Labor and women’s groups rallied in Albany Wednesday in support of Democratic state Senate candidate Cecilia Tkaczyk, who faces Republican Assemblyman George Amedore in a race for an Albany-area district that reaches as far south as Ulster County.
Those gathered at two separate events near the state Capitol said Amedore, of Rotterdam, Schenectady County, won’t work to keep New York jobs from being sent elsewhere and won’t protect women’s abortion rights.
“George Amedore did not support the middle class when he voted against a bill that would have kept jobs in New York state,” Tkaczyk said at the first rally, where the Communications Workers of America blasted Amedore for voting against the “Save New York Call Center Jobs Act of 2012.”
The bill would require companies to provide 100 days notice to the state Labor Department about a relocation that includes at least 30 percent of call-center jobs. Companies that relocate cannot receive grants, loans or tax benefits from the state for five years.
“I am worried about the future of my job,” Amy Quinn, a member of the Communication Workers of America, said at the rally. “My job is in constant jeopardy of being relocated to another country. Amedore claims to want to protect jobs but when he had the chance to vote on a bill that would have protected my job, he voted no.”
At the second gathering, women’s groups such as NARAL Pro-Choice New York and Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York argued the importance of the issue of abortion in state elections.
Andrea Miller, NARAL president, said it’s possible that the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade could be overturned, kicking back to the states the legislation of abortion.
One protestor at the Halloween-day rally held a sign with a drawing of Amedore as a vampire. It read, “Amedore: Scary! on Women’s Issues.”
We want to make sure our reproductive rights are protected,” Tkaczyk said. “George has said publicly that he does not support a woman’s right to choose, and he has said, ‘I am against abortion rights, no exceptions.’”
Although Amedore did say on a public radio show earlier this month that he was pro-life with no exceptions, he has since clarified his position.
“George Amedore is pro-life except in cases of rape, incest and health of a woman – something George has repeatedly stated in media interviews, public forums and at debates with our opponent in attendance,” Kris Thompspon, campaign spokesman, said in a statement. “It’s unconscionable that our opponent would knowingly distort his position to the public and media. This is an affront to all women, including George’s mother, wife and daughter.”
Thompson called Tkaczyk’s claims “desperate” and said she should be “embarrassed and ashamed.”
Amedore told Gannett’s Albany Bureau that his opponent is distracting from the issues that are important to the voters they’re battling to represent.
“This shows where my opponent stands with very extreme groups that have their own special interests that are not the interests of all New Yorkers,” he said. “And it’s not going to help create jobs, reduce taxes and put people back to work.”
Gannett Albany Bureau’s Haley Viccaro contributed to this report.
(Photo: NARAL Pro-Choice New York President Andrea Miller speaks at a rally outside the Capitol. State Senate candidate Cecilia Tkaczyk (right) looks on. Gannett photo.)
Here’s a video from the women’s groups’ rally: