Martha Robertson is the Democratic candidate in my home district NY-23, which includes Ithaca. This is not the liberal district it was prior to the 2010 redistricting, when the prior snake-shaped district was designed to keep Maurice Hinchey in office. The district leans Republican by several percentage points now, and includes a huge rural land area heading west in the Southern Tier.

Robertson has a very tough, but not impossible, road to a win against Republican Tom Reed.  Both parties have made the district a priority, and Reed leads in fundraising.

An analysis by Stuart Rothenberg highlighted that Robertson may be too liberal for the district:

As my colleagues and I started to go over Robertson’s bio in the meeting, we noticed a gap right after college, so we asked about it. She responded that she went to California, “just like everyone else did.” It was an instructive comment.

We discussed her background, accomplishments and issues. When I asked the county legislator about fracking and energy (given the district’s proximity to Pennsylvania, where an energy boom is under way), she looked at me and said natural gas was “not her favorite fuel.”

The smile on her face suggested that she understood how odd that sounded. Though I had not been aware that people had favorite fuels, I asked what her favorite fuel was. “Conservation,” she replied, quickly adding “renewable energy,” as well.

I hadn’t realized it at the time, but Robertson, who admitted to me that she has voted to raise taxes every year she has been in the county legislature, has been a leader in the fight against fossil fuels.

That too liberal posture is evidenced by Robertson’s pro-single payer past, which also is a problem.

There’s another issue, though, that Robertson has been dodging, her fundraising solicitation that “GOP Ops” were caught trying to take down her website during a key fundraising period.

Robertson never came forward with proof, and brushed off inquiries from the local and national media by claiming that she was hiring a forensic firm to investigate.

Since that late October promise, I have emailed her campaign twice seeking an update on the forensic investigation, but have been met with silence.

Was a forensic firm hired by the Robertson campaign? And if so, what were the findings? 

Those questions should be pretty easy to answer.

Robertson doesn’t owe me answers, but she does owe the voters answers as to whether her campaign was truthful when it solicited donations based on the representation that GOP operatives were caught trying to take down her website.


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