Plattsburgh, NY - With democracy being threatened by big money from entities like corporate PACs and lobbyists, Democratic Congressional candidate Patrick Nelson (D-Stillwater) pushed the topic once again at The People’s Forum in Plattsburgh, yesterday afternoon.

“I think this comes back to the question before, which are Elise Stefanik’s political leanings, and Elise Stefanik’s political leanings are determined by how much money can be put in her campaign accounts and that includes the NRA,” replied Nelson after a question was posed on how you stop organizations like the NRA to stop contributing money to a political campaign. “To solve the issue as it goes back to all other ones, don’t vote for politicians who take corporate money.”

Patrick led the charge last month at the CAT 21 forum in Moreau by challenging the other Democratic candidates to not accept corporate PAC and lobbyist money - out of the 8 candidates at the forum, only 3 of them chose to take the pledge.

Campaign finance has been a hot-button topic, with the most recent news coming out of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ), both Senators stated they would no longer accept corporate PACs.

“You should ask everyone of these candidates up here whether or not they will take corporate PACS or lobbyist money throughout their career,” Nelson continued. “If they don’t give you an answer then I don’t think you should support them (in the primary).”

After Nelson concluded his speech, Democratic Congressional candidate Tanya Boone (D-Granville) became the 4th to make the commitment, not to accept corporate PACs.

During the interactive 2-hour event put on by Change Through Action, the crowd of over 200 had a chance to listen to responses to their questions, from each of the ten candidates, on topics such as; gun control, health care, the democratic process, and their strategies on defeating Congresswoman Stefanik (R-NY).

The Congresswoman was invited to the forum by the organizers, but declined due to another “event.” However, she did release a statement over Twitter the night before with abnormal questions posed to her challengers on stage.

“I think the Congresswoman is confused to what her job is. She thinks her job is to ask us questions,” Nelson retorted to Congresswoman Stefanik’s statement to a snickering audience. “Her job is to show up and answer your questions!”

His response drew cheers from the residents of New York’s District 21 who have not seen their elected official hold an actual town hall in quite some time.

“I am asking for your vote in the primary and for your vote in the straw poll because you know in your heart of hearts that you want to see me debate Elise Stefanik. And you know in your heart of hearts that she is terrified of that prospect. Don’t let her off the hook.”

During the cessation of the event, a straw poll was conducted from the folks in attendance with Patrick taking close to half of the vote by 41% (73 votes) with the next candidate, Emily Martz (D-Saranac Lake) at 12.92% (23 votes).

Patrick Nelson