Turn 27 Blue believes that the breaking news about Rep. Chris Collins’ serious ethics issues makes it absolutely clear that the voters of New York’s 27th district deserve better from their member of Congress. The coalition of grassroots leadership and the eight county Democratic Chairs that make up Turn 27 Blue call on Mr. Collins to leave all corporate boards on which he serves and divest himself of all investments that create potential conflicts of interest and begin immediately to do the job he was elected to do: serve as our congressman and actually represent us rather than his portfolio.
“It has never been more obvious that the term ‘Representative’ is misapplied when it comes to Chris Collins, and the decision released today by the House Ethics Committee to continue its investigation of him reinforces that,” said Judith Hunter, the Livingston County Democratic Chair. “His actions prove that his priorities are his own bottom line and those of his cronies’, not the interests of the hard-working voters of New York 27.”
Jeremy Zellner, the Erie County Democratic Chair, pointed out that, “Just because an investment goes bust doesn’t mean you didn’t try to use your public office for personal gain. Failing doesn’t make it all okay. And Collins continues to this day to pad his own pockets but not deliver for western New York.”
“I wish I were in a position to make laws for my own personal benefit, but I’m not. Chris Collins shouldn’t be, either. And he shouldn’t be trying to ‘make millionaires’ out of his buddies,” said Amber Hainey of GLOW Progressives. “He should be focused on the ordinary people of this district, not just the rich and powerful he sees as his constituency.”
Jeanne Crane, Democratic Chair of Orleans County, noted that Collins’ statements about his ethics troubles have all focused on Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s role in bringing the original complaint, even though ordinary citizens also filed their own complaints. “My part of Orleans County used to be represented by Congresswoman Slaughter, and I know how hard and how long she worked to get the STOCK Act against insider trading by members of the House and Senate passed. No wonder she is furious that a neighboring member of Congress would so recklessly violate the spirit of that law.” Crane continued, “You know, just shrieking the words ‘witch hunt’ over and over again doesn’t change the fact that the Office of Congressional Ethics felt the evidence was serious enough to warrant a full investigation of Mr. Collins, and today the House Ethics Committee agreed.”