John James Faso Jr. // (born August 25, 1952) is an American attorney and politician who served as the U.S. Representative for New York's 19th congressional district from 2017 to 2019. Faso was first elected to the post in 2016. A Republican, Faso previously represented the 102nd district in the New York State Assembly from 1987 to 2002 and served as Assembly Minority Leader from 1998 to 2002. Faso ran for New York State Comptroller in 2002 and for Governor of New York in 2006, but did not prevail in either race. He was defeated for re-election to Congress in November 2018 by Democrat Antonio Delgado.
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New York's 19th district
January 3, 2017 – January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Chris Gibson|
|Succeeded by||Antonio Delgado|
|Member of the New York State Assembly|
from the 102nd district
January 1, 1987 – December 31, 2002
|Preceded by||Clarence D. Lane|
|Succeeded by||Joel Miller|
John James Faso Jr.
August 25, 1952
Massapequa, New York, U.S.
Mary Frances (m. 1983)
|Education||State University of New York, Brockport (BS)|
Georgetown University (JD)
- 1 Early life, education, and early career
- 2 Political career
- 2.1 New York State Assembly
- 2.2 2002 campaign for New York State Comptroller
- 2.3 2006 campaign for Governor of New York
- 2.4 2016 campaign for U.S. House of Representatives
- 2.5 2018 re-election campaign for U.S. House of Representatives
- 2.6 Political positions
- 3 Legal and consulting career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Early life, education, and early careerEdit
Faso is of Italian and Irish descent, the eldest of five siblings. He attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, New York and SUNY-Brockport. After college, Faso became a grants officer for Nassau County, New York. Faso graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1979. After law school, Faso took political jobs in Washington, D.C., including as a lobbyist, while considering running for elective office in New York.
New York State AssemblyEdit
In 1983, John Faso moved to upstate New York, purposely choosing to live in a district where an Assembly seat would soon become open so that he could run. He was elected to the New York State Assembly for the first time in 1986.
John Faso was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1987 to 2002. He received the 1997 Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy Award for distinguished public service. In 1987, Faso called Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision regarding abortion rights, a "black mark upon this country." In late 1994, Faso served on George Pataki's transition team, where he chaired the budget committee. He became head of the team that wrote Pataki's first budget as governor.
In 1995, John Faso became Ranking Member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. He was the original sponsor of charter school legislation and was involved in the passage of Governor Pataki's proposal to create charter schools in New York State in 1998. He supported expanding the current cap on charter schools. John Faso was elected Assembly Minority Leader in 1998.
2002 campaign for New York State ComptrollerEdit
Faso's work on the state budget fueled a run for New York State Comptroller in 2002. Initially trailing Democrat Alan Hevesi (then-Comptroller of New York City) by a 20-point margin, Faso lost the election by a 50%-47% margin.
During the campaign, Faso accused Hevesi of having mismanaged the city's pension funds. Hevesi was later forced to resign from office and jailed in a pay-to-play scheme involving New York's state pension fund.
2006 campaign for Governor of New YorkEdit
In 2005, Faso announced his intention to run for governor. For the Republican nomination, Faso faced former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, former New York Secretary of State Randy Daniels, and Assemblyman Patrick Manning. Weld reportedly offered Faso the chance to join his ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor.
Faso received the Conservative Party's endorsement while Weld received the Libertarian Party's nomination, guaranteeing both candidates a spot on the ballot if they stayed in the race. However once the Republican State Convention voted to endorse Faso, Weld announced his withdrawal from the race.
Faso's running mate was former Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef. Faso was opposed by Democratic nominee Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer won with 69% of the vote, Faso received 29% of the vote. Spitzer resigned from office a year into his tenure in the midst of a prostitution scandal..
2016 campaign for U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit
On September 14, 2015, Faso announced he would run for New York's 19th congressional district in the 2016 election. Republican Chris Gibson, the retiring incumbent, endorsed Faso. He won the Republican primary against Andrew Heaney, 67.5% to 32.5%. During the general election, Faso faced academic and political activist Zephyr Teachout. Faso defeated Teachout with 54.7% of the vote.
Faso was named to the House Budget and House Agriculture Committee as well as the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he served for one term as Vice Chairman of the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Material Subcommittee.
2018 re-election campaign for U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit
Faso ran for re-election in 2018 and was challenged by Democrat Antonio Delgado. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, the race was "considered one of the more closely watched in the nation as Faso seeks a second term in a moderate Hudson Valley district that stretches from Dutchess County and into the Albany area and Southern Tier."
During the campaign, the National Republican Congressional Committee ran an advertisement criticizing Delgado for his previous career as a rapper. Faso called some of Delgado's rap lyrics "very troubling and offensive", saying they "paint an ugly and false picture of America." Delgado, who was seeking to become the first nonwhite person to represent New York's 19th district, has said the criticism of his rap lyrics is an attempt to "otherize" him. The ad against Delgado stirred controversy, with The New York Times editorial board criticizing Faso for what they termed a "cynical campaign of race-baiting".
On November 6, 2018, Delgado defeated Faso by 132,001 votes to 124,408.
Faso was a member of the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership and the Climate Solutions Caucus. In the 115th United States Congress, Faso was ranked the 18th most bipartisan Representative in the House by the Bipartisan Index, a metric created by The Lugar Center and Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy to assess congressional bipartisanship.
On June 20, 2018, after attending a meeting on immigration with President Trump and other GOP House members, Faso said that Trump should halt the “zero tolerance” immigration policy under which children were removed from their parents at the Mexican border. On June 24, 2018, Faso told NPR that he supported a Republican compromise bill that would provide legal status for so-called DREAMers, who were illegally brought to the U.S. as children.
In 2018, Faso pushed for stricter work requirements on recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as the Food Stamps program), claiming that SNAP was an easy target for fraudsters and drug dealers. Studies show that SNAP fraud is rare and that fraud represents a small fraction of the SNAP program.
Faso voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. "From the beginning, I wanted to support a tax reform plan that would increase economic growth, increase worker paychecks, incentivize small business investment and ensure New York families are better off," he stated after voting against the bill. Faso argued that the $10,000 state and local tax deduction would also deeply impact New York residents of all wealth levels.
In November 2017, Faso said he would vote against the Republican tax overhaul bill, citing the removal of state tax deductions as his reason.
In January 2017, The Washington Post reported on a closed-door meeting in which Faso said that he had "no problem" with defunding Planned Parenthood, but urged his fellow Republicans not to do so as part of the proposed repeal of the ACA (Obamacare); Faso added that using Obamacare repeal legislation to defund Planned Parenthood would be "a gigantic political trap," "a political minefield," and a "grave mistake." In a later interview, Faso clarified that he "does not favor defunding Planned Parenthood" and that "if a separate up-or-down vote on Planned Parenthood funding came up in the House, he would vote for the status quo, effectively keeping the organization funded." In February 2017, Faso voted against a resolution that "reverse[d] an Obama Administration rule barring states from defunding Planned Parenthood." In March 2017, Faso voted to amend an Obamacare repeal bill to remove language that would have defunded Planned Parenthood for one year.
On May 4, 2017, Faso voted in favor of the American Health Care Act, the House Republican bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). He faced protests in his congressional district over his position on the AHCA. During his 2018 re-election campaign, Faso said that he supported protections for individuals with preexisting conditions. Faso said that the AHCA bill that he voted for would have protected people with preexisting conditions; however The New York Times noted that the bill would have allowed states to drop protections for individuals with preexisting conditions.
On April 26, 2018, Faso announced that he had joined the bipartisan Heroin Task Force, which works on issues related to heroin and opioid abuse. Faso has "co-sponsored alongside more than 100 lawmakers" the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which aims to crack down on the shipment of synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl, to the United States.
The League of Conservation Voters, an environmental advocacy group, gave Faso a lifetime score of 36%, indicating a mixed record on the environment. In February 2018, Faso and Dan Lipinski (IL-3) introduced the bipartisan Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act of 2018 to encourage innovation in combating climate change.
Legal and consulting careerEdit
Following his loss in the state comptroller election in 2002, Faso joined the firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips as a lobbyist/partner; he took a leave of absence to run for governor in 2006, then rejoined the firm. Manatt, Phelps & Phillips agreed to a settlement in 2010 in response to a corruption probe in which the firm was investigated for its "efforts to serve as a "placement agent" for public pension funds in New York and California without a state or federal license." According to the Wall Street Journal, some "of Manatt's efforts to secure investments were made by John Faso".
From 2003 to 2006, Faso served as a member of the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority control board.
From 2012 to 2015, Faso worked as a public affairs consultant for the Constitution Pipeline Co., an energy company that was attempting to build a pipeline to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York State. The pipeline was controversial because the pipeline would have transported gas extracted from hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Construction of the pipeline was ultimately blocked by the state.
- Healy, Patrick (October 18, 2006). "An Ill-Timed Candidate Believes His Time Is Now". The New York Times.
- Herszenhorn, David M. "In the Race for Governor, a Big Divide on School Aid", The New York Times, November 2, 2006. Accessed December 6, 2007. "Mr. Faso, whose father worked as a janitor in the Catholic grammar school that he attended on Long Island, went on to Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens and the State University of New York at Brockport."
- "John J. Faso Rejoins Manatt". Business Wire. December 1, 2006. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Jessica Bruder (December 12, 2005). "Is John Faso Fighting An Unbeatable Foe?". Observer. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- By MICHAEL COOPEROCT. 22, 2006 (October 22, 2006). "A History of Going Against the Grain With Republican Colleagues - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- "Faso to head Pataki budget team". News Bank. November 21, 1994.
- Dao, James (June 5, 1995). "More Budget Battles; This Year's Fiscal Fight Is Over in Albany But Squabbling May Be Worse Next Year". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- Peterson, Helen (September 9, 1999). "Charter School Experiment Begins". New York Dailly News. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- Now it's 'real race' for controller seat. As gap closes, Faso & Hevesi get nasty Archived December 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Jonathan P. Hicks (November 2, 2002). "Testy Debate By 2 Running To Become Comptroller". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- "New York gets another chance to listen to John Faso". nypost.com. September 21, 2015.
- Healy, Patrick (June 1, 2006). "Weld-Faso? Faso-Weld? The Kingmaker From Nassau Holds the Cards". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- Healy, Patrick (May 24, 2006). "Conservative Party Endorses Faso for Governor, Setting Up a Political Fight in G.O.P." The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- "Bill Weld as a Libertarian Party Candidate in New York?". Hammer of Truth. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- Edsall, Thomas B. (May 29, 2006). "Another Stumble for Ralph Reed's Beleaguered Campaign". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 3, 2010.
- "Former Mass. Gov. Weld drops out of New York race". The Washington Post. June 6, 2006. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
- Jennifer Medina (May 23, 2006). "Faso Expected to Name Suburban Moderate as Running Mate". The New York Times. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Healy, Patrick (October 13, 2006). "Faso Jabs Sharply at Spitzer, Who Assails 'Angry' Tone". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- "Spitzer to step down by Monday". CNN. March 12, 2008. Retrieved March 12, 2008.
-  | March 12, 2008 | Spitzer Resigns After Sex Scandal, Pressure | 
- "John Faso to kick off congressional campaign". Capitalnewyork.com. July 28, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- Kilgallen, Michaela (July 18, 2016). "Chris Gibson endorses GOPer John Faso in NY-19". Times Union. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- "New York's 19th Congressional District election, 2016". Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
- "Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials - U.S. House of Representatives". transportation.house.gov.
- Arnold, Chad (September 12, 2018). "19th Congressional District: Polls show tight race between Faso, Delgado". Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- Herndon, Astead (July 17, 2018). "A Congressional Candidate Used to Be a Rapper. Will It Matter?". New York Times. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
- "Opinion | John Faso Is Race-Baiting His Opponent". Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- Brooks, Paul. "Rap battle between Faso, Delgado heats up". recordonline.com. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- Zangla, Ariel (February 2, 2018). "Election 2018: Democratic hopefuls in NY 19th Congressional District to debate on Sunday". Daily Freeman. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
- "Congress Tracker:John J. Faso, Republican representative for New York's 19th District". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- Willis, Derek. "Legislators: John Faso (R-N.Y.)". ProPublica. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Members". Republican Mains Street Partnership. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
- "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- "The Lugar Center - McCourt School Bipartisan Index" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: The Lugar Center. April 24, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
- "Faso ranks 18th in House for bipartisanship bills". Middletown, New York: Times Herald-Record. April 28, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
- Moore, Mark; GOP lawmaker rips 'zero tolerance' policy at Mexico border; NY Post; June 20, 2018; 
- Rep. John Faso On The GOP's Immigration Bill; NPR; June 24, 2018;
- Freedman, Dan; Faso continues push to link food stamps to crime; Times Union; April 29, 2018; 
- Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Moody, Richard. "House passes final tax reform bill; Faso votes against partial elimination of SALT deductions | Hudson Valley 360". HudsonValley360. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- Upstate NY Rep. John Faso will split with GOP on tax plan;Syracuse.com; November 15, 2017; 
- "Behind closed doors, Republican lawmakers fret about how to repeal Obamacare". Washington Post. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
- Seiler, Casey (January 27, 2017). "Faso to GOP: Don't defund Planned Parenthood in ACA repeal". Times Union. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- "Rep. Faso Clarifies Quotes on Planned Parenthood". WAMC. January 27, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
- Tom Strode (February 17, 2017). "House votes to annul rule protecting Planned Parenthood". Bpnews.net. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- "Faso Votes To Advance Health Care Bill". Nystateofpolitics.com. March 16, 2017. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
- Kim Soffen, Darla Cameron & Kevin Uhrmacher (May 4, 2017). "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post.
- CNN Staff (May 5, 2017). "How every member voted on health care bill". CNN.
- Brian Hubert (January 16, 2017). "People gather outside Faso office to protest GOP pledge to repeal Affordable Care Act". Daily Freeman.
- Horrigan, Jeremiah (February 2, 2017). "Demonstrators at Congressman John Faso's home ask him to oppose Trump's plans". Hudson Valley One.
- Patricia R. Doxsey (February 24, 2017). "Forum in Faso's congressional district expected to draw more than 600 people, but not Faso". Daily Freeman.
- "He's a Rhodes Scholar. The G.O.P. Keeps Calling Him a 'Big-City Rapper.'". Retrieved October 2, 2018.
- Roach, Sarah; Faso-backed opioid legislation passes; Times Union; June 14, 2018; 
- "Check out Representative John Faso's Environmental Voting Record". League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. March 26, 2019. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
- Creating prize competitions to encourage finding breakthroughs in fighting climate change; The Hill; April 16, 2018; 
- Rothfeld, Michael (October 13, 2010). "Law Firm to Pay $550,000 in Pension Probe". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- "Colucci named to city control board". Buffalo Business Journal. August 29, 2006. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- Dan Clark (July 18, 2016). "Faso was paid for his work on pipeline project". PolitiFact.
- John Faso at Curlie
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|New York Assembly|
| Member of the New York Assembly
from the 102nd district
| Minority Leader of the New York Assembly
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Comptroller of New York
| Republican nominee for Governor of New York
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 19th congressional district