Candidate profiles for New York State Assembly District 109

Candidates for New York State’s Assembly and Senate were asked about relevant background, their reasons for running, and what they hope to achieve if elected. They were also asked to give their views on each of these issues:

Single-payer health insurance: This would be a system financed by taxes that covers the costs of essential health care for all New Yorkers with costs borne by taxpayers. Medicare is a federal single-payer health-care system but just for people over 65. Should New York adopt such a system? If so, why? If not, what system should the state use and why?

Codifying Roe v. Wade: Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed an amendment to the New York State Constitution that would codify the rights established by the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision — protecting the right of a woman to choose to terminate her pregnancy — regardless of what happens on the federal level. The New York Health Act would expand New York’s 1970 law, allowing a health-care provider to abort a fetus at any time if it were not viable or if its mother’s life or health were at risk. Do you support this initiative? Why or why not?

Fair taxes: Residents on the edges of Guilderland were hit with huge tax hikes last year becauses the town’s equalization rate had plummeted and they lived in other school districts. A stopgap measure was passed to readjust the rate more fairly for one year. Westerlo has not revalued properties townwide for decades and the state-set equalization rate for the town is less than 1 percent of full-market value, leaving newcomers with an unfair tax burden.

The state’s Office of Real Property Tax Service has to deal with 1,000 jurisdictions, each setting their own assessment standard and so relies on sampling and trends, which can often go awry. Also there is no enforcement mechanism to make towns like Westerlo with badly skewed assessment rolls comply.

Should New York follow the lead of most states and have a single assessment standard? Why or why not?

LLC loophole: Individuals are capped in making campaign contributions but they can form a Limited Liability Company to donate more. A decision by the United States Supreme Court, brought by Citizens United, allowed corporations to spend money on “electioneering communications” and to advocate for the election or defeat of candidates. Most of the hundreds of millions of dollars this ruling unleashed, largely from a small number of billionaires, have come through super PACs or political action committees. Should New York close the LLC loophole? Why or why not?

Legalizing cannabis: This is a two-part question: The first part concerns legalizing marijuana for recreational use for adults; the second part is about expanding rights to grow hemp. Both hemp and marijuana are cannabis but hemp has little THC — tetrahydrocannabinol, the mind-altering constituent of marijuana.

Medical marijuana became legal in New York in 2016. A report requested by the governor, released in July, concluded that benefits of a regulated marijuana market outweigh any drawbacks. Should New York legalize recreational marijuana for adults? Why or why not?

After the federal Agricultural Act of 2014 allowed colleges to grow and conduct research on hemp, New York State  passed a law to do likewise and has since expanded the program to include 115 licensed growers. Should New York allow farmers to grow hemp if the federal government removes non-psychoactive cannabis from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substance Act. Why or why not?

Opioid crisis: According to the state’s health department, the rate of all opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 population in New York State doubled between 2010 (5.4) and 2015 (10.8). New York has placed restrictions on opioid prescriptions and has set up educational programs for health-care providers on safe prescribing practices. The state is working to expand the availability of the overdose prevention drug naloxone, and buprenorphine, a kind of medication-assisted treatment. What more, if anything, should the state do?

Gun safety: The Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was hurriedly passed in 2013 after the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. The SAFE Act bans private citizens from owning assault weapons unless they were owned before the act. State law requires a permit for pistol ownership but does not require a license to own long guns. What changes, if any, should be made to New York’s gun laws?

 

 

 

 

Patricia A. Fahy

 

 

Patricia A. Fahy says one of the initiatives she’s most proud of backing this year is the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, known as LEAD.

“It allows police officers to divert [from arrest] three categories of people: the homeless, people with drug issues, and people with mental-health issues,” she said.

The program in Albany, she said, partners with Catholic Charities to have two or three social workers on call at all times. “In one years, over 100 individuals were diverted in Albany,” Fahy said. “My bill is to find more funding sources to help replicate it across the state.”

Fahy is also pleased that she helped reduce taxes for Guilderland residents who live on the outskirts of town, in other school districts; they saw huge tax hikes last year as the town’s equalization rate fell.

Fahy said homeowners in Weatherfield, Guilderland residents in the Voorheesville School District, had seen reductions of $1,200 and even $2,500 in their school taxes this year.

“We’ve changed the laws so that won’t happen again; town boards will be notified when there’s a big change,” she said.

Fahy has described herself as a first-generation American whose parents “came to this country for a better life,” where education was key. Fahy has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Before moving to Albany two decades ago, Fahy spent many years in Washington, D.C., working on Capitol Hill with labor committees and employment subcommittees, drafting legislation.

In New York State, she had worked as an associate commissioner at the labor department and for the state legislature. She also served on Albany’s school board; her children attended city schools.

Fahy has voted “yes” on the bills the Assembly passed for single-payer health insurance but says her support is not a matter of “a simple yes or no.”

“Yes, we need to look at a new system,” she said. “This year, we’ll drill down to make sure the costs are manageable. … Cost estimates are coming back extremely high. We have to make sure we’re finding savings for taxpayers and businesses.”

She went on, “Generally, I’m a ‘yes’ on the concept and principle … It would be easier if we had a national conversation. I want to really pin down costs.”

Fahy said of starting her Assembly tenure in 2013, “I came in just after the state was beginning to recover from the recession. I want to be fiscally responsible.”

On codifying Roe v. Wade, Fahy said, “Yes, I fully support it. Unfortunately, the issue has taken on a life of its own.”

Fahy said it’s important to take the matter of abortion “out of the criminal code and into the health code where it belongs.”

In 2017, Fahy voted ‘yes’ for the Reproductive Health Act that would have allowed a health-care provider to abort a fetus at any time if it were not viable or if its mother’s life or health were at risk. The measure passed in the Democrat-dominated Assembly but not in the Republican-controlled Senate.

On fair taxes, Fahy said, “It would help to begin to standardize assessment. Because of local resistance, we have not seen it. We’d have to move in a way that is respectful of localities that have tried to work in a fiscally responsible way.”

Commenting on the resistance to a single standard, Fahy said, “It’s just the politics of it.” In Bethlehem, she noted, there was “massive fallout” because of town-wide revaluation.

She of the effects on taxpayers, “No matter what you do, some will win and some will lose.”

Fahy concluded, “You need some state assistance or guidelines to step in.”

Fahy said she “absolutely” wants the state to close the LLC loophole. “It’s one of my top campaign-finance issues.”

She went on, “I’m hoping next year, if things do change with the Senate that it will be possible.” Fahy was alluding to the recent Democratic primary victories where several members of the Independent Democratic Caucus, who had voted with the Republicans, were ousted.

Fahy concluded of closing the LLC loophole, “It’s long overdue.”

On legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use, Fahy said, “I’m not a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ yet.”

She went on, “We need to do this in a sequenced approach.” Fahy said she fully supports decriminalization for possession of small amounts of marijuana. And she also fully supports expunging records of such arrests.

“Lives were dramatically changed by jail time,” she said. “It’s a racial justice issue and an economic justice issue. The poor have been unfairly harmed.”

But, she said, “Research is all over the map.” So, before Fahy commits to legalization, she says there are several serious concerns and questions that need to be answered.

One is driving while impaired. “There is no blood test like with alcohol,” Fahy said, adding that a high can last a long time.

Second, she said, she is concerned about youth access to marijuana if it’s legalized for adults. “Early studies are showing an increase of use by teenagers,” she said of states where marijuana is legal.

Third, Fahy is concerned about the “cash economy” it would create because the federal government hasn’t legalized marijuana, so all transactions are in cash. “They’ve seen spikes in crime, particularly in Colorado,” Fahy said.

Summarizing both her “yes” and “no” reasons, Fahy said, “I am open to it because of increased health benefits and because of problems with the underground market … At a time when we are not on top of the opioid crisis, it sends the wrong message.”

Fahy also said, “With Washington, California, and Colorado, the regulation is incredibly expensive. They still have a black market because of the costs. People portray it [legalization] as a tax revenue raiser but that is open to question.”

Through her last newsletter, Fahy conducted an informal survey of the citizens she represents. From 60 to 66 percent supported legalization of marijuana for recreational use, she said. “The district was generally supportive,” Fahy said. “There was a healthy spit … I’m not closing the door; that’s why we did the survey.”

Fahy believes legislators should take their time to get it right. “It’s like the Uber conversation,” Fahy said. “We spent three years on that rather than just rubber-stamping a template. We ended up with the best law in the country with protections for the drivers and the passengers. We need to do this right.”

On hemp, Fahy said, “I’m open. I don’t know enough.” She noted that hemp has “so many multiple uses.”

On the opioid crisis, Fahy said, “There’s always more to be done. We’re not on top of this yet. For those who want to go into rehab, we need to make it more easily accessible with insurance.”

She went on, “We’ve made great progress with education and awareness, slowing down prescriptions. While we’ve made good progress on the supply side, we still need more prevention. … People are still struggling for beds and treatment. People cycle in and out,” she said of rehab. “Long-term treatment is needed.”

Fahy says it’s not enough to do background checks on the people buying guns; the people selling guns also need to be checked.

In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting a year ago, Fahy proposed a bill that would make possession and sale of bump fire stocks a misdemeanor while the manufacturing or transport of them would be a felony. The gunstocks are designed to make bump firing easier, allowing semi-automatic firearms to mimic the firing speed of fully automatic weapons. That bill has not passed.

Fahy is also interested in the sort of database that California has, which tracks ammunition sales with the goal of keeping it out of the hands of felons.

Fahy notes, “I passed the parity bill for sports men and women to give them parity … I believe in legitimate rights of responsible gun owners.”

Fahy also said, “The research is profound here: States with the strongest gun control have the lowest crime rates and lowest gun-related fatalities.”

She concluded, “The more we do, the safer we are.”

 

 

 

 

Robert G. Porter

 

Robert G. Porter says that many Americans, if they vote at all, vote for “the lesser of two evils.” He wants to change that and so is running on the Republican line to represent the 109th Assembly District.

Porter, who is 52, grew up in Guilderland, attending Farnsworth Middle School and Guilderland High School.

He left high school in 1984 to join the United States Marines Corps, earning his GED along the way. He served in the Marines for 21 years, in law enforcement and as an investigator. He was stationed abroad in Korea; Okinawa, Japan; the Philippines; and did a tour in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, training Iraqi police.

Porter retired in 2007 and is active in several organizations for veterans and motorcycle rights. He escorts veterans to the airport for trips to Washington D.C. as one of the Patriot Guard Riders, and he places flags for Memorial Day and wreaths for Christmas at the Saratoga National Cemetery.

“Last year, for the first time, we had a wreath for each one of the 12,000 markers,” Porter said. “It was a sight to see.”

Porter is frustrated that sometimes voters have no choice at the polls, when a candidate is endorsed by multiple parties.

“Having been in the military,” he said, “that’s like countries where you’re told, this is your candidate. That’s not America.”

He believes, “First and foremost, Americans should vote.” Beyond that, he said, “They should vote for the best person for the job, regardless of party.”

Two years ago, Porter ran on the Republican line in Albany’s heavily Democratic 9th Ward. “I got 17 percent of the vote, which was more than the enrollment,” he said of Republicans in the 9th Ward.

Asked if it’s tough to take on a popular Democratic incumbent in a heavily Democratic district, Porter said, “Tough is being in Iraq where someone is trying to kill you.”

He believes that politicians “get elected over and over again” — even though, he says, “People are frustrated they’re taking our money and not doing what we want” — because no one is willing to oppose them.

Porter, who is divorced with no children, lives by himself in Albany near Albany Medical Center where he can walk to the Veterans Affairs Hospital for his health care. He said he has disabilities from his service and named arthritis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and tinnitus or ringing in his ears.

“Every Marine year is seven human years,” he said. “You carry 100 pounds of personal equipment and a 100-pounds pack on your back.”

Porter’s father, a doctor at Albany Med, died two years ago. His mother is also a doctor. She ran the infirmary at the University at Albany and she was a cellist for the Albany Symphony Orchestra. Now, at 87, she works half-days as a doctor at a retirement home in Guilderland and teaches cello to high school students.

Porter likened his military career to being a politician. “My job in the Marine Corps is defending the United States,” he said. “The people want us to defend against terrorist attacks ... I implement those tactics. In effect, I’ve been a politician for 21 years, following those orders …

“As a Marine, I followed what the voters wanted, whether Democrat or Republican … I did that honorably for 21 years. If elected, I’d do the same thing for the people of New York.”

Porter concluded, “I’m going to do what the people want me to do, as long as it’s legal … Politicians agree with who has the most money. I haven’t taken any campaign funding.” Porter said he’d be working solely for the people.

“I’m not going to go against the people to make money,” said Porter. “If I wanted to make money, I wouldn’t have joined the Marine Corps.”

Porter is against single-payer health insurance. “Anybody who wants single-payer health insurance, please take a visit to the VA … In Arizona, vets died waiting for health care.”

Porter went on, “When the government takes over, it doesn’t work. For example, we had a robust railroad and now we have Amtrak, going bankrupt … Private enterprise gives you the best care and services.”

On codifying Roe v. Wade, Porter said, “It’s detrimental to an embryo to have the mother drink alcohol or if a woman is addicted to narcotics.” He said these effects are highly publicized.

“We then turn around and say an embryo doesn’t have any rights when a woman wants to terminate it. We need to say when and where an infant’s rights end and a woman’s rights begin.”

Porter said that, after a traumatic injury, “The doctors tell us, when the patient is brain dead, we pull the plug.” He asked, “When does a person’s life begin and when does a person’s life end? We need to look at this a a whole picture.”

Asked if that should be decided by laws or through courts, Porter said, “Nobody’s been able to spontaneously create life outside of two human beings. It takes an egg and a sperm. But that life comes from somewhere else. If ‘no brain’ decides the end of life, let’s go to the beginning, see when the embryo has brain activity.”

Asked if New York State should have a single assessment standard, Porter said, “I own the house I live in. If I was to redo my roof, the city will reassess my property and raise the value … Why is that acceptable? Why am I burdened with higher taxes for maintaining my property when someone next door brings down property values by not maintaining it.”

Porter went on to liken this to the state charging more to register a car with new tires. “I should be rewarded for maintaining my property, not penalized,” said Porter.

He went on, “It sounds like Westerlo is not punishing people for keeping up their properties.”

Porter also said that he had bought property in Albany at an auction of foreclosed properties. “The land bank now wants full market value. It’s prohibitive,” Porter said.

“I was able to buy a parcel listed at $10,000 for $1,000. I looked at the land bank for a nearby property to combine them and develop them. I would lose money to spend the full $10,000.”

On the LLC loophole, Porter said, “A corporation is not a person no matter how you look at it … When corporations were allowed, then I was opposed to that.”

“That skews the whole one person, one vote. It should be stopped. The question is: What’s going to take its place?”

Porter concluded, “Politicians are bought and sold by these corporations. The underlying question is: How do we get this out of politics?”

Asked if he wants to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use, Porter asked, “Why was marijuana made illegal in the United States? A lot of people say it goes back to the movie “Reefer Madness,” which showed the American public how awful this substance was. No research was possible on its benefits. People say it should be used medically based on research out of the U.S.”

Porter also said, “People using it were immigrants. By making marijuana illegal, it made using it a crime, leading to immigrant arrests, so they could not vote or run for office.”

Porter said drug laws are enforced unfairly. He said that if he, as a middle-class caucasian was caught using a small amount of powdered cocaine “nothing much would happen.” But, he went on, “If I were a minority with rock cocaine, I’d be thrown in prison.”

Porter said, “It hasn’t been a war on drugs; it’s been a war on minorities, disenfranchising them. They can’t get a job; they can’t vote. This destroyed families and whole swaths of society.”

Porter concluded, “Marijuana shouldn’t be treated differently than cigarettes or alcohol … Tobacco is hundreds of times more destructive on the body. Marijuana shouldn’t be illegal.”

On growing hemp in New York State, Porter said, “The federal government, under Title 10, has a set of rules and regulations for the United States. If a state wants to allow a product within that state, the federal government has no say.

“If New York State decides to allow people to grow hemp used here, it’s all right. The problem is looking at the federal government as the authority on everything.”

Porter likened the current opioid crisis to the heroin crisis of the 1960s. “The military was fighting the Golden Triangle in Vietnam,” he said. “Now our military is fighting the Golden Crescent, a Muslim symbol, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now we have a crisis again …

“We look at our troops in Afghanistan, and they are not destroying opium poppies because we don’t want  to alienate the people we’re trying to help.”

Porter also said, “We have a pharmaceutical giant machine in the United States that operates with impunity … They tell patients there are no side effects … I go into the VA and they give me 20 days [of prescription drugs] now rather than a mong but it doesn’t keep me from being an addict,” he said, speaking in the first person by way of example.

Government restrictions are not the answer, Porter said. “When we limited access to alcohol during Prohibition, we put it in the hands of criminals. We’re now turning people from doctors to drug pushers. We have to identify if a person has become addicted …

“Then, instead of cutting them off, they should be turned into a rehab program to wean them off, instead of pushing them to the streets where drugs are abundant and they could get heroin laced with fentanyl, which then kills them.”

Porter concluded, “It’s not an easy solution to say that anyone who takes illegal drugs is a criminal; we have some responsibility.”

On gun safety, Porter said, “In Iraq, unlike the United States, it is a requirement, highly recommended that every adult male has an AK-47 and two magazines. Yet, I came back to the U.S. and the same government is telling me, as a veteran, I can’t have an AK-47 and two magazines — it’s against the law.”

Porter went on, “Manufacturers figure out ways around the law to sell their product. Or people disobey the law; criminals don’t obey the law. The law should be: If you are a criminal and you create a crime with a weapon, you should be severely punished. A law-abiding person shouldn’t be restricted. You shouldn’t punish all the law-abiding people who aren’t breaking the law.”

Porter concluded that, in his 21 years in the Marine Corps, “I had a weapon on me half the time.”

He said of his job, “I’m trying to maintain order over people trained to kill.”

In all that time in the military police, he said, “I never had to draw a weapon.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph P. Sullivan

 

 

Joseph P. Sullivan is a perennial Conservative candidate who keeps on running because, he says, he wants to provide voters with a choice.

He’s 81. “If people want term limits, here I am,” he said. “I have no illusions. I give people a choice.”

Over the last few decades, Sullivan has run for office a dozen times — for Congress, the state legislature, Albany mayor and common council, and the county legislature.

Sullivan has lived on New Scotland Avenue in Albany for half a century. “It used to be quiet,” he said. “Now, with hospital expansion, its a regular commuter thoroughfare.”

He sued the city’s zoning board for violating Albany’s zoning code when a vacant parsonage across the street from his home was turned into a center to help homeless people. He won at the Supreme Court level, the lowest rung in the state’s three-tiered system, but lost at the Appellate level.

The area, which had allowed just single-family homes or houses of worship, has since been rezoned.

Sullivan joined the United States Navy at 17 and, after his service, went to the University of Wisconsin for a bachelor’s degree in geography, followed by a master’s degree, also in geography, from the University of Minnesota.

He came to New York State to work for the Farmlands Preservation Program and then worked in the Hugh Carey administration, directing the Agricultural Resources Commission. Sullivan then worked, under Carey, as a legislative affairs officer for the superintendent of insurance.

After that, he worked as chief of staff for State Senator Howard C. Nolan, and finished his state service as an analyst for the Senate minority, working in the field of agriculture, land, and veterans issues.

“I had good relationships on both sides of the aisle,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan left the Democratic Party to become a Conservative after he lost a close ward election in 1993, he said. He is the founder and president of the Buckingham Pond-Crestwood neighborhood association; the neighborhood spans the 14th and 8th wards.

“I don’t play the game,” Sullivan said of political elections. “I don’t raise money. I stress issues.”

He termed the incumbent assemblymember, Patricia A. Fahy, as “a handmaiden to New York City interests,” describing her as “left” and “liberal.”

“I’m pro-life. She’s pro-choice, which is really infanticide,” Sullivan said.

“America is a lifeboat adrift in a sea of world poverty. We cannot solve the poverty problems of the world,” said Sullivan.

Continuing his metaphor, he went on, “Overload Lifeboat America with tens millions of uneducated, unskilled, non-English-speaking people who do not share our history, culture, and constitutional republican form of government ... it capsizes. We must secure our national borders; enforce and reform our existing immigration law; end sanctuary status for our local communities, cities, counties and states.”

He concluded, “We have to look out for ourselves. We’re deeply divided as a nation. That’s the Democrats’ legacy ... They played the race card; they pitted men against women … If the United States goes down, they’ll go down with it.”

Sullivan is opposed to single-payer health insurance, calling it “unsustainable.”

“The Congressional Budget Office warns that, in less than six years, Medicare will be gone,” said Sullivan. He asked, “How can people expect Medicaid to survive? We don’t have the wherewithal. It’s a health crisis …

“The federal government has to get on the ball. Congress is sidestepping these important issues and kicking the can down the road,” said Sullivan, adding, “Part of the problem is with the economy. We need to get people off the welfare rolls. We’ve got to reform our immigration [policies]. We’re killing ourselves, bringing in uneducated refugees … They are a burden to schools and hospitals. We have to secure our borders. The president is right on track with that.”

Sullivan concluded, “People have to be more responsible for their own health with better lifestyles — eating and exercising properly.”

Sullivan termed Roe v. Wade “unconstitutional,” and said, “It will be struck down when the balance of power changes on the Supreme Court.”

He also said, “the Supreme Court has nationalized social issues, which are not constitutional.” He cited same-sex marriage as another example and said, “these should be left to the people and the states.”

Sullivan went on about Roe v. Wade, “It’s a national tragedy. I can’t see how a woman can kill her flesh and blood. It’s not choice; it’s infanticide. A lot of women lament it later. Some don’t care but others have pangs of conscience.”

Sullivan also said of the right to end a pregnancy, “It’s a nation killer without a replacement population … If there’s an unwanted pregnancy, adoption is a much better choice. There are always people begging for children and they have to turn to other countries to get them.”

Sullivan believes New York should follow the lead of most states and have a single assessment standard. “The state legislature should be addressing it, and it’s not, “ said Sullivan. “In the city of Albany, there are a lot of unequal assessments. It should be a top priority.”

Sullivan said the United States Supreme Court was correct in its Citizens United decision, stating, “It’s a constitutional question.”

But he also said, “At the same time, we have to get this excess money out of politics somehow.”

Sullivan went on, “Voter turnout locally is going down, down, down. People tune out … We need election reform with shorter elections where candidates get equal time.”

He concluded, “Let the people decide and damn the money.”

On legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use, Sullivan said, “You’ve got two sides to the coin. Some argue it’s the gateway to worse drugs … We need to look at penalties and not send people away for a long time.”

He also said, “It’s a health problem if you smoke more joints than you should. It’s like alcohol: People drink more and more to get the buzz.”

Sullivan went on, “We need to encourage people to take better care of themselves and point out dangers, teaching kids in school. The Democrats are brainwashing kids in school, not teaching history any more.”

He concluded that choices, such as whether or not to smoke marijuana, are personal choices. “We should not expect society to pick up all the tabs,” he said.

Sullivan favors New York State allowing farmers to grow hemp. “It’s a great versatile product with a lot of uses,” he said, naming clothing and rope among them.

Sullivan said he favors “anything that will help our farmers” and added, “The governor is going a good job promoting microbreweries.”

Sullivan also said, “Hemp oil appears to be very helpful.”

On solving the opioid crisis, Sullivan said, “We’re on the right track.” Referring to fentanyl, Sullivan said, “A Chinese drug is at the root of this crisis. We need to crack down on borders. This should be a part of trade pacts.”

He went on, “Drugs are pouring in. Our southern border is wide open. And more is coming in from Canada It’s a scourge, doing much to harm America.”

On gun safety, Sullivan said, “Repeal the so-called SAFE Act, which really doesn’t keep us safe. It’s a farce.”

He went on, “Look at the Second Amendment. We have to control what people do with guns … Look at how we raise kids,” said Sullivan, stating that many are “immersed in destructive video games.”

Sullivan said he is in favor of background checks. “I’ve given them background checks for long guns; that’s reasonable.” He said it makes sense to screen out people with mental illnesses.

Sullivan also said, “Most mass shootings are by younger white males with psychological problems.”

He concluded, “The Second Amendment keeps us safe; it’s self-protection. There have been 13 murders in Albany this year. Those people were not checked,” he said, asserting they got guns illegally.

“Criminal elements are not obeying the law,” said Sullivan. He said it makes no sense to “take away guns from law-abiding citizens.”

The Second Amendment, he concluded, protects citizens from a “tyrannical government.”

“People have to fight back … The Democratic Party is now the Socialist Democratic Party. They would take away our rights under the Constitution.
 

 

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