Assembly District 50 - Democratic Primary

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(photo from NYS Assembly website)

JOSEPH R. LENTOL – DEM
   
Joseph Lentol's Candidate Questionnaire
Age: 67 Occupation: Member, NYS Assembly
Education: University of Dayton (BA); Baltimore University School of Law (JD)
Assembly website: http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?ad=50

First elected in 1972 to the State Assembly, Joseph Lentol is a member of the committees on Rules, Election Law, Ways and Means, and is chair of the committee on Codes.  Lentol is seeking reelection because he enjoys his job in public service, which has long been a tradition in his family with his father and grandfather having served in the State Assembly.  Lentol counts among his achievements advocating for reform of the Rockefeller drug laws and working on legislation that enables greater access to DNA testing for criminal defendants.  On reform issues, Lentol supported a recently created law that counts prisoners at their former place of residence for the purposes of redistricting.  He has also worked to amend the municipal home rule law, specifically to strip the mayor of authority over term limits.  Lentol backs public financing of campaigns and no-excuse absentee voting, but opposes election-day registration.  He is also opposed to the creation of an independent redistricting commission because he believes that legislators are most familiar with the communities they serve, and therefore are best suited to draw boundaries reflecting those communities.  Lentol is open to changing the current redistricting process but feels legislators should not be excluded from it.  Citizens Union recognizes Lentol’s efforts to pass legislation benefiting constituencies in his district, but his opposition to key elements of our reform agenda prevents CU from preferring him in the Democratic primary.



(photo from facebook.com)

 ANDRE SOLEIL– DEM

Andre Soleil's Candidate Questionnaire
Age: 42 Occupation: Attorney, Soliel & Company, PAGEC.
Education: LaSalle University (BS); MCNY (MBA); CUNY School of Law (JD)  

Campaign website: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=102451619805933

Andre Soleil, running his fourth campaign for the state legislature, is an attorney and former Pentecostal minister.  Soleil previously worked in the Republican administrations of Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Governor George Pataki and was also secretary of the NYC Libertarian Party. He is running to bring change to what he called a fundamentally flawed State Assembly.  Soleil, if elected, would attempt to reform the assembly rules to diminish the power of the speaker.  He would, for example, change the process whereby committee chairs are appointed by the speaker with a more democratic process in which all members could nominate a slate of candidates.  Soleil’s reform priorities also include replacing the Board of Elections with a nonpartisan commission appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate.  Soleil would authorize this independent elections board to conduct redistricting, with lines drawn according to a formula set by the legislature. With regard to campaign finance reform, Soleil opposes disclosure of independent campaign expenditures.  Aside from good government policy, Soleil identified the importance of mandatory testing, health care, and counseling for HIV and hepatitis in prisons to aid those infected and reduce the spread of these diseases in communities where former prisoners are released.  Soleil also would prioritize extending more tax credits and tax breaks to areas of highest unemployment to create more jobs.  While Soleil exhibits thoughtfulness in confronting state issues, Citizens Union was concerned that he appears to lack an ideological focus given the number of parties with which he has been affiliated.