Chris Gibson

Eldridge Campaign Launches Two New Ads

Two new ads from the Sean Eldridge campaign will hit airwaves Wednesday, the campaign said in a statement Tuesday evening.

Both ads focus on the issue of hydraulic fracturing, a gas-drilling process better known as fracking. They both claim that incumbent Republican Congressman Chris Gibson took donations from the oil and gas industries and has since “voted to continue billions in tax subsidies for his oil and gas donors.”

Here’s part of the script from that ad highlighting the process:

Think you know Chris Gibson? You might be surprised to learn that since he’s gone to Washington, he’s been siding with his campaign donors instead of us. He’s taken thousands from gas drillers and now supports fracking, which could pollute our drinking water. He even voted to continue billions in tax subsidies for his oil and gas donors.

While Gibson does support fracking, he has said in the past that the process should be well-researched before its given the green light. The process is currently under a moratorium in New York, pending an environmental review with no end date in sight.

Meanwhile, during a debate in Lake Katrine Monday, Gibson criticized Eldridge for having investments in the oil and gas industry. Eldridge says his family’s investments are handled by a third party and are not directly controlled by himself or his husband. Eldridge is against fracking.

Gibson has said that fracking could provide much-needed jobs to parts of his district, mostly near the Southern Tier where natural gas is found in large reserves, underground in the Marcellus Shale. Eldridge believes that jobs can be created without fracking by investing in renewable resources, such as solar and wind energy.

Eldridge is also pro-choice, an issue he’s highlighted in past ads and repeats in this new set. One of the new ads again calls out Congressman Gibson for claiming to be pro-choice, while he’s voted against abortion rights during his tenure.

That is partly true. Congressman Gibson voted to support a measure banning abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy regardless of the circumstances, and has voted against funding for Planned Parenthood in the past. However, late last year he voted against a measure that would have given any company the right to deny women preventative-health coverage for almost any reason for a one-year period.

As of early September, Gibson held a 24-point lead over Eldridge. The two will appear in a debate on Time Warner Cable News Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.

Eldridge Launches Anti-Gibson, Pro-Choice Ad

A new ad from Democratic NY-19 candidate Sean Eldridge hit airwaves this weekend. The ad points out incumbent Republican Chris Gibson’s voting record on Planned Parenthood – he’s previously voted to cut funding for the organization.

Eldridge then repeats his support for a woman’s right to choose and equal pay for women.

Here’s the full script (video embedded at the bottom of this post):

I respect Chris Gibson, so I was surprised to learn that even though he says he’s pro-choice he’s consistently voted against a woman’s right to choose. He even voted to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.

I won’t play politics with women’s health, and you’ll always know where I stand.
I served on the board of Planned Parenthood in the Hudson Valley and fought to protect a woman’s right to choose and access to birth control.

In Congress, I’ll continue to fight for women, including equal pay for equal work.

This is the first negative ad from Eldridge since launching his campaign last year. His other ads, found here and here,  talk about his  background in the Hudson Valley and his position on certain issues, including women’s rights.

This new ad comes after an exclusive TWC News/Siena Poll released Thursday put Eldridge 24 points behind Congressman Gibson. The numbers show a serious name recognition problem for Eldridge, with 57 percent of voters saying they don’t know enough about him to have an opinion.

Ironically, Gibson enjoys a 57 percent favorability rating, despite support from voters on progressive issues like a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, higher taxes for millionaires, and a minimum wage hike.

Read the full results of that poll here.


Gibson Pushes House to Act on Unemployment Benefits

Rep. Chris Gibson is pushing his Republican colleagues in the House to take up legislation that would extend unemployment benefits for five months.

The Senate is expected to pass the bill Monday; House leaders have so far refused to bring the measure to the floor.

As a result of the inaction, Gibson has signed on to a letter, spearheaded by New Jersey Republican Frank LoBiondo, calling on House Speaker John Boehner to put the measure up for a vote.

Late last year, beefed-up unemployment benefits ran out after Democrats and Republicans were unable to reach an agreement on how to extend them, leaving the unemployed with 26 weeks of assistance.

House Republican leaders had initially objected to the extension because it was not paid for. That concern has been addressed in the new Senate bill. Now, leaders say it will be difficult to apply the benefits retroactively.

“If there are issues with backdating this, then let’s take the same Senate bill, with the same pay-fors that I believe will pass the Senate and let’s go forward with it,” Gibson said, referring to his call to apply the benefits in the future.

Meanwhile, Gibson is also breaking with leadership on the Ryan Budget, which is expected to come up for a vote next week.

For the third time in three years, Gibson, who is facing a tough re-election against Democrat Sean Eldridge, says he will vote “no” on a budget he calls a “political document.”

“I’m going to vote no. The thing of it that I find particularly concerning is there’s no need for action on this budget,” Gibson said. “We have a budget. We actually passed it in December. It’s a two-year agreement, a two-year budget framework. What we should be focusing on are the appropriations bills that go with the budget agreement that we passed.”

The plan would slash $5 trillion from government spending over the next decade and overhaul Medicare for future retirees. Democrats are trying to use the plan to paint the Republican party as extreme


MoveOn Pressures Gibson, Grimm With Minimum Wage Poll

MoveOn today released a series of PPP polls of 13 “vulnerable” GOP House districts – including two in New York – that show a majority of voters in each support the idea of raising the federal minimum wage, which has been a top priority of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats.

The NY-19 poll, which appears below, shows 60 percent of Rep. Chris Gibson’s constituents support raising the hourly wage at the federal level from $7.25 to $10.10, while 36 percent are opposed and 4 don’t have a position.

Fourty-four percent said they would be less likely to vote for Gibson if he voted against raising the wage, while 27 percent said they’d be more likely to vote for him and 26 percent said it wouldn’t make a difference.

Gibson is facing a challenge from Democrat Sean Eldridge this fall. MoveOn members plan to demonstrate outside Gibson’s Cooperstown offices at noon tomorrow to demand he support an increase in the minimum wage also to deliver petition signatures from constituents.

Similar actions are scheduled outside the offices of every House member whose district was polled, including Gibson’s Republican colleague, Rep. Michael Grimm, in NY-11. Grimm is facing a challenge this fall from former Democratic Brooklyn Councilman Domenic Recchia.

NY 19 Minimum Wage Polling Results by MoveOn_org

Three New York Congressmen Introduce Kids Before Cons Act

The “Kids Before Cons Act.”  It’s the name of a new piece of legislation introduced by three New York Congressmen on Tuesday.

The bill, sponsored by Republicans Chris Collins, Tom Reed, and Chris Gibson, would prohibit the use of federal taxpayer dollars to provide a college education to convicted criminals.  The measure is a response to Governor Cuomo’s proposal to provide free College Education to inmates at 10 state prisons.

“The Governor’s latest plan to fund college educations for convicted criminals using taxpayer dollars is an insult to law abiding citizens all across our state,” Collins said.

All three GOP sponsors said the Governor’s plan sends the wrong message.

“College students in New York leave school with an average of nearly $26,000 in student loans, a huge undertaking for any family,” said Reed.

“We can do better than spend federal taxpayer dollars on the education of convicted criminals when our hardworking New Yorkers need the assistance themselves,” Gibson said.

Collins plans to take action during the House Appropriations process to ensure no funds in any particular bill are used to fund college courses for convicted criminals.  Collins says the “Kids Before Cons Act” does not ban states from using federal dollars to support GED or work training programs in prisons and correctional facilities.

“We must put our college kids before cons,” Collins added.

The Governor’s office provided no immediate response the congressional proposal.


Gibson Raises Money Off State of the Union Seating Choice

Rep. Chris Gibson is sitting with a Democrat during Tuesday’s State of the Union address and he wants his donors to know about it.

In a fundraising email titled “Across the Aisle”, Gibson says, “Tonight I’ll demonstrate my commitment to bipartisanship by sitting with my colleague Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) during the President’s speech.”

The email includes a link for supporters to give money to his campaign.

Gibson says he has been friends with Ruiz since 2010, when they met in Haiti during an humanitarian mission aimed at helping victims of the devastating earthquake. The congressman says that while in Congress they have worked on legislation to help veterans.

The fundraising plea comes as Gibson’s opponent, Sean Eldridge, tries to seize on Gibson’s support for a bill that would further restrict the use of federal money for abortions as proof that Gibson is lockstep with the party.

“When our country faces so many important challenges, Congressman Gibson and John Boehner are focused on restricting women’s healthcare and reproductive freedom instead of working to move our country forward by rebuilding our infrastructure, investing in job training, or raising the minimum wage,” said Eldridge.

Gibson has long been considered one of the most liberal Republicans in the House.

Gillibrand Teams Up With Gibson

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is scheduled to make two stops tomorrow in her old congressional district with the Republican who now represents it, Rep. Chris Gibson.

Gillibrand and Gibson will appear together in Columbia and Greene counties. At noon, they will by at the Agroforestry Resource Center in Acra to discuss legislation to combat the growing epidemic of Lyme disease in the Hudson Valley, across New York, and around the country.

A press release from Gillibrand’s office notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found New York had 19,543 confirmed cases of Lyme disease between 2007 and 2011. Greene County accounted for 785 of those cases and Columbia County accounted for 1,305.

Lyme disease has been a growing concern for New York elected officials lately. The Senate recently created a tick task force to research the problem and propose a coordinated statewide approach to combatting it.

At 2 p.m. Gillibrand and Gibson will join regional economic development officials to visit with Flanders Precisionaire employees and learn about the air-filter manufacturing process. Flanders currently employs nearly 230 employees who manufacture HVAC air filters for Lowe’s, Home Depot, Costco, True Value and other retailers with distribution throughout the Northeast.

Gillibrand was elected in 2006 to represent what was then NY-20, defeating incumbent Republican John Sweeney in an unusually contentious race. (The district has been reconfigured and is now NY-19). That was a long-shot victory for Gillibrand in a GOP-dominated district, and her star has been on the rise ever since, thanks to former Gov. David Paterson’s selection of her to replace Hillary Clinton in the US Senate in 2008.

Gillibrand’s old House seat was won in a special election by Glens Fall businessman Scott Murphy, a Democrat who defeated Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco in a tight race. But Murphy was ousted in 2010 by Gibson, who managed to hold onto his seat last year, defeating former Ulster County Democratic Chairman Julian Schreibman.

Gibson is now facing a challenge from Democratic activist Sean Eldridge, who reported receiving $5,000 from Gillibrand’s PAC in his third quarter fundraising report.

This isn’t the first time Gillibrand has spent time upstate with a GOP House member. Last summer, she made joint appearances with Rep. Richard Hanna, who was running for re-election at the time, as was the junior senator herself. Both were successful in their respective campaigns.

Gibson on Eldridge’s Candidacy: ‘It’s Not News’

Rep. Chris Gibson is hinting at his campaign strategy for 2014, and it appears it will rely on painting Sean Eldridge as a carpetbagger.

For much of the year, Gibson had said very little publicly about Eldridge. But that has changed now that the Democrat is officially in the race.

In an interview with me Thursday afternoon, Gibson said the campaign will highlight the “clear contrast” between the two candidates.

“Well, it’s not news,” said Gibson. “We know that he moved into the district in January of this year and that he very quickly thereafter, in the days thereafter, he filed for candidacy and has been raising money since January. So I don’t think it’s news that he’s in the race. Look, I think there’s going to be a clear contrast: somebody with very little experience and no connection to the district and somebody who grew up there, somebody who has extensive life experiences and working hard to bring people together.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee has been hitting Eldridge for months, painting him as rich, out of touch, and too close to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Eldridge is married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who is also the publisher of The New Republic.

Gibson on Syria, Immigration and Sean Eldridge

I spent the day with Rep. Chris Gibson (R-19) a couple of weeks ago, and we spoke at length about immigration, the farm bill, and his possible Democratic opponent, multi-millionaire Sean Eldridge.

Take a look at some extended excerpts below.

If you’re a Time Warner Cable subscriber, enjoy the video.

Watch Gibson Interview Here >> (TWC ID required) Video


More >

Gibson Warns Against Military Intervention in Syria

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-19) is emerging as one of the loudest voices against bombing Syria, even after the emergence of reports indicating that the Assad regime launched a chemical attack on rebels.

“I oppose military intervention in Syria, but most certainly, before the Administration moves forward there should be a vote,”  Gibson told me during an interview in his district earlier this month.

Gibson reiterated that point Wednesday and joined with 106 other members (and growing) in calling on the President to seek Congressional approval before taking any action.

The letter reads:

Dear Mr. President,

We strongly urge you to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of U.S. military force in Syria.  Your responsibility to do so is prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973. 

 While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate – and the active engagement of Congress – prior to committing U.S. military assets.  Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.

Mr. President, in the case of military operations in Libya you stated that authorization from Congress was not required because our military was not engaged in “hostilities.”  In addition, an April 1, 2011, memorandum to you from your Office of Legal Counsel concluded:

“…President Obama could rely on his constitutional power to safeguard the national interest by directing the anticipated military operations in Libya—which were limited in their nature, scope, and duration—without prior congressional authorization.”

We view the precedent this opinion sets, where “national interest” is enough to engage in hostilities without congressional authorization, as unconstitutional.  If the use of 221 Tomahawk cruise missiles, 704 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and 42 Predator Hellfire missiles expended in Libya does not constitute “hostilities,” what does?

If you deem that military action in Syria is necessary, Congress can reconvene at your request.  We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the burden of decisions made regarding U.S. involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian conflict.


Other NY members who have signed the letter include Rep. Chris Collins (R-27).

Gibson fears bombing Syria will put the U.S. in the middle of a dangerous civil war there. His position, however, puts him at odds with establishment Republicans, like Sen. John McCain, who believe President Obama has not done enough to end the conflict.

Watch “Capital Tonight” this evening to find out what Gibson is saying about Syria and other issues before him this August recess.