NY-23, my home district, is a focus for both parties for 2014 because it is one of only a few competitive districts.

The district is geographically enormous, a mostly rural area running along the Southern Tier of upstate New York. Once you leave Ithaca, it’s a whole other country.

Which is why incumbent Republican Tom Reed should be okay by a few percentage points.

2nd Amendment rights, and opposition to the NY SAFE Act, are big issues.

Tompkins County, which includes Ithaca, is the exception. Tompkins County is one of only two upstate counties which has not passed a Resolution opposing the SAFE Act.

County Opposition to SAFE Act ao January 2014

Guess who was the Democratic Chair of the Tompkins County legislature: Martha Robertson, the Emily’s List-backed challenger to Reed.

The SAFE Act is in play in the race because of Robertson’s confusing voting record, where she appears to have both voted for and against the SAFE Act.

WETM 18 reports:

Local lawmakers are calling on congressional candidate Martha Robertson to state her position on the New York SAFE Act and 2nd Amendment rights.

Of the 11 counties in the 23rd Congressional District, 10 of them have passed resolutions calling for the repeal of the SAFE Act. Tompkins County, where Robertson serves on the legislature and was Chair of the Legislature until the beginning of this year, has not.

Robertson voted against a resolution in support of the SAFE Act in April of 2013, but some local Republicans say that isn’t good enough. An open letter has been circulating around Republican committees throughout the 23rd Congressional District calling on Robertson to explain her position on the SAFE Act and 2nd Amendment rights.

“It’s very important for sports enthusiasts, gun owners, and defenders of the 2nd Amendment to know where their candidates stand on the issues and we’re asking Martha Robertson to take a stand on the issue and oppose the SAFE Act,” said Rodney Strange, a Republican legislator in the Chemung County Legislature.

“She’s still not making a full statement stating that this is not legal, it’s not good legislation, and I’m fully against it,” said Edward Fairbrother, Town Supervisor in Big Flats.

WETM-TV reached out to Martha Robertson’s campaign Wednesday, and they responded, releasing a statement that said, “ …. Martha opposes the SAFE ACT and voted against it – period.”

Again, Robertson voted against a resolution in support of the SAFE Act in April of 2013. But according to the Tompkins County Meeting Minutes, Robertson voted against an amendment that opposed the SAFE Act.

The minutes also show that Robertson “yes” on a motion to refer the resolution in support of the SAFE Act to committee, but then voted against it on final vote….

My own inquiry to the campaign on Robertson’s SAFE Act position has not been returned.

That’s becoming an unfortunate pattern.

I also inquired for the 3rd or 4th time about whether Robertson had hired a forensic computer expert to back up her claim that GOP operatives tried to take down her fundraising website, something she promised to do. But still no response.

Update: Although this report focuses on upstate areas outside the district, it is a good indication how deep the opposition runs upstate. That even an Ithaca-area liberal like Robertson now is running away from the SAFE Act tell you everything:

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