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Tenney questions some Trump choices

Payne Horning
WRVO News File Photo
Claudia Tenney at her election night victory party Nov. 8

Rep.-elect Claudia Tenney from the 22nd Congressional District says she is going to keep an open mind as the administration of incoming president Donald Trump takes shape. Tenney supported Trump during the election, but the Republican has some doubts about some of his decisions thus far.

When the air-conditioning manufacturer Carrier decided after the election not to move several hundred jobs from its plant in the U.S. to Mexico, Trump took credit for making it happen. Carrier is slated to receive seven million dollars from Indiana's government for staying. Tenney is a staunch critic of using tax money to help select companies, what she refers to as crony capitalism. If that's the case, Tenney says the deal could be problematic.

"I don’t think that’s the way to do it but I would like to see all of Carrier jobs come back, at least as many as we can, by giving everyone an equal opportunity to come back."

Tenney says any benefits Carrier or other companies can access should be available to everyone.

"He's trying to send a message 'we want you to stay here,'" Tenney said. "Providing tax benefits that would be special deals to carrier alone I would not be happy about, but if he were to provide tax benefits to everyone universally, to everyone across the board -- that’s exactly what we need to do to promote and develop this country."

On some issues, Tenney says Trump is far from perfect but calls him a populist who cares about doing the right thing. Some have called Trump's populist credentials into question because many of his nominees for cabinet secretary positions are worth billions. Tenney says she, too, has her own concerns.

"My only issue -- and it's not an issue -- my question is when you choose people who are coming from the private sector to move into the slow wheels of government, let’s see how they do," Tenney said. "A lot of people might be turned off by it. It’s not an easy thing to do to come from the private sector. So, let’s see how long they stay and let’s see if they can accomplish the mission."

But Tenney defended most of Trump's choices, saying he is following through with his campaign promise.

"His mission was to drain the swamp so he’s reaching out and trying to put people in who are tough and strong and who are not part of the Washington elites, although there have been some people he’s chosen who are congressmen. But I think he's interviewing people based on their qualifications and whether they fit into the message Trump is trying to put out."

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.