State GOP Elects New Vice Chair For North Country

New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy on Friday announced Essex County GOP Chairman John Gereau has been elected the party’s vice chairman for the North Country.

“I’m pleased to announce Essex County Republican Chairman John Gereau has been elected as the NYGOP’s North Country Regional Vice-Chairman,” Langworthy said.

“The North Country is in John’s veins and there is no one more dedicated to seeing it thrive under strong Republican leadership. He understands the values and the needs of the people of this region and will be an important partner in ensuring that we elect the best Republican candidates up and down the ballot.”

The North Country, home to the state’s Adirondacks region, is also a key House seat for the GOP, held by Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik.

Gereau is from the town of Tahawus and worked as a newspaper reporter and editor. He has served as an infantryman with the New York Army National Guard’s 10th Mountain Division.

“I’m proud to serve in Chairman Langworthy’s Administration,” Gereau said.

“I was raised in the North Country and raised my own children here; I know how special this region is and how important it is that our elected leaders represent our interests. From ensuring our great Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is reelected to our important state and local elections, I look forward to working with our new Chairman Nick Langworthy to grow and strengthen the Republican Party here.”

Rockland GOP’s Facebook Video Condemned For Anti-Semitic Criticism Of Hasidic Community

A video posted to Facebook on Wednesday evening by the Rockland County Republican Committee critical of the influence of a Hasidic community in the Hudson Valley was condemned by GOP and Democratic officials alike.

The 2-minute video, which was removed by Thursday morning, warned of a “takeover” of the county by the Hasidic Jewish community that threatens “our way of life” as more Jewish people move into the area.

The video at one point references the political potency of the Kiryas Joel community has been at issue in local elections amid concerns about zoning and influence in local school districts in the Hudson Valley, largely in Orange County.

Elected officials knocked the video for its use of anti-Semitic criticism of Jews.

“Silence from @NewYorkGOP @NickLangworthy. Do you condemn this anti Semitism in your party or do you support it?” tweeted Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein.

Attorney General Letitia James in a statement called the video “disturbing” and anti-Semitic.

“This video is deeply disturbing and should be removed and condemned immediately by the Rockland County Republican Party,” she said. “To clearly state that members of the Jewish community are a threat to families and our safety and that they must be stopped is despicable and completely unacceptable. Attacking those who are different than we are only breeds hate and makes us weaker. We must all stand together to denounce this hateful video.”

Rockland County Executive Ed Day, a Republican, called for the video to be removed from Facebook. A short time later, it was.

“The video posted by the Rockland County Republican Party to their Facebook page has set a troubling tone for a necessary conversation about overdevelopment in our county. While the content of the video is factual, the tone and undercurrent is unacceptable. Having listened closely to the concerns raised by residents and community leaders, I have contacted GOP Chairman Lawrence Garvey to request its removal and he assured me that he will,” Day said in a statement.

“As I have demonstrated, I have a great deal of respect for our Jewish neighbors and want them to know that as their County Executive I will always stand up against hatred. That said, the concerns raised about overdevelopment are accurate, well-grounded and desperately need to be addressed, but this must be done in a way free of rhetoric and rancor.”

Langworthy Taps Regional Vice Chair For WNY

New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy has tapped Jeffrey Williams to serve as the regional finance vice chairman for western New York, the state party on Friday announced.

“When Chairman Langworthy asked me to serve in this position, I jumped at the chance because I know it is the start of a new era for the New York Republican Party,” Williams said. “We have seen the disastrous effects of one-Party Democrat rule on the taxpayers of this state and Nick is the leader who can rebuild our Party and take us to victory. I’m honored to serve in this capacity and look forward to rolling my sleeves up and getting to work.”

Williams has served in a variety of positions in western New York, including as the clerk of the Niagara County Legislature, a board member of the Thruway Authority and with the Republican National Committee.

“We are putting together a top-notch group of leaders to take back our state and I’m thrilled that Jeffrey has agreed to join our team,” Langworthy said.

“His incredible network of business, civic and political connections, combined with his dedication to our mission, will be a huge asset to the Party as we seek to grow and strengthen our reach in every corner of the state.”

Langworthy, a longtime Republican chairman for Erie County, formally became state chairman last month, succeeded Ed Cox after a brief leadership fight.

Reed Asks AG Barr to Investigate Cop Dousing Incidents As Hate Crimes

From the Morning Memo:

A string of recent incidents in which civilians poured water on New York City police officers is getting some attention at the federal level.

This week, Southern Tier Republican Rep. Tom Reed wrote a latter to United States Attorney General William Barr asking him to investigate the actions as potential hate crimes and pursue criminal assault charges against the perpetrators.

“Make no mistake – these officers were attacked because of the badge and uniform they wear,” Reed wrote. “If our nation does not come together to confront the rhetoric of hate and the attacks on our law enforcement officers, the safety of our homes and communities will be in jeopardy.”

The congressman said criminals have been emboldened by rhetoric from Democratic lawmakers, recently enacted state laws requiring officers to issue tickets instead of make arrests for some offenses, and “some district attorneys’ refusal to prosecute certain low-level crimes.

“While we cannot control the extreme rhetoric of these politicians and the total disrespect local district attorneys have shown toward police by refusing to prosecute these crimes, the United States Justice Department does have the ability to investigate criminal hate crime charges,” Reed said.

He also expressed support for a proposed New York State law that would make it a Class E felony to throw or spray water or any other substance at an on-duty officer. He said, however, that bill is facing stiff opposition from Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

New York GOP Names New Finance Director

New York Republicans have found a new finance director for the party, turning to Brielle Appelbaum of Inspire Capital and Development to lead its fundraising operation.

The state GOP has new leadership this summer, with Nick Langworthy taking the top post of the party after a challenge to longtime Chairman Ed Cox earlier this year. Cox stepped aside after Langworthy gained the lion’s share of support from country chairs.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Brielle Appelbaum to the New York Republican Party as our new finance director,” Langworthy said. “Brielle brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and contacts from across the country. She is an invaluable addition to the dynamic team we are assembling to Rebuild, Retool and Revitalize the Republican Party in the State of New York.”

Langworthy has said he wants to make fundraising a top priority for the party, which has lagged behind the state Democratic Committee, controlled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“It’s a new era for the New York Republican Party and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it,” Appelbaum said.

“Chairman Langworthy brings a fresh energy and approach to a state that is desperate for strong and vibrant Republican leadership. He has a winning vision and I look forward to working to ensure we have the resources we need to execute it.”

Pataki Helps Fundraise For Malliotakis

Former Gov. George Pataki in an email to supporters on Friday morning urged them to help the congressional campaign of Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis.

The Staten Island lawmaker is running for the seat flipped in 2018 by Democrat Max Rose in the 11th district.

In the email, Pataki wrote about the importance of electing a Republican from New York City to Congress. Rep. Dan Donovan, who Rose defeated last year, was the sole GOP lawmaker representing New York City in Washington, D.C.

“Until this past November, this district elected New York City’s only Republican member of Congress, providing an important voice of reason for all New Yorkers,” he wrote.

“The Republican Party needs young, energetic, capable and diverse candidates like Nicole Malliotakis to carry our party’s banner in elections which is why I am giving Nicole my early and enthusiastic support.”

Malliotakis, who ran for mayor in 2017 against incumbent Democrat Bill de Blasio, is a former member of Pataki’s administration.

The district has in recent cycles been considered a potential swing seat each election.

Rensselaer County Clerk Files Suit Against Green Light Law

Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday challenging the new state law that would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for and receive driver’s licenses.

The suit is the latest challenge from a local government official opposed to the measure, approved last month by state lawmakers. Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns, a Democrat, filed a legal challenge to the law earlier this month.

“The governor, senators and Assembly members have not listened to the people of this state but will now be required to listen to the courts,” said Merola, a Republican and a long-standing opponent of the proposal when it was first rolled out by then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer in 2007.

Immigration politics have roiled Rensselaer County in recent months. The Democratic mayor of Troy, Patrick Madden, vetoed legislation that would have created protections for people illegally living in the United States.

At the same time, Rensselaer County officials have also said they will provide voter registration information to federal immigration enforcement to determine if undocumented immigrants have registered illegally to vote.

“This lawsuit is another sign of commitment that Rensselaer County will uphold the current and long-standing Federal immigration laws,” said County Executive Steve McLaughlin. “Unlike the state Legislature, that, with the Green Light Law, placated a fringe minority interest of state-wide voters, Rensselaer County is committed to upholding the well-reasoned Federal immigration laws and protecting our residents.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who approved the measure, has expressed reservations that the measure could be used by the federal government to find undocumented immigrants. Supporters of the legislation have said there are enough safeguards in place to prevent that from happening.

NRCC Survey Finds Voters In NY-18 Oppose Trump Impeachment, Socialism

From the Morning Memo:

A poll conducted by the campaign arm of the House Republicans released this week found most voters in the Hudson Valley’s 18th congressional district oppose impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump and have a dim view of socialism.

The poll, conducted by the National Republican Congressional Committee in the district of Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, comes as both parties are road testing key issues ahead of the 2020 elections.

Republicans are expected to tie Democrats to the more progressive wing of the party as lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gain prominence nationally.

Maloney, first elected in 2012, is seeking a fourth term in a district that has been viewed as a battleground seat over the years.

The survey found 61 percent of voters in the district have an unfavorable opinion of socialism, including 59 percent of unregistered independent voters.

More than half, 51 percent, said they would back a candidate who supports the president’s agenda in Congress over a candidate supporting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s platform.

And 60 percent oppose impeaching the president, including 61 percent of independents — numbers that line up with a national trend. An effort to approve an impeachment resolution failed in the House of Representatives this week. Thirty-two percent of voters in the district support impeachment, the poll found.

Pelosi has been leery of the impeachment question in her chamber given the opposition to the move among voters, especially in potential swing districts amid a concern it could hurt vulnerable Democratic lawmakers next year.

NY-22’s GOP Primary Could Be A Crowded One

From the Morning Memo:

Republicans look at the 22nd congressional district and practically salivate.

The district is considered ripe for a pickup opportunity next year: Won handily by President Donald Trump in 2016, the district is represented by a freshman Democrat, Rep. Anthony Brindisi, who is widely seen as the most vulnerable New York freshman in 2020.

Trump will be back at the top of the ticket next year. Declared and potential GOP candidates are stepping forward.

Already declared is George Phillips, a former congressional aide who will hold town hall meets on bread-and-butter issues like the economy and immigration, but doesn’t want to discuss the investigations into the Trump administration, the president’s campaign or his personal finances.

Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell this month also announced his candidacy.

Franklin Sager, a math teacher from Broome County, joined the race in May and is running as a supporter of the president.

Meanwhile, Binghamton Mayor Rich David, who met this week with Trump in the Oval Office with other local government officials, is weighing a bid, according to Republican sources.

And former Rep. Claudia Tenney, who Brindisi defeated last year, is also considering whether to win her old seat back.

Trump, though popular in the district, wasn’t enough to help Tenney. The president held a fundraiser in Utica for Teneny and members of his family campaigned with her. She lost anyway in what turned into a Democratic wave year.

Some Republicans, including Cornwell, have little desire to see Tenney jump back into the race.

“We need a strong candidate, with a proven record on the issues that Upstate New York residents care about — fighting crime, ending illegal immigration, fighting the opioid crisis, and helping put people back to work,” he said.

“I am, by far, the strongest candidate to take this seat back and represent the people. I can’t comment on what Ms. Tenney will or won’t do, but I know I’m the best candidate for the job.”

The primary for Republicans is shaping up to be not unlike primary contests for Democrats last year, in which a crowded field competed to win the nomination ahead of an expected good year for the party.

It’s not yet clear what sort of year 2020 will shape up to be for either party, of course, and whether Trump’s coattails will translate to down-ballot victories.

For his part, Brindisi’s campaign said he “is focused on doing the job New Yorkers elected him to do: fighting for veterans, working to bring down health care costs, championing the needs of farmers, and passing legislation to support American workers.”

State GOP Chairman Challenges Battleground Dems On Impeachment

New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy in a statement on Wednesday blasted the effort by some Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives to push an impeachment resolution of President Donald Trump.

In the statement, Langworthy singled out Democrats who represent swing districts in New York City and upstate New York to vote against the resolution: Reps. Max Rose, Sean Patrick Maloney, Antonio Delgado and Anthony Brindisi.

“Democrats are drunk with their obsession of trying to take out our President and they’ll stop at nothing to win,” Langworthy said.

“Voting ‘no’ won’t cut it; it’s time for these members to stop wasting taxpayers’ time and money and get to work for the American people instead of these cheap political stunts. If they fail to do what’s right, we’re going to make sure they’re held accountable by the voters who are sick and tired of the nonsense.”

The impeachment resolution is not expected to pass, but presents a challenge to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to stave off the push as well as a challenge to Democrats who represent districts that do not back proceeding with the effort.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a separate resolution condemning tweets sent by the president over the weekend as racist, criticizing newly elected Democratic women and telling them to “go back” to their ancestral countries.