We have highlighted the race between Republican Rep. Tom Reed and Democratic challenger Martha Robertson in NY-23 many times. In part because it’s my home district, but mostly because it is a swing district which leans Republican but includes liberal Tompkins County, making it competitive. It’s not hyperbole to say the upstate NY districts like NY-23 will be key to Republicans holding the House by a comfortable majority.

Robertson’s problems with an apparently false fundraising claim that “GOP Ops” tried to take down her website during a crucial fundraising period gained statewide and even national attention. Legal Insurrection broke that story.

Robertson said the campaign would hire a forensic investigative team, but the campaign has not responded to my email seeking an update as to whether a firm was hired and the status of the investigation of the alleged hacking.

Robertson also is receiving local media attention for her years-long support for single payer, another story Legal Insurrection broke:

I predicted that Robertson would have trouble with single payers support in the wake of the Obamacare debacle, and sure enough, she’s running away from her past support for single payer.

The Buffalo News reports on the controversy:

The Democratic candidate who’s challenging Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, favored a single-payer health care plan before Congress passed Obamacare, and Reed is making an issue of it.

Days after a YouTube site called “Legal Insurrection” aired a compilation of years-old videos in which Martha Robertson endorsed a health system run entirely by the federal government, Reed on Monday said that’s a stance that should worry voters.

“In my opinion, that’s government-controlled, government-run health care, and I think that’s the wrong policy for America,” Reed told reporters on his weekly conference call. “It’s problematic and it’s something the voters should be aware of. If you put her position on single payer health care out to the American people as well as the voters of the 23rd congressional district, it would be resoundingly rejected.”

The video shows Robertson saying that the American health care system “needs to be single payer.” She also portrayed Obamacare as a path to a government-run health plan, saying: “We’ll get to single payer soon.”

Asked about those comments on Monday, Robertson said she now favors “fixing the Affordable Care Act” rather than replacing it with a single-payer plan.

Actually, the footage was not old.  It was from 2009-2011.  Local news also reported:

On top of all this, Stuart Rothenberg had a pretty damaging assessment of Robertson’s prospects as a devoted progressive in a moderate district. I’ll have more on that in a later post. Spoiler: Her “favorite fuel” is “Conservation”.


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