Friday, August 8, 2008

Holy Gas Cap: Congressman Maurice Hinchey Accused of Assault

A Rosendale, NY man has accused Congressman Maurice Hinchey, who proposed price controls on gasoline a month or two ago, of assault according to the Kingston Daily Freeman.

According to the Daily Freeman, "Paul Lendvay, 46, who is the chairman of the Catskill Regional Friends of the National Rifle Association" is planning to press charges against Hinchey because the two got into a scuffle at a street fair over a Winchester 94 Teddy Roosevelt commemorative rifle that Lendvay was displaying and because Hinchey refused to buy raffle tickets for the rifle, which he was admiring.

The Freeman adds: "Police said that, based on what they knew of the alleged incident, a charge of misdemeanor assault would be unwarranted. Harassment, a violation, would be the more likely charge, they said."

Hinchey's spokesman accused Lendvay of pressing charges for political purposes.

"Hinchey, first elected to Congress in 1992, is running this fall for his ninth two-year term in the House. His Republican opponent is expected to be George Phillips of Endwell."

In a separate Freeman article, Republican challenger George Phillips, a gallant, capable, well educated and handsome gentleman, questioned Hinchey's far fetched statistics concerning energy exploration:

"In a press release, Phillips - who lives in Endwell, near Binghamton - said Hinchey was using "rhetoric" and was "blocking new oil production" by continuing to support a ban on opening drilling in protected areas.

"Despite polls showing public support for offshore drilling at near 70 percent, including a majority of Californians and Alaskans, Hinchey continues to oppose tapping the 20 billion barrels of oil that the Department of the Interior says can be found in the areas currently closed to drilling," Phillips said in the prepared statement. "The United States is alone among developed nations in implementing such a ban on offshore drilling."

New York's 22nd Congressional district looks like it's going to have an interesting and tight race. With Hinchey getting into street scuffles and Phillips getting major traction on energy, Ulster County and the rest of the gerrymandered district may be looking at a Republican in Congress next year.

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