate. All by the way adding to those pesky New York pension mandates. Scores of attorneys on the county payroll, yet tens of thousands of dollars to a "union avoidance" law firm to negotiate with county unions. The courts have sustained one "improper practice,” known as an unfair labor practice in the private sector, with several more pending. The connections with the "pay to play" culture in county government are numerous and disappointing. Louise’s record in standing for worker’s rights, women’s rights, minority rights and against the destruction of our industrial base and against the policies of the one percent that have hurt so many, is impeccable. She has also led the way against Congressional corruption with the STOCK ACT, among others. The choice could not be clearer.
—Jim Bertolone, president, Rochester AFL-CIO

Louise is a highly respected and highly ranked member of Congress. (Her seniority of course is a benefit to the community she represents.) I can think of no reason to replace her.
—Emily Neece

3/23/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.


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