Is Tom Reed an Opportunist?


We must aggressively pursue an agenda of opportunity. — Rep. Tom Reed

An opportunist exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than following consistent principles or plans. Is Tom an opportunist? Let’s see:

  • Tom says the deficit is a priority, but he votes for additional spending whenever it suits him.
  • Tom says: “Caring for our veterans’ health needs must always be a top priority,” but instead of helping, Tom suggests a partisan witch hunt for those responsible for malfeasance.
  • Tom says he opposes temporary measures, but votes for them whenever the party whip asks. He opposed SNAP funding and unemployment extension saying they were temporary. In case of business taxes, he voted to  make temporary measures permanent.
  • Tom would give companies with holdings overseas a temporary tax “holiday.” The trillions of dollars held overseas could come back to the U.S. at greatly reduced tax rates. That money could be used for highway projects. Any excuse will do for another business tax break.
  • Tom seldom misses an opportunity to have his picture taken.
  • Tom joined NO LABELS, but hasn’t repudiated pledges he signed as he should. Instead he has signed more pledges.
  • Tom says he opposes waiting till the last minute to agree on legislation, but does that repeatedly.

reed hayworth

In 2011, Tom spent Christmas in the Capitol with former GOP Rep. Nan Haworth waiting at the last minute for someone else to blink.

Is Tom an opportunist? It sure looks that way. Tom seldom fails to do what’s best for Tom.


© William Hungerford – July 2014




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Tom Reed’s 2011 Financial Reports

capitolWe must aggressively pursue an agenda of opportunity. — Rep. Tom Reed

On May 15, 2012, Tom Reed filed his first Financial Disclosure Statement for 2011. A year later, on May 15, 2013, apparently in response to a demand from the House Ethics Committee, he filed an amended report. Here is the data from these and two subsequent reports:

Schedule III — Assets and Unearned Income 2011, filed 5/15/12 2011 amended, 5/15/13 2012 filed 5/15/13 2013 filed 5/12/14
M&T Bank 15 to 50 ditto 1 to 15 ditto
First Heritage 1 to 15 ditto ditto
Baty St. Elmira, NY Real Estate 50 to 100 ditto ditto None, sold
NYS Retirement None
Long Branch Road Real Estate None 1 to 15 ditto ditto
Life Insurance, NW 1 to 15 ditto 15 to 50 ditto
Life Insurance, Guardian 1 to 15 ditto ditto ditto
*Fritz-Klee holdings, LLC None None, closed
*Fritz-Klee Realty, LLC None None, closed
*Bending River Estates, LLC 1 to 15 Sold
Law office of Thomas W. Reed II, PLLC 50 to 100 ditto ditto None
*Monkey Run Realty, LLC None None, closed
Mineral Rights Land Tuscarora, NY None None None None
R&R Properties 100 to 250 100 to 250, partial owner of family owned business 100 to 250 ditto
R&R Resource Recovery 250 to 500 100 to 250, partial owner of family owned business 100 to 250 ditto
IRA—Cadaret Grant 1 to 15 ditto ditto


  1. Values in thousands
  2. *–marks closed and wound down business

In addition to the list of his assets, the amended report for 2011 added a list of transactions which was not included in the original report.

Schedule IV — Transactions 2011 2011 Amended
Bending River Estates, LLC Sold, 15 to 50
R&R Properties, LLC Purchase, 50 to 100
R&R Resources, LLC Purchase, 100 to 250


  1. Values in thousands

So what was the difference between the original 2011 report filed May 15, 2012 and the amended report filed a year later? The most significant difference is the addition of Schedule IV–Transactions,  which shows the purchase of partial ownership in two “family owned” businesses. This may reflect a “wash sale”–the sale and subsequent repurchase of property for legal reasons. The whole business remains unclear.

Tom’s 2012 report filed in 2013 is much the same as the amended 2011 report filed at the same time. The 2013 report filed in 2014 disclaims any remaining interest in the Reed Law Firm, R&R Resource Recovery, and R&R Properties. It appears that Tom’s share is now held by other family members.

Tom’s 2013 report seems contradictory. One reads:

  • (Partial Owner) Family Owned Real Estate Business; Real Estate Property Holdings- Tioga Avenue Corning, NY Estimated Value–$250,000
  • (Partial Owner) Family Owned Business Providing Account and Creditor Management Services; Real Estate owned- First Street Corning, NY; Church Street Elmira, NY. Estimated Value– $250,000
  • Former Member R and R Properties, LLC
  • Former Member R and R Resource Recovery, LLC

Perhaps Tom can be a “partial owner” and a “former member” at the same time.

© William Hungerford – July 2014

May 15, 2012–Tom files his report for 2011

May 16, 2012–Tom files an amendment adding his trips to Taiwan and Korea

March 8, 2013–Tom applies to the Ethics Committee for a delay in filing an amendment to his 2011 report.

May 15, 2013–Tom files an amendment for 2011

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Can Republicans win over Millennial Voters?

millenialsThe answer is simple: We must aggressively pursue an agenda of opportunity. — Rep. Tom Reed

Mytheos Holt, writing for The Daily Caller, explains that the GOP has a problem with younger voters. After noting that cherished right wing views on “social issues” don’t appeal to millennials, he writes:

So yeah, social issues have to go, but that’s not all. You’ve got to do more than keep talking about how capitalism will save the young if they just give it time. This generation wants to see results. Literally. When it comes to government spending, they don’t care how they get jobs, so long as something works. If it’s infrastructure spending, fine. If it’s job training programs, cool. And if it’s tax cuts? Well, six in ten of them are fine with those, but they have to actually create job growth. This generation is fed up with waiting for economic opportunity. They want it now, and they don’t care how they get it. If you want to win with them, you need a jobs program that comports with your principles, but that also will work, and you need it yesterday. 

Mytheos Holt has a point–millennials might well approve efforts to create good paying jobs. Opposing a reasonable minimum wage, suggesting more tax breaks for businesses and wealthy persons, and rescinding environmental regulations ostensibly to create jobs, as Rep. Tom Reed and other Republicans do, isn’t likely to win their support. Holt continues:

Now, I’m going to tell you something a little scary: 54 percent of millennials want the government to guarantee a college degree. That’s right. 54 percent. But you know why they favor that kind of expansive government spending? Because most of them are poor.

Yes, we are a low wage country with widespread poverty. What does Mr. Holt suggest?

Millennials aren’t hardline liberals, in other words. They’re just desperate, and they’ll vote for whoever looks serious about helping them. And you know what would help them? That’s right, a job.

Yes, and not just any low-wage, part-time job; a real full-time job with benefits.

Look, Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, let’s be honest. You know your economic principles work better than the left’s. History’s proven it again and again. But this generation didn’t get to see those principles in action. All they’ve seen of Republicans is a man who increased spending more than any President since Lyndon Johnson getting called a “conservative” because he campaigned against gay marriage. You know you can do better than that. So go out and prove it. The people who will vote for you because you’ll keep them safe from the gays are dying. The people who could vote for you because you saved them from poverty are waiting, and hoping, for a better alternative. And if you don’t give it to them by finding a way to get them jobs? Well, sorry, but you’ll probably lose yours.

In brief, Mytheos Holt, like Bobby Jindal, suggests that the GOP stop being the stupid party, clinging to cherished, hurtful, out-of-date beliefs. Sadly, I found no concrete suggestion in his article for doing that.

© William Hungerford – July 2014


Posted in 2014, Congress, Economics, Education, Environmental, Health Care, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

H.R. 4935, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act

Lost emails


The titles given to bills are frequently misleading, often deliberately so. Does H.R.4935 really represent improvement?

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) writes:

The House considered H.R. 4935, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act. This is another tax bill that isn’t offset and as a result will increase the deficit by almost a billion dollars. There are other serious problems with this legislation as well. H.R. 4935 does not extend an important tax provision that improved the benefit of the tax credit for lower income families. That provision expires in 2017 and is not addressed in this bill. If this provision does expire, a single parent working full time making minimum wage would not be eligible for any portion of this tax credit. In contrast, H.R. 4935 raises the upper limit on the amount of money families can make in order to qualify for the Child Tax Credit. Under this bill, the value of the tax credit is enhanced for families making between $150,000 and $205,000. This legislation does nothing for those who need it the most and adds significantly to the deficit.

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) writes:

H.R. 4935 would make an improved child tax credit permanent by eliminating the “marriage penalty” in current law. Specifically, the bill would index the $1,000 child tax credit for inflation, and it would increase the income threshold at which the credit begins to phase out for married couples. The bill sets the phase-out amount for married couples at $150,000 – which is double the $75,000 phase-out for single taxpayers. Currently, joint filers are disadvantaged in the tax code compared to single filers when it comes to claiming the child tax credit. Additionally, the bill requires filers to provide a Social Security number on their tax return if they wish to claim a refundable portion of the child tax credit, in order to cut down on waste, fraud and abuse.

The child tax credit helps working families in upstate New York meet the rising cost of raising children in our community. It is an important tool which makes the joy of parenting more affordable, so it should continue to be a part of our tax code. Moreover, because prices for food, clothing and education increase with time, it makes sense to index the value of the tax credit to keep pace with inflation. However, it makes no sense that married couples and joint tax filers are penalized in our tax code, so this bill rightly eliminates the marriage penalty. I was pleased to support this legislation to help more Upstate parents keep more of their paychecks and provide for their families.

nickel and dimed

A good read–recommended.

H.R. 4935 passed 237 – 173. Rep. Hanna and Rep. Reed voted AYE. Rep. Capuano voted NO. The Obama Administration opposes this bill and has threatened a veto.

The Administration opposes H.R. 4935, which would add nearly $100 billion to deficits over 10 years to expand the Child Tax Credit, including by increasing eligibility for higher income households, while at the same time reducing or eliminating the credit for millions of working parents.

Rep. Tom Reed hasn’t explained why he voted for this bill; Reed seldom explains his votes. Tom says he is concerned about deficit spending, but votes for “budget busters” whenever the party whip asks him.

This is another political bill attacking working class parents, likely doomed from the start, sponsored by the “party of the rich.”

© William Hungerford – July 2014

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Why the GOP is known as the “Stupid Party.”

stupid partyOne of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.–Rick Santorum

“I don’t care what they do.”–John Boehner

I believe Paul Krugman named the GOP the “Stupid Party.” Krugman was probably thinking of some politicians’ wacko views on Economics. I can see why. Tom Reed, who is not an economist, claimed that he could tell at a glance that everything Paul Krugman ever wrote is wrong. Reed likes to say that children will someday have to pay back the national debt. When pressed, he admits that has never happened and won’t, but he goes right on saying it again and again.

Republicans know that opposition to immigration reform is killing them at the polls. They would like to solve this problem, but can’t. Whenever they try, Fox leads an off-key chorus singing “No Amnesty,” which agitates their base.

Republicans know that opposition to family planning hurts them, but if they relax their hard line, the base erupts:

  • Prospective GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum says that contraception is wrong.
  • Failed GOP Senate candidate Todd Aiken takes back his apology reaffirming his theory of “legitimate rape,” rubbing salt in the GOP’s wounds.

What else:

  • Republicans can’t drop their die-hard opposition to Obamacare, which serves the needs of more and more Americans.
  • Republicans complain about illegal immigrants, but refuse President Obama’s request for needed funds.
  • Republicans complain about deficit spending, but appropriate even more money for Defense than the Pentagon wants.
  • Republicans block a much-needed increase in the minimum wage.
  • Republicans block common-sense firearm regulations favored by an overwhelming majority of Americans.

stupid1Krugman’s charge rings true: the GOP deserves to be known as the stupid party. However, the GOP could change for the better. As Leonard Pitts noted in his column titled “Aiken’s back, talking rape again” there may be as many as four adults left in the GOP. If they would purge the wackos, they might hope to recover some of their lost respectability at least among the gullible.

© William Hungerford – July 2014



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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

Posted in 2014, Campaign Finance, Congress, Constituents, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

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

Posted in Congress, Humor, Political, Reed's Views | Tagged , | 3 Comments