The 13th Congressional District comprises all of Staten Island and the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Gravesend.
Vito Fossella (Rep/Con)
Commentary by Frank Barbado
In New York City, Democrat Frank Barbaro is trying to unseat Rep. Vito Fossella (R) with the help of 70,000 e-mail addresses acquired from Advocacy Inc. Barbaro aides said the former state Supreme Court justice plans to contact all of these registered voters once or twice a week until the election with carefully tailored messages. For instance, Democratic women in one part of Brooklyn will receive e-mail about Barbaro's opposition to real estate development there. Men registered as independents will get a more generic point of view. (Washington Post)
Standing outside New Brighton's Public School 31, the small group of protesters waved banners singling out Rep. Vito Fossella (R-S.I., Brooklyn) and demanding he find millions of dollars needed in city classrooms to meet requirements of the 2001 federal No Child Left Behind Act. While the protesters held Fossella - who represents Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst in Brooklyn - responsible, only one of his constituents was at the noontime rally: Frank Barbaro, the former state assemblyman and Brooklyn Supreme Court judge who is running for Fossella's seat. (Daily News)
In Staten Island, for instance, Rep. Vito Fossella's history of casting anti-union votes in Washington has caught up with him at last. Fossella's district, which covers part of Brooklyn, is home to 70,000 union members - one of the largest clusters of labor households in the nation, according to union leaders. But a scorecard published by the AFL-CIO says the congressman has voted favorably on labor issues only 7% of the time. Fossella, the only GOP member of New York City's congressional delegation, voted against raising the federal minimum wage and has supported policies that make it easier for companies to move jobs overseas. Only a handful of congressmen had a lower labor rating than Fossella. To challenge Fossella, labor leaders and Democrats have recruited 76-year-old Frank Barbaro, a feisty former longshoreman who chaired the Assembly's Labor Committee throughout the 1980s and challenged Ed Koch for mayor in 1981. Barbaro has raised more than $172,000 for his race - a far cry from the $831,000 Fossella reported as of last week, according to the Center for Responsive Politics - but money won't tell the whole story. (Daily News)