A Deeper Look into Rep. Reed’s Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge is a fund raising activity for ALS (or Lou Gehrig Disease). It has been very successful as a fund raiser,  and for celebrities who like to get their names associated with raising money for such a worth cause. Here are the “official?” rules:

  1. Once you are nominated you have to participate by either donating or dumping ice over your head within 24 hours.
  2. The water must be ½ ice ½ water. Not water alone.
  3. If you choose to go the route of Ice Water, you donate $10 dollars to an ALS charity.
  4. If you choose to forego the ice, you are to donate $100 dollars to an ALS charity.
  5. In one continuous video you mention what you are doing, who you are donating to, who nominated you and who you will nominate.
  6. You are to nominate 3 people.
  7. You must post the video to a social media site.

On August 18, Rep. Tom Reed posted on his “Tom Reed for Congress Facebook” page a 35 second poor quality video of himself taking the  ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The text of that post is:

I accept the #IceBucketChallenge to #StrikeOutALS!

This is such a great cause and the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about ALS in #NY23 (and let Will & Autumn get in on the action!)

I now nominate our local teammates Mayor Rich Negri, Police Chief Sal Trentanelli, City Manager Mark Ryckman, Senator Tom O’Mara & Assemblyman Phil Palmesano!

(and our dog Tuttie)

You have 24 hours…Good luck!

NEW: Click here to view the video.


safe_image.phpIt was generous of Rep. Reed to get an ice-dumping for such a worthy cause. If you watch the video there is no doubt that the water was cold. If he followed the ‘rules’ he donated $10 to “such a great cause”.

But…It has been point out that Rep. Reed, and the others who voted for the “Budget Control Act of 2011”, voted to reduce funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIA) by approximately $1.55 billion, and that caused ALS research to be reduced by $5 million. Other neurological disorders also lost funding.

It can be argued that the Ice Bucket Challenge will bring in more than the $5 million lost by the defunding that Rep. Reed supported. The hole in that argument is that the Ice Bucket Funds do not go to research, they go to the ALS Association for patient care–not the NIH for research. Also, only ALS benefits from the Challenge, not the 400 other  neurological disorders the NIH is researching for cures.

Rep. Reed got his 35 seconds of fame, a posting on his Campaign Facebook page, 11 comments, 131 “likes”, and countless others saw the video through twitter. This stunt worked for him.

He owns his vote that cuts funding for neurological research. We need to remember that when it is our turn to vote in November.


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 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Deeper Look into Rep. Reed’s Ice Bucket Challenge

  1. Anne says:

    Photo ops are easy; governing is hard. (As is not being a Koch Bros. puppet, apparently.)


  2. solodm says:

    No connecting of dots…. Reed never connects the dots. Or if he does, he’s lacking in what some might call character.


  3. Pingback: Shooting Ourselves in the Foot | New NY 23rd

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