Stefanik foe Paula Collins, 60, comes out swinging

By Mark Frost, Chronicle Editor

Paula Collins, the Democrat seeking to oust Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik was at the Lawrence Street Tavern Saturday for the Glens Falls Democratic Committee’s summer picnic.

The cannabis attorney spoke to The Chronicle in an exclusive interview that began with the question, “Why should people vote for you?”

“Because we’ve got to draw the line right through New York 21 that the ultra MAGA [Make America Great Again, Trump support] nonsense has to stop. We’ve got to reclaim our democratic values. We’ve got to stand up for the rule of law.”

Do you think you can win?

“I think I can win. Why? Because if I look at the numbers of registered independents, those people who are registered to vote, but they’re not registered as a Democrat or a Republican, there is a gold mine of opportunity there.

“There are some counties also within New York 21 which, by the way, Franklin County, has more registered Democrats than there are registered Republicans.

“Yet the problem has been getting to those individuals. Get knocking on the doors. My plan is to send six postcards to every registered voter between now and November, because in some cases, that’s more contact than they’ve had with a candidate in years.”

Is it a problem that you’ve never voted in the district?

“No, because I have voted in the district. I voted in the primary [April 2]. And let me point out that Elise Stefanik is not, if she qualifies in Schuylerville, she can’t vote in the district either. Elise cannot cast a vote for herself.”

Chronicle: I have to check on that, but you’ve just moved to the district. Is that a problem?

“That is not a problem, because I’ve been traveling and working in the district, and as I say, Elise Stefanik has been the representative since 2014 and has never owned property in her own name in the district, and she bought two very expensive townhomes in D.C. Not a single dime of Elise Stefanik property tax money comes back into New York 21, not on a regular basis.

Chronicle: You said MAGA people need to be re-educated?

“It’s interesting that they glommed on to that, because I was calling for civics education. And so the fact that it got spun there is kind of interesting. It was a very intimate, very small group on a virtual call, and what’s wrong with calling for civics education when the whole rule of law is in question, when Elise Stefanik, who applied for law school, but by the way did not get admitted, is trying to dictate what the judiciary can do.

“We have 12 jurors who have made this decision, not a judge, but 12 jurors. And I’m calling for civics education so that all of us can understand that.”

Chronicle: What don’t MAGA voters understand?

“MAGA voters don’t understand that when we have a court system…why do we even entertain the notion that a person who’s been not only indicted multiple times, but also has now been convicted is a worthwhile candidate. Also the whole principle of, for example, calling the District Attorney from New York County all the way down to Washington DC, to answer to Congress. That’s something for the Justice Department to handle, not for a congressional committee.”

Chronicle: Do you think Elise Stefanik should be disqualified from running for Congress?

“I do believe that her support of the January 6 insurrectionists makes it so that she should be disqualified because she is supporting an out and out attack upon our government, and is calling those people hostages, when really they were attacking our government.”

Chronicle: What do you think of President Biden?

“I am very proud of President Joe Biden, and of all of the achievements that he’s made. We’ve got robust jobs reports. He came into office in a very difficult time merely days after that January 6 insurrection, and during Covid, and he handled that. And you know, the jobs report, the climate change efforts that he’s done and his outreach to labor unions. I’m very proud to say that I’m supporting President Joe Biden.”

Stefanik aide: False Collins statements

Democratic congressional candidate Paula Collins made several statements of fact about Rep. Elise Stefanik that we offered the Stefanik campaign the opportunity to refute or contest.

Ms. Collins said, “let me point out that Elise Stefanik is not, if she qualifies in Schuylerville, she can’t vote in the district either. Elise cannot cast a vote for herself.”

“False,” responded Alex DeGrasse, Senior Advisor to Congresswoman Stefanik. “Once again showing Paula Collins’ total lack of understanding of Upstate NY and the district, the Town of Saratoga which says Schuylerville on the mailing address is in the district and has been for the entire term except for two years of redistricting. Elise has voted for herself and will vote for herself this November. Paula Collins has no ties to the district and is a New York City cannabis attorney and is renting a room at a bed and breakfast.”

Ms. Collins said, “Elise Stefanik has been the representative since 2014 and has never owned property in her own name in the district, and she bought two very expensive townhomes in D.C. Not a single dime of Elise Stefanik property tax money comes back into New York 21, not on a regular basis.”

“FALSE all around,” responds Mr. DeGrasse. “Elise Stefanik owns property and pays property taxes in the district. The Far Left New York City Democrat does not now nor has she ever lived, voted, or paid property taxes in district.”

Ms. Collins said, “I do believe that her support of the January 6 insurrectionists makes it so that she should be disqualified because she is supporting an out and out attack upon our government, and is calling those people hostages, when really they were attacking our government.”

Mr. DeGrasse responds, “Elise stood up for election integrity on January 6th. This Far Left Downstate Democrat, who has never lived in Upstate New York before, called for forced reeducation camps for Trump voters in our district and across America. When confronted about her own statement, she has doubled and tripled down on it. It’s disqualifying.

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