Health Lobby Figures the Best Way to Paterson Is Through Vulnerable Democrats

One budget area very much in play is healthcare, and powerful lobbying forces are flexing their muscle. Sign Up For

One budget area very much in play is healthcare, and powerful lobbying forces are flexing their muscle.

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Kevin Finnegan, political director for SEIU 1199, said that his organization is involved in a “last-minute push” to make sure cuts to hospitals are distributed evenly across the board. Representatives of his organization camped out near legislative chambers earlier this week handing out fliers drawing attention to the hospitals that will suffer most.

William Van Slyke, a spokesman for the Health Care Association of New York State, said his group is launching a focused campaign against pressurable Democratic members of the State Senate including Antoine Thompson, Bill Stachowski, Neil Breslin, Darrel Aubertine, David Valesky, Craig Johnson and Brian Foley. He says his group has seen four sets of "runs" detailing how much money will go to which hospital, and wants to "educate" the senators of his group's position on the "reforms" proposed by the governor.

The group began running web ads two days ago, but today began robo-calling voters in Aubertine's district and taking out ads featuring his face in the Watertown Daily Times. They took out similar ads at two newspapers in David Valesky's district – the Auburn Citizen and Rome Sentinel.

"Our opportunity for redress, we believe, lies with the Senate Democrats," Van Slyke told me by phone. "We are not going after these guys. We are not attacking them. We are just trying to raise awareness. We are trying to prevent them from buying into this idea that the governor is after reform."

Health Lobby Figures the Best Way to Paterson Is Through Vulnerable Democrats