Attention All Men of the NY 23rd

 This article was written by Cath Kestler of  Silver Creek, NY.

It is published with the permission of the author.

“Attention all men of the NY 23rd district the upcoming election at the Federal level will be a referendum not only in the direction of the country, but also on the character of men as well; regardless of our race, political party, sexual orientation, or religion. In the political race now being run, the Republican candidate is losing the woman’s vote 10-15% or higher. This is no accident for women as a whole rightly recognize the Republican Party as being hostile to our best interests; as regarding us as second class citizens in its assault on women by introducing and co-sponsoring bills that seek to oppress others and deny them their basic human rights and few rights are more fundamental than for a woman to be treated as the full equal of a man; from earning the same amount of money that a man does doing the same work for the same amount of time, and from having her reproductive rights respected.

Representative Tom Reed has continued to oppose raising the minimum wage with nearly two-thirds of those workers being women.  He also voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act in April of 2013. In January of 2011 he voted to allow hospitals to let women die rather than have a lifesaving abortion.  Reed co-sponsored H.R. 3 which would redefine rape as having to be “forcible rape”. Continuing in January 2011, he voted 3 times against the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), he also wanted to EXCLUDE Native American, immigrant, and LGBT victims.  The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act (HR 2016) would amend the Clery Act which requires colleges and universities to disclose (share) information about crimes on and around campuses. This bill died on the committee level and Rep. Reed was not one of the 111 co-sponsors.

How can you support a political party whose policies render your mother, wife, daughter, aunt, sister, granddaughter, and nieces to the status of second class citizenship?  How can you support a political party and its candidate who regard rape and domestic abuse (violence) as being in part or in full, the fault of those women who are victims of it?  It is neither your place nor your right to tell a woman that she should earn less money doing the same work that a man does. It is neither your place nor your right to tell a woman what she should or should not do with her body.

A society founded on the supremacy of one over the other; be that supremacy founded on gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation, is truly for true freedom only exists when there is equal freedom for all, versus privileged freedom for the few.

A vote for a Republican candidate, especially, Tom Reed will be a profound betrayal of the women in your lives: the women who love you, nurture you, support you, and guide you.  A vote for a Republican candidate will be the political equivalent of you literally spitting in the face of the women in your lives.  Do you really want to do this?  Do you really want to denigrate, demean, and disrespect the women of the District of NY 23rd in this manner?

I sincerely hope you do not. I hope you find it within yourselves to wake up to the fact that to support gender equality is a true sign of strength, not weakness; that only the weak seek to oppress; the strong are self-assured and wise enough to recognize gender equality make America collectively stronger, more free,  and more true to itself.

Martha Robertson is running against Tom Reed. She is a champion of woman’s rights and she is the only person to get this job done.  Reed obviously, through his record doesn’t have your best interests at heart.  My vote is going to Martha.”

 

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

Who cares about #ny23?

term limitsTom Reed says he cares; Martha Robertson says she cares. But do voters care?

 

 

It appears that the voters have discounted the following:

  • Reed’s business practices.
  • Reed’s disreputable midnight swim.
  • Reed’s late tax payments.
  • Reed’s performance in office.
  • Reed’s vote against keeping the government funded.

About the above and many similar matters, voters don’t seem to care.

But what about these? Have they been discounted as well?

  • Reed’s hostility toward Social Security–he would cut benefits at least for future retirees.
  • Reed’s support for fracking and his disregard of environmental issues.
  • Reed’s denial of climate change.
  • Reed’s lack of sympathy for women’s rights.
  • Reed’s indifference to poverty in NY-23.
  • time for changeReed’s lack of concern for firearm violence.
  • Reed’s indifference to student loan debt.
  • Reed’s lack of support for fair wages and a living minimum wage.
  • Reed’s favoritism for the wealthy, disdain for those with low incomes.
  • Reed’s overwhelming support by special interests.

People should keep these matters in mind when they vote.

© William Hungerford – October 2014

Posted in 2014, Congress, Constituents, Economics, Environmental, Farm Bill, fracking, Gun Violence, Health Care, Political, Reed's Views, Rights, Seniors, Veterans | Tagged , | 8 Comments

“TEAM REED” laughs at Women’s Issues

Martha Robertson challenged Rep Tom Reed for his seat to represent the people of the NY23rd in Congress in the only televised debate on Thursday, October 23. Throughout the debate Rep. Reed shied away from his voting record. One issue, almost by accident brought to light the culture of his whole campaign.

An important factor of the debate is it was held in a small, cozy black box theater in the Clemens Center in Elmira, which holds between 160 and 200 patrons, depending on how the room was set up.  It was important because right in the front few rows, just a few yards from the candidates, sat a group enthusiastic Reed fans, friends and family members. Their  boisterous spirits were hard to ignore. The commentators had to quite them down more than once. One had a TEAM REED sign.

team-reed-lifetime-member-t-shirt.american-apparel-unisex-fitted-tee.white_.w380h440z1b3When it came to the time, near the end of the debate, where the candidates could ask their opponent one question, Mrs. Robertson began her question with… “Tom, it seems to be that you are a part of the war against women.” At that point “TEAM REED” erupted with laughter. Laughter. After the commentator quieted them down, he extended the amount of  time Robertson had to ask her question.

Newspaper websites, local television stations, C-Span and blog sites have shown the 15 second video snippet of the Martha Robertson being interrupted by TEAM REED. That may the the only thing most NY 23rd voters remember about the debate.

TEAM REED, by their rude outburst, showed the viewing audience that they really didn’t comprehend (or they didn’t care about) problems the women of our society have to deal with. Problems that our congressman, who is suppose to represent all of us, voted to continue. They didn’t know which part of the War on Women Martha was going focus in on; TEAM REED automatically dismissed all possible Women Issues.

Mrs. Robertson continued, “You supported to continued wage discrimination by voting against women by blocking the Paycheck Fairness Act. You voted against women’s right to choose even in cases of rape and incest. You have been a bill collector and a lawyer and a Washington Politician. Please tell me what gives you the medical expertise to make these decisions for women?

Reed didn’t attempt to answer her questions except to say, “You know, when I hear this question, Martha, I just have to say, it is false. This is political rhetoric at its worst.” He then talked about his widow Mother and 8 sisters and finally came up with “I will stand for women. When people have questions on equal pay and there is a discriminatory act where someone is not paying someone because of their gender, they should go to jail. We have always fought for equal treatment under the  law. It’s the right thing to do.” 

Look at the question: “What gives you the medical expertise to make these decisions for women? and look at the answer. He danced around the question and told the viewing audience what he thought they wanted to hear. He said that Robertson’s statements were false and called it political rhetoric. 

In Robertsons’ rebuttal, she added, “This is about your votes. He would like us to think one thing, but you voted against the Violence Against Women Act before you said you were for it. You voted to block the Paycheck Fairness Bill. You voted against the Right to Choose even in cases of Rape and Incest. You voted to support the right to take birth control away from women. You may think it is rhetoric. If you’re in favor of women, I would love to see that in your votes.”

Facts are facts, and it doesn’t matter how much Tom Reed talks the nice talk, his votes tell a different story. The New NY 23rd has been chronicling Rep. Reed’s votes for almost two years.  Here are links to some of the articles we have posted on how he deals with Women Issues.

Two prominent  women organizations have been tracking representatives and how they voted on issues important to the organizations. This includes Rep. Reed. See the America Association of University Women (AAUW) Political Scorecard and Planned Parenthood’s Political Scorecard. They both give him a dismal score.

New NY 23rd Articles–Robertson v Reed on Equal Pay for WomenReed Votes to Continue War on WomenWomen’s Business Roundtable Discusses Merits of a Living WageReed Opposes Paycheck Fairness for WomenReed’s “NV’ on the Violence Against Women Resolution, Rep. Reed and the Proposed Abortion Law, Rep. Reed’s Bill will AXE Family Planning Funding.

Rep. Reed has good reasons to downplay his voting record.

Posted in 2014, Constituents, Economics, Media, pro-life/pro-choice, Rights | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

Video and Transcript of the Reed vs Robertson Debate

RvR Debate

The following links will take you to the C-Span Video and Transcript of last Thursday’s Debate between Martha Robertson and Tom Reed

http://www.c-span.org/video/?322259-1/new-york-23rd-congressional-district-debate

The transcript does not identify who the speaker is, but it is easy to follow.

Posted in 2014, Media | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Back of the Ballot

VoteBothSides_01ballot

Don’t forget that we will be voting on both sides of the ballot on November 4. There will be three proposals  on all New York State ballots. In some cases local towns, counties or villages could add local proposals. There are numerous sites that have detailed information, which include the pros and cons, for each  proposal. The League of Women’s Voters  have produced a Voter’s Guide that reports on the state wide campaigns including these three proposals.  If you visits the site, the proposals are near the end of the guide.

The first State proposal, an amendment to the New York State Constitution, would change the method of establishing our Congressional, State Senate, and State Assembly districts after the 2020 federal census. The proposal would create a Commission of eight non-legislators and non-lobbyists selected by the party leaders of the State Senate and State Assembly. Joining them will be two members, which can not be a member either of the two major parties, selected by a committee of eight legislators.

The Commission’s task would to create district lines that do not discourage competition, nor  ones that favor or disfavor incumbents, particular candidates or political parties. The commission will have a series of public hearings and the Act provides the Commission guidelines.

It’s Time For A Fair Redistricting Process in New York.” is a website promoting the passage of  Proposition 1. The NY State of Politics has an article telling reasons to be against it. 

The second proposal, also an amendment to the New York State Constitution, would allow the Legislators to receive electronic copies of proposed bills. According to a letter in the Yonkers Tribune:

Proposition 2 is straightforward. When our constitution was written it required that all bills introduced, of which there were approximately 18,000 this year, be printed on paper on legislators’ desks for at least 3 days prior to being voted on. This amendment would change our constitution to eliminate the paper requirement and allow for the use of electronic or digital review, saving us money and eliminating the need for printing and recycling of huge numbers of paper bills, simultaneously protecting our environment. The three-day rule of review would still apply, but tablets, laptops, or the latest technology available could be used. Paper copies of bills would be available upon request, but no longer be mandatory.

The third proposal is to authorize bonding  (borrowing) $2 billion to equip New York State Schools with technological equipment—such as, but not limited to, interactive whiteboards, computers servers, desk top and lap top computers and high speed broadband or high speed wireless internet.

The Gotham Gazette has an article about Proposition 3–the SMART School Act with an Interactive Map which shows how much each of the State’s school districts will receive if this proposition passes. An article, New York’s School Bond Boondoggle has six reasons to vote against Proposition 3. 

The New York State Board of Elections  has  details about each proposition in a summary format. It also has links to the full text version of each.

The back of the ballot is sometimes an after thought for many voters. We generally have little information about  the propositions, even though they can be enacted only if they are approved by the voters.  Proposition 1 could have an impact on the future elections. Proposition 2 moves the State Legislature into the 21st Century, is environmentally-friendly and will lower the State’s operational spending.  It has little opposition, if any. Proposition 3 would have a great impact on the students in our state, now and in the future. The back of the ballot is important.

 

Posted in 2014, Constituents, Constitution, Economics, Education, Environmental | 3 Comments

Martha Robertson is the right choice for students and young people.

The following article was written by guest columnist Paolo Cremidis, from Elmira, NY. Paolo is a friend of the New NY 23rd and is in his last semester at Brooklyn College. He is working on a double  major –Political Science and Journalism.

pollingstation

I’m an NRA member, a Union activist, a student, and an advocate for students. Ever since Congressman Tom Reed was elected in 2010 he has failed the students and young people of the Southern Tier. Whether it was denying that he voted to increase our student loan rates. Or take away the choice for us as students to stay on our parent’s plan by voting to repeal the Affordable care act he does not stand for the future of the Southern tier.

We have a choice as young people to decide our future. We can vote for Tom Reed and have someone who is too afraid to talk about his voting record or we can choose a real advocate. For the past four years Tom has washed his hands of our problems, blaming the lack of action on student debt on the Congress itself. I was taught that if someone is looking to blame anyone but themselves for their actions, that person is not to be trusted. student-debtEvery time Tom justified a vote he took in Congress on the issue of student debt, he justified it as if he was voting to reduce our debt. Someone like that should not be in charge of increasing our student loan interest rates, because he will never give a straight answer on this issue.

 

We live in a diverse beautiful district with many emerging communities and industries. We have the potential to spur economic growth and have the economy which allows us to come back home. Let’s face it, since 2010 youth unemployment in the Southern Tier has been notoriously high. Politicians like Tom talk about ways to spur economic growth by attacking public education, and signing pledges to outsource jobs. Yet if you approach him on these issues he will deny his own record. We can move beyond this petty politician and his sad bickering.

YouthVote1.largeWe need someone who will stand up for young women and our LGBT community. Who will support young women against sexual assault that plagues our campuses, and actually fight for legislation to end campus sexual assault. A fierce advocate for middle class jobs for millennials and not using our wages to support tax cuts for his buddies.  We need someone who will actually fight for veterans not call it bipartisan when both Democrats and Republicans get it wrong and agree to cut veterans benefits.

The person who will represent all of us and not just some of us is Martha Robertson. She’s not afraid of standing up for the people of the Southern Tier. This November 4th I am pulling the lever for Martha not as a Democrat but as a student staggered by student debt. Congressman Reed has not addressed our issues since day one, Martha pledges to reduce student debt and fight for the future of the Southern Tier. We have the ability to reclaim our home, and actually build a sustainable 21st economy. Martha Robertson is the choice for us; she will put students before the oil companies, before the wealthiest Americans. The choice is ours; we can begin to end the student debt crisis. But in order to do that we need to ensure that we have an advocate in Congress, Martha Robertson is that person. She deserves all of our support and will fight for us, the choice is ours we are the future let us win this for Martha.

 

Posted in 2014, Constituents, Economics, Education, Environmental, Hydrofracking/Gas& Oil Industry, pro-life/pro-choice, Reed's Views, Shutdown, Veterans | Tagged , , , , | 36 Comments

Women and minorities in political and judicial office

YouthVote1.largeThe arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.–Martin Luther King Jr.

Jelani Cobb, in a New Yorker magazine article titled “Voting by Numbers,” which appeared in the Oct. 27th issue, explains that while women make up 51% of the population they occupy just 20% of the Senate seats. Further, Cobb notes that most Americans believe that we would be better off with more women in elective office.  Cobb explains several reasons that women and minorities are underrepresented in politics; in particular she notes that when Christine Quinn ran for Mayor of NYC, only 16% of woman voters preferred her in the primary. Somehow women and minorities running for office need to overcome what seems to be a preference among the electorate for white male candidates.  Cobb concludes that while one might expect changing demographics to be reflected in Congress, we have to make it happen.

In another article in the Oct. 27th issue, “The Obama Brief,” Jeffery Toobin discusses the makeup of the Federal courts. Here is a summary of recent President’s appointments

 Women  Minorities
 Clinton  29% 24%
 Bush  22% 18%
 Obama  42% 36%

Toobin goes on to discuss judicial appointments and confirmation by the Senate at length. I only note that we are making progress.

© William Hungerford – October 2014

 

 

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