Monteleone says he would collaborate with Democratic adversaries in Albany

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Monteleone says he would collaborate with Democratic adversaries in Albany
Andrew Monteleone, a lawyer and leader of the North-Syosset Republican Club, is running for state assembly in District 13. (Photo by Teri West)

Andrew Monteleone said he grew passionate about politics in college and remained politically involved in groups afterward, first with the Young Republicans and now as first vice president of the North-Syosset Republican Club. Throughout it all, he said, he’s “always kind of been in the background.”

Now, as he runs for state assembly against incumbent Charles Lavine in District 13, which includes part of Roslyn, he’s putting himself out front.

He said he sees his campaign as an opportunity to bring new, more conservative “blood” into the assembly and to place a heavy focus on directly serving the Long Islanders who would vote him in.

“I would protect our interests on Long Island I think more than [Lavine] would or that he has,” Monteleone said. “His constituents, in my opinion, are more Gov. Cuomo and Bill DeBlasio and that crowd rather than our area.”

In an interview with Blank Slate Media, Monteleone revealed some positions on state legislation that differ from his opponent as well as thoughts on how to address a range of issues in the state.

While Lavine, in a separate interview, declared full support for the Child Victim’s Act and the Reproductive Health Act, which he voted for, Monteleone sees the need for tweaks to the bills.

The Child Victim’s Act would expand the criminal and civil statute of limitations and create a one-year window for filing civil lawsuits.

Monteleone said he likes the act, but not that it expands the civil statute of limitations to age 50.

“I would be for modifying that to include a civil penalty for the institution, but I think there needs to be a cap on that because you don’t want to bankrupt an institution,” he said.

Monteleone also said that he is pro-life but is fine with a codification of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects abortion rights.

The Reproductive Health Act intends to do that and is, in part, meant to guarantee “abortion is treated as a health matter.”

There are two aspects of the act that Monteleone disagrees with.

First, that there are cases in which abortions would be allowed past 24 weeks of pregnancy: if the pregnancy jeopardizes the mother’s life or if the fetus in unviable.

A threat to the mother’s life is the only circumstance that should justify an abortion in the third trimester, Monteleone said.

Second, he does not want non-doctors to be performing abortions. The Reproductive Health Act would permit licensed medical practitioners to perform them.

Monteleone and Lavine revealed opposite positions on marijuana.

Monteleone is opposed to legalized recreational marijuana because of his experience as a criminal defense attorney, he said.

“Any case that I’ve had, and I’ve dealt with hundreds of drug cases…everyone that I’ve seen has always started with marijuana,” he said. “Not to say that people who smoke marijuana are going to start doing heroin, but to me it seems to be a gateway drug.”

The movement toward legalization seems to be focused on financial benefits for the state, and he would only feel better about it if he knew that marijuana was not a gateway drug, Monteleone said.

Regarding gun regulations, he supports New York’s SAFE Act, which includes a variety of standards including a background check requirement and was described by Cuomo as the “toughest assault weapons ban in the country.”

Now, Monteleone says, it’s time to start devoting more funding to mental health causes.

“Because we’ve risen to that level of being the strongest in the country, now we should kind of look at, all right, what’s causing these people to do this?” he said.

He wants the 2 percent property tax cap to be permanent and, to deal with a lack of funding, says the state Legislature can cut spending. That includes funding for education, though poorer school districts should get more funding than wealthier counterparts, he said. The solution is not to consolidate school districts, he said, which is a change that Lavine is in favor of.

To deal with MTA costs, there should be strong leadership and oversight within the authority rather than increased fees such as congestion pricing, Monteleone said. The one change in pricing he would suggest is graduated subway fees, which increase pricing for longer distance trips.

And environmentally, Monteleone has grown concerned about water while campaigning and said he now thinks it’s “one of the most important issues.”

He opposes the proposed Long Island Sound tunnel, which would run from Oyster Bay to Westchester.

Should he be elected to the state Assembly, Monteleone would be among the Republican minority that Democrats currently outnumber by more than 2-to-1.

It would be a challenge but would not eliminate the potential for change, Monteleone said. Should he be elected, he plans to talk to his colleagues that disagree with him, build relationships and bug opponents until they agree to work with him, he said.

“My job as an attorney is to work with the opposition, my adversaries, and I do it and I do it successfully,” Monteleone said. “My job up there would be doing the same thing. To form a consensus with the other side.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. A threat to the mother’s life is the only circumstance that should justify an abortion in the third trimester, Monteleone said.
    Monteleone wants to require a woman, already traumatized by the death of a fetus she is carrying inside her, to continue to carry the dead fetus to full term or until it endangers her life?

    Monteleone must want to hire subway conductors – it’s the only way his idea for changing MTA pricing can work.
    “The one change in pricing he would suggest is graduated subway fees, which increase pricing for longer distance trips.”

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