The Ithaca Times editorial published last week analyzed Tom Reed’s campaign against Martha Robertson. This article touches on a few of their detailed points; it is well worth reading the whole editorial. They compared Reed’s campaign attempts to discredit Ms. Robertson to “a movie about a dirty high school class-president election.”
Reed’s campaign has tried to paint Ms. Robertson as an “extreme liberal” by tying her to the evil Nancy Pelosi. The Times pointed out that Pelosi is “voting consistently for the environment, gun control, LGBT and women’s rights”, which you would expect from a democrat. She also has “voted for the Patriot Act, but against the Bush resolution to go to war in Iraq.” She supports Israel but not Cuba. She even voted for No Child Left Behind. The Times concluded, “This is hardly the record of an extremist.”
But we in the NY23rd can’t vote for or against Nancy Pelosi. Our candidate is Martha Robertson. The Times pointed out that Nate Shinagawa represents “liberal Ithaca” in the county legislature. Liberals elected him and he is responsible to them. That’s the way government works.
Martha does not represent “liberal Ithaca”, but “moderate Dryden”. The Times informed the non-Tompkins County reader that in Dryden “actual Republicans are elected to both town and village government positions on a regular basis. In other words, where she lives is more like the rest of the 23rd District than where Shinagawa lives. And they keep voting her back into the county legislature.”
It must seem strange to the Reed campaign, but Martha represents all of her constituents. Going back to the county’s discussions on the SAFE Act, Martha, as the Chair of the Legislature, encouraged the public to give comments and opinions. And they did–hours of comments and opinions over at least four meetings. The comments were recorded and can be read in the March 19, 2013 Tompkins County Legislature meeting minutes and the meeting on and April 2 meeting minutes. The Public Safety meetings also had public comment times.
On the First Anniversary of the SAFE Act Reed commented “As Chair of the County Legislature she failed to stand up for our second amendment right and oppose the Safe Act.” She failed because the Legislature voted to support the SAFE Act? Is he suggesting she should have used her political capital as Chair of the Legislature to force her opinion on the whole Legislature? Maybe that worked when Reed was Mayor of Corning for two years, but that is not how Martha operates, and she has been on the Legislature for 12 years.
The game of politics encourages one candidate to define his opponent in a negative light early in the campaign. Look what Bush did to Kerry on his war record. Look at what Obama did to Romney on his business successes. Look at what Cuomo is doing to Astorino on his record. The NY23rd is expected to be tight race. It is important that every voter has accurate information. The New NY 23rd has already responded to most of Reed’s misinformation in an earlier article. One has to conclude that Rep. Reed hopes that presenting misinformation campaigning will swing the election.
We deserve better.