In an article in a local newspaper yesterday, flames from this week’s debate between Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (25th, NY) and her challenger, Gates Town Superintendent Mark Assini were fanned.
It is important to note, and easy to verify in these very Blog pages that Louise Slaughter, Congresswoman from the 25th District of New York was pressing for a Photonics IMI since the Obama Administration first announced the program. We can also verify from personal experience – we were actually there numerous times, both in New York and in Washington DC– that Slaughter not only advocated persistently for the Photonics IMI and the National Photonics Initiative, but was well-aware of Congressmen Joe Kennedy’s and Tom Reed’s bi-partisan Revitalize American Manufacturing Industries (RAMI) bill. New York Photonics member EMF Corporation hosted a press conference for Reed in Ithaca with both New York Photonics and OSA that year.
Slaughter is correct in stating that RAMI dollars were being directed to NIST, the managing entity for all IMI’s within the Department of Commerce, and that pursuing that funding rather than DoD funding was a long shot for the Photonics IMI. She remained focused upon the DoD funding for a photonics institute. The RAMI dollars have still not been allocated nor has a request for additional IMI proposals been issued from NIST. New York Photonics and National Photonics Initiative partners OSA and SPIE were all pressing for the RAMI act and Slaughter was well-aware. She remained focused upon the most important priority: a Photonics IMI for New York.
Slaughter’s opponent has been using the photonics industry as his whipping post since Congresswoman Slaughter has advocated for it for so long. It isn’t appreciated. The industry supports one in 14 families in the region and employs 16,000 people. Slaughter deserves credit for her tireless advocacy on behalf of our industry.
“Politicians are a territorial lot. That is to say, they like to take credit for things — or deny credit to others — particularly if it is an election year, and those things involve money and jobs.
For Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, credit for landing the AIM Photonics initiative — a federally backed, $600 million public-private partnership promising to create an innovation and manufacturing hub in Rochester — is at the center of her answer to the question: What have you done for me lately?
Then along came Gates town Supervisor Mark Assini, saying he wanted to clarify the record during their 25th Congressional District debate last week, and tossing the credit to Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning.”
Plain and simple: Slaughter deserves the credit. The RAMI / Reed distraction is smoke and mirrors.
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