Dr. Coleman’s Pundit Night

punditThis report was contributed by Steve Beikirch who attended the meeting. Steve is a lifelong Democrat who has voted in every election since Jimmy Carter ran for President in 1976. He will listen to views on other political ideologies, but rejects Libertarianism and ideologies that inject religion into politics. “I learned from my mom to be proud of being a “bleeding-heart” liberal.” Steve writes:

There was a very good turnout. If you’ve been to the Heights Theater then you have an idea of it’s capacity. I would estimate that it was about two-thirds filled. Before the panelists spoke Dr. Coleman invited the audience to come up to the mike and speak. Many did. Most were critical of Reeds performance. Dr. Coleman introduced several local Chemung County office holders that were in the audience. The only one that I knew was Mike Lausell who is running for State Senate in the 58th district. One audience member who came up to the mike was Chris Callas. Chris is running for Chemung County Legislature eighth district. He seems like a passionate and down to earth guy.

I admit that I am prejudiced, but I feel that Dora was the only one who spoke about anything of substance on Reed’s record.

Dr. Twombly gave a convoluted analysis of why people support a candidate and how they decide to vote the way they do. This may work for a class lecture but provided nothing to the discussion.

Joe Sempolinski talked about how accessible Tom Reed is, how Reed has had 250 town halls and his membership in the problem solvers caucus.

Mike Morrongiello spent his time at the mike presenting a Reed campaign commercial about how great Reed is and how evil progressives are.

Gary Perry talked about the “non-partisan” organization he belongs to called “Reclaim New York”. He worked his way to saying how Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme and should be privatized. This produced jeers and laughter from the audience.

Last but not least, Dr. Matt Seybold,  Assistant Professor of American Literature and Mark Twain Studies, offered almost as little relevant information on Reed’s performance as Morrongiello. However, Seybold was interesting to listen to.

After the panelists were finished a woman walked up to the audience mike and dropped a bombshell about Perry. She brought up the fact that “Reclaim New York” is funded by Robert Mercer and his daughter. The only thing that Perry could get out of his mouth was “We get funding from Rebekah Mercer but not Soros.”



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.
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21 Responses to Dr. Coleman’s Pundit Night

  1. josephurban says:

    Thanks for the information. I have a number of “discussions?” with Gary Perry on this website and he never uses evidence to back up his theories. Glad to see the audience was not fooled by him.


  2. Rynstone says:

    Steve, you are slightly mistaken. The woman from the audience spoke about Reclaim being founded by Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway. This is only partially correct. They may have been instrumental in getting the seed of government accountability thought process to Reclaim New York members but they are not involved in Reclaim New York.

    Reclaim New York gets it’s information and direction from the NY State Comptroller’s office budget reports. (Democrat Thomas DiNapoli)

    Reclaim is a non-partisan working to help local citiizens learn how to hold their local and state governments accountable.

    The fact that Rebekah Mercer sits on the Reclaim board and is a major funding donor is very helpful. Reclaim is very open about this and does not try to hide it.

    Reclaim is very transparent https://www.reclaimnewyork.org/about/
    Robert Mercer was a computer scientist who retired and then became a very successful businessman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Mercer
    Robert Mercer built his wealth the old fashioned way. He worked hard at it and he and his family probably made many sacrifices along the way. We all had the same opportunity that he did. He is no different than Steve Bezos, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sam Walton, Michael Bloomburg, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, Sheldon Adelson, Larry Ellison, Larry page, Sergey Brin, Steve Ballmer etc. Robert Mercer was no Robber Baron. I do not think he is even in the top 20 wealthiest Americans group. These people had the vision, the drive, the intelligence and possibly a little good luck of being in teh right place at the right time to get where they are today.
    I wish I were educated, trained and experienced enough to have worked for Robert Mercer.

    For the big government Progressive Liberals this s very good article NPR did on the Mercers and Steve Bannon. https://www.npr.org/2017/03/22/521083950/inside-the-wealthy-family-that-has-been-funding-steve-bannon-s-plan-for-years

    I had a very good side conversation with Dora Leland and am doing a little research on the subject we discussed. Perhaps I will put that topic and info in this column after she replies to my email and responds to the data I have provided her.


  3. Rynstone says:

    By the way, as a side note the audience was made up of approximately 90 % retired people and probably about 75% Democrats who are suffering from President Trump Derangement Syndrome. This carries over into their dislike for Congressman Tom Reed. Most of these people were not active attendees or participants in any of Tom Reed’s Town Halls until after the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency.


  4. whungerford says:

    Rynstone, what is “President Trump Derangement Syndrome?” Do you think people have no cause for concern about a madman as President? How do you know that those who attended did or did not attend any of Tom Reed’s townhall meetings, and why would that matter?


  5. Rynstone says:

    I thought this might \be a good place to post this for all readers.

    Why Medicare for All is a rotten deal for most

    By Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D.
    September 12, 2018

    President Barack Obama made a stunning policy shift Friday, endorsing Medicare for All — a single-payer health system for the nation. Most Democrats contending for the 2020 presidential nomination and many Dems vying for congressional seats this fall are backing it, too.

    Beware: They’re pulling a bait-and-switch. The phrase Medicare for All sounds as American as apple pie. A new Reuters poll shows 70 percent of Americans respond to it favorably.

    Yet the public isn’t getting the truth about what it means. The actual plan these Democrats are pushing doesn’t look anything like Medicare. They’re slapping the Medicare label on what will be dangerously inadequate health care.

    For starters, it will rip away private health coverage from half of all Americans, including the 157 million who get their insurance the old-fashioned way — earning it through a job.

    Conveniently, the Dems are forgetting to tell you that private insurance will be banned under their scheme, and employers will be barred from covering workers or their families.

    Union members and executives who bargained for gold-plated private plans will lose them and have to settle for the same one-size-fits-all public coverage as people who refuse to work at all. Just for equality’s sake. Even illegal immigrants will get the same benefits. What’s the point of working?

    Seniors and baby boomers are big losers under Medicare for All. Whenever over-65ers have to vie with younger people for health resources, they get pushed to the back of the line. In the United Kingdom’s single-payer system, boomers are turned away for hip replacements and breast reconstruction. They’re told they have fewer years of life ahead to benefit from costly medical procedures.

    Yet Medicare for All is no longer a fringe proposal favored by the extreme left. It’s gaining steam. Republicans who failed miserably to communicate a case for repealing and replacing ObamaCare cannot make that mistake again. They need to warn voters about the dangers of single-payer health care.

    Under Medicare for All — the legislation introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders — Americans will be automatically enrolled in the public program. Kids would be enrolled at birth.

    The new scheme will guarantee hospital care, doctors’ visits, even dental, vision, and long-term care — all provided by Uncle Sam. But only until money runs out. The Sanders bill imposes hard and fast dollar caps on how much health care the country can consume yearly. That means limiting mammograms, hip replacements, and other procedures.

    The Sanders bill creates new regional health authorities to curb “overutilization” of care. To see how it’s done, look across the pond at how British local health authorities skimp on care.

    British women are livid because many are being refused breast reconstruction after lumpectomies and mastectomies.

    At least in Britain, people are free to buy private insurance and go outside the government system for care. But not under Sanders’ Medicare for All bill. You’d be trapped.

    Dems backing Sanders’ bill point to Medicare’s cost efficiencies and say they can be expanded to the whole population. That’s ridiculous. Medicare pays only about 88 cents for every dollar of care, shortchanging hospitals and doctors. These providers take the payments because they can shift the unmet costs on their patients with private insurance. But if everyone is on Medicare for All, no cost-shifting is possible.

    The only alternative? Lowering the quality of care, creating longer waits and limiting access to technology.

    Single-payer advocates don’t deny it. Stanford economist Victor Fuchs argues in the Journal of the American Medical Association that curbing the use of mammograms, new drugs, and diagnostic technologies will make single-payer affordable. In short, go low tech. But millions of American women have survived breast cancer thanks to high-tech screening and new gene-based therapies. Low-tech medicine would be a death sentence.

    The United Kingdom’s rock-bottom survival rates for breast, lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancer are the result of that low-tech approach. British newspapers are declaring “Cancer shame as UK survival rates lag behind the rest of the world.”

    Is that what we want in America?



  6. whungerford says:

    Betsy McCaughey may have a Ph.D., but she is more a partisan zealot than an authority on health care.


  7. Steven Beikirch says:

    Gary (Rynstone), you make a lot of assumptions about the people who attended yesterdays Pundit Night. How many people in the audience do you personally know, 1 or 2 or maybe a dozen? You certainly don’t know me. My disapproval of Reed’s serving mindset and his feckless job in Congress started long before Trump showed up to run for president. You’d be well advised to limit your comments to things you know something about. By the way, what do you have against retired people? I think people need to hear all of your verbal diarrhea from last night including your comment about the Social Security Ponzi scheme. To help with that I posted the audio of the entire panel discussion I recorded ( http://pages.suddenlink.net/steveb/pundit.mp3 ). Your rambling starts at 1:03:13.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Steven Beikirch says:

    Gary (Rynstone), so where does Betsy McCaughey get her expertise in health care? Is it her PhD in history? Or maybe it is her stint as Lt. Governor under George Pataki. I know, it was her marriage to Wilbur Ross.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Anne says:

    Gary: lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. whungerford says:

    Thanks, Anne. Your comment did make me laugh.


  11. Anne says:

    Also, a big thanks to Steve for attending & annotating so that the rest of us didn’t have to! Whenever I hear someone drag out the tired old “Trump Derangement Sydrome” trope I stop listening, as it’s just another ad hominem attack proving that its user *coughGarycough* has no valid counterargument to offer.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. josephurban says:

    Gary Rynstone. You claim that Reclaim NY is non-partisan and only wants to help citizens understand the issues, etc.
    Well, I did a little research on 4 officers listed on the website. Didn’t have time to do the rest) Now, on the website itself it DOES NOT have this info. I had to dig for it. So. here it is:

    Brandon Muir, executive director… He is a speaker at next years CPAC, 2019. the American Conservative Union annual meeting, the main development organization for the GOP right wing. . Hardly a “non-partisan”

    John Byrne. The website fails to mention that John ran for the NY State Assembly… and lost. He ran as a Republican. Hardly “non-partisan”.

    George Phillips. Mentions in passing that he worked on the staff of Congressman Smith. Fails to mention that Smith is a Republican. Hardly “non-partisan”.

    Domenick Cocchiara. Website talks about his military background but fails to mention the “America Rising ” PAC. He worked on this pack doing opposition research. This PAC did opposition research on Democratic candidates. Hardly “non-partisan”.

    So, the question is: IS Gary being intentionally misleading and does he really believe this organization is “non-partisan”? Or does he agree that it is fine for this organization to intentionally mislead the public about its political agenda?

    I have no problem with any organization that is liberal, conservative, Dem, GOP, what have you. But I have serious concerns about an organization that bills itself as “non-partisan” when it is run by very partisan (in this case Republican) individuals masquerading as “just regular folks”.

    You might ask yourself, why do they hide their true political affiliation? Are they ASHAMED of being Republicans (which would make sense) or are they hiding who they are to fool citizens and to get their bogus 503(c) tax exemption? They are obviously a right wing propaganda group.

    What is most amusing is they have a section on their website called: TRANSPARENCY .

    Liked by 1 person

  13. whungerford says:

    Thanks again to Steve Belkirch for his report.


  14. whungerford says:

    I just trashed a long list of Gary’s second hand comments. If he can’t speak for himself, to hell with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Rynstone says:

    Relax, This is the first time I have had an opportunity to get on the internet.
    I was late today as I was watchiung Senator Schumer on ABC’s the View telling everyone that everyone is concerned about the current loss of Healthcare and current high expense of Healthcare referring to the AFCA !?!! I thought Obama care fixed all of theseproblems?

    Yes Betsy McCaughey is a Conservative who also ran as a Democrat against George Pataki in his 2nd election as Governor of NY State. Betsy has a long list of academic achievements.
    Betsy also run a non-profit where she does patient advocate work. Whungerford, you can answer all of your questions from spending a little time at Betsy McCughey’s web site.

    Whungerford, debating with you is about as productive as having a conversation with the sidewalk. I am going to get no where.


  16. whungerford says:

    Gary, your view on health care reflects a false dichotomy, that Obamacare is, or was, either perfect or else worthless.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Rynstone says:

    You missed that George Phillips was also a two time Congressional candidate running against George Phillips. ReClaim NY may have Conservatives or Registered Republican who work there but I am pretty certain some of the office staff is liberal.

    I am also pretty sure that I mentioned that Reclaim gets all of it’s “items to look into” from The NY State Comptrollers office and from concerned citizen who are asking for help.
    One of the upstate villages I was involved looking into was actually run by all Republicans. Their reserve budget was supposed to be around 4% and it was between 69 and 87 % over the course of the past year. These Republicans were not too happy with us working with residents of the village to address these excessive reserve funds. This report was provided to us by the Democrat NY State Comptroller.

    From ReClaimnewyork.org site

    “Reclaim New York is a non-partisan, 501c3 non-profit organization that educates New Yorkers on issues like affordability, transparency, and education. Through civic trainings, we empower citizens to engage their state and local government. Most importantly, we’re a group of New Yorkers that believes deeply in helping each citizen reclaim ownership in their relationship with government.”

    Why don’t you Progressive Liberals put aside some of that envy and jealousy and give me some specific examples from the Reclaimnewyork.org web site that you disagree with. I would be very interested in knowing that and I would also pass it along.


  18. Steven Beikirch says:

    Gary (Rynstone), Betsy McCaughey ran against Pataki in 1998 on the “Liberal” ticket after she lost the Democrat nomination. She garnered only 1.7% of the vote. She barely beat the “Right-to-Life ” candidate and Al “Grandpa Munster” Lewis (Green Party). McCaughey was a wannabe before she was even a “be.” Maybe you and McCaughey should team up and run against Andrew Cuomo in 2022.


  19. josephurban says:

    Ryn. You asked for something on the ReclaimNY (AKA Tea Party) website that I disagree with. OK
    “Reclaim New York is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that empowers New Yorkers, through education and civic engagement, to reclaim ownership of their government.”

    While it claims to be non-partisan, as I already documented, it is full of Republicans. Why do they hide that fact ? Why not just say they are GOPers?
    What I object to is the dishonesty.


  20. whungerford says:

    How is it that Gary says Betsy McCaughey is a conservative, yet she ran for governor first as a Democrat then on the Liberal Party line?

    How does “Reclaim New York” empower New Yorkers? I don’t feel empowered and don’t see how anyone would.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. josephurban says:

    Ryn: Here are the politics of all 4 of the Reclaim NY Board of Directors…Rebekah Mercer, who made her millions through her hard work as an “heiress” and is a major contributor to the GOP.
    Jennifer Mercer…another “heiress” to the family fortune. Another GOP contributor. Also, along with Rebekah financed the now defunct “Cambridge Analytica” company, responsible for the Facebook identity thefts.
    Leonard Leo…On leave as executive VP of the Federalist Society. A right wing group that tells the GOP which judges to hire.
    Brandon Muir. He is a speaker at next years CPAC, 2019. the American Conservative Union annual meeting, the main development organization for the GOP right wing. . Hardly a “non-partisan”

    So Ryn…or Gary..or whomever. Are you really that dense? Or are you pretending to be? Every member of the Board of Directors is a Trump/right wing Republican. How can anyone with a straight face try to claim this organization is “non-partisan”? As I said, the basic dishonesty about the organization is typical of the new right.

    Liked by 1 person

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