Fellow Assembly Dems Help Brindisi Raise Congressional Cash

They may be sorry to see him go, assuming he’s able to defeat incumbent Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney next year, but Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi’s Democratic colleagues are lining up to help raise cash for what’s expected to be an expensive and divisive race.

Assemblyman John McDonald, a Cohoes Democrat, forwarded his supporters an invitation to a Sept. 26 event being hosted for Brindisi by a number of upstaters – including Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, who is fresh off a Democratic primary victory that all but assures her a second four-year term in November.

“I rarely send this type of email, however I am doing so today because of the respect I have for my colleague Anthony Brindisi who is running for Congress in an area adjacent to ours,” McDonald wrote.

“He is smart, young and hard working. He is a true advocate for both education and the hard-working middle class. Please consider supporting Anthony. He will be a great asset to the New York delegation in Washington.”

The event, which will take place at the Albany Center Gallery on Broadway, costs between $35 (for young professionals) to $2,700 (the maximum contribution) to attend. Members of the host committee, which is still in formation, include a number of other Assembly Democrats from both upstate and NYC.

The invitation describes Brindisi as a “top pick-up opportunity for the Democrats in NY-22.”

Though the race only recently got underway, it’s already taken a negative turn, which Brindisi and Tenney, who also used to be a member of the Assembly, trading barbs on everything from Brindisi’s father’s legal representation of mobsters to a town hall the congressman is scheduled to hold this coming Tuesday.

Tenney is already seeking to use Brindisi’s ties to fellow Democrats – including Gov. Andrew Cuomo – against him, calling him a “slick politician” who “pretends to be a moderate.”

Though Brindisi has insisted that he will shy away form “name calling,” his allies and outside interests seeking to assist him in ousting Tenney, will no doubt spend considerable time – and cash – playing up her steadfast support for President Donald Trump.

They will surely seek to paint her as too right wing for a district that was previously represented by a moderate Republican, Richard Hanna, who refused to endorse Tenney in the 2016 election cycle after she tried unsuccessfully to beat him in the 2014 GOP primary.

Tenney, Brindisi Spar Over Town Hall

Rep. Claudia Tenney, a conservative Republican who, like many of her House GOP colleagues, has generally shied away from public town hall meetings to avoiding becoming a target for liberal protestors, has announced plans to hold an event in Camden next Tuesday, sparking criticism from her 2018 Democratic opponent.

“The people of the 22nd District sent me to Washington to fight for them and to provide an independent voice for the hardworking middle class families, small businesses and family farmers who have been neglected by the Washington elite – and that’s exactly what I have done,” Tenney said in a statement.

“In Congress, I’ve fought tirelessly to revive New York’s manufacturing economy, bring jobs back to America, secure the border, rebuild our military and protect our veterans. I’ve stood up and challenged the failed policies of the political class, while at the same time successfully working across the aisle to deliver real results that benefit our community.”

“I look forward to hearing from the people of the 22nd District, and sharing all that I have accomplished for our region during my brief time in Congress.”

Tenney’s town hall, which will be held at 7 p.m. at Nicole’s of Camden on State Route 13, is only open to NY-22 constituents. It requires an RSVP and tickets are non-transferrable. Duplicate or copied tickets won’t be accepted.

The congresswoman had previously balked at holding town halls, arguing that similar events had become a rallying point for what she deemed “paid protestors” who “have no interest in dialogue.”

She was referring to members of the Indivisible movement – an effort inspired by Democratic operatives and encouraged by national party leaders that has adopted Tea Party tactics to target members of Congress in their home districts to “resist the Trump agenda.”

The congresswoman also cited death threats she had received as another reason she had decided to forgo town halls.

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, a Utica Democrat who in June announced plans to challenge Tenney next fall and has been trading barbs with her ever since, slammed Tenney for planning what he deemed a “fake” town hall that is really a “campaign event.”

“It is suspicious that a question and answer session with the Congresswoman would not be sponsored by her official office, so that people attending who need help with a federal agency can receive assistance at the event by caseworkers,” Brindisi said.

“A campaign-sponsored event is simply not the same thing. In addition, attendees may even be screened for party affiliation or other means, since this is a campaign event.”

Brindisi also accused Tenney of being unable to “snap out of campaign mode.”

The congresswoman’s campaign spokesman, Tim Edson, responded with another statement, calling Brindisi a “fake news machine, and a fake moderate,” adding:

“Rep. Claudia Tenney is having a town hall meeting and it is open and being promoted to the general public,” Edison said. “Unfortunately, paid field organizers from the NY Democratic Party are already working overtime to organize protesters to disrupt the event and prevent a constructive dialogue.”

“These protesters do not want to productively discuss the issues with Rep. Tenney, instead they want to use the town hall as a platform for self-promotion.”

“Despite this, Claudia is following through on her promise to hold a town hall meeting in addition to tele-town halls and numerous other public events she has already held throughout the district to continue to be accessible to her constituents.”

Edson also forwarded reporters a photo of several people protesting outside a Tenney event, including Jon Lipe, who is a staffer paid by the state Democratic Committee. Edson accused Lipe of spearheading the organizing effort against the congresswoman, who is among the Democrats’ top 2018 targets.

Tenney: Trump Right To Condemn ‘Both Sides’

Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney on Wednesday told reporters she backed President Trump’s comments condemning racism and violence on “both sides” of violent clashes in Virginia.

Tenney, elected last year to the 22nd congressional district, said she did not see Trump’s press conference on Tuesday in which he criticized counter demonstrators as the “alt left” and suggested some of the protesters who opposed the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee were peaceful and quiet.

“I didn’t see the president’s press conference yesterday,” Tenney said. “I think what the president did in condemning racism, condemning this white supremacy, condemning any kind of identity politics that are going on and this violence that is occurring on both sides, I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Tenney pointed to her trip to Israel and her meeting a Holocaust survivor, which she said reinforced the notion of pushing for peace.

“We need to continue to be advocates,” she said. “We can’t be bystanders. We have to stand up against this type of unfortunate situation that’s happening with humanity.”

Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, a candidate to challenge Tenney next year, blasted Trump’s Tuesday news conference, citing the action of white supremacist leaders.

“He was giving them cover for their despicable behavior that was displayed this weekend in Virginia,” he said. “There’s no place for it in this country in 2017. There’s no place for this and we certainly can’t turn a blind eye to the hatred that we’re seeing in Charlottesville.”

NY-22: Tenney Raises $300K In Q2

Rep. Claudia Tenney’s re-election campaign on Friday announced she had raised $300,000 in the second quarter filing period.

All told this year Tenney has raised $600,000 in the first six months of 2017. She has a cash-on-hand total of $437,000.

Tenney was elected to the 22nd congressional district last year, replacing Rep. Richard Hanna. The district stretches from central New York to the Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier.

“I would like to thank everyone who stood with me and generously supported our campaign,” Tenney said. “The small dollar grassroots contributions always mean the most. In all my campaigns, for State Assembly, and for Congress, we’ve been outspent, but we’ve always had good, hardworking people on our side who are tired of politics as usual in New York, and Washington. Having their support, and the opportunity to fight for them is such an honor.”

Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi has announced he will challenge Tenney for a second term next year.

NY-22: Tenney Takes Pre-Emptive Swipe At Brindisi

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi will launch his campaign for the House seat held by freshman Rep. Claudia Tenney with an event planned for Utica on Wednesday.

But Tenney is wasting little time to define her potential general election opponent for what could be a hotly contest congressional district next year.

“Frankly, I am excited that Anthony Brindisi has chosen to run for Congress because voters will have a very clear choice,” she said in a statement.

“I have spent years fighting for small business owners, family farms, hardworking families and the neediest among us against the corrupt, rigged system that has allowed Albany politicians and their cronies to literally steal from upstate New Yorkers while destroying our economy. I continue fighting that rigged system and those policies each day that I have the honor of representing upstate New York in Congress.”

She called Brindisi a “slick politician” who “pretends to be a moderate.”

“Brindisi has worked hand-in-hand with Andrew Cuomo to make New York the highest taxed state in the nation, driving our residents and jobs out in record numbers,” she said. “Brindisi has advocated for and voted for Cuomo’s corrupt, self-serving initiatives like Start-Up NY, the corrupt and tragic Oneida Deal and the Buffalo Billion. After endorsing Hillary Clinton for President it is clear Brindisi will be nothing more than a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi’s extreme left-wing agenda in Congress.”

Tenney served in a neighboring Assembly district to Brindisi’s central New York district, winning a three-way race last year for the seat vacated by outgoing Rep. Richard Hanna.

Tenney: Ryan And Trump Can Work Together

Rep.-elect Claudia Tenney plans to support House Speaker Paul Ryan’s re-election and she believes the Wisconsin Republican can working with incoming president Donald Trump.

“Paul Ryan’s got a tough job ahead of him, but I think he’s going to be able to do that,” she said in a Capital Tonight interview on Wednesday.

Tenney won a three-person field in the 22nd congressional district to succeed retiring Rep. Richard Hanna in the central New York House seat.

Though Ryan and Trump had differed publicly during the campaign, Tenney said much of that was overblown by the media.

“I think the media with all due respect is so obsessed with how people get along,” she said.

As for Trump’s election, an upset victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, Tenney acknowledged she was surprised.

“I didn’t really think he would pull this off, quite honestly. I know he was doing well in my district, but I didn’t think he could pull it off in the swing states,” she said. “I was surprised, but I think the win much like my win, means the people have a voice over the noise. They saw through the fog.”

And she expects him to be successful as president, too.

“Donald Trump is not perfect, but I think it’s going to be change in Washington,” she said. “I think my election shows big change.”

NY-22: Boehlert Robocalls For Babinec

Former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert has released a robocall backing independent congressional candidate Martin Babinec in the 22nd district.

In the call, Boehlert calls Babinec “an independent reformer” who “can get things done in Congress” if elected.

Babinec is among three people vying for the seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Richard Hanna, facing Democrat Kim Myers and Republican Claudia Tenney.

Boehlert, a Republican member of Congress who retired in 2007, recently attended a reception for Babinec along with local Republican leaders.

“Sherry Boehlert represented Upstate New York and the Mohawk Valley with independence and integrity, in Congress I would follow his example,” said Babinec. “I’m proud to have the support of Congressman Boehlert and thank him for his efforts on behalf of our campaign.”

NY-22: TWC News/Siena Poll Shows Tenney Leading 3-Person Field

Republican congressional candidate Claudia Tenney holds a 4-percentage point lead over Democrat Kim Myers in the 22nd House district in central New York, a Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll found.

The poll found Tenney receiving 38 percent of the vote compared to Myers’s 34 percent. The poll has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.

Independent candidate Martin Babinec, meanwhile, has faded from Tenney and Myers. In September, the TWC News/Siena poll found Babinec polling at 24 percentage points. He’s now down to receiving support from 16 percent of voters in the race.

Both Myers and Tenney, meanwhile, made modest overall gains with voters: Myers last month polled at 30 percent, while Tenney drew 35 percent.

The poll of 643 likely voters was conducted on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, several days after the FBI announced it had renewed its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server following the discovery of emails during an unrelated investigation of former Rep. Anthony Weiner and his alleged explicit text messaging with a minor.

On the presidential level, Clinton continues to trail Republican Donald Trump in the 22nd district, with Trump drawing 46 percent of the vote and Clinton drawing 32 percent — virtually unchanged since September. Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green candidate Jill Stein both draw 5 percent and 3 percent respectively.

Babinec has pledged to caucus with House Republicans if elected and a majority of the voters polled in the district want the GOP to retain control of the House of Representatives. And Babinec’s support from conservative-leaning voters has held: 61 percent of Babinec voters plan to vote for Trump.

“Babinec is appealing to a certain swath of Republicans and it happens to be those Republicans who do not like the Republican candidate, Claudia Tenney,” said Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg.

Nevertheless, some of Tenney’s biggest gains came from her fellow Republicans. In September, she polled 50 percent with GOP voters and now draws 59 percent of support.

Myers, too, increased support from her own party by 10 percentage points from last month, from 54 percent to 64 percent.

Though Babinec’s numbers have dropped, the independently wealthy businessman still draws 22 percent of support from independent voters and 18 percent from enrolled Republicans.

More than half of voters polled — 52 percent — say they have made up their mind as to who they will vote for in the battleground district.

The poll comes as all three candidates for vying for the open House seat that’s being vacated by Republican Rep. Richard Hanna, a moderate lawmaker who has not endorsed in the race.

CD221016 Crosstabs by Nick Reisman on Scribd

NY-22: Babinec Says He’ll Donate Congressional Salary To Charity

Martin Babinec, the independent running in the 22nd congressional district, says he would donated the $174,000 salary if elected to the House of Representatives.

“John F. Kennedy would be rolling in his grave if he knew that today we have members of Congress who have flipped his famous axiom and are more focused on what America can do for them – as opposed to what they can do for America,” Babinec said. “These are hard times for many throughout the 22nd Congressional District and I believe it is important to reclaim a tradition of service.”

The donation pledge is inspired, in part, by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s vow to turn down the $400,000 salary if elected.

Babinec’s salary would be donated to charities in areas such as education, arts, local community organizations and human development.

Babinec is in a three-person race for the central New York House district, facing Republican Claudia Tenney and Democrat Kim Myers.

Incumbent Richard Hanna, a Republican, is retiring.

NY-22: Local GOP Figures Hold Reception For Babinec

Congressional candidate Martin Babinec is running an independent bid for Congress, but he’s also garnering support from Republican figures in the 22nd congressional district.

Babinec today is holding a reception with a variety of current and former elected Republican officials, including former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente and George Joseph, the Oneida County Legislature’s majority leader.

The reception is being held at the Ocean Blue Restaurant and Oyster Bar in Utica.

That local support comes as Babinec faces Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Teneny, who has the backing of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Babinec has asserted his independence in the race, but says he will caucus with House Republicans if elected.

Along with Democrat Kim Myers, the three candidates are vying to replace Rep. Richard Hanna, who is retiring from the central New York House seat.

MB Invitation (4) by Nick Reisman on Scribd