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NY-26: Where Does Jon Powers Stand On ALL The Issues?

by on May 26, 2008

Jon Powers has some explaining to do.

According to this interview from July 2007 about his running for Congress, Jon Powers said he hasn’t always been a Democrat.

Q: Have you always been a Democrat?

A: No. I grew up Republican. I switched when I got back from Iraq because I came home and I looked at who was in charge of this country. At the time, there was one party in charge. It was the party I grew up with but it was not the party I grew up believing in.

I’ve never been political growing up, my parents aren’t political. … I went to war for America. I didn’t go to war for a specific party.

Is this Jon Powers‘ way of trying to appeal to independents and moderates? I don’t know. But, with congressional approval at historic lows, Powers would certainly find it beneficial to not appear as if he’s a typical far left Democrat, especially since NY-26 is a more conservative district. Powers certainly has tried to paint himself as more moderate than the party that has chosen to embrace him today. In an article from the Buffalo News last year (‘Powers gets a early start’, July 1, 2007), Powers described himself as fiscally conservative and socially progressive, but avoided giving any position on abortion:

But so far he labels himself primarily as “fiscally conservative and socially progressive” — ducking answers on hotbed issues like abortion.

“I’m an Irish Catholic and that’s something I struggle with,” he said. “Soon I’ll be in a position to make a decision on it.”

Jon Powers only recently decided to come out in favor of abortion, (Buffalo News, ‘Powers clarifies stance on abortion, gay rights,’ March 27, 2008):

Democratic congressional candidate Jon Powers says he is pro- choice.

Always has been, the Iraq War veteran said Wednesday.

Powers clarified his stance on abortion rights — he supports them; and same sex marriages — he opposes a constitutional ban against them — in light of new allegations from a womens’ rights group.

“I’m pro-choice,” said the Clarence Democrat. “The only reason I didn’t say so before is because I didn’t want my grandmother to read about it first in the paper.”

But, that explanation doesn’t exactly hold water. Powers only decided to go public with his newfound pro-abortion position after being criticized a couple months ago by the Rochester chapter of the liberal women’s group, NOW.

Jon Powers, an Iraq war veteran from Clarence, Erie County, and a Democratic candidate in the 26th District, was accused of not being committed to the pro-choice cause and being opposed to same-sex marriage, based on an honor bestowed on him by a Catholic organization.

In 2003, while Powers was serving in Iraq, he received a “Man of the Year” award from the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Efforts to reach the group were unsuccessful, but a letter from the New York state president of the organization, on its Web site, notes that no one who holds views that contradict the Catholic faith can be publicly honored by the order. The Roman Catholic Church does not condone abortion or same-sex marriage.

Powers’ honor by the Hibernians is “a serious problem” for the candidate, said Linda Stephens, political action committee chairwoman for Rochester NOW, a chapter of the National Organization for Women.

But, it’s not just the issue of abortion that weakens his claims of being a moderate Democrat. If you check out website for his positions on various issues, you’ll find mostly vague or politically neutral positions on various issues, but, mixed in there are surefire examples of DNC talkings points that contradict Powers’ claim to be a fiscal conservative, such as ending trade deals with other countries, ending so-called “tax cuts for the rich,” and expanding S-CHIP.

The lack of clarity surround his positions on the issues isn’t too surprising… Powers has largely defined his candidacy around his status as an Iraq war veteran and his views about Iraq — and even his position on Iraq isn’t very clear.

Now that Powers has received endorsements from local Democrat committees and other liberal groups and individual, it is certainly time for him to be more specific about his positions on various fiscal and social issues. As he becomes more beholden to the Democratic Party, I’m sure any last trace of fiscal conservatism has been obliterated… but we’ll never know unless someone asks him these important questions.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, Jon Powers has either flip-flopped on both fiscal and social issues in order to obtain important endorsements in his congressional campaign, or he’s truly become a fiscal and social liberal who can’t possibly represent NY-26.

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From → Campaign 2008, NY-26

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