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Congressman Tom Reed had bold words Tuesday morning for the leader of the hermetic dictatorship of North Korea: that if Kim Jong-un, a dictator accused of a plethora of human rights violations, throws away the opportunity to denuclearize presented by President Donald Trump at a summit in Singapore this week, it will mean “the military destruction of his country and his death,” the Congressman wrote in a Facebook post.

Posted, deleted, and then apparently reposted to his official Facebook page, the Congressman takes a marked shift away from the stated but inconsistent views of President Trump who, after describing the regime as “brutal” following the 2017 death of American prisoner Otto Warmbier, was recently seen on international television shaking the dictator’s hand and declared the end of “war games” in the region, seen by the president as “very provocative,” according the the New York Times.

In the post, Reed – who served on the President’s transition team early in his administration – called out the failures of past administrations to get the nation to denuclearize, a delicate issue since the administration of President Bill Clinton attempted a push toward denuclearization in the mid-1990s.

“President Trump offered Kim Jong-un a different path to the world stage. A path not even thought of by our former leaders - one of economic prosperity instead of failed nuclear destruction. While there is a long way to go to achieve verified denuclearization, I look forward to seeing North Korea become a free, prosperous and demilitarized state.”

Reed’s statement on its own, however, doesn’t differentiate substantially from previous stances taken by Clinton and even President Barack Obama who, in a fiery speech in 2014, said to the regime that “We will not hesitate to use our military might to defend our allies and our way of life.”

Reed has, historically, walked in lockstep with the foreign policy stances of President Trump, however. Last July, he supported the President when he announced the possibility of additional sanctions on nations like Russia, North Korea and Iran and, before the summit, offered the president words of encouragement before heading overseas. He also similarly sided with the President after the initial cancellation of the summit proposed between the two nations, prompted by disagreements over how conversations around denuclearization should unfold.

Democratic Candidates Face-Off In Olean

With two weeks left until decision day for Democrats across New York’s 23rd District, the five remaining candidates in a once-crowded field faced off at another candidate forum in Olean, reports the Olean Times-Herald.

Like most of the forums held across the district thus far, little beyond subtle differences in presentation separated the candidates from their stances on the Democrats’ checklist of key issues: single payer health care, job creation, and a distaste for the recent tax bill passed by a Republican-controlled government.

However, one of the more intriguing questions – electability in the largely red district come November – was touched upon, with some interesting answers. Max Della Pia, a retired Air Force officer from Owego, touted his experience on the hill, adding “We need to turn non-voters into voters. They have to trust the person you send after Tom Reed.” Tracy Mitrano, a cybersecurity expert who splits her time between Ithaca and Penn Yan, touted her numerous endorsements and relatively even-handed stances as a “progressive moderate,” adding she has already garnered the Working Families Party line and that of the Women’s Equality Party on the ballot. Jamestown attorney Eddie Sundquist, the candidate most highly-endorsed in the western end of the district speaking on his home turf, touted a comprehensive jobs plan he had constructed, and the fact he’s started building relationships with what could be, the Times-Herald reported, a mass of Democratic freshmen in the next Congress.

District-wide Online Straw Poll Announced

A district-wide online straw poll for the Democratic candidates in NY-23 was made live at noon on Tuesday.

Apparently crafted in a collaboration between the campaigns of all five candidates and a Mr. James Crawford – who founded the host site, Voter Village, in 2011 – the single question poll merely asks respondents of their preferred candidate. The results, to ensure accuracy, will be verified with active Democratic voter rolls in each county across the district.

The poll will be closed on June 25 – the day before the primary.

You can take the poll here: http://votervillage.com/ny23primarypoll

Other News:

  • Tracy Mitrano hosted a single-payer healthcare talk with Dr. Vivian Lorenzo MD at the Geneva Public Library in Geneva on June 11, with an audience of approximately 35 people in attendance.

  • Ian Golden, who has the backing of numerous progressive groups in New York State including the New York Progressive Action Network and the Justice Democrats, recently received the endorsement of the Cornell Democrats. The choice comes months after a forum hosted by the group attended by all five candidates as well as Rick Gallant, a Horseheads schoolteacher and NYSUT union leader who later dropped out of the race.
  • Linda Andrei released the first radio ad of the campaign cycle. You can listen in below.

Follow Nick Reynolds on Twitter @Nickthaca

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(1) comment

Steven Beikirch

This death threat by Tom Reed is nothing more than a pathetic attempt by a do-nothing chicken-hawk member of Congress to try to keep his job. It is obvious that Reed is worried that his support is slipping away. I'm sure he thinks that by being Donald Trump's cheerleader will save his political career. At the end of every election cycle Reed gets more bellicose and nasty. First it was his “extreme radical Ithaca liberal” nonsense and now this death threat. Reed is quick to wrap himself in the flag and proclaim how patriotic he is. At the same time he has contempt for those who have served their country. Just two years ago during the last campaign he made false and derogatory claims about John Plumb a decorated Naval Officer. Reed went so far as to create a fake Facebook profile which he called “DC John Plumb.” I can only imagine what Reed will do this time if Max Della Pia, a retired Air Force Brigadier General, wins the primary to face Reed.

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