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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Is Matt Zeller allergic to holding fundraisers inside his district?

By Sam Foster

According to Matt Zeller's Facebook, he's holding another fundraiser outside of his district. When I saw the event, I decided to look up the venue in the hopes that I might attend and see young Matt in action, but alas the venue is far out of range. It's being held at One restaurant and lounge, off of East Ave in the city of Rochester, which is not in his district, nor is it near most of his constituents. However, it is very close to where Matt grew up, also not in the district. A week ago, Matt was in NYC raising dough. NYC is also not in his district.

This leaves me to believe that Matt is either allergic to his district or simply doesn't like being in his district.

Maffei touts stimulus funds sent to a "vital airport" despite CBS report that says project is wasteful

By Sam Foster

First, Dan Maffei had no clue where stimulus money was being directed in his district and now he touts funding for a "vital airport" used by a social club for local pilots that is too small for commercial travel.

Mustard Street has great coverage in Master Maffei's latest gaffe via his own "Maffei-is-god" mailer to his constituents.

Checking out the accomplishments Maffei boasts about, I see a blurb about a grant for $500,000 for repaving a runway at the Williamson Airport in Wayne County.   Next to the blurb is a photo of a commercial passenger airplane on a runway.



Does Dan Maffei know what he's talking about?

The Williamson Airport is a tiny airport owned by the Williamson Flying Club, a private social club for local pilots.   I asked my cousin in Sodus, who's a pilot (not a member of the club) about the airport.   No commercial passenger plane could land or take off there, because the runway's too short!   Internet research confirmed this.   And the proposed repaving won't lengthen the runway.

Makes you question whether Mr. Maffei has actually been to the Williamson Airport, whether he ever reviewed his taxpayer-funded mailing, or whether he reviewed what he was funding in the first place.

Or maybe the idea was just to throw a wad of money at anything at all in the district, to have something to talk about for re-election.

It certainly attracted the attention of the CBS Evening News, which used the Maffei funding of the airport as Exhibit A in
a report on questionable uses of federal stimulus funds.

Maffei's largesse with our money also made the
"Oh, My Gov!" website, devoted to chronicling "governments's wonders and blunders:"

One such airport is Williamson Flying Club in Upstate New York.   The private club, whose members must be approved by a country club-like vote and pay a $345 membership fee plus $30 in monthly dues and fees, recently received $555,000 in stimulus money to repave its runway.

I suppose Maffei's logic is that no matter how wasteful the spending is reported, don't forget to add it to your campaign brochure.

Anthony Melé for Congress: Man of Honor

By Raquel Okyay
Cross posted at RaquelOkyay.com

Republicans are up to their old tricks again – non-aggression pacts to be exact. These are deals Republicans make with Democrats to keep incumbents in office. One has to wonder why Democrats make deals at all, they do run New York State government –some say running into the ground – however Democrats make deals because what is at stake this election cycle is redistricting of election seats.

2010 is the U.S. Census year when federal officials attempt to calculate the number of people residing in America. Analysis provided to state governments gives states like New York the ammunition to redistrict areas that favors officials already in office. Essentially, these officials use the census to further their own political careers, and, since the #1 goal of every politician is to stay in office, redistricting becomes a game of “What will you do for me?”

Making deals with Democrats hurts Republicans

Because Republicans want to lose to sixteen year incumbent Democrat, Elliot Engel, is the only reason (I can think of) why Party leaders in District 17 (includes Rockland, Westchester and Bronx Counties) are NOT supporting Republican Anthony Melé for Congress, over stand-in candidate Republican York Kleinhandler.

Tony Melé’s credentials speak for itself; he is a U.S. Army Veteran with a military, intelligence, security expertise background that is unbeatable. His straightforward and honest approach makes him likeable to the public, the Tea Party, Conservatives and Independents. Melé, dedicated to Republican principles of free market, low taxes and less government, has promised to follow the U.S. Constitution and bring sanity to a broken Republic (a promise Tony takes seriously!).

The sad truth is Republicans who follow along with non-aggression pacts – leverage the people’s vote – and do not represent the people at all. When Republicans in comfy positions with deals already in play, see a candidate like Tony Melé they run, far, far, away because they want an insider that will play along, not Tony Melé, a man of the People, unafraid to fight the good fight.

Inadequacies of York Kleinhandler and the Republican Party

Kleinhandler, for one, is a moderate, socially liberal, act like a Democrat-Republican. That was the first clue that York is a stand-in so that Engel keeps his seat. When voters want to vote for the Democrat they do, they do not need Democrat-lite. For two, Kleinhandler is being sued in Federal Court in Florida for life insurance fraud (cheating from Grandma), and Party leaders act like its “no big deal”.

The third clue was the improper maneuvers the Party effectuated to hand the GOP designation to Kleinhandler. Kudos to Westchester County for attempting to run a fair convention that resulted in a slim win for Kleinhandler, but keep in mind, that win came after three vote counts that had Melé ahead, and in the final and fourth count with mounting pressure, two delegates switched to Kleinhandler affording him the win.

In the Bronx, Melé did not have access to the delegate count and was unable to verify votes, making such count unverifiable, and (in my eyes) fraudulent at worst; in bad faith at best. In Rockland County, things are much worse, County Chair Vincent Reda (is also Vice Chair of the State Party) is on a mission to keep Engel’s seat safe.

Reda gave Melé delegates in Rockland County the wrong date for the convention on purpose so that a designation “win” for Kleinhandler would be forthcoming and a loss for Republicans inevitable. When that was not enough to stop Melé from petitioning primary voters to be placed on the ballot, Reda, of all people, decides to question Melé’s honor (what a joke!).

The convention process has given us our officially designated and endorsed candidates. It is time to put Party before personal ambition and to unite behind all of them as move ahead with the campaign. This is particularly the case in the 17th Congressional District where York Kleinhandler is our official nominee…Joe McLaughlin and Anthony Melé agreed to abide by the will of the party and not run a primary. Mr. McLaughlin has kept his promise. Unfortunately Anthony Melé has broken his word of honor. Do not carry or sign his petition! Support our nominees!!!! Vincent Reda’s letter to Republicans dated June, 2010

Mr. Reda: Where is the honor in making misleading and disingenuous statements while pretending to be the caretaker of truth?

Lessons in Honor

Our opponents would detract from our efforts here today by characterizing us as being motivated by fear of change. They would seek to deceive us with the falsehood of redefining honor to mean yielding to their will and that expressing a difference of opinion is disloyal.

I look around this room and I do not see a people motivated by fear, lacking honor or exhibiting disloyalty. Honor means to do what is right even when no one is looking or will praise you for it.

The difference between loyalty and lemmings are lemmings will blindly follow the lemming in front of them over the cliff into oblivion and loyalty is the one who prevents those behind him from suffering the same fate as the ones in front of him.

It falls to us to remind the political party leadership that we are Republicans, a fiercely independent minded, free people and not the Sopranos. – Anthony Melé, June 27, 2010

Republican voters in District 17 have two options:

1. Help Tony Melé get on the ballot by collecting petitions for him; or
2. Do what Reda says, support party candidates only, and see incumbent Democrat Engel win for the eighth election cycle in a row.

The choice in this election is a cake-walk – Tony Melé for U.S. Congress!

Monday, June 28, 2010

UPR’s Sam Foster featured in Democrat and Chronicle: Dan Maffei needs to explain his voting record


By Sam Foster

November is coming up quickly and while we all hope for a stunning defeat of the Obama agenda, we all know that victory isn't just going to just spontaneously manifest itself.  We will each need to do our part, which means donating, volunteering, and putting our God given talents to work.

Nearly penniless and grossly short on free time, I've sought to help further conservative ideals in a way that is cost free and is easily managed around the hectic schedule of a full time employee, who is a new dad and is still finishing up their masters degree while fixing up his house.  That activity is writing.

Although, a large part of my focus has been to write on my local site, Upstate Political Report.  I've decided to reach out to other, larger publications to affect change in local politics.  This morning, I was featured in the Democrat and Chronicle, the local city newspaper.

Please check out my essay below on local Democrat Congressman Dan Maffei incumbent for NY's 25th Congressional District.

Essayist discusses congressional intentions


Over the last month, congress has struggled to clear several pieces of important legislation. One measure was to abate a 21% Medicare reimbursement rate cut for doctors. These cuts have a long history of being subverted by congress since they unduly penalize doctors and threaten the security of Medicare's good standing in the medical community. The legislation passed, although it came late, over two weeks after the cuts were already enacted, and only after the measure was removed from a job extenders bill.

Should it be so hard for congress to ensure that doctors are reimbursed properly for elderly patients on Medicare?

A second bill for extending unemployment benefits and several popular tax credits faired worse than the earlier mentioned doctor fix. On Thursday, the Senate refused to call a vote on the bill. Meanwhile, roughly 1.2 million Americans who have been unemployed the longest will have their benefits lapse by the end of the month.

Would any dispute that with the current unstable economy, now is not a good time to allow unemployment benefits to lapse?

With the failure of the unemployment extender, a new round of finger pointing has erupted in Washington. Yet, when you take away all the political hyperbole and demagoguery, there is only a single reason that these important pieces of legislation have struggled in congress as they have; Democrats are not living up to their Pay-as-you-go pledge to ensure that new spending does not add to the deficit. To put it another way; Congress is having trouble finding money to pay for their legislation.

Why is congress having trouble finding money? That would be a good question for Congressman Maffei to explain. After all, his voting record is directly related to why these bills have struggled in congress.

For example, in March, Congressman Maffei voted for the recent health care reform. A measure the congressional budget office projects will cost more than $1 trillion over the next ten years. Yet, the program doesn't take effect for the next four years. To pay for the legislation, congressman Maffei voted for a wide range of tax increase and budgetary schemes that are so numerous I dare not try and list them all. A few of the more questionable items include taxes on those without health insurance, taxes on small businesses with more than 50 employees, and diverting hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare. As a result of the legislation, the chief actuary in charge of Medicare estimates that Medicare will become insolvent by 2026, but the larger danger was in doctors dropping coverage as 20% of Medicare Part A providers would become unprofitable during the next 10 years.

It seems foolish that congress would choose to spend $1 trillion today on health care four years from now, given the very serious needs of the economy right now. Especially when the final bill signed into law exacerbates and fails to resolve Medicare's budgetary problems.

I wish I could say health care was Mr. Maffei's only questionable vote, however he has also spent a great deal of money on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a nearly $1 trillion dollar stimulus bill, of which the congressman claims a success despite the fact that the Syracuse area just set an unemployment record; last April was the highest unemployment figure for any April on record.

I don't call into question Maffei's voting record to dispute his stated intentions. By all means, who could be against increasing the number of those with health insurance, trying to save an economy and fight a war of necessity? Yet when we look around at where Maffei and this congress brought us, we can only conclude that their intentions as stated sound compassionate, but their judgment is poor and their policies reckless.

Congressional Democrats plan to table the unemployment extender bill instead of finding the needed funding. It speaks as an admission to their poorly prioritized agenda? This summer, congress plans another stab at cap and trade legislation, even as the economy limps along. What could be more evident of poor judgment than to table unemployment benefits to move onto cap and trade? This November, Maffei needs to answer for his voting record.

Sam Foster is a writer for the Upstate Political Report, a local blog dedicated to Upstate NY Congressional Races.

Fundraiser to support Upstate Congressional candidates


By Sam Foster
Via the Politico

A trio of NY Republican leaders is holding a fundraiser for several candidates running in Upstate NY.  Politico has the story.  However, I was most impressed with a letter sent by Dan Senor regarding the candidates and the congressional political climate in NY.  Below is a copy.

As we enter the crucial final months of this election year, we are all being contacted by excellent Republican candidates from across the country looking to raise campaign funds in New York. Indeed, our state often seems like the national party's ATM machine.

What makes this year unusual, and nearly unique, is the confluence of three things.

First are the stakes involved in the mid-term elections, which are as important as any mid-term election I can recall. President Obama is attempting to transform our nation, at home and abroad, in ways that are far-reaching and deeply damaging. He is a man of enormous talents and ideological ambitions — and it is clear that the only way to slow him down is by a massive repudiation at the polls this November. That would shake to the core the confidence of the Democratic Party in the president and his policies. It can begin the process of reversing the Obama agenda.

The second factor is that the political environment is as good for the GOP as it has ever been in our lifetime. For example, Gallup's most recent generic ballot poll shows a six-point lead for the GOP, the largest lead for Republicans since the poll started in middle of the last century. Republicans are also far more energized than Democrats. President Obama's signature domestic initiative, health care reform, is hugely unpopular. Trust in government is near an all-time low; so is the approval rating for Congress. And President Obama and his agenda are becoming millstones around the necks of Democrats.

In short, all the ingredients are there for a "wave" election. But that will not happen by itself; we still need to produce candidates who can win the confidence and votes of the residents of New York. All of which leads me to the third factor.

What is so encouraging to me as a New Yorker is how many principled GOP congressional candidates are running effective and viable campaigns right here in our own backyard.

Take Chris Gibson, who is running in the 20th congressional district. Over the course of his 24-year Army career, Chris rose to the rank of colonel and deployed seven times; including four combat tours to Iraq, and separate deployments to Kosovo, and the Southwestern U.S. for a counter-drug operation. Awarded the Purple Heart, Chris also holds an MPA and PhD in Government from Cornell University and has taught at West Point.

Or Randy Altschuler, who is running in the 1st congressional district. Randy is a successful entrepreneur who has founded two companies, the first of which he started in his one-bedroom apartment. Both of his companies have enormous global reach. Randy truly understands — in a practical way — what it takes to create private sector jobs and for America to regain its economic competitiveness.

Ann Marie Buerkle, running in the 25th congressional district, is a registered nurse and accomplished attorney. After graduating from St. Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing, Ann Marie worked at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City and St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse. While juggling a growing family (today she has six kids and 11 grandkids), Ann Marie was a substitute school nurse for many years before obtaining her law degree from Syracuse University. She ultimately became an assistant New York State attorney general.

In the neighboring 24th congressional district, Richard Hanna came within a few thousand votes shy of winning this seat in 2008, a very tough year for Republicans in New York. Fortunately, he's running again. Richard started Hanna Construction to work on small residential projects. Over the next 27 years, he grew the company to 450 employees — many from the construction trades — and successfully completed a myriad of multimillion dollar commercial and municipal projects in Upstate New York. He's also one of the largest philanthropic and civic leaders in the Mohawk Valley.

And in the nearby 29th congressional district, Tom Reed is running, after having been the successful mayor of Corning. Tom has been an attorney in private practice in Corning for nearly 10 years. Tom also is a co-owner of several small businesses, and has served on many boards in the community.

Farther downstate, in the New York City suburbs, Dr. Nan Hayworth is running in the 19th congressional district. Nan served her community as an ophthalmologist for 16 years, both in her own solo practice — which she grew from scratch to become a thriving office — and as a partner in the Mount Kisco Medical Group. Along the way Nan also raised two sons. In 2007 Nan became a vice president in Medical and Scientific Affairs at a large health care communications agency.

These are all decent, principled and hardworking people whom I have gotten to know. They also are committed to the issues we all care about.

Their Democratic opponents, on the other hand, all have the following in common: None of them has consistently stood up against ObamaCare or the reckless spending and debt policies which threaten our economic futures. None of them has stood up for New York's economy and for responsible financial regulatory reform; instead, they have joined in the effort to demonize investors and employers, who of course are key to job creation and economic growth. None of them has shouted "No!" to President Obama's near-rupture of the U.S.-Israel relationship, which is doing tremendous harm to one of America's most important alliances and best friends. And none of them has had the courage or wisdom to try to reverse President Obama's counter-terrorism and foreign policies, ones that are making our nation less secure and less respected. American weakness is being met with aggression on almost every foreign policy front.

What I have been trying to say, in so many words, is that I believe we are at a hinge moment in the life of this nation, when things could go very much one way or very much the other. The next months will be crucial, and in some ways even pivotal, for our country and for many of the causes we care about. That is why John Faso and I have spent a lot of time conducting due diligence of these congressional candidates and their races.

What we have found is this: They all can win. Our help will make a meaningful, and quite possibly a decisive, difference.

And that is why I'm asking that you join us for a Joint Candidate event for these six candidates. If they win, Republicans in New York's congressional delegation will increase from 2 to 8, no small feat.

The stakes in November could not be higher — and the field of candidates could hardly be better. Please see the attached form let us know if you can participate.


Thanks so much for your thoughtful consideration of my request. I'd love to include you as a co-host.

Sincerely,

Dan

P.S. This event will be Tuesday, June 29, 2010, just prior to the critical June 30 financial reporting deadline.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mike Arcuri of NY’s 24th Congressional District gives himself a big pat on the back for the economy in NY Times article


By Sam Foster

In true NY political style, Congressman Mike Arcuri intimated to a downstate newspaper what he wouldn't dare say locally.  According to a recent interview with the NY Times, Mike Arcuri patted himself on the back for how great the economy was in NY's 24th Congressional District.

"In New York's 24th Congressional District, for example, Representative Mike Arcuri, a Democrat, said he senses the improvement but has to be careful about how he couches it with voters.

"They just want to know there's light at the end of the tunnel," he said. "I think they're just starting to see that."

Arcuri's comments are remarkable given that he had just politicized the layoffs at Suit-Kote in an attempt to raise campaign funds.  Suit-Kote is one of the largest employers in Cortland County.  

However, it is no wonder why Mr. Arcuri feels the need to be "careful about how he couches his enthusiasm with voters."  According to a recent NBC/WSJ poll, voters see incumbent support for Obama's stimulus package as toxic.  The poll found that 39% of respondents had a favorable opinion of those that voted for the bill, while 46% had a negative view.

From Congressman Arcuri's comments, he clearly believes that he has worked wonders for the economy of NY's 24th, while residents are not convinced.  But don't worry;  congressman Arcuri will be "careful with how he couches" the subject with you so as not to seem so giddy about the economy's current state.  

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Raquel Okyay joins UPR plus: Why Joe DioGuardi is the right Republican for NY Senate seat


By Sam Foster

I'm very pleased to announce that Raquel Okyay will be joining our coverage at Upstate Political Report.  She is a blogger from farther downstate at RaquelOkyay.com and her coverage is extremely impressive.  Please check out her insights on Nan Hayworth running in NY-19 and Chris Gibson in NY-20.  Today, she hit a homerun with regards to Joe DioGuardi's candidacy to challenge Democrat Senator Kursten Gillibrand.  She even includes all the insiders notes on how former Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato has been clearing the Republican field for Gillibrand's re-election.

Republican decision-makers in New York missed the boat – big time.

The U.S. Senate junior position currently held by a one-time "conservative" Democrat turned mouth-piece for Sen. Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, is probably the weakest seat in the state. According to a June 14 Sienna College poll, Gillibrand's favorability rating is down six points from last month to a dismal 36%. Here is the perfect opportunity to show the rest of the country that even liberal New York is ripe for upheaval.

New York State Conservative Party got it right when they chose former Congressman Joe DioGuardi as their designated candidate to run against Gillibrand. DioGuardi has a long record of supporting a transparent government that works for the people not at their expense, and in an era of public demands for government restraint, Joe DioGuardi is the obvious choice.

In addition to being pro-life, pro-family and pro-America, Joe wrote the book on sound fiscal policy before it was popular in Unaccountable Congress – It Doesn't Add Up (Regency, 1992).

Joe DioGuardi has written a courageous and practical book about the phony budgeting process Congress uses to sustain its financial profligacy. He has both a keen understanding of its accounting gimmickry and some excellent suggestions about how to straighten out our budgetary tangle" – William E. Simon, Former Secretary of the Treasury

Joe DioGuardi has the name recognition and long line of supporters needed to overcome an incumbent Democrat in New York, yet Republicans either naïve or paid-off, afforded a win to former Long Island Legislator Bruce Blakeman at the rate of 51%.

Republicans working against Joe DioGuardi

The problem with choosing Blakeman is that Blakeman is the choice candidate of the "Gillicrew". The Gillicrew consists of former Republican U.S. Senator from New York Alfonse D'Amato, former Republican Governor, George Pataki, and any other Republican elected official who want Gillibrand to win and the Republican candidate to lose.

After rumors surfaced in early 2009 that Gillibrand would be selected to the U.S. Senate to replace Hillary Clinton (who departed to become Secretary of State), D'Amato went into high gear securing Gillibrand's seat, first making sure Pataki would not enter the race.

Pataki's longtime ally, Al D'Amato, the former senator who still wields major power in the state's fractured GOP, has been actively working behind the scenes to make sure that no one, not even Pataki, challenges Gillibrand, whom he's known since was a baby. – The Village Voice Blogs

Politico.com Blogs describes the long familial relationship between D'Amato and Gillibrand:

Gillibrand's father, Doug Rutnik, is an Albany insider and lobbyist whose ties to former GOP powerhouses Joe Bruno, George Pataki and Al D'Amato are legendary. In fact, Gillibrand won her seat when a state police domestic violence report about the GOP incumbent, John Sweeney, was mysteriously leaked, ostensibly with the acquiescence of the Pataki administration, which had its own reasons to oppose Sweeney. ..Rutnik dated, and eventually lived with, a top Pataki and D'Amato aide for many years, until he broke up with her in 2006 to marry [someone else]. Rutnik and D'Amato have been registered lobbyists for some of the same clients.

The below links show D'Amato being photographed with each candidate at their formal announcement:

Announcement photo of Bruce Blakeman for U.S. Senate.

Announcement photo of Kirsten Gillibrand for U.S. Senate.

The reason why D'Amato picked a candidate from Long Island is because of the weighted vote of registered Republicans in the area compared to the rest of the State. D'Amato was able to peel enough votes to divide the convention and deliver a win for Blakeman – a win that was strategically planned.

Joe DioGuardi – Candidate of the People

Voters are pulling for Joe DioGuardi in spite of D'Amato's tricks, because they know Joe has a history of choosing people over politics and because they also know he is the only candidate who will clean up the corruption if elected.

A Siena Research poll and a Rasmussen poll again confirmed that I am the strongest opponent to Sen. Gillibrand in this race. When asked, New York voters did not echo the feelings of party bosses or the backroom deals they have tried to cut; instead, their support continues to align with our message of fiscal responsibility and standing up for the people, instead of big government and corporate malfeasance. — DioGuardi Campaign Update (June 2010)

New Yorkers: Send a message to the Gillicrew that says NO to pulling strings, NO to cozy jobs, NO to handshakes and payoffs. Support Joe DioGuardi by helping him get on the ballot in September's GOP primary. If Joe wins the GOP primary together with the Conservative Party endorsement, the road is clear to victory in November. Do not be complacent — the time is now.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ontario County NY experiences earthquake

By Sam Foster

We interrupt normal political discussion to bring you breaking news.  While typing away at my work email, I noticed that my computer screen was shaking inexplicably.  Within minutes coworkers were getting calls from family members about an earthquake.  As far as I can tell, people in Canandaigua, Farmington, Victor and Fishers NY felt the quake, which occurred around 6/23/10 1:50PM EST.

More details to follow.

Update:

Wham 13 confirms.

The 13WHAM-TV newsroom felt shaking at about 1:43 p.m. It lasted for about 5 to 10 seconds.

Twitter and Facebook comments indicate people felt the slight shaking all over Rochester.

The U.S. Geological Survey said there was an earthquake in the Lake Champlain area.

We will bring you more information as it becomes available.


Update x2:

HuffPo has earthquake in Canada

A Canada earthquake shook Toronto and Ottawa at approximately 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time today, June 23, 2010.

Numerous reports flooded Twitter, including from the National Post in Toronto, which reported heavy shaking to its building about 30 seconds after similar reports from Ottawa.

The Globe and Mail is reporting on its mobile site that there are numerous reports of "unusual ground shaking in various parts of Ontario," felt as far away as Buffalo.

The quake was also felt by some as far away as Boston and Cleveland.

This is a developing story...


Update x3:

Earthquake is a 5.5 and epicenter was in Quebec. The shaking was felt as far as Rochester NY.

Update x4:

Comments of the earthquake via the Globe

Montreal too! 21 0 Report Abuse

J LaRue 6/23/2010 1:50:45 PM
First tremor I haven't been asleep for. NICE!!! 14 0 Report Abuse

GtrPlyr 6/23/2010 1:51:27 PM
I feel the Earth move under my feet .... 33 1Report Abuse

beep 6/23/2010 1:51:33 PM
Kitchener as well. The duct work in my condo shook bacak and forth for about 15 seconds ...aproximately 6 inche displacement and the couch was moving for about 15 seconds before and during
10 1Report Abuse

JL6 6/23/2010 1:51:36 PM
I felt it in the office and thought it was just me...

That felt WEIRD 22 1Report Abuse

ShootMessen​ger 6/23/2010 1:51:45 PM
Felt it here at Spadina and King. Chalked it up to testing for our BILLION$ G20 photo-op for Harper! 27 24Report Abuse

A_K 6/23/2010 1:51:54 PM
2 tremors in Toronto. 11 0 Report Abuse

Bikie 6/23/2010 1:51:55 PM
Cornwall too! 5 0 Report Abuse

Merkin 6/23/2010 1:52:02 PM
the whole front of the house was bending and waving. 20 seconds or so. 7 2Report Abuse

Bankruptbab​y 6/23/2010 1:52:23 PM
Wow, that was fast. The Globe had this up before my monitor stopped shaking.


Follow My coverage at Left Coast Rebel. Video included!

Nan Hayworth responds to John Hall's attacks on energy policy

By Sam Foster
Via NY Daily News

I hate to watch national political games filter into local elections, but since John Hall is the poster boy for the Democratic Congressional Committee and Obama lap-dog, it's no surprise that he has released a political attack video distorting challenger Nan Hayworth's stance on energy policy:

Nan Hayworth - Environmentally Sound from American Exception on Vimeo.



John Hall's campaign released the following statement:

"Hudson Valley residents have a right to know where Nan Hayworth stands. Nan Hayworth can run but she can't hide. Despite Hayworth's attempt to block a video exposing her positions and their environmental and economic costs, the video has been re-posted here, so you can know the facts," said Hall campaign manager Patrick McGarrity.

"The bottom line - Nan Hayworth continues to stand with BP and BP apologists like Congressmen Price and Barton. Instead of holding corporations accountable, she's decided to stand with the big oil companies and their irresponsible offshore drilling policies - and stick American taxpayers with the bill. New Yorkers have a right to know."

A good campaign will responds quickly and effectively.  Nan Hayworth released the following video in response.



She may not be the best speaker on camera, but I like her call to John Hall to hold a serious discussion as opposed to rely on Democrat Hyperbole:

"Mr. Hall, if you're interested in an honest discussion, you know where to find me."</



In truth, incumbent John Hall's own stance on energy policy relies firmly on the Democrat misdirection known only as "and something magic will happen."

From John Hall's website:

In order to break away from our reliance on old sources of energy and to forge a new, clean energy future America must take bold, comprehensive action. I support undertaking an aggressive, sweeping, Apollo program-like effort to spur research into new technologies, renewable sources of energy, and energy efficiency


Sounds great right?  You'd think Tinkerbelle has just sprinkled John Hall with magic fairy dust and he began thinking happy thoughts on energy policy.  

However, there is no magic out there that is going to solve our energy needs as Mr. Hall pretends.  He has unapologetically supported energy policies that a Harvard Study agrees will bring $7 dollars a gallon at the pump.  Come November, the voters of the 19th congressional district will vote on whether they can afford to reelect John Hall.  

Also see, Nan's response to liberal bloggers at the Albany Project.

NY-19th Nan Hayworth has a great blog, unloads on criticism from Albany Project

By Sam Foster

I'm no fan of The Albany Project.  

It's not just that they are leftist shills reproducing old and tired talking points that are at least two years old (you guys really need to get a new bag of tricks).  It's the simple fact that they rely so heavily on the reader believing in liberal fairy tales, that anyone not baptized into the religion of leftist statetocracy can barely following the meandering of their pontifications.  If you are unfamiliar with liberal fairy tales, their favorite meme is one in which the political right has sold their souls to the all powerful, corporate devils, while the saintly left are just one breath away from being exorcised by that highly conspiratorial, corporate body known as "Big…fill-in-the-blank with whatever business industry their leadership is selling like opium to their talking point addicted base."

Candidate Nan Hayworth, running against Democrat incumbent John Hall in NY's 19th congressional district, was the most recent victim of The Albany Project's disconnected rationale:

Yesterday, Representative John Hall (NY-19) called on his Republican challenger, Nan Hayworth, to denounce claims made by GOP leaders of an Obama Administration "shake down" of oil giant BP.

Hall specifically asked his opponent to denounce comments made by Republican Congressman Tom Price, a major political ally of Hayworth's. But Hayworth won't budge, and is, in fact, now echoing Price's infamous press release, where the GOP leader rants that the administration is extorting BP and using the crisis to further its "liberal agenda." Is this where Hayworth begins to show her true colors, as an advocate of big corporate interests over the pressing needs of hard-working taxpayers in her district? It seems so.

I will admit that I was pleased to see the readership could actually engage in a fairly reasonable discussion attached in the comments section.  The same could not be said for the author Cliff Weathers, whose game of pin the tail on the Elephant routine was at best an attempt to turn lead into gold.  

The formula, evil equals oil equals BP spill, where criticism of Obama's unbecoming use of the office of the white house equals joyous support for leaking oil into the Gulf, has very little chance of convincing any of us living in the real world.  

In reality, there is nothing to Cliff's claims.  If Nan Hayworth was connected to the cabal of "Big…fill-in-the-blank," we would expect that energy is a major financial supporter.  Yet, where's the Big Oil contributions?  The way The Albany Project struts, you'd think the money was rolling in like union cash into the coffers of Hayworth's political opponent John Hall.



But, then it doesn't really matter where Hayworth gets contributions, because there is another liberal fairy tale that reads labor money…good, any source of funding for an R…bad.

The truth is this.  BP was negligent and there is a very large and long-standing practice of law reserved in this country for dealing with negligence.  If the current law is insufficient for dealing with the issue, then congress makes new law.  Using the office of the President as an arm of the judicial branch of government, while at the same time preceding the legislative branch is just plain wrong.

I will thank Cliff Weathers for both the excellent example of liberal hyperbole and for directing me to Nan Hayworth's blog.  It's so rare to find a congressional candidate that steps out into the blogosphere, yet Nan Hayworth seems both willing and talented in the craft with her response to The Albany Project:

Surprise, surprise: Cliff Weathers at The Albany Project has joined the collective attack of the vapors about Congressman Tom Price's recent comments regarding the White House and its meeting with BP. In the midst of his hyperventilation, Cliff sniffs at me for not reading things all the way through. Cliff should take his own advice.

Anybody reading my blog post all the way through would know the following:

I fully support holding BP responsible for the spill and its remediation.

I fully support ensuring that BP is committed to paying the costs for remediation.

I fully support the federal government's taking responsibility for protecting our environment.

The rational and conscientious reader would also appreciate that I openly share Congressman Price's skepticism about the way in which this White House does business. This extends far beyond the BP matter; the latter is simply emblematic of an approach that relies on closed-door dealings, unaccountable to the public.

As Larry Kudlow points out on Real Clear Politics today,  the Administration does not have the legal authority to establish a government-run escrow fund. Nobody is questioning BP's responsibility, nor do I feel sorry for BP. But we do need our leaders to follow the law; otherwise, the resulting uncertain business environment will shackle the entrepreneurship needed for major technological advances that will ease our dependence on oil. The vibrant, R&D-driven, "all of the above" energy economy we desperately need will remain out of reach.

Read more…



So as I've stated before, I'm not a fan of The Albany Project, but at least they've directed me to someone who is serious in addressing the issues facing this nation.  I think they've just helped me to decide which campaign to donate to next.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Matt Zeller to campaign in NYC


By Sam Foster

Democrat, check!  Fundraiser outside of district, check!  Headed to NYC to raise dough, check!  

While the talking points on Matt Zeller have been all about how he is not a politician and that he has these long-standing roots in the 29th congressional district, Matt Zeller is headed to NYC for an ActBlue reception on June 24th.  

All we needed was another upstate politician to travel downstate, right?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sean Carroll of Wham 13 nails Patterson on dithering special election


Hat Tip to Jill Terreri at Vote Up!
Via Wham 13

If you see Sean Carroll at the mall, on the street, or pumping gas in your neighborhood, give the man a handshake from the residents of NY 29th Congressional District.  Carroll recently confronted Governor David Patterson about his dithering on calling a special election for NY's 29th Congressional District.  The district has been without representation since before the March health care vote and should Patterson have its way, may miss a $125 billion jobs bill and a vote on cap and trade legislation.  

In the interview, Patterson had the following excuses to support his decision:

Still, when asked why he didn't schedule a special election promptly so as to offer constituents representation right away, the Governor said:

"Well it could've been (scheduled right away) but when you have no more people voting in a special election than in a school board election I don't think a representative number of the population is getting a chance to vote."

When asked if politics played a role, seeing as how local Democrats took more than a month to rally behind a candidate, the Governor responded:

"No, it's been pretty consistent with how I have called special elections except in cases where it's so early in the session that you don't want an empty seat for six or seven months."

Sean Carroll rebuts however:

In glancing at two special elections to fill congressional seats in New York over the past two years, one finds that the Governor is correct about voter turnout.  However, these two examples also show that a special election on Election Day, or in March, doesn't appear to greatly change turnout.

(Keep in mind 2008 was a Presidential Election year)

NY-20
Special Election scheduled in March to replace Kirsten Gillibrand who was appointed U.S. Senator in January 2009.
Scott Murphy (D) defeated Jim Tedisco (R)
Turnout:  

'09 Special: 160,940
2008 General: 311,682
2006 General: 235,722


NY-23

Special Election scheduled for Election Day to replace John McHugh (R) who resigned in September 2009 to take a job with the U.S. Army.
Bill Owens (D) defeated Doug Hoffman (C) - Dede Scozzafava's (R) withdrew.

Turnout:
'09 Special: 151,272
2008 General:  218,900
2006 General:  169,099

The truth is that the only possible motives for holding up an election are political and Democrat candidate Matt Zeller should be pressed for an appropriate response for why he has supported the governor.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Proving a negative: Congressman Chris Lee, NY 26th, under ethics investigation

Updated: Welcome Freepers. Thanks for linking and please bookmark this site if you'd like to follow what is going on in the NY Congressional Elections.

Via WGRZ 2

Via Vote Up!

 

By Sam Foster

 

It's a growing story, 8 congressman are being investigated by an independent ethics committee for their vote on banking reform.  Chris Lee, Republican congressmen from NY's 26th congressional district is one of the members being investigated.  The national print media have merely named Mr. Lee in the investigation and have no specifics.  WGRZ had the most detailed coverage:

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Representative Chris Lee (R-26th District) is being investigated by the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). 

According to the NY Post and the political website thehill.com, Lee is one of eight lawmakers whose fundraising activities are being investigated.  All of the lawmakers involved are are all members of either the Financial Services or Ways and Means committees.   

According to the NY Post, the motive behind the investigation is not clear, but sources tell the paper it is tied to Wall Street reform legislation.  thehill.com says the office investigating the lawmakers is demanding fundraising information from lobbyists. 

Rep. Lee's Communications Director Andrea Bozek, issued the following statement when contacted by 2 On Your Side about the probe.

"We were contacted by the OCE about a routine audit that has begun regarding a bipartisan group of members.  We were informed that the OCE has conducted similar audits in the past of groups of Democratic and Republican members.  Chris believes strongly in accountability and is happy to comply with the OCE's request."

I wouldn't be surprised if this issue came up again in the elections, but an investigation seems highly unlikely to actually implicate congressman Lee, since he voted against the bill that passed, along a solid majority of Republicans.  In fact, prior to his vote, he supported alternative reforms.   Of course, there might be some hidden camera somewhere capturing a secret stash of cash in congressman Lee's freezer.  However,  as so many are familiar, it is nearly impossible to prove a negative.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No appeal in the lawsuit to force a speedy special election in NY’s 29th congressional district


By Sam Foster

It looks like the residents of NY's 29th congressional district will be without a voice in congress for at least 270 days, though more likely to be nearer to 300.  I just confirmed with Carl Edwards, leader of the Cattaraugus County Tea Party and one of the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit, that there will not be a repeal of Judge Larimer's ruling.  The judge ruled that Gov. Patterson must call a special election, so long as it is held by the date of the national elections on November 2nd.  Gov. Patterson has already indicated that he plans to call the election for that date.

The motivation for the late timing of the special election are purely political and have been discussed in great detail at this blog.  Please check out our article that was featured in the American Thinker.  However, the situation has become as disappointing as it is odd where it concerns Democrat candidate Matt Zeller, who has refused to join in calling for a speedy special election.  True to the party line, Matt Zeller argued in an interview with Wham 13 that an election would be costly and would disenfranchise military residents.  Matt Zeller stuck so firmly to his party line on this issue that he never realized the sheer ridiculousness of quitting his job in Washington and moving into the 29th congressional district to run in a race he says should not be held.  

Regardless, the real tragedy is that the residents of NY's 29th will not have their voices heard on congressional bills of historic and sweeping proportion.  Currently, congress is debating on a $125 billion stimulus bill.  Cap and trade and immigration reform are two issues that have been floated for potential summer votes.  Already, NY-29 was without representation during health care bill passed in March.

Carl Edwards sited monetary issues as the main reason a repeal effort will not go forward.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Key endorsements for Roberto in NY's 27th

By Sam Foster
Via The Buffalo Bean

With the massive blowout Higgins had in the last election (74% of the vote). It's hard to say where Leonard Roberto's campaign will land in this election cycle. Especially after a Republican take the seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy, anything can happen.

Buffalo Bean writes:

With two key endorsements in the past week, Leonard Roberto’s campaign got the boost it needs to go against Brian Higgins in the 27th congressional district. Last week he was endorsed by the Erie County Conservative Party and he now has the backing of the Erie County Republican Party.

Sure the district has reliably going for Higgins, but the wave of anti-incumbency puts Roberto in a good position to wage a formidable campaign.. if he gets his name out there, and makes the case that Brian Higgins no longer represents the interests of the district.

Roberto says, “I represent a real choice in this election for the people of Western New York. Brian Higgins once boasted that he was ‘the most independent and conservative Democrat in New York.’ However, by supporting the agenda of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi, he has proven he is no conservative.”

Roborto also just got endorsed by the Erie County Republican Party. Chairman Nick Langworthy called Roberto “a very principled conservative” whose experience as a businessman means he “understands the problems of small businesses in our area.”

Nick also noted that Roberto “has the dedication to beat Brian Higgins this year.” Beating Brian Higgins won’t be easy, but everything I heard from people in his campaign I spoke at the Buffalo GOP’s 2nd Annual Latin Irish FUN Raiser this week was that Roberto is ready to go out there and do what it takes to show the voters of the district how Brian Higgins no longer represents their interests.

Conservative Grassroots in action: UNYTEA to collect signatures for Doug Hoffman


By Sam Foster
Via Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The members of UNY TEA, the local Tea Party representing the North Country section of NYS, met the other day to organize a petition drive to put Doug Hoffman on the Republican ballot.  While many debate the effectiveness of the Tea Party movement on the national scale, they do present a sizable campaign force and the 2010 elections may be the true litmus test to whether there is any political potency for future elections.  NY's 23rd congressional district may be one of many epicenters for the Tea Party tale to bare fruit, their endorsement of Doug Hoffman pits them against local Republican political bosses as 9 out of 11 counties have swung for Matt Doheny.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise interviewed Mark Barie, the leader of UNYTEA:

The Upstate New York Tea Party has endorsed Doug Hoffman, and its ability to gather signatures for him will be "a numerical litmus test" of its strength, according to UNYTEA Chairman Mark Barie. Candidates will need 1,250 signatures before the state's mid-July deadline to get on the ballot; UNYTEA's self-imposed deadline is June 30.

About 70 people came to a UNYTEA-hosted meeting at the Hotel Saranac Thursday evening. Barie's remarks were largely focused on advising the attendees on the petition drive and get-out-to-vote efforts. For example, Barie suggested members send out mailers to people in their communities with handwritten addresses, with handwritten "P.S." notes at the end of the form letters saying they have met Hoffman, to give it a more personal feel.

UNYTEA started last year and has more than 700 members. Hoffman is the first candidate the group has endorsed.

"This is a test, to see if we can help him," Barie said. He said UNYTEA will be holding more, similar events throughout the district in the upcoming weeks; they held one in Elizabethtown last week.

However, Barie said after the event, "whether (Hoffman) wins, loses, or draws, the Upstate New York Tea Party will live to fight another day."

Will UNYTEA bear fruit for the Hoffman campaign?  Only time will tell, however, this many be the first election cycle in recent memory where right-wing organizers will likely be at work en masse.  It will certainly be interesting to watch.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

There's something weird about Matt Zeller's candidacy for NY's 29th congressional district


By Sam Foster
Via Olean Times

Does anyone else find Matt Zeller's story regarding his election bid, weird?  

Normally, I wouldn't delve into something as mundane as a candidate's motivation to run for congress, that's what the campaigning process is all about and quite honestly the value of one's ideas should always outweigh their location of residence.  However, Matt Zeller's story for how he came to Victor to run for NY's 29th congressional district is so full of strange nuances that, I couldn't let it go without mention.  

Matt Zeller was out campaigning the other night in Olean looking for donations.  He gave the following explanation for his arrival immediately following Eric Massa's resignation:

A visit to the district last fall to thank his aunt and her friends for knitting hats he and members of his unit handed out to Afghan children, he saw evidence of businesses that were closing and lost jobs. Besides getting homesick for Western New York, he started thinking about how he could "help put folks back to work."

After talking about doing something for months with his fiancée and friends, he finally decided to move back home to Victor in Monroe County to try to make a difference. He wasn't sure what he would do.

"As fate would have it, Eric Massa resigned that day," he said.

Mr. Massa was elected to represent the 29th Congressional District in November 2008. He resigned his seat March 8 over reports of health and allegations of sexual harassment involving a male aide.

Mr. Zeller, 28, convinced a majority of the Democratic chairmen in the eight-county congressional district that he would make the best candidate in the special election. Republicans had earlier chosen former Corning Mayor Tom Reed to run for the seat.

Here is the standard mold for a local politician;

1. Politician grew up in the area
2. Or at least moved to the area for sometime before
3. They decide to run for office
4. And often, they've held a previous office.  

Not so with Matt Zeller.  Although he grew up in the area, he really hasn't lived here in over ten years.  I have no doubt that a run for NY's 29th congressional district was his reason for moving back, but was his motivation solely a matter of heartfelt homesickness?  

In an interview he did for the Brighton Pittsford Post.  A number of oddities emerge.  Zeller had been working in the Department of Defense for the CIA in Washington DC immediately before his move.  In case you forget, DC is where all those national politicians meet.  After being forced to resign due to his run for office, he takes residence not at his aunt and uncle's residence, but at the Monroe County Democrat Committee headquarters.  Within a short time Zeller convinced the Democrat County Chairmen, to nominate him for the special election of which these chairmen supposedly had never heard of Matt Zeller.  The Mr. Zeller went straight to work parroting every single Democrat talking point from no drilling, to imaginary green jobs, to a two-state solution for Israel, with no divergence from the party line.

Matt Zeller calls it fate and it may even be the true, but I call it weird.    

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Still waiting on whether there will be an appeal for the special election in NY's 29th Congressional District


By Sam Foster

Last night I received the following press release regarding a potential appeal to Judge Larimer's ruling with regards to the date that Gov. Patterson has announced for the 29th Congressional District special election.  
On Friday, June 4, 2010, Federal Court Judge David Larimer issued his Decision in Fox et al. v. Paterson, wherein the plaintiffs sought a prompt Special Election for the 29th Congressional District.

Judge Larimer held that Governor Paterson has a mandatory duty, as required by the U.S. Constitution, to proclaim a Special Election, but that he does not have to issue a proclamation, under New York Law, at any time prior to the date, which will allow the Special Election to be held on the same date as the General Election for that congressional seat --- 11/2/10.

The residents of the 29th District, therefore, will not have a representative in Congress until possibly 11/3/10 at the earliest.

Counsel is reviewing the Decision to determine the appropriateness and viability of an appeal.

There will be no further comment at this time.


I hope that I will be able to provide you a prompt update on whether or not there will be an appeal as soon as possible.  Please bookmark this site for further developments.

Buffalo Democrat Incumbent Brian Higgins gets republican challenger in NY’s 27th Congressional District


By Sam Foster
Via Buffalo News

Leonard Roberto of Alden has decided the throw his hat in the ring in a bid to challenge incumbent Brian Higgins for Buffalo's representation in congress.  The Buffalo News has a bit of Roberto's background:

Roberto was endorsed by both the Erie County Republican and Conservative parties, which he has described as representing "a new direction for the conservative movement in Western New York."

"For years, I have been working to hold the political parties in our state to the conservative principles of smaller government, less taxes and spending cuts," Roberto said in a news release Tuesday.

"Now, all the work I have done — with the help of so many other concerned Western New Yorkers — is being recognized as the right direction for local Conservatives and Republicans running for national office," he added.

Roberto is the founder of Primary Challenge, an anti-incumbent, taxpayer advocacy group. He also ran for county executive on the Independence Party line in 1995 and for State Senate in the 2005 Republican primary.

Leonard Roberto will likely face an uphill battle for his election bid.  Cook's political report lists NY's 27th congressional district as favoring Democrats by +4 on their PVI rating system.  The district voted heavily for Higgins in 2008, 74%.  You can visit his site here.

Double election scheduled in November for NY’s 29th Congressional District has voters confused

By Sam Foster
Via WENY News

When November 2nd rolls around this year, voters in NY's 29th Congressional District will have to do the one thing no one ever does in an election; VOTE TWICE!  Thanks to Gov. Patterson's politically motivated decision to hold a special election to replace former congressman Eric Massa on the same day as the regular 2010 elections, voters are bound for confusion this elections cycle.

Below is a video from WENY on the topic



Just to help straighten things out as early as possible, here is how the NY 29th congressional race has shaped up thus far.

NY 29th's Special Election will be between (and is not likely to change):

Republican Tom Reed
Democrat Matthew Zeller

NY 29th's Regular Election will be between (Is likely to change by September)

Republican winner of September's primary
Current candidates include:
Tom Reed
Angelo Campini
Janice Volk

Democrat winner of September's primary
Current candidate:
Matthew Zeller

We hope to obtain copies from the local board of elections of the November ballots for educational purposes when it comes time for November's elections, so please check back for detailed help with the ballots.

Voters of NY's 29th, please remember to vote twice in November!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Can Congressman Paul Tonko (NY21) be defeated?

By Tim Knight
Cross-Posted at http://www.jumpinginpools.blogspot.com/

Congressman Paul Tonko (D-2008) represents New York's 21st congressional district; a district of which New York State Democrats dominate, Public Unions control, and the chances of anyone (besides a machine backed Democrat) defeating Congressman Tonko is close to nothing. Even though the district is quite Conservative, at least by Democratic standards.

However, the upcoming congressional election could result in the closest election in this district in decades. And why not? Considering the 2008 election was the tightest race this district has ever seen in its' current boundaries (drawn up after the 2000 Census).

2008 US Congressional election - NY21

Paul Tonko (D) - 61.8%
Jim Burhmaster (R) - 35.4%
Phillip Steck (I) - 2.8%

The only reason Mr.Tonko received 61.8% of the vote in 2008 was because he use to represent several portions of his current district while serving in the New York Legislature; and was well known for visiting with his constituents on a regular basis. However, his voting record is dismal at best, and the Congressman he replaced was at least somewhat Conservative (more in line with local voters), not a committed liberal.

This leaves us with one question: Can Congressman Tonko (who is by my unforturnate luck my Congressman) be defeated?

Well, it depends.

Local Republicans would need 100% of all registered Republican and Conservative voters (who will vote this November), along with Moderate Democrats and rightward leaning Independents to support Ted Danz; the probable Republican Nominee. Plus the Liberal record of Paul Tonko would have to be everywhere: Papers, Radio, Television, Billboards, which will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In the end it comes down to this: Do local Republicans want to win this election in November? Or do local Republicans want to invest much needed funds towards winnable districts spanning the state and spanning the offices (state, federal, etc.). If local Republicans decide on the former; we can win, but only with a 1,000,000 dollars and 1,000 volunteers.

Paul Tonko, a devoted liberal, can be defeated in November. Such as Martha Coakley was in Massachusetts, Case and Hanabusa were in Hawaii, and Corzine is in New Jersey. However, winning requires serious sacrifice and time, and I'm not sure New York Republicans want to possibly waste funds on defeating Tonko, when retaking the state Senate is our number one priority.

We got 35.4% of the vote in 2008; now we just need 14.7% more of the vote in 2010. We can do it.

Dan Maffei backtracks on his support for bill that crushes the local wine industry

Via Wham 13
Big Hat Tip to Evan Dawson

Wham 13 recently did a great interview exposing Congressman Dan Maffei's sponsorship of HR 5034; a bill that seriously threatens local small wineries.  Local wineries rely heavily on selling their product directly to consumers via tasting rooms.  The bill, originally co-sponsored by Maffei, intends on enforcing the three tiered system which would mean that vineyards would have to close their store fronts and sell to distributors instead.  Clearly, such a proposal would be detrimental to the local economy and tourism.

Maffei's interview with Evan Dawson below.



The bill HR 5034, was written by the beer industry lobby.  Since prohibition and the establishment of the three tiered system in NY, beer companies have enjoyed a competitive advantage being the only type of alcohol that can be purchased in grocery stores.  With the popularity of local wine tours, the beer industry has viewed local growers as a threat to that legislative advantage.  No surprise Maffei, who's only accomplishment since his election is his fundraising, is one of the beer industry's top contribution recipients.

Below is a snippet of Evan Dawson's blog post on the topic:

Congressman Dan Maffei is a member of the Congressional Wine Caucus, but that doesn't mean he's taking the wine industry's side on a highly controversial bill. HR 5034 - which was written by beer wholesalers - could essentially wipe out wineries' ability to sell directly to customers while strengthening the three-tier system. Direct wine purchasing (from winery to consumer) is directly on the line in this bill. Small wineries that do not use a distributor are already predicting that the bill's passage would result in their demise, as they would lose a major avenue for interacting with customers.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Suit-Kote CEO fires both barrels at Democrat Michael Arcuri of NY-24

By Sam Foster

Cross Posted at Left Coast Rebel
Via Oneida Dispatch

Yesterday Frank Suits, president and CEO of Suit-Kote Corporation responded to a fund raising email sent by Democrat congressman for NY-24, Michael Arcuri, in an attempt to solicit donations in the wake of the company's misfortune.  Mr. Frank's comments are brilliant.  At a time where democrats are throwing flames and everything else including the kitchen sink at businesses for political gain, Mr. Suits does not pull his punches.  His full letter is below (read here):

Congressman Michael Arcuri recently sent out an e-mail attempting to raise money off of the misfortune that has befallen more than one hundred Suit-Kote Corporation employees.

The congressman's e-mail does not represent the type of conduct the people of the 24th Congressional District should expect from their elected congressional representative. A corporation that employs nearly seven hundred of those very constituents, should not expect such conduct, either.

Mr. Arcuri is trying to hide behind his misguided political rhetoric to make the executives at Suit-Kote Corporation look like villains for financially supporting an honorable individual, Richard Hanna, who knows first-hand how to create jobs and has pledged to go to Washington to fight for Suit-Kote families who rely on their jobs to support their families.

Since getting to Congress, Mr. Arcuri has, time and time again, voted against the interests of Upstate New York and the employees of Suit-Kote Corporation. Whether it was the completely un-American Card Check legislation, the runaway spending or the 15 times he voted in favor of the onerous Cap and Trade bill, Mr. Arcuri, it seems, has gone out of his way to earn our support for his opponent.

The congressman has proven where his allegiance is by supporting Nancy Pelosi and her ultra-liberal agenda a mind-numbing 92 percent of the time. And when he does oppose her wishes, it more often than not is because it wasn't liberal enough. Remember, he supported the original "Obama Care" bill that would have led to single-payer government option, and opposed the "not-so" watered down version that was signed into law.

Now that the congressmen has resorted to small-minded attacks about our recent layoffs, we would like to set the record straight. The reason those families are out of work is a direct result of the incompetence of his fellow Democrats in Albany. Their inability to do their job has caused great hardships on this corporation and the individuals we employ. Furthermore, we find Mr. Arcuri's "blame the victim" method of leadership as completely inexcusable. Instead of launching cheap attacks at his opponent maybe he can talk to his colleagues in Albany so all of our employees can get back to work!

Oh, and by the way, our corporation has decided to bring back 60 of those employees even though we are not being paid for our services by the State of New York. Put simply, we have made the decision to self-finance those 60 jobs to get some of our dedicated workers off of the unemployment line. However, we wouldn't want the facts to get in the way of your desperate attempts at political survival.

Mr. Arcuri, I believe you owe an apology to the families of Suit-Kote Corporation, but most importantly, I think it's time you went to Washington to represent their interests.

Can you imagine if businesses across America had the guts, as Mr. Suits certainly has, to stand up to democrats?  For now, I'm just glad that to have found one.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Surprise for Dan Maffei in his Home Town

I wonder if Dan Maffei was surprised to see Ann Marie Buerkle's new campaign office in his home town of Dewitt, NY this past week.


That's a nice welcome home for the congressman who likes to ignore his constituents.

Read more at The Lonely Conservative.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Updated: Judge Rules on 29th Congressional Dictrict: No congressional representation until November

By Sam Foster
Via Wham 13

District Judge Larimer has finally announced his decision on the lawsuit challenging Governor David Patterson to hold a speedy special election to replace disgraced congressman Eric Massa in NY's 29th Congressional District.

The Judge Larimer rules the following:

In the decision Judge Larimer rules in favor of the plaintiffs argument that a special election should be scheduled. He in turn ruled that so long as the Governor schedules that special election on or before November 2, 2010 (the day of the General Election) than he has fulfilled his obligations.


The decision is a blow to both the citizens of the 29th who have been without representation for three months and a November election means they will continue to go without a voice in Washington for nearly a full year.

I've contacted several parties involved in the case and hope to provide everyone with some insight on whether there will be an appeal.

Update:


Tom Reed's response below:


“This seat has been held hostage by the leadership in Washington and Albany for far too long and we had hoped that the Governor will do the right thing and call a special election sooner,” Reed said. “Six hundred and sixty thousand western New Yorkers will have to wait even longer and have no voice in the House on coming issues such as the carbon tax, immigration reform and the on-going appropriations process that will decide the 2011 Federal budget.”

In making the ruling shortly before 5:00PM this afternoon, United States District Court Judge David Larimer said that Governor Paterson must call a special election and cannot let the seat go vacant until Jan. 1, 2011. However the ruling did not compel the governor to hold the special election any earlier than his stated intention of November 2. Thus it is likely that a special election and general election will be held concurrently in November, possibly with different candidates selected by different processes on different lines for different terms.

“It might be a very confusing ballot, but we are confident that our message of no more borrowing and living within our means and less federal government intrusion into our lives will carry both elections in November,” Reed said. “We’ll keep taking our message to the voters as we have been for almost a year. Our momentum and support is growing every day.”