Town Halls, Possible Questions, and Questionable Answers

Rep. Tom Reed will have three Town Hall Meetings this Saturday, March 15. His first meeting is in Lansing (Tompkins County) at the Lansing Town Hall, 29 Auburn Road at 9 AM. He will then travel to the Varick Town Hall (Seneca County), 4782 Route 96, Romulus for a 12:30 meeting. Finally his team be at the Naples Village Hall (Ontario), 106 South Main Street in Naples at 3:30.

If you are able to go to one or more of these events I would suggest that you have some questions prepared a head of time. I type my questions for a couple of reasons–typed questions are easier to read than my hand writing. Also I have a copy of the question I wrote as compared to the question that was answered.

Rep. Reed has developed the art of turning a question into an opportunity to promote the GOP latest talking points that might touch on the issues brought up in the question. My experience at the Bath Town Hall Meeting in November with the question dealing with putting more of a burden of helping our economy improve on those who earn $500,000 a year. Rep. Reed turned it around to attack the SNAP recipient. It also happened at the Jerusalem meeting in December with the question “What are your positions on dumping fracking fluids on roads and storing fluids in old wells?” turn into a five and a half minutes stump speech about in praise of fracking. He then said that it was up to the state, not the federal government.

If you attend one of the meetings, and don’t have your own burning questions for Rep. Reed, may I suggest a few?  Using recent articles from the New NY 23rd, it would be great to get Rep. Reed’s to comment on the following:

  • Do you think Rep. Darrell Issa was proper to adjourn the IRS Hearing and not let Rep. Cummings speak on the record? Remember Rep. Issa called a  hearing, knowing that the only witness summoned could not testify because she already used her fifth amendment right not to incriminate herself. (article: “Reed Supports Issa on Silencing Democrats”
  • Why do you support the reauthorization of Senator Bernie Sanders’s Older Americans Act when you voted to reduce many of the services the ACT includes, like Meals on Wheels ? (article: “Senior Voters Should Beware of Reed“).
  • Why did you co-sponsor the SHARE Act which permits motorized vehicles in federal wilderness areas and loosens existing conservation laws if someone is hunting on federal lands (ie deregulating toxic lead in ammunition and adds new exemptions for chemicals in fishing equipment?). (article: “Sportsmen’s Hertiage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act”). 
  • Since you are on the Ways and Means Committee, which is supposedly looking to refine the tax code, I would like to know why don’t we end tax loop-holes that allow rich hedge fund managers to avoid paying income taxes or permit mega-corporations to park their profits offshore tax havens? (article:  “Rep. Reed Complains About Debt But His Solutions Help Only The Rich“). 

Rep. Reed is pretty good at anticipating what issues will come up at his Town Hall Meetings. We usually would expect Rep. Reed to parrot the GOP generated talking points, but he might surprise us. He is in a campaign. He is pretty certain that he will not be in a republican primary race in June; he has a good hold on his Tea Party base. Will he be framing his answers to these questions to try to siphon  moderate republicans away from his opponent, Martha Robertson?

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About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
This entry was posted in 2014, Constituents, Environmental, Health Care, Reed's Views, Rights, Sequester/Fiscal Cliff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Town Halls, Possible Questions, and Questionable Answers

  1. whungerford says:

    I don’t believe S. 1562 (Sen. Bernie Sanders with six cosponsors) — Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2013 and H.R. 3850 (Rep. Gibson with five cosponsors including Rep. Reed) Older Americans Act Reauthorization of 2014 are equivalent. It would be interesting to know more about this. One could ask Tom how his bill is different from Sanders’ bill and why he didn’t introduce an equivalent bill.

  2. BOB MCGILL says:

    http://www.registerstar.com/…/article_815881aa-0a1f-11e3-a69b-0019bb2963f4. html

    After a very quick 10-minute fact check of Mary Finneran’s statements in the article entitled “Fracking brine ban mulled by trustees” in Thursday’s paper several statements could be viewed as misleading.

    From research on the matter using a major metropolitan newspaper’s series, and other sources linked to by the series, a lot of sand is used, but very little chemicals are used. Of the liquids used, typically less than 0.8 of a percent of different chemicals is used during the drilling only. The rest is water.

    Ms. Finneran’s claim reported in the paper leads one to believe it is much higher than that. Claiming the chemical mix is unknown because it is proprietary knowledge is also somewhat misleading, as several sites publish this data, http://fracfocus.org/chemical-use/what-chemicals-are-used being one. Published documents show companies may use slightly different ratios due to drilling conditions, but the chemical mixtures used remain about the same.

    Ms. Finnerman’s claim of the brine being radioactive is true. However, research from the above-referenced news stories shows only 49 of over 200 wells tested contained identifiable radioactive material such as radium and uranium. Strontium is never mentioned. The highest levels of radioactive material found being five parts in 100-billion per liter. I’m no scientist but this sounds pretty close to the natural occurrence of these materials on the surface of the earth. And if the brine is diluted before applying to the roads it’s even less of a hazard, not more.

    I’m not sure why the salt percentage of seawater to brine is an issue to Ms. Finnerman if it’s to be used on the roadways. The higher the salt level the better it keeps ice and snow from building up on the road I would think. Brine can never be more concentrated than rock salt. And we use plenty of rock salt on the roads every year.

    Linda Leeds from Ulster County was asked about the state permitting use of brine and she replied the state allows it to be used. The DEC is no pushover when it comes to environmental protection. They rank up there with the IRS as agencies to be cautious of offending. So to imply one section of DEC will let environmental laws slide while another won’t is somewhat disingenuous in my view.

    If we are asking our public officials to create a policy regarding something, at least the facts should be presented accurately. Ms. Finnerman’s facts don’t seem reliable enough to base a negative policy upon. I don’t want unnecessary pollutants dumped on Greene County roads any more than the rest of our citizens do. But to mislead in order to enact a policy is morally wrong.

    Paul Brown

    • pystew says:

      Bob, 1) The link doesn’t work…it is not complete. 2) Which ‘paper’ are you referring to in the second paragraph? 3) Is this a copy of something (letter, article, comment?) from some one named Paul Brown. Did you get permission to copy his work? Is he a made-up name?

      The point of ‘fracking’ in the article is that our Representative just heard the word, took a lot of time to repeat probably every fracking comments he could think of and never answered the question. Maybe you should send this to Rep. Reed so he can add it to his arsenal of fraacking comments.

      • BOB MCGILL says:

        It is a letter to the editor found on line. NO ! I didn’t get permission, seeing that it is already plastered all over the internet, I wouldn’t think permission would be an issue. Just like many other environmental issues, you seem to question every statement that is not in agreement with your line of thinking but you make statements and can never prove a word.

      • BOB MCGILL says:

        I pasted it word for word ! I ain’t whungerford YA KNOW !

  3. BOB MCGILL says:

    Could people without college degrees or government jobs find work in the Rustbelt again? If greens have their way, no. A recently-leaked report from New York state’s Health Department indicated that, within the state’s regulatory rubric, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) would pose no serious health risks. Unless the governor has some serious reason to believe that the report is inaccurate, this means that he has been caving to green pressure for a year and denying work to upstate New Yorkers who badly need it.

    Exactly how bad are things? Well, if the Department of Labor’s statistics are at all to be trusted, in New York it is quite an exciting time to be an employer. You have more than 8% of the population to choose from. This is especially bad in hollowed-out manufacturing centers like Buffalo and Binghamton. And all this while New Yorkers are standing on buried treasure.

    Drilling for natural gas in almost non-existent in New York, while across the southern border in Pennsylvania, drilling in the Marcellus Shale has expanded from just under 30 wells to over 2000. Farmers and landowners in the region can earn thousands of dollars per acre for drilling rights before a well even breaks ground.

    But landowners and energy companies wouldn’t be the only ones to benefit from a New York natural gas boom. Working people — welders, drillers, mechanics and chemists — would all be able to find decent work in the industry as well.

    Anti-fracking activists often claim that “green” jobs are the future of the working-class. Quite frankly, this is ridiculous. In a struggling economy, businesses and homeowners aren’t going to place a high premium on insulating their walls a little better when they are already warm enough, and green manufacturing tends to benefit people with bachelor’s and master’s degrees significantly more than people with GEDs. If you don’t believe it, take a look at the employment page of this stimulus beneficiary.

    This isn’t to say that New York politicians are opposed to creating more brown-collared energy jobs. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been a formidable advocate. It is just that the oil drilling jobs he advocates would be located in Saudi Arabia. This is an odd position for someone who considers himself a friend of the environment to hold. Natural gas burns cleaner than either petroleum oil or coal.

    Democrats won big in New York in the November election, but the one faction of the party that lost hands-down were the anti-fracking extremists. The people spoke, but Albany is still slow to listen. This is because, for too long, New York’s political class has been guided by a singular ideology which says, when it comes to job creation, “Not in my backyard.”

    http://www.policymic.com/…/fracking-is-safe-and-creates-jobs-but-don-t-try-telling -that-to-new-york-state

    This article was originally published in Rochester’s Smugtown Beacon.
    Like us on Facebook: SHARE

    • BOB MCGILL says:

      http://www.nytimes.com/…/hydrofracking-safe-says-ny-health-dept-analysis.html‎Similar
      ALBANY — The state’s Health Department found in an analysis it prepared early last year that the much-debated drilling technology known as hydrofracking could be conducted safely in New York, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times from an expert who did not believe it should be kept secret.

      Connect With NYTMetro
      Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for news and conversation.
      .The analysis and other health assessments have been closely guarded by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his administration as the governor weighs whether to approve fracking. Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, has long delayed making a decision, unnerved in part by strident opposition on his party’s left. A plan to allow a limited amount of fracking in the state’s Southern Tier along the Pennsylvania border is still seen as the most likely outcome, should the drilling process receive final approval

    • pystew says:

      How about an article telling about the human induced earthquakes in the mid-west and how safe they really are? The link still doesn’t work—you need to copy the whole thing, Bob.

      • BOB MCGILL says:

        I DID pystew—- there are thousands of earthquakes everyday, fracking salt mines has caused earthquakes for decades but the world hasn’t come to an end. Besides small earthquakes relieve preasure and may prevent a BIGONE.
        earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/eqstats.php‎Cached
        Nov 29, 2012 … Magnitude, Average Annually. 8 and higher, 1 ¹ … See: How much bigger is a magnitude 8.7 earthquake than a magnitude 5.8 earthquake? … The NEIC now locates about 50 earthquakes each day, or about 20,000 a year. I think that is quakes above 2.5

        uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid…‎CachedSimilar
        May 19, 2011 … In the US, there are 600-1000 every week. This page from the USGS lists all US Earthquakes over the most recent 7 days (Magnitude 1 or …

        • BOB MCGILL says:

          that link don’t work either — just google “usgs earthquakes”-
          you can even see a map with the location and the time of occurence.

  4. BOB MCGILL says:

    Rep. Reed is pretty good at anticipating what issues will come up at his Town Hall Meetings

    Not hard to do when you see the same people over and over again ! Not to mention these same people are just there to trip him up with a loaded question. Some questions are just a re-wording of a similar question, he can’t say ” YOU IDIOT DIDN’T YOU GET IT THE FIRST TIME !

    • pystew says:

      Why can’t Reed call his constitutents “Idiots”? He has some class. Why do you call people who don’t agree with you “Idiots”?

      • BOB MCGILL says:

        Because they ARE !

      • BOB MCGILL says:

        hey pystew, have you noticed that I almost never post ” my opinion ” ?
        The things I post are from recognized authorities and I do not add my 2 cents. For someone to disagree with me is the same as disagreeing with a university, a leading scientist or a state or federal agency.
        please note the word ” almost “

        • whungerford says:

          It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races. Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson

        • Barbara Griffin says:

          Bob, your opinion is clearly reflected in the articles you post. Many “authorities” have a difference of opinion. It’s up to the individual to sort through those “opinions” and determine which ones make the most sense to that particular individual.

  5. BOB MCGILL says:

    “If you are able to go to one or more of these events I would suggest that you have some questions prepared a head of time. I type my questions for a couple of reasons–typed questions are easier to read than my hand writing. Also I have a copy of the question I wrote as compared to the question that was answered.”

    I saw you,paper and pen in hand, but when you stood you to ask your question, YOU LOST IT !
    You made no sence at all and left everyone in the room trying to figure what you were talking about.
    A lot of people do that when they get their chance to speek in public, they just come un-glued.
    SO I would have to say that you think you asked the question you had written down on paper, but what came out of your mouth was totally different ! 🙂

  6. pystew says:

    It is obviously that you don’t know what you are talking about since Tom’s sidekick Joe picks and reads the questions after they are handed in. Your personal attacks are not very becoming, Bob.

  7. Barbara Griffin says:

    Your personal attacks and name calling do tend to be tedious, Bob.

  8. solodm says:

    If Rep. Reed’s goal was in part to “try to siphon moderate republicans away from his opponent”, he failed miserably at the Lansing town hall. People with intelligently derived information were there in force. Certainly he had the approval of those who were there as single issue voters ( Cayuga power plant ), but, those who stood in opposition to that, and other topics, were quite willing to engage and explain their views. At one point, a man was railing against the ACA, and said ” I want to see a show of hands, for all those of us whose lives have been turned up side down from Obamacare”. Out of approximately 100 people, 2 raised their hands. That topic evaporated soon after.
    When one woman spoke on behalf of Gay military personnel not receiving equal death and other benefits, and reminded Reed of his promise to sign a pledge supporting change last year, Reed attempted to shut her down. His attempt was met with opposition, and she was allowed to tell her story. When she finished, she was met with loud applause from the majority of those present, including many who were wearing ” Repower Cayuga” emblazoned T-shirts.

    • pystew says:

      Thanks for the information. Single issues voters, be it against Obamacare, or to repeal the SAFE Act, or Repower Cayuga will see through Reed when they realize how he voted on other issues. He talks like a moderate at times, but votes with a tea cup in hand since the big Tea Party Machine is looking over his shoulder.

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