Planned Parenthood

Congressman John Katko has tried to position himself as a moderate within the Congressional Republican Party.  One local Democrat who’s not convinced about this is Eric Kingson, the Syracuse University professor recently announced his candidacy for Katko's 24th district seat.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with the Democratic challenger, and explores his views about Katko’s voting record, and Kingson’s own plans for expanding the Social Security program. 

Note: This conversation took place before House Speaker John Boehner announced his intention to resign from Congress at the end of October.

When the House of Representatives voted recently to defund Planned Parenthood, central New York Republican Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said he voted to stop funding the organization temporarily while the House investigated a series of videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of fetal body parts for research -- which is illegal.

This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher is joined by first-term Congressman John Katko, who represents central New York’s 24th district.  The wide-ranging discussion covers the funding for Planned Parenthood, poverty in Syracuse, Katko’s effort to be moderate and bi-partisan, his campaign support from the Republican Party’s Patriot Program, and the Republican presidential field.

Note: This interview was recorded before Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that he would retire from Congress at the end of October.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

About 100 protesters rallied outside of the federal building in downtown Syracuse on Wednesday, calling on Congress to support funding of Title X, which subsidizes thousands of health clinics nationwide, including some Planned Parenthood clinics.

A central New York congressman, who has long supported Planned Parenthood, is calling for an investigation into the agency, in light of the videos showing Planned Parenthood officials apparently discussing how the group provides researchers body parts from aborted fetuses.   

Rep. Richard Hanna, the 22nd District representative, says the videos are disturbing.

“I’ve asked for an investigation into this, and I think Congress will do one.  My hope is that it’s deliberate, fair, thoughtful and inclusive.”

Julia Botero / WRVO News

A group of anti-abortion protestors greeted Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as she arrived at a meeting with business leaders in Watertown on Monday. The protestors asked Gillibrand to address the efforts in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood.

The Republican-led senate voted on a bill Monday to stop federally funding the organization in response to undercover videos that appear to show executives of the organization discussing the sale of fetal tissue for medical research. The bill was blocked.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Dozens of Central New Yorkers gathered on the lawn in front of the East Genesee Street offices of Planned Parenthood in Syracuse Tuesday, saying they were spurred into action by undercover videos of the agency's executives apparently talking about the sale of body parts culled from aborted fetuses for medical research. 

"When somebody’s looking to find money to buy a Lamborghini, and is looking to sell body parts to do that, it’s a new low,” said one protester at Tuesday's rally.

Others at the rally shared the same sentiment.

Democrats and their allies in the legislature say there’s little chance anything major can be accomplished in the remaining days of the legislative session. Those pushing a Women’s Equality Act are already looking ahead to the fall campaigns as the next step.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is downplaying expectations for any major agreements in the final days of the legislative session.

“We have some clean up items,” Cuomo said. “I don’t expect us to do any major initiatives.”