The Cornwall Local: “Coffee with Colin” comes to Cornwall

Check out what The Cornwall Local has to say about "Coffee with Colin" and its stop at Tina's Basket in Cornwall!

Not everyone has forgotten how to write in script. Someone with flawless penmanship has written “Coffee with Colin” on a posterboard outside of Tina’s Basket, a small restaurant on Main Street.

It’s Saturday afternoon, and about a dozen people are standing around Colin Schmitt, the young man who hopes to be the Republican candidate for our Assembly district. His height helps him stand out in a crowd.

As customers come in to order food, they look puzzled. The candidate assures them that they’re welcome and not interrupting him. This is the sixth “Coffee with Colin” he’s hosted as a way of meeting voters. He’s obviously good at alliteration, because if you go to You Tube, you can “Connect with Colin.”

Mr. Schmitt tells us that he grew up in Montgomery and now lives in New Windsor. But he doesn’t meet with old school chums at Brothers Barbecue, he says, because most of his friends have moved away. They’ve left for places where the taxes are lower and the cost of living is cheaper. “New York used to be the Empire State,” he says, “now it’s the Exodus State.”

The position he’s seeking requires constituency work as well as legislation. He describes an incident that occurred while he was working for Sen. Greg Ball. An insurance carrier denied payment for a formula that a child needed to survive. The senator eventually got the company to pay, and then drafted a bill to make sure that payment is never withheld when a patient’s life is at stake.

As people get their promised cup of coffee, Jim McGee of the Black Rock Fish and Game Club signs in. The visit prompts Mr. Schmitt to refer to the SAFE Act. He questions whether the law has actually made people safer in New York, and he suggests that parts of it need to be changed.

People listen attentively. They stand for a long time until an aide brings them chairs so they can sit. Eventually, one of them (Eric Noll) asks for an opinion on the Kiryas Joel pipeline.

Mr. Schmitt doesn’t hesitate. “I think the state and the DEC have failed you,” he says. He refers to the DEC permit for Kiryas Joel’s Mountainville well. And he promises that, if he’s elected, he’ll try to have a federal attorney investigate the DEC.

Then he turns to the one person in the group who’s a member of the press. The candidate looks him in the eye, “And you can write that,” he says.