Paul Tonko

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Paul Tonko
Paul Tonko.jpg
U.S. House, New York, District 20
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 2009-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 5
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorChris Gibson (R)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$4.04 in 2012
First electedNovember 4, 2008
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$2,711,107
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
New York State Assembly
1983-2007
Education
Bachelor'sClarkson University
Personal
BirthdayJune 18, 1949
Place of birthAmsterdam, New York
ProfessionEngineer
Net worth$500.50
ReligionRoman Catholic
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Paul Tonko (b. June 18, 1949, in Amsterdam, NY) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing New York's 20th Congressional District. Tonko was first elected to the House in 2008 and is currently serving his third consecutive term, having won re-election on November 6, 2012. Before redistricting in 2012, Tonko had previously served New York's 21st Congressional District.

Tonko is a 2014 Democratic, Working Families and Independence Party candidate seeking re-election to the U.S. House to represent the 20th Congressional District of New York.[1] He ran unopposed for all three nominations in the primary on June 24, 2014.[2]

Prior to his congressional career, Tonko served in the New York State Assembly from 1983 to 2007 and as president of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Tonko is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress.

Biography

Tonko was born in Amsterdam, New York. He earned a B.A. from Clarkson University in 1971.[3]

Career

After earning his degree, Tonko began to work as a public works engineer and state transportation agency employee. He was a member of Montgomery County's (New York) Board of Supervisors from 1976-1983, chairman of Montgomery County's (New York) Board of Supervisors in 1981 and a member of the New York State Assembly from 1983-2007. After finishing his last term, Tonko served as president of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority from 2007-2008.[4]

Committee assignments

U.S. House

2013-2014

Tonko serves on the following committees:[5]

  • Committee on Energy and Commerce
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Power
    • Subcommittee on Environment and Economy - Ranking Member
    • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

2011-2012

Tonko served on the following committees:[6]

Key votes

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[8] For more information pertaining to Tonko's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[9]

National security

NDAA

Nay3.png Tonko voted in opposition of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[10]

DHS Appropriations

Nay3.png Tonko voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[10]

Keystone Pipeline Amendment

Yea3.png Tonko voted in favor of House Amendment 69, which would have amended HR 3 to "require that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, conduct a study of the vulnerabilities of the Keystone XL pipeline to a terrorist attack and certify that necessary protections have been put in place." The amendment failed on May 22, 2013, with a vote of 176 - 239 and was largely along party lines.[10]

CISPA (2013)

Nay3.png Tonko voted in opposition of HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill would allow federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities.[11] The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[10]

Economy

Farm Bill

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Nay3.png Tonko voted against the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[12] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[13]

King Amendment

Tonko signed a letter sent to Collin Peterson in August 2013, asking him to keep Steve King's amendment out of the final Farm Bill.[14] The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.[15]. King introduced the amendment in response to a law in California, requiring a larger size cage for egg-producing chickens. King represents Iowa, which is a large egg producer.

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Nay3.pngOn September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[16] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[17] Tonko voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[18]

Yea3.png The shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[19] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Tonko voted for HR 2775.[20]

Immigration


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Morton Memos Prohibition

Nay3.png Tonko voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[21] The vote largely followed party lines.[22]

Healthcare

Repealing Obamacare

Nay3.png Tonko has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[23]

Social issues

Abortion

Nay3.png Tonko voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[24]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Tonko voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 172 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[25]

Issues

On The Issues Vote Match

Paul Tonko's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Tonko is a Liberal Populist. Tonko received a score of 58 percent on social issues and 9 percent on economic issues.[26]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[27]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Opposes
Absolute right to gun ownership Opposes Human needs over animal rights Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Strongly Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Unknown
Prioritize green energy Strongly Favors Expand the military Unknown
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Strongly Favors
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Opposes
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[26]

Elections

2014

See also: New York's 20th Congressional District elections, 2014

Tonko is running in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent New York's 20th District. Tonko ran unopposed for the Democratic, Working Families and Independence Party nominations in the primary on June 24, 2014. The general election takes place November 4, 2014.

2012

See also: New York's 20th Congressional District elections, 2012

Tonko won re-election in 2012, but due to New York's redistricting, he ran in the newly redrawn 20th District.[28] He was unopposed in the Democratic primary and defeated Robert Dieterich (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[29] He also ran as a Working Families and Independence candidate.[30][31]

U.S. House, New York District 20 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPaul Tonko Incumbent 64% 203,400
     Republican Robert Dieterich 29.5% 93,778
     N/A Blank/Void/Scattering 6.5% 20,500
Total Votes 317,678
Source: New York State Board of Elections "U.S. House of Representatives Results"

Full history


Campaign donors

Fundraising events

The below chart from Find The Best tracks the fundraising events Tonko attends.


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Tonko is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Tonko raised a total of $2,711,107 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 23, 2013.[34]

Paul Tonko's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 20) Won $974,898
2010 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 21) Won $987,959
2008 U.S. House of Representatives (New York, District 21) Won $748,250
Grand Total Raised $2,711,107


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Individual breakdown

2014

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Tonko’s reports.[35]

Paul Tonko (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[36]April 15, 2013$314,524.87$79,525.25$(61,183.87)$332,866.25
July Quarterly[37]July 14, 2013$332,866.25$192,694.62$(71,104.10)$454,456.77
October Quarterly[38]October 15, 2013$454,456.77$104,856.44$(103,503.48)$455,809.73
Year-End Quarterly[39]December 31, 2013$455,809$82,443$(45,792)$441,889
April Quarterly[40]April 15, 2014$441,889.50$150,827.91$(75,005.88)$517,711.53
Running totals
$610,347.22$(356,589.33)

2012

Tonko won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Tonko's campaign committee raised a total of $974,899 and spent $820,271.[41]

Cost per vote

Tonko spent $4.04 per vote received in 2012.


2010

Tonko won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. His campaign committee raised a total of $987,959 and spent $813,619.[42]


Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a four-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of four different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Tonko's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $1.00 and $1,000. That averages to $500.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Tonko ranked as the 410th most wealthy representative in 2012.[43] Between 2007 and 2012, Tonko's calculated net worth increased from $-13,844 to $500. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[44]

Paul Tonko Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2007$-13,844
2012$500
Growth from 2007 to 2012:N/A
Average annual growth:N/A
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[45]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Tonko is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of August 2014.[46] Tonko was rated as a "far-left Democrat" in June 2013.

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[47]

Tonko most often votes with:

Tonko least often votes with:


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Tonko missed 23 of 4,381 roll call votes from January 2009 to August 2014. This amounts to 0.5 percent, which is better than the median of 2.5 percent among current congressional representatives as of August 2014.[46]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Tonko paid his congressional staff a total of $961,575 in 2011. Overall, New York ranked 28th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[48]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Tonko was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Tonko's staff was given an apparent $15,934.00 in bonus money.[49]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.

2013

Tonko ranked 22nd in the liberal rankings in 2013.[50]

2012

Tonko ranked 98th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[51]

2011

Tonko ranked 1st in the liberal rankings in 2011.[52]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.

2014

Tonko voted with the Democratic Party 95.0 percent of the time, which ranked 37th among the 204 House Democratic members as of August 2014.[53]

2013

Tonko voted with the Democratic Party 93.8 percent of the time, which ranked 58th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[54]

Personal

Tonko is a lifelong resident of the city of Amsterdam, New York.[55]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Paul + Tonko + New York + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Paul Tonko News Feed

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See also

External links


References

  1. New York Board of Elections, "Candidate Petition List," accessed April 17, 2014
  2. Associated Press, "New York - Summary Vote Results," accessed June 24, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "TONKO, Paul, (1949 - )"
  4. Congressman Paul D. Tonko, Representing the 21st District of New York, "Biography"
  5. CQ.com, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed March 3, 2013
  6. U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson, 20th District of New York, "Biography"
  7. Congressman Paul D. Tonko, Representing the 21st District of New York, "Biography"
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  9. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Project Vote Smart, "Representative Tonko's Voting Records on National Security," accessed October 9, 2013
  11. The Library of Congress, "H.R.624 CISPA (2013) (Referred in Senate - RFS)," accessed August 27, 2013
  12. Vote Smart, "Tonko on agriculture," accessed October 10, 2013
  13. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps," accessed September 17, 2013
  14. Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill,," accessed September 23, 2013
  15. Time.com, "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates," accessed September 18, 2013
  16. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  18. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  20. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  21. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Paul Tonko's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed October 10, 2013
  23. Project Vote Smart, "Representative Tonko's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Healthcare," accessed October 10, 2013
  24. Project Vote Smart, "Tonko on abortion," accessed October 10, 2013
  25. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  26. 26.0 26.1 On The Issues, "Paul Tonko Vote Match," accessed June 19, 2014
  27. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
  28. (Schenectady) Daily Gazette, "Tonko campaign flush with funds," April 18, 2012
  29. AP/CSPAN "New York-Summary Vote Report," June 26, 2012
  30. New York Board of Elections "2012 Candidate List" accessed October 17, 2012
  31. Politico, "2012 Election Map, New York"
  32. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  34. Open Secrets, "Career Fundraising for Paul Tonko" March 2013
  35. Federal Election Commission, "Paul Tonko Summary Report," accessed August 1, 2013
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Paul Tonko April Quarterly," accessed August 1st, 2013
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Paul Tonko July Quarterly," accessed July 30, 2013
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Paul Tonko October Quarterly," accessed October 28, 2013
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Paul Tonko Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 13, 2013
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Paul Tonko April Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  41. Open Secrets, "Paul Tonko 2012 Election Cycle," accessed March 1, 2013
  42. Open Secrets, "Paul Tonko 2010 Election Data," accessed December 23, 2011
  43. OpenSecrets.org, "Paul Tonko (D-NY), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  44. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  45. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  46. 46.0 46.1 GovTrack, "Paul Tonko," accessed August 11, 2014
  47. OpenCongress, "Paul Tonko," accessed August 11, 2014
  48. LegiStorm, "Paul Tonko," accessed October 1, 2012
  49. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  50. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed August 11, 2014
  51. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed March 7, 2013
  52. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  53. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  54. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  55. Congressman Paul D. Tonko, Representing the 21st District of New York, "Biography"
Political offices
Preceded by
Chris Gibson
U.S. House of Representatives - New York District 20
2013–Present
Succeeded by
'
Preceded by
Michael R. McNulty
U.S. House of Representatives - New York District 21
2009–2013
Succeeded by
Bill Owens
Preceded by
Gail Shaffer
New York State Assembly - New York District 105
1983-2007
Succeeded by
George Amedore