The New York State SAFE Act passed the State Legislature in January, 2013. Within two months, New York State Counties were presented with copies of resolutions to repeal the SAFE Act. The one passed in Yates County came from Sen. Tom O’Mara’s office. These resolutions are not binding by any means. Many recognizes the resolutions as a political stunt, a news event that promotes anti-Cuomo (aka anti-Democrats) sentiment in a prominently republican area. Fifty-two of the 62 counties in the state as well as ten of the eleven counties in the NY 23rd passed an anti-SAFE Act resolution.
Tompkins County passed a resolution that supported the SAFE Act. The Legislature listened to more than 5 hours of public comments over two regular Tompkins County Legislature Meetings (March 19 and April 2), and two Public Safety Committee Meetings (March 11 and 27). The Legislators considered and debated many amendments, and amendments to amendments (one was to change the word “Urge” to “Demand”). The Public Safety Committee changed their original resolution to a “compromised resolution”. There was an amendment to “substitute anti-SAFE Act resolution” for the “compromised resolution”. After public comments and petitions, and considering different resolutions, the Legislature voted to approved of the resolution to “Support The Safe Act”. The vote was 10-5. Chair Martha Robertson was one of the 5 who opposed it.
I am not privy to the reasons she is against it, and I am not speaking for her. Maybe she was convinced by what she heard from the people she represents and put them before her ‘party’. Maybe she focused on the unfunded mandates the SAFE Act forced on her county. Maybe she questioned the reason of the seven round limit when there are no magazines that hold only seven rounds. The fact is she voted NO on the final resolution to SUPPORT THE SAFE ACT.
Tom Reed’s campaign must be petrified of the fact that a democrat, his opponent, voted not to support the Safe Act. He has spent two campaigns and three years trying to convince his base that he will protect them from the Second Amendment hating Democrats who want to take away their hunting traditions, take away their means to protect their families, and turn law abiding citizens into criminals. Feeling that the best defense is a good offense, his campaign is in full attack mode by publicly ignoring Martha Robertson’s vote and misleading the NY 23rd community on her anti-SAFE Act stance.
In a video created to remind his base about the anniversary of the SAFE Act, Rep Reed said:
“In Congress I will fight every effort made to oppose anti- second amendment legislation. My opponent, on the other hand, will be marching hand and hand with the extreme anti gun crowd. As Chair of the County Legislature she failed to stand up for our second amendment right and oppose the Safe Act.”
Recently an “Open Letter” to Martha Robertson has surfaced. It was sent to Channel 18–WETM-TV in Elmira. There was also a copy sent to the (Dunkirk) Observer. I can assume other news sources have, or will, receive a copy.
An open letter to Martha Robertson:
As residents, voters and gun owners of the 23rd Congressional District, we feel strongly about the time-honored tradition of hunting, sportsmanship and the right to keep and bear arms.
Each time we exercise our Second Amendment rights we do so under the protection of the United States Constitution. Our Constitution secures and defends our rights as law abiding citizens.
Unfortunately, one year ago New York State imposed the unconstitutional SAFE Act, which attacks our Second Amendment freedoms.
To date, 52 counties in upstate New York have called for its repeal. In fact, every county in the 23rd Congressional District has called for repeal except one. The lone holdout of all 11 counties in the 23rd Congressional District continues to be the Tompkins County Legislature, led by former Chairwoman and Congressional candidate Martha Robertson.
It takes a true patriot to defend freedoms like our Second Amendment rights. If candidate Martha Robertson believes she can properly represent the people of the 23rd Congressional District we challenge her to repudiate the New York SAFE Act. It’s time to show leadership in Tompkins County and join the other ten counties in the 23rd Congressional District in calling for repeal of the unconstitutional SAFE Act.
If you run in the 23rd district, you can’t run from our passion for the Second Amendment.
Residents of the 23rd District
The “Open Letter” was signed by 58 people. Speaking to one of the signers, I found out that it originated from the Reed for Congress campaign. They emailed the letter to their supporters (probably those considered to be ‘leaders’ since the signers from Yates County are the Chairs of the local SCOPE, Tea Party, and County Republican Committee) and asked them to reply if they agreed with the letter.
The WETM-TV had a news report about the “Open Letter”. In it was a sound bite from Edward Fairbrother, Town of Big Flats Supervisor. He said,
“She’s still not making a full statement stating that this (the SAFE ACT) is not legal, it’s not good legislation, and I’m fully against it.”
It also had a comment from Katherine Pubwill, spokesperson of the Reed’s Campaign Committee,
“The fact is Martha Robertson does not support the second amendment. That is why she voted for the Safe Act and why anti-gun extremists like Nancy Pelosi are funding Martha Robertson’s campaign.”
It is disappointing that Rep. Reed is taking the low road in this campaign. First the Reed Team refused to acknowledge that Martha Robertson voted not to support the SAFE Act. The campaign-written ‘Open Letter’ insinuated that since the Tompkins County Legislature supported it, she did, too. (And that she, as Chair, dictates how the legislators vote.) How can anyone believe Reed’s campaign spokesperson, Ms. Pudwell, after she said that “she (Robertson) voted for the SAFE Act”?
They are equating “supporting the SAFE Act” with “being against the Second Amendment.” On December 31, 2013, a New York State Federal Court ruled that most of the SAFE Act did meet the Second Amendment standards. Both the Big Flats Supervisor and Rep. Reed must be in denial of the Court’s decision. The Supervisor wants candidate Robertson to say “it is not legal” and Reed continues to proclaim that the SAFE Act is unconstitutional.
They are linking Martha Robertson with the “extremists anti gun crowd”. That argument fails since she does NOT support the SAFE Act. Reed’s campaign declares the “anti-gun extremists are funding Martha Robertson’s campaign”. Compare the Robertson’s anti-gun funding to the gun lobby funding of Reed’s campaign.
Rep. Reed thought he had a monopoly on the district’s gun owners vote. He now realizes he doesn’t. Reed has been busy visiting his once secure base groups to remind them that he is fighting for their righs. According to a Lansing Star Online article, last Saturday (February 1), Reed visited the Danby Pirates Club to “swap stories”. He also talked about continuing the hunting tradition of taking his dogs and son hunting. “It’s something that’s a way of life for us.”
Rep. Reed knows that politics is the art of getting into power, and remaining in power. He truly believes that the ends justify the means. Our district needs more honest dialogue, not dishonest campaign rhetoric.