Tenney, Brindisi trade jabs over gun control, budget

Published Apr 28, 2018 at 4:00pm

The election campaigns for Republican U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney and Democrat Anthony Brindisi, who is challenging her for the 22nd Congressional District seat, exchanged volleys over Brindisi’s stance on gun-control issues.

Tenney’s campaign office on Thursday referred to a Washington Free Beacon article that it said shed light on Brindisi’s “continued attempts to run from his ‘A’ NRA (National Rifle Association) rating and side with radical liberal activists in the gun control debate.” Brindisi is a state Assemblyman from Utica.

The article said that during an April 8 town hall meeting hosted by Colgate University’s College Democrats chapter, Brindisi “argued that his views align more closely with gun-control activists.”

It said Brindisi “distanced himself from his own favorable rating from the (NRA)...by calling for a ban on high-capacity magazines and expanding firearm background checks.” It also said Brindisi attributed his vote against the state’s SAFE (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) Act to the lack of time he had to read the bill.

Tenney’s campaign office said “after years of touting his vote against Gov. Cuomo’s SAFE Act and attempting to appear as a Second Amendment supporter...flip-flopping Brindisi walked back his vote. The reason? He argued that he voted against the SAFE Act because he didn’t have enough time to read the bill. But that’s never stopped Brindisi from voting for Cuomo’s thousand-page, $168 billion budget which is rammed though in the middle of the night each year. Hypocrisy.”

Tenney’s campaign office added, “Where does Brindisi really stand? Will he continue to change his story depending on who’s in the crowd?”

However, Brindisi’s campaign manager Ellen Foster said Thursday “we urge Congresswoman Tenney to stop having her press releases written by Washington robots who don’t care about Rome and get the facts all wrong. Her ‘news’ release contains false facts she knows to be untrue.”

Foster also said that “on the issue of gun violence, the Assemblyman has been clear as day: he can walk and chew gum at the same time, meaning, he believes in the right to bear arms and the idea that if you seek to purchase a gun it should come with a universal background check. Plain and simple.”

When the 2018-19 state budget was approved earlier this month, Brindisi voted against parts of it. He voted against a plan to establish an independent commission to start examining a pay raise for state officials, plus he voted against funding Charter School expansion in New York City as well as exempting certain non-public schools downstate from curriculum standards.