GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS
Take a look at all the latest results for the November 5, 2002 general
x-John J. Marchi (Rep) 37,700 - 74 percent
Michael J. Cocozza (Dem) 13,087 - 26 percent
- Michael Cocozza (Dem/Ind/Wor)
- John Marchi (Rep) Incumbent
Senator John Marchi (Rep) a veteran senator who has
served in a variety of leadership posts, is the chairman of
the New York State Senate Committee on Corporations,
Authorities and Commissions. Marchi was named by Senate
Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno as Deputy Majority Leader
for Intergovernmental Affairs and served as chairman of the
Finance Committee for 18 years as well as sat on the City of
New York Committee.
* * * * * *
Michael Cocozza (Dem/Ind/Wor) is the financial secretary of
Carpenters Local Union 20 and the president of his local
Vietnam Veterans of American chapter.
This year, John Marchi is facing his first serious
challenge from a Democratic candidate since 1978. The last
time there was a competitive State Senate race in this
district, Phil Gigante (who would later head up the county
Democratic organization) ran against John Marchi and went
down to defeat. In previous years, Senator Marchi has been
such a strong presence in Staten Island politics that the
county Democratic organization has cross-endorsed his
candidacy ever since. Marchi is highly regarded by his
colleagues in both parties. He acquired a reputation for
independence while serving in the State Senate. Marchi was
the only Republican who voted against the reinstatement of
the death penalty and has also been an advocate of
increasing aid to the poor. This habit of breaking with his
party has earned him praise from many Democrats such as
former state governor Mario Cuomo and former New York City
mayor Ed Koch. A veteran legislator who was elected to his
first term in 1956 when Eisenhower was President, Marchi has
had a long and very interesting career in politics. He has
worked with a number of different assembly speakers, senate
majority leaders and governors. He was twice a candidate for
New York City mayor, once in 1969 and again in 1973. He is
also considered the founder of the movement to detach Staten
Island from New York City. Truly, Mr. Marchi is one of the
giants of New York political history.
Michael Cocozza is hoping to play David to John Marchi's
Goliath. Cocozza has been active in local Democratic
politics for years. In his younger days, Cocozza fought in
the Vietnam War. Once his tour of duty was finished he
returned to Staten Island and became involved in local
affairs. Currently Mr. Cocozza is the financial secretary
for the local carpenters union as well as the president of
his local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter. Although in
the opinion of many Mr. Cocozza is facing an uphill fight,
his campaign states that they believe he has a good chance
On the issues facing the district, there is some
difference between the two candidates. However both
candidates also agree on quite a few issues. For example
both the Marchi and Cocozza campaigns are against the
proposed reopening of the Staten Island landfill, which is
located in the district. The Marchi campaign emphasized the
fact that the Senator was instrumental in getting the
legislation to close the landfill passed. Previously the
governor and state legislator resolved to close the Staten
Island landfill and instead pay for the export of garbage to
other states like Virginia. However, due to the recent
fiscal crisis that the city has been facing because of
events on 9/11, there has been talk by some of reopening the
landfill. The Marchi and Cocozza campaigns also stress their
support of reinstating funding for a research study
conducted by the College of Staten Island on the
carcinogenic effects of the landfill. In addition the two
candidates pledge not to vote to raise taxes and proposed
further tax cuts that the state government could enact.
Cocozza campaign manager George Harington specifically
pointed to the clothing and cigarette taxes as taxes that
fell disproportionately on the working class residents of
the state. Nevertheless the Marchi and Cocozza campaigns
expressed support for the reinstatement of the commuter tax.
This plan for the restoration of the commuter tax has gained
ground since the city's financial difficulties after 9/11.
The Cocozza campaign stated its agreement with this proposal
without reservation as well its firm opposition to any other
tax increases as not necessary. Senator Marchi's office
signified some reservation with this and wanted more details
on any proposal to reinstate the commuter tax. Both
candidates also spoke of the need to reform the drug laws of
the state, particularly the elements of the laws concerning
mandatory sentences. These laws were passed during the
gubernatorial administrations of Nelson Rockefeller.
Although Marchi voted for these laws at the time, he
explains that back then he thought that they would curb drug
use. The Senator admits that the laws have produced many
unexpected consequences. Senator Marchi's press secretary
Jerry McLaughlin stated, "Senator Marchi takes the position
that there needs to be stronger penalties for violent drug
offenders and prison alternatives for non-violent
Education was cited by both campaigns as the most
important issue facing the district and the state. "Senator
Marchi has an extensive record on education" said Jerry
McLaughlin. McLaughlin went on to cite the Senator's pass
and present support of initiatives like the Tuition
Assistance Program (TAP), the State University system as
well as the billions of dollars in education aide he has
supported in his career. This year Senator Marchi also voted
for mayoral control of New York City schools. This is in
contrast to the decentralization of school governance the
Senator supported earlier in his career. As recently as 1996
the Senator proposed a school governance plan that would
have disbanded the city education system and given control
of education policy to the borough boards in New York City.
Even today Mr. Marchi states that he believes many
responsibilities over education should be devolved to the
borough level. Although Mr. Marchi does not support school
vouchers, he does support some tuition tax credits for
middle income families that send their children to private
or parochial schools. According to George Harington, Michael
Cocozza also supports increased funding for public
education. He opposes school vouchers but wants to encourage
the development of more charter schools as a way to improve
the educational prospects of public school students. He
expressed reservations about the new school governance
structure and wants the City Council to have a greater say
and more oversight over public education in New York City.
John Marchi's office stated that the Senator had been a
very effective advocate in his 46 years in the State Senate.
Few in Staten Island would disagree with this assessment.
Even sources from the Cocozza campaign concurred with this.
However they also stated that perhaps the time had come to
allow someone new to represent the district. Earlier this
year, Cocozza stated how happy he was that the voters of
Staten Island will have a real choice for the first time in
--posted August 16,2002
7 BILLS IMPORTANT TO NEW YORK CITY RESIDENTS THAT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE IS LIKELY TO VOTE ON IN THE NEXT TERM:
1. Rent Regulation: The current rent regulation laws expire in June 2003. Supporters of rent regulation hope that the current provisions will be extended for another five years and that the legislature will repeal the provision which deregulates apartments that rent for $2,000 or more a month. The State Assembly passed such a bill this year, but it died in the Senate in the face of opposition from Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. If the Legislature does not take concerted action in June, rent regulation in New York City will end.
2. Commuter Tax: In 1999, when the State Legislature repealed the Commuter Tax, the city's economy was good. Reinstatement of the Commuter Tax is likely to come up again this Spring as the City's economy takes a turn for the worse.
In 1999 Senator Marchi voted against the repeal of the commuter tax.
3. School Funding: Even with mayoral control of the school system, more than 40 percent of New York City's school funding comes from Albany. Next year's budget will determine how much money New York City's schools will get from the state.
4. Rockefeller drug laws: New York's drug laws, passed in 1973 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller, are among the harshest in the nation. The Democratic-controlled Assembly, Republican-controlled Senate, and the Governor have not been able to agree on how to reform these laws, look for renewed negotiations and new legislation in the next term.
5. Minimum Wage: Currently set at $5.15 an hour, Democrats will likely propose raising the minimum wage to $6.75 an hour, a proposal that failed last year.
6. Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Act: This has been floating around the New York State Legislature for 30 years, with the Governor's support, it is likely to come up for a vote again next Spring.
7. Campaign Finance Reform: Some 80 organizations have proposed a "Clean Money, Clean Elections" bill for the New York State Legislature. Like the New York City law, it would establish a system under which candidates who comply with limits on campaign spending and contributions would receive public funds for their political campaigns.
HOW OTHER ORGANIZATIONS RANKED SENATOR JOHN MARCHI:
EMPIRE STATE PRIDE AGENDA
Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act
The Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act adds actual or
perceived sexual orientation to the state's existing laws
which prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public
accommodations, education, and credit on the basis of age,
race, creed, color, national origin, sex, disability or
Pride Agenda's Position: SUPPORT
John Marchi's Position: OPPOSITION
Hate Crimes Act
The Hate Crimes Act enhances criminal penalties for a long
list of crimes in which perpetrators intentionally select a
target based on the victim's actual or perceived race,
color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion,
religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation.
The Hate Crimes Act also requires the state to collect,
analyze and annually report on data regarding hate crimes
throughout the state.
Pride Agenda's Position: SUPPORT
John Marchi's Position: OPPOSITION
THE BUSINESS COUNCIL OF NEW YORK STATE
Taxable Status of Nuclear-Powered Electrical Generating Facilities Act
This measure establishes that nuclear powered electric
generating facilities must pay property tax.
BC of NYS Position: SUPPORT
John Marchi's Position: SUPPORT
This measure creates a new article in labor laws by
providing standards for plumbing materials and makes certain
plumbing and piping provisions of the state uniform fire
prevention and building code.
BC of NYS Position: OPPOSITION
John Marchi's Position: NO VOTE