NY21 in review: Cobb campaign threatens legal action over TV ads

The three candidates to represent New York's 21st Congressional District are incumbent U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Republican who calls Willsboro home; Lynn Kahn of Schroon Lake, running on the Green Party line; and Tedra Cobb, a Democrat from Canton. (Photos provided)

Democrat Tedra Cobb’s campaign is requesting that television stations pull an attack ad from U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik that claims Cobb is a “Cuomo clone” on the grounds that it is inaccurate.

A. Joshua Ehrlich, legal counsel for the Cobb campaign, sent out letters to general managers of every television station running the ad asking to remove it. The 30-second spot criticizes Cobb as a “clone” because she was appointed to a government position by Cuomo, “whose administration’s riddled with corruption, pay to play.”

Cobb served on the New York State Committee on Open Government. She was appointed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer in 2007 and also served under his successor, Gov. David Patterson.

The Cobb campaign has said the attack was just a distraction from Stefanik’s record.

“This false and misleading attempt to tie Ms. Cobb to Governor Cuomo, has no basis in fact,” Ehrlich wrote. “It is knowingly false and shows a reckless disregard for the truth in an attempt to tarnish Ms. Cobb.”

The letter says that to comply with their licensing requirements and the public interest, television stations should stop running the advertisement.

“If you fail to comply with this notice, legal action will promptly be brought against you in court in order to protect the rights and interests at stake and to recover monetary damages,” he said.

The Stefanik campaign claims the ad is accurate because she was a member of the committee under Cuomo’s administration.

Wilson off NY-21 ballot

Katie Wilson, who finished second in June’s primary with 12 percent of the vote, has been removed from the Working Families Party line and replaced with Democratic nominee Tedra Cobb. Wilson had the Working Families nomination, but after Cobb won the Democratic primary, Wilson indicated that she would not actively campaign for the office.

Because of New York state’s complicated voting laws, the only way someone can be removed from the ballot is to die, move out of the district, be appointed a judge or campaign for another office. Wilson is now on the Working Families Party line to challenge Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury, in the 114th Assembly District seat, which covers all of Warren and Essex counties.

It is not known if Wilson is actively campaigning for the seat. She did not return a phone call or text message seeking comment on Monday. She said previously that she was not running for Assembly, or anything else, this election cycle.

There is no Democrat in that race. Queensbury lawyer Ron Kim, who had dropped out of the NY-21 race in March, was the Working Families Party candidate. However, he said in July that he agreed to be a placeholder until another candidate was able to take the line.

This change gives Cobb a total of three lines – Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality Party. Former television journalist and businessperson Dylan Ratigan technically won the Women’s Equality line with two votes during the primary in June, compared with one for Cobb and one for Patrick Nelson. However, Ratigan declined the nomination and Cobb’s name was substituted, according to state Board of Elections documents.

Cobb was unsuccessful at creating a CD 21 Unites line after her signatures were challenged by two Republican constituents.

Stefanik, R-Willsboro, has the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform lines. Green Party candidate Lynn Kahn is also in the race.

Stefanik receives energy award

Stefanik has been named as a 2018 Clean Energy Champion by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions.

The organization recognizes Republican lawmakers who advance “common-sense clean energy solutions that address our nation’s need for abundant, reliable energy while preserving our environment,” according to a news release.

Stefanik was recognized by CRES for her work to make sure the 2018 budget included funding for the Department of Energy’s most important research and development activities.

Stefanik co-sponsored the POWER Act, which provided tax credits for solar power and protected $2 billion for innovative clean energy research. Also, she opposed efforts to repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s rule on methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal and Indian land, according to a news release.

Union endorses Stefanik

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents border agents and federal law enforcement officers, has endorsed Stefanik for re-election.

This union is made up of over 150,000 federal workers from 33 government agencies.

Cobb criticizes Stefanik votes

The Cobb campaign last week stepped up its attacks on Stefanik, sending out news releases criticizing Stefanik’s votes on health care, the budget and farm bill.

Cobb said Stefanik’s vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act would have taken health care away from 64,000 northern New Yorkers. Cobb also sent out a press release criticizing Stefanik’s statement that she was proud to claim $1 million in Social Security benefits for senior citizens. Cobb said Stefanik’s vote in favor of the Balanced Budget Amendment of 2018 would have cut $2.6 trillion from Social Security and $1.7 trillion from Medicare by 2028.

Cobb also criticized Stefanik’s vote for the Farm Bill, which would eliminate the Conservation Stewardship Program, which Cobb said helps reduce phosphorous runoff to tributaries and lakes, which can feed invasive species like blue/green algae.

Kahn blogging

Green Party candidate Lynn Kahn said as the calendar has turned to fall, she has been focusing on building networks, talking with voters and writing position papers on various issues including health care, the environment, veterans, the dairy farm crisis, failures of family law and foster care.

“I call for new partnerships in New York state to invest in research, development and manufacturing of green energy transportation including hydrogen fuel production,” she said in her blog.

Follow the blog online at http://www.votelynn2018.com/blog.


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