Tom Reed’s campaign tactics

tom and flag

We know a lot about Tom’s campaign tactics from 2010, 2012 and already in 2014. Tom makes extensive use of photo ops, the franking privilege, negative advertising, doctored photos, and one-sided explanation of his own political positions among others. Let’s examine them:


  • Tom likes to pose with the flag, with veterans, with seniors, and with children. That’s ok, but the pictures tell a false story–Tom hasn’t done much for veterans, seniors, or children. A postcard advertisement, mailed in early April at public expense, shows Tom dining with seniors, meeting with the AARP (an organization he had little use for previously) along with a portrait of himself with a flag. The image at the left is unusual–Tom isn’t front and center.
  • Tom likes to show himself receiving awards, often from partisan organizations for dubious reasons. On March 12 Tom touted his “Spirit of Enterprise” award. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce did present the award to 206 members of the House of Representatives, nearly all Republicans.
  • Tom often mails at public expense self-congratulatory material that is political campaign advertising in all but name.
  • In 2012, there were many mailings from the American Association of Realtors supporting Tom; evidently they think he serves their interests well.
  • Tom likes to explain what his opponents think putting words into their mouths. In a March 10 posting on Tom’s campaign blog we read: “Clearly, Martha Robertson doesn’t care about the thousands of hard-working families who are struggling to make ends meet here in New York,” said (Tom’s spokesperson) Katherine Pudwill. Neither Pudwill nor Tom could possibly know that.
  • Tom’s negative advertising shows unflattering images of his opponents. This is a reprehensible tactic.
  • Tom’s advertising tells only one side of the story.  Attacks on Obamacare never mention any benefits, never acknowledge any support for it from his constituents, and never propose a feasible alternative.

Tom’s advertising is often contradictory–he has claimed to be a “bipartisan hero” in the face of much evidence to the contrary. He has used the motto “fix not fight,” although fighting is one of his favorite advertising claims. Tom’s advertising often confuses effort with accomplishment. He claims he is fighting for something, that he has introduced a bill, or that the House has passed a bill without noting that many of these are futile political gestures doomed from the start.

© 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.
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6 Responses to Tom Reed’s campaign tactics

  1. BOB McGILL says:

    from AARP website–“AARP is pleased Representatives Chris Gibson (R-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Betty McCollum (D-MN) have introduced a bipartisan, simple reauthorization of the Older Americans Act.
    This from a Wall Street Journal article updated September, 2012… “Thanks to just-released emails, we now know that AARP worked through 2009-10 as an extension of a Democratic White House, toiling daily to pass a health bill that slashes $716 billion from Medicare, strips seniors of choice, and sets the stage for rationing. We know that despite AARP’s awareness that its seniors overwhelmingly opposed the bill, the “nonpartisan membership organization” chose to serve the president’s agenda——…/aarp_one_more_big_brother.html‎Cached
    Jan 22, 2014 … Just got my latest issue of AARP, the Magazine (not to be confused with the … this
    report was cosponsored by left-wing Center for American Progress (a … You are
    a wolf in sheep’s clothing — and I, one small voice, find your …


  2. whungerford says:

    The AARP wanted the bill reauthorized rather than left in limbo. Questions of authorization and appropriation are confusing. With SNAP, Tom argued that authorization was unimportant, but here he claims credit for authorization. Tom is right that authorization without appropriation doesn’t get the job done.


  3. solodm says:

    William, this is spot on.


  4. BOB McGILL says:

    It is quite obvious that you have never negotiated anything. Ever play chess ?? Poker ? How do you suppose that compromise is ever reached. I would bet a 5 year old could beat you at checkers ! BOTH OF YOU 🙂


  5. Barbara Griffin says:

    One thing I’ve noticed about Tom Reed is that when it comes to politics, he’s quite the tap dancer.


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