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A telling interview on STAR


Amy Tresidder is making no secret of the fact that she's going to use the spat over STAR rebate checks in her effort to unseat state Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton.
Ms. Tresidder, a Democratic county legislator from Oswego, brought up the property tax rebate program in interviews with me and other media outlets when she announced her possible candidacy.
In Mrs. Ritchie's 2010 campaign, she assailed then-opponent Darrel Aubertine with the fact that the Senate Democrats had gotten rid of the rebate check program, which provides property tax relief for upstate homeowners (its costs were prohibitive, Dems at the time argued). But two years after running on a campaign to bring back the STAR rebate check program, the check still isn't in the mail.
So I'm sure it's no coincidence that when I spoke with Mrs. Ritchie about the budget earlier today, she brought up STAR, unprompted. And then, when I thought we were done talking about it, she brought it up again.
Mrs. Ritchie seemed pessimistic about the idea of STAR being in the final budget, which will probably be approved on Thursday; and the fault lies not within the program, but within the Assembly Democrats, she said.
"That's something that the Assembly was not supportive of," Mrs. Ritchie said.
When I pivoted my questioning to whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget gives him too much power to move around money, Mrs. Ritchie made it clear she wasn't done talking about STAR rebate checks — and that she wasn't done fighting to pass a bill that would make them a reality once more.
"I've co-sponsored a couple of bills, and we're going to attempt to move forward on that" after the budget season, she said. "I'm a little disappointed."
A few seconds ago, in a follow-up call with a Ritchie staffer about the finer details of the ag budget, Mrs. Ritchie's efforts at fighting for STAR was mentioned again. Again, it was unprompted.
So, bottom line, you should get used to hearing a lot about the program in the run-up to November 6.

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