At the Vestal Library tonight voters were treated to a rare sight. Candidates and incumbents, in a couple of cases their representatives, spoke to a gathering concerned about what will be the results of the fast upcoming mid-term elections.
Americans for Restoring the Constitution invited the candidates for the 126th State Assembly seat: Art Garrison and incumbent Asseblywoman Donna Lupardo; the 22nd Congressional district: incumbent Representative Maurice Hinchey and George Phillips; Broome County Sheriff: Incumbent Sheriff David Harder, Gary O’Neill, and Tim Roberts; State Senator: incumbent Tom Libous and John Orzel; as well as all running for Senator and Governor. 8 of the candidates showed up, the 9th (a representative for Senator Schumer) made a last minute announcement that they would not participate.
The number of candidates were welcomed by a full capacity crowd. The Vestal Library conference room was filled with voters from 30 to at least one couple apparently in their late 70’s or so. There was even a parent or 2 with a child at the event. Considering that the event started at 7pm and ended around 9pm the showing in the middle of the week was impressive.
Less impressive was the response by the major media. Fox40 arrived and gathered video about the start of the event. After they left, only M V Consulting, Inc. was left to follow the questions asked by voters to the candidates. If any other member of the press was at the event, they made no attempt to let anyone no of it. The Press & Sun barely had a sentence about the event (though they had received several faxes about the event) and failed to provide any coverage [as far as is known at this moment].
M V Consulting, will be providing full coverage of the event. We will be breaking the video of the event into individual videos of each candidate (ie. Art Garrison questions and answers will be a seperate video, as will be the questions and answers of Assemblywoman Lupardo). To our knowledge, we are the only news source with this coverage at all.
This lack of coverage may well be why one Library worker remarked that they were “amazed by the number of anti-Government organizations using the library to gather”. When told that the AFRTCNY was a pro-America get out the vote organization the same worker remarked only “really”. Had that same worker bothered to attend the view would have changed dramatically from the major media promoted general disdain attributed to any organization outside the Democrat and Republican Parties.
The speakers included: Art Garrison, Assemblywoman Lupardo, Sheriff Harder, Gary O’Neill, Tim Roberts, John Orzel, Dan Lamb – representing Rep. Maurice Hinchey, and Jazz Shaw – representing George Phillips.
All the speakers were well informed, with strong views, and prepared for the questions they were asked. The rules of the event prevented any candidate from attacking their opponents, which was abided, thus only the issues were on the table. The questions were supplied from the audience, written after all the candidates and incumbents introduced themselves.
Though the issues discussed were not always the most popular, the candidates and incumbents strove to provide clear answers and the audience was respectful with polite applause after each speaker. With a heated election approaching, the respectful and cordial response to even the most unpopular issue was a testament to the serious nature of the event.
At the end of the night everyone was a winner. Regardless of the political stance that any individual might have held, they walked away more informed about the candidates and incumbents as well as the issues they care most about. The candidates and incumbents got to hear the concerns of the people directly, to be aware of what is expected if they are (re)elected in November.
As for M V Consulting, Inc., we were able to speak with Gary O’Neill and Assemblywoman Lupardo. We again requested interviews with both individuals, and are awaiting a response at the proposition is reconsidered. We also spoke with the representative for Rep. Maurice Hinchey, and asked him to pass on our continued request of an interview.
We believe that we will have interviews with these candidates/incumbent to provide to you in the near term.
Video of the event will be available shortly.