Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report
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.
Tyler A. McNeil reports in the Daily Gazette that China's recent spy balloon has inspired some New York Democrats to draft a bill to ban foreign adversaries from purchasing farmland in the state. In the State Senate Saugerties Democrat Michelle Hinchey is introducing the proposal, and Assemblyperson Angelo Santabarbara is in the other Albany legislative chamber with the bill. Santabarbara said, “We saw a spy balloon go over our country, surveying property, land sites, information that was collected and that’s concerning.... So what we’re finding is that, I feel like we’re not seeing enough action in Washington, D.C., to address these issues.” Santabarbara wants the state to identify where potential adversary-owned properties are located, but Assemblymember Robert Smullen, a Republican, said, “We, in New York State, don’t have the resources to define whether or not a foreign entity is controlled by the Communist Party, for instance, or China.” Rep. Paul Tonko, a Democrat who represents the 20th Congressional District, did not comment to the newspaper about the story, but Republican Elise Stefanik, who represents the 21st Congressional District, noted she has already introduced a similar bill at the federal level. Stefanik said, “As my bill continues to gain support, I will work to ensure foreign ownership of American farmland does not undermine our national security, especially as our foreign adversaries increase their attempts to threaten our agricultural land and businesses.” Read more about this story in the Daily Gazette.
Rep. Elise Stefanik has a form on her website for constituents to give their opinions on the 2023 Farm Bill. Stefanik said, “Agriculture is the backbone of Upstate New York and the North Country. As Congress is working to draft this year’s Farm Bill, farmers across New York’s 21st District can use this input form to directly share their priorities with me, so I can bring them to the highest levels. Every five years, Congress passes a farm bill that affects a host of agricultural issues. Stefanik, who represents Rensselear County and the rest of the 21st Congressional District is not on the House Agricultural Committee, which drafts the farm bill. Marc Molinaro, the Republican representing the 19th Congressional District, is on the Agricultural Committee.
The Troy Record reports that Rep. Paul Tonko announced 15 community development and improvement projects in his 20th Congressional District that he submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations. This is what is sometimes called pork in Washington D.C. Each Congressional representative may request funding for up to 15 projects each Fiscal Year. Not all projects are guaranteed funding, but most get their dollars, under the guidelines issued by the Appropriations Committee. Tonko asked for two of his 15 projects for the southern Albany County town of Coeymans and the village of Ravena. Coeymans, if successful, would get $1,882,500 for their sewer system, while Ravena is asking for $3,000,000 to improve their drinking water systems. Read the full story in the Troy Record.
Patricia R. Doxsey reports in the Daily Freeman Rep. Pat Ryan, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District, reported $1,095,594 in campaign donations in the first three months of 2023, while Marc Molinaro, a Republican representing the 19th Congressional District, reported raising $638,670. The Federal Election Commission filings for Jan. 1 through March 31 come a little more than 100 days into the 2022-2023 congressional term, but show representatives spending much time focusing already on the 2024 election. On April 12, Democrat Josh Riley said he would run against Molinaro again, after losing to the Dutchess County-based Republican in 2022. Riley than announced he raised $250,000 in the first 24 hours of his campaign. While Riley's donations came after the filing deadline and won't be available for the public to see for months, he criticized Molinaro’s contributions, saying they came from “corporate special interests and far-right Republican members of Congress, including Claudia Tenney and several Freedom Caucus members who have proposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security.” Riley also promised, “I’m not taking any corporate PAC money because I’ll never sell out upstate New York." So far, Ryan does not have any announced opponents in 2024. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.
Andrea Macko in Porcupine Soup reports that Rep. Marc Molinaro announced many community development and improvement projects in his 19th Congressional District that he submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations. This is what is sometimes called pork in Washington D.C. Each Congressional representative may request funding for up to 15 projects each Fiscal Year. Not all projects are guaranteed funding, but most get their dollars, under the guidelines issued by the Appropriations Committee. Locally, Molinaro asked for $2.4 million for the Village of Athens to rehabilitate its wastewater plant and another $2.4 million for Greene County Highway and Solid Waste Department to improve Main Street in Leeds. Read the full story in Porcupine Soup.