Seven county officials of the New York State Republican Party got together in a closed room last week and chose Jane Corwin as the Republican Party selectee for a special election to replace disgraced Republican Christopher Lee in the 26th District seat of the United States Congress.
Just who is Jane Corwin? One way to reach for an answer is to look at Corwin’s endorsers, like Carl Paladino, who threatened to kill a reporter while running for Governor and who sought the endorsement of a group that believes it is gays’ own fault if someone stabs them.
A more direct way to identify the political inclinations of Jane Corwin is to look at her history in the New York State Assembly. An inexperienced newcomer to political office in the last Assembly, Jane Corwin voted to deny equal rights to same-sex couples, one of the factors behind Carl Paladino’s endorsement. Now beginning in her second term in the State Assembly, Jane Corwin has thrown her support behind a series of bills that are striking for their consistent trend of tax breaks and giveaways to corporations, not citizens.
Bill A01261 would give corporations a special tax cut for continuing to employ as many people in the future as they do now — in other words, for not doing anything. In a perverse twist on the word “incentive” used in the bill, it would apply retroactively, applying to corporate behavior in the last four years. Jane Corwin is a cosponsor of A01261.
Bill A04803 creates another odd time-traveling incentive: supposedly to prod a corporation to hire employees in the future, it would have New York State reimburse the corporation for up to 4% of the wages of employees hired in the past… from 2007 to 2010. Jane Corwin is a cosponsor of A04803.
While the state of Wisconsin attempts to deny public service workers the right to any collective bargaining at all, Bill A01329 tries to weaken workers’ collective bargaining status in New York State. It would allow the state government to refuse to negotiate in good faith with its employees, and then change the terms of their employment when current contracts expire. Jane Corwin is a cosponsor of A01329.
When people are hurt by the malfeasance of corporations, Bill A03444 prohibits the people who are hurt from gaining compensation for the full extent of their injuries. Jane Corwin is a cosponsor of A03444.
While New Yorkers struggle to make ends meet and the state of New York struggles to balance its budget, Bill A05371 would completely eliminate franchise and income taxes for manufacturers in the state. In order to make up for the huge cut in state tax receipts, New York State will have to either raise taxes on the people of New York or eliminate a considerable number of services to those same people. Jane Corwin is a cosponsor of A05371.
In the past, New York State has been at the forefront of environmental protection to clean the air that New Yorkers breathe. One of the bills it passed gave diesel trucks on New York roads a number of years to be fit with filters to remove cancer-causing pollutants. Bill A05126 would nullify the filter law, fouling the air, penalizing corporations that responsibly went ahead with installing filters, and rewarding corporations that refused to comply. Jane Corwin is a cosponsor of A05126.
Outside the economic realm, Corwin has made some choices that defy logic. Bill A01258 mandates the use of English only for most New York State functions. How does the bill justify such a move?
“Absent a rudimentary command of the English language, citizens of this state are unable to make their voices heard in the legislative process, effectively exercise their right to vote, or fully understand the rights afforded them by the United State[sic] and New York Constitutions.”
The authors of that bill need to work on their own command of the English language, not only in regard to spelling but also in regard to consistency. How does a limitation of state communications to English solve the problem of poor accessibility for those with a limited command of English? Ask Jane Corwin: she is a cosponsor of A01258.
These are Jane Corwin’s priorities. Should these priorities be pursued in the 112th Congress?