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Elections

Speaker Boehner to fundraise for Katko, but not without backlash

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Talk Radio News Service
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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The nation's most powerful Republican will be in central New York this evening to campaign for the man challenging Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei.

It could be a welcomed boost for John Katko, who needs to make up ground against Maffei with just over six weeks before Election Day.

The Maffei campaign is trying to preempt the event by charging Boehner's appearance in Syracuse will mean Katko will be only a "blind ally" to Republican leadership in the House.

"I’m not talking about every single thing, I’m just talking about their chief legislative priority for the last four years, which is this disastrous budget, which would hurt seniors and hurt the middle class in central New York," said Maffei campaign director Kane Miller at a Monday afternoon press conference.

"I really don’t believe John Boehner would be here doing that with John Katko unless he knew that John Katko supported that primary legislative priority."

Those charges are "rubbish," responded Katko when reached by WRVO.

"(Speaker Boehner) is the number three political leader in our country," Katko said. "He offered to come up and support our campaign and I absolutely accepted it wholeheartedly and we’re happy to have him here to headline the fundraiser for us."

Specifically, the Maffei campaign said Katko would support proposed changes - namely, privatization - to Social Security and Medicare that former Rep. Paul Ryan pushed for in recent years.

Katko contends he doesn't support those changes, but that the benefits should be preserved for those already in the programs. Changes should be made for new entrants to the entitlements in order for them to remain fiscally viable, Katko said.