Sunday, December 7, 2008

Better Know Red Albany: James Tedisco

James Tedisco is the New York State Assembly Minority Leader representing the 110th Assembly District. Tedisco has served the Assembly since 1983. He was elected to Minority Leader by the Republican Assembly caucus unanimously in 2005. Prior to his public service through politics, Tedisco was a special education teacher, guidance counselor, and later served as the athletic director at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons High School in Schenectady.

In 1977, at 27 years old, Tedisco was elected to the Schenectady City Council, as the youngest person ever elected to that role. He was reelected four years later. In 1982, Tedisco decided to run for an open Assembly seat. Tedisco faced a four man Republican primary, and won. He went on to win the general election and has been reelected ever since. As a Freshman Assemblyman, Tedisco became the ranking Minority member of the Committee on Children and Families and Chairman of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Missing Children. He has been an advocate for missing children and has co-written a book on the topic in 1996.

His Minority leadership has been over only a few years and the Assembly minority has been pretty vocal. Opposing tax increases and helped lead the charge against Eliot Spitzer's failed attempt at granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Early this year, he led the Assembly Minority to prepare a comprehensive platform for themselves entited ReNew New York. The platform is divided into eight broader categories with specific pieces of legislation to help reform each area. I like to call it a Contract for New Yorkers As a conservative former New Yorker, I'm inspired and excited by the concept that the Assembly Republicans have put together. If the Assembly Republicans can get the people of New York to review their platform - I think they'll find some new voters.

Tedisco has been a solid voice for pragmatic conservative governance. He vocally opposed the illegal immigrant license fiasco, he publicly called for Spitzer to resign, he stood up for tax cuts and caps, and he has continuously led the charge to fight cronyism, as shown by his direction of his caucus to oppose the appointment of DiNapoli for Comptroller. Tedisco has worked for the public good for years and is becoming to the State Assembly what Newt Gingrich was to the House of Representatives.

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