Democrats for Les Roberts

We support Les Roberts for Congress

Les Roberts Biography: Democratic Candidate for Congress in New York

Les Roberts is running for Congress as a Democrat in New York State’s 24th congressional district. Here is the biography of Les Roberts, as offered by the Les Roberts for Congress campaign:

‘Les Roberts was born and raised in Central New York and now lives with his wife, Mary Grace, in Chenango County in New York’s 24th District. After graduating from St. Lawrence University, Les taught high school physics at Fayetteville-Manlius, where he was an active member of the teachers’ union. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in public health from Tulane University and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

For the past 11 years, in addition to teaching at Johns Hopkins and Columbia Universities, Les has trained federal employees in disaster response. Through this work, he has had the opportunity to see our federal government at its best and its worst.

Les has served as a Lieutenant Commander and remains a reservist in the U.S. Public Health Service. He has served in five war zones for the first Bush administration and the Clinton Administration. Les has seen our federal government respond bravely and appropriately to human need.

The poor federal response to hurricane Katrina compelled Les to run for Congress. After training federal disaster response employees, working with the military, and seeing legislation that benefited so many people, he was shocked to see our fellow Americans in the Gulf Coast left in need without government assistance. None of the protective measures that we had paid for with our taxes worked, and because of that, Americans suffered.

Les has evaluated and formulated policy at the highest levels of the United States government for years. As a public health professional, he has testified before Congress and repeatedly briefed the National Security Council. His research has been cited on the front page of the New York Times and the Washington Post, among thousands of other news outlets.

This race is about the people of the 24th district and who can best represent them in Congress. Les’s reputation and national exposure will enable him to shine a spotlight on our district. Les has worked on critically important health issues, worked in eight war zones, and has firsthand knowledge of the workings of the U.S. military. This experience, coupled with his extensive background in environmental and energy policy and his years of work as an educator, gives him the knowledge and credibility to be a strong voice in Congress. It will also enable him to formulate the needed policies in Washington to benefit the people of the 24th District and the nation.”


April 26, 2006 Posted by | Issues, Les Roberts Biography, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Difference Between Michael Arcuri and Les Roberts

Another reader at the Take Back the 24th blog writes the following comment about the issue of foreign policy:

[The question of which Democratic candidate has the most credibility on foreign policy “…strikes at the core of the difference between someone like Arcuri and a Les Roberts. Arcuri may be a competent D.A. and quite capable of representing people in local politics (go, Arcuri, run for State Senate!), but it’s quite a different matter to represent a local community on the national and international scene and do so with the insight and authority that only real experience can bring.

To my knowledge, Arcuri does not have any international experience, nor does his background give us any reason to believe that he’s particularly capable at dealing with matters of state or international affairs.

Electing Les Roberts would allow the voters of NY-24 to rest assured not only that their best interests would be served, but that they would have done the country the favor of providing Congress with a voice of reason and a voice of experience where it really matters.”

April 12, 2006 Posted by | Democratic Opponents, Issues, testimonials, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Les Roberts the Only Democrat With Foreign Policy Experience

The following testimonial for Les Roberts was left on another blog, the Take Back the 24th blog, in the comments section of a poll about the candidates and foreign policy. I think it bears repeating here.


Les Roberts isn’t just the candidate with the most credibility on foreign policy, he is the ONLY candidate with credibility on foreign policy, and his credibility is considerable. His international policy experience already bests many sitting members of Congress, let alone any of the other candidates in this race.

It is laughable to me that anyone would suggest that either Leon Koziol or Michael Arcuri has more credibility on foreign policy than Les Roberts. In what possible world? On what possible basis does a D.A. from Oneida County have more foreign policy credibility than the one man in this race who has risked his life, quite literally, several times, to go into the most troubled and dangerous parts of the world to study and understand the situation on the ground, and help formulate policy to make things better? What is this experience, if not foreign policy experience? How is it that this sort of experience, in 8 war zones, including Iraq, including Afghanistan, including Rwanda, and Bosnia, how is it that this experience isn’t the best in this race to yield credibility on foreign policy?

What sort of policy experience does any other candidate have to compare to being the director of health policy for the International Rescue Committee? (look it up.) How many hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by the life-and-death decisions made by any of the other candidates? How many of the other candidates have faced wards and wards of children shot in the legs and left in the streets as bait so adults would break cover to resuce them and be shot dead? How many of the other candidates have watched our men and women in uniform used in similar ways by our own military? How many of the other candidates have worked in concert with our military? How many of the other candidates have found themselves in the middle of another contintent with a gun to their head?

Let’s be really blunt about this: how many foreigners have the other candidates even ever had conversations with, at any level, on any subject, aside from tourism and perhaps family gatherings? What do the other other candidates even know about other countries? Which candidate is known and respected all over the world for his work all over the world?

Which candidate’s knowledge and experience will be most useful for doing the foreign policy work of Congress? Michael Arcuri? Leon Koziol? Please.

Arcuri supporters, in particular, tell us how, precisely, Arcuri has the most foreign policy credibility, if only to satisfy our curiosity. I will allow that there are many good things to be said about Michael Arcuri, and some of them even pertain to his qualifications in this race–but foreign policy credibility???

Which candidate do I want representing me on foreign policy? Which candidate is actually capable of hitting the ground running in Congress to bring the kind of knowledge and expertise our government so sorely needs?

How could it possibly be anyone other Les Roberts?


I couldn’t agree more. Among the 24th district Democrats, the choice on foreign policy is clear. The voice of credibility and experience is Les Roberts for Congress in 2006!

April 10, 2006 Posted by | Issues, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Les Roberts Pledges to Defend Social Security

Why do I support Les Roberts for Congress? One reason is that Les Roberts has taken the time to craft a position on Social Security. His Democratic opponents, Leon Koziol and Michael Arcuri, have not.

It’s not a surprise that Les Roberts has more expertise on matters like Social Security. He has a long history of working to establish systems of public infrastructure, with organizations like the IRC, the Centers for Disease Control, Johns Hopkins University, and the United States government. Les Roberts is not merely some local politician who believes that politics is about making powerful friends. Les Roberts is the kind of candidate who really understands that politics is a medium through which we can make the world a better place.

That kind of mix of idealism and practical, hard scrabble experience is the reason I support Les Roberts for Congress in 2006. Here is the statement Les Roberts has made on Social Security:

“The Social Security System is the greatest safety net for seniors ever developed in this nation. Millions of people who have worked hard all their lives, have played by the rules, and contributed every day to society, would live in poverty if not for the Social Security System. This administration has cited the privatization of Social Security as one of its highest priorities. This is simply wrong. Social security needs to be shored-up and preserved, not dissolved in a scheme to make the rich get richer at the expense of the average retiree.

Likewise, Medicare Part D, a plan partially written and designed with the insurance industry, has been a bad mistake. Our seniors need a national drug insurance plan, without the so-called “donut” which forces many seniors to pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket if they go above a modest threshold.

Many of our senior citizens struggle to pay for heating, for drugs, for housing, and live in constant fear that they will not be able to afford the basic necessities. The last five years of single party control in Washington have just made their plight worse. As your Congressman, I will fight to save Social Security, establish a rational drug insurance system, and to help seniors live in the modest comfort they have earned and deserve.”

April 3, 2006 Posted by | Issues, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Les Roberts Has The Only Plan to Get Out of Iraq

There are three Democrats in New York’s 24th District Democratic primary race: Les Roberts, Leon Koziol, and Michael Arcuri.

Of these three Democratic congressional candidates, only Les Roberts has a specific plan for getting the United States out of the war in Iraq.

A member of the United States House of Representatives deals with too many life and death issues, like war and peace, for us to have a career politician who is only motivated by personal ambition. As another blogger recently asked, What does Michael Arcuri stand for? I don’t think even Mike Arcuri’s supporters can honestly answer that question.

Les Roberts has demonstrated, over and over again, that he is willing to sacrifice his career in order to do the right thing. Maybe it isn’t the political strategy suggested by high-paid campaign consultants, but giving us voters a clear plan on Iraq is the decent thing to do.

Thank you, Les Roberts, for your continued courage and clarity.

Go to the Les Roberts campaign site to view the position paper written by Les Roberts on the Iraq War.

April 2, 2006 Posted by | Issues, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Michael Arcuri Economic Development Plan Abandons Most of District

Michael Arcuri’s economic development proposal centers around the expansion of route 12. The problem? Route 12 only goes along the eastern edge of New York State’s 24th congressional district. It connects Utica and Binghamton. Of course, Binghamton isn’t in the 24th District! So, who is the route 12 development intended to benefit?

The answer: Michael Arcuri’s political supporters in Utica – investors, we might call them.

The huge bulk of district 24 would get absolutely no benefit from the expansion of route 12. In fact, route 12 expansion would damage the other substantial communities of the 24th District: Auburn and Cortland, taking traffic, and much needed business, away from those cities. Places like Geneva and Tompkins county on the western side of the district would also be left in the lurch, but they’d have to help pay the cost – all for the benefit of Oneida County businessmen supporting Michael Arcuri’s campaign.

The people of the 24th District need a congressman who will represent all of the people in the district, not just the Democratic power brokers in Utica and Oneida County.

Unlike Michael Arcuri, Les Roberts is not beholden to any local party bosses. Les Roberts is his own man, and so we can count on Les Roberts to represent us all, not just a few people with business schemes and powerful connections in Utica.

March 31, 2006 Posted by | Democratic Opponents, Issues, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Les Roberts Has The Only Health Care Reform Plan

Catch this: Of the three Democratic candidates running for the Democratic nomination in New York’s 24th congressional district, only Les Roberts has a specific health care reform plan to provide Americans with the medical that they need and deserve.

Leon Koziol doesn’t have a health care plan. Michael Arcuri doesn’t have a plan.

Les Roberts is prepared. Les Roberts has a full, detailed plan on health care. Read it here.

March 31, 2006 Posted by | Democratic Opponents, Issues, Uncategorized | Leave a comment