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Doheny gets recognition from national Republican committee

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The National Republican Congressional Committee announced this morning that 21st Congressional District Republican candidate Matthew A. Doheny, Watertown, has been named to the committee’s Young Guns program.

According to a news release from the NRCC, “the program will help to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run effective, successful and winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents.”

The release says the program mentors challengers and open-seat candidates in House races.

“I am confident that Matt Doheny will be a successful and dedicated member of this program and that he will continue to work hard to reach the crucial campaign benchmarks that have been established ahead of the 2014 elections,” said NRCC Chairman Greg Walden in the release. “Matt’s conservative principles and priorities provide a stark contrast to Barack Obama’s irresponsible agenda. New York’s hardworking families deserve better than skyrocketing health care costs, financial instability and mountains of debt on their backs. I am certain that Matt Doheny will be a strong contender this election cycle.”

Ms. Stefanik is also listed as a member of the Young Guns program, according to the NRCC’s website.

Both candidates are listed as being “On the Radar,” a distinction that is apparently the first step on the way for candidates to become certified “Young Guns,” according to the site.

The next step is “Contender” and then finally, the coveted “Young Gun” status.

The NRCC does not get into the specific metrics it uses to determine who is eligible for the program, according to NRCC spokesman Ian Prior.

However, Mr. Prior said that the NRCC looks at a combination of factors, including fundraising, campaign organization and whether the campaign is showing “a clear path to victory.”

“Anyone who wants to enroll is welcome to enroll,” Mr. Prior said.

Mr. Doheny, who is on his third run for Congress, became a full-fledged Young Gun on his second attempt to win the seat during the 2012 race.

We are seeking comment from Ms. Stefanik.

— PLW & DPF

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It’s been a good day so far for Mr. Doheny.

The New York State Independence Party reiterated its support for the candidate with a strongly worded statement from party Vice Chairman Tom Connolly, which characterized the ballot petitions Ms. Stefanik submitted on the party line as a game played by a “political insider.”

“Last week the Stefanik Campaign filed 137 Independence Party signatures, certifying to the state they had number the number of valid signatures required by the Election Law. The law requires 1222. As Vice Chairman of the State Independence Party, these actions raise concerns that the Stefanik campaign is either not ready for prime time or is trying to dupe voters and the State Board of Elections,” Mr. Connolly said in a news release.

The Independence Party, which is the third largest political party in the state, had 24,410 active voters registered in the district as of April 1, 2014, according to the New York state Board of Elections website. A candidate needs at least five percent of those voters to sign their petitions in order to gain access to the ballot on the party line.

The party endorsed Mr. Doheny shortly after he entered the race in late February via a statement from party Chairman Frank MacKay.

Both Mr. Doheny and Ms. Stefanik submitted petitions for the party line. According to the board of elections website, Mr. Doheny turned in 199 pages of signatures, while Ms. Stefanik turned in 120. The website does not list the number of signatures on each page.

Both Mr. MacKay and Mr. Connolly had words of high praise for Mr. Doheny, who is locked in what is shaping up to be a contentious primary contest with Ms. Stefanik.

Last week, Ms. Stefanik won the endorsement of the state’s Conservative party, which angered Mr. Doheny, who called the party “just another Big Brother.”

As we approach the June 24 primary, apparently every endorsement counts — a sentiment reinforced by Mr. Connolly’s statement.

“That is why today we are reiterating our support for Matt Doheny,” Mr. Connelly said. “Matt is North Country through and through, what you see is what you get. He is a straight talking, hard–working family man with a deep knowledge of the issues that confront the 21st CD. When he is elected to Congress there will be no games, no political insiders – just what’s right for the North Country.”

On the New York state Board of Elections website, the specifications of the objection to Ms. Stefanik’s petitions on the Independence line are the only ones that have been filed this far. They are filed on April 14.

— DPF

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A ruling Wednesday in state Supreme Court that upheld the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act from challenges to its constitutionality and the manner in which it was passed drew a swift reaction from Mr. Doheny.

“Notwithstanding today’s ruling, it doesn’t take a Supreme Court scholar to know that the SAFE Act infringes on the rights of law abiding citizens to bear arms or that the use of a Message of Necessity was purely a cynical tactic to avoid public scrutiny of an ill-conceived, poorly constructed law,” Mr. Doheny’s statement reads. “While today’s decision is disappointing, I applaud those with the courage to stand up for our 2nd Amendment rights and hope pending litigation will result in a better outcome for law abiding gun owners.”

State Supreme Court Justice Thomas McNamara ruled that use of a Message of Necessity by the Cuomo administration was not a sufficient cause to void the law. Judge McNamara also ruled that the act’s restrictions on guns do not violate the Second Amendment.

A significant portion of the act has now been accepted by lower level courts. In Western New York, U.S. District Judge William Skretny overturned three provisions of the act in January, ruling in two cases that the language of the law could not yield a meaningful interpretation and in another that the decision to limit the loading of magazines to seven shells is arbitrary and in opposition to the stated goals of the act. “The seven-round limit is largely an arbitrary restriction that impermissibly infringes on the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment,” Judge Skretny ruled.

Should Mr. Doheny be elected to Congress, of course, he would have no influence on state statutes.

— PLW

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