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Audio Feature: WGXC Congressional Report

Jan 09, 2022 3:03 pm

Here is this week's WGXC Congressional Report, tracking the votes, statements, positions, and campaigns of the representatives and candidates for the 19th and 20th Congressional seats in New York. Current Reps. Antonio Delgado and Paul Tonko vote with the positions of President Joe Biden 100 percent of the time, according to the fivethirtyeight.com website. Click here to listen to this report.

Chris McKenna from the Times Herald-Record reports about where charges stand against 13 Capitol riot suspects from Hudson Valley. Authorities know about at least 13 people from the Hudson Valley who were part of a violent attempt to overthrow the U.S. government on Jan. 6, 2021. They include a retired cop-turned-landscaper from Goshen, a Newburgh tattoo artist, and a Metro-North railyard worker. Only one of the 13 is currently behind bars, while two have pleaded guilty and have yet to be sentenced. Three plan to stand trial. And eight other defendants are awaiting plea deals or trials. Edward Lang, a 26-year-old from Newburgh, was arrested after boasting about his participation on social media. He can be seen in photos swinging an aluminum baseball bat at police, and charges against him include assaulting an officer with a dangerous weapon and inflicting bodily injury. He is in a Washington, D.C. jail in September and spoke by phone from jail last week with the ultra-conservative Newsmax TV channel, claiming he acted in "self-defense" against police officers who were "brutalizing protesters who were unarmed — just loving American citizens who were there to use their First Amendment." Anyone who has seen video knows police officers were defending the U.S. Capitol and democracy, as the mob successfully delayed the electoral count that day. Court papers opposing his release last month said Lang "has not articulated how he was defending others from immediate danger by shoving a door into the head of a vulnerable sergeant, or repeatedly kicking a detective after he fell to the ground, or using a baseball bat to beat officers standing sentry." Others arrested include Roberto Minuta, who owns of a tattoo shop on Broadway in Newburgh and is a member of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia. He unwittingly discussed his involvement to an off-duty FBI agent who came to his shop for a tattoo. Dutchess County resident William Vogel, 27, faces four charges, two misdemeanors and two lower-level offenses is is due back in court on March 4. The story details the case status of each of the 13 Hudson Valley men charged in the riot. Read more about this story in the Times Herald-Record.

MidHudson News is reporting nearly one year after protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol and disrupted the certification of the 2020 presidential election, many Americans support the investigation into the incident, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. More than six in 10 Americans, or 62 percent, think the investigation is appropriate and do not view it as an unwarranted campaign aimed at Donald Trump and his supporters, while 35 percent do not agree with the inquiry. Forty-nine percent consider the events of January 6, to be an insurrection and a threat to U.S. democracy. Twenty-five percent believe it was a political protest protected under the First Amendment, while 19 percent say the incident was unfortunate but does not have implications for the future. “Both Democrats and Republicans believe that U.S. democracy is under threat,” said the director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie. “But they overwhelmingly disagree over the meaning of the events of January 6th and the motivation behind the investigation into the events of that day.” Read the full story at MidHudsonNews [dot] com.

WGXC's partner station WOOC in Troy interviewed Tonko a few days after Jan. 6 last year.

Mike Gwizdala reports in the Troy Record Rep. Paul Tonko's memories of an armed attempt to overthrow the U.S. government one year later. On Jan. 6 last year, an armed mob, directed there by former President Donald Trump, delayed the counting of electoral votes. The U.S. Capitol was ransacked for the first time since the War of 1812. A police officer was beaten, a rioter was shot, and three others died during the rampage. Tonko described what he saw. “One of my colleagues was with [my staffer] Kate, she had just had knee surgery. Another colleague was flat out on the floor hyperventilating. People were really stressed as they were trying to figure out how quickly can we get to that exit door? Then realizing that you had to go down several sets of stairs to make your way to the tunnel that connects the Rayburn office building to the House chamber to the Capitol building. It was all of that happening with great intensity and a lack of direction basically because it was an unusual set of circumstances," he said. In the long interview, the Congressperson who represents Albany County does not mention holding the coup plotters or rioters accountable. "As we approach the first anniversary of the attack on the Capitol, it’s important for us I believe to come forward in a united way that enables us to put first the country to make certain that we all work together toward a common goal, to make certain that our democracy, our republic that was challenged in a very powerful and forceful way that produced death and destruction and the attempt to undo a process, all of those dynamics need to be addressed and I think that as we go forward I would hope that we could do this out of love for country, respect for country and a sense to make us an even stronger voice for freedom and opportunity,” Tonko said. Read more about this story in the Troy Record.

The Daily Freeman reports Rep. Antonio Delgado's thoughts on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection. “One year ago, the peaceful transfer of power to a legitimately elected president, came under siege, as violence and malice tore through the hallowed halls of the Capitol. More than 100 police officers were injured in the line of duty that day. Five officers died in the days, weeks, and months that followed,” said Delgado, who represents the 19th Congressional District. “Their bravery saved the lives of countless individuals trapped in the Capitol.” The congressman added that in the “darkness of January 6, 2021, let us never forget the many acts of valor and bravery that made it possible for our government to resume its work and fulfill what our Constitution obligates.”

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