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Editor:

On Sept. 5, your paper reported that an individual by the name of Jeffrey Halpern, among others, was arrested for trespassing at the Glens Falls office of Congresswoman Elise Stefanik for refusing to leave the office after being asked to do so. Apparently, this Halpern fellow demanded to speak with the congresswoman either by phone or Skype and refused to leave after being told that the congresswoman was not there. In all likelihood, this individual wanted to get arrested and got what he was looking for.

Two days later, your paper wrote a scathing editorial lambasting the congresswoman for not demanding that the charges be dropped, even criticizing the congresswoman for taking a trip to Israel and sarcastically noting that the trip would be of little help to Washington County dairy farmers. (Curiously, your paper has been silent as to the recent activities of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who was touring whiskey bars and county fairs in Iowa and New Hampshire in her failed campaign for president, which resulted in poll numbers at 0 percent. Likewise, your paper was silent about Gillibrand breaking her pledge not to run for president during her recent Senate campaign.)

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The most disgusting aspect of the phony outrage of this editorial was that this was not the first time that this Halpern fellow had been arrested for inappropriate behavior at congressional offices. On March 15, 2007, your paper reported that Jeffery Halpern was arrested after refusing to leave Sen. Hillary Clinton’s regional office. Your paper’s article specifically stated that the “senator would not be issuing a statement about the incident.” In the Hillary Clinton incident, there was no scathing editorial. Just another example of the differing standards of your paper for Elise Stefanik, who, to her credit, did not rush to this troublemaker’s defense.

Robert Winn, Granville

Editor’s Note: The focus of the editorial was that Rep. Stefanik could have avoided the entire incident if she had agreed to talk to the people instead of having them arrested. Rep. Stefanik’s lack of town hall meetings and interactions with voters is a continuing concern of the editorial board. The incident in Hillary Clinton’s office happened in Albany 12 years ago and was not something the editorial board was aware of. Only one of the six people currently on the editorial board was on the board 12 years ago.

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