Unions ask Destito to skip Arcuri fundraiser; Destito: "I'm attending"

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKTV) - Congressman Michael Arcuri has been facing criticism from Democrats of late since he voted no to health care reform. Unions and political groups are sharing their displeasure by asking a local assemblywoman to not attend his fundraiser.

The United Healthcare Workers Union, the Citizen Action of New York, the CWA Union and the Working Families Party have written a letter to Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito to ask her to not attend an Arcuri fundraiser.

March 26, 2010

Assemblymember RoAnn Destito
LOB, 621
Albany, NY 12248

Dear Assemblymember Destito:

In light of Congressman Michael Arcuri’s recent vote against the historic healthcare reform bill, we urge you to cancel the upcoming fundraiser you are hosting on his behalf this Monday, March 29th at the offices of Capitol Public Strategies.

Congressman Arcuri’s vote against healthcare reform was a betrayal to all working Americans struggling with sky rocketing healthcare costs during this economic recession. By voting ‘No,’ Congressman Arcuri has sent a clear message that he stands with big insurance companies and not the middle-class families he was elected to represent.

His vote to deny Central New Yorkers access to quality, affordable health care, to endanger the future of Medicare, and to block the largest healthcare tax cut for the middle class will not be forgotten.

At a time when New York’s working families are faced with the continuing loss of jobs and health coverage, Arcuri effectively turned his back on the middle class. It’s a travesty that the Congressman has the comfort of affordable healthcare for himself and his family but voted to deny that same security to the hardworking men and women of Central New York.

We have withdrawn our support for Congressman Arcuri’s re-election bid and for the reasons stated above, we strongly urge you to cancel your appearance at his upcoming fundraiser.

Working families cannot afford to have an elected leader in Congress that does not share their values and votes against their interests.


Kevin Finnegan
Political Director, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

Karen Scharff
Executive Director, Citizen Action of New York

Chris Shelton
Vice President, CWA District 1

Dan Cantor
Executive Director, Working Families Party

The Albany-based lobbying firm which was holding the fundraiser - Capitol Public Strategies - did not return phone calls regarding the situation.

Assemblywoman Destito released a statement on Monday saying that she would be attending the fundraiser, and that the event was planned long before last week's healthcare vote.

"Congressman Michael Arcuri's record shows that he's always been a champion of Democratic values," Destito said in the statement. "He is a good representative who puts the views of his constituents before politics. The fundraiser for Congressman Arcuri was planned long before last week's health care vote and I plan to attend the event to show my support for my friend and representative, Congressman Michael Arcuri."

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