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Former Rep. Kathy Hochul stops by farmers market, says she's happy to be 'back in the game'

UPDATE: Kathy Hochul at Picnic in the Park later in the day with Wayne Fuller. Photo sent to us by a third party, but originated with a member of Hochul's staff.

NOTE: You may be wondering why there are no pictures to go with Kathy Hochul's stop at the farmer's market. My camera was still set up for multiple exposures from last night's fireworks at the Muckdogs game. A fact I didn't discover until I got home. This also left me with no usable pictures from the Kiwanis 5K to benefit autism research.  

Genesee County's former congressional representative, Kathy Hochul, now running for Lieutenant Governor, said she's been craving some brownie-stuffed cookies from the Batavia Downs Farmer's Market, so Hochul said she decided to get an early start on her campaign day and drive out to Batavia.

Hochul also bought strawberries and hand-crafted chocolate.

"It's a big state and I've got to go to all four corners, but I love Genesee County and I'll be out here as often as I can," Hochul said.

After terms as Erie County County Clerk and in the House of Representatives, Hochul worked for about 18 months for M&T Bank. It was a job she said she loved and still got her out into the community, but when Gov. Andrew Cuomo called and asked her to replace Robert Duffy on the election ticket, Hochul said she was tugged by the lure of representing people in New York again.

"I realized when the call came, there was a little bit of an emptiness, that I really wanted to get back and serve people in a more direct way, so I could not have been more thrilled than to have received the call and accept this honor and start running," Hochul said.

This, she said, is what she was meant to do.

"It's not something I pushed for at all," Hochul said. "When I think it about it, it just feels right, to be back out there meeting people all over this amazing state. I love my congressional district and I love representing Upstate New York, but the opportunity to go all over the state and meet new people and see them in their environments and businesses, I just feel like this is a calling. I've always thought public service is a calling. I'm so delighted to be back in the game."

As a candidate for reelection to Congress, Hochul had won over pretty much all of the gun rights groups, campaigning as a strong advocate for the Second Amendment. Now she's working for a man who has become the most reviled politician in New York by gun rights advocates. Hochul said she doesn't believe there is a contradiction in her position then or now.

Here's her full response to that question:

I believe there is a middle ground. I know many, many gun owners. I have family members who are marksmen and who are hunters and this is part of a culture up here and people need to understand that. There's no effort to remove guns from legitimate gun owners. I think there is sometimes a hysteria that's created, but people have to understand we respect the Second Amendment, but also there are many people who understand the need for background checks. As a county clerk, I like the fact that there are background checks performed, because there are people you don't want to have guns in their hands. They could do harm to fellow citizens. I believe there is an accommodation and I believe there is a reasonable approach. The extremes on one side or the other aren't going to agree with that, but that's how I've been my entire life in public service. There's a pragmatic middle ground and if people are willing to listen to each other, we'll get to the right answer. That's where I stand.

The stop at a farmer's market reminded her a lot of her term in Congress, she said, especially representing farmers.

"It reminds me so many tours of the farms and the struggles they face, when the weather's bad and there's a flood or a drought or there's army worms," Hochul said. "They're such resilient people and to know that I'll be in a position to promote their work in a new capacity as Lieutenant Governor working with Gov. Cuomo, it's going to be great."

Jim Rosenbeck
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"After terms as Erie County Clerk and in the House of Representatives, Hochul worked for about 18 months for M&T Bank. It was a job she said she loved and still got her out into the community". Actually, what Kathy Hochul did is take as a job as a corporate lobbyist for M&T Bank. She parlayed the trust of the people who elected her into a position of power and influence, utilizing her relationships with former congressional colleagues to champion the special interests of the banking industry. Any other explanation is disingenuous rhetoric designed to craft an image that will fool the public. Cast a vote for her as Lieutenant Governor and you cast a vote for the revolving door of political cronyism.

Dave Olsen
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Good points Jim. All true.
Pragmatic middle ground on the second amendment? "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. " What's to negotiate?

Brian Graziaplena
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To link Kathy Hochul with "revolving door" politics is right on point. When she ran for Congress I supported and even voted for her, because after doing my research I was convinced she was a true friend of the 2nd Amendment [which is my #1 litmus test]. Erie County hunters and gun owners praised her as Clerk, the NRA and SCOPE gave her A ratings, and her campaign language was spot-on. But then immediately after being chosen by the Cuomo camp to be the Lt Gov running mate Hochul was asked if she supported the SAFE Act {anti-2nd Amendment law that Cuomo rammed thru in the middle of the night on the 1st day of the legislative session with a ludicrous message of necessity}... Hochul's response was "“Yes, I do. I believe that it strikes the proper balance." There is that "revolving door" again. Beware, the Cuomo/Hochul ticket is deceitful and a threat to the truth and Constitutional Liberty.

John Roach
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Hochul sold out on the 2nd Amendment to get the spot on Andrew's ticket. Can not be any clearer from her change on the issue. If she had not, he would have found someone else.

Jeff Allen
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From the article "Federal law will bar Hochul from lobbying her former congressional colleagues for two years, but she will be free to reach out to other officials on the bank’s behalf." She is only barred from lobbying a specific set of officials, everyone else is fair game. Curious as to if the position existed before she took it.

Bea McManis
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Always nice to see her in our neck of the woods.

Dave Olsen
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tomato / tom-ah-to Howard

Jim Rosenbeck
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Howard,
Here is the link to your article on Kathy Hochul's position at M&T Bank.

http://thebatavian.com/howard-owens/kathy-hochul-takes-government-relati...

Would you please explain what VP for Government Relations means?

Brian Graziaplena
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Hmmmmmmmmmmmm... now let's see who's reporting do I believe, The Batavian, or the Buffalo News... ?

"M&T Bank Corp. has hired former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul as vice president of government relations, bringing in a veteran of both local and federal government to help lobby for the bank at all levels."

http://www.buffalonews.com/20130220/m_t_hires_hochul_as_a_vice_president...

"The Astorino campaign was unimpressed by the selection of Hochul, who is currently head of government affairs for M&T Bank. “It’s quite fitting that Andrew Cuomo would select a special interest lobbyist with a history of outsourcing jobs as his running mate. Mr. Albany now has a partner in crime,” said Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for Astorino."

http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/buffalo-politics/cuomo-adds-hochu...

Jim Rosenbeck
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They depend on us being compliant and unquestioning Howard. Frankly these are the situations where we need you to push the envelope rather than defending Government double talk.

Don Patterson
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(There's no effort to remove guns from legitimate gun owners. I think there is sometimes a hysteria that's created, but people have to understand we respect the Second Amendment, but also there are many people who understand the need for background checks)

That entire statement is just asinine and reflects either an ignorance of the consequences of the SAFE Act or an outright lie on her behalf. Either way, it doesn't matter to me who runs on the ticket with Cuomo, I wouldn't vote for him if you held a gun to my head.

By the way, in my opinion, if you own a firearm and don't vote or make arrangements for an absentee ballot, you're not responsible enough to own that firearm.

Mark Potwora
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She is a tried and true politician with her double speak on the safe act..Who is going to call her out for lobbing, not her husband U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul

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