Friday, November 30, 2007

MoveOn Puts Its Head in the Sand

Slow Bleed Architect Jack Murtha Flip-Flops,
Acknowledges Surge Success
Nothing but Silence from the Liberal Basement Bloggers

Murtha: MoveOn Buries
Its Head in the Sand

Baird: MoveOn
Goes Ballistic

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) Today: "I think the 'surge' is working..."
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11/30/07)

But back in June, Rep. Murtha said: "I'm absolutely convinced right now the surge isn't working..."
(ABC’s "This Week," 6/3/07)

"MoveOn targets pro-surge Democrat

"Rep. Brian Baird's (D-Wash.) recent conversion on the Iraq war is beginning to affect more than the national dialogue. On Wednesday, liberal group announced an ad campaign against the congressman in his own district.

"Baird recently returned from a trip to Iraq and reversed his position on a withdrawal timetable, citing military progress in the four-year-old war.

"MoveOn is calling the move a 'flip-flop' and says it goes against the views of his constituents."
(The Hill, 8/29/07)

John Murtha (D-PA): "Surge is Working"

From today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. John Murtha, one of the most outspoken congressional critics of the Iraq war, yesterday said he saw signs of significant military progress during a brief trip to the Middle East last week. ....

"I think the 'surge' is working," Mr. Murtha, a Democrat, said in a video conference from his Johnstown office, describing the president's decision to commit nearly 30,000 additional troops at the beginning of the year. ....

Mr. Murtha has been a strong critic of the White House war policy and has been calling for a troop withdrawal plan.

He said violence has dropped significantly in recent months, with a dramatic decline in civilian deaths. About 711 Iraqi civilians have been killed or found dead in November, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press. That figure compares with 2,155 deaths in May. ....

He described the most promising signs of progress as the turnaround in the once-volatile Anbar province, where Sunnis frustrated by the violent excesses of insurgent groups have started working closely with the United States.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Brazil Trip

Following up on my post from yesterday, the Hornell Evening Tribune has a story on the controversy. Frankly, this story has no legs. Massa, in his usual hyperbole, said, "In the middle of winter, Randy Kuhl is on a summer vacation in Brazil." Um, Eric, if you think we're in the middle of winter now, just wait til that period of time between December and March! I mean, really, how long have you lived here???

This is the most interesting piece of the article, which hasn't been discussed much in the blogosphere:
Congressional delegations, according to Kuhl, allow members of Congress the opportunity to broaden their perspectives and better understand U.S. relations abroad. The trips, he said, are encouraged by the State Department and help create relationships and partnerships with other countries.

"It also provides a frame of reference so the Congressional leaders can come back to Washington and propose new legislation to improve the United States," Kuhl said. (Emphasis added)

So while Massa is still flipping out over losing last year and attacking Congressman Kuhl every chance he gets, our Congressman is on a bipartisan fact-finding mission, which is encouraged by the State Department, in order to foster diplomatic realtions with another country and gather more information on how to make America more energy independent in the future. 'Nuff said!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Massa Supports Rangel Tax Hike

Rottenchester links to Eric Massa's letter to the editor in response to Congressman Kuhl's recent editorial on Charlie Rangel's "Mother of All Tax Increases." Massa claims that "23 million American families will see their taxes cut" and that "[t]his is a bill that will provide over $50 billion in tax relief." To be sure, there are two sides to every story, and there are a few good elements in Rangel's bill, as Dr. JD Foster of the Heritage Foundation points out:

The Rangel bill is not all bad news. It also includes some excellent elements that ought not be lost in the avalanche of opposition. While the bill uses the confusion over the AMT patch and the revenue baseline as a screen for raising taxes, it also takes the excellent step of repealing the whole AMT system. This reform is long overdue. The AMT is today a tax policy without purpose, a complication without virtue. The problem with the Rangel bill is not the repeal of the AMT but the manner and extent to which the repeal is offset with other tax increases.

The Rangel bill also reduces the corporate income tax rate from the current 35 percent to 30.5 percent. The U.S. corporate tax rate hike is among the highest of the industrialized countries. It must come down significantly if American companies are to remain competitive at home or abroad. The only criticism of this portion of the bill is that the rate should come down further.

The Bad News: This bill, if enacted into law, will create a "surtax of up to 4.6% on Americans earning as little as $150,000 per year", "raise the top marginal tax rate to 47%", "raise the capital gains tax rate to 24.6%", and "cost Americans six million jobs".

Massa claims this bill is not a tax hike and that the only consequence (in his most populist rhetoric) will be that "some Wall Street multi-millionaires [will have] to pay more of their fair share," despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Several proposals have been introduced by Republicans to either patch the AMT or repeal it without raising taxes or costing American jobs. Yet Massa shamelessly continues to support a tax hike in the guise of a tax cut.

Sugar is the New Oil

I don't know about you, but Jimmy Smit's new drama, Cane, is definitely becoming one of my favorite shows of all time. And the idea that sugar-based ethonal can help our country succeed in becoming more energy independent is gaining traction on Capitol Hill. That is why Congressman Kuhl is joining 10 of his congressional colleagues on a bipartisan fact finding mission to Brazil, which is being lead by U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), to see how sugarcane has helped its country's energy needs.

Of course, Rottenchester and ladkiddo over at rochesterturning are poking fun at this trip, and Eric Massa had a field day with it at his press conference today, but frankly, this country is yearning for more avenues towards energy independence and this bipartisan trip is a perfect way for Congressman Kuhl to see first hand how Brazil is achieving it through cane.

Also, to answer ladkiddo's question on whether "this [trip was] mentioned in any of his town hall meetings," the answer is yes!

Finally, reading Massa blagging on about home heating assistance money, a.k.a. HEAP, reminds me of when my mother worked for my native county's Social Services Division downstate, her main job handling HEAP applications for over 10 years; she retired earlier this year. The amount of fraud she witnessed was unreal. True, she did have clients who had real hardships and needed this assistance, but they were few and far between the ones trying to manipulate the system by not reporting their true income (as an aside, at one time they were called "recipients," but that wasn't too PC, so that changed to "customers" and then finally "clients" to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy inside). As my mother would say, "HEAP is a joke!"

Monday, November 26, 2007

The D&C's Shortcomings

Rottenchester has a post up today dealing with the smugness of the area's largest circulated newspaper, the Democrat & Chronicle. Naturally, I also have my issues with the D&C (or as they should be called, the DNC), but for reasons completely different with Rottenchester's in that I usually find rampant liberal bias in the paper's coverage of issues and in its editorial section. Of course, the D&C's liberal bias is a standard in the industry. A Zogby poll from earlier this year found that 83% of likely voters believe that the media is biased, with 64% of that group believing that the media is tilted to the left (compared to 28% who think they're tilted to the right). In addition, a study conducted by Harvard released just last month showed that Democrats running for president in 2008 have already received much more positive coverage from the media than Republicans. Moreover, a 1996 study by the ASNE found that 61% of journalists considered themselves either Democrat or liberal, while only 15% considered themselves either Republican or conservative (I realize this study is over 10 years old, but I highly doubt much has changed given the two previous studies I cited).

But just because the D&C isn't the only newspaper in the country with such a bias doesn't mean it is not worthy of criticism for it. Here is a brief history of the political views of the D&C from Rochester Wiki:
The paper was closely identified with the Whigs and then the Republican Party. That changed for a time as Frank Gannett bought the paper as a morning alternative to his own Rochester Times-Union in 1928 and soon thereafter threw its support to FDR. The editorial slant returned to the Republican point of view soon afterward until Gannett's death in 1957, at which time it moved to a non-partisan stance. There has been some criticism that the paper has been too tough on Republicans in the post-Watergate era. (Emphasis added.)
Never mind the fact that the D&C rarely finds a Democrat or liberal cause it doesn't like. Just two weeks ago, I wrote about how the D&C published a blatant boilerplate letter from Big Labor on SCHIP without even doing a simple Google search to verify whether it was a form letter or not, a charge that the D&C has been accused of before by the National Conference of Editorial Writers (to find the quote from the last link, search for "Democrat and Chronicle").

In sum, I agree with Rottenchester that "the 29th deserves better" from the most circulated newspaper in the district, and I will also continue to write about the D&C's shortcomings.

Rudy Nomination = Boost for NY GOP

I previously wrote that Rudy would help Northeastern Republicans down ballot if he was the nominee next fall. And NYS GOP Chairman Joseph Mondello echoes that sentiment for New York Republicans especially. From today's D&C:
State GOP Chairman Joseph Mondello said the party's fate may be tied to whether former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani wins the Republican presidential nod.

With Giuliani, New York could be in play in the presidential race and spur the national GOP to pump cash into the state, which could help other candidates, he said.

"Rudy is strong in New York, and I just think he must run" on the ticket, Mondello said.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Limbaugh/Massa "Phony Soldiers" Controversy Cont'd

Following up on my previous post about how Massa continues to lie about Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" remarks, this letter to the editor appeared in today's Star-Gazette, written by Eugene T. Lavelle of Horseheads, demanding that Massa get his facts straight.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year, and while I enjoy all of the traditional aspects--a large parade followed by family, food, and football--we should not forget that today is, first and foremost, "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording [the People of the United States] an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness" (from George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789).

With this in mind, I would like to share with you the following prayer:

Father all-powerful, Your gifts of love are countless and Your goodness infinite. On Thanksgiving Day we come before You with gratitude for Your kindness: open our hearts to concern for our fellow men and women, so that we may share Your gifts in loving service.

Bless our nation and make it true to the ideas of freedom and justice and brotherhood for all who make it great.

Guard us from war, from fire and wind, from compromise, fear, confusion.

Be close to our president and our statesmen; give them vision and courage, as they ponder decisions affecting peace and the future of the world.

Make me more deeply aware of my heritage; realizing not only my rights but also my duties and responsibilities as a citizen.

Make this great land and all its people know clearly Your will, that they may fulfill the destiny ordained for us in the salvation of the nations, and the restoring of all things in Christ.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kuhl Working with Schumer on Ambulance-Aid Bill

From the Syracuse Post-Standard:
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer visited Syracuse Tuesday to tell ambulance crews he is optimistic the Senate will pass a bill that will provide nearly $700,000 in additional Medicare reimbursements for Onondaga County ambulance companies.

Medicare pays ambulance companies on average 6 percent less than the actual costs when Medicare-eligible patients are transported, Schumer
, D-NY, said.

He introduced a bill in May that calls for the Medicare reimbursement rate to be increased by 5 percent in 2008 and 2009, Schumer said at a news conference at Rural/Metro Ambulance. He said he expects the bill to be part of a Medicare package the Senate votes on in December.

An identical bill pending in the House of Representatives is co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. James Walsh, R-Onondaga; Michael Arcuri, D-Utica, and Randy Kuhl, R-Hammondsport.

Kuhl Wraps Up 2007 Town Hall Meetings

Yesterday, Congressman Kuhl finished his 145th town hall meeting for 2007, as part of a promise he continues to make to visit all 145 towns in the 29th each year.

Here's an article from The Hornell Evening Tribune about his meeting in Almond.

Here's his blog post about the importance of these meetings:

As many of you know, over the last two days I have traveled all around the district conducting town hall meetings. Today, I completed my 145th community meeting for 2007. Over the last three years, I have made it a priority to hold a town hall meeting in all 145 towns of the 29th Congressional District. The town meetings have, once again, been very beneficial to me by allowing me the opportunity to meet with everyone who was able to come out to voice their opinions about what we’re doing in Washington.

These last two days I visited 16 towns in five different counties. Some of the reoccurring topics included the rising cost of gasoline and immigration. I would like to thank all of the people who took time out of their holiday planning to come and share their thoughts. For those of you who could not make it out and want to know my position on rising energy cost and immigration, please check out my editorials:

Winter 2007:Holiday Cheer and Rising Energy Prices

Letting down our guard with driver’s licenses

And if you would like to voice your opinion on a bill or issue that matters to you, feel free to call my DC office.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Rudy Ad and FL Poll Numbers

First, a new Mason-Dixon poll in Florida shows Rudy expanding his lead there against his primary rivals to 21 points, bringing his Real Clear Politics polling average in Florida to plus 18.5%. In addition, the poll found that Rudy beats Hillary in Florida by 7 points.

Second, here is Rudy's new ad, entitled "Leadership":

Monday, November 19, 2007

Massa Continues to Lie About Rush Limbaugh's Remarks

Before I get into Massa's latest comments on this, as context for this post, here is the Wikipedia summary of Rush Limbaugh's "phony soldier" comment, made back in late September:

During the September 26, 2007 broadcast of Limbaugh's radio show, he used the term "phony soldiers" allegedly referencing a September 21st Associated Press story about individuals falsely claiming to be veterans in order to receive benefits.[47] A caller, after saying he was currently serving in the Army and has been in 14 years, said, "They never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media." Limbaugh interrupted, "The phony soldiers." The caller continued, "The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they're willing to sacrifice for their country."[48] Several minutes later, after the caller had hung-up, Limbaugh read from the AP story describing the story of Jesse Macbeth.[49] Jesse Macbeth joined the Army but did not complete basic training, yet claimed in alternative media interviews that he and his unit routinely committed war crimes in Iraq.[50][51] On June 7, 2007, Macbeth pled guilty to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and was sentenced to five months jail and three years probation.[52][53] Media Matters noted Limbaugh's use of the term "phony soldiers" in an article on their website. The article alluded that Limbaugh was saying that all soldiers who disagree with the Iraq War were "phony Soldiers." [54] and their article received substantial press coverage after it was discussed in speeches by Presidential candidates John Edwards and Chris Dodd.[55] Limbaugh argued that he had been speaking only of Macbeth and others like him who claim to be soldiers and are not when he had made the comment about "phony soldiers" and that Media Matters had taken the quote out of context.[56] Media Matters disputed the accuracy of Limbaugh's claim and defends its story.[57]

On October 19, 2007, Limbaugh announced the winning bid in an eBay auction of a letter sent to Clear Channel Communications Chief Executive Officer Mark Mays by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "We call on you to publicly repudiate these [phony soldier] comments," the letter said, ". . . and to ask Mr. Limbaugh to apologize for his comments."[58] The auction's high bid of $2,100,100 by Betty Casey of the Eugene B. Casey Foundation set a new eBay record for largest charity bid.[59] Shortly before the auction closed, Senator Reid addressed the Senate, saying, [60] "I don't know what we could do more important than helping to ensure that children of our fallen soldiers and police officers who have fallen in the line of duty have the opportunity for their children to have a good education." In his radio broadcast later in the day, Limbaugh was critical of Reid's speech, saying Reid had tried "to horn in and act like he's part of this whole thing, folks." Limbaugh also said, "Senator Reid, you did not mention that I am matching whatever the final total is." Matching funds from Limbaugh would increase the total donation to the charity benefiting children of Marines and law enforcement personnel killed in the line of duty to $4,200,200.

Also check out Rush's response to the controversy a few days after he made his initial comments. Now, love him or hate him, there is no doubt in my mind that Rush was clearly referring to the ABC News report of an actual "phony soldier" named Jesse MacBeth, rather than soldiers in general who oppose the Iraq War. Nevertheless, scores of Democrats decided to bash Rush, including Eric Massa, who posted the following YouTube video on his Daily Kos blog page on October 2nd:

Now, I greatly admire Massa's long service in the Navy, but I don't think that gives him the right to accuse anybody of being a coward or a phony for remarks that were clearly not made.

On November 7, 2007, the Star-Gazette published a letter to the editor from Thomas F. Taylor of Horseheads, which demanded that Massa apologize to Rush for his smear. Instead, Massa wrote a followup letter to the Star-Gazette stating that he "refuse[s] to sit silently while [Rush] slanders America's finest," despite all of the evidence to the contrary.

Now, I personally don't care if Massa apologizes to Rush or not. Rush is a big boy, and he handled the situation impeccably by using that silly letter from the Senate Dems to raise money for the children of fallen Marines. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade!

But I "refuse to sit silently" while Massa continues to lie about this drummed up controversy for political gain.

Kuhl Editorial on Taxes

From today's Corning Leader:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Negative Impacts of the Mortgage "Reform" Act

As Rottenchester points out, Congressman Kuhl was one of 127 Republicans to vote against passage of H.R. 3915, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007. To be sure, there are a few good items in this bill, particularly stricter licensing requirements for mortgage brokers. As someone who deals with borrowers, brokers, and lenders on a daily basis, and sees the horrors done to people if a bank forecloses on their home, I understand the need for reform. But just because a bill has some positive attributes doesn't mean it's the best thing for this country, and in this case, the negatives greatly outweigh the positives.

Dr. Ronald D. Utt of the Heritage Foundation states that this bill:

would encourage lenders to limit their lending to only the very best credit risks. This would put individuals of moderate incomes, imperfect credit histories, and limited wealth at an even greater disadvantage, leading to a decline in the homeownership rate, now at record levels. Among the victims of this mandatory credit quality cleansing would be members of some ethnic minority groups whose current homeownership rates are today only slightly better than the homeownership rate for the nation as a whole in 1890. ...
As currently written, H.R. 3915 would force an unprecedented measure of caution on mortgage lenders by forcing them to acquire much more information than has been typical in the past and thereby intrude upon borrowers' privacy. It also would establish an explicit series of credit standards for lenders, which could have the effect of excluding many moderate income borrowers from the ownership market. In sum, the enactment of H.R.3915 would delay the housing market recovery that is now struggling to get underway.

There is no doubt that lenders were too lax in the past when issuing loans, which was a major cause for the nation's current housing woes (the other leading cause being borrowers who got in over their heads). But I know first hand that lenders are already adding many more hurdles to the underwriting process than ever before, with some borrowers having to wait several months before getting their loans cleared, with many adverse results, including rate extension fees and even losing the house they want to purchase due to nervous sellers frustrated with the process.

I realize that some people just do not have the finances to afford a home at this time, and they should be turned down from getting a mortgage they can't afford to repay rather than ultimately lose their homes and face the prospect of terrible credit ratings and/or bankruptcy. But punishing borrowers who have decent but not perfect credit is not the solution, and that's what this legislation will do if enacted into law.

Congressman Kuhl's vote is not one for the banks and brokers, but rather for the thousands of constituents in his district without the best of credit who would be negatively impacted by the passage of this bill in its current state.

New GOP Blog in the 29th

The Steuben County Young Republicans have a new blog, which covers local Steuben County issues, and of course, the race in New York's 29th Congressional district. Please check it out!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Rudy on Judges

I've been asked by many of my more conservative friends why I support Rudy so strongly. And I always tell them how much I admire him for turning around NYC and his leadership on 9/11. Essentially, his experience and electability simply trump the other candidates in the field. But then they'll ask, "Aren't you concerned about his social views?" I'd be lying if I said I wasn't concerned. There is no question I have a much more conservative outlook on social issues than Rudy's personal views. Yet, we should never forget that these issues will ultimately be decided by the courts, and while I always had a warm spot for Rudy, he got my backing for president after choosing former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, one of the top conservative legal minds in the country, to chair his Justice Advisory Committee.

Today, Rudy spoke at the Federalist Society's 2007 National Lawyers Convention. According to the AP, Rudy was the only presidential candidate to speak to the premier conservative and libertarian legal organization. So without further adieu, here's the best portion of his speech:
We need judges who embrace originalism, endeavor to determine what others meant when they wrote the words of our Constitution. Justices like Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts. That would be my model.
I have no doubt that he'll keep his word on this. And so, I tell my friends, "If he's promising conservative judges, then he's with me on the social issues 100%."

Rudy's Nomination "Strategery" Cont'd

Following up on my Rudy's Nomination "Strategery" post, Kim Strassel over at the Wall Street Journal has an article up today entitled "Rudy's Gamble". Money quote (which may sound familiar to frequent readers of my blog!):
Changed circumstance No. 1 is this year's hypercompressed primary season. Whereas winners once got to bask in the glow of their early victories--and rake in the cash--for many weeks before Super Tuesday, this year they'll get to bask a few hours. Mr. Giuliani's Florida, his "firewall" where he has spent his biggest chunk of cash and currently holds a 17-point lead over Mr. Romney, will take place on Jan. 29, just 10 days after South Carolina.

Meanwhile the races on Giga Tuesday (Feb. 5) alone, which include other big Giuliani prospects such as California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, represent nearly half the delegates necessary to secure the nomination. The Giuliani bet is that the time frame has collapsed enough that he can check any rival "momentum" by cleaning up big in the mega-states.

Dems Delaying Tax Refunds for 50 Million Americans

From Congressman Kuhl:
[T]oday is the day that the Internal Revenue Service tax forms are going to be printed under the assumption that some 23 million taxpayers would be forced to pay an AMT tax next year they have never had to pay before. As a result, as many as 50 million taxpayers could see a significant delay in the arrival of some $75 billion in refund checks.
You can read more about this issue here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Congressional Dems Celebrating Negligence

Blissful Negligence: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader
Steny Hoyer in another celebratory mood, despite record-low ratings.

The latest Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans are either "Disappointed" or "Angry" with the Democrats in Congress. Here are the results when the polling sample was asked the following question:

As you may know, the Democratic Party gained majority control of Congress in January. How do you feel about the job the Democrats in Congress are doing on each of the following issues -- pleased, neutral, disappointed, or angry?
Oct. 25-28, 2007














The economy





Government reform




















The federal budget deficit





Rudy Up Big Nationally

Several new polls are out showing that Rudy remains the national frontrunner. The latest Cook/RT Strategies poll has Rudy up by 17 point, Rasmussen has him up by 15, and FOX News has him up by 16. As a result, Real Clear Politics polling average has him up by 14.6% nationally.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rudy's First TV Ad

This will be hitting the airwaves in New Hampshire tomorrow:

Kuhl on Spitzer Dropping License Plan

Congressman Kuhl just released the following statement:
As many of you are aware, this morning Gov. Spitzer announced that he would be dropping his plan to allow illegal immigrants to obtain New York State driver’s licenses. He said that the opposition is just too overwhelming to move forward. I am pleased to see that the Governor decided to put the safety of millions of citizens above granting privileges to those who entered this country illegally.

While I sat in the meeting with Governor Spitzer and the rest of the New York’s Congressional Delegation I began thinking about how significant it is that due to the public outcry against this fatally flawed plan, the Governor is going to drop his plan. It is a testament to the strength of our democracy when the people’s voice is heard so loud that it stops dangerous legislation.

In this post I would like to recognize and thank of all of the New Yorkers who called into my office and all of the county workers who made it known that they would not break the law for the governor. It is because of the public outcry, that this dangerous and potentially destructive plan will not go into effect in the state of New York. The citizens of New York can rest assured that their voices have been heard and their security has been ensured.

Common Ground

As you know, the Fighting 29th and I don't agree on much, but I'm pleased that we agree that the D&C should not publish cut and paste editorials. Thanks to Rottenchester for linking to my post.

Spitzer's Driver's License Plan Crashes, Burns

Due to his poll numbers taking a nose-dive, Governor Spitzer has dropped his controversial driver's license plan, which would have granted illegal aliens the opportunity to apply for driver's license in our state. The public outcry against this moronic plan was tremendous, from county clerks to state officials, but Congressman Kuhl deserves our special thanks for speaking out against this plan from the very beginning.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Latest SurveyUSA Poll: Rudy Up by 6 in SC

According to the latest SurveyUSA poll, Rudy is leading his primary rivals by 6 points in South Carolina, the only Southern state of the early primary states.

Upcoming Kuhl Town Hall Meetings in Ontario County

Next week, Congressman Kuhl will be holding his seventh round of town hall meetings in the district.

Here is the schedule for towns he's visiting in Ontario County, which will be on Tuesday, November 20th:
  • 10:00 to 10:30 a.m.: Town of Bristol
    Location: Main Street Bristol Town Hall, 6740 County Road 32
  • 11:00 to 11:30 a.m.: Town of Canandaigua
    Location: Canandaigua Town Hall, 5440 Routes 5 & 20 West
  • 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.: Town of Victor
    Location: Victor Town Hall, 85 East Main Street

Insert the Blanks Editorial on SCHIP

So the Democrat & Chronicle has an editorial up today from "Guest Essayists" John Sweeney, national AFL-CIO president, and James Bertolone, Rochester and Vicinity Labor Council president, which bashes Congressman Kuhl for his refusal to rubber stamp the Democrat's expansion of SCHIP to cover upper-income families, adults, and illegal immigrants. Go ahead and read the whole editorial yourself.

Now read this editorial from yesterday, supposedly written by John Sweeney (again) and Louis Neuman, Central Minnesota AFL-CIO Trades and Labor president, in the Minnesota St. Cloud Times which bashes Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Other than the name change and Minnesota "statistics," does it sound familiar? Or how about this one in the Topeka Capital-Journal, from September, written by Andy Sanchez, executive secretary-treasurer of the Kansas AFL-CIO, which bashes Bush. Then there's this one in the Tennessean from early October written by Jerry Lee, president of the Tennessee State Federation, along with this one in the Arizona Daily Star, written by Rebekah Friend, also from early October, both of which just bash Bush.

Now, question to the D&C Editorial Board: Is it your policy to publish cut and paste editorials, or is it too hard to do a simple Google search to verify whether the content of the editorial you have hasn't been published elsewhere?

Delegate Math

Following up on my post from yesterday, the Giuliani campaign has posted an article from the AP showing why Rudy doesn't need to win the early states to perform well in the primary. Money quote:
--Giuliani has wide leads in bigger states with more delegates, such as Florida (57 delegates), California (173), New York (101), New Jersey (52) and Illinois (70). He’s expected to capture Connecticut (30) and Delaware (18), too. He campaigned Monday in Missouri (58), another big prize whose senior senator, four-term Republican Kit Bond, recently endorsed Giuliani.

--Even where he doesn’t win on Feb. 5, Giuliani could still come in second and win delegates. Big states in this category might include Georgia (72), Alabama (48) or Tennessee (55). Only a few— New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware and Missouri among them --award delegates on a winner-take-all basis.

--States voting after Feb. 5, including Maryland (37), Ohio (88) and Pennsylvania (74), also hold potential for Giuliani to roll up most or some of the delegates.

Giuliani has a good shot at winning an early state or two as well. He has gained ground on former Massachusetts Gov. Romney in New Hampshire (12 delegates), where Giuliani ranks second in polls, and has battled Thompson for the lead in South Carolina (24). …

Using either strategy--momentum or simple math--Giuliani’s campaign wagers it can win.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Congressional Transparency

The Fighting 29th has a new post up entitled, "A Model for Transparency", which talks about a congressional member from the Albany area who has her daily schedule posted on her website (which only 6 congressmen and 2 senators currently have) along with a "'grants central' section of her website to help connect constituents with available federal grants." He then issues a challenge to Congressman Kuhl to have such things available on his website.

While it's true that Congressman Kuhl, along with 428 House members and 98 Senators, does not post his daily schedule on his website, he does have his Town Hall Meetings schedule posted online, allowing constituents the opportunity to voice their concerns with him personally. These Town Hall Meetings are an excellent way for constituents to interact with their representative, and poses a daunting task for Congressman Kuhl's schedule, especially in the largest congressional district geographically in New York (the square area of New York's 29th is approximately the size of the state of Connecticut, a state which has 5 congressional seats). Congressman Kuhl campaigned on visiting every township during each of his terms, and he has fulfilled that promise.

Congressman Kuhl has also recently added a Blog to his website, allowing him another means of sharing his views on important issues with the voters, another feature which I'm sure few Congressmen have. I have yet to find either a Town Hall Meetings schedule or Blog on the website of the other Congressman who represents Ontario County, Democrat Michael Arcuri.

As for the Federal Grants page on Congressman Kuhl's website, you can find that here!

Rudy's Nomination "Strategery"

Tom Bevan from Real Clear Politics and Byron York from National Review both have written pieces on Rudy's Nomination "Strategery," showing how the Giuliani campaign is putting more emphasis on the states holding primaries on February 5th, the new "Super Tuesday," rather than early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Over a month ago, I wrote a post showing the number of delegates Rudy is projected to have, based on the polling data out there at the time, as of February 5th, with Rudy handily leading the pack. Obviously some numbers have changed, including the delegate counts of some states which are being penalized by the RNC for holding their primaries before Feb. 5th. For example, Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina, and Wyoming will each lose half of their delegates to the national convention because of this.

Overall, though, Rudy is still holding strong in crucial and delegate-rich Super Tuesday states, including New York (101), California (178), New Jersey (52), Connecticut (30), and Delaware (18). As for early primary states, Rudy has a huge lead in Florida, and according to the last two polls, he is leading in Michigan. The primary race in South Carolina is essentially tied.

Traditionally, of course, the winner of the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary would receive a bounce in the polls. That was especially true when only a few other states held their primaries or caucuses in February (click here to see the primary calendar in 2000). Back in those days, the winner of Iowa and/or New Hampshire could do a full month of advertising before the March Super Tuesday and be labelled the clear "frontrunner." With the change of Super Tuesday from early March to early February, however, any bounce in the polls would be significantly muted if that person doesn't do well on Feb. 5th.

Right now, Romney is leading in both the Iowa and New Hampshire contests. I have no doubt that if he wins these states, he will receive some bounce in the polls, but I project more at the expense of Thompson, McCain, and Huckabee rather than Giuliani. In addition, since Romney is polling 4th place nationally, he has some huge obstacles to overcome, and if he doesn't do well in both Iowa and New Hampshire, his campaign is essentially over, while Rudy's is only beginning. This is why I wholeheartedly disagree with Andrew Smith, a political scientist at the University of New Hampshire, who recently said, "Certainly [Romney] has to be seen as the front-runner now." That might be true if Romney was holding a solid 2nd place in the national polls and was running away with the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. Since that's not the case, especially with Romney's 4th place showing in the national polls, there is no way anyone can call Romney a "frontrunner" at this time.

A Veterans Day Message

From Congressman Kuhl:
When I look out from the steps of the United States Capitol Building, I am always in awe of the sight before me. The Washington Monument is surrounded by the circle of American flags and the Lincoln Memorial emerges in the distance. We teach our children that the Presidents honored by these magnificent edifices were heroes of our country and should be remembered with honor. It is appropriate then, that in the shadow of these two great monuments, reside memorials to the men and women who defended the ideals of Washington and Lincoln during the 20th Century.

The horrific battles fought carved into the World War II Memorial, the bronze faces of brave soldiers at the Korean War Memorial, and the names of the fallen etched into the Vietnam Wall serve as constant reminders why the people of the United States live in the most free country the world has ever known.

These memorials honor the sacrifices made by these brave men and women who put their country before themselves. They came from farms and cities, from mountains and valleys, and from lives of privilege and lives of poverty. They each answered the call when their nation needed them most. These men and women represented the best America had to offer and they served their country with pride, with honor, and with courage.

Today is Veterans Day. It is a day to celebrate and honor those who have answered their nation’s call. During my time in the State Legislature and since taking office in 2005 as a member of the House of Representatives, I have fully, wholeheartedly supported our nation’s heroes. I have heard from many veterans who express their frustration with the VA system, which is not providing them with ample funding to take care of their injuries and needs that are the result of serving our country. I agree with our nation’s veterans that they should be provided mandatory funding. Just this week I voted for the Military Quality of Life Appropriations bill that provides the largest increase in funding for veterans health care in the history of the VA. This bill also adds over 1,000 new claims processors to reduce the backlog of 400,000 benefits claims and increases oversight to better track how funds are
being spent.

Support for our veterans must always be an American issue and never a partisan issue as our nation’s veterans are defending each one of our rights as American citizens. We must do what is best for veterans: not what’s best for a sound bite, political propaganda, or election year politics. These are our nation’s heroes and we must never let our fellow American’s forget their bravery or their sacrifice.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day

Today we thank our veterans for their service and their contributions to our freedom and security. So please, if you know a veteran, go out and thank him or her personally.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Kuhl Introduces Resolution on Driver's Licenses for Illegals

From the New York Times:
Two Republicans — Representatives Tom Latham of Iowa and John Randy Kuhl Jr. of western New York — have introduced a resolution calling on Congress to condemn any proposal to issue licenses to illegal immigrants. The resolution would have no binding effect on states. But its authors hope to draw attention to the issue, and describe the resolution as a first step toward building opposition to the policy, according to Congressional aides.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dems' "Do Nothing" Congress

From Congressman Kuhl's blog:
The Democrat Majority: By the Numbers

0 - Fiscal year 2008 spending bills signed into law

$3.04 - Per gallon of gas and no energy bill to lower gas prices

20 - Years since the last time it took this long to confirm an attorney general

20 - Years since the last time not a single spending bill was sent to the president by this late date

33 - States with operating budgets lower than the $9 billion in overspending contained in the Labor-HHS-Ed appropriations bill

39 - Days into the 2008 fiscal year with no spending bills signed into law

46 - Bills signed into law naming post offices and other federal properties

52 - Days since the nation had an attorney general

53 - Days until expiration of the research and development tax credit

53 - Days until 2008, and still no Alternative Minimum Tax patch

57 - Political Iraq votes held in the House and Senate

66 - Percent of foreign intelligence missed when court orders were required for surveillance, according to DNI Mike McConnell

276 - Days since the president requested funding for troops, and still no action

312 - Days since the Alternative Minimum Tax “patch” expired

$93.53 - Per gallon of crude oil, and no energy bill to lower gas prices

$100,000 - Funding for Los Angeles Fashion District in House Transportation-HUD appropriations bill

$300,000 - Funding for San Francisco Exploratorium museum in Labor-HHS-Ed appropriations conference report

$2 million - Funding cut from Department of Labor union boss watchdog office

22 million - New smokers needed to pay for Democrat SCHIP plan

$3 billion - Border security funding pulled from defense spending bill by Democrats

$22 billion - Additional spending proposed by Democrats over the president’s budget request

$220 billion - Additional spending over 10 years proposed by Democrats

$916 billion - Additional taxes proposed in the Democrats’ budget over 10 years

$1.3 trillion - Additional taxes proposed by Democrats in AMT legislation over 10 years

To read more about the “Do Nothing” Congress read: Record Setting Congress

WSJ Article: SCHIP Wreck

In a previous post, I suggested that when voters learn more about the Dems plan for SCHIP expansion, i.e., to include upper-middle class families rather than just cover lower income families, most voters agree with the Republicans on this issue.

Now we have further proof based on a ballot question in Oregon, a state that went to Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. By a large margin, voters rejected a state level cigarette tax for a state children health insurance program expansion, similar to the proposal being debated on Capitol Hill.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Oregon voters passed judgment Tuesday on a plan that would have made their state children's health insurance program "universal." Sound familiar?

It should, because Oregon reproduced the current Schip fracas in D.C. on the state level--and the referendum took a major shellacking, with voters siding three to two against. Oregon's expansion was almost identical to the one backed by Congressional Democrats...
There are political lessons here, in case anyone in Washington is paying attention. Voters are rightly concerned about health care and would like everyone to have insurance, but they realize that government programs are very expensive. Americans also don't seem to want to pay for health-care reforms directly through higher taxes. That accounts for the reliance by politicians on the easier sell of tobacco taxes, and it also explains why Congress has disguised the real cost of its Schip contraption with a $30 billion budget gimmick.

I encourage you to read the whole piece and ask yourself, "If voters in a state as liberal as Oregon rejected this, what do you think the feelings are of voters in the conservative-leaning 29th Congressional District of New York?"

Latest NBC/WSJ Poll: Rudy Up by 17

According to the latest NBC/WSJ poll, Rudy is leading his primary rivals by 17 points, bringing his total lead in the Real Clear Politics polling average to 13.7%.

The poll also suggests that Hillary is vulnerable, showing that she's losing points in honesty, and is in a virtual tie with Rudy in a possible general election matchup.

This poll came out yesterday when Pat Robertson endorsed Rudy, an endorsement that will certainly help Rudy with the Christian conservative vote in the GOP primary.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

130% Tax Increase

Even House Democrats Shocked by Phase One of
House Democrats’ “Mother of All Tax Hikes”

Broken Promise
QUESTION: "If Democrats do take back control of Congress, how concerned should the average American be about a possible increase in his or her taxes?"

Then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): "Not at all. Democrats are talking about ... fiscal responsibility." (Press Conference, 7/28/06)

Sheer Panic

"With some vulnerable Democrats facing a difficult tax vote this week, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois has raised the prospect of taking up the alternative minimum tax patch without provisions that would raise other taxes to make up for the lost revenues."

"Why should House members have to walk the plank?" asked Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn. "This is a 130-percent tax increase..."

"'It's a very dangerous situation that puts some members on the spot,' one Democratic lawmaker said of Rangel's bill."

CongressDaily AM, 11/7/07)

Speaker Admits House Democrats Failing to Lead

One year ago today, Democrats won control of Congress, promising a "New Direction." How Are They Doing?

FLASHBACK: "Pelosi Says Democrats Are Ready to Lead"
AP, 11/8/06)

Election Results

The election results were mixed last night, with some great victories and heartbreaking defeats.

First, the bad news:
Despite their best efforts in Victor with the write-in campaign, Dick Maltman and Michael Crowley were defeated last night by the Democrats for town council. They put their hearts and souls into this race knowing that it would be an uphill battle, and they deserve much praise for that. The voter outreach on how to do a write-in vote was amazing. Republican Leslie Bamann, the incumbent town supervisor, did win the write-in and deserves much congratulations.

The good news:
Based on the preliminary results, Republicans picked up an at-large council seat in both the Cities of Canandaigua and Geneva, and won a clean sweep in East Bloomfield, another town where the candidates faced a write-in campaign. In my town of Canandaigua, the Republicans also won a clean sweep.

For more results of races in your area of Ontario County, click here!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Just a reminder that today's election day! I've voted, have you?

Want to know which Republicans are up this year in your area? Check out my previous post from yesterday with that information.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Rudy Would Boost GOP Chances in Northeast

I think it goes without saying that a strong and popular candidate running at the top of the ticket will help his fellow party's candidates down ballot with his coattails. Here's a column from the Washington Times arguing just that. Money quote:
Proponents of a "Giuliani bounce" at blue-state polls say it could propel challenges to Democrats including Reps. Kirsten Gillibrand and John Hall in New York, Christopher Carney and Paul E. Kanjorski in Pennsylvania, Steven R. Rothman in New Jersey and Christopher S. Murphy in Connecticut.
I would also argue that Rudy can help incumbent Republicans in New York, including Congressman Kuhl. Rudy's very popular in the 29th, far more than Hillary, which I think will energize Republicans in our area to go out to vote in droves next fall. Not to say that candidates like Congressman Kuhl can't win without Rudy at the top of the ballot. Last fall definitely showed that with a dismal climate for Republican incumbents and, at the time, a popular Democrat running for governor, Congressman Kuhl held his own just fine. I just think that Rudy can help here by changing it from a close race to a landslide for Congressman Kuhl.

By the way, how's Rudy doing in the GOP primary? Well he's up by 13.7% nationally in the latest RCP polling average!

Election Day TOMORROW!

Remember that tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6th, is Election Day. Polls are open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm. Here is a list of the candidates running in Ontario County:

To see a sample ballot, visit the Ontario County Board of Elections webpage and locate your town and precinct in the left-hand column.

If you live in Victor or East Bloomfield, please remember that the Republican candidates for town board will not appear on the ballot, and you therefore must write them in. Here are the Republicans running in those townships:

Victor (check out their website at
Supervisor: Leslie Bamann, incumbent
Town Council: Dick Maltman, incumbent
Town Council: Michael Crowley
Town Justice: Edward Lyng Jr., incumbent (because Justice Lyng was cross-endorsed by both the Republicans and Democrats, he will be appearing on the ballot as a Democrat, so you can vote for him as a Democrat without needing to write-in his name)

East Bloomfield:
Supervisor: Dodie Huber, incumbent
Town Council: Rick Rayburn, incumbent
Town Council: Phil White, incumbent
Town Justice: Andrew Ventura, incumbent

For more information on how to write in their names in the ballot booth, click here!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Top House Democrat Failures

And this list is only for the month of October! I wonder how many more failures the Dems will "accomplish" over the next few months...

Democrats’ October: A Comedy of Horrors

Top Ten Recent House Democrat Failures

No-Compromise-Democrats’ SCHIP Let-Down Not only did the Democrats fail to override the President’s veto on the first flawed SCHIP bill, they failed to garner a single additional Republican vote on the second version of the bill, even after weeks of political attack ads. And no one will forget Democrat Rep. Pete Stark’s offensive comments accusing our troops of “blow[ing] up innocent people,” remarks that overshadowed and demeaned the important debate on children’s health care.

Flawed FISA Bill Pulled Democrats were forced to pull their extension of FISA from the floor after Republicans exposed its “bin Laden loophole:” under the bill, our intelligence officials would be forced to consult government lawyers before wiretapping Osama bin Laden. The Washington Post called the whole episode an “embarrassment” for Speaker Pelosi.

Turkey-Armenia Resolution Quashed In what the media called the “biggest political misstep of her speakership,” Speaker Pelosi was forced to withdraw the resolution on the World War I Armenian genocide that, by antagonizing Turkey, served to jeopardize the safety of our troops in Iraq. Even top Democrats like Rep. John Murtha led the effort to quash the resolution.

Mother of All Tax Hikes Sends Democrats Scrambling After Chairman Rangel introduced the Mother of All Tax Hikes, Speaker Pelosi said she “certainly support[s] his plan,” only to whitewash the transcript of the press conference later to obscure her support for the largest individual income tax hike in American history.

Failure to Govern: Appropriations Bills On October 26, Democrats set a record in their failure to govern. Not since 1987 has Congress gone that long in the calendar year and not sent the President even a single appropriations bill, including the veterans and military housing bill, which enjoys near unanimous support.

Failure to Govern: AMT Relief Democrats have failed to protect 21 million American middle-class taxpayers from the Alternative Minimum Tax. In the past, Republicans always acted to protect taxpayers by June each year. In their failure to act, Democrats now risk levying a $2,000 tax hike on the middle-class and a three month delay in issuing tax refunds to Americans who need to make ends meet.

Failure to Govern: Post Office Congress The record is clear.
Of the 107 bills signed into law in the 110th Congress: 47 bills named post offices, courthouses, or roads; 44 bills were non-controversial measures sponsored by Republicans or passed with overwhelming GOP support; and 14 bills extended pre-existing public laws or laws passed during a Republican-led Congress. Two bills were enacted on the strength of GOP votes over the objections of Democrat leaders – including the war supplemental in May and the Protect America Act in August.

Keystone Cops at the Judiciary Committee Despite promises of confidentiality, 150 Department of Justice whistleblowers had their identities revealed because of the carelessness of House Democrats. If this lack of investigative integrity is what Democrats call “oversight,” then it looks more like the Keystone Cops than a congressional committee.

Murtha Inc. Exposed The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday ran a front page story about Rep. John Murtha’s earmark factory, which it dubs “Murtha Inc.” According to the Journal, “many [earmarks] weren't sought by the military or federal agencies they were intended to benefit. Some were inefficient or mismanaged … One Murtha-backed firm, ProLogic Inc., is under federal investigation…”

Plummeting Approval Ratings A recent Zogby poll found, for the second month in a row, that
the Democrat-led Congress’ approval rating is a paltry 11 percent. Sixty-six percent of Americans think the country’s on the wrong track, up four points from the last poll. In addition, a recent California poll shows that for the first time, more Californians (40 percent) disapprove of Speaker Pelosi’s job performance than approve (35 percent).

Even Pelosi Disappointed with Her Own Congress

The AP is out with a story on how even Nancy Pelosi is "disappointed" with Congress, you know, the Congress that her party now controls and where she's SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE! Money quote:
"I know that Congress has low approval ratings," Pelosi, D-Calif., said at her weekly news conference. "I don't approve of Congress, because we haven't done anything that — we haven't been effective in ending the war in Iraq. And if you asked me in a phone call, as ardent a Democrat as I am, I would disapprove of Congress as well." (Emphasis added.)
I couldn't have said it any better myself: The Dems "haven't done anything!"