Dan Maffei

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This is a profile of a freshman U.S. Representative in the 111th Congress. (See the New York portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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Dan Maffei is currently serves the 25th Congressional District of New York

Dan Maffei has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 25th district of the State of New York, since 2009 (map).

Positions, record and controversies

Middle Class Relief

The middle class are the engine of America's economy and when they prosper and have confidence in the future, we succeed. Dan Maffei recognizes that the economy has changed and that even the basic rules for middle class prosperity and security have changed with it. Maffei's plan is aimed at getting the economy moving and to restoring prosperity and confidence. It includes: Immediate relief to help with energy costs paid for by preventing oil companies from profiteering; Permanent middle-class tax cuts to help families meet their major challenges; Help for businesses to create new jobs and encourage planned public-private development; and New investments in transportation, bridges, schools, healthcare, and technology to modernize the backbone of our economy and stoke future innovation.

Reducing Energy Costs

Maffei feels that high gas prices are squeezing the hard working middle class and it's becoming more and more difficult to make ends meet. It's no coincidence that skyrocketing gas prices have come at the same time President Bush, a big oil man, has occupied the White House. Maffei knows change is needed – it's time for new leadership in Washington so we can finally have a real energy policy that fully addresses the root causes of skyrocketing prices and develops solutions that will give us permanent, relief at the pump.

Maffei's plan takes the power away from big oil by taxing their huge windfall profits and eliminating the unconscionable subsidies they receive. It would reinvest the money into alternative and renewable fuels so we can end our dependence on foreign oil. In the long run, a workable and realistic energy policy will be the only thing that will ensure affordable energy prices for our middle class and small businesses.

In Congress, Maffei will never support measures that do not benefit hard working men and women. They need real solutions so they don't have to worry about how they can afford to fill up their cars without breaking the family budget. Together, we can end our dependence on foreign oil if we have the courage to think big and change the direction of our country.

Ending the Iraq War

The war in Iraq is one of the single most important issues facing our country. Maffei believes its time to bring our brave troops home from Iraq as safely and quickly as possible. It's time for a real debate about the Iraq war and the war on terrorism. No individual's patriotism should be doubted because he or she exercises their right to question the decisions of those in power.

Our troops have fulfilled their mission. Maffei feels that the U.S. can't continue to pour tens of billions of dollars in Iraq every month with no end in sight. That's money that would be better spent here at home. Congressional enablers say we must keep sending more troops and more American taxpayer money to Iraq for a long time. Maffei believes we can't afford to do that when we have so many pressing problems here at home.

Affordable Healthcare

Maffei argues that the American healthcare system is broken. An estimated 47 million people across the country, including nearly 9 million children, have no health coverage. At least as many are underinsured, the numbers are growing and care is increasingly becoming out of reach. Rising health care costs are a burden on business and a drain on middle-class paychecks. Maffei will stand with middle class families and wont back down from the fight to protect our families with real health care coverage.

In Congress, Maffei will work to provide affordable and comprehensive health coverage for all. We can do this by lowering costs throughout the system and allowing people to choose between their current coverage or several new public insurance programs. Maffei will work to modernize our health care system, improve the quality of patient care, and make preventative health care a priority.

Job Creation

Maffei recognizes the signs – Central and Upstate New York's economy has suffered greatly over the past two decades. Companies like General Electric, General Motors, Kodak, Chrysler, Carrier, Xerox, and Crouse Hinds are gone or are shadows of their former selves. These companies were the foundation of our economy. These were the companies that spawned other businesses. They formed the basis of communities and they kept families financially strong.

Maffei knows Upstate New York can do better. This region has so much potential, starting with the people who make up our community. The region's quality of life is second to none, and it is home to some of the world's finest colleges and universities. Additionally, Central and Upstate New York have an abundance of natural resources that can be leveraged to be the engine of our new economy - if we have the courage to make decisions now to position ourselves to take advantage of these opportunities.

Dan Maffei's Three Point Job Creation Plan

  1. Control soaring energy costs through increased emphasis on green energy; making renewable fuels and high tech research an engine for job growth.
  2. Create and retain jobs by giving tax breaks to companies for keeping jobs here; eliminate tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas.
  3. Capitalize on our knowledge resources by increasing university-industry cooperation to create new jobs.

Reduce Soaring Energy Costs and Creating Green Jobs to Revitalize our Economy

Today's soaring gas prices are the result of a failed energy policy – Democrats and Republicans alike must take responsibility for the current failures and move beyond them in order to create a better future for our children and grandchildren. To that end, we must break our addiction to oil and become energy independent, and that means making the decisions now to position ourselves to take advantage of the coming global changes.

Maffei's plan takes away the power from huge multi-national oil corporations like ExxonMobil and puts it back into the hands of consumers. To do this, we must create a national roadmap to make us energy independent by 2020 while developing solutions to provide consumers with immediate relief at the pump. We must make a strong and bold statement that we are serious about breaking our addiction to foreign oil. If we begin to make serious investments in renewable fuels such as wind, solar, and hydropower in addition to using our oil and natural gas resources that are already available, world oil markets will have no choice but to adjust.

Instead of old ideas, let's start to think in a new direction to leverage our region's assets to create new green jobs. Maffei supports companies such as the energy firm Iberdrola, which wants invest $2 billion over five years in our region to build and operate wind power turbines. We need to encourage this kind of investment, from foreign and domestic firms alike. Investment that brings quality jobs to the area and reduces our dependence on foreign fuel is innovative, forward looking and will lead our new economy.

  • Tax oil windfall profits, and penalize companies that try to pass that fee onto consumers;
  • Enforce "Use It or Lose It" legislation on oil companies that have millions of unused acres where they could already be drilling;
  • Provide tax incentives to consumers who want to purchase energy efficient automobiles and appliances; and,
  • End impediments and provide tax incentives to local businesses that want to supply green energy to their own facilities, by installing solar or wind generators.

Provide Tax Relief to Businesses to Retain Jobs and Create New Jobs

Currently, our tax code rewards companies that move jobs out of the country. Our tax code treats profits earned by foreign subsidiaries of American corporations differently, putting companies who want to create jobs in the United States at a competitive disadvantage. These foreign tax havens have allowed companies like ExxonMobil to rake in record profits (more than $42 billion last year alone) all the while sheltering $56 billion in earnings.

The Maffei plan would eliminate this inequity so companies who want to create jobs here are not at a competitive disadvantage.

  • Work with Congress to re-write Empowerment Zones to make it work for Syracuse;
  • Encourage legislation like the Patriot Employers Act which would provide a tax credit equal to 1% of taxable income to employers that invest in American jobs, by maintaining or increasing the number of full-time workers in America and maintaining corporate headquarters in America; and,
  • Make capital available to small businesses and entrepreneurs to invest in regional growth.

Partnering with Universities to Create Jobs of the Future

By harnessing the talent our regional universities already produce, we can create quality job opportunities to combat the exodus of young people leaving our area. We need Government to partner with the existing institutions in Rochester and Syracuse that are already working to keep talented graduates in the area, because high end biomedical, technical and environmental jobs in manufacturing and research will be a major driver of our new economy.

We also need to pay off college debt for regional graduates who want to stay and serve our community. The cost of tuition has soared over the last ten years, and students need our help now more than ever. At Syracuse University alone, tuition increased 250% in a generation: from 1987-'88 to 2007-'08 tuition soared from $8,710 to $30,470.

  • The Rochester Center for Excellence strives to produce talented math and science graduates. The Syracuse Center for Excellence focuses on collaborating between the private sector and research institutions. We need to continue to produce talented graduates AND focus on keeping a sizeable percentage of those graduates to stay in the area;
  • Provide Federal assistance to Central Tech High School so we can produce qualified high school graduates to meet the demand for local vocational jobs; and,
  • Forgive student loan debt for graduates who choose to stay in our region and enter into service professions, like nursing, teaching or social work.

Energy Plan

Central and Western New York are blessed with vast natural and human resources, making this region a capital for the new energy economy. It is based on one simple principle: energy, the environment, and our economy are not mutually exclusive.

Maffei believes it's time to move beyond the partisan rhetoric that has characterized the national debate on energy and seek new solutions. Dependence of foreign oil – and fossil fuels in general – has stifled our economy and has jeopardized the environment. But it also presents us with a unique opportunity here in Upstate New York to revitalize and reinvigorate our economy.

Maffei agrees with Barack Obama: "Energy independence will require far more than the same Washington gimmicks and continued dependence on costly and finite resources. It will require a sustained and shared effort by our government, our businesses, and the American people. But America has overcome great challenges before. With clarity of direction and leadership, there is no question that we possess the insight, resources, courage and the determination to build a new economy that is powered by clean and secure energy."

Now, more than ever, we need to develop bi-partisan solutions to our energy and environmental issues. There is no Republican or Democratic way to fill a gas tank. Global warming is an issue that concerns us all. And Republicans and Democrats alike agree we need stable, good paying jobs in order to sustain our economy. Green collar jobs can be central to our economy if we make the critical investments that will position upstate New York as a hub for alternative energy manufacturing and technology.

Dan Maffei's Three Point Green Energy Plan for Upstate New York

  1. Creating "green" jobs that can't be outsourced by investing in wind, solar, and biofuel technology
  2. Ending tax breaks for big oil companies and reinvesting in alternative energy sources and conservation
  3. Encouraging the production of fuel efficient vehicles and mass transit

Creating "green" jobs that can't be outsourced by investing in wind, solar, and biofuel technology

In order to truly revitalize our communities, Maffei believes we must think regionally. From Rochester to the West, Syracuse and Albany to the East, and Binghamton to the south, upstate New York can become a "Green Triangle" because together we have vast natural and knowledge resources – a combination few other areas possess in tandem. We have already seen major investments in wind technology in the North Country as well as to our east in Madison County. Now we are poised to grow this sector even further. Iberdrola, the new parent company for Energy East, recently announced they will invest at least $200 million in wind technology in the region.

Last year, the Central New York Metropolitan Development Association (MDA) released a report by the Battelle Corporation identifying key sectors where the region can grow green industries. They include indoor environmental quality, renewable energy, green buildings/sustainable design, and water quality and water resources. It's time to put this plan into action with a concerted effort on all levels of government.

American companies and workers should build the high demand technologies of the future, and Upstate New York is poised to become a leader in this field. Let's help nurture America's success in clean technology manufacturing by establishing a federal investment program to help manufacturing centers modernize and help Americans learn new skills to produce green products. Our area has some of the best universities and colleges in the world. We can leverage that academic and research potential to capitalize on these knowledge resources. An exciting new development in downtown Syracuse, for example, has the potential to be a transformational force. The New York State Biotechnology Research Center is a public/private alliance created to stimulate economic activity and create jobs using biotechnology as the driving force. This first-of-its-kind center will create and support biotechnology educational and research programs with area educational institutions such as SUNY Upstate Medical University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Working with existing companies and our universities we could spur small business growth. Empire AgriFuel, for example, a company affiliated with Morrisville State College, plans to build a $21 million plant in Cortland County to make biodiesel fuel. Warner Energy in Clay is a promising small start up alternative energy company which is an outgrowth of O'Brien & Gere. These are examples of the kinds of companies The Maffei plan will encourage to develop our new energy economy here in Upstate New York.

Ending tax breaks for big oil companies and reinvesting in alternative energy sources and conservation

It is time to put an end to big oil's stranglehold on the nation's energy policy by investing more to develop alternative and renewable fuels, which would provide consumers permanent relief at the pump and help drive the local economy.

Today's soaring gas prices are the result of a failed energy policy – Democrats and Republicans alike must take responsibility for the current failures and move beyond them in order to create a better future for our children and grandchildren. To that end, we must break our addiction to oil and become energy independent, and that means making the decisions now to position ourselves to take advantage of the coming global changes.

Maffei's plan takes away the power from huge multi-national oil corporations like ExxonMobil and puts it back into the hands of consumers. To do this, we must create a national roadmap to make us energy independent by 2020. Announcing that independence is the bold statement that we need to show we are serious about breaking our addiction to foreign oil. If we begin to make substantial investments in wind, solar, biofuels and hydropower, in addition to using our oil resources that are already available, world oil markets will have no choice but to adjust.

To provide immediate relief, Maffei supports the Obama-Biden initiative to direct oil companies to forgo a reasonable share of their record breaking windfall profits and use it to provide direct relief worth $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a married couple. The relief would be delivered as quickly as possible to help families cope with the rising price of gasoline, food and other necessities. The rebates would be fully paid for with five years of a windfall profits tax on record oil company profits.

Maffei believes it is unconscionable that current policy provides tax incentives for oil drillers while simultaneously ending tax incentives for hybrid cars and other clean vehicle technologies because of arbitrary caps. He will work to secure tax credits and incentives for hybrid vehicles and other energy conservation initiatives. Additionally, there should be some tax incentives for consumers that are willing to convert their hybrids into plug-in hybrid vehicles. Plug-in hybrid technology extends the benefits of hybrid vehicles, in addition to promoting more hybrid battery research.

Let's think large scale by encouraging tax incentives for businesses who want to "go green". Here in Upstate New York there are many small and start-up companies who are poised to become leaders in industries such as wind turbine manufacturing, biofuels, and other technologies.

Increasing fuel efficiency and encouraging mass transit

More than 96 percent of the nation's vehicles are now powered by fossil fuels - a harsh reality when staring and gasoline prices in excess of $4 a gallon. Meanwhile, over the past 35 years, while we have paid lip service to the energy crisis, increasing the amount of oil we import from 24 percent of our total to 70 percent today.

With gas prices becoming unbearable for so many Americans, plans like those from Barack Obama and T. Boone Pickens that would've been unimaginable just a few years ago are increasingly viewed as critical for our energy future. Having diverse, domestically produced options will increase our security. Demanding increased efficiency standards and developing new methods for powering cars will, in the long run, ease the financial burden driving has become.

We need to mandate fuel economy standards that increase every year by a predictable amount so our car manufacturers can invest accordingly. Locally, the workers at New Process Gear, who make parts for SUVs, have been acutely affected by the soaring gas prices and declining SUV sales. They want the opportunity to make parts for more fuel efficient cars, but they need an investment and dedication to changing our auto industry.

It is critically important to start thinking differently when it comes to transportation. Mass transit will be critical to our future, that's why Maffei supports constructing a high speed rail through Central New York, connecting us with great cities that surround our region, but are now just out of easy reach. This can be the Erie Canal of the 21st century as we move toward a more regionalized vision for Upstate New York.

Finally, we should work to encourage new start-up companies that promote alternative methods of transportation and develop models that fit our unique circumstances. For example, Synapse Partners – a company based in Syracuse – is poised to launch "CuseCar", a car-sharing service with plans to put at least ten cars on city streets for people to rent by the hour. This nonprofit corporation was formed to give people the convenience of using a vehicle occasionally without the cost of owning it. These kinds of car-sharing services have proven successful in other communities and with help and encouragement could prove to be a positive addition to our region.


Born in Syracuse, NY in 1968, Maffei earned an Bachelor's Degree in History from Brown University and Master's Degrees from both Harvard and Columbia University. After graduation, he worked for a local television news program before serving as a staffer for several members of Congress including Sen. Bill Bradley (D-N.J.), Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.). He now describes himself as a self-employed business owner.[1]

2006 elections

Maffei was the Democratic Party nominee in the 2006 congressional election for the 25th Congressional District of New York. He unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Republican Rep. Jim Walsh.

2008 elections

Maffei was the Democratic nominee seeking to challenge for retiring Rep. Jim Walsh's (R-N.Y.) seat in the 2008 congressional elections.[2] He went on to defeat Republican nominee Dale Sweetland in the November 2008 general election.[3]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases.

Campaign contributions

The following is drawn from government records of campaign contributions to Dan Maffei. Campaign contributions are one of the most direct conduits for influencing members of Congress. How to use this information. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00027891&cycle=2008</crpcontribdata>

Committees and affiliations



More background data


Campaign contact information

Email: dan@maffeiforcongress.com
Phone: 315-449-0051
Fax: 703-4726 Mail: Friends of Dan Maffei
P.O. Box 74
Syracuse, NY 13214
Campaign Headquarters: 305 South Main St.
North Syracuse, NY 13212

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. About Dan Maffei, Maffei for Congress.
  2. 2008 Race Tracker page on New York's 25th Congressional District
  3. "New York 2008 General Election", TheGreenPapers.com, November 4, 2008

External resources

External articles

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: House Committee on Financial Services,
110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: n/a
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 4, 2008
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 2009
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Press secretary for U.S. Senator Bill Bradley (1996), press secretary for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1997-1998), staff of Senator Bradley's presidential campaign from (1998-1999), senior staff member of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee (1999-2005)
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. P.O. Box 7306, 1340 Federal Building, Syracuse, NY 13261
Phone: 315-423-5657 / Fax: 315-423-5669

Campaign Contact:

Website: http://www.maffeiforcongress.com/
Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: July 4, 1968