U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik on Thursday agreed to take The Post-Star’s no-lies pledge.
Stefanik had not reached out to the paper after the newspaper’s editorial board published an editorial on July 1 asking Stefanik, R-Willsboro, and her Democratic opponent, Tedra Cobb of Canton, not to lie when talking to the media or voters, airing television advertisements or when posting to their Facebook pages.
Cobb had submitted a letter to the editor on July 5 and confirmed her support for the pledge in a follow-up telephone interview on July 6.
Stefanik had not formally responded. When asked about the pledge on July 6, campaign spokesman Lenny Alcivar did not make the congresswoman available or provide a direct statement from her. The Post-Star has a new policy stating it will only accept comments from the candidates directly or press releases containing their exact words.
After other news organizations picked up the story about the pledge and asked about it, Stefanik on Thursday afternoon sent out a tweet confirming she supports it.
“And again re: the pledge to #NY21 — the answer as originally provided by my campaign — and here again from me is: Of course. I have earned the support at the ballot box twice and will continue to work hard to deliver results for #NY21”
This is very similar to a statement that Alcivar provided to The Post-Star last week, saying: “Of course, Congresswoman Stefanik has overwhelmingly earned the trust of her constituents who re-elected her with a record margin. Congresswoman Stefanik is proud of her record of real results for her district.”
Stefanik’s tweet was part of a series she made on her personal Twitter account Thursday in response to the release of a video in which Cobb was recorded secretly in May at a Teens for Tedra event at a house. Cobb was relating a question she received at a luncheon about whether she supports an assault weapons ban. On the video, she said she told the person that she was in favor of a ban, but could not say that and get elected.
National Republican officials have seized on the video to attack Cobb. Stefanik herself followed suit in a series of tweets, saying “This election is a clear choice. My opponent says one thing in private, & another in public. Just days after pledging to be honest with voters, my opponent was caught on camera saying that she must lie to voters in order to get elected,” she tweeted.
“For example, I support the 2nd Amendment. It is clear that my opponent does not. #NY21. From Day 1, I have proudly served our district with a commitment to transparency & openness. Whether you agree or disagree on policy issues, you know where I stand and I share how I vote.”
Stefanik goes on to say: “Working to earn the support for Congress at the ballot box means that the most important pledge of honesty and integrity is to the people — not the papers. And the people is to whom I pledge honesty and integrity representing #NY21.”
Cobb issued a statement Wednesday to The Watertown Daily Times saying that in the video she was speaking with students who had a very real fear of gun violence. She said she was talking to them about truth and the inability for the political system to talk about issues and solutions without politics getting in the way.