Why Residency is Important

Rep. Tom Reed has been attacking his opponent, John Plumb for claiming to be a resident of the NY 23rd Congressional District.

The Reed campaign discovered a loan document, called “Second Home Rider” that Plumb signed when he bought his Lakewood  (Chautauqua County) home. Reed called the Political ChoicesPlumb’s Lakewood house his “Vacation Property“.  By signing the Rider, Plumb  indicated that the Lakewood home  will not be used as “any time-share or other shared ownership arrangement or to any rental pool”.

When Plumb signed it (May 18, 2015)  he was renting an apartment  in D.C since he was working at the National Security Council. Therefore the Lakewood house would have been his “Second Home” and signing that form was necessary.  According to the the Elmira Star Gazette Plumb “resigned in May as director for defense policy and strategy at the White House National Security Council to run full-time for Congress.”  He then moved from Washington; Lakewood is his only home.

Reed, an attorney, knew all along that Lakewood is Plumb’s legal residence. His  accusations are purely political. It’s the concept of framing your opponent and Reed has used it before and is trying it again. Look at the success Donald Trump had framing his opponents with nicknames– “Little Marco”, “Low-Energy Jeb”, and “Lyin’ Ted”. Reed has copied Trump’s name calling  and made “D.C. John” the topic of his daily Attack Plumb comments on his Facebook page.

Why is residency in the district you represent important?  Reed has identified two reasons:

  • If you live in the district you represent then you know it’s issues and you care about the people who live and work there. 

We should have no doubt that John knows the issues of the NY23rd, and that he cares about the people who live and work here. He is a 4th Generation Western New York native; he was born in Jamestown. He was raised in nearby Randolph and lived there until he went to college at Notre Dame.  His extended family lives in the district, which includes his parents, a grandparent, three siblings and nine nieces and nephews. He was raised in our rural culture, and understands the difficulties rural America is facing.

  • If you live Washington and work for the Federal Government, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

John’s service has been bipartisan in  nature–in the Navy, in the Pentagon and on the National Security Council. He has been a leader and a problem solver. Experiencing the political grid-lock in congress, and feeling that his background could be useful as a representative, he decided to bring his skills back the the NY 23rd.

How does Rep. Reed stand up to his own criteria?

  • If you live in the district you represent you know it’s issues and care about the people who live and work there. 

Rep. Reed knows the issues that are important to the people of the district, and he says he cares for the residents. The problem for Rep. Reed is that he has over five years of votes that follow him.

  • (1) Reed often tells his constituents he supports an issue, then he votes against it.
  • (2) Reed votes against an issue then explains how important that issue is to our district.


(1) Reed held a Town Hall Meeting in Clifton Springs (Ontario County) the day after the Paris Attacks last November. Reed was asked:

 “The President went on record saying he wants to bring in 200,000 Syrian refugees.  There was a diplomatic passport found on the body of a (Paris) terrorist.” The he asked Rep. Reed, “What say you about bringing in Syrian immigrants?”

He responded with comments about how we are a great country because of our diversity, then he added, “I’m not going to say to one population we’re going to close all the  borders to you.” 

Five days later Rep. Reed voted to approve H.R. 4038, The American SAFE Act, which would effectively shut down the U.S. Syrian refugee resettlement program.

This was an 180* turn around from what he told us at the Clifton Springs Meeting. Reed puts a new twist to a popular saying, “What is said in the town hall meetings, stays at the town hall meetings.”

(You can read the whole NY23rd article, including Reed’s complete comments by following this link)

(2) In April, 2015 Rep. Reed voted to approve severe cuts to the Pell Grants Program which provides funds for college students with financial needs.

Reed, wanting to be seen as trying to lower the cost of a college education, has proposed that “universities with an endowment exceeding $1 billion to redistribute a portion of that as scholarships for students from working-class families.”  He has said that he has written a draft of the bill, but it has not been submitted for consideration yet.

Most colleges’ endowment funds are nowhere near $1 billion. The only college/university in the NY 23rd with more than $1 billion is Cornell.

Summary: Rep. Reed voted to reduce grants for students in need, and is trying to reduce college costs–but only to those who are able to attend Ivy League level Universities. Not very helpful to the average NY23rd student. This proposal indicates who he really cares about.

  • If you live Washington and work for the Federal Government, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Rep. Reed lives in Washington and he works for the Federal Government.

Many of us would agree that some one who supports shutting down the government and the Department of Homeland Security, defaulting on our debts, not agreeing on equal protection for all residents, and wants to end Social Security Disability Insurance is being part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Some residents of our district have already been voting with their wallets.  As of March 31,  John Plumb has received a higher percent of his total donations  from the residents of the NY 23rd than Rep. Reed.  Actually Plumb has received more money than Reed from our district. That speaks volumes.

A final point–our  Founding Fathers did not give the residency of  House members a high priority. The United State Constitution states in  Article I §2 (House) that House members only needs to “reside in the state when elected“.

A Reed spokesperson stated, “The law, nor John Plumb believes that New York is his real home.” Rep. Reed should check Election and Constitutional Law before he makes self-serving, but incorrect, statements. Know any good attorneys?

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 2016, Congress, Constituents, Constitution, Defense, Reed's Views, Veterans and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Why Residency is Important

  1. whungerford says:

    Reed frames the debate to his advantage, making it about John Plumb, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, rather than anything factual or substantial. Is it working for him? Time will tell, but it has before.


  2. josephurban says:

    It does not surprise me that Tome Reed is ignorant concerning the US Constitution. The Constitution is clear. A person who is a resident of the STATE may run for representative in any district of that state. Simple. A member of the House of Representatives does not have to reside in the actual election district he represents.


  3. Deb Meeker says:

    Thank you for this well documented proof that ( excuse me) Two-Faced Tom Reed has succeeded in blowing his cover, and showing what a good Limbo dancer he really is.
    Zombie one issue voters, dyed in the wool Conservatives/Republicans ( because my father and his father before him always voted Conservative/Republican), and dare I say angry unread voters will always vote against their own interests regardless of fact. But in this case, I have to believe that this major misstep of Reed’s – calling John Plumb a ‘DC Insider’, when in fact he was in service to our country – has opened the eyes and ears of many veterans and active military members across this district and country. Military members are known to most likely vote Republican; this is Reed’s hope and prayer. Reed’s vested his career on Donald Trump; now we wait to see if Reed becomes known as the carnival barker he really is.


  4. Maryann says:

    John Plumb appears to be a man of honor, talent and experience. Other positions he has held are not small time. Mr. plumb is certainly competent to run in the 23rd. Mr. Reed has had several terms to prove his worth and it leaves much to be desired….I believe interm limits, so for this election, out with the old…in with the new. I am looking forward to the results of this election.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.