Clifton Park GOP honors Jim Tedisco and Kathy Marchione

Not long ago, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer was formulating a plan to provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants in New York, but two Republicans stood up to the then governor, causing him to back off his plans.

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Schenectady, and County Clerk Kathy Marchione were honored Friday, March 14, at The Vista at Van Patten Golf Course, during the Clifton Park Republican Committee Chairman's Award ceremony for their efforts to stop legislation that would have provided driver's licenses to illegal aliens.

They are profiles in courage, said Adam Kramer, the vice chairman of campaigns and communications for the Clifton Park Republican Committee.

"It was a giant security issue," said Tedisco, of why he decided to block the legislation. He said issuing licenses to illegal aliens would enable terrorism and voter fraud.

He said he is not against immigration, though.

"We want more immigration, but it has to be legal immigration," Tedisco said.

Despite the chance of losing her job, Marchione stood up against the plan.

"The safety and security of New York state and Saratoga County is too important," she said.

She said it was a difficult decision to make, but with the support of her deputy supervisors, she decided to stand up to Spitzer.

"We are very fortunate to have Kathy as our county clerk," Clifton Park GOP Chairman Bob Wilcox said.

The committee also honored volunteers for their dedication to the committee.

"Volunteers are so important to the committee," Kramer said.

The honored volunteers were Neil Weiner and Hugh Burke.

Weiner served as the committee's leader for three months after Mike Lisuzzo resigned following a vote of no confidence by the committee.

"He [Weiner] had a very tough responsibility steering our committee," Kramer said. "He did it with grace and dignity. He brought our party back together."

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