The Washington Times - May 20, 2011, 11:54AM

Western New York  businesswoman  and Republican Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, the GOP candidate running in New York’s 26th Congressional District special election, gives a preview of the political environment GOP’ers running in 2012 will likely end up facing. From handling attacks on her support of  the budget plan proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, to fending off a third party candidate who could very well eat into her numbers at the polls on Tuesday, Ms. Corwin is provides a clear picture on her stances.

Radio and TV political ads are inundating NY 26’s airwaves and the biggest discussion revolves around Medicare. Her Democratic opponent Kathy Hochul along with self-professed tea party candidate Jack Davis are echoing attacks from Democrats on Capitol Hill that Republicans like Ms. Corwin want to cut Medicare and throw seniors under the bus.


Ms. Corwin laid out that her stance on Medicare, which is from the Ryan budget plan, to me and Slate’s David Weigel on Thursday. She explained that while changes to Medicare need to happen, if nothing is done to reform the Medicare set up that Democrats want to keep in place, the system will ultimately go bankrupt and nobody will have Medicare. 

“The proposal that I’m supporting is that the Medicare plan stays intact for those who are 55 years of age and older, so today, if that plan was in place. Today, if that plan was in place and you were 65,  you would receive the benefits the way you do right now. Nothing changes for 55 and over,” she said.

She added:”Under the age of 55, the plan goes from paying claims to paying premiums, which is how Medicare part D works. So what an individual would do is go out there and choose amongst a selection of plans which are legislated into providing a certain level of service. The individual chooses the plan and then the government pays directly into the insurance company.”

“So there’s no voucher involved. It’s not like you’re given a certain amount of money to go out and you have to go shop around. The plans are defined. The government would pay the plans directly and how much that gets paid is based on your wealth and your wellness, so if your sick or your lower income, you would receive more than someone who is wealthy. This involves the repeal of the Obama health care laws.”

Ms. Corwin gave her thoughts on the debt ceiling debate happening on Capitol Hill right now. By and large, Republicans want to see massive spending cuts if Party members are to support raising the debt ceiling. Ms.Corwin told us, 

“In my opinion we’re in this mess, because government spending is out of control and I’ll blame both the Republicans and Democrats for that. What we need to do is control our selves. I think that it would be appropriate to include spending limits as a percentage of GDP as part of raising the debt ceiling.”

Ms. Corwin noted that cuts would need to be very substantial cuts, explaining: As much as I see we’re concerned with volatility in the financial markets in the absence of a debt ceiling bill, I’m also concerned in volatility in the markets if we don’t show the world that we’re going to get our spending under control

The National Right to Life Committee endorsed Ms. Corwin recently. While her views on abortion are not that of the average pro-life activist, but remain more tolerable to the NRLC than her opponents’ take on the issue.


“I’m very much opposed to partial birth abortion. I am opposed to government funding to Planned Parenthood’s agencies that provide abortion services. I am supportive of parental notification, but at the end of the day I that it’s the woman’s decision in the first trimester,” she told us noting that life is precious and that, “as a member of Congress, I would know that decisions on Roe v. Wade will be decided in the courts. They won’t be decided in the Congress.”

Recent polling shows that the Republican candidate is in a tight three way race with both Ms. Hochul and Mr. Davis. New York 26, a manufacturing and farming area, is a traditionally Republican district who kept former Republican Congressman Tom Reynolds in office in 2006 and 2008, the years when the GOP saw huge losses in the both the House and the Senate.

Erie County Republican legislator Ray Walters, told me on Thursday, ” The Democrats are trying to turn this into a national referendum on Paul Ryan’s budget, which it’s not. The only reason Jane isn’t up 10 points in the polls is that we have a third party tea party impostor who is taking some support away from her.”

New York 26 voters go to the polls on Tuesday to elect a representative. One question that remains, though. If the results are as tight as current polling shows, will the district have to wait longer for a new face in the New York 26 seat as a result of a recount? Keep watching.