Working with Tom Reed

reed at foodbankWe are happy to work with all of our elected officials regardless of their political affiliations to help feed the 1 in 4 Southern Tier residents who rely on our services. —Food Bank of the Southern Tier

The Food Bank, acting in the narrow interest of their clients, gave Tom Reed a platform for his political views. They may have compromised their integrity leaving some supporters disgruntled, but Reed’s bill, H.R. 644, which they favored, passed the House.

The AARP turned out in numbers at Tom’s meeting in the Town of Elmira. They sat quietly demonstrating with their presence. Their spokesperson addressed Tom with respect. They were rewarded with a private meeting with Tom. I believe their method is to work with Tom to get what they can. Will they soon have something to show for their efforts and patience?

WE town hall 2015 aarp

Those whom Tom identifies as political enemies get little or nothing.

What position, for example, should advocates for the disabled take?

  • Counter Tom’s view that SSDI is marked by fraud and abuse.
  • Dispute Tom’s view that SSDI is only for the catastrophically disabled.
  • Refute Tom’s view that government spends too much on SSDI and other programs.
  • Recognize what truth there is in Tom’s view of SSDI, attempting to limit the damage.
  • Exploit this issue to oust Tom in 2016.
  • Avoid the issue counting on a Presidential veto.

It may not be easy for those who see Tom as corrupt to take his views seriously, to not see him as a political enemy, to treat him with respect, but these might be necessary parts of a plan that could bear fruit.

© William Hungerford – February 2015




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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66 Responses to Working with Tom Reed

  1. BOB McGILL says:

    first of all Tom can’t give ” EVERYBODY ” what they want ! You and I disagree, so how can we both get our way ? I personally know there is fraud in all federal programs. You don’t believe it, but thats only because you have your own corrupt political agenda. With all the nasty, untruthful, garbage you but on this blog, you and a few others should be locked up, but you think Tom owes you something. If I lived in Penn Yan I would do everything in my power to have pstew removed from the village board.

    • whungerford says:

      Why Bob, if you personally know there is fraud in all federal programs, it must be an article of faith. No one could know that. You seem to have little use for the First Amendment; why is that? And little use for democratic elections either it seems.

    • BOB McGILL says:…bill-to…porn…/2560168‎
      days ago … … pornographic files on his government computer and had watched up to six hours of porn a day while on the job. The employee wasn’t fired.

      6 HOURS A DAY !!!!!! 🙂

    • Anne says:

      What Tom “owes” us is doing the job he was elected to do, which is representing his constituents’ best interests, and not slobbering after his own self-enrichment (which is the problem with his having been bought and paid for). He’s actually a walking talking perpetual example of fraud in government, so I’ll give you that. As for the rest of your comment, well, we can see who’s driving the clown car today.

      • BOB McGILL says:

        if Tom could give you everything you want, this country would be bankrupt, then what ?
        But you probably don’t care about that, do you ?

        • pystew says:

          This country wouldn’t go bankrupt if business owners who benefited from the infrastructure that you and I have paid for would pay their proper taxes.

    • pystew says:

      Bob, you must have missed the chapter of Win-Win situations in the book of life. Nobody should expect to have things their way all of the time, except the Radical Right. Remember the Republican leaders agreed to oppose everything the President did and that slowed the economy’s recovery. I wonder who has the corrupt political agenda.

      I received the most votes in the last election. My term ends next year. Use your power, Bob.

      Believe it or not Village Government, at lest in Penn Yan, deals with local problems like a sewer break, use of Parkland, and setting an atmosphere to bring new business into the Village doesn’t fall under party politics.

      Right now we are worried that our Department of Homeland Security FEMA Firefighter Grant application–for 13 Scott Air Paks for our firefighters to use when they are inside a burning structure–will be delayed pass our May 31 budget deadline because our Congressman cares more about embarrassing the President than local firefighters and village budgets. Although Penn Yan is mostly republicans, they care more about Firefighter safety than who is our congressman. Bad move on Reed’s part.

  2. whungerford says:

    When Tom doesn’t represent our best interests, what then? Writing a letter will get a form letter back; call his office and his staff will play dumb; speak up at a meeting and it goes in one ear and out the other; finally, rage is futile.

    • BOB McGILL says:

      if you got what you deserve, you would be hauled off to the FUNNY FARM 🙂

  3. BOB McGILL says:

    Did anyone besides pstew go to the WE ARE SENECA LAKE, TOO rally ????
    It looked more like a Halloween parade, better be careful you’ll scare the tourists away. 🙂

    • pystew says:

      Yes, Bob, a few hundred other like-thinking Americans who are concern about the the sacredness of the earth were out in the near zero temperatures promoting a clean, healthy, and safe environment for you. You are welcomed. Yes, some did dress up…we like to have fun :). You should join us next time.

      • BOB McGILL says:

        The sad thing is that nobody knew what they were talking about. They have the nerve to have a video with John Halfman talking about the lake but it is quite obvious that they haven’t read any of his research. Well I have, and I have read what the people before him wrote. Funny to have the biggest poluters of Seneca Lake claiming to be concerned about it”s welfare.

        • pystew says:

          Oh, do you mean Professor John Halfman, Professor of Geolimnology and Hydrogeochemistry, FLI Endowed Chair in Environmental Studies at Hobart & William Smith College? ( I don’t know who THEY are, since we didn’t see a video during the event. But just think–THEY have the NERVE to watch a video—what is this world coming to? (Do you want to stop video watching, too?).

          And yes Bob, I took off the video of people walking around Wal-Mart. I just didn’t see the connection.

  4. whungerford says:

    This article generated a snowstorm of comments, but none so far has much to do with what I wrote.

    • BOB McGILL says:

      ya mean we’re not bashing Tom ? TTTOOOOOOOO BAD

    • pystew says:

      I thought that Tom either picked the short straw, or Boehner thought that he is ‘secure enough ‘ in this district to assign him with the task of defunding Social Security.

      The key is that Social Security cuts across party lines. Pitting the Retirees against the Disabled doesn’t help…Many Retirees have loved ones (a spouse, a child, a friend) who is disabled. Using hot button words like “raid” and “saving Social Security for the catastrophically disable” doesn’t warm too many hearts. Do we really want politicians to decide who is or is not catastrophically disabled? Then he proposes creating another Safety Net category, the non-catastrophically disabled, and have the government being paid to find those unlucky souls a job. They even cut funds for unemployed workers who lost their jobs because of the Too Strong To Fail failure.

      I think the Social Security strategy is going to backfire, especially during the Presidential Election cycle. We should keep watch-dogging what he says, fact-check it, and continue talking about his Reed is actually doing to his constituents.

      • whungerford says:

        Tom has promoted cuts to Social Security benefits for four years now. Seniors were major contributors to his opponents’ campaigns, but most voters seem oblivious. Perhaps they don’t believe Tom means what he says, they don’t believe he can help make it happen, or they believe (as Tom has repeatedly suggested) that they will never receive benefits themselves. I agree that we should continue to focus attention on Social Security and SSDI.

  5. Deb Meeker says:

    Frankly, I am thoroughly disgusted that Tom Reed uses groups and photo ops to pretend he has the support of those in the pictures. He has done this at the food bank at least twice, in the photo above, with farmers in their vineyards and fields, and at a disabled children’s facility – while he was putting forth a bill to cut benefits to families who have a disabled child if that child didn’t get to school as Reed thought they should. Damn!

    I disagree with the author here, People need to speak up, speak out, and be heard. If Reed feigns hurt feelings and cries disrespect, he can also be reminded that to be respected, one needs to show it for others. Rage may not be a good face to show, but it sure lights a fire under my tail to make sure as many people in this district and beyond know what Reed is really trying to do. Respect is earned, and if the only thing to respect about Tom Reed is his long practiced ability to smile sweetly while stabbing people in the back – we have nothing to lose by telling him.

    PS. Bob, get a life.

    • whungerford says:

      “Show respect” was the first of George Lakoff’s “four really important guidelines” mentioned in Rich’s article. I haven’t read Lakoff’s book, so I can only speculate that he means disrespect is counter-productive. Natasha Thompson, the Food Bank CEO, must remember Tom’s efforts to defund food stamps as she stands with him making nice. Did the Food Bank get what they wanted with a quid pro quo? Did the AARP learn Tom’s price at their meeting? (I remember now that Tom claimed the AARP supported his campaign last year.) Should organizations backing SSDI consider giving Tom a “Hero” award or sponsoring a press conference to facilitate his cooperation? Does Tom, like Illinois ex-governor Blagojevich, only respond when there is something in it for him? If our political system is corrupt, what then?

      • Deb Meeker says:

        If I were to visit Tom Reed’s DC office, I would show “proper” decorum. And, to respect Tom Reed is to take him at his word. The line of demarcation between ‘showing respect’ and being an obnoxious bawler – is very wide.
        So, when Tom Reed announces he is working by holding town halls, and further states he ‘wants constituents input’, he should be taken at his word, and given real input. Perhaps my first question to Reed would be “Do you really want my opinion?”

        I have to disagree that AARP was ‘rewarded with a private meeting’, when in fact it is obvious to me at least, they and the picture of them with Reed, were sadly used for furthering Reed’s selfish interests – his being diametrically opposed to theirs.
        There is no “if” in the fact that some politicians in the US are corrupt. Those whom are corrupt, corrupt the Office of Whatever as well. If the food bank, AARP, or any other entity might have compromised their standards to receive crumbs, one might understand. They have little power to influence without the voiced of support from the people of the district. If Tom Reed will actually acquiesce to considering a different position than his own or that of his leadership, it will because he fears he will lose vital support from supporters – not because facts helped him have a “change of heart”.

        Perhaps a better approach to convincing his supporters that he is a fraud, would be to ask him why he has not yet gotten the NYS Safe Act repealed, why he hasn’t stopped the Unconstitutional President from allowing ‘illegals’ into our great country (must be waving a flag while asking), and why he is so unsuccessful at getting hydraulic fracturing from one end of New York to the other?

        • whungerford says:

          In his novel, “Catch 22,” Joseph Heller tells this story:

          The general asks for any soldier with complaints or suggestions for improving the Army to speak up. One soldier tries to raise his hand; his fellows hold him down. “The general doesn’t really want to know,” they say. The poor guy breaks free, gives the general his advice, and finds himself in prison. The general didn’t really want to know.

          • Deb Meeker says:

            Ha ha ha! And if life in NY 23rd district were to be written as a novel about Tom Reed – what would the title be? Let’s hope it wouldn’t come to the “Grapes of Wrath”.

    • BOB McGILL says:

      get your facts straight, the farmers, vineyards and craft breweries are all federally subsidized. There are 500 food banks in a 10 county area, so says TWC news, all get federal aid. There are so many programs for the disabled you can’t count em, ever heard of the ARC. When I turn 65 I can get a meal everyday and not even leave my house or go shopping.
      PS deb, I have a disabled sister, the only problems have been with the local idiots working for the county.
      My father was a WW2 Vet who had PTSD and became homeless and roamed southern California for 25 years.
      So deb, tell me, what do you really know ?

  6. Barbara Griffin says:

    I believe one can treat another with respect, whether or not they agree with the other’s political views, religious views, motives or actions. Keep in mind the challenge between the wind and sun as to which could best remove a man’s jacket. As the wind blew harder, the man clung more securely to his jacket. When the sun brought increasing warmth, the man voluntarily took the jacket off. Food for thought. Agree to disagree and search for a compromise to benefit the majority. That’s how our government is supposed to work…but not when our representatives are bought and paid for by the minority elite, who have a “divide and conquer” agenda…where someday the “silent majority” may have to bring out the sun and fry the bastards.

    • whungerford says:

      Tom Reed spent $3.47 million to keep his job last time. Realtors spent $617,849 on TV ads, direct mail, online video ads and polling supporting Reed. Expect Tom to return favors.

      • BOB McGILL says:

        and what do you expect to get by slandering and ridiculing the man ?

      • pystew says:

        Reed snuggles up to his constituents only for their votes…and then he supports legislation that is against their better interest–to repay his corporate sponsors. Look who gives him the big bucks–Gas/Oil Industry, Real Estate PACs, Insurance Industry, Wall Street PACS. How is shutting down Homeland Security going to help us in the NY23rd?

        • BOB McGILL says:

          ANOTHER EXAGGERATION, anyone watching the news knows Homeland Security won’t be shut down. Besides you and pstews union gave money to the democrats didn’t you ?

          • whungerford says:

            Which news are you watching, Bob? Is Speaker Boehner wrong when he says he would shut it down?

            • BOB McGILL says:

              ” The agency has designated around 85 percent of its workers, or about 200,000 people, as being ‘exempt’ from a forced furlough given they work in areas that are vital to security or are funded by sources unrelated to the congressionally-approved budget, Reuters reported “

          • pystew says:

            It depends on what you mean by a Shutdown. If Boehner gives in now and fully funds the DHS without the House’s five anti-immigration amendments–Great, we all should be happy. If not then:

            (1) The ‘Essential’ workers, about 80% of the DHS staff will expect to work and not get paid. If things worked out like the last time the GOP shutdown the government, those workers would get paid retroactively. That is not guaranteed. Those employees still would have monthly bills and families to support, and a lot MORE stress, but they would still secure our borders and and protect our air flights.

            (2) The ‘Non-Essential’ workers will be furloughed–relieved from their duties and not paid. These are mostly FEMA administrators responsible for local governmental grants and services.

            (3) A very small group of ‘lucky’ employees will continue work and get paid. These are workers who get paid by the fees their agencies collect, not controlled by congress.

            If you mean that services will be provided, you are partially correct, but at a cost. Federal Workers are people, too. As employers we need to be fair with them.

            You may want to check out the following Washington Post article with more up to date figures on the possible Shutdown.

            • BOB McGILL says:

              ” The agency has designated around 85 percent of its workers, or about 200,000 people, as being ‘exempt’ from a forced furlough given they work in areas that are vital to security or are funded by sources unrelated to the congressionally-approved budget, Reuters reported ”
              please read it SLOWLY, WITH BOTH EYES if you still have a problem have someone read it for you 🙂

        • whungerford says:

          According to G. Lakoff, people may put their values before their interests. But which values does Tom reflect? Individual responsibility, no matter how desperate ones straits, is one, I think.

        • BOB McGILL says:

          Bet some of these same groups gave to both parties. And then there is this–

          ” In sum, the Communist Party loves the same Obama policies and accomplishments that the Democratic Party establishment loves, that the mainstream media loves, that the unions love, and that Charles Schumer, Jennifer Granholm, Harry Reid, and Dick Durbin love. They want more of the same. The CPUSA sees what most of us see, and what the Democratic Party would somehow like to keep its permanent underclass — um, that is, its voter base — from seeing: the Obama agenda is driving America “forward” on “the Road to Socialism.” The only difference is that the communists are honest enough to spell it out.

          Read more:
          Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

          • whungerford says:

            Bob, your post, borrowed from the “American Thinker,” (copy and paste doesn’t involve thinking at all) might have been pertinent in the 1940’s, but seems dated today. Socialism has been creeping toward us for such a long time, promoted by mainstream media (not Fox) and other powerful actors, that it is astonishing it hasn’t arrived yet.

            • BOB McGILL says:

              are you saying that you openly embrase Communism as jose does ?

            • BOB McGILL says:

              just knocked off a 5 piece order for a utility company——gotta go——see deb, I do have a live and don’t just sit on my fat butt playing on the computer 😉

            • BOB McGILL says:

              one more thing, when you pay your utility bill, just think you about the fact that you are paying my income taxes 🙂

            • Deb Meeker says:

              No Bob, you are not getting away with that disgusting remark. You leapt from being just silly and tiresome, to specifically trying to be very cruel. Perhaps you would have enjoyed remarks about someone you cared about – that insinuated ” they didn’t have long to live anyway, so why bother”?
              If you can’t find an apology within your repertoire, at least think about what you write in the future, and then delete it “anyway”.
              Note to editor: Please leave this comment in.

          • whungerford says:

            Here, according to American Thinker, is President Obama’s list of first term accomplishments. Which don’t you approve, Bob?

            • Affordable Health Care Act extends coverage to 35 million uninsured people, outlaws denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and extends until age 26 coverage of children under their parent’s plans.
            • Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for equal pay for women..
            • Stabilized the economy with $789 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that saved or created 3 million jobs. Invested billions in clean energy jobs, saved the auto industry..
            • Unemployment benefits for millions of workers despite Republican threats to shut down the government. Obama was forced to yield on Bush-era tax cuts for the rich that he wanted to terminate..
            • Appointed two women to the U.S. Supreme Court, including the first Latina woman, who support the rights of working people..
            • Established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and used a recess-appointment to name the director over Republican opposition..
            • Created a new food safety agency to protect people from food-borne illness..
            • Ended profit-grab by private banks on students’ loans, reestablishing Federal control on these loans and used the savings to extend loans to more students..
            • Doubled the funding for Pell Grants to $32 billion, increasing size of the grant $819 to a maximum of $5,500..
            • Ended the war in Iraq and moved toward ending the war in Afghanistan..
            • BOB McGILL says:

              you forgot this part ” As is clear, Obama unequivocally has the worst economic performance of any president since (and including) Kennedy, coming in last on each and every single indicator with the sole exception of the unemployment rate — for which Obama is second-worst behind the Nixon-Ford administrations.”

              Read more:
              Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

            • BOB McGILL says:

              is the war in Iraq over ?

            • BOB McGILL says:

              they also said,
              When faced with an issue they do not care to discuss the Obama administration is doing what any adolescent would do — change the subject. With the usual co-operation of the mindless mainstream media, the Obama administration is doing all it can to shift attention and obfuscate its economic track record. Thus, in reaction to the uproar over the recent unconstitutional ObamaCare abortion pill, sterilization and contraceptive mandate, they are promoting the inane notion that the Republicans are determined to deny women access to contraceptives.

              This threadbare ploy is an absurd plot to portray conservatives as knuckle-dragging Neanderthals out to kidnap women and force them back to the evil days of the Dark Ages. It is not just the abject silliness of this contention, but that these so-called best and the brightest actually think this gambit will bear fruit among the women of America, whom they perceive must be really stupid and gullible. So, who are the sexists? ”

              Read more:
              Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

  7. Anne says:

    Bob McGill, the Oracle of Waterloo.

  8. Never mind, their story line is concocted to arouse anti-government resentment among people who are themselves strapped for income. This way, they believe they will get support to eliminate the whole program. Less than 1% of SSDI is found fraudulent by the Inspector General. This is the pattern of attack that they use with every program the GOP wants to eliminate. (Aka Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, unemployment benefits, public assistance in any form). Connect the dots. They failed to focus on the fraud of Big Banks and the ever squeaky clean Private defense contracts.

    • whungerford says:

      Right-leaners see their ideas as reasonable and consistent. They would free individuals from dependence on government programs and free businesses from taxes and regulations. However they fail to address the consequences–hardship from lack of a social safety net and chaos from unregulated business run by what TR called “malefactors of great wealth.” They focus on what they call liberty but ignore justice for all.

      • BOB McGILL says:…/beyond-the-welfare-state‎

        ” The welfare state has turned out to be unaffordable, dependent as it is upon dubious economics and the demographic model of a bygone era. Sustaining existing programs of social insurance, let alone continuing to build new ones on the social-democratic model, has become increasingly difficult in recent years, and projections for the coming decades paint an impossibly grim and baleful picture. There is simply no way that Europe, Japan, or America can actually go where the economists’ long-term charts now point — to debts that utterly overwhelm their productive capacities, governments that do almost nothing but support the elderly, and economies with no room for dynamism, for growth, or for youth. Some change must come, and so it will. “

        • whungerford says:

          Thank you, Bob; you found an interesting article. Author Yuval Levin has a grand vision for a conservative utopia–a thriving free society with a market economy, strong families, a devotion to country, and a commitment to the value of every life which he says can be obtained gradually, by a mix of persuasion and proof. One reads plenty of idealistic persuasion in Levin’s article, but there is a lack of proof. The excerpt you selected is a good example of unsupported allegations.

          • BOB McGILL says:

            you gotta be kidding, you of all people have the nerve to say there is a lack of proof and unsupported allegations. WHAT A JOKE ! TALK ABOUT A DOUBLE STANDARD

            • whungerford says:

              Levin wrote The welfare state has turned out to be unaffordable. What is the evidence in support of that? Levin gives none.

  9. BOB McGILL says:


    • whungerford says:

      Bob, you have given no proof that even those countries are “welfare states,” let alone that they can’t afford to provide for their people.

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