What to discuss at Tom Reed’s townhall

lakoff empathy.jpg

Don’t think like an elephant.–George Lakoff

Tom Reed has announced a town hall at the American Legion Hall on Ithaca Rd. in Horseheads on Monday November 20 from 6-7 PM.

Avoid reinforcing Tom’s political advertising

Tom Reed wants nothing more than to discuss tax reform on his terms at his next townhall meeting. What are “his terms?” Look at his advertising.

Tax cuts and new jobs are popular; that’s why Tom’s advertising focuses on them. Whether individuals enjoy a tax cut of $1600 or some other amount is unimportant–the idea of tax cuts, whatever the amount, works for Tom Reed.

Likewise more and better jobs is an idea that Tom loves to discuss. Whether 63,357 jobs will be created or some other number is unimportant; what sells is the idea of better jobs. When constituents attack 63,357 as absurdly precise, ridiculously small, and unlikely as a consequence of corporate tax cuts, they reinforce Tom’s claim that he seeks to create jobs.

What should be discussed is better ideas. Here are some possibilities:

  • Larger tax cut for middle class taxpayers which would create jobs directly without reliance on “trickle down.”
  • Close corporate tax loopholes, which current proposals don’t do. It’s only fair.
  • Create jobs with investment in infrastructure, clean energy.
  • More funding for hospitals and clinics in NY-23.

Arguing with Tom on his terms is counterproductive; it only invigorates Tom’s supporters. Such arguments, especially from “lefties,” secure more support for Tom. At the Horseheads meeting, the cameras will likely be running; let’s not feed Tom’s advertising campaign.





About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com 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.
This entry was posted in 2018, Congress, Political, Taxes, Town Hall Meeting. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to What to discuss at Tom Reed’s townhall

  1. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I’ve been attending Reed town halls for an eternity. What you propose is a terrifically good strategy. I have a few ideas myself that would be useful.

    But your strategy ain’t gonna happen.

    I see the same faces at every town hall rise in righteous anger, yelling and screaming at Reed, while he laps it up. If things do happen to settle down, he issues some throwaway comment that acts as gasoline on a fire, and the loudmouths rise to the bait. Meanwhile, others are shut out. Reed is a master of this.

    The way to deal with Reed is as clear as much as it is ignored. Facts and respect. I saw a gentleman at the Geneva Fire House town hall dismember Reed with that combination. Reed could not wait to get away from the guy. And once he did escape, out he came with the gasoline. And the crowd erupted.

    So again, good strategy. But will not happen.

    Whungerford,–if Reed is not confronted with many verbally abusive constituents in the Horsehead town hall, I’ll send 50 bucks to the charity of your choice.


  2. whungerford says:

    I’d like to know more about the Geneva Fire House town hall. Did the gentleman submit his question in writing? Did Tom’s assistant read it? How did Tom respond? How did the questioner reclaim the floor? Did the questioner press his original point, shred Tom’s answer, or both?

    Arthur, have you asked questions at townhall meetings and got satisfactory answers? What has worked for you?


  3. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Ok, I can’t remember where my socks are, but I’ll do my best.

    The gentleman had an issue about education funding, I think in Lodi.
    The question had been submitted in writing. It was filtered through the woman assistant who presented it to Reed.
    The questioner was way in the back on the right hand side of the firehouse.
    Tom walked all the way back. He was using a portable microphone. He asked the gentleman to elaborate. The gentleman did. There was some respectful back and forth, with handoff of microphone. Tom spewed some nonsense about how Reed was addressing the issue and tried to walk off. The questioner grabbed the mike, and had facts and figures to make his case. Which undercut Reed. He made his case, respectfully and forcefully.
    Reed reclaimed the mike and with a hearty “we agree to disagree” fled back to the safety at the front of the auditorium.

    I’ve tried at recent town halls to ask questions. It’s impossible to get a word in around the loudmouths.
    I’ve also attended meetings before Reed attained his recent stature, when there were fewer than 10 people in attendance. I’ve asked some questions and had personal conversations. I’ve also observed local business owners at these town halls. Reed was always respectful, but his answers were never satisfactory, to anyone who was not a diehard Republican. His go to line, as now, let’s agree to disagree.

    IMHO, a great strategy would be to have a team of subject experts in the audience. Tax experts, environmental experts, financial experts. Reed shrinks when confronted with facts, especially when wielded by someone confident in their subject matter. He always leaves himself an out, but he can be routed. I’ve seen it.

    But not by the loud wronged righteous. Then he grows!

    And while I’m thinking of it, to close the event, he trotted out a woman whose child was an opioid addict and who was extremely grateful for help Reed gave to her and her child. Quite a dog and pony show. I believe (but could be mistaken) that she accompanied him to each town hall that day.


  4. whungerford says:

    Thank’s for that report. I was struck by the news that “the questioner grabbed the mike.” Tom probably learned from that mistake.

    I have attended a number of these meetings, none recently and none that was raucous. Generally, Tom is in control, he makes his points in his monologue, repeats his talking points in response to questions, then dismisses the questioner in one of many ways he has mastered. I do recall one meeting in the Town of Elmira when he smiled benignly while allowing a goofy questioner to ramble on and on.

    Arthur, if you attend the Horseheads meeting, I hope you will write a report.


  5. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I intend to be there. I’ll take notes.
    Here’s a letter to the editor, Nov 7, Finger Lakes Times
    To the Editor:

    Congressman Tom Reed is in the pocket of the nation’s beet and cane sugar cartels! Reed continually votes to maintain the U.S. Sugar program. Why? It is really quite simple, Congressman Reed received well over $40,000 in political donations from the sugar cartels since coming to Washington in 2009.

    Thanks to Rep. Reed and others, the U.S. Sugar Program continues. The Sugar Program is a Soviet-style command-and-control scheme that restricts planting and imports. This inflates the price of sugar in the United States to almost double the world price. So, when you go to the store to buy a snack cake or anything sweetened, you pay more. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the program means Americans pay $3.5 billion every year in increased grocery costs, which breaks down to $58 per household.

    In Rep. Reed’s eight years in office, he repeatedly voted against sugar reform costing each New York family an additional $464 for groceries. You have to ask yourself, is my Congressman really fighting to make life better, or is he just another politician in it for the campaign contributions? It’s time for Congressman Reed to step up and end this costly government giveaway to the cartels.

    The Independent Bakers’ Association is an international trade association that fights to protect the interests of mostly family owned wholesale bakers and allied trades. For more information about IBA and sugar program corruption, visit IBAbaker.com.


    President, Independent Bakers’ Association


  6. whungerford says:

    I’m not often a fan of Heritage.org, but here is their view of the U.S Sugar Program: http://www.heritage.org/agriculture/report/the-us-sugar-program-bad-consumers-bad-agriculture-and-bad-america


  7. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Nice work.

    The full title of the piece:
    “The U.S. Sugar Program: Bad for Consumers, Bad for Agriculture, and Bad for America”

    From its website:

    “The mission of The Heritage Foundation is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense. ”

    Tom stresses his conservative values.

    I’d love to see Tom answer a well formed question about this.


  8. whungerford says:

    The Sugar Program would be a good subject for an article. I’d like to know more. Is the Sugar Program left over from the Cuba embargo after the Bay of Pigs fiasco? What industries or countries benefit. When I lived in Michigan, I deliberately bought beet sugar as beets are grown there. When I looked for beet sugar in an Elmira supermarket recently, I didn’t find any. Why no beet sugar? Where does cane sugar come from now?


  9. Rynstone says:

    Artie & whungerford,

    Congressman Reed campaigns as a conservative but his voting record is that of a big government and big government spending Progressive.
    Tom campaigns on reducing government spending, reducing national debt and not raising the debt ceiling and then votes the exact opposite.

    You are correct, the organized loud vocal masses create too much noise, protest and argument for these Town Halls to be successful except for aiding Congressman Reed’s campaign funding efforts.
    Most, if not all, of these protestors are there to demonstrate and protest against President Trump.

    None of the organized protestors voted for Tom Reed and they will never vote for a Republican candidate. I attended all four of Congressman Reed’s town Halls the Saturday he held four Town Halls including the Geneva event. I did some polling and discovered loud “left” hated Trump, Tom Reed and any Republicans. None voted for Tom Reed and they never will vote for an R. Most are MSNBC and Rachel Maddow base viewers.

    They are like a worn out speed bump. They are a pain but don’t really slow you down.


  10. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Are you going to Horseheads?


  11. Rynstone says:

    Good comeback and humor! There may be hope for us yet to discuss and debate !
    I am hoping my work schedule will allow me to attend as I want to.

    Remember, Big Government & Big Government Spending Sucks


  12. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Hope you can make it.
    I’ll let you know about me (and my closed mind) once the date is closer. Weather will probably determine.


  13. whungerford says:

    “Congressman Reed campaigns as a conservative but his voting record is that of a big government and big government spending Progressive.”

    I agree in part. Reed is a faux-conservative. He is a Republican stalwart. He is not much opposed to large government. I can’t agree that he is a progressive. There is nothing progressive about rolling back Obamacare or promoting tax cuts for the wealthy. It seems self-evident that liberals who oppose Tom’s views would prefer a better representative. It is surprising that conservatives are satisfied. The Conservative Party could run a conservative candidate, but they haven’t. Tom could face a serious primary challenge, but that hasn’t happened either. Why don’t conservatives attend Tom’s meetings and raise a fuss, one wonders?


  14. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Whungerford….I agree that Reed is no progressive. He is no conservative, either. He is only and ever a REEDIST. He is out for himself. Any other ideological costume is donned as needed. Reed has not been primaried because he’s got the conservatives fooled.

    Rynnie, What has Reed supported that supports your statement about him being a progressive?

    –Why don’t conservatives attend Tom’s meetings and raise a fuss, one wonders?–

    This is easy.
    1. His publicity machine touts his conservative bonafides. Often. (I’m still waiting for a Democrat response. But I digress…..)
    2. He is tight with Trump.
    3. He supports “conservative” legislation. Culture wars stuff…anti abortion, pro gun, tax cuts, health care cuts…
    4. Liberals (used) to publicly demonstrate against him. If he prompts liberal angst, he is our boy! (when / where was the last anti-Reed demonstration?? But I digress again….)
    5. Liberals attack him at meetings. I’ve sat beside and behind Trumpers / conservatives at meetings. They support Tom SPECIFICALLY because of liberal animus.
    6. What issue would prompt conservatives to question Tom?
    7. And even if there were one, how do they get a word in edgewise over the crazy libs?
    8. Tom salts his meetings liberally (no pun intended) with conservative supporters, on whom he calls when needed.


  15. whungerford says:

    Deficit spending when the economy is robust ought to offend conservatives. Gary Cohn’s view that a little inflation is desirable isn’t a conservative idea. Conservatives ought to be offended by attacks on civil liberties and freedom of the press. I can’t remember conservative criticism at any of Tom’s meetings; faux-conservatives present might better be called sycophants. Conservative views are more often expressed by liberals–opposition to war, for example. Finally, President Trump is no conservative.


  16. Rynstone says:

    The Conservative Party would rather hitch their wagon to Tom Reed than run their own candidate. Experience has shown t6hat splitting teh vote between a Conservative candidate and a Republican candidate will in most cases hand the victory to the Democrat candidate. Both the Conservative and Independence Parties are nothing more than political tools for Republican and Dem0crat candidates. They both pale in membership. The “Blanks” (many whom many consider themselves to be Independents) are confused as to their party thinking they are a member of the Independence Party.

    There are just not enough Conservatives to really matter and though many Republicans arr conservatives they will in most cases take a GOP over a Dem.
    The only demographic of voters who are really in play are the Blanks. This is why primaries are not very effective.


  17. whungerford says:

    I don’t think conservatism can be rightly linked to the Republican party. Are Republicans who are resigned to deficit spending when times are good conservative. Are those who disdain the free press conservative. Are those who would have government regulate human reproduction conservative. Doubtless there are many more examples.


  18. Rynstone says:

    Many conservatives (like myself) are registered to teh Republican Party where we can do the most good and try to defeat RINOs in primaries.


  19. whungerford says:

    Rynstone. what success have you enjoyed in defeating RINOs in primaries?


  20. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Rynstone has provided a good analysis.

    The conservatives believe Reed is conservative. Liberals help Reed reinforce that belief. Bigly.
    Splitting conservatives from Republicans would probably result in a Reed loss.
    So would suppressing the Republican / conservative vote.
    Neither will happen while Liberals continue their persecution of Tom Reed.

    In NY23, Dems need the white working class voter, which they continue to disparage and disdain when they are not ignoring them. Trump has managed to siphon these off by appealing to the ‘white’ part of the equation. If the Dems can do something about the ‘working class’ part, they might be able to beat Reed. But I see nothing happening yet. And I truly mean I see the Dems doing NOTHING in NY23.
    Art’s unofficial Reed Vs. Democrats Publicity Tally For NY-23 since 11/9/2016
    Includes Town Halls, Television Appearances, Editorials, Press Conferences, Newspaper Articles, Missed Opportunities

    Tom Reed 55
    Democrats 10
    Non-affiliated PRO Reed 1
    Non-affiliated ANTI Reed 4
    Democrat Missed Opportunities 10
    Reed Missed Opportunities 0


  21. Rynstone says:

    2010 Defeated RINO Rick Lazio in the 2010 Gubernatorial primary race with Carl Paladino
    2012 We defeated a RINO State Senator Steve Saland (elected to the assembly in 1980 and then the state senate from 1991 – 2012.
    Defeated RINO State Senator Mark Grisanti in 2014 in first the primary and then the general election
    Defeated Jeb Bush and a host of RINOs in the 2016 Presidential elections
    Came within a few points of defeating RINO Congressman Richard Hanna in 2014 with Claudia Tenney and then when we announced in 2015 that we were again running Tenney against Hanna he decided to drop out to avoid a defeat.
    We have attempted to defeat RINO legislators Tom Libous, Janet Dupree and James Seward in 2012 and 2014.
    After searching for 3 years to find a challenger against Tom Reed, at the very last minute in 2016 I unsuccessfully attempted to primary my friend Tom

    We have also had some victories at the local level across the state and a few judicial ruling victories.
    We are always searching for better GOP State Legislators as there are no good State Senators and only a handful of Assembly members.


  22. whungerford says:

    Really Rhynstone, you favored Paladino? Libous came to a bad end all by himself. You attempted to primary Tom Reed? To my knowledge Tom had only one primary challenger whom he discredited: Gary Perry.


  23. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Who is ‘we’?


  24. Rynstone says:

    Successful Businessman and non-politican Carl Paladino over Rick Lazio…..absolutely.
    Tom did not discredit me. Two of his supporters unnecessarily spent a lot of money in legal fees getting me removed from the ballet. I did not have enough signatures but still successfully submitted my designating petitions knowing that I would most likely be challenged and removed due to a shortage of good signatures.
    I owed that to the volunteers who helped me collect signatures in the snowy cold weather of March.


  25. whungerford says:

    Rhynstone, please challenge Tom Reed again, but take care to start early and have enough valid signatures to qualify.


  26. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Gary Perry of Waverly, a Tea Party candidate, a conservative, a constitutionalist and a libertarian.


  27. Rynstone says:

    If I submitted twice as many good valid signatures on designating petitions Tom could easily spend over $100,000.00 challenging my signatures keeping me tied up with excessive legal fees and court appearances basically eliminating me from actually running a primary race. There would not be enough time or money to compete against this. It will take someone who is very well funded and has a war-chest of at least half a million dollars to defeat Tom and the RINO GOP county chairs.


  28. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Guess you don’t want it badly enough.


  29. Rynstone says:

    Since I am a Constitutionalist that makes me a conservative, a liberal and a libertarian. What is does not make me is a Republican or a Democrat although I started out as a young Democrat and have since ended up registered to the Republican Party.

    The Democrat Party has been hijacked by the extreme left aka the communists and fascists.

    The Republican Party has far too many big government and big government spending Progressives in it.

    Big government sucks and steals away our liberties, our freedoms and our money.


  30. Rynstone says:

    Artie, ” We” are like minded grassroots volunteers across the state who go out looking for, vetting and helping good candidates.


  31. whungerford says:

    Rhynstone, how do you feel about Brian Clasby, an independent candidate?


  32. Rynstone says:

    I don’t know of him. He would have to have a small army of volunteers (60-100) who can volunteer many weekends and at least 100,000 to spend for campaign materials and frugal but intensive travel.

    I have met with and spoke with Rick Gallant who speaks like a fiscal conservative. The question is how does a good fiscal conservative candidate win a Democrat primary ? I think that the possible winner of the Democrat primary will be defeated handily by Tom Reed because they will have to be so far left to win the primary.

    I could get behind a smaller government fiscally conservative Democrat (if such a thing still exists)


  33. whungerford says:

    Many Democrats are fiscal conservatives; it is Republicans who claim that “deficits don’t matter.” However, deficits are inevitable during a recession and foolish when times are good as now.


  34. Arthur Ahrens says:

    This thread is titled “What to discuss at Tom Reed’s townhall”

    Topics to date include:

    big government and big government spending Progressive.
    reducing government spending, reducing national debt and not raising the debt ceiling.
    Conservatism, progressivism, liberalism, constitutionalism, culture wars, deficit spending, inflation, civil liberties, faux-conservatives, Trump, RINOs, primarying Reed, ballot invalidating, constitutionalism, extreme left, fascism, communism, big government, big government theft of liberties, freedoms and money. Progressives in the Republican Party, Brian Clansby, fiscally conservative Democrats, deficits.

    I guess that it is going be a loooooooooooong meeting


  35. Arthur Ahrens says:

    The Cut Cut Cut act will rape the middle class. And few places will be impacted as hard as NY 23. And Reed supports it. And its passage is imminent.

    Yet, It appears to me that contributors to this forum are much more involved and interested in discussing theory involving some nebulous future than dealing with actual effects from actual legislation which will hurt them, their children and their heirs in the immediate future as money is literally lifted from their pockets and given to the rich.


  36. Rynstone says:

    Actually Art, here in NY State we are more impacted by state taxes and never ending fees for everything. The State simply spends too much. We have the 3rd highest paid legislature in the country and I believe that we have the highest state budget.

    Take a look at this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._state_budgets

    NY with about 3 million less people than Florida has a budget of 149 billion
    FL has a budget of 92.3 billion
    CA with a population of well over double NY has a budget of 179 billion

    As government workers retire (many in their late 40’s and early 50’s) many leave the state and do not contribute to the state economy that directly benefits them.

    Not to worry, career politician Governor Cuomo sees himself as an early contender for POTUS in 2020 as he continues to govern as one of the most progressive governor in teh country.


  37. Arthur Ahrens says:

    FOCUS. That’s something that seems to be lacking. Talking about state taxes and spending does not address my point about the Republican Steal from NY act.

    But for the sake of argument and to move things along I will agree with everything that you said.

    Does that mean that we should sit by idly and do nothing while the federal government steals from us too?

    If that is the case, your position is inconsistent.


  38. Rynstone says:

    Most of the federal GOP tax cut sucks. It is not even close to being something I would support.

    That being said teh federal government is stealing from us and giving in to corporate welfare by picking winners and losers.
    It just that NUY State is actually worse for us here in NY.


  39. Arthur Ahrens says:

    NYS is certainly due for some tax reform. But that’s a conversation for another day…

    I disagree on a couple of points. The ENTIRE Cut Cut Cut Act sucks. And it isn’t only the corporations that benefit.

    How much stock do you own? Do you need to work for a living? For retirement? Well, there are a lot of folks who don’t. And your money is going to be going to them. Take a look at the Paradise Papers. The greedy bastards aren’t satisfied with 90% of the pie. They want it all. Maybe you are comfortable with that arrangement. I am not. The rich are waging war on the middle class. We took it when they sheared us under Reagan and W. They’ve gotten used to us swallowing their shit about trickle down. They got most of it, now they want it all. And they are willing to carve us into lamb chops to get it.

    Reed does not represent us. He needs to go. Regardless of your ideology.


  40. Arthur Ahrens says:

    And the evilness keeps coming….

    The Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday that a law passed in 2010 would necessitate cuts to Medicare of as much as $25 billion next year. The pay-as-you-go law requires that legislation that adds to the federal deficit be paid for with spending cuts or other offsets. If that does not happen, automatic cuts to programs like Medicare kick in. The Medicare cuts, which are capped at 4 percent of the program’s annual spending, could reach almost a half trillion dollars over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

    The cuts can be averted through bipartisan legislation, though it is unclear whether Republicans would go along with such workarounds.

    Medicare and Social Security…it didn’t take long.

    The R’s are going for it all.


  41. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Something to ask Reed…..

    Under the current Republican Cut,Cut,Cut bill, teachers would lose their princely maximum-$250 tax deduction for purchasing school supplies for their students.
    Owners of golf courses receive tax breaks for promising not to develop their land. This tax break remains.
    Why are Golf Courses more important than teachers?

    Under the Cut, cut, cut,
    Tax breaks for corporations are permanent.
    Tax breaks for the middle class are not.
    Why does the middle class get short-changed?


  42. whungerford says:

    Arthur, what questions, other than those you mentioned, do you plan to ask Tom and what do you expect to accomplish thereby? If you don’t plan to ask other questions, what else will you do?


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