People Vote! (Corporations Don’t!)

The fact that Tom Reed  out-funded Martha Robertson was expected. The power of incumbency is undisputed: He had the political contacts of the 2010 and 2012 campaigns, and a history of supporting, and being supported by, the Gas/Oil, Insurance, Securities & Investment, and Real Estate Industries just to name a few. As of September 30, he has received $1,785,687 from Political Action Committees (PACs). That is 56% of his total campaign donations.

Martha Robertson received less than 1/5 of that amount from PACs —$$313,895 which made up 15% of her total funding. Her top financial sources were the retired, teachers, women’s issues organizations, and Pro-Israel groups.

Contributions from individuals are a different story—Martha out raise Tom with Individual’s contributions to their campaigns, $1.6 million to $1.2 million.   She had 2.5 times as many contributors as Tom. The average contribution for Martha per person was $502; for Tom it was $1062.

The figure that may be the most important: The people of the NY23rd contributed $503,740 to Martha, and $199,902 for Tom. She received more than 2.5 times what he received from the people he represents. That fact says a lot.

Yes, Reed has received more money. His cash on hand is about Martha’s  ($919K to 498K).  That will buy him a lot of Television Commercials, but this race is winnable for Martha. She has the grass-roots support and is on the people’s side of the issues. The key is getting the voters out on November 4. We can’t depend on Governor Cuomo to bring out the voters; we have to get them to come out for Martha.

The New NY 23rd has collect the following records of Rep. Reed’s Voting Record. A way we could combat the expected onslaught of Reed’s television ads, is by copying and pasting one (or more) of these short articles in an email and send it vote-loidagarciafebo-wordpresscomto contacts to remind them of Reed’s record. If the voters have not decided by know who they want to vote for, or even if they will vote, your email might jolt them a bit. If we do this early enough, they may send it on to others.

Rep. Reed’s Voting Record on American Association of University Women (AAUW) issues. 

Rep. Reed’s ZERO rating on Women’s Health Issues (Planned Parenthood) 

Rep. Reed’s Voting Record  on Retires & Senior Citizens issues. 

Citizen’s Action of NY’s Comparison of Tom Reed’s and Martha Robertson’s Views 

Citizens for Honest Representation Comparison of Martha Robert’s & Tom Reed’s Views. 

Posted in Constituents | 1 Comment

Sandra Steingraber on Seneca LPG storage

steingraberThis letter by Sandra Steingraber appeared in the Elmira Star-Gazette on October 21.

My parents collected Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I read them all, discovering, only years later that “condensed” meant “abridged.” “Jane Eyre” was a darker tale than I knew.

Excising unpleasantries from literature is an old practice. To create The Family Shakespeare in 1818, publisher Thomas Bowdler eliminated prostitutes. Lady Macbeth cries, “Out, crimson spot!”

Such tamperings seem quaint, but the impulse to delete problematic truths is apparently alive and not confined to fiction.

In 2012, the Cuomo administration took an editorial hand to a report on methane in groundwater commissioned from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The result — as revealed by Capital New York’s Scott Waldman — was a version that downplayed the dangers of fracking and eliminated the topic of gas storage.

Happily, science has a way of prevailing. In the last two years, multiple independent studies have documented methane leakage from fracking operations. We now know the problem is more — not less — widespread than previously appreciated.

Also happily: This knowledge emerged within the context of a statewide moratorium on fracking. Nobody’s basement had to blow up to prove the point.

But there is no moratorium on underground storage. Hence, in the Finger Lakes — where abandoned, lakeside salt caverns are targeted by Houston-based Crestwood Midstream for a massive natural gas storage project — we find ourselves unprotected and at the mercy of bowdlerized science.

We know the 2011 draft of the USGS report raised red flags about underground storage of compressed gas. We also know that all reference to this problem was expunged from the final version.

It gets worse. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has now issued its own go-ahead for underground gas storage at Seneca Lake on the basis of findings that remain hidden from the public.

Crestwood has argued that key data about the structural integrity of these old salt caverns is proprietary information. Both FERC and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation have complied with this request for secrecy.

Journalistic sleuthing — by Peter Mantius for DC Bureau — has uncovered old reports that document unstable geology within these caverns, while independent scientists have called for an end to secrecy, pointing to catastrophic fires and explosions within other salt caverns around the nation that were repurposed for gas storage.

Nevertheless, after consulting documents that we residents cannot see, federal regulators have announced that construction can start immediately — as reported by Gannett’s Ray Finger. Crestwood indicates it will begin on October 24.

This is unacceptable. The facts of science are not fictional passages that can be deleted, or hidden, at will. Our families are not characters in gilded books. Our safety should not be jeopardized by secrecy and censorship from state and federal agencies.

The Finger Lakes urgently appeal to President Barack Obama, Cuomo, and Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for immediate help. Step in, publicly acknowledge the validity and gravity of the public health and economic objections, and stop this reckless project — before we lose what we cannot replace.

Steingraber is a biologist and co-founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking.

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Martha Robertson’s platform


Martha Robertson

I have a bright vision of our region. We live here because we love it. My husband Steve and I chose to live and raise our kids here. I’ve been here for thirty years, and I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I am running for Congress to make our vision of growth and prosperity a reality for all our families in upstate New York.–Martha Robertson

Here are Martha Robertson’s priorities as listed on her web page:



Posted in 2014, Congress, Political | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Reasons people give for liking Tom Reed

reed serving coffeee I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view. … If we [win the House, Senate, and White House], bipartisanship means they have to come our way, and if we’re successful in getting the numbers, we’ll work towards that.–Richard Mourdock

Reasons people give for liking Tom Reed–you can’t make this stuff up.

  • Tom introduced 82 bills. (that went nowhere)
  • The House passed many bills never considered in the Senate. (bad ones, doomed from the start)
  • Tom missed slightly less than the average number of votes.
  • It is good to see what Tom IS doing. (visiting a hospital for a photo op)
  • He’s helped put the brakes on much of the Leftist agenda. (whatever that is)
  • Democrats have their pictures taken too.
  • People say Tom has done nothing because they don’t like what he has done. (whatever that may be)
  • ACA was bipartisan legislation. (so bipartisan must be the wrong approach)
  • Tom may be a moderate, but he is more conservative than Martha.
  • Tom can’t be bought for only $25,000.
  • Democrats seek and accept political contributions too.
  • Workers and unions support Martha, so if Tom gets $620,000 from realty interests that’s only fair.
  • Conservatives are happy with Tom (but they called his ideological twin, Rep. Hanna, who had a primary opponent, a RINO)


Posted in 2014, Congress, Constituents, Political | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Reed doing more for Western NY

reed pretending to work at atmI watched a TV ad which claimed Tom Reed is doing more for Western NY.



reed pretending to workReally, more than what?




Reed at UPSMore than nothing or nothing useful, perhaps? The real worker in the picture seem worried.

What has Tom done for Western NY? Tom’s ad doesn’t say.


Posted in 2014 | 1 Comment

Texas voter ID decision

4.18 cover no mast.inddJustice Ginsburg’s dissent:

Those requirements, Justice Ginsburg wrote, “may prevent more than 600,000 registered Texas voters (about 4.5 percent of all registered voters) from voting in person for lack of compliant identification.”

“A sharply disproportionate percentage of those voters are African-American or Hispanic,” she added, adding that “racial discrimination in elections in Texas is no mere historical artifact.”

Texas officials quarreled with Justice Ginsburg’s math, which was drawn from evidence presented to a trial court. In their brief urging the justices to allow the election to proceed under the 2011 law, they said that trying to determine the number of people the law would deter from voting was a fool’s errand and called the estimate of 600,000 disenfranchised voters preposterous.

Justice Ginsburg also said the law “replaced the previously existing voter identification requirements with the strictest regime in the country.”

She noted that Texas would not accept several forms of ID that Wisconsin did, including “a photo ID from an in-state four-year college and one from a federally recognized Indian tribe.” The Supreme Court on Oct. 9 refused to let Wisconsin use its voter ID law in the current election.

Texans who lack a required form of identification cannot easily obtain it, Justice Ginsburg wrote. “More than 400,000 eligible voters face round-trip travel times of three hours or more to the nearest” government office issuing IDs, she wrote, and they must generally present a certified birth certificate.

Is anyone fooled by blatant efforts to prevent a democratic vote?

Posted in Political, Supreme Court | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Robertson and Reed on Campaign Finance Reform

vote_imageWe asked District 23 candidates: In the wake of the Citizens United decision, are you concerned about the influence of money in politics?



Reed: Staying connected to constituents is key

I fight big money in politics by staying connected to the district and remaining as accessible as possible.

Robertson: Democracy should not be ‘1 dollar, 1 vote’

Our laws should protect free speech while making our democracy stronger. We must make our political system more fair, more open, more democratic and less influenced by big money.

If you see a difference in these two views, keep it in mind when voting.

Posted in 2014, Congress | Tagged , , | 8 Comments