Congresswoman Claudia Tenney is slamming the use of eminent domain for the proposed Mohawk Valley Health System downtown Utica hospital project.

Tenney says taking the property through eminent domain is an egregious taking of Constitutionally protected rights

She says local leaders should pause to ask for public input and work with private businesses in the area to find a solution that best serves the needs of those in the community.

The public must be involved in this important debate and taxpaying business owners must have the opportunity to make this decision that is best for their continued survival." said Tenney.

The City of Utica and Oneida County announced last week that they would use eminent domain to acquire properties in the hospital footprint if necessary.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente has issued the following statement on Tenney’s hospital comments:

“Once again, Claudia Tenney speaks before thinking. Obviously, she doesn’t care about the health care of her constituents. She doesn’t know anything about this project because in between her taxpayer-funded vacations to Taiwan and Egypt, she has failed to learn anything about it. While she continues to make headlines as a national embarrassment, we still await action from her on the issues facing our community including school safety, relief from FEMA and help for our dairy farmers.”

Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, Tenney's re-election campaign sent the following news release:

...Claudia Tenney for Congress responded to Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente's petty personal attack and disparaging remarks on the issue of eminent domain in the footprint of the proposed Downtown Utica hospital site:

"The level of hysterical name calling leveled by the County Executive in response to my call for transparency and careful deliberation before exercising the power of eminent domain against tax paying businesses reveals the presence of a potential abuse of power, " said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney.

"Anthony Picente, Anthony Brindisi and other public officials involved in this project have operated in a shroud of secrecy from day one. Let's not forget that Anthony Brindisi referred to his constituents who dared asked for this same transparency as 'idiots.'

Clearly, these politicians believe that ripping private property away from tax paying businesses and increasing the tax bills of already overburdened residents of Oneida County is the pathway to quality healthcare.

Picente and Brindisi have a proven record as willing shills for strong-arming through Cuomo-style “economic development," corporate welfare schemes to appease the likes of tax-cheat Ray Halbritter and their Albany insider friends.

Is the hospital project really about improving healthcare in our community, or is it about using the taxpayer’s money, once again, to build a $43 million parking garage to expand already wealthy Halbritter’s cash ambitions into Utica for yet another casino?"

NOTE: Congresswoman Claudia Tenney recently:

  • Co-sponsored and voted to pass the STOP School Violence Act to help keep our schools safe.

  • Announced over 8 million dollars in federal funds to repair and reconstruct highways and roads that suffered severe damage as a result of the 2013 flooding and cosponsored and voted to pass FEMA reforms that would ensure our communities receive vital federal resources following severe flooding.

  • Announced her support for reforming the Margin Protection Program (MPP) to provide farmers with relief and led a letter from members of the NY delegation calling for fairer trade agreements to help dairy farmers struggling with the unfair high cost of milk.