The roaring 20th Congressional race

The record

Gillibrand has said she is running her campaign based on the record of her freshman year in the House. When asked to identify the high points of her term, she immediately identified 2007's "Farm Bill," which she claims is "the best farm bill in the history of upstate New York." It offered support for dairy farmers and made grants available for organic farming.

She said she fulfilled a promise to run an open and receptive office, pointing to more than 50 "Congress on Your Corner" events she held around the district to directly interact with her constituency.

When asked what Treadwell would change about Gillibrand's office, campaign spokesman Peter Constantakes criticized Congress's recent bill to expand drilling for oil.

"The Congresswoman and her colleagues passed a sham drilling bill," he said. Treadwell would work toward a bill that allows greater access to offshore drilling, said Constantakes.

Dollars and sense

Whoever is selected to represent the 20th District in Washington will, like it or not, be part of the process to solve the ongoing fiscal crisis. Weeks ago, Gillibrand voted against both versions of a government bailout bill, citing a lack of oversight and regulation for the industry. Treadwell said that he would have done the same. As the problem has continued despite the bailout, the two have different ideas of how to act now.

Constantakes said that the problem would hopefully be addressed before his candidate reaches Congress but that several approaches have been examined.

"There are a lot of good ideas out there," he said. One would be a moratorium on earmarks, with the $20 billion distributed to the states, based on population, used to help close budget gaps.

Constantakes also said the Treadwell campaign believes a suspension of taxes on unemployment benefits should be considered " an idea supported by both presidential candidates " as well as doubling the personal tax exemption for middle class families to $7,000.

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