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June 18, 2018 - 12:26pm

McMurray says Collins is silent on immigration

posted by Howard B. Owens in Nate McMurray, chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

With outrage continuing to grow across the country regarding the treatment of children at the border, it is troubling that Representative Chris Collins remains silent. His opponent for the November 6th election, Nate McMurray, has been outspoken on this issue, demanding a response from Representative Collins for weeks.

McMurray states “On this, and so many issues, Christopher is silent and out of sight. To not have an opinion on a matter of such national debate, when even the First Lady has spoken, is negligent.”

McMurray continued, “This is also a local issue. Whether we care to admit it or not, local farms have used foreign works for years. Christopher has been in office during a period of population collapse in NY27. To help out local agricultural businesses he should have been in the forefront of immigration reform, not waiting for someone else to lead. Instead, he’s done what he always does -- blame the other side and scapegoat the weakest among us.”

McMurray pledges to protect our borders as a U.S. Representative but says he will do it with dignity and goodness.

“I’ll do it in a way that makes us safe, but keeps us proud.”

NOTE: Yesterday, The Batavian published Collins visits Stein Farms to talk about what he's doing for the dairy industry, which discusses, among other things, the congressman's efforts to support immigration reform.

Local dairy farmer Dale Stein said, "What he has done has forced votes on immigration. He's working with other Republicans and working bipartisan with Democrats. Now he's forced votes on immigration so that we can maybe get immigration settled and fix for farmers and everybody else. It's been left in limbo for too long. Congressman Collins, working with others, including the Democrats, is pushing to get this settled. I support him 100 percent on that."

C. M. Barons
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I don't know if the editorial note at the end pertaining to The Batavian's coverage of the Collins visit to Stein Farms was intended as refutation of McMurray's assertion of secrecy or a pat on the back for The Batavian's rare access to Collins. One of the primary criticisms of Collins remains that he limits his contact with his constituents to press releases, photo-ops, partisan-friendly events and fundraisers. There is ample evidence that he does not make himself available to those who might not agree with him and he has no intention of conducting town halls (which predecessors such as Tom Reynolds did extensively; Bill Paxon was likely too busy with the Gingrich Affair and Chris Lee had other "affairs" to engage in). He is also on-record declining to debate McMurray. It would be interesting to know whether your post script was intended as argumentative or congratulatory of your access. In the latter case one would suppose a link to your prior story would have sufficed. I should note that I am pleased with your coverage of Collins. Despite allowing him to hit all of his talking points unfettered, you (Howard) always manage to insert a couple head-turners and keep it real (as they say). FoxNews should take a lesson from The Batavian.

Billie Owens
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C.M.: The postscript on the McMurray press release was not intended to be argumentative and certainly not "congratulatory" of our access.

It simply and starkly refutes McMurray's assertion that Collins has been silent on immigration. That's not how local farmers, who have a lot at stake regarding immigrant labor, view Collins' efforts.

We did provide the link to the Collins' story, but also included the direct quote from Dale Stein in case people wanted the gist of this point rather than reading the whole story.

Nothing more and nothing less.

Trying to keep politicians honest is part of the duty of a free press.

Tim Miller
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Billie and Howard, you are to be commended for being fine examples of what journalists are supposed to be...

Here you are, in a small city, running effectively a mom&pop news website, yet managing to do things the way they are supposed to be done. Yep - you published McMurray's press release, then having related (and refuting) information available you published it such that the reader can find it easily and be fully informed.

Two thumbs up.

Howard B. Owens
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Thanks, Tim.

Chris, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I want to note that I see progressives and other anti-trumpers harping all the time about the failure of the press to report every utterance of the president with little or no fact checking. The complaint is Trump gets unfettered access through major media outlets to push propaganda.

I’m not saying I will fact check every press release or every utterance of every politician but I’ve been trying to do it more. I’m certainly going to do it more often when I know counterfactual information or know where to find it easily.

Yesterday I published a story in which I heavily fact checked Collins. It would be unfair then not to also fact check McMurray when he makes a statement that contradicts my prior reporting. Generally I publish press releases with no fact-checking. Here, I thought it only fair given my prior reporting that I provide the additional information.

Emma Morrill
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"That's not how local farmers, who have a lot at stake regarding immigrant labor, view Collins' efforts."

So... you're saying that ALL local farmers agree with "Local dairy farmer, Dale Stein," and that they ALL support Collins? Come on. Color me skeptical.

Billie Owens
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Emma, Dale Stein knows farmers and the issues. Of course, there may be farmers who disagree with Collins on immigrant issues. (CORRECTION: Stein was not NYS Farm Bureau president.)

This story does not address, for example, the controversial issue of "zero tolerance" and separating children from parents trying to enter illegally at the border.

But in terms of local farmers being able to operate with immigrant labor, which is the only aspect of the issue contained in this story, Collins appears to have solid support for his efforts and few, if any, detractors.

Ed Hartgrove
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No, Emma. thebatavian didn't say "ALL local farmers agree with "Local dairy farmer, Dale Stein," and that they ALL support Collins".

YOU inserted the word "ALL".

Howard B. Owens
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Let's recap: McMurray said, among other things, "To help out local agricultural businesses he should have been in the forefront of immigration reform, not waiting for someone else to lead."

An ironic statement given that the day before, we published a story where Collins was given credit for taking the lead in immigration reform. I'm guessing McMurray didn't bother to read that story before putting out his press release. I thought it appropriate to fact check him on that point, that's all.

I don't see why that is controversial. Democrats, Progressives, anti-trumpers, never-trumpers, all want Trump and his cohort fact checked but woe to the journalists who fact checks a Democrat or Progressive. What is good for the goose is not good for the gander, I guess.

BTW: Regarding the assertion that Collins hasn't taken a leadership role on immigration:

He has supported DACA or its reform:

http://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/dreamers-could-stay-under-bill...

During the 2016 election, he promised farmers he would work to ensure they had the workers they need despite Trump's rhetoric.

http://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/collins-and-staff-brief-local-...

In 2013, he opposed a path to citizenship but supported a program that would provide immigrant labor to farmers.

http://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/collins-believes-something-shoul...

For the whole time I've been covering Collins, he's been pretty outspoken on the issue of immigration and has favored immigrant labor for farmers, so I don't know where McMurray is getting his facts from but they don't match the reality I've observed.

C. M. Barons
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Indeed Mr. Collins has voted often on immigration related bills. He's never voted on a bill to improve the H-2A program, because the two bills he cosponsored are languishing in committee with no mirror bill in the Senate. He cosponsored a bill in 2015 which authorizes an internet site to facilitate H-2A petitioners, hasn't moved since it was inked. His 2017 bill to expand the H-2A program is also collecting dust. One bill he cosponsored specifically exempts agricultural workers. The legislation he has voted for is 180 degrees out of synch with the plight of local farmers. Collins Voted For:
*H.R. 2029 2016 increased funds for Homeland Security and hired 1,000 more ICE agents
*Omnibus Spending bill of 2018 added more ICE agents and detention beds
*Brooks amendment 2015 banned undocumented immigrants from service in military
*HR 240 2015 Rescinded significant number of Obama’s Executive Orders, amnesty for undocumented immigrants
*Aderholt Amendment 2015 Rescinded more of Obama Exec Orders
*Blackburn amendment 2015 Freezes DACA
*Cosponsor of HR 3857 2014 Enforce “Take Care Clause”
*Voted in favor of King Amendment 2014 defends Obama amnesty programs, opens deportation of “dreamers”
*Cosponsored HR 3548 2017 funds structural development of border and additional hiring of border agents
*Cosponsored HR 2004 2017 enhances ability of temporary non-agricultural labor to obtain work visas; remains in subcommittee
*Cosponsored HR 281 2017 expand H-2A agricultural program; remains in committee
*Cosponsored HR 6468 2015 revokes fed funding from any entity that receives fed funding and interferes with immigration enforcement
*Cosponsored HR 1805 2015 Directs Dept of Ag to establish internet-based petition site for H-2A applicants; in subcommittee.
*Cosponsored HR 1401 2015 AKA JOLT Act, amend immigration law to promote international tourism.
*Cosponsor HR 158 2015 tighten up Visa requirements for Syrians.
*Cosponsor HR 3386 2013 tighten up identification requirements for non-resident adoptions
*Cosponsor HR 1354 2013 More JOLT Act- authorizes the Dept of State to streamline the visa process for foreign tourists.

Howard B. Owens
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BTW: I didn't fact check this but now I guess I will. McMurray said, "Christopher has been in office during a period of population collapse in NY27."

I'd challenge him to provide data.

The population of Genesee County is essentially unchanged since 1970. https://goo.gl/P2P5qu

The same with Wyoming County https://goo.gl/A5omcR

Orleans County has actually grown a bit: https://goo.gl/r7X7FF and so has Livingston County https://goo.gl/TYhgxQ. Ontario County has grown significantly. https://goo.gl/kfskbc

Only Erie County, which is only a part of NY-27 and is given far too much attention by Collins and McMurray, has declined, https://goo.gl/ZWJri4, but that's mostly Buffalo, not the suburban and rural parts of the county.

So another fact check challenge for McMurray: Where's the population "collapse"?

Kyle Slocum
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C.M.

You say "One of the primary criticisms of Collins remains that he limits his contact with his constituents to press releases, photo-ops, partisan-friendly events and fundraisers."

Those of us that have been paying attention are all too aware of what leftist "progressives" have taken to doing at town halls and other traditional voter engagements.

If you were honest about it you would say "Congressman Collins has declined to provide monetarily compensated leftist demonstrators with venues to scream at the sky, lie about him, shout down their opposition, gain fawning national press coverage and generally be the annoying and fascistic nitwits that they are."

You do know that we have the internet out here, right? We actually know what the "progressives" do to shut down anyone who doesn't agree with them. We have actually seen the videos of the "demonstrations". It isn't a secret hidden by the "progressive" national media anymore. We know what gems like "mostly peaceful demonstrations" and "community leaders" actually mean.

Tim Miller
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McMurray screwed up, and needs to come clean on his "misstatement" (cough cough).

As to representatives failing to meet with constituents because of their fear of protest... those chickens**ts.

And Kyle - check out protests from Tea Party (and teabaggers) during President Obama's time in office when he appeared in public. Don't you dare declare ugly organized protests are a "progressive" tactic. Last I saw those darn liberals weren't bringing guns to their protests...

Kyle Slocum
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Tim,

There is a world of difference between TEA Party and "Progressive" protest tactics. "Progressives" have a protest industry that trains and organizes protesters, as well as funds their operations and transportation. That is not a thing normal people have.

Rich Richmond
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Tim is correct. People brought their firearms and peacefully demonstrated. The progressives brought their gasmasks, helmets, black hoods,.pipes.chains. bats, clubs assault assault matches- cigarette lighters, spears.shields. gasoline and their black clothing; Bricks. Glass bottle for said gasoline etc....

Howard B. Owens
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Rich, where and when has a congressional rep held a town hall or political debate and “progressives” have done anything like that?

Rich Richmond
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Howard,

I was referring to Tim's reference to Tea Party demonstrations as opposed to progressive ones and not specifically Chris Collins. Tim brought up Obama and demonstrations out of the subject.

John Roach
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Tim, nobody at a Tea Party demonstration damaged property or hurt another person. Your so called Progressives had damaged property and hurt people

Tim Miller
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"Tim brought up Obama and demonstrations out of the subject"???

Hmmmm - seems to me that if you are going to whine about protesters being "violent", you should be honest enough to recognize BRINGING DAMN RIFLES TO WHERE A PRESIDENT OR PRESIDENT-ELECT IS SPEAKING.

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Rich Richmond
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Tim, stop becoming overly excited, and getting yourself into a lather or you may have an embarrassing accident. Take a deep breath and calm down. Just listen to you rant and rave after I agreed with you. Did you read my Post?

I admitted they brought firearms (rifles); so what? It called the Second Amendment, contained in The Bill of Rights.

They stood there holding rifles. Can you prove they were loaded? Most likely not.

They have permits to demonstrate. They were cleared by the local law enforcement. Local Law Enforcement had no problem with them. They did not burn, loot, or assault people.

There was no violence or property damage.

C. M. Barons
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John Roach
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Tim, were thee any threats at that demonstration by the Tea Party? Was anybody at all hurt by a Tea Party member? Was there any property damage? Answer-NO. But when you look at what the other side has done, many people hurt and a lot of property damage.

Ed Hartgrove
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C.M. I was trying to figure out which side of the "fence" you were on, when you posted the link http://ftrradio.com/2012/12/reporter-injured-as-tea-party-rally-turns-vi...
I followed the link you provided. I remember watching the video of that confrontation. Yes, it was disgusting - and, in my opinion, should have been (and, hopefully was) dealt with through by charges being filed.

I did have to laugh, though, when I read about the Steven Crowder interview on the "The Ed Show", hosted by ED SCHULTZ.

Here's how (according to the article) the "interview?" went:

ED SCHULTZ asked Steven Crowder a rather lengthy question.

Crowder responded: "It was an ugly situat…"

ED SCHULTZ interrupted Mr. Crowder's answer, and, asked another lengthy question.

Crowder responded: "I don’t know why…"

Again, ED SCHULTZ interrupted Mr. Crowder's answer, and, asked another lengthy question.

Crowder responded: "I think…"

Again, and finally, ED SCHULTZ interrupted Mr. Crowder's answer, and said, "Steven Crowder, MSNBC contributor, thank you for your time."

To which Steven Crowder responded, "Thanks???".

There's a perfect example of main stream media's tactics.

I hope you do realize, C.M., that Mr. Crowder was attacked that day by members of the left-wing party (and, not by the "Tea Baggers").

C. M. Barons
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I'm not on either "side of the fence." I was responding to Mr. Roach's claim that "nobody at a Tea Party demonstration damaged property or hurt another person." If Crowder was attacked I wasn't aware of it. The portion of the video I saw pertained to a Move On organization information tent being ripped to shreds, pieces of the fabric distributed as souvenirs and its occupants being harassed and pushed around. The NPR story referenced similar behavior. Perhaps I should have watched the entire video; perhaps I copy/pasted an incorrect link. Any event with crowds of passionate people of conflicting persuasions can become violent. Making an absolute statement about human behavior is risky. I have a question for you. What is the left-wing party? I'm familiar with many political parties; not that one.

Tim Miller
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John - follow the link CM posted.

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