John Faso

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John Faso
John Faso official congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Chris Gibson
Member of the New York State Assembly
from the 102nd district
In office
January 1, 1987 – December 31, 2002
Preceded by Clarence Lane
Succeeded by Joel Miller
Personal details
Born John James Faso Jr.
(1952-08-25) August 25, 1952 (age 64)
Long Island, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Frances Faso
Children 2
Alma mater State University of New York, Brockport
Georgetown University
Website House website

John James Faso Jr. /ˈfæs/ (born August 25, 1952) is an American politician and the U.S. Representative for New York's 19th congressional district since January 3, 2017. He served as minority leader of the New York State Assembly from 1998 until 2002, representing the 102nd district from 1987 until 2002. A Republican, he gave up his seat in the Assembly to run for New York State Comptroller in 2002, losing to Alan Hevesi. In 2006, he made a run for Governor of New York, but was defeated by Democratic nominee Eliot Spitzer.

In 2016, he ran for U.S. Congress in New York's 19th congressional district.[1] He was the endorsed Republican, Conservative, Independence, and Reform candidate.[2] On November 8, 2016, Faso won the election to Congress for New York's 19th district, defeating Democratic challenger Zephyr Teachout.[3]

On January 3, 2017, Faso was sworn in as a member of the 115th United States Congress. On February 15, 2017 he was named by the Washington Post as one of 10 most-vulnerable Republican incumbents.[4]

Early life, education, and early career[edit]

Faso is of Italian and Irish descent, the eldest of five siblings.[5] He attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, New York and SUNY-Brockport. After college, Faso became a grants officer for Nassau County, New York.[6] Faso graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979.[7] After law school, Faso took government jobs in Washington, D.C., all the while thinking about running for elected office in New York. In 1983, Faso moved to upstate New York, purposely choosing to live in a district where an Assembly seat would soon become open so that he could run. In 1986, the incumbent official retired and Faso won the seat. [5]

Career[edit]

After law school, Faso took government jobs in Washington, D.C., all the while thinking about running for elected office in New York. In 1983, Faso moved to upstate New York. In 1986, the incumbent official retired and Faso won the seat.[6]

1987 to 2002[edit]

Faso was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1987 to 2002.[6] He received the 1997 Nelson A Rockefeller College Award for distinguished public service.[8] In late 1994, Faso served on George Pataki's transition team, where he chaired the budget committee.[9] He became head of the team that wrote Pataki's first budget as governor.[6]

In 1995, Faso became Ranking Member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.[10] He was the original sponsor of charter school legislation and was involved in the passage of Governor Pataki's proposal to create charter schools in New York State in 1998. He supported expanding the current cap on charter schools.[11]

Faso and Governor George Pataki attend the NY State Fair.

2002 to 2016[edit]

From 2003-06, Faso served as a member of the control board working to fix the financial and managerial issues with the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo City School District.[12]

In late 2002, Faso joined the firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; he took a leave of absence to run for governor in 2006, then rejoined the firm.[8]

In 2010, when Faso was a partner and lobbyist at the firm, paid a fine and agreed to be banned for five years from appearing before the state's public pension funds as a result of pay-to-play misconduct.[13] The ban expired in October 2015.[14]

2002 State Comptroller's campaign[edit]

Faso's work on the state budget fueled a run for New York Comptroller in 2002. Initially trailing Democrat Alan Hevesi (then-Comptroller of New York City) by a 20-point margin,[15] Faso lost the election by a 50%-47% margin. Faso attacked Hevesi throughout the campaign for being “ethically challenged” and denounced him for politicizing pension funds.[16]

Hevesi was later jailed in a pay-to-play scheme involving New York's state pension fund.[17] Years after Faso defeated Hevesi for being "ethically challanged", Faso's law firm paid $550,000 in fines for its own pension fund pay-to-play scheme.[13]

2006 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

Faso campaigning for Governor in 2006

In 2005, Faso announced his intention to run for governor. For the Republican nomination, Faso faced former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, former New York Secretary of State Randy Daniels, and Assemblyman Patrick Manning. Weld reportedly offered Faso the chance to join his ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor.[18] Faso received the Conservative Party's endorsement[19] while Weld received the Libertarian Party's nomination.[20]

After a weak showing at the state Republican convention, Weld announced his withdrawal from the race.[21]

In June, the Republican State Convention voted to endorse Faso.[22] Faso's running mate was former Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef.[23] Faso was opposed by Democratic nominee Elliot Spitzer.[24] Spitzer won with 69% of the vote, Faso received 29% of the vote.[25] His loss to Eliot Spitzer was the largest defeat for a major party gubernatorial candidate in the state's history dating back to 1777.[26]

2009 U.S. House campaign[edit]

After then-Representative Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the U.S. Senate, a special election was called in 2009 to determine her successor in New York's 20th congressional district. Faso positioned himself against Senator Betty Little and Assemblyman Jim Tedisco in the Republican primary, but eventually withdrew after party support coalesced around Tedisco.[27] Tedisco lost the election to Democrat Scott Murphy, who in turn, lost to Chris Gibson at the next election.

2016 U.S. House campaign[edit]

On September 14, 2015, Faso announced he would run for New York's 19th congressional district in the 2016 election.[28] His primary campaign was funded in large part by a SuperPAC made up of contributions from Robert Mercer.[29] Republican Chris Gibson, the retiring incumbent, endorsed Faso.[30] He won the Republican primary against Andrew Heaney, 67.5% to 32.5%.[31] During the general election, Faso faced Fordham Law professor and anti-corruption activist Zephyr Teachout in the general election. during the election, Teachout, who received most of her campaign contributions from small donars, challenged Faso's main donor Robert Mercer to a debate, which the businessman declined. Although in a formerly solid Republican district, Faso defeated Teachout with only 53% of the vote, a lesser margin than was won by Donald Trump in the same congressional district.[32]

Tenure[edit]

Faso in conversation with a constituent at the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce meeting.

After winning his election in 2016, Faso was sworn into office in January 2017 as part of the 115th Congress. Some area activists, including the Columbia County Democratic Committee and Citizens Action of New York, have been pressing Faso to hold a public forum to discuss possible attempts to dismantle and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). In one instance, activists picketed outside his home.[33]

Faso was named to the House Budget and House Agriculture Committees as well as the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee where he serves as Vice Chairman of the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Material Subcommittee.[34]

Previous to this committee assignment, Faso worked as a paid representative of The Constitution Pipeline Co, an energy company that was attempting to build a pipeline to carry fracked gas through much of New York State. The pipeline was opposed by environmental and safety advocates, and the construction of the pipeline was ultimately blocked by the state.[35]

Policy stances[edit]

Faso at an Indivisible movement protest in Kinderhook

As of 22 April 2017, Faso voted with his party in 94.9% of votes so far in the current session of Congress and voted in line with President Trump's position in 88% of votes.[36][37]

Abortion and reproductive rights[edit]

In 1987, Faso called Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, a "black mark upon this country."[38][39]

Faso was quoted in The Washington Post saying he had "no problem" with defunding Planned Parenthood, but urging his fellow Republicans not to do so as part of the proposed repeal of the ACA (Obamacare).[40] Faso later clarified his stance on Planned Parenthood, stating he prefers the "status quo".[41]

Healthcare[edit]

Faso is in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).[42][43] He faced multiple protests over this position.[42][43] Faso would not commit to town hall meetings demanded by some area activists, including the Columbia County Democratic Committee and Citizens Action of New York, to discuss the Affordable Care Act. Faso stated he believes town halls to generally "not [be] productive".[44][33]

Other[edit]

In 2010, Faso's law firm, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, paid New York State a $550,000 fine and agreed not to appear before any public pension fund in New York for at least five years. The state's then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (later elected Governor) charged that the firm had acted as an unlicensed financial broker to help companies win business with the state and city pension funds.[45]

In 2014, Faso worked was hired as a paid representative of The Constitution Pipeline Co, an energy company that was attempting to build a pipeline to carry fracked gas through much of New York State. The pipeline was opposed by Environmental and safety advocates, and the construction of the pipeline was ultimately blocked by the state.[46]

Personal life[edit]

Faso has two children, Nicholas and Margaret, and is married to Mary Frances Faso. He is a Roman Catholic.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New York gets another chance to listen to John Faso". nypost.com. September 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Faso Releases 'Better Off'". johnfaso.com. 
  3. ^ Niedzwiadek, Nick (November 9, 2016). "Faso defeats Teachout as Republicans hold NY House seats". Politico. Retrieved November 13, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Republicans believe these 10 House incumbents will face the toughest campaigns of 2018". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved February 21, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Healy, Patrick (October 18, 2006). "An Ill-Timed Candidate Believes His Time Is Now". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d Healy, Patrick (October 18, 2006). "An Ill-Timed Candidate Believes His Time Is Now". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  7. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. "In the Race for Governor, a Big Divide on School Aid", The New York Times, November 2, 2006. Accessed December 6, 2007. "Mr. Faso, whose father worked as a janitor in the Catholic grammar school that he attended on Long Island, went on to Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens and the State University of New York at Brockport."
  8. ^ a b "John J. Faso Rejoins Manatt". Business Wire. December 1, 2006. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Faso to head Pataki budget team". News Bank. November 21, 1994. 
  10. ^ Dao, James (June 5, 1995). "More Budget Battles; This Year's Fiscal Fight Is Over in Albany But Squabbling May Be Worse Next Year". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  11. ^ Peterson, Helen (September 9, 1999). "Charter School Experiment Begins". New York Dailly News. Retrieved September 21, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Colucci named to city control board". Buffalo Business Journal. August 29, 2006. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Steyer, Robert (October 12, 2010). "Faso's law firm settles in pay-to-play probe". Crain's New York Business. PI Online.com. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  14. ^ Lovett, Ken (October 12, 2015). "Ban on congressional candidate John Faso's old firm expiring". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 
  15. ^ Now it's 'real race' for controller seat. As gap closes, Faso & Hevesi get nasty Archived December 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Jonathan P. Hicks (November 2, 2002). "Testy Debate By 2 Running To Become Comptroller". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  17. ^ "New York gets another chance to listen to John Faso". New York Post. September 20, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2016. 
  18. ^ Healy, Patrick (June 1, 2006). "Weld-Faso? Faso-Weld? The Kingmaker From Nassau Holds the Cards". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  19. ^ Healy, Patrick (May 24, 2006). "Conservative Party Endorses Faso for Governor, Setting Up a Political Fight in G.O.P.". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Bill Weld as a Libertarian Party Candidate in New York?". Hammer of Truth. Retrieved May 19, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Former Mass. Gov. Weld drops out of New York race". The Washington Post. June 6, 2006. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved September 12, 2016. 
  22. ^ Edsall, Thomas B. (May 29, 2006). "Another Stumble for Ralph Reed's Beleaguered Campaign". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 3, 2010. 
  23. ^ Jennifer Medina (May 23, 2006). "Faso Expected to Name Suburban Moderate as Running Mate". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  24. ^ Healy, Patrick (October 13, 2006). "Faso Jabs Sharply at Spitzer, Who Assails 'Angry' Tone". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 10, 2016. 
  25. ^ "New York gubernatorial election, 2006". Wikipedia.org. February 17, 2017. 
  26. ^ "New York gubernatorial elections". February 17, 2017 – via Wikipedia. 
  27. ^ Huber, Michael (January 24, 2009). "Greene County GOP goes with Faso - Local Politics". Blog.timesunion.com. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  28. ^ "John Faso to kick off congressional campaign". Capitalnewyork.com. July 28, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  29. ^ Railey, Kimberly (October 12, 2015). "Candidates With Super PAC Connections Face Off in New York GOP House Primary". Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved February 14, 2017. 
  30. ^ Kilgallen, Michaela (July 18, 2016). "Chris Gibson endorses GOPer John Faso in NY-19". Times Union. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  31. ^ "New York's 19th Congressional District election, 2016". Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  32. ^ "New York U.S. House 19th District Results: John Faso Wins". The New York Times. November 16, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  33. ^ a b "Some of Rep. Faso's constituents find new congressman inaccessible". dailyfreeman.com. 
  34. ^ "Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials - U.S. House of Representatives". transportation.house.gov. 
  35. ^ "Faso was paid for his work on pipeline project". Politifact.com. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 
  36. ^ "Faso voting record". fivethirtyeight.com. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  37. ^ Willis, Derek. "Represent". ProPublica. Retrieved 2017-04-22. 
  38. ^ "Is John Faso Fighting An Unbeatable Foe?". Observer. December 12, 2005. Retrieved February 6, 2017. 
  39. ^ Cooper, Michael (October 22, 2006). "A History of Going Against the Grain With Republican Colleagues". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 6, 2017. 
  40. ^ "Behind closed doors, Republican lawmakers fret about how to repeal Obamacare". Washington Post. Retrieved February 5, 2017. 
  41. ^ "Rep. Faso Clarifies Quotes on Planned Parenthood". WAMC. January 27, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017. 
  42. ^ a b "People gather outside Faso office to protest GOP pledge to repeal Affordable Care Act". Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  43. ^ a b Horrigan, Jeremiah. "Demonstrators at Congressman John Faso's home ask him to oppose Trump's plans". Hudson Valley One. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  44. ^ "Rep John Faso refuses to commit to Town Hall to discuss ACA/Obamacare - Hudson, New York". imby.com. 
  45. ^ Lovett, Kenneth (October 13, 2010). "Former New York gubernatorial candidate John Faso's law firm settles to pay in play probe". nydailynews.com. Retrieved February 13, 2017. 
  46. ^ "About Teachout's Claim on Faso's Consulting Work". politifact.com. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Chris Gibson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th congressional district

2017-present
Incumbent
New York Assembly
Preceded by
Clarence Lane
Member of the New York Assembly
from the 102nd district

1987–2002
Succeeded by
Joel Miller
Preceded by
Tom Reynolds
Minority Leader of the New York Assembly
1998–2002
Succeeded by
Charles Nesbitt
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bruce Blakeman
Republican nominee for Comptroller of New York
2002
Succeeded by
Christopher Callaghan
Preceded by
George Pataki
Republican nominee for Governor of New York
2006
Succeeded by
Carl Paladino
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Adriano Espaillat
D-New York
United States Representatives by seniority
397th
Succeeded by
Drew Ferguson
R-Georgia