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Gibson's votes drawing protests in Kinderhook

Feb 23, 2011 3:54 pm
Congressman Chris Gibson's getting his first taste of home turf protests against his Republican majority lockstep votes to date in two separate incidents planned for Thursday, February 24 at his offices in Kinderhook and Saratoga, starting at 12 noon. Meanwhile, a local Tea Party group out of Kingston is drumming up folks from their ranks to come out to both events, claiming they've been organized by MoveOn and need "patriotic support" for Gibson and the current GOP agenda, which has come increasingly under fire around the nation in the past week. In an e-mail blast from the new organization, Columbia County Voice, the Kinderhook gathering, at 2 Hudson Street, is "to protest the cuts that the Republican House has voted for to programs that affect our community" and was originally conceived as a MoveOn event, but has since coalesced into "a broad based coalition of those groups and individuals affected or concerned about the GOP defunding a broad spectrum of programs." "Defunding should not be used as a club to shut down the Federal Government, an educator, parent, grandparent or a student who does not want government support for education to be reduced," the missive continues. According to The Saratogian, "local Planned Parenthood officials are speaking out after Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, voted Friday to block federal aid for the organization as part of the 2011 continuing budget resolution." Planned Parenthood provides services in hundreds of clinics around the country, including health care screenings and treatment. “Quite frankly, it’s difficult to comprehend why a politician would choose this,” the paper quoted Linda Scharf, director of communications at Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson, which operates 13 clinics in the Capital Region and Central New York, including the Saratoga Springs location. Scharf, calling the measures a 'smokescreen' for an extreme social agenda, listed several services that would be in jeopardy if the cuts become permanent. They include cervical and breast cancer screenings, annual exams, testing for high blood pressure and diabetes, birth control consultation and testing for sexually transmitted infections including HIV. 'That’s devastating, particularly in a rural setting when often we are the only health care provider a woman would see,' she said." As for the counter protests, the Kingston Tea Party, Patriots of the Hudson Valley and Queensbury-based Currie Associates, a Hazmat supply company, sent out an e-mail appeal later the afternoon of February 23 labed, "Urgent. We need your support - Pro Gibson Rallies to support the Congressman's recent votes in support of budget cuts at the federal level" in which they asked "our Gibson volunteers to counter MoveOn.org anti-Gibson rallies taking place in front of the Saratoga Springs and Kinderhook Congressional Offices, Thursday February 24. "Feel free to bring pro-Gibson signs that support the budget cuts being advocated by the Congressman, if possible. The more the merrier. Chris Gibson volunteers would like to thank Congressman Gibson for his dedication and commitment to ensuring a viable budget is approved as quickly as possible." We'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow afternoon, if someone wants to record the expected one hour melees.

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