By Kathy Kahn
Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R, C, I, LBT, SAM-New Windsor), who represents Stony Point as part of the 99th District in Albany, was sworn into office for a second term on January 6, 2021. That same day, Schmitt, his wife and office staffers were targeted by the Orange County Democratic Committee and New York City’s newly-hatched Democratic Socialist Party for encouraging “rioters” to attend Save America Rally in Washington, DC.
The “rioters” Schmitt wished a safe journey to, at 4:30AM on the same morning he was sworn in to office, were members of Orange County’s Right to Life and members of his church. The D.C. march, estimated to have been attended by over 150,000 people, ended badly when an extremist fringe marching at the forefront scaled the Capitol building walls and entered the halls of Congress, smashing windows and causing mayhem. Tragically, five people were killed in the ensuing melee.
Schmitt and his family, along with the staffers in his New Windsor office, were targeted for supporting those who attended the Save America Rally, though the group who left from Orange County were nowhere near the Capitol when the siege took place nor condoned the ensuing violence. Schmitt gathered some of those constituents and joined with them in a video posted on his Facebook page Jan 7, wherein he condemned those who lumped the peaceful group into what the media has incessantly describes as a “mob of terrorists and anarchists.”
“Regardless of the lies from the Orange County Democratic Party and NYC Democratic Socialists of America — speaking to a group that included senior citizen ladies who use canes to walk around, members of local churches, union members and single moms, is exactly the job of a State Assemblyman and one that I will continue to do,” said Schmitt. “After that conversation, I went back to my district office to be sworn in for my second term and conduct the first day of virtual session. The fact that those two groups personally attacked me for speaking to a local faith-based group about concerns they have with state legislation shows how deeply out of touch they are and why I achieved a historic re-election, winning every single town in my district, just two months ago.”
While Pres. Donald Trump did appear at the Save America Rally and urged marchers to head to the Capitol to protest the Electoral College voting, at no time did he encourage violence. The POTUS took to Twitter after those at the forefront scaled the walls of the Capitol building and broke into Congress’s chambers, disrupting the counting of Electoral College votes. In the Twitter video, Trump pleaded with the group who stormed the Capitol to stop the violence— “Please, go home, please. Go in peace.” Trump’s Twitter video was subsequently taken down, and the President himself has since been banned by Twitter from use of its platform.
Staffers from Schmitt’s office have been dealing with the backlash of the Assemblyman’s meeting with those who traveled to the Rally, including death threats. Police officers were stationed both at Schmitt’s office and his home. These actions were widely condemned by several municipal leaders, including Supervisor Jim Monaghan of Stony Point, which Schmitt represents in Albany. “It was ridiculous. Colin Schmitt met with people from his District who were going down to take part in something they believed in. This was a mixed group of seniors, church members and non-violent, peaceful people…. he had an historic win in the last election and the result is, he’s attacked for meeting with the people he represents. Unfortunately, that is politics today.”