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Elections
The 127th Assembly District covers six towns on the eastern side of Onondaga County in central New York. In 2014, incumbent Democrat Al Stirpe faced off against Republican challenger Rob DeMarco in one of the most competitive state legislative races in the region.0000017a-3c50-d913-abfe-bd54a88a0000This year, Onondaga Country Republicans have unified in an effort to win the seat. After a divisive primary between Vince Giordano and Michael Becallo, Giordano won the right to put his name on the ballot come November by just 40 votes.In one of the few state races this year with a challenger, incumbent Democrat Al Stirpe goes up against Republican challenger Vicent Giordano.You can hear a conversation between the two candidates for the 127th Assembly District on the Campbell Conversations.

Stirpe, DeMarco take sides in business climate, Start-Up New York debate

StirpeDeMarco.jpg
Rob DeMarco Campaign / Al Stirpe Campaign
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Republican Rob DeMarco (left) and Democratic incumbent Al Stirpe (right) disagree on the state of New York's business climate.

One of the most hotly contested races on Election Day in central New York is for the 127th state Assembly seat. Democrat incumbent Al Stirpe faces Republican Rob DeMarco in the fight for the district that runs along the eastern end of Onondaga County, from Clay to Tully.

During a debate on WRVO’s Campbell Conversations, DeMarco suggests New York’s business climate is poor and it’s time for a change.

"The road New York state is going is not working," DeMarco said. "Each year, every single year, we’re seeing more and more of our population fleeing the state. The jobs are fleeing the state. Why is that? It’s because of the policies of Albany.”

Stirpe says Albany has made moves to make the state more friendly to businesses.

“We’ve made manufacturers' income tax zero," Stirpe explained. "We’ve cut their property taxes 20 percent. We’ve created Start-Up NY.”

But DeMarco says the Start-Up NY program creates an uneven playing field because only certain businesses can take advantage of it.

“The rest of the companies that have actually stuck it out, that have actually been in New York state, that’s weathered this storm, how are they competing fairly?" DeMarco said. "As a matter of fact, it’s a disadvantage to them.”

Stirpe believes the program solves a big problem and is helping the state keep up with other states.

“Everyone’s complained that we can’t compete with Texas, with Florida, with Tennessee," Stirpe said. "But now we can, because there’s no state income tax in those places and there’s no state income tax for ten years in the Start-Up facilities.”

The 127th Assembly District has been competitive in recent years, with Republicans holding a slight edge party enrollment.  The district runs down the east side of Onondaga County from Clay to Tully.

Tax controversy

Meanwhile, Stirpe says he is trying to get to the bottom of a tax issue that’s come up in this campaign. New York state tax records show that Stirpe’s bankrupt company owes about $1,400 in back taxes on a tax warrant from almost ten years ago. Stirpe told Grant Reeher it’s nothing more than the result of some missing paperwork on from a 12-year-old bankruptcy case.

“There was no attempt to avoid anything, if something’s missing, we’ll fix it. The amount of money is based on a flat amount they charge if they don’t have a tax form,” said Stirpe.

Republicans dug up the tax information. Stirpe says that’s because the race is expected to be close.

“They’re really very good at slinging dirt. They don’t really have any new ideas or anything else they can offer. So this is the way it’s going to be.  It’s been this

You can hear more of this debate on the Campbell Conversations Sunday 6 p.m.