PLATTSBURGH — As expected, Republican congressional candidate Matt Doheny has picked up the endorsement of the local Tea Party.
"A lot of people say that President (Barack) Obama isn't doing anything to help and Congressman (Bill) Owens has done nothing," Upstate New York Tea Party Chairman Mark L. Barie, said at a news conference Friday.
"We need a congressman who is willing to speak out."
Doheny is seeking to be the Republican candidate in this year's race for the 23rd Congressional District race, challenging incumbent Democrat Bill Owens.
Barie said UNYTEA selected the Watertown man because he understands the needs of the country, especially the need for lower gasoline prices.
"We have two choices: We can either fill our gas tanks with pond scum (Obama plan to convert algae into oil) or we can elect a new congressman," Barie said.
"Matt Doheny would support oil production. Matt Doheny would do everything he could to get government out of the way."
Doheny said supply and demand should determine gas prices, and that there are enough resources at home and among friendly nations that can provide more oil, which would lower the price of gas.
"Everywhere I go, this is the No. 1 issue," he said.
OIL, TAXES, ECONOMY
Owens said just the opposite is true.
"(Doheny) needs to look at what actually is happening," he said.
"We are an exporter of oil. Our oil is not going to U.S. markets — it is going overseas. If it was put into our markets, it would drive down prices, and that is against their (oil companies) interests."
Owens said one way to reverse the export of U.S. oil is to create legislation to do so, but no one, including himself, wants to do that.
"That's too much government interference," he said.
At a Town Hall meeting attended by about 100 people at Plattsburgh State Thursday night, Owens discussed many subjects besides oil. Education, the economy, the military, taxes and the much-anticipated Laurentian Aerospace Corporation project at Plattsburgh International Airport were all debated.
"I thought a lot of good questions were raised and people came well informed," he said.
"There was some good back and forth and that's what we need."
Owens said he did not know anything more about the proposed Laurentian project, which could, several years out, employ a total of about 900 people retooling jet aircraft — if it ever comes to fruition.
The project has been on the drawing board since 2006, as the company continues to try to nail down a financing deal. Friday, Laurentian Chief Financial Officer Andrew Edwards work is progressing toward that goal.