I grew up playing in the forests and swimming in the creeks of the Catskill Mountains. My dad didn’t finish 9th grade and joined the Army during World War II. My mom emigrated to America from England in 1968 and created the small business that supported our family. We never had much money, but I got a great education in our public schools and became the first in my family to go to college.
As a lawyer at the Central Intelligence Agency, I helped bring terrorists to justice and I’m proud to have received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for my work on US v. Osama Bin Laden, where I helped in the prosecution and conviction of four al Qaeda members for bombing U.S. embassies. Then, as a federal prosecutor, I worked hard to dismantle narcotics trafficking rings and to punish white collar crooks used to getting away with a slap on the wrist. In 2005, I moved home to Ulster County and served as Senior Assistant District Attorney, helping to protect our communities.
Although we lost my dad to leukemia in 2007, my mom still lives in the house where I grew up. Just a few miles away, my wife, Shannon, and I are now raising our three young boys to enjoy and appreciate the same things that have always made this region unique and wonderful. For me, upstate New York isn’t just home – it’s heaven.
ON HYDROFRACKING As a prosecutor, I believe in evidence. When it comes to hydrofracking, the evidence all points to serious environmental and economic concerns, without a tangible economic benefit. We cannot risk our air and water on an unproven and deeply concerning practice.
This is why if you send me to Congress, I will follow Maurice Hinchey’s lead and fight for the FRAC Act (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act). This law would, under the Safe Drinking Water Act, restore federal oversight to the gas and oil industries. And I will continue to encourage our New York State representatives to implement a statewide moratorium on hydrofracking until evidence shows that it can be done without harming families, communities or our economy.