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Woolf gets boost from DCCC; Gilbert (sort of) condemns immigration reform

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has taken a bigger step into the 21st Congressional District race, with a fundraising mailing on behalf of Aaron G. Woolf.

In an email blast that went out this morning, DCCC Executive Director Kelly Ward said “it’s my job to know who’s in tough races and who needs our help. Well, I can tell you for sure that Aaron Woolf in New York’s 21st District is in one of those races.”

The email said that Mr. Woolf needs to “hit his grassroots goal before Monday’s critical FEC deadline — the first quarterly fundraising deadline of the election year. If there ever was a time to step up for Aaron this is it.”

The letter solicits $5 or more to “fight back against right-wing attacks,” citing the Koch brothers network of outside groups working for Republican congressional candidates.

“Let me level with you: if Aaron falls short on Monday’s FEC deadline, he could be in serious trouble,” the email concludes.

It contains links to the Woolf for Congress website’s donation page.

On March 4, the DCCC determined the 21st CD is part of its Emerging Races program, which are races the Democrats believe “have the potential to become competitive.” Now, with the enhanced fundraising help, the national party is stepping more deeply into Mr. Woolf’s race.

“Aaron Woolf is a very strong candidate who will take a common sense approach and is committed to working together to find solutions for North Country families,” Marc Brumer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said by email Thursday. “This is a very winnable seat for a strong Democrat, as Bill Owens has proven in the three most recent elections. We will do everything we can to make sure it continues to be represented by a Democrat.”

Now Mr. Woolf has to beat back fellow Democrat Stephen W. Burke, Macomb, who is mounting a primary challenge to the candidate selected by the 12 county Democratic Committee leaders.

Mr. Brumer had no comment on Mr. Burke’s campaign or the possible primary.

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Republican 21st CD candidate Joseph R. Gilbert told the Glens Falls Post Star that there is no economic rationale for expanding farm worker and student visa programs.

“With the median average income for the American family decreasing, why in the world would it make any economic sense whatsoever to import labor? Why would you import a commodity for which there is already a surplus?” he was quoted in the All Politics is Local blog in the paper.

Mr. Gilbert, DeKalb Junction, is a St. Lawrence County tea party leader who will face long odds in the June 24 primary should he gain sufficient valid signatures to face Elise M. Stefanik and Matthew A. Doheny for the nomination.

Mr. Gilbert told blogger and staff writer Maury Thompson the shortage of farm labor is not because of a lack of workers, but because of government policy that drives up the cost of domestic labor, such as the recent increase in the state minimum wage and the federal government implementation of the health care reform law.

Then, in something of an about face, Gilbert said he is “leery of, but not definitely opposed to, increasing flexibility in visa programs for farm workers and students,” according to the Post Star, as long as there are safeguards against workers and students simply staying in the country.

Mr. Gilbert told the paper he has not read the immigration bill that passed the U.S. Senate, but he is skeptical of it, equating reform with amnesty.

Read the whole post here: http://wdt.me/pg9By4

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