Is Tom Reed Mr. Niceguy?

reed fist

“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 Katherine Pudwill, spokesperson for Rep. Tom Reed, Mr. Niceguy.

Watch what we do not what we say. — John Mitchell, Nixon’s Attorney General

According to an article in the Elmira Star-Gazette by Brian Tumulty, Tom’s TV advertising shows him as sincere, easygoing, and jovial. Is that a true picture of Tom? I think not. Tom often shows his true colors; here are some examples of that:

    • Tom’s motto is (or was) “Fix not Fight,” yet he is always fighting for or against something in a seemingly endless ideological war.
    • Tom would have hungry children tighten their belts.
    • Tom offers future retirees diminished Social Security benefits.
    • Tom believes people only need as much health care as they can afford.
    • Tom’s unhelpful advice to the unemployed: “Get a job.”
    • Tom sees charity as a cure for poverty. For Tom, soup kitchens are as American as apple pie.
    • Tom voted against keeping the government open throwing many, including his hardworking, low paid staff, out of work.
    • At his townhall meetings, Tom is thin-skinned when constituents disagree with him.
    • Tom made his fortune dunning people over unpaid hospital bills.

ree dourHaving few accomplishments to run on, softening his image is perhaps the best Tom can do, but Mr. Niceguy? No way!

© William Hungerford – July 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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30 Responses to Is Tom Reed Mr. Niceguy?

  1. Jimmy Henry says:

    Another article where you just make up wild things and attribute them to Reed. Really lazy stuff as is par for the course apparently.


  2. whungerford says:

    The article gave specific examples, while your criticism, Jimmy, is totally vague.


  3. Maddie Lane says:

    Whungerford – none of this is backed up by any votes or specifics. I hope you do not put “reporter” anywhere on your resume. If you can in fact report, please tell me, what on earth does Martha Robertson stand for? I saw the Ithaca Journal side-by-side and she didn’t offer one single solution. She knows that reps have to actually propose solutions and carry them out, right? Reed supports a better tax code to save us money, and Robertson votes to double taxes and use that money to raise her own salary (check ithaca journal stories on legislature salaries paid from property taxes )- no wonder she voted to raise property taxes!


  4. whungerford says:

    Maddie, thanks for your comment. This article didn’t mention Martha Robertson. Why did it impel you to attack with GOP talking points?

    Tom Reed’s views on tax reform are vague. In the IJ article he wrote: “We need to enact real tax reform, and address a 70,000-page tax code that hasn’t seen comprehensive reform since 1986. A simpler, fairer tax code would save a typical family in the 23rd District an average of $600 annually.” I believe the $600 Tom mentions reflects what he thinks a typical family pays for income tax return preparation. Tom doesn’t mention that his simpler, fairer tax code would likely be a windfall for the rich.


  5. Anne says:

    Actually, Reed’s voting record is easy to look up and that record matches Mr. Hungerford’s assertions (voting to shut down the government, cut food stamp benefits, etc.) while it’s pretty common knowledge that his business, R & R Recovery, is exactly in the business of collecting medical debts. I’m not sure which part of this piece isn’t clear. And it’s also true that this many years in, Tom has accomplished nothing substantive, other than probably positioning himself for a lucrative post-Congress career as a gas and oil lobbyist.


  6. Maddie Lane says:

    Why did I bring up Reed? Let’s just say it’s safe to assume anything on this site is Robertson propaganda, and someone needs to throw in the other side.
    Would “likely” be a windfall? The tax code needs to be reformed, and Reed is in a position to do that. Have you seen the tax code sitting on any dusty old library shelves? It’s a monster, and there is absolutely NO WAY I could properly compute my taxes without the help of a professional (accounting for student loan debt, moving expenses etc) — Reed’s number is not meant to offend, it’s more than likely a nationally calculated number based on average income. Any real solution he offers is attacked by you and the website, but I would encourage you to read the proposal and tell me you wouldn’t want that money in your pockets? The dem talking points can’t just be “those millionaires want tax breaks” — how many dem members are millionaires? Is Tom Reed? No.


  7. Maddie Lane says:

    Anne- give the democratic talking points a rest and pick up a newspaper. Reed in constantly traveling the district and making headlines for securing federal funds, aid, or working to draft legislation to help all the people in our area.


  8. Anne says:

    Tom’s also guilty of some pretty serious ethical breaches (furnituregate! The Great Israeli Chunky Dunk! Affixing his name to a legal practice in direct violation of House rules! The taxes, &tc.) Can a person of such low moral character ever be considered a nice guy? I’m thinking not.


  9. Anne says:

    Tom’s publicity machine has him constantly in the headlines, you’re correct, but he does very little in the way of helping the district he’s supposed to be representing. Very little of the legislation he drafts has ever amounted to anything.


  10. Anne says:

    Dang, and how could I forget the best one yet, the Phony Ballot Petition Caper? Sheesh, that Tom. When does he find time to do his job?


  11. Maddie Lane says:

    As is the nature of any elected official. Their team works hard for wins. Schumer is the perfect example of a politician looking for the headlines.


  12. whungerford says:

    Tom sometimes writes “comprehensive tax reform;” in the IJ article he wrote of “real tax reform,” but he has yet to explain what that is. As for NewNY23rd, we welcome all points of view. Maddie, if you would like to submit an article for publication, that would be welcome.


  13. Maddie Lane says:

    What on earth are you talking about? Why can’t the criticism and focus be on work for our area instead of personal attacks? Anyway, I’ve met him and think he is a great representative for our area. His office personally helped my neighbor struggling with va claims, and they really helped. I’m sure Robertson is nice as well, and didn’t she get arrested once? I’d rather focus on issues. I think everyone would.


  14. whungerford says:

    Why do so many seeking to defend Tom Reed point fingers at Martha Robertson, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, or some other Democrat? Is there nothing good to say about Tom? NO LABELS discourages finger-pointing, but Tom Reed does it frequently in his advertising.


  15. Anne says:

    The criticism is certainly on his lack of work for our area. As far as his personal conduct, well, Nixon was a brilliant foreign policy guy, but did that excuse his behavior around Watergate? (If you want to talk about personal attacks, you could always ask Tom why he’s already out there smearing his opponent instead of running on his record. Oh, right…) Tom’s voting record shows that he’s terrible for women and for the middle class, worse for poor people, and that he votes as his corporate sponsors expect him to vote. And, surprise, that benefits them; the rest of us, not so much.


  16. Anne says:

    Actually, since you don’t appear to even live in the district, I have to wonder why you’re commenting at all…family friends with the Reeds? Or relatives? Reed having to bring in outside propagandists now? Care to comment?


  17. solodm says:

    Maddie, you have struck the nail on the head. Tom Reed seeks “political wins” rather than the best interests of his constituents. Otherwise Reed surely would never have voted for a government shutdown – twice, nor voted against: SNAP funding, increasing veteran’s benefits, or spoken out against long term unemployment renewal – all issues many in his district are suffering from.


  18. solodm says:

    If Tom Reed really helped your neighbor in Massachusetts, that may give us a clue as to why he spends so much money on travel. Frankly, I would prefer Tom spend more time in his own district – as we are the ones paying his salary.


  19. pystew says:

    One of my favorite idea of Rep. Reed was to have the Snap recipients ‘work’ for their benefits, so Reed wrote an amendment to the Snap portion of the Farm bill (or it used to be part of the Farm Bill) requiring the recipients to ‘Get A Job”. He publicized this idea for months, disregarding, even denying, the fact that the SNAP regulations already required workers of a certain age and in good health to work. He has touting his idea would teach the recipients how to work…they should work for their money. It got him a lot of praise during his Town Hall Meetings I went to in November and December. (The amendment didn’t make it in the approved version of the bill which is now law.) See the article from late last year.


  20. BOB McGILL says:

    then when Tom spends time in the district you say he should be in his office in Washington. you people are totally “NUTS”


  21. BOB McGILL says:

    Maddy, you are wasting your time with these crackpots, they twist every thing .


  22. Maddie Lane says:

    Southern Tier born and raised – Massachussets does have an interesting congressional race with a gay republican candidate – looks like he could win too! Woo Hoo!


  23. Maddie Lane says:

    Someone’s got to try – Ithaca is a liberal hotbed and certainly does NOT reflect the rest of ny23. They certainly give it a good try with the smear campaign though! I do find it ironic that they’re talking about some “furniture” scandal when their representative was arrested? Come on. If you want to be clean, be clean, and I’ll defend every single vote.


  24. Maddie Lane says:

    Whungerford- you need a dose of your own medicine. If Tom Reed is lumped in with every other Republican (most extreme right) — then your rep. gets lumped in with the people that support her. I would lump her in with the admins failed policies, and criticize her for unwavering support. If she can’t handle this now, she’s in for a long road. NO LABELS is just it! Glad to see you say he’s a RHINO — look at NOLABELS work and the many members that participate in the caucus.


  25. whungerford says:

    No labels asks members to renounce finger-pointing and pledges–Tom has never accepted that.


  26. Deb Meeker says:

    “I am an evil giraffe. But I’m trying, Nick. I’m trying REAL HARD to be the wizard.”
    We are not stupid in Ny 23rd district, Moe. Continue to play your ruse of an innocent. It’s actually hilarious.


  27. Joe Vikin says:

    I hope Tom Reed votes in favor of the resolution praising Pope Francis, in spite of the fact he has spoken against Trickle Down economics and the unregulated capitalist system. If the resolution is defeated it proves Republicans, including those who are Catholics, don’t give a damn about the poor.
    Joe Vikin


  28. whungerford says:

    Thanks for your comment Joe. I agree, but doubt House Resolution 440 will ever emerge from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.


  29. Deb Meeker says:

    Joe, I too admire some of the statements Pope Francis has made in hopes that politicians would hear him, but I must say it clearly appears, money speaks louder than any religious tenets to Rep Tom Reed and others in his circle. All one has to do is look at Tom Reed’s voting record to realize; he votes against helping the poor, elderly, those who served our country, and worst – children – the very ones his policies would insist be born.


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