HARRISON, N.Y. – Frank Morganthaler, a retired lieutenant with the New York City Fire Department and a Hawthorne resident, is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York's 17th Congressional District against the incumbent, Democrat Nita Lowey, and Republican Joe Carvin, the current Rye Town supervisor.
The 17th District includes Rockland County, Yorktown, Peekskill, Cortlandt, Mount Kisco, New Castle, Ossining, Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Greenburgh, Harrison and portions of Rye.
Name: Frank Morganthaler
Family: Married for 32 years to Barbara; we have one daughter, Michelle.
Occupation: Retired lieutenant, New York City Fire Department (FDNY); Vietnam veteran (USMC); currently a New York State Licensed Private Investigator and an Emergency Planning Consultant
How long have you lived in town: I have lived at my current address in Hawthorne for three years
Party affiliation and ballot lines held: Registered Republican for more than 40 years; running on the Independent “We the People” Party Line
Years in office: Not currently serving in any office
Other elected positions held: None
Civic organizations: Westchester County Chapter, American Red Cross, Operations Coordinator and Disaster Response Team volunteer (formerly); Former Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity (Co-Chair, Local Project Committee and Site Supervisor (Yonkers); Former President of the East Yonkers Boys and Girls Club (4 years); Member of numerous Veteran organizations — Hawthorne American Legion Post 112 (Vice Commander), Westchester County Detachment, Marine Corps League (Senior Vice Commandant); Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1374; Vietnam Veterans of America (Chapter 49); Co-Chair, Armed Forces Day Parade Committee (2009 to present); Board Member, New York State Medal of Honor Monument Committee; National Board Member, Animal Charities of America; Volunteer with the Veterans “Service Dog” Program, raising funds and awareness for the program, which provides “service dogs” to help seriously wounded veterans returning from the current conflicts; former member of the Rotary
The Daily Voice: What are the three biggest issues facing the 17th Congressional District?
Morganthaler: 1.) Loss of our constitutional freedoms and liberties
3.) Property taxes (Westchester has the highest property taxes in the nation and Rockland is third.)
The Daily Voice: How would you address those issues?
Morganthaler: 1.) Loss of our constitutional freedoms and liberties — Obamacare forces Americans to buy insurance; and, requires the Catholic Church to provide benefits that directly conflict with its beliefs. I will vote to fully repeal Obamacare. Our 2nd Amendment rights are threatened by U.S. adoption of the “U.N. Arms Trade Treaty.” The freedom as to how you raise your children is being threatened by the adoption of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child treaty. Once these treaties are adopted, they supersede our constitution and fundamentally strip us of our constitutional rights. I will work to defend our constitution and do everything in my power to prevent our government from adopting these treaties.
2.) Jobs/unemployment — Repeal the massive regulations and mandates that have been imposed on the business community, which cause uncertainty and impede businesses growth. Fully repeal Obamacare, which has added increased expenses for business and again, thwarts private sector business growth.
3.) Property taxes (Westchester has the highest property taxes in the nation and Rockland is third.) — These high taxes are heavily influenced by unfunded mandates imposed by the federal government. I believe that if government initiates these costly directives, then it should supply, at least some, if not all of the funding required to implement the mandates; reducing the state’s expense to comply. I would look to sit down with Gov. Cuomo and the state legislature and develop mandate relief legislation to address this problem.
The Daily Voice: What were your biggest achievements?
Morganthaler: There are many achievements that I am proud of: serving my country in the United States Marine Corps; serving the people of NYC for 22 years in the NYC Fire Department; volunteering in my community with the American Red Cross (being there to help people following a disaster); volunteering in my community with Habitat for Humanity (helping put needy families in good homes which we built); volunteering youth organizations to provide safe, healthy outlets for children; traveling to Washington on my own, when local congressional representatives wouldn’t help, and working with a Democratic congressman from Florida to gain an appropriation of $2 million for the “Service Dog” program for wounded veterans (for seven years the program had not received any funding from Congress); receiving the NYS Order Sons of Italy in America, 2011 Humanitarian Award; and, receiving the “Exceptional Volunteer for Community Relations” Award from the American Red Cross.
The Daily Voice: Westchester is among the highest-taxed counties in the nation. What would you do to lower the tax burden? Be specific.
Morganthaler: Westchester County is the highest taxed county in America. Much of that burden is caused by federal mandates. I believe that if the federal government imposes a mandate on the state, then it should pay at least a portion, if not the entire cost of implementing it. One specific area that needs to be reformed is the federal education mandate. The National Education Standards and Testing Requirements mandate does little to improve academic achievement, but, adds a significant cost to the taxpayers of New York State and Westchester County. I would work to return the control of education back to the state where it belongs. I believe that the state, working together with the local school districts and parents, can do a much better job educating our children at a lower cost. By reducing the cost of education, we would achieve a lower tax expense to residents.
The Daily Voice: Why should people vote for you?
Morganthaler: Because I am the best candidate! I am Independent; not controlled by either party and will answer only to the people of this district. There is too much partisanship in Congress, which prevents needed legislation from moving forward. Representatives must provide common sense, leadership and an ability to work together, to do the best job for the people they represent. I will provide that. We need leaders, not followers — there are too many followers in Congress now. They follow party leaders (partisanship), a misguided president, or the latest polls, rather than leading and properly representing the people who sent them to Washington. I will represent you and your interests and protect your constitutional freedoms and individual liberties, which I believe to be the most important duty of a congressional representative. We need straight talk and truth from our representatives and we are not getting it. I will provide it.