Tom Reed spends early and often

tricksIn an article which appeared in The Ithaca Voice on July 17, Emma Jesch asks:

Ever wonder what Congressional candidates raise and spend during their campaigns? According to campaign finance reports released Tuesday, Representative Tom Reed, R-Corning, has already spent over half of the $2.4 million he’s raised for his reelection campaign. What can $1,381,115 buy during a campaign?

Here is a breakdown of Reed’s major operating expenditures, which date from January 2013 to June 2014, according to Emma Jesch:

  • Catering                          $85,883
  • Consultants                    $70, 182
  • Political Contributions  $31,985
  • Travel and Lodging       $32,071
  • Advertising                    $11,993

According to an article by Brian Tumulty which appeared in the Elmira Star Gazette on July 15,

Reed spent $44,000 on polling in October and April by the Tarrance Group of Alexandria, Va., headed by well-known GOP pollster Edward Goeas. He spent $122,000 on political strategic consulting by Roland-Kelly Inc. of Marco Island, Fla.

Reed recently began running his first TV ad, a 30-second spot with his sister, Mary (youtube/X87P3wvqBSo), in the Elmira and Buffalo television markets.

120416_tom_reed_ap_328In a conference call with reporters Monday, Reed indicated no decision has been made on when he will begin airing another TV ad. Most congressional campaigns don’t begin airing TV ads until after Labor Day.

The Reed-Robertson race, however, is among the most competitive House contests in the nation.

According to a third article by Jerry Zremski which appeared in The Buffalo News on July 15:

“This quarter’s record breaking fundraising numbers are a testament to his willingness to hear from his constituents and continue traveling a district the size of New Jersey to remain as accessible as possible,” (Katherine) Pudwill (Reed’s spokesperson) said.

Then again, Reed’s most recent campaign finance disclosures show that he continues to rely heavily on political action committees for his campaign funding. And a Center for Responsive Politics study at the end of the first quarter showed that he raised 55 percent of his money at that point from political action committees, with PACs representing the insurance industry, the Republican leadership, the oil and gas sector and health professionals leading the way.

Reed’s consultants may have advised him to smile more and talk less–it sure looks that way. Is Reed worried? He ought to be, and the evidence suggests he knows it.

© William Hungerford – July 2014

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Thanks, Tom, for all you do

“It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.”–Anon.

fishreed napingreed with chartreed 60 plustom with pigsTom at FairPoint

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Reasons to vote for Rep. Tom Reed, if you must



With higher-than-average poverty rates across the country and in our own backyard, how do we address this growing challenge? The answer is simple: We must aggressively pursue an agenda of opportunity. –Rep. Tom Reed

“Republican Rep. Tom Reed nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last time.”–Nathan L. Gonzales, Rothenberg Political Report

Reasons to vote for Rep. Tom Reed, if you must.

  1. You are a RINO.
  2. You are Tom’s sister Mary or another family member.
  3. You are a conservative who believes Tom shares your views.
  4. You believe Social Security is unnecessary and unsustainable.
  5. An “agenda of opportunity” sounds good to you.
  6. You hope Tom’s idea of “real tax reform” will lower your taxes.
  7. You are invested in the special interests Tom favors.
  8. You believe people don’t need health care if they can’t afford it.
  9. You believe Tom will save the government from going broke.
  10. You believe introducing a doomed bill in the House is worthwhile.
  11. You believe rescinding regulations and cutting business taxes creates jobs.
  12. You believe private charity cures poverty.
  13. You believe Tom likes to hunt and fish.

© William Hungerford – July 2014


Posted in 2014, Humor, Reed's Views | 15 Comments

Is Tom Reed Mr. Niceguy?

reed fist

“Clearly, Martha Robertson doesn’t care about the thousands of hard-working families who are struggling to make ends meet here in New York,” said Katherine Pudwill, spokesperson for Rep. Tom Reed, Mr. Niceguy.

Watch what we do not what we say. — John Mitchell, Nixon’s Attorney General

According to an article in the Elmira Star-Gazette by Brian Tumulty, Tom’s TV advertising shows him as sincere, easygoing, and jovial. Is that a true picture of Tom? I think not. Tom often shows his true colors; here are some examples of that:

    • Tom’s motto is (or was) “Fix not Fight,” yet he is always fighting for or against something in a seemingly endless ideological war.
    • Tom would have hungry children tighten their belts.
    • Tom offers future retirees diminished Social Security benefits.
    • Tom believes people only need as much health care as they can afford.
    • Tom’s unhelpful advice to the unemployed: “Get a job.”
    • Tom sees charity as a cure for poverty. For Tom, soup kitchens are as American as apple pie.
    • Tom voted against keeping the government open throwing many, including his hardworking, low paid staff, out of work.
    • At his townhall meetings, Tom is thin-skinned when constituents disagree with him.
    • Tom made his fortune dunning people over unpaid hospital bills.

ree dourHaving few accomplishments to run on, softening his image is perhaps the best Tom can do, but Mr. Niceguy? No way!

© William Hungerford – July 2014




Posted in 2014, Congress, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

Overspending on Defense

dollars1Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) writes:

I voted no on #HR4870, Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015.

The bill spends $4.1 billion more than the current spending level and $200 million above the president’s budget request. It also includes nearly $80 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO, i.e., war spending), which has effectively become a slush fund for the Pentagon, especially now that our involvement in Afghanistan has been winding down.

Under current law, OCO isn’t subject to the spending caps set in the Budget Control Act of 2011, so it’s no surprise that the Pentagon has reportedly been using OCO to skirt the spending caps on its base budget. It’s time to eliminate this off-budget account and bring this spending back into the normal budgeting process.

U.S. military spending comprises about 40 percent of the total military spending of the world. To be credible on deficit reduction, Congress must begin making reforms to military spending, which is the federal government’s second largest expenditure. When Congress passes spending bills like this one, no one should take Congress’s commitment to reining in deficits seriously.

H.R.4870 passed 340-73. Rep. Reed voted Aye. Tom says he favors deficit reduction, but he votes against it again and again.

© William Hungerford – July 2014


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Ten reasons to vote for Martha Robertson rather than Tom Reed


Please vote for me if you agree with me at least half the time.–Martha Robertson

“Republican Rep. Tom Reed nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last time.”–Nathan L. Gonzales, Rothenberg Political Report

  1. Martha is a Democrat. Tom is part of the Republican/tea party roadblock in the House.
  2. Martha is supported by the people of NY-23. Tom is supported by special interests. Much of Tom’s support is from out-of-state.
  3. Martha opposes Paul Ryan’s reactionary, austere budget proposal. Tom voted for it.
  4. Martha supports Social Security. Tom would cut benefits at least for future retirees.
  5. Martha supports progressive taxation. Tom favors a “flat tax,” a windfall for the most wealthy taxpayers and a heavier burden on most of us.
  6. Martha favors environmental protection. Tom seeks to rescind environmental regulations at every opportunity.
  7. Martha favors acting to promote economic recovery. Tom favors rescinding regulations and cutting business taxes instead.
  8. Martha supports public education.
  9. Martha supports low interest student loans. Tom voted to raise interest rates.
  10. Martha supports affordable health care. Tom voted again and again to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act which would leave millions of us without insurance and restore the Republican “doughnut hole.”

© William Hungerford – July 2014



Posted in 2014, Congress, Constituents, Economics, Education, Environmental, Health Care, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , | 45 Comments

Robertson’s Funding Report Shows a Grass-Roots Advantage

Grassroots CampaignIt doesn’t take long to realize money plays a pivotal part in today’s political campaigns. Federal campaigns are required to report their funding records with the Federal Election Commissions every three months. The last report was due July 15; it recorded the campaign financial activities as of June 30.

The media reported that Rep. Tom Reed had received $661,000 in the April to June reporting period. A personal high for him. Martha Robertson received $461,000, a personal high for her. Most articles focused on the campaigns’ quarterly and cumulative totals. In the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets’s site we can also explore the details.

The belief is generally the campaign that raises the most money wins. According to a Washington Post article in April, in 2012 the congressional candidate that raised the most money won 91% of the time. The article has a chart looking at the data in detail worth looking at. (An article in PolitiFacts states in 2010, the rate was 94%)

Ninety-one percent is very impressive, but it gives some room for upsets. We only have to go back to June to remember the Eric Cantor/David Brat Virginia Republican Primary upset. Cantor out raised Brat 10 to 1, and out spent him 14.7 to 1, and lost.

I know that was a rare case, but it happens. The pundits looking at the race after it was over pointed out three key inter-related details that fell in place for Brat—Issues, Grass-Root Support, and Voter Turnout. The Issues, which have been discussed in an earlier New NY23rd article, motivated the grass-root supporters to get a heavy voter turnout.

 According to the New Oxford American Dictionary a definition of Grassroots is: Ordinary people regarded as the main body of an organization’s membership.

Martha Robertson seems to claim to have the grass-root support needed to win in November:

“As of today over 6,000 individual donors have stepped up to support our campaign and I am very honored by their faith and support.” Robertson said. “The people of the 23rd district are giving us a message loud and clear that they want a representative who will fight to protect Social Security and Medicare and someone who will bring economic prosperity to the region, rather than Congressman Tom Reed who continues to vote to cut Medicare and to raise taxes on the middle class in order to protect millionaires like him and corporations that ship jobs overseas.”

The information is what Ms Robertson is excited about. This is data on the people contributed to the campaigns (as opposed to Businesses, Corporations, and PACs.):

  • Notice that 61% of Reed’s individual donations came from New York State, compared to 85% of Robertson’s donations. Translated into real money that’s over $99,000 more than Reed.
  • Only 22% of Reed’s individual donations came from within our district, which is where Robertson received 61% of her donations. She received 2.3 times as much money from the NY 23rd as Reed.  These people have lived with Reed as their Representative, and have decided they don’t want him again. Once a person donates to a candidate they tend to work to get that candidate elected.
Contributions Tom Reed Martha Robertson
Within NYS

$509,370 (61%)

$608,737 (85%)

Outside NYS

$330,799 (39%)

$104,007 (15%)

Within NY 23rd

$182,542 (22%)

$431,214 (61%)

Outside NY 23rd

647,102 (78%)

$281,530 (40%)

No District



data from Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets website

Another set of data points that “Ordinary People” tend to support Ms. Robertson. Small Contributions (less than $200) made up 21% of Robertson’s individual contributions, but only 3% of Reed’s. In real dollars, she received 3.7 times as much money from Small Contributors than he did. Their Large Contributions totals were closer, but Robertson still out raised Reed by more than $46,000!

Individuals have given Ms. Robertson 8.4% more than Rep. Reed.

SUMMARY Tom Reed Martha Robertson
Raised: $2,545,350 $1,508,893
Spent $1,386,562 $378,896
Cash On Hand $1,274,306 $1,129,997
Small Contributions

$83,378 (3%)

$314,293  (21%)

Large Contributions

$905,859 (36%)

  $952,530 (63%)

PAC Contributions  $1,401,735 (55%)

$219,326 (15%)

Self Financing


$15,000 (1%)


$154,377 (6%)

              $7,744 (1%)
data from Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets website

Politically Action Committees overwhelmingly supported Reed over Robertson by more than $1,182,000. He has received 55% of all of his funding by PACS. Although not all PACs represents Corporations, some represent Labor and Ideological Groups, Reed received over $1 million from Business PACs, when Robertson received only $5,000.

Tom Reed

Martha Robertson






Ideological    $167,795




data from Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets website


The data points out that Martha Robertson has the Grass-Root advantage over Tom Reed. The next step is to get the donors mobilized to bring in a large voter turnout. Voter turnout is traditionally down during a non-Presidential Election year. Being the challenger places the odds of winning against Martha, but this quarter’s fund raising information is good news for the challenger.

Posted in 2014, Constituents, Data, Economics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments