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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Aug 27, 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.

Nancy Kern reports for Columbia-Greene Media that Rep. Marc Molinaro wants the White House to declare a federal state of emergency because Republican governors in Florida and Texas are busing migrants to New York City, and the mayor there is then busing some of them upstate. Molinaro said, “Gov. Kathy Hochul and other state leaders are finally recognizing the current migrant policy lacks compassion, competence and coherence.... I have been warning about this for months — and have pressed [the Governor], city leaders and the White House to take action. Representatives Mike Lawler, Pat Ryan and I joined in calling for the President to declare a federal state of emergency, and I asked the Governor join in that request. Instead of pointing fingers at other top Democrats, we need our state leaders to get to work.” Hochul, for her part, recently commented that, “Putting someone in a hotel on a dark, lonely road in upstate New York and telling them they’re supposed to survive is not compassion.” Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.

Patricia R. Doxsey reports in the Daily Freeman that Ulster County taxpayers will pay $75,000 and insurance costs to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by former Public Defender Andrew Kossover against the county and former County Executive Pat Ryan. Jason Kovacs, a Republican candidate for the county Legislature, released a copy of the settlement agreement after filing a request for the document under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Kossover and his wife, Victoria, sued for $700,000 after Ryan deliberately made “false and derogatory statements” to the press in a Feb. 14, 2020 press release announcing Kossover had resigned after he “repeatedly and inexplicably failed” to submit routine and required paperwork. The press release blamed Kossover for the county to missing out on nearly $2.5 million in state aid. Later, an audit by the Ulster County Comptroller’s Office found that the county did not receive grant funds because of former County Executive Mike Hein’s office, which refused to allow Kossover to hire enough staff to receive the state funding. Kossover claimed that Ryan's comments caused “severe humiliation, loss of reputation and good standing in the community, mental anguish (and) severe emotional and physical distress,” as well as loss of employment opportunities, loss of income, and economic damage. Ryan is now a Congressperson, representing the 18th Congressional District. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

Luke Parsnow reports for New York State of Politics that while Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is in the Hudson Valley Aug. 23 to raise money for Rep. Marc Molinaro's reelection campaign, Democrat Rep. Pat Ryan has an invitation for him. Although one could also say his offer to tour damage caused by last month's flood with McCarthy is more of a troll. Ryan said, “I’ve spoken with disabled veterans whose homes are still in shambles, families previously in low-income housing that now have nowhere to live, and kids stuck in condemned homes because they can’t afford repairs. I’m demanding that Speaker McCarthy look them in the eye and reassure them that his FEMA funding legislation will include individual assistance for Hudson Valley flood victims.... The Major Disaster Declaration was a critical first step to enable our recovery, but now Congress must come together to deliver relief for everyone impacted. I’ll keep fighting, and I hope the Speaker will join me in doing what is right.” Ryan represents New York's 18th Congressional District, while Molinaro represents the 19th District. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

Paul Kirby reports for the Daily Freeman that Rep. Pat Ryan has so far failed in convincing the Social Security Administration to reopen an office in Ulster County. Ryan said, “I won’t give up on fighting for Ulster County seniors.... The closure of this Social Security office placed a tremendous burden on thousands of hard-working New Yorkers, who earned this critical benefit; I’ll keep pushing aggressively until we get this fixed.” The Social Security Administration closed its Grant Avenue office in the Lake Katrine hamlet of the town of Ulster in March 2014 and a satellite office in the town of Ulster left in 2018. Sen. Charles Schumer in 2014 also demanded the Social Security office remain open to no avail. Ryan is currently complaining that the office closure in 2018 means “thousands have to travel upwards an hour to the nearest office in Poughkeepsie.” But, so far, Ryan's campaign to reopen an office has been as successful as Schumer's. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.

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