June 6, 2024

By Victor Nava


The Democratic cannabis tax attorney hoping to unseat Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) in New York’s 21st Congressional District was slammed by the incumbent’s camp for proposing to send supporters of former President Donald Trump to “re-education camp” as part of an effort to fix what she called a “MAGA nightmare.”

Paula Collins, who is running unopposed in the June 25 Democratic primary, made the shocking suggestion during a virtual town hall event on Wednesday and argued that there is a need for such camps even if Democrats see a “resounding blue wave” in the 2024 election.

Collins, 60, argued that “knowing your civics, knowing how the government is set up will be crucially important in moving forward” before suggesting the need for “re-education” during the Zoom event.

“Even if we were to have a resounding blue wave come through, as many of us would like, putting it all back together again after we’ve gone through this MAGA nightmare and re-educating basically, which that sounds like a rather, a re-education camp,” Collins said.

“I don’t think we really wanna call it that,” she told voters on the call. “I’m sure we can find another way to phrase it.”

The remark was reminiscent of failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s argument that “cult members” who support Trump need to undergo “formal deprogramming.”

“So many of those extremists, those MAGA extremists, take their marching orders from Donald Trump who has no credibility left by any measure,” Clinton said during an October 2023 appearance on CNN, referring to the 77-year-old former president’s Make America Great Again slogan.

“And when do they break with him? You know, because at some point, you know, maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members, but something needs to happen,” she added.

Alex DeGrasse, a senior advisor to Stefanik, slammed Collins over the remark and noted that the Democratic candidate was not a resident of New York’s 21st Congressional District until she launched her campaign.

“This radical New York City Democrat Socialist who literally is renting a bed and breakfast room in NY-21 was caught on tape saying she wants to force Trump voters through ‘re-education camps,’” DeGrasse told The Post.

“Everyone knows she will be defeated by Elise Stefanik by a historic margin,” he added. “This is yet another reason why President Trump, Elise Stefanik, and voters in Upstate and across America will clean the Democrats’ clocks at the ballot box this November.”

Collins did not respond to The Post’s request for comment.

However, she doubled-down on the need to re-educate “MAGA” supporters in a statement to Fox News.

“We currently have lawmakers, including Rep. Elise Stefanik, who mis-quote or mis-understand the law,” she told the outlet. “Even if MAGA were to be resoundingly defeated, we would need to engage in widespread civics education, which both red and blue voters acknowledge has been slipping in recent years.”

“The goal would be such that regular citizens could understand the process by which the state courts process matters, compared to the federal court circuit, and so forth,” Collins explained, arguing the Stefanik’s “outcry” over the guilty verdict in Trump’s Manhattan hush money trial “bespeaks a lack of basic civics education, as well as a basic lack of respect for the state supreme court system in her home State of New York.”