Thursday, July 17, 2008

Kuhl Reports Best Fundraising Period Ever; Raises Over $333,000

First, I must apologize for not blogging recently. With the wedding planning (which was this weekend, and we had a very special surprise visit at the reception from none other than Congressman Kuhl), and starting my new job, I've just been swamped. In addition, while I will be blogging throughout the fall campaign season, I will be on another two week hiatus starting this weekend for my honeymoon in Italy.

Second, I have good news to report on Kuhl's fundraising figures. According to the FEC, Congressman Kuhl has outraised Massa by $43,000. While Massa has around $50K more cash on hand, he still has $75K in outstanding debt, meaning he actually only has $577K cash on hand compared to Kuhl's $610,000 cash on hand.

Below is the Kuhl campaign's statement on the latest figures:

Bath, NY – U.S. Representative John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Jr.'s campaign today announced Kuhl's best fundraising reporting period in his three campaigns for Congress. Kuhl will report raising over $333,000 during the second quarter. He announced his reelection plans just prior to the start of the quarter.

"I'm deeply humbled by the strong grassroots support my campaign is receiving throughout the 29th Congressional District," said Representative Kuhl. "I am proud to be an independent voice who has a record of delivering for my constituents. Western New Yorkers believe in lowering taxes, increasing the exploration of America's energy resources, finding affordable solutions to healthcare, and making our economy stronger so we can attract and retain competitive jobs. I look forward to continuing out on the campaign trail because I know we're on the right side of the important issues facing the families of my district."

Between April and June, Kuhl raised $333,201.43. Kuhl's previous best fundraising reporting period was three years ago – the second quarter of 2005.

Last week, Kuhl, a lifelong resident of Western New York, announced he will run on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines this November.
UPDATE: According to the Star Gazette, the Massa campaign owes most of its $75,170 debt to Massa's wife...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Kuhl for Congress

The Kuhl campaign just announced today that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Congressman Kuhl, citing his commitment to economic growth and job creation. Here is the press release:

Bath, NY – U.S. Representative John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Jr.’s campaign announced that the United States Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Kuhl for reelection to the United States House of Representatives. The Chamber cited Kuhl’s pro-business leadership and his support of legislation that advances economic growth, job creation and less government.

“A key to reviving our economy is to ensure that we do everything we can to support businesses, which will lead to the creation of more jobs. I firmly believe that the reason I'm here in Washington is to create more jobs,” said Representative Kuhl. “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce shares this priority with me and plays a pivotal role in encouraging business growth around the nation. I thoroughly appreciate this endorsement and look forward to working with the Chamber in the future.”

“Randy Kuhl has been a champion for the people of Southern Tier, Finger Lakes region, and Rochester and an invaluable leader on important business issues,” said Bill Miller, Chamber senior vice president and political director. “On issues ranging from simplifying our tax code, containing our budget deficit, investing in our infrastructure, and improving education, New York's business community has no better friend than Randy Kuhl.”

The United States Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses. Last month, the Chamber awarded Kuhl the “Spirit of Enterprise” award for supporting pro-growth, pro-business legislation during the first session of the 110th Congress.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Houghton, Brooks To Serve As Honorary Campaign Co-Chairs for Kuhl Campaign

I just got this press release from the Kuhl campaign:

Bath, NY – U.S. Representative John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Jr.’s campaign announced that former U.S. Representative Amo Houghton and Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks have joined the campaign as Honorary Co-Chairs. Houghton represented Western New York in Congress from 1987 to 2005. Brooks is currently serving her second term as County Executive.

“I’m honored to have the support of Amo and Maggie,” said Representative Kuhl. “We have a strong team of supporters from around the district who will help me continue spreading my message of finding real solutions to keeping our taxes low, promoting a growth economy, giving families access to affordable healthcare and making sure every child receives a quality education.”

“Randy has asked me to be the Honorary Chairman of his campaign, and of course I’m delighted to accept,” said Houghton. “Randy is a good person and under a variety of trying circumstances in Washington has been an excellent Congressman.”

“Randy Kuhl is a great partner for our community and a strong voice for our region,” added Brooks. “Time and time again, he has delivered for the people of Monroe County by delivering important funds for public safety, education, and creating jobs. I am proud to support Congressman Randy Kuhl and am confident that he will continue to work hard for the residents of the 29th Congressional District."

Representative Kuhl, a lifelong resident of Western New York, has represented the 29th Congressional District since 2005. Prior to serving as a U.S. Congressman, Kuhl was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1980 and served there until being elected to the State Senate in 1986. In the Senate, he served as Assistant Majority Leader from 1995 to 2004.

About Amo Houghton:

Houghton served in the United States House of Representatives from 1987 to 2005. While in Congress, he was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the International Relations Committee. Houghton is the founder and chairman of the Republican Main Street Partnership and was responsible for the historic Bipartisan Congressional Retreat. In addition, he founded the John Quincy Adams Society, an issues forum that brings together moderate officeholders with top business leaders.

Houghton, the only former CEO of a Fortune 500 firm ever to serve in the House, is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Business School. He joined Corning Glass Works (now Corning, Incorporated) as an accountant in 1951 after serving as a Pfc. in the United States Marine Corps. He retired from Corning in 1986 after serving as president, board chairman and chief executive officer.

About Maggie Brooks:

Brooks, elected Monroe County’s fifth County Executive in 2003, is the first woman to hold the position. She was re-elected to a second term in 2007 by an historic 74 percent of the vote. In 2005, Brooks was appointed to the newly-created Federal Medicaid Commission, serving as the only public official from a local government to be appointed to the Commission.

Brooks previously served as Monroe County Clerk and as a Monroe County Legislator. She is well-known in the Greater Rochester area from her many years as a local television news anchor and radio reporter.

Congressman Kuhl Launches "Fix Washington" Project

Last week, Congressman Kuhl unveiled his "Fix Washington" project as a way for constituents to introduce legislative proposals to the Congressman. Constituents can send their ideas to the Congressman through July 18, at which time five will be chosen to be voted for on Kuhl's website. The proposal that gets the most votes will be introduced by Congressman Kuhl on the House floor. IMHO, this is the ultimate constituent outreach.

If you would like to submit your own proposal, click here!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Kuhl Holds 20 Point Lead in Latest Poll

My apologizes for not posting in weeks. I got extremely bogged down with other obligations, but I'm back, and what better way to be back than to report such good news.

A poll conducted earlier this year by McLaughlin & Associates shows that Congressman Kuhl now has a sizeable lead (a 20 point advantage) over Massa. According to this poll, Congressman Kuhl continues to build confidence with the voters, while Massa's favorable/unfavorable ratings are almost even.

Here's a quote from the NRCC on the poll:
"Rep. Randy Kuhl has been working in Congress to improve the economy and to meet the needs of families in New York's 29th District. And, as the numbers in this polling memo illustrate, Randy Kuhl is well-positioned to win in November. Eric Massa is a re-run candidate that now will carry the weight of a Democrat Congress that has voted for new taxes and increased spending at every turn on his shoulders," NRCC Spokeswoman Julie Shutley said.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Congressman Kuhl Responds To Today's MPN Editorial

You know, because MPN has nothing else to complain about, they've decided to devote an entire editorial criticizing our congressman for sending out a mailer which informs constituents about the economic stimulus package. The editorial mentions that the IRS has already sent notices to us about the package details. I, for one, never received such a notice, though my fiancee did, even though we both qualify for the rebate. I'm sure many other constituents in our district also didn't receive this notice, and given that Kuhl's office has already received hundreds of calls on this matter, I think he's fully justified to send out a mailer to us about it.

Here is Congressman Kuhl's press release on the editorial:
WASHINGTON – March 25, 2008 - Today the Daily Messenger Post Newspaper published an editorial titled, “Campaigning on your nickel,” which criticized a recent district mailing Rep. Kuhl distributed to inform his constituents about the details of the economic stimulus package. To read the editorial click here.

Below is the Congressman’s response to their editorial:

In your March 25th editorial criticizing my mailing about the economic stimulus package you say, “Unless you’ve been conducting a census on polar bears north of the Arctic Circle, you’ve no doubt heard of the federal government’s economic stimulus package.” Well, it must have been a busy year for Arctic pollsters because nearly 200 residents of the 29th district called my office in early February with questions about their rebate check.

The purpose of my mailer was to inform my constituents about the details of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008. Your editorial actually pointed out why I distributed the mailing when you inaccurately said, “Although specific guidelines affect the bottom line, as long as you file a federal income tax return, you’re getting something.” That is wrong and frankly if you had read my mailing then you would have known the truth.

The truth is that some individuals who file a federal income tax return and who have less than $3,000 of qualifying income will not be eligible for the stimulus payment. There are also maximum income limits that will preclude those making above those limits from receiving a rebate check. Another important detail is that individuals who are not typically required to file a return, such as senior citizens, will have to file a tax return to get their rebate checks.

I understand that the editorial board at the Messenger Post Newspaper has a thorough understanding of tax regulation and the tax code. But this mailing was for everyone else with questions about when and how they are going to get the money they will use to put gas in their car and pay off their debt. And if MPN wants to follow up with the correct information about the details of the stimulus feel free to contact my office with any questions, like many of my constituents did.


Rep. Randy Kuhl


Monday, March 17, 2008

Massa v. Dickert: Libel Case Settled

It appears that, at long last, Eric has settled with Sanford Dickert, his former campaign manager, on the latter's libel suit against Massa.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blogversation III: Blog Misinformation & "He Said, She Said"

Rottenchester has a great roundup on the lastest postings in the Blogversation, and I would like to thank Evan, Rottenchester, and Exile for allowing me to participate in this great conversation and apologize for not posting my remarks on the last topic until now. The last few days have been very focused on other issues. On Friday, I was covering the Kuhl announcement, and when I was prepared to write my Blogversation response on Monday, the Spitzer scandal broke, so all of my limited free time from work (which is the only time I have to blog) had to be focused on such a big story, since it's not everyday that your governor resigns.

So with that, I'll give a brief reply to the last questions which Evan asked. First, Evan asked if we agreed on whether we "would like to see more fact-based reporting -- instead of the 'He said, She said' style." I do agree that the media have an obligation to gather factual information and present it to the public, and naturally, a simple recap of what one politician says and then the adversary's response would not fall under that obligation. Sometimes these exchanges remind me of those hilarious "Point/Counterpoint" skits which SNL ran in the late '70s with Jane Curtain and Dan Aykroyd (you remember, "Jane, you ignorant slut..."). And yet this is what the media are accused of doing on numerous occasions. I wouldn't say it's a journalist being lazy, but rather the fear of bias which factors into a journalist's decision when reporting such matters. I understand the fear, and a journalist has to walk that fine line between "fact reporting" and an "opinion commentary," and in some cases, a vindictive "hit job" on a particular candidate or issue. Of course, as I've stated before, I'm not a fan of the "objective journalist" model, and would prefer reporters who wear their politics on their sleeves rather than claim their "bias free" when they're not, but as journalists continue to strive for "objectivity" when reporting on political affairs, these issues will only continue to grow.

As to the question about whether the rise of blogs will either increase misinformation or rise to a form of respected journalism, the answer is that both will occur, as it did in the initial rise in newspaper or TV reporting so many years ago. Just as we complain about bias in the media today, one must not forget that in the 19th century, many (if not most) newspapers had strong ties to (and sometimes fully backed by) one political party or candidate, which only added to the rise of yellow journalism. I mean, have you ever wondered why so many newspapers across the country have names with the word "Democrat" or "Republican" in them? The great thing about misinformation today is that it can be dissected and commented on in a matter of minutes. Look at how blogs played an active role in reporting on the CBS Memogate in '04. Within hours of Dan Rather's initial report, swarms of blogs were already posting the memo images and concluding that they were fakes. Naturally, blogs can also add to the spread of misinformation, but humans are a gossipy creature, so that will happen with or without the blogosphere.

So, with that, I'd like to thank all the participants again, especially 13WHAM for making this possible, and would enjoy the opportunity to do this again real soon!

Massa on Client 9

After a long afternoon away from the office, I just got around to reading Grievous Angel's coverage of today's Massa presser. Frankly, this type of response was Massa's only option given his close association with Spitzer in the last election. Plus after that wonderful ad the two did together started to float around again, continued silence would have only resulted in humorous YouTube remixes of the ad and Massa's association with Spitzer, like this one which was sent to me this morning.

So to combat that, we got lovely images of Massa standing in the cold yesterday "with a tea kettle of hot water" scraping off his Spitzer bumper sticker (what, was Spitzer's campaign so cheap it couldn't afford those easy to remove vinyl ones?). His remarks weren't gaffe free, though. After throwing Spitzer under the bus and praising David Paterson as "a man who listens," he analogized Paterson assuming the governorship "much like Lyndon Baines Johnson was able to get done what JFK couldn't get done." Of course, LBJ became president after JFK's assassination, while Paterson became governor after Spitzer's ejaculation, so I fail to see the connection.

And leave it to Massa to find a way to attack Congressman Kuhl. When asked about an innocuous article which mentioned that Kuhl is a good golfer (for shame!), Massa responded, "If you have enough time [as Congressman] to improve your golf game then there's something wrong." You know, because Heaven forbid that Congressman Kuhl is allowed play a round of golf once in a while. And it's this type of rhetoric which gets Rottenchester to state about St. Eric, "Watching him...I see a sense of honor and commitment that isn't always there in politicians." And I've been accused of being "over the top." Puhlease!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Massa Remains Mum on Client 9

According to Rottenchester, Massa has apparently donated the $2,000.00 he received from Spitzer this year to the Steuben County's Net Domestic Abuse Program. Good for him.

I'm still wondering, though, why Massa's remaining silent about Eliot "John" Spitzer, especially after today's reports that Spitzer has "used hookers for 6 years" and spent "perhaps as much as $80,000" for such services over the years. Congressman Kuhl issued a statement today stating that Spitzer should step down. Most of the major New York papers have called for Spitzer's resignation, along with the local ones. Democrat Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand also called on Spitzer to resign today, as did local Democrat politicians in Ontario County, so why the continued silence, Eric?

UPDATE: Rottenchester has the full press release from Massa today, which I would have gladly posted before, but it wasn't on his campaign website. Regardless, Massa says, "If in fact these accusations are true, I hope the Governor does the right thing." Now, we can try to assume that Massa is suggesting that Spitzer should resign, but unlike Gillibrand and the other Dems I mentioned above, he's not flat out saying that. This comment appears to be ambiguous on purpose. It could mean to some that he's saying that Spitzer should resign, or merely that he should just plead for his family's forgiveness. So Eric, for the record, answer me this, "Yes or no, should Spitzer resign?"