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Ken Tingley is Editor of The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y. and writes a regular blog called "The Front Page."

Rep. Elise Stefanik regularly portrays herself as being totally transparent when it comes to conducting the people’s business.

But when Post-Star reporter Kathleen Phalen-Tomaselli asked her office a series of questions last week, she didn’t get much transparency. One of her representatives said she had already answered the questions being asked numerous times. The other said we were “peddling ridiculous Democratic operative accusations” and didn’t answer the questions either.

What were the questions our reporter was asking that put Stefanik’s people in such a tizzy:

  • Has she scheduled any in-person town halls?
  • What is the status of a town hall she promised to a constituent at a “Coffee with A Congresswoman” in the spring of 2017?
  • What is her campaign funding to date?
  • The dates, locations and numbers attending the 700 community events she says she has held?
  • What are her own answers to questions her campaign recently asked of Democratic challengers?
  • And why do her staffers not have information about her views and how she intends to vote?

Phalen-Tomaselli is working on a Sunday story about Rep. Stefanik’s availability to her constituents, which has been a source of criticism for some time. The questions seem credible to me and I’m surprised her office did not answer.

What was even more disturbing was how Communications Director Tom Flanagan responded to Phalen-Tomaselli:

"Shame on the Post Star for peddling ridiculous Democratic operative accusations — which are blatantly untrue. Our office takes pride in our strong record of casework, constituent correspondence, and constituent outreach."

I just want to let Rep. Stefanik know that there is no shame here at The Post-Star for asking a sitting congresswoman valid questions about criticism she is receiving from constituents. The inference that the newspaper is politically motivated is also insulting. If there is shame, it should be from the congresswoman for still maintaining she is “transparent” when she won’t answer simple questions from a reporter.


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