Tom Reed’s negative advertising campaign



Here are excerpts from Tom Reed’s recent political advertising. Tom characterizes his opponent, Martha Robertson, defining her ideas for her, while saying nothing about his accomplishments in office which are mighty few.

Meet Martha Robertson: Job Killer

Martha Robertson claims to support our community yet she continues to unfairly punish working families by voting for drastic tax increases, burdensome regulations, and reckless spending in the legislature.

One wouldn’t know from what Tom says that prosperous, dynamic Tompkins county has the lowest unemployment in NY-23.

Meet Martha Robertson: Just Another Tax & Spend Liberal

Martha Robertson likes to call herself a job creator, someone who advocates for small business. Yet, if you inspect her record, you’ll find that Martha Robertson is just another tax and spend liberal. In fact, she’s an extreme Ithaca liberal.

Maybe all the liberals in Ithaca can afford Martha Robertson’s high taxes and wasteful spending but families in the rest of Western New York sure can’t. We cannot afford to have Martha Robertson in Congress voting with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama for tax increases and spending hikes.

Here Tom promotes disunity in NY-23, hoping that attacks on liberals who are perhaps half of his constituents, liberals living in Ithaca in particular, will resonate with his supporters.  Note also the attempt to link Martha Robertson with Nancy Pelosi and President Obama. This is hardly worthy of Tom who claims to be a “bipartisan hero.”

Meet Martha Robertson Obamacare Defender

Still, just like her mentor Nancy Pelosi, Martha Robertson continues to defend ObamaCare, and disingenuously blamed Republicans since they “refused to put in the kind of money that would help…run the website” despite the millions that have already been wasted.

Robertson went so far as to advocate for a socialist, government run, single payer health care system! That means the government runs our hospitals and employs our doctors…Is that the kind of system that will improve healthcare? No way!

Here Tom links his opponent with Obamacare, the GOP’s favorite albatross, defines single payer health care his way, and tells us what to think about it.

Meet Martha Robertson: Government-Run Healthcare Advocate

Like her friend Nancy Pelosi and other Washington liberals, Martha Robertson still defends ObamaCare, and believes Republicans sabotaged the website through insufficient funding. Meanwhile, conservative costs of the website are estimated at $350 million.

She continues advocating for a socialist, government run, single-payer health care system! She honestly believes government bureaucrats should run our hospitals, employ our doctors, and make your healthcare decisions for you.

Nancy Pelosi, Obamacare, and Socialism again.

Here come the liberals

This week, Robertson invited Jan Schakowsky, a leading Democratic Congresswoman from Chicago, to our district to raise money. Did you know that Schakowsky was rated the most liberal member of Congress in America? That’s the kind of company Martha Robertson keeps.

This is yet another example of Robertson’s liberal Ithaca ideology. She’s raising money with extremists (remember the convicted sex offender?) who support government-run socialized healthcare, trashing the Bill of Rights, raising taxes, and dramatically increasing the size of government.

Martha Robertson and her extreme liberal friends are going to do whatever it takes to lie and spread their liberal agenda.

A swipe at big cities, Chicago (President Obama’s former home), Democrats, liberals, socialism, and Peter Yarrow with a nod to the Second Amendment and taxes which Republicans love to hate.

Negative advertising often  involves bad-mouthing ones opponent. In these examples Tom defines Martha’s ideas for her then derides her for them. Adding to that the repeated attempts to define Martha’s views by linking them to others–President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Jan Schakowsky–as well as attempts to link Martha Robertson to liberals and socialism, one sees that Tom’s advertising is essentially negative. This is no surprise, because Tom Reed took the same low road in his campaign against Nate Shinagawa.

© William Hungerford – April 2014

Posted in 2014, Congress, Media, Political, Reed's Views | 9 Comments

Tom Reed and his rivals

In 2010, Tom Reed ran for Congress against Matt Zeller in the former 29th district; in 2012 he ran against Nate Shinagawa in the new 23rd district. Here are some approximate data:

  • 2010           Votes            Spending
  • Reed          100,000       $400,000
  • Zeller           78,000        $200,000
  • 2012
  • Reed          125,000      $2,000,000
  • Shinagawa 116,000        $639,000

There were many differences between 2010 and 2012:

  • 2012 was a Presidential election year.
  • Reed was the incumbent in 2012
  • The district had changed from 29th to 23rd
  • The Democratic candidates were different
  • The issues were different
  • Independent PAC spending favored Reed.

Superficially, Reed’s additional spending in 2012 corresponded to 25,000 more votes–about six dollars additional spending per additional vote. The Democrat’s additional spending in 2012 corresponded to 36,000 more votes– about three dollars additional spending per additional vote. It isn’t surprising that the lesser known Democrat, Nate Shinagawa, got a better deal than the incumbent, Reed–the challenger has more to gain. Based on this analysis, Tom should plan to spend twice as much as Martha Robertson to win in 2014.

© William Hungerford – April 2014

Posted in 2014, Congress, Media, Political | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Reed Is Wrong on Obamacare

Time and again, our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act or hinder its implementation. He’s in denial about a very important reality: Obamacare is working.

Eight million people, including 962,000 New Yorkers, have signed up for private health insurance through the exchanges. Gallup estimates that overall, 12 million people have gained access to affordable care since the fall, including new enrollees in Medicaid and those who purchased insurance outside the exchanges. Three million young people have been able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until age 26.

President Obama pointed out last week that the Congressional Budget Office has lowered its initial estimate of cost of premiums on policies purchased through the exchanges by 15 per cent.  Reforms under the Affordable Care Act have cut the rate of increase in premiums for employer-provided insurance in half.  Medicare costs per person have nearly stopped growing. and the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by ten years.

Would Reed and his fellow Republican proponents of repeal take away health insurance from those who have newly gained it? Would they return us to the day when Americans with pre-existing conditions could be denied insurance? When the insured could face lifetime caps on the amount insurance companies would pay, or when deductibles and co-payments could be unaffordably high? They are offering no alternative to Obamacare, so that when they vote for repeal that’s what they’re voting for.

Twenty-four states where Republicans are in control or have a veto have refused to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, even though they could do so at no cost. As a result, 5 million Americans who could be covered are being denied insurance. This cruelty shows where the Republican heart lies.

Over at his campaign website, Rep. Reed is demanding that Martha Robertson explain her support of the Affordable Care Act. He’s the one who has some explaining to do.

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Are Republicans their own worst enemies?

traitorsRep. Justin Amash (R-MI), a libertarian, is one of the most conservative members of the House. Nevertheless, Rep. Amash has been criticized for being a supporter of illegal immigration, a charge he denies. The source of the criticism is Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC). Here is how ALIPAC describes itself:

Join the fight against illegal immigration and against any form of amnesty for illegal immigrants! We represent Americans of every race, political party, and walk of life working together to support the enforcement of our existing immigration and border laws instead of any form of Amnesty for illegal aliens. Visit us often and join our e-mail alerts to take action and help us stop and reverse illegal immigration in America! We are the world’s top source of information about illegal immigration, illegal alien crimes, amnesty attempts, immigration issues in campaigns and elections, statistics, facts, activism, legislation, laws, problems, and much more!” 

Here is what ALPAC has to say about Rep. Amash:

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) signed a letter to Senator Rand Paul on March 21, 2013, with 5 other members of Congress that stated Amash supports “providing a legal status, upon certain conditions” for illegal aliens. While Amash claims he would oppose full citizenship, it is fully expected that the courts will quickly override any attempt of Congress to create a second class form of citizenship. Any change in our current laws to accommodate millions of illegal immigrants will result in voting rights for tens of millions of illegals who will then vote against Republicans.

Rep. Amash’s support for “providing a legal status, upon certain conditions” is a rather mild, reasonable gesture toward justice from this very conservative a representative of a farming district in Michigan. Still, he is being savaged by extreme nativists who blindly follow ALIPAC. Ironically, it may be Rep. Amash’s relatively uncompromising stand on immigration reform that incites right-leaning extremists to demand even more. If Rep. Amash is on their enemies list, they can have few friends.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) stumbled in a similar way with a reasonable statement that infuriated his right-leaning critics already suspicious of his claim to ultra-conservative credentials. According to The Steuben Courier Advocate article cited below, speaking about the NY SAFE Act, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, said  “that residents should comply with the law’s provisions, including a requirement that guns categorized as assault weapons be registered with authorities. Fundamentally it is the law, and I would encourage people to respect that law,” Reed said.

A lawyer and Representative in Congress, Reed could not responsibly urge people to disobey laws, yet some of his erstwhile supporters have turned on him as you can see from comments (counterfeit, sickening) on the right-leaning “Primary Tom Reed” facebook page. Like Rep. Amash, by repeatedly expounding die-hard opposition to even reasonable gun regulations, Tom may have set a standard of expectations for his far right supporters that he can’t reasonably meet.

© William Hungerford – April 2014




Posted in Congress, Gun Violence, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Kathleen Parker on Race

racial In her column, “Let’s stop dealing the race card,”  which appeared in the local Gannett papers today, April 21, Kathleen Parker addresses race in politics. She starts by citing the case of an obscure state Representative, a black Democrat, for labeling other black politicians as Uncle Toms, apparently as an example of playing the “race card.”   She continues by relating Attorney General Holder’s complaint about a lack of civility in politics. Holder speaking about “unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity” asked: “What President has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”  Parker then suggests that Holder was referring to racial animosity, although he didn’t say so. She then writes: “Holder cannot pretend that his conduct of the Attorney General’s office is in question only because of his skin color.”  This is an astonishing statement as Holder never did that.  There is a huge difference between personal attacks on a politician and criticism of statements and actions. We might better support or oppose Tom Reed, Martha Robertson, or another based on their record rather than on their race, sex, or party affiliation.

Parker then takes another giant leap of illogic writing” Given that most blacks are Democrats, it is hardly surprising that they support the President. Likewise, it is hardly surprising that Republicans do not.” I find two unwarranted assumptions here:

  • Black Democrats support the President mostly because of their common race.
  • Democrats can be expected to support President Obama and Republicans should not.

First, many black voters supported President Clinton and likely President Obama for the same reason–they agree with them and with the Democratic Party platform. Second, the idea that only those in a presidents party ought to support him is pernicious–Democrats and Republicans alike would do well to support the country’s choice of President even though disagreement over policies may follow party lines. I am not advocating blind support: Democrats and Republicans alike have too often remained passive while a president led the country into trouble that might have been avoided. The idea that Republicans are bound to oppose everything a Democratic President says and does (and vice-versa) is a recipe for stalemate in politics as we have seen in recent years.

Parker concludes by suggesting that “all those suppressed feelings of anger, hurt, and frustration” are the “death rattle of our racist past,” a conclusion not clearly supported by anything that preceded it.  More likely the prevalence of racial divisiveness in politics, lack of progress in school integration, lingering economic injustice, as well as blatant feelings of anger, hurt, and frustration are indications that racial injustice and divisiveness are far from being things of the past.

© William Hungerford – April 2014


Posted in Congress, Economics, Education, Political, Racism | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Rep. Reed’s Wood Stove Concerns vs Facts

Rep. Tom Reed, in his weekly “Update” of April 17, tells of his “concerns over an unfair EPA (proposed) Rule”:

We’ve heard from constituents about the EPA’s proposed rule that would increase costs for New Yorkers who heat their wood stovehomes and businesses with wood stoves. That’s why we’re pressing the agency to find an approach that cares for families and doesn’t place an additional hardship on home and business owners. It’s unfair to target families and businesses that rely on wood stoves to heat their homes. For many in our community, this is an affordable, renewable energy source that is a cost-effective alternative to some of the more costly fuels.

I wish he had explained what was “unfair”  about the the rule the Environmental Protection Agency proposed. I assumed that the link would take us to a site that explained the proposal, but it takes the reader to Reed’s Press Release about the EPA Rule. It explains that we had a cold winter, and that the proposed changes are unfair and would increase this cost of heating our houses with wood. That is as far as he went, no facts, no details.  Like Big Brother, he wants us to trust him. 

Here are the facts (from a FOX News article) that Rep. Reed decided not to tell us:

  • The proposed rule will have the manufacturers tighten emission requirements on wood burning stoves and boilers. It will reduce emissions by approximately 80%.
  • The manufacturers will have 5 years to develop the more efficient stoves.
  • The requirements will be on new stoves only. The present stoves will not be changed.
  • No one will be required to replace their present wood stoves, although the new, improved stoves will be the only ones sold beginning in 2020.
  • Presently it is estimated that 13% of our soot pollution comes from inefficient wood  stoves/boilers.
  • The current Wood Stove emission regulations are from 1988—more than 25 years ago. Innovated designers, technology, and new materials can increase the efficiency of the stoves.
  • Benefits: “For every dollar spent to comply with the new standards, the EPA says, Americans will see between $118 and $267 in health benefits — eventually adding up to $1.8 to $2.4 billion in annual health and economic benefits. In other words, for every dollar spent to comply, America will see fewer heart attacks, strokes, and asthma attacks — and less CO2, methane and black carbon emissions.”

One would think that a more efficient wood stove would use less wood, and money, to heat our houses.

This Update, and corresponding Press Release are example of our congressman giving us his conclusions without giving us the facts. He wants to have the us believe he is concerned about our well-being, but in reality he is protecting the manufacturers’ profits.

Would our congressman vote for any regulation? Probably not. Look at  The League of Conservation Voters information about Rep. Reed. They have given him a lifetime rating of 7%, including the lowest rating of any NYS congressperson in 2013.

I need to note that the Friday, April 18 edition of The Lansing Star ( and maybe other district papers) had a “News Article” titled, “Reed Challenges New Wood Stove Requirements“. The careful reader will see that it was “written by the office of Rep. Tom Reed”. The purpose of this article, in the guise of news, is to give the readers self-serving misinformation. It states that this proposal would “drastically change requirements on new wood heaters, causing families who heat their homes with wood stoves to see a significant increase in heating costs.” An obvious attempt to scare the residents of our district. 

You cannot improve the situation if you continuously misrepresent the facts. We need to have a representative who embraces the possibility to improve the lives of the residents of the NY 23rd.  We will have that opportunity in November at the election booths.

Posted in 2014, Constituents, Environmental, Reed's Views | Tagged , , , | 43 Comments

Reed Risks Our Future on Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has recently issued summaries of two reports that merit the attention of every voter in New York’s 23rd.

The IPCC was set up in 1988 to advise the United Nations on climate change issues.  In 2007, the IPCC and Al Gore shared the Nobel Peace for their work in bringing the dangers of climate change to the world’s attention.

Specifically, the IPCC advises on how to limit the increase in the average global surface temperature to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) over pre-industrial levels. Beyond a 2 degree increase, scientists foresee disastrous consequences, such as the collapse of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Some believe that even a 2 degree increase is dangerous. At any rate, the problem today is that at current rates of greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures are expected to rise between 2 and 2.2 degrees Celsius by the middle of this century.

On March 31, the IPCC issued the summary of a report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, laying out the risks of continuing on our current course. These include storm surges causing death, destruction, and disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal areas;  extreme weather events leading to the breakdown of infrastructure networks and critical services such as electricity, water supply, and health and emergency services; and “the breakdown of food systems linked to warming, drought, flooding, and precipitation variability and extremes ….”  The report finds that “Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hot spots of hunger.”

On April 13, the IPCC issued the summary of a second report, focused on mitigating climate change. The report states that despite efforts made so far, the rise in greenhouse gas emissions is continuing, driven by population growth and economic activities. Without additional measures, the mean global surface temperature will increase by 3.7 to 4.8 degrees Celsius by 2100.  But the summary contained some good news — technologies for reducing carbon emissions are becoming more effective and renewable energy alternatives are growing ever more affordable. As Paul Krugman notes in today’s column, the price of solar energy panels has fallen by 75 per cent just since 2008.

What we desperately need here in the United States is a carbon tax or a carbon cap and trade system to put a price on carbon emissions and create an economic incentive for reducing them. The chances of that happening while the Republicans control the House of Representatives, however, are nil.

Our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed, has a very discouraging record on climate change. According to the League of Conservation Voters, he has voted against legislation to reduce emissions of methane, one of the worst of the greenhouse gases, during oil and gas drilling operations on public land. He voted for a provision that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from taking into consideration the social costs of carbon,  such as the effects of climate change on human health and agriculture, and the property damage extreme weather events cause.  Reed voted to defund a federal prohibition on government purchases of dirty fuels, such as oil from tar sands. The list goes on.

Rep. Reed in his votes on climate change is risking our future. He is risking the future of the earth.

Clean energy and the environment are at the top of Martha Robertson’s priorities. She is an advocate for wind, solar, and other smart solutions. On climate change as on the other issues, a vote for Martha represents the safe and responsible choice for protecting our future.



Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments