Tenney has a proven record of defying special interests on both sides of the aisle. Among her most bitter opponents: gaming operative Ray Halbritter, most notorious nationally for his political grandstanding against the Washington Redskins over their name.
Tenney has called out Halbritter’s dubious claims of being an Oneida Indian and repeatedly blasted his sweetheart casino deal with the Cuomo dynasty. The deal is a federally approved land-trust swap that leaves local and state taxpayers out of $800 million in back taxes owed by the Oneida Indian Nation. Tenney has provided pro bono representation to an Oneida Indian challenging the land grab. The tribal leadership (read: Halbritter) endorsed Hanna and has pitched in $100,000 to fund the “Patriot Prosperity” PAC attack ads against Tenney. Fun fact: Halbritter’s former chief of staff (and top lobbyist crony) Niels Holch was also Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff.
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“I’ve taken risks, and I’m taking the hits,” she told me in a phone interview on Thursday. “The dirty money is everywhere.” Steel-spined and strong-willed, Claudia Tenney sticks to her guns and her principles. She doesn’t back away from a fight. She’s exactly what Washington needs more of — and why Washington’s Big Money bosses are so desperate to stop her.
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