Our new congressman, Marc Molinaro (R-NY19), held a town hall meeting at the Dryden Fire Department on February 21. Dryden Democrats Co-Chair Joseph Wilson attended. Asked how it went, Wilson was cautiously optimistic:
“To the extent that folks were worried that the Town Hall would reveal us as out of touch elitists, that did not happen.
“Those of us who identified as Democrats were given a fair shot at asking questions. All questions were delivered without rhetorical flourishes, insults or innuendos. Our members brought up reasonable questions, including all of those sent us from Binghamton, and presented them respectfully.”
“Molinaro, albeit a bit of a showman, talked knowledgeably off the cuff and answered questions with a reasonable degree of directness.
“I think most if not all went away feeling they had presented themselves in an adult fashion, got a bit of measure of who Molinaro is, and the sense that, while we might not agree with him (and don’t like his allies’ lies), we can continue a dialogue with him in the future.”
However (you knew there’d be a however, right?) six days earlier Molinaro posted the popular GOP lie about gas stoves and directed it at our governor. The issue is a state matter, not a federal one, but apparently he couldn’t resist an opportunity to drag Democrats.
Meanwhile, TCDC member Ann Reichlin notes that although Molinaro has mentioned plans to relocate, he hasn’t yet moved into our district.
Reichlin further notes that Molinaro “is staking out some bipartisan turf as he tries to navigate our new swing district. He’s joined both the SALT* caucus and the Main Street Caucus. However, the real test will be in how he votes on the issues that matter to the district. Also, will Molinaro call out fellow Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene when they advocate for extreme ideas or perpetuate lies, or will he let his silence enable them?”
The gas stove meme suggests Molinaro is actually prepared to perpetuate GOP lies, but it’s early yet; we’ll see.
* State and Local Taxes, a longtime federal income tax deduction that was severely limited as part of the tax reform act of 2017. The resulting increase in taxes was meant to help offset the loss in federal revenue created by tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations. Its impact was primarily felt in states with higher incomes and property taxes, like New York and California. It’s probably just a coincidence that the states hit hardest went for Clinton in 2016.