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NY Congressional Candidate Launches Site Against Opponent

Courtesy of Sean Eldridge for Congress

A Congressional candidate in New York has launched a website targeted at his opponent, alleging consistent double talk. The incumbent Republican is hitting back. 

Well-heeled Democrat Sean Eldridge explains why he launched TheRealChrisGibson.com.

“So, we launched TheRealChrisGibson because we think there is a real disconnect between what Congressman Gibson is saying to voters and how he is voting in Washington,” says Eldridge. “And so on this web site we wanted to lay out the facts and show Chris Gibson saying one thing to voters and then voting the other way in Washington.”

Here’s incumbent Republican from Columbia County Chris Gibson.

“And I have to tell you, even as I’m out in the villages, hamlets, and towns, I’m already hearing feedback, including from Democrats,  that they’re not happy about this web site that he’s put up because he’s making these allegations he can’t back up,” says Gibson.

Congressman Chris Gibson

And he says independent publications have ranked his voting record as in the center. Gibson, who represents the 19th district, says such rankings include from The Washington Post, which named him the second-most independent Republican in the House.

“So, that’s not me saying that. Those are independent sources saying that,” says Gibson. “So when my opponent calls me extreme, he’s saying more about himself than he is about me. If these independent sources have me at the center of the House, and he’s calling me extreme, he’s placing himself on the far, far left.”

Again, here’s Eldridge, whose wealth stems from Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, his husband.

“And we created this web site so that people can see for themselves those comments from Congressman Gibson and then the votes that he’s actually taken,” Eldridge says. “So people don’t have to take my word for it. They can look at the site themselves, hear Congressman Gibson’s description of his position, and then see him voting exactly the opposite way.”

Eldridge, who now resides in Ulster County and is founder of Kingston-based Hudson River Ventures, a small business investment fund focused on the Hudson Valley, starts naming examples of Gibson’s alleged doublespeak.

“On something like women’s health, he has said that women’s reproductive choices are a private choice between herself and her doctor,” says Eldridge. “And then in Washington he has voted exactly the opposite way and voted to restrict reproductive freedom and defund Planned Parenthood.”

Gibson says his view represents the majority of his constituents.

“The majority of people believe it should be a private choice between and a woman and her doctor, but they also think that there should be some limits,” says Gibson. “Our constituents don’t believe in late-term abortion. And they also don’t think that federal taxypayer dollars should be paid for abortions, with the exceptions, in both incidences of late-term abortion and taxpayer dollars, with the exceptions of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.”

And then there’s climate change. Here’s Eldridge.

“On something like climate change, we’ve seen Chris Gibson say that climate change is real and that we need to be good stewards of our environment,” says Eldridge. “And then he has turned around and signed the Koch Brother climate pledge, which is a promise to take no action on climate change if it will hurt the bottom line of big oil companies.”

Here’s Gibson.

“Look, this is something we agree upon,” says Gibson. “My opponent says I oppose energy taxes, and he’s right.”

Gibson says he is a steward of the environment, but he and his constituents do not want to pay energy taxes to accomplish that.

“And you take a look at this web site, I’ll tell you, it’s not being, it’s not being favorably reviewed,” says Gibson. “And I’m talking about not just Republicans and Independents, but a good number of Democrats because they see a young man who with very little experience moves into the district, has absolutely no ties to the district, and he immediately starts tearing down a guy who grew up here, who served our country overseas, has come back and is doing his best in a very difficult time. In a time when many see our country as very polarized, I’m doing my best to bring people together.”

Eldridge, who hails from a middle-class family in a small town in Ohio, says TheRealChrisGibson site highlights other issues, such as fracking, the minimum wage, and closing corporate loopholes.

“So, on those issues and on so many others, we see Congressman Gibson saying one thing and then doing another thing in Washington,” Eldridge says. “And I think voters are really tired of this kind of doubletalk and doublespeak, and I think they want their elected officials to be straightforward with them about where they stand on the issues.”

The 19th congressional district stretches across 11 counties.

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