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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Oct 15, 2023 7:03 am

Here is this week's WGXC Congressional Report, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives and candidates for the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Congressional seats in New York. Democrat Pat Ryan is representing the 18th Congressional District, Republican Marc Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District, Democrat Rep. Paul Tonko represents the 20th District, and Republican Elise Stefanik represents the 21st District. Click here to listen to this report.

Patrick Tine reports in the Times Union that the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York is hosting a rally for Israel at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at Congregation Beth Emeth. They say it will be a “community-wide rally to show support for Israel and pray for peace and aid to those injured and in mourning.” This weekend the Palestinian group Hamas attacked Israel, which then declared war on Hamas, and many civilians were killed. At Temple Israel in Albany on Oct. 7, Gov. Kathy Hochul said: “There is no justification. There never has been. There never will be for such cowardly heinous acts by this terrorist organization known as Hamas. And tonight, we grieve for the families. We pray for the families of those who’ve lost a loved one or are separated tonight living in the unknown, to those who are injured, and those who’ve been kidnapped.” Hochul also said security will be increased near Jewish places of worship and community centers around the state and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said their police department would also be increasing their presence locally around Jewish houses of worship. Mid-Hudson News reports on the reactions from two local Congressional representatives. Democrat Pat Ryan, who represents the 18th District, said, “I stand united with the State of Israel and unequivocally condemn the brutal attacks carried out by Hamas and other terrorist groups this morning. My heart is with the innocent Israeli civilians ruthlessly murdered, and all of those living in fear from these continued terrorist attacks.” Republican Marc Molinaro, who represents the 19th District, said, “The savage attack by Hamas on Israel is disgusting and cannot be tolerated. The United States stands with our ally, Israel, and against these brutal terrorists. We must swiftly and unequivocally condemn Hamas, and always stand with Israel. And, we pray for her people.” Read more about this story in the Times Union and at Mid-Hudson News.

Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that Democrat Rep. Pat Ryan wants House Republicans to join Democrats to make Democrat Hakeem Jeffries the new House speaker. Republicans are in disarray, with eight ultra-conservative members ousting Kevin McCarthy last week. That has effectively halted the federal government, as the House cannot take any action without a speaker. Ryan said, “I am calling on five Republicans to transcend the partisanship and really operate as patriots and join what has been the most functionally unified coalition and now the plurality of the House, which is the Democratic coalition, to unify with us so we can get back to governing.” Ryan said “a vote for Hakeem Jeffries is a vote to “move from the chaos of the last nine months and get us back to a place of civility delivering results.” Virtually no political analysts believe Republicans will work with Democrats to back a Democrat for House speaker. But Ryan said, “We are in uncharted territory and that calls for an extraordinary and unusual approach.... I think there is a real chance and I hope that we will see a few folks step forward, a few who have the courage, and more will join.” So far, local Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro has not decided who he will support for Speaker. Ryan voted for Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ouster while Molinaro voted against it. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

Kate Lisa reports at New York State of Politics that there have been rallies and protests around New York State for Israeli and Palestinian people caught in a new war between their governments. On Oct. 9, Gov. Kathy Hochul attended a Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York event in Albany at Congregation Beth Emeth reform synagogue. Hochul said, "I assure you as the governor I will make sure that we leave no stone unturned to find out how we can make sure that every single one of you is safe when you gather, because that is your God-given right to exercise your belief, your religion, your true identity." Rep. Paul Tonko, Assemblymembers Pat Fahy, John McDonald III and Phil Steck, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple also attended that event. A local Palestinian Rights Committee has scheduled a rally in support of Palestinians on Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. in Townsend Park in Albany. Ulster County Assemblyperson Sarahana Shrestha said that "the devastating violence in Israel and Palestine must come to an end.... For as long as I can remember, this conflict has shown how violence begets violence, and the only way to end the cycle is to end Israeli occupation and let Palestinians live and move freely.” The days-old war in the Middle East has been brutal so far, with the Palestinian Hamas group taking senior citizens and children hostage and killing many others, and Israel bombing buildings with civilians, and cutting off supplies to trapped Palestinians. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

Mid-Hudson News reports that Alison Esposito announced on Oct. 10 that she would run for the Republican nomination for Congress in New York’s 18th District next year. That seat is currently held by Democrat Pat Ryan. Esposito lost in a bid for lieutenant governor last year with the also unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin. Until recently Esposito listed her address as New York City, but now says she is a resident of Goshen. She was born in Highland Mills. She had a 25-year career with New York Police Department before her recent efforts in politics. Esposito sounded familiar conservative Republican themes in her opening statement, saying, “President Biden and his allies in Congress have left our nation a shell of its former self.... Our southern border is non-existent, inflation has left families choosing between gas and groceries, and we have relinquished our standing on the world stage. Right now, the Hudson Valley is represented by a defender of President Biden’s failed policies. Instead of fighting for everyday hardworking families, our representative is fighting for his own self-interest.” Read more about this story in Mid-Hudson News.

Mid-Hudson News reports that Republican Rep. Marc Molinaro was back in Dutchess County on Oct. 10 celebrating the new jail there that he helped get built. Molinaro campaigned for his former role as Dutchess County Executive on building a better county jail. Molinaro said, “Today, the goal we set 11 years ago has been met. Dutchess County now has a modern facility with the needed space to expand the county’s nationally renowned alternatives to incarceration and restorative justice programs, increasing public safety and delivering savings to taxpayers.” The new jail has 328 beds, far more than at the new Greene County Jail. Read more about this story in Mid-Hudson News.

Republicans removing Republicans is in the news again. First, eight ultra-conservative House Republicans voted to vacate Kevin McCarthy from the role of House Speaker, and now Alex Gault at Johnson News Service reports Rep. Marc Molinaro and other Republicans want to expel Rep. George Santos. The Long Island Republican was charged Oct. 10 with another slate of campaign finance crimes. While House Republicans complained they could not trust McCarthy, Santos is widely considered the most accomplished liar in American politics. On Oct. 11 Molinaro and four other New York House Republicans introduced a resolution to expel Santos from Congress. Molinaro said, “George Santos is a liar and a fraud with a growing rap sheet.... I have said and continue to say he should resign. Since he won’t, I’m supporting a resolution to expel him from Congress.” Rep. Elise Stefanik, who backed Santos in his campaign for Congress, is silent so far about expelling the Long Island representative, and did not answer a request for a comment. Stefanik represents Rensselaer County and the rest of the 21st Congressional District. Molinaro represents the 19th Congressional District, and recently moved to Leeds. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

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