Why I support Paul Tonko for re-election to NY-20 (and so should you!!)

In twelve years of blogging, I’ve only endorsed one local political race. That was in 2015, when Dan McCoy ran against Dan Egan for Albany County Executive, and I still remembered when Egan – who at the time was President of the Albany City School Board – shut down my high school, Harriet Gibbons High School (previously the Street Academy of Albany), and then tried to tell me that he was doing the right thing by it, and wanted me to shake his hand for his efforts.

I mean, yeah, I did back Kirsten Gillibrand for the Democratic nomination for President, but there was still an Al Franken-sized millstone around her neck, no matter how much I felt she would be the right person for the job. But that’s national politics.

Come November 3, I’m voting for Paul Tonko for re-election to New York’s 20th Congressional District over the Republican candidate, Liz Lemery Joy.

Tonko has championed energy law, both during his time in the New York State Assembly and in Congress. He has fought hard for both energy and ecology, helping secure generator and turbine projects for General Electric, as well as for projects involving our state’s waterways. And he has always been easily accessible for projects great and small. And he appreciates good artwork.

Now I know Tonko’s opponent, Liz Lemery Joy, very well. She and I were both Times Union bloggers back in the day. And she’s also had my back when I’ve had a crisis or two – back in 2016, when I was involved in a car crash in North Carolina in which my beloved Blackbird turned into scrap metal, Liz actually offered to buy me a plane ticket to get home from NC. And she does appreciate good artwork, she has one of my prints in her home.

Unfortunately, however, Liz Lemery Joy’s Congressional campaign is coated with the worst Trumpian attacks on Tonko, on Andrew Cuomo, etc. Her boasts of “I Will Not Comply” when New York was on lockdown was both reckless and foolish. She even refused to participate in a debate with Tonko because the debate would have been held on WMHT, and she refused to appear on WMHT because PBS received money in a recent stimulus bill.

But last night, in my opinion, she went too far. She posted this on her Twitter account.

Oh, you mean THIS Brian Pommer?

This is repulsive. Absolutely repulsive. First of all, that’s a lot of wishful thinking upon picking your guest for a State of the Union appearance in an election you haven’t even won yet, but then announcing that you would pick as your guest the Schenectady police officer who appears in video footage to kneel on a suspect’s neck and violently punch the suspect in the gut …

Ugh. No. Absolutely not.

And before anybody gives the “Chuck doesn’t support blue lives” crapola, first off, I respect and support police. But not to this level. So do I now have to worry that I’m on some sort of “shit list” with the local police, that if I get pulled over and they run my license and registration, they’ll see that I’m “that blogger” and take me out of my car and lean on my neck and punch me in the stomach?

And this is the kind of police action Liz Lemery Joy wants to support and honor?

Give me a break.

If you haven’t voted yet, please take my recommendation and vote for Paul Tonko for New York’s 20th Congressional District.

I suppose, that by doing this, I’ve destroyed any previous pre-Congresional friendship Liz and I ever had.

But a friendship like this doesn’t exist in this kind of atmosphere. Sorry.