To the editor:
Representative Claudia Tenney (NY 22), our new Republican congresswoman, seems reluctant to hear from her constituents directly. Since her installation in January, she has avoided pre-announced public appearances in the district, taken congressional junkets to avoid visiting her district and refused to schedule live “town hall” style meetings. She has held at least one hastily arranged teleconference in which all lines but hers were muted and she took only questions pre-screened by her staffers.
As recent as Friday, May 5, her office was unable to confirm if she would be holding any meetings in the district during the current 10-day recess, claiming they “do not yet know her schedule.” For a long recess, a freshman congresswoman, four and a half months into an eventful first term, has not prescheduled anything in her district? Incredible.
Given the tenor of the times, we can only assume Ms. Tenney’s reluctance to hear from her constituents is out of concern that many of them may disagree with the positions she has taken on certain significant issues. Yet, as a member of Congress, it is incumbent upon her to represent her constituents’ views rather than those of the Trump party. How can she do that without speaking directly with the people she claims to represent?
Is Ms. Tenney more worried with awkward moments that may come from listening to her constituents than she is concerned with actually doing the job of representing the 22nd? Seems so, but even worse for her, by not exposing herself to the significant blocks of voters who may disagree with her, she will harm her chances to win reelection. She seems unaware that her adherence to Trumpian positions may please her GOP overseers, but does not reflect the true values of Central New Yorkers.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.