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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Sep 10, 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.

Mid-Hudson News reports that it is difficult to tell if local Rep. Marc Molinaro was talking about 81-year-old Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell or 90-year-old Senator Dianne Feinstein, or the two leading candidates for president next year, but he said some older politicians need to know when it is time to retire. Molinaro said, “At some point, whether it is you are confronting a mental or physical health concern that requires you to take stock and focus on yourself, or you have some health concern later on in life, as a public official, you need to know when it is time to exit the stage.... And there are plenty of people in public office who need to decide to exit the stage and allow the next generation to step forward.” Both the Republican McConnell and the Democrat Feinstein have had public incidents this year where they seemed to freeze, or were confused, in public. Molinaro, a Republican who is 47, has been in politics since age 18 when he was elected mayor in Tivoli. He now represents the 19th Congressional District. Read more about this story at Mid-Hudson News.

Chris McKenna reports in the Poughkeepsie Journal that a group calling itself New York Citizens Audit is going to the homes of New Yorkers and questioning their voter registration status. Officials are concerned because in some encounters the group appears to be posing as board of election workers, and in other cases telling people they have committed a felony by being registered to vote in two places. Raymond Riley III, the state board of election's co-executive director, said in a statement, “We are extremely alarmed by these actions.... These individuals are impersonating government officials in an effort to intimidate voters based on inaccurate and misleading information.” Marly Hornik, executive director of New York Citizens Audit, says her group is not pretending to be election workers. "Absolutely not.... We are researchers who use lawful methods." There has been little evidence of any voter fraud in recent elections in New York and nationally. The group has reportedly approached voters in Albany County, but not in Greene or Columbia counties. William VanNess, Warren County's Republican election commissioner, said he fears that the visits to voters homes might discourage people from voting. "We want people to vote," he said. "We work exceptionally hard to do that." Read more about this story in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Diane Pineiro-Zucker reports in the Daily Freeman that the activist group Scenic Hudson held a press conference with Rep. Marc Molinaro, a Republican, and Rep. Pat Ryan, a Democrat, Sept. 7 at Stone Ridge Orchard in Ulster County, in support of the Farm Bill. That Congressional legislation is reintroduced and adopted every five years, including this one. Julie Tighe, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters said, “This is an opportunity we get every five years to make sure we’re supporting healthy food for all people, we’re uplifting rural communities and economies and securing good water quality … and addressing those challenges posed by climate change." Molinaro, who represents the 19th Congressional District, said, “We are in the midst of one of the most important American policies in our lifetime. … We’re facing, farmers know this first-hand, some significant challenges.” Ryan, who represents the 18th Congressional District, explained how difficult it will be to get the Farm Bill passed. “It’s going to require, on a personal level, folks like Marc and I coming together and saying, ‘How do we get this over the line.’ It’s a five-seat margin in a divided government. It’s going to take those personal connections to bring the seriousness we need to get this over the line.” Much of the Farm Bill is about helping poor people get enough nutrition. Molinaro complained that some states are “really good at processing payments and less good at empowering independence.” Ryan, on the other hand, said, the Farm Bill “is the bill in which we decide who goes hungry in the country and who doesn’t. And that is a point of significant debate” between Democrats and Republicans. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

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