Category: Westchester County

It’s not the snow-the ground is moving under your feet

Do You Feel the Ground Moving?
That’s the safety net being ripped out from under your feet
right here in Westchester County.

The Bad News
County Government at its Worst

Westchester’s present County Executive, Rob Astorino, and his gang of nine are playing fast and loose with the county budget, borrowing money to pay for tax certiorari – a practice that led in part to Nassau County’s huge financial difficulties – while simultaneously launching a full fledged attack on our county’s intricate support system that took decades to build. The results of Astorino’s callous actions are unimaginable, and they are happening right here to Westchester’s women and our families.

Astorino is a Tea Party extremist who is advancing an anti-woman, anti-family agenda similar to that voiced by GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and former Senator Rick Santorum. His focus is on gutting programs that serve working families, and borrowing money when he needs to, so that he can claim he isn’t raising taxes. Astorino has little regard for the working families of Westchester and the services we rely on. Further, as County Executive, he has a great deal of power to adversely impact women’s health care – and he’s determined to do just that. He has already vetoed a bill that would have allowed women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health centers – while cutting funding for childcare, food pantries, afterschool programs, health centers, and much more. Please keep in mind that Astorino is making these cuts that have a horrific impact on living, breathing children while, at the same time, is adamant in his opposition to safe access to reproductive health centers and to abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.

To compound things, if that’s possible, at a time when we know that the mentally ill need treatment and care, not guns, Astorino and his seven minions closed all of Westchester’s mental health centers, without even implementing a transition plan for the clients.

The Good News
2013 is Election Year for all elected offices in Westchester County Government.

 

Three candidates for County Executive and one for the Board of Legislators have already stepped up to the plate to take on Astorino and his anti-choice right-wing legislators who are out of step with Westchester’s women and families.

The three candidates – Noam Bramson, Ken Jenkins, and Bill Ryan – are vying for the opportunity to defeat Rob Astorino and, once again, make Westchester a county were women are treated as equals and all people – regardless of economic circumstance – have the opportunity to succeed. (See below for information on Bramson, Jenkins, and Ryan.)

The candidate for the Board of Legislators, and truly a friend to Choice Matters, is Rachelle “Rocky” Richard, a real fighter that everyone would want in their corner.

Rocky is telling traitor Bernice Spreckman it’s time to pack her bags and go home. Spreckman used Choice to get elected, seeking and getting our endorsement for more than a dozen years; but then, the first time we needed her support, Spreckman voted against women of all ages – she voted against safe access to reproductive health centers for the women of Westchester simply because Astorino told her to. For political expediency, she turned her back on all of us who voted for her, slamming the clinic door in our faces.

In sharp contrast to Spreckman, Rocky is an accomplished professional in government, community and public affairs with more than 25 years of experience. Rocky has successfully organized and managed community engagement as well as grassroots advocacy throughout Westchester. For the past seven years Rocky has served as the Chief of Staff to the Yonkers City Council President.

For those of us who truly care about Choice, Rocky is what we want every candidate to be – proud to stand up for comprehensive reproductive rights.

Meet the Good Guys
Noam Bramson, Ken Jenkins, and Bill Ryan

Three candidates with distinctly different backgrounds

Noam Bramson has served as the Mayor of New Rochelle since January 2006 and was reelected most recently in 2011 with a record-breaking 79% of the vote. Prior to becoming Mayor, Noam served for ten years on the New Rochelle City Council. Since 1992, Noam has worked as an aid to Congresswoman Nita Lowey on both government and political challenges. Noam describes the election as a contest of fundamental values, and on his literature he prominently displays, he stand[s] confidently for a woman’s right to choose, marriage equality, inclusion, and Westchester’s mainstream values.

Ken Jenkins is Chairman of the County Board of Legislators. He won his 16th District legislative seat for a second full term on November 4, 2009. Vowing to restore funding to county programs he called vital and to find creative solutions to the problems the county must face, Ken has pointed out that property taxes and fees for county services have gone up, while our quality of life has gone down, making the point that, Our county government is not doing more with less; it is doing less with less and shifting the burden to you in other ways.

Bill Ryan has served as the County Board Legislator from the 5th District for 15 years, including six as Chairman of the Board. Prior to he County Board, Bill served in the New York State Assembly (91st A.D.). In July, Bill was appointed to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties, and continues to serve on NACo’s Large Urban County Caucus where he is one of 35 officials representing over 140 million people in America’s 100 largest counties, on matters before the federal government. Bill is running for County Executive because Westchester has always been a great place to live, [and] for the past three years, the flawed plans, policies and decisions of the county executive have put that greatness in jeopardy. Bill has always been a vocal supporter of comprehensive reproductive rights, declaring he believes a woman’s right to choose is absolute and should not be subject to legislation.

National News

North Dakota Personhood Measure Passes State Senate
Catholic Hospital Takes Surprise Stance in Lawsuit

January 22nd – A Day to Say Thank You

Forty years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision, Roe v. Wade. That decision declared that women have the constitutional right to have an abortion. This single court decision has saved the lives of many, many women.

Before you do anything else today, turn to your mother, your grandmother, your aunt, and say, “Thank you. Thank you for fighting so that I may make my own decisions, so that I may have a healthy family if and when I choose to have one.”

Without these brave women and men — the women of J.A.N.E., the clinic escorts, the Dr. Tillers, and so many more — we would not be here to fight another day.

I wish I could tell you we have won and our rights are secure but the fact is that Roe v. Wade only fueled anti-choice extremists in their war against women’s reproductive freedom. These attacks on our rights are frightening: Clinics being bombed; abortion providers disappearing in 87% of the counties in the U.S.; anti-choice legislators fighting to make Kansas the first “abortion-free” state in the nation. Simply watch this video from the Rachel Maddow Show to catch a glimpse of what is playing out on the national stage.

Your support today shows that you understand we must keep fighting.

In New York State we have the opportunity to make history as we did in 1970. In his State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Women’s Equality Act, a 10-point plan that would break down barriers to a woman’s full participation in society and advance her health and well-being. A hallmark of this agenda is a state law protecting every woman’s right to choose safe, legal abortion care here in New York, especially if her health is in danger.

But Westchester is not Albany. Right here in Westchester County, we face anti-choice extremist County Executive Astorino who opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life. He even vetoed a law which would have provided women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health facilities. Surrounding himself with seven anti-choice legislators, all of whom voted against safe clinic access, Rob Astorino has brought the War on Women and our Families home to Westchester–and his seven allies are helping him target the most vulnerable. They have cut funding for childcare and afterschool programs that would have enabled women to work; and four of them even voted to cut transportation for seniors. Astorino’s 2013 budget cuts $3 million in county funding to three neighborhood health centers.

Unless we change the make-up of Westchester’s county government their laws and budgets will be the ones we live by. Remember these are the people who do not think women deserve safe access to reproductive health care.

2013 – What Lies Ahead

Wow, what a year 2012 has been. On the one hand, we had pro-choice victories across the country and in New York, with women’s rights candidates winning big. More women will serve in the US Senate in 2013 than ever before. You did this. We did this together.

But on the other hand, there was no time to enjoy our victories. With the elections barely over, zealots in Michigan and Ohio slashed access to birth control and abortion, and passed some of the harshest anti-choice legislation in the country.

Those actions were taken on a state level. On a local level, our rights are also far from safe.

Right here in Westchester County, we are facing very strong opposition to safe, comprehensive health care. Westchester’s local county government is headed by an anti-choice extremist who supports every anti-woman, anti-family idea voiced by former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Westchester’s own County Executive opposes abortion in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman.

This County Executive has a great deal of power to adversely impact women’s health care – and he’s determined to do just that. He has already vetoed a bill that would have allowed women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health centers – all of this while cutting funding for childcare, food pantries, afterschool programs, health centers, and much more. (Click here to read Westchester Budget Neglects County’s Most Vulnerable Residents by Rev. Noelle Damico, member of the United Church of Christ Metro Association.)

Take a good look at these budget cuts. They all directly and adversely impact women and the way we can care for ourselves and our families. These cuts are being made by an ideologue, and his cohorts, who claims to care about the fetus, but clearly spurns the child and the woman who raises it.

Unfortunately, County Executive Astorino and his gang of nine have brought the war on women home to Westchester.

We must organize our outrage and prepare now for the 2013 elections. We cannot go backwards again.

This is why I am asking you to make a special end-of-year contribution today. With your support, we will continue to move Westchester, New York, and our nation forward.

Please contribute for our critically needed work in 2013.

WCLA – Choice Matters together with our WCLA PAC are your local pro-choice advocacy organization. We protect women’s rights locally, state-wide, and nationally by making sure we elect pro-choice candidates who will fight for us. Choice Matters and WCLA PAC are the oldest and the only local organizations that send you a voting guide and tell it like it is.

We need your help.
Please, consider contributing today.
Thank you.

Seemingly Insurmountable Challenges, Our Unprecedented Victories & the On-going War on Women

Why, after electing a pro-choice president to a second term, increasing the number of pro-choice elected officials in Congress and in Albany, and electing an historic number of pro-choice women to office in Washington, does it still feel like 1965?

Despite predictions to the contrary, the economy was not the only issue considered by voters on Election Day. Women’s rights were front and center in our minds. For the past decade, the electorate has been confronted by a real war on women, one that has truly impacted our economic independence and our rights. Unbelievably, we are once again negotiating the terms by which women are allowed access to contraceptives, not to mention abortion. Not since the Griswold v. Connecticut decision (1965), in which the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot deny married couples* access to contraception, have we been subject to such an invasion of our “right to privacy”, a right the High Court found within the U.S. Constitution. This was the first presidential election in U.S. history that determined whether access to contraception would be significantly increased or dramatically decreased. On Tuesday, November 6th, we used our ballots to respond.

Our support for pro-choice candidates resulted in unprecedented victories. We elected our endorsed candidates at all levels of government, sending a record number of pro-choice women to Washington. Ninety-one percent of the candidates WCLA – Choice Matters endorsed, won!

Choice Matters is particularly proud of our victories in two races: the 37th NYS Senate District where George Latimer was victorious, despite being outspent by historic proportions in a state senate race; and in the 93rd NYS Assembly District where David Buchwald defeated an anti-choice incumbent. We were told we didn’t stand a chance, but guess what – we won! As Latimer’s campaign manager told me, “We couldn’t have done it without you!”

But, despite our wins, the majority of the representatives in the United States Congress and in the New York State Senate are anti-choice. And dozens of statehouses across the country remain poised to pass anti-woman legislation. The election may be over but the battle is not. Choice Matters needs you to help us keep New York moving in the right direction.

Right here in New York, Assemblyman Katz, 94 A.D., promises the first bill introduced in Albany this legislative session will be one to defund Planned Parenthood. New York’s anti-choice Senate refuses to even bring the Reproductive Health Act up for a vote. In Congress, the big budget fight is being led by former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, famous for his view that “rape is just another method of conception”, who believes this is their best chance to cut the federal family-planning program and take away cancer screenings, maternity care, and affordable birth control from millions of women and families.

Here in Westchester, anti-choice extremist County Executive Astorino who opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life, vetoed a law which would have provided women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health facilities. Surrounding himself with seven anti-choice legislators, all of whom voted against safe clinic access, Rob Astorino has brought the War on Women and our Families home to Westchester–and his seven allies are helping him target the most vulnerable. They have cut funding for childcare and afterschool programs that would have enabled women to work; and four of them even voted to cut transportation for seniors. Astorino’s 2013 budget cuts $3 million in county funding to three neighborhood health centers. (For more, read our Westchester County Board Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget.)

Choice Matters is calling on you to help us with our next big challenge. We need to educate Westchester voters about this County Executive and his own personal war on women. Westchester deserves a pro-choice leader who will work to build up our county and its infrastructure, not one who puts politics before the welfare of the county, incorporating his extreme ideology into all of his governmental policies. The battle begins now.

I think you agree with me when I say politics has no place in our fundamental reproductive rights. Make a gift to Choice Matters to support our work.

Choice Matters has been standing strong since 1972! That’s 40 years! Using Choice Matters’ ProChoice IDEA – Identification, Education and Activation, we have interviewed hundreds of thousands of female voters, identified those who are pro-choice, and added them to our database. We do this every single week in each and every year. It is this amazing database that made us victorious in the 37th NYS Senatorial District and the 93rd NYS Assembly District this year!

Your support makes it possible for us to send everyone in our database our ProChoice voting guide newsletter which informs the public about Choice, elected officials’ reproductive rights actions, challengers’ positions, and our critical endorsements. This voting guide newsletter scares some candidates and elected officials and rewards others because it holds them accountable for their actions.

Your generous contribution of $25, $100, $250 or more will help Choice Matters’ ProChoice IDEA campaign continue to identify and educate households across the county and state.

Choice Matters is a mighty pro-choice organization with a proven strategy. That’s because you, our donors, have given us extraordinary support for 40 years. We hope you will continue to do so. Your contribution — for as much as you can afford — will help make a difference. No contribution is too small, or too large as every dollar truly counts. Please email or mail your contribution today. (Click here!)

Supporting Choice Matters is the most valuable action an advocate for Choice can take. Thank you!

* (Eisenstadt v. Baird, 1972, extended the right to single people.)

Westchester County Board Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget

Westchester County Board Passes Paul Ryan’s Budget
–Line items may be different but the effect is the same—

Protect the top 2% while trampling on the middle class and working poor, with a bull’s eye being placed squarely on the foreheads of working women.

One week ago, anti-choice County Executive Astorino with the support of nine minions passed a 2013 County budget.

This budget illustrates yet again the true meaning of the right-to-life agenda: care about the fetus when it’s in the womb, and the minute it’s born, it’s on its own. The cuts to Westchester’s public health care and childcare systems are of historic proportion, targeting the most vulnerable and least able to fight back among us.

Four of Choice Matters’ previously endorsed legislators voted with Astorino in support of his anti-woman anti-family budget. By supporting this horrific budget, these four legislators – Virginia Perez (17 CLD), Mike Kaplowitz (4 CLD), Jim Maisano (11 CLD), and Bernice Spreckman (14 CLD) – have publically declared their support for the County Executive’s priorities and his War on Women and our Families.

This is not hyperbole. Their votes to pass the budget rather than to fight for their constituents will have devastating affects on working women and their families.

– Astorino’s Priorities, and those of his minions who voted in support of the budget –

►Astorino clearly thinks protecting your friends and fans’ employment is more important than the good of the County.
Astorino has preserved 56 patronage jobs, at a cost of $5.4 million dollars to tax payers; and he is holding 44 positions vacant should he wish to fill them within the coming year,

while at the same time:
â–ºHe has cut 100 important jobs that serve the residents of Westchester.
Over half of these jobs are in social services, such as social workers and eligibility examiners who help those applying for assistance. The result is that the time between applying, receiving approval, and then actually getting the services, such as food stamps, aid to dependent children, public assistance, etc., will grow exponentially. And, as we all know after the past 5 years, the number of people needing help just simply to feed their families has grown at an unimaginable rate.

The other half of the jobs cut include probation personnel, paralegals, and over 80% of the engineering and architectural staff who are essential to overseeing infrastructure improvements—that means bridges, roadways, waterways, parks, anything and everything.

►Astorino, with the support of Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano and Speckman, cut $3 million dollars in County funding to three neighborhood health centers. Let’s remember who uses the health centers. It is not Astorino and his cronies. It is the ever-growing number of working poor who cannot, just because funding is cut, go somewhere else. Many women rely on these clinics for contraceptives, pap smears, and cancer screenings, among other things. Their children go for check-ups, immunizations, and so much more.

This cut to neighborhood health centers is clearly a politically motivated action by a man who has done nothing to prepare the County for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act which starts to take effect here in Westchester in 2013.

Astorino’s attack on our health care is driven by ideology. Astorino opposes abortion even in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman’s life, and vetoed a law which would have provided women the most basic of rights – safe access to reproductive health facilities.

He opposes the Affordable Care Act and is against recognizing contraceptives as part of preventative care.

By supporting this Paul Ryan-like budget, Virginia Perez and Mike Kaplowitz, as well as Jim Maisano and Bernice Spreckman, have aligned themselves with Astorino’s ideological war on women and our families.

â–ºAstorino, with their support, cut funding for childcare programs that would have enabled women to work. The budget raised the family share for subsidized childcare to unaffordable levels.

The Astorino budget caps the number of Westchester kids ever to be allowed to be served by the Title XX program at a level reached last spring. Title XX is program that helps people earning less than the poverty level to have access to childcare funding. (As I said, Astorino is anti-abortion and anti-child, especially if they are the children of the working poor!)

This nightmarish budget also cut all funding to a program that has provided technical assistance to childcare providers and visits to legally exempt providers so there would be some reliable quality of services. Basically, this program has made facilities safer, and because of this administration, it can’t anymore!

â–ºAstorino, with the support of Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano and Spreckman, cut all the funding to the Food Patch ($72,000) and to the Food Pantry ($72,000).

Women now won’t be able to work because of having no childcare; we won’t be able to access health care in real time; and we won’t be able to feed our families with the help from the pantries which we will now need more than ever because we can’t work without childcare.

This is the ideological agenda that Virginia Perez, Mike Kaplowitz, Jim Maisano and Bernice Spreckman support.

It is time to hold our legislators accountable. All of the County legislators and the County Executive are up for election in 2013. Let’s remind Perez, Kaplowitz, Maisano, and Spreckman that we do not vote for traitors!

You Did It! We Did It!

Last night was a great night for Choice!

Choice Matters had one heck of a great night. With only two exceptions, every single one of our endorsed candidates won!

Our bright yellow pro-choice voting guide, the WCLA PAC get-out-the-vote calls, and the rides to the polls all came together to make the difference.

We are particularly proud of the role Choice Matters played in the victories in the 37th NYS Senate District where George Latimer was victorious, despite being outspent by historic proportions for a state race, and in the 93rd NYS Assembly District where David Buchwald defeated an anti-choice incumbent.

Choice Matters’ winning endorsements:

  • Barack Obama (President)
  • Joe Biden (Vice President)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (U.S. Senator)
  • Gerald Loehr, Maria Rosa, Sandra Sciorino (NYS Supreme Court Justices, 9th Judicial District)
  • David Zuckerman (Westchester County Court Judge)
  • Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Sean Patrick Maloney (US House of Representatives)
  • Jeff Klein, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Ruth H. Thompson, George Latimer, David Carlucci, (NYS Senate)
  • Amy Paulin, Gary Pretlow, Shelley Mayer, Steve Otis, Tom Abinanti, David Buchwald, Sandy Galef (NYS Assembly)

Choice played a vital role in the election again this year. We found ourselves defending our right to use birth control, and were repeatedly told by anti- choice extremists such crazy notions like pregnancy by rape never occurs but when it does it is a blessing from God.

Our bright yellow voting guide again proved its power. All over Westchester you saw people carry Choice Matters’ bright yellow voting guide in with them to vote.

Our mailed voting guide is still the best way to ensure that people vote for pro-choice candidates. Please help us continue our work! Contribute.

Full results can be viewed here.

George Latimer vs. Bob Cohen – The Facts

David vs. Goliath
George Latimer vs. Bob Cohen
– The Facts –

George Latimer (D, WF) and Bob Cohen (R, C, I) are running for the open seat being vacated by retiring pro-choice Senator Suzie Oppenheimer.

Choice Matters’ endorsements are made solely on the issue of Choice. We have, however, received a significant number of inquiries regarding the State Senate race in the 37th district. Therefore, we are sharing additional information.

On the issue of Women’s Reproductive Rights:
George Latimer is 100% pro-choice.
George Latimer has worked to advance a reproductive rights and health agenda in the Assembly since 2004, including sponsoring the Reproductive Health Act and voting to ensure women have access to emergency contraception.

As an Assemblyman and former Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, Latimer has been an outspoken advocate for legislation that ensures access to vital health care services for women.
Bob Cohen is anti-choice.
Bob Cohen refused to stand up for even the most basic of needs, safe access to reproductive health clinics – despite repeated requests addressed to Cohen and to his campaign.
Cohen also refuses to tell the public his position on the Reproductive Health Act – a bill New York desperately needs to pass.
To get the facts, click here and read our piece titled “Bob Cohen is anti-choice!  NO if’s and’s or but’s about it
On the issue of New York State’s Fair Pay Act – Equal Pay for Equal Work legislation:
George Latimer is a supporter and voted in favor of its passage in 2011 and 2012. (www.assembly.state.ny.us Bill Search: A.06130).

Bob Cohen is silent on the issue. There is nothing on his website concerning the Fair Pay Act – Equal Pay for Equal Work legislation

On the issue of Cancer and Cancer Research:
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is the nation’s leading cancer advocacy organization. Its Cancer Votes initiative has produced a questionnaire to establish the candidates’ position on cancer. They distributed questionnaires but are not endorsing. (Click here to see the questionnaire.)
14 people are diagnosed with cancer each and every day right here in Westchester.

George Latimer returned his questionnaire promptly.

Bob Cohen was silent on the issue, refusing to answer the questionnaire despite repeated requests.

On the issue of Taxes:
George Latimer has
: 1. Voted to cut State Income Tax rates to the lowest levels in 58 years (www.assembly.state.ny.us Bill Search: A.40001); 2. Voted to eliminate the MTA Payroll Tax for over 25,000 small businesses, and all public and private schools (www.assembly.state.ny.us Bill Search: A.40002); 3. Sponsored legislation to eliminate the 1989 tax surcharge on home sales (www.assembly.state.ny.us Bill Search: A.307); 4. Sponsored bi-partisan legislation for full elimination of the MTA Payroll Tax (www.assembly.state.ny.us Bill Search: A.5616 and A.8193); 5. Cut taxes for 3 straight years (1998-2001) as Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (Westchester County Board of Legislators, 914-995-2800).

Bob Cohen has no voting record.
Click here for more information on the race and particularly tax issues,  The Hottest Race for the NYS Senate: George Latimer vs. Bob Cohen, by David Singer, 10/18/2012.
N.Y. Board: “Slumlord” ad against GOPer is accurate, Salon, by Jillian Rayfield. 10/19/2012.

Anti-Choice Castelli Puts Religion above Women’s Health

Every year Choice Matters sends all candidates a questionnaire to establish her/his position on women’s reproductive rights.

This year Robert Castelli–the assemblyman for the 93rd district—used the New York State Catholic Conference’s language on his questionnaire to argue against the Reproductive Health Act.

Castelli claimed that “it [the Reproductive Health Act] would close Catholic hospitals.”

That’s patently false and Castelli knows it. Ask him to show you where in the bill it says anything about requiring hospitals to provide specific services. He can’t because it doesn’t exist.

The Reproductive Health Act has nothing to do with hospitals. It is a bill, that if passed, would bring New York’s reproductive rights legislation in line with 21st century medical practices and the protection of women’s health.
In fact, the bill specifically references existing state and federal law that allows hospitals to NOT provide reproductive services if it is against its religious or moral principles.

Many reproductive rights advocates have met with Castelli to educate him about the Reproductive Health Act. I have also spent a lot of time speaking with him about the issues raised in our questionnaire.

It should be noted, Castelli did not say, “it will close religious hospitals.” He said, “Catholic hospitals.”  Why? Maybe because that’s the argument with which he was provided.

On October 28, 2010, in a speech to the Bishops of Brazil, the Pope declared, “Bishops have the right to tell their citizens how to use their vote to promote the common good.”

And that is exactly what the public policy voice for New York Bishops, the New York State Catholic Conference, does.  Members meet with elected legislators, lay out the bills to which they object and provide the arguments legislators can use. (That is not separation of church and state!)

Castelli could have used other language like, “I oppose abortion” or “I oppose contraception.” But he didn’t because he wants to claim he is pro-choice. Castelli knows that if Westchester voters knew the truth, that Castelli is anti-choice, he never would have been elected.

“Pro-choice” has become a marketing term in Westchester because Westchester voters vote Choice. Candidates who don’t support women’s reproductive rights can be found announcing to a group of women, “I am pro-choice.”– even if they only believe in abortion in cases of rape and incest— and that we know is definitively anti-choice

Nan Hayworth claimed to be pro-choice. But once elected, Hayworth became a favorite of anti-choice groups.  Hayworth currently boasts an 80% approval rating from the National Right to Life Organization; she has co-sponsored two of their bills and voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood.  That sure doesn’t sound like someone who is pro-choice to us.  Does it to you?

Castelli has turned his back on Rockefeller Republicans and, instead, aligned himself with the far right agenda coming out of Washington.

Castelli has a record of voting against women.  In each of the last three legislative sessions, Castelli opposed the Domestic Violence Escalation Prevention Act — a measure that would prevent domestic violence incidents from increasing in frequency and intensity by making it more difficult for perpetrators with a history of domestic violence to obtain guns.

Castelli also voted against the so-called microstamping bill in June that would have required all semi-automatic pistols manufactured or delivered to any licensed firearms dealer in the State of New York to be capable of micro-stamping ammunition resulting in a unique alpha-numeric or geometric code appear at least twice on each cartridge case. The code would make it easier for authorities to identify the make, model and serial number of the firearm. This bill was strongly supported by law enforcement agencies and opposed by gun manufacturers.

Candidate Bob Cohen is Anti-Choice!!

Bob Cohen is anti-choice!  NO if’s and’s or but’s about it.

This man will say anything to get elected and that makes him the most dangerous kind of candidate there is.

Bob Cohen already has a history of turning his back on the women of Westchester.

In the spring of 2012, Choice Matters tried to give Cohen the opportunity to stand up for the rights of women. After all, he’d been a NYS Senate candidate in 2010 and was already campaigning for the newly redrawn 37th Senate district seat.

Choice Matters asked Cohen to submit a letter in support of the most basic right—the right to access reproductive health clinics safely, right here in Westchester, without fear of being kicked, grabbed, hit, physically menaced or blocked from entry. Cohen was non-responsive.

As many of you may remember, that proposed law had been carefully reviewed by the New York Civil Liberties Union to make sure that all first amendment rights were protected, and they were. All aspects of speech were protected, including prayer.

The proposed law — simply put — made clear that women should be allowed to access reproductive health care safely.

Choice Matters contacted Cohen’s campaign manager Matt several times. Matt even gave Choice Matters Cohen’s email address so we could contact him directly. And we did.

(Click here to see Choice Matters’ email to Cohen, to the address provided by his campaign manager Matt.)

Cohen never responded. Despite more calls to campaign manager Matt, Cohen refused to stand up for Westchester women.

Why was such a simple and easily satisfied request rejected?  Probably because Cohen has taken the Conservative Party line and the Conservative Party has merged with the extremist anti-choice Right to Life Party.  (We noted that on the cover of the last bright yellow 2011 Voting Guide.)

Cohen does not want the right wing of the Conservative Party to know he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth, making contradictory promises to opposing groups.

For further proof that Bob Cohen is Anti-Choice, we just need to look at his Choice Matters questionnaire and his interview responses for this 2012 race.

The Choice Matters questionnaire asks whether a candidate would make his/her support of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) a public part of his/her campaign.  (RHA is a bill that would bring New York’s abortion law into the 21st century.)  Cohen refused to answer the question!

When pushed in an interview to explain, Cohen said that he absolutely would not put anything about RHA on his literature, but if someone asked, he would tell them. Cohen is on the record in his questionnaire for not wanting to make reproductive rights part of his campaign.

Why? Simple. Because Cohen does not want to lose the votes of the extreme right, anti-choice voters of the Conservative Party.

Bob Cohen is Anti-Choice.

Imagine what Cohen has promised the Conservative Party — a party that has as key planks in its platform anti-choice and anti-gay  resolutions!! If Cohen cannot be public about his position on women’s rights, you can be certain that he will never stand up for us.

It is important to note that “Pro-choice” has become a marketing term in Westchester because Westchester voters vote Choice. And it is absolutely essential that Choice voters know who is telling the truth and can be trusted.

For example, Nan Hayworth ran in 2010 claiming she was “pro-choice.” But once elected, Hayworth became a favorite of anti-choice groups.  Hayworth currently boasts an 80% approval rating from the National Right to Life Organization; she has co-sponsored two of their bills, and, among other things, voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood.  That sure doesn’t sound like someone who is pro-choice to us.  Does it to you?

WCLA – Choice Matters’ mission is clear: “to keep abortion legal and to ensure that all women, regardless of age, race, class, status, geography or ability to pay, have full, unimpeded access to reproductive health care.”

We tell you the truth about the candidates because the women in our lives depend on us.

Choice Matters 2012 Endorsements Are….

2012 Endorsements
(As of September 14, 2012, WCLA – Choice Matters has announced the following endorsements for the 2012 election cycle.)

Endorsed Candidates Appear in BOLD .

U.S. PRESIDENT/VICE PRESIDENT
►BARACK OBAMA/JOE BIDEN 
Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan (anti-choice)
Gary Johnson/James P. Gray (anti-choice)
Virgil Goode/Jim Clymer (anti-choice)

U.S. SENATOR
►KIRSTEN E GILLIBRAND  
Wendy Long (anti-choice)

(Please note that the following are the new districts which are the result of redistricting.)
U.S. House of Representatives
â–ºDistrict 16 Westchester County: Eastchester, parts of Greenburgh, Mamaroneck, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Pelham, City of Rye, Scarsdale; plus parts of the Bronx.
â–ºELIOT ENGEL
Joseph Mclaughlin (anti-choice)
JOSEPH DIAFERIA  (pro-choice)

â–ºDistrict 17Westchester County: Cortlandt, parts of Greenburgh, Harrison, City of Mount Kisco, Mt. Pleasant, New Castle, No. Castle, Ossining, Peekskill, Rye Town, parts of Yorktown; plus Rockland County.
â–ºNITA LOWEY
Joe Carvin (anti-choice)

â–ºDistrict 18 – Westchester County: Bedford, Lewisboro, parts of New Castle, parts of North Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge, parts of Yorktown; plus Beacon, East Fishkill, Fishkill, Poughkeepsie (city & town),  Wappinger in Dutchess County; plus Putnam and Orange Counties.
â–ºSEAN PATRICK MALONEY
Nan Hayworth (anti-choice)

NEW YORK STATE SENATE
â–ºDistrict 34 – Westchester County: Pelham; plus parts of the Bronx.
â–ºJEFF KLEIN
Elizabeth Perri (anti-choice)
CARL LUNDGREN (pro-choice)

â–ºDistrict 35 – Westchester County: Greenburgh, Scarsdale, parts of New Rochelle, of White Plains and  of Yonkers.
â–ºANDREA STEWART-COUSINS

â–ºDistrict 36- Westchester County: Mt. Vernon; plus parts of the Bronx.
â–ºRUTH HASSELL-THOMPSON
Robert l. Diamond (anti-choice)

â–ºDistrict 37- Westchester County: Bedford, Eastchester, Harrison, Mamaroneck, No. Castle, Rye (city & town), parts of White Plains and Yonkers.
â–ºGEORGE LATIMER
Bob Cohen (anti-choice)

â–ºDistrict 38- Westchester County: Ossining; plus Clarkstown, Orangetown, Ramapo in Rockland County.
â–ºDAVID CARLUCCI
Janis A. Castaldi (anti-choice)

â–ºDistrict 40- Westchester County: Cortlandt, Lewisboro, Mt. Pleasant, New Castle, No. Salem, Pound Ridge, Yorktown; plus Beekman, Carmel, Patterson, Pawling,Southeast in Putnam County.
â–ºJUSTIN WAGNER
Greg Ball (anti-choice)

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
►District 88- Westchester County: Eastchester, parts of New Rochelle, Pelham, Scarsdale, parts of  White Plains.
â–ºAMY PAULIN

â–ºDistrict 89- Westchester County: Mt. Vernon, parts of Yonkers.
â–ºJ. GARY PRETLOW

►District 90- Westchester County: parts of  Yonkers.
â–ºSHELLEY MAYER

â–ºDistrict 91- Westchester County: Mamaroneck, parts of New Rochelle, Rye (city & Town.)
â–ºSTEVE OTIS
William Villanova (anti-choice)

â–ºDistrict 92- Westchester County: Greenburgh, Mt Pleasant, parts of Yonkers.
â–ºTOM ABINANTI

â–ºDistrict 93- Westchester County: Bedford, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mt. Kisco, New Castle, No. Castle, No. Salem, parts of White Plains.
â–ºDAVID BUCHWALD
Bob Castelli (anti-choice)

â–ºDistrict 94- Westchester County: Somers, Yorkstown; plus Putnam Valley, Carmel, Southeast, Patterson in Putnam County.
â–ºANDREW FALK
Stephen Katz (anti-choice)

â–ºDistrict 95- Westchester County:Cortlandt, Ossining, Peekskill; plus Phillipstown, Kent in Putnam County.
â–ºSANDRA GALEF
Kim Izzarelli (anti-choice)

WESTCHESTER COUNTY COURT JUDGE
â–ºDAVID S. ZUCKERMAN
Matthew J. Troy lll  (anti-choice)

NYS SUPREME COURT JUDGES
endorsements to be announced week of 9/24/2012