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Penfield Post
  • BENJAMIN WACHS: Which Maggie Brooks would we get?

  • I’ve decided to figure out, based on her record as a county executive, whether a Congresswoman Brooks would vote to support Paul Ryan’s proposed federal budget.

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  • Maggie Brooks says we’ll know how she’ll vote as a congresswoman by her record as a county executive. When I suggested that this actually leaves a lot to the imagination, her spokesman Noah Lebowitz scolded me in an email: “There is no confusion on how Maggie will govern in Congress.”
    None? Okay then.
    Taking him at his word I’ve decided to figure out, based on her record as a county executive, whether a Congresswoman Brooks would vote to support Paul Ryan’s proposed federal budget.
    I could have tried to figure out whether Brooks would vote to defund Planned Parenthood or eliminate the Department of Education or authorizing spying on American citizens — but I wouldn’t know how, since as a county executive she’s never to my knowledge actually tackled major social issues or national security.
    Fiscal issues, on the other hand, are her bread and butter: After all, the very first issue Maggie Brooks highlights on her website is “taxes.”
    In her years as county executive, Brooks has steadfastly kept her promise not to raise property taxes, so one can assume she’d support the Paul Ryan budget.
    Except, of course, that she also promised to keep the tax levy stable — and broke that promise her first year in office. So she recognizes that government sometimes needs more money, and therefore would vote against the Ryan budget.
    Except that as her website notes, Brooks is proud of having reduced the size of government by hundreds of jobs. The Ryan budget would cut government significantly at every level (try waiting in the DMV or getting your streets repaired under that plan), so Maggie would probably vote for it, given her record of cutting government.
    Then again, Maggie once proposed a sales tax increase in order to do no harm to local governments when adopting the Medicaid Swap. Obviously she understands that sometimes you need to put tax increases on the table and can’t just cut government willy-nilly. So surely she’d vote against the Ryan budget.
    Although the Ryan budget is strongly supported by the Republican caucus, and Brooks has been a loyal member of the local Republican caucus. So it seems likely, based on her record, that she’d vote for it.
    Except her website also notes that “Preserving Quality of Life is Cornerstone of Brooks Tenure.” The problematic grammar and punctuation aside, this is absolutely true: Over three terms, Maggie has used a combination of brilliant fiscal innovation, one-shot sales of public resources, and hard-core smoke and mirrors to pay for the high level of services Monroe County citizens have come to expect. She has steadfastly refused to put popular quality-of-life initiatives on the chopping block.
    The Ryan budget would slash all kinds of government services and seriously downgrade quality-of-life in communities across the country. So … she’d vote against it?
    Page 2 of 2 - Looking at her record, there still appears to be some confusion as to how Brooks would vote.
    I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news to the Brooks organization, but I don’t think this guessing game about her record is going to work. It would be much better if Maggie used the campaign to actually tell us what she wants to do in Congress. Could you do that for us?
    Benjamin Wachs writes for Messenger Post Media, and is the editor of Fiction365.com. Email him at Benjamin@Fiction365.com.

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