NY-21 Week in Review: Cobb touts fundraising haul

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)

NY-21 Democratic candidate Tedra Cobb finished up a strong week — touting that she has raised $715,000 in the third quarter of the year and taking to the airwaves for the first time during the general election campaign.

Cobb, of Canton, sent out a news release stating that she has raised nearly $1.17 million during this entire campaign and that zero percent of her funding is from insurance or pharmaceutical companies, or from corporate political action commissions or Washington, D.C., lobbyists.

Cobb touted that 65 percent of her contributors live in the district and 87 percent live in the state. By contrast, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, had received $536,000 in contributions in the second quarter and had $1.6 million at the start of the third quarter. More than three-quarters of the contributions were from outside New York’s 21st Congressional District.

Cobb criticized Stefanik for being beholden to large donors and voting to close rural hospitals, eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions and raise premiums on the rest.

“She raised millions of dollars from special interests, political action committees and lobbyists — the very people who profit from our misery. I will go to Congress and work for the people of this district,” Cobb said in a news release.

The complete fundraising report for the period of July 1 through Sept. 30 has not been filed. The deadline for the reports to be filed is Oct. 15.

Stefanik campaign spokesman Lenny Alcivar said, as of last week, the campaign had $1.3 million on hand and that total is climbing.

Green Party candidate Lynn Kahn said she did not file a report, which is not required until candidates have received at least $5,000 worth of contributions or made $5,000 worth of expenditures, according to the FEC website.

Hitting the airwaves

Cobb is putting those funds to good use by taking to the airwaves.

Stefanik has been blanketing the airwaves for months with ads criticizing Cobb as “Taxin’ Tedra” and a “Cuomo clone.”

Now Cobb is responding with her first television and digital ad of the general election. The 30-second spot, titled “North Country,” intersperses images of the Adirondacks, Cobb and voters.

In a voiceover, Cobb highlights the importance of this area’s values.

“We love our land, we live our values, we rely on ourselves, and we look out for each other,” she said.

The spot concludes with an image of Cobb piling firewood and saying, “And I’ve got a message for D.C. insiders who would sell us out to the highest bidder: Hands off the North Country.”

To view the advertisement, visit www.poststar.com.

Kahn said Thursday she would run some radio spots in specific counties targeted at farmers, veterans and supporters of universal health care. She said the advertisements would be positive in tone and spell out the issues.

Stefanik releases new ad

Speaking of ads, Stefanik released a new TV ad highlighting her support for Fort Drum and military service members.

The ad cites Stefanik’s leadership in passing the National Defense Authorization Act, which contained the largest pay increase in nine years at 2.6 percent and would reorganize the way veterans receive health care and related benefits.

To watch the ad, click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=icecabYzw70.

Cobb’s odds improve

The NY-21 Congressional District has been downgraded from “Solid Republican” to “Likely Republican” by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Prognosticator Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight.com also puts the race in a “Likely Republican” column. He gives Cobb a 1 in 20 chance of winning.

Campaign finance reform

Cobb last week joined with more than 100 congressional candidates in calling for the next Congress to pass campaign finance reform as its first item on the agenda.

A total of 107 challengers wrote a letter to the House of Representatives, expressing support for legislation to ensure more transparency in elections, eliminate foreign money from the political system, limit the influence of large donors and special interests and provide incentives for small-dollar donors. They are also asking for reforms in lobbying, ethics, redistricting and voting rights protection, according to a news release.

Cobb said she led the effort for ethics reform as a member of the St. Lawrence County Legislature and will make it a top priority.

“A” to Stefanik, “F” to Cobb

The National Rifle Association and the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association have given “A” ratings to U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik in her bid for re-election, citing her support for the Second Amendment and her effort to pass concealed carry reciprocity in the House of Representatives, which would allow other states to recognize the concealed carry permits that are issued in one state.

Cobb received an “F” grade because of her comments caught on a secretly recorded video that says that she supports an assault weapons ban but cannot take that position publicly because she would not get elected.

Stefanik sent out a news release touting the rating and noted that her predecessor, Democrat Bill Owens, had received an “A” rating from NYSRPA and was endorsed by the NRA.

When asked about the assault weapons ban, Cobb said one of her problems with the last ban is it named specific guns and that is how the country ended up with a proliferation of AR-15 rifles.

Cobb said Congress has failed to come together around legislation that both sides can agree on, such as banning bump stocks, implementing universal background checks and prohibiting people from owning guns that have been flagged for domestic violence or other issues.

Cobb said the secretly recorded video showed her having a candid conversation about the political process with a group of teenagers on a night after a 17-year-old killed 10 people in a shooting at Santa Fe high school in Texas.

Cobb said among her concerns are suicide, which is the No. 1 cause of death from guns.

“At the end of the day, what drives me is, how do we solve the problem of gun violence in this country?”

Debate set

A date has been nailed down for the Spectrum News debate in Albany. It will take place on Oct. 29. The candidates also will hold debates on Oct. 23 at Mountain Lakes PBS in Plattsburgh and on Oct. 30 in WWNY in Watertown. These are all studio debates with no audience but will be broadcast on television.

In addition, Kahn and Cobb will attend a forum on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at Lake George Junior-Senior High School. The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Saratoga County.


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