Reed’s Challengers–Updated


question-mark-manJournalist Vaughn Golden of the Ithaca Times has done all of NY23rd a favor by interviewing five candidates who have indicated that they are running to be the Democratic challenge to Rep. Tom Reed. Please note that this list of hopefuls might grow.  The Ithaca Times did not cut any corners on presenting the candidates. The following links include a lengthy article, and a 35 to 41 minute video interview for each candidate.

The Interviewer noted:

While conducting these interviews, each candidate was offered a similar length interview and time was kept as equal as possible across the board. In order to do this some policy areas were skipped for different candidates.

2018 Congressional Challengers:

These interviews are only an introduction. We will get a much better idea of each candidate’s strenghts and weaknesses as we follow their news articles and their social media.  We should have ample chances to meet the candidates in both formal and informal settings.  We have the responsibility to cautiously compare each candidate’s platform, ability to communicate, work ethic,  integrity,  compasion and honesty. There is a lot to get done before the June 2018 Democratic Primary. We need to roll up our sleeves, and do our due diligence. We want to hire the right person for this important position.

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.
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42 Responses to Reed’s Challengers–Updated

  1. k pitcher says:

    I am Democrat. I am also a fervent supporter of our 2nd Amendment. While not a single issue voter, a candidates stance and specific position on “gun control” informs a large portion of my vote.
    I am afraid that Mr. Golden fails this litmus test right out of the gate.
    From his response I am given to believe that he has not educated himself to the issues and the issue has probably never been on his radar screen in any serious fashion.
    What specifically is “sensible” gun owner ship?
    There is no way that I could trust this guy not to let my right be infringed on,for the mere reason that it is not important to him.


  2. pystew says:

    Thanks for your input. We will be interested in your feelings on the other candidates’ statements on the 2nd Amendment.


  3. cathkestler says:

    Give him time to hone his platform before you cross him off the list.


  4. Alex Smith says:

    This is going to be an interesting race!! We need a candidate that is strong and ready to fight, because Reed needs to go!!! I look forward to debates and meeting the candidates!


  5. Alex Smith says:

    It concerns me that we’re in jeopardy of losing healthcare, we have an environmental crisis, and our district in stuck in a time warp; yet guns is what we’re talking about? All of these candidates have said the second amendment should be upheld…. dont you think there are bigger issues?


  6. cathkestler says:

    I agree but most voters in this district turn out to vote when guns are discussed. I also agree about health care but most of Reed’s voters don’t care if we have health care because they have theirs. At least that’s what they all scream about at town hall meetings– one guy who was married and had a child actually said he didn’t care about women’s health; I guess he has “relations” with himself…lol


  7. Alex Smith says:

    LOL!!! I wish people stop the ‘me’ mindset and used ‘we.’


  8. Alex Smith says:

    Ohbmybthat post was a mess!! loL I meant to say I wish people would stop with the ‘me’ mindset and remember we need to look out for each other. We’re all in this boat… together!


  9. whungerford says:

    Whoa, if the discussion is about guns, Reed wins hands down. We need to “frame the debate” to advantage, possibly what to do about tragic events like the recent baseball game violence or Reed’s inconsistency on help for the mentally ill.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. pystew says:

    Good point. Reed has had a history of blaming gun violence on the Mentally Ill going as far back as Sandy Hill at least. He has supported benefits to the Mentally Ill until recently. It is important that we point out when we see a 180* change.


  11. k pitcher says:

    Any candidate hoping to represent the 23rd has to know from the git go that we are mostly rednecks here. Before you get all in an uproar, just drive around our district out side the village limits and tell me what you see.
    Unless Mr. Trump does something amazing,(either great or stupid) this election is going to be about healthcare.
    Question is how do we get into all these broken down double wide and convince the residents that there disability is going to take a hit, that the programs that keep their addicted daughter at the rehab center,,the food stamps that the grandchildren they are raising,due to said daughters illness, may not be there.
    I want to see someone seriously push a single payer system. Why can we not just lower age requirements for medicare two years at a time while keeping premiums the same. incremental inclusion would spread the hit out over a period of time.

    How do progressives or even centrist conservatives for that matter get into these people homes that have been fed a steady diet of Fox News and Right Wing over the air propaganda for a generation.
    We need a miracle to break the hold that the right has on our district
    On a national level our party,needs to sooner rather than later lay out and publicize . a platform and an agenda that is clear concise and while possibly cutting out some of the far left wingers,appeal to the progressive centrists among us with a reach out to centrist Republicans that have finally become disgusted with their parties cruelty.
    If you were to ask me today what the Democrats have to run on is “We hate Trump”


  12. whungerford says:

    Rather than “running against Trump,” we need to show that Tom Reed, like Trump, has let us down, promising better health care and voting for worse and promising to invest in infrastructure but voting for the opposite, for example. We need to show that he is corrupt, serving his self interest rather than his constituents’ interests.


  13. k pitcher says:

    Just tell me how we are going to get into that living room. You and I all know that,like it or not, politi
    cally correct or not, polite and gentle or not,rural 23rd contains an awful lot of low information ignorant voters. Most being willfully ignorant by exposing themselves only to their echo chambers.
    It is going to take more than just a few of them to overide the gerrymandered incumbent.
    Reed knows how to get out among his faithful,and even I give the man credit for standing up in front of his foes and continuing to spread his deceit.
    If you notice that in the after reports of his town hall meetings, his fans are not so much supporting his positions, but are supporting the fact that he is a “Manly Amurican” standing up to the liberal Soros paid liars and outsiders brought in by outsiders.
    How does one fight that?


  14. pystew says:

    K pitcher makes some good points. Changing someone’s political leanings is never easy. We need to focus on the issues that affect a majority of the people: health care, jobs (green jobs),i mprove our infrastructure (roads, bridges) which creates jobs, a livable salary, opioid crisis, protecting/improving public education, veteran affairs (most who I have heard are AGAINST privatizing the VA), etc. It has to be personal, not philosophical. It will not be easy. It will take an army of volunteers. We need a messager (Aka Candidate) who can talk to, and respect the Average NY23rd resident so that they will listen to and relate to the candidate.


  15. cathkestler says:

    Yes, I agree all good points. When you provide them with stone cold hard facts they shout ‘fake news’.
    It’s like talking to a wall, clearly.


  16. whungerford says:

    Those politically to the right and left of Tom Reed may agree that he has betrayed them by catering to outside interests and self-interest rather than their interests, even if they disagree on what those interests are. Tom has already started campaigning as “one of us.” Opponents will need to show that is a false picture of self-serving Tom Reed.

    Cath Kestler mentioned “one guy who was married and had a child (who) actually said he didn’t care about women’s health.” That sounds like Tom Reed–a person willing to deprive children and future grandchildren of affordable health care. That lack of family values ought to be offensive everywhere in NY-23.


  17. whungerford says:

    It isn’t about facts, but image. Tom will win again if he is seen as sharing our values when in most cases he doesn’t. It is no accident that he runs as “good old Tom,” “from here,” “one of us.”


  18. Arthur Ahrens says:



  19. Arthur Ahrens says:



  20. Arthur Ahrens says:



  21. cathkestler says:

    But when it gets down to brass tacks, Reed isn’t from here, his family moved here from Joliet, IL when he was in high school.
    He wants to be “one of us” when in fact he isn’t — he’s an immigrant from the Midwest.


  22. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I was unaware of this.
    Everyone in Reed’s district needs to be made aware of this.
    And often!


  23. Arthur Ahrens says:

    JOLIET Tom has a nice sound, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  24. pystew says:

    I heard he moved here when his father died, he was around two. At least that is what he lead me to believe.


  25. pystew says:

    He could have said that his father died when he was two, and they moved to be with his family.


  26. whungerford says:

    But wait–when Reed’s mother moved here is irrelevant to Tom’s image. If he is seen as from here, that’s what matters. He takes pains to polish that image. Like “crooked Hillary,” “extreme Ithaca liberal” and “DC John” seems to have been devastating. He has begun his next campaign already, writing in a fundraising e-mail:

    The campaign for Congress in underway with four candidates running for Congress against us: two political novices, a teacher who just moved to the district, and an actor from Star Trek have all announced their candidacies.


  27. cathkestler says:

    Reed himself was a “novice” not even serving a whole term as mayor of Corning.
    The only thing he can do is bandy about names and sticking labels on people.
    Thought Tommy was all about “No Labels”


  28. Arthur Ahrens says:

    This isn’t beanbag folks.
    If you have followed him, you know his methods and how effective they are.
    Beating him will require skill, stamina and a sustained strategy.
    And hardball.


  29. whungerford says:

    Yes, we have seen how Tom has done it, yet how a challenger might create a public image that would outshine Tom’s in NY-23 remains unclear. Health care may be a winning issue, but only if voters come to see that Tom’s claim that “he cares” is insincere.


  30. Arthur Ahrens says:

    The only way to win in NY 23 is to peel some Reed voters away from him. Any challenger will NOT win by following the same failed playbook as Zeller, Shinagawa, Robertson, and Plumb.

    The key will be to
    1. Provide and sustain and prosecute a message that Reed is a career politician who cares more about ideology and the rich than the actual needs of his constituents. Reed’s support of the ACA repeal can be used to show that he cares more about the rich than about the NY 23. As can the fact that his business profits from his constituents medically induced debt.
    2. The challenger will need to abandon or mute adherence to democratic ideology to the extent that it interferes with his/her message. Gun control / abortion rights are examples. Identity politics is OUT.
    3. The challenger will need to provide and sustainand prosecute a message that they WILL listen and address the specific needs of ALL of the people of NY 23. Includes working people (farmers, mechanics, blue collar) AND professionals

    Reed has become a polished campaigner. But he is vulnerable, and can be beaten.

    As I said above, a new playbook is needed. Old ideas and strategies are a waste of time.


  31. whungerford says:

    Some things voters don’t seem to mind:
    Tom’s unexplained Tuscarora realty deal
    Tom’s flip-flop on term limits
    Tom’s claim that SS and Medicare must be cut to save them.
    Tom’s disreputable midnight swim in Israel
    Tom’s late tax payments
    Favoring government shutdown as a political tactic
    Opposing food stamps
    Refusing help to those having or seeking student loans
    Requiring the disabled to work if they possibly can find any job anywhere.
    Tom’s bill collecting business and related conflict of interest
    Tax cuts for the rich (fits with Republican morality–rich are deserving)
    That Reed won’t listen to constituents
    That Reed’s political posturing conflicts with his voting record.


  32. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I have to say that it is a pleasure to be corresponding with someone who has been paying attention.
    So you must be aware that it took Eric Massa TWO elections to beat Kuhl.
    Massa had a good message, was able to connect with people, spent a lot of time campaigning and was fortunate enough to ride Obama’s coattails.
    As far as I can see, none of that will apply to whoever the democrats choose to be their standard bearer.
    The democrats will not have a candidate until June 2018. Reed has already had six+ years to burrow in like a tick. The June date will give the challenger a little over 4 months to run an effective campaign. The candidate will be a lamb to the slaughter.


  33. whungerford says:

    Massa’s 29th district was more conservative than the current 23rd. However, John Kuhl was a much weaker incumbent than Tom Reed. Even if the odds are long, something unexpected could happen.


  34. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I think a case could be made that Reed is not a conservative in anything but name, but he is loved by his supporters and as you say, he is a much stronger candidate than Kuhl. The odds are very long indeed to depose him.
    IMHO– hoping for an unlikely upset is not a very good strategy.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. pystew says:

    Hoping won’t get him out of office. It will take a lot of people giving up their time to go door-to-door to connect with the voters. With the elction being 15 months away we have the time. Do we have the will power?


  36. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Is there a challenger with a coherent message as to why she or he is better than Reed?
    Is there a platform?
    Is there a coherent message as to why Reed should go?
    Is there a get out the vote organization?
    Is there a team performing opposition research on Reed? Does a strategy exist?
    What has happened to the local Indivisible protests? And more importantly, why?


  37. Skye Milliman says:

    You are perpetuating the neoliberal view that country people live in trashy trailers, are ignorant, willfully stupid, promiscuous, don’t take care of their children because of drug addiction, and all survive on food stamps. That is why rural people don’t trust city liberals. You people think you are smarter than we are and know what is best for us. We are hardworking people who can take care of ourselves, and you people with your soft little clean hands are helpless outside of your luxury condos. Keep your social worker attitudes to yourselves and leave us alone. We don’t need your condescending pity or your help. If you want to beat Reed, don’t run some nut job from Tompkins County who thinks he’s a Klingon. Run someone from somewhere else in the district who has respect for country people. Bernie Sanders took 46 counties in the primary, while that elite snob Clinton could only muster two counties-both urban– outside of the greater metropolitan NY area.


  38. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I just called Reed’s office inquiring about Reed’s position about Trump Jr.’s connection with the Russians.
    Andrew in Geneva tells me that he is unaware of Reed’s position.
    I mentioned that it would nice to hear Reed’s position in his upcoming Town Hall meetings.
    Andrew said that he would be sure to pass it along.

    It sure would be NICE if some people had the WILL POWER to make similar phone calls.


  39. Arthur Ahrens says:

    This comment is time stamped 7/11/2017.
    Why is it only appearing 8/1/2017?


  40. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I hope that contributors to this thread see this and try to understand this point of view.
    Thanks for a view from outside of the bubble.
    It is worth its weight in gold!


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