Lawmakers spar over drag queen story time

Political Talk

UPDATE: 10:28 p.m. (WETM) – Chemung County Legislator, 4th District Joe Brennan issued the following statement to 18 News in response to Dave Manchester, Chairman of the Legislature, earlier statement.

The Chemung County Legislature is comprised of 12 Republicans and 3 Democrats, yet repeatedly, Chairman Manchester has allowed the minority leader to interrupt others, cut off discussion, and on several occasions become the de facto leader of the Legislature.

Tompkins County is highly liberal, and it permeates their culture. Chemung County politics is dominated by Republicans, yet even the discussion of conservative policies seems to be out of bounds.

It is my sincere hope that Chairman Manchester focus more on promoting the ideals of the Republican Party that narrowly elected him.

Joe Brennan , Chemung County Legislator, 4th District, Big Flats, Horseheads


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Welcome to Political Talk with Tom Santulli and Leslie Danks Burke.

Voters in Chemung County overwhelmingly approved the library budget in Tuesday’s election.

But, the night before the election, one county legislator urged voters not to vote in favor of the budget because it had just come to his attention that the library offers a “drag queen story hour.”

Tom, what’s going on here?

Leslie, what’s your view?

That’s all we have time for — see you next Thursday on Political Talk!


Chairman of the Legislature, Dave Manchester issues the following statements:

It is important the public be reminded that the positions or statements of one or more Legislators do not represent the position of the Legislature or the County.

Chairman of the Legislature, Dave Manchester states that “The Chemung County Legislature has rules and procedures governing resolutions and agenda items for action by the Legislature. Legislative meetings are a forum for conducting business; they are not a forum for voicing a political position on social issues”.

“I can assure you that the Legislature will not be taking up or debating legislation regulating content of Library programming, nor regulating the criteria for any organization’s hiring of employees or volunteers.”

“The Chemung County Library District is a valuable community resource that works tirelessly to encourage growth, literacy, learning, and inclusion.”

“Chemung County has something for everyone. I encourage everyone to come to Chemung County and visit our libraries, theaters, cultural landmarks and other destinations that make Chemung County a diverse community and a wonderful place to live and raise a family.”

Dave Manchester, (R) Chemung County Chairman of the Legislature

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