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Audio Feature: Hudson Valley Congressional Report

May 01, 2022 11:00 pm

Here is this week's Hudson Valley Congressional Report from WGXC, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives of the Hudson Valley in Congress and the candidates who want to replace them. Current Democrat Reps. Antonio Delgado, Paul Tonko, and Sean Maloney vote with the positions of President Joe Biden 100 percent of the time, according to the fivethirtyeight.com website. Republican Elise Stefanik voted with Biden's positions 18 percent of the time. Click here to listen to this report.

Nick Reisman reports for New York State of Politics that New York's highest court on April 27 voted 4-3 to reject the congressional and state Senate maps drawn by state lawmakers this year as unconstitutional. Now the scheduled June party primaries maybe altered as new district lines need to be drawn. The New York Court of Appeals found "the enactment of the congressional and Senate maps by the legislature was procedurally unconstitutional, and the congressional map is also substantively unconstitutional as drawn with impermissible partisan purpose, leaving the state without constitutional district lines for use in the 2022 primary and general elections." Republicans brought the court challenge, claiming the new districts favored Democrats and violated the state's constitutional ban on partisan redistricting. "We are confident that, in consultation with the Board of Elections, Supreme Court can swiftly develop a schedule to facilitate an August primary election, allowing time for the adoption of new constitutional maps," the majority opinion stated, suggesting a new election schedule. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.

Chris Churchill reports in the Times Union that a spokesperson for Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik has denied that the Congressional representative was behind leaked recordings of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy criticizing Donald Trump and other GOP lawmakers after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The recordings showed McCarthy lied when he denied wanting Trump to resign after he encouraged a coup, and did little to stop a riot on the nation's legislature. Stefanik had been tied to the leak online without any evidence by political observers who thought she had the most to gain. The online guessers suggested the third-ranked GOP leader Stefanik could take over the top spot if McCarthy was forced out in embarrassment. Alex deGrasse, Stefanik's spokesperson, gave a good reason Stefanik could not have leaked the call. "Congresswoman Stefanik was not even in leadership at this time and was not even on these calls," deGrasse wrote in an email. "Nor were any of her staff. She wasn't even elected to House Republican leadership until months later." The phone call in which McCarthy said he wanted to ask Trump to resign and suggested a few Republican wing nuts had endangered the country with their rhetoric was on Jan. 10, 2021, four days after the coup attempt. Stefanik did not ascend to her third-ranked position until four months later. So she likely was not on the call of top Republicans with McCarthy. "There is zero truth to the rumor," deGrasse said. "It is a fact that she (Stefanik) was not on or aware of any of these calls referenced." Read more about this story in the Times Union.

Just after New York's highest court threw out the Democrats gerrymandered district maps on April 27, Republican NY-19 Congressional candidate Marc Molinaro used the news as a chance to attack the opposition. But he also made a false claim with no basis that his Democratic opponent, Rep. Antonio Delgado, master-minded the redistricting process so he could beat Molinaro. That claim has not been proven anywhere, by Molinaro, or any news report. "Antonio Delgado and the Democrats in Albany sought to disenfranchise voters through a corrupt deal," Molinaro's statement April 27 said, in part. Molinaro did not provide any proof of his claim, and no news story exists linking Delgado to the redistricting process. State legislators decided on the new districts, and Congressional representatives have no formal role in the process.

WNYT reports that the FBI has opened an investigation into the 2018 Schoharie limousine crash that left 20 people dead, and Rep. Paul Tonko wants some credit. Tonko says investigation announcement comes after he sent a letter, demanding a response to claims that FBI involvement allowed the unsafe limo to stay on the road. The rumors claimed Prestige Limousine Owner Shahed Hussain received special treatment from the FBI because of his previous work as a confidential informant. The FBI wrote Tonko back, saying, in part, "The FBI shares your concerns about this tragic limousine crash that claimed the lives of twenty people. In recent months, concerns have been raised about this incident and whether there was any FBI involvement in the investigation. As a result, the Director ordered that the FBI further review the matter. A review was promptly commenced by the Inspection Division and is ongoing. Therefore, the FBI is not in a position to provide further information at this time." Read more about this story at the WNYT website.

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