Martha Robertson


Together we will stand up for Western New York values, focusing on repealing Obamacare, and fighting Martha Robertson’s extreme liberal, big-government agenda. Fighting for jobs and our future… — Tom Reed March 31 fundraising appeal.

It is very hard to unseat an incumbent legislator; in recent contests for the House, the incumbent has won more than nine times in ten. In NY-23, Tom Reed has the additional advantage of being a Republican in a district where Republicans outnumber Democrats. Further, many votes are not in play because those voters have already made up their minds and are unlikely to change whatever happens. What can Martha do to succeed?

Martha may hope to win by doing a little better than Nate Shinagawa did in 2012, I believe that is a loosing strategy:

    • If Tom was complaisant in 2012, he is unlikely to repeat that mistake.
    • Tom has nearly unlimited time for campaigning which he started long ago.
    • Tom has put Martha on the defensive more than once already with negative ads.
    • Martha is vulnerable to charges that she is an Ithaca radical.
    • Martha’s support the SAFE act won’t help and may hurt.
    • As with Nate, Tom is unlikely to agree to timely debates.
    • Tom can lean left, and is already doing so (most of his supporters will understand it’s just for the election).

To win, Martha needs a heavy turnout of her supporters or a weak turnout of Reed’s supporters. While some of Reed’s tea party constituency may stay home, most will probably vote for Reed if only on the Conservative line. However disgruntled with Tom, they are unlikely to vote for Martha. However there are a number of issues that Martha might exploit to put Tom on the defensive:

    • Social Security and Medicare
    • SNAP
    • Obamacare
    • Unemployment benefits
    • Women’s issues
    • Youth

Retirees know the importance of Social Security; concerned retirees are significant funders of Martha’s campaign. Those approaching retirement need to be reassured that Social Security will be there for them and will not be cut.  As much as Tom tirelessly threatens to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits to finance tax cuts for the rich without explaining how future retirees would get by without it, Martha should repeatedly affirm that Social Security need not and should not be cut. Martha must effectively counter Tom’s false claim that America can’t afford Social Security and Medicare.

The unemployed and those qualifying for SNAP struggling to get by must see it worthwhile to vote. Tom’s argument that cutting off benefits helps the hungry is transparently false.

Voters must realize that Obamacare is a good thing. Tom’s arguments against Obamacare are tired and weak–I think this could be a winning issue for Martha as more and more benefit from Obamacare.

Youth are a natural consistency for Democrats. Jobs and student loans may be significant issues.

Martha needs to relate to Republican women so that they vote for her even if their spouses don’t. Tom is clearly aware of this prospect. Martha needs to act to expose Tom’s gestures towards women as inadequate.

While the odds are against her, I believe Martha can win if she can mobilize those constituencies–seniors, women, youth–which are inclined to support her.

© William Hungerford – April 2014



About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
This entry was posted in 2014, Congress, Political, Reed's Views and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Martha Robertson

  1. Henry kramer says:

    One problem, among many, with the analysis is that Robertson IS an Ithaca radical having shared a platform with Democrat Socialists, voted for the SAFE Act before she voted against it, voted against corporate free speech, and been a virulent anti-energy development activist. If she supports Obamacare she will only reinforce this, many people have lost good policies or their own doctors. Obamacare may appeal in Ithaca and Tompkins but neither it nor her anti-energy militancy will play well west of there. Her claims that “Republican operatives” hacked her website, which she used to raise money, are totally without evidence. She spent over 100K on a legislative chamber desk, took pay as Chairman of the TC Legislature for a period before she was voted into the job. People who contribute to Martha are wasting their money. She is a virtual unknown outside Tompkins where her ideas won’t sell. She is a less appealing candidate than Reed’s prior opponent. She’s just too radical for the western southern tier of NYS. When western NY voters know her record, they won’t vote for her.


  2. whungerford says:

    Thanks for your comment. Are you Henry Kramer, counsel to the Tompkins County Republican Party?


  3. solodm says:

    Mr. Kramer,
    If Martha Robertson is “radical”, I would believe that would make Tom Reed “status quo”. Reed has had four years to develop job creation, carry the message to Washington that our district’s veterans are in need of attention, our elderly and disabled are in need of more assistance (not less), that the hungry and unemployed are not just collateral damage for the Ryan budget, and that our environmental concerns are far from ” not conclusive”.

    Your rather rabid deduction that those who contribute to Mrs. Robertson are “wasting their money”, sounds more like fear talking than good advice.


  4. pystew says:

    Henry, People realize that the County Legislature, not one person, approved the furniture (aka the ‘Desk”) of the county meeting room. Obamacare is a losing issue for Reed and the GOP since he voted more than 4 dozen times to repeal it, thus trying to take insurance away from thousands of voters from the NY 23rd. Seniors will be turned off when they learn that he supported reauthorization of the Older Americans Act without mentioning that he opposed any improvements to it.

    The key misinformation of yours that I need to remind the readers is your comment on the SAFE Act. The vote that the Reed Team is ballyhooing about dealt with substituting the Public Safety’s Compromise Resolution with one proposed by a single member to opposed the Act. Wise leaders would realize you don’t have a committee work hours developing a resolution, and then vote it down without a discussion. It was important to Martha to have as much public comment as possible on this important issue. Tompkins residents had more than five hours of public comments. Last March my county (Yates) legislature (with all Republican Legislators) had scheduled NO time for public comments. Their resolution didn’t even go through their committee process. Which process would you rather have.

    The only people who are wasting their money are the ones who are donating to Rep. Reed’s campaign. Why should they give a dime when the Koch Bros. and Corporate PACS have already give him over $800,000 for THIS campaign?

    You have your opinions, we have ours. That is why we have elections.


  5. Henry Kramer says:

    Yes, I’m TC Republican Counsel and a Vice-Chair, though my comment was as a private individual, not speaking for the party. Republicans in Tompkins know Robertson well, in fact she is a near neighbor of mine and had the shoulders of our road painted green (some of it with county employees using household paint rollers) using $17,000 of county taxpayer money in the hope of slowing traffic — in front of her own house — with no evidence it works (and now county road tests show it did not). She often claims bipartisanship. But, apart from the fact Republicans sometimes vote the same way on an issue that isn’t particularly partisan, she is anything but bipartisan. Fortunately, the 23rd District is eleven counties wide and her brand of politically correct activism just doesn’t sell outside her home range. While she tries to divert people with accusations against Tom Reed and “Republican operatives,” she is running away from the thing she should most fear people knowing, her voting record in Tompkins. It won’t work.


  6. pystew says:

    You are opening a bag of non-issues. There’s more in Reed’s bag than than his disregard of tax deadlines and getting check books mixed up that has yet to come to light.


  7. Anne says:

    This Henry Kramer? Glad to see they’ve got you out being a mouthpiece again, nice and early. It’s interesting to me that you appear to represent the side of management, the side of big energy, &tc. while most of the residents of the 23rd are, of course, neither management nor shareholders; are, in fact, people who would benefit from policies opposite to those that Reed has so strenuously championed during his waste-of-time tenure in office. The only thing this comment lacks in the usual list of buzzwords I see written about Robertson from the GOP side is the slam against her having been educated at Cornell. But oh, yeah, glass Ivies and all…..


  8. BOB McGILL says:

    and you sound like you get all your information from whungerford. Try getting some accurate, credible information ! Did you see Martha’s neighbors letter to the editor ? He agrees with Henry Kramer 100% so do I 🙂 but I will add that I think Martha is dumber than a box of rocks !


  9. BOB McGILL says:

    what was important to Martha was changing her position on the Safe Act when she realized she GOOFED. As for opinions, my understanding is that there are a lot of people who can’t wait till they have a chance to get rid of you. 🙂


  10. BOB McGILL says:

    and you just opened a bag of DEAD ISSUES 🙂


  11. BOB McGILL says:

    Did you happen to notice that my posts about Cornell’s gas investments was deleted. Do you realize fracking has been going on in New York, without any problems, for decades ? The DEC web site actually makes that claim !


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s