Superstorm Sandy put our lives on hold, but not our elections.
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, weary Hudson Valley residents will make their way to voting sites and cast their ballots in four national elections that will directly impact not only the usual issues of education, the economy, and personal liberties, but also how we recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.
With more than 145,000 customers still out of power in Westchester, Putnam and Rockland Counties, according to Sunday's estimates, utility companies have made voting sites a priority and promise that the storm won't affect your ability to participate in the democratic process.
Now Patch offers you this guide to the basics in the following campaigns:
President: Obama (D) v. Romney (R)
Incumbent, Party: Barack Obama, Democrat
Occupation: President of the United States
Running Mate: Joe Biden
Major Platforms: "The New Economic Patriotism: A Plan for Jobs and Middle Class Security." With the slogan, "Forward!" Obama has asked for four more years to continue a long-term economic plan to invest in education, infrastructure, small businesses, clean energy, and tax cuts for companies that bring jobs back to the US. Lists 32 straight months of job growth under his belt and $3,600 in taxes given back to middle class families making $50,000 over the course of his first term. Seeks to develop all types of energies to protect the climate. Has plan to cut school tuition in half and double campus aid, rewarding institutions that keep tuition growth down. Added free preventive care and closed the "donut hole" in Medicare, lifted lifetime caps on coverage for 100 million Americans. Supports the right for women to choose and manage their personal health. Ended the war in Iraq. Supports comprehensive immigration reform and lifting the threat of deportation for young, hardworking immigrants who came to the US as children.
Challenger, Party: Mitt Romney, Republican
Occupation: Businessman, former Governor
Running Mate: Ryan Paul
Major Platforms: "Mitt Romney's 5 Point Plan for a Stronger Middle Class: A Plan for More Jobs and More Take Home Pay." Romney wants to change the course of America by restoring the economic foundation. He seeks to create energy independence by increasing access to domestic resources, removing harmful regulations on the coal industry and approving the Keystone XL Pipeline. Wants to give students to tools to succeed by improving schools at every level and making them affordable, focusing on job skills and attracting the best and brightest. Establish trade practices that benefit the country, including curtailing unfair practices in China, building stronger economic ties with Latin America and creating a Reagan Economic Zone. Plans to cut the deficit by cutting non-security discretionary spending by 5%, capping federal spending at below 20% of the economy, consolidate agencies and give states responsibility for running programs. Champions small businesses by reducing taxes, stopping regulations that stymie business growth, protect businesses from labor unions, replace Obama's healthcare program. Does not support abortion rights.
US Senate: Kirsten Gillibrand (D) v. Wendy Long (R)
Incumbent, Party: Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat
Major Platforms: Promotes job growth through American manufacturing, believes in pay equity for men and women, marriage equality and women's reproductive rights. Secured $2.5 billion for New York schools to prevent layoffs and serves on the Agriculture Committee to ensure fresh, healthy foods are provided to all children. Supports strong gun laws and improved services for veterans.
Challenger, Party: Wendy Long, Republican
Major Platforms: "Jobs, Freedom, Accountability." Challenging fellow Dartmouth alumnus Gillibrand with core Republican values including judicial restraint and limited self-government.
US House of Representatives: Nita Lowey (D) v. Joe Carvin (R) v. Frank Morganthaler (WTP)
Incumbent, Party: Nita Lowey, Democrat
Major Platforms: A leading national proponent for strengthening our economy, balancing the federal budget, improving math and science education for children, providing quality, affordable health care, promoting biomedical research, safeguarding a women's right to choose, achieving independence from foreign oil, and protecting the environment. As the Ranking Member and former Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Lowey plays a vital leadership role in strengthening America's alliances around the world and ensuring that the United States meets the challenge of global leadership. In the aftermath of September 11th, Lowey was chosen to be a Member of the Select Committee on Homeland Security. She has fought successfully to provide First Responders with resources to confront emergencies, to obtain a fair share of federal homeland security funding for New York State, and to bolster security at critical facilities, including our airports, nuclear plants, and ports. Lowey has been called "courageous" by the New York Times and recognized by the New York Daily News as one of "New York's key Members of Congress." Newsday called her "terrific" and said "she delivers for New York." And Congressional Quarterly cited her as one of the 50 most effective Members of Congress.
Challenger, Party: Joe Carvin, Republican
Occupation: Fund manager focusing on farms.
Major Platforms: The former Rye Town Supervisor seeks to eliminate wasteful layers of government. As supervisor, he cut town spending by 25% and cut taxes every year. He is running as the "underdog."
Challenger: Frank Morganthaler, We the People
Major Platforms: "Less Government, More Freedom." Seeks to repeal Obamacare, defend the Constitution, repeal regulations that stymie business growth, repeal cuts to the military, support Israel, support life at conception, support traditional marriage, and enforce immigration laws. Plans to join the Congressional Tea Party Caucus if elected.
US House of Representatives: Eliot Engel (D) v. Joseph McLaughlin (R) v. Joseph Diaferia (Green)
Incumbent, Party: Eliot Engel, Democrat
Major Platforms: Member of Democratic Leadership Council and New Democrat Coalition. Supports abortion rights, international human rights, and a deeper relationship with Latin America.
Challenger, Party: Joseph McLaughlin, Republican
Major Platforms: "A Citizen of New York for New York." Believes in the "4 R's: Reduce, Repeal, Reform, and Re-Establish." Reduce the size of government, repeal job-killing taxes and legislation, reform the tax code, education, foreign aid funding and fiscal policy, and re-establish Congressional accountability.
Challenger, Party: Joseph Diaferia, Green Party
Major Platforms: Believes in clean and renewable energy, removal of all troops from the Middle East and Central Asia, repeal of the Patriot Act, and a ban on hydro-fracking. Supports a national healthcare program that allows all people to choose between traditional and alternative medicines. Wants to close Indian Point.