On Tuesday, as the House of Representatives began its investigation into what happened at the United States Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, local Democrats and Republicans traded barbs, accusations and other comments that show how politics here can be as polarized as anywhere in the country.
The exchange between Brett Broge, chair of the Orange County Democratic Committee, and Taylor Weyeneth, chief of staff for Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, may also foreshadow the tenor of the 2022 campaign for 18 N.Y.S. Congressional District. The district is represented by Democratic Sean Patrick Maloney; although other Republicans may declare, Assemblyman Colin Schmitt has already has raised more money for a congressional campaign than he needed for his re-election to the Assembly.
Here’s the exchange from Tuesday:
Brett Broge, chair of the Orange County Democratic Committee, released the following statement calling on Assemblyman Colin Schmitt to stand with cops and denounce the radical, QAnon House Republicans:
”Assemblyman Colin Schmitt cheered on a busload of protesters going to the Stop the Steal rally. He says he backs cops but remains silent as Republicans disrespect Capitol Police by denying what happened that day.
“Today, heroic law enforcement officers who were beaten, trampled and injured in the line of duty, testified in front of Congress while the QAnon GOP stood with insurrectionists.
“Schmitt needs to come clean and tell New Yorkers where he really stands: with the heroic officers who risk their lives every day to keep us all safe or the violent insurrectionists attempting to overthrow our democracy.”
Taylor Weyeneth, chief of staff for Assemblyman Colin Schmitt, responded later in the day:
“Assemblyman Schmitt is the most vocal advocate for law enforcement in the Hudson Valley.
“Perhaps the Orange County Democrat Chairman missed the tidal wave of criticism that Sean Patrick Maloney received when he hired two top advisors who have long histories of attacking police officers, calling for police precincts to be burned to the ground and comparing the police to modern-day slave patrols.
“If he wants to criticize anyone for their position in law enforcement, he should start with Sean Patrick Maloney.
“Law enforcement has no stronger supporter than Assemblyman Schmitt.”