Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, declined Friday an invitation to speak to the Upstate New York Tea Party this summer.
The first-term congressman specifically noted the fiscal conservative group's protest of his May 22 forum in Plattsburgh as one of his reasons for turning down the offer.
"By choosing not to participate (in the forum), UNYTEA indicated it was not interested in engaging in a courteous and civil conversation on the difficult issues facing the north country and the nation," wrote Mr. Owens.
Mark L. Barie, the group's chairman, said the "peaceful" protest of his spring forum is not an excuse for Mr. Owens "to ignore us."
We "look forward to the day when the congressman is willing to experience our hospitality, first hand," he said.