October 25, 2006 News & Opinion » Featured story

Info for State Legislature chart 

The candidates on reform

55th State Senate District

JAMES ALESI, Republican incumbent

Current job: Businessman

Political experience: MonroeCounty Legislature 1989 to 1992, State Assembly 1993 to 1996, State Senate 1997 to present


Did not respond to interview requests.

EUGENE SALTZBERG, Democratic challenger

Current job: Electrical engineer

Political experience: Pittsford Democratic Town Leader

On redistricting reform: Supports a non-partisan reapportionment committee. Require counties to remain intact for Senate districts and allow multiple senators for large counties. "It would take some massaging to get it."

On campaign finance: "That's an easy answer: Clean Money, Clean Elections."

56th State Senate District

JOE ROBACH, Republican incumbent

Current job: Full-time legislator

Political experience: Eleven years in the State Assembly, State Senator 2003 to present


On redistricting: "That's the million-dollar question. I'm open-minded to any suggestion. I don't know if I have the magic bullet."

On campaign finance: "In a perfect world, what I'd really like to do is cap the amount of money that people could spend."

WILLA POWELL, Democratic challenger

Current job: Computer programmer

Political experience: Rochester School Board 1997 to 2000, 2003 to present


On redistricting: "I would support an independent judicial commission as opposed to appointees from each party. Professionally, [judges] are disposed to be objective."

On campaign finance: "Clean Money, Clean Elections. I pretty much buy into that as written."

131st State Assembly District

SUSAN JOHN, Democratic incumbent

Current job: Attorney

Political experience: State Assembly 1991 to present


On redistricting: Sponsored a bill to create an independent redistricting commission made up of political appointees from both parties. "We wouldn't have the option to reject to what they come up with."

On campaign finance: Is sponsor of two bills on the issue. One limits fundraising during legislative sessions; the other sets up a public campaign system modeled on New York City's.

JOHN FERLICCA, Republican challenger

Current job: Attorney

Political experience: Six years in the Monroe County Legislature


On redistricting: Wants two panels of retired judges or civic-action groups, one to redistrict each house, focused on preserving "communities of interest." "The most important aspect of that plan would be that the two panels couldn't talk to each other."

On campaign finance: "I signed off on Clean Money, Clean Elections. I don't know if that's the perfect plan, but it's obviously better than the plan that we have right now."

132nd State Assembly District

JOE MORELLE, Democratic incumbent

Current job: Businessman and chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party

Political experience: MonroeCounty Legislature 1983 to 1990, State Assembly 1991 to present


On redistricting:Morelle didn't say what he'd support. Instead, he defends political involvement in the process.

On campaign finance: Favors bills the Assembly has passed to create a New York City-style public finance system.

SAM TRAPANI, Republican challenger

Current job: Businessman


On redistricting: Supports removing politicians and anything that smacks of partisanship. "Do it randomly. Let the cards fall where they fall." Who would be in charge? "A computer."

On campaign finance: "I would really rather see a system whereby once you become a bona fide candidate through some sort of qualification process, like getting enough signatures, then let the state give you dollars --- either a Clean Money fund or mandatory free air time."

133rd State Assembly District

DAVID GANTT, Democratic incumbent

Current job: Full-time legislator

Political experience: Nine years in the Monroe County Legislature, State Assembly 1983 to present


Did not respond to interview requests.

CARLOS COCKER, Republican challenger

Current job:Call-center employee

On redistricting: "I can't sit here and tell you I have the answer for how to change that, but I can tell you it needs to be changed."

On campaign finance: "I'm not familiar with that issue in-depth, but I know that's something that people have been upset about."

135th State Assembly District

DAVID KOON, Democratic incumbent

Current job: Businessman

Political experience: State Assembly 1997 to present


On redistricting: "Start in the eastern tip of Long Island and come across for 125,000 or however many people, you make that District 1 and so on, and make them as compact and as geographically square as you can. I think the non-partisan group would be the best way to do that."

On campaign finance: Public financing is fine, but don't expect it to match rich candidates' spending levels. "I think that we have to somehow limit the amount of money that you can spend on a campaign. It's crazy."

MARK JOHNS, Republican challenger

Current job: Monroe County Health Department employee


On redistricting: "Allow Democrats and Republicans to each pick 10 retired judges and then out of a hat pick three of those judges, not knowing which they might be, to oversee a computer program" that would generate geographically compact districts.

On campaign financing: Wants a public clean-election fund with a $1 billion endowment --- at 5 percent interest that'd generate $200 million every two years for 212 state legislature races. Everyone gets "a couple of hundred thousand dollars." No one gets outside contributions.

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